New Study Claims Human and All Animal Species Today Originated only 100K-200K Years
Research by two scientists on DNA and mitochrondria found that over 90% of animal species in existence today – including humans – had originated only 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.
While the two scientists shied away from saying it, their finding that humans and all animals date back to at most only 200,000 years ago is contrary to what evolutionists have been telling us, that the Earth and its life forms had taken millions of years to develop and evolve.
Note: DNA or Deoxyribonucleic acid carries the genetic instructions of all known living organisms. Mitochrondria are structures or organelles located in the cell’s cytoplasm outside the nucleus, responsible for energy production. All mitochondrial chromosomes are inherited from the mother.
Written in a technical and, for non-specialists, arcane language, the article concerns DNA barcoding – a taxonomic method that uses a short genetic marker in an organism’s DNA to identify it as belonging to a particular species. For animals, the preferred barcode regions are in mitochondria – cellular organelles that power all animal life. As the authors wrote (p. 10):
The agreement of barcodes and domain experts implies that explaining the origin of the pattern of DNA barcodes would be in large part explaining the origin of species. Understanding the mechanism by which the near-universal pattern of DNA barcodes comes about would be tantamount to understanding the mechanism of speciation.
For their study, Stoeckle and Thaler relied largely on more than 5 million mitochondrial barcodes from more than 100,000 animal species,assembled by scientists worldwide over the past 15 years in the open access GenBank database maintained by the US National Center for Biotechnology Information. The two scientists used the collection to examine the range of genetic differences within and between animal species ranging from bumblebees to birds. They found surprisingly minute or little genetic variation (between 0.0% and 0.5% variance) within most animal species – but very clear genetic distinction between a given species and all others.
The authors conclude that the surprisingly little genetic variation found within each of nearly all existing animal species can only be explained by the species all being young – no more than 100,000 to 200,000 years old.
More than a decade of DNA barcoding encompassing about five million specimens covering 100,000 animal species supports the generalization that mitochondrial DNA clusters largely overlap with species as defined by domain experts. Most barcode clustering reflects synonymous substitutions. What evolutionary mechanisms account for synonymous clusters being largely coincident with species? The answer depends on whether variants are phenotypically neutral. To the degree that variants are selectable, purifying selection limits variation within species and neighboring species may have distinct adaptive peaks. Phenotypically neutral variants are only subject to demographic processes – drift, lineage sorting, genetic hitchhiking, and bottlenecks. The evolution of modern humans has been studied from several disciplines with detail unique among animal species. Mitochondrial barcodes provide a commensurable way to compare modern humans to other animal species. Barcode variation in the modern human population is quantitatively similar to that within other animal species. Several convergent lines of evidence show that mitochondrial diversity in modern humans follows from sequence uniformity followed by the accumulation of largely neutral diversity during a population expansion that began approximately 100,000 years ago. A straightforward hypothesis is that the extant populations of almost all animal species have arrived at a similar result consequent to a similar process of expansion from mitochondrial uniformity within the last one to several hundred thousand years.
And again, Stoeckle and Thaler wrote (p. 22):
More approaches have been brought to bear on the emergence and outgrowth of Homo sapiens sapiens (i.e., modern humans) than any other species including full genome sequence analysis of thousands of individuals and tens of thousands of mitochondria, paleontology, anthropology, history and linguistics [61, 142-144]. The congruence of these fields supports the view that modern human mitochondria and Y chromosome originated from conditions that imposed a single sequence on these genetic elements between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago [145-147]. (p. 22)
The authors wrote in the article’s “Summary and Conclusion” (pp. 22-23):
Mostly synonymous and apparently neutral variation in mitochondria within species shows a similar quantitative pattern across the entire animal kingdom. The pattern is that that most-over 90% in the best characterized groups-of the approximately five million barcode sequences cluster into groups with between 0.0% and 0.5% variance as measured by APD [average pair-wise distance], with an average APD of 0.2%.
Modern humans are a low-average animal species in terms of the APD. The molecular clock as a heuristic marks 1% sequence divergence per million years which is consistent with evidence for a clonal stage of human mitochondria between 100,000-200,000 years ago and the 0.1% APD found in the modern human population [34, 155, 156]. A conjunction of factors could bring about the same result. However, one should not as a first impulse seek a complex and multifaceted explanation for one of the clearest, most data rich and general facts in all of evolution. The simple hypothesis is that the same explanation offered for the sequence variation found among modern humans applies equally to the modern populations of essentially all other animal species. Namely that the extant population, no matter what its current size or similarity to fossils of any age, has expanded from mitochondrial uniformity within the past 200,000 years.
