Epidemics and Evolution
“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”
Scientists often model the spread of such pathogens in order to predict how they may become precursors of an epidemic. But scientists at the Carnegie Mellon University have been studying how such models are affected or break down if the pathogen mutates. However, such mutation might be random and, hence, difficult to predict.
It is interesting that their mathematical models work not only for epidemics but also for the spread of misinformation or fake news. Their math appears sound, but their use of English less so. One researcher said, “Traditional models that don’t consider evolutionary adaptations fail at predicting the probability of the emergence of an epidemic.” There is a great danger that using such language will cause their research to be used to try to validate the theory of evolution by a process of bait and switch. Misinformation, for example, has indeed evolved from true information, in the broad meaning of the word “evolved”. In other words, it has changed. Similarly, the mutated virus has changed.
Linguistically, this could also be described as evolution. But in the field of biology, evolution actually means something rather different – not just change. No new genetic information has been added to the coronavirus, so the change is completely consistent with a biblical creationist approach.
Prayer: Lord, we pray for those we know who are sick. Please give medical practitioners skill in treating our loved ones. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University. “To predict an epidemic, evolution can’t be ignored.” ScienceDaily, 2 March 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200302153551.htm>.
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