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Where is the Genetic Evidence for Evolution?

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January 19, 2012 Tags: Genetics

Today's video features Kelsey Luoma. Please note the views expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily of BioLogos. You can read more about what we believe here.

In our previous BioLogos podcast, we looked at the question of transitional fossils, and how the transitional species story strongly supports evolutionary theory. In this podcast, we look at genetic evidence for evolution. The discovery of DNA has revolutionized our understanding of common descent, particularly in the past few decades. Mutated genes spread through populations over generations, leading to the change we know as evolution. Amazingly, deeper study of DNA lines up with Darwin's initial observations of the larger natural world. While it would take weeks to highlight all the genetic evidence for evolution, today we focus on a few specific examples: the similarity of genomes for related species, psuedogenes, and genetic markers left by retroviruses.

For more, be sure to read Dennis Venema's series "Signature in the Psuedogenes" and "Understanding Evolution".

Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial team.

Kelsey Luoma is a graduate of Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California, where she received a bachelor's degree in biology. She plans to continue her education in medical school. As an evangelical Christian and student of biology, Luoma is very interested in resolving the conflict between faith and science. She has spent two summers working as a student intern for BioLogos. In the future, she hopes to serve internationally as a physician.

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KevinR - #67264

January 20th 2012

Dear Kelsey Luoma,

I hope you do realize that by accepting evolution as a fact and truth you are then forced to try and fit billions of years into the bible - where it is expressly excluded by Genesis 1 and exodus 20:8-11.
You are therefore in effect rewriting the bible to suit your own preferred understanding of how the universe originated, nevermind what God has presented us with in His word.
By so doing you are saying that the words of scientists outweigh the word of God when it comes to the origins of mankind. You are also then by extension saying that the scientific analysis of man holds sway over spiritual matters, specifically that Christ died to pay for our sins and then triumphantly rose from the dead to indicate the victory over death and sin.

If you are to consistently take the scientific word of man to be the truth then you need to carry it through in all your scientific examination of the word of God. In science, people do not rise from the dead, they cannot walk on water and up till now have been unable to turn water into wine. Donkeys do not talk and iron axe-heads certainly do not float. Please apply your science to these items as well. Why pick and choose which is applicable and which not?
There simply is no evidence for evolution in the DNA - here I’m talking about human beings having “evolved” from one far-flung single celled ancestor - except if you and other scientist CHOOSE to see it there.
Furthermore if you hang on to evolution, then it means that there was death before the fall of Adam, hence the sin of Adam cannot be the cause of death. Hence also Christ then cannot atone for that sin for all of mankind as stated in Romans
- “For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did
God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus
Christ, overflow to the many!”
Please let go of the ungodly atheistic religion of evolution. The bible doesn’t support it in any way, manner or form. It attributes life to an unbiblical god - and anyone choosing to adhere to it is basically committing idolatry.
If you hang on to evolution [as defined above] you are in essence saying you don’t believe in the saving power of Christ. Choose carefully what you believe in.

Ken Gilmore - #67265

January 20th 2012

Kevin, if we interpret Genesis 1 literally, then it also teaches [1] that the firmament is solid, yet no special creationist I know accepts this. In so doing, they are also rewriting the Bible to suit the understanding of modern astronomy.

I do not deny the miraculous in the Bible - the Resurrection of Christ is the foundation of my faith, and I freely acknowledge that such an event is outside of science. However, unlike the axe that floated and the loaves and fishes that multiplied, we do have the evidence of the natural world which when examined points unarguably towards an evolutionary origin of all life, including human beings. The presence of multiple identical endogenous retroviral sequences at orthologous loci in humans and apes alone is enough to make the evidence for human-ape common descent certain. [2]

Psalm 19 tells us that the heavens declare the glory of God. As a scientific examination of the natural world tells us that the universe is ancient and the diversity of life emerged via a process of descent with modification, then we should accept with humility that our interpretation of the Bible needs revision in light of the book of nature, which is equally a revelation of God. We do Him a disservice if we refuse to listen to what He has to tell us through His creation.


