Denisovan Genome Reveals Interbreeding With Modern Humans
With the publishing of the Denisovan genome, the genetic profile of interfertile humans has widened considerably.
From a single fingerbone, scientists at Max Planck Institute were able to determine the complete genome of a surprising group of humans in Siberia that have been named the Denisovans. According to Scientific American on August 30 (reprinted by Nature News), the individual’s DNA can reveal traits of the entire population. The current interpretation is that the Denisovans were an isolated population group in Asia with low genetic diversity, living 74,000 to 82,000 years ago (earlier estimates were half that, about 30,000 to 50,000 years ago), but that “the modern human line diverged from what would become the Denisovan line as long as 700,000 years ago—but possibly as recently as 170,000 years ago.” Writer Katharine Harmon speculated that “the population on the whole seems to have been very small for hundreds of thousands of years, with relatively little genetic diversity throughout their history.”
Enough commonality was found with modern humans – about 6% – that it shows the population must have interbred with them and with Neanderthals, with whom they share more commonality than with moderns. As for the owner of the fingerbone, analysis is “consistent with” dark hair and skin of a female. Charles Q. Choi at Live Science took that as a cue to proclaim, “Genome of Mysterious Extinct Human Reveals Brown-Eyed Girl.” Perhaps they will name her Denise.
That’s how the evolutionists are re-framing this find within their standard timeline. It should be remembered, however, that the Denisovan bones (a finger and two molars in a cave in Siberia) came as a complete surprise to Svante Pääbo, his team at the Max Planck Institute, and to anthropologists worldwide. John Hawks, a paleoanthropologist from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who was not involved in the genome study, called Denisova a “big surprise.” Early genetic indications of interbreeding with modern humans were doubted by some, but the newly published genome appears to remove all doubt. That being the case, it is appropriate to consider Denisovans, Neanderthals and modern humans as a single interfertile species. Consider, by comparison, the diversity in dogs, all of which are members of a single species, Canis familiaris.
Several points in the Nature News article bear emphasis for their surprise effects. For one, this fingerbone retained a remarkable amount of DNA:
Most bone fragments would be expected to contain less than 5 percent of the individual’s endogenous DNA, but this fortuitous finger had a surprising 70 percent, the researchers noted in the study. And many Neandertal fragments have been preserved in vastly different states—many are far worse off than this Denisovan finger bone.
Is it plausible this bone retained its DNA for up to 82,000 years? or even 30,000? Another point is that Australian aborigines, Melanesians and inhabitants of Papua New Guinea share Denisovan DNA, but not modern residents of Asia:
Yet contemporary residents of mainland Asia do not seem to posses Denisovian traces in their DNA, a “very curious” fact,” Hawks says. “We’re looking at a very interesting population scenario“—one that does not jibe entirely with what we thought we knew about how waves modern human populations migrated into and through Asia and out to Oceania’s islands. This new genetic evidence might indicate that perhaps an early wave of humans moved through Asia, mixed with Denisovans and then relocated to the islands—to be replaced in Asia by later waves of human migrants from Africa. “It’s not totally obvious that that works really well with what we know about the diversity of Asians and Australians,” Hawks says.
A third point in the article regards the expanded variability now appreciated within the interfertile human line. Denisova may not be the last population of diverse humans to be found. Harmon revealed a little-known fact: there’s a lot of variability among living Africans:
The genomes of contemporary pygmy and hunter–gatherer tribes in Africa, for example, have roughly as many differences as do those of European modern humans and Neandertals. So “any ancient specimen that we find in Africa might be as different from us as Neandertals,” Hawks says. “Anything we find from the right place might be another Denisovan.”
With a new sequencing technique available that can discern a genome from one DNA strand rather than both, anthropologists approach additional fossil sequences with excitement, and perhaps some trepidation. What will the genome of H. floresiensis reveal? Will additional human populations be found in Asia? Pääbo said, “I would be surprised if there were not other groups to be found there in the future.”
For more on Denisovans, see 12/29/2010, 8/12/2011, 9/05/2011, 10/03/2011, and 10/25/2011.
To discern how scientists are doing, watch for surprised looks on their faces. The paleoanthropology community was caught completely off guard by the Denisova fossils (read those links to our five earlier reports about Denisovans to emphasize the point). Archaic hominids in a Siberian cave, far from Europe, who interbred who with modern humans? Impossible. Yet their own analysis brings them to that conclusion. Don’t be fooled when they recover their composure by switching from the surprised look to the excited look and say (like John Hawks, one of the more reasonable of the gang), “Going back further in time will be exciting. There’s a huge race on—it’s exciting.” Observe the plain fact: they were wrong! Their story of human evolution was false. Tell them to stop the spin doctoring within the Grand Tale of Human Evolution Story and face the facts.
We additionally know they were wrong because this finger had quality DNA. It’s highly implausible that this bone contained 70% of its original DNA after 30,000 years, to say nothing of 82,000 years. Who could possibly believe that? It’s much more likely that this individual lived just a few thousand years ago at most, like the Table of Nations timeline of Genesis describes. Fully modern, big-brained, ensouled humans spread across the globe after Babel and began to interbreed in groups that accentuated various traits without eliminating traces of their common ancestry from Mr. & Mrs. Noah. The more isolated groups became in more remote places, like Siberian caves, the more distinctive their genomes became. Notice also the ability of these people to travel far and wide around the globe. It doesn’t take tens or hundreds of thousands of years for these things to happen.
That interpretation fits the facts without requiring us to believe the impossible dream that Denisovans kept to themselves as an isolated small population for “hundreds of thousands of years” without ever thinking of making wheels, building cities or riding a horse, while flirting with modern humans from Europe once in awhile. The folly of their long-age scenario should sizzle in your brain till it “sheds light on evolution,” showing it to be complete baloney. How can anyone believe that? Why do they believe that? The answer: they have committed their souls to protecting Darwin from falsification.
It’s only a matter of time before history laughs these charlatans off the stage. Sure, they are intelligent, and good at sequencing DNA. They’ve had a lot of education. They can talk jargon and work phylogeny software. Fantastic. But when it comes to explaining the world, they are a sorry bunch. Get the jump on the historians of 2030 and start laughing now.
“…the population on the whole seems to have been very small for hundreds of thousands of years, with relatively little genetic diversity throughout their history.”
– Is that possible? Given that much time, wouldn’t some disaster or another have wiped out such a small group?