The peer-reviewed Journal of Human Evolution recently published a research paper by two highly respected scientists, Dr. Mark Stoeckle from Rockefeller University and Dr. David Thaler from the University of Basil. Their Paper is titled – “Why should mitochondria define species?”
For most of us, the great unwashed, who were taught in our hallowed halls of higher education to bow down to the absolute, irrefutable, don’t you dare question the truth of evolution, or you will get an F in the class, the paper’s conclusions are cage rattling. Stoeckle and Thaler, even worse, have thoroughly upended the accepted orthodoxy of how human life evolved on the planet. The assumed tree of evolutionary diversity, survival of the fittest, the timeline, is wrong.
The two scientists studied mitochondrial DNA which mothers pass down from generation to generation. Jews do the same thing. We call it matrilineal descent. Jews around the world confirm their hechshirs back thousands of years, a Cohen is a Cohen and a Levi is a Levi. The rest of us are just …
Rabbis too can look at, some do, mitochondrial DNA.
Stoeckle and Thayer’s research forced them to conclude, against their will, all humanity, those of us who biped around the planet today, are descended from a single pair of folks, a single man and women, a sort of Adam and Eve couple. The billions of people all over the planet are not as diverse genetically as would have been expected by evolution diversity theory. We are, genetically, all very closely related.
The scientists did not use the names, Adam and Eve. That would be toooo religious sounding. Others made the uncomfortable Biblical allusion for them.
Stoeckle and Thaler concluded the first couple lived a short 100-200,000 years ago. And worse, they concluded that there was some sort of extinction event that led to the regeneration of all human life from the very fertile first couple. Strangely, they found the same for 90% of animal life forms. Like a giant switch suddenly turned on, it all happened about the same time. And worse, on worse, they concluded that this was not the first time the extinction event had happened. It will happen again and again. And worse on worse on worse, it might be happening, naturally.
The coming extinction event has nothing to do with manmade global cooling, warming, climate change or a giant boulder from outer space. When our DNA was formed, somehow, mysteriously, a timing mechanism was placed in it for automatic extinction.
Life on the planet is forever going through a birth and death cycle. Something is left behind, even a single couple to repopulate the world again. That couple had something in them that was good for the future.
So what has Stoeckle and Thaler to do with Rabbis and Torah and Israel?
I had been a bad Yeshivah Bucher. The Rabbi’s were thrilled when I left the Yeshivah. The Yeshivah’s test scores skyrocketed. They never appreciated being asked “where did God come from” in the middle of Talmud class. They resorted to the time-tested way of keeping skeptical Jews in line, threats.
One threat I never forgot and remember every Pesach when I don’t crawl around the house looking for Chametz with a Candle and a Feather. It was particularly terrifying to a young kid. Rabbi “Long John” Silver, he was very, very tall, sternly frightened us with a terrible warning.
“For every piece of chametz you eat during Pesach, God will shorten your life one day.”
By the time I was Bar-Mitzvahed, I was amazed. I figured I should have been dead years and years earlier. Perhaps God misplaced my Chametz file?
But it was something else the Rabbis taught that triggered a thought about Stoeckle and Thaler’s research. It was from the opening mistranslation of the Torah, the very first line, us English speakers screwed it up. “In the Beginning, God created.”
The proper, or at least better translation is not in the beginning but in the beginning of God’s creating… The Rabbis taught our present world was not the first world that God created. It is the most recent. It may not be the last. The story of Noah rings across many cultures.
The Rabbis explained that God created and then destroyed, for one reason or another, his creations. He destroyed but not fully. Each time he retained something that was good. God retained some element from his first creation that carried to his next creation to build for the future. It was a parallel story from Stoeckle and Thaler.
A good example of that carry over is water. The Torah never says that God created water. Water was good, and God chose to retain that part of his creation from the previous world. Torah is equated with water.
Torah and life are part of a big bang event that is repeating, evolving and perfecting. The Rabbis knew long before Darwin even grew his first whisker, the Torah spoke of a perfecting cycle, a changing reality.
Stoeckle and Thaler are making extra special pains to deny any relation between their discoveries and religious linkage. After all, many scientists are sure Torah can’t be true and God does not exist.
Curious how science searches and Torah prevails.
Would it not be great if science discovers, as the Torah says, the Land of Israel was given to the Jews. The Jews had been taken from the land; they have returned to stay.