1. Enns P “The Firmament of Genesis 1 is Solid But That’s Not the Point” Science and the Sacred Jan 14th 2010 http://biologos.org/blog/the-firmament-of-genesis-1-is-solid-but-thats-not-the-point
2. Johnson W.E., Coffin J.M. “Constructing primate phylogenies from ancient retrovirus sequences” Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (1999) 96:10254-10260
KevinR - #67363

January 25th 2012

We do Him a disservice if we refuse to listen to what He has to tell us through His creation.

We actually do ourselves

a much greater disservice when we refuse to listen to what God tell us through His special revelation - the bible. As all TE’s are doing.
Why is it possible to accept the miracle of the resurrection but not to accept the miracle of a six day creation? What exactly makes you want to reject that miracle?
Since you reject that miracle you now have to jump through hoops to find new interpretations for it - and thereby ultimately throw out the very belief in the resurrection of Christ - that miracle you claim to believe in.

Do you accept the Science of man as having ultimate authority over knowledge of origins instead of the bible? If so, then you must also submit to that authority when it tells you that no one can rise from the dead. If you refuse to submit to that revelation of creation you are simply not being consistent. Who do you want to serve - the God of the bible or the god of evolution? You cannot serve both.

Marshall Janzen - #67382

January 25th 2012

Kevin, I have no more of a predisposition to reject the miracle of God creating in six days than to reject the miracle of God creating using a surveyor’s line (Job 38:4-7). I just don’t think that language is there to tell us the physical details of how God created. I don’t believe God really created during six days, taking the nights and Sabbath off to rest and be refreshed, and I don’t believe God really laid down a surveyor’s line before establishing the foundation of the earth. Those are anthropomorphic descriptions. The picture of God’s creative week is elsewhere given a very clear purpose: to communicate how the Israelites are to structure their work week.

Viewing the six days differently than you does not lead me to reject the resurrection—no more than your taking many aspects of Job 38 figuratively leads you to reject the resurrection.

Science tells me nobody naturally comes back to life after being dead a few days, and Scripture does not contradict this. If Jesus had come back to life naturally, using some trick of nature, that would actually threaten my faith rather than confirm it! When it comes to the creation of beatles or ferns, though, it does not matter to me whether God created them by making natural processes that could bring them about, or through a miracle that transcends any natural processes. Either way, God is the creator; if natural processes are involved, God is still the one who created those natural processes. At some point, God created supernaturally, and it doesn’t matter to me how much of the rest of creation has taken place due to God’s providential sustaining of nature.

I serve the God revealed in the Bible and most fully revealed in the person of Jesus. This God is sovereign over gravity, electromagnetism, evolution, and every other natural force. He’s even able to accomplish his purposes through the casting of the lot, conception, mutation and other random processes. There is no need for me to serve two gods, since I believe the God of Scripture and the God who created nature are the same.

beaglelady - #67271

January 20th 2012

And if you don’t eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ you won’t have life within you. That’s what Jesus said. “Choose carefully what you believe in.”

KevinR - #67364

January 25th 2012

Please cut me some slack dear beaglelady - do you really believe that I do not understand the simple differences between what is meant literally and what is meant to be accepted figuratively? If you treat me as one with a similar level as intelligence as yourself then we can get to discussing real issues, not childish sidelines.

AaronC - #67312

January 21st 2012

Imposing billions of years on Genesis 1 is not much different than imposing 6 days.  If you can read the Genesis narrative without the goggles of ‘timeframe’, you’ll eventually wind up coming face to face with the actual story that was written.  It has something to do with a perfect God and an imperfect creation. 

Ronnie - #67316

January 21st 2012

Other than the fact that a 6 day creation is specifically stated in Genesis. And Exodus.

beaglelady - #67318

January 21st 2012

Do you mean a fallen creation? 

Ronnie - #67330

January 22nd 2012

The fallen creation we have now is the same creation God created in Genesis 1, just not “very good” due to sin.

KevinR - #67365

January 25th 2012

Imposing billions of years on Genesis has such profound theological implications that you might as well not believe in Jesus as your saviour. Simply stop reading the bible and ignore it for the rest of your life because it just doesn’t cut it evolutionarily speaking.

Death before the original sin of Adam leads logically to Christ having dies in vain. Plain and simple.

Ashe - #67374

January 25th 2012

Then why did Jesus only talk about adam and eve in the context of marriage, and why isn’t the creation story mentioned at all in Acts?

