The Secret World of DNA
The building and management of any high-tech product utilizes hundreds of years of the experience and knowledge developed by mankind. The information and experience needed for the construction of the human body, the world's most advanced and complex system, is found in the DNA. The point to be stressed here is that DNA, in all its perfection and complexity, has been in existence from the time of the first human being. The following pages will show more clearly how ridiculous is the evolutionists' notion that this molecule, whose structure and features leave one awestruck, could have come about at random, and by chance.
DNA is carefully protected in a place called the nucleus in the center of the cell. Remember that in a human being (which can comprise up to a trillion cells), the average diameter of a cell is 10 microns (1 micron = 1000th of a millimeter). Now you can see more clearly the size of the structures we're talking about. This miraculous molecule is a clear proof of the perfection and superior artistry in God's creativity. A new scientific field-genetics-has been created to study just the secrets of this molecule, most of which have not yet come to light. Despite all our technological breakthroughs, genetics, considered to be the main focus of science of the 21st century, is still in its infant stage when it comes to solving the mysteries of DNA.
Life in the Nucleus
If we compare the human body to a building, its "floor plan" and design, including all the particulars and technical details, are all spelled out in DNA which is contained in the nucleus (Figure 2.1).
The development of a baby in its mother's womb and after birth is regulated according to a specific program. The perfect organization of a person's development is expressed in the Qur'an as follows:
Does man reckon he will be left to go on unchecked? Wasn't he a drop of ejaculated sperm, then a blood-clot which He created and shaped? (Qur'an, 75:36-38)
While you were still a fertilized egg cell in your mother's womb, all the characteristics that you would possess in the future were determined by God, and organized, and placed in your DNA. At 30 years of age, the characteristics you possess-such as height, color, blood group, facial features-were all encoded in the nucleus of your single original cell at the time of fertilization, 30 years and nine months earlier.
The information in DNA does not determine only physical features, like the ones just mentioned. It also controls the thousands of different events and systems that take place in the cell and the entire body. For example, even information about whether your blood pressure will be low, high or normal is contained within your DNA.
The Giant Encyclopedia in the Human Cell
An astounding amount of information is recorded in DNA, so much so that found within a single DNA molecule (which cannot be seen with the naked eye) is enough information to fill an encyclopedia of 1,000,000 pages. In the nucleus of one cell is encoded enough information to control all the processes in the human body that would be contained in a giant encyclopedia of 920 volumes. For comparison's sake, one of the world's largest encyclopedias, the 23-volume Encyclopedia Britannica, has a total of only 25,000 pages. Within a microscopic cell, in a molecule found in its nucleus, much smaller than the cell itself, is encoded enough data to fill a store of information 40 times larger than the world's most thorough encyclopedia, the likes of which have never been seen before. It's been calculated that DNA's giant "encyclopedia" would possess up to 3 billion different instructions.
At this point, let's reflect on possesses instructions, those two words that fall from our lips so easily. In saying that there are billions of instructions in one cell, what we are talking about is not a computer or a library, but is a tiny sphere, smaller than a 100th of a millimeter and composed of just protein, fat and water molecules. That even one instruction, let alone millions of them, can be maintained within this tiny piece of tissue is absolutely amazing.
To store information today, people use computer technology, considered to be at the forefront of all other technologies. The amount of information that could be stored in a room-sized computer 20 years ago can now be encoded in a tiny microchip. But even this latest modern technology, the result of much effort and knowledge accumulated over many years, hasn't come close to the capacity of even one cell's nucleus for storing information. The following comparison explains the tiny size of DNA, and its amazing capacity for information storage:
How can a helix that we cannot see with our eyes, which is a billionth of a millimeter in diameter and formed from the coming together of atoms, store and remember such a huge amount of information? To this one question, add another: Each of the 100 trillion cells in your body can effortlessly recall one million pages of data, but how many pages of an encyclopedia can you-a conscious, intelligent human being-memorize during your lifetime?
Intelligence in the Cell
You would have to accept that any single cell in your stomach or your ear is more knowledgeable than you. And because it evaluates its information in the most correct and perfect way, it must also be more intelligent than you.
