Tag Archives: DNA

The DNA of Eve

One spectacular achievement of modern science is the ability to sequence DNA. We can now “read” the exact DNA code of you, me, and every other living creature. Human beings have about 3.2 billion letters of DNA code in almost every cell. By “reading” the code, and comparing differences, we can trace genealogy and recreate the history of the human race. When we do that, we get fantastic confirmation of the Bible.

You may have heard of “mitochondrial Eve.” It is now commonly accepted, even by Atheist scientists, that all human beings are descended from a single female. This woman, this mother of all humanity, they call “mitochondrial Eve.” Of course, people who believe in molecules-to-man evolution aren’t suggesting the Bible is true, but they are agreeing with the Bible that we are all descended from a single female. Secular scientists will tell you that mitochondrial Eve lived about 200,000 years ago. The Bible tells us Eve lived around 6,000 years ago.

Mitochondria are energy factories in cells. They have their own DNA, and each person receives their mitochondria DNA, also called mtDNA, only from their mothers. By measuring differences in mtDNA from one person to another, we can measure the “genetic drift” from mutations over generations, and get an idea of how closely people are related. If we know the total number of mtDNA differences in human beings, and know how fast mutations/differences pile up over generations, we can estimate the time back to Eve, Biblical or otherwise.

The original studies assumed that mtDNA mutations occurred as at the same rate as mutations in normal DNA. The data now reveals a much faster rate of mutations in mtDNA than in normal DNA. If Eve lived 200,000 years ago, the total number of differences in mtDNA among humans living today should be around 470. If Eve lived 6,000 years ago, as the Bible tells us, the total number of differences in mtDNA should be around 80. Guess what — the measured number is 80!

Science again proves the Bible is correct. You might also be interested in an earlier post noting that, using differences in DNA from the Y chromosome, which men inherit only from their fathers, the data indicates that all men are descended from a single man who lived about 4,500 years ago. (Hint – there was a big flood.) You can find it here: https://countingtogod.com/memories-of-the-flood/

Going back to Eve, the mtDNA analysis confirms the Bible in a second important way. If you look at a chart (Answers magazine, Jan-Feb 2018, Vol. 13 No. 1, page 59) connecting related individuals according to their mtDNA, you will find three points, or “nodes,” from which all mtDNA is related. These nodes represent the wives of Noah’s three sons. They are close to each other on the chart, because they were each possibly 10th generation descendants of Eve. From these three nodes the chart spreads out, as the mtDNA of all humanity is descended from one of these three women.

Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson, who has a Ph.D. from Harvard in cell and developmental biology, recently published an excellent book titled “Replacing Darwin.” I hope to write more about this exciting book. Dr. Jeanson has studied mtDNA differences in a variety of species. In every case, from chickens to fruit flies roundworms to bakers yeast, the data contradicts the predictions of millions of years of evolution. The actual number of mtDNA differences is much less than those predictions.

It is sad that our “popular” media purposely ignores scientific results that confirm the Bible. Instead, our biased media hypes stories intended to make the Bible look unreliable. I noted a few months ago where it was reported, and read by hundreds of millions of people, that DNA testing of people living today in Lebanon contradicted the Bible. These stories got it absolutely backward, because the DNA findings were exactly what the Bible says, that, despite God’s instructions to kill all Canaanites, the Israelites disobeyed, and let some live. Here is my post on that: https://countingtogod.com/dna-and-the-bible/

How are we to overcome this enormous bias, this deliberate withholding of the truth? I am not aware of a single major newspaper, magazine, or TV channel that reported the new data on mtDNA mutations, this stunning discovery, this scientific revelation that Eve lived about 6,000 years ago. Perhaps the only way to fight this bias is through the combined efforts of ordinary people, people like me and you. Friends don’t let friends be Atheists, at least not without exposing them to science that reveals God.

We need to spread the good news of true science. Together we can change the world.

Thanks for reading.

Doug

DNA and the Bible

The Bible was under attack this week in newspapers around the world. Here’s one headline: “The Bible got it wrong: Ancient Canaanites survived and their DNA lives in modern-day Lebanese.” Here’s another: “Study disproves the Bible’s claim that the ancient Canaanites were wiped out.” The next four paragraphs are from the New York Times:

“There is a story in the Hebrew Bible that tells of God’s call for the annihilation of the Canaanites, people who lived in what are now Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and the Palestinian territories thousands of years ago.

‘You shall not leave alive anything that breathes,’ God said in the passage. ‘But you shall utterly destroy them.’

