Posts Tagged ‘creation’

god created universe

When I first became a Christian I had a question that I mulled over every time I looked up into the night sky: Why did God make such a large universe?  Why countless galaxies, nebula, stars, etc? Especially considering that the vast majority of the universe could not even be seen by man until very recently, when considering the entire history of human presence on earth, with the advent of telescopic technology.

Some common default Christian answers have been that God created countless nebula and galaxies to show case his Glory and how great He is.  And though I agree that contemplating the surreal size of the universe is a very humbling and awe-inspiring notion of God’s greatness, it cannot be the sole reason for its existence. After all, we didn’t even know of the universe’s wide expanses until recently. Additionally, for God to create so much just to “show off,” doesn’t seem like the God of the Bible. God does not suffer from an identity-crisis and need to impress us to validate Himself. Our God is rational, and therefore there must be a rational reason why he created such a large and expansive universe. Otherwise, the vast stretches of universe we don’t see is just a huge waste of time.

I found I was not alone in this problem. It is in fact a huge source of skepticism for many unbelievers. Especially scientists who do not favor the anthropic principal (universe fine-tuned for life) as evidence for a Creator. Take for example a remark from famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, when he wrote, “… this argument [the Anthropic Principal] for the existence of God implies surely the most wasteful creator one might imagine, who makes countless universes in that in a tiny sector of just one of these, life might arise,” (Tyson & Goldsmith, 104). Well if Neil Tyson said it, it must be true! Unless, there is a genuine reason why God created such a large expansive universe. And at that I have found two answers to this problem.

The first of the two answers is somewhat partial but related to the issue. The first answer is navigation. For thousands of years people have been able to accurately navigate far distances on earth (especially at sea) using the stars. Many refer to this as an answer for why God created a huge universe, but it doesn’t satisfy because the stars we see are but a miniscule fraction of the content that is out in the universe.

The second answer is, on the other hand, absolute and satisfying: Mass Density. The universe has a mass density, which is the cumulative amount of mass within the universe. Thus, the stars, star clusters and galaxies are all a part of the universe’s overall density. But what makes the mass density of the universe so interesting is that it is absolutely paramount to our existence.

The mass density falls into a very precise region called “critical density,” (Williams & Hartnett, 137 & Ross, 35). Theoretical physicist Dr. William Drees explains, “A universe with a much larger density would have collapsed at an early stage, while a universe with less matter would have been too diluted to allow for the formation of stars,” (Drees, 80). Cosmologist Dr. Hugh Ross agrees, “The uniformity, homogeneity, and mass density of the universe  all must be precisely as they are for human life to be possible…” (Ross, 86).  In other words, if our universe were more dense or less dense the galaxy, solar system and planet we live on could not exist. If God had created a lot less the universe would collapse back in on itself. Thus God was not being wasteful at all when he created such an expansive universe with countless stars, nebula and galaxies. He did it for us so that our existence would be possible.

I’ll close with a quote from Ross, “What this means is that approximately hundred -billion-trillion stars we observe in the universe  – no more no less – are needed for life to be possible in the universe. God invested heavily in living creatures,” (Ross, 118). So next time someone criticizes the existence of God by pointing out the massive size of the universe be sure to politely share with them that we only exist because God was kind enough to create so much surplus.

References:

Drees, W.B. (1990) Beyond the Big Bang; Quantum Cosmologies and God, (La Salle, IL: Open Court Publishing Company)

Ross, H. (1994) The Creator and the Cosmos; How the Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God, (Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress)

Tyson, N.dG. & Goldsmith, D. (2004) Origins; Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution,” (New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.)

Williams, A & Hartnett, (2005) Dismantling the Big Bang, (Green Forest, AR: Master Books)

The following is an article written by synthetic organic chemist Dr. James M. Tour called, “Layman’s Reflections on Evolution and Creation. An Insider’s View of the Academy .”

It is a very insightful and incredibly fascinating article about his stance on the creation/evolution debate that is put into wonderful perspective. You can find it here: http://www.jmtour.com/personal-topics/the-scientist-and-his-%e2%80%9ctheory%e2%80%9d-and-the-christian-creationist-and-his-%e2%80%9cscience%e2%80%9d/

Tour writes,

“Assuming that I have something significant to contribute to the evolution vs. creation debate, many ask me to speak and write concerning my thoughts on the topic. However, I do not have anything substantive to say about it. I am a layman on the subject. Although I have read about a half dozen books on the debate, maybe a dozen, and though I can speak authoritatively on complex chemical synthesis, I am not qualified to enter the public discussion on evolution vs. creation. So please don’t ask me to be the speaker or debater at your event, and think carefully about asking me for an interview because I will probably not give you the profound quotations that you seek. You are of course free to quote me from what is written here, but do me the kindness of placing my statements in a fair context.