So what is the source of this intelligence? How does each and every one of the 100 trillion cells in your body possess such incredible intelligence? After all, a cell is just a collection of organic molecules, with no consciousness. Even if you joined together the atoms of all of the elements, in different numbers and permutations to form different molecules, you still could not produce intelligence. Whether these resulting molecules are big or small, simple or complex is irrelevant. From them, you will not be able to produce a conscious mind that can organize anything.
DNA is formed from a particular number of atoms without consciousness, coming together in a certain way, and enzymes that work in harmony, carrying out many conscious processes. How can it perfectly and faultlessly organize the innumerable and complex processes that take place within the cell? The answer is very simple: Intelligence is not to be found within these molecules or within the cell itself, but in the One Who created the molecules and programmed them to carry out these processes.
In short, intelligence lies not in the product itself, but in that product's Creator. Even the most advanced computer is the result of an intellect who has written the program that will run the computer, down to the most minute detail. In the same way, the DNA and the RNA found inside the cell, and the human being who arises from the coming together of these cells, are nothing but the product of their Creator. It doesn't matter how perfect, faultless and effective the product may be. Intelligence always lies in its maker.
Suppose that you run across a highly advanced computer disc, load it and read what appears on the screen, only to find that it contains millions of instructions personalized and unique to you… The first question that would come to your mind would be "Who wrote the instructions, and for what purpose?"
So why not ask the same questions about the cell? If somebody wrote the information on the disc in our example, then who created DNA so perfectly, which is much more superior and more highly advanced; and then placed it carefully in a tiny cell-which is a miracle by itself-without losing any of its characteristics, from thousands of years ago until today? (Never forget, the human brain that manufactured the disc and programmed the instructions inside it is composed of these same cells we are talking about).
What more important questions could there be than who created the cell and why? These cells are on constant duty to let you read these lines, see, breathe, think, in short exist and continue your existence.
The answer to that question is this: Almighty God created all entities in the universe, living or inanimate, from nothing and installed DNA, with all its miraculous properties, into the cell, the building block of all living things. The purpose of human life is to be able to see this truth and serve our Great Lord.
A Few Further Examples
After a plane crash, survivors who are left stranded, will make a giant X on the ground in an empty field, so that rescue workers flying overhead may be able to spot them. With their belongings or anything else they can find, they construct a big and obviously artificial cross. Seeing this product of intelligence, rescue workers will realize that there are conscious creatures-in other words, human beings-down there.
When you drive along highways in Turkey, sometimes you come across sentences written in white stones on a hillside, such as Everything for the nation. It's quite clear how these messages came to be there. Somewhere nearby, beyond the hill, is an army unit, and they have formed these words with white stones.
Could anyone claim that these words were not written by a conscious, literate soldier, but that they just appeared there by coincidence? Could anyone say that as the stones rolled down the hill, they randomly formed such sentences?
What if a scientist were to declare, "There are trillions of stones in the world, and they have been rolling around for millions of years. Therefore, it is possible that some of these stones could come together at random to form meaningful sentences." Wouldn't even children laugh at him? And on top of that, were he to employ scientific language and give scientific explanations with probability calculations, wouldn't people be suspicious of his mental capacity? Forget the entire sentence. There's no chance that even a neat letter could be formed by happenstance. Even if you saw merely that first capital written neatly atop a hill, you would wonder why somebody wrote it there.
With these examples, we are trying to say that if there exists the slightest degree of planning anywhere, then there must be a conscious intellect behind it. No product of an intellect can ever appear by chance. If you roll a few white stones down a hill millions of times, you wouldn't even get a straight letter forming. If a letter were to appear, everyone would have to agree that there can be no letter without a scribe.
The human body, however, has a structure a trillion times more complex than any sentence spelled out in rocks, and there is absolutely no chance that this complex structure could have come about by "coincidence." Therefore it is God Who perfectly planned and faultlessly organized the human being, its cells, and its DNA. To deny the existence and power of God, the Creator of the heavens and the Earth and everything in between, is the greatest possible senselessness and impertinence. It is great disrespect towards the Possessor of that intelligence and power.
