Monday, October 10, 2011

Cain's wife and mitochondrial Eve DNA

Question of the week:

Where did Cain get his wife?

            Good question! If God created Adam and Eve, did He create a wife for Cain too?  And if he didn’t, where did Cain get his wife?
            The answer is really quite simple. It is given to us in Genesis 5:4. There the bible tells us that Adam had sons and daughters.  That’s right, he married his sister. Now before all of you go ‘yuck’, let’s look at a few things.
            First, It is really a matter of genetics. God created Adam and Eve with an incredible amount of DNA diversity, much more than what humans have today. At that time, it was typical – not to mention the only solution, to marry your siblings. With such diverse DNA in our first ancestors, hereditary problems we see today (if close relations have children), did not exist.
            Why? Because as people married close relatives, more and more mutations accumulated on our genes. So, what is the answer to that?
            That leads us to the second answer/solution. God placed laws against marrying close relatives, but it didn’t come about until the time of Moses. In the bible, Leviticus 18 discusses this.
            It is really quite simple; not mysterious at all. And certainly does not discount the legitimacy, or authenticity of the bible.
            Mitochondrial DNA, what is it? The majority of DNA is located in the cell nucleus. But there is DNA found in mitochondria. Mitochondria are tiny organelles found outside the nucleus in the cytoplasm of the cell.
            There has been relatively recent mapping of the human genome (genes). By tracking backwards the mutation rate (which is quite steady) of female mitochondrial DNA two things become clear.
            One, there is a bottleneck in human demographics (populations) only a few thousand years ago. And two the mutations ‘count down’ to a single female human.  This biological evidence for a Mitochondrial Eve, suggests that the historical record in Genesis of one man and one woman can be accurate. “When actual measured mutation rates are used with the mitochondrial DNA data, the time frame for Mitochondrial Eve reduces to fit with the Biblical Eve.” Single nucleotide polymorphisms (diversity) and linkage disequilibrium gives us relevant data in regards to past populations.  This is pointed evidence for demographic events such as a global flood.
            Isn’t God wonderful! Within our very cells, we carry the record of truth of the bible!

References:; Genetics and Biblical Demographic Events
by C. W. Nelson April 1, 2003

Until next week!

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