Sermon Illustrations


In May 2008, scientists finally completed analyzing the DNA of the platypus, a creature native to Australia that defies categorization under bird, reptile or mammal. The platypus is so odd that when the first specimens were sent to Europe in the 19th century, scientists suspected a hoax. The platypus has a bill and webbed feet like a duck, lays eggs like a bird or a reptile but also produces milk and has a coat of fur like a mammal. Even its DNA is an amalgam of genes.

A group of almost 100 scientists studied a female platypus, collected and analyzed her DNA and found that her genome contains about 18,500 genes, similar to other vertebrates and about two-thirds the size of the human genome. The platypus shares 82 percent of its genes with the human, mouse, dog, opossum and chicken. Of particular interest, the researchers reported, the analysis identified families of genes that link the platypus to reptiles (like those for egg-laying, vision and venom production), as well as to mammals (antibacterial proteins and lactation). The platypus lacks nipples; the young nurse through the abdominal skin.

(Source: "Platypus Looks Strange on the Inside, Too" New York Times May 8, 2008. From a sermon by Victor Yap, "In Christ Alone")

Related Sermon Illustrations

Related Sermons