Ancient Genomes Reveal Horses have been Horses for a Long Time

In 2013 a remarkable DNA sequence was reported by geneticists studying ancient DNA.  It was a nearly complete genome extracted and decoded from the remains of a tooth of a horse preserved in permafrost sediments in Alaska.  This partially-fossilized horse was dated to more than 500,000 years old and is the most complete sequence of […]

Where’s the DNA? Young Earth Creationism and the Search for Ancient DNA

So how long can DNA or even cells survive in the environment once an organism dies?   This has been a topic of considerable debate in the scientific literature since the advent of high-throughput DNA sequencing techniques.  This growing field of scientific inquiry is fascinating to me and promises to shed new light on old questions.  I have […]

Christian Responses to the Spiritual and Physical Status of Neanderthals

The physical and spiritual status of Neanderthals has been hotly debated since the first fossilize of bones were described from Neander Valley in Germany in 1856.   Since that time bones from more than 400 Neanderthal individuals have been recovered over a large geographical range (fig 1). Hundreds of published studies on these bones, artifacts […]

Ancient DNA Redux: 700-Year-Old Virus Resurrected from Frozen Caribou Dung

Under nine feet of ice, frozen for 700 years, from DNA extracted from bits of caribou dung, a viral genome has been recovered and brought back to life.   Don’t worry this isn’t a case of mad scientists resurrecting the black plague for nefarious purposes.  This is the story of some inquisitive scientists investigating past environments […]

NH Notes: Underwater Cave Yields Fossilized Teenager From the Ice Age

During the last ice age some 12 to 13 thousands years ago a young girl found herself wandering in caves of the Yucatan Peninsula likely looking for water.  Hundreds of feet into a cave something happened and she fell in a deep pit breaking her pelvis. With no escape 100 feet down she died a lonely death.  She […]

Ancient DNA Comes to Life: Giant Virus Resurrected from Siberian Permafrost

Just how long can DNA survive after the death of a cell or without cellular activity to maintain itself?  I addressed this question a few months ago (Young Earth Creationism and Ancient DNA) and suggested that we would learn much more in the coming year.  Already we have seen multiple complete genomes from fossil bones […]

A Horse is a Horse According to Answers in Genesis

In 2013 a remarkable DNA sequence was revealed by geneticists studying ancient DNA.  It was the nearly complete genome extracted and decoded from the remains of a tooth from a horse preserved in permafrost sediments buried in the Yukon region in Alaska.  This partially fossilized bone was estimated to be more than 500,000 years old.  […]