Genesis Challenged

Christianity faced troubled times at the close of the nineteenth century. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution fed scientific scepticism about the Genesis account of creation by providing what seemed to be a viable alternative. At the same time, clay tablets from the ruins of the ancient city of Nineveh provided alternative accounts of the Flood and Creation, in clearly mythical form, suggesting that the Genesis record was similarly a mere myth.

Foundations Shaken

Creationist Ken Ham points out that Christianity has been distracted with taking pot shots at issues while its detractors have been aiming their weapons at Christianity’s foundations. If the Book of Genesis can be discredited then all that follows in the Bible can be brought into question.

During the nineteenth century (the 1800’s) assault on the Book of Genesis was vigorously pursued by some, based on emerging scientific hypotheses and on archaeological discoveries.

Charles Lyell, who lived from 1797 to 1875, proposed a non-catastrophic view of geography, despite the abundant evidence for upheaval in the geological record. His propositions of uniformity allowed for extended periods of time in the earth’s history. That extension of historical time was required by the proponents of gradual change over time (evolution).

The emerging notion of evolution was given seeming scientific status by Charles Darwin with his 1959 “Origin of Species” with its account of exotic creatures in the mysterious and remote Galapagos Islands. The notions of “survival of the fittest”, “natural selection” and “missing links” created a new scientific myth which had everything but substance and common sense.

Within days of the release of Darwin’s book, Thomas Henry Huxley, eventually dubbing himself “Darwin’s Bulldog“, began vigorously promoting the scientific worth of evolution over the religious notions carried in the Book of Genesis.

Enter Archaeology

As the battle for Genesis gained intensity, a new dimension emerged to give impetus to detractors. A pile of rubble in ancient mounds in the Near East yielded documents which dated back almost 1,000 years before Christ. Included in that rubble were ancient mythologies of events similar to those described in Genesis.

The city of Nineveh was a sprawling metropolis at its height. Successive rulers moved their principal residence to different parts of the city and so several palace buildings were established over time. Add to that the fact that Nineveh housed the world’s greatest library collection of its time, and you have the creation of a treasure trove of antiquity.

The ancient palaces and libraries of Assyria began to be excavated in the 1840’s, leading to the discovery of a vast collection of ancient documents on clay tablets. In 1850 English archaeologist Henry Layard uncovered the palace of the Assyrian King Sennacherib at tell Kouyunjik (one of the three principal palace locations in Nineveh – Kouyunjik, Khorsabad, and Nimrud).

In 1853 Layard’s former assistant, Hormuzd Rassam, found the famous library of the Assyrian King Ashur-bani-pal, in a different part of the Nineveh ruins. 26,000 of the original 100,000 clay tablets survived with decipherable text. Many were taken to the British Museum for translation.

Among those tablets were found Assyrian myths about creation and a fiction story which featured a great flood. When they were finally translated by George Smith he published them under the title “Chaldean Account of Genesis” in 1876 under the auspices of the British Museum of Oriental Antiquities. The very title suggests a direct link between the tablets and Genesis and those discoveries fuelled the accusation that Moses’ Genesis document was a mere evolution of earlier mythological writings. Note that George Smith died that same year, on his way back from his third visit to the ruins of Nineveh.

Assyrian Flood Story

In December 1872 George Smith published his translation of the oldest known literary work in human history. Smith was the first person to read the story in 2,000 years. But the Epic of Gilgamesh was not made famous for its literary worth, but for its reference to a great flood.

George Smith is an interesting character in that he was not a great scholar and came from a working class background. But he was fascinated with antiquities and taught himself to decipher ancient cuneiform inscriptions. He soon became more knowledgeable and skilled in the task than the staff at the British Museum where he pored over antiquities. Consequently Henry Rawlinson, the great Assyriologist of the day, arranged for Smith to be employed in the Assyriology Department to work on translating the thousands of clay tablets from Nineveh.

Smith translated several tablets in the fictional story of a man named Gilgamesh, who travelled the world facing various adventures. He came to a blank in the story, where a missing tablet was needed to continue the adventure. Smith then ventured to Mesopotamia to attack the pile of rubble left by Layard and Rassam, and, against all odds, found the missing tablet.

It told of a great flood, and of a boat and animals. It even mentioned birds being released at the end of the flood. This bore striking resemblance to the Genesis record of Noah’s Flood.

Assyrian Creation Story

Following Smith’s translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh he then came across another set of clay tablets telling a story which led to the creation of man. The series of seven tablets is known as the Enuma Elish.

