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"Laminin" email and Snopes.com

May 24, 2008


i am sure many of you have seen the email that is circulating about laminin. i have received it at least three times. (thanks sean, for one of those!) the writer of the email tells of being on the treadmill watching a message from louie giglio and being completely blown away by the description of and picture of laminin proteins.

this morning, i was reading my weekly email from snopes.com. i love snopes.com. this laminin email was the topic of one of their new articles. the article even includes this video:

as a side note: in the video, giglio refers to being near the end of their tour in tyler, texas, when he was told about laminins. i was at that concert. i am not the molecular biologist.

the crux of the story is that laminins are the proteins that hold the different cells of our bodies together. they are like the glue that keeps us from falling apart. this is a reminder of colossians 1:15-17: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (emphasis mine; english standard version)

oh, yeah. i almost forgot. this is a scientific diagram of a laminin protein:

to me, and probably to you, this looks quite a bit like a cross. when i see this i have thoughts that go something like: “wow! before you created adam, you knew that it would be through the cross of jesus that that our very lives would be held together. and you represented it in our very cell structure! you are an amazing god!”

when snopes saw this, they said: (my response in italics)

1. the structure of laminin antedates by many thousands of years traditional christian accounts of the life of jesus. i know. that is one of the wonderful things about this. god knew from before the beginning that the cross of christ would be our hope and salvation.

2. a cross-like shape is a very simple structure that is commonly found in elements created naturally or accidentally. which one is this, natural or accidental? if it is natural, god designed it that way from the beginning. if it is accidental, how is that possible. this is the protein that holds us together. this is an accident? that is another post.

3. it is uncertain whether the form of the original crucifixion device was a stake, a t-shape, or the familiar cross of modern christian iconography. does it matter? god knew we would recognize the cross as a symbol or reminder of who jesus us and what he did for us. god chose to place this representation into our very cells.

4. one could find the shape of laminin to be reminiscent of a variety of common symbols aside from the cross. some viewers say it reminds them more of a caduceus. (the caduceus is the symbol for modern medicine.


this symbol is taken from the old testament story of the children of israel wandering in the wilderness. in numbers 21, god sent serpents to punish the people. when the repented of their sin, god had moses craft a bronze serpent and put it up on a pole. when the people looked on the bronze serpent, they were healed. jesus referenced when he was talking with nicodemus in john 3. jesus was looking ahead to his own death on the cross when he said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” (english standard version) the caduceus represents, at its very core, the healing at the cross.

i am glad that snopes.com has put this on their website. i am alright with them trying to discount the symbolism. they have put a video greater than six minutes long describing that our god is the creator and savior of the universe. they have put up a number of illustrations that god is our designer. they have put this before a larger audience than you or i likely ever could.

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One Comment
  1. lana permalink

    This is awesome! Thanks for sharing. It was great seeing you, Kathy and the kids at the party Saturday. I am starting to feel like I have some good friends in Tyler too. Thanks for loving Lisa and Chris and being so important to their family.

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