Book Review

I heard Dr. Sanford speak at a Bible-Science Association meeting a few years back and thought his presentation on genetic entropy was outstanding. His testimony about how the Lord saved him and brought him out of Darwinian evolution, to theistic evolution, to progressive creationism, to biblical, young-earth creationism is also equally compelling.

I have been meaning to get his book and read through it, but haven’t picked it up yet. I saw this review in Doug Kutilek’s most recent As I See It email newsletter and thought I would share.

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genomeGenetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome 
Dr. J. C. Sanford.

Dr. John C. Sanford, Ph.D. in plant breeding and plant genetics (University of Wisconsin) was for more than 25 years professor at Cornell University (the same school where evolutionist astronomer Carl Sagan taught). He obtained more than 30 patents for his scientific work in plant genetic engineering.

Having been indoctrinated exclusively in biological evolution throughout his education, he accepted this hypothesis without question, but his own professional discoveries and growing and extensive direct knowledge of genetics led him to slowly but surely abandon that view, and its “primary axiom,” namely that all the genetic information–DNA–in the cells of all living things arose spontaneously from lifeless chemicals, strictly by undirected chance and became increasing complex over time by random mutations and “natural selection,” resulting in the incredible complexity of life on earth we see today.

Rather than life and DNA arising and diachronically increasing in complexity by natural means, Dr. Sanford came to see that not only could the genomes of plants and animals NOT arise by natural means, it could not even be maintained by natural means.

The problem is genetic mutations, which occur continually in living organisms.  The vast and detailed information encoded in DNA is under constant assault from a variety of “natural “ enemies–radiation, chemicals, biological missteps in cell replication and more–resulting in the degrading of the code.  Theoretically–that is, according to neo-Darwinian claims (or rather, hopes!)–a certain number of these random changes should actually improve the organism, and eventuate cumulatively in better functions, new functions, new structures and new species.

But in truth, virtually ALL (and essentially ALL) random genetic mutations are negative, interrupting, hindering, or restricting the normal function of cells and organisms.  The great majority of negative mutations are very minor–in humans, for example, such things as red hair, blue eyes or color-blindness–which do not immediately affect the survival or reproduction of the organism, and so these mutations–corruptionsof the genetic code are NOT “weeded out” and eliminated by “survival of the fittest,” but accumulate generation by generation.

Like the typographical errors in a printed book (and this cyber-magazine!), most genetic mutations are of minor importance and do not affect the intelligibility of the sentence or paragraph they occur in, but if with each new printing (generation) another 10 or 20 typos are added to the text and with no “natural selection” proof-reader able to correct or eliminate them, eventually they will accumulate to the hundreds and then thousands, and ultimately will mar and finally destroy the intelligibility of words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters.

Citing the work of leading human geneticists (all committed Darwinists), Sanford points out that current evidence strongly supports the conclusion that the maximum viability of the human species under the assault of genetic mutation–the accumulating “genetic load” or “genetic entropy”–is about 300 generations, start to finish, before the DNA code will be corrupted, even by the accumulation of merely “minor” changes, to the point that the human species will die off (each human in each generation who reproduces adds between 100 and 300 new genetic defects–some would place that number at 1,000 or higher–to the human gene pool!).

If a human generation be defined as 25-30 years, on average, that would mean 7,500 to 9,000 years maximum from the first man to the last of our species.  One human geneticist, informed and alarmed by the rapid, irreversible degeneration of human DNA estimated than 91% of all human genetic defects have occurred in the past 5,000 years.  It doesn’t take a degree in math to see that only a few centuries, or at most a millennium or two added at the beginning of that 5,000 years, would more than suffice to account for the appearance of that remaining 9% of mutations we currently carry in our DNA.

In his own specialty of plant genetics, Dr. Sanford points out that for a century botanists, accepting the foundational neo-Darwinian premise of improvement via mutation, sought to hurry up the natural process by inducing mutations in plants via chemicals and radiation, and thereby create superior strains of existing plants and even create new species.  Oh, yes, they did generate a multitude of mutations.  Many were immediately fatal to the survival of the organisms, others greatly reduced their capacity to compete and reproduce in the wild, but not one single mutation in a century of trying increased the efficiency, complexity or viability of the plant.  All such efforts have now been abandoned as futile.