KevinR - #67483

February 2nd 2012

In the beginning

he made them male and female….not billions of years after. Which OTHER beginning did Jesus talk about? Can you clarify?

So just because the creation story is not mentioned in Acts does that mean it’s not true? What about all the other places in the bible that mentions it?

liminal - #67484

February 2nd 2012

But the beginning IS mentioned in the book of Acts. Have a look! Acts 11:15. Likewise John 1:1 “in the beginning was… THEN John 1:3 all things made, so there is the beginning BEFORE the “the beginning” and the “beginning’ (a’la Acts) after the Beginning (a’la Gensis 1, & Mark 10 marriage). And also the beginning (1 John 1)  just prior to the beginning referred in Acts. Do anyone else think this is “beginning” to get clarified -

It will be clarified if you look at the words in context

G8torBrent - #67323

January 21st 2012

My first reaction was to dismiss KevinR, but then I read the Exodus passage again. While it’s fairly easy to understand how the the Genesis account could be understood apart from answering the “how” and “when” questions, there’s a disturbing link between the Sabbath and the first creation story. But more than that, the 20th chapter of Exodus begins with “And God spoke all these words.” It’s one thing to recognize that humans, under God’s inspiration, communicate eternal spiritual truths through both the limits of their understanding and language. It’s another to try to figure out what God was saying in Ex. 20:8-11. A simple explanation doesn’t come to mind.

It is possible that Moses made the whole thing up. I’d rather not think this since it would throw a general pall of unreliability upon the whole of Scripture, imo. I suppose the other is that the particular exposition of the reason for the law was added by a later commentator and so isn’t “the very words of God” (which are flawless). Or that God did indeed tell Moses this, even though the physical evidence He left in the created order points to an ancient universe and that His handiwork (creation…man) manifested itself over time; in which case, He would have been accommodating to the hearer’s limited understanding of things; which also means a fresh understanding of the Sabbath is required. What is this thing and the importance of a six-on/one-off pattern?

A P.S. is in order: floating axe heads, walking on water, raising people from the dead…all these things don’t factor into the creation/evolution issue, in my opinion, because they are all presented for what they are: miracles, where the natural order (law?) God has built into the universe is temporarily suspended. With the creation stories in the Bible, you don’t get that sense if you read it as having literally happened. 
Marshall Janzen - #67339

January 23rd 2012

Hi G8torBrent,

I’d recommend also reading the parallel passage in Deuteronomy 5:12-15. You’ll notice that in this recounting, no mention is made of the days of creation in the Sabbath command, yet here too it says, “These words the LORD spoke ... and he added no more. And he wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me” (v. 22, ESV). So, if you read Exodus 20:11 as more directly from God than the rest of Scripture (as opposed to both Ex. 20:11 and Deut. 5:15 being Moses’ inspired commentaries on the Sabbath command in the preceding verses), it doesn’t jibe with this other account.

Further, we have other words directly from God that also use symbolism. One example comes the chapter before the one you focused on, in Exodus 19:4. We don’t have to take the eagles’ wings literally to believe God acted in the exodus, and we don’t have to take the six days literally to believe God acted in creation. Nor do we have to doubt God’s ability to communicate because he used these evocative and useful pictures of his work.

To your PS, I agree that the creation accounts—and especially the Eden account in Genesis 2—don’t present events as if they are miraculous. Even the serpent’s speech is only said to be because he is the most subtle beast, not because of anything supernatural (such as possession by an evil being, or an evil being taking on the appearance of a literal serpent). Now, you can read this as showing that nature was much different back then, but it can also be a sign that the account is not written in a blandly historical form. When Judges 9 speaks of talking trees, it again doesn’t describe them as miraculous. Rather than this making us think the story points to a time when trees naturally talked, we probably see that as a clue that the story is being told in a different genre.

KevinR - #67367

January 25th 2012

So does Deut 5: 12 then negate what is said in Exodus and does it now mean that you are free to indulge in evolution as you please?
Maybe we should take it as a vote. Those texts including it outvote the one that  doesn’t. So if you go by the vote, you are forced to accept it.
Remember what Jesus [ yes, that same person whom you say you believe in ] said: “If they believe not Moses and the prophets, the will not believe…”
Moses wrote it. Twice. Why don’t you want to believe it? Because you choose to believe in the science of man instead of the word of God. Seems like Jesus’ words are ringing true.