I have been labeled as an Intelligent Design (ID) proponent. I am not. I do not know how to use science to prove intelligent design although some others might. I am sympathetic to the arguments on the matter and I find some of them intriguing, but the scientific proof is not there, in my opinion. So I prefer to be free of that ID label. Blaise Pascal (1623-1662, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaise_Pascal), one of the finest scientists, mathematicians and inventors that the world has ever enjoyed, and also among the most well-respected and deepest thinking Christian apologists, wrote in his Pensees 463, “It is a remarkable fact that no canonical [biblical] author has ever used nature to prove God. They all try to make people believe in him. David, Solomon, etc., never said: ‘There is no such thing as a vacuum, therefore God exists.’ They must have been cleverer than the cleverest of their successors, all of whom have used proofs from nature. This is very noteworthy.’” As Kreeft (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Kreeft) points out in his commentary on Pascal’s Pensees, “If the Scripture does not use nature to prove God, it can’t be the best strategy. Notice that Pascal does not say that there are no good proofs of God or that none of them begin with data from nature. Elsewhere, he specifies merely that such proofs are psychologically weak, but he does not say they are logically weak. More important, they are salvifically weak, [meaning that] they will not save us. If nature proved God clearly, we would not have to search for him with all our hearts.” Pascal further writes in his Pensees 429 , “This is what I see that troubles me: Nature has nothing to offer me that does not give rise to doubt and anxiety; if there is a God supporting nature, she should unequivocally proclaim him, and that, if the signs in nature are deceptive, they should be completely erased; that nature should say all or nothing so that I could see what course I ought to follow.” Though 350 years since Pascal penned his dilemma, as a modern-day scientist, I do not know how to prove ID using my most sophisticated of analytical tools. I share Pascal’s frustration. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if, when scientists had obtained the first molecular resolution images of human DNA, it had self-assembled (a thermodynamic process) into the Hebrew script to say, “The God of Heaven and Earth was here.”? But it did not, and I suppose that the wonder would have elicited no love from the skeptic anyway. Therefore, God seems to have set nature as a clue, not a solution, to keep us yearning for him.

Not that it matters much, but since many want to know, I will ask the question for them: Where does Jim Tour stand on the evolution vs. creation debate? I do have scientific problems understanding macroevolution as it is usually presented. I simply can not accept it as unreservedly as many of my scientist colleagues do, although I sincerely respect them as scientists. Some of them seem to have little trouble embracing many of evolution’s proposals based upon (or in spite of) archeological, mathematical, biochemical and astrophysical suggestions and evidence, and yet few are experts in all of those areas, or even just two of them. Although most scientists leave few stones unturned in their quest to discern mechanisms before wholeheartedly accepting them, when it comes to the often gross extrapolations between observations and conclusions on macroevolution, scientists, it seems to me, permit unhealthy leeway. When hearing such extrapolations in the academy, when will we cry out, “The emperor has no clothes!”?

From what I can see, microevolution is a fact; we see it all around us regarding small changes within a species, and biologists demonstrate this procedure in their labs on a daily basis. Hence, there is no argument regarding microevolution. The core of the debate for me, therefore, is the extrapolation of microevolution to macroevolution. Here is what some supporters of Darwinism have written regarding this point in respected journals, and it is apparent that they struggle with the same difficulty.

  • Stern, David L. “Perspective: Evolutionary Developmental Biology and the Problem of Variation,” Evolution 2000, 54, 1079-1091. A contribution from the University of Cambridge. “One of the oldest problems in evolutionary biology remains largely unsolved; Historically, the neo-Darwinian synthesizers stressed the predominance ofmicromutations in evolution, whereas others noted the similarities between somedramatic mutations and evolutionary transitions to argue for macromutationism.”
  • Simons, Andrew M. “The Continuity of Microevolution and Macroevolution,” Journal of Evolutionary Biology 2002, 15, 688-701. A contribution from Carleton University.”A persistent debate in evolutionary biology is one over the continuity of microevolution and macroevolution — whether macroevolutionary trends are governed by the principles of microevolution.”

So the debate between the validity of extending microevolutionary trends to macroevolutionary projections is indeed “persistent” in evolutionary biology.

