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Published on July 19, 2021

More Than Your Genes

Science can help us understand how our species came to be but it cannot define our purpose for being.

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Science can help us understand how our species came to be but it cannot define our purpose for being.

What does it mean to be human? Science can help us understand how our species came to be but it cannot define our purpose for being. For that we must look beyond science and confront what it means to be made in the image of God. 


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Transcript

What does it mean to be human? Who, ultimately, are we? For answers to these questions, one e option is to turn to science which has allowed us to identify and understand the stuff we’re made of. We know we are made of the same carbon, nitrogen and other atoms that make up dirt and rocks. Yet in us those atoms combine to form brains that have allowed a remarkably different kind of existence. We are the expression of miles of genetic code, which works the same way as all other life on the planet. We represent the evolution of a species, a species that has developed tools for communication and community building unlike any other the earth has known. We have developed the ability to consider our own existence, to wonder about who we are. Yet is that everything? Do our achievements as a species, what we’ve done, help us understand why we do it, and if in fact what we’re doing matters? In mapping our DNA, have we found the coordinates for a deeper purpose? Have we uncovered an unalterable genetic destiny? In short, no. We are in fact created with a purpose, created to be more than what we’re made of. Science can help us understand how our species came to be, but it cannot define our purpose for being. For that deeper meaning we look past our scientific makeup, and confront what it means to be people created in the image of God. To be made in the image of God is to reflect the nature of God in all we are. But if that is what it means, then how do we do it? For this we turn to Jesus. In Jesus we see a complete representation of both humanity and Divinity. Called to imitate him, we see what it is to be human: aging, sleeping, eating. Yet we also see the marks of the Divine: caring, enduring, healing, loving. Through Jesus, we are called to experience the love of God and to then share that love with everyone, irrespective of what our genes say about us. What then does it mean to be human? It means we are animals, mammals, primates, tool crafters and city builders, community seekers that bear the image of God. Moreover, we are children of God made for a purpose, to know and love God and to love others whom God has made.