It doesn’t look much but DNA is the stuff of life. There are 2metres in every cell of your body;
It a cell was the size of a tennis ball that would be 2000km of thread inside you; enough to go to Sun + back over 50 times.
Numbers like that are too big to grasp or imagine But the wonder of DNA is in the small detail. It is deceptively simple – just 4 basic chemicals. Yet, unimaginably FLEXIBLE – combined in different ways they make all the chemical that life needs. It is BEAUTIFUL – like a ladder, twisted into a double helix Simple, flexible, beautiful and WONDROUSLY CREATIVE. It allows the variety and diversity of forms of life we see on the Earth.
Which Lens - Science or Faith? In the ancient world they didn’t have the lens of science but they did wonder.
You can read about this by clicking here.
“When I consider your heavens ... what are humans?”
It is 60 years since Crick, Watson with Wilkes and Rosalind Franklin discovered the chemical structure of DNA. More recently The Human Genome Project mapped human DNA + began the process of understanding what makes us human. Science is not about good answers but good questions! DNA asks questions - could such a complex molecule just arise through natural laws of the universe? Science tentatively says yes, but lot of questions remain - others say, odds against it more than astronomical and it needs a designer.
DNA can unwrap + re-make itself. That is happening millions of times a day in your bodies.
How we interpret the evidence depends on more than science Eg : Richard Dawkins who wrote the God Delusion says there is no designer whereas Francis Collins who headed the Human Genome Project is a Christian and sees this as opening a window upon God; evidence of the intricate creativity of God.
Ps 8v3 : “When I consider the your heaven ... the moon + stars” – its unimaginatively big, even for us! Humans are impressed by greatness + power. The bigness of God is beyond our comprehension Yet, the simplicity, elegance of DNA speaks of God who is interested in the detail of life. This extends to our lives. Jesus tells us that “the hairs on your head are numbered” it’s all down to DNA! The playful creativity of God is evidenced in his creation Ps 8 – humans, beasts of field, birds, fish Estimate – 2 billion different types of living creatures Could have been lot simpler – all out of 4 chemical bricks! God loves variety, he revels + rejoices in difference Humans – 99.9% the same – 0.01% diff in DNA - yet too often our small differences + diversity are barriers that separate + push us apart. We may marvel at “Blue Planet II” yet do not value each other or value the diversity of life God values. Ps 8v4 : “You made humans ... and crowned them with glory and honour” Share 96% of your DNA with chimpanzee – but you are not a chimpanzee Human DNA packaged differently - human 23 strands of DNA; chimps 24 – 2 joined Leads to different capacity - to wonder, to question – universe, self, God - to bear the character of his life; even his fullness. John 1v14 : “The word – Jesus – became flesh + made his dwelling among us” Out of the variety of creation, the constant changing of DNA, God brings forth a being who is able to share his life The wonder of you?
DNA Finger Print – “every contact leaves a trace” Your humanness is able to bear the DNA of God’s being. The greatest evidence for God is you!
Questions and Reflections (for you to think about on your own or to discuss in your Life Group)
1. Read the passage through a couple of times.
What words or phrases jump out at you? Why do you think that is?
2. The Psalmist writes his thoughts when confronted with the wonders of nature; what does the same sort of thing inspire (or not) in you?
3. Can you bring to mind examples of being awed by the FLEXIBLE BEAUTIFUL or WONDROUSLY CREATIVE aspects of God’s creation? Give examples of all three.
4. Does the vastness of God’s creation make you feel small and insignificant or special and significant? Why do you think that is?
5. Had you ever considered yourself as evidence of God? If so what trace is your DNA are you leaving to be a Divine Window for others to glimpse God through?