Why Evolution is Wrong, post 10 of 10:The Human Genome

          Finally I have come to the point in this series where I need to address what many scientists consider to be the strongest evidence of all for the evolution of species. The human genome, they claim, about which we have rapidly gained much new knowledge in recent years, provides us with new, irrefutable proof that all species are related through breeding. They claim that each new discovery opens our eyes more and more to the specifics of human evolution as recorded in our own genome. This evidence, however, like much of that which we have covered so far, can be interpreted in more than one way.

            One of the most common (though not the strongest) arguments that evolutionists make from this new body of evidence is that evolution is proved by the enormous amount of identical DNA between the various different species. It is commonly said, for instance, that about 95% of human DNA is identical to that of chimpanzees. I personally do not have any reason to doubt this. There are, after all, many obvious similarities between us and monkeys, and probably quite a few less apparent ones. But once again, like I pointed out in my last post, these similarities only prove that humans and monkeys have a common origin: it does not prove exactly what that origin was. The recent breakthroughs in mapping the human genome have still failed to show how these species could have realistically evolved from a common ancestor through breeding, mutations, and natural selection.  As I have repeatedly pointed out, the question of mechanics has still not been answered.  Therefore, I would submit, that the many of the incredible discoveries concerning the human genome tell us much more about the creative power of God’s genius than they do about the history of human evolution.

            The debate becomes more interesting, and admittedly more challenging for us creationists, when the subject of noncoding DNA is brought up.  Many of the scientists who worked on the human genome project were surprised to discover that a huge majority of all DNA in every species is actually what is called “junk” DNA: DNA that is not actively used to code proteins. This DNA could possible be once active genes that have been turned off.  If this is true, then junk DNA could be expected to contain lots of left over DNA from our evolutionary past (assuming evolution is true). This, evolutionists claim, is exactly what we find.  This noncoding DNA, similarly to our coding DNA, once again reveals that many of the different species are very similar.  According to what I have read, much of this “junk” DNA from different species would produce additional identical proteins if it was switched on.  Why, the evolutionists ask, do all these similarities exist if the species are not distantly related to each other through breeding?

            The answer, I think, is that even this “junk” DNA has an inherent purpose, although I am not ready to say precisely what it is. Most scientists themselves would intend to agree with me.  The wikipedia article* on the Human Genome says that, concerning junk DNA “there are, however, a variety of emerging indications that many sequences within are likely to function in ways that are not fully understood.” Once again, we see that the human body is extremely complex in ways that many of us had not anticipated beforehand. Surely, as long as there is a purpose to them, these new discoveries fail to disprove the existence of a powerful, imaginative creator.  This is simply another application of the homologous structure argument that I dealt with in my last post.  The statement, I think, that junk DNA disproves creation is far too shallow and premature to be a serious threat at this point.  If anything, it shows that scientists again failed to anticipate the wonderful complexities of God’s incredible creative power.

            But now it is time for me to address what could be the evolutionists strongest argument of all.  Within this junk DNA, they claim, there is evidence of random mutations that occur at the exact same spot within noncoding genes of organisms of different species. That is to say, for instance, that some monkeys may have an identical (noncoding) mutation to one that we ourselves have.  The implication, obviously, is that we are related to them somehow, probably through a common ancestor that once had the same mutation.  In short, this is evidence for common descent.

            One possible answer to this argument is that these supposed “mutations” are not mutations at all. God could have put them into the various species to perform some identical purpose of which we are not aware.  But even if they are mutations, they do not necessarily prove common descent until a clear, statistical study is applied that addresses the following questions: How common are these exact strains in the two species being compared?  Do each of these species have just a handful of mutations in this stretch of DNA, or are there lots of varieties within the same species? After carefully analyzing these questions one can begin to calculate the odds of an identical mutation showing up in a different species through a random mutation rather than through common descent.

            Ultimately, I must admit, these questions are over my head.  I have repeatedly conceded throughout this series that I am not a scientist.  In order for me to really understand the case made by the evolutionists I would probably have to spend at least two or three years of my life learning about DNA. And that is assuming I even have the necessary acumen to make such an in-depth inquiry.  Realistically speaking, I don’t expect to ever be able to address this problem by myself.

            So what should I do then? Should I accept the evolutionist argument at face value? My answer is no, I will not. Just because I do not possess the ability to fully investigate the problem does not mean I have to surrender to the opposite point of view. One thing I have learned from studying creation science is that the more complicated a certain area of biology is, the easier it is to interpret in a variety of different ways. The human genome is extremely complicated, and there is still much that we are learning about it. Therefore I do not feel compelled to accept by faith that the evolutionists have it all figured out, especially since most of the evidence that I can understand indicates that the young Earth creationists are right.  After all, every time I have investigated the evolutionist claims on other subjects such as speciation and radiometric dating I have found plenty of room for an alternative interpretation of the evidence. Ultimately, I do not believe them in this case because their evidence does not stand up in other cases. One does not have to be a scientist, I believe, in order to see that evolutionary theory has many fatal flaws.  We have looked at a number of them in some of these posts.  I therefore do not expect the human genome to really provide proof of evolution after the final analysis since it would not be in agreement with all the other evidence.

            In the end, what the debate really comes down to is a question of faith.  No one person, no matter how smart he is, is capable of comprehending all there is to know about modern biology.  He must rely a great deal upon the testimony of others.  In the end he must decide how much he can trust them and how much he can’t.  I have decided that in this case I cannot trust the scientists.  I will elaborate on this in my next (and final) post about evolution.

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