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*** NEW *** Genetic Drift and the Garden of Life *** NEW ***

7 But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; 8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. 9 Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? 10 In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:7-10 NIV

Science: An Arbiter of Truth

The images below represent two beliefs - only one is TRUE!

                 
Genetic Drift* & A Garden of Life**      Darwinian Tree of Life       
(click images to enlarge)

The concept of a "Garden of Life" and a clarifying article on Genetic Drift
were instrumental in gaining a better understanding of the Genesis 1 "kind," with gratitude to the following:
* Secrets to the Origin of Species: Demystifying Genetic Drift, Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson, answersingenesis.org, August 16, 2019
** A “Garden of Life” rather than the “Darwinian Tree,” Ken Ham, AiG.

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The Science of Genetic Families and Species

An important segment of study within the science of biology is the Taxonomic Classification System which identifies all plants, animals, and microorganisms, assigning them to categories according to their Taxonomic Rank or taxon as indicated below.

Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778), considered to be the father of the Taxonomic Classification System, emphasized the three lower levels, Species, Genus, and Family, as indicated in the following chart. The higher classifications, beginning with Order and above, were later defined with greater emphasis on evolutionary beliefs (macro evolution), per the Neo-Darwinian Theory that all organisms emanated from a primordial cell by natural processes over billions of years. Linnaeus viewed the classification system quite differently from todays evolutionary theory in that he believed new species could be created but that change had limitations governed by the characteristics observed at the Family classification level.

The great divide between Creation and Evolutionary Theory can be best understood by answers to the following two questions:

  1. How did life originate?
  2. What caused the diversity of life that is observed?

Answers to these two questions cannot be settled by science since no one was present when life began and the inability of DNA to be "created" from a life form above that of the Family classification is unsubstantiated. Both Creation and Evolution therefore are belief systems which cannot be tested or confirmed by methods known to science. The historic evidence, however, can assist in determining which belief is true and which is a false premise.

The additional question to be asked is: What do we observe?

Understanding the classification of the various life forms gives further insight into what God said in Genesis 1 where the word kind was repeatedly used to describe plant life and the sea, land, and flying creatures. The word kind might be viewed as synonymous with the genetic classification Family (see chart below), at least from a creationist viewpoint. The biological identification of a Family/Kind and how that classification produces the variety of species in the world is a key point in gaining a renewed appreciation for the miracle of Creation.

Most evolutionists would ridicule the idea of equating the genetic Family classification with the Genesis kind since science and faith supposedly have no point at which they intersect. The interesting evolutionary dilemma is that the idea for the natural origin and the initial diversity of life is also based on faith and not on science.


Taxonomic Chart: Classifications of Family, Genus, and Species
(click image to enlarge)

  1. Family: The highest classification of life which is not defined with an evolutionary process in its ancestry. A creationist interpretation can justifiably equate the genomic Family to the word kind as spoken repeatedly by God on Days, 3, 5, and 6: "after their kind." The common definition should be found acceptable to the principles of science since Family and Kind both refer to a level of life that can produce diversity, but only within the limits of the information in its DNA. The Family class has in its DNA all the information necessary to produce a diversity of species as in the examples given below of the Feline Family (cats) and the Equidae Family (horses). The Family might be thought of as a super species, with all the genomic information created at its origin but with future generations losing information over time.
  2. Genus: A sub-class that groups species with similar characteristics. Although having a degree of importance, genus will not be further referenced for this discussion.
  3. Species: A sub-group within a genetic Family/Kind, defined by common characteristics and the ability to produce fertile offspring. Cross-species mating will usually result in weakened and sterile offspring, as in the mating of a Lion and Tiger (Liger). Speciation, the creation of new species, can occur by genetic drift, natural selection, isolation from the population, endangerrment through environmental changes, and predation.

Genetic Drift is the process of speciation that is dependent only on the encoded DNA that originated at the Family classification with variation occuring within defined limits. The Feline Family (Cats) includes 37 species, the Equid Family (Horses) produced 8 species, while the Family Fringillidae (song birds, finches) consists of more than 200 species. Mutations (DNA copying errors) may occur but not to the extent that would facilitate increased complexity such as that proposed by the Darwinian Tree of Life.

