Christianity and Science - The Genetic Code

QUESTION: Christianity and Science – The Genetic Code

ANSWER:

The existence and properties of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) support creationism both through the teleological argument and by demonstrating evolution’s inability to explain crucial aspects of life. DNA contains the genetic information code and is a crucial part of all living matter, yet evolutionary theory is powerless to explain how it came into existence, let alone why DNA evinces such phenomenal design.

The teleological quality of DNA is overwhelming. Charles Thaxton believes DNA is the most powerful indicator of intelligent design: “Is there any basis in experience for an intelligent cause for the origin of life? Yes! It is the analogy between the base sequences in DNA and alphabetical letter sequences in a book...there is a structural identity between the DNA code and a written language.”1 That is, we can assume DNA is the product of intelligence because it is analogous to human languages, which are, without exception, products of intelligent minds.

Even excluding the teleological nature of DNA, its very existence assumes an intelligent beginning. Walter Brown points out, “DNA can only be produced with the help of at least 20 different types of proteins. But these proteins can only be produced at the direction of DNA. Since each requires the other, a satisfactory explanation for the origin of one must also explain the origin of the other. Apparently, this entire manufacturing system came into existence simultaneously. This implies Creation.”2

Christianity and Science – The Gene Pool and the Limits to Change
A third line of scientific evidence supporting an Intelligent Designer is found in the fact that mutations do not produce unlimited changes in a species. In fact, animals and plant breeders have consistently found that there is a barrier beyond which they can no longer produce change in succeeding generations. Evolutionists believe that no limits to breeding exist because life forms must ultimately break these “species barriers” to create new species. Indeed, evolutionists see beneficial mutations as breaking all barriers to change, because these mutations supposedly can produce a vast array of structures—even a human eye—given enough time.

Unfortunately for evolutionists, science simply has not been able to demonstrate that mutations can break these limits to change. Pierre Paul Grasse, after studying mutations in bacteria and viruses, concludes, “What is the use of their unceasing mutations if they do not change? In sum, the mutations of bacteria and viruses are merely hereditary fluctuations around a median position; a swing to the right, a swing to the left, but no final evolutionary effect.”3

If indeed such limits exist, then evolution is a meaningless explanation. If a species can only evolve so far before it hits a barrier and is forced to remain the same species, then no macroevolution occurs. This notion of the gene pool limiting the possible variation of species has troubled a great number of evolutionists, including Alfred Russell Wallace, one of the founders of the theory of natural selection. Wallace grew to doubt his theory later in life, largely because he became aware of Gregor Mendel’s genetic laws and could not reconcile the apparent limits to change with evolution’s need for boundless development.

Incredibly, Edward Deevey, Jr. also recognizes these limitations, yet remains an evolutionist: “Some remarkable things have been done by crossbreeding and selection inside the species barrier, or within a larger circle of closely related species, such as the wheats. But wheat is still wheat, and not, for instance, grapefruit; and we can no more grow wings on pigs than hens can make cylindrical eggs.”4 Believing in virtually unlimited change when limits abound within species is irrational. Creationists believe the evolutionary position lacks reason, logic, and meaningful observation and therefore reject it.

Notes:

Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

1 Charles Thaxton, “In Pursuit of Intelligent Causes: Some Historical Background,” an unpublished essay pre¬sented at an Interdisciplinary Conference in Tacoma, Washington, June 23–26, 1988, 13.
2 Walter T. Brown, Jr., In the Beginning (Phoenix, AZ: Center for Scientific Creation, 1986), 6.
3 Pierre Paul Grasse, Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation (New York, NY: Academic Press, 1977), 87.
4 Edward S. Deevey, Jr., “The Reply: Letter from Birnham Wood,” Yale Review vol. 61, 1971-72: 636.

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