Sunday, October 08, 2006

DNA, math and evolution

In a recent Time magazine article I saw, the question was asked, "What Makes us Different?" Answer: "Not very much, when you look at our DNA." According to the author, "When it comes to DNA, a human is closer to a chimp than a mouse is to a rat." What does this prove? That "a human is closer to a chimp than a mouse is to a rat"; that, ultimately, chimps ain't human. It doesn't prove that a human evolved from a chimp, a rat from a mouse or that any of them have common ancestors.

Wikipedia states "Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions for the biological development of a cellular form of life or a virus....DNA consists of a pair of molecules, organized as strands running start-to-end and joined by hydrogen bonds along their lengths." Whatever all that means!

To me it seems that the Time writer as well as others hope to direct us toward the conclusion that DNA supports the theory of evolution. What seems more likely is that the complexity of DNA challenges the theory of evolution. Leaving DNA and taking a simple example, what is the mathematical likelihood of the evolution of just one form of life? If that life is continued by sexual reproduction, what is the likelihood of both male and female evolving, and beyond that, evolving at the same time so as to be able to reproduce? Now that is just one. But what about thousands of animate life forms as well as inimate things evolving all at the right time in and for such a cycle of life so as to support the continuation of life? And on and on. The mathematical impossibility of the theory of evolution seems mind-boggling to me.

Animation of a section of DNA rotating illustrates a great deal of complexity.

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