Humans all one close knit family according to articles in news@nature 29 Sep 2004, Nature vol. 431, p562, 30 September 2004.
Douglas Rohde of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and colleagues used a computer program to calculate when and where the most recent common ancestor of all present people groups lived. They derived an answer of just 3,500 years ago in Asia. This does not mean they believe humanity originated 3,500 years ago from a single individual. Rather, they were trying to work out how much intermingling there has been amongst human races as people have migrated and mixed across the world, and their simulation was searching for the generation that everyone on earth today could trace their ancestry back to.
Rohde then extended the simulation further back to calculate when all people’s ancestral trees would completely overlap, i.e. the time when all family trees of all living people come from the same individuals. They called this the “identical ancestor’s point” and they calculated it to be 5,353 BC.
Rohde’s article ends with this comment: “no matter the languages we speak or the colour of our skin, we share ancestors who planted rice on the banks of the Yangtze, who first domesticated horses on the steppes of the Ukraine, who hunted giant sloths in the forests of North and South America, and who laboured to build the Great Pyramid of Khufu.”
Editorial Comment: Don’t forget this is a computer simulation, not an actual record. As such it includes many assumptions about size of populations and numbers of offspring and an average generation of only 25 yrs. However, it fits the Biblical record of human populations far better than evolutionary theory.
Genesis tells us all people on the earth today are the descendents of Noah’s family of 8, who alone survived the flood about 4-5000 years ago. Their descendents remained a single tight knit community until the Tower of Babel. After the judgement at Babel this community was split, and the various sub-groups migrated away from one another and became the ancestors of all the present day racial and ethnic groups.
Evolutionary theory has some human groups, such as Australian aborigines, isolated for as long as 70,000 years. The multi-region theory of human evolution even has some human races evolving separately.
Rohde and colleagues may not be right about when the “identical ancestor point” is, but they are correct in claiming we all have identical ancestors not that long ago. These ancestors are clearly recorded in Genesis by the only One who actually observed the whole history of the human race, without needing computer simulations. Furthermore, because every nation and ethnic group in the world shares the same ancestors, they all share the same inherited problem – rebellion against their Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, and for this reason, Christ came to be the Saviour of all.
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