ICR: The Joy of Incest

There wasn’t much news of The Controversy this morning, so we decided to go dumpster diving and visit the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the granddaddy of all creationist outfits — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. We hit pay-dirt! Their latest article is Brazil, Disease and Adam & Eve.

It’s written by Brian Thomas, described at the end as: “Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Only one in a million U.S. Americans suffer from the horrible disease xeroderma pigmentosum, or “XP,” but one in 40 from the Brazilian town of Araras has it. The affliction leads to tumors where sun hits skin, often the face and hands. Why is the disease so highly concentrated in Araras, and how could answering that question help unravel some confusion about Adam and Eve?

XP? Egad, that’s the version of Windows we’re using. Oh, Wikipedia has an article on it, xeroderma pigmentosum, which informs us:

Xeroderma pigmentosum, or XP, is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder of DNA repair in which the ability to repair damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) light is deficient. In extreme cases, all exposure to sunlight must be forbidden, no matter how small; as such, individuals with the disease are often colloquially referred to as Children of the Night. [Bold font in the original.] … This disease involves both sexes and all races, with an incidence of 1:250,000 in the United States and a gene frequency of 1:200. XP is roughly six times more common in Japanese people than in other groups.

Why does ICR focus only on that one town in Brazil? Who knows? They must have read about it in some newspaper article, so that’s what they’re going with. After describing the plight of a man with the disorder, ICR says:

Because XP is inherited, its high rate of incidence in Araras stems from intermarriage within descendants of a small group who carried the mutation when they founded the village long ago.

That’s one of the problems of intermarriage. But where does creationism fit into this? Be patient, it’s coming. Let’s read on:

A clear principle emerges from these and so many similar observations: Intermarriage within descendants of small founding populations often produces harmful genetic defects. Assuming this has always been the case, some argue that all people could never have descended from only two progenitors — Adam and Eve. If we really came from Adam and Eve, wouldn’t we all be loaded with many more mutations than we already have?

Good question. And there’s the additional problem of a more recent genetic bottleneck. The creationists say that we’re all descended from only six passengers on Noah’s Ark — the three sons of Noah and his unnamed wife, plus their three wives, who may or may not have been as closely related as were their husbands. ICR continues:

Science and Scripture clearly show this intermarriage principle has not always been in effect.

Really? Here’s more:

For starters, genetic mutations have been building up over time, with each generation adding its toxic drop to the Olympic-sized swimming pool of human DNA. After several hundred generations since Adam, our 60 or so new mutations per generation cause many diseases today, but our earliest parents did not carry near the number of mutations that we do.

Well, yes. Each new generation adds to the inventory of mutations that were present in its ancestors, but wouldn’t every generation have its own inheritance of mutations? No, not according to ICR. They say:

So, if we were able to wind back time, wouldn’t we see thousands of years’ worth of mutations erased? Wouldn’t our ancestors have had cleaner genes? With mutation-free genes, family members could have intermarried without risk of disease.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! By the time there were humans, our genomes were enormously crammed with mutations inherited from ancestral species. No, ICR, even the earliest humans didn’t have “mutation-free genes.” It was mutations that made us human! But we know what ICR is trying to say, so let’s move along and let them say it:

This idea fits God’s assessment of His completed creation, including mankind, “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” [Footnote to a Genesis reference.] Adam and Eve therefore had “very good” DNA sequences — probably perfect.

ICR has a footnote to that “probably perfect” phrase, which says:

They possibly shared DNA (i.e., were genetic clones) since Eve was taken from Adam’s literal side. Also, their genomes must have been packed with inherent variations that were not mutations — built-in variations that evolutionists overlook when genetically modeling human origins.

Ah yes, Adam & Eve were clones — that makes the Genesis genetic bottleneck even worse than we thought. Another excerpt:

It wasn’t until sin’s curse that God’s creation began to decay, and it wasn’t until a few thousand years after Adam and Eve that God instructed His nation, through Moses’ law, to no longer marry close relations.

But until Moses, ICR assumes that marriages within a family were the human norm. Family life must have been, ah, rather interesting in those days. Here’s the end of their article:

Although the science of mutation buildup affirms Genesis history, xeroderma pigmentosum is a real and heartbreaking reminder of Adam and Eve’s original sin and the broken world that resulted.

So there you are. If it weren’t for original sin, we could all marry our siblings. Oh, the heavenly bliss we’ve missed because of sin!

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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21 responses to “ICR: The Joy of Incest

  1. “Wouldn’t our ancestors have had cleaner genes?”
    Of course. Hence we should reintroduce the Nürnberg racial laws, to preserve the precious few clean genes we still have. Also it’s obvious that Slavs, blacks, jews and LBGT’s have dirtier genes, so let’s do some genetical cleansing too.
    [/sarcasm; /Godwin]

  2. It’s jarringly odd that an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent creator should bestow his ostensibly favourite creation with DNA that is prone to mutations in the first place. Oh wait, that only happened after his favourite creations, to his complete surprise, defied his ban on eating the fruit of a certain tree. So it’s really the creator we need to thank for both mutations and incest (a game the whole family can play).

  3. mnb0 says: “to preserve the precious few clean genes we still have”

    The only way to be mutation-free is to be pure pond scum.

  4. This is a torturous way to arrive at an explanation. Some believers say original sin story is a metaphor. Some say it is literal, who do we listen to?

  5. Our Curmudgeon advises—

    “The only way to be mutation-free is to be pure pond scum.”

    Hmm, do the discorrhoids constitute a counterexample to this rule? 😉

    makagutu worries—

    “Some believers say original sin story is a metaphor. Some say it is literal, who do we listen to?”

    Don’t fret over this question. Just change the story’s interpretation as needed. That’s the way it’s been handled all along anyway.

