“Jurassic World” Asks the Right Questions: Big Bombshells in Science
By Peirce Baehr
Editor’s Note: “Jurassic World” opens with a government comittee asking about the life of dinosaurs who were originally cloned in the lab. It ends with some very some very big questions about science. Providentially, these big questions were being discussed by the mainline scientific community just before the movie reached theaters!
May was a bombshell of a month for the big questions in science. Two top researchers published a paper in Human Evolution that explodes the prevailing evolutionary paradigm. If confirmed, this is a discovery exponentially more challenging to long-age evolution than the dinosaur blood and tissue finds of the last decade. We’re not talking about simply another flesh wound for neo-Darwinism, but something closer to death itself…a mortal indictment of the present model for its abject failure to fit the facts.
David Thaler (University of Basel) and Mark Stoeckle (The Rockefeller University in New York) studied select mtDNA segments from over 100,000 animal species. You read that right, 100,000 species! Everything from man to molluscs, bears to beetles. They were seeking to understand diversity between and within species. What they discovered knocked their socks off, so much so that Thaler confesses to initially fighting his own findings.
Essentially, they uncovered in the mtDNA four facts that are incompatible with neo-Darwinism:
- Humans + almost all animal species (90%) appear in their present form at the same point in history.
- This point is recent – in their view, around 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.
- Species are not fuzzy but have cut-and-dried, clear genetic boundaries.
- There are no intermediaries – no stepping stones – between those boundaries.
These statements do not sit easily with the authors’ presuppositions. Where evolution expects fuzzy boundaries, intermediate forms, long ages, and diversified origins, the facts of this massive study point in exactly the opposite direction. The authors are left scrambling to find a solution to the mystery. Their best guess sounds like special pleading – a “diversity-reducing regime.” In effect, an unprecedentedly huge bottleneck reducing 90% of all animal species worldwide to single breeding pairs. But, what could cause such a tremendous global bottleneck?
Thaler + Stoeckle have no framework for an answer, as evolution provides none.
As explosive as this might be for an evolutionary paradigm, for Christians it should come as no surprise. Within a Biblical worldview, we would expect exactly the facts above – humans and animals created distinct, according to their kinds, within recent history. Even the bottleneck fits, affecting most but not all animals in an event commonly known as the Flood.
For further reading, two very tasty and readable articles from phys.org here and here capture the enormity of the find, as well as the struggle to fit it into an evolutionary frame. Or for those who like their science hard-boiled, you can read the original research paper here.
And, for dessert, here is another intriguing article, again from phys.org, describing a mysterious event “about 7,000 years ago” which bottlenecked human Y-DNA but not mtDNA. Read on as a set of Stanford researchers concoct a fantastical supposition, lacking adequate explanatory power. Then, pause for a second and recall that Y-DNA is passed from a man to his sons and that mtDNA comes to all of us from our mothers. The answer should be obvious to anyone reading the ancient historical record in Genesis. Clearly the Biblical model, where Noah and his sons share Y-DNA and their wives are only distantly related, solves the puzzle perfectly.
Editor’s Note: T. Peirce Baehr lives in Tasmania, Australia, with his wife and seven daughters, where they run an evangelistic ministry of hospitality for travelers and artists — Pilgrim Hill (www.pilgrimhill.org)