Marshall Janzen - #67375

January 25th 2012

Kevin, Deut. 5:15 (not 12) doesn’t negate Exo. 20:11, but it does show that the latter passage can’t be raised to a position above the rest of Scripture. It wasn’t written directly by God’s finger into stone. It, and the alternate explanation of the Sabbath command in Deuteronomy, appear to be inspired commentary on the command. As I already noted, even if it were more directly from God, we see that God uses figurative language when he speaks directly too (e.g. Exo. 19:4). The creation account we have that is written as God’s direct speech (Job 38-40) is more obviously figurative than others that write about God in the third person.

I’m not sure why you’re suggesting we should take the texts as a vote, especially since there are only two similar recountings of the commandments, and each has a different reason for the Sabbath command (one tied to the creation, one tied to the exodus, and both using anthropomorphic figurative language in their descriptions, whether “in six days ... rested on the seventh day” or “mighty hand and outstretched arm”). A vote of 1-1 isn’t exactly decisive, nor do I think the purpose of either passage is to attempt to outweigh the other.

Those who disagree with your interpretation still believe these passages—we just don’t think they mean what you do. You wouldn’t convince someone to adopt a certain view of the bread of the Lord’s Supper by pointing out how many times Jesus said “this is my body” in the Gospels and 1 Corinthians. We all agree about that, but disagree about what it means. So too with the picture of creation over six days.

Let’s go back to Genesis’ more detailed description of those days. I’m sure you’re well aware of the repeated refrain in Genesis 1 of “and there was evening, and there was morning”. Many have tried to say that this is defining a day, but what they miss is that the time period described is actually a <I>night</I>! Genesis 1 portrays God creating during the day, then evening comes, and then morning comes (the “and” between each is the waw-consecutive, a Hebrew linguistic feature you’re probably familiar with). In other words, none of the creative work happens at night.

This is part of the way Genesis 1 is describing God as a human labourer, working during the day, but resting at night and on the seventh day. And, the only place the days of Genesis 1 are referred to in the Old Testament are in Exodus where God’s activity is connected with the activity of human labourers. In fact, in Exodus 31:17 it goes so far as to say that God rested <I>and was refreshed</I>. While God does not ever literally suffer a lack of refreshment (excepting the incarnation), this is all part of the picture of God being described as a human labourer that sets the template the Israelites are to follow.

I don’t think it is controversial to state that in Scripture, God stooped to allow himself to be described in human ways. Sometimes an anthropomorphic picture allows God to communicate aspects of his nature that would get missed in a strictly literal description. The author of Hebrews picks up on the idea of God’s seventh-day rest and reveals that it is God’s ongoing rest (though the English word “rest” is too weak for it) that we are still called to enter today. Interestingly, this is the only New Testament reference to any one of the days of creation, and it appears to stretch the day out to encompass all of history, equating it with God’s ongoing rest! God’s rest is more than a literal day, and less than a literal cessation of work (see John 5:17), yet it remains something real and profound that is far greater than the limited pictures human language can contain.

When it comes to describing God’s nature, or God’s immeasurable, indescribable creative activity, I don’t think human language is up to the task of a completely literal description. So, I don’t have a problem with God stooping to speak in ways we humans (both now and in ages past, all of us with huge blind spots and limitations) can understand. So, while I’ll continue to disagree with your take on these passages, I’ll also continue to believe them, and use them to build my faith in the One who knit me together and calls me to be part of his <I>shalom</I>.

KevinR - #67366

January 25th 2012

In essence from man’s point of view it is impossible to create the universe and everything in it in six days. Hence it’s a miracle. Why do you want to deny this miracle but are eager to grab hold of the other ones? What exactly prompts you to do this? How do you justify your choice? Can one pick and choose which miracle one wants to believe in?
I think you need to reexamine who you are giving respect to - God who created everything and says so in His word, or the science of sinful man who is a created being and who wasn’t there when everything got made?

PNG - #67361

January 25th 2012

The evidence for evolution from genomics is massive, and denying it in bold type doesn’t change that a bit, Kevin. If anyone wants a summary of one particularly powerful kind of evidence they can look at my blog: 


Your posts are filled with non-sequiturs and pseudo-intellectual bullying. Threatening people with damnation if they don’t agree with you is simply despicable. No one who posts or comments here is going to be swayed by your bullying. Give it up.
KevinR - #67368

January 25th 2012

The evidence for evolution is massive only if you want to interpret it that way.