Some are disconcerted or even angered that I signed a statement back in 2001 along with over 700 other scientists: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” Do not the texts written by the two authors above underscore what I signed, namely, “Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged”? And these “oldest problems in evolutionary biology” lead me and many others to our being “skeptical.” It is not a matter of politics. I simply do not understand, chemically, how macroevolution could have happened. Hence, am I not free to join the ranks of the skeptical and to sign such a statement without reprisals from those that disagree with me? Furthermore, when I, a non-conformist, ask proponents for clarification, they get flustered in public and confessional in private wherein they sheepishly confess that they really don’t understand either. Well, that is all I am saying: I do not understand. But I am saying it publicly as opposed to privately. Does anyone understand the chemical details behind macroevolution? If so, I would like to sit with that person and be taught, so I invite them to meet with me. Lunch will be my treat. Until then, I will maintain that no chemist understands, hence we are collectively bewildered. And I have not even addressed origin of first life issues. For me, that is even more scientifically mysterious than evolution. Darwin never addressed origin of life, and I can see why he did not; he was far too smart for that. Present day scientists that expose their thoughts on this become ever so timid when they talk with me privately. I simply can not understand the source of their confidence when addressing their positions publicly.

Furthermore, most of my scientist colleagues do not discuss macroevolution very often because they are too busy with their own fields of interest to be sidetracked by such tangential matters. Though the acceptance of macroevolution is rather implicit within their core understandings, most science professors are simply too harried to take much notice of the details. Pondering and thoughtfulness has been pounded and distilled out of many of us; there’s another meeting to attend, another proposal to write, another manuscript to proof, yet another lecture to deliver, 100 more emails to answer, and the anxieties about our futures must be allayed. “The peace which passeth all understanding,” is beyond reach, nay beyond understanding.

Likewise, I do not well-understand the stance of many of my creationist friends regarding their scientific evidence for creation or intelligent design, but they seem to be quite comfortable in most respects with the natural and historical suggestions for its claims. I am happy for them, but I hope that their position does not cause them to trump brotherly love or charity in thought or words. When they write on these topics, they are too quick to cite each other or to refer to 40-year-old studies, and slow to consider the newer findings in the mainstream scientific literature. The scientist is not the creationist’s enemy, and most scientists are quite sincere in producing research that is accurate to the best of today’s measurement abilities. For example, the gross dismissing of radiometric dating experiments that use even multiple corroborating nuclei, not by a mere 20% or even 100%, but by 4-5 orders of magnitude, based on antiquated “scientific” arguments, is unscientific and unfair. Moreover, to simply suggest that “God made it look older than it really is” is also unreasonable. With what else is God deceiving us? The virgin birth, the crucifixion or the resurrection, perhaps? Never. God is not in the business of deception, but in causing man to seek so that he could find. And my creationist friends need some thoughtful explanations for their children because, in my experience, young college-aged people seek truth, and if you threaten them, try to brow-beat them, or show them a select set of cloistered “scientific” data, they’ll smell hypocrisy, and sooner or later in life, reject it altogether.

What a comfort it must be to be pleasantly settled in one camp or the other, but I can not be so settled, and hence I have few tent-fellows. Based upon my faith in the Scriptures, I do believe (yes, faith and belief go beyond scientific evidence for this scientist) that God created the heavens and the earth and all that dwell therein, including a man named Adam and a woman named Eve. As for many of the details and the time-spans, I personally become less clear. Some may ask, What’s “less clear” about the text that reads, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth”? That is a fair question, and I wish I had an answer that would satisfy them. But I do not because I remain less clear.

I hope that’s satisfactory; I mean for me, a scientist and a Christian, to be unsure of a few things in both science and Christianity. The question is not fundamental to my salvation as a Christian which is based upon the finished work of Jesus Christ, my confession in him as Savior and my belief in his resurrection from the dead. And I used to think that my outward confession of skepticism regarding Darwinian Theory was also of little consequence to my career as a scientist. Specifically, in the past, I wrote that my standing as a scientist was “based primarily upon my scholarly peer-reviewed publications.” I no longer believe that, however.

In the last few years I have seen a saddening progression at several institutions. I have witnessed unfair treatment upon scientists that do not accept macroevolutionary arguments and for their having signed the above-referenced statement regarding the examination of Darwinism. (I will comment no further regarding the specifics of the actions taken upon the skeptics; I love and honor my colleagues too much for that.) I never thought that science would have evolved like this. I deeply value the academy; teaching, professing and research in the university are my privileges and joys. Rice University, from the administration, has always been gracious and open. The president of Rice University, David Leebron, has even written to the faculty that a,

“core value of our university is free and open inquiry. We encourage robust debate on the difficult issues of the day, and we welcome people with many points of view to our campus to better understand those issues and the differences that can divide us. That can and does mean that we sometimes provide a forum for opinions that may be controversial — or even on occasion reprehensible — to many or a few. While we cannot and will not censor the expression of divergent opinions, we do expect those opinions be expressed with civility and with respect for other points of view.”

Hence, by my observation, the unfair treatment upon the skeptics of macroevolution has not come from the administration level. But my recent advice to my graduate students has been direct and revealing: If you disagree with Darwinian Theory, keep it to yourselves if you value your careers, unless, of course, you’re one of those champions for proclamation; I know that that fire exists in some, so be ready for lead-ridden limbs. But if the scientific community has taken these shots at senior faculty, it will not be comfortable for the young non-conformist. When the power-holders permit no contrary discussion, can a vibrant academy be maintained? Is there a University (unity in diversity)? For the United States, I pray that the scientific community and the National Academy in particular will investigate the disenfranchisement that is manifest upon some of their own, and thereby address the inequity.

So what should be taught in schools regarding evolution? As I wrote, I am not a proponent of Intelligent Design for the reasons I state above: I can not prove it using my tools of chemistry to which I am bound in the chemistry classroom; the same tools to which I commensurately bind my evolutionist colleagues. But I think that a better approach might include more teaching about evolution, namely coverage of legitimate scientific criticisms of neo-Darwinism and disputes about the origin of the first life. That would be more balanced.

Some have asked me what I think of the movie, “Expelled. No Intelligence Allowed.” I saw a closed viewing of the movie in February 2008, two months before its public showing. It was difficult for me to watch because it struck so close to home, thus I am sure that my feelings were different than the other non-scientists in the theater. As to the veracity of the specific claims by others in the movie, I cannot judge since I was not walking in their shoes. But here is what I fear: the movie might serve to increase the polarization between the scientific and lay communities. That a subset of the scientific establishment is retarding the careers of Darwinian skeptics is true as far as I have witnessed personally. If there are legitimate scientific skepticisms regarding the extrapolation of microevolution to macroevolution, those skeptics are sometimes stifled through unfair treatment regarding their career advancement; that is real although most scientists would say that such attacks on careers are nonexistent. Most would say such a thing because they are not involved in the skirmish and they are not aware that a colleague down the hall is hemorrhaging. Like many, they are absorbed in their own work because science can be all-consuming. I do not fault them for that. Most scientists, as I said, are far too busy with their own careers to be involved with other’s problems of this sort. A small number of scientists would say that the stifled deserve stifling. Therefore, if attention can be brought to the unfortunate state in science through the movie, let it come. I hope all welcome freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry, even if that freedom threatens one’s own preconceived views or areas of research. But I also hope that the reaction will not be too great on the layperson’s side wherein their disgust induces a politician or two to become incensed in the investigation because of the unnecessarily incendiary portrayals to Nazism, Berlin-walling and church-demolishing in the movie; although entertaining from a theatrical perspective, that part of the movie is taken to an unrealistic extrapolation point. But then again, one who is far more qualified than I am, and further seasoned by fire, believed differently. Viktor Frankl (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Frankl), a former Auschwitz inmate wrote in The Doctor and the Soul, that the source for much of the 20th Century’s inhumanity has come from the very origins being discussed here.

“If we present a man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present man as an automaton of reflexes, as a mind-machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drives and reactions, as a mere product of instinct, heredity and environment, we feed the nihilism to which modern man is, in any case, prone.

“I became acquainted with the last stage of that corruption in my second concentration camp, Auschwitz. The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment; or as the Nazi liked to say, ‘of Blood and Soil.’ I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some Ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers [emphasis added].”

If Frankl is correct, God help us.”

Have you ever heard that no two snowflakes are alike? Is this true? Well both yes and no. There are actually two types of snowflakes; the smaller hexagonal snowflakes and the larger star shaped crystals. Between the two, the smaller hexagonal flakes are often very similar in appearance. However, the larger star-shaped crystals are where we find the incredible uniqueness in each snow flake.[1] Each crystal can have up to 100 different features meaning there are up to a mind blowing 10158 number of possible combinations.[2] That’s more combinations than there are atoms in the entire universe!

As wonderful and interesting as these beautiful snowflakes are, they believe it or not, have played a part in the evolution/creation debate. How so? Well evolutionists use the intricate complexity of snowflake crystal formation to prove that “something can come from nothing.” Which is precisely what evolution requires in order to be the true cause of our origins. Is this a good argument though? Do they have a point? The only way to know is to first understand how snowflake crystals form these complex designs.

Ice is of course made of water (H2O). H2O molecules are bent with positive and negative charged ends. When they get cold enough to freeze they come together at odd angles to form hexagonal (six-fold) shapes.[3] CO2 molecules by contrast are linear shaped molecules, so when they freeze to form dry ice, they come together to form cubic crystals. As H2O crystals form, temperature, altitude and humidity influence the shapes they become. This appears to be order from disorder. So evolutionists claim that just as simple water molecules can form such complex larger forms, than simple molecules could have accidently come together to form more complex structures like a living cell.[4]

As you can see, the angular shape of an H2O molecule, causes hexagonal shapes when it freezes (bonds).

This is quite a stretch though. Snowflake crystals are a far cry from a living cell. Ice crystals are merely structures formed by collective of angular shaped molecules, like a building made of bricks. Ice crystals form by the removal of heat and evolutionists believe life arose from the addition of heat. Two completely different processes.  Information-wise the snowflake structures contain no more information than the H2O molecules they’re made from. Life on the other hand requires the emergence and gain of information in order to take form. That’s essentially what life is; information (in code) that allows for order, function and reproduction of itself. A living cell’s “order” of molecules is incredibly precise and detrimental if slightly altered, whereas a snowflake can’t be considered ordered since its shapes have no real function and vary in trillions of different ways every time they form. The living cell’s molecules are encoded to remain functional and operational, where as water freezes differently every time with no encoded information to tell it exactly which particular way to form.

Here’s something else to consider. Water forms snowflakes naturally in cold and so it commonly happens 24/7 around the clock everywhere around the world. If life arising from molecules was such a natural occurrence, how come it has never been observed happening, ever? If it was just as natural as snow crystals we’d be able to witness and document life arising from non-life to this very day… but we unfortunately do not. You can stick the raw ingredients of DNA into a test tube and shake it, heat it up, freeze it, etc they’ll never form into a DNA chain. But you can take the raw ingredients of snow (water), send it through a cold weather system and now you got snowflakes. In conclusion, they’re not comparable, sorry.

As one evolutionist even admitted, “One could almost convince oneself that snowflakes constitute a demonstration of supernatural power.”[5] Hmmm… maybe he should convince himself.


[3] Vardiman, L., Microscopic masterpieces: discovering design in snow crystals, Institute for Creation Research, 1 Dec 2007; icr.org/article/3555.

[4] Bailey, D., Evolution and Probability, Report of National Center for Science Education 20(4), 2001.

[5] Bailey, D., Evolution and Probability, Report of National Center for Science Education 20(4), 2001.

I’ve heard it a hundred times, our DNA is 99% similar with Chimpanzee DNA. The statistic’s purpose is obvious; if our DNA is so similar we must be related and have a common ancestor. Clearly we share evolutionary ties to the chimpanzee. This was further solidified in my mind while taking a course in Human Genetics, in which I learned exactly how this statistic came about. In this article I will present the evolutionary side of this subject as I was taught in my Human Genetics course, then I will present an alternate view of these similarities. So first, let’s begin with how these similarities were first discovered.

In the 1970’s a study of the human genome and chimpanzee genome yielded a repeated estimate that our DNA was 98.7% similar.[1] This was discovered by a process called DNA-hybridization. The hybridization process involves taking DNA from two different species and heating them up so they that they both unwind. Once they unwind, complementary pieces bond together forming hybrid molecules. The higher the temperature that is required in order to separate the hybrid DNA means the more the DNA between the two species were similar, because more bonds would need to be broken. Two species that had very dissimilar DNA would be unable to form as many hybrid bonds and therefore could be unwound at a much lower temperature. This is how the 98.7% statistic is reached.

Another way scientists can measure the similarity and differences between human and chimpanzee DNA is by tracking “indels,” which stands for insertions and deletions. The human genome has additional sequences (insertions), and lacks other sequences (deletions) when compared to the chimpanzee genome. By observing the sequences we share, we are 96.6% similar to the chimpanzee, and via the sequences we don’t share we are 94% similar to the chimpanzee.[2]

However, these statistics are reached by tracking single genes. Single genes can have the ability to cause major distinctions. For example, the ability to speak, opposable thumbs, large frontal lobe of the brain can all be determined by one gene.[3] The speaking gene known as FOXP2 OMIM 605317 is sometimes found missing in people and they have no ability to speak. This same gene is found in Chimpanzees, though the gene is slightly different so the chimpanzees cannot speak. In other words, the chimpanzee may look and behave very dissimilar to humans, but these are merely single gene differences. The FOX P2 protein created by this gene contains 700 amino acids, of which 698 of the amino acids are identical between human and chimpanzees.[4] That’s a 99.7% similarity!

Comparing Chromosomes

When a cell is preparing to split during mitosis the DNA inside the cell coils up tightly to form chromosomes. Our chromosomes can be compared to chimpanzee chromosomes to observe similarities. This was the initial way to observe similarities (outside of fossil comparison) prior to the advent of gene and genome sequencing. Comparing banding patterns on human chromosomes, we are 99+% similar to Chimpanzees, Gorillas and Orangutans, 95% similar to African green monkeys, 35% similar to cats, and 7% similar to mice.[5]

There is also another way to observe similarities in chromosomes, which is done by using FISH analysis. The FISH method involves using DNA probes that are complimentary to particular DNA sequences. These DNA probes will naturally bond to the DNA they’re similar with. But the probes are also attached to a fluorescent molecule, so that once a DNA probe attaches itself it can be seen under proper lighting illuminated. Using the FISH method, similarities in Chromosomes are more precisely found, and between human and chimpanzee DNA, many similarities are in fact found.

Comparing Proteins

Different organisms often use the same or similar proteins. The only difference between the proteins is usually a single different amino acid in the chain. The similarity in proteins and their amino acid composition is often used by geneticists to gauge similarities between different animals. Geneticists recognize that 99% of the proteins used by chimpanzees have identical amino acids to that of human proteins.[6] The most popular being the cytochrome c and homeobox proteins. Taking cytochrome c for example, of the 104 amino acids required for cytochrome c, 20 are identical in all eukaryotic cells. Then as you go from animal to animal, you find more and more amino acid commonality. Compared to humans; yeast shares all but 42 amino acids, fruit flies share all but 24 of their amino acids, a bullfrog shares all but 20 amino acids, a cow shares all but 10 amino acids, a rabbit all but 9 amino acids, but a chimpanzee has all the same amino acids we do used to produce a cytochrome c protein.[7] Homeobox genes are also noted for having commonalities with chimpanzees as they can be swapped from a human genome to a chimpanzee or other animals and the gene still functions though there are often bizarre mutations that occur. These are the most widely known evidences of proteins proving similarities between humans and chimpanzees.

So, when we compile the evidence we see that humans have DNA incredibly similar to the chimpanzee, especially when comparing chromosomes and proteins. That seems pretty concrete right? How could anyone question our relation to monkeys in knowing what was covered here?

An opposing view

When counter arguing the belief that man and chimp share a common ancestor, it’s not that the evidence biologists and geneticists refer to is incorrect, it is that their interpretation of the evidence may be off. They say, “look at the similarities, we’re related!” But someone else could look at all this same evidence and come to quite a different conclusion. The Bible says God created all life. If God created all life, then it is entirely possible that He used similar design and construction in similar animals. Think of it like a car manufacturer such as Ford. The Ford focus, mustang, explorer and expedition all have similar parts because they came from the same automobile manufacturer. But the explorer has more parts in common with the expedition than compared to the mustang and focus. But this is just because they are both SUVs, while the other is a sports car and a compact. In the same way similarities found among humans and chimpanzees could just as easily be explained as similar design from the same Designer.

Humans live in the same world as all other creatures, meaning our environment is the same. Since we all live on the same planet and share the same environment it is only natural that we would discover similarities in our anatomy because we all have similar needs to live on our planet. Animals that have more similar needs would of course have more shared proteins and DNA to carry out those needs. So the similarities between human and chimpanzee DNA being greater than similarities between humans and let’s say a jellyfish, should not be a surprise. Our needs are more similar to that of a chimpanzee than that of a jellyfish.

Even so, the claimed similarities mentioned earlier aren’t exactly all what they’re cracked up to be. So let’s first address the DNA similarities. In order to know the exact ratio of similarities between humans and chimps we’d need to have an even understanding of each genome. This is not the case though. The human genome has been intensely studied and mapped, but the chimpanzee genome has not nearly been studied to the same degree. Meaning we know much more about the human genome than we do about the chimp’s. Without knowing the chimp’s as well as we know the human’s, how can we make an accurate conclusion about how similar they are? Furthermore, DNA comparison between human and chimp DNA is based on observing one gene at a time, not the entire genome.[8] So out of three billion base pairs of DNA found in both our genomes, we study a handful of genes and determine we’re closely related. Not very concrete…