But a genetic analysis published on Thursday has found that the ancient population survived that divine call for their extinction, and their descendants live in modern Lebanon.

‘We can see the present-day Lebanese can trace most of their ancestry to the Canaanites or a genetically equivalent population,’ said Chris Tyler-Smith, a geneticist with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute who is an author of the paper. ‘They derive just over 90 percent of their ancestry from the Canaanites.’”

I hope you noted the words “or a genetically equivalent population,” which destroys the argument that these scientists had somehow disproved the Bible. But, even worse, these supposedly quality publications failed to actually read the Bible! Yes God told the Israelites to wipe out the Canaanites,” that they may not teach you do according to all their abominable practices that they have done for their gods.” Deuteronomy 20:17. But the Israelites DISOBEYED! The Bible explicitly records that a variety of Israelite commanders let the Canaanites live. Judges 1:27-35. God then said OK, but you’ll be sorry. “So now I say, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.” Judges 2:3. So we are left with dozens of articles, read by perhaps hundreds of millions of people, making false claims against God. How sad that, in our upside-down world, people try to sell newspapers by attacking God.

Equally sad is that, when science supports God and the Bible, you never read about it in the popular press. In September 2014 scientists claimed that, over the course of human history, women had migrated significantly more than men. Men inherit the DNA in their Y chromosome only from their father, whereas all people inherit the DNA in their mitochondria (little energy factories in our cells) only from their mothers. A study found greater variability in a population in the female-inherited DNA, the mitochondria DNA, and claimed it was because women traveled more for marriage.

Really? Over all known history men have overwhelmingly been more likely to travel, whether for trade, curiosity, or war. Women generally marry within the community in which they were born. So this scientific study seemed strange to me. Last weekend I learned that greater variability in female DNA is exactly what the Bible predicts. Deuteronomy 32:8 states that when God divided mankind after the Tower of Babel, “he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.” In other words, from one group, humanity was divided by paternal lines, and the women went with their husbands regardless of their family background. So the females in a given populations should have greater variability in their DNA, exactly as the 2014 study found.

Last weekend I also heard a talk on Y chromosome variability by Nathaniel Jeanson, a research biologist with a Ph. D. in cell and developmental biology from Harvard. Dr. Jeanson measured variability in the Y chromosome over time. To do that he needed a population that had been separated at a known time in the past. He used African Americans, and compared their Y chromosomes to the Y chromosomes of the population that stayed behind in West Africa. There are statistics on the number of people who came to the United States in this brutal way, and it is known that the mean point of the slave trade was around 1800. By comparing the variability in Y chromosome between African Americans and those who stayed behind, he got a measure of genetic drift in the Y chromosome.

Dr. Jeanson then presented a chart that showed differences in the Y chromosome among all males worldwide. The chart shows clear connecting points, nodes if you will, that strongly point to a common ancestor. According to the Bible, all men trace their Y chromosome back to Noah, who with his three sons, and their wives, were the only people on the ark. Dr. Jeanson used his estimate of how fast the Y chromosome drifts to estimate the time back to the central nodes. It’s not clear which one could be Noah; the data doesn’t establish that clearly. But the time back to all the nodes was around 5,000 years, which is when the Bible tells us Noah lived.

The bottom line here is that modern DNA analysis strongly supports the Bible. Unfortunately, that story rarely makes the secular press. I highly recommend the magazine Acts and Facts, which spreads the good news of true science every month. You can get a free subscription here:
http://www.icr.org/subscriptions/signup/

Thanks for reading. Please spread the good news of science.

The Frog’s Tongue

For this post we return to the animal kingdom, and marvel at new discoveries. We begin with a perhaps unlikely subject – the tongue of a frog.

Frogs catch prey with their tongues. The tongues are super-soft, like a marshmallow, ten times softer than a human tongue, so that they “splat” around their target. They are like bungee cords that reach out and snap back so fast it’s hard to see. The entire motion happens in one-fifth of the time it takes you to blink.

There’s more. The frog’s spit is, believe it or not, a “non-Newtonian fluid.” That means it sometimes acts like a liquid and sometimes like a solid. When the tongue hits the target, the spit is super fluid and quickly wraps around the target. Then it quickly hardens, turns into something with the consistency of peanut butter, and keeps the prey from escaping. Once captured the prey is yanked back with a force up to 12 times greater than gravity. The LA Times noted:

So sophisticated is the frog tongue that it’s capable of grabbing prey up to 1.4 times the predator’s body weight – a feat unmatched by any man-made device.

