What is degeneration?
Degeneration is when genes, which are important for the organism, become damaged or even get terminated. This ‘damage’ infers the loss of the right information in the DNA or the loss of production of proteins that the gene codes for. It is not damage to the DNA itself or to the gene, but to the information that is in it. This is the result of copy-mistakes that are not corrected at the time of cell multiplying, also called mutations.
De degeneration-theory acknowledges neutral, tolerant and essential genes.
- Essential genes are genes that are só essential for producing life and reproduction that they can never be deactivated within an organism. An example of this is haemoglobin, which is responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood. Without it, there is no life (for mammals).
- Tolerant genes are genes that cán be definitely (read homogeneous) deactivated, but they give the organism a (serious) disadvantage or handicap. Many hereditary diseases are examples of that kind of genes.
- At last there are neutral genes, which actually have no consequences for the viability or the propagation of a individual whether they are present, or not. In humans for instance this is the case with the eye colour-genes, curly hair, nose shape, etc.
Degeneration therefore means the damage of essential genes and/or the damage or deactivation of tolerant genes.
When neutral genes are being lost within a species or population, it cannot be called degeneration, because it concerns genes that are meant to cause variety. There presence or loss does not influence the viability, or not noticeable. Such kind of loss does though leads to less ‘potency’ for new variety.
Why is there degeneration?
Degeneration is being caused by mutations. Mutations are copy-mistakes within the DNA. The DNA contains hereditary information of organisms. In the DNA there is, among others, the encoding for the production of proteins. Proteins are three dimensional biochemical robots with a specific function (for example the transport of oxygen in the blood as with haemoglobin). By radiation (radioactive or ultraviolet radiation for instance) or by so-called mutageneous substances, mistakes can occur when the DNA is copied. Therefore the code of a protein can change and so the protein itself can change. Mostly changes within a protein will lead to damage of its function or even complete deactivation of it. Therefore the function of that protein will only be partly fulfilled or even be completely lost. When it concerns life-essential or tolerant genes, we can call that degeneration.
Does all life on earth degenerate?
Yes, plants, animals and humans not excepted. Degeneration goes faster in little isolated populations than in big ones. That is because within small populations a high level of inbreeding appears, which increases the risk of outbreak of hidden deviation. In bigger non-isolated populations it takes much longer before good functional genes will be completely lost within the total population. Beside that, there is natural selection, which keeps a population healthy and decreases the chance of the deviation passing on its wrong genes.
Every species degenerates, because every gene of a species is in risk of being terminated by mutations. In fact that means that only those genes that are essential to survive in a specific environment will hold out within a population. (That is something different than being essential for viability!).
Why is degeneration not just a part of the evolution theory?
It is an absolute condition for structural (or macro-) evolution to happen, that the number of significant genes increase within species over the long supposed time. Since bacteria have about 6.000 and humans have about 30.000 genes. Degeneration is the loss of functional genes and therefore the exact opposite of macroevolution. When species degenerate, e.g. loose genes, they cannot evolve, e.g. gain even more genes at the same time. Evolution in that way is like ‘rowing upstream’ but effectively going down.
Besides that, within the evolution theory often examples of degeneration are being used to show that there is evolution! Some of these examples are the non-flying cormorant (it has lost the possibility to fly), parthogenetic lizards (non-sexual reproducing female lizards), the blind water-scorpion (it has lost the ability for sight) and sickle-cell anaemia (a deadly blood-disease that protects hetero-zygotes for malaria). With that, rudimentary organs, always used as ‘strong’ evidence for evolution, are in fact examples of degeneration and not at all of evolution.
Mostly that what is called ‘evolution’, is nothing more than just the arising of new variation by the mechanism of natural variety (that is the sexual reproduction with recombination as its most important part). For everything else evolution is in fact degeneration!
There are several other reasons why macroevolution or structural evolution is a genetic impossibility, but they are too complicated to put in a short summary here. Read the book!
How did life begin en what is the cause of the abundance of species?
If there is degeneration, the opposite of a development from unicellular organisms into mammals and man, than life must have begun with the creation of (among other things) a complexity of different ‘original types’. These original types mainly have to be looked for on family-level of the current species. That means, for example, a original wolf, from which foxes, coyotes, jackals and dogs have arisen. Like that there could have been a original cat, original cow, original man etcetera.