The question is: Was the DNA for each Taxonomic Family included in the kinds spoken of in Genesis 1 and "planted" in a "Garden of Life", or did a primordial first cell have the ability to enhance the genomic material to achieve the variation observed throughout the Earth?

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Genetic Drift and the Garden of Life explain the Origin and Diversity of Life


Genetic Drift & the Garden of Life                                   Felines (Cat "kind")
(click images to enlarge)

The combined example of Genetic Drift and The Garden of Life are indicative of how God may may have created the "seeds" for each Family on days 3, 5, and 6, as well as how species were formed from those original "seeds." The red circles represent a pair of adult male and female kinds for the represented Families: Felines (the Cat Family), Equids (the Horse Family), and Mankind (the Human Family). The Feline Family comprises 37 Cat species, including lions, tigers, panthers, jaguars, and even the domestic cat. A few common traits found in every feline are that all are clawed hunters, possess excellent night vision, and are obligate carnivores, requiring meat in their diet. The Equid Family would have been created with the genomic data to produce eight species of horses while the Mankind Family would not accomodate speciation, being made in God's image.

“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ Mark 10:6 NIV

Although there is no definitive "science" explaining the concept of a Garden of Life, what we observe is that each species (members of a Family) can generally be traced to a specific gene pool and have common traits identifiable in each of the 37 cat family species, as an example. The "garden" is populated with each specific Kind that produces variation within its future generations.

It becomes a matter of faith to believe that God created genetic Families for all organisms: plants, land, sea and flying creatures, and humans "after their kind". Observation, however, is the beginning of scientific discovery and the "historic evidence" (from the past) that we observe remains factual today for all of life as well as that discovered in the fossil record. Speciation is observed in all life forms, not "macro-evolution in process"

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Speciation occurs in a number of ways as mentioned, with a significant influence being genetic drift. Once differentiated, however, mating between species will generally produce a weakened and sterile offspring, possibly bearing the physical appearance of both. The Tigon shown below is the mating result of a male tiger and a female lion. The Liger is the offspring of a male lion and female tiger. Though each has the physical appearance of both parents, they generally have a more abbreviated life span.


Tigon                                                                 Liger
(click images to enlarge)

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Having a worldview that trusts in a Creator God opens our minds to the creation of fully formed "genetic families," representing the Genesis 1 "kinds". Truly a miraculous event, it seems to be more plausible than an also miraculous natural process proposed by evolutionists that formed the first cell which, in turn, gave rise to the total variation of life, including all plants and animals. The Law of Biogenesis (Cell Theory) denies the privilege of identifying evolutionary concepts as science.

Cell Theory refers to the idea that cells are the basic unit of structure , not macro-evolution in process in every living thing. ... This theory is one of the foundations of biology. The theory says that new cells are formed from other existing cells, and that the cell is a fundamental unit of structure, function, and organization of all living organisms.
Princeton University: Cell Theory

Genesis 1: 24-27
24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

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Evolutionary Theory and Life's Diversity

                         
Darwinian Tree of Life                                  Oxytricha trifallax: a single-celled organism
                                                                              250,000 base pairs (information)

The evolutionary belief is depicted above in the image of the Darwinian Tree of Life. Positioned alongside is an Oxytricha trifallax, serving as an example of a single-celled organism that may be of the type envisioned by Darwin or by evolutionary practioners. At its moment of origination the cell, pictured as the root of the "Tree," would require the complexities associated with a functional metabolism, motor skills, a cell plasma, and other traits required for life and reproduction. This primordial cell would also require an amazing ability to program frequent updates to the encoded DNA to fuel growth for the entire Darwinian Tree and all of its life forms, which supposedly came into being by time and chance. The DNA of the "simple" Oxytricha consists of 250,000 base pairs of information.

Herein lies one of evolutions greatest problems.

The supposed mechanism that fuels large-scale evolutionary changes, as required for the first cell to grow to all of life, are mutations. Genetic mutations occur at varying frequencies as a result of copying errors during cell replication. The evolutionary belief is that significant numbers of mutations over great periods of time are the primary catalyst for the introduction of entirely new species, and even new Families, Orders, Classes, and Phylums. The greatest problem with the "mutation" mechanism is that each new error occurs without a plan or overall design criteria, for which science has no solution. If one were to set out to manually copy a book of any size, an error would not necessarily be an enhancement to the original manuscript, nor would the error feel compelled to make greater sense to the reader?