The researchers stated:

There is no known commercial mechanism that can match the grabbing speed of the frog tongue, let alone adhere to a highly textured surface like a fly.

Then, to swallow, the frog’s eyes press down.

So – where did all this technology, far more advanced than anything humans have built, come from?

Our public schools, funded by tax dollars, teach children that you can get technology without a Designer. The original theory, proposed over 150 years ago when people thought life was made up of a uniform goo they called “protoplasm,” was that the goo somehow miraculously got better. Then DNA was discovered, the world’s most sophisticated digital code that builds, operates, and reproduces life, and the theory morphed into a raw belief that a process of preserving “good” errors when the code was copied could build new technology.

That theory is mathematically insane, as I and many others have noted. (See pages 151-158 of Counting To God.) The odds against getting a new function out of digital code are overwhelming; it is unlikely to have ever occurred in any of the mutations of all life in the entire history of life on Earth. And you need thousands of lines of new functional code to build and operate the technology of the Frog’s tongue, spit, and eye compression.

So, next time you encounter a die-hard Darwinist, or any person who doubts the existence of God, please ask – How did the frog get its tongue? While you’re at it, don’t forget to ask about the non-Newtonian spit and the eye compression.

Thanks for reading.

The Death of Man

This week I return to J.C. Sanford, and his eye-opening book – Genetic Entropy. J.C. Sanford is a highly regarded geneticist. He is the author of over 100 technical papers in theoretical genetics, and he taught at Cornell. His first published Genetic Entropy in 2005, and the most recent Fourth Edition includes scientific developments through 2014.

Sanford uses the word “entropy” in its normal sense – the universal tendency for things to deteriorate, unless an intelligent agent intervenes. The following description is from his website, geneticentropy.org:

Genetic entropy is most easily understood on a personal level. In our bodies there are roughly 3 new mutations (word-processing errors), every cell division. Our cells become more mutant, and more divergent from each other every day. By the time we are old, each of our cells has accumulated tens of thousands of mutations. Mutation accumulation is the primary reason we grow old and die. This level of genetic entropy is easy to understand.

There is another level of genetic entropy that affects us as a population. Because mutations arise in all of our cells, including our reproductive cells, we pass many of our new mutations to our children. So mutations continuously accumulate in the population – with each generation being more mutant than the last. So not only do we undergo genetic degeneration personally, we also are undergoing genetic degeneration as a population. This is essentially evolution going the wrong way. Natural selection can slow down, but cannot stop, genetic entropy on the population level.

We humans have 3.2 billion letters of DNA – biological information coding. Sanford estimates our mutation rate is at least 100 letters per generation. We are all mutants. Genetic Entropy analyzes how fast our genes are degenerating, whether Darwinian evolution can fix the problem, and the fate of the human race.

Sanford shows that natural selection cannot overcome this deterioration. Lethal errors can be weeded out, but those are rare. It is the gradual accumulation of “mildly deleterious mutations” that dooms us. They are invisible to natural selection. Sanford cites one study that “the extinction time is just slightly longer than 100 generations.” Another study found “the decrease in viability from mutation accumulation is now 1% to 2% per generation.”

Sanford destroys the Darwinian delusion. It’s not just that the mutation/selection mechanism cannot produce new systems or new species. Mutations destroy information, and all life – especially human beings – need information to survive and reproduce. We are in the process of mutational meltdown.

Without God, we are doomed. One hundred generations is about 2,000 years, and that ignores increasing mutation rates due to environmental pollution.

Pray.

Amazing Animals

I’m on a group chat, where hundreds of scientists post evidence relating to the existence of God. When I checked back in recently I had over 2,000 unread emails. Here are a few items that astounded me.

As you know, in my view Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection acting on random mutations has been repeatedly disproved. Life has so many systems that could not possibly have evolved in this way. You can’t get technology by chance.

The first article is from Science Daily, a popular science magazine, dated June 6, 2016:

Birds have two sensory organs for orientation and navigation in the Earth’s magnetic field: They use their beak to measure the strength of the magnetic field, while their eyes provide directional information.

Did you get that? Birds (any many other animals, including some fish and turtles) can essentially “see” the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field, and feel how strong it is. With this knowledge, and very complex processing ability (because the Earth’s magnetic field constantly changes slightly) they are able to migrate to precise spots. The article states that the birds’ eyes contain the protein “cryptochrome.” This is a complex protein made up by snapping together between 500 and 1,000 amino acids in a chain, and then precisely folded.

