Bananas and Babies: Strange Bedfellows
Before anyone allows his or her imagination to run wild, the title of this piece is intended to illustrate a point. A point that should already be abundantly clear – that the basic building blocks of all living things, Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), are found in varying amounts in every living organism on planet Earth. Depending on which version you hear, human beings share 70% of our DNA with sea sponges (Mann, 2010) and, according to the humorous quip by British geneticist Steve Jones (2002),
“We also share about 50% of our DNA with bananas and that does not make us half bananas…”
Well, maybe in the case of those who embrace the fantastical Theory of Evolution, half bananas is not so far off the mark.
DNA is a nucleic acid that is used in the development and functioning of all living organisms (with the exception of RNA viruses). The DNA segments carrying the genetic information are called genes. In living organisms, DNA does not usually exist as a single molecule, but instead as a pair of molecules that are held tightly together. These two long strands entwine like vines, in the shape of a double helix. The rungs in the ladder of this double helix consist of four bases. They are adenine (abbreviated A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T). These four bases are attached to the sugar/phosphate to form the complete nucleotide, as shown for adenosine monophosphate (Wikipedia, 2012).
Generally speaking, it is the sequence of these base pairs that determine the content of the genetic information that will produce the basic design of any individual living organism. We could make the following analogy; DNA is the blueprint for life and similarities in the genetic blueprint can be seen as evidence both creation and evolution. Creation scientists see these similarities as evidence of a common design by the Creator. We believe that God is the ultimate intelligent Designer and He purposefully designs all living organisms to reproduce themselves “according to their own kind” as recorded in the first book of the Bible, the book of Genesis.
When you see a motorized vehicle, you may see a two-wheeled motorcycle, a standard four-wheeled car, a bus or an eighteen-wheeled tractor-trailer. All are designed for transportation and all resemble one another with regard to the use and function their wheels. They will all have an engine of some form in order to produce the power to move those vehicles from one place to another. These commonalities are evidence of design with a specific purpose.
Evolution sees everything through the lens of naturalism. They reject the use of inorganic examples of design like the analogy noted above. They object that biological systems are not like their mechanical counterparts. They stick to this objection in spite of the growing body of evidence to the contrary. There are thousands of molecular machines in nature such as the bacterial flagellum or genetic clocks that cause plants to become dormant at night and control flowering. In spite of this expanding list of organic molecular machines, evolutionists automatically exclude anything that infers intelligent or purposeful design.
So when living organisms share similar genetic makeup should we automatically conclude we are seeing evidence of Darwinian molecules-to-men evolution? Or are we seeing the obvious similarities between all living things because they have been designed to perform similar, if not identical, tasks. Although we share an estimated 96-98% (it depends on who you ask) of our DNA with chimpanzees, the differences that can be expressed in even one tenth of one percent where genetics is concerned are enormous. Look at the variations in mammals, fish, insects, and realize that even among “kinds” the variations can be dramatic, i.e. the great white and the hammerhead shark, the dachshund and the doberman, etc.
The worldview of extreme naturalism has limited the understanding of the evolutionary establishment. The evolutionary lens is distorted and it cannot properly discern what is clearly obvious to all who take God at His Word. Don’t allow genetic similarities to cause you to confuse bananas and babies. It is only by using the crystal clear lens of the Word of God, the Bible, that we can clearly see what God’s created world is so eloquently proclaiming to everyone.
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world, Psalm 19:1-4.
Jones, Steve (2002). Steve Jones, interview on The Science Show, broadcast on ABC Radio, January 1, 2002 <www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ss/stories/s456478.htm>.
Mann, Adam (2010). Sponge genome goes deep: Researchers wring evolutionary clues from gene sequence. Nature online August 4, 2010 | Nature 466, 673 (2010) | doi:10.1038/466673a. Accessed 3.12.12 at http://www.nature.com/ news/ 2010/ 100804/ full/ 466673a.html.
Wikipedia (2012). DNA. Properties. Accessed 3.12.12 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA