Monday, May 20, 2013

Questioning the Common Ancestry Hypothesis

Alice C. Linsley

Today I am simply sharing some thoughts and your comments are most welcome!

The largest number of distinct phonemes is found in Africa. Fewer distinct phonemes are found the farther we move from Africa. This suggests that when it comes to human language evolution does not necessarily lead to greater complexity.

Genetic diversity
Africa is also where the greatest genetic diversity is found. There is less genetic diversity in populations farther from Africa. One would expect greater, not less diversity given the evolutionary models. The genome alignments of Neanderthal humans, Denisovan humans, and modern humans indicate little genetic differences.

Migration and dispersion
The movement of modern humans out of Africa poses a problem for the evolutionary view that over time there is greater complexity and diversity. How do you resolve this apparent contradiction?

Biblical ontology
In my mind, there is little doubt that evolution, as a population event, leads to speciation. The alignments of sequences when compared suggest the unity or oneness of biological life on Earth. I don't believe that the only explanation for this is common ancestry. It seems to me that the answer is Christ, by whom, in whom, and through whom all things were created. He is the ground of life and the Church's ontological answer to commonality. This is affirmed in John's Prologue. This is a metaphysical conception and therefore impossible to test as a hypothesis. We affirm this by faith.

Molecular genetics is about the business of testing the common ancestry hypothesis which makes sense given present models. I believe it is trust-worthy science based on sound methods. That said, I see a conflict with the Genesis picture of sudden population generation. We remember that Cain, the first ruler in the Bible, was building a city, and a city requires a population.

The population size models estimate an original population of about 10,000 in Africa, and Cain was a Proto-Saharan ruler, so the general geographical location is right, but we cannot on the basis of Genesis say that Cain's subjects represent the first human population. Indeed, it appears more that the so-called Apes of the South (Lucy and similar finds in Cameroon) were fully human, though anatomically archaic, and that they appeared rather suddenly and unheralded on the surface of the Earth about 4 million years ago.

Related reading: Biblical Anthropologists Discuss Darwin; Is Genesis Really About Human Origins?; Thomas Nagel: Neo-Darwinian Conception is False


Wading Across said...

Came across this article recently and thought I'd pass it along. Pretty good.

Alice Linsley said...

I saw that and thought it was very interesting. Did you notice that in the substitution model, the 1% difference in the amino acid code that makes Humans distinct is the T or Tau, which is the Cross?