by Brian Thomas, M.S.

What if geneticists discovered, lurking in the DNA sequences of modern humans, clues of a heritage that mirrors the historical account of the dispersion at Babel? Researchers appear to have uncovered such clues in a recent attempt “to reconstruct modern evolutionary history” of three hunter-gatherer African tribal populations.1

Scientists sequenced the genomes of five males—representing Pygmy, Hadza, and Sandawe tribe members—over 60 times each. Such dense coverage ensured that the identities of each DNA base pair they sequenced were accurate. They compared the African DNA sequences with each other and against similar studies on Europeans.

The geneticists published their unexpected finds in the journal Cell, providing data that accord with a rapid post-flood diversification in Genesis history. For example, they discovered an enormous number of novel DNA variations just within the three tribes. Most of the variations were “single nucleotide polymorphisms,” or SNPs, that occur as single DNA base pair differences between individuals.

Specifically, their study found 13,407,517 SNPs that differ from the human genome reference sequence. The study authors wrote, “Our sequence data substantially expand the catalog of human genetic variation.”1 These results add to a recent study that found that human variation is related to an explosion of genetic diversity beginning at roughly 5,100 years ago.2,3

The Cell authors also searched for certain kinds of sequences that identify people groups. First, they did not find “shared variants between Hadze and Sandawe.”1 Although both tribes are hunter-gatherers who have long lived in Tanzania, each has unique DNA variants. If they had diverged only within the past several generations, they would share variations from inter-breeding with nearby groups. The lack of shared variants indicated to the authors that the populations diverged long ago, with little or no intermarriage between them.4 But when exactly did they diverge?….

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