Genetic Manipulation (Domestication) of Plants and Animals
This topic presents an interesting problem. On other pages in this series, we have discussed evidence showing that our ancestors were "sophisticated" and intelligent-- as opposed to the evolutionists/materialist representation that they were primitive, backward, knuckle draggers. Here, the tables are turned.
The current evolutionary paradigm holds that our "primitive" ancestors were "sophisticated" enough to carry out the domestication of plants and animals in a way that would challenge and does challenge scientists today working in the field of genetics--and we don't believe that they could have been sophisticated enough. Scientists working in that field today have many up in arms because of their miniscule genetic manipulations, and rightfully so. Yet, they cannot come close to duplicating today what our ancestors are supposed to have done with plant genetics, which was to allegedly take non-edible plants and turn them into entirely new "perfect" grains that make up a large part of the diet of all living humans.
According to the Bible, early men had long life spans (up to and above 900 years) and were intelligent. A central location for: the development of cities; the grains we eat and the "mother language" to name a few -is the so-called fertile crescent (Iran-Turkey)--an area where the Bible says the ark of Noah came to rest. But could even the people of that time have had the know how to "see" what the results of their labor (cross-breeding plants)would be hundreds of years later?
Much more likely, man was able to make slight improvements in plants by crossbreeding--but corn, wheat and other nourishing foods were provided as-is by the Creator. Although rejecting Darwinism, these authors are still influenced by it, believing that they should find "parent plants" for current grains and other edible plants.
The following two articles shed some light on the problems evolutionary theory has with plant and animal domestication. In short, it can't account for it. As it happens, few people seem to have taken an interest in this topic and the ones who have here are "Directed-Panspermists". Directed Panspermia: "The idea that life might have been intentionally spread throughout space and seeded on the surface of other worlds by a guiding intelligence."
This warning is for Christians. These writers are no friendlier to the truth of God than they are to Darwinism. They are willing to see the problems with evolution theory and to expose them but still are unwilling to put any faith in God--not yet anyway. We provide these articles because they highlight some very interesting information. We ask you to use your own judgment and knowledge filter here.
Excerpted From: Mysterious Origins of Crop Plants
By Will Hart, Genesis Race.Com
....It may seem that I am writing this article to either raise awareness of Genitically Modified Plants(GMOs), to alert you to their potential dangers, or to sing the “gee whiz” praises of our newest industry.
However, none of the above is my actual intent. My concern is altogether different. I want to know exactly how we got here so quickly? I recall the days when horses were harnessed to pull ploughs and manure fertilized fields.
In fact, that form of agriculture was developed in Sumer and lasted some 4500 years. What happened since the 1950s? How did we get here -- in the broadest sense from the wild grasses, the ancestors of modern cereal crops -- to these Frankenplants?
If you think that our modern geneticists and plant scientists know the answers and can point to the evidence showing how our primitive Stone Age ancestors domesticated wild plants, you are a victim of a scientific shell game.
That is what you are supposed to assume. However, the history of plant domestication is fuzzy, full of ‘missing links’ and logical inconsistencies though the public is given the impression that the history of agriculture holds no real mysteries.
We are told in our history and anthropological textbooks that our fist civilizations were spawned on the heels of the ‘agricultural revolution, which occurred in major river valleys. What the textbooks fail to tell us is that our Stone Age predecessors did not harvest and eat the seeds of wild grasses during their long sojourn through the Paleolithic era.
They were hunter-gathers who subsisted on leafy greens and lean muscle meats. How come they suddenly figured out how to domesticate and turn into major food sources circa 5,000 BC?
This raises some obvious and very sticky questions concerning the period of trial and error experimentation and development that must have gone into domesticating wild wheat into bread wheat and wild corn into the domesticated variety.
Let us begin with the enigma of the modern corn plant. The humble origin of corn remains mysterious because the ancestral wild plant has never been located. It is an established, scientific fact that corn is a cultigen, a plant engineered by humans.
This means that it has become so altered by humans that it cannot reproduce naturally and is entirely dependent upon man’s continued cultivation. In short, it is now a manmade plant and has been for some time.
Scientists have not been able to trace the lineage of corn to the ancestral wild plant. How can this be if the ‘agricultural revolution’ only occurred 7-8,000 years ago?
Corn is a form of wild grass, as are the majority of the other major crop plants, there is no good reason for the ancestral variety to have vanished and/or become extinct. 10,000 years may seem like a long time in human terms yet it is a very short time in terms of the evolution and life span of a plant species. There are ancient plants that have existed continuously for hundreds of millions of years.
