Upheaval: How Old Is the Earth and Its Species? | Space News

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Published on Oct 3, 2018

“Earlier this year, scientists from New York and Sweden published the results of their sweeping study of 5 million DNA barcodes from about 100,000 different animal species. As reported by phys.org on May 28, 2018, the results are β€œsure to jostle, if not overturn, more than one settled idea about how evolution unfolds.”

In addition to a shocking absence of genetic diversity, the authors were stunned to conclude that about 9 out of every 10 species on Earth appear to have come into being at about the same time, apparently sometime between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago. Study co-author David Thaler said of the findings, “This conclusion is very surprising, and I fought against it as hard as I could.” One unavoidable possibility these results raise is articulated in the phys.org report, which asks, β€œWas there some catastrophic event 200,000 years ago that nearly wiped the slate clean?””

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