Many times it is hard to step back from our activities and realize our place in life. Aptly termed the “Tyranny of the Urgent”, in many cases, is what determines the course of our lives. Yet, there are times in that “tyranny” that we should step back and see the big picture. See God’s hand at work and how His creation is glorifying HIm.
During the first two weeks of this semester I studied molecular embryology, an incredibly interesting subject. One of the more interesting topics we covered was a gene called PAX. The PAX gene are a multi-gene family that is a group of 9 unlinked members found in both mice & humans that controls their development. This is often pointed to as as sequence conservation between homologues of distantly related species. That, in so many words, basically means the PAX gene is used as proof that we have a common ancestor.
The similarities between the mouse and human PAX genes is quite striking. Both have the same number (9 of them) and each controls development of similar aspects in humans and mice. It is a really incredible design how the PAX genes cause our cells to express different parts of our bodies from our eyes to feet. The PAX gene takes a set of cells that are all the same and notifies them where they are located in the developing mouse or human and controls the differentiation of those cells (what the cells become . . . eye, feet, etc).
The PAX gene really is an ingenious idea and sorta reminds me of the development of the semiconductor. Before the development of the semiconductor, all electronics were large, bulky and expensive. After the semiconductors development, our electronics have miniaturized to the point that now we have more computing power in our cell phones then the most powerful computers created before the development of semiconductors.
The reason I thought of semiconductors when studying the PAX gene maybe best explained by a cell phone and an iPod. If we were to tear each one apart we would see common design and control based on semiconductors. It would be easy to see that each, the cellphone and iPod, has developed advantages over a common ancestor. The cellphone for example evolved wireless capabilities making it able to easily communicate with others of it’s species. The iPod, on the other hand, developed a click wheel making it easy for it to communicate with other species. It quite obvious that both the cellphone and iPod are based on semiconductors and without the semiconductors they wouldn’t exist. Thus, it is easy to deduce that they must have had a common ancestor, i.e. something like an iPhone.
Because we know the history of the semiconductor, cellphone and iPod it would be absurd to assume they came from a distantly related iPhone. The semiconductor was a simple, elegant design that revolutionized the way man has designed everything (not just electronic). In the same way, why should our Creator come up with a new design to control our development. If something works well, why come up with different designs for mice and humans. The PAX gene is a wonderful example of a simple, elegant design that is reused, just like the semiconductor, in many different applications. The simple elegance of it is why I look at it as evidence of a common designer and not of a common ancestor.