Tag Archives: God

Neanderthal woman’s genome reveals unknown human lineage

NOTE:  For those of you newer to my blog site, you might not know my viewpoint on God, the Universe and Science.  You see, I am a right-wing Christian fundamentalist – but nothing like what you think that really means.  I believe in God and the Bible, but I also have three science degrees, love all people, have a 168 IQ and write magazine columns on astro-physics.  My belief in God is not based on blind faith, although for many that is true.  For others, their non-belief comes to them the same way, through blind acceptance and not a true search for truth.

I believe that science and creation theory are the same.  If there is no God, it just happened.  If there is a God, then he is a being far beyond our comprehension who created the original time/space anomaly that popped existence as we know it today into being.  With my background in statistics, I believe it is far more possible that the intricacies we view at all levels imply a design, which implies a designer.  However, there is no proving that.  One can equally believe it “just happened” and is not the result of a design.

So, I don’t believe in a bearded man in the clouds.  I believe in someone beyond our comprehension, who is therefore, by definition, and advanced alien being.  My theory, which is only my own and not shared by many Christians, is that there are multiple aliens who have experimented on mankind for a long, long time.  I think there were advanced civilizations that have come and gone and been long forgotten and lost to us.

So, how do I explain my lack of belief in the Evolution Theory?  First, I absolutely believe things evolve.  My only disagreement is that I believe we evolved due to outside influences, and that we were created in God’s image.  By His image, I believe we have a physical, temporary life, but we have an immortal essence.  For whatever reason, this existence is our testing zone.  The ones who can show love and compassion for each other will be transformed after to death into a reality we have no comprehension of at all.  In fact, “we shall be transformed in an instant” and there “will be no male or female, but spirits of light.”

For this reason, I find it very possible that ancient Sumerian myths of fish gods teaching them, the ancient alien theorists, the Greek gods, ancient writing and creatures, do in fact have basis in external manipulation on this planet.  As we find more and more about early man, we are finding it was not a chain of evolution, but pockets of similar humans living in different spots, sometimes interbreeding.  Adam and Eve were not the first humans in the Bible.  In fact, when Cain was driven out, he was afraid others would kill him, so a mark was put on him, and he took another woman for his wife.  The Bible makes references to other tries at children of God and earlier extinctions.

I don’t try to convince you of any of this.  All I ask is that you keep an open mind when I post about early man, new archaeology, and other finds.  I really don’t think any of us have much of a clue what went on past 5,000 years ago.  Including me.

– Michael Bradley

Neanderthal woman’s genome reveals unknown human lineage

By Charles Q. Choi

Published December 19, 2013

LiveScience
  • neanderthal-illustration

    Neanderthals were once the closest living relatives of modern humans, dwelling across a vast area ranging from Europe to the Middle East to western Asia. This ancient lineage of humans went extinct about 40,000 years ago, about the same time mo(MAURO CUTRONA)

The existence of a mysterious ancient human lineage and the genetic changes that separate modern humans from their closest extinct relatives are among the many secrets now revealed in the first high-quality genome sequence from a Neanderthal woman, researchers say.

The Neanderthal woman whose toe bone was sequenced also reveals inbreeding may have been common among her recent ancestors, as her parents were closely related, possibly half-siblings or another near relation.

Although modern humans are the world’s only surviving human lineage, others also once lived on Earth. These included Neanderthals, the closest extinct relatives of modern humans, and the relatively newfound Denisovans, whose genetic footprint apparently extended from Siberia to the Pacific islands of Oceania. Both Neanderthals and Denisovans descended from a group that diverged from the ancestors of all modern humans. [See Photos of Neanderthal Bone & Denisovan Fossils]

The first signs of Denisovans came from a finger bone and a molar tooth discovered in Denisova Cave in southern Siberia in 2008. To learn more about Denisovans, scientists examined a woman’s toe bone, which was unearthed in the cave in 2010 and showed physical features resembling those of both Neanderthals and modern humans. The fossil is thought to be about 50,000 years old, and slightly older than previously analyzed Denisovan fossils.

Human interbreeding
The scientists focused mostly on the fossil’s nuclear DNA, the genetic material from the chromosomes in the nucleus of the cell that a person receives from both their mother and father. They also examined the genome of this fossil’s mitochondria the powerhouses of the cell, which possess their own DNA and get passed down solely from the mother.

