Disagreements between those who support creationism and those who support the theory of evolu-tion have been going on for decades.
The book of Genesis tells us that all of humanity is ultimately descended from just two people. Does science agree? According to the New Zealand Herald, a recent study says “maybe.”
The study was done by Mark Stoeckle and David Thaler of the University of Basel, Switzerland. They examined the “genetic barcodes” of over 5 million animals from 100,000 different species — and one of those species was humans.
Based on those barcodes, which are really just tiny bits of DNA from the mitochondria of living cells, the researchers concluded that their data are “consistent with” the hypothesis that all of humanity are the descendants of a single pair of adults who lived 100,000 to 200,000 years ago, writes the Herald. The study showed that there is very little genetic diversity among humans when you look at our mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is a part of our genetic code that is passed to us from our mothers and it doesn’t mix with our nuclear DNA, making it possible to trace a direct maternal genetic line.
Mitochondrial DNA is the small circular chromosome found inside mitochondria. These organelles found in cells have often been called the powerhouse of the cell. The mitochondria, and thus mitochon-drial DNA, are passed only from mother to offspring through the egg cell. The study, published in the journal Human Evolution in May 2018, sparked news outlets to declare “All humans are descended from just two people, scientists claim.”
Looking beyond the headlines, science journalist Michael Marshall notes in an article for Forbes that “DNA barcoding is not a perfect method of identifying species, but it works pretty well.” Marshall alludes to the limitations of “drawing big conclusions from mitochondrial DNA, and especially from a single gene.”