In the summer of 1799, a remarkable stone was found in the Egyptian town of Rosetta. The stone was unique because it bore a text in both koine Greek and two different early Egyptian languages. It turned out to be the key to the decipherment of the ancient Hieroglyphic script.
The discovery of Dr. Jeanson's Y chromosome research is just such a Rosetta stone. It gives us the key to looking at human history through the record of our genes. How does it work?
People pass on DNA from generation to generation. To a large extent this is a mix of father and mother genes. This mix makes it difficult to look back more than 4 or 5 generations. You quickly lose track. However, there is an element in our DNA, the Y chromosome, which is passed on almost unchanged (through the male line). Almost unchanged, not exactly. Small differences do arise because the copying process, since the fall, has not been perfect. It is the combination of inheritance with minor copying errors that provides the key to understanding human history.
If you look at genetic patterns of people living today, you can see differences caused by these copying errors of the Y chromosome. You can now start to look at how big the differences are and calculate how far back in time they arose. If I were to compare my own Y chromosome with another's and there were relatively few differences between them, then this is an indication that we have had a common ancestor quite recently. Conversely, if there are many differences, this indicates that the common ancestor lived further back in time. So, this is material to make reconstructions of the family tree of humanity.
Why doesn't secular science have caught this before? The process of Y-chromosome inheritance is, of course, being investigated more widely, including by scientists who do not recognize the Biblical record as authoritative. They also acknowledge that humanity has a common origin and that there are three different families in the world population. Technical terms have been coined to reflect this (haplogroups). But there are two major assumptions that change the overall picture and explain why secular science hasn’t found this result (and never will, based on secular assumptions).
Firstly, a time scale of hundreds of thousands or even millions of years is assumed in secular science (science that a-priori leaves God out of the picture). The genetic differences that have arisen therefore have to be spread out over a very long period. As a result, the location of common ancestors on the family tree timescale changes substantially. For example, a certain ancestor would not have lived 800 years ago, as reflected in the Traced study, but 12,000 years ago in the secular time scale. Therefore, the parallels between the DNA record and know history can’t be seen by secular scientists. The second assumption is that the human line must meet the 'monkey line' somewhere. In other words, the 'genetic difference' between man and ape must also be bridged. This changes the entire layout of the family tree.
Several genetic studies have indicated that the rate at which copying errors occur is much higher than originally thought. In other words, the differences we see today would be 'solved' in a much shorter time based on these empirical findings. The speed of the genetic clock points to a history of only a few thousand years. Because these findings did not fit the evolutionary model, the results have just been rejected and the variables in the studies have been adapted to fit the long-term model. Dr. Jeanson has decided to take the empirical results seriously. What happens when you let go of the evolutionary assumptions, follow the empirical research about the genetic clock, and put your trust in the biblical record?
The results are unprecedented. The genetic family tree that arises fits exactly with history as we know it. In the family tree you can hear the echo of factual history at many points. Secular science is unable to see all these parallel connections because the family tree is stretched like a harmonica in the evolutionary model. The quantity of people reflected in this family tree also develops in line with increases (or decreases) in known population growth. It is now even possible to use a DNA test to find out which of Noah's three sons (Shem, Ham or Japhet) you are descended from! It is a beautiful, rock-solid, and testable model that completely changes the conventional view of the history of population groups. And it validates the Biblical record.
The immense implications of this 'Rosetta stone' are still difficult to comprehend. For example, it opens the way for acknowledging history of indigenous populations, schoolbooks have to be rewritten, there are political implications, it sheds new light on racial conflicts and stimulates in-depth philosophical reflection on the assumptions of secular science (which also permeates all kinds of other scientific fields). But more than that, it creates newfound confidence in the Bible and it’s message. It has the potential to renew modern theological science, if appreciated for what it really is. If the Bible can be trusted completely in this regard, it strengthens confidence in the whole of its content. Isn’t it amazing how God can use even something imperfect like copying errors to communicate the truth about our world!
The book Traced is now for sale ( www.tracedbook.com ).
Here you find an informal lecture where Dr. Jeanson gives an example of his research, based on the history of America.
Where Did Ancient Native Americans Come From? with dr. Nathaniel Jeanson – YouTube
This is a more in-depth paper, created in preparation for the Traced study.
A visual showing the descendance of people groups and their relation to one of the three families out of which the world population originated, about 4500 years ago. Copyright Answers in Genesis, used by permission.