Neely Young: Strength And Diversity

America is known for its diversity, which is one of our great strengths. And Georgia is fast becoming one of the most diverse states in the Union.

One example would be Gwinnett County, which is populated with a wonderful array of different ethnicities and cultures. The county’s new Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Dr. Dan Kaufman, believes that Gwinnett today is what America will look like in the year 2040.

Just 25 years ago, whites made up 80 percent of the population but today are in the minority. The county now has large Asian, Hispanic, Indian and African American populations. The local school system is one of the best in the country, and the county is full of manufacturing jobs, both old and new, including NCR. NCR chose to move to Gwinnett partly for its diversity of people and its education system.

And yet, while we as a population look so different, with sizes, shapes, colors and cultures, according to scientist Rebecca Cann, we all come from one woman who lived in Africa who she dubbed the “Mitochondrial Eve.” How is this so? It says so in the Bible. And this is not a theory, but is proven by actual modern science.

Genesis says, “So God created man in his own image.” He then created woman, and then, “God said unto them, be fruitful and multiply.” Genesis 2-3 describes the couple’s home as in Kush, “The Garden East of Eden.”

Scientists say that our own DNA, the molecule and cell structures that convert the energy from food called mitochondria, is located in all humans. DNA gives direction to our genetic code, and this molecule has been used to trace our species back through thousands of generations in time to this one woman who lived in Africa.

Cann and her colleagues published the results of the study in Nature magazine in 1987 when she was working at the University of California at Berkeley. Cann collected samples of DNA from many different populations, including Europeans, Native Americans and New Guineans, with the aim of discovering our human origins.

Her published paper stated that: “All these mitochondrial DNAs stem from one woman who is postulated to have lived about 200,000 years ago, probably in Africa.” The study proved that the deepest split in the genealogy of DNA is between the sequences from Afri-cans, showing that they have been accumulating evolutionary changes for longer.

Nicholas Wade, a British scientific reporter for The New York Times, wrote Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors. In his book, Wade details how the study of languages can trace our ancestors back in time – similar to Cann’s DNA methods. This method also points to the fact that all languages have their beginning in East Africa.

Another of the questions he tries to answer: Where is the Garden of Eden?

Other scientific theories have postulated that in ancient times East Africa, Saudi Arabia and Iran were one land mass. And the “two rivers” the Bible described as the location of the Garden of Eden were likely the Nile and the Euphrates.

The science of plate tectonics that describes large-scale motions of the earth’s crust through time is used to trace this proposal, and guess what? This scientific fact places the Garden of Eden close to where the Mitochondrial Eve is said to be located, in the biblical land of Kush, somewhere near Ethiopia in Central East Africa.

Maybe one of the reasons that Gwinnett County is such a wonderful place is that we are not so diverse after all. No matter what your race, we all share the same ancestor and come from the same location. No matter how different our color, the shape of our eyes, mouth or nose, we are the same. And we all came from same hometown! It must be true; it’s in the Bible.

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