DNA and Babel
From CreationWiki, the encyclopedia of creation science
The Genographic Project  was set forth to investigate the migration patterns of early humans starting in Africa and radiating to the rest of the world. The project continues to this date, but National Geographic describes their preliminary results in some detail. Unfortunately their conclusions are based largely on an evolutionary interpretation of the fossil record, which places the origin of humans in Namibia, Africa. This interpretation influences the migration atlas and genetic relation graphs. Despite this bias the data as presented by National Geographic still shows indications of the post Babel dispersion as mentioned in the Bible.
The Study and its Data
The raw data in this study is a series of Mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA samples from various parts of the world. From this data it is possible to show which lines are more closely related to which, but projecting back to an origin requires making assumptions about where that origin was. Those who did this study made the assumption that the origin was in Namibia, however, one can also make the Biblical assumption that it started from Mount Ararat followed by the dispersion from Babel in Iraq. Both are arbitrary assumptions and they produce different directions in some of the the migrational trends.
Unfortunately, the article does not present the raw data, which would include the precise locations were the genetic markers were found. The lines on the map probably suffer at least some what from their evolutionary mindset. A raw data map would just have the points where they got specific markers without their connect-the-dots. There is nothing innate about the genetic markers that show the direction of migration, unless you accept their dates and starting point which are based on evolutionary theory.
Interpreting the Map
One thing the map shows are clear focal points in Iraq for both Mitochondria and Y-chromosome lines. Right about the area where Babel was. So the map clearly shows evidence of the post-Babel dispersion. Several Mitochondria lines go from Iraq into Europe and Northern Asia. One goes right into Africa, with a secondary migration from there to Asia. While the map shows the Y-chromosome focal points to the south of the Mitochondria focal point, it is still about the area where Babel was and it shows some similar migration patterns.
This interpretation is supported by their own family trees of both Mitochondria and Y-chromosome lines. This is particularly evident in the Y-chromosome line where M89 (the one in Iraq) has about twice as many off shoots as the other lines combined. A similar pattern can be seen in the Mitochondria. In both cases if you place the ancestor marker in Iraq, the distribution of descendants is more even than if you place it in Africa.
- This Mitochondria family tree is derived from the one at National Geographic but this one is based on the Biblical starting point in Iraq, while theirs is based on the evolutionary starting point in Namibia.
The above chart takes National Geographic 's relationships and migration routes at face value. It is likely that they are distorted somewhat by the evolutionary assumptions in National Geographic 's chart and map. However, despite this influence the 3 way split from Noah's 3 daughter in-laws is clearly seen when one starts in Iraq. It is also possible based on both map and family tree data to show with a fair degree of probability which line came from a particular daughter in-law. It also indicates that Mrs. Shem and Mrs. Japheth were more closely related to each other than they were to Mrs. Ham.
- This Y-chromosome family tree is derived from the one at National Geographic but this one is based on the Biblical starting point in Iraq, while theirs is based on the evolutionary starting point in Namibia.
The above chart takes National Geographic 's relationships and migration routes at face value. It is likely that they are distorted somewhat by the evolutionary assumptions in National Geographic 's chart and map. However, despite the influence of evolution, the 3-way split from Noah's 3 sons is clearly seen when one starts in Iraq. It is also possible based on both map and family tree data to show with a fair degree of probability which line came from which son.
The identification of these lineages can be made because the Bible gives clues in the genealogies of Genesis 10 as to where the descendants of each of Noah’s sons settled after Babel. Japheth’s family settled mainly in Asia and the Americas, Ham’s settled mainly in Africa and Australia, and Shem’s family settled mainly in Europe and the Middle East.
The result is the even though this data as presented by National Geographic is loaded with evolutionary assumptions, it still shows patterns consistent with the Biblical account. Most likely if all of the evolutionary assumptions in this map could be stripped away, it would probably show patterns even more consistent with the Bible.
- National Geographic The Genographic Project