Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Revealed Truth and Science Pt 3: Life and DNA


           Science defines a living thing as one that has form, can reproduce itself, can make or break down complex biomolecules and can take energy in one form and make it into another. Although this is a "definition" it is merely a description of the characteristics of living things. It does not really define life. Revealed truht talks about the "breath of life" (Genesis 2:7) which makes the soul composed of the spirit and the mortal body. Body without spirit is dead. The Gospel also speakes of many inanitmate objects having life- for instance the earth (See Moses 6). Scientists have never succeeded in making a living thing from non-living biomolecules. Recently they have made a piece of DNA in the lab (it took 15 years) which was inserted into a cell whose DNA was extracted, and the cell lived and reproduced itself according to the inserted DNA genetic message. However, synthetic biomolecules do not live, in and of themselves. The essence of life remains an unanswered question scientifically.
           From the Gospel's standpoint we are given to understand that Christ is the light and life of the world. (John 1:4, Mosiah 16:9) Yet we do not understand this very essence of life, other than it comes from the Father (the breath of life) and seems to be coupled with light. We are aware that the body without the spirit is dead (James 2:26), so the spirit is essential. But spirit is light (Doctrine and Covenants 84:45), so light and life are coupled very tightly. Yet we (at least I) really don't understand what this light really is.

            Much has been made of DNA testing and typing to provide evidence for relationships between individuals or individuals and forensic evidence. When the markers agre, there is a very high likelihood of an individual's identity and lineage. But when the markers don't match, considerable uncertainty exists. In other words, DNA testing can tell you things that are related rather conclusively, but cannot tell you when they aren't to the same certainty at all. With genealogical relationships, as the number of generations increase, so does the uncertainty in a mismatch. The DNA evidence for native American lineage is one such example. Much evidence accumulated since the first studies which indicated that all American Indians came from the far east has led to serious question about this theory.

Find the refrences to the scriptures right here http://lds.org/scriptures?lang=eng

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