Analysis of genomes from three African tribes has tripled the African genomic database and discovered a few surprises. Since the Human Genome Project first sequenced the human genome, efforts have been underway to study human diversity and map populations. Most of those sequenced have had European or Asian ethnicity. With this expanded database, University of Pennsylvania geneticist Sarah Tishkoff has discovered evidence for a previously unidentified “archaic” human population.
Tishkoff conducted the study in order “to reconstruct modern human evolutionary history and identify loci that have shaped hunter-gatherer adaptation.”1 The genomes of five members each from three tribes—two click-language tribes from East Africa’s Tanzania and a tribe of West African Pygmies—were compared to the six previously sequenced African genomes and to the rest of the human database. Evolutionists believe Africa is “the ancestral homeland of all humans”2 on the basis of their interpretations about presumed ape-like ancestral fossils and anthropological analyses of languages and tools, but they have not had much African genomic data to support or refute their beliefs. Tishkoff writes, “Despite the important role that African populations have played in human evolutionary history, they remain one of the most understudied groups in human genomics.”3
The new genomes show an extremely high level of diversity, more than seen so far in other ethnic groups.
The new genomes show an extremely high level of diversity, more than seen so far in other ethnic groups. Tishkoff reports the ancestors of these people apparently inter-mixed with “species of hominins that have gone extinct.” Without fossil corroboration, the researchers do not speculate on the appearance of these previously unidentified “archaic hominins.” They consider this interbreeding comparable to the previously discovered evidence for Neanderthal and Denisovan infusion into the modern human genome. Therefore, Joshua Akey, whose University of Washington laboratory discovered the unusual DNA said, “We’re calling this a Neanderthal sibling species in Africa,” even though the DNA does not resemble Neanderthal DNA.4 Additionally, Tishkoff discovered various genetic markers associated with variation in immunity, metabolism, the senses of smell and taste, and wound healing. She also found a number of genetic variants associated with low stature among the Pygmies, with genetic evidence for altered pituitary gland function. (The pituitary is known as the “master gland,” and it is the most important regulator of growth.)
Despite the evolutionary spin put on these results, what these genetic sequences really demonstrate is variety among human beings. All people are descended from Adam and Eve through Noah’s family. This is not therefore interbreeding among “evolutionary cousins”5 but just intermixing among humans. When the rebellious people of the post-Flood world dispersed from the Tower of Babel, they were already related. We surmise from fossil evidence of varieties of humans (such as Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis) preserved during the Ice Age that there were groups of people who eventually died out. Therefore, it is also not a shock to discover the genetic evidence of yet another variety of extinct human beings. Nothing about this study proves human evolution happened, but the results are consistent with the biblical history of humanity after the Flood.
Read more about the way various groups of human fit into the biblical time-line and into the human genome in the series: “How Are Cavemen Different?,” “When Did Cavemen Live?,” and “Who Were Cavemen?”
- Modern East Asians and Denisovans Share Genes
- The Trouble with Sequencing
- Are Europeans Neandertal?
- Vegetables for Neanderthals
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