Untraced Lineages Reveal Rosetta Stone Flaws in Traced: Human DNA’s Big Surprise

The book “Traced: Human DNA’s Big Surprise” by Dr. Jeanson of the Young-earth apologetics ministry, Answers in Genesis, claims to trace all human ancestry within the confines of a young-earth chronology. Ken Ham, founder of AiG and Dr. Jeanson’s employer has claimed that “Dr. Jeanson has found the Rosetta Stone of human history” and extolled geneticists to find new discoveries in his work. Dr. Jeanson claims to have traced human history by re-interpreting Y-chromosome haplogroup ancestry through identifying a root of the tree that fits his understanding of the Genesis table of nations and then applying a much faster mutation rate to explain the observed genetic differences among living human beings. Both of those decisions create many problems with his conclusions about human migration patterns and tracings of ancestry to particular sons of Noah.

In the video linked below I take a look at just a few of the problematic consequences of his reassessment of Y-chromosome history even granting he is correct about the faster mutation rate. Granting that a faster mutation rate manages, with some additional speculation about higher rates in sub-Saharan African lineages, to squeeze all of the Y-chromosome genetic diversity into his restricted timeline of 4500 years (the time since Noah’s Flood), we might ask, what if more genetically diverse lineages of humans has been included in his analysis? That would be a big problem! Significantly, more divergent DNA sequences do exist and could have been included in Dr. Jeanson’s analysis and subsequent paper and this recent book.

Dr. Jeanson cannot say he has traced all humans back to the three sons of Noah if he hasn’t included the available genetic data from Neanderthals and Denisovans which most young-earth creationists have concluded are also descendants of the three sons of Noah. Not only would the inclusion of these “humans’ in Jeanson’s ancestry have undermined many of his conclusions but a comparison of Y-chromosome structure and primary DNA sequences among all the great apes shows that Dr. Jeanson’s conclusions are in contradiction with the conclusions of the organization he works for with respect to the ancestry of the ape “kind.”

What I did not include in the video above are many additional examples of contradictions with Jeanon’s conclusions that come from the growing database of DNA sequences obtained from ancient and archaic human beings–those collected from archaeological sites dating from hundreds of years ago to thousands and even tens of thousands in the standard chronology. These provide important reference points for tracing Y-chromosome lineages but Jeanson focuses primarily on sequences from living humans and infers their relationship back to Noah. Using archaic samples had the potential to add valuable data to Jeanson’s interpretation of human migration patterns. Not including that data significantly weakens Dr. Jeanon’s conclusions.

For a discussion of Dr. Jeanson’s misunderstanding or misuse of the term “mutation rate” and other problematic methods and conclusions see this review of Jeanson’s book by Creation Myths https://youtu.be/rE503nJyWl0

The Neanderthal and Denisovan Y-chromosome paper referenced: Petr, Martin, Mateja Hajdinjak, Qiaomei Fu, Elena Essel, Hélène Rougier, Isabelle Crevecoeur, Patrick Semal et al. “The evolutionary history of Neanderthal and Denisovan Y chromosomes.” Science 369, no. 6511 (2020): 1653-1656 https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/science.abb6460 Karmin, Monika, Lauri Saag, Mário Vicente, Melissa A. Wilson Sayres, Mari Järve, Ulvi Gerst Talas, Siiri Rootsi et al. “A recent bottleneck of Y chromosome diversity coincides with a global change in culture.” Genome research 25, no. 4 (2015): 459-466.

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