On the Origin of Man's Best Friend


BBC News: “Domestic Dog Origins ChallengedIf the idea behind item #1 (above) is correct, perhaps the domestic dog would be the biggest “winner” of all.

New research by an international group of researchers has fueled the debate over where the domestic dog originated: Africa or East Asia? At the center of the debate is the question of whether African or East Asian dog populations have more genetic diversity, based on the idea that earlier domestication would result in more genetic diversity today.

Earlier domestication would result in more genetic diversity today.

The analysis, led by scientist Adam Boyko of Cornell University, began with a look at the DNA from 318 village dogs from Egypt, Uganda, and Namibia. The team believed that village dogs, which are more diverse than bred dogs, might be a better clue as to where dogs were first domesticated.

In their comparison of dog types considered African (such as the Saluki) to non-African dogs, the team learned that genetic diversity in African village dogs was just as high as in East Asian dogs, calling into question previous conclusions. “I think it means that the conclusion that was drawn before might have been premature. It’s a consequence of having a lot of street dogs from East Asia that were sampled, compared to elsewhere. The reason that East Asia looked more diverse than elsewhere was not because East Asia as a continent had more diverse dogs than elsewhere but because non breed street and village dogs are more diverse than breed dogs.”

All of the dogs sampled have gray wolf DNA, however, affirming the widely held belief (by evolutionists and creationists) that dogs and wolves share a common ancestor (which creationists would consider the original dog kind from Genesis 1).

Boyko also told the BBC that the study doesn’t show that dogs were first domesticated in Africa; it only disputes the evidence supporting an East Asian origin. Our guess is that many people groups domesticated canine breeds during and after the dispersion at Babel (as perhaps did their ancestors before the Flood), with dogs progressively becoming “man’s best friend” through natural and artificial selection.

Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know about it! (Note: if the story originates from the Associated Press, Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, or another major national media outlet, we will most likely have already heard about it.) And thanks to all of our readers who have submitted great news tips to us.

(Please note that links will take you directly to the source. Answers in Genesis is not responsible for content on the websites to which we refer. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.)


Get the latest answers emailed to you or sign up for our free print newsletter.

I agree to the current Privacy Policy.

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390