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evolution and epigenetics

Therefore, just as sin [Greek ho hamartia = the wrong, the sin] came into the world through one man, and death came through sin [ho hamartia – the wrong], ... so death spread to all because all have sinned ......    Romans 5: 12

Bad news. Everyone in Jersey will eventually die of some disease or other. The first most common cause of death in Jersey is heart disease. The second is cancers. The third is respiratory diseases.

But what is the cause of my heart disease? And what was the cause of the terminal cancer of a 20-year-old beautiful young lady (my daughter’s school-and-after friend)? Also what is the cause of (my wife’s sister’s) serious respiratory problems? Has something caused them all?

Look at the words in bold above that now form part of the Christian Bible. They are discredited today by most people. Instantly. But???

Most folk in Jersey (and elsewhere) identify inherited genes, infection, environment and stress – often a combination of these – as the ‘ultimate’ cause of diseases and death. But does such a sensible view go back far enough? If we don’t go back far enough maybe we’ll never deal with or cure the ultimate cause.

Take the first ‘cause’ just mentioned: inherited genes. It would fit the story of Adam and Eve if all diseases came from them (assuming, just for a few moments, that this couple were indeed the original man and woman from which we all descend). But there is one major reason to oppose this view.
‘The very existence of the fear of death, which is the root of practically all human fears, is a clear indication that death is unnatural even though its incidence is universal.’(Akbar Abdul-Haqq, Former Muslim, Author)

If Adam and Eve had faulty genes there is immediate conflict with the ancient book of Genesis in the Jewish Bible, now included in the Christian Bible and written by Moses around 1350 BC. This attests that Almighty God, examining all his creation, said that it was “very good”. To think that the Almighty would say, “It’s all very good” when the man and the woman he was looking at had diseased genes (and would pass on all those diseases to their children) is nothing short of unbelievable. 

If they were indeed perfect and without death, then this question must be asked and answered – scientifically. “What went wrong and how did what went wrong affect not only Adam and Eve but their children and their children’s children and so on down to Jersey today?”

This question becomes even more significant when one reads in Genesis that, Adam and Eve having been created “very good”, Eve becomes pregnant and gives birth to their eldest son who later became a murderer. Any detrimental change in Adam and Eve must have come about before the birth of Cain and possibly even before Cain was conceived in the womb.

Biologists are today familiar with the science of epigenetics. Try looking up that word in Wikipedia. “Epi” is Greek for ‘over’ or ‘above’ and epi-genetics is defined as “the study of heritable changes in gene function that occur without a change in the DNA sequence.” Changes in gene function? Heritable changes in gene function? Without the genes actually changing? So the way that genes actually function does change – with the genes themselves staying the same. And those changes in the way they function are heritable – they are passed on from one generation to another.

And what causes the changes in the way that genes function? Scientists have discovered that it can be environment – or nurture. In fact it can be – and often is - stress.

So Adam and Eve’s DNA may well have been “very good” but, because of the major rebellion that occurred when they chose to please themselves and disobey their God and Creator, the way in which those genes then functioned was damaged. Damaged by them. See the words in bold above written in AD 55.

‘The punishment of sin is sin.’ (Augustine of Hippo, Philosopher and Theologian, 354-430)
This is evolution – but not for the good of men and women. The root cause of death itself is becoming clearer. Humans started to damage themselves by their self-centred choices which gave rise to conflict with God their Creator. Humans pass the damage on through epigenetics to their children. The damage multiplies and rules over all.
Richard Syvret

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