While some tablets were broken and accurate translation is impossible, the general text of the story has been translated several times by different scholars. It was first titled “The Chaldean Genesis” by Smith. LW King’s 1902 translation was titled “The Seven Tablets of Creation“. EA Speiser’s translation was published in a 1969 book titled “Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament“. It is obvious that scholars readily link the Enuma Elish with the book of Genesis.

Mounting Evidence

When Smith followed his Assyrian Flood translation with the Assyrian Creation story in 1876 there seemed to be growing proof that the Bible was merely another expression of ancient mythological writings.

Combine that with the pseudo-scientific crusading of Huxley and other evolutionists and you can see that Genesis was under solid attack by the end of the 1800’s. That assault has played a large part in the increased secularisation of western society during the twentieth century.

Clay Tablets are No Threat

Despite the perception that the clay tablets from antiquity have demolished the Bible, the truth is quite the opposite. The abiding impact of archaeology at Nineveh is to confirm the first-hand authenticity of the Bible accounts. The clay tablets confirmed details, customs, language and similar details provided in the Bible, which had previously not been corroborated.

Further to that, the seeming case against the Bible crumbled on closer investigation. The Assyrian stories are vastly different to the Bible account and the differences set the Bible apart, rather than put it down.

Ignorance and Assumption

People who are ignorant are prone to making assumptions. This tendency can be exploited by those who wish to deceive or who make suggestions which are misleading.

When the public is told that the Assyrian stories of the flood and creation match the Bible, many people will gullibly assume that the parallels are striking and that the Bible’s authority has been damaged. Few are likely to read the source documents and remove their ignorance.

In a follow up post I will explain some of the glaring contrasts between the Assyrian and Biblical accounts which people have been led to believe are closely related.

The Truth About Natural Selection

When Charles Darwin observed Natural Selection and proposed that it was the alternative to divine creation, the world stood in awe of his amazing insight. But I am here today to show that Darwin’s guess was completely the reverse of reality. Darwin was a good observer, but a failed prognosticator. He failed to interpret reality and he distracted, fooled or misled generations of the most brilliant minds.

So it is time to take stock of the truth about natural selection.

Diversity Observed

Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace both published their concepts of evolution in the same year. They had both travelled to strange and exotic places and observed creatures which were new to their audiences. The mystique of their amazing travels and the authority which they could purvey on the basis of their experiences outside those of other men, gave their ideas an undeserved level of credibility.

What Charles Darwin observed on his six year voyage as naturalist aboard the HMS Beagle was ‘diversity’. He observed the same process which breeders had known for centuries.

The Bible records the selective breeding activities of Jacob, grandson of Abraham, almost 4,000 years ago. So the creation or refinement of diversity through breeding activities is nothing new.

Darwin observed finches and tortoises on the Galapagos Islands, as if he was discovering something profound and new. He certainly was observing diversity and the results of selective breeding by the natural isolation of animal communities. In this work he was not remiss.

Natural Selection

Rather than selection by human agency, such as animal and plant breeders would do, Darwin celebrated nature’s ability to provide the selection process. Here, without human intelligence, the process took place regardless.

Darwin’s religious perspective (seeking to prove creation without a creator) prompted him to an interpretation that misled generations of the world’s best minds. Darwin, happy to find an alternative to the reality and presence of an all-knowing and holy God, postulated that ignorant and mindless ‘nature’ could take a hand in the selection process. This allowed room for something other than an intelligent and divine creator.

Here Darwin stopped being an observer and became an interpreter. But every interpreter is influenced by his underlying premises. No scientist operates in a vacuum, but in the context of his or her frame of reference. Darwin’s frame of reference was antithetical to true science. His religious notions, when woven with his scientific observations, took on a scientific significance that has beguiled the world ever since.

Now We Know

Darwin was blind to many realities which we now know. He considered the cell to be a very simple entity. We now know that the simplest cell is more complex than a modern highly integrated city. Darwin imagined that the fossil record held evidence it did not contain. Darwin imagined that such processes as sexual relations contributed to the process of transformation of the physiology of a creature (sexually transmitted physiology into adult organisms).

Charles Darwin was patently wrong on these and many other accounts. As a prognosticator he was a miserable failure. As a hypothesiser he was a miserable failure. As a theorist he was a miserable failure. He was a good observer and there he should have stopped.

The Underlying DNA

What Darwin did not know is that the underlying DNA code does not just describe the organism as it is observed and as it currently functions, but that DNA also contains a much more vast scope of possibilities for the organism.

