Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Books: The Mysterious Epigenome

Note: I have moved away from the weekly BookTuesday feature because I was, quite honestly, neither getting other stuff done nor books well reviewed. So, I still have a few left to clear out but then the books will fall to a somewhat infrequent basis. For the most part, I will be reviewing books that look interesting to me. Some will still be freebies. Some will be my own.

Today, we’re going to take a look at the book The Mysterious Epigenome by Thomas E. Woodward and James P. Gills. It’s published by Kregel Publishing, who provided a free book in exchange for the review.

The book is a quite fascinating look into some of the more recent discoveries in DNA-related science. Most of what I know regarding DNA is a bit out of date, a fact that I did not realize until doing some research to grasp this book.

However, I’m going to focus on just one aspect of this book. Anytime we take a look at science, we’re peeling back the nuts and bolts of how things work. The hows and whats become a secondary question for most of us.

That question is “Why?” Examining the facts and figures, the research discussed in this book, leaves me with several questions on the hows and whats of DNA and genetics. The science is beyond my time to research and validate. The big question drawn for me is the “Why?” question.

Why does all of this science matter? Spiritually speaking, this book brings out some good considerations. The first is an observation that we, truly, fearfully and wonderfully made. The complexity of DNA and all that it contains shows how much is involved in our creation.

Further, consideration of the facts here should drive us to understand that we are made for a reason. We are not simply accidental nor are we part of a string of randomness that built up.

We are, rather, intentional. Think about that. Intentional. We are here on purpose. If we are here on purpose, than we have a purpose. The information on DNA is not something that is accessible to us all to understand that purpose, but it’s enough to drive us to seek that purpose.

In theology, that makes epigenetics and DNA part of understanding what we call general revelation. That’s the term for seeing what God has said through what He has done. It contrasts with special (or specific) revelation which is found in words. That would be the Bible.

This is helpful to study. By studying the general revelation in Creation, we can see what God has done. This ought to be a source of encouragement to us. Further, this understanding ought to undergird our trust in the text. Rather than losing our trust in Scripture because of modern science, this is an area that modern science can undergird our trust in the text.

The science here is valuable to study. Certainly it should not be your only source for science: no science book should be a sole source.

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