Reasons to Believe

Chromosome Study Stuns Evolutionists

A new study by evolutionary biologists Robert Dorit (Yale), Hiroshi Akashi (University of Chicago), and Walter Gilbert (Harvard) flies in the face of prevailing origin-of-man scenarios. l-2 In an attempt to trace the ancestry of humans, these researchers looked for genetic differences in the Y chromosome of 38 men living in different parts of the world and having different ethnic backgrounds. Since only males possess the Y chromosome, such a study offers a narrowly focused look at genetic material as it has developed over time and distance.

Several years ago, I reported on a parallel investigation of women's genetic variation.3 Because the differences found were so slight, theorists concluded that women can trace their lineage only a couple hundred thousand years at the most to a common ancestor, whom the scientists called "Eve" (I won't argue the name, but I would lean toward a more recent date of origin than 200,000 years).

To their great surprise, Dorit and his associates found no nucleotide differences at all in the non-recombinant part of the Y chromosomes of the 38 men. This non-variation suggests no evolution has occurred in male ancestry. The researchers, apparently committed to Darwinism, back-pedaled by doing statistical analysis on the evolutionary possibilities if the 38 men sampled somehow inaccurately represented the population at large. Based on this analysis, they concluded that men’s forefather – a single individual, not a group – lived no more than 270,00 years ago.

The challenge this study presents to Darwinism is profound. The study of women offered a shred of support for micro-evolution. The Y chromosome research lends no support for micro-evolution. As for macro-evolution, the results of both studies rule out homo erectus (0.5 to 1.5 million years ago) as a possible progenitor of modern humans.4

When the Y chromosome of modern humans is compared with that of modern chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans, another great challenge arises. Large species-to-species genetic variations occur, but within each species very little, if any, variation is found. According to the Darwinist model, the common ancestor of modern primates dates back only seven to twenty million years. If this model were accurate, we would expect to find either less genetic diversity among the species or more variation within each species.

What response do Darwinian biologists make to these findings? Those who have commented point out that the Y chromosome and mitochodrial DNA comprise but a fraction of the total genetic material in primates. They express hope that future studies of the genetic code will bridge the credibility gap by finding less variation among species and greater variation within species.5

I have a different hope and expectation. It seems more likely that future research will continue to confirm only slight variations in the genetic material of humans. If this is the case, we should see biologists' date for "Adam and Eve" drop from a maximum of about 200,000 years ago to a date within the biblical range of about 10,000 to 60,000 years ago.



  1. Robert L. Dorit, Hiroshi Akashi and Walter Gilbert, "Absence of Polymorphism at the ZFY Locus on the Human Y Chromosome," Science, 268(1995), pp. 1183-1185.
  2. Svante Paabo, "The Y Chromosome and the Origin of A11 of Us (Men)," Science, 268 (1995), pp. 1141-1142.
  3. Hugh Ross, "The Mother of Mankind," Facts & Faith, vol. 2, no. 1 (1988), pp. 1-2.
  4. Hugh Ross, "New Twists in Theories of Human Evolution," Facts & Faith, vol. 8, no. 2 (1994), pp. 45. 5. Pååbo, p. 1142.

Subjects: Adam and Eve, Human Origins and the Bible, TCM - Human Origins

Dr. Hugh Ross

Reasons to Believe emerged from my passion to research, develop, and proclaim the most powerful new reasons to believe in Christ as Creator, Lord, and Savior and to use those new reasons to reach people for Christ. Read more about Dr. Hugh Ross.