The marvelous molecule
A look at the language of life
First published in CMI Extra, CMI-US, September 2022.
I am Bruce Lawrence, a recent addition to the US office, and I am majoring in the field of microbiology. One of the most interesting things we study is the language of life, which is written on a molecule called DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).
This long and delicate storage mechanism contains four chemical ‘letters’: A (adenine), T (thymine), C (cytosine), and G (guanine). There are 3 billion DNA letters in the human genome, and our cells contain two complete copies. If you stretched out the DNA in a single cell, it would be about 2 m (6 ft) long! Every day, in every cell, around one million of these letters gets damaged (by oxygen or water, or by being overstretched or overtwisted), and there are around 50 trillion cells in the human body. You have about 50 pentillion mutations in your body every day. Due to its fragility, DNA requires a huge complement of DNA repair enzymes. Without these enzymes, life could not exist, yet the information needed to make these enzymes is recorded in our DNA. So, which came first, the DNA or the DNA repair enzymes coded in that DNA? This is an intractable chicken-and-egg problem for evolution.1 Of course, the truth is that DNA and DNA repair enzymes came into existence at the same time when God created the first living things.
Many evolutionary ideas taught in schools about DNA have now been shown to be false. Humans were once said to share 98–99% of our DNA with chimpanzees. Today, this number has dropped to approximately 85%. These are massive differences between the two species, with humans possessing entire gene families that are not found in chimps and vice versa.2 Dr Jon Ahlquist, the scientist who first proposed that our DNA is 98% similar in the 1980s, retreated from this idea and even became a creationist who we featured in our Creation magazine.3
It was once said that about 97% of the human genome is useless junk. Junk DNA is essential for evolution because it allows evolutionists to explain how mutations can accumulate in our genome without destroying the existing information it contains. We are constantly told that most parts of our genome are useless leftovers from our evolutionary past. The evolutionary biologist J.S. Mattick stated that the failure to recognize the function of “junk DNA” may well “go down as one of the biggest mistakes in the history of molecular biology”.4
If someone has intimidated you using so-called ‘evidence for evolution’, don’t panic. You can easily look up the answer on creation.com. Evolutionary claims are often based on ignorance, and further study of the topic reveals that it was never evidence of evolution at all.
The genome contains multiple overlapping codes. This means that any given DNA letter could be included in multiple instructions at the same time. One letter may be part of a code that affects the 3-D structure of DNA. At the same time, this letter could help code for the production of DNA repair enzymes, and more. Without this ‘overlapping’ information, the genome would have to be much larger.5 This is one example of how the genome’s complexity far surpasses what was expected. The more complex life is, the harder it is for a reasonable person to believe the inefficient, wasteful, and shortsighted process of evolution could account for it.
Genesis in the genome
We inherit our DNA from our parents, but certain portions of our DNA come exclusively from one parent. Every man inherits his Y-chromosome from his father, and only women pass their mitochondrial DNA to their children. Both the Y-chromosome, and the mitochondrial genome are subject to mutation; this has been used to construct a global family tree for men and women. Tracing this lineage back through the generations shows that all humans today descended from a single man and a single woman. Does that sound familiar? This single woman was dubbed ‘mitochondrial Eve’, and the male, ‘Y-Chromosome Adam’. Interestingly, Y-Chromosome Adam is not actually Adam but Noah, since the only men to survive the flood were Noah, and his three sons, all of whom got their Y-chromosome from Noah. As a result, Noah would have been the most recent male from which all other men inherit the Y-chromosome.6
As we learn more about the world, we see God’s handwriting in every cell of our body. DNA is the language God used when crafting life, and in that language, we can see echoes of Genesis.
The future is bright
It is absurd to believe that a data storage and processing system, which utilizes multiple overlapping codes, could have formed naturalistically.7 Time and time again, we have seen science catching up with what the Bible has always said. By studying God’s creation, we can glorify him, marvel at the work of his hands, and (to paraphrase Johannes Kepler) think God’s thoughts after Him.8 This is not the time to feel intimidated; this is an exciting time to be a Creationist Christian and, of course, CMI is at the forefront of this creation information revolution. We are here to help you.
References and notes
- Sarfati, J., New DNA repair enzyme discovered, 13 Jan 2011. Return to text.
- Batten, D., The myth of 1%, Creation 36(1): 35–37, Jan 2013. Return to text.
- Convert to Creation, Creation 40(3):36–39, Jul 2018. Return to text.
- Catchpoole, D., Designer didn’t design junk, 3 Oct 2016. Return to text.
- Sarfati, J., DNA: the best information storage system, 4 Jun 2015. Return to text.
- Carter, R., Adam, Eve and Noah vs Modern Genetics, 11 May 2010. Return to text.
- Carter, R., The four dimensional human genome defies naturalistic explanations, 6 Oct 2016. Return to text.
- Lamont, A., Johannes Kepler: Outstanding scientist and committed Christian, Creation 15(1):40–43, December 1992. Return to text.