An Amazing Tract Record | The Institute for Creation Research

An Amazing Tract Record

Most people have a passing knowledge of the food they eat, and perhaps how it gets digested. As with all human body systems, however, details of the digestive or gastrointestinal (GI) tract—including the incredibly rich microbial flora found at the last portion of the small intestine and the entire large intestine—are an amazing testimony to creation.

Indeed, on a given day the bacterial population within the human colon usually doubles at least once. This means the common Escherichia coli (E. coli) must replicate (duplicate) its circular chromosome in just 20 short minutes.

The replication of millions of base pairs of DNA is a daunting task in such a small area. The E. coli chromosome must spin at the equivalent of 300 revolutions per second as it makes a second chromosome for upcoming cell division.

A host of unique and diverse bacteria inhabit the large intestine—over 400 bacterial species—and most of them are anaerobic (living in the absence of free oxygen) and are concerned with the production of vitamins K (a fat-soluble vitamin critical in blood clotting) and B.1 It is therefore important to maintain this microbial flora. As long as these bacteria stay put within the GI tract, they do not cause problems; but when they are released into the body cavity or bloodstream (bacteremia), they can cause severe or fatal conditions such as septicemia. This may occur through accidents (or other types of trauma) or disease.

Microorganisms found in the GI tract compete with disease-causing (pathogenic) microorganisms. In biology this is called the principle of competitive exclusion. Normal microbes inhabiting the colon (e.g., the phyla Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Verrucomicrobia) take up the area or ecological niche that disease-causing organisms might otherwise inhabit. For example, a fascinating species of bacteria called Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron is designed to survive in the human GI tract in a specific microenvironment (the lumen or cavity) where it breaks down complex carbohydrates with the aid of methanogenic archaea.2

A fairly new field of nutrition involves taking in bacteria called probiotics (pro is Greek for the word “for,” and bios means “life”). Probiotics support digestion and the immune system via the GI tract. Eating foods that naturally contain probiotics has been of increasing interest to the medical field and commercial industry because of their contribution to colonic and overall health. If a person is taking large doses of antibiotics, much of the colonic bacteria would be destroyed. To repopulate the large intestine, a person could eat probiotic foods containing live cultures of bacteria.

As with all areas of biology, secular scientists give an evolutionary explanation to these incredible design features, including the complex interactions of these anaerobic bacteria with the host and with each other. Two evolutionists recently wrote an article regarding “recent evolutionary changes” of these fascinating gut microbes.3 They state—with words like “most likely,” “would have,” “might have,” “may have,” “may explain,” etc.—that there have been changes to the microbiome over human evolution.4 Creationists maintain not only that man has always been man,5 but people have been designed by the Creator to host important intestinal microbes.


  1. Willey, J. M. et al. 2011. Prescott’s Microbiology, 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  2. Ibid, 734.
  3. Walter, J. and R. Ley. 2011. The Human Gut Microbiome: Ecology and Recent Evolutionary Changes. Annual Review of Microbiology. 65: 411-429.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Lubenow, M. 2004. Bones of Contention. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

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

Cite this article: Sherwin, F. 2012. An Amazing Tract Record. Acts & Facts. 41 (5): 16.

The Latest
Inside December 2021 Acts & Facts
How can we understand Christ’s role as our mediator from a scientific perspective? Why was ICR's first dinosaur excavation significant for...

Christ’s Providence Is Clearly Seen in Bird Migrations
Just as monkeys can’t accidently type Shakespeare texts, birds can’t migrate by evolutionary luck, despite imagined eons of time for “lucky”...

Creation Kids: Snowflakes
by Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

The Gift of God Himself
Each Christmas we remember how deeply God loves us. His wondrous plan of salvation—first set in motion in the Garden of Eden—was miraculously...

Early Land Plant Evolution?
In a recent Science article, two evolutionists consider land plants (embryophytes) to have evolved from stoneworts (charophyte algae).1 A...

Biblical Creation and Intellectual Foolishness
In a recent interview discussing his new book In Quest of the Historical Adam, philosopher and Christian apologist William Lane Craig acknowledged his...

Are Birds “Cousins” to Reptiles?
Are today’s birds genealogical “cousins” to today’s reptiles due to a shared evolutionary ancestry? No. However, birds and...

Haleakala National Park: One of Many Young-Looking Volcanoes
You can start the day atop the cold peak of Mt. Haleakala and end it on a warm beach on Maui. The sprawling volcanic mountain rises 10,000 feet above...

The Oceans Point to a Young Earth
by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D.* Over 70% of Earth's surface is covered by water, most of which is marine and contained in...

Jesus Christ Is Our Perfect Mediator
We’ll never get bored throughout eternity. There is always something wonderfully new to learn about our precious Lord Jesus, the uplifting Holy...