Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/5/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Human DNA found in 400,000 year old fossil.

It's time to go back to the drawing board over human evolution, following a discovery based on the analysis of prehistoric hominid DNA. Of course, scientists are always redrawing the human evolutionary tree as new discoveries reveal new complexities.

Many branches of the human evolutionary tree are founded on little more than a few bone fragments. However, DNA is helping to fill in major gaps.

Many branches of the human evolutionary tree are founded on little more than a few bone fragments. However, DNA is helping to fill in major gaps.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/5/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: human, evolution, DNA, denisovan, neanderthal, homo sapiens


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The analysis of prehistoric hominid DNA, dating back 400,000 years, reveals that the DNA is strikingly human. Until now, the oldest human DNA ever found dated back only 100,000 years and the now-smashed version of the human evolutionary tree says that humans as a species are only 100,000 years old.

We now suspect that may be wrong.

In the journal Nature, scientists reported that DNA recovered from a bone taken from a prehistoric hominid site in Spain, is human and dates back four times farther than any other sample of modern human DNA. This suggests that genetically modern humans have walked the Earth for nearly half-a-million years.

It's a shattering find because it will require the reworking of the human family tree and raises a lot of new and perplexing questions.

The DNA was extracted from a thigh bone fossil previously thought to have come from a forerunner species to the Neanderthals. The Neanderthals are a distinct species of human that died out in the past 50,000 years.

Instead of matching Neanderthal DNA however, the sample more closely matches Denisovan DNA, whis was another species of human that lived around 80,000 years ago in Siberia.

So what is Denisovian DNA doing far away from Siberia in a place where Neanderthal DNA should be?

The answer is purely speculation, at least until further DNA and peer review are performed. However, a preferred scenario is that our pre-human ancestors traveled more and interbred more than we might have previously thought.

Although there are some key differences between species of pre-human ancestors, the most recent ancestors of modern humans were quite similar to one another and they interbred. In fact, modern Homo Sapiens Sapiens (that's us) are believed to have interbred with Denisovans and Neanderthals both. A minority of living humans today carry DNA traces from both Denisovans and Neanderthals.

Neanderthals and Denisovan humans both became extinct yielding to modern humans who themselves evolved out of Africa and probably out-competed and out-bred their earlier cousins.

If the story of human evolution makes your head spin, you're not alone. Ultimately, anthropologists have a modicum of evidence from which to draw upon and make conclusions. New discoveries, which happen all the time, lead to new knowledge and periodically compel anthropologists to redraw the human family tree.

Although these discoveries can cause shifts between the branches, the basic story of human evolution remains enshrined in scientific theory. There is virtually zero doubt among professional, peer-reviewed scientists that humans evolved from primitive ancestors, as did apes and all other organisms on Earth. Although it should be mentioned-to clarify, that humans are in no way descended from apes and the story of human evolution does not assert this oft-mistaken claim.

In fact, evolution seems to be a basic natural fact with real-world implications. For example, evolution is the reason why antibiotics are becoming useless as people overuse them. If evolution did not occur, then new versions of antibiotics would not be necessary.

Understanding human origins is key to understanding humanity itself, as well as deciphering history and prehistory. Hominid migration patterns followed animals, diseases followed humans, and behind humans came the domestication of crops and animals, the evolution of new diseases, and civilization itself. The story of human evolution is important because it helps us understand ourselves and our place in the world, and how the creative forces which shaped us work.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2016
Universal:
Small Farmers: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
Evangelization: African Christians: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.



Comments


More Green

'We see it:' The realities of global warming are finally accepted around the world Watch

Image of The Paris climate agreement saw Sen. Jeff Merkley state global warming is one of the greatest challenges of our generation (AFP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

With more and more nations agreeing that climate change is not only real, but also dangerous, more world leaders are making a move to save the planet. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Senator Jeff Merkley took the Senate floor last week to say global warming is one ... continue reading


Volcanoes erupting everywhere! Is this a sign? Watch

Image of Popocatepetl erupts in Mexico. Prominent volcanoes in Russia and North Korea are also erupting.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thirty-eight volcanoes are erupting right now. Earthquakes are making the news. Is something supernatural about to occur? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Take care that no one deceives you," Jesus admonished his disciples in the book of Matthew. The Disciples were ... continue reading


Major quakes predicted - As massive quakes strike the Ring of Fire, North America remains eerily quiet... Watch

Image of North America is overdue for a major quake, but when and where it will strike is impossible to predict.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Both a psychic and a scientist have predicted the current spate of quakes which have shook Asia, the South Pacific, and South America, and their predictions are on record. The eerie occurrence has many asking if North America is next. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Scientists alarmed as massive ice sheet begins rapid melting Watch

Image of Greenland's ice sheet has begun melting early, alarming scientists.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists are in shock as a massive Greenland ice sheet has started melting far sooner than expected and in great volume. The data is so surprising, the researchers initially believed it to be an error. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - On April 11, sensors that ... continue reading


Maybe this is why you're sick? Watch

Image of Global warming isn't just heating the planet, it's making people sick.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Anthropocentric global warming is going to make you sick, according to a new federal report. The 332-page report was released Monday and it predicts a host of consequences from global warming that will begin, or have already begin to affect the country. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Arctic ice continues to decline as global warming accelerates Watch

Image of Sea ice will begin melting and will reach its annual low point sometime in September. If the present is any indicator, we will see less ice in the Arctic this September than at any time in modern history.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Arctic is melting and it's happening faster than anticipated. So far, Arctic sea ice has reached its lowest level ever on modern record. It is also thinner. While the Arctic sea ice does not contribute to sea level rise, it does serve as an indicator for how our ... continue reading


You'll never believe what blessing God bestowed upon California! Watch

Image of Lake Shasta reservoir is in danger of overflowing (California Department of Water Resources).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Imagine you have a farm and the years have been kind. You look out at your bountiful harvest that God has blessed for generations and you smile with pride and joy.Then the unthinkable happens; a horrible drought hits and suddenly the future of your farm, which has ... continue reading


Four scary new things about global warming we've just learned Watch

Image of As acids and CO2 build up in the ocean, coral reefs die globally. A quarter of all sea life and over half-a million people depend on healthy coral reefs for survival.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Report after report, study after study confirms, the planet is in serious trouble. Within 50 to 150 years, and within the lifetime of children born today, the world will experience catastrophic weather changes. Carbon dioxide, and methane emissions have spiked and ... continue reading


Searing February heat shatters global record, called 'whopping' by skeptic Watch

Image of A polar bear lies dead on an Arctic beach that ought to be covered in ice. The record warm temperatures have resulted in havoc on Arctic ecosystems.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Does everybody still believe global warming is a hoax? Yet more data confirms what scientists have feared for a long time, the planet is warming, and it may have passed a tipping point. The latest data now reveals that February 2016 was the hottest February on record, ... continue reading


BIG quake prediction for California caused by... Watch

Image of A road worker examines damage done by a quake in California.

By Marshall Connolly, California Network (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A massive earthquake predicted for California in early March did not occur, although scientists now know what set off the alarm among so many scientists. The answer is, a glitch in satellite data. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - In late February, California was ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 16:1-10
1 From there he went to Derbe, and then on to Lystra, where there was a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1-2, 3, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth,2 ... Read More

Gospel, John 15:18-21
18 If the world hates you, you must realise that it hated me before it ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 30th, 2016 Image

St. Pius V, Pope
April 30: Pope from 1566-1572 and one of the foremost ... Read More