Genetics questions answered

iStockphoto girl-and-chimp
Published: 10 September 2016 (GMT+10)

Feedback archiveFeedback 2016

James K., Canada, writes:

Hello I really appreciate your work, its equipped me with the means of defending my faith and it has been a pleasure to read through your articles.

I was just wondering why you never discuss the genetic similarities between humans and suids and the rodentia clade. It seems to me to be a strong argument for us creationists, for if members of the family perrisiodactyls bear such striking similarity to humans, (perhaps even more so than certain primates) then by evolutionary reasoning pigs should be incorporated into the immediate lineage of human evolution. This would cement the fallaciousness of tracing evolutionary lineage via comparison of genetic similarity between organisms would it not? Again I really appreciate all your work, please correct me if I'm wrong.

, CMI-US, responds:

You raise an interesting point, but it might be more difficult to use that argument than you think. While there are certainly similarities between humans and things other than chimpanzees, the plain fact of the matter is that chimpanzees are closer to us than pigs. In fact, there IS a general hierarchical order to things, with things that are more morphologically similar to one another being more genetically similar to one another. So, even though rodents, pigs, people, and apes all have a lot in common, chimps have more in common with us.

But why would anyone expect otherwise? Given a range of species, something is bound to be more similar to us than other things. And if chimps eat the same foods we do, have the same temperature requirements we do, etc., I would absolutely expect them to be genetically more similar to us than, say, fruit flies. Thus, since both evolutionists and creationists expect common form to equate to common genetics, the genetic similarity of anything to humans cannot be used as an argument for evolution. The difference is evolutionists attribute this similarity to common ancestry, while creationists attribute it to a common Designer.

Ken H., Canada, writes:

Creation Ministries, I find your magazine very informative and faith assuring. I have a question however, that may be of interest to others also.

The recent unravelling of the significance of DNA attests to God’s miraculous plan of procreation and genetic inheritance. If it were possible to have a DNA sample from Jesus, what do you suppose it would reveal concerning his Father, God? His DNA could not be identical to Mary’s or He would have been female, and a clone. The Y chromosome must have been present.

Dr Robert Carter replies:

Since Jesus was not recorded as looking different from His contemporaries, it is almost certain that He would have carried various traits that gave him a “Middle Eastern” look. Yes, He could not have received a Y chromosome from his mother, and so this would have had to be manufactured from scratch by God (this is part of the miracle—some female animals can give birth to daughters parthenogenically, but giving birth to males is not possible because male-specific genes on the Y chromosome are required). Several people have speculated that Jesus’ Y chromosome would have been identical to that of Adam, but I see no reason for this. Regarding the rest of the genome that God would have added to Mary’s egg cell, I highly suspect it would look Middle Eastern as well. Thus, the only real test is that of the Y chromosome. But this is a “type B” experiment: If the Y is unique this proves the uniqueness of Christ, but if the Y is generically Middle Eastern it proves nothing. Note, I put no stock in the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, but I would still like to see the blood stains analyzed for DNA content.