Feb 09

Original Sin and STDs

I was researching a possible topic for the blog, when I came across this little tidbit:

Sin is passed on genetically from the male. This was why the Virgin Birth was necessary and specifically why Jesus was “without sin.”

This quote is from Pastor James F. Williams, the founder of Probe Ministries. For the time being let’s ignore the ironic name of this ministry and focus on the quote. There are a couple of claims made here and I’d like to examine one of them. Afterward, hopefully you’ll agree that this person’s theological perspective is completely ridiculous.


Claim #1: Sin is genetic

To say that something is genetic is to say it comes from a certain gene. The claim here is essentially that there is a “sin” gene passed on from the male during reproduction, just like there are specific genes for various traits (eye color, height, etc.). Every trait has two genes – one from the mother and one from the father. If it is true that sin is genetically passed only from the father, then that must mean every male has a dominant sin gene (S) and every female a recessive sin gene (s). So, the sin trait is expressed at the genetic level always as Ss, except in the singular case of Jesus. Is this sounding ridiculous yet? This is what this person is actually proposing. He probably wouldn’t know how to express it this way because I doubt his science education, but it is entailed by his statements. Just wait, though; it gets worse.

Now, if a female is genetically ss and a male Ss, then only 50% of their offspring would actually end up with the dominant trait. See the following Punnett Square:

  S s
s Ss ss
s Ss ss


This means that the dominant gene wouldn’t end up in every male offspring. It also means the dominant gene would end up in some of the female offspring. That is, of course, unless you bring in your magic sky god who mysteriously messes with our genes to make this specific one act differently.

And finally, the human genome has been mapped. To my knowledge, none of our 25,000 genes, give or take, is a gene carrying the trait of original sin (Insert magic again to make this gene invisible and undetectable). I’d very much love to see this theologian look at the entire genome and specifically pick out which gene corresponds to sin.

 Let’s just call this what it is – uneducated BS.

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1 ping

  1. Tweets that mention Original Sin and STDs | Foxhole Atheism -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Reverend Evolution, Michael Gage. Michael Gage said: New Blog Post: Apparently sin is a Sexually Transmitted Disease http://fb.me/vpRBNV9s […]

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