But sadly, many people who can instantly grasp the impossibility of stones bringing words together by chance, can listen, without objection, to the deceitful claim that a molecule like DNA, which can perform such amazing tasks, could have formed as a result of a series of coincidental joinings of single atoms. Just like someone who's been hypnotized and imagines himself to be a door, a tree or a lizard when suggested so.
The Language of DNA's Encyclopedia
The most important means of communication between individuals and generations is with words, which are represented by letters. English is a language written with 26 letters, in other words a code of 26 symbols. These symbols form words, and words form sentences. This code enables the communication and storage of information.
The language of the cell is similar: All of a human being's physical features have been codified and stored in the nucleus of the cell, where the cell can refer to again by using this code. This code is the language of the director molecule, the DNA, formed from four special bases called nucleotides, each represented by one of the letters A, T, G, and C. These bases, by coming together one after the other in a meaningful manner, form the DNA molecule (Figures 2.2 and 2.3).
Information in the nucleus' data bank is stored in this way. In the interests of simplicity when explaining the cell's information coding system, we'll keep using these letters to represent the nucleic acid molecules making up DNA.
These letters form opposite pairs and form one rung of the ladder. These rungs are joined together to form genes. Every gene, which is just one section of the DNA molecule, controls a particular feature in the human body. Innumerable characteristics such as height, eye color, and shape of nose, ears, and skull come about via commands given by the relevant genes. We can compare these genes to the pages of a book, which bears various writings made up from the four letters A, T, C and G.
In the DNA of human beings are found about 200,000 genes, each made up of between 1,000 and 186,000 nucleotides, which come together in different orders depending on the corresponding protein they make. These genes contain the codes for approximately 200,000 different proteins with various duties in the body, the production of which is again controlled by genes.
Yet the amount of information contained in these 200,000 genes represents only about 3% of the total information contained in DNA. The remaining 97% has remained a mystery to this day. Recent research has shown that this mysterious remaining 97% contains vital information about mechanisms that facilitate highly complex activities, and information about how the cell continues its existence. However, scientists still have a long way to go.
Genes are found within chromosomes. There are 46 chromosomes in each cell in the human body (excluding the generative cells; see Figure 2.5). Comparing each chromosome to a volume comprised of genes, then we can say that in each cell there is a 46-volume cellular encyclopedia that contains all the information relevant to human beings. Using our earlier analogy, this is equivalent to the amount of information stored in a 920-volume Encyclopedia Britannica.
In each person's DNA, the order of the letters is different. This is why all the people who have ever lived have been different from each other. Each human being's basic anatomical structure and processes are the same. But despite the fact that each person arises from the division of just one cell and possesses the same basic structure, each individual is uniquely created, with such fine differences and with such detail that there have been billions of distinctly different people.
All the organs in your body are built according to a planning scheme outlined in your genes. To give a few examples from a gene map constructed by scientists, the skin is regulated by 2,559 genes; the brain by 29,930; the eyes by 1,794; salivary glands by 186; the heart by 6,216; the breast by 4,001; the lungs by 11,581; the liver by 2,309; the intestines by 3,838; the skeletal muscles by 1,911 and the blood cells by 22,092 genes.
The order of the letters in the DNA determines the structure of any human being, down to the smallest detail. In the DNA of just one cell are found characteristics like height, eye, hair and skin color, the plans of 206 bones, 600 muscles, 10,000 auditory and 2 million optical nerve networks, 100 billion nerve cells, and blood vessels 100,000 kilometers (60,000 miles) long and 100 trillion cells.