All living creatures have an inbuilt genetic mechanism that ‘automatically’ produces a new combination of existing genetic material at the time of reproduction: recombination (that is the exchange of pieces between similar or diploid chromosomes). Because of this recombination new variety arises. When the original species would have been heterogeneous for their neutral genes (that means that there were differences between the genes of the male and the female and/or between there own diploid chromosomes) than their direct offspring would have shown an enormous variety-explosion. On small scale we can still see a similar effect by crossing two pure inbreeding lines (what will cause heterogeneous genetic information, but a similar phenotypic look) and to cross the offspring with itself (what will make all kinds of new variety visible because of all the new combinations of genes).
Due to the original heterogeneous genes together with the effect of recombination, from those original ‘mother’-species an huge blow out of species has proceeded where some subspecies better survived in a one environment and others in another. This differentiation results in one subspecies remaining with this combination of genes and another subspecies remaining with another. Every subspecies has lost certain genetic information in the process compared to the original species. This combination of (for the viability neutral!) genes that is the most profitable to survive within that specific environment is being selected.
Does all variety proceed from degeneration?
Absolutely not. Most variation proceeds out of recombination, a new combination of existing genes. Only when mutations are the cause of termination or damaging of genes that are involved in the integrity of the individual (the so called essential and tolerant genes), then we talk about degeneration.
(Also check the answer of the question above here and of the first question.)
According to the degeneration-theory: is there something like natural selection?
Oh, yes. But selection, whether by human or natural selection, means that certain genes are chosen above others(!), or that a certain combination of genes is chosen above another one. When a certain combination is optimal for a certain environment, that automatically means that the genes that do not belong to that favourable combination, get selected away and eventually disappear. Selection automatically means loss of genes. Selection is always ‘downhill evolution’ or genetic impoverishment. By selection the most favourable combinations of genes can survive, but by selection no new genes arise.
Besides that, natural selection protects against serious forms of degeneration and in that way keeps a species ‘healthy’.
Are there ‘favourable’ mutations?
It is possible. Within neutral genes there can (in a manner of speaking) be mutated to one’s heart’s desire, because these genes are not important for the viability of an individual. They often do appoint the characteristics of the external form of appearance (the phenotype) and therefore cause many varieties. But in most cases even when it concerns neutral genes, mutations just damage or completely terminate the gene or protein. Nevertheless, even the termination of a gene can produce a surviving advantage, as is the case with the polar fox, polar bear or the snow goat that all have lost some genes that produce pigment in the fur.
Among essential genes no useful mutations occur. A change of function of the gene or protein will lead to a form of degeneration, because it also influences the viability. In essence, that is within the essential genes, a species always stays the same!
Mutations are being grossly over-appreciated by evolutionists.
- Most of the biological changes proceed from recombination and not at all by mutation.
- Vital-essential genes can never mutate usefully.
- In at least two-third of the genes of every species there isn’t even variation.
- 99% of all mutations is damaging for the organism.
- 99% of the non-damaging mutations (for the organism) that cause any difference still mean a damaging or termination of genes. That is for (the viability and fertility) neutral genes.
- As far as mutations are not damaging for the organism and neither mean a termination of neutral genes, they are in strongly limited measure capable of changing something within the existing protein. Mutations for example cannot decently create a longer protein, because they cannot add amino acids (where proteins are made off) between for example two functional parts in a protein. (Through a mutation a base pair can be added, but not likely three at a time, which is necessary to add a amino acid; three base pairs encode for one amino acid).
- An accumulation of mutations will eventually lead to a complete loss of function because of the specialistic character of proteins. New or other functionality is ‘so many mutations away’, that in the process of accumulating mutations always useful functionality will get lost. When a gene losses its function there is no longer any selection possible and the probability laws say that there will never come anything significant out of it anymore.
Mutations sometimes produce diverted genes that still have some functionality. But when we look at the huge limitations of these kind of exceptions (often under artificial, human-created conditions) it can no longer serve as a Major Mechanism for Macroevolution.
Taken together: in the most positive way of looking ‘favourable mutations’ can be considered as a limited form of horizontal micro-evolution, however not as a driving force of macro-evolution. Mutations actually draw out of the source of variety: the always-present genome of a species. Mutations themselves are not a source of variety, but a bucket.
In natural life mutations cause those genes to stay that are vital to survive.
Why are species so very adapted to their environment?