The investigators completely sequenced the fossil’s nuclear DNA, with each position (or nucleotide) sequenced an average of 50 times. This makes the sequence’s quality at least as high as that of genomes sequenced from present-day people.

The genetic analysis revealed the toe bone belonged to a Neanderthal. When compared with other Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA samples, this newfound fossil’s closest known relatives are Neanderthals found in Mezmaiskaya Cave in the Caucasus Mountains about 2,100 miles away.

These findings helped the scientists refine the human family tree, further confirming that different human lineages interbred. They estimated about 1.5 to 2.1 percent of DNA of people outside Africa are Neanderthal in origin, while about 0.2 percent of DNA of mainland Asians and Native Americans is Denisovan in origin.

“Admixture seems to be common among human groups,” said study lead author Kay Prfer, a computational geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

Intriguingly, the scientists discovered that apparently Denisovans interbred with an unknown human lineage, getting as much as 2.7 to 5.8 percent of their genomes from it. This mystery relative apparently split from the ancestors of all modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans between 900,000 years and 4 million years ago, before these latter groups started diverging from each other.

This enigmatic lineage could even potentially be Homo erectus, the earliest undisputed predecessor of modern humans. There are no signs this unknown group interbred with modern humans or Neanderthals, Prferadded. [The 10 Biggest Mysteries of the First Humans]

“Some unknown archaic DNA might have caught a ride through time by living on in Denisovans until we dug the individual up and sequenced it,” Prfertold LiveScience. “It opens up the prospect to study the sequence of an archaic (human lineage) that might be out of reach for DNA sequencing.”

Interbreeding took place between Neanderthals and Denisovans as well. These new findings suggest at least 0.5 percent of the Denisovan genome came from Neanderthals. However, nothing of the Denisovan genome has been detected in Neanderthals so far.

In addition, “the age of the Neanderthals and Denisovans we sequenced also doesn’t allow us to say whether any gene flow from modern humans to Neanderthals or Denisovans happened,” Prfer said. The Neanderthals and Denisovans that researchers have sequenced the DNA of to date “probably lived at a time when no modern humans were around,” he explained.

Modern humans’ distinguishing features
It remains uncertain when modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans diverged from one another. The researchers currently estimate modern humans split from the common ancestors of all Neanderthals and Denisovans between 550,000 and 765,000 years ago, and Neanderthals and Denisovans diverged from each other between 381,000 and 473,000 years ago.

Genetic analysis revealed the parents of the woman whose toe bone they analyzed were closely related possibly half-siblings, or an uncle and niece, or an aunt and nephew, or a grandfather and granddaughter, or a grandmother and grandson. Inbreeding among close relatives was apparently common among the woman’s recent ancestors. It remains uncertain as to whether inbreeding was some kind of cultural practice among these Neanderthals or whether it was unavoidable due to how few Neanderthals apparently lived in this area, Prfer said.

By comparing modern human, Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes, the researchers identified more than 31,000 genetic changes that distinguish modern humans from Neanderthals and Denisovans. These changes may be linked with the survival and success of modern humans a number have to do with brain development.

“If one speculates that we modern humans carry some genetic changes that enabled us to develop technology to the degree we did and settle in nearly all habitable areas on the planet, then these must be among those changes,” Prfer said. “It is hard to say what exactly these changes do, if anything, and it will take the next few years to find out whether hidden among all these changes are some that helped us modern humans to develop sophisticated technology and settle all over the planet.”

Prfer and his colleagues detailed their findings in the Dec. 19 issue of the journal Nature.

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Genetic ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’ uncovered

I want to say that people often mistakenly think the Bible says that Adam and Eve were the first humans.  It does not.  In fact, when Cain, their son, kills another son, Abel, he is banished.  He is in fear that other people will kill him, so a mark of protection is placed on him.  He goes out to another land and marries.  Where did the other people come from?  To me, Adam and Eve were created and placed in a protected refuge – the Garden of Eden, protected from outside impacts.  Creating Adam and Eve and animal life could be considered today as genetic engineering or an experiment in a lab.  God created them, gave them free will and a few rules and saw what happened.  The entire Bible is pretty much like that.  From the chosen people of the Jews to the Christians of today, we are created by God but given free will, a set of standards to live by, and we get to choose.

