Genetic Entropy and the Gospel
Biological clocks say the earth is young!
Published: 6 April 2021 (GMT+10)
Previously published in a CMI newsletter, September 2020
Bad news! The human race is doomed. This is clear from the Bible. If you have ever read the book of Revelation and considered what will happen when Christ returns, you understand that we will only be here for a short time. The clock is ticking. Of course, we are not truly doomed, because there is a promise of Heaven waiting for the Christians. But the eventual demise of the human races is also clear from science. Our DNA picks up too many mutations for us to survive into the infinite future. Truly, without Christ, our days are numbered.
I have a strange position at CMI. On the one hand, I love my job. I love the people I work with and the wonderful people I get to meet as I travel to speak at the many churches I visit every year. Sharing the Good News about Creation and the Gospel is a joy. On the other hand, as a geneticist I get to deal with some very difficult and sometimes sad subjects. I read about genetic diseases, everything from hereditary blindness to Huntington’s disease. I see statistics about birth defects and Down syndrome regularly. In short, I am constantly reminded of the effects of the Curse in Genesis 3 and humanity’s yearning desire for redemption.
Our decaying genome
It has been my privilege to work closely with retired Cornell Professor Dr John Sanford for more than a decade. He was the first person within our ranks to write extensively on a subject called genetic entropy. This is an easy concept to understand, but the ramifications are profound. In genetics, we can see that mutations are too frequent. Mutations are ‘spelling’ mistakes in our DNA that occur when our cells reproduce. Every person born has maybe 100 brand-new spelling errors in their genome. Most of these mutations have only a very small effect. In one way, this has helped to preserve the human race for the past several thousand years of our existence. In another way, it is like our population is being slowly poisoned. If spelling errors are being introduced to a book every time a new one is printed, how many copies can be made before the book is entirely useless?
If mutations were rare and profound, maybe natural selection could remove them. A three-legged antelope on the plains of Africa would be ‘selected’ out quickly, for example, and thus it would be unable to pass its mutations to future generations. But a four-legged antelope that is only slightly smaller, slightly slower, slightly hard of hearing, etc., is just as likely to survive as other antelopes. In fact, most mutations are hardly noticeable, so they are invisible to natural selection. In other words, there is no mechanism in nature to remove them. This is the essence of genetic entropy, and it has rigorous theoretical, mathematical, and experimental support.
The genetic clocks are counting down
It is clear that complex organisms like antelopes and people cannot last for millions of years more. But that also means our species could not be millions of years old. Original and genuine creationist research has directly falsified a main pillar of evolutionary theory—the idea that species evolve or ‘improve’ over long periods of time. One could say all organisms are ‘devolving!’
Genetic entropy does have a positive aspect, however. When we apply the theory to deadly viral infections like influenza, we see that mutations building up in the virus population can sometimes lead to a reduction in its efficacy or even to eventual extinction. I am hoping and praying that the same would happen to Covid-19, but only time will tell.
This is exciting research and great witnessing material, and we could not be doing it without you. Your support allows us to pursue areas of science that the evolutionists would never even think of exploring. Even better, there are Gospel-related issues in the center of our work. There is no hope for the human race without Christ. This is real science and this is a message that everyone needs to hear.