The Mystery of Our Declining Genes
Someone once said that if we tell a lie long enough and loud enough most people will believe it; and that is exactly what happened to me. All I ever heard was that the right chemicals came together at the right time and eventually morphed into people, and I really believed this message because I heard it almost everywhere I went.
Then I was born again and noticed that the Bible’s view of how we got here is so radically different from the view above. So, I began looking for other books, videos, etc. that agree with this awesome book, and I’m finding lots of them. I now own over 60 books and videos that agree with the Biblical view of how we got here (instead of man’s view), and my latest hero is John Sanford. As a Cornell University professor, Sanford conducted genetic research for over 30 years that resulted in more than 100 scientific publications and several dozen patents. In addition to producing numerous new crop varieties, Sanford’s research has also resulted in new genetic engineering technologies. A large fraction of the transgenic crops grown in the world today involved use of the biolistic “gene gun” process, of which he was the primary inventor. 1
Sanford is a member of Logos Research Associates, where their mantra is “Upholding a High View of Science and a High View of Scripture”; and they say they use scholar ship, logic, and the scientific method to show that the historical claims of the Bible are not only credible but are superior to evolutionary theory to explain the origin of the world we see. Russell Humphries, Steven Austin, Rob Carter, Rob Stadler, and dozens more experts in their fields are also members of this same group. Please see https://www.logosresearchassociates.org/john-sanford
Here are just a few of the highlights from one of Sanford's great publications, a DVD entitled The Mystery of our Declining Genes. 2
Sanford begins by stating that there are two main world views:
- We are naturally going up.
- We are naturally going down.
One of these two views is wrong because the views contradict each other. The worldview found in the Bible says we are going down and need a Savior. The Biblical view is that we were very good when we were created on Day 6, and then sin wrecked everything. Psalms 102:25–26 also says everything is degenerating:
In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. (New International Version)
Genesis 5 and 11 tell us that people lived a very long time when man was created. If we plot man’s lifespan on a graph, we soon see a curve that represents man’s demise. Some of the first people lived 900 years. Their descendants died around the age of 600 years. Still later, the oldest person was about 400 years old, and so continued the decline in man’s lifespan based on the following graph from Sanford’s DVD (Fig.1).
Sanford says lots of other things are degenerating as well:
- The second law of thermodynamics says usable energy is degenerating.
- All physical order degenerates over time.
- Information degenerates as it does when gossip and rumors spread.
- Living organisms are dying out, and some have become extinct.
- Populations are going downhill.
- Morality is certainly declining all around us these days.
Only an intelligent will could have made things a lot better than they are now. Just consider how your home came about. An intelligent person designed it, and intelligent people constructed it. And without any maintenance, the house quickly deteriorates over time. Sanford uses the term entropy to describe the disarray that everything is proceeding to apart from intelligent intervention, which is God.
Sanford is a genetics expert, so he covers genetics in the next part of his talk where he says mutations are killing us, not helping us. There are lots of typographical errors in our genetic code, and these molecular mistakes are producing 1–5 mutations per cell division.
Michael Lynch is director of the Biodesign Institute for Mechanisms of Evolution at Arizona State University. Lynch says that the average cell in a 15-year-old person has up to 6,000 mutations based on 1–5 mutations per cell division, and a 60-year-old person has 40,000 mutations per cell that were not there when the person was born. 3
We have 100 trillion cells in our body, and no two cells are identical; rather, they are becoming more and more different every day. Lynch says there is almost zero potential for helping us humans to live longer when all of the above is considered.
Sanford says mutations are not a good thing because they are the primary cause of aging and death. The nucleotides in our genome are all in specific places and aligned in a specific sequence, and they control the specifications that make up our bodies. Mutations are scrambling the specific sequence information in our DNA, which causes dissipation of information and systematic breakdown of our biological functions. And it gets even worse. As we grow older, we eventually get to the place at which mutations increase beyond 1–5 per cell division, because repair enzymes start to fail.