From an evolutionary point of view each new and discreet function is seen as advancement. It is seen as the ‘emergence’ of something new.

And there evolution is patently deceptive and patently wrong.

Evolution seeks to explain the creation of new features. But that creation happened only once, by a supernatural act of a supreme intelligence. No evolution has happened in the beginning or since. No evolution will ever happen. It is a fool’s notion.

What is really happening is that no new features are created, but the features which have already been gifted into the organism’s DNA are able to be activated or deactivated by the breeding process.

Each new and discreet function within an organism is not a creative process but a process of activation or switching, so that previously unseen features are now displayed. However, there is no new information within the organism. Nothing new has been created.

That is why the evolutionists are at a complete loss to explain the ongoing creative process. There is no such process! Evolutionists point to natural selection, as Darwin did, with the religious conviction that such an invocation will bring along a favourable fairy to solve their problem. But they are empty handed.

Of Breeds and Breeding

Any breeder knows that while you may be able to cross come creatures sexually the new animal may be sterile. This sterility factor is the means by which scientists are able to identify the genetic relationship between apparently similar kinds.

The mule is an example of a cross that creates a sterile animal. Dog breeders have proven the wolf as the ancestor to the modern dog breeds by this sterility factor.

“A wild wolf is genetically little more distant from the domesticated dog than a wild mustang is to a quarter horse. (That wolf and dog can be hybridized, while a fox and dog cannot, points to the genetic and ancestral affinities of wolf and dog.)….”In actuality, a poodle, like any purebred dog, already has innumerable wolf genes since they share a close common ancestry.” Dr. Michael W. Fox, D.V.M., Ph.D., D.Sc., Vice President, Bioethics, Humane Society of the United States. Affidavit.

Note in the quote from Dr Fox that the wolf and dog can be successfully bred together (hybridised) but the fox and dog cannot. There is an underlying DNA connection between the wolf and all the varieties of dog. There is no underlying DNA connection between the fox and dog. By this it can be determined that the dog was not bred from the fox, but from the wolf.

Full Genetic Complement

Note also that the fully hybridised dog variety still contains “innumerable wolf genes”. Hybridisation does not even have to involve the “loss of information” which many creationists refer to. It is possible to have remarkable hybridisation of a species and yet to have the entire underlying DNA intact. The function is not necessarily the addition or removal of DNA elements but the activity of “gene expressors” which effectively flick the switch to turn on or turn off certain genes.

Thus Brisbin notes that there is no discernible DNA distinction between dog breeds, despite the obvious physiological distinctions which we readily recognise.

“….Breeds of dogs can not be distinguished from each other by any known anatomical attribute or even biochemical genetic test, including DNA fingerprinting. Since a given breed of dog can not be defined by any scientific means currently known, our contention is that it is not possible to write any ordinance or law that would single them out for special treatment since they cannot be so defined in a legal sense. … there is no biochemical genetic test that can even distinguish wolves from domestic dogs. I. Lehr Brisbin, Jr., Research Professor, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, The University of Georgia. Letter, 30, Jan. 1990

The Truth About Natural Selection

Natural Selection is just a fancy term for breeding that takes place without human involvement. The truth about natural selection is that it is not in any way related to the mythical concept of evolution. Natural Selection, as is the case with all breeding and cross-breeding, involves activation and deactivation of the pre-existing, and continuing DNA information contained within the organism since the entire genus was created.

There is no new information. Darwin and all who follow after cannot postulate a valid scientific process for the creation of new information, because there is no such process. There never has been such a process. There is no need for such a process.

God created the vast library of genetic options into the various kinds when He created them and we have had much amazement ever since as we have explored the limits of that genetic variety.

Modern science attests to this reality. The DNA of dogs and the DNA of the Galapagos Tortoise are all evidence for initial creation.

For more information about the failure of evolution and for evidence for special creation go to: http://creationontheweb.com

Cave Man Proves to be Real Man

The term ‘cave-man’ is a cute little evolutionary trick to create in your mind the idea of some kind of human that was pre-human. The whole concept of a ‘cave man’ dates no earlier than the discovery of human fossils in the Neander Valley in Germany in 1857, a mere two years before Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” book was published. The discovery at Neander is where the term Neanderthal comes from.

The Cave Man Myth

With the push to sell evolution to the world the concept of a ‘cave man’ became a useful imagery. The idea that our original evolutionary ancestors lived a simpler and more primitive life seemed to make sense. Primitive tribes were still being discovered and new fossils finds were being recovered to feed the populist idea.