  6. waldteufel

    Our Curmudgeon needs a trip to the wood shed for ignoring Mr. Brian Thomas’ august academic credentials. He should be referred to as Mr. Brian Thomas, M.S. so that we can assume that what he writes has the weight of the academy behind it, and therefore we can feel confident in the absolute veracity of his learned writings. I’m sure that nobody at ICR wants any of their flock to hurt their little brains by actually evaluating evidence and thinking for themselves, since Mr. Brian Thomas, M.S. has done all the necessary thinking for them.

  7. waldteufel

    mnb0 says: “to preserve the precious few clean genes we still have”

    Kinda reminds me of Dr. Strangelove’s Gen, “Buck” Turgison and his obsession with “precious bodily fluids” . . . . . . 🙂

  8. This cascade of bad mutations must have started when Darwin penned the “Origins” and the “Descent of Man.” Before then obviously everybody was clean and mutation free.

    And yes, the writer is obviously supporting incest as the way to go. Even people like the ancient egyptian Pharaohs practiced it, not a problem.

  9. I wonder what people who seem to have a middle school understanding of genetics at best have in mind when they imagine “cleaner” DNA?

    And while it’s all very well to say that Eve must be genetically similar to Adam because she’s made from one of his ribs, I still don’t understand where Adam’s DNA came from since it’s claimed he was created from dirt. Sediments don’t even have the right molecules to convert into organic compounds.

  10. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    I’m so happy that there are organizations like the ICR out there that refuse to resort to just-so stories like Darwinists do and take the time to lay down the hard scientific data and deliver rational interpretations free of bias.

  11. waldteufel

    Harrison scratches his head: “. . . I still don’t understand where Adam’s DNA came from since it’s claimed he was created from dirt.”
    Another important issue is the theologically important debate about whether or not Adam had a belly button. If he did, was it and “innie” or an “outie”?
    One wonders if Mr. Brian Thomas, M.S. will opine on this very important question.

  12. Holding the Line in Florida

    @waldteufel. Hate to sharpshoot you, but it Gen. Jack T. Ripper who had the obsession with “precious bodily fluids”. “Fluoridation, Mandrake, fluoridation without our knowledge or consent, that is the way your hard core commie works!”

  13. waldteufel

    Holding the.Line holds my feet to the fire. I must be lysdexic, ’cause I’m always getting those two characters mixed up. Thanks!

  14. SC: “The creationists say that we’re all descended from only six passengers on Noah’s Ark — the three sons of Noah and his unnamed wife, plus their three wives…”

    Hope you don’t do your own taxes, Curmy. Three sons, three wives, plus Noah & Mrs. Noah = eight passengers. Oh, well. That whole Ark story never added up anyway.

  15. Adam got it on with his clone? His CLONE!?

    Man, that’s like masturbation on top of incest. It’s worse than doing it with your fraternal twin sister.

    Their male kids would all look like Dad, and their female kids would be identical to Mom.

  16. “I am thinking it’s a sign
    That the freckles in our eyes
    Are mirror images and when
    We kiss they’re perfectly aligned

    And I have to speculate
    That God himself did make
    Us into corresponding shapes
    Like puzzle pieces from the clay”
    — “Such Great Heights”, The Postal Service

  17. Mark Joseph

    their genomes must have been packed with inherent variations that were not mutations — built-in variations that evolutionists overlook when genetically modeling human origins.

    Much in the same way that physicists overlook Harry Potter’s “Lumos” spell when piecing out the nature of light.

  18. …But…but…now I am really confused!

    The Creationists endlessly proclaim that it is only by accepting Oogity-Boogity that mankind can have any moral sense, and that moreover that that morality is absolute and unvarying, with the full authority of the Grand Ole Designer. Those who reject Oogity-Boogity in favour of materialistic science are either utterly amoral, or else hold some shifting, relativistic ‘morality’ without any authority whatsoever.

    But other primates also exhibit incest avoidance–which is certainly a biologically-sound strategy that could readily arise via natural selection–and such would certainly seem to be the basis for the extreme ickiness and revulsion with which humans regard sex with ones parent or sibling, and in a pretty absolute way.

    But here we have the Creationists telling us that, as morality is based on whatever the Grand Ole Designer happens to say at whatever particular time he/she/it says it and for whatever reason (or lack of reason) whatsoever, and that moreover the Grand Ole Designer may therefore change his/her/its mind at any time with prior notice–well, it’s clear that it is Oogity Boogity that gives us an utterly relativistic ‘morality’, in very sharp contrast with the empirical findings of science.

    So what would happen, say, if the Grand Ole Designer were to pronounce that murder was a virtue? No, wait, hang on…we already have an Old Testament God that simultaneously commands “Thou shalt not kill” while at the same time specifying capital punishment for things like blasphemy and witchcraft.

    I can’t make any sense of it! I am bound for the Eternal Lake of Fire for sure…

  19. It should count as one of the lesser lapses – from the point of view of merely human rules – to make the world of life with the appearance of having evolved over billions of years, and events in the heavens as if they had happened more than 10,000 years ago and the light is only now reaching us. A little misdirection, when needed to bring the world into a fully functioning and fixed ecosystem over 6 days, is surely, even in human terms, a petty thing.

  20. Sensh, don’t call Ken Ham “the Ayatollah of Appalachia” anymore. He doesn’t live in Appalachia anyway.

    From now on, call him Ken “Bang Your Mom” Ham. (Sung to the tune of T Rex’s “Bang a Gong.” Bang your Mom, get it on!)

    Or simply Ken “Slam Your Mam” Ham.

  21. Nah, Diogenes, I pity your Mom too much for titles like you propose.
    Ayatollah of the Cincinnatti Arch perhaps?