Researchers in Switzerland and the U.S. studying mitochondrial DNA have concluded that humans and 90 percent of all animal species currently alive came from single pairs that began reproducing 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.
The authors of the study were Mark Stoeckle of Rockefeller University in New York and David Thaler of the University of Basel in Switzerland. Their study was published in the journal Human Evolution.
The scientists did not particularly like their findings. “This conclusion is very surprising,” Thaler stated, “and I fought against it as hard as I could.”
The researchers used CO1 genes within mitochondrial DNA as a genetic barcode to identify each species. It seems that animals belonging to one species have almost identical CO1 genes within their mitochondria, which sets one species apart from another.
This begs the question, did random, impersonal evolution cause each species to have its own barcode? After all, information systems imply intelligence.
By looking at these barcodes and the reproduction “errors” or “diversity” in these markers, the authors were able to gauge the passage of time.
Stoeckle and Thaler did not credit God as the one who imprinted this barcode when He created life, but went on to theorize that a global event between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago dramatically reduced the population of almost every animal species – including humans – to a single pair.