During the virus pandemic, we hear a lot about mutations. Do mutations show the poor design of life? Skeptics use the flawed design argument as proof that there is no creator God.
Several misunderstandings are involved here. First, a virus is not living according to the usual definition of life. To be called living, something has to be able to move, breathe, respond to outside stimuli, and reproduce. Viruses don’t breathe, nor can they move or even reproduce on their own.
The mutations that are causing the COVID-19 virus to change have to do with spike proteins that allow the entry of a virus into cells. One recent mutation called E484K made enough of a change in the spike protein to allow a new attack on human cells. You can sort of compare a spike protein to a key to open a door into a cell. Various animal cells open to different spike proteins. The Journal of Medical Internet Research reported that “The ever-increasing interaction between humans and animals is one leading factor in facilitating the emergence of new pathogens.”
This is an oversimplification, but the point is that the body’s design keeps us alive. Medical science is advanced enough to understand this design and to do something about it. Scientists have been studying this group of viruses for many years, making it possible to develop a vaccine in less than a year instead of several years. It is only because we understand our bodies’ design and how the cells work that we now have a defense against COVID.
Do mutations show poor design of life? The answer is “no.” There are two messages here. One is to get the vaccine whenever it is available to you. The second is to understand the incredible design of living things. Once again, we are reminded of God’s design in creation. We are not a product of blind chance.
— John N. Clayton © 2021