Study Finds DNA Clues to Cattle Origins | The Institute for Creation Research

Study Finds DNA Clues to Cattle Origins

Archaeologists concur that modern domestic cattle descended from wild aurochs in the Middle East. But recent DNA analysis showed that many aurochs were actually included in the first domesticated herd. And like other studies of plant and animal origins, these results show that cattle history matches best with biblical history.

Ruth Bollongino and her team at Germany's University of Mainz, whose study appears in Molecular Biology and Evolution, examined mitochondrial DNA from 15 ancient cattle bones found in Iran. The researchers compared ancient DNA sequences with those of modern domestic cattle. Their results indicated that "around 80 female aurochs were initially domesticated."1

Such a low number suggests that domestication was not random, nor was it spread across a wide region. Instead, it was "a more complex and challenging process," according to the study authors.1

A separate study of Russian foxes showed that when breeding pairs were artificially selected for docile temperament, complete domestication occurred in six generations.2 But this involved capturing wild foxes, retaining them in cages, and breeding them with organized intent.

Researchers found that very few members in the founding population of domestic cattle existed, indicating that ancient humans caught wild aurochs and bred them to be domesticated, similar or identical to recent domestication of wild foxes.

And these results support biblical history, rather than evolutionary history, in at least two ways. First, domestication should have occurred soon after the Flood in the Middle East, since that is where Noah's ark landed and post-Flood populations took root. Likewise, domesticated pear and apple trees, wheat,3 small dogs,4 and—according to a University College London press release reporting Bollongino's research results—"goats, sheep and pigs" also originated in the Middle East.5

Second, in order to domesticate cattle from a few select wild aurochs, ancient people must have been just as smart and strong, if not more so, as the people of today.6 No good evidence backs evolutionary claims of brutish, ape-ish human ancestry.

This science indicates that fully capable people intentionally domesticated cattle in the Middle East thousands of years ago—right in line with the words of Genesis.

References

  1. Bollongino, R. et al. Modern Taurine Cattle descended from small number of Near-Eastern founders. Molecular Biology and Evolution. Posted on oxfordjournals.org March 14, 2012, accessed April 3, 2012.
  2. Thomas, B. 2012. On the Origin of Dogs. Acts & Facts. 41 (1): 16.
  3. Thomas, B. Small Dogs Came from the Middle East. ICR News. Posted on icr.org March 9, 2010, accessed April 3, 2012.
  4. Thomas, B. Where Did Apple Trees Come From? ICR News. Posted on icr.org December 22, 2009, accessed April 3, 2012.
  5. DNA traces cattle back to a small herd domesticated around 10,500 years ago. UCL News. Posted on ucl.ac.uk March 27, 2012, accessed April 3, 2012.
  6. Thomas, B. Discoveries Show Early Mankind Was Advanced. ICR News. Posted March 17, 2010, accessed April 3, 2012.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on May 7, 2012.

The Latest
NEWS
Latest DNA Tech Still Light Years Behind
Let’s say you recorded a library of books onto DNA. Hundreds of books could fit on your fingertip, but how would you find the one book you wanted? As...

NEWS
Giant Rhinos Are Still Rhinos
Fossils from two giant rhinos dated by evolutionists to be “22 million years old” in the evolutionary timetable have been discovered in China.1...

NEWS
Diverse Devonian Plant Assemblage from Early Flood
Scientists recently discovered a diverse assemblage of fossils in South Africa claimed to be some of the earliest land plants.1 Known as seedless...

NEWS
ICR Hosts Christian Educators Conference
As creation scientists continue to demonstrate that biblical creation makes far better sense of scientific data than evolutionary theory does, there is...

NEWS
Inside July 2021 Acts & Facts
Were dragons real creatures? How balanced was our universe 6,000 years ago? Why is Acadia National Park significant for biblical creation? Can scientists...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Moon
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
A Prayer for ICR
This month we invite you to join us in a prayer for the Institute for Creation Research’s ministry. Dear Jesus, Creator of all, we seek to...

APOLOGETICS
Grasshopper Apologetics: No Need to Get Jumpy
After spying in Canaan, 10 Hebrew scouts fearfully reported, “We saw the giants…and we were [by comparison] like grasshoppers”...

ACTS & FACTS
Can Scientists Replace God with Nothing?
Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God.” Do you find it a little odd that we must have...

ACTS & FACTS
The Plate Twirler and Our Solar System
Imagine opening a door to a room and seeing a plate spinning on a stick with a spin rate that makes it wobble. Then imagine you shut the door and go...