Addresses of All Authors

Tom Hennigan, Truett McConnell University 100 Alumni Drive Cleveland, GA 30528

Randy Guliuzza, Institute for Creation Research P.O. Box 59029 Dallas, Texas 75229

Matthew E. Ingle, The Master's University 21726 Placerita Cyn. Rd. Santa Clarita, CA 91321

Grace Lansdell, Truett McConnell University 100 Alumni Dr. Cleveland, GA 30528

Author's Biography

Tom Hennigan is Associate Professor of Ecology at Truett McConnell University. His particular research interests focus on forest ecology and complex relational interactions. He has an A.A.S. in forest technology from the New York State Forest Ranger School, a B.S. in natural resources management from the University of Alaska, an M.S. in education from Syracuse University, and an M.P.S. in environmental and forest biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. He has taught ecology for over 20 years and has studied in the Galápagos. A product of creation evangelism, he has authored numerous articles, and a book.

Randy Guliuzza is President of the Institute for Creation Research. His research involves organisms’ innate systems enabling them to self-adjust to changing environments to ‘fill the earth’. He has a B.S. in engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, a B.A. in theology from Moody Bible Institute, a Doctorate in medicine from the University of Minnesota, and a Master’s in public health from Harvard University. He is a registered professional engineer and is board-certified in aerospace medicine. He is the author of numerous articles and books

Matthew E. Ingle is an Adjunct Associate Professor at The Master’s University. His particular research interests include parasitology, especially how parasites impact host behavior and ecology. He has a B.S. on biology from The Master’s College, a M.S. in natural science from Loma Linda University, and a PhD in biology from Loma Linda University. He has taught at numerous universities for more than 10 years and has authored several articles and book chapters.

Grace Lansdell is an undergraduate biology major at Truett McConnell University. She has many scientific interests, including ecology, botany, astronomy, and volcanology. As she narrows down these interests, her goals are to pursue both Masters and Ph.D. degrees for the purposes of contributing important insights to the Creation Model.

Presentation Type

Full Paper Presentation


Philosophical naturalists explain the origins of symbiotic relationships through initial random natural processes of evolution as these relationships evolved, and co-evolved through struggle and competition in simple organisms. This led to greater complexity and cooperation through system self-organization. We propose a new young-age creation model for the origin of symbioses using human engineered interface systems as analogues for understanding and describing globally important symbiotic mutual, commensal, and parasitic relationships. The relationships we will investigate in detail include, but are not limited to, mycorrhizae, nitrogen fixation, lichens, key parasites, and commensals (though commensal relationships are not fully understood). An interface model for the origins of these relationships should be consistent with Scripture, design-based, and organism-focused. God created complex organism archetypes programmed for holistic relational interaction, which is an important element in proposed creation-based species concepts. We also interpret extant species interactions in the light of a planet groaning with dysfunction and death. A design model of symbiotic relationships should be both testable and robust in its explanations. Symbiotic relationships are complex and critical for the understanding of systems biology that include; biogeochemical cycles, community relationships, origins of ecological systems, and Earth stewardship. A mind is the only known origin of interface systems. Therefore, we will investigate what is known about the detailed complexities researchers are finding at the interfaces of these organisms and then apply the design interface model to the most current understanding of these associations. Our model is based on the following tenets of engineering design: 1. Intentionality (teleology) - goal-directed activity from the molecular level to the biosphere, 2. Internalistic - all biological operations originate from identifiable control systems innate to the organism, and Individualistic - like all engineered entities, organisms are individuals with definite and distinct boundaries that determine ‘self’ from ‘non-self’. Human engineers understand that at least three elements make up the minimum needed for the functioning of an interface. Removal of any one of them causes an interface system to effectively cease functioning. Those three components are; Authentication recognizing ‘self’ from ‘non-self’, which is a highly regulated activity. Protocols are rules, processes, or mechanisms established by the interface designer that work between requestor and provider in order to regulate the relationship. This can be done using both physical and non-physical attachment to one another. Common media is a third key component to a properly functioning interface. Common Media are physical conditions external to two or more organisms. They include air, water, chemicals, electricity, and/or light. When observing long-term associations, it could look like one species is directly controlling the other, but they are not. Each organism has an interface, but the interfaces are only controlling the organism to which it belongs. For example, in mutualisms such as nitrogen fixing bacteria and plant roots, harmonious outcomes are observed, as bacteria make Nitrogen useable for the plant and in return, the plant provides carbohydrates to the bacteria. The interfaces that enable the harmonization are not seen. If we searched for where the information resides, that specifies bacteria/plant harmonization it would not be found within either but comes from the mind of the Designer. A robust creation model of symbiosis must also explain dysfunctional relationships as well. Therefore, in a fallen and cursed world, parasitism and possibly commensalism may be the result of the removal, dysfunction, and/or mutation of one or more of the above elements of interface systems. Though suffering and death are a part of this Fallen world, God’s ‘fingerprints’ are still very clear when investigating this wonderous interface design. This affirms Romans 1:20 where God’s invisible attributes are seen in the visible creation, such that humanity is without excuse in regard to God’s existence. God wants to be known through His Creation and for those who would see, harmonious symbiotic relationships and highly complex systems designed for life provision and sustainment, reveal God’s love and He deserves great glory and honor.




interface systems, symbiosis, parasitism, commensalism, mutualism, reverse genetics




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Submission Type


Included in

Biology Commons



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