2017-40 Science and faith

Who programmed our DNA?

There are many signs in the universe that point to the existence of God. One of them is a brilliant programming code found in human DNA.

I n 2004, the spiritual leader of world atheism and philosopher, Anthony Flew, publicly confessed his belief in God the Creator. As he himself said his act of faith crowned many years of research, relying on scientific facts. One of the most convincing pieces of evidence for the existence of God was, for Professor Flew, the discovery of DNA.

Brilliant code

In every cell of our body there is DNA, which is a powerful system of storing information. DNA, which is found in our genes, holds a brilliant condensed record of information. The human genome stores three trillion items of information recorded in a cryptographic four-letter code. Reading them aloud at the rate of three letters per second would take 31 years or, to use another comparison: information from the human DNA would fill a pile of books 500 times higher than the distance between the Earth and Moon!

The brilliant programming code found in the human DNA points to the infinite wisdom and intelligence of the Divine Designer

The brilliant programming code found in the human DNA points to the infinite wisdom and intelligence of the Divine Designer. To all intellectually honest scientists, the existence of the fantastic record of information in DNA is a strong sign pointing to the existence of God, Creator of the entire universe. Information may come only from an intelligent Being. It is not possible for matter to produce on its own a code and information. Information is not produced by matter as a result of millions of years of mutations and natural selection. The only source of information is a mind and intelligence.

It must be remembered that information stored in a DNA molecule is separate from it; the molecule is only its carrier. The information may be described as a brilliant programming code or a record of thoughts, which points to the existence of personal Intelligence. DNA segments, known as nucleotides, form a logical whole and are joined together like letters and words in a written text. Hence, there is intelligence in DNA, while information contained in it – as Professor Michael J. Behe argues – is neither matter nor energy.

Coming to know the truth about human DNA, Professor Flew realized that atheism has no logical foundation whatsoever and that it is an irrational, blind belief in an accidental emergence of life and the entire universe, which is a harmonious whole and functions in agreement with logic. Flew called the manner in which atheist Richard Dawkins explains the origins of life a “comic effort”. Dawkins claims that it was a mere accident – “a stroke of luck”.

“In my view, there is no conflict in being a rigorous scientist and a person who believes in a God” (F. S. Collins)

Scientific research has shown DNA to be a three-dimensional selfreplicating molecule. God the Creator has so programmed DNA that every molecule may not only create an identical copy of itself but is also capable of detecting and correcting mistakes in its copy. God has created us with DNA which contains “editing” enzymes. These incessantly circulate inside a DNA molecule, searching for mistakes to correct and carrying out highly complex repairs. It is a scientific fact that human life begins upon conception as a single cell the size of a dot. This cell has encoded information that will direct its development ending in the formation of a body composed of 100 trillion cells. Each has been furnished with so complex a mechanism of chemical functioning that contemporary science cannot understand it. Each cell has an instruction manual encoded in it by the Creator; it says how every part of the human body is to be formed and how it should function. Each cell operates like a miniature town. One hundred trillion cells, which make up the human body, harmoniously function as one living organism, perfectly working together. This wonderful capacity encoded in cells makes us admire the greatness and wisdom of the Creator.

Epoch-making discovery

One of the greatest scientific discoveries of the early 21st century was the discovery of the order of all the nucleotides of human DNA or the sequencing of the human genome. The discovery was made by an international research team headed by Professor Francis S. Collins.

On June 26, 2000, in Washington D.C., at the White House, the president of the United States, Bill Clinton, in the presence of scientists, announced that it had been possible to sequence DNA in the human genetic map. The president said then: “Without a doubt, this is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by humankind. Today we are learning the language in which God created life. We are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, beauty, and the wonder of God’s most divine and sacred gift” (The Language of God pp. 2-3).

While Professor Francis S. Collins said: “We have caught the first glimpse of our own instruction book, previously known only to God. The God of the Bible is the God of the genome. He can be worshipped in the cathedral or in the laboratory. His creation is majestic. Awesome, intricate, and beautiful” (The Language of God p. 3).

For F. S. Collins, the sequencing of the human genome was an epoch-making scientific event, a discovery of the most extraordinary of all texts, but also an opportunity to praise God. In his opinion, faith in God should also be a rational choice and there is no conflict between faith and science: “In my view, there is no conflict in being a rigorous scientist and a person who believes in a God who takes a personal interest in each one of us. Science’s domain is to explore nature. God’s domain is in the spiritual world, a realm not possible to explore with the tools and language of science. It must be examined with the heart, the mind, and the soul – and the mind must find a way to embrace both realms” (The Language of God p. 6).

Being aware how wonderfully we have been created, let’s proclaim the glory of the Holy One, the Most High with each our deed and thought. With the words of glory, let’s confess with all our hearts our love for God who made us (cf. Sir 47:8).

The only force that deforms and destroys the wondrous harmony and beauty of creation is the conscious and free commission of sins, which is the cause of the greatest human tragedies and miseries. They break the ties of life and love with God and other people, destroy love, and are subject to the terrible captivity of evil spirits that lead to absolute selfishness and eternal damnation. For these reasons, sins must be detested and after each bad fall you should immediately free yourself of them by confessing them to Jesus in the sacrament of penance. In a sincere confession, we experience the miracle of Divine Mercy, forgiveness of all sins and restoration to our humanity of the wonderful harmony and beauty of God’s picture and likeness.