Great, Great, Great...Grandpa SpongeBob?
I don’t think I have ever seen an entire episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. The creative cartoon may have captivated thousands of children around the world, but a talking, overactive sea sponge (that looks more like a kitchen sponge wearing pants), interests me very little. I imagine most adults feel the same way.
Pants-wearing sponges, however, may not seem as far-fetched to some evolutionists since scientists discovered that “sea sponges share almost 70 percent of human genes” (“Scientists Find...,” 2010, emp. added). After more than five years of research, a team of international scientists discovered that the “sponge genome goes deep”—more than “18,000 individual genes” deep, in fact (Mann, 2010, 466:673). Without organs, muscles, or nerve cells, the 70% likeness to human genes is a shock to scientists. John Stevely, of the University of Florida, commented on the 70% figure, saying, “I was very surprised. I thought if they found some connection, it would be one or two percent...a very small trace. But 70 percent is quite astounding” (as quoted in “Study: Sea Sponges...,” 2010, emp. added). Astounding indeed!
Although evolutionists continue to propagate their theory largely on the idea of homology, the fact of the matter is, skeletal or genetic similarities do not prove common descent. The nematode worm (Caenorhabditis elegans) is so genetically similar to humans (“of the 5,000 best-known human genes, 75 percent have matches in the worm”), that several years ago scientists experimented by substituting human genes for nematode genes, and the human genes “worked fine” (“A Tiny Worm...”). Surely, such genetic similarities with worms and sponges testifies to the danger and foolishness of concluding that, simply because humans may share a higher degree of genetic similarities with chimpanzees, we must have evolved from ape-like creatures. In truth, humans no more evolved from apes than we evolved from nematode worms or SpongeBobs.
The kinds of genetic similarities scientists continue to uncover are actually a problem for evolutionists, not creationists. For example, evolutionists have to grapple with how sea sponges, which allegedly evolved more than 635 million years ago, could be so genetically complex so early in time. Did they descend “from a more advanced ancestor than previously suspected” (Mann, 466:673)? According to evolutionary palaeobiologist Douglas Erwin, “This flies in the face of what we think of early metazoan evolution” (as quoted in Mann, 466:673).
Creationists have long recognized similarities between animals and humans. Similarities among living things, in fact, fits perfectly with the Creation model. Such commonalities should be expected among creatures that have the same Creator. Furthermore, humanity’s genetic similarities to the various life forms on Earth further testifies to the Creator’s benevolence and supreme wisdom. Rather than creating everything with vastly different genetic codes, He made many forms of life, including human life, with amazing similarities. What benefit could this have for humans? Given that human life is inherently more valuable than all other forms of life (cf. Genesis 1:26-28; 9:1-6), God created a world where man could study, kill, and experiment on genetically similar, yet non-human, life forms in order to learn more about the human body—all without taking the life of God’s image-bearers.
Yes, the Creator is so wonderful that He even made sea sponges that share nearly 70 percent of human genes so that man could learn more about himself when studying the sponge. As Stevely remarked: “The fact that there is more in common with the sponge from a genetic standpoint might make it easier to develop something suitable for human beings” (as quoted in “Study: Sea Sponges...”).
I’m grateful for the scientists who are studying sea sponges in hopes of making human life better. But, I’m more thankful for the God Who made the sea sponge in the first place.
Mann, Adam (2010), “Sponge Genome Goes Deep,” Nature, 466:673, August 5, http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100804/full/466673a.html.
“Scientists Find Sea Sponges Share Human Genes” (2010), http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.164cb673ff6be58ac04d2d437af7e912.4d1&show_article=1.
“Study: Sea Sponges Contain 70 Percent of Human Genes” (2010), http://www.wtsp.com/news/health/story.aspx?storyid=140620&catid=12.
“A Tiny Worm Challenges Evolution” (no date), http://www.cs.unc.edu/~plaisted/ce/worm.html.