The loss of non-vital genes means that a species gets dependent of the environment in which it lives or of the surviving-strategy it uses. It actually has become a specialist. The cheetah is such a specialist. In a comparable way it is proceeded from the original cat as the greyhound proceeded from the wolf.
The cheetah actually is threatened by extinction because of genetic impoverishment and degeneration. Because of its specialition it is no longer capable to adapt itself to new changes. Selection is only possible when there is variety. Variety comes forth out of recombination. After a process of selection, less variety remains ánd specialisation has occurred. This is a form of ‘adaptation’. This kind of adaptation can only be ‘meant’ by the Creator, because all living creatures are fit out with the mechanism of recombination, which has the purpose to produce (new) variety.
The Creator actually created degenerating creatures?
Not necessarily. The entire structure of the DNA (including all kinds of matching, fixing and correcting mechanisms) is anti-mutation oriented. Everything is focussed on preventing mutations. The fact that mutations still happen comes forth out of mutagenetic substances and/or by radioactive radiation, but not by genetic mechanisms that cause mutations on purpose. On the contrary, there are many genetic mechanisms that prevent and even fix mutations. When the circumstances of life on earth would have been like this that radiation and all did not exist, then there would never have been degeneration. The frequency of mutations does not have to have been the same as it is today. There could have been times when it was much more, or just much less.
Whatever made you write this book?
The evolution theory is the basis of atheïstic thinking in the Western world. Since Charles Darwin people who do not want to believe in a Creator-God have a logical argument to think so. Within the evolution theory science is being abused to promote the personal religion of most of the scientists. Many speakers of the evolution theory (like Dawkins and the Dutch Midas Dekkers) use science to destroy the believe in a God or Creator. The macro-evolutionary thought in fact is not science, but a philosophic, atheïstic way of thinking for biological subjects that is presumed, but by definition is no biological truth. One is allowed to have all sorts of critics on all kind of subjects, but when one dares to doubt The Big Story, one becomes an outcast and can no longer (scientifically) be taken seriously.
An important complaint by evolutionists against creationists is that they don’t come up with a falsifiable alternative. Within the degeneration theory there really is a definite alternative with more sense of reality than the progress-religion based on the 19th century evolutionary-idea.
How do you have knowledge of this business?
All my life I’ve been interested in this subject. When I was twelve years old, I already had conversations with my grandfather about this. When I was fifteen/sixteen I – for as far as possible – researched the matter. I was a member of 'Kijk', a Dutch magazine that regularly published about evolution and I watched TV-programs and publications of Prof. Wilder Smith, dr. Ouweneel. On response to the in opinion completely incorrect recession of Karl Koppenschaar in Kijk about the book Het ontstaan van de wereld (the origin of the world) by the EO, I wrote a letter of six or seven pages to the editor. Karl Koppenschaars unfair reaction at that time has helped me to show that ‘science’ by definition is not equal to ‘objective truth’.
I’ve done VWO B, had an A minus for biology and really thought about studying biology, but it in the end it became electrotechnical engineering. I’ve studied that for two years, after which I attended the International Bible School in Heverlee, Belgium. The subject evolution has never let me go. In the TV-programs for the National EO (Evangelical Broadcasting Company) I often dealt with the matter.
To write this book I’ve done a pretty intensive self-study. First by studying the books that are being used on universities, but also other important publications and books about it. And second by searching through the entire internet, to get an idea of what the discussion is about today. Besides that it was important (and still is) to talk about it with as many people as possible, to get an impression of what is living among people, get an idea of people’s vision about it and to get to know how to tell complicated subjects as simple as possible.
There were also a few people who gave me intensive feedback. Drs. F. de Jong, chemist, is the most important one. I actually talked about all subjects with him, he corrected several versions of the manuscript and assisted me in making the concepts. H. Bogaers, sociologist, has especially been by my side when it came to a making scientific model.
After the arising of the first versions, I’ve presented it to several others, among them was biologist C. Geerse. Their comment has been worked up and in the end went to geneticist dr. ir. C. J. Bos, who presented me with firm critical commentary, of which most has been worked up. There also has been a forum in may 1997, where dr. H. Roskam was my evolutionary ‘opponent’, and where I first made my story public. This leaded to another follow up evening where the subject was discussed between advocates and opponents. The text has also been on the internet for months to get as much reactions as possible. Because of all the discussions, reactions and comments the text has been changed radically several times.