If you believe that our ancestors domesticated crop plants, you have to start by assuming that people without any agricultural experience were brilliant enough to select and breed the best wild seed candidates to turn into major cereal crops.
It is a historical fact that in spite of 5,000 years of continuous agricultural development we have not genetically bred a new major crop from a wild species. Just how ingenious were out Stone Age predecessors who performed this agronomic feat without any agricultural or genetic knowledge?
Basing the agricultural revolution on the notion that people who lacked any understanding of the scientific basis of plant breeding created edible crops from inedible grasses seems a very shaky premise. Skepticism is warranted due to the fact that, if it actually occurred, this was the riskiest of gambles, since it represented a complete departure from the only way of life and only food sources that Stone Age people knew.
But first let’s step back to an earlier point and ask how we know that 100,000 generations of Stone Age humans did not eat wild grass seeds. Our guts are still not adapted to digest uncooked grains.
After all we are not birds. In addition, our Paleolithic ancestors lacked the technology to harvest, thresh, process and cook wild grass seeds. The seeds of wild species are miniscule and they are attached to the seed heads making them difficult to harvest and hardly worth the effort.
These are little known facts that raise deeper issues. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors mainly subsisted on leafy greens and lean muscle meats. If they lacked an extended experience with wild grasses how did they know which ones to select to turn into wheat, rye, corn, barely and rice?
In other words these are still the principal food crops that our civilizations are based upon. After at least 5,000 years of continuous agriculture we do not seem to have improved upon the first selections of our ‘scientifically ignorant’ ancestors. That hardly seems logical.
This amazingly prescient selection of wild seeds seems not only more than a little surprising it looks to border on being a minor miracle. There are an estimated 195,000 flowering plants that they could have turned into food sources and primitive man chose less than .01 to base agriculture upon.
This happened at a point in time when people had no concept of domesticating plants or animals, which means no experience with artificial selection.
To further appreciate the paradox that this situation imposes upon us we have to understand, domesticated crop plants are nothing like their wild ancestors. Farmers have long known this fact. The differences are so great that most of the specific ancestral locations of our cereal crops remain a mystery.
We must ponder what this really means. What are the implications of our scientists not being able to trace the specific wild ancestors of modern corn, wheat, rye, barely and rice?
When we look at the problem of how our ancestors, lacking in both tools and knowledge, domesticated wild plants it is really tantamount to pondering how the Great Pyramid was conceived, designed, engineered and constructed with stone tools and primitive methods.
There is something out of focus in the picture we have of the history of civilization on this planet, how and when agriculture and precision-engineered architecture were developed and by whom.
It is as if our ancestors were gathered around the campfire inside a cave and one was using his hands and fingers to tell stories by throwing shadows against the wall one minute; the next minute they are watching satellite TV and giddily channel surfing. That is how great the gaps are between the late Stone Age and the birth of agriculture and civilization.
How were these quantum leaps made and where is the evidence to support the orthodox theory that humans engineered them? The real problem with the orthodox scenario is the lack of a long incubation period during which early humans experimented with selective breeding and with constructing megalithic stone monuments.
Agriculture should -- and not doubt actually does-- extend back tens of thousands of years and not the 9,000 that modern science contends. The creation of dogs from wild wolves, a true genetic engineering feat, is proof of this.
A more thorough examination of these issues, including evidence that human beings could not have domesticated wild wolves 15,000 years ago and turned them into man’s best friend appears in The Genesis Race.© 2004 by Will Hart
Excerpted from: "THE LITERAL CREATION OF MANKIND AT THE HANDS OF YOU-KNOW-WHAT"
by Lloyd Pye
.....There are two basic forms of plants and animals: wild and domesticated. The wild ones far outnumber the domesticated ones, which may explain why vastly more research is done on the wild forms. But it could just as easily be that scientists shy away from the domesticated ones because the things they find when examining them are so far outside the accepted evolutionary paradigm.
Nearly all domesticated plants are believed to have appeared between 10,000 and 5,000 years ago, with different groups coming to different parts of the world at different times.
Initially, in the so-called “Fertile Crescent” of modern Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon came wheat, barley, and legumes, among others. Later on, in the Far East, came wheat, millet, rice, and yams. Later still, in the New World, came maize (corn), peppers, beans, squash, tomatoes and potatoes.
Many have “wild” predecessors that were apparently a starting point for the domesticated variety, but others—like many common vegetables— have no obvious precursors. But for those that do, such as wild grasses, grains, and cereals, how they turned into wheat, barley, millet, rice, etc., is a profound mystery.
