There are obvious differences between the Creation
and Evolution paradigms. One important difference is the
understanding of how entropy fits in the puzzle of our origins. As
usual, it seems, creationary and evolutionary science goes in
opposite directions. The Creationist sees our whole Biosphere as
increasing in entropy since Creation. The Evolutionist on the other
hand, sees that the increase in entropy does not have to proceed if
outside energy is added to the system constructively, thus allowing
useful work to be done.
So Evolutionists see that entropy can decrease when constructive
energy from the sun is used to enable new species to form (I'm
simplifying the process in this statement). Creationists do not see
any constructive energy being utilized to form new species. Rather,
Creationists view life in general, on our planet, as running down
hill from its original position of functionality. Yes, genetic drift
probably does occur, but when the selection process helps the
survivors, I do not see how entropy would ultimately decrease in the
The presence of pseudogenes can be explained within both
paradigms, whether entropy is increasing or decreasing. It does
seem, however, that creationists and evolutionists alike seem to
ignore the very real possibility that entropy should be a major
phenomenon in creationary science. If the presence of an increasing
level of entropy is not a feature in creation models, then it would
be extremely hard to explain the presence of pseudogenes in the face
of an infinite and knowledgeable God.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
So, assuming the Biblical scenario for the moment, let's ask the
question: What could have caused man's dramatic change? One possible
answer may be found in Pseudogenes. Pseudogenes are apparent genes
which are deficient in some way thus not allowing them to function
as genes. Some think of them as defective genes however there are
others who feel that there is reason to hold off on pronouncing
Pseudogenes as being defective genes. It is felt that one day a
function may be found for Pseudogenes.
The following link will introduce you to the controversy
surrounding Pseudogenes from a creationist's perspective. Not only
are Pseudogenes found throughout our DNA but many of them are found
in exactly the same positions as in other organisms such as the
chimpanzee. Having the same Pseudogenes at the same positions in
different species is a real problem for Creationists since
Pseudogenes apparently cannot be selected. They apparently do not
function and thus would be classified as "junk DNA" by many
evolutionists who assert that the presence of the same Pseudogenes
in different species is evidence for the existence of some common
ancestor. If Pseudogenes do not have a function than why do they
seem to be preserved in the same manner across different species?
(Select "PREVIOUS PAGE" on your browser to get back to this page.)
The Data Could Lead to Three Possibilities:
1. We could use evolution as the mechanism to explain the common
existence of Pseudogenes. A common ancestor would explain why our
Pseudogenes are so similar to the chimpanzee. Unfortunately science
is unable to prove positions absolutely, especially positions that
deal with historical data. So we will continue to depend on
assumptions to determine which of the options are more correct. No
matter what position we take, we will have to depend on assumptions
that are based on our philosophy or beliefs of origins. But we must
not forget that, at least for the present, the evolutionary solution
does seem to answer the problem.
2. Dr. Gibson's caution proves to be well founded and a function
for the Pseudogenes is discovered. If Pseudogenes have a purpose;
then, their presence cannot represent a corruption of DNA code. So
we would have to look elsewhere for an answer to the degradation of
man. At least the existence of the same Pseudogenes at the same
positions in different species could be explained by having the
original Genesis kinds be similar in design.
Some Pseudogenes have an extremely large number of differences
from its functioning counter parts. These might be argued, due to a
lack of knowledge, that there could be some unknown function.
However, some Pseudogenes only have a very low number of
differences. These examples would be harder to explain. Their
structure is essentially that of a gene. They have all the
characteristics of a functioning gene except for a few positions.
3. No function for Pseudogenes in their present form is ever
discovered. Pseudogenes would then be suspected as being defective
genes which have contributed to the degradation of man. A very
serious problem however would be to explain the presence of similar
Pseudogenes in different species. The absence of a mechanism to
produce very similar Pseudogenes in a parallel process is the source
of the headache for Creationists. It was the realization of this
problem that originally caused some to wonder whether Pseudogenes
could have a function after all.
Pseudogenes From an Evolutionary context
An extremely well written review article concerning pseudogenes
and the creation/evolution controversy surrounding these pseudogenes
has been submitted by Dr. Max. His paper is published right on the
internet and you can get to it by clicking the link below. (Select
"PREVIOUS PAGE" on your browser to get back to this page.)
His paper is much larger in scope than Dr. Gibson's paper and you
will gain a well rounded background to the pseudogene controversy by
reading it. In spite of his strong evolutionary position, I am
surprised at how similar our viewpoints actually are. In addition,
he has put together material that one can only do if they have been
in the field for a long time. Yet we do differ on the type of answer
that will eventually solve the problem. I think you will enjoy the
paper, read it.
On his front page you will see references to other creationists
who have tried to counter Max's position. Unfortunately, they have
done a rather poor job. I think that a lot of "standard answers"
that creationists use need to be modified or changed as knowledge
increases. If our answers do not answer the problem, then we need to
acknoledge it! It is only when we see the weakness in our answers
will we ever get better answers.
We also need to be especially sensitive to new possibilities as
hinted in recent scientific discoveries that fit with the Bible.
Often what scientists espouse as being strong evidence for evolution
also can fit in creationary thinking as well!
Pseudogenes From an Creationary context
Look forward to seeing updates at this web site on future
I have been looking at some
interesting patterns found in Pseudogenes. Their presence suggests
some very interesting possibilities. I am presently gathering funds
to pay for the services of a statistician so that the work can be
completed. Only when something is published will it be reported on
this web page. However, At that time there will be a flood of
information that will be added to this site. There will be a greater
depth of data and information available to you on this site than is
possible in a pithy scientific paper. Michael E. Brown
The following letter and my answer illustrates the direction my
research is taking me.
Michael E. Brown 3/17/99
This came on the asa net. Do you have an explanation ?
Dick Fischer's ORIGIN'S SOLUTION mentions the dreaded endogenous
retroviral sequence common to both chimp and human DNA as a strong
lobbyist for common descent. Anybody have any other reasonable
This is an extremely important question that Creationists have to
face. It is exactly the same question that I sought to answer with
my research on Pseudogenes. In my talk at Andrews University, I
introduced the idea of "Common Mechanism" as an alternative to
"Common Descent". I also discussed evidence that shows "Common
Mechanism" is being a possible answer to the origin of the many
common sequences found in different species.
The common sequences that have given us problems in the past are
sequences that don't seem to have a function for the organism.
Common sequences that are easily identified as being functional, can
easily be explained as existing because God designed them in the
same way. I don't like the term "Common Designer, " because it has
connotations of a deficient God who designs different animals in the
same way because he is running out of ideas, or because it is too
much effort to redesign the different animals.
A rocket designer designs a rocket. It works. Now he is asked to
design a larger rocket. What he does is to use what he has already
learned from his previous experience to save on effort and time. His
larger rocket is going to look much like the smaller one. That is
what Common Designer means. It takes too much effort not to use what
has already be done before.
The question is, do we want to say the same thing about God? Is
God designing the various animals in such a similar fashion because
it would be too much effort to completely design a completely
different design? Like the rocket designer?
I don't think so. I think this is our chance to start looking for
alternative ideas. Instead of thinking of God as a designer, maybe
we should think of Him as an artist (well, maybe both). If we go
into a new house, maybe Mexican style, we might expect the whole
house to have common features throughout. We would expect to see
various artistic themes throughout the whole house. Also we would
expect to see various differences in the house that is due to
artistic variations of the Mexican themes found in the house.
I might expect God to have created the Earth in the same way. The
animals (and plants) have many common features which I attribute as
being artistic themes. Also, all one has to do is to look at a
comparative anatomy text book to see the artistic variations of
themes God has placed in this world.
I might expect the same artistic theme aspect of God's creation
to be as deep as the very molecules we are made of. This could also
include proteins and DNA.
I introduced this whole issue in my talk at Andrews.
back to the other issue. . .
The b-hemoglobin Pseudogene is a excellent example of a
functionless portion of the genome. Yet the same Pseudogene is found
in different species (only 6 differences between human and chimp in
the whole sequence!).
Why are they there? Maybe there is some sort of function. The
problem is that function has been sought by many for a number of
years. Nothing yet has surfaced. Of course this is an open ended
search. Jim Gibson by the way, wrote an article supporting the idea
that there must be some purpose that is yet undiscovered. His
article is on the internet in the Geoscience web pages.
The other possibility is that there is no function. That the
sequence is what it looks like, defective. Many say that the
presence of the b-hemoglobin Pseudogene is very strong evidence for
a common ancestor. Human, Chimp, Gorilla, Monkeys (both new and old
world), Baboon, etc., all have virtually the same Pseudogene.
(However as more species are compared, the differences also increase
In my yet unpublished work, (don't spread my research around yet)
I see evidence for the existence of either viral or enzymatic
activity that creates mutations.
So I think there is a mechanistic process that has produced many
of the Pseudogenes that we have, rather than a random process. If
the Pseudogene is truly defective and if the mutations are truly
found in patterns (not random), then the idea that it's a common
mechanism is possible. Viruses have enzymes that, under the same
conditions, do repeatable reactions.
If the DNA in Humans, Chimps, Monkeys, etc., are very similar,
then if they are all infected by the same virus, would we expect the
virus to do the same thing in the different species? I think so.
The "dreaded endogenous retroviral sequence common to both chimp
and human DNA" is probably the major example of Common Mechanism.
Viral enzymes (proteins) react with specific DNA sequences. If both
chimp and human DNA have the same active sites, I would expect the
viral proteins to react in the same exact way to both human and
Common descent or common Ancestor is not the only answer.
Yours in Christ
Please criticise or comment
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000 by Michael Brown all
Officially posted June 19, 1998