Human DNA Origins: Genetic study and its relationship to the Divine
The study of genetics is such a broad topic that volumes and volumes have been written already and more are being written and more will certainly continue to be written as we continue to learn and understand. Genetics is defined by Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary as, the branch of biology dealing with heredity and variation among related organisms, largely in their evolutionary aspects. As an applied science it deals with the fundamentals of plant and animal breeding, especially in the production and development of improved strains, varieties, and breeds. This paper will focus primarily on human origins, growth, and development.
Studying genetics is a way for us to learn more about life. Throughout the ages human beings have been looking for answers. Science is a field of study wherein research is conducted in order to establish data. Evidence needs to be presented and facts (defined as such based upon said research) need to be proven.
Cells were discovered over 300 years ago. The cell is an extremely efficient and well-networked system with millions and billions of processors and billions of pieces of information. Cells are the structural and functional units of all organisms. The average human has at least one hundred trillion cells. Each cell functions independently and collectively with other cells. Each cell contains a precisely orchestrated and magnificently integrated manifestation of life. The nucleus within the cell controls the growth, metabolism, and reproduction of the cell. Microbiologist J. Craig Venter, who created the first computer designed, synthetically produced genome (set of application programs for an organism) said in an interview, “life is basically the result of an information process, a software process. Our genetic code is our software, and our cells are dynamically, constantly reading that code.” Many who study genetics say that a cell has within it thousands of computers that are all exchanging information and functioning in a synchronized manner. This analogy helps us to understand that within the cell there are many singular intelligences independently functioning as they have been designed to function. However, while this is a great analogy, in reality, the nature and function of the inner world of the cell and the inner world of the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and the genetic code within the cell, is beyond anything we could create in its beauty and sublimity.
James D. Watson and Francis Crick were awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine “for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material” From then on those who studied DNA in depth marveled at the ancient knowledge that having been hidden, was now unveiled. This discovery has been one of the major scientific events of the 20th century. Watson commented on a schematic illustration of the double helix formation of DNA, saying, “the two sugar-phosphate backbones twist about on the outside with the flat hydrogen-bonded base pairs forming the core. Seen this way, the structure resembles a spiral staircase with the base pairs forming the steps.” This knowledge has changed our understanding of the world drastically. Human existence originates in the DNA.
DNA consists of two anti-parallel strands of nucleotides that are 20 antron (microunits) in diameter and formed in a double helix formation. The nucleotide strands consist mostly of Deoxyribose sugar, Phosphate, Nitrogen bases, and Phosphodiester bonds. Author, Elof Axel Carlson, describes the DNA molecule in his book, Neither Gods Nor Beasts, as such, “The DNA molecule is crystalline and replicates by separating the two strands. The two strands are complimentary. The DNA specifies proteins as its major role in transmitting information. Genes are DNA and their sequences could be worked out and their products could be predicted from those sequences.”
Inside of every cell of every living thing is a long molecule of DNA. E. Coli bacteria are great for scientific study due to their simplicity and rapid replication. Due to this simplicity and continuous replication, the complex enigmatic DNA molecule is studied in depth. When people realized that the DNA molecule could be studied and gene splicing took place, genetic engineering was born. This study led to a large amount of research into seeking cures to cancer and other diseases, and this research continues today. This research has led to more advanced knowledge that has led to cures. However, when the DNA of humans, animals, and plants are mixed and deliberately changed by scientists, changes take place. This reality continues to fuel debates and controversy regarding whether genetic engineering is safe. People are concerned that scientists will mix human DNA with animal DNA giving birth to life forms that many people believe should not come into existence. The common term, “playing God” is employed implying that only God (the creator of life) should manage and dictate the manner in which DNA is directed.
When one studies the nature of DNA it becomes clear that DNA is operating on its own. It functions as it does and we watch and bear witness to the plain and clear reality. It is clear that it is intelligent and continuously at work. Bearing in mind that this is the microscopic, we can bear witness to the many layers of depth. The DNA is within the cell and the cell is within the human body. Thus the particle is within the whole. While the particle on the microscopic level functions in its own realm and carries out its task accordingly, the human body in the macroscopic realm (according to the given scale) contains the DNA. If the body dies, the cell dies, and the chromosomes containing the DNA die. In such a way, the cell is completely dependent on the whole for its life force.
How did DNA become as such? How does it know to function as it does? What makes it live and what gives it its elaborate design. Our perception plays an important role in understanding. Some watch the DNA function with its intelligence and precision. Others watch it all manifest as such and give credit to the Divine, saying that it is designed as such and functions as such because the Divine has made it so.
We can make similar observations in the macroscopic world. We can watch the plants and animals and reflect upon the manner in which they function and ask how did it become so? Considering the internal encoded genes being created and orchestrated as such and the external manifestation of this as it plays out in the natural world, we can see that something is responsible for the existence of life. When seeking knowledge of the existence of DNA we are actively engaged in tracing life back to its source. To truly understand all the details and the manner in which DNA comes into existence as well as the manner in which DNA exists and functions, we need to understand the power that gives life to DNA.
Deep inside the highly coiled DNA, a mysterious intelligence exists. It exists and it is alive and intelligent and responsible for life on earth. To understand the power that creates DNA we must consider the whole spectrum. DNA exists within the cell and the cell exists with in the human body. The human body exists on a flying planet and the planet exists in a gigantic universe that is bigger than we can truly comprehend. If we consider the power that gives life to the DNA, we must consider the power that gives life to the cell (the same power). Following this line of thought, consider the power that gives life to the human being, the earth, the universe, and beyond. It is logical to consider that something (intentionally leaving it undefined) is responsible for the existence of life because something is orchestrating the inner world and as such, controlling the manner in which life on earth comes into being. The “outer world” (life as we experience it) is macroscopic when compared to the microscopic DNA within the cell, but when compared to the universe, human beings and planets are the microscopic world. Life exists in great depths and layers within layers of perceived understanding.
Bill Gates, who pioneered the personal computer and found Microsoft, said that “Human DNA is like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than anything we’ve ever created.” The manner in which DNA exists is so advanced and so sophisticated that no one could design anything greater. The power that gives life to the human being, gives life to DNA. That same power simultaneously gives life to the earth, the galaxy, the universe, and beyond. Only the power that is responsible for giving life to all wields the power to constantly sustain the universe. It fills the stars with light and expands the cosmic expanse. It gives the planets flight and it gives us the breath of life.
Human origins is a topic that leads us deep into the past. As one walking in the darkness, the human race walks in the darkness of ignorance. As scientists, we want to find evidence in order to find more insight into human existence. The study of genetics helps us understand how the body functions. We can look into the DNA and see the code that is responsible the external manifestation (phenotype). DNA exists in all living things.
In the medical field, understanding genetics allows greater access to solutions. Cures to sicknesses are obtainable. With greater knowledge and application of genetics, comes the ability to correct disorders. Many people are doing fascinating research into finding cures. Through the study of genetics, scientists have gained the ability to manipulate genes. Scientists have observed specific genes that are responsible for specific manifestations.
The work of the Czechoslovakian monk, Gregor Mendel, led to a greater understanding of chromosome heredity. Since then, greater insight regarding DNA replication has given us the ability to have greater control over the outcome of events. We watch and bear witness to chromosomes undergoing mitosis (The process where a single cell divides and normally results in two identical cells, each containing the same number of chromosomes and genetic content as that of the original cell). This is the basis for the continuation of life. When seeking knowledge regarding the origins of human existence, we are left with many questions. It has become clear that humans, as well as all other life forms, undergo change, growth, and development. The only thing that stays the same in this world is the reality that everything changes. This has led to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. While the reality of evolution is clear for those who observe and study the impact of change over time, the origins of the human race still remains an enigma. Many believe that we evolved from primates, yet this theory is lacking solid evidence and continues to fuel much controversy. Many reason, that if primates evolved into sophisticated beings that can split the atom and fly into outer space, then why haven’t lions or elephants or any other animal evolved as such? Why is it only limited to primates? Logic tells us that if such heights of evolution are reached by primates, then similar heights of evolutionary progress should be reached by others as well. Researcher Mikhah Ben David discusses the genetic anomalies of human beings in chapter 51 of Biogenesis;
“With regards to human genetic anomalies, all primates have a head of hair that grows to a certain length and then stops. Similarly, all primates have fingernails and toenails that grow to a certain length and then stop (unlike humans). The human skull is much flatter in terms of facial relief and feature prominence. This is unsuitable for development, as the receded forehead and such would make the eyes more susceptible to both damage and blinding sunlight. Animals are perfect for their context, environment, and stage of evolutionary development. There is a marked difference between human brains and those of pure primates.
The comparison with regards to method of movement or “locomotion” is easily as wide as the comparison of brains and skulls. Humans are bipedal; primates are quadrupeds. Why such a change would have universally “evolved” is beyond logical explanation. To say that the evolutionary reason was to stand erect in order to see predators is insufficient, as few primates are done in because of their lack of standing erect. How then, and why, would this trait have “evolved” with minimal evolutionary, utilitarian use, simultaneously with “nature” (allegedly) stripping us of our natural protection from the elements, primate-strength, and self-regulating hair and nail growth? Sexually, primate females have estrous cycles and are sexually receptive only at particular times. Human females have no estrous cycles in the primate sense. Humans are continuously receptive to sex.