Dr. Thaler observes: “Our paper strengthens the argument that the low variation in the mitochondrial DNA of modern humans also explains the similar low variation found in over 90% of living animal species – we all likely originated by similar processes and most animal species are likely young.”
All this is reinforced by The Rockefeller University’s Press Release about Stoeckle and Thaler’s journal article:
Researchers report important new insights into evolution following a study of mitochondrial DNA from about 5 million specimens covering about 100,000 animal species.
Mining “big data” insights from the world’s fast-growing genetic databases and reviewing a large literature in evolutionary theory, researchers at The Rockefeller University in New York City and the Biozentrum at the University of Basel in Switzerland, published several conclusions today in the journal Human Evolution. Among them . . .
* The mass of evidence supports the hypothesis that most species, be it a bird or a moth or a fish, like modern humans, arose recently and have not had time to develop a lot of genetic diversity. The 0.1% average genetic diversity within humanity today corresponds to the divergence of modern humans as a distinct species about 100,000 – 200,000 years ago – not very long in evolutionary terms. The same is likely true of over 90% of species on Earth today.
* Genetically the world “is not a blurry place.” Each species has its own specific mitochondrial sequence and other members of the same species are identical or tightly similar. The research shows that species are “islands in sequence space” with few intermediate “stepping stones” surviving the evolutionary process.
In other words, Stoeckle and Thaler did not find the “missing links” – the intermediate forms that, according to the theory of evolution, developed when one species evolved into another distinct species. As Dr. Thaler notes, “Darwin struggled to understand the absence of intermediates and his questions remain fruitful [i.e., unanswered].”
Allow me to rephrase Stoeckle and Thaler’s stunning study:
- When a species began, its members are characterized by genetic sameness (“mitochondrial or sequence uniformity”).
- In the natural course of time, members of a species would develop genetic differences (“mitochrondrial variation”) at a rate (“molecular clock”) of 1% variation per million years.
- Using a data base of the DNA barcodes of more than 100,000 animals species, the two scientists found very little genetic variation – between 0.0% to 0.5% variance – within each species. The average intra-species genetic variation is only 0.2%. The genetic variation within the human species is even less – 0.1% – which means the human species is about 100,000 years old, younger than most other animal species.
- Appealing to Occam’s Razor, a simple explanation for the paucity (0.0% to 0.5%) of intra-species genetic variation is that all animal species, including humans, are very young – no more than 100,000 to 200,000 years old – and therefore did not have the millions of years to develop genetic divergence or variation.
- If the theory of evolution is true, we would expect to find a wide range of points-of-origin of animal species – from 100,000 years to millions of years. Instead, Stoeckle and Thaler found that all existing animal species date back no more than 200,000 years ago, which means that they share a similar originating point-in-time – “the extant populations of almost all animal species have arrived at a similar result consequent to a similar process of expansion from mitochondrial uniformity within the last one to several hundred thousand years”.
- Lastly, the scientists found that each species is distinct from other species, but could not find intermediate forms (“stepping stones” or missing links) between species.
Note that points 4, 5 and 6 all contradict the theory of evolution, but support the Theory of Creation –
- That there was a point in time when God created all living things as distinct species (“after their kind” – Genesis 1:21).
- That man was the last living thing to be created and therefore the human species is younger than other species.
- All of which means humans and other species had not evolved over the course of millions of years;
- Which would explain why there are no intermediate forms or missing links.
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness
The two scientists are:
- Mark Young Stoeckle, Ph.D. and M.D., Senior Research Associate at the Program for the Human Environment, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY. Email: [email protected]
- David S. Thaler, Ph.D., who researches and teaches Genetics and Microbiology at the Biozentrum – Center for Molecular Life Sciences at the University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland. Email: [email protected]; [email protected]
Their research is published as M.Y. Stoeckle and D. S. Thaler, “Why should mitochondria define species?,” Human Evolution, Vol. 33, n. 1-2, May 2018, pp. 1-30.