In the 1920’s the debate about origins reached ferment and cave man concepts and images filled the popular culture.

Such ideas fed the arrogance of the western mind, which ascribed to itself a place of evolutionary superiority over the more primitive and childlike peoples found in far-flung jungles. A patronising and self-serving approach could then justifiably be taken toward these ‘lesser’ peoples. The superior’ creature could dominate the inferior.

And so it was that Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species” book legitimised murder, death camps, Marxist revolution and much more. The image of an idiot cave-man played wonderfully into the evolutionary notion and its implications.

Blame the Cave Man

Cave man imagery, including cartoons and jokes, suggested that male dominance of women was an evolutionary throwback, to the mythical time when a cave man dragged a woman to his den by her hair.

Cave man imagery legitimised nudity, suggesting that clothing is only an impost of recent invention, but is not part of the natural human condition.

And cave man legitimised man’s baser instincts as being somehow deeply embedded in the human psyche. Man’s lust for another man’s wife was not seen so much as sin, but as something from the stone-age.

Jack London’s award winning book, The Call of the Wild, concluded with the suggestion that every creature, including man and his dog, carries the wild instincts of his primitive past buried deep within him.

The Myth Crumbles

Like all the materials trotted out by evolutionists to legitimise their counter-science the cave man myth is crumbling too. Missing links, embryonic recapitulation and Piltdown man were compelling reasons to embrace evolution, but they were myths and frauds. So too is the “millions of years” chorus which still rings loud and clear in scientific corridors. So too is the peppered moth, evolutionary tree of the horse, vestigial organs and so much more.

The cave man mythology is hard to kill, because it has been celebrated in so many ways, including such popular television series as The Flintsones. Researchers have, however, continued to prove the sophistication of the cave man. The supposed ancient ancestor of humanity was not a childlike idiot with an animal-like lifestyle. He was remarkably capable and decidedly “human” in his existence, as best we can tell from the evidence.

Neanderthal Man

Neanderthal man is the title given to the fossil remains of an over-sized human population which has been discovered around the world. Neanderthal fossils have been uncovered widely, including at the Peking Man site in China, near the Paluxy River dinosaur and human footprint trails in Texas, USA and in various places around Europe.

Recent investigation on the island of Gibraltar reveal that Neanderthals were much more sophisticated than evolutionary textbooks once tried to make us believe.

BBC Report, September 23, 2008

Here is a quote from a BBC report on the findings at Gibraltar.

“The findings, reported in the journal PNAS, give the lie to the popular view that Neanderthals ate a diet utterly dominated by meat from land animals.

“This is yet another difference that had been proposed between Neanderthals and moderns which now disappears” Prof Chris Stringer, Natural History Museum, London.

It is one more example of the greater sophistication now being ascribed to Homo neanderthalensis; and further complicates the story of how modern humans (Homo sapiens) out-competed and out-lived their evolutionary cousins.”

Notice that Prof Stringer recognises that the differences between modern humans and the Neanderthals are only ‘proposed’. They are proposed, not from science and evidence, but from the promoted belief that man evolved. The cave-man notions imposed upon the bones are fictitious and fanciful, serving only to beguile the public, not present scientific evidence.

Notice the words in the report “greater sophistication now being ascribed” – which means that the lack of sophistication – the dumb, child-like expressions conceived by the artists and the simple cave accommodation – were ‘ascribed’. They were never science, just the imagination of men who wanted to believe in evolution. Yet they were presented to the world as scientific fact.

Science has long been abducted by those religious devotees of the cult of humanism.

Are You Duped?

This simple report further attests to the fact that we were being deceived by the evolutionary dogma on this topic. Many knew that the supposed science was biased and misleading – but only now is the admission being made.

This is typical of evolutionary assumptions being promulgated from a position of bias, only to be overturned by more complete scientific investigation.

This should sound a clear warning to all those who still hold to the remnants of evolutionary dogma, but it probably will not.

Darwin’s Case for Evolution Dissolves

Charles Darwin’s case for evolution involved a great deal of fascinating information to hide the poverty of his scientific evidence. Whether that was intentional or whether he was deluded I cannot tell. His father had already introduced him to the idea of evolutionary process, so he was inclined to see it even when it did not exist. Influenced by Lyell’s Uniformitarian concept of geography and Alfred Wallace’s theory of evolution (which was supported by Wallace’s sailings to exotic places including the Amazon River) Darwin was ready to capitalise on his own marvellous adventures.

