The Creation Explanation
|Life -- Miracle, Not Accident|
A Library in a Molecule
As we close this discussion of molecular genetics, let us ask how much information can be carried by the DNA molecules in a cell.15 The DNA of the intestinal bacterium, Escherichia coli, contains roughly 3.8 million nucleotides, the DNA genetic code letter molecules. Thus, to describe the amino acid sequences of the proteins of this bacterium, plus other information contained in the DNA, would require a volume of about 1,300 pages with 3,000 letters on each page! And there is no evidence to prove that this information would describe the actual structure of the cell independently of a previously existing E. coli cell with its complement of cortical inheritance information and preformed enzymes, ribosomes, mitochondria, and mRNA molecules, etc.
Human DNA contains about three billion nucleotide genetic code letters. Printed out as letters, these would fill a library of 1,000 volumes of 1,000 pages each, with 3,000 letters on each page. Actually however, up to 95 percent of human DNA appears to be unused repeats of short DNA sequences and other kinds of "junk" DNA sequences. If this is correct, then the useful information in the DNA of the human genome would fill only about fifty volumes, only 150 million code letters. On the other hand, a substantial proportion of the multiple repeat DNA may have as yet undiscovered functions. In Appendix E the question of the sufficiency of the human genome is considered mathematically. It appears that the DNA may not have the capacity to carry enough information to describe and direct the construction of a human body. If this is indeed the case, then it becomes probable that the design information for the basic distinctive structures and characteristics of each organism is supplied by a non-material source. This would be divine providential supervision by God the Creator over all of His creatures.
15. Watson, James D., (ref. 7), p. 508.