A few weeks ago this story appeared at PhysOrg: DNA shows first modern Briton had dark skin, blue eyes. They said, with our bold font:
The first modern Briton had dark skin and blue eyes, London scientists said on Wednesday, following groundbreaking DNA analysis of the remains of a man who lived 10,000 years ago. Known as “Cheddar Man” after the area in southwest England where his skeleton was discovered in a cave in 1903, the ancient man has been brought to life through the first ever full DNA analysis of his remains.
In a joint project between Britain’s Natural History Museum and University College London, scientists drilled a 2mm hole into the skull and extracted bone powder for analysis. Their findings transformed the way they had previously seen Cheddar Man, who had been portrayed as having brown eyes and light skin in an earlier model.
“It is very surprising that a Brit 10,000 years ago could have that combination of very blue eyes but really dark skin,” said the museum’s Chris Stringer, who for the past decade has analysed the bones of people found in the cave. The findings suggest that lighter pigmentation being a feature of populations of northern Europe is more recent than previously thought.
PhysOrg doesn’t cite any published paper. Instead, they say that the information will be reported “in a documentary to be aired on February 18.”
And that brings us to the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. Ol’ Hambo just posted this at his blog: Oldest Brit, “Cheddar Man” Was Dark-Skinned . . . or Was He? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
A few weeks ago, news headlines around the world proclaimed that the oldest known “Briton” (by secular dating methods) was dark-skinned, according to genetic analysis (which was done for a TV documentary). But now new headlines are calling this pronouncement into question.
These new reports are more tentative, stating that the results weren’t absolutely conclusive and that new research has shown even more genes than we thought are responsible for skin shade. It goes on to say that, even with current technology, we really can’t tell the shade of an ancient person’s skin yet, especially considering how much DNA degrades over time.
That must be a relief to ol’ Hambo. As we all know, he ain’t no kin to no monkey, and now he doesn’t need to worry about being related to a dark skinned Cheddar Man. He says:
This story [in New Scientist: Does Cheddar Man show there is such a thing as bad publicity?] shows that “whenever science is done by press release, it is science that usually comes off worst.” You will rarely hear all the details in a press release or a lay science article, and often these articles are spun — or have tantalizing, misleading headlines — because publishers want people to read their articles.
That article in New Scientist tells us:
The whole episode smacks of a publicity stunt to hype up the show. There is some truth in that, but dismissing it outright does a disservice to the scientists. According to the state of knowledge at the time, the genetic analysis did suggest that Cheddar Man’s skin was dark. But science progresses, and since the analysis was done last year, many more genes affecting skin colour have been discovered. Understandably, the new science did not make it into the documentary.
Okay, maybe Cheddar Man was dark skinned, or maybe he wasn’t. We still don’t know. But Hambo knows. His post, before the promotional links, concludes with this:
[I]t’s a reminder that we need to be careful about believing what we read, especially if it contradicts God’s Word (such as the 10,000-year age assigned to “Cheddar Man” — sadly much of the media has been brainwashing the public in many false ideas about origins, especially when it comes to the dates!). We can be confident that research, when done right and interpreted correctly, will always confirm God’s Word.
Ah yes — the research has to be done right. Then it’ll always support Hambo’s beliefs.
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