The exotic creatures of the Galapagos Islands off South America created the perfect setting for the ‘discovery’ of new and mysterious truth. Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” drew heavily from his venture to the Galapagos Islands aboard the HMS Beagle between 1831 and 1836.

Nothing New

In reality, however, Darwin brought the world nothing that it did not already know. Darwin observed some unique examples of selective breeding, which he called “natural selection”. This was the process by which kings already had their own breeds of dog and gardeners already created their own special flower. It was and is nothing new at all. Dog breeding dates back to the Middle Ages – long before Darwin.

Darwin observed that finches and tortoises on the various Galapagos Islands were distinct from each other. He pointed out some intriguing distinctions. It was all fascinating stuff in a day when sea voyages and “discoveries” were the pioneering frontiers of the world.

“The islands of the Galapagos Archipelago are tenanted in a quite marvellous manner, by very closely related species” Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species

New Evidence to Dissolve Darwin

Now there is further scientific proof that Darwin’s amazing observations were simply different examples of the same old thing. All Darwin saw on his adventures were just more examples of what breeders of all kinds took for granted. There is no evolution in it at all, just exploitation of the existing genetic material. There is nothing new under the sun, even if it is the Galapagos sun.

To give authority to my claim Yale University’s Gisella Caccone now claims she can recreate extinct Galapagos tortoises. How will she do this? She will simply draw from the existing gene pool of the surviving varieties.

“We might need three or four generations to do this,” Caccone told BBC News. “But in theory it could be done, and I think it’s pretty exciting to bring back from the dead a genome that we thought was gone.”

Did You Get That?

What Caccone is telling us is that there is nothing mysterious or magical in Galapagos. The exotic creatures of those remote islands can be bred and cross-bred from their existing gene pool, just like pigeons and pussy-cats. These huge and ancient tortoise creatures have not evolved into anything at all, but simply been selectively bred from an existing gene pool. Even the extinct tortoises can be re-bred with the existing genetic material, just as breeders have done for centuries before Darwin.

There You Have It

That’s Darwin’s case for evolution. Natural Selection – where the fittest survive. It’s just what they taught us at school. But at school they made it sound like something wonderful and new. They made it sound like the death of God and the overthrow of the Bible. They made it sound as if science had sealed the coffin on morality and eternity.

The thousands of hours of television documentaries celebrating the grand reality of evolution are built on ancient and simple breeding processes which anyone on the planet could try at hand at.

I Feel The Shame

I am amazed how easily duped and confused I was. All the evidence was there before me, even in the term “survival of the fittest” (which was made to sound so scientific and profound). The healthy cat outlives the sick one! That’s the theory of evolution in a capsule. Everything else is smoke and mirrors. It is postulation and the bluff of an impresario. It is all show and confidence-trickster gimmickry.

How did I allow them to intimidate me so much with so little in their bag? They never fully opened that bag, but drew out selected examples to tempt the buyer of ideologies. If one morsel did not work they fished around for another one and produced it with flourish. They filled pages of text-books with fluffy stuff that lacked hard substance and real evidence. Illusions, carefully crafted illustrations, suggestions, hypotheses and bold assertions were the substance of this charade.

And yet I allowed it to take on the shape and form of substance. I feel the shame of my intellectual suicide, listening to such fakery with any level of interest or credibility.

Finches Too

What is proposed for the tortoise is equally true for Darwin’s Finches. The existing genetic information, given to us all at creation, allowed for specialised expressions of these birds. Galapagos provided the setting, but it did not produce a new process.

Darwinian Evolution is Dead

Darwin’s grand illusion of evolution is a farce. He did not present us with anything new nor anything of scientific value except more examples of the same old thing.

Sadly Darwin’s delusion lives on, even though his proposed process of evolution has long been set aside by scientists. It just does not work and there is no evidence for it. So the believers press on for new imaginations that will allow them to cling to something other than divine creation.

Darwin’s book is still hailed by some as “one of the most revolutionary ever published”. It was revolutionary, not because it was true, but because it provided the delusion that the deluded wanted to believe. It provided the basis for shooting aboriginals in Australia and for exterminating the Jews in Hitler’s camps. It provided legitimisation for Marxist murders and the violence of despotic leaders in many places. It undergirded the sexual abandon of the Sexual Revolution.

It is Time

It is time for Darwin’s delusion to be broken from the minds of men. It is time for nations to be delivered from the rule of sin and shame. It is time for science to be restored to a place of respect and value, and rescued from the abductors who mandate madness and intellectual suicide.

I don’t know what you and I can do, but at least we can pray that the world will know the truth and the truth will set them free.

