September 29, 2022

Stars, Cells, and God | Cognitive Bias Studies Fine-Tuned DNA Structure

Join Jeff Zweerink and Fazale “Fuz” Rana as they discuss new discoveries taking place at the frontiers of science that have theological and philosophical implications, as well as new discoveries that point to the reality of God’s existence.

Cognitive Bias Studies 
Research demonstrates that people remember the challenges they face more than the benefits they enjoy. This “headwinds/tailwinds asymmetry” helps explain why both political parties see the electoral college as favoring the other party, why most people see their favorite team as having the most difficult schedule, and why children routinely characterize parents as favoring other siblings. Unfortunately, this asymmetry contributes to a darker side of human behavior in that people who perceive greater challenges and obstacles are more inclined to endorse morally questionable behavior. The Bible helps prevent this asymmetry and provides a prescription to encourage moral behavior. 

Fine-Tuned DNA Structure 
Every detail about the structure of DNA is precisely as it must be for life to be possible, reflecting a type of molecular fine-tuning. This fine-tuning comes into focus when biochemists ask “why” questions, such as: Why is DNA made up of the four nucleobases, (adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine) and not some other set of nucleobases? A chemist from Trinity University Dublin provided insight into this question by demonstrating that the set of nucleobases in DNA uniquely minimizes the harmful impact of a phenomenon called tautomerism, revealing a rationale for the composition of this important biomolecule. This insight raises additional questions: How should we account for the ingenuity and fine-tuning of DNA’s structure? Is it the outworking of a historically contingent evolutionary process, or do these features point to a Creator’s handiwork?

Jeff and Fuz discuss these important topics in this episode of Stars, Cells, and God.

References:
“The Headwinds/Tailwinds Asymmetry: An Availability Bias in Assessments of Barriers and Blessings,” S. Davidai and T. Gilovich, https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fpspa0000066

“Tautomerism as a Constraint on the Composition of Alternative Nucleotide Alphabets,” D. A. Mac D´onaill, https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.297.1424&rep=rep1&type=pdf 

Additional Resources:
Fazale Rana, Fit for a Purpose, https://support.reasons.org/category/featured-products/fit-for-a-purpose
Fazale Rana, The Cell’s Design, https://support.reasons.org/purchase/the-cells-design
“DNA: Designed for Flexibility,” Fazale Rana, https://reasons.org/explore/blogs/the-cells-design/dna-designed-for-flexibility
“DNA Soaks Up Sun’s Rays,” Fazale Rana, https://reasons.org/explore/publications/articles/dna-soaks-up-sun-s-rays

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