So we are to believe this technology arose by chance from random mutations? Fairy tale! To navigate by the Earth’s magnetic field you need to know both the direction and strength and have processing ability. How do you get it all by chance? How do 500 or more amino acids magically get in the right order?

The second article is also from Science Daily, dated June 7, 2016. It reports that certain fish can recognize human faces. Yes, you read that right, fish can recognize faces. The experiment involved archerfish, which can spit jets of water to knock down prey. The fish were given food if they spit at the right face. The archerfish could recognize the right face, from up to 44 choices, 86% of the time. “The fish continued to spit at the face they had been trained to recognize, proving that they were capable of telling the two apart.” As the article notes, this is “an impressive feat, given this task requires sophisticated visual recognition capabilities.”

So how did the archerfish come to be able to recognize faces? How did this technology “evolve” from natural selection of random mutations?

Third, we have a continued stream of evidence that birds are smarter than we thought. Some birds can remember where they stored hundreds of seeds. Birds have been observed storing a seed in one place while another bird was watching, and later moving that seed to a “safe” location. Crows can solve complicated problems, like dropping stones in a pitcher to raise the water level to get a drink (a puzzle made famous by Aesop). “New Caledonian crows have shown the ability to use three tools in succession to get to a food source.” (BBC News). And, of course, parrots can mimic human speech.

So where did all these animals get all this fantastic technology? How did birds, which are only distantly related to primates, get such advanced brains? All of this technology is highly advanced, and results from the digital coding of DNA. If your smartphone had this technology, would you think it could have arisen by chance? As I’ve proven repeatedly, you can’t get new working code by chance.

Science proves there is a God. Thanks for reading.

DNA Repair

Last week the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to three scientists who discovered how cells repair DNA. Almost all of our cells have about 3.2 billion letters of DNA, and it was recognized decades ago that these fantastically complicated molecules were subject to decay. Each scientist revealed machinery that constantly counteracts DNA degradation. We have DNA replication “proofreading” machines that fix about 999 out of every 1,000 copying errors. Human beings and bacteria have different machinery, but the end result is similar, the final copy has an error rate of only one DNA “letter” in one billion. Other complex machines identify and fix spontaneous damage and damage from ultraviolet light and harsh chemicals. There are even machines that repair double-strand breaks, by putting broken pieces of DNA back together.

Now the obvious question, at least to me, which is nowhere hinted at in the popular press of this Nobel Prize award that I have seen, is where did all this fantastic technology come from? Science is reasoning to the best explanation. What is the best explanation for this fantastic machinery?

Is the Darwinian process, of natural selection acting on random mutations, the best explanation? Remember that, in Darwin’s day, people thought that cells were a “homogenous blob of protoplasm,” a mysterious goo that somehow did all of life’s work. Yet, everywhere scientists look, they discover amazing cellular machinery. They have also discovered that each species has some types of unique machinery.

Simple math shows you can’t get new machinery by a chance-based mechanism. If you mutate or scramble a sequence of 150 amino acids (amino acids are linked in precise sequences to build proteins, the machines parts of cellular technology), the odds of getting a new piece of cellular machinery – a new working cellular machine part – are about one in a number with 74 zeros. To put those staggering odds in perspective, “only” about one times a number with 40 zeros living organisms have ever existed, and the odds that any of them ever produced by random mutation a single new unique machine part is less than your chances of picking the “right” grain of sand out of all the beaches, deserts, and oceans in the world. Not likely.

So, as we honor the discoverers of DNA repair technology, let us ask – what’s the best explanation for its existence? Chance or design?

Thanks for reading.

The Scarcity of Information

One of the key points of my book is you need information to build a universe or to build a living creature, and you can’t get information by chance. Darwinists like to claim that, given enough time, anything is possible. Here’s a wonderful analogy that helps to show how wrong that claim is.

You recall that the machine parts of all living creatures are called “proteins,” and that all life uses an “alphabet” of the same 20 amino acids, linked together and folded just right, to assemble proteins. We can compare by analogy the odds of getting a functional protein (a protein that performs one of life’s functions) with the odds of getting a coherent English sentence. A functional protein typically has about 300 amino acids linked together, but let’s look at a much simpler case of only 100 linked amino acids. Let’s compare that to a combination of 100 English letters.