All life is wearing out like a garment as Scripture says. This kind of degeneration is undisputed by most scientists. Entire species become extinct like the dinosaurs did. The whole world is groaning like Scripture says it is.
Mutations are also transmitted from parent to child. Fortunately, by God’s grace and by His design the mutation rate in our germ line cells is lower than the mutation rate in our somatic cells. That means that the cells that give rise to our reproductive organs and to our children have been set aside so that they have fewer cell divisions between generations. Consequently, we don’t have tens of thousands of bad mutations added to our germ line cells, but we do have about 100 new mutations added per generation per person. So, my children have about 100 more mutations than I have, and their children will have about 100 more than they have.
This accumulation of 100 new mutations per generation has caused 2–3% of babies worldwide to have visible birth defects and lots of other defects that do not show up for a while. And there are thousands of Mendelian diseases such as color blindness, hemophilia, etc. as a result of these mutations; and for every [mutation] that has a distinctive effect there are thousands more that are hidden inside of us. And most all geneticists agree with all of the above.
For examples, Henry Gee, an evolutionary biologist, wrote an opinion article for the Scientific American website titled Humans Are Doomed to Go Extinct. 4 Science Daily published an article titled Neanderthals Were Not Inferior to Modern Humans, Study Finds. 5 Alexey Kondrashov once asked why we aren’t dead a hundred times over? 6
Michael Lynch chose to use the lower rate of 60 mutations per generation, and he excluded transpositions, insertions, deletions, translocations, inversions, conversions, satellite mutations, etc. and came up with 1–5% per generation and then said the number could be as high as 10%. Sanford says that if we ever hit this 10% figure, our biological functionality will be cut in half in six generations!
Lynch is an evolutionist and still predicts that we are going down instead of going up. He says our main problem is that we are too nice. We should be weeding out the weak, and then evolution would start making better people again. Sanford says killing the weak will not stop the problem, because we already have too many mutations inside of us.
Sanford then asks how all the above can be true when it’s the opposite of what we’ve been taught our whole lives, and then he cites the following reasons to believe that it really is true:
- There is a sharp decline in male sperm counts.
- There is an epidemic of dementia/Alzheimer’s disease cases — only 2% of the population over age 85 had Alzheimer’s disease 25 years ago, and now 50% of people over age 85 have it.
- There is an epidemic of depression.
- There is a sharp increase in autism rates.
- There is an epidemic of people who have allergy and autoimmune diseases.
Five scientists (John Baumgardner, Wes Brewer, Paul Gibson, Walter ReMine, and John Sanford) spent five years coming up with a way to test this degeneration concept called Mendel’s Accountant. All of us can search for this test on the internet and give it a whirl. The test allows us to add all the parameters, such as the number of people in the population that we are evaluating, the number of good mutations, the number of bad mutations, etc., in a form that accurately predicts what will eventually happen to this population.
Sanford used the following data in Mendel’s Accountant:
- Mutation rate: He chose to use 10%, which is a lot lower than real life, where most scientists think it is around 100%.
- Beneficial mutations: To be more than fair he inserted 1%, which is a lot higher than real life.
- Selection: He set things up so that the four out of every six kids who have bad genes would not be allowed to reproduce, which never happens in real life, so that no one could say that he was manipulating things in his favor.
- Time: Here again he inserted a very high number to keep the evolutionists from saying that he was “stacking the deck” to prove a point.
What did the Mendel’s Account program predict based on all the data above? The program plotted a graph that shows the population will become extinct after 20,000 generations, because 206,000 bad mutations had been transmitted while only 235 beneficial mutations had been transmitted during this trial run. The test also revealed that 99% of the bad mutations are accumulating inside of us. This makes it appear that the evolution model is currently heading in the wrong direction.
