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Culture Beat / Jun. 9, 2018

Settled Science on Evolution and History?

New research brings into question two commonly held theories on ancient timelines.

Newly released research that analyzed millions of DNA barcodes has come to a surprising conclusion that effectively turns the theory of evolution on its head. The massive study, which spanned a decade of work from hundreds of scientists, found that 9 out of 10 animal species on the planet came into being around the same time as humans, 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. Senior research associate at the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University Mark Stoeckle and University of Basel geneticist David Thaler found that 90% of all animal life on earth appeared at approximately the same time. Thaler said, “This conclusion is very surprising, and I fought against it as hard as I could.”

Tech Times explains, “In analyzing the COI of 100,000 species, Stoeckle and Thaler arrived at the conclusion that most animals appeared simultaneously. They found that the neutral mutation across species were not as varied as expected. Neutral mutation refers to the slight DNA changes that occur across generations. They can be compared to tree rings because they can tell how old a certain specie or individual is.”

Another study coming out of Cornell University has found significant inaccuracies in one of the key methods archeologists use to determine the age of objects made from organic material — radiocarbon dating. Stuart Manning, professor of archaeology at Cornell University, recently published his study, “Fluctuating Radiocarbon Offsets Observed in the Southern Levant and Implications for Archaeological Chronology Debates.” Manning states, “We went looking to test the assumption behind the whole field of radiocarbon dating. We know from atmospheric measurements over the last 50 years that radiocarbon levels vary through the year, and we also know that plants typically grow at different times in different parts of the Northern Hemisphere. So we wondered whether the radiocarbon levels relevant to dating organic material might also vary for different areas and whether this might affect archaeological dating.”

Heritage Daily writes that Manning and his team “measured a series of carbon-14 ages in southern Jordan tree rings, with established calendar dates between 1610 and 1940 A.D. They found that contemporary plant material growing in the southern Levant shows an average offset in radiocarbon age of about 19 years compared the current Northern Hemisphere standard calibration curve.” In other words, scholars that may be working to date artifacts within the early Bronze Age and Biblical chronology in Jordan and Israel “are using a calibration curve that is not accurate for this region.”

Manning concluded, “Our work should prompt a round of revisions and rethinking for the timeline of the archeology and early history of the southern Levant through the early Biblical period.”

As any good scientist knows, theories do not rise to the level of fact until they have been proven. Therefore, any theory should be held to somewhat lightly, as one never knows what future research may reveal. An honest scientist should give no quarter to hubris.

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