The Cryptography in the DNA Molecule
In every cell in your body lies a glorious treasure house of information, written in a language spoken by nobody on Earth,. The alphabet of this language consists of just four letters, and each letter stands for a chemical molecule known as a base or nucleotide. The genetic "words" known as codons are made up of these letters. This DNA language of just four letters consists of the molecules adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine, or the letters A, T, G and C for short. All the information contained in the data bank within the nucleus is encoded in this four-letter alphabet. When hundreds of the letters A, T, G and C are taken together, the result is long, meaningful "sentences" known as genes, which describe how the processes in the body should take place and give instructions regarding them. Millions of these "letters" set out in a meaningful sequence one after the other comprise the DNA molecule. In his book Our Molecular Nature, the molecular biologist David S. Goodsell refers to the DNA molecule as. . . perhaps the most beautiful of our molecules, but like a fine book, its true beauty lies not in binding, but in the words written within.66
All of a person's physical characteristics have been encoded by means of this special language and stored in the cell nucleus. An organism's body shape, the vital functions of all its organs and the organization of how those organs function, the genetic codes and amounts of proteins that need to be produced within the cell are all encoded in DNA. This enormous code contains information about a person's entire body, ever since it was no more than a single cell. To put it another way, before the individual even became a human being, a comprehensive blueprint for the entire body was ready in a single molecule.
When referring to the nucleic acids that make up DNA in the cell nucleus, we shall continue to use the letter analogy. These letters, as we explained earlier, come together in specific pairs to form the "steps" on the staircase. By being added one on top the next, these steps then constitute genes. Every gene in part of the DNA molecule controls specific human features. Height, eye color, the structure of the nose, ears and skull, and countless other characteristics all come into being by the commands of relevant genes. We may compare these genes to the pages of a book written with only the letters A, T, G and C.
There are some 30,000 genes in a human cell's DNA. Every gene consists of between 1,000 and 186,000 nucleotides arranged in a particular sequence, depending on the kind of protein to which it corresponds. These genes contain the codes for some 200,000 proteins that operate inside the human body, and also regulate the production of those same proteins. The information contained by these 30,000 genes represents only 3% of the total information that DNA contains. The data in the remaining 97% is still unknown, but it has been established that this portion contains information essential to the activities of the cell. (For more detail, see the Chapter 12, "How the Miracle of DNA Invalidates the Theory of Evolution.")
Genes exist inside chromosomes, and there are 46 chromosomes in the nucleus of every human cell (apart from the reproductive cells). To compare every chromosome to a volume consisting of pages in the form of genes, then we can say that in each cell, there is a 46-volume cellular encyclopedia containing all of a human being's characteristics. As we've already made clear, this cellular encyclopedia contains an amount of information equivalent to a 920-volume Encyclopedia Britannica.
The arrangement of the letters in every individual's DNA is different. That is why all the people who have ever lived have been different from one another. The basic structure and functions of the organs are the same in everyone. Yet everyone is specially created with such fine differences and in such a detailed manner that although all human beings develop the same basic structure through the division of a single cell, the result is still billions of people with wholly different appearances.
The arrangement of the letters in DNA determines a person's characteristics, right down to the tiniest details. In addition to features such as height and the colors of one's eye, hair and skin color, blueprints for the 206 bones in the body, 600 muscles, a 10,000-component network of hearing nerves, 2 million-part network of optic nerves, 100 billion nerve cells, blood vessels 130,000,000,000 meters (80,780,000 miles) in length and 100 trillion cells all exist in the DNA in a single cell. The Canadian science writer Denyse O'Leary refers to the information in DNA:
Since not even a single word cannot form in the absence of a writer, how did the billions of "letters" in the human genome come into existence? How have these letters been arranged in a meaningful way to constitute the matchless blueprint for such perfect and complex bodies? The slightest alteration to the arrangement of these letters could lead to us having fingers on our feet, eyes in our stomachs or heads facing backwards. Our arms might be longer or shorter than they actually are, or our lips might be sealed together. If we currently exist as normal human beings, that is only through the permission of our Almighty Lord. Allah has made the arrangement in the letters in every human being's DNA the means whereby this comes about. In one verse, He informs us that:
He is Allah-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. (Surat al-Hashr, 24)
The DNA Molecule Contains Coded Messages
The sublime creation inside the DNA molecule is able to carry the specific arrangement of its own atoms and the maximum amount of code in the minimum area. Every letter that constitutes this genetic code is written into the cell nucleus by means of a molecule with its own particular chemical features and three-dimensional structure. Arthur Ernest Wilder-Smith, a professor of chemistry, refers to the message in the DNA molecule in one of his books:
As set out above, the information content is independent of its mode of transmission. Therefore, not just the arrangement of the bases in the DNA, but also the coded information, the message that it contains, is noteworthy. The science writer Richard Milton highlights the delicate organization in the coding of messages in DNA:
Professor Murray Eden is an expert from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the subject of information theory and official languages. He says that "No currently existing formal language can tolerate random changes in the symbol sequences which express its sentences. Meaning is almost invariably destroyed. Any changes must be syntactically lawful ones."70 He goes on to state that this rule also applies to the language of DNA that constitutes genetic information.