If even one single letter cannot come about without a scribe to write it, then how can billions of meaningful "letters" arise inside a human cell? How did these letters come together, one after the other, in meaningful patterns to comprise the plan of a unique and complex human body? Were there even the slightest flaw in the order of these letters, you could find your ear where your stomach is supposed to be, or your eyes on your heels, and have to live as a freak. The secret of your being a regular person is the faultless order in which the billions of letters are arranged in your DNA's 46-volume encyclopedia. Obviously, these letters can't possibly realize such an arrangement of their own accord. These genes, which we have been calling letters, have been created by God, the Master of superior intelligence and infinite knowledge. This extraordinary arrangement, which renders the word "coincidence" meaningless, is a result of God's perfect creativity:
He is God-the Creator, the Maker, the Giver of Form. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Everything in the heavens and Earth glorifies Him. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Qur'an, 59:24)
DNA Defies the Notion of Coincidence
Mathematically, there is no chance for coincidence in the formation of DNA's encoded information. The possibility that even one of the 200,000 genes found in DNA could have come about by chance-let alone the DNA molecule itself, made up of millions of sections-has been completely invalidated. An evolutionary biologist, Frank B. Salisbury, has this to say:
A medium protein might include about 300 amino acids. The DNA gene controlling this would have about 1,000 nucleotides in its chain. Since there are four kinds of nucleotides in a DNA chain, one consisting of 1,000 links could exist in 41000 forms. Using a little algebra (logarithms) we can see that 41000=10600. Ten multiplied by itself 600 times gives the figure 1 followed by 600 zeros! This number is completely beyond our comprehension.4
Even if we assume that the surrounding environment contains all of the necessary nucleotides, plus the complex molecules and binding enzymes needed to connect them together, the probability that these nucleotides will ever bind together in the desired order is 1 in 41000-or in other words, 1 in 10600. In short, the possibility of an average human protein coming about by itself, is 1 out of a number resulting from putting a 1 followed by 600 zeros. This number, beyond astronomical in practical terms, means zero probability. Such an arrangement could therefore have come about only under the control and knowledge of an intelligent and conscious power, which belong to Almighty God, the Creator of the heavens and the Earth.
Take this sentence you are reading right now. If somebody claimed that the letters-each with the proper size and font-came together by themselves and randomly formed that sentence, what would you say? Obviously, you would find such a claim highly illogical, and reply that this sentence definitely originated from one who was most intelligent and knowledgeable. And the case of DNA is no different.
Francis Crick is the biochemist who co-discovered the structure of DNA, and won the Nobel Prize for his work in this area. At first a persistent evolutionist, Crick wrote the following after he witnessed DNA's miraculous structure:
An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that, in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle.5
According to Crick, life could never have appeared on this Earth by chance. So even one of the greatest specialists in DNA, and an evolutionist to boot, gives no credence to the notion of coincidence in creation.
The information in DNA, comprised from five billion bases, comes about as a result of the unique and meaningful order of the A, T, G and C letters. But not a single mistake can be made in this order. In an encyclopedia, a mistyped word or letter isn't too important and can be ignored. It may not even be noticed. In contrast, an error in any rung of the DNA ladder-for example, a mistake in the coding of one letter in the 1, 719, 348, 632nd rung-results in frightful consequences for the cell and therefore for the human. For instance, leukemia, the blood cancer seen in children, results from such a mistake in coding.
To be accurate, we shouldn't really say a mistake in coding. Just like everything else that exists, DNA has been created by God, and any "mistakes" we may perceive arise due to a particular wisdom, a divine purpose. The coding defect that brings about cancer has been specially created to show man his utter powerlessness and weakness-to remind us of the fine, delicate balance within which we've been created and what problems can result with even the slightest deviation.
Self-Replication of DNA
Cells multiply by dividing. Thus a human body starts out as a single cell, which then divides to form two and then 4, 6, 8, 16, 32 cells and so on.
But after this process of division, what happens to DNA? Any one cell contains only one helix of DNA. But clearly, the newly divided cells will each need their own DNA. To overcome this problem a new series of processes takes place, each step of which is a miracle in itself. Just before the cell divides, its DNA is replicated, so that each new cell receives an exact copy of the original.
Microscopic observations reveal that before the cell divides, it must reach a certain size. Once it does, the process of division is initiated. As the cell begins to widen into the shape required for division, the DNA starts to replicate itself.
