What’s a LUCA?

on January 7, 2009

Scientists have been trying to determine the characteristics of the so-called “Last Universal Common Ancestor,” or LUCA. How can they do this? A professor at the University of Montreal says they “identify common genetic traits between animals, plants, and bacteria” and use them to create a “tree of life.” In other words, any characteristics that are similar must go back to the original common ancestor of life.

Researchers have decided that this early ancestor was sensitive to heat and could not survive in the heat that supposedly characterized the earth at its beginning. So they conclude that LUCA must have found a little “mini-climate” area that was cooler so it could develop and evolve.

Doesn’t this all sound a little far-fetched? Scientists insist that common characteristics among organisms mean a common ancestor. Creationists, however, have long taught that this shows a Common Designer. God made animals and people with some similar characteristics. But humans and animals and plants are also very unique. Trying to build “LUCA” by looking at the world today is, of course, not science. True science requires hypotheses, experiments, and repeatable results. Evolution is not science—it is guesswork and imagination. If you were to make up a LUCA, what would it look like? You would have as much chance of being right as anyone else. And no one can ever prove who was right! We have faith in what God says about creation, or we have faith in what scientists make up about the beginning. I think it is safer to believe in what God has told us!