Where did life come from in the first place? Were you there when it arrived on earth so that you know it came in the form that evolutionists would like it to have arrived here?

If you claim to be a Christian then it’s so much simpler to believe that God created everything in six days and that’s it. Why bother to figure out how atheists are trying to make sense of the world when you don’t have to. It’s so simple to poke huge holes in any evolutionary statement that one really doesn’t need to be afraid of the ungodly religion of evolution.

Ashe - #67383

January 25th 2012

Your attempts at recruiting Christians on this site to your science denying “creationist” cult is failing. It’s not about miracles in and of themselves, it’s about evidence. 

beaglelady - #67386

January 26th 2012

If you claim to be a Christian then it’s so much simpler to believe that God created everything in six days and that’s it.

Wouldn’t it be easier to also believe that God set the stars in the  firmament, and that the earth doesn’t move, and that heaven is above and the underworld below (a 3-tier universe)?  Easy-peasy.

KevinR - #67369

January 25th 2012

I’m not threatening people, simply pointing out that there’s no need to believe in evolution whatsoever.

Besides, which would you rather have - someone vehemently and insistingly warning you that your life is in danger and thereby making you reconsider what you might be giving up, or everyone patting you on your back, congratulating and encouraging you and those you will influence to walk through the wide gate?

PNG - #67370

January 25th 2012

Kevin, accepting that evolution happened doesn’t imply rejecting Christ. The fact that you insist that it does only proves that you are incapable of or unwilling to think clearly. I don’t really care what atheists think or why. I care about evidence, just as if I were serving on a jury. If you think that being a Christian involves denying evidence and refusing to think about it, I can only say that you are wrong. If you want to do that yourself, that is your business, but when you tell people that to think is to endanger one’s soul, you are telling a big lie and trying to intimidate weak people into agreeing with you. Maybe someone did that to you. If so, you don’t have to put up with it. God gave you a mind so you could use it. You are wasting your time here trying to intimidate people who know that God wants us to think.

beaglelady - #67378

January 25th 2012

Your posts here are great PNG (and much needed), and I like your new blog. As a matter of fact I’m the first follower. Keep the good stuff coming!

Jon Garvey - #67326

January 22nd 2012


Sounds it’s time for an updated plug on John H Walton’s “Lost World of Genesis 1”, which I think would do just as well with the subtitle “including the Lost World of Exodus 20”.

Briefly, he makes the case, based on the ANE parallels, for Genesis 1 as primarily an account of the seven day ordering of creation functionally, rather than materially, to be the temple in which he is represented and served by mankind, as his image.

Definitely worth reading before either feeling forced into a YEC position, or tempted to say that Exodus is lying when it recounts God’s words. Warning: you’re likely thereafter to become annoyed when people try to apply Genesis to science, either by YECs bashing old earth evidence, or by TEs trying to pin the bothg the “imageness” of man and the fall on evolutionary processes. They’re both falling into the materialist worldview trap.

liminal - #67380

January 25th 2012

Sitting here on a national holiday thought I might read these blog posts. Hmm they sound very strange comments on a site where you can see outlined evidence for evolution and biblical interpretations not in conlict. Many of the blog comments appear to come from those who haven’t investigated this site. Perhaps this is incorrect - but very strange.

Christian ethics is central: Honesty, Truth, Patience.


beaglelady - #67390

January 26th 2012

“Many of the blog comments appear to come from those who haven’t
investigated this site. Perhaps this is incorrect - but very strange.

Not at all strange for this site

PNG - #67391

January 26th 2012

Sometimes it is a bit like the old Monty Python skit where the guy thinks he is in the Argument Department when in fact he has wandered into the Abuse/Contradiction Department. It’s amazing how often that joke applies.

liminal - #67422

January 29th 2012

Likewise, remember what Monty Python said? “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!” Dadar!!!

dialogue with reason on shared presuppositions as the standard is the only way forward

Marty Kurlich - #67407

January 28th 2012

For the most part, this website and these blogs are about as moribund and malodorous as mainline Protestantism.

