Continuing the series from Part 1
[Originally posted as Genetics Part 2: DNA Clocks Exactly Confirm Recent Creation]
One more important realm of research demonstrating a recent creation comes from Harvard trained scientist Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson. He has been examining the mutation rates of DNA in mitochondrial genomes.[i]
Mitochondria are located outside the cell’s nucleus. They provide energy for cells and contain their own DNA molecule that encodes a variety of proteins it uses for energy processing. And unlike most DNA, the mitochondrial DNA molecule is typically inherited from the egg cell of a creature’s mother but not the father.
Dr. Jeanson decided to take advantage of the known mutation rate of mitochondrial DNA, which can be accurately measured to produce a molecular-genetic clock. He did not calibrate each clock by (theoretical) evolutionary timescales, but by the organism’s observed mutation rate, thus giving a more realistic and unbiased estimate of that creature’s genetic life history.
By comparing the molecular clock rates in a few very different animals (fruit flies, round worms, water fleas, and humans), Dr. Jeanson demonstrated that a creation event for each organism (including humans) occurred not more than 10,000 years ago!
Each species holds today the number of mutations that creation history predicts, using that species’ measured mitochondrial DNA mutation rate. It would blow old-earth biology out of the water if secularists were willing to learn about these results.
Buried deep within a secular research paper in 1997, the same thing regarding human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutation rate was reported, but it received little attention in the media. The authors of this paper wrote, “Using our empirical rate to calibrate the mtDNA molecular clock would result in an age of the mtDNA MRCA [the first human woman] of only ~6,500 years…”[ii]
One year later, another author wrote in the leading magazine Science,
Regardless of the cause, evolutionists are most concerned about the effect of a faster mutation rate. For example, researchers have calculated 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 6,000 years old.
The article also noted that the new findings of faster mutation rates pointing to mitochondrial Eve about 6,000 years ago have even contributed to the development of new mtDNA research guidelines used in the forensic investigations “adopted by the FBI.”[iii] Now, over 17 years later, and using even more mtDNA data, Dr. Jeanson is spectacularly confirming this previously unheralded discovery.
In addition, evolution predicts a net gain of information over time, accompanied by natural selection removing harmful genetic variants. But instead, we see a human (nuclear, not mitochondrial) genome filling up with about 100 harmful genetic variants in every generation. Information loss via genetic entropy rules over all genomes. Clearly, the predictions based on Scripture align with genetics discoveries.
The human genome has essentially been on a steep downhill slide ever since man’s sin. This means that you and I have Adam, not apes, in our past. It also means we can trust the Bible’s history and other teachings.
[i] N. T. Jeanson, “Recent, Functionally Diverse Origin for Mitochondrial Genes from ~2700 Metazoan Species,” Answers Research Journal 6 (2013): 467–501.
[ii] T.J. Parsons, et al., “A High Observed Substitution Rate in the Human Mitochondrial DNA Control Region,” Nature Genetics 15 (1997): 363–368.
[iii] A. Gibbons, “Calibrating the Mitochondrial Clock,” Science 279 (1998): 28–29.