Science Daily has an article today entitled "Ancient Penguin DNA Raises Doubts About Accuracy of Genetic Dating Techniques."
Now what are we to do with that? Unfortunately, far too often Christians will jump on an article like this and argue that science is all wrong about dating. There's no careful thinking through of what the evidence really says, just a hoping that some doubt, any doubt, will throw a wrench into the machine that is Darwinism.
I remember Charles Colson--a man whom I respect and honor; this statement I'm about to repeat was a mistake, but Charles Colson is a great man--mentioning some new evidence that had caused a small shift in evolutionary theory. Colson said (quoting from memory), "Science just keeps adjusting their theory to fit the evidence."
Exactly! Isn't that what they're supposed to be doing? Oh, that we Christians would do the same!
Scientists have to pay attention to the reliability of various dating methods. They test their results to determine what's consistent, what lines up with other dating methods, etc. Anti-evolutionists, unfortunately, don't do the same. They pick the inaccuracies—the unavoidable ones that happen because of impurities, bad collection from the specimen, or some detail of history that was missed—and they trumpet those. They don't tell us how many tests were made. They don't tell us what percentage those errors represent.
They also don't tell us how those errors compare overall to the accurate dates. (Scroll down the page on that link to see the article.
In this case, all that has happened is that the mitochondrial DNA clock has been called into question. Science now has some 44,000 year old DNA, and the mitochondrial DNA clock lists it as only around 20,000 years old.
Maybe you've heard of "mitochondrial Eve." Tests of mitochondrial DNA show that all humans descended from one woman who lived about 150,000 years ago. This article suggests we have to send mitochondrial Eve back to about 300 or 400 thousand years ago.
This will not be an effective argument against evolution.
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