Question of the week: The MAOA gene has been linked to extreme aggression behavior and to serial killers. Why would God allow this “serial killer” genetic mutation to occur?
My answer: God subjected the entire universe to a pervasive law of decay (Ecclesiastes, Romans 8:20–22), aka the second law of thermodynamics, to achieve multiple beneficial purposes which I discuss at length in Why the Universe Is the Way It Is. Most significant among these beneficial purposes is the eradication of all evil and suffering.1 With this presently existing law of decay, mutations in the genomes of life will occur. The vast majority of these mutations are neutral. They neither harm nor benefit us. There are genetic mutations that make some people more prone to alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual immorality, video game addiction, aggressive behavior, etc. However, none of these genetic disorders condemn individuals to such social disorders. There is always a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13). We all have weaknesses, handicaps, and deficiencies. If we are aware of our weaknesses, handicaps, and deficiencies, we can take steps to protect ourselves. If we seek God’s help and make ourselves transparent and accountable to faithful Christians, we can overcome our proclivities.
A time will come when God will have eradicated evil and brought about the redemption of all the humans he intends to redeem (Romans 8:23). When that occurs, there will no longer be a need for decay/thermodynamics. In the new creation there will be no decay, no death, no pain, no suffering, no mourning (Revelation 21).
- Hugh Ross, Why the Universe Is the Way It Is (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2008), 165–181.