By Dr. Joe Francis, Dean of the School of Science, Mathematics, Technology & Health
Dr. Joe Francis is the Chair of our Science Department and a member of our COVID-19 response team. With his research background in microbiology and cellular immunology, he is well-equipped to offer a clear and biblical perspective on our present situation. Late last month he wrote a piece offering just that, published by Answers in Genesis.
In it, Dr. Francis begins by explaining what viruses are and how they work. He then narrows down on the present pandemic, pointing out that the novel 2019 coronavirus is only one of many in a family of viruses. Using what is already known about other coronaviruses, Dr. Francis offers a couple predictions about how this new coronavirus interacts with immune systems to cause illness. Preliminary comparisons like these are immensely valuable, as research into the novel coronavirus itself is still in its early stages.
The meat of Dr. Francis’s article is in his answer to a question that many may have asked in recent days: why do viruses exist? Though the Bible doesn’t mention viruses directly, Dr. Francis points out yeast fermentation, with its viral components, as an example of microbial activity that is celebrated in Scripture.
He then expands this example into a broader understanding of creation, arguing that even viruses were originally created by God for good purposes. It was the Fall that corrupted some of these viruses and made them harmful to humanity. But even so, Dr. Francis explains how most viruses are still serving good (and even essential) purposes, such as supporting the Earth’s carbon cycle.
Our current situation is an aberration from God’s original good design for viruses, and Dr.Francis hopes that we will someday discover the coronavirus’s true purpose in nature, allowing us to better understand the illness it causes.
Click here to read the full article on the Answers in Genesis website. For more detailed information, watch the live recording, “COVID-19, Coronavirus, and Creation Virology” featuring Dr. Joe Francis, Dean of the School of Science, Mathematics, Technology, and Health.