Laminin, Atlas moths, and ‘gay’ brains
Published: 30 August 2008 (GMT+10)
This week we feature three short enquiries, two friendly and one hostile. The first is from Jean P of Western Australia and relates to the laminin molecule. The second is from CV of Canada, about the Atlas moth. And the third, from GB of Indonesia, is about the ‘gay brain’. Andrew Lamb responds.
The ‘cross-shaped’ laminin molecule
Good morning, a friend told me yesterday that our tears, when examined under a microscope, show that they are made of crystals in the shape of a cross. Is this correct?
It’s a nice idea but I don’t want to repeat it if it isn’t so.
A totally different question is this—why don’t we ask evolutionists why they get so worried about endangered species? Surely they will all simply adapt to new food and climates, or evolve into exciting new animals!!! If they say evolution doesn’t happen any more we should ask them when the process stopped. Regards, Jean
What your friend said seems to have been conflated from two different scientific concepts. Tears are liquid solutions, so contain no crystals. Indeed, they are a great design feature, but this has nothing to do with any crystals—see The design of tears: an example of irreducible complexity.
But there is a glycoprotein called laminin, an adhesion molecule that is an essential component of the membranes that support cells in most animal tissues, including in the eyes.
We have received several enquiries about laminin recently, probably due to the cross-shaped diagrams being circulated or promoted by various Christian individuals and organisations, with a message likening the way this molecule holds cells together with the way Christ holds creation together. Laminin molecules are often portrayed as cross shaped, with straight limbs, but this form really only occurs in formalised diagrams. In the messy world of biological reality, laminin molecules have crooked limbs that are generally bent this way and that, quite unlike the rigid crosses used by the Romans for crucifixion. And in some diagrammatic representations of laminin, the ‘arms’ of the cross, i.e. the B-chains (see diagram) are actually not drawn at right angles to the A-chain.
There are over 100,000 human proteins, and there are many in which a cross-shape could be perceived, should one have the inclination to see them that way. Our scientists do not consider the cross-shaped conceptual representation of laminin to have value as an apologetic argument. While Jesus really does hold everything together (Colossians 1:17), He has done so from the beginning of creation and does so now—off the cross!
There are many inconsistencies in the worldview of evolutionists, and their concern over species going extinct, despite their faith in evolution’s ability to produce endless new kinds of organisms, is a good example. [Although to be fair, we should cite the argument that the ‘selection pressure’ of human activity is being applied at a rate far too high for evolutionary adaptation to be able to cope. In short, they would claim that species are going extinct too quickly for new ones to have time to evolve to replace them--Ed.] For more on this, see Earth Day: Is Christianity to blame for environment problems?
The Atlas moth
I saw a week ago, in the feedback section of Creation Magazine volume 30 number 1 that I borrowed from the husband of my sister, an amazing photo of a moth that had cobras on its wings.
Even though I have found back much of my faith (that I had lost because of issues like evolution) in the last two years because I educate myself with intelligent design explaining material, I was still struggling with indomitable doubt.
When I saw this image and the question “How could these moths have possibly evolved such accurate images by random chance?”, I think that in an instant I evacuated this doubt. It was a weird – yet happy – feeling. Like if a switch had been turned on/off in my head. It took me a few days to really assimilate the fact that there is indeed a supernatural force governing the world; and that I needed to stop asking myself the question “what if I’m wrong and God is just an illusion?” like a fool.
So, I went on your site but saw with disappointment that you have not published the photo online.
This photo should be propagated as much as possible because it does the job effectively and quickly (geological, astronomical and biological stuff are so complicated they leave place for doubt, while a simple butterfly lets the average person make his own logical conclusion).
My question is: could you send me a copy of the picture so I can distribute it … or if you are not authorised to do this, could you give me the e-mail address of Robert Perry so I can ask him in person?
