DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the building blocks that form all known life in the Universe. Through DNA, we can begin to see the depths of the creation of humanity.
The DNA molecule is one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time. First described by James Watson and Francis Crick in 19531, DNA is the famous storehouse of genetics that establishes each organism’s physical characteristics. It wasn’t until mid-2000, that the Human Genome Project and Celera Genomics presented the true nature and complexity of the digital code found in DNA. We now understand that there are approximately 35,000 genes in each human DNA molecule, made up of chemical bases arranged in approximately 3 billion precise sequences. Even the DNA molecule for the single-celled bacterium E. coli contains enough information to fill an entire set of Encyclopedia Britannica.
DNA is a double-stranded molecule that is twisted into a helix, like a spiral staircase. Each strand consists of a sugar-phosphate backbone and many base chemicals attached in pairs. The four bases that make up the stairs in the spiraling staircase are adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), and guanine (G). These stairs act as the “letters” in the genetic alphabet, combining into complex sequences to form the words, sentences, and paragraphs that act as instructions to guide the formation and functioning of the host cell. The A, T, C, and G in the genetic code of the DNA molecule can be compared to the “0” and “1” in the binary code of computer software. Like software is to a computer, DNA code is a genetic language that communicates information to cells.
DNA code, like a hard-drive of binary code, is quite simple in its basic paired structure. However, it’s the sequencing and functioning of that code that’s enormously complex. Through recent technologies, we now know that the cell is not a “blob of protoplasm”, but rather a microscopic marvel that is more complex than the most advanced factory. The cell is very complicated, using precise DNA instructions to control its every function.
Although DNA code is remarkably complex, it’s the information translation system connected to that code that really baffles science. Like any language, letters and words mean nothing outside the language convention used to give those letters and words meaning. A simple example is the “Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”. In that famous story, Paul Revere asks a friend to put one light in the window of the North Church if the British came by land, and two lights if they came by sea. Without a shared language convention between Revere and his friend, that simple communication effort would mean nothing. Well, take that simple example and multiply by a factor containing hundreds of zeros.
We now know that the DNA molecule is an intricate message system. To claim that DNA arose by chance is to say that information can develop by chance. Many scientists argue that the chemical building blocks of the DNA molecule can be explained by natural material processes over millions of years. However, there is still no explanation that explains the origin of the complex message itself.
As a simple illustration, the information content of the clause “nature and design” has nothing to do with the writing material used, whether ink, paint, chalk, or crayon. In fact, the clause can be written in binary code, Morse code, or smoke signals, but the message remains the same. There is obviously no relationship between the information and the transmission method. Some theories argue that properties that organized themselves within the base chemicals created the information in the first DNA molecule. Others argue that external self-organizing forces created the first DNA molecule. However, all of these theories must then hold to the conclusion that the material used to transmit the information also produced the information. The information contained within the genetic code must be entirely independent of the chemical makeup of the DNA molecule.
Do you see the awesome complexity of the DNA molecule? Mainstream science has only recently started to understand this. It was this complexity and the power of a complex genetic language at the foundation of all of life that caused long time atheist Anthony Flew to begin to move away from his lifelong commitment to atheism and at least be open to the possibility that there is an intelligent First Cause responsible for initiating the natural world.
Think about it. With the discovery, mapping, and sequencing of the DNA molecule over the last few decades, we now understand that organic life is based on a vastly complex information code, and, like today’s most complex software codes, such information cannot be created or interpreted without some kind of “intelligence.”
For many in mainstream science, understanding DNA code has single-handedly defeated long-held beliefs that life could come from non-life through random forces. Even with trillions of years, the development of DNA appears statistically impossible.
Could you believe that your computer was manufactured by randomly shaking the parts together? Your body is a lot more complex than your computer. If you consider that it’s not possible that you were generated by chance, then you need to discover who your Designer really is! We hope you will come farther than Dr. Flew and consider trusting in the Creator spoken of in Genesis 1 and the Loving God of John 3:16 who gave His Son to die for the sins of the world.
- J.D. Watson and F.H.C. Crick, “Structure of Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid,” Nature, 171:737 (1953).