Even if we completely mapped the chimpanzee genome and compared it to the human genome as a whole and discovered that we are in fact over 90% similar, that still doesn’t mean much when you consider the complexity of our DNA. For example, if there was only a 1.23% difference of a single base pair in our DNA, that would lead to over 35 million differences altogether.[9] Compared to a human, the chimp is missing anywhere from 40-45 million base pairs of DNA.[10] When insertions and deletions are considered, that 4% difference mentioned earlier equals 125 million different base pairs that we do not have in common with chimps.[11] To put that in perspective; the average 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper can hold about 4,000 letters. It would take more than 10,000 pages to record the base pair differences that humans have and chimps do not share. Biologist and urologist Dr. Barney Maddox, Now the genetic difference between the human and his nearest relative, the chimpanzee, is at least 1.6%. That doesn’t sound like much, but calculated out, that is a gap of at least 48,000,000 nucleotides, and a change of only 3 nucleotides is fatal to an animal; there is no possibility of change.”[12]

Haldane’s Dilemma

The problem with believing we share a common ancestor with a chimp can also be an issue of time. It is one thing to have millions of different base pairs separating chimps and humans, but if we both came from a common ancestor, that means our differences would have been caused by mutations in our genetic material after we split away from our ancestors. The problem: Per evolutionary models humans and chimps split off about 300,000 generations ago. In order to account for the vast amount of genetic differences between us, we would have to have had experienced about 133 genetic mutations in each generation.[13] That many mutations in such a short amount of time absurd, and is commonly known as Haldane’s Dilemma.

Other Differences

There are many other differences that separate humans and chimps. Telomeres at the end of each chromosome help the body control how often chromosomes can be duplicated during replication of a cell. Chimps and other apes have about 23,000 base pairs of DNA at their telomeres, while humans have about 10,000.[14] When it comes to chromosomes the differences continue on. Though many chromosomes are like that of a chimp, the human’s 4, 9 and 12 chromosomes are very different.[15] The Y chromosomes are also very different between humans and chimps. Humans have 23 chromosomes, chimpanzees have 24. In examining gene families, chimps have 86 genes that humans lack, and humans have 689 genes that chimps lack.[16] As you can see the differences aren’t as small as you’re lead to believe. Percentages may make the differences seem small, but when you consider the enormous complexity of our genetic material, those small percentages make a very big difference!

Remember that FOXP2 gene and protein mentioned before with the 99.7% similarity in amino acids that enables us to speak? Well the two different amino acids are in two different places along the amino acid chain which any geneticist will tell you that even alterations that small can create major changes to the way a protein functions. Many genetic defects found in animals are in fact the result of one misplaced amino acid, which can cause an entire protein to lose function. Like a car which has hundreds of parts all working together, take away one, like a drive shaft or one of the four wheels and now you have a car that can’t be driven. Take away the computer’s extension cord to the outlet and it can’t even turn on. In the same way a protein can be rendered completely useless by one misplaced amino acid even if 99.9% of all the other ones are in place. Case in point; humans and chimps both have the FOXP2 gene, but we can talk, and they cannot.

“FOXP2 demonstrates how a difference in one amino acid can yield a protein that is regulated differently or has altered functions. Therefore, we should not be too quick to trivialize even very small differences in gene sequences.” –Dr. David A. Dewitt, biochemist and neuroscientist.[17]

As said before chromosome banding comparison is also another method by which evolutionists compare animal relatedness. The problem with comparing the chromosome banding of different animals is that a chromosome may have the same band as another animal, but that band can contain different genes altogether. This renders band comparison imprecise.[18] Yet many refer to this to prove animal relatedness.

If we use evolutionist’s method of comparing genetic similarities to show common ancestry we may be excited when we focus on similarities between humans and primates. But you’ll be disappointed when you compare humans to other forms of life. For example, human DNA is 50% similar to the DNA of a banana. What does that say about our ancestry? Humans share the same mutated vitamin C pseudo gene with that of guinea pigs.[19] But per the evolution model we’re not supposed to be related to the guinea pig. When comparing the human genome to that of a pufferfish, its genome is like ours, just missing repeats and introns. As biologist and evolutionist Ricki Lewis PhD states, “It is odd to think that the protein encoding portion of our genome is nearly the same as that of a fish.”[20] Humans share the same hemogoblins found in many plants, does that makes us related to plants? As you can see, we can find genetic comparisons to all kinds of animals, in fact, more than half of our DNA is similar to most animals. So similarities in genetics aren’t as earth shattering as they’re made out to be, but are instead a built up hype. The line is drawn between Creationists and Evolutionists in that creationists say the similarities are what we’d find if we were all created by the same Creator, where as the Evolutionists say it would be what we’d find if we all evolved from the same original organism. The problem for evolutionists is that these similarities jump around from animal to animal regardless of where they stand on the evolutionary tree.