Some folks say if we take a population of 10,000 or more, with most mutations being recessive, and we have a bottleneck type of event that reduces the population of 10,000 people to 100, a lot of the bad mutations will disappear because 9,900 people are no longer around to keep transmitting the bad mutations to the population.
Sanford says there is some truth to what they are saying, but some of the information in our gene pool is also lost when we get rid of most of the harmful mutations. We almost always lose some good things when we get rid of some bad things.
Natural selection is too weak to reverse or even slow down degeneration very much.
Darwin was wrong about the following two things:
- Things are going down, not up.
- Adding more time produces more extinction, not better species.
Sanford asks a great question: If our planet is thousands of years old, what should we expect to see in our current gene pool?
We seriously decline if the earth is only thousands of years old, but we don’t go extinct if the first people had zero mutations and if we accrue around 100 new mutations per generation and if there are about 200 generations since Adam and Eve, as recorded in the Bible. But if man has been here over 350 generations and we assume only 60 mutations per generation, we should be extinct by now.
Realistic numerical simulation agrees with Biblical truth and supports the young-earth view held by many Biblical scholars. And the Darwinian model appears to be false. Sanford says the core concept in evolution is wrong as are quite a few of the other concepts included within evolution, such as homology, the fossil record, and the phylogeny concepts.
Is anyone else reporting this same type of information? Yes! Mendelian Inheritance in Man reported genetic disorders from 1966 to 1999, and the number of medically reported genetic disorders in 1966 was 1,487, and this number increased to 11,099 in 1999. 7
A. E. Wilder-Smith, who has earned three doctorates, once said that most people seem to think that evolution is a lot like placing all the puzzle pieces in a box and shaking it until all the pieces align with each other. This might happen if we shook it long enough and the pieces that aligned did not come apart again. This same sort of thing happens with all the ingredients required to make life. Some of them might eventually end up in the right place at the right time, but in real life it’s just as easy for them to come apart again. He also said that this same type of thing applies to what we’ve always heard about a thousand monkeys typing for thousands of years, in which case they would eventually type something that makes sense. Wilder-Smith says this task cannot be done without some programming, because the illustration never mentions having typewriters that can remove text in addition to adding text, 8 which is sort of like what Sanford said in his DVD summary. 2
Is there any hope for mankind? Yes!
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation and have a priceless inheritance — an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. 1 Peter 1:3-5 (New Living Translation)
We may not ever fix the problem of our declining genes, but we can get a new heart, a new mind, etc. by loving Jesus with all our heart, all our soul, and all our strength; and this is infinitely more important than living longer.
Have you ever been transformed? Consider becoming a new creature in Christ today! You’ll be very glad you did!
- 1McCandless L (1998 Nov 18) Breakthrough DNA device for plant breeders developed at Cornell's Geneva Experiment Station. Cornell Chronical. https://news.cornell.edu/stories/1998/11/dna-extraction-device-plant-breeders Accessed 2022 May 10
- 2 a b Sanford J (2009) The Mystery of Our Declining Genes: Startling data for recent creation — in our DNA, Creation Ministries International, Powder Springs, GA
- 3Lynch M (2010) Rate, molecular spectrum, and consequences of human mutation. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 107:961–968
- 4Gee H (2021 Nov 30) Humans are doomed to go extinct. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/humans-are-doomed-to-go-extinct/. Accessed 2022 May 06
- 5University of Colorado at Boulder (2014 Apr 30) Neanderthals were not inferior to modern humans, study finds. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140430133054.htm Accessed 2022 May 06
- 6Kondrashov AS (1995) Contamination of the genome by very slightly deleterious mutations: why have we not died 100 times over? J. Theor. Bio. 175(4):583–594
- 7McKusick VA (1998) Mendelian Inheritance in Man: A Catalog of Human Genes and Genetic Disorders, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD
- 8Wilder-Smith AE (1981) Biogenesis by Chance? in The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution, MasterBooks, San Diego, CA, 11–16