DNA: The Blueprint of Life

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, October 23, 2014 0 comments

by Steve Risner

A computer stores information and is programmed using a binary code—2 symbols that give us all the wonderful things that computers do for us. They’re pretty complicated. Imagine a code that doesn’t use 2 symbols but uses 4—which would exponentially change the complexity of that coding. That is deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA. So what’s the big deal about DNA? Is it something special? Can something like DNA be accidentally made by a mindless force like nature? We shall see…

Here’s a little background information on this genetic carrier. Friedrich Meischer discovered DNA in 1869 but its role in genetics at the time was unknown. Proteins were thought to be what held our genetic information. The double helical structure of DNA was first written about by Watson and Crick in 1953. A double helix means the structure is like that of a ladder that has been twisted. The rungs of the ladder are called bases and there are 4 of them—A, G, T, and C. Their arrangement determines what you are—it is literally a blueprint for whatever the organism in question is. With the instructions in a cell’s DNA, you could build a living organism (if you knew the code, of course). DNA is wound in to little bundles called chromosomes. These chromosomes vary in number depending on the living thing. But make no mistake—there isn’t a living thing we are aware of that does not have DNA just as it’s been described here. Humans have 46 chromosomes—23 from each parent. A gene is a section of DNA that codes for a protein. It’s estimated that this collection of genes, known as the genome, is that we have about 25,000 genes held in our DNA. DNA has other functions as well. This gigantic molecule is found in every cell of your body except red blood cells (which you can read about here). They have no nucleus to make them smaller and more pliable. Believe it or not, a strand of DNA when unwound would be roughly 6 feet in length! And you have approximately 100 trillion strands of this in your body right now. That’s much further than the distance to the sun from the earth! DNA’s primary roles are to make all the proteins you need to build you and to pass on that information to your offspring.

DNA is obviously, then, very important. Damage to the code can create major problems. As a result, we have several different mechanisms that read our DNA over and over again to make sure it’s not been damaged or copied with errors. An evolutionist may say that when these mechanisms break down and allow an error to be passed on, that’s a mutation that has the potential to change the organism over time. What we see in reality most frequently is these uncorrected errors give us genetic disorders and cancer among other things. If you think of the genetic code as a computer code (which it is very similar to albeit exponentially more complex), you can see very quickly that inserting mistakes in it would cause major problems. If you copied a computer program repeatedly and altered the code randomly in just a few spots over and over you would probably not birth a brand new computer program that works better than the one you started with. Randomly inserting mistakes doesn’t help a programmer, it gets him fired for creating junk.

How much information is stored, then, in this molecule? A LOT! If you translated the information in your DNA into printed information, you could type out 200 pages of small font. Typing each individual letter of the genetic code would take you nearly 30 years if it was a full time job. In terms of the possibilities of storage using DNA, Harvard researchers recently stored 700 terabytes of information on 1 gram of DNA. This is approximately over 300 lbs of hard drives worth of information. This technology for data storage is not practical at all considering the cost, but using it we could store every bit of knowledge acquired by humanity, every piece of art, everything ever recorded in a space that could easily fit in your closet! I had a professor in college describe DNA’s storage and retrieval this way: Imagine you have a tape (this was in the 90’s when people knew what cassette tapes were) that had on it every piece of music ever recorded or even played. It would stretch from here to the moon and back. Now imagine you want the Moonlight Sonata. In seconds, you could find it, copy it perfectly, and deliver it to a friend. Now you want Dream On by Aerosmith. In seconds you find the right place on that 500,000 mile long tape, copy it perfectly and give it to a friend. That’s how your DNA works. It’s an unbelievably efficient storage and retrieval system. Yes, it makes errors on occasion but we’re talking about, in many cases, thousands upon thousands of copies made over and over again with very little mistakes. If that information isn’t mind blowing, try this on for size: the Darwinist or the person who believes in molecules to man evolution wants you to believe that this system of coded information that is responsible for everything that physically makes you what you are happened to manifest itself by accident in some slime pool or on some clay tablet. This enormously complicated system that we know very little about was the result of energy zapping inanimate matter and now we have the most complicated coded system of information imaginable. The acid molecule we call deoxyribonucleic acid, which is the building block and blueprint for every living thing, has been studied for over 50 years. Despite the advancements in understanding it, we are in the infancy stages of knowing what this molecule is capable of. At 6 feet in length and one 50 trillionth of an inch in width, it holds more secrets to life than a library could hold. It’s a wonder and great mystery of our God Who created us.

Although 99.9% of our DNA is identical, that small portion of it that is different is what makes us each an individual. The God of the universe knows each and every difference down to the number of hairs on your head and He loves you indescribably. The evidence for His design is everywhere around us if you’re only willing to accept it. There is no logical or coherent explanation for the existence of genetic material from a naturalist’s point of view. Keep in mind that DNA houses a code (DNA is not the code itself but only the medium by which the code is transmitted). A code is something that has an intelligent source. A code is a message that is turned into a set of symbols that is decoded upon receipt of the message. This demands an intelligent source. I believe the source is the God of the Bible. The evolutionist is forced to believe a mindless intentionless force accidentally created this coded system. I feel that is a silly notion on a colossal scale.