Bacterium Versus Bacterium
“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
When God finished the creation on the sixth day, He declared all that He made to be “very good.” There was no death, no decay, no pain and no sickness. When Adam and Eve committed the first sin, their actions resulted in sickness, decay and death. How could a finished, perfect creation have the ability to become this way?
New research on a strategy to eliminate tooth decay may illustrate an answer to this question. The bacteria most responsible for tooth decay produce lactic acid. Lactic acid eats away at tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay. Scientists genetically engineered a natural form of this bacterium that produces a chemical that kills the form of the bacterium in our mouths. They then disabled the ability of this bacterium to produce lactic acid. They also had to double another gene to replace the function originally carried out by the lactic acid. This gene produces nothing harmful. Scientists believe they have developed a harmless bacteria that will remove and replace the harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay. This research raises an interesting question: Is it possible that in the beginning the bacteria in our mouth was harmless, but after Adam’s fall only a minor modification made it harmful?
However, genetic engineering, indeed all of modern science, cannot reverse the ultimate consequences of sin. Only God’s Son, Jesus Christ, can take away the guilt of our sin and give us eternal life.
Help me, dear Lord, to keep my eyes on heaven where all is perfect. Amen.
Science News, 3/18/00, p. 190, “Wash that mouth out with bacteria!” Photo: Tooth decay in a bottle. DL-Lactic acid. Courtesy of LHcheM. (CC BY-SA 3.0)