You’re Not a Monkey’s Uncle
Vol: 62 Issue: 24 Friday, November 24, 2006
“Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast Thou made me thus?” (Romans 9:20)
New discoveries by leading genetic researchers continue to change our understanding of who we are, where we came from, and, perhaps, when we will leave, according to the results of several new studies.
In the lead study, reported tomorrow in the journal Nature, scientists created the first map of the human genome that shows that large segments of DNA are missing or duplicated between normal, healthy people.
Known as copy number variants (CNVs), some of these altered DNA sequences can be responsible for increased susceptibility to cancers and many other diseases, the study team says.
The new map provides a much clearer picture of human genetic variation, says geneticist and co-researcher Charles Lee of the Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.
“This evidence is showing that we are more genetically unique from one another we all have individualized genomes,” he said.
The findings “will change forever the field of human genetics,” commented James Lupski, professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.
“One can no longer consider human traits as resulting primarily from single base pair changes,” he said. “This is perhaps the most important breakthrough in human and medical genetics in several decades.”
Until now it was assumed that the human genome, or “book of life”, is largely the same for everyone, save for a few spelling differences in some of the words. Instead, the findings suggest that the book contains entire sentences, paragraphs or even whole pages that are repeated any number of times.
The findings mean that instead of humanity being 99.9 per cent identical, as previously believed, we are at least 10 times more different between one another than once thought – which could explain why some people are prone to serious diseases.
Among the other conclusions reached by this study is the fact that chimpanzee DNA is not virtually identical to human DNA, as previously believed.
So much for being a monkey’s uncle.
DNA is nicknamed ‘the Book of Life’ by geneticists because encoded in our DNA is all the necessary information that makes life possible.
DNA encodes our red blood cells, and the heart that pumps them. DNA encodes our hair follicles, and the color of the hair in them. DNA encodes our bones, and the muscles attached to them.
And DNA thoroughly destroys any argument of random creation, since it proves all the details of your life were encoded in advance, right down to one’s individual disposition.
It is the DNA structure that ‘creates’ life in the same sense that inputting certain information into a computer ‘creates’ the results intended by its programmer.
Comparing the Scriptures to DNA research, one can make a powerful argument for predestination, without impugning our free will.
Although they haven’t completely unlocked that part of the human genome, geneticists believe that when you will die and what you will die of is already encoded in your DNA.
Barring some accident, your are already predestined, by your genetic code, to live a finite period of time before your DNA activates the disease already encoded in your DNA that will ultimately kill you. That doesn’t mean you don’t have free will.
You could still kill yourself. Or battle the disease medically. But depending on your DNA code, the treatment will either work or it will not.
You have nothing to say about how you were programmed, yet your free will remains unfettered.
It is no accident that scientists have dubbed DNA ‘the Book of Life.” They took their imagery directly from Scripture, because Scripture has already outlined how it works.
Psalms 139 begins: “O Lord, Thou has searched me and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassed my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue but, lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether.” (v.1-4)
Scripture teaches that we are individuals by sovereign Design, rather than by a combination of random chance and our own choices.
Scripture says, “For Thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.” (Psalms 139:13)
Science also now says that our genetic code is imprinted on each of us from the womb.
The Scriptures say, “I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”
Science agrees that we are unique individuals whose differences are predetermined. While the Scriptures assign that marvel to our creation by a sovereign God, science assigns the same marvel to the uniqueness of our DNA encoding, while denying the existence of an Encoder.
“Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in THY BOOK ALL MY MEMBERS WERE WRITTEN, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalms 139:16)
According to the Bible, God knew who and what I would be while I was ‘under construction’ in the womb, according to the genetic Book of Life that contained all my relevant information.
Geneticists say they can determine these same details, one’s sex, hair color, physical strengths and weaknesses, susceptibility to disease, and even one’s susceptibility for sin, based on the information encoded in the DNA before one is born.
Geneticists have discovered genetic markers that predispose some people to criminal behavior, violence, drug abuse or alcoholism, for example. These discoveries have resulted in the development of a scientific sub-discipline called ‘behavioral genetics’.
DNA can determine the probability of mental illnesses, physical deformities, things like Down’s Syndrome, and a host of other genetic factors that will determine everything from how I process information to predicting the way I will react to that information.
In light of advances in DNA research, arguing against a Creator to initially program our DNA is like arguing that once a computer builds itself, it writes its own programming, turns itself on and decides for itself what it wants to work on and for how long before automatically self-destructing.
It makes as much sense as believing one is a monkey’s uncle. Which makes no sense at all.
What makes sense is a Creator God Who built me a certain way, left me with free will choices to make the most of it, and, since I am predisposed to make the wrong choices in certain areas of my life, also made a way for me to live in His sight for eternity, despite my built-in shortcomings.
“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:22-23,28)