Human genome decay and the origin of life
In-depth Journal Article
by Alex Williams, B.Sc., M.Sc.(Hons)
Recent reports on the human genome provide powerful support for the biblical history of Creation and Fall. We are unable to reproduce ourselves without making multiple genome copying errors every generation. As a result our genomes are decaying towards extinction from copy errors alone. However, they make up only 0.1% of the total mutation burden, so 99.9% of that burden must have come from other causes. When decay in copy fidelity is projected backwards in time it reaches perfection around 4,000 BC, and when projected forwards, extinction from copy errors alone occurs in thousands, not millions, of years.
Naturalistic models of copy fidelity decay cannot explain the data because they rapidly collapse into ‘error catastrophe’ (mutation meltdown). Only an Intelligent Design (ID) model with perfect original copy fidelity, plus ongoing maintenance and repair, can persist for thousands of years to fit the data. The ID model produced no copy errors at all for the early human generations, few until the time of Abraham, and a total today of only ~4,000 compared with our total burden of ~3 million. Darwinian scenarios requiring an extremely remote origin of life with a low primordial copy fidelity are absolutely excluded by this data
In the original creation, before the Fall of man, there was no death or suffering. The Word of God through whom the world was made (John 1:3) also upheld the world perfectly (Hebrews 1:3). We are given a glimpse of this condition in the story of Daniel’s friends in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3). Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego went into the fiery furnace, walked around in it, and came out again without even the smell of burning upon them. When a single human hair or a single animal hair (e.g. in their garments) is burned the protein breakdown products create a pungent smell. This description is telling us that not even a single hair on their bodies or clothing had been harmed.
From this general principle of perfect divine upholding we can infer that the human genome would have been copied with 100% accuracy into Adam and Eve’s descendants had their fall into sin not occurred. But the Bible tells us that God foresaw the Fall and made provision for it (e.g. Ephesians 1:3–14; 2 Thessalonians. 2:13; 2 Tim. 1:9; Revelation 13:8). This must have included sustaining the functionality of organisms and their offspring through many mutation-prone generations after the Fall. In this article I examine just one part of the process of human genome decay—the errors due to genome copying. I then extrapolate backwards and forwards in time and compare it with the Bible and with Darwinian scenarios of origin and destiny…
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