For a link to the BBC report on the Galapagos tortoise proposal go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7630239.stm

For more information about the failure of evolution and for evidence for special creation go to: http://creationontheweb.com

Genetics for Dummies

Allow me to take you through a simple explanation of Genetics. This is “Genetics for Dummies”. It’s not meant to get anyone a post-graduate degree, but rather to give ordinary people a sense for the territory which comes under the general heading “Genetics”.

One hundred years before I was born takes us back to the middle of the 1800’s. No, that’s not when I was born! I was born in 1953. (I had no idea working with “Dummies” could be so frustrating!).

OK, all jokes aside, let me take you back to the middle of the 1800’s to a German Monk who patiently and meticulously worked on a theory that heredity is carried by both parents and its impact can be anticipated in advance and measured afterward. This man was Gregory Mendel. Amazingly he conceived his accurate notion of the process before being able to prove it. Here was a great man of science. His experiments with different kinds of pea varieties almost confirmed what he expected. He documented his findings, but in fact he had to doctor the evidence, since there was more inconsistency than he hoped for. (And isn’t that like so many scientists today? Doctoring the findings to make it look like they have discovered something? But I’m jesting again and that’s not a fair way to treat ‘dummies’.)

What most of us were taught about Mendel at school is based on his doctored, summarized, notes, not what he actually found. Which only goes to prove the text book writers must think we are Dummies!

At the same time as Mendel’s work another man of science proposed a theory about superior species outlasting weaker ones. The man was Charles Darwin, and his book was On The Origin of Species.

Mendel was concerned about how each species survived as a distinct entity and how genetic information was passed from parent to child. His landmark work led on to the modern day science involving amazing genetic insights, genome mapping, cloning, medical breakthrough, and so on.

Darwin was concerned about how each species came into existence, as some kind of deviation from previously existing species. His landmark work led on to:
the vain quest for missing links;
hoaxes which deceived men of science and wasted their energies;
genocide and social upheaval through Marxism, Nazism and the like;
erosion of social values through widespread rejection of the Bible; and
No Serious Scientific or Technological Consequence at all.

Darwin’s legacy is confusion, vain quests, dogma, blind adherence to a failed theory and the kind of intellectual tyranny described in Ben Stein’s recent documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”. (No intelligence allowed – that sounds like the place for “Dummies”!)

Enough of this comparison. Back to Genetics for Dummies. Gregory Mendel, a contemporary of Charles Darwin, opened up for us the most amazing world of genetic understanding. He directed our attention to the human cell as the place where different chromosomes interact to pass on inherited differences. In 1996 Michael J. Behe wrote about the cell, Mendel’s area of interest, as “Darwin’s Black Box”, pointing out how the human cell provides an insurmountable biochemical challenge to evolution. Darwin dismissed the very thing that attracted Mendel, the cell. Mendel was right. Darwin was misguided.

In 1900 interest in the genetic processes in the cell began to gain momentum. But it wasn’t until 1944 that DNA was finally identified as the key to genetic heredity. DNA had first been discovered back in 1869, so it waited a long time for the respect it deserved. In time the spiraling coil of proteins has undergone intense investigation, its sequences have been mapped and chemicals have been identified which allow for people to cut and paste different bits together in new arrangements.

DNA discoveries prompt belief that we can build completely new DNA combinations, creating monsters or developing the perfect race of people. So that leads on to cloning, DNA reconstruction, gene mapping and so on.

Since the DNA pieces specify the physical qualities a person can have it was at first thought that playing with the DNA itself is all that matters. More recent discoveries, however, reveal that there is more to the picture. Other components of the cell are responsible for building new stands of DNA and making sure the new ones are a perfect duplicate of the one being copied. RNA not only helps in the formation of DNA, but it also has a part to play in the process of switching various genes on or off.

Genetics is more than a look at what beads are on the string. We used to think that dominant genes simply over-ruled recessive genes. We now recognize a further process of turning genes on or off. An inactive gene can sit in everyone’s cells, having no impact. But if other processes turn on the inactive gene the impact of the genes is felt differently. It’s not only a matter of what eye colour you have in your genes, it’s also a matter of whether there are proteins at work to pre-select one of those genes.

Recent research has even gone so far as to show that the way a person is treated will impact how their genes are turned on and off. And that’s really interesting, because it goes to the heart of the long debated question of whether heredity or life expearience is more important in making us who we are.

I’ll have more to say on that question in a later post. I trust that the dummies of the world are at least a little more comfortable with the topic of genetics.