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Scientists were shocked to discover bacteria hidden deep in caves—far from any contact with humans—that already had the ability to fight antibiotics. How could this be, since antibiotics are a very recent medical discovery?
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria—those troublesome “supergerms” that are found in hospitals and that scorn modern medicines—were recently discovered in a cave that was supposedly isolated from human contact. But this should be impossible. After all, how could bacteria in such isolated environments, supposedly millions of years old, have the genetic changes necessary to fight antibiotics before man discovered and first began using them less than a hundred years ago?
Evolutionists have suggested one possible explanation: the cave hasn’t really been isolated. They say modern bacteria must have contaminated the cave. However, this seems unlikely since these cave bacteria have some amazing resistance mechanisms that have never been observed in modern antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Biblical creationists can agree on one thing: the cave bacteria are recent. From a biblical perspective, the cave was likely formed just a few thousand years ago, soon after the Flood. The more likely explanation is that bacteria entered the cave soon after it formed and became resistant to antibiotics in response to microorganisms living in the cave environment.
Most people think antibiotics are synthetic or manmade, but that is only partially true. Bacteria and fungi produce antibiotics to kill bacteria in their environment that compete for limited resources. All modern antibiotics are derived from natural antibiotics produced by bacteria and fungi. The very first antibiotic discovered, penicillin, is produced by the fungus Penicillium. Other modern antibiotics, such as ampicillin and methicillin, are derived from penicillin, part natural and part synthetic.
Bacteria are resistant to antibiotics as a result of their normal genetic makeup and adaptation. In the modern battle for survival among microorganisms, they appear to employ mechanisms that God originally placed into them for a good purpose: possibly to control the growth of bacterial populations in their environment.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are both “ancient” and modern. They point to the Creator’s marvelous designs since creation, around six thousand years ago. Studying cave bacteria may help researchers develop new techniques to fight harmful bacteria, whose once-good designs can now sometimes cause great harm in our cursed world.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.