Primates also have 48 chromosomes. Humans are considered vastly superior in a wide array of areas, yet somehow we only have 46 chromosomes. This begs the question of how we could just lose two full chromosomes (which represents a great deal of DNA), in the first place, and in the process become so much better. Nothing about it makes logical sense.
As with all wild animals (plants, as well), primates have relatively few genetic disorders spread throughout their gene pools. Mostly, though, serious defects are quickly weeded out in the wild, so wild gene pools stay relatively free of disorders. In contrast, humans have over 4,000 genetic disorders, and several of those will absolutely kill every victim before reproduction is possible. This begs the question of how such defects could possibly get into the human gene pool in the first place, much less how they remain so widespread.
A favorite Darwinist statistic is that the total genome (all of the DNA) of humans differs from chimpanzees by only 1% and from gorillas by 2%. This makes it seem as if evolution is indeed correct and that humans and primates are virtually kissing cousins. However, what they don’t stress is that 1% of the human genome’s three billion base pairs is 30 million base pairs. In terms of gene manipulation, this can easily add up to a tremendous amount of difference. So are we predominately primate genetically? It would appear so. However, those 30 million or so base pairs are a difference that is impossible to relegate to “natural selection.””
There are many levels of truth. The theory of evolution has many layers of truth, but is it the whole story? When did we go from being animals to being intelligent beings (not to say that animals are not intelligent, but instead to imply an advanced level of sophistication? Did this naturally happen over time? Genes that control the size and complexity of the brain have undergone much more rapid evolution in humans than in non-human primates or other mammals. Humans have extraordinarily large and complex brains, even when compared with non-human primates. The human brain is several times larger than primates and “it is far more complicated in terms of structure,” said senior author Bruce Lahn of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Chicago. He explains the “special event” that took place in the human genome, “the human lineage appears to have been subjected to very different selective regimes compared to most other lineages,” said Lahn. “Selection for greater intelligence and hence larger and more complex brains is far more intense during human evolution than during the evolution of other mammals.” To many researches this suggests that, while evolution is real, our true origins are mysterious.
The ultimate source of life is the source of the universe and all existence. It is intelligent and aware and it is responsible for human existence. The source of the DNA is present now. Just as the cell is dependent upon the whole (the human body) for sustenance, the human being is dependent upon the earth for sustenance. Within the universe we exist and the universe exists within the power that gives life to all. The power that gives life is present always, permeating all life. As particles within the whole, we depend on the whole for life. Just as the cell is dependent upon the whole (the human body), the human body is dependent on the whole (the universe and beyond) for life. The all-permeating intelligent power that sustains all life is real. No one can truly be told what it is, one needs to see for oneself. There are many ways to come to know and understand the mysterious creator of life. Studying genetics is a way for us to look into the microscopic world and see a reality that is so beautiful and sublime, that for some, this alone is evidence that the source of life is alive and controlling everything. We all bear witness to the marvel and beauty of the cosmos. Glorious and beautiful is the kingdom of the universe. We bear witness to the universe as it exists and its existence is evidence of a creator.
In Chemistry, we deal with reactants and products. One cannot make products, without reactants. Therefore it is reasonable to consider that something is responsible for producing the product. It is reasonable to think that there is a source for the universe and beyond. Everything is so precise and so complex that it is too sophisticated to lack intelligent guidance. The pyramids are generally considered to have been built rather than having had naturally formed. Their construction is too precise and unlike something that would naturally occur on earth. Similarly, all life on earth is so complex that it is clear that an all-permeating power exists. We exist within the life of the creator. We experience life because it allows us to. It is more real than words can say, and it is always aware of what we think and say. It makes the earth fly and it gives the sun its warmth. It sustains the universe and gives us the breath of life. It allows us to learn and understand. Genetic research brings knowledge and understanding. As more knowledge regarding human origins is made known to the world, the greater capacity to understand where we came from will be obtained. Understanding where we came from, will help us determine where we are going.
Watson, James D. The Double HELIX. The Kingsport Press, Kingsport, TN. 1968. pg. 202.
Carlson, Elof Axel. Neither Gods Nor Beasts. ColdSpringHarbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, New York. 2008. pgs 74-75.
David, Micah Ben. Biogenesis Ilm Publishing, London, United Kingdom. 2006. pgs, 351-355.
G. & C. Merriam Co. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary. 1999. pg, 345.
Medical Science documentary on DNA evolution Vs Religious Theologies http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X6FpP41vOo.
Scientists Build First Man-Made Genome; Synthetic Life Comes Next: http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2008/01/synthetic_genome?currentPage=all
Human Brain Evolution was a ‘Special Event.’ http://www.hhmi.org/news/lahn3.html