References and Notes
1 . A recent study has challenged this common understanding of every geneticist. The study claims, based on a statistical argument, that a child inherits some mtDNA from the father. The statistical results, while not conclusive, were significant. They are based on the way chromosomes recombine inside the nucleus, but, of course, mtDNA is not part of a chromosome and does not reside in the nucleus. [See Philip Awadalla et al., “Linkage Disequilibrium and Recombination in Hominid Mitochondrial DNA,” Science, Vol. 286, 24 December 1999, pp. 2524–2525.]
However, many experiments have shown that the sperm’s mtDNA is destroyed by the female egg after fertilization. Furthermore, all known mitochondrial traits and disorders come from only the mother. One researcher, geneticist Bryan Sykes at Oxford University, was unable to reproduce Awadalla’s results. Other researchers are looking for ways to explain the strange statistical results. We must await verifying experiments by other scientists before too much importance is given to this new study.
“... as expected, no evidence for paternal transmission of mtDNA was observed.” Thomas J. Parsons et al., “A High Observed Substitution Rate in the Human Mitochondrial DNA Control Region,” Nature Genetics, Vol. 15, April 1997, p. 364.
2 . This simplified explanation is complicated by heteroplasmy, a newly discovered form of inheritance for mtDNA. Heteroplasmy introduces slight statistical uncertainty in normal inheritance patterns.
3 . Rebecca L. Cann et al., “Mitochondrial DNA and Human Evolution,” Nature, Vol. 325, 1 January 1987, pp. 31–36.
4 . Marcia Barinaga, “‘African Eve’ Backers Beat a Retreat,” Science, Vol. 255, 7 February 1992, pp. 686–687.
Alan R. Templeton et al., “Human Origins and Analysis of Mitochondrial DNA Sequences,” Science, Vol. 255, 7 February 1992, pp. 737–739.
“African Eve Gets Lost in the ‘Trees’,” Science News, Vol. 141, 22 February 1992, p. 123.
5 . Some believe the Garden of Eden was near today’s Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, because Genesis 2:14 says rivers having those names were near Eden. However, the flood’s destructiveness probably buried the Garden of Eden and preflood rivers under thousands of feet of sediment. Continental movement and changes in continent thicknesses and topography would also have altered Eden’s location and the flow of rivers. (For details, see pages 93–127.)
It seems more likely that the survivors of the flood gave the two powerful rivers near Mount Ararat (today’s Tigris and Euphrates Rivers) the same names as rivers those people knew before the flood. (Settlers in North America brought many geographical names from the “old country,” and they knew they were half a world away. Noah and his descendants probably did not know where they were, so they may well have attached preflood names to postflood geography.) This would also explain why the other rivers mentioned in Genesis 2 are not known today and why the preflood rivers described in Genesis 2:10–14 had characteristics that differed from today’s rivers:
The river flowing out of Eden divided into four rivers. Today, rivers rarely divide; they merge.
Two of the Genesis rivers flowed around a land. Today, because rivers flow downhill, rarely would a river flow around (or nearly around) a land.
Without preflood rain, what was the source of each river’s water? (See page 270.)
6 . “Our work indicates that the protolanguage originated more than 6,000 years ago in eastern Anatolia [eastern Turkey] ...” Thomas V. Gamkrelidze and V. V. Ivanov, “The Early History of Indo-European Languages,” Scientific American, Vol. 262, March 1990, p. 110.
7 . Colin Renfrew, “The Origins of Indo-European Languages,” Scientific American, Vol. 261, October 1989, p. 114.
8 . Several generations after the flood, languages multiplied at Babel (Genesis 11:1–9). The name Babel gives us our word “to babble,” meaning “to utter meaningless sounds.” Most scholars place Babel’s location somewhere between today’s Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, near the site of ancient Babylon and Mount Ararat.
9 . For evolutionists, a time period back 100,000–200,000 years was too close to a common creationist estimate for when the first woman lived (6,000 years ago). It was also too far from their preferred date (3,500,000 years ago). Those involved in the mitochondrial Eve research knew that this relatively recent date would generate criticism and possible rejection of their study. (A major scientific study that is accepted brings future research grants, continued employment, and status.) Because many uncertainties and assumptions underlie all complex scientific studies, one might expect that everything would be tuned to push the mitochondrial Eve back in time as far as possible. It is as if one said, “If you are going to err, it might as well be in the direction that pleases the people who count.” As it turns out, that is what happened.
10 . “Regardless of the cause, evolutionists are most concerned about the effect of a faster mutation rate. For example, researchers have calculated [previously] that ‘mitochondrial Eve’—the woman whose mtDNA was ancestral to that in all living people—lived 100,000 to 200,000 years ago in Africa. Using the new clock, she would be a mere 6000 years old.” Ann Gibbons, “Calibrating the Mitochondrial Clock,” Science, Vol. 279, 2 January 1998, p. 29.
“If molecular evolution is really neutral at these sites [occurs at a constant rate], such a high mutation rate would indicate that Eve lived about 6500 years ago—a figure clearly incompatible with current theories on human origins.” Laurence Loewe and Siegfried Scherer, “Mitochondrial Eve: The Plot Thickens,” Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 12, 11 November 1997, p. 422.
“Thus, our observation of the substitution rate, 2.5/site/Myr [million years], is roughly 20-fold higher than would be predicted from phylogenetic analyses [evolution studies]. Using our empirical rate to calibrate the mtDNA molecular clock would result in an average age of the mtDNA MRCA [most recent common ancestor] of only ~6,500 y.a. [years ago], clearly incompatible with the known age of modern humans.” Parsons et al., p. 365.
Evolutionists who understand this new discovery are shocked. They are now trying to explain why measured mutation rates of mtDNA are so fast, but their inferred mutation rates (based on fossil dating and the evolution of man from apelike creatures) are so slow. Perhaps, they say, mutations occur rapidly at only a few points on the mtDNA molecule, but later correct themselves. Therefore, many mutations are counted, but the net change is small. This “hot spot” hypothesis, is basically a “special pleading”—something imagined to solve a problem. Tests have shown the “hot spot” hypothesis to be invalid.
Thus, the “hot spot” hypothesis, in the absence of additional elements, does not seem a sufficient explanation for the high observed substitution rate. Parsons et al., p. 365.
11 . Robert L. Dorit et al., “Absence of Polymorphism at the ZFY Locus on the Human Y Chromosome,” Science, Vol. 268, 26 May 1995, pp. 1183–1185.
A similar study was done with this same DNA segment in three types of apes: a chimpanzee, two orangutans, and three gorillas. This DNA segment differed among the three types of apes, but the DNA of the three gorillas was identical as was that in the two orangutans. [See Wes Burrows and Oliver A. Ryder, “Y-Chromosome Variation in Great Apes,” Nature, Vol. 385, 9 January 1997, pp. 125–126.]
Statisticians recognize that when variations exist between groups but not within groups, it implies that the three groups are distinct, unrelated populations. In other words, gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees probably did not evolve from some common ancestor. Of course, this DNA segment in humans was unrelated to an even greater degree.
12 . Assume many women lived 6,000 years ago, and their descendants now number 6 billion people. On average, each female must have had many children. Whenever the average number of children per female exceeds two, the chance of only one of these many females having continuous female descendants today becomes highly improbable. Next, a corresponding unlikely event must happen for males. Because both improbable events must happen concurrently, the possibility can be dismissed as ridiculously improbable.
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