Laminin, Noah’s Ark, and Why I Don’t Like “Meme Christianity”

Nothing but the greatest affection towards my fellow believers is intended in this post.

There’s a popular idea in circulation, commonly known from speaker Louie Giglio, that likes to speak of the Cross-resembling shape of the protein laminin, in conjunction with Colossians 1:17 (“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together”), as “proof” that God designed the human body.

You should probably know that the world just kinda chuckles when we pass this meme around, and not for no reason. For one thing, that cross looks drunk. But really, while a protein taking one of the most basic shapes possible in nature (and shakily so at that) may strike the already predispositioned as a “wink” from God, it doesn’t really impress unbelievers as proof of God’s authorship. Nor does it need to, for the Gospel to be true.

It’s common to claim, in defense of our Christian heritage, that George Washington spoke thusly:

“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

He never said that. That quote has never been adequately sourced to our first president (though correct me if I’m wrong). The enemies of our country’s Christian heritage wouldn’t care if it was, honestly. Almost none of our Founding Fathers, in fact, were Bible-believing Christians according to their recorded words. Nor did they need to be, for the Gospel to be true.

A creationist scientist once spoke at our church and included, in his refreshingly realist philosophy, a faintly annoyed comment about our habit of portraying the Ark to our children in this way:

His words were, “may I politely suggest that you’re reinforcing ignorant stereotypes?”

Good call. The data from Genesis – words every bit as divinely inspired as the Sermon on the Mount – tell us the Ark existed on the scale of aircraft hangars. Say what you want about the creative liberties taken by the 2014 Russell Crowe movie Noah, but one thing it got right was the general scale of the Ark. It didn’t look remotely like that picture. Nor did it need to, for the Gospel to be true.

And on and on I could go.

If you’ll allow me a “get off my lawn” rant before my time, meme culture hasn’t been kind to Christians. We pass around so many half-baked memes as “smoking guns” and seem unaware that they’re historically, scientifically, and Biblically flawed. It’s an embarrassing look.

Few of us delve into the real intellectually defensible arguments for Christianity. I get that we’re busy. I get it’s intimidating. But we could at least grab a few quick, sound facts. What cause could be more worthy of our time? Souls hang in the balance. Hostile skeptics are plenty willing to do their reading.

I long for a realist Christianity – a faith that strikes the streetfolk as reasonable (if they’re willing to assume the supernatural). That’s why I loved Passion of the Christ, harrowing though it was. The Bible was rough. Flawed, quiet apostles. Tent pegs through temples. A Savior that didn’t look suspiciously like a Seventeen interviewee fresh out of his makeup trailer, but died an ugly death for an ugly people.

Perhaps, if it our faith was drawn less like a fairy tale, it wouldn’t be taken like one.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must get back to badly photoshopping eagles and flags onto pictures of Jesus as a white man.

26 thoughts on “Laminin, Noah’s Ark, and Why I Don’t Like “Meme Christianity”

  1. This entire post was worth the read if nothing else to get to the last line. Thanks, Brandon. Spouting “false news,” of history and anti-intellectualism are a real problem for those who want to claim themselves to be apologists. If we want to take that approach, we need to be able to swim in the deep end of the philosophy pool. Frankly, I get that philosophical apologetics is not where I will likely ever shine. Hence, the Gospel and helping the nonbeliever work through the problems with that world view are best for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ll probably never have a Ph.D. in anything either, but it’s good to at least check what we share. I mean, it’s the Google era – it doesn’t take much effort.

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  2. While I like Louie Giglio and believe he does a good job at showing pieces of how creation points back to the Creator, as a whole I agree with what you have shared. We aren’t near as serious about God and the Gospel as we should be. The same God who we like to say is love is also holy and just…willing to take down His specially chosen people in order to discipline them and bring them back to Himself.
    We do the same when it comes to angels and satan. Thinking of them as cartoon babies with wings or a red guy with horns and a pitchfork downplay how serious of a spiritual battle we are in and how powerful the players are in this battle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not blaming Giglio to be sure, I’m talking about our habit of putting out low-hanging fruit and ignoring the meaty stuff. You made a good point about angels and demons being commonly mis-depicted, although that’s probably an area that’s less foundational to faith.

