Biochemistry

Scientific Evidence That Points to a Creator

April, 2016

I was recently invited to give a talk on intelligent design to a college philosophy class on Darwin, Marx, and Freud. I have known the professor for a number of years and had presented to his classes before. He usually has had me come in and present the case for intelligent design (ID) at the start of the section on Darwinism. The professor is an atheist but interested in discussing various views. I can only imagine what he has to say about my presentations afterwards; no doubt he tries to counter my arguments. Since I only had one chance to speak to these students, I wanted to present them with what I considered to be the best evidences for theism. This article is based on that talk. The discussion here will be brief and in everyday language. References are provided for those who wish to learn more.

The title of my talk was “Science that Points to a Creator.” First I set the ground rules for investigation in the historical sciences (geology, archeology, cosmology, history of life, etc.) by discussing Causality and Inference to the Best Explanation. Then I presented six topics that point to a creator: The Universe Had a Beginning, The Fine-Tuning of Physics, The Origin of Life, The Origin of Phyla, The Origin of Humans, and Worldviews and Morality. Any one of these evidences suggests a designer. Taken together, they form a strong reason to believe in a supernatural creator. Here are the topics.

Materialism and Abiogenesis

March, 2016

By Bdna.gif: Spiffistan derivative work: Jahobr (Bdna.gif) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsDNA Segment

The TASC newsletter article Fossils examined the fossil record as evidence in support of the theory of evolution.1 The conclusion of that article, as well as of several evolutionists themselves, was that the fossil record did not provide evidence to support the theory of evolution. We might think, "Well, that doesn't matter, since evolution is so strongly supported by the genetic evidence." However, is it really? Let's look and see. We will look primarily at the genetic evidence. 

Is abiogenesis irrelevant?

The idea of life arising from non-life is known as abiogenesis. It might be argued that abiogenesis is not evolution and thus is irrelevant in a discussion of evolution. The line of reasoning is that evolution deals with how life evolves from pre-existing life via natural selection, or how more complex life arises from simpler life, which does not involve the origin of life. This is still life giving rise to more complex life, not life arising from non-life. Therefore, the argument goes, the question of how life arose from non-life is not part of evolution, and is therefore excluded from any discussion of evolution as not being relevant.

God’s Wisdom in the Genome

December, 2008

The genome of organisms contains their genetic material, which largely determines how they will develop. Scientists are learning more and more about the genome of various organisms, which is revealing more and more about the amazing wisdom of God in their design and creation. It seems that our understanding of the functioning of life is always incomplete, and the genome is always more complex than we had thought. Will we ever fully understand the functioning of life, or will it always be a mystery to us?

First we present excerpt from an article about genetics in a recent issue of a magazine produced by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This article shows some unexpected features of the genome. What one  typically calls a gene is really a protein-coding gene and contains instructions for making one or more proteins. The DNA that is not included in such genes has been called “junk DNA” in the past, but now we are learning that this DNA has a function and contains genes that do not code for protein. This DNA that does not code for protein is now called noncoding DNA.

Humans are strikingly similar to a bunch of different critters—genetically, at least. Sixty percent of human genes are fundamentally the same as fruit fly genes, and somewhere around ninety percent of our genes are the same as mouse genes. 1

Radical Differences Between Human and Chimp Y Chromosomes Open a Bounty of Research Rabbit Holes for Scientists to Plunder

July, 2010

chromosomes

Click on image to see enlarged view

With support from the United States National Institutes of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, scientists from several medical research laboratories in the United States and the Netherlands have recently completed a series of experiments designed to sequence the male-specific region of the Y chromosome (MSY) in the chimpanzee. 1 In their words, they achieved for the first time “levels of accuracy and completion previously reached for the human MSY.” They also compared the MSYs of humans and chimpanzees and found that “they differ radically

Has Science Found How Life Began and Species Evolved? An Examination of the "RNA World" Hypothesis and Rapidly Changing Lizards

June, 2009

The central question evolutionary science has yet to answer is by what natural processes is novel information introduced into the biological world. Until this question is answered, evolution will remain an organized system of unproven speculations and “just so” stories. There are two main events in the evolutionary tale that need this type of explanation: the origin of life and the mechanism for macroevolution.