You can explain things that they just happened, that ancient aliens experimented with us, or that a Creator made us.  My son told me that he could create certain basic amino acid reactions in the laboratory where he is studying to become a bio-chemical engineer.  Of course, it sometimes takes him many tries to get an experiment correct, even in laboratory conditions.  I personally don’t believe that every major “it just happened” event could occur at precisely the right time and place so many times to create what we are now.  I think just like my son doing a lab project, God created us in His lab of sorts.

So it is that information like the following fits in with my belief in God and my own personal theories of life on this planet and that it was created.  It is ok if you disagree.  That is your exercise of your own free will.  🙂

Genetic ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’ uncovered

By Tia Ghose

Published August 02, 2013

LiveScience
  • X and Y chromosomes.jpg

    Human sex-determining chromosomes: X chromosome (left) and the much smaller Y chromosome. (University of Arizona)

Almost every man alive can trace his origins to one man who lived about 135,000 years ago, new research suggests. And that ancient man likely shared the planet with the mother of all women.

The findings, detailed Thursday, Aug. 1, in the journal Science, come from the most complete analysis of the male sex chromosome, or the Y chromosome, to date. The results overturn earlier research, which suggested that men’s most recent common ancestor lived just 50,000 to 60,000 years ago.

Despite their overlap in time, ancient “Adam” and ancient “Eve” probably didn’t even live near each other, let alone mate. [The 10 Biggest Mysteries of the First Humans]

“Those two people didn’t know each other,” said Melissa Wilson Sayres, a geneticist at the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved in the study.

Tracing history
Researchers believe that modern humans left Africa between 60,000 and 200,000 years ago, and that the mother of all women likely emerged from East Africa. But beyond that, the details get fuzzy.

The Y chromosome is passed down identically from father to son, so mutations, or point changes, in the male sex chromosome can trace the male line back to the father of all humans. By contrast, DNA from the mitochondria, the energy powerhouse of the cell, is carried inside the egg, so only women pass it on to their children. The DNA hidden inside mitochondria, therefore, can reveal the maternal lineage to an ancient Eve.

But over time, the male chromosome gets bloated with duplicated, jumbled-up stretches of DNA, said study co-author Carlos Bustamante, a geneticist at Stanford University in California. As a result, piecing together fragments of DNA from gene sequencing was like trying to assemble a puzzle without the image on the box top, making thorough analysis difficult.

Y chromosome
Bustamante and his colleagues assembled a much bigger piece of the puzzle by sequencing the entire genome of the Y chromosome for 69 men from seven global populations, from African San Bushmen to the Yakut of Siberia.

By assuming a mutation rate anchored to archaeological events (such as the migration of people across the Bering Strait), the team concluded that all males in their global sample shared a single male ancestor in Africa roughly 125,000 to 156,000 years ago.

In addition, mitochondrial DNA from the men, as well as similar samples from 24 women, revealed that all women on the planet trace back to a mitochondrial Eve, who lived in Africa between 99,000 and 148,000 years ago almost the same time period during which the Y-chromosome Adam lived.

More ancient Adam
But the results, though fascinating, are just part of the story, said Michael Hammer, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Arizona who was not involved in the study.

A separate study in the same issue of the journal Science found that men shared a common ancestor between 180,000 and 200,000 years ago.

And in a study detailed in March in the American Journal of Human Genetics, Hammer’s group showed that several men in Africa have unique, divergent Y chromosomes that trace back to an even more ancient man who lived between 237,000 and 581,000 years ago. [Unraveling the Human Genome: 6 Molecular Milestones]

“It doesn’t even fit on the family tree that the Bustamante lab has constructed. It’s older,” Hammer told LiveScience.

Gene studies always rely on a sample of DNA and, therefore, provide an incomplete picture of human history. For instance, Hammer’s group sampled a different group of men than Bustamante’s lab did, leading to different estimates of how old common ancestors really are.

Adam and Eve?
These primeval people aren’t parallel to the biblical Adam and Eve. They weren’t the first modern humans on the planet, but instead just the two out of thousands of people alive at the time with unbroken male or female lineages that continue on today.

The rest of the human genome contains tiny snippets of DNA from many other ancestors they just don’t show up in mitochondrial or Y-chromosome DNA, Hammer said. (For instance, if an ancient woman had only sons, then her mitochondrial DNA would disappear, even though the son would pass on a quarter of her DNA via the rest of his genome.)

