January 13, 2006

Evolution meets the Hebrew year 5766

News hit yesterday about the speculation that 40% of Ashkenazi Jews trace back to four women in Europe in the middle centuries who most likely immigrated from the middle east in Ist Century BC.
This kind of stuff bothers a lot of people.
For example, it bothers Arabs who like to call Jews who go to Israel, Khazar invaders from Europe. It bothers Orthodox Jews who hate the idea of using science to prove anything other than electricity. And it bothers anti-semites because they hate to see the word "Jew" in the news unless it is preceded by the word "dead" or "convicted."

Now back to the reason for this post. Back in September, a science article came out that stated that the human brain is still evolving. A couple of new gene variations that are thought to make the slightly bigger were discovered in a high percentage of the population of certain areas:
About 70 percent of people in most European and East Asian populations carry [a specific variant of the microcephalin] gene, but it is much rarer in most sub-Saharan Africans.

With the other gene, ASPM, a new [variant of the gene] emerged 14,100 to 500 years ago, the researchers favoring a midway date of 5,800 years. The allele has attained a frequency of about 50 percent in populations of the Middle East and Europe, is less common in East Asia, and is found at low frequency in some sub-Saharan Africa peoples.

The Chicago team suggests that the new microcephalin [gene variant] may have arisen in Eurasia or as the first modern humans emigrated from Africa some 50,000 years ago. They note that the ASPM [variant] emerged about the same time as the spread of agriculture in the Middle East 10,000 years ago and the emergence of the civilizations of the Middle East some 5,000 years ago, but say that any connection is not yet clear.

Note: it says that the estimated time that ASPM emerged was 5800 years ago. This coincides with the Hebrew year that we are in right now. It is also the last known emergence of human evolution that I know about at this time. And it originated in the middle east.

The reason for the need for a bigger brain is unknown at this time. Evolution theory states there has to be a beneficial reason for the change. I have seen mention that this change coincides with the timeline of mankinds first written word. But this would just be a result and not a reason for the change. No conclusion so far as to whether this new brain growth makes one smarter or dumber either.

A lot more research needs to be done on ASPM. Since only 50% of those in the middle east possess the new evolved gene, it shouldn't be difficult to figure out what the heck this gene does.

But more importantly, I'm surprised the Old Earth Creationists haven't jumped on this and called it the Bible Awareness gene. The biblical Adam and Eve could have easily been the first to have acquired this gene, finalizing human evolution, and therefore making them the first two COMPLETE human beings. Of course, that would mean that those who don't possess the gene variation aren't one of God's real humans. I can see why this would be a problem with US Fundies. But it also explains a lot too.

Now if they can just find a 5800 year old snake fossil that has human vocal cords...