Joyce

Puzzles of the Genome

December, 2006

ImageThe genome of an animal contains the DNA that specifies the characteristics of the animal. This is in the form of a sequence of four bases; the sequence of the human genome is over three billion bases long. Of course, different individuals have different sequences. A few years ago the human genome project completed a description of the sequence of the human genome, and several other animals’ genomes have been sequenced since then. Scientists sometimes claim that these genomes provide evidence for the theory of evolution. However, recent results show how little we really know about the genome, and therefore it is unreasonable to assert that the genome provides evidence for evolution, when we understand it so poorly. 

"Junk" DNA as Evidence for Evolution?

January, 2003

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment."-Sherlock Holmes in a Study of Scarlet

Back in the 1960s, scientists discovered sections of DNA that did not code for proteins. These non-coding DNA strands were assumed to be non-functional and were referred to as "junk" DNA, the presumed evolutionary remnants of ancestral organisms.1 Almost 99% of human DNA is known to be non-coding.


A little background will facilitate discussion of non-coding DNA. Information in coding DNA sequences is transcribed into mRNA (Figure 1). mRNA exits the nucleus and attaches to ribosomes, the molecular machines that generate proteins. In the ribosome, the information in the mRNA is translated into an amino acid sequence to form a protein.

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Figure 1: Protein Formation from Coding DNA

The transcription of information from DNA to mRNA is where non-coding DNA is encountered (Figure 2).

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Figure 2: mRNA Formation by Removal of Introns

Intelligent Design

May, 2006

The phrase "intelligent design" is heard a great deal lately in the media, usually in the context of secondary school science education.

William Dembski

A mathematician and a philosopher, William A. Dembski is the Carl F. H. Henry Professor of Science and Theology at Southern Seminary in Louisville where he heads its Center for Theology and Science. He is also a senior fellow with Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture in Seattle and the executive director of the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design (www.iscid.org).

Does the Molecular Evidence Prove Common Ancestry is a "Fact?"

November, 2006

Genesis 1 describes the separate creation of various organisms “after their kind.” This means that all life on earth is primarily related through having a common creator and not through common descent. When evolutionists claim that molecules-to-man macroevolution is a “fact”, they are often referring to evidence for common ancestry irrespective of any evolutionary mechanism. This approach helps them avoid the inherent difficulties associated with explaining how point mutations, genetic recombinations, gene duplication, and natural selection could create new genetic information by chance. One way evolutionists try to support the idea of common ancestry involves comparison of homologous DNA sequences and proteins between organisms (molecular homology). Presumably, the greater the similarities between DNA or protein sequences in different organisms, the more recent has been the divergence from a common ancestor. Two lines of molecular evidence will be explored in this report: comparisons of cytochrome c and endogenous retroviral elements (RVEs).

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Recent Discoveries in Genetics

May, 2007

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Several recent discoveries in genetics reveal even more of the amazing properties of the genome and give additional evidence for the design of life by an intelligent creator. DNA consists of a long sequence of four nucleotide bases. Proteins consist of sequences of about twenty amino acids, and are specified by a coding system in which three successive nucleotide bases of DNA constitute a “codon” and are translated into a specific amino acid. However, there are more codons than amino acids, so more than one codon corresponds to a given amino acid in many cases.

Now, within everyone’s DNA are “SNPs”, single nucleotide polymorphisms. This is a site at which many humans have differing nucleotides. Sometimes such a difference does not influence the amino acid coded for. For example, the codons UCU and UCC both code for serine, so a change of uracil to cytosine at this point in the RNA, corresponding to a change of thymine to cytosine in the DNA, has no effect on the sequence of amino acids in the protein. Is there then any difference between such codons in terms of their effects on the organism?

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