Until 1929, when Edwin Hubble and colleagues proved that the universe was expanding, the dominant view of the cosmos was that it was eternal and static. The Biblical view, that time and space had a beginning and had expanded outward, was mocked. But as the science improved, the Biblical model was essentially confirmed.
I predict that the same will happen in biology as the genetic data, which we’ve only been collecting for the past 30 years or so, comes in. Rather than common descent (Darwinism), I expect we will find that there is descent only within created kinds (e.g. the canine or feline families), but no ancestral relationship above the taxonomical family or class.
We should also find that the majority of DNA is functional, that ancient ancestral creatures have larger and more complex functional genomes, and that there are a myriad of positive functions for microbes.
1. Astronomy and the Biblical Cosmology
Perhaps you are familiar with the idea that space and time had a beginning and that it was expanded outwards. This is the commonly accepted scientific model now, but up until 1929, it was not. Without scientific evidence, it was assumed that the universe had existed eternally in the past.
The idea of a beginning to space and time was denied because science was (and is) committed to naturalistic explanations, and a beginning to space and time implied a prime mover, that is a God. There was no evidence against a beginning, but because it had unwanted philosophical implications, it was not preferred.
As it turned out, Hubble’s proof of an expanding universe was incontrovertible, even to Albert Einstein, who had searched for years for a cosmological constant that would balance the cosmological equations within an eternal static universe. But after seeing Hubble’s data, he regretted spending so much time on it, though he later returned to the idea of the cosmological constant when considering dark matter. 1
In this manner, the Biblical cosmology was confirmed, and the science that disagreed with it was discarded.
2. How Biology is Maturing Under Gene Sequencing
Up until now, we have not had the direct, empirical evidence to support or deny evolution. Looking at fossil data, it was assumed that similarity meant relatedness. But we could not observe the genetic changes that supposedly drove evolution.
But in 1953, Watson and Crick published their findings on the double-helix structure of DNA, beginning a new revolution in the biological sciences. In 1974, Fredrick Sanger successfully sequenced the full genome of Phi X 174 (pictured), a bacteriophage (virus) with the smallest known genome of the time. And finally, in 2003, the Human Genome Project finished the first mapping of the human genome.
The point of this history is to show that genetic data on living things is very recent, and really only in the last 30 years has it begun to accumulate in enough quantity to begin using it to examine evolutionary claims. And that data, as it turns out, may not be friendly to evolution.
SIDE NOTE: As an honors biochemistry undergrad, I remember studying PhiX174, and was amazed to find that out of its 11 genes, 4 of them code for functional proteins while overlapping other genes. That is just crazy impossible. Even at this simplest level, design is an inescapable conclusion, and if the simplest genome has such unlikely features, how much more the complex mammals and humans that have complex overlapping *systems* of proteins?
2.1 The Biblical Biological Cosmology
Like all models, the biblical model makes predictions about what we should see in nature. Here are those general predictions.
2.1.1 Descent within narrow kinds
Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. (Genesis 1:24-25)
Each “kind” of creature (along the lines of family in the Linnaean taxonomy) was created, unrelated to other kinds, but was an ancestor of all descendant kinds through adaptation, and varied gene expression (but not evolution of new features and functions). Biology already confirms this through, for instance, lupine studies. 2 3
If this is true, we would expect to see genetic relatedness within families and perhaps classes, but not outside of that.
2.1.2 Larger and More Diverse Genomes in Ancient Animals
If the various kinds were created, and since then have degraded and lost content and functionality, as the Biblical model implies, ancestral kinds must have had a larger functional genome which has been successively reduced and disabled over time.
2.1.3 Functionality, Not Inert Junk DNA
If the original DNA was all perfectly functional, we would expect that most DNA would have functionality and would not be “junk DNA” because it was not accumulated over eons through evolution.
If DNA was created by an intelligence and has not entirely degraded, not only because the systems have built in error correction, but because perhaps life has not been around for eons, but only for thousands of years, we would expect the majority of DNA to be functional.
I don’t mean to inject young earth claims in this argument, but in this case, a younger genome would indicate more functionality, just as an intelligent design might.
2.1.4 Microbes are Mostly Helpful, not Pathologic
If all of creation was designed by a beneficent creator, where did deadly viruses and bacteria come from? (The ethics of predation is a separate topic). If they were designed, we would expect them to be helpful, no harmful?
The biblical model predicts that most microbes would be helpful, not pathogenic, UNLESS, as part of the corruption of the creation, ecosystems were violated, abused, and ruined. With this caveat, we might expect a certain level of pathogenic “corruption,” but not a majority.
2.2 Has Science Supported the Biblical Biological Model?
The clear answer is YES in all cases.
