Ancient farmers grew modern maize, according to reports in New Scientist, 22 Nov 2003, p21 and Science vol 302, p1206, 14 Nov 2003.
Cultivated maize (corn on the cob) is believed to be derived from a wild plant named teosinte. Teosinte is a branched plant with small kernels that are not very nutritious to humans. Modern cultivated maize has genes that make the plants less branched, produce nutritious proteins and yields good quality flour. A group of scientists have recently analysed the genes of corn kernels found in ancient archeological sites in Northeastern Mexico and southwestern USA, believed to be 2,300 – 4,400 years old and found “the alleles typical of contemporary maize were present in Mexican maize by 4400 years ago”. They concluded that ancient farmers had selected maize varieties for the useful characteristics controlled by these genes very early in the development of farming.
Editorial Comment: Evolutionary theory claims humans evolved from apes that hunted and gathered, to humans that hunted and gathered, to semi-nomadic humans who started to deliberately plant wild grain plants, to sedentary farmers who selectively bred plants to produce cultivated plants. Therefore, agricultural scientists assume that wild grain plants evolved by themselves and then humans selectively bred them until they were good for food.
Genesis states that humans started out as sedentary gardeners and farmers in a world that was created good, but has since degenerated. Therefore, knowledge of farming, along with cultivated plants that are good for food, actually go back to the beginning of mankind, and we would expect to find evidence of cultivated plants in old archaeological sites. In the good world that God originally created He provided nutritious plants for man to cultivate, but as the world degenerated, plants would have degenerated and become less nutritious. The wild, weedy varieties of cultivated species are most likely the degenerate remnants of the original cultivated plants, rather than the original kinds.
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