(Lest I be accused of not being an equal opportunity kind of guy, I’ll predict the other 30,000+ denominations/congregations, that are still kicking or just being born, will end up in a similar morass.)

Good luck.


beaglelady - #67420

January 29th 2012

How lovely! We poor Protestants are getting a smiting. 

HornSpiel - #67409

January 28th 2012

If I may be excused for actually making a comment about the video:
I am a bit confused about the term “theory of common decent” as distinct from the “theory of evolution” and what some people call the “fact of evolution.”

I thought the so-called fact of evolution refers to  common decent: all the interconnected lines of evidence that make the idea that all species share a common ancestors just plain obvious. The theory of evolution is the detailed  scientific description of how that happened.

Now here in the video the speaker (is that Kelsey Luoma speaking?) talks about the theory of common decent.  Is that just a euphemism for the theory of evolution? (At 2:58 she says “the study of  DNA has revealed an enormous amount of information that supports the theory of common decent”.)

The reason I point this out is because some Christians do accept common decent but reject evolution as the explanation of how that occurred. However the video seems to be making the case for common decent but implying that the theory of evolution is the explanation. This may make it more difficult for those who are skeptical to accept the points the podcast is making.

I do agree however that it is better to talk about common decent as a theory here even though many see it to be as obvious as sphericity of the earth.

Marty Kurlich - #67411

January 29th 2012


Looks as though the Bible finally got something right. Right in the sense that science has actually blessed off on the words and traditional understanding of certain parts of Genesis.

For both the Bible and science say that all human beings on this planet right now (i.e. 100% of the 7 billion people) trace their maternal ancestry to one and only one woman.

Thank goodness some were able to hold their breath until the 1980s to receive comforting confirmation from science regarding at least some of their bible beliefs.



Ashe - #67414

January 29th 2012

That doesn’t mean that there was only one woman living at the time. The same kind of studies show that “Adam” lived some time after Eve, even in a different location. 

Marty Kurlich - #67416

January 29th 2012


You said “That doesn’t mean that there was only one woman living at the time.” That’s correct. My post didn’t say otherwise.

But, cuz, you and I (and everyone reading this) have one and the same great, great, great, ... grandmother.

I have an idea. Let’s give her a name. Let’s call her Eve!  



Marty Kurlich - #67417

January 29th 2012

Interesting historical observation:

In the twentieth century, but well before the discovery of mitochondrial DNA, the head of at least one Church declared, as a mandatory element of belief for those in that Church, that every human being now on earth originated from one particular pair of parents, Adam and Eve. [Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, August 12, 1950]


beaglelady - #67421

January 29th 2012

Genetics shows us otherwise.

Marty Kurlich - #67425

January 29th 2012


What do you mean “Genetics shows us otherwise”?

Certainly you’re not saying mitochondrial DNA isn’t part of genetics. (That would be news to the National Institutes of Health, among others. This genetic material is known as mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA.” http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/chromosome=MT)

Maybe you meant that some scientists say Mitochondrial Eve lived 100K-200K years ago, so she couldn’t be the Eve in Genesis.

What I do know, or at least have read, is that such dating is based on two major assumptions about mtDNA: 1) that mtDNA comes exclusively from the mother, and 2) that mutation rates for mtDNA have been constant.

I’ve also read that numerous studies, including some by the New England Journal of Medicine and the journal “Science”, have called these two assumptions into question.  Apparently, nothing close to universal consensus exists on the so-called molecular clock that dates Mity Eve at 200K years.

Speaking of dating scientists - I mean, not scientists on eHarmony or Match dot com, but scientists who date things - one can discover news (but usually not in the mainstream media) just about every day that can make one chuckle.


From old to older (error of 120%): “While those stars have been thought to be just five million years old, the team concludes that those stars are actually more than twice as old, at 11 million years of age. The findings are surprising given Upper Scorpius’s status as one of the best-studied samples of young stars in the sky.”  http://rochester.edu/news/show.php?id=3977

From old to younger (error of 650%): “Up to now, geologists were vague on the age of the 600-foot deep crater, which formed when a rising plume of magma hit a pocket of underground water, creating an explosion. The most common estimate was about 6,000 years, based partly on Native American artifacts found under debris. Now, a team based at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has used isotopes in rocks blown out of the crater to show that it formed just 800 years ago.” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120123152516.htm

Mity Eve 200,000 years old? Aye, aye sir, or ma’am!


melanogaster - #67432

January 30th 2012

Marty, you asked:
“What do you mean “Genetics shows us otherwise”?