2.2.1 Created Kinds and Convergent Evolution
Science seems to have confirmed both that there is inheritance within biological families, but not much outside of that. For example, the Origin of the domestic dog shows that it originated from the wolf (what creationists might call the “dog” kind). But by comparison, the traditional inheritance trees based on similar morphologies are being disassembled by the new genetic information, turning the trees into “bushes,” and forcing evolutionists to explain that unrelated similar features like eyes must have evolved separately (“convergent evolution”). Something that was very unlikely to happen once must now happen repeatedly in evolutionary history. 4
These are turbulent times in the world of phylogeny, yet there has been one rule that evolutionary biologists felt they could cling to: the amount of complexity in the living world has always been on the increase. (Hacking Back the Tree of Life, newscientist.com) 5
Incidentally, this idea of created “kind” is also used biblically of Noah and the ark, explaining how Noah only needed two of each kind, not two of every animal. Of course, there are other discussions around the viability of creating new populations from only two animals, or feeding carnivores upon landing, but that is a separate discussion. 6
2.2.1 Larger and More Diverse Ancient Genomes
Again, science is supporting this prediction of intelligent design as well.
Admittedly, their assumption that we are related to orangutans and chimps may have caused them to overestimate the amount of lost DNA, but it seems that the biblical cosmology prediction that we have lost DNA and not gained from our near ancestors is supported by science .
2.2.3 Functionality in a Majority of DNA
The debunking of the “junk DNA” prediction of evolution is now an open secret, and admitted to be a bad prediction based on evolution. Of course, bad high level predictions based on evolution do not by themselves invalidate the model, but it sure calls it into question. The functionality of more than 80% of the human genome clearly supports what is predicted by the intelligent design model.
Previously, evolutionary scientists expected that “[functional genes constituted] a small archipelago of information scattered amidst a sea of drivel.” 8
But as it turns out, recent (2021) articles are already showing an increasing functional use of supposed non-functional DNA. For example: 9
- So-called junk DNA plays critical role in mammalian development. Science Daily, 18 October 2021. See also Robert Sanders post at Berkeley News.
- A mouse-specific retrotransposon drives a conserved Cdk2ap1 isoform essential for development. Cell, 12 October 2021; DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.09.021
2.2.4 Beneficial Bacteria and Viruses
It is common knowledge now that we humans, and all animals, are dependent on a host of beneficial bacteria in our “biome.” But that was not known early on because pathology drove research, and we first learned of disease-producing bacteria, not health-producing ones. Today, however, many of us take probiotics to encourage healthy growth in our gut bacteria, and take for granted the idea that bacteria have a positive role in living things.
As it turns out, viruses also seem to have positive roles in living things, and this in turn supports the Biblical arguments from design. They don’t deny evolution, but they are predicted by and consistent with the Biblical view.
Although viruses are most often studied as pathogens, many are beneficial to their hosts, providing essential functions in some cases and conditionally beneficial functions in others. Beneficial viruses have been discovered in many different hosts, including bacteria, insects, plants, fungi and animals. (The good viruses: viral mutualistic symbioses Nat Rev Microbiol. 2011 Feb;9(2):99-108. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2491. Epub 2011 Jan 4.) 10
When science roughly confirmed the Biblical cosmology for the beginning of the universe, that was a huge win for those trusting in the verity of the scriptures. Anti-theist sentiments may have slowed down science and it’s conclusions, but the truth won out. Of course, it did not prove that God exists, and scientists and philosophers like Lawrence Krauss and Stephen Hawking (d. 2018) have proposed mechanisms for how space and time could have emerged from “nothing” based on physical laws. But it did prove that the Bible is congruent with reality as supported by good science.
I suspect and predict that the same will happen with respect to biology and the origins of the various kinds of plants and animals. We have only been collecting direct genetic evidence for 30 years or so, and the incoming data seems to support the biblical model fairly directly.
Genetic sequencing information is showing that the predictions of the Biblical biological cosmology are correct, including
- inheritance within taxonomic families or classes, but not between them
- larger and more functional DNA in ancient animals
- the functionality of the majority of DNA, rather than the junk DNA hypothesis
- the beneficial nature of most bacteria and viruses (a design inference)
May the truth win out, and may God’s word be seen as the truth it is.
- Einstein’s Lost Theory Describes a Universe Without a Big Bang (discovermagazine.com) ↩
- Created Kinds (Baraminology) (answersingenesis.org) ↩
- Science agrees: creationists may be right about animal origins (wholereason.com) ↩
- Evolutionary Trees – In Flux or Broken and Bogus? (wholereason.com) ↩
- Evolution: Hacking Back the Tree of Life (newscientist.com) ↩
- Determining the Ark Kinds (answersingenesis.org) ↩
- Ancient Humans Had A Lot More DNA Than We Do (iflscience.com) ↩
- Kyon, Feff, and Peter Gorner. Altered Fates: Gene Therapy and the Retooling of Human Life. W. W. Norton & Co, New York, NY, 1995, p. 533. ↩
- Junk DNA Goes the Way of the Vestigial Organs Myth (crev.info) ↩
- The good viruses: viral mutualistic symbioses Nat Rev Microbiol . 2011 Feb;9(2):99-108. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2491. Epub 2011 Jan 4. ↩