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  3. Great post Brandon! Yes, Christians embarrass themselves. And what is really sad is that there are solid and reasonable ways to explain or defend Christian truths without resorting to falsely attributed quotes, hokey ideas, or searching for odd proofs like protein laminin crosses or secret codes in the Bible. It can make Christians look desperate.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Excellent post Brandon and I heartily agree with you. What we end up doing is demonstrating our own failure to utilize good investigative research and jumping on the band wagon for anything that remotely “appears” to justify the inference we are trying to put forward, and the damage done is significant because it undercuts the credibility of the true Gospel. Fazale Rana published an excellent article on the laminin subject last year which strongly advocates NOT jumping on this band wagon. https://reasons.org/explore/blogs/the-cells-design/read/the-cells-design/2018/01/31/is-the-laminin-cross-evidence-for-a-creator
    This is not new, it’s been on going for as long as I can remember. I sincerely wish well meaning people would take the time to do a little research before publicizing misinformation. Thank you for voicing this concern. Grace and blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Haha eagles and flags… Merica! It does such a disservice to the real thing I feel when we do weird stuff like this. God is so much better than all that anyways and we just get lazy in our thinking about Him. I wish we had a bigger perspective of Him… I’ve heard He does actually get out of America once in awhile…. 😂

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  6. I always thought that laminin did not look enough like a cross to me. Couldn’t God do better than that? If He’s going to go to the foundation of creation, why not design the hydrogen atom to look like a cross?
    That’s part of my personal “get off my lawn” rant. Unfortunately, the simplistic attempts at “science” by “creation scientists” are embarrassing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The fact is that God designed all things to uphold Man’s free will. Even in a miracle like the parting of the Red Sea, scientists can explain it away as some rare natural phenomena. God does not wave at us from under a microscope or through a telescope. As Christians we have the amazing gift of realizing that all creation tells us more of who God is and how He works, but it is not empirical evidence of His existence. There never was nor will there be empirical evidence of God. If that were the case, He wouldn’t need people with free will, He’d need robots.

    I actually just wrote a post about this issue.

    https://thepageandpixel.com/2019/04/06/knowing-god-in-the-biblical-sense/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting interpretation. I’ll have to think on it for a while to see if I agree with your wording, because there are events that occur without any rational explanation that couldn’t plausibly come from anywhere but a higher power (like the cancer healings I’m seeing in my own spheres right now). But I can’t shoot it down either. Thanks for commenting!

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  8. I agree that a rational mind should readily interpret the miraculous as a sign of God’s reality, but then men are rarely rational, they only think they are. 😉

    My point is that God always allows us to disbelieve Him. He made us in His image and He respects our freedom above almost anything. I address that in my post on Knowing God. He intends for us to seek Him, not to be forced into serving Him. He beckons us to Him, but we must seek Him to find Him. If we don’t want Him, we need not see Him, at least not before judgement day. Until then, we can happily explain away miraculous healings, as many do, or scoff at miraculous occurrences. To see them as miraculous requires at least a smidgen of Faith. Many have none. Yet even those that do have some may see a miracle as a miracle and still fail to see it as God opening His arms for them to run to Him. Ultimately, we must use our freedom to freely surrender ourselves to Him, and what splendor awaits!

    Sorry if I’m rambling. I say all of this much better in my post on Knowing God.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: No More Apologizing for the Faith | Brandon J. Adams

  10. Yes! Great post! Having been a part of Christianity that often parrots what it hears, and likes it’s ears tickled by it’s brand of Christianity, I am saddened now by how blind I was and the ineffectiveness of religion, even though it will say, “It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship.” I don’t claim to have eyes wide open now, but having ‘come out’ of that brand of Christianity, I feel like my love is bigger and more real.

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