DNA “fingerprinting” helps with investigations beyond the criminal courtroom. In one recent case, this research technique was applied to the study of agriculture’s origin, and the results provide a significant corroboration of biblical historicity. According to that study, which compared the genes of wild wheat to those of cultivated wheat, the earliest domestication of grain occurred near the Karacadag Mountains, in southeast Turkey, where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers run close together.1
Does that location ring any bells? For anyone who has studied geography and archeology it does. This site is identified by physical anthropologists and historians as the cradle of civilization. Biblical scholars identify it as the most likely location for the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 2:10-14) and, thus, for the post-Flood population. Herein lies the possibility for engaging skeptics in conversation. Both the site and the date this study suggests for the launch of agriculture align closely with the biblical location and dates for the dawning of human culture after the Flood, roughly between 8,000 and 9,000 B.C.2 The same DNA analysis also outlines the spread of agriculture throughout Mesopotamia’s fertile crescent and beyond. As the accompanying map shows, this spread fits consistently with the biblical record (see Genesis 10-11).
- Manfred Heun, et al, “Site of Einkorn Wheat Domestication Identified by DNA Fingerprinting,” Science, 278 (1997), pp. 1312-1314.
- Jared Diamond, “Location, Location, Location: The First Farmers,” Science, 278 (1997), pp. 1243-1244.