Now if you ask yourself how many English sentences are 100 letters long, you get a very large number. In his 1986 book Evolution: A Theory In Crisis, Michael Denton states that linguists have estimated that number as 1025, or ten trillion trillion. That’s a huge number. Does that mean that, if you combine at random 100 English letters, you are likely to get a coherent sentence? Absolutely not, and that’s what most people don’t recognize! The odds of getting a coherent sentence are less than one in about 10100, or less than one in a number with 100 zeros! Wow! To give you a sense of how unlikely that is, you have a greater chance of picking the correct marked marble out of a pile of marbles as big as the known universe.

We know that every species on Earth has new information (coded by “orphan genes” that have no recognizable ancestor). Human DNA contains at least 54 orphan genes that build proteins used in our brains. These genes are not found in any other species, including any of the great apes. That’s roughly equivalent to 54 new sentences of information. Where did that information come from? Design or chance?

Thanks for reading.

A Granddaughter Is Born

I’ve gotten a little behind in my blogging, and one reason is the birth of my first grandchild, a girl, on January 28. I was able to see her at the hospital the day she was born, and hold her when she was six days old. It is another level of experience to hold a grandchild in your arms.

But, being me, I can’t help but also analyze it as a miracle of molecular biology. Like all of us, my granddaughter started off as a single cell. I don’t know how many cells are in her body now, but likely many trillions. Estimates vary, but the consensus seems to be that an adult human has about 30 trillion cells. That’s 30,000,000,000,000 cells; or about 100,000 cells for every person in the United States. Her trillions of cells are not identical, they are quite varied, and they are quite interconnected.

One of the many pleasures I’ve had in my journey has been interacting with people at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. I would encourage you to support them; they do a superb job uncovering design in biology and fighting Darwinist nonsense. Once I was able to meet with Ann Gauger, who helped me with my book. Ann is a research scientist who “uses molecular genetics and genomic engineering to study the origin, organization and operation of metabolic pathways.” So she’s very smart, and has done a lot of research into how biological systems are created. Ann told me that they’re finding amazing design in the architecture of how a single cell develops into a member of a particular species. It’s not just DNA coding; rather each species somehow has, built into the design of that first embryo, mechanisms for creating a member of that species. Ann told me that they’ve found that if you tinker just a little with what’s going on, the organism dies. So you have quite different cellular architectures producing different species, and they couldn’t have grown apart in the manner predicted by Darwin’s theory of unguided evolution, because any minor change would doom the organism.

A reader pointed me to a related item in the Encyclopedia Britannica:

During its development the nervous system undergoes remarkable changes to attain its complex organization. In order to produce the estimated 1 trillion neurons present in the mature brain, an average of 2.5 million neurons must be generated per minute during the entire prenatal life. This includes the formation of neuronal circuits comprising 100 trillion synapses, as each potential neuron is ultimately connected with either a selected set of other neurons or specific targets such as sensory endings. Moreover, synaptic connections with other neurons are made at precise locations on the cell membranes of target neurons. The totality of these events is not thought to be the exclusive product of the genetic code, for there are simply not enough genes to account for such complexity.

So each minute, for all of her nine month gestation, an average of 2.5 million neurons were generated in my granddaughter’s brain. This incredible feat is accomplished in part by architecture and design outside of our genes.

Birth is a miracle on many levels.

Thanks for reading.

Layers of Information

I’ve noted previously the September 2012 announcement by ENCODE – a worldwide collaboration of 450 top scientists – that most and likely all of our 3.2 billion letters of DNA code serves a purpose. That made the front page of newspapers worldwide. This week I want to focus on their lesser known but equally stunning announcement in December 2012 – DNA contains two layers of information.

How can chance build a code with more than one layer of information? Physicist Rob Sheldon is reminded of a Bach fugue that can be played by flipping the music upside-down on the music stand. That’s a highly designed, incredible piece of music.

There’s a good argument that layers of information are predicted by intelligent design. A designing, powerful intellect would want to make maximum use of the available space. Humans do this with phone, radio, and television frequencies, and many other places. Space is often limited, and we want to transmit as much information as possible in that space.

Other scientists have found evidence that our DNA contains even more information. Some studies show that the amount of information in a section of DNA is proportional to the cube of the length of DNA. According to these studies, twice as much DNA typically contains eight times as much information. That is mind-boggling design.

All of these findings contradict Darwin’s theory of unguided evolution; that our DNA code arose through natural selection acting on random mutations. Personally, I’m not aware of any Darwinist response to ENCODE’s announcement that DNA contains two layers of information. As Paul Simon put it, “A man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest.”

Thanks for reading.