All these statements show that the information in DNA could not possibly have emerged as the result of chance. In the face of these fictitious claims made by evolutionists, we may cite the mathematical science of coding information to ensure its security, known as cryptology. One aim of this science is let information be read accurately and prevent its being altered. For example, a hacker monitoring the communication between two individuals on the Internet, may make changes to the information they send to one another. Thus the preservation of original information is of great importance. The greater the importance of the information, the greater the importance and difficulty of the coding technique to be employed. That is why special programs prevent information being readily accessible to just anyone. Only specific authorized individuals can read and alter this program's information, whose accuracy is confirmed by means of security systems.
Since genetic information is of direct importance to human life, it too must not be subjected to any alteration. Only within the last 50 years did scientists discover that such an important treasure store of information was concealed inside the cell, but this priceless information has been protected inside the cell nucleus, using a special code, ever since human beings were first created. Every detail regarding this molecule is full of examples of Allah's sublime creation. DNA prompts us to ask the following questions:
These questions, to which hundreds more could be added, lead us to the existence of our omniscient, sublimely intelligent Creator. DNA is "...the handiwork of Allah Who gives to everything its solidity..." (Surat an-Naml, 88) In the Qur'an, Allah reveals the organization in His creation:
O man! What has deluded you in respect of your Noble Lord? He Who created you and formed you and proportioned you and assembled you in whatever way He willed. (Surat al-Infitar, 6-8)
In order to write a work about what is needed for all of an organism's bodily functions, the author must know all the details about that organism's cellular activities will be performed at the atomic and molecular level and to accurately determine its special requirements at every stage of life, from infancy right up to death. Only our Lord knows all this information and "proportioned" humankind. (Surah 'Abasa, 19)
In addition, all other living things on Earth –bacteria, viruses, insects, horses and plants– also have DNA in their cells. Each one's DNA contains detailed information about the needs and body structure of the organism to which it belongs. Recalling the millions of species on Earth, one can better grasp the scope of the information in question. Our Almighty Lord equips every living thing right from the outset with all the information it needs, places that information inside the cells, and creates the separate DNA sequences for each living species.
The Translation From DNA's Four Letters into a 20-Letter Protein
As you saw in earlier sections of this book, the data bank inside the DNA has been encoded in the form of four chemical bases represented by the letters A, T, G and C. But for this 4-letter DNA language to be used, it must be translated into a 20-letter protein language. The information in DNA becomes meaningful for proteins only as a result of this translation process. The well-known chemist Prof. Wilder Smith notes the difficult nature of a system able to translate between these two languages:
As this extract shows, complete and accurate translation between two languages does not appear possible by means of a technical program. In fact, however, the way that DNA language is translated into the protein language is pre-programmed in DNA, so that this system functions in a flawless manner in every cell in the billions of human beings. The Canadian science writer Denyse O'Leary refers to the communication difficulty to be expected between a four-letter gene language and a 20-letter protein one:
Despite this apparent difficulty, however, the coded descriptions written in the DNA language is read properly, translated and used in all the living things on Earth. This intelligence manifested inside the cell belongs to our Almighty Lord, the Lord and Sovereign of all things, Who has created and continues to create living things through His mercy. This is revealed in the Qur'an:
Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High. He Who created and molded. (Surat al-A'la, 1-2)
From what thing did He create him? From a drop of sperm He created him and proportioned him. (Surah 'Abasa, 18-19)
66. David S. Goodsell, Our Molecular Nature, Springer-Verlag, New York, 1996, p. 36.
67. Denyse O'Leary, By Design or By Chance?, Castle Ovay Books, Kanada, 2004, p 173.
68. A. E. Wilder-Smith, The Natural Sciences: Know Nothing of Evolution, T. W. F. T. Publishers, ABD, pp. 78-79.
69. Richard Milton, Shattering the Myths of Darwinism, Park Street Press Rochester, ABD, 1992, p. 170.
70. M. Eden, "Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory," Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, Wistar Institute Press, Philadelphia, 1967, p. 11.
71. A. E. Wilder-Smith, The Natural Sciences: Know Nothing of Evolution, p. 97.
72. Denyse O'Leary, By Design or By Chance?, p. 55.