Essay: Regenerative ability of early humans

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We may be only a decade or two away from a day when we can regenerate body parts [1]

Regenerative abilities in humans are currently limited to the liver and the fingertips. [2] The axolotl, on the other hand, is able to regrow « limbs, jaws, skin, organs and parts of its brain and spinal chord ». [3] It turns out that in mice, a single gene, designated « p21 », prevents the occurrence of natural regeneration. [4] By studying the effects of this gene, scientist hope to discover how to enable humans to re-grow lost limbs.

Contents

Assumptions

This essay is based on the Bible as the main source of knowledge concerning the universe and human origins. The following facts, coherent with Young Earth Creationism, are taken for granted:

  • the Earth is approximately 6000 years old
  • animals were created by God as baramins, of which currents « species » are the descendants
  • mutations of the genome result in a net loss of information

Thesis

The p21 gene blocks the latent regenerative ability in mice. It is speculated by scientists that a similar gene exists in humans and prevents natural regeneration from occuring. Since such a gene contains information, it must have been present in a functional form at some point, as expressed in this thesis:

Early humans possessed natural regenerative abilities similar to those of the axolotl.

Subsequent mutations would have damaged the genetic code for this ability, favoring the appearance of a « human p21 » gene more efficient than the broken-down ability.

Biblical support

The only definite proof for this thesis would be the discovery of a human skeleton showing signs of regeneration of a limb. Unfortunately, the time period during which the ability was present was probably very short and the chance of such a discovery are slim. However, early human history has been carefully recorded in the Bible. Although no explicit mentions of limb regeneration is present, several passages seem to support our thesis:

  • Creation of Eve: God took one of Adam's ribs and closed his flesh. [5] We know every creation of God is perfect, but He only closed the flesh and did not replace the lost rib. This means that Adam either lived short of a rib, which seems unlikely given that he was a perfect creation, or God did not replace the rib knowing it would naturally regrow.
  • Lifespans of early humans: Adam lived 930 years. (Genesis 5:5). Seth lived 912 years.(Genesis 5:8). Methuselah lived 969 years.(Genesis 5:27). Noah lived 950 years. (Genesis 9:29). These lifespans are incredible by current standards, and people must have been exposed to many risks of injury, particularly with manual occupations such as carpentry ( Noah built an Ark by himself). The loss of fingers or limbs would be almost inevitable in the course of such long lives. A regenerative ability would thus be a necessary condition for these lifespans. Additionally, liver damage, gastrointestinal damage and heart damage are prevalent in people over sixty. A lifespan of 900 years would be unthinkable without correcting mechanisms to repair this damage.
  • If further mishap does occur, then you will give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, scorching for scorching, injury for injury, and welt for welt.
    You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth". But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
    Jesus explicitly disavows the Lex Talionis, which we would expect if early humans had regenerative ability and subsequently lost it.

References

  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. [4]
  5. [5]
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