DNA & the Designer: A Personal Note About Genetics & God
Our Boys’ Genetic Disorder & Our Divine Opportunities:
My wife April and I have twin boys who were diagnosed with a medical condition known as MCAD about ten days after they were born. It is a rare, but very livable disease. They are missing the enzyme that breaks down body fat and converts it into glucose. The main challenges with this disease are that they have to be woken up for night feedings and they have to be hospitalized when they get a stomach flu.
We meet with a group of specialists at our regional children’s hospital twice a year to monitor their development. The team consists of a geneticist, a genetics counselor, and a nutritionist. There is often a med student or intern present as well. Since we have twins with this rare condition I think it is something of interest for those who are entering the medical profession.
Do You Know Francis Collins?
At our most recent appointment I casually brought up scientist and author Francis Collins. Both our geneticist and genetics counselor immediately responded that they were very familiar with his work, as I thought they would be. Collins is a leading scientist who has been involved with breakthrough DNA research and has led the Human Genome Project.
From Atheism to Christianity:
We briefly discussed Collins’ book The Language of God. In the book Collins recounts how he left Yale University in the midst of his PhD work to pursue a Medical Doctorate from the University of North Carolina. At the age of 26, his atheism faced a major obstacle as he witnessed first hand the power of faith in the lives of the terminally ill. One patient confronted the young professional with the question, “What do you believe?” Shortly thereafter Collins reexamined his naturalistic worldview and became a follower of Jesus Christ.
Letters In DNA & Ink:
Collins’ book presents several arguments for the existence of God. Our geneticist seems to have reached the same conclusion as Collins. As we prepared to leave from our appointment he commented, “The complexity of DNA points to a designer.” He also expressed his gratitude to Collins for showing that faith and science are not incompatible. Hopefully we can pick up on our conversation during our next visit to his office.
April and I have had some great opportunities to minister to families who have children with the same genetic disorder as our boys. Today we were asked to write a letter that would summarize our experiences to be given to parents of newborns diagnosed with MCAD.
We hope to point such parents to the language of God evident in DNA, and more expressly seen in the person of Christ.