As a follow-up, Bustamante’s lab is sequencing Y chromosomes from nearly 2,000 other men. Those data could help pinpoint precisely where in Africa these ancient humans lived.

It’s very exciting,” Wilson Sayres told LiveScience. “As we get more populations across the world, we can start to understand exactly where we came from physically.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/08/02/genetic-adam-and-eve-uncovered/?intcmp=features#ixzz2bJRcOvJB

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Where Did The Universe Come From?

This is from a regular science column I write in order to break down complex scientific theories down to a level where the average sci-fi fan without extensive scientific training can understand them.  Please forgive where I over simplify.

Where Did The Universe Come From?

by Michael Bradley

Mankind is the only known species that spends time dwelling on how we happen to be here and do we have a purpose.  Beliefs both in science and in religion permeate every human society even in prehistoric times.  This primer will only deal with the astrophysics theorems as they have altered over modern times.

The atomic age brought in a theory that everything in the universe is composed of atoms.  These were classified on the handy Chart of Elements, protons and neutrons counted, electrons counted, rings of electrons and atomic mass all classified.  Unfortunately, this atomic theory fell apart as proof of dark matter appeared.  (This is discussed in an earlier article.)  Scientists, using Doppler theory, radio transmission and the red-blue shift now vary in believing atoms represent only 2% to 17% of the universe.  It is like standing in a dark field where 1,000 people have flashlights across from you, but maybe only two turn them on.  So we thought there were only two.

The rejection of atomic theory led to a radical theory called string theory.  That our universe basically is like a violin string that vibrates in ten dimensions.  This would explain many things, but it could not explain the beginning of things, the quantum singularity which many refer to as the big bang.  Also, string theory broke into five different theories instead of one.  Another group of theorists, the heavy gravity crowd believed that there were in fact 11 dimensions, not ten.

These two groups merged after fighting for years, and developed string theory using 11 dimensions, and suddenly the mathematics began to work and the five collapsed to one.  However, there were still problems.  The weakness of gravity is one problem.  Gravity might seem strong as it keeps things in orbit and keeps us from flying off Earth, and yet a weak child can pick an apple off the ground and toss it into the air.  Electromagnetism on the other hand can hold that same weight of ferrous material quite tightly.

Theorist began to wonder why gravity was weak.  Is it leaking out of our known universe?  Then someone came up with M theory, that instead of strings vibrating in 11 dimensions, that there is a membrane like object quivering in 11 dimensions.  If there were also other membranes, or P-branes, they could all co-exist and each have radically different laws of physics.  Perhaps gravity does NOT leak from our universe, but leaks INTO our universe from another P-brane consisting of nothing but gravitation?

The more the M theory explored these alternative universes, the more it made sense.  Basically, we are all intertwined membranes with unique series of attributes.  So what of the big bang?  Theorists now believe the membranes come in all sorts of sizes, flat, donut-shaped, and more.  As they move around and they shimmy and wiggle, they can run into each other.  A collision of membranes would not only explain the beginning of our universe, but also why clumps of it move differently, and why there are so many varieties of galaxies.  They were each made separately as individual wrinkles in wiggly P-branes collided multiple times.

It is the first modern theorem that can go beyond the quantum singularity of the big bang and explore what happened before.  If you picture a room filled with bubbles, floating around and sometimes touching, sometimes popping, sometimes combining or bouncing off each other, then that is one way of visualizing the infinite P-branes of which our M universe is one random bubble formed by collision and proximity with others and we each leak into and out of the others, forming our own unique laws of physics.

Religion or Science?  Astrophysics does not disprove or prove a greater power.  The more we explore the complexities and find just how beautiful and complicated existence is, the more each side has ammunition.  Believers will say that if you found a Swiss watch in the Sahara desert, keeping perfect time, would you think it evolved there, or that someone designed it and made it?  The more complex the design, the more it implies a designer.  However, most believers also acknowledge that this Creator will not give us proof, that we have to take a leap of faith.

Non-believers in the world of physics are looking for a single mathematical formula that will explain EVERYTHING.  M theory combined with P-branes and alternative universes co-existing in dark matter, all bumping together and affecting each other is the latest theory.  They believe there is NO Creator, despite the inclination of humans throughout history to build shrines and worship a Creator.

In the end, if an answer is ever definitively theorized, tested and proven, it will still leave one question unanswered.  Did it all just happen?  Or, did some Creator set it in motion?

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