The Rat's Advantage and Your Design

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that activates enzymes throughout the body, helps build proteins, transforms chemicals essential for nerve communication, and strengthens your immune system.  A rat is able to produce vitamin C in its liver, but you cannot. In fact, most mammals are able to produce vitamin C, but humans, guinea pigs, and monkeys must get vitamin C in the diet, because we do not have the genes that produce the enzyme that creates Vitamin C.

 Y Li,  and H. Schellhorn. (2008) Vitamin C and Human Nutrition.  Albert Einstein College of Medicine. 

Y Li,  and H. Schellhorn. (2008) Vitamin C and Human Nutrition.  Albert Einstein College of Medicine. 

This enzyme that you are missing is more than a small gene mutation.  The human gene sequence contains only four of the twelve codes needed to produce the enzyme.   Could this significant difference in genetic sequence be evidence of design?

Michael Behe wrote “Darwin’s Black Box” in 1998 and presented the concept of “irreducible complexity.”  The idea describes how a complex mechanism missing one piece will not work.  The example of a mousetrap is given, which must have five components to work properly – the base, the spring, the catch, the hammer, and the arm.   In the same way, there are many structures in the human body that cannot operate if one protein is missing.   The fact that the mouse trap does not work if one of the pieces is missing supports the main idea that complexity requires a design to work.  The structure of enzymes in the human body are much more complex than a mouse trap, and we see from the gene code above that humans do not have the blueprint to create the complex enzyme needed to make Vitamin C.

From a general evolution perspective, those traits that are beneficial for life will be passed on to the next generation, and those traits that are not beneficial will not be passed on because only the fittest survive.  Vitamin C is beneficial to sustaining life.  Sailors on the sea could die within a month if no source of Vitamin C was provided, but the rats on the boat had no worries because their body produced Vitamin C.   It would seem that humans are not evolving into stronger species, but have lost an essential, life sustaining ability that most other mammals have.

However, from a biblical perspective, the design of humans to care for the earth and to honor God is revealed.  First, God provided for the human need by preparing the foods that would be rich in Vitamin C.  Second, man was placed in the garden, surrounded by these rich foods that were designed for his specific needs.  “And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food” (Genesis 1:29).   This provision is an example of God’s character.  “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).   From the beginning of time, God has provided for his creation.

Consider the missing gene code as part of God’s design to help each of us to see our dependence on His provision.  His perfectly designed foods are available for your benefit.  You are designed with this need and the provision is available to you.  Enjoy the provision and thank your Creator.