Binary-coded human beings
Posted on homepage: 18 April 2022 (GMT+10)
Every computer program, or ‘software’, can be reduced to a sequence of two numbers—zero and one. This binary system is entirely composed of these two symbols. For example, here is a binary number: 11110111010. This is the same number as the decimal 1978, the year Creation magazine began. In the binary system, it is either one or the other, with no ‘extras’ or alternatives available—only 0 and 1.
Certain people object to referring to humans in ‘binary terms’—how dare anyone refer to only two options, male and female! The Bible, however, teaches clearly on marriage in Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image … male and female he created them.” Our Lord Jesus confirmed this (Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6). He quoted Genesis 1:27, the creation of the first human couple, the ancestors of everyone else who ever lived. Thus, the original and flawless plan of our Creator is clearly for every human being to be either a male or a female.
However, because we live in a post-Fall world, many things are now out of line with our Creator’s original intentions. For example, problems can occur in the division of germ cells, resulting in ‘assembly-line errors’ in affected humans.1 Nevertheless, biology overwhelmingly affirms the biblical teaching. Such rare, tragic glitches aside, humans are indeed binary—either woman or man.
But despite matching reality, this truth, along with much other biblical teaching, is under severe attack nowadays. Fallen humans are leading themselves as well as others astray by claiming that the very notion of binary sexes, does not exist. Instead, they say, all that is involved are individual, changeable mental constructions of one’s ‘gender’.2 What a stark contrast to the Bible’s clear teaching!
The Lord Jesus, the Master Designer and Programmer, ensured that the very definition of our sex is encoded onto every single one of our trillions of DNA-containing cells!3 As a software engineer, I cannot imagine a more robust, fundamental way to ‘hardcode’ a static, immutable, unchangeable value, which could well be declared as a constant. This is in perfect harmony with Scripture’s clear teaching of two sexes.
Follow the Maker’s instructions
The many clear instructions in the Bible, given by our caring Creator, are motivated by love, by what is best for us. So it’s even more important for us than for a car owner to follow our Manufacturer’s instructions. If we decide to rebel against the Creator’s will in matters of marriage and sex, we do it to our detriment. The Bible is the cutting-edge care instruction manual from the brilliant Super-Engineer to those of His beloved creatures created for fellowship with Him. Our every cell is in effect signed with ‘designed in Heaven’.
The enigma of sex
The origin of sexual reproduction is a mystery to evolutionism. In the evolutionary narrative, the early ancestors of all living things simply divided, making copies of themselves by this asexual reproduction. This is a highly successful way of having offspring. So what could have driven the change? From an evolutionary perspective, this remains a puzzle. Sexual reproduction has advantages, like ensuring genetic diversity to maximize the ability to adapt to changing environments. But a ‘partway’ transition from asexual to sexual reproduction would not provide any selective advantage, but rather the opposite. So the origin of sex remains a huge problem for evolution, but it makes perfect sense as part of God’s deliberate design.
References and notes
- Wallace, K., Male and female He made them … creation.com, 7 Oct 2013. Return to text.
- Gender originally was only a grammatical term, but was brought into play in the war against God’s ordained human male/female sexuality. See Loiterton, J., review of The Global Sexual Revolution: Destruction of freedom in the name of freedom by Gabriele Kuby (2017), J. Creation 33(1):26–29, 2019. Return to text.
- A 70 kg man has ~38 trillion bacterial cells (total mass 0.2 kg) and ~30 trillion human cells (only ~ 3 trillion still have nuclei/DNA, unlike red blood cells). Sender, R. et al., Revised estimates for the number of human and bacteria cells in the body, PLoS Biol 14(8):e1002533, 2016. Return to text.