Arithmetic and the Genetic Code | The Institute for Creation Research

Arithmetic and the Genetic Code

Where do physical traits such as height and eye color come from? Biologists say these characteristics are phenotypic (physical) expressions of the genotype—the genetic code. The case for creation can be seen in this amazing genetic code of life. The human body’s trillions of cells use over 75 special kinds of protein and RNA molecules to make one protein following DNA’s detailed instructions. A second genetic code has recently been discovered, adding to the complexity of the already intricate molecule of heredity.1

What was the origin of this code? Was it through chance and time (evolution) or design and organization (creation)? The materialistic explanation (evolution) is the antithesis of biblical creation. Could the origin of the genetic code be just a random event? Hardly.2 In fact, a chance origin of biological information is considered by those involved in such research to be inadequate.3 Advocates of evolution must attempt a purely secular explanation of what is quite obviously an intricately and exquisitely designed code. Such explanations are not sufficient, and never will be, outside of the One who created the genetic code.

Evolutionary scientists cannot agree on their theories of the origin of the genetic code. Adam Kun et al stated, “The origin of the genetic code is still not fully understood, despite considerable progress in the last decade.”4 In 2008, an evolutionist from Kazakhstan, Vladimir shCherbak, published a paper asserting the strange idea of an arithmetical origin of the genetic code.5 Arithmetic is the science of computing and is the oldest, most elementary branch of the larger field of mathematics. Roman arithmetic required the use of a counting board, the ancestor of the abacus. shCherbak suggested that a primeval counting frame was responsible for the origin of the genetic code.

He claimed the genetic code contains “the zero, decimal syntax and unique summations” and that this refutes “traditional ideas about the stochastic origin of the genetic code.”6 Atheist David Berlinski reminds us that “evolution is a stochastic process [developing in a statistically random way], one that moves forward by means of inconclusive humps.”7 shCherbak continued:

Chemical evolution, no matter how long it took, could not possibly have stumbled on the arithmetical language and initialized the decimalization of the genetic code. Physics and chemistry can neither make such abstractions nor fit the genetic code out with them. It seems that the genetic code appeared as pure information like arithmetic did.8

shCherbak is correct; chemical evolution, chemistry, and physics utterly fail to explain in any way the origin of the genetic code. Sadly, his explanation of this code’s appearance via arithmetic through “some primordial abacus at least three and a half billion years ago” is hardly scientific or satisfying.9

“While the biochemical details of this code were unraveled long ago, its origin is still obscure,” lamented evolutionist Tsvi Tlusty.10

Secular explanations for the origin of the sophisticated genetic code point to either the unknown or something like a “primordial abacus.” The only other alternative is a supernatural agency. The genetic code is the result of the purposeful arrangement of parts—design, implying a Designer, as Genesis clearly portrays.

Reference

  1. Tejedor, J. R. and J. Valcárcel. 2010. Gene Regulation: Breaking the second genetic code. Nature. 465 (7294): 45-46.
  2. Freeland, S. J. and L. D. Hurst. 1998. The genetic code is one in a million. Journal of Molecular Evolution. 47 (3): 238-248.
  3. de Duve, C. 1996. The Constraints of Chance. Scientific American. 274: 112.
  4. Kun, A. et al. 2008. Catalytic Propensity of Amino Acids. In The Codes of Life: The Rules of Macroevolution. Barbieri, M., ed. New York: Springer Publishers, 39.
  5. shCherbak, V. 2008. The Arithmetical Origin of the Genetic Code. In The Codes of Life: The Rules of Macroevolution. Barbieri, M., ed. New York: Springer Publishers, 153-185.
  6. Ibid, 153.
  7. Berlinski, D. 2009. The Deniable Darwin. Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute Press, 179.
  8. shCherbak, 154.
  9. Ibid, 153.
  10. Tlusty, T. 2010. A colorful origin for the genetic code: Information theory, statistical mechanics and the emergence of molecular codes. Physics of Life Reviews. 7 (3): 362-376.

* Mr. Sherwin is Research Associate, Senior Lecturer, and Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Cite this article: Sherwin, F. 2012. Arithmetic and the Genetic Code. Acts & Facts. 41 (2): 17.

The Latest
NEWS
Does Oddball Platypus Genome Reveal Its Origins?
How in the world did a creature as odd as the duck-billed platypus originate? This creature lays eggs like a reptile, has venom like a reptile, spurs like...

NEWS
Is Evolution ‘Fake Science’?
The organization BioLogos, which advocates that Christians accept secular evolutionary claims, recently published an online essay entitled “How to...

NEWS
Cambrian Explosion Alive and Well
A new editorial in GSA Today is claiming that secular scientists should cease using the term “Cambrian Explosion.”1 It’s not...

NEWS
Abraham Ate Bananas?
Since the word banana does not occur in Scripture, any evidence of bananas in ancient Middle Eastern diets would have to come from the ground. New research...

NEWS
3-D Human Genome Radically Different from Chimp
All plant and animal genomes studied so far exhibit complex and distinct three-dimensional (3-D) structures in their chromosome configurations depending...

NEWS
Amazonian Artwork and the Post-Flood Ice Age
An extensive series of South American Ice Age artwork may be of interest to biblical creationists. In 2017 and 2018, scientists discovered a nearly eight-mile-long...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Dinosaurs
You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with ICR’s special Creation Kids learning...

NEWS
Inside January 2021 Acts & Facts
How is ICR winning science and scientists back to Christ? What is the significance of fossil bone collagen discoveries? Did pterosaurs have feathers?...

ACTS & FACTS
Savvy Sons of Light
Many Christians grow uncomfortable when their pastor teaches about money. If it’s any consolation, I know many pastors who feel the same way....

ACTS & FACTS
Did God Make Harmful Parasites in the Beginning?
Parasites are a unique form of life in today’s world. These invertebrates come in all shapes and sizes, from single-cell animals (e.g., Plasmodium...