No botanist can conclusively explain how wild plants gave rise to domesticated ones. The emphasis there is on “conclusively.” Botanists have no trouble hypothesizing elaborate scenarios in which Neolithic (New Stone Age) farmers somehow figured out how to hybridize wild grasses and grains and cereals, not unlike Gregor Mendel when he cross-bred pea plants to figure out the mechanics of genetic inheritance. It all sounds so simple and so logical, almost no one outside scientific circles ever examines it closely.
Gregor Mendel never bred his pea plants to be anything other than pea plants. He created short ones, tall ones, and different colored ones, but they were always pea plants that produced peas. (Pea plants are a domesticated species, too, but that is irrelevant to the point to be made here.)
On the other hand, those Stone Age farmers who were fresh out of their caves and only just beginning to turn soil for the first time (as the “official” scenario goes), somehow managed to transform the wild grasses, grains, and cereals growing around them into their domesticated “cousins.” Is that possible? Only through a course in miracles.
Actually, it requires countless miracles within two large categories of miracles. The first was that the wild grasses and grains and cereals were useless to humans. The seeds and grains were maddeningly small, like pepper flakes or salt crystals, which put them beyond the grasping and handling capacity of human fingers.
They were also hard, like tiny nutshells, making it impossible to convert them to anything edible. Lastly, their chemistry was suited to nourishing animals, not humans.
So wild varieties were entirely too small, entirely too tough, and nutritionally inappropriate for humans. They needed to be greatly expanded in size, greatly softened in texture, and overhauled at the molecular level, which would be an imposing challenge for modern botanists, much less Neolithic farmers.
Despite the seeming impossibility of meeting those daunting objectives, modern botanists are confident the first sodbusters had all they needed to do it: time and patience. Over hundreds of generations of selective crossbreeding, they consciously directed the genetic transformation of the few dozen that would turn out to be most useful to humans.
And how did they do it? By the astounding feat of doubling, tripling, and quadrupling the number of chromosomes in the wild varieties! In a few cases they did better than that.
Domestic wheat and oats were elevated from an ancestor with 7 chromosomes to their current 42, expansion by a factor of six. Sugar cane expanded from a 10-chromosome ancestor to the 80-chromosome monster it is today, a factor of eight.
The chromosomes of others, like bananas and apples, only multiplied by factors of two or three, while peanuts, potatoes, tobacco and cotton, among others, expanded by factors of four.
This is not as astounding as it sounds because many wild flowering plants and trees have multiple chromosome sets. But that brings up what Charles Darwin himself called the “abominable mystery” of flowering plants. The first ones appear in the fossil record between 150 and 130 million years ago, primed to multiply into over 200,000 known species.
But no one can explain their presence because there is no connective link to any form of plants that preceded them. It is as if….dare I say it?….they were brought to Earth by something akin to You-Know-What.
If so, then it could well be they were delivered with a built-in capacity to develop multiple chromosome sets, and somehow our Neolithic forebears cracked the codes for the ones most advantageous to humans.
However the codes were cracked, the great expansion of genetic material in each cell of the domestic varieties caused them to grow much larger than their wild ancestors. As they grew, their seeds and grains became large enough to be easily seen, picked up, and manipulated by human fingers.
Simultaneously, the seeds and grains softened to a degree where they could be milled, cooked, and consumed. And at the same time, their cellular chemistry was altered enough to begin providing nourishment to humans who ate them. The only word that remotely equates with that achievement is: miracle.
Of course, “miracle” implies there was actually a chance that such complex manipulations of nature could be carried out by primitive yeomen in eight geographical areas over 5,000 years. This strains credulity because in each case in each area someone had to actually look at a wild progenitor and imagine what it could become, or should become, or would become.
Then they had to somehow insure that their vision would be carried forward through countless generations that had to remain committed to planting, harvesting, culling, and crossbreeding wild plants that put no food on their tables during their lifetimes, but which might feed their descendants in some remotely distant future.
It is difficult to try to concoct a more unlikely—even absurd—scenario, yet to modern-day botanists it is a gospel they believe with a fervor that puts many “six day” Creationists to shame. Why? Because to confront its towering absurdity would force them to turn to You-Know-What for a more logical and plausible explanation.
To domesticate a wild plant without using artificial (i.e. genetic) manipulation, it must be modified by directed crossbreeding, which is only possible through the efforts of humans. So the equation is simple. First, wild ancestors for many (but not all) domestic plants do seem apparent.
Second, most domesticated versions did appear from 10,000 to 5,000 years ago. Third, the humans alive at that time were primitive barbarians.
