June 10, 2018

By Isabelle Z.

A surprising new study is casting serious doubt on the popular theory that modern animals are the result of millions of years of evolution.

After looking at the mitochondrial DNA of thousands of animal species, including humans, researchers reached the stunning conclusion that nearly every species dates back just 100,000 to 200,000 years.

The study was carried out by the University of Basel’s David S. Thaler and The Rockefeller University’s Mark Young Stoeckle.

According to the conventional narrative of evolution involving adaptation based on genetic mutations and survival of the fittest, one would expect older species and those with big populations spread across the planet to have greater genetic variation. However, the researchers actually found that 90 percent of the animal species have mitochondrial DNA variation that is similarly low.

The scientists were taken aback by the finding. Thaler said: “This conclusion is very surprising, and I fought against it as hard as I could.” After all, the common notion that the evolution of species on our planet has been a progressive and slow process is rarely challenged by scientific studies.

This study took a different approach than those of the past, which have looked at nuclear DNA. Every animal has DNA in its mitochondria. One of the genes found in mitochondria, COI, is used for DNA barcoding. While nuclear DNA differs dramatically from species to species, animals have the same mitochondrial DNA, making a good

 

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