Thursday, February 20, 2014

Mitosis Memories

Flashback to memories of your early courses in biology. One term--mitosis--may come to mind. Perhaps you even recall diagrams or animations of chromosome pairs organizing themselves along an imaginary plane equidistant from the cell’s poles, followed by impressive parting and separation of the chromosome pairs. Two identical pairs of chromosomes are produced from one.

Mitosis occurs in stages termed prophase, metaphase, and anaphase. Real time anaphase proves to be the shortest but most impressive event. In only a few minutes the paired chromosomes are seen to separate and move toward opposite ends of the cell. Soon there are two new duplicate cells, each with a nucleus. All phases of mitosis are completed in just one hour. The new cells begin production of proteins and organelles. Growth of cells predominates over cell duplication.

Wondrous events of prenatal development during human gestation all depend on successful mitosis events. Campbell and Reese in their AP textbook Biology state, “As a human develops from a zygote to a sexually mature adult, mitosis generates all the somatic cells of the body. Both chromosome sets in the zygote and all the genes they carry are passed on with precision to our somatic cells.” (Somatic cells include virtually every biological cell forming the body of an organism.)

The single-celled diploid fertilized egg, the zygote, becomes a fully formed human being in only nine months. During that time the process of mitosis generates all cells of the newly formed, functional human being. The newborn baby, complete with an integrated organ system, is a tribute to the Creator’s planning and Intelligent Design.

Naturalistic evolutionists and theistic evolutionists alike denigrate Intelligent Design. The creation of a human being from the union of two gametes, one sperm and one egg, forming a one-celled zygote, is an example of Intelligent Design--the Creator’s design! When details of human reproduction are described many think the handiwork of God is apparent whether the term ID is used or not. Rejection of the term might relate to rejection of the concept that the Creator initiates supernatural events on occasion. Do we understand how God accomplishes such supernatural events? No, we do not. This is not an excuse, however, to reject the intelligent workings of the Deity either to initiate life forms or to design a method of reproduction.

Intelligent Design has come under fire. Both ID and creationism have been attacked as unscientific. In the past few decades the tendency to diminish ID and creationism is to curry favor with the community of naturalistic and theistic evolutionary scientists who pledge allegiance to the mystique of science. Even theistic evolutionists implore their young followers in the church community to “get on board with science.”

Lest we are misunderstood, we stress our enthusiastic respect for the discoveries and benefits of science. Never should science distort our understanding of the miraculous workings of the Deity in the world we observe. With a correct interpretation of both Scripture and the discoveries of science, we posit there is no disagreement.