Memo to Duane Gish: Humans and Neanderthals Diverged From One Another 660,000 Years Ago discusses today the recent sequencing of Neanderthal DNA, and what it means for thinking about human evolution.

Bottom line: Neanderthals did NOT belong to the same species as us. Instead, humans and Neanderthals diverged from one another, in their evolution, 660,000 years ago.

Money quote:

Analysis of the assembled sequence unequivocally establishes that the Neandertal mtDNA falls outside the variation of extant human mtDNAs, and allows an estimate of the divergence date between the two mtDNA lineages of 660,000 ± 140,000 years.

Read the full discussion here.

Young earth creationists, such as Duane Gish, have long tried to imply that Neanderthals were just a race of humans, little different from you and me, and that God did not make more than one human-like species on earth.

The recent sequencing of Neanderthal DNA makes this position appear untenable.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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