Fourth, in the past 5,000 years no plants have been domesticated that are nearly as valuable as the dozens that were “created” by the earliest farmers all around the world. Put an equal sign after those four factors and it definitely does not add up to any kind of Darwinian model.
Botanists know they have a serious problem here, but all they can suggest is that it simply had to have occurred by natural means because no other intervention—by God or You-Know-What—can be considered under any circumstances. That unwavering stance is maintained by all scientists, not just botanists, to exclude overwhelming evidence such as the fact that in 1837 the Botanical Garden BIN RAS in St. Petersburg, Russia, began concerted attempts to cultivate wild rye into a new form of domestication.
They are still trying because their rye has lost none of its wild traits, especially the fragility of its stalk and its small grain. Therein lies the most embarrassing conundrum botanists face.
To domesticate a wild grass like rye, or any wild grain or cereal (which was done time and again by our Neolithic forebears), two imposing hurdles must be cleared. These are the problems of rachises and glumes, which I discuss in my book, “Everything You Know Is Wrong—Book One: Human Origins” (pgs. 283-285).
Glumes are botany’s name for husks, the thin covers of seeds and grains that must be removed before humans can digest them. Rachises are the tiny stems that attach seeds and grains to their stalks.
While growing, glumes and rachises are strong and durable so rain won’t knock the seeds and grains off their stalks. At maturity they become so brittle that a breeze will shatter them and release their cargo to propagate.
Such a high degree of brittleness makes it impossible to harvest wild plants because every grain or seed would be knocked loose during the harvesting process.
So in addition to enlarging and softening and nutritionally altering the seeds and grains of dozens of wild plants, the earliest farmers had to also figure out how to finely adjust the brittleness of every plant’s glumes and rachises.
That adjustment was of extremely daunting complexity, perhaps more complex than the transformational process itself. The rachises had to be toughened enough to hold seeds and grains to their stalks during harvesting, yet remain brittle enough to be easily collected by human effort during what has come to be known as “threshing.”
Likewise, the glumes had to be made tough enough to withstand harvesting after full ripeness was achieved, yet still be brittle enough to shatter during the threshing process. And—here’s the kicker—each wild plant’s glumes and rachises required completely different degrees of adjustment, and the final amount of each adjustment had to be perfectly precise!
In short, there is not a snowball’s chance this happened as botanists claim it did.
As with plants, animal domestication followed a pattern of development that extended 10,000 to 5,000 years ago. It also started in the Fertile Crescent, with the “big four” of cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs, among others. Later, in the Far East, came ducks, chickens, and water buffalo, among others.
Later still, in the New World, came llamas and vicuna. This process was not simplified by expanding the number of chromosomes. All animals—wild and domesticated—are diploid, which means they have two sets of chromosomes, one from each parent.
The number of chromosomes varies as widely as in plants (humans have 46), but there are always only two sets (humans have 23 in each).
The only “tools” available to Neolithic herdsmen were those available to farming kinsmen: time and patience. By the same crossbreeding techniques apparently utilized by farmers, wild animals were selectively bred for generation after generation until enough gradual modifications accumulated to create domesticated versions of wild ancestors.
As with plants, this process required anywhere from hundreds to thousands of years in each case, and was also accomplished dozens of times in widely separated areas around the globe.
Once again, we face the problem of trying to imagine those first herdsmen with enough vision to imagine a “final model,” to start the breeding process during their own lifetimes, and to have it carried out over centuries until the final model was achieved.
This was much trickier than simply figuring out which animals had a strong pack or herding instinct that would eventually allow humans to take over as “leaders” of the herd or pack. For example, it took serious cajones to decide to bring a wolf cub into a campsite with the intention of teaching it to kill and eat selectively, and to earn its keep by barking at intruders (adult wolves rarely bark).
And who could look at the massive, fearsome, ill-tempered aurochs and visualize a much smaller, much more amiable cow? Even if somebody could have visualized it, how could they have hoped to accomplish it?
An aurochs calf (or a wolf cub for that matter) carefully and lovingly raised by human “parents” would still grow up to be a full-bodied adult with hard-wired adult instincts.
However it was done, it wasn’t by crossbreeding. Entire suites of genes must be modified to change the physical characteristics of animals. (In an interesting counterpoint to wild and domesticated plants, domesticated animals are usually smaller than their wild progenitors).
But with animals something more…something ineffable…must be changed to alter their basic natures from wild to docile. To accomplish it remains beyond modern abilities, so attributing such capacity to Neolithic humans is an insult to our intelligence.....