Genetic entropy and the Reconstructionists’ optimism

In a recent paper[1] published in the Journal of Creation, Alex Williams explains that genetic entropy has obvious implications not only for humanity’s alleged evolutionary past but for the sustainability of the genome projected forward in time. John Sanford similarly wrote that, “The extinction of the human genome appears to be just as certain and deterministic as the extinction of stars, the death of organisms, and the heat death of the universe.” [2] So, “the inescapable conclusion”, according to Williams, “is that humans must have been created with mutation-free ‘healthy genomes’ just a few thousand years ago, and their future is likewise limited to thousands, not millions, of years.”[3]

The main point of Williams’ paper was of course to show the incompatibility of genomic decay with the mythology of Neo-Darwinian theory. I could not help but take notice, however, that as problematic as genetic entropy is for Darwinism it is similarly at odds with the eschatological future anticipated by postmillennial reconstructionism.[4] While most Christians look forward to the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13), reconstructionism (generally) predicts a future state characterized by improving conditions in both world and church for thousands of years finally culminating in the return of Christ. David Chilton, for example, asserted that the millennium will last for thirty-six thousand years.[5] Considering that this duration is six times longer than all of world history up to this point, this is quite an enormous amount of time. Worse yet, “[Francis] Nigel Lee…speaks of 100,000 years…and…Loraine Boettner, wrote about 200,000 years to Christianize the earth.”[6] Incredibly, one particular interpretation actually turns the “thousand years” of Revelation chapter twenty into three hundred and sixty thousand years![7] Regardless of the exact duration, most postmillennial reconstructionists would agree that such a supposed Christianizing of the world would of necessity be “a tedious and slow progress of many centuries.”[8] Adherents to this view will therefore have to assume that God will sustain the human genome for potentially four-hundred thousand more years.[9] Considering the bleakness of our genetic fate as predicted by Alex Williams, John Sanford and Robert Carter,[10] the thought of having to put up with many more yet unknown debilitating diseases and endure ever-increasing mutational load for multiplied thousands of years is a discouraging prospect indeed.

Ironically, the postmillennial position is often categorized as the “optimistic” eschatology because of its vision of a utopian world prior to Christ’s return.[11] Yet one can hardly see the optimism in putting off the return of Christ for potentially hundreds of thousands of years while disease and death (“the last enemy”, [1 Cor. 15:26]) continue to ravage and ruin our sin-cursed race. The Apostle Paul’s optimism (joy, actually) was the thought of departing and being with the risen Savior (Phil. 1:23). “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come” (Heb. 13:14).

Of course, the foregoing observation should not be viewed as an attempt to put scientific limitations on God’s prophetic Word. Science must not play a role in exegesis, and it has no authority over God’s pronouncements as to what the future holds. In light of His omnipotence, God could providentially sustain the human genome for as long as He likes despite the fact that calculations predict that “genome decay projected forwards points to extinction in just thousands of years.”[12] Because Scripture is the authoritative infallible and inerrant Word of God, it is not within science’s jurisdiction to refute a particular eschatology any more than it can refute the resurrection of Christ. So, if Scripture clearly taught that multiplied thousands of years are to transpire before the Second Coming, then God will suspend this decay process much like He did for the wandering Israelites.[13] God created the human genome; its mutational load can be attributed to the Fall, and our Creator, Sustainer and Savior is not bound by the “natural” degeneration of our DNA any more than He is constrained by thermodynamic processes.

Given the preceding caveat, postmillennial reconstructionism must stand or fall on exegetical grounds and not on scientific ones.[14] Millennial controversies aside, the creation was subjected to futility (Rom. 8:20) and Christ’s bride is to be looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God and the promise of a new heavens and a new earth (2 Peter 3:12-13).

Research in genetic entropy is consistent with the Apostle Peter’s hope for the future. This fallen sin-cursed world is not gradually (over multiplied thousands of years) reconstructed by sinful mutants nearing extinction but rather judged for its ensuing wickedness at Christ’s return .[15]

As Dr. Gary Parker used to say, What we see in God’s world agrees with what we read in God’s Word.

-Nick Sabato

 

[see also Jeffrey Tomkins’ article,  Genetic clocks verify recent creation, Acts and Facts 44(12):9, 2015.

[1] Williams, A., Healthy genomes require recent creation, Journal of Creation 29(2):70-77, 2015.

[2] Sanford, J.C., Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome, p. 83, FMS Publications, New York, 3rd edition., 2008. Such predictions are here acknowledged in terms of probability, though one would be wise to consider the frequently overlooked fallacy of induction committed by empiricists generally and scientists particularly in formulating predictions and universal propositions.

[3] Williams, ref. 1, p. 76.

[4] Two points of clarification are in order: 1) ‘Reconstructionism’ is often conflated with ‘dominionism’ for their many commonalities despite the latter’s variations (Dager, A.J., Vengeance is Ours, Sword Publishers, Redmond, WA, 1990); 2) The older form of postmillennialism was not ‘reconstructionist’ in nature (Berkhof, L., Systematic Theology, pp. 716-718, The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, UK, 1958), and since the term ‘amillennial’ is a relatively recent term, theologians prior to the twentieth-century were often called postmillennial though their position did not resemble the modern form of postmillennialism (Molles, B., The Beast and the Bride, p. 227, Lulu, 2004).

[5] Chilton, D., Paradise Restored, p.221, Reconstruction Press, Tyler, TX, 1985, cited in Cooke, R.N., and Hill, K.C., Reconstructionism: Is it Scriptural?, p. 39, Truth International Ministries, Max Meadows, VA, 1989.

[6] Cooke, R., The Jesuit Kulturkampf in the United States, p. 69, Truth International Ministries, Max Meadows, VA, 2008.

[7] The justification for this idea comes from applying (wrongly, I believe) the prophetic year-day principle established elsewhere in Scripture to the “thousand years” of Revelation chapter twenty. See Barnes, A., Notes on the New Testament: Revelation (1884-1885), Frew, R. (ed.), p. 420, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1983.

[8] Erdmann, M., The Millennial Controversy in the Early Church, p. 40, Wipf and Stock Publishers, Eugene, OR, 2005.

[9] See, for example, Lee, F.N., John’s Revelation Unveiled, pp. 282-283, Lamp Trimmers, El Paso, TX, 2001.

[10] Carter, R.W., More evidence for the reality of genetic entropy, Journal of Creation 28(1):16-17, 2014.

[11] Erdmann, ref. 8, p. 207; Molles, ref. 4, p. 194

[12] Williams, ref. 1, p. 70.

[13] “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness…that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years” (Deuteronomy 8:2-4).

[14] “The fundamental idea of the doctrine [postmillennialism]…is not in harmony with the picture of the end of the ages found in Scripture. […] The modern idea that natural evolution and the efforts of man in the field of education, of social reform, and of legislation, will gradually bring in the perfect reign of the Christian spirit, conflicts with everything the Word of God teaches on this point.” Berkhof, ref. 4, pp. 718-719.

[15] “[The] final Judgment will be at the end of the age, when this world passes away at the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ in power and glory.” Patterson, D., On the Final Judgment, Protestant Truth, 20(6):120, 2014.

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