Thanks a million,
We appreciate your encouraging feedback and we are thrilled to hear of the positive effect on your faith of our magazine item ‘More on moths’ Creation 30(1):5.
Here is a copy of that Atlas moth photo.
Creation magazine articles usually appear on our website about one year after publication in the magazine, so ‘More on moths’ should appear online early next year.
Our Amazing Fossils booklet contains colour photos of modern fossils (of hats etc.), long stalactites in modern mines, and opal growing in a jar. A glance at these photos can instantly dispel the false notion that such things need many thousands of years to form. See also the photos in the articles listed in our ‘fast fossils’ section.
The ‘gay’ brain
In view of the latest scientific research into understanding homosexuality. See link: [deleted in accordance with our feedback rules.]6 Should this and further research move toward “Definitely made in Mum”, then who do we burn God or Mum, and who contributed the biological matter that caused the “Distortion” Mum or Dad ? And how do we direct and maintain our prejudices against Gay people at large, if this turns out to finally explain the phenomena of gay people through the ages
There exist hundreds of ex-gays now living happy fulfilled lives as married heterosexuals. This proves that sexual orientation is not 100% genetically predetermined. Numerous powerful and heartfelt testimonies of sexual lifestyle change have been published by Restored Hope Network, Homosexuals Anonymous, Parents & Friends of Ex-Gays, and other ex-gay organisations.
The article you referred to reported on similarities between the brains of homosexual men and heterosexual women, and implied that people cannot control their own sexual orientation. But the fact that two features, A and B say, are associated, does not necessarily mean that A causes B. It could be that B causes A or that they are unrelated at all. Scientists are learning that the human brain is incredibly plastic, with the ability to rewire itself, for example, and for the functions of damaged parts of the brain to be taken on by other parts of the brain.1
Homosexuality involves complex social behaviour, and complex social behaviours tend not to have single discrete causes. I.e. there is unlikely to be an ‘infidelity gene’, an ‘alcoholism gene’, a ‘murder gene’ or a ‘homosexuality gene’—see Evolution made me do it!
People living a homosexual lifestyle tend to suffer much greater rates of spousal violence2 , substance abuse3 , disease4 and suicide5 than other groups. If we really care about someone, we will want them to experience the best they can with their life, and homosexuality is far from best, in many measurable ways.
We all have our own susceptibilities to particular sins, but Jesus can provide the help we need to overcome sin in our lives.
- See for example Sandra Blakeslee, Study offers hope for use of limbs disabled by stroke, The New York Times, 2 June 2000, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940CEEDD103CF931A35755C0A9669C8B63. Return to text.
- e.g. The Leader Messenger (South Australia), 4 June 1997, page 1, gave figures indicating that a massive 28 out of 168 reports of domestic violence involved homosexual couples, whilst fewer than 1 in 1,000 couples in the area were homosexual; cited in Cameron Horn, Press Vs. Pulpit, Fuzcapp Publishing 2001, page 150. Return to text.
- e.g. The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, April/June 1993, pages 404–405, stated “The substance abuse rate amongst homosexuals is disproportionately far greater than that of the general population. The current consensus of researchers is that 30% of homosexuals are alcohol abusers compared with 10% of the general population.” Cited in Press Vs. Pulpit, page 149. Return to text.
- e.g. The Medical Journal of Australia, Vol. 164, page 715, June 1996, reports that 86% of the HIV infected in Australia are homosexuals; cited in Press Vs. Pulpit, page 150. Return to text.
- e.g. The Eastern Psychological Association of USA, in a 17 April 1993 paper titled ‘The homosexual lifespan’, reported that homosexuals suffer double the rate of suicide as the general population; cited in Press Vs. Pulpit, page 151. Return to text.
- Denise Gellene, Brains of gay men show similarities to those of heterosexual women, study says, Los Angeles Times, <link.latimes.com/r/73D9AK/IIXYP/18HXPM/DYXA/TMV14/D5/h> 17 June 2008. Return to text.