The Evidence is ENCODED: It’s Time to Celebrate Our Creator

FAN member Tim Maurer is President of the Global Institute For Transformation (GIFT)

There’s a new scientific development that should compel us to celebrate and reassert God as our awesome Creator, Provider, Savior, Lord — and common Father. The recently disclosed “DNA ENCODE Project” unveils findings that correct misunderstandings communicated when the human genome was finished in 2003.

Until the DNA ENCODE Project was concluded, previous “best-minds” thinking had determined that all but 2% of DNA material was “useless — albeit inoffensive — junk just carried along for the evolutionary ride.”

But in an astounding revision, ENCODE has documented that at least 80% of our DNA material is functional. The previously-dismissed DNA material actually regulates and provides essential instructions to the 21,000 protein-making genes contained in every cell, to help them perform their specific functions. Wow!

Consider this excerpt from a recent Los Angeles Times article about ENCODE:

“The results overturn old ideas that the bulk of DNA in our cells is useless — albeit inoffensive — junk just carried along for the evolutionary ride. Back in 2003, when the human genome was finished, scientists estimated that less than 2% carries instructions for making proteins, which become physical structures in our bodies and do the myriad jobs inside cells. The conventional wisdom was that the rest of the genetic code didn’t do very much.

But the new analysis shows that more than 80% of the human genome is active in at least one biological process that the ENCODE team measured. Nearly all of it could turn out to be active when the data are more complete.

A huge chunk of that activity is wrapped up with gene regulation — dictating whether the instructions each gene carries for making a unique protein will be executed or not. Such regulation is key, because pretty much every cell in the human body carries the entire set of 21,000 protein-making genes. To adopt its unique identity, each cell — be it one in the pancreas that makes insulin or one in the skin making pigment or hair — must activate only a subset of them.”

Perhaps the dismissal of so much DNA material as nothing more than residual “junk” in an “evolutionary ride” — reflects more than just missed information. Perhaps the dismissal of our body’s created splendor could be addressed from the perspective of the Spiritual Works Of Mercy as well.

And for good reason.

People are being led astray from believing in God, to their peril. The need to acknowledge and worship God as our Creator is becoming more important than ever in light of insights published in The Economist magazine: “The proportion of Americans who say they are religious has fallen from 73% in 2005 to 60% in 2011. Such a large drop in religiosity is startling…” (The Economist, August 25, 2012, p. 23).

This startling drop –- also occurring since the genome was finished — represents a massive and sad erosion of faith in our God who designed this world and who has prepared an even more wonderful place where we can live with Him for all eternity — providing we believe in Him.

Unfortunately, this decline suggests possible adverse consequences for some people – including people we may even know and love. Specifically, there’s a risk people could spend eternity separated from their loving God and Creator because they’ve turned away from God.

It’s something that all believers should be concerned about, as beneficiaries of God’s saving grace. Our faith isn’t something to take lightly, nor to selfishly keep to ourselves. Rather it’s something that should be shared joyfully.

As the world continues to be advised by prominent scientists to dismiss God as our Creator -– thus portraying humanity as something less than children of God –- we need to acknowledge our faith in God as our Creator, and as our common Father who loves all humanity and all creation.

We should also note that God cautioned us about the lack of acknowledgement of Him in Isaiah, chapter 45:

“It is I who made the earth and created mankind on it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts…”

This is what the LORD says:

“Truly you are a God who has been hiding himself, the God and Savior of Israel. 16 All the makers of idols will be put to shame and disgraced; they will go off into disgrace together. But Israel will be saved by the LORD with an everlasting salvation; you will never be put to shame or disgraced, to ages everlasting.”

For this is what the LORD says, he who created the heavens, he who is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited — he says: “I am the LORD, and there is no other. Gather together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations.

Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods that cannot save. Declare what is to be, present it — let them take counsel together.

Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other…

All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame. But all the descendants of Israel will find deliverance in the LORD and will make their boast in him.”

The Bible repeatedly warns about man’s arrogance, given his limited wisdom: “Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are ‘wise’ by the standards of this age, you should become ‘fools’ so that you may become wise. For the ‘wisdom’ of this world is ‘foolishness’ in God’s sight” (1 Cor. 3:18, 19).

It may well be that “what you don’t know can hurt you.” Certainly the ENCODE discoveries and related confession should cause everyone to question proclamations that vehemently dismiss God and His awesome wonder.

For, just as this ENCODE project has unearthed that there is still more for man to discover in our DNA, we still have not discovered the switch that turns life on and off, nor the elements that produce love and emotion, nor much at all about the galaxies and billions of stars and planets that just happen to be masterfully situated, nor even how specific nutrients in our foods impact chronic illnesses, etc.

In the light of the Feast of St. Francis, who encouraged us to appreciate and care for creation, and as we embark on The Year of Faith, may we join Saint Francis in helping to rebuild God’s church with foundational teaching which acknowledges God as our Creator and ourselves as His beloved children.

May we boldly proclaim the wonder discovered in ENCODE to be just one small example of God’s majesty in the incredible world around us – and celebrate the existence of a loving God who made us, loves us, provides for us and wants us to live with Him forever.

Let’s encode this entire experience to appropriately CELEBRATE OUR CREATOR, as it also instructs in the Book of Isaiah: “Gather together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations… Declare what is to be, present it – let them take counsel together” (45:20–21).

If you would like to acknowledge God as our Creator among this confused generation, and perhaps even CELEBRATE OUR CREATOR with others, the Global Institute For Transformation (GIFT) offers a Celebrate Our Creator® curriculum and supporting resources. FAN’s C4C: Franciscan Care for Creation program is also still available.

Published in: on October 7, 2012 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

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