For example: In 1996 an analysis of 88 proteins grouped rabbits with primates and not rodents. In 1998 a study of 13 genes in 14 species of animals linked sea urchins with chordates. A 1998 analysis of 12 proteins places cows closer to whales in relation than horses. Another more recent study of single chain antigen receptor proteins finds sharks in close relation to camels. Bats and dolphin both have a sonar system that is almost identical at a molecular level. These odd commonalities cannot be explained via the evolutionary tree of ancestry. But from a creationist stand point they can be explained via a common Creator.

As Dr. Dewitt concludes, “The similarity between human and chimpanzee DNA really lies in the eye of the beholder. If you look for similarities, you can find them. But if you look for differences, you can find those as well. There are significant differences between the human and chimpanzee genome that are not easily accounted for in an evolutionary scenario. Creationists expect both similarities and differences, and that is exactly what we find.”[21]


[1] Ricki Lewis, Human Genetics; Concepts and Applications, Eighth Edition, (New York:NY McGraw-Hill, 2008) Pg 310.

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

[4] Wolfgand Enard, “Molecular Evolution of FOXP2, A Gene Involved with Speech and Language,” Nature 418 (2002): 869-872.

[5] Ricki Lewis, Human Genetics; Concepts and Applications, Eighth Edition, (New York:NY McGraw-Hill, 2008) Pg 313.

[6] Ibid, Pg 314.

[7] Ibid

[8] Dr. David A. Dewitt, The New Answers Book 3, What about the Similarity Between Human and Chimp DNA? (GreenForest:AR Master Books 2010) Pg. 101.

[9] Ibid, Pg. 102.

[10] Ibid

[11] Ibid

[12] Dr. Barney Maddox, “Human Genome Project, A Disproof of Evolution”

[13] Walter J. ReMine, “Cost Theory and the Cost of Substitution- A Clarification,” TJ 19 no. 1 (2005).

[14] S. Kakuo, K. Asaoka, and T. Ide, “Human Is a Unique Species Among Primates in Terms of Telomere Length,” Biochemistry, Biophysics, Res. Commun. 263 (1999): 308-314.

[15] Ann Gibbons, “Which of Our Genes Makes Us Human?” Science 281 (1998): 1432-1434.

[16] J.P. Demuth, “The Evolution of Mammalian Gene Families,” www.plosone.org, 2006.

[17] Dr. David A. Dewitt, The New Answers Book 3, What about the Similarity Between Human and Chimp DNA? (GreenForest:AR Master Books 2010) Pg. 105.

[18] Ricki Lewis, Human Genetics; Concepts and Applications, Eighth Edition, (New York:NY McGraw-Hill, 2008) Pg 314.

[19] Y. Inai, Y. Ohta, and M. Nishikimi, “The Whole Structure of the Human Nonfunctional L-Gulono-Gamma-Lactone Oxidase Gene – The Gene Responsible for Scurvy – and the Evolution of Receptive Sequences Theron,” Journal of Nutritional Science Vitimol 49 (2003): 315-319.

[20] Ricki Lewis, Human Genetics; Concepts and Applications, Eighth Edition, (New York:NY McGraw-Hill, 2008) Pg 311.

[21] Dr. David A. Dewitt, The New Answers Book 3, What about the Similarity Between Human and Chimp DNA? (GreenForest:AR Master Books 2010) Pg. 108.

 

Read something very interesting that I thought I’d share, because I love sharing things that just blow my mind and further support the Bible’s claims.

According to Dr. Jerry Bergman (PhD Biology), the oldest known living organisms on earth are trees; Sequoias, Redwoods and Bristlecone Pines (the oldest being a Bristlecone Pine tree estimated to be anywhere from 4,000 to 4,800 years old). After exhaustively studying thousands of these trees, biologists have yet to find one that has died of old age. All dead Sequoias, Redwoods and Bristlecone Pines have died from lumberjacks, fires, storms, and parasites. In knowing that one could deduce that the oldest of these trees may continue to keep growing for an indefinite amount of time into the future. That we have yet to see a max age for any of these trees.

This is interesting because the oldest of these trees range from 4,000 to 4,800 years old*. And creationists date Noah’s flood from anywhere between 4,000 and 4,500 years ago.* So we have these trees that seem to have not reached their max age and died. And the oldest may have not preceded  past when the global flood is estimated to have occurred. Very interesting if you ask me.

*Trees are dated based on counting tree rings in the trunk of the tree. On average most trees produce one ring per year, but trees can often produce two rings per year. Because of this it’s hard to know the exact ages of trees, but accurate age “ranges” can be determined, ex; 4,000 to 4,800 year.

*According to Answersingenesis.org the flood is estimated to have occurred around 2,304 B.C. +/- 11 years.  http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v4/n1/date-of-noahs-flood