This isn’t news, but until now the creationists have been silent about it. The gene that makes all the difference between our brains and those of our cousins, the chimps, was identified, according to this article from two years ago at Medical Xpress: A gene for brain size only found in humans. It says:
About 99 percent of human genes are shared with chimpanzees. Only the small remainder sets us apart. However, we have one important difference: The brain of humans is three times as big as the chimpanzee brain. During evolution our genome must have changed in order to trigger such brain growth. Wieland Huttner, Director and Research Group Leader a the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG), and his team identified for the first time a gene that is only present in humans and contributes to the reproduction of basal brain stem cells, triggering a folding of the neocortex.
The researchers isolated different subpopulations of human brain stem cells and precisely identified, which genes are active in which cell type. In doing so, they noticed the gene ARHGAP11B: it is only found in humans and in our closest relatives, the Neanderthals and Denisova-Humans, but not in chimpanzees. This gene manages to trigger brain stem cells to form a bigger pool of stem cells. In that way, during brain development more neurons can arise and the cerebrum can expand.
It took a long time, but today we have a reaction from Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. The title is One Small Step for DNA, One Giant Leap for Man’s Brain. It was written by Elizabeth Mitchell, a creationist gynecologist.
She probably got her information from this month-old article at the BBC website: DNA clue to how humans evolved big brains. Here are some excerpts from her AIG essay, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
The human brain is triple the size of a chimpanzee’s. If we share a common ancestor, as evolutionists confidently maintain, then how did our brains leap so far ahead in size and capability? Evolutionary scientists believe they have finally found, in our DNA, the springboard for that massive evolutionary step.
We’ll skip her description of the research because we already know about it. Then she says:
So do we grow bigger brains and think greater thoughts than apes because of a genetic typographical error millions of years ago? Did a random genetic mistake in an ancient ape-like creature produce an individual with greater than the normal number of brain cells? Did that happy boo-boo get passed on through the human lineage to us because more brain is better? Ultimately, are we who we are because of a biological accident? Evolutionist Huttner would answer yes.
What else would be expected from an evolutionist? But the creationist gynecologist disagrees. She tells us:
The study’s authors lack the historical perspective available to the Bible’s Author, the Creator God. They base their contention that the single difference in the nucleotide sequence in ARHGAP11B and its chimpanzee version resulted from a mutation in an ancient common ancestor. However, differences are just differences; nothing about this difference indicates it resulted from a mutation.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! But that wasn’t the evolutionists’ only mistake. She continues:
The authors believe the difference represents a mutation because they believe — contrary to any support from observable biology — that humans are the end product of millions of years of evolution after an ancestral divergence from the lineage shared with chimps. They search for the key that unlocked this rather amazing future for the human lineage only because of their belief in our imaginary evolutionary past.
Yet observational science has shown no mechanism by which one kind of animal can acquire the genetic information to evolve into a new, more complex kind of creature. More specifically, observational science has shown no way that humans could evolve from an ape-like creature. And even if the differences were attributable to mutations, mutations cannot create the sort of new genetic information needed for evolution into new, more complex creatures. Mutations are not the engine of evolution.
Those evolutionists are fools! Let’s read on:
So what are we to make of this discovery about ARHGAP11B? Are we humans much more like apes than we care to admit? Again, no, not at all!
Huttner’s team has discovered nothing to support the false claim that humans evolved from ape-like ancestors. They may well, however, have discovered one of God’s great designs — a genetic adjustment by which our Creator used a common design to do far greater things in the human brain than He did moments before in the ape brain on Day Six of Creation Week.
So there you are, dear reader. The evolutionists were so blinded by their godless science that they missed the significance of their discovery.
Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.
If one were to try to compose a Poe, that is, a post to satirize creation “science” by going to extremes, a rational person could never come close to what they posts on a regular basis.
Creation “science” as usual, eh?
For the sake of her patients, I sincerely hope Elizabeth knows considerably more about gynecology than she does about genetics and evolution.
(I am not a scientist.)
First of all, humans are bigger than chimps, which means that it takes no special difference to account for any human organ to be larger than the corresponding chimp organ.
But, of course, it is more complicated than that. I believe that among the Hominoidea, humans have a larger brain, taking into account size. But (again), I have heard that among the primates, it is not so much that humans have larger brains than expected, but that chimps and other apes have smaller brains. Humans have a typical primate brain size given their body size!
I wonder whether the human version of ARHGAP11B occurs in monkeys.
Except for the references to the Bible, God, and the Six Day Creation Week, there’s no difference between this and a Discovery Institute post.
Have you ever seen Klinghoffer and Mitchell in the same room? Coincidence? I think not.
