Geneticist challenges ape monkey business

Dr Jeffrey Tomkins abandoned his secular upbringing and career for creation research

Jeffrey Tomkins
Jeffrey Tomkins

Dr Jeffrey Tomkins focuses his research on genetic similarities (or lack thereof) between humans and chimpanzees, and other areas relevant to human origins.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture education from Washington State University in 1985, a Master of Plant Science from the University of Idaho in 1990, and a PhD in Genetics from Clemson University in 1996.

After becoming a Christian in his undergraduate years, he set his sights on the creation science movement, eventually leaving the Department of Biochemistry and Genetics at Clemson for the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), where he now serves as the Director of Life Sciences.

Jeff was raised in a secular home, dominated by evolutionary thinking. His father was a research chemist and a fan of Carl Sagan.1 He had essentially no exposure to Christianity growing up.

"I knew very little about the Bible and absolutely nothing about creation science. Because I grew up in one of the most un-churched regions in the USA, the Pacific Northwest (Vancouver, WA), Christianity was hardly ever on my mind. Although I was never hostile towards Christianity, I just never really thought about it much.

"Then I was presented with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through some amazing circumstances as the result of a new Christian roommate. I immediately gave my life to Christ.

"Shortly thereafter my faith was challenged by evolutionary teachings. Although I knew God was real, I needed some answers to these questions about origins and began a personal quest to thoroughly research the issue," Jeff explains.

"I first started off reading a popular book in which the author attempted to incorporate the long ages of evolution with the Genesis days of creation. The problem was that both the science and the theology didn't make much sense using this twisted approach. I then began reading books by Henry Morris and Duane Gish, two of the early pioneers of modern creation science.

"To my surprise and great satisfaction, their writings were both scientifically and biblically sound. The Genesis account of creation, the global flood, and the dispersion of people groups at Babel are fully supported by hard scientific data. I quickly realized that evolutionary ideas (including eons of deep time) are part of a failed paradigm that exists only in the minds of deceived men, not scientific reality.

Creation,
the global
flood, and
... Babel
are fully
supported
by hard
scientific
data.
"I took classes in plants, farm animals, microbiology, and entomology (insects). In every sphere of biological life I was exposed to incredible examples of intelligent design by the Creator. Later in my graduate career, as I focused first on physiology and then genetics, evidence for organismal complexity became overwhelming, and the foolish speculations of evolution more ridiculous. Every new discovery of incredible complexity in the genome only bolsters my faith even more."

Jeff developed a love for learning after seeing the amazing work of the Creator.

"My understanding of the scientifically valid framework of creation science increased my love of learning in the biological sciences, especially later in graduate school when I became immersed in the field of genetics and genomics. My appreciation of God's design allowed me to sail through my Ph.D. program with straight As in my coursework along with a program of highly successful research in the area of quantitative genetics.

Jeff Tomkins
Dr Jeff Tomkins

"When I was getting my Ph.D., I was blessed to have a strong Christian as an advisor, but I did keep my creationist paradigm under wraps for the most part. Later during my post-doctoral research and then during my time as a faculty member, I continued to maintain a low profile in my creationist beliefs in order to be able to publish, get research funding, and have a faculty job in general. Unfortunately, the religion of evolution dominates our secular universities. You can be a Christian and a creationist, but you had better keep your mouth shut about it if you want a job.

"I eventually chose to use my talents by taking a job at the Institute for Creation Research. Now I am able to freely pursue a line of scientific research that better defines origins and biology in general, especially in the area of human genetics. This decision did come at a financial cost due to the loss of a university job with a big salary, but it was worth the price."

Jeff has been an active creation scientist and has made several tremendously encouraging discoveries.

Some examples include his putting to rest the claim that two chimpanzee chromosomes fused to form human chromosome 2.2 He also discovered that many 'pseudogenes' are fully functional and actually quite important for life.3

"Even more exciting," he says, "is my recent research with unassembled raw chimpanzee DNA sequences." Why? Because they clearly show a much lower level of genome similarity (maybe 80%) than touted by the media. The lower level of similarity defies evolutionary claims of human-ape common ancestry.4

References and notes

  1. See Grigg, R., Carl Sagan and Contact: Defiance of God and promotion of ET, 19 Aug 2010; creation.com/sagan.
  2. Bergman, J. and Tomkins, J., The chromosome 2 fusion model of human evolution—part 1: re-evaluating the evidence, J. Creation 25(2):106–110, 2011; creation.com/chromosome-2-fusion-1. See also part 2, same issue, pp. 111–117; creation.com/chromosome-2-fusion-2.
  3. Tomkins, J., Pseudogenes are functional, not genomic fossils, Acts & Facts 42(7):9, July 2013; icr.org/article/7532.
  4. Tomkins, J. and Bergman, J., Genomic monkey business—estimates of nearly identical human–chimp DNA similarity re-evaluated using omitted data, J. Creation 26(1):94–100, 2012; creation.com/chimp.
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