Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Human DNA and the Image of God

Last week we talked about the concept of humans being created in the image of God, and the week before we contemplated the concept of Jesus having DNA. What if we put those two ideas together?

Does that mean that God has DNA? Or is it a device that God used to show the complexity in which God created us?

Human DNA contains three billion base pairs of information. Why did God make our DNA so complex? Did it have to do with His creative process? Or does it reflect the complexity of God’s image?

While the human genome project was said to be “finished” a few years ago, the three billion base pairs have not been completely placed with regard into their respective genes. But every day we do hear that scientists have discovered genes that control everything from our tendencies towards cancer to our mental state of being.

What is interesting about this learning process is that some pieces in the strands of DNA have been labeled “Junk DNA”. Why is that?

Genetic data that scientists hypothesize is extra is called “Junk DNA”. But how do we know this is junk DNA? It is possible that our 3 billion base pairs define more than our physical aspects. Maybe that “Junk” really isn’t junk. Maybe it’s related to the aspects of us that go beyond the physical.

Humans enjoy a complex life. We have mind, body and spirit. Who’s to say what would happen if scientists decided that the “Junk DNA” could be eliminated. What would the repercussions of such experimentation be?

Recently an ABC article ( reported the potential “new technique” to create a human embryo from one father and two mothers. Scientists claim that using such therapeutic manipulation would allow the elimination of any hereditary diseases that might exist in the child. This particular article cited mitochondrial disease as an example.

But if this technique were to be used, what else is potentially lost in the process? We can’t even define all the human genes and their functions yet, so what is the likelihood of success with such an experimental process?

What if in the process of “fixing” a child’s DNA, we eliminated spiritual aspects of a person’s being? Are we tampering with what it means to be made in God’s image? All questions worth considering, don’t you think?

See you next week.

1 comment:

Robbie Iobst said...

Loretta, you make me want to read your book. This is SO interesting and makes me look at DNA in a whole new way.