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The Custody of Genomes

by Boghos L. Artinian, M.D., MRCP

God has painstakingly and patiently created, by means of evolution — His most ingenious invention — millions of species on Earth over a span of four billion years. Now if you think He could leave the fate of the genomes of those species to chance alone, you are grossly mistaken.

The earliest evidence of God’s concern for Earth’s genomes is in the book of Genesis, where we learn that the first ordained human custodian of genomes was Noah, during the Flood. In this essay, I will attempt to prove that man still remains the sole custodian of all terrestrial genomes, although he may be unaware of the fact.

Earth is a single closed ecosystem (the Gaia Hypothesis) that is vulnerable not only to indigenous catastrophes but to orbital traffic accidents. Had the Shoemaker-Levy comet struck Earth instead of Jupiter in July 1994, all God’s work on Earth would have been wiped out of the universe forever. It would have taken another billion years for new, and in all likelihood, different organisms to evolve from the micro-organisms and protozoa that might have been spared the calamity. The few astronauts on the Mir space station would have suffered a slow and painful death, having nowhere to go.

Why do I believe that God has ordained man as the custodian of the genomes He has created on Earth? Man is, so far, the only organism that has developed technology advanced enough to construct “Closed Ecological Life Support Systems” (CELSS) and to propel them into space.

Someday these CELSS could evolve into viable self-replicating super-organisms containing humans or other animals and plants, and they would eventually become totally independent of Earth. It is as if God intended for Earth to breed and has relegated man to do the necessary chores for him. In that connection I sure hope man is not too far behind schedule!

Quite a similar phenomenon occurred more than a billion years ago when some “clever” unicellular organisms joined forces in a vertical evolution to create “Closed Ecological Cell-Support Systems” (CECSS). These CECSS eventually developed into the multicellular organisms that would ultimately forsake the aquatic environments of Earth and become the first inhabitants of land, sea and air. The cells that made this vertical evolution possible must, in fact, have been the custodians of all unicellular genomes of that period and must have saved them from many aquatic hazards.

When the Earth successfully “breeds” many CELSS roaming the solar region and, in the distant future, beyond our solar system, God can rest assured that a single huge comet or asteroid would not succeed in wiping out His genomes.

I believe every fertile planet in the universe must eventually develop an intelligent (humanoid) species that would become the custodian of its various genomes, ultimately transferring them (not necessarily physically) into space. Otherwise, such planets eventually face total annihilation by an asteroid.

Now if God has chosen Man to be the custodian of His genomes on Earth, then we must automatically accept genetic technology and space programs as part of nature. The cracking of the genetic code and the conquest of space by man would be two integral steps in the evolution of matter in the universe. In other words, the technology developed by man is just as natural a process as the chemistry developed by cells that eventually enabled them to organize into multicellular organisms.

Finally, I believe evolution is basically a series of escapes of representatives of organized matter from the environments of their birthplaces to less hazardous environments. Thus cells, integrated in multi-cellular organisms, forsook the aquatic environments that were subject to evaporation and settled in terrestrial environments.

Man will move into space surrounding the Sun integrated in multi-humanoid super-organisms to evade the consequences of an asteroid crash on Earth. Super-organisms would eventually forsake the Sun, integrated in super-super-organisms to evade its explosion in a supernova, and so forth until someday the universe is totally organized.

Copyright © 2012 by Boghos L. Artinian, M.D., MRCP

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