John C. Sanford is one of the world’s premier plant geneticists. A research scientist at Cornell University since 1980, he co-invented the gene gun which is widely used in genetic engineering of plants.
Sanford began his career as an atheist and militant evolutionist, but his conversion to Christ initiated a process of reflection which eventually led him to re-examine all his presuppositions about science. A few years ago, Sanford published a ground-breaking work (1, 2, 3) arguing forcefully that mutations in the human genome inevitably lead downhill, and that the “Primary Axiom” of evolutionary theory (that life is the result of mutations and natural selection) is demonstrably false.
Sanford is convinced that there is no way that the evolutionary process could have led to life as we know it. There is only one reasonable conclusion that could be drawn by an objective observer : we were made by a Designer.
Even though advances in agriculture, medicine and sanitation have led to overall improvements in human health in the past couple of generations, Sanford shows that over time, as mutations increase, there will inevitably be more cancer, more birth defects, and shortened lifespans. His model, which predicts the degeneration of the genome over time, perfectly fits the Biblical narrative of decreasing lifespans and increasing pain and suffering following the sin of Adam and Eve.
This might not sound like good news. However, if the Titanic is going down, you’d want to know where the lifeboats are. Sanford argues that the evidence from science points us to our need for a Saviour, and declares that Jesus is our lifeboat, our way of escape from a dying creation. In his own words, ” … Jesus is our hope … He gave us life in the first place—so He can give us new life today. He made heaven and earth in the first place—so He can make a new heaven and earth in the future”.