The newly "evolved" organisms, apparent in the Darwinian Tree of Life, are based on the idea that time and natural processes will add complexity to the "branches" by increasing information in the genome.

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The Origin and Diversity of Life is a unified theory

There are ongoing discussions by evolutionists as to what was required for life (the first cell) to be created from other than existing life. Despite their efforts, the proven science of Cell Theory (also called the Law of Biogenesis) cannot be negated: only life can create life.

This law states that in nature, life comes only from life, and that of its own kind.
The Law of Biogenesis [Part 1], Reason and Revelation Vol. 32 #1, Jeff Miller, PhD, Apologetics Press

Molecules cannot organize themselves into the amino acids and other complex structures to form a cell (life). In order to circumvent the problem when arguing in favor of evolutionary beliefs, a recent strategy proposes separating the origin of life and the diversity (evolution) of life into two distinct fields of "science." The idea further holds that these two fields can be viewed as somewhat independent of the other and that an understanding of the process for the origin of life is not necessary to confirm that biological evolution occurred once the first cell was created. Although there is an admission of, "we don't know how life began", the belief presupposes that an answer is forthcoming.

The quote below from Dennis Venema, PhD, writing in the BioLogos Journal, appears to acknowledge the acceptance of separating the origin of life from its evolutionary growth to all creatures.

"Finally, as a purely technical matter, the theory of evolution does not propose an explanation to the question of the origin of life at all. The theory of evolution becomes relevant only after life has already begun"
Evolution Basics: At the Frontiers of Evolution. Part 1: Abiogenesis, BIOLOGOS, Dennis venema, PhD

An important point is that the origin of life and the diversity of life must be viewed as a unified belief or "theory" in order to have a degree of credibility. Both beliefs, creation and evolution, require an explanation for a beginning (Origin) -and- a methodology that explains the existence of the myriad life forms that are observed currently and in the fossil record. Simply stated: the diversity of life becomes an inconsequential theory if it ignores life's origin. To present evolutionary concepts that explain in great detail how life increased in complexity from a single cell without an understanding of how that cell came into being is "science" without reasonable thought.

So, what is the "credible" answer to the origin and evolution of life presented by creationist beliefs? Simply stated, it is faith in a supernatural Creator. Although evolutionists would not agree that their belief in naturalism is by faith, there are no alternatives. The origin of life and the diversity of life were miraculous events which cannot be explained by science.

Based on even the brief information presented, it should become intellectually and observationally clear that science does not have the answers for the origin and diversity of life. Cell Theory is an undeniable fact: only life can create life, and the concept of the Darwinian Tree rising to every life form by mutations over billions of years is subjective and without merit.

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In Summary: What does observation tell us?

All of life demonstrates change within a genetic Family, caused by speciation within the boundaries set by the DNA coded into the created kind.

Genetic Drift and the conceptual Garden of Life give additional clarity to the word kind, as repeatedly spoken in Genesis 1. A kind can be interpreted as a biological Family classification, with each represented as "seeds" planted in the Garden of Life and having all the Family DNA (information) necessary to produce related species. The "seeds" had to have been, of necessity, fully formed adult males and females created on days 5 and 6. The emergent species of each Family would be the result of procreation as traits differentiate through natural occurence, giving rise to the myriad life forms observed.

Trees and plants, created on day 3, would also have required a means of pollination, the process of photosynthesis, and the cross-reliance with other life forms necessary for survival.

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The origin and diversity of life cannot be proven by science which leaves a supernatural event as a reasonable solution. There are no credible alternatives. The Scientific Method, however, can be exercised by each of us through the observation of what is confirmed by the historic evidence: genetic drift and other forms of speciation, observed currently and in the fossil record, are seen as producing life only within the limitations of the ancestral (original) DNA. The idea that mutations over long periods of time created all plants, animals, and microorganisms is based on evolutionary "faith" and not on science.

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This section on Genetic Drift and the Garden of Life is a precursor to
Creation & Science: 3 Laws of Science & 4 Observational Principles

Please return to In6Days.org Main Index and select the above

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