What this means is that the cell as a whole "decides" to divide, and its different parts begin to act accordingly. Clearly, the cell doesn't possess the knowledge to carry out such a cooperative process successfully. The process of division starts with a silent command, and with the DNA leading the way, the rest of the cell follows suit.
In order to replicate itself, DNA first separates into two opposite strands-an event that takes place in a very interesting manner. The DNA molecule resembles a spiral ladder, whose rungs open up like a zipper. The DNA now separates into two strands, and each of the two opposite, incomplete strands then completes itself with materials found in the cellular environment. In this way are produced, two new DNA molecules (Figure 2.7). At each stage of the process, specialized proteins called enzymes, operating like highly advanced robots, carry out their respective duties. To explain the process completely would take many pages, since what seems a very simple procedure at first glance is actually made up of innumerable steps that are highly complex.
The new DNA molecule resulting from this pairing is checked over and over again by control enzymes. If there is a mistake-and any mistakes could prove fatal-it is quickly identified and repaired. The faulty segment is removed and a corrected one brought and put into place. All of these processes occur at dizzying speeds. For example 3,000 base pairs are produced every minute, while each rung of the ladder is gone over by enzymes on duty and then repaired, if need be.
External factors can cause mistakes to occur at a higher rate than normal in the synthesis of the new DNA molecule. In this case, ribosomes in the cell begin to manufacture repair enzymes according to the command given by the DNA. In this way, the DNA is protected, and the next generation of cells is preserved.
Cells, just like the human beings they make up, are born, multiply and die. But the life span of the cell is much shorter. For instance, most of the cells that made up your body six months ago are no longer alive today. You still exist because those old cells divided and left new cells to take their place.
For human life to continue, it's vitally important that such processes as the multiplication of cells and the copying of the DNA be carried out flawlessly. In fact, the replication process takes place so perfectly that the rate of error is only one base pair in 3 billion. And before it can cause the body any problems, this single mistake is fixed by control mechanisms of a higher order.
So all day, without your even knowing it, innumerable processes, controls, and precautions take place in your body with astonishing meticulousness and sense of responsibility to keep you alive without any problems.
God has provided you with innumerable atoms and molecules, from the tiniest to the largest, from the simplest to the most complex, so that you can live your life in the most healthy fashion. Isn't this favor and blessing alone enough to make man continuously grateful? Or must people wait for a problem to arise in this faultless system, before they come to their senses?
Most interesting is that the enzymes facilitating the production of DNA and the regulation of its structure are all encoded within the DNA itself. In fact, they are proteins synthesized under the DNA's command and control.
This system is so amazingly intricate that it's absolutely impossible for it to have arisen by a series of coincidental steps. Because in order for the enzyme to exist, the DNA must exist, but in order for the DNA to exist, so must the enzymes. And for both of them to exist, the cell must exist in its entirety, from the cell membrane inward to all its complex organelles.
The theory of evolution proposes that organisms developed "step by step" as a result of "beneficial coincidences." But this DNA-enzyme paradox absolutely refutes it, since both the DNA and the enzymes must be in existence at the same time. This is blatant evidence of God's existence.
Mutations: The Last Resort of the Evolution Falsehood
When Darwin first proposed his theory, he couldn't explain the reason for variation within species, nor the logic behind one of his own conjectures that "one species is transformed into another." He couldn't have explained it in any case, because he didn't know about the existence of DNA. Darwin knew nothing of genetics, biostatistics, or microbiology. These scientific fields did not exist in Darwin's day, so there was no way he could have known of them. With the facilities available at the time, he dissected various organisms, and from similarities in their anatomy, but with no ability to closely study the cell, he arrived at unscientific conclusions that were, for the most part, products of his imagination.
Thanks to recent technology, people today are aware of the complex mechanisms present in the cell. And it has become understood that these perfect mechanisms cannot have come about by themselves, or as a result of chance. All of this complex system's components had to be in the same place at the same time, with nothing more and nothing less. As we mentioned, thousands of different sub-systems make up this system. Thus for this faultless system to have come about at the same time, in the same place, there remains only one explanation: creation. Advances in scientific knowledge and technology have proven over and over how the theory of evolution is a great lie, put forward to deny the fact of creation and thereby, turn people away from the path of God.
