Creationists, if I understand it correctly, claim that the genes for Vitamin C production got corrupt in monkeys and humans independently after the Fall of Man (whenever the Fall of Man might be: Young-Earth Creationists believe that was thousands of years ago, Old-Earth Creationists believe it was hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of years ago). But there seems to be an easy way to prove that wrong: if that were true, we would expect there to be different mutations preventing the monkey's liver and the human's liver from producing Vitamin C. But, in reality, it's the same mutation in both monkeys and humans. So, what do creationists think, why is that reasoning faulty?

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    Can you please provide verifiable evidence to support your claim that humans lost the ability to produce vitamin C because of genetic mutation? I understand that humans and other apes, insects, bats, guinea pigs, and some birds and fish, are also unable to produce vitamin C. Yet here we all are!
    – Lesley
    Nov 4, 2023 at 16:24
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    Thank you for that link which says things like "It is thought..." and "this implies..." and "this has led to the suggestion..." As Shanaia Twain sang, "That don't impress me much." :-)
    – Lesley
    Nov 4, 2023 at 17:29
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    Unravelling complicated arguments about theoretical suppositions involving complex molecular biochemistry has nothing whatsoever to do with 'Christianity', Creationists (largely) believe what they believe because they believe (and obey) the word of God ; not because of convoluted arguments about complex biochemistry which are based on postulation, not genuine scientific fact.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 4, 2023 at 19:39
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    Try explaining a four stomach digestion down to a single stomach as an evolutionary advancement. It’s a misnomer to claim apes and humans share a very high genomic similarity, it’s actually merely a GC allele similar in quantity. But has nothing to do with their placement or their sequencing order. It’s a deceptive comparison to make it appear to the layman that apes and humans share a very high percentage of similarity
    – Autodidact
    Nov 5, 2023 at 3:30
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    This question does not deal with Christianity, directly. It would probably be better directed at a group that deals fairly with origins science and/or promotes Creationism or Intelligent Design. (We also have a chat room dedicated to these sorts of topics.)
    – Matthew
    Nov 5, 2023 at 16:25

1 Answer 1


This Question is based on two unsound (and unsubstantiated) assumptions.

First, it assumes that humans and primates were Created with the ability to produce Vitamin C. Given that both species seem to be getting along just fine without this ability, the basis for this claim is questionable at best.

Second, it assumes that "the same mutation" is responsible for this loss across multiple baramins. This claim requires unbiased substantiation; claims by people with a vested interest in upholding the fiction of Common Descent that are filled with qualifiers can provide only circumstantial evidence at best.

But let's give the Question the benefit of the doubt.

So what?

All we would have established is that a particular mutation is capable of resulting in a particular effect.

By comparison, how many times have identical mutations for albinism or melanism arisen within a single species, much less across species boundaries? Does anyone (even those that believe in Common Descent) claim that these mutations have existed in dormancy going all the way back to a common ancestor?

Coincidences happen, after all, especially when those coincidences are necessary (that is, when natural law "steers" outcomes in particular directions). Simply put, the inability to produce Vitamin C in both humans and primates, while consistent with common ancestry, does not necessitate common ancestry. The flaw in Materialist reasoning is in rejecting viable, alternate hypotheses.

Ironically, rather than supporting Common Descent, the Question deals with the major reason why it's impossible; natural process aren't constructive, they're destructive. Natural processes excel at taking complex systems (such as livers that can produce Vitamin C) and reducing their functionality. They're even great at "optimizing" such systems by tweaking or breaking things. (An organism that gets plenty of Vitamin C through its diet doesn't need a complex, biochemically costly pathway to produce the same. In such circumstances, disabling that pathway makes the organism more energy-efficient and therefore experiences positive selection pressure.) Their ability to make substantial improvements, however, has never been demonstrated.

Since this is Christianity.SE, what does Scripture say? Well, Genesis 1-2 is quite clear that humans were Created apart from primates, and possibly in a very different and more interactive manner. Throughout Scripture, it is clear that humans are unique among animate life. The idea that humans and primates can be traced by birth to a common biological ancestor simply cannot be substantiated.

On the other hand, some degree of similarity is to be expected; reuse and adaptation are hallmarks of design. Moreover, such similarities are to some extent necessary; science fiction is rife with conjectured instances of humans being unable to subsist in a truly alien ecosystem for good reason.

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