The first printed publication of the book in fact was the fifth or sixth version of the text. There will definitely still be subjects that need improvement, but the essence of the story now stands.
Because I don’t have titles or other sorts of ‘authority’ on this area, you must purely take me for my arguments, not on my personality.
What is wrong about the evolution theory?
- A grossly over-appreciation of the possibilities of mutations.
- The idea that arbitrary mutations combined with natural selection can create new specialized (groups of coöperating) genes and can create intelligent solutions for biochemical problems.
- The idea that life has proceeded out of a primitive soup by ‘self organization’ to unicellular organisms, developing into the diversity that is around us today, among which there are mammals and intelligent man. Such development implies an increase of the number of genes. But biological variation in fact originates from a loss of genetic information.
What is right about the evolution theory is that there is a differentiation from a certain type and that species and environment are not constant, but are liable to variation.
The evolution theory is not saying at all (any more) that there is a development from low to high.
“Evolution has no direction”, is being said and “evolution is directed every way. In a manner of speaking there could have arisen an intelligent dinosaur instead of a man”. Exactly! And that is why this whole idea of unicellular organisms developing into mammals and man has landed on a declivity.
Because this is playing hide and seek. The point is that when it comes to the unicellular organisme, a lot of genetic information (or a lot of genes) must have arisen to start encoding for organs and functions that were first not there, like the eye, intestines, vocal chords and brain. There should have been in the supposed 5 millions of years a development of life and a continuous and lasting increase of genetic information, or an increase of genes, or a development from ‘low to high’, or whatever you want to name it.
When evolutionists now say that there was no development from low to high, because “every species is modern and complex in its own way”, than there are two possibilities:
- That development has indeed never taken place!
- That development was yet (theoretically) there, but we just don’t call it that way, because otherwise we get in trouble (with all other sorts of laws of nature and so).
Why do so many people believe in the evolution theory?
It has become the dominating theory during the last 150 years. We are being educated with it and grow up with it. The evolution theory claims to have a monopolistic position on biological data and the two are so mixed up with each other that for most people it is very hard to separate atheistic philosophy and pure scientific facts.
The evolution theory is also a mental justification for many people to not have to believe in a Creator-God. The evolution theory actually brings some sort of moral freedom: we don’t need to be responsible to anybody else. Nobody from a higher level is bothering us about how we should live. We ourselves decide about what is good or bad. Although many evolutionists will proclaim that the evolution theory doesn’t say anything about these subjects, it is in fact a logical consequence from it.
What do you think about creationism?
The creationism is like 50% bible and 50% science. Evolutionism is 50% atheistic philosophy and 50% science, although they claim to be 100% science. The degeneration-theory actually shows why evolutionism is not 100% science. The degeneration-theory according to the upper description is not creationism. Because there is 0% bible in it and only scientific arguments are used. And there is a scientific fundament of theoretical models.
Science means working according to certain principals. Science is not free of values. Science in itself can be bad. Just think about the ‘scientific’ experiments that were practiced during World War 2. Evolutionary science claims to be pure objective and free of values, but it surely isn’t, because it has gone across the borders of empirical science by hanging all of her discoveries on a philosophical metaphysical hat-rack.
On the contrary of evolutionism, creationism from the beginning on claims to perpetrate no objective science, but still uses the bible as starting-point for perpetrating science from that on. That is at least fair! Evolutionists claim objectivity where in the end the Big Whole is build on all sorts of philosophical assumed ideas.
True objectivity for evolutionists means that they at least have to make allowance for the possibility that there might (have) be(en) a creating power. On base of scientific (or maybe complete other) arguments you can choose for one or the other. This sort of discussions, which are free of values, is hardly possible. Objective science should maybe be agnostic by definition, because in fact it only investigates present day phenomenons. By definition it is not possible to conclude how reality has arisen, by studying the way reality functions in the present.
How does the degeneration theory go with the bible?
The degeneration theory is not specifically ‘Christian’. It concludes there must have been some kind of creation-event and with that a Creator must exist. One might be able to conclude some things about the nature of such a Creator. But with that goes on or for some people across the boundaries of what is scientifically acceptable. It doesn’t say anything about who that Creator is and in no way it leads to the person of Jesus Christ or likewise.
A Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or other religious (or even non-religious?) scientist could work with the degeneration model. The choice between one or the other cannot be based on empirical scientific basis. Science does have limitations. For example it cannot define love and put it into an experiment. Most people will NOT choose their partner on an empirical scientific basis (but you’ll never know…). There are several better reasons upon which to make a choice like that.
Nevertheless the degeneration theory has a lot in common with the bible. Because of the degeneration theory, a lot of biblical subjects are easier to understand. For example,
- It was no problem for Cain (or his other brothers) to have progeny with his sister, because these ‘primitive humans’ had no sorts of hereditary diseases underneath their skin.
- For the same reason it is understandable that the members of the human race that lived between Adam and Noah could have reached ages of hundreds of years.
- One can see now that all the animals on the ark of Noah were ‘founders’ and went through a genetic bottleneck. Because of this inbreeding much degeneration must have come out and the ages of humans and animals went down gradually.
- According to the model of typological differentiation it becomes clear that it was ‘not busy’ on Noah’s ark.
What I do up here is hanging scientific discoveries on a biblical hat-rack. Normally these kinds of discoveries are being hanged on an evolutionary hat-rack. The book Degeneration is in fact free of these things. It is a scientific approach to the problem of the arising of life and species. A complete other approach of the same problem is reading the bible on it. Personally I am convinced that these two are complementary approaches to the same problem. They combine seamless like two tunnels that are being made from two opposite entries of a mountain and that reach each other exactly in the centre of the mountain. The bible than tell things that can never be tested scientifically and science tells us facts that cannot be found in the bible. For as far as those two (seem to) bite each other, there is something wrong with the conclusions of scientific discoveries OR with the way the bible is being understood. But again, that is my personal conviction.
How did the first human races arise?
By isolation and inbreeding and some selection. A small group of people leaves the original population or is driven away. The original wealth of genes that is present within the parent population is no longer present within that small group. When for example there are no genes in the fouders that take care of curly hair, or brown eyes, than the progeny will never get it either. The progeny will globally only have those characteristics that the founders carried along them. When the primitive men Adam and Eve were maximally heterogeneous (read: different) for their neutral genes, than within their progeny the original heterogeneousity will decrease more and more by isolation, inbreeding and selection, because more genes will become homogeneous (read: the same). Mutations then can terminate genes that are still ‘on’, or in a less way can cause ‘diverse’ variants (like blood types for example) especially among the neutral genes.
There will hardly have been selection at the time of the arising of human races, because man is a super-generalist. That means that especially man is capable to live among all sorts of environments and circumstances or even change the circumstances to its hand, instead of being dependent of it. And it is the circumstances, the environment where a species lives, that normally is responsible for the selection pressure. Besides that man is normally spoken no pray for wild animals, which in nature are responsible for the pressure of selection. Selection at the level of man will especially take place or has taken place within surviving different sorts of diseases and less in surviving a specific sort of environment. The differences between the races therefore will have especially arisen from small groups of founders from which complete tribes and later nations originated, who all have the same characteristics as their founders.
How does human future look like?
Human population is very large. The boundaries now fade away. More mixes of races arise. Those are useful conditions to keep a population genetically ‘healthy’. That’s why degeneration won’t increase very fast. We will get more and more hereditary diseases in specific groups of people. Medical science will have full hands dealing with it. Real doom thinking occurs when you realize that because of medical science humans with hereditary diseases can pass their damaged genes on to their offspring and with that, medical science contributes to the degeneration of our progeny. A logical development therefore will be that medical science will more and more decide which hereditary deviations have the ‘right’ to get ‘born’ and which don’t. The call for genetic manipulation among people will increase. And on the contrary to that, more voices will arise to let ‘nature go her own way’. Personally I don’t know yet what to think, but I do have the following thoughts about it:
- The value of a man is not dependent whether he or she is genetic perfect.
- When man wants to take care of these kinds of things, he will become responsible for it. With that he becomes responsible for life and death. Man (the doctor?) decides who may live and who must die. A serious case!
The fossils prove that there has been evolution, not degeneration.
The degeneration theory doesn’t say a lot about fossils. When macroevolution is a genetic impossibility, like the degeneration theory says, than it might be that the geological column, which is being put together on the basis of the evolutionary idea of development, needs a reïnterpretation.
As the book Degeneration as well as this site has (too) less information according the fossils, here is a link to a page on the server of the Californian university, with a collection of quotations – according the discontinuity in the geological column – of well-known authorities on this area.
Natural discontinuities and the fossil record