If intelligent, directed attempts by the best scientific minds to create new and better plants via mutation utterly failed, how much more impossible is it to conclude that mindless, undirected chance will accomplish it?

This is likely THE most outstanding and important book on scientific creationism that I have read in the past decade.  While at times moderately technical–it has a good glossary in the back–the presentation is clear, forceful, well-documented and very impressive.  If Sanford is right–and the evidence is highly persuasive–then man’s complete genome must have been directly created intact, perfect and fully formed only a few thousand years ago.

Neo-Darwinian evolution is discredited as simply IMPOSSIBLE, either from the standpoint of an adequate means, or sufficient time (unless one invokes “magic”).  The Genesis account of the direct creation of man by God in the recent past (thousands, not millions of years), and his subsequent fall and degradation and corruption is in full harmony with this scientific evidence.  Excellent, excellent.  By all means get and study this volume. [AISI, Volume 16, Number 6].

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8 thoughts on “Book Review

  1. “Sanford points out that current evidence strongly supports the conclusion that the maximum viability of the human species under the assault of genetic mutation–the accumulating “genetic load” or “genetic entropy”–is about 300 generations, start to finish, before the DNA code will be corrupted, even by the accumulation of merely “minor” changes, to the point that the human species will die off.”

    Given this information, what is the “maximum viability”, as measured in number of generations, for the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus)? Would this also be about 300 generations? Why or why not?

    What about Drosophila melanogaster?

  2. To bad the general Christian argument keeps revolving around the origin of life, the better evolutionists simply say we don’t know. To say that the chemical processes to make particular building block of life is impossible is to not understand numbers, if I say what are the odds of a person typing on Earth, during the filming of a movie, using a MacBook Pro, with all the particular people around me doing what they’re doing is “impossible” statistically speaking except for it IS happening at this particular point in time. Darwin nor neo-darwinists don’t say they know the workings of the first life, so we are doing what they accuse us of all the time that is arguing in the “gaps” of knowledge.

    As for Genesis being a scientific account of creation, this is impossible even in a simply logical sense. To what level and understanding of science is the creation sequence of Genesis speaking? God didn’t correct the odd beliefs about the physical world that the Hebrews believed, like the sky being an actual material substance, and other incorrect views of the cosmos they held. Are we so arrogant that we see ourselves as the zenith of scientific knowledge so the Bible is speaking to us. No society has ever had a correct and complete view of the cosmos. By its very nature science is always changing but God truth doesn’t. We are importing science into the Bible, this is bad.

    Saying Genesis is a scientific description of creation means you have to ask who’s science, at what time, in what culture. As John Walton says in The Lost world of Genesis One: “Since we view the text of Genesis as authoritative, it is a dangerous thing to change the meaning of the text into something it never intended to say”.

    Donavan

  3. Donavan,
    A couple of things:
    One, I know of no creationist who claims the Bible is a scientific text book. It’s a history book, and to my knowledge, at least when I heard him speak, Sanford didn’t claim it was either.

    Second, you would benefit immensely from hearing these lectures on Genesis so as to have an accurate understanding of what creationists teach regarding the text,
    http://drbarrick.org/2013/mcdonald-lecture-series/

  4. Just to make my point clear, Sanford’s claims do not hold up. In just 6000 years, white-footed mouse and hundreds of other equally successful mouse species could easily have produced 15,000 to 20,000 generations. That’s about 50 to 65 TIMES as many human generations in the same time period. Many insect species would have produce many times this many generations.

    Any yet, the mice are still here. Same with the bugs. No die-off, despite “genetic entropy”. So, Sanford’s hypothesis is easily disproved. It’s bunk.

  5. David,
    I like the way you just describe his research as bunk when you haven’t even read his material. I find it equally amusing that you say that of a guy who did teach at Cornell for 25 years and invented the gene gun as if has never, ever heard that claim before.

    I’ll tell you what do, I’ll hunt around and see if we can find a way to contact him and we’ll pose him your challenge. So stay tuned.

  6. Okay. If you’re able to contact him, please ask him how old the earth is. It’s relevant to the question of the total number of possible generations for a given species.

  7. Oh, and in the meantime, I’d be glad to read about Sanford’s research in genetic entropy. Could you provide me with references to the peer-reviewed genetics journal articles in which he presents his research on the subject?

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