Could this be the end of a debate that has been raging for years? Despite many claims of incontrovertible “fact” in evolutionary textbooks, researchers have been far from unified on the origin and development of modern humans (see Evolution Exposed for an in-depth look at what biology textbooks say on the issue). According to the report:
Debate over the origins of modern humans has simmered among anthropologists for years, with one theory asserting that Homo sapiens migrated across the world from a single point in Africa. The other theory states that multiple populations of Homo sapiens independently evolved from Homo erectus in regions beyond Africa.
To end this debate, a group of researchers, led by Andrea Manica of the University of Cambridge, examined genetic data and took skull measurements from “105 populations around the world.” In their report in the July 19 issue of Nature, the team claims that they:
[found] that both genetic and skull variability decreased with distance from Africa. So populations in southeastern Africa held the highest variability compared with populations in other countries.
“Humans seem to have poured out of Africa, spread out across the world, but at a really quite uniform rate such that you get this lovely gradual loss of diversity,” said study team member William Amos of the University of Cambridge.
Now, of course, a creationist would certainly point out that all humans arising from a single population is exactly what the Bible has said all along.
The results held even when the scientists accounted for climate, since climate conditions can lead to changes in skull features.
Now, of course, a creationist would certainly point out that all humans arising from a single population is exactly what the Bible has said all along. All humans, after all, are descendants of Adam through Noah’s family. The diversity of humanity is another reminder of the amazing knowledge or our Creator who programmed in a vast array of variability in the first two humans.
Not all scientists are convinced by this latest salvo against the multiregional theory for the rise of modern humans, however. John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin–Madison says that this latest paper is based on outdated genetic research and that skull variability is no indication of the “origin of people.” (Professor Hawks should not be surprised on this last point—quite a few evolutionists have been inventing stories based on scant skeletal evidence for years.)
The report continues:
In his own research, Hawks is finding that natural selection has led to changes in thousands of genes during only the past few thousand years.
“I’m really thinking just the opposite of this paper,” Hawks said. “There are differences in the skull between populations, including their variability, but it is mostly due to very recent effects and not the origin of modern humans.”
Except for the claim of “origin of modern humans” in an evolutionary context, one might expect to find such a sentiment from a creationist researcher discussing the variation in humans that arose after mankind was dispersed at the Tower of Babel over 4,000 years ago. In fact, it is interesting to find that bits and pieces of the true history of the world are coming through in these competing materialistic theories—despite their attempts to construct an account of the past that excludes God.
Contrary to what this article concludes, however, the origin of humanity is very easy to pinpoint. We would invite scientists from both the out-of-Africa and the multiregional camps to look no further than Genesis 1–11 to solve this dilemma once and for all. (Hint: It wasn’t an apelike ancestor.)
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