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Human Origins: What are scientists saying about cave men?

A few stories get into the news, and stay there. Right now, that is mostly COVID and vaccinations, and violence in South Africa, and you can add to the list … We are flooded with news stories, all day and every day, and it’s impossible to keep up.

In all the news-noise, it’s easy to miss some interesting stories. For example; did you know that “Just 7 percent of our DNA is unique to modern humans”? I expect that busy people everywhere will skip that piece of news. It’s more important to argue about a pandemic, or violence in the streets.

What we might miss is something about God, and how we got here. If there is a God, and if we can live under His care, our problems become smaller. If we are evolved from something that formed when lightning struck an ancient pond filled with mineral water, we have to cope on our own, somehow.

That is not a small story.

Recently, some scientists published research about human evolution. They have evidence that only seven percent of our modern human DNA is modern human. That means we share most of our genes with other “species” of humans.

You might know the names “Neanderthal” and “Denisovan” which identify other types of humans that are now extinct. These are what we used to call “cave men” and we commonly believed that they were mentally and socially primitive. That’s why we have movie and cartoon images of large people who wear fur clothing, speak in grunts, and hit things with clubs. The image in popular entertainment came from science, and we believed the science so much that we put into children’s cartoons.

Older species were less evolved.

The unspoken conceit in that we are better. Modern humans are more evolved and those primitive people died out because they were less fit. If you remember the cartoons, the Jetsons replaced the Flintstones.

This is all a reflection of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. That model tells us that there is no God and we are all here because of chances that caused life to start and influenced our evolution.

Darwin’s model is a theory, and in science, every theory must be proven. If we accept a concept, researchers try to find the details that support the model. If the supporting information is not there, the theory is probably wrong. Since we are talking about the origins of life in the universe, and the possibility of God, this is huge.

When scientists searched for supporting evidence of Darwin’s theory, they found something interesting:

They couldn’t find genetic evidence that we evolved.

Those primitive and inferior species are the same species as us. The Jetsons are closely related to the Flintstones. That makes us the same as primitive cave people, and that is a new direction in science.

The researchers looked at human genes. We can analyze the genes of any living thing, but we can’t do that with most fossils. We don’t have dinosaur DNA, for example. We only have morphology, physical characteristics, and that is mostly the shape of bones. Evolution should be recorded in DNA, the ‘blueprints’ of living things, but genetic material deteriorates soon after death, and fossils are often minerals in the shape of the dead plant or animal.

So, we have Darwin’s model of who we are and how we got here, and who God is; but scientists are blind to the supporting evidence. It would be amazing if we could find dinosaur DNA, but we have to settle for modern humans. The model is that modern humans are one species, and Neanderthals and Denisovans are different species, or at least subspecies. Possibly we can trace speciation in our genes, which is the branching out into different genotypes. We can extend that to the dinosaurs and beyond and the pattern should be consistent as far back as we can go. If we can see the pattern, we can assume that it extends back to the accidental creation of life in a primordial pond.

This is the principal of Occam’s Razor: The simplest explanation is probably true.

The problem is, we don’t see the pattern. Only seven percent of our DNA is different from those other “species.” We are getting better at analyzing DNA and we can find it in some dead plants and animals. We can read DNA in at least three types of humans, and the pattern is that we are all the same.

Since the reliable early evidence does not support the model, we can consider other ideas. Here’s another idea: “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

So, what pattern do we have? What evidence in the Bible can we extend back? How does Occam’s Razor work here?

Biblical Archeologists discovered something almost a hundred years ago. If they read about some place in the Bible, they could explore and they would always find what they read about. Some people made successful careers doing this. That book thousands of years old was always accurate in the small details.

So, maybe God did create the Heavens and the Earth. At least we have early evidence of reliability, and we can extend back.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139: 13 to 16)

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