November 21, 2017

Jurassic Parts

By Ken McLemore

Every false teaching eventually argues against itself. On the question of life on Earth, evolutionary theory argues against itself by failing to answer the question of the "first cause" (Rom. 1:20-21). The same kind of assumption under-lies the argument for the premise of the popular book and film "Jurassic Park."

While the book and movie might be considered a good monster yarn, that is all they can be because there are too many questions that bedevil the premise about cloning dinosaurs in both. Cloning is considered to be the genetic equivalent of "xerography," but it is not the creation of life; it is, at best, the successful use of existing genetic structures from one cell to produce a duplicate of that cell in an independent environment. No-one can create the genetic material within a cell; hence, the primary need in cloning theory is to obtain a complete cell nucleus from the subject to be cloned.

That is where the scientific premise of "Jurassic Park" begins, and where it begins to argue against itself as well. In order to clone a dinosaur, the scientists in the story need dinosaur DNA, the genetic material in the nucleus of a cell which encodes the biological blueprint of the dinosaur. They extract blood from a mosquito which had been trapped in amber so many millions of years ago, and now they have dinosaur DNA . . . but how do they know they have dinosaur blood? Granted that they have blood, but how do they know its dinosaur blood since they have nothing with which to compare it? They assume what they cannot prove.

The assumptions upon which the rest of the story is based grow directly out of the first one. Consequently, because scientists assume that dinosaurs were similar to birds and, therefore, had nucleated red blood cells like birds, they know that the blood contains DNA and they can clone a dinosaur. But, no-one has yet proven that they have dinosaur blood. And, that raises the problem of the source, blood drawn from a prehistoric mosquito that supposedly bit a dinosaur and later became encased in amber. Now, consider the probabilities of actually finding a mosquito trapped in amber which happens to be full of dinosaur blood, not to mention finding 15 different mosquitoes with 15 different species of dinosaur blood in them, as is supposed in the book. The mathematical probabilities of finding one such mosquito appear so improbable as to be a negative possibility. It is suggested in the book that some dinosaur DNA is obtainable from fossil specimens, but that only raises a fundamental question about the next major assumption.

Simply because a cell has a nucleus does not mean that all of its DNA will remain intact over time. DNA apparently deteriorates over time after active cell reproduction has stopped. Consequently, DNA obtained from a prehistoric blood sample or a fossil specimen would be incomplete. That raised the problem of DNA reconstruction and the genetic mathematics of a cell. Every cell nucleus has an hierarchy of genetic relationships which must be present for it to be complete. In humans, for instance, that hierarchy revolves around the presence of 46 chromosomes in each nucleus. Each chromosome is composed of a specific number of genes, and each gene is composed of a specific number of DNA strands, and each DNA strand is composed of a specific number of sequences of pairs of four basic compounds that interact with other chemicals to provide genetic instructions. Each human gene, for example, supposedly contains about 3 billion of these "base pairs" per DNA strand. The question is, then, even if dinosaur DNA could be recovered, who knows how many chromosomes are contained in the cell nucleus, and how many genes comprise a chromosome, and how many DNA strands comprise a gene, and how many base pairs per DNA does a dinosaur cell have? That important genetic mathematics is simply ignored in the premise of the story.

Assuming the unimportance of the genetic mathematics of the cell, the story premise becomes more concerned with the exotica of repairing broken or incomplete dinosaur DNA with that of modem animals with similar DNA, such as frogs. But how does frog DNA help if dinosaurs are supposed to have been similar to birds? And, the question arises, that, if the genetic mathematics of the dinosaur are unknown, then how will repairing dinosaur DNA with frog DNA produce a dinosaur rather than a dinofrog?

In the same way that medieval alchemists attempted to transform lead into gold, "Jurassic Park" argues for a kind of genetic alchemy that allows man to change the laws of creation. But, genetic theory cannot escape the principle that every seed reproduces after its own kind. Jesus Christ taught the principle almost 2,000 years before Gregor Mendel first observed it (Matt. 7:16-20). And, Moses revealed the principle in his inspired account of creation more than 2,000 years before that (Gen. 1:24-25,29).

The dinosaur in "Jurassic Park," which is supposed to be from the Jurassic Period of prehistory, is not more than theoretical compilation of Jurassic Parts. It is the genetic fantasy equivalent of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein." It is built with spliced DNA from a frog, an assumed modem relative though the dinosaur is assumed to have been more like a bird, based upon an assumed genetic mathematics of red blood cells assumed to be a dinosaur's, which are extracted from a prehistoric mosquito that it is assumed can be found.

"Jurassic Park" assumes that its conclusions are possible because they are based upon evolutionary theory, which allows man to play the role of God, as one of the characters in the film argues, that, "God made dinosaurs; God creates dinosaurs." Man may assume cloning to be equivalent to creating life, but that assumption argues against itself by not answering the question of the "first cause" which puts life into its genetic building blocks (Ps. 139:13-16; Eccl. 7:13; 8:16-17).

Guardian of Truth XXXVII: No 21, p. 14
November 4, 1993