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A spate of recent genomic changes is responsible for today’s variance in human skin color, stature, and other traits, reports ScienceNOW on new research published in Nature Genetics.
The team, which was led by population geneticist Lluis Quintana-Murci of the Pasteur Institute and the Centre National de le Recherche Scientifique in Paris, analyzed the DNA of 210 individuals, looking for variations in human genes that cause disease. They then statistically sorted and compared single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) between individuals and found that “some mutations occurred at such high frequencies compared to other SNPs in the same populations that they must have improved survival and reproductive success and been the result of strong positive selection pressure.”
The team identified 582 such genes that have evolved differently in separate populations.
Because the SNPs varied “tremendously” between populations, anthropologists believe this “accelerated evolution” happened in the past 100,000 years as humans spread across the globe and adapted to new environments. These adaptations include the selection of genes for certain skin color and certain stature, as well as genes that protect against various diseases. The team identified 582 such genes that have evolved differently in separate populations (though the result of the change is only known for about 50 of these differences).
This research makes complete sense in light of the Genesis account of man’s creation and post-catastrophic confusion and dispersion from Babel around the world. Of course, this isn’t “evolution,” since no new information is created during such “adaptation”; rather, genetic information is lost as, for example, light-skinned individuals would have died out more easily due to skin cancer in central Africa (especially when life required regular outdoor work), and their genetic information would have likewise “died out.”
Furthermore, the evolutionary model for the speed of human evolution is influenced by the anthropological timeline they have established of humankind covering the earth over the past hundred millennia, as opposed to the creationist model of humans covering the earth in the past few thousand years since the flood of Noah.
Nonetheless, this research reminds us how, after the dispersion at Babel, various people groups (and sub-groups) spread out across the globe, losing and concentrating genetic information but resulting in the variation we see today.
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