Why, she means exactly what she wrote. Do you think that your pretending to understand genetics is fooling anyone here but yourself?

“Certainly you’re not saying mitochondrial DNA isn’t part of genetics.”

No, she’s not saying anything of the sort. 

“Maybe you meant that some scientists say Mitochondrial Eve lived 100K-200K years ago, so she couldn’t be the Eve in Genesis.”


“What I do know, or at least have read, is that such dating is based on…”

She’s not saying anything about dating, Marty. She’s referring to a basic aspect of inheritance (and evolution) that you don’t understand, demonstrated by your repeated misrepresentations of basic evolutionary theory.

The question is, do you want to understand or are you afraid to understand?
beaglelady - #67429

January 30th 2012

‘What do you mean “Genetics shows us otherwise”?  Certainly you’re not saying mitochondrial DNA isn’t part of genetics.’

No, I never said that mitochondrial DNA isn’t part of genetics. I was answering your statement here:

“In the twentieth century, but well before the
discovery of mitochondrial DNA, the head of at least one Church declared, as a mandatory element of belief for those in that Church, that
every human being now on earth originated from one particular pair of parents,
Adam and Eve.

I’m saying that genetics has shown that we do not all descend from a first pair of humans.  You can read posts right on this site saying as much.

Marty Kurlich - #67441

January 30th 2012


I appreciate the brevity of your answers.

I’d like to ask for even more brevity in your answering the following question:

Do you agree with the science which says that all extant human beings can trace their origins to one and only one particular woman? (“… all mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in every living person is directly descended from hers [Mitochondrial Eve] by definition.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_Eve)


Just a “Yes” or “No”, please

beaglelady - #67444

January 30th 2012


I believe that all women alive
today received their mitochondrial DNA from a single woman. Scientists estimate that this woman,
called the Mitochondrial Eve, lived between 150,000 and 200,000 years
ago.  She was neither the first human female, nor the only human female alive back then.

An article on this web site made that point long ago.

beaglelady - #67445

January 30th 2012

Let me also say that indeed Mitochondrial Eve, was the most recent common matrilineal ancestor of all humans alive today.   If we go back earlier in time we will see other women we are descended from.  (e.g. Mitochondrial Eve’s mom).

And who knows? Maybe M. Eve was widowed and remarried.

-Our Lady of BowWow

Jon Garvey - #67448

January 31st 2012

Marty appears to be imitating a set of traffic lights. Perhaps it’s not surprising, given his discussion style. Makes for a colourful page though, eh?

Of course, Mitochondrial Eve only relates to direct matrilineal descent. All individuals today have far more recent common ancestors, both male and female. Our most recent common ancestor is probably within the last 2-5K years, and of course even if that was a male he had a mother who is also, obviously, our common ancestor.

Furthermore, at the Identical Ancestors Point (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identical_ancestors_point), some 3X earlier (ie 6-15K years) every person then alive who has left any descendants at all is a common ancestor of everyone alive now.

So Marty can still have his pair of common ancestors, but they can’t be Mitochondrial Eve or Y chromosome Adam, and they can’t be the sole members of species H. sapiens alive at the time.

Or to turn it round, geneticists can have a mitochondrial mother and a Y chromosome father, but they are mistaken to call them Adam and Eve.

beaglelady - #67449

January 31st 2012

“Marty appears to be imitating a set of traffic lights. Perhaps it’s not
surprising, given his discussion style. Makes for a colourful page
though, eh?

Colorful indeed. This site sure attracts the trolls.  Part of Marty’s agenda is to push his pope on us.  This is not the forum for that.

Jon Garvey - #67450

January 31st 2012

This is not the forum for that.

It would be interesting to create a site that was ... “Rammingmyviewsdownyourthroat.org” tagline “Participate or Perish.”

In all honesty I wouldn’t have a problem with someone saying that theistic evolution was in trouble because it’s a denial of Papal doctrine - it might even help clarify evolution’s relationship to the major theological traditions.

But it’s all in the respect one has for ones interlocutors, innit?

beaglelady - #67452

January 31st 2012

Yep. Look at comment #67407

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