When a scientific study was published showing that 90 percent of animals appeared on Earth at the same time as humans, you could almost hear the proverbial pin drop in the popular press, academia and evolutionary scientific community.
That was in May when Mark Stoeckle from the Rockefeller University in New York and David Thaler at the University of Basel in Switzerland, both evolutionary scientists, published in the Journal of Human Evolution the results of their meticulous and sweeping genetic study of the DNA barcodes of more than 100,000 animal species and humans showing man and all the animals seem to have sprung to life spontaneously no more than 200,000 years ago.
Since then, not one major news agency has reported the shocking findings. There has not been any significant attempt at refutation of the research by the evolutionary scientific community. There are no reports of an uproar in the science academy.
“This conclusion is very surprising, and I fought against it as hard as I could,” researcher and co-author Thaler told one interviewer.
The first report on the study came in Phys.org, which concluded the findings are “sure to jostle, if not overturn, more than one settled idea about how evolution unfolds.” Yet, even that report buried the lead under the headline: “Sweeping gene survey reveals new facets of evolution.”
That report focused on the still disquieting but, perhaps, less disturbing aspect of the study that counters the evolutionary assumption “that species with large, far-flung populations – think ants, rats, humans – will become more genetically diverse over time.” The report then asked the lead author of the study: “But is that true?”
“The answer is no,” said Stoeckle.
The study was most ambitious and sweeping study by evolutionary biologists on the historic changes in animal and human DNA barcodes. It found not that humans and animals have been around on Earth for millions of years, but, rather, less than 200,000 years – and that they all seem to have appeared at once, a clear refutation of the theory of evolution over vast eons of time. How extensive and time-consuming was the study? The researchers examined some 5 million gene snapshots, or DNA barcodes, collected from 100,000 animal species by hundreds of researchers around the world and deposited in the U.S. government-run GenBank database.
However, some anti-evolutionary voices are emerging eager to seize on the findings.
Nathaniel Jeanson, who holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University in cell and developmental biology and the author of the book “Replacing Darwin,” says, “There’s a great danger to the evolutionary model in this study in ways they don’t quite realize yet.”
He notes, of course, the fact that many species formed contemporaneously with modern human beings. But he adds that data strongly suggests that the mitochondrial DNA clocks of modern humans “formed within the last 6,000 years.” That would be a confirmation of the literal Genesis account of Creation. He also asserts, after studying the data released in the report that suggests many, if not most, of the species “formed within the last 6,000 years.”
That the authors of the study are perplexed, if not disappointed, by their own research results is affirmed by a paper they collaborated on in 2014 that pointed to the possibility of “a single global population crash – “almost a Noah’s Ark hypothesis,” they wrote dismissively. “This appears unlikely.” Instead, they explained their findings thusly: “Perhaps long-term climate cycles might cause widespread periodic bottlenecks.”
The Phys.org report did eventually get around to what it characterized as perhaps “the study’s most startling result … that nine out of 10 species on Earth today, including humans, came into being 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.”
“How does one explain the fact that 90 percent of animal life, genetically speaking, is roughly the same age?” posed the report. “Was there some catastrophic event 200,000 years ago that nearly wiped the slate clean?”
For his part, Ken Ham, founder and president of Answers in Genesis, pulls no punches, saying the research affirms what Scripture says about life’s origins. Creationists believe the catastrophic event was the flood.
“Evolution doesn’t expect the vast majority of our species to have arrived at the same time, nor does it expect species to have these clear genetic boundaries,” he said. “But this is what we’d expect in a biblical worldview – indeed it’s what creationists have been saying all along, although their timeframe of 100,000 – 200,000 years is inflated, due to evolutionary assumptions.”
Neither Stoeckle nor Thaler seem ready to abandon their faith in evolution.
For his part, Stoeckle said about the unexpected results of his study: “The simplest interpretation is that life is always evolving. It is more likely that – at all times in evolution – the animals alive at that point arose relatively recently.”
In other words, in the evolutionary view, a species only lasts a certain amount of time before it either evolves into something else or goes extinct. But even that notion is refuted by the data collected in the study – that species have very clear genetic boundaries, and there’s nothing much in between, not much room for “missing links.”
“If individuals are stars, then species are galaxies,” said Thaler. “They are compact clusters in the vastness of empty sequence space.”
The absence of “in-between” species is something that also perplexed Darwin, he said.
Here’s how some of the very few news organizations that covered the study buried the sensational, man-bites-dog news hook even in their headline treatments:
- “Genetic differences between people across the world are no greater than differences between pigeons” – The U.K. Independent
- “What can ‘DNA barcodes’ tell us about evolution and ourselves? – Real Clear Science
Most of the major media did not report at all on the study.
Reader comments on the original Phys.org report were strong and varied:
- “This study seems to subvert evolutionary theory in two respects. First, it shows a clear delineation between species. And second, it has almost all species being created at the same time. This sounds more like Creationism than Darwinism. Not every single species created 7,000 years ago. Just almost every single species created 200,000 years ago. I have a feeling there will be a lot of fallout from this study.”
- “Can the theory postulated by Carl Sagan in one of his ‘Updates’ to the original Cosmos series, created 10 years after the series began, when he offered his boxed DVD set, before he died, now become considered, as an alternative to spontaneous generation and some aspects of evolution? That theory is that life exists in the universe and is ‘seeded’ via comets on habitable worlds, which then evolve from that point, given the conditions. If true is this intentional via aliens? Wow…”
- “Sudden appearance of life seems to validate a Creation event. When the timelines for carbon dating are adjusted and calibrated for non-linear decay it fits the Genesis model nicely.”
- “The planet was obviously seeded by extraterrestrial beings. Google the news about the U.S. aircraft carrier that was shadowed recently by a white tic-tac shaped UFO, and meditate on it some.”