EDITOR'S NOTE: The Does God Exist? ministry offers $1,000 scholarships to young people who demonstrate the ability to deal with apologetic issues and who are going on to further their education. This money is not from donations made to the program but funds given in memory of Edith Lawson, Connie Parsons, and Phyllis Clayton--three women who were instrumental in the starting of this work. In 2008 $3000 was given in scholarships, and the following is an essay by one of the winners, Susan McGee of Burlington, North Carolina.
Many Christians today feel that science and faith are two contradicting schools of thought. This often results in Christians abandoning faith in God and holding fast to what they believe is science or in some people never developing a faith in God. The problem with this view is that science is not a school of thought. The word "science" is defined as "knowledge attained through study or practice," and knowledge is defined as the "understanding of a subject." Therefore, science is simply the understanding of a certain subject, which comes from studying the subject. It is a collection of facts describing the world in which we live.
Scientific theories sometimes throw people off because they are cataloged under the name of science. It is important to understand that these theories are not pure science; they are only possible explanations that are based on science. Perhaps the most largely disputed issue between Christians and scientists is the theory of evolution. Clearly, the theory of evolution disagrees with the Bible's account of creation, and that often leads people to doubt their faith. This is unnecessary though, because the theory of evolution is just that--a theory--not hard fast scientific fact. If you consider just the plain facts--the science--that scientists are using to compile the theory of evolution, you will see that they can be better explained by the existence of God.
When new scientific discoveries are made, we need to let the discoveries teach us the facts and let the facts lead us to the truth instead of trying to mold the facts into what we want them to mean. Acts 17:26-27 (NIV) tells us that God created us and put us on this earth "so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us." God wants us to search for Him, and He knows that anything we learn about this earth or about our lives will lead us to Him if we let it. If we seek the truth in science, we will find the truth in God.
Thus, believing in God does not require us to abandon science since science is merely the facts that people have learned about the amazing world that God created. So, while many people believe that science contradicts the Bible, science, in fact, supports the words of the Bible and points to creation by God. Take the field of biology for instance. There are many discoveries that have been made about some of the basic building blocks of human life that clearly indicate that human beings were in fact created by God.
Every human cell contains DNA. This DNA is constantly being replicated inside the body's cells. DNA replication consists of several chemical reactions that proceed with the aid of enzymes, which are proteins. Different proteins are required for each step of the process. Helicase separates the two DNA strands. RNA primase initiates the replication. DNA polymerase adds DNA nucleotides to the strand. DNA ligase joins "short segments of new DNA." These are four main proteins that participate in DNA replication, and there are numerous others that are not even mentioned by name, such as the excision repair enzymes that proofread the new DNA strands and correct any mistakes.
This DNA plays the very important role of being a template that codes for the production of proteins. The process of protein synthesis begins when the protein RNA polymerase separates the DNA strands and uses one of the strands as a template to create a strand of RNA. After that, certain other proteins prepare the new RNA strand to be used as a template for making new proteins. Ribosomes, which are made of several proteins, serve as the host location where the new proteins are made.
Thus, as described above, proteins are needed to make DNA, DNA is needed to make proteins, and even proteins are needed to make proteins. So arises the question of which came first, the DNA or the proteins? The DNA could not exist without the proteins because the DNA is made by proteins. Similarly, the proteins could not exist without the DNA because the proteins are coded by the DNA. The answer: DNA and proteins, specifically the aforementioned proteins that participate in the processes of DNA replication and protein synthesis, came into existence at the exact same time and immediately began working together. How could so many specific items emerge simultaneously and be precisely placed such that they can all work in accordance to sustain a human life? This could only happen if they were created by a supreme being who understood the vital relationship between the DNA and the proteins and who knew exactly where to put each protein and each strand of DNA to allow them to interact properly. Thus, simultaneous emergence points to the existence of an all-knowing God who skillfully created the first human beings.
Another type of molecule found in a human cell is the histone. Histones are specific types of proteins that are found in the nucleus of a cell. Each DNA molecule is coiled around several bundles of histone proteins. This helps protect the DNA from being accidentally replicated by the replication enzymes that are present in the nucleus. Without these histones, the cell's DNA could be randomly replicated, and this unplanned replication could result in too many of certain types of proteins being made, since proteins are made from DNA. Since proteins regulate almost every process that occurs in the human body, having an improper amount of some proteins could cause the body to malfunction. Clearly, our bodies would be in danger if our DNA were not strategically coiled around these histones. Hence, there must not have been any time when the DNA was without these histones; the histones and the DNA must have come into existence at the same time. Again, simultaneous emergence indicates the presence of a God who purposely designed and created human beings.
The aforementioned situations could not take place if it were not for the presence of the cell membrane. The cell membrane is necessary to keep the cell's contents bound within the cell and to allow communication between cells. It allows the cell to maintain environmental conditions within the cell that are different from the environment outside the cell, and it regulates what materials enter and exit the cell. Embedded in the cell membrane are numerous amounts of five different types of proteins. Channel proteins allow large molecules to enter and exit the cell. Transport proteins use energy to move molecules that cannot pass freely through the membrane into and out of the cell. Recognition proteins help cells identify each other and stick together. Receptor proteins accept modules, such as hormones, that elicit internal cellular responses. Electron transfer proteins help transfer electrons to and from molecules during chemical reactions. If all of these proteins were not strategically placed along the cell membrane, then molecules would not be able to get where they need to go, signals would not be relayed between our cells, and, subsequently, our bodies would not function properly. Therefore, all of the components of the cell membrane must have come into being simultaneously. How could this happen? Again, it must have been created by a being who had a plan in mind and who had the intelligence to make everything work together. That being is God.
Now, think back to the proteins that were mentioned previously. Proteins are one of the most important substances in the human body, regulating almost every chemical reaction that occurs. Each of those proteins is an ordered combination of amino acids. There are 20 amino acids in the human body, and proteins range in size from 50 amino acids to over 2,000 amino acids. To create a protein containing 100 amino acids, there are 20 possible arrangements, which is a 1 followed by 130 zeros. Subsequently, the chance of creating that one specific protein, which has to contain the right amino acids in the right order, is 1 out of that huge number, or basically zero. So, considering that the human body contains around 100,000 different proteins, how could our amazing bodies have come into existence, possessing all the different proteins--proteins that are necessary to sustain life? This seemingly miraculous incident could occur only through a creation by a being that followed a very specific design. Once again the explanation is God.
Our bodies are truly amazing, and they are only one of God's wonderful creations. In the book of Romans, Paul writes, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse" (Romans 1:20, NIV). As we learn about the science of our bodies, there is no reason to doubt the existence of God; His supremacy is evident throughout our beings as well as in everything around us.
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