Woefully ignorant is AIG. For example most of the food you eat is from a single mutation that caused a polyploid mutation resulting in what is known as the gigas effect. Here is the effect in a watermelon leaf. While this only happens in plants (though likely had some effects in animals early in evolutionary history) it proves the point very little mutation can affect a very big change.
Or compare a chihuahua to a great dane – not much difference genetically.
Now wait just a durn minute. The bible says that God made man in his own image. Dr. Mitchell, on the other hand, states that he made an adjustment to an ape made moments before. So to make man in his image God only needed to tweak an ape? Is God just a supernatural ape with a supernatural genetic difference.
Alternatively, did God make apes by mistake? He could done his magic and after the dust cleared thought; “No, that’s not quite it, I have a bigger brain and nowhere near that much fur. Let me try again, with a slight adjustment to the ARHGAP11B gene. Ah, that’s better. Wait, wait, he’s got one too many ribs. I can get it out, but what to do with it?”
They are accepting the fact – how can one not accept it – that chimps and other apes have the most similar form to humans, among all the possibilities that life has taken.
Is that fact the case just because of chance, it just happens to be the case, and we don’t need to wonder why?
Or is it the case because of some limitation on intelligent design? (There are some laws about the operation of ID?)
Or is it the cause because the intelligent designer(s) had some similar goal or purpose intended for humans, chimps and other apes? (Should we be telling our kids that, if they are to pursue the will of their IDers, they should act like apes?)
Or is it the case because of common ancestry, or some other natural cause? (And thereby has no “meaning”, no more than the periodic table has meaning. Just because my great-uncle was a horse thief, that does not mean that I ought to consider that way of life.)
@ MarkG: “Coincidence? I think not.”
Of course not. The only two differences between Klinkleclapper and Ol’Hambo are that the latter uses the Bible as “evidence” and what they think about the age of the Earth.
Dr. Mitchell wants to know
But I have a far more serious question, to wit:
Mark Germano wonders
Aaarrrrggghhhhh! Your mere suggestion of Klingy practising gynaecology has planted a hideous image in my brain I fear no amount of bleach will ever remove.
Curse you, you fiend!
Typical creationist redefinition. Of course, any change in DNA is a mutation. In the case of ARHGAP11B it is a partial duplication of a related gene, and therefore really is the new information IDiots and Mitchell et al typically deny. Perhaps worse for their cause, Mitchell implies (strongly) that the creator practiced with apes before making this new gene to put into humans. Surely a creator or designer wouldn’t need to practice. Sadly, many people, including politicians, buy into this claptrap. Sigh.
Scientist points out, “Sadly, many people, including politicians, buy into this claptrap. Sigh.”
Sure, they do. It’s so much easier than doing any actual learning or thinking. I once had a cretinist tell me that, while he allowed as how evolution might be right, he was going to stick with cretinism because that way he wouldn’t have to think. /smh
A creator – one who set up the whole shebang, who fined-tuned the parameters, who privileged the planet Earth, who then bypassed his restriction on “conservation of information” in designing life – well, I guess that he is just being consistent in finding further unexpected consequences that need fiddling around with the genes.
But one may be excused in wondering about his omniscience.
Why didn’t he just design the universe the right way to begin with?
And think of the advantages there are to having a following which isn’t thinking.
If you are a teacher, all that you have to do is to present the answers that you want on the tests. It’s work for you to teach the kids how to think. And it’s work to evaluate the answers that you get, rather than just check whether the right block has been ticked off.
If you are a advertiser, you don’t worry about the judgement of the audience. If your audience is being selected for people who will accept whatever even the drivel that the program is presenting, they’re certainly aren’t going to doubt what you’re selling.
If an incompetent designer gave us the people on the AIG, I will happily claim a chimp instead!!!
Sadly, many people, including politicians, buy into this claptrap. Sigh.
Of course they do, most people just want to be reassured and politicians are more than happy to oblige and reassure them if it gets them elected.
Since rational discourse has no effect whatsoever on Creationists, who are impervious to both empirical evidence and logic, maybe we should instead fight fire with fire — or rather, oogity-boogity with oogity-boogity.
I therefore beseech the Grand Old Designer Him/Her/It-Self(-ves): show Thy Mighty Hand and fulfill my prophesy, to wit:
Will my prayers be heard, and my prophesy fulfilled? Only time will tell …
[*Voice from above*] It shall be done!
The human brain is triple the size of a chimpanzee’s. If we share a common ancestor, as evolutionists confidently maintain, then how did our brains leap so far ahead in size and capability?
Excluding the brain capability of creationists, of course.
The perfect cartoon for this post.
How did the human brain “leap so far ahead in size and capability”? Well, to start with, it wasn’t a leap but rather a gradual, er, evolution. And all it would take would be a longer period of brain growth (and/or faster growth), achievable by relatively minor tweaks to genes controlling the timing of brain and skull growth.