In doing this research, it was never my goal to show that the evolutionary position was unworkable. That goal with our present level of knowledge, would be extremely hard to guarantee. So I will spend my time working within the creationary paradigm to see if an explanation is possible using its set of rules.
Only after I provide some new answers to the serious problems that presently face creationary scientists in the area of pseudogenes, will I then start to compare the positions of the two paradigms with my new data. Of course, the alternative must also be realized. If I fail then I must face the music with the realization that either I am not up to the challenge, or, that creationary reasoning does not presently work with our present level of knowledge on this problem.
So, let's explore this problem from within the Creationary paradigm. If the Creationist's view is correct, that all life forms on this planet are
becoming more degenerate, then we would expect to see a loss of genetic
function. A functional loss could be exhibited in a number of ways. One
possible outcome would be an accumulation of genes which no longer work.
Non-working or non-functional genes could be generated when either the
control mechanism or the actual gene itself is damaged through some mutation process. Another possibility would be to produce genes which are only partially defective, generating a less suitable gene. Either the control or the actual gene would be less effective than what was originally created.
We would expect the degeneration of the genetic information to be reflected in the phenotype of individuals as well. If a change results in a defective gene that is essential for survival, it would result in either death or severe sickness in an individual, possibly a stillborn death. Other less severe changes, would collectively help to produce individuals who are less able to survive and adapt to changes in the environment.
An alternate possibility is seen in the phenomenon known as Island
Speciation, where the sampling error within small numbers of progeny causes rapid loss of genetic variability. This situation causes rapid speciation (within a few years) in organisms that once could survive in a variety of habitats but now are only able to survive in one place with very specific attributes. There seems to be a trade-off between increasing the
survivability of a species to live in a specific locality, and being able to
adapt to future changes in the environment. See my Biological Revolution page for more detail.
This trade-off found in the Island Speciation example can also be seen in all the animals of the world whose ancestors came from Noah's Ark. If we can assume that the animals in the Ark populated the whole world; then, it would be logical to conclude that each type of animal found in the Ark is the ancestor of many species throughout the whole world today (unless, all it's progeny has died out, thus becoming extinct). We might also expect that the original "types" (animal types) who rode the Ark in the global flood, whose progeny has become many different species in today's world, were much more able to cope with the changes in the environment than today's generation of animals.
In today's world, man is often destroying habitats that contain animals, etc., that fill small finely tuned niches. Once that habitat is destroyed, the animals, etc., die. These animals are no longer able to adapt to the kind of changes in the environment that their predecessors had faced following the global flood.
Animal types or species are able to adapt to changes in their environment. However, there is a limit to their ability to adapt thus they become unfit. When they reach that limit that group becomes extinct. Evolution of course suggests that genetic drift through the mutation process, increases genetic variability. Thus it is thought to reverse the lessening of variability found in the gene pool of a population due to the selective pressure of speciation. Genetic drift is thought to even reverse the increase of entropy that is expected in closed systems.
The evidence is lacking; however, to show that new genes do arise from genetic drift to such an extent that the increase of entropy is reversed. It is true that Creationists believe that genes change and that genetic drift occurs. However, to actually produce a greater level of "order" or "design" from random interactions (thus decreasing entropy) is what causes Creationists to object.
The ability to distinguish between the two positions, however, is not yet testable. The data must be extrapolated to support either position.
Biblical Clues of Man's Degeneration
Man also would have become less capable of doing things. Maybe today, he is much weaker. At one time he could have had a much higher intelligence. Maybe, before the flood, he was not subject to as many types of diseases.
Has man really degenerated from some original energetic level to what we are today? Is there any evidence showing that man has lost his original level of vitality? Unfortunately recorded history does not go back far enough to determine whether man today is a lesser degenerate form of God's creation. But if we, at least for now, assume that the Bible is a true record of history, we might look in it for finding clues of man's past.
Note: I am making these Biblical assumptions for the purpose of determining whether these assumptions can explain the data we see in our present world.
The description of the degeneration of man is described in the Bible through a genealogy of the early generations, which are found in Genesis 5:1-32; 9:28-29; and 11:10-32. In these verses, Moses describes the life-spans of the generations as decreasing very rapidly following the flood. In fact, the change was dramatic! Certain generations outlived their progeny for several generations.
If we take the data as being valid, we must ask the question: Why did the change happen all at once? Why not a gradual process? The questions
concerning this quick change was so interesting that I constructed a chart
showing when and how long each person lived. (If you choose to view one of these links you will need to select the "BACK TO PREVIOUS PAGE" button on your browser to get back to this page.)
If the expected life-span of man actually decreased as described in the Bible, then what could have caused it? Is the change an ecological change or is there some genetic change in man himself? Looking again at the Early Time Chart we see that several generations were actually living concurrently; Yet, there was still a progressive decrease in life-span. It seems obvious that there is something more that caused the change than just an ecological factor. An ecological factor would affect all the generations in the same manner. Instead, what we see is some sort of progressive damage that was passed down from generation to generation.
DNA is the prime suspect. The information stored in the DNA is used to guide and control the activities of each cell. It is also what is transferred from generation to generation. The DNA itself must have gone through some corruption process thus weakening the generations and drastically reducing their life-span. This decrease is not a minor adjustment of a few years, it entails an order of magnitude of change. Today we expect to live anywhere from 60 to 90 years on average. This is in marked contrast to the life of Noah who lived 950 years. If these figures are correct; then, we are a mere shadow of what man once was.
Present-day Evidence of Man's Degeneration
The stepping reflex of newborn babies possibly indicate that human babies in the past were once much stronger than today. click on the link for more information.
The stepping reflex shows that human babies could have started walking right away within hours after birth. Also, the stepping reflex would have made the learning process much faster than what now occurs. I think it is an indication of how much faster human babies must have learned to walk when Adam and Eve walked the earth.
How do pseudogenes form? Links to both a creationary and an evolutionary review paper provides a proper background of the issues. Three research options are explored to explain the difficulties.
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WebMaster: Michael Brown
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Officially posted June 19, 1998
last revised February 8, 2021