Sea squirts are tiny invertebrate animals that look more like little flowers than creatures. In their larval stage they vaguely resemble a tadpole, but instead of having a backbone, the sea squirt larva, called ascidians, have a notochord. According to evolutionists, notochords are the evolutionary precursor to the vertebrate spine.
But that is not what intrigued Annette Hellbach, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Germany. She was studying the sea squirt heart and the gene that controlled its heart beat.
Sea squirts have a simple tubular heart and like the human heart, has pacemaker muscle cells that cause the rest of the heart muscle to contract. The pacemaker muscle cell builds up a negative ion charge, which then opens up channels known as hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleate-gated or HCN. Once the HCN channels are open, the pacemaker muscle cells receive an influx of positive ions. This influx creates an electrical charge which is then dispersed to the surrounding heart muscle cells, causing them to contract.
In her studies on the sea quirt, Hellbach learned that the gene that is responsible for the pacemaker muscle cell’s HCN channel is very similar to the same gene found in humans. The significance of the study is that researchers may be able to conduct further studies on this gene that may have bearing on treating humans in the future.
However, the researchers could not miss the opportunity to try to connect the similarity between the gene in the sea squirt to that in humans to link the sea squirt as one of man’s early ancestors. As the author of the news report stated:
Sea squirts are our unlikely relatives. In their larval stage, they resemble tadpoles, with a primitive version of a backbone, called a notochord, a feature that places them closer to humans in the family tree of life than, say a cockroach, a jellyfish or a sponge.
When it suits their needs, they repeatedly use similarity in design or function to equate common lineage in the evolutionary tree leading to man. But when their other evidence shows clear disconnects between a certain organism and man, they claim homology or similar structure but not similar ancestry.
If only they would realize that the one main thing we all have in common is our Designer and Creator. And doesn’t it make sense that God created a basic pattern for many things and then just used variations on that basic design? It’s just like the starter on a car. They come in many different styles and shapes, and can be found on motors on all kinds of machinery, not just cars. Although some are much larger and more complex than others, they all have a common design that was followed and elaborated upon.
Additionally, by God using a common design and common chemical structure for all of life, He made it easier for us to be able to eat and utilize the necessary proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins that we need for healthy lives. If everything were made from different compounds and structures, we would have a hard time utilizing what we eat and would soon starve to death.
So not only do sea squirts and humans have a similar gene, but we have the same God who created all things.
And to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things. Eph. 3:9
Parry, Wynne. How the Sea Squirt’s Heart Is Like a Human’s, LiveScience.com, August 19, 2011.
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