I have to be careful here about how much to lay out about my research plan because I don’t want to taint a possible research pool in the future because it is my honest desire to discover a way to truly test the Bible someday, just like we test evolutionary hypotheses. That’s for another post. So here, in the best of my limited understanding of science, is how I think cystic fibrosis (CF), and other genetic conditions, came about because of the fall of man.
In the Bible, Genesis tells us the extreme damage to the current creation. Genesis 3:6-8 reads, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
In this one short passage humanity, and really all creation, went from being utopian to being plagued with the reality we face today. It tells us the story of the “fall of man.” Any time I say, “fall of man” (and I say it a lot) this is the passage I am referring to. I’ll write in the future about the apologetic side of this passage, but for now let’s stay on topic. How did we get cystic fibrosis from this?
If the creation was essentially perfect before the fall, and then imperfect after the fall, then no genetic diseases existed before Adam ate from the fruit. Since all we have of the scientific record is scraps of fossilized bone, it is very difficult indeed to know the disease possibilities of the scientific Adam and Eve.
Furthermore, modern science cannot tell us the reason for the cystic fibrosis mutation or how it came to be. Tuberculosis is the most reasonable agent for giving heterozygote carriers a selective advantage in cystic fibrosis, but that doesn’t show how CF started. It only suggests that once cystic fibrosis mutations appeared, they didn’t die out because they provided an advantage to those who had them (as long as you only had one. If both of your CFTR pathways were CF, you died very young).
Let me put something into other words. Modern science cannot, and probably will not ever, show when the first CF mutation came to be or why. I have found a significant time gap in the research where CF existed with no primary agent for its existence. I’ve yet to hear back from a researcher on why that vacuum exists.
What I believe, instead, is that at the moment of the fall of man, when the woman would experience pain in childbirth and the man would have to earn his wages, it affected everything. God may have given these punishments to Adam and Eve, but what also happened is that our very DNA, the core of who we are physically, became an open battlefield. Suddenly changes could be made to the minute pieces of genetic information. This was both good and bad. Good because it allowed humans to adapt to their local environments, for example. Bad, of course, because now cystic fibrosis (et al) was able to develop.
Admittedly, the Bible also doesn’t tell us when the first cystic fibrosis mutation appeared. Neither modern science nor the scriptures are going to be able to say, “Here is evidence of the very first mutation.” The information is lost to history. What the Bible does show is, however, is how the mutations were allowed to occur, and that is because of the fall of mankind through sin.
This is not a closed research project. I will continue this line of thinking over time to develop it further. To keep up with the research, click HERE.