In 1993, Lori Oliwenstein wrote in Discover magazine:
From the first cell that coalesced in the primordial soup to the magnificent intricacies of Homo sapiens, the evolution of life—as everyone knows—has been one long drive toward greater complexity. The only trouble with what everyone knows…is that there is no evidence it’s true.1
There’s not much support for evolutionary notions of mankind growing ever fitter. Just as there is no escape from death, there is no escape from biological attrition. Fossils, genetics, and history point to a relentless decline of humankind.
Fossil human bones show that men were much stronger in the past. Neanderthals were ancient people who lived in caves ranging mostly from Europe to Israel. “One of the most characteristic features of the Neanderthals is the exaggerated massiveness of their trunk and limb bones. All of the preserved bones suggest a strength seldom attained by modern humans.”2
Anthropologist Peter McAllister researched fossil human footprints in Australia and found that whoever made those tracks had more speed than champion sprinter Usain Bolt.3 Also, European Paleolithic sites show that humans were larger then and have experienced a “marked decline in stature” from which they have not yet recovered.4
Declining size and strength appear consistent with the overall genetic decline seen both in gene sequence studies5 and the mutation-tracking program called Mendel’s Accountant. Mutations change complicated coded cellular information, and most have almost no effect on cells. Each tiny change has so small an impact that it is not detected or removed by the cells’ genetic repair mechanisms. Simulations using biologically realistic parameters, like 60 mutations and six children per generation, clearly show that fitness decreases every generation.6
The relentless accumulation of these genetic corruptions steadily corrodes the original genetic code: “If useless (or harmful) mutations are passed on to the next generations, they will form an increasingly large ballast of unusable material.”7
Early writings describe heroes of great strength. The Epic of Gilgamesh depicts the real historical Sumerian King Gilgamesh as extraordinarily strong, having fought a dragon-like beast. Many other written legends tell of ancient powerfully built men. Beowulf “was firmly set in history. He was born the son of Ecgtheow in AD 495” and was famous for his size, which enabled him to fight gigantic reptiles that are now extinct in Denmark.8
Scripture also describes people who were taller and stronger than today. Goliath was well over nine feet tall, and his “coat of mail” weighed about 125 pounds, in addition to other battle gear he carried.9 Also, the Israelites slew Og of Bashan, who was about 14 feet tall.10 Lifespans also dramatically decreased, as recorded in Genesis 11, again showing biological losses, not gains.
This cycle of inevitable decay began when sin and death entered the world. Fortunately, the Bible proclaims that Christ has conquered death and provides redemption from sin. Salvation comes by believing “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”11 For those who believe, Christ will ultimately “change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.”12
- Oliwenstein, L. 1993. Onward and Upward? Discover. June: 22.
- Trinkaus, E. 1978. Hard Times Among the Neanderthals. Natural History. 87 (10): 58. Quoted in Lubenow, M. 2004. Bones of Contention. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 78.
- Usain Bolt would have been outrun by our ancestors, claims anthropologist. Telegraph. Posted on telegraph.co.uk October 19, 2009.
- Holt, B. M. and V. Formicola. 2008. Hunters of the Ice Age: The biology of Upper Paleolithic people. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 137 (47): 70-99.
- See Thomas, B. The Human Mutation Clock Is Ticking. ICR News. Posted on icr.org July 7, 2011, accessed December 15, 2011.
- In this simulation program, “fitness” directly correlates to net genetic information loss or gain accrued over a set number of generations. See Vardiman, L. 2008. The “Fatal Flaws” of Darwinian Theory. Acts & Facts. 37 (7): 6.
- Hobrink, B. 2011. Modern Science in the Bible. New York: Howard Books, 140.
- Cooper, B. 1994. After the Flood. Chichester, UK: New Wine Press, 148.
- 1 Samuel 17:5.
- Deuteronomy 3:11.
- 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.
- Philippians 3:21.
* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Thomas, B. 2012. The Genetic Decline of Humanity. Acts & Facts. 41 (2): 18.