Science and the Sacred

Science and the Sacred


Human FOXP2 Gene Affects Mice

mouse.jpg

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have genetically engineered mice with the human version of FOXP2, a gene connected to the development of language.  The result?  The new mice developed more complex nerve cells in the basal ganglia, an area of the brain associated with language.  The gene also changed the frequency of the squeaks baby mice utter when separated from their mothers.

The FOXP2 gene first gained prominence after researchers identified a mutation of the gene in three generations of a family from England who all had difficulties speaking, understanding complex sentence structures, and moving muscles to articulate sounds.  Since this discovery, researchers have found that the same FOXP2 gene has existed in a more or less  stable state in all mammals with the exception of humans, where two significant changes in its coding have occurred.  The change, which may have occurred as recently as a hundred thousand years ago, suggests that the evolution of the FOXP2 gene may have contributed to human language development.  The mouse study seems to add credence to this hypothesis. 

Does the fact that mutation and natural selection may explain the emergence of human language question the need of a God to explain our existence then?  Not at all, Dr. Collins says in The Language of God:

“Freeing God from the burden of special acts of creation does not remove Him as the source of the things that make humanity special, and of the universe itself.  It merely shows us something of how He operates.”

-The Language of God, pages 140-141

To read more about the Max Planck Institute study, see the recent article in The New York Times.  The original journal article explaining the study can be found in Volume 137, Issue 5 of Cell.  To read more about the FOXP2 gene and other genetic evidence of evolution, be sure to read Dr. Collins’ The Language of God.



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Comments read comments(3)
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P. A. DEPLAND

posted May 31, 2009 at 4:12 pm


MINNIE and MICKEY MOUSE should no longer require human dubbed in voices and should finally be able to speak for themselves!



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Your Name

posted June 1, 2009 at 1:42 pm


I THINK BEFORE I SPEAK WITH EVIDENCE SUPPORTING MY WORDS.IF I JUST
TALK AND TALK WITHOUT SENSE,I WILL GIVE A WRONG IF NOT BAD IMPRESSION
TO OTHER PEOPLE I COME IN CONTACT WITH.I AM NOT THE TYPE OF PERSON
TO DO ACTS OF COMPLAINT,I AM ALWAYS PATIENT TO GIVE MANY CHANCES IF
A PERSON OR LOVE ONE CANNOT DO THE JOB OR CANNOT FULFILL OUR NECESSITIES AT WORK OR AT HOME.I DO MY BEST TO BE COURTEOUS AT ALL TIMES,I SPEAK OUT MY MIND AFTER SEEING THAT WE ARE NOT MAKING ANY
PROGRESS AT ALL WITH THIS AREA AND ALL OTHER AREAS AT WORK OR INSIDE
MY FAMILY ISSUES.ABOVE ALL,I SPEAK MY ISSUES TO GOD WHO IS ABLE TO
PROVIDE THE ANSWER TO MY QUESTIONS,BY PRAYER AND MEDITATION,I KNOW
GOD WILL INTERVENE WITH ALL MY AFFAIRS IN LIFE,THE BIBLE SAYS “PLEAD
YOUR CASE TO THE LORD”…AND THAT IS WHAT I AM DOING WHEN I PRAY TO
GOD,I RAISE MY VOICE AND ISSUES TO HIM,WRESTLING WITH GOD ABOUT WHYS
AND HOWS,ANYTHING THAT MAKES MY HEART HEAVY,I VOICE OUT TO HIM,WITH
A FAITH THAT IN THE NATURAL LIFE HE WILL ANSWER ME,I SHALL BE PATIENT
AND THANKFUL EVERYDAY AND DO MY BEST TO FOCUS MY JOB HE HAS BLESS ME WITH RIGHT NOW,THE FUTURE IS HIS TO DEAL.I COMMIT MY FAMILY’S TOMORROW INTO HIS HANDS.THANK YOU.



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