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Stars, Cells, and God | Human-Neanderthal Hybrids and Universe’s First Stars

Join Fazale “Fuz” Rana and Hugh Ross as they discuss new discoveries taking place at the frontiers of science that have theological and philosophical implications, including the reality of God’s existence. Human-Neanderthal Hybrids Is it true that modern humans and Neanderthals interbred? If interbreeding took place, what does that mean for the credibility of the biblical account of human origins? Are humans truly exceptional? Are we really made in God’s image? Would any children resulting from interbreeding events have had a soul? Would they have borne the image of God? In this episode, biochemist Fuz Rana takes on these questions and discusses a recent study done by investigators from Spain who explored regions of the human genome completely devoid of any Neanderthal genetic material. Rana explains how insights from this research help address challenging questions about human-Neanderthal interbreeding and the offspring they might have produced, from a creation model perspective. References: A Brain Region-Specific Expression Profile for Genes within Large Introgression Deserts and under Positive Selection in Homo sapiens Additional Resources: Answering Scientific Questions on Human-Neanderthal Interbreeding, Part 1 Answering Scientific Questions on Human-Neanderthal Interbreeding, Part 2 Universe’s First Stars Big bang creation models all predict that the universe’s first stars will be entirely composed of hydrogen, helium, and a trace amount of lithium. The biggest of these first stars form, burn up all their nuclear fuel, and explode the ashes of their nuclear burning into interstellar phase long before the smaller of the first stars even have a chance to form. Hence, the smaller first-formed stars will be polluted by the ashes of the biggest first-formed stars. Because of how rapidly the biggest first stars form, burn, and explode, they can only be seen at distances equal to 13.6 billion years. Not even the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is powerful enough to detect stars at that distance. However, astronomers used the JWST to detect a strong helium line emission in the halo of a big, bright galaxy—GN-z11—13.35 billion light-years away. No elements heavier than helium were detected in GN-z11’s halo. Something made the helium in the halo of GN-z11 very hot without any metals present. The only possible candidates are stars composed only of hydrogen, helium, and lithium weighing in at 100–500 times the Sun’s mass. Hence, a key prediction of the biblically predicted big bang model has been affirmed. References: Roberto Maiolino et al., “JWST-JADES: Possible Population III Signatures at z = 10.6 in the Halo of GN-z11 Additional Resources: What Does the Bible Say about the Big Bang?