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Genetic Entropy
Review of J. C. Sanford's
Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome

By Ross Olson

J.C. Sanford's, Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome nails down the coffin for biologic evolution. He made his reputation with gene slicing techniques to create genetically altered crops. He set out late in his career, with some trepidation, to investigate whether natural selection could improve the human genome. What he found is that it cannot even prevent steady deterioration. There are at least 100 new deleterious mutations in each individual with each generation. They are generally too slight individually to be selected out and in aggregate, cannot be selected out because there are too many of them. Genes cannot be selected, only individuals and all individuals are defective to greater or lesser extents. The overall fitness of the human race is decreasing by about 1 - 2% per generation. He concludes that we are headed for extinction as a race and that the human genome cannot be a thousand generations old yet or we would already be extinct.

This fits with everything we know about complex systems. In fact, it is due to the resilience of the human genome that things are not worse than they are. A computer program would fail catastrophically with that many errors in one generation. And gene manipulation is not the solution. We are all terribly defective so there is no ideal template. And the data compression is beyond our comprehension. In some places, the DNA is read on the sense strain and the "anti-sense" strain - essentially forwards and backwards. And in places, the same DNA is read with a frame shift to be a completely different gene. It is like writing a book that make perfect sense whether you read if forwards or backwards and you can move the word spacing 10 frames to one side and have a different novel.

The ageing process in each individual occurs by accumulated mutations that allow deterioration of structures, fail to suppress tumors and allow metabolic aberrations. The whole race ages because each individual starts with germ plasm that carries mutations from generations past. These, of course, do not include all the somatic mutations that we have accumulated over a lifetime but there are enough in the germ call mutations passed down to account for the measurable degeneration.

The conclusion is that we were created perfect, have been headed downhill ever since and the human race cannot be a thousand generation old yet. Solutions are not in better technology but a relationship with God who will take us out of this decaying creation at the proper time.