Evolution is not a scientific fact, but the imaginary foundation on which all ideologies depend that fall into the mistake of denying creation. Whatever the cost, their lie must go on, and so they found a solution in another lie: mutations-which, evolutionists proposed, advanced the development of primitive species and the emergence of entirely new ones.
Mutations are changes that can arise in the organism's DNA as a result of external factors like chemical agents, x-rays, and radiation. But such changes can never bring about the formation of a new species, because mutations are deficiencies or changes in the order of the genetic information. They cannot add anything new to the genetic mix. Information pertaining to any living thing has been recorded in the genetic code of that particular creature. Consequently any genetic mutation will cause a deliberate alteration in that species' number, color or type of existing organs and structures. They can never result in a brand-new organ or feature. What's more, 99.9% of mutations are harmful, and in fact may be lethal for living things. The remaining 0.01% either have no effect, or their damage cannot swiftly be determined. Apart from viruses, whose genetic and physiological structures are deliberately adjusted to tolerate mutations, the question of beneficial mutations never arises.
DNA's structure is highly advanced in terms of the information it contains and in the way it can store it. Obviously, any external tampering will ruin such an advanced system. Any random change to a device with highly complex mechanisms will not improve the device but on the contrary, will destroy it.
Or to use another analogy, an earthquake cannot build a city, it will level it-just like the effects of a mutation on DNA. Let's assume that a beneficial mutation does exist. But for every beneficial mutation, there are thousands of harmful ones, and so the overall effect is going to be the species' deterioration or extinction. Today's world should have been full of freaks who have undergone minor mutations: fish hatched with three eyes, or cats that give birth to five-legged kittens. But just as mutations are harmful, they are also extremely rare. The changes that mutations could result in are like those experienced in Hiroshima, Nagasaki or Chernobyl.
In the hopes of proving the theory of evolution, scientists have carried out experiments that result in fruit flies that, having been subjected to radiation, have legs coming out of their heads. To this day, no beneficial mutation has been observed. All have been harmful. Dr. Mahlon B. Hoagland, author of the book The Roots of Life, expresses this as follows:
Another point worth noting is that for mutations to be passed on to future generations, they must arise in the generative cells. Any change in the body cells or organs alone will not be passed along. For example, if a woman loses her finger, her future baby will not lose his and will not therefore be born without a finger. Even if, for a thousand generations every monkey born is taught to walk on two legs, this ability trait will not be passed on when the 1001st generation is born. Another example, say you cut off the left arm of a particular species, the 10th generation will still be born with a left arm, there being no chance that the arm will disappear. In conclusion, mutations cannot be the source of variation in species. DNA's perfect organization can only be a result of a special creation. And the Owner of this superior power of creation is God. The Qur'an tells us about God's perfect creation as follows:
It is God Who made the Earth a stable home for you and the sky a dome, and formed you, giving you the best of forms, and provided you with good and wholesome things. That is God, your Lord. Blessed be God, the Lord of all the worlds. He is the Living-there is no deity but Him-so call on Him, making your religion sincerely His. Praise be to God, the Lord of all the worlds. (Qur'an, 40:64-65)
Again we find in the Qur'an news of the situation of the deniers of this creation:
He to Whom the kingdom of the heavens and the Earth belongs. He does not have a son and He has no partner in the Kingdom. He created everything and determined it most exactly. But they have adopted deities apart from Him which do not create anything but are themselves created. They have no power to harm or help themselves. They have no power over death or life or resurrection. (Qur'an, 25:2-3)
3-Michael Denton, A Theory in Crisis (New York: The Free Press, 1996), p. 334.
4-Frank B. Salisbury, Doubts About the Modern Synthetic Theory of Evolution, p. 336.
5-Francis Crick, Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1981), p. 88.
6-Mahlon B. Hoagland, The Roots of Life (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1978), p. 145.
7-"Biological Evidence of Creation: From a Fog to a Prince," Keziah, American Portrait Films, Cleveland, OH, 1998.