It’s fair to say the historical accuracy of the Bible has always been up for debate, but scientists now claim to have some proof that directly contravenes the holy book…
We live in an increasingly secular world, but there are still massive portions of the population who are religious.
That makes it all the more controversial when evidence comes to light that puts the Bible under scrutiny.
That’s exactly what’s happened after a bunch of geneticists and archaeologists have proven that a genocide described in the Old Testament never happened.
The destruction of the Canaanites was ordered by God, when he told the Israelites: “You shall not leave alive anything that breathes. But you shall utterly destroy them.”
And, if scripture is to be believed, destroy them they did.
But according to a recent genetic study, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, the Canaanites in fact survived this holocaust.
The scientists running the project extracted DNA from remains of five people in the former Canaanite city of Sidon and reproduced their entire DNA sequence.
When comparing this sequence to modern day Lebanese people, they found about 90 per cent of their genetic ancestry came from the Canaanites.
This tells us they survived the purge in quite large numbers.
The paper states:
The Bible reports the destruction of the Canaanite cities and the annihilation of its people.
If true, the Canaanites could not have directly contributed genetically to present-day populations.
It goes on to claim that no archaeological evidence has so far been found to support widespread destruction of Canaanite cities between the Bronze and Iron Ages, with cities on the Levant coast such as Sidon and Tyre showing continuity of occupation right up to the present day.
We show that present-day Lebanese derive most of their ancestry from a Canaanite-related population, which therefore implies substantial genetic continuity in the Levant since at least the Bronze Age.
What’s also interesting is that the extent of genetic likeness is surprising.
The area was fought over so much throughout history that more genetic diversity was expected.
One of the researchers, Dr Marc Haber, said:
The present-day Lebanese are likely to be direct descendants of the Canaanites, but they have in addition a small proportion of Eurasian ancestry that may have arrived via conquests by distant populations such as the Assyrians, Persians, or Macedonians.
So there we have it folks, the guys from Sodom and Gomorrah might actually have survived after all.