Human Genes Switched on in the Embryo From the Beginning

This article from Phys.Org highlights some remarkable discoveries just in time for Christmas, as well as the upcoming anniversary of Roe v. Wade on January 22, 2022.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem on Christmas Day, and although we don’t know the exact date of his birth, his conception was a miracle. According to Scripture, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”. This prophecy of Scripture was certain, and it was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the name given to him before he was conceived.

To that point, the article highlights some discoveries about what happens in the embryo upon conception. It was once thought that genes don’t become active until there are four-to-eight cells, but new, more sensitive techniques have found that activity begins at the beginning, with just one cell.

These genes are activated and deactivated throughout the development process, but nothing can happen until they’re switched on. According to Professor Perry of Bath, “Without genome awakening, development fails, so it’s a fundamental step.”

I can’t help but marvel at God’s wonderful design, which now can be observed as early as fertilization. As it turns out, transcripts are produced that the sperm and egg rely upon to regulate characteristics. But it’s worth noting that these transcripts are vital instructions, and instructions don’t come about by chance or evolution. We can observe the effects of nature, but we never observe clouds, sand, chemicals or molecules producing complex coding or instructions naturally.

So where did these instructions come from? If modern science and nature aren’t equipped to provide answers to their origin, then creation by God becomes the most logical and sensible solution. Consider- our only options are natural vs. supernatural. And in our human experience, intelligence is the only source for complex instructions. Anything to the contrary goes against science. Thus, we are blessed with Scripture, which identifies the source of that intelligence, and that is God.

Psalm 139:13-14 says it well: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

As we approach Christmas and the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, this discovery sheds light on the truth of Scripture. What happens in the womb is an important reminder of God’s remarkable design. According to Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Let us remember the miracle that came into the world on Christmas day, and may we remember that every human life is a valuable miracle, fearfully and wonderfully made. Science has provided us the opportunity to appreciate that truth in greater detail.

3 thoughts on “Human Genes Switched on in the Embryo From the Beginning

  1. As I read on in Psalm 139, I see it refers to our being “woven together in the depths of the earth.” Although I have known that Psalm for decades, it occurred to me just lately that “in the depths of the earth” could refer to the dust of the ground from which our great-great-great-(etc.)grandfather Adam was formed. So, the complex plan for each of our lives has been planned for a VERY long time. 😉

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