Skip to comments.DNA: The Tiny Code That's Toppling Evolution
Posted on 05/06/2005 7:36:09 PM PDT by DouglasKC
Two great achievements occurred in 1953, more than half a century ago.
The first was the successful ascent of Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world. Sir Edmund Hillary and his guide, Tenzing Norgay, reached the summit that year, an accomplishment that's still considered the ultimate feat for mountain climbers. Since then, more than a thousand mountaineers have made it to the top, and each year hundreds more attempt it.
Yet the second great achievement of 1953 has had a greater impact on the world. Each year, many thousands join the ranks of those participating in this accomplishment, hoping to ascend to fame and fortune.
It was in 1953 that James Watson and Francis Crick achieved what appeared impossiblediscovering the genetic structure deep inside the nucleus of our cells. We call this genetic material DNA, an abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid.
The discovery of the double-helix structure of the DNA molecule opened the floodgates for scientists to examine the code embedded within it. Now, more than half a century after the initial discovery, the DNA code has been decipheredalthough many of its elements are still not well understood.
What has been found has profound implications regarding Darwinian evolution, the theory taught in schools all over the world that all living beings have evolved by natural processes through mutation and natural selection.
Amazing revelations about DNA
As scientists began to decode the human DNA molecule, they found something quite unexpectedan exquisite 'language' composed of some 3 billion genetic letters. "One of the most extraordinary discoveries of the twentieth century," says Dr. Stephen Meyer, director of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, Wash., "was that DNA actually stores informationthe detailed instructions for assembling proteinsin the form of a four-character digital code" (quoted by Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator, 2004, p. 224).
It is hard to fathom, but the amount of information in human DNA is roughly equivalent to 12 sets of The Encyclopaedia Britannicaan incredible 384 volumes" worth of detailed information that would fill 48 feet of library shelves!
Yet in their actual sizewhich is only two millionths of a millimeter thicka teaspoon of DNA, according to molecular biologist Michael Denton, could contain all the information needed to build the proteins for all the species of organisms that have ever lived on the earth, and "there would still be enough room left for all the information in every book ever written" (Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, 1996, p. 334).
Who or what could miniaturize such information and place this enormous number of 'letters' in their proper sequence as a genetic instruction manual? Could evolution have gradually come up with a system like this?
DNA contains a genetic language
Let's first consider some of the characteristics of this genetic 'language.' For it to be rightly called a language, it must contain the following elements: an alphabet or coding system, correct spelling, grammar (a proper arrangement of the words), meaning (semantics) and an intended purpose.
Scientists have found the genetic code has all of these key elements. "The coding regions of DNA," explains Dr. Stephen Meyer, "have exactly the same relevant properties as a computer code or language" (quoted by Strobel, p. 237, emphasis in original).
The only other codes found to be true languages are all of human origin. Although we do find that dogs bark when they perceive danger, bees dance to point other bees to a source and whales emit sounds, to name a few examples of other species" communication, none of these have the composition of a language. They are only considered low-level communication signals.
The only types of communication considered high-level are human languages, artificial languages such as computer and Morse codes and the genetic code. No other communication system has been found to contain the basic characteristics of a language.
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, commented that "DNA is like a software program, only much more complex than anything we've ever devised."
Can you imagine something more intricate than the most complex program running on a supercomputer being devised by accident through evolutionno matter how much time, how many mutations and how much natural selection are taken into account?
DNA language not the same as DNA molecule
Recent studies in information theory have come up with some astounding conclusionsnamely, that information cannot be considered in the same category as matter and energy. It's true that matter or energy can carry information, but they are not the same as information itself.
For instance, a book such as Homer's Iliad contains information, but is the physical book itself information? No, the materials of the bookthe paper, ink and glue contain the contents, but they are only a means of transporting it.
If the information in the book was spoken aloud, written in chalk or electronically reproduced in a computer, the information does not suffer qualitatively from the means of transporting it. "In fact the content of the message," says professor Phillip Johnson, "is independent of the physical makeup of the medium" (Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, 1997, p. 71).
The same principle is found in the genetic code. The DNA molecule carries the genetic language, but the language itself is independent of its carrier. The same genetic information can be written in a book, stored in a compact disk or sent over the Internet, and yet the quality or content of the message has not changed by changing the means of conveying it.
As George Williams puts it: "The gene is a package of information, not an object. The pattern of base pairs in a DNA molecule specifies the gene. But the DNA molecule is the medium, it's not the message" (quoted by Johnson, p. 70).
Information from an intelligent source
In addition, this type of high-level information has been found to originate only from an intelligent source.
As Lee Strobel explains: "The data at the core of life is not disorganized, it's not simply orderly like salt crystals, but it's complex and specific information that can accomplish a bewildering taskthe building of biological machines that far outstrip human technological capabilities" (p. 244).
For instance, the precision of this genetic language is such that the average mistake that is not caught turns out to be one error per 10 billion letters. If a mistake occurs in one of the most significant parts of the code, which is in the genes, it can cause a disease such as sickle-cell anemia. Yet even the best and most intelligent typist in the world couldn't come close to making only one mistake per 10 billion lettersfar from it.
So to believe that the genetic code gradually evolved in Darwinian style would break all the known rules of how matter, energy and the laws of nature work. In fact, there has not been found in nature any example of one information system inside the cell gradually evolving into another functional information program.
Michael Behe, a biochemist and professor at Pennsylvania's Lehigh University, explains that genetic information is primarily an instruction manual and gives some examples.
He writes: "Consider a step-by-step list of [genetic] instructions. A mutation is a change in one of the lines of instructions. So instead of saying, "Take a 1/4-inch nut," a mutation might say, "Take a 3/8-inch nut." Or instead of "Place the round peg in the round hole," we might get "Place the round peg in the square hole" . . . What a mutation cannot do is change all the instructions in one stepsay, [providing instructions] to build a fax machine instead of a radio" (Darwin's Black Box, 1996, p. 41).
We therefore have in the genetic code an immensely complex instruction manual that has been majestically designed by a more intelligent source than human beings.
Even one of the discoverers of the genetic code, the agnostic and recently deceased Francis Crick, after decades of work on deciphering it, admitted that "an honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going" (Life Itself, 1981, p. 88, emphasis added).
Evolution fails to provide answers
It is good to remember that, in spite of all the efforts of all the scientific laboratories around the world working over many decades, they have not been able to produce so much as a single human hair. How much more difficult is it to produce an entire body consisting of some 100 trillion cells!
Up to now, Darwinian evolutionists could try to counter their detractors with some possible explanations for the complexity of life. But now they have to face the information dilemma: How can meaningful, precise information be created by accidentby mutation and natural selection? None of these contain the mechanism of intelligence, a requirement for creating complex information such as that found in the genetic code.
Darwinian evolution is still taught in most schools as though it were fact. But it is increasingly being found wanting by a growing number of scientists. "As recently as twenty-five years ago," says former atheist Patrick Glynn, "a reasonable person weighing the purely scientific evidence on the issue would likely have come down on the side of skepticism [regarding a Creator]. That is no longer the case." He adds: "Today the concrete data point strongly in the direction of the God hypothesis. It is the simplest and most obvious solution . . ." (God: The Evidence, 1997, pp. 54-55, 53).
Quality of genetic information the same
Evolution tells us that through chance mutations and natural selection, living things evolve. Yet to evolve means to gradually change certain aspects of some living thing until it becomes another type of creature, and this can only be done by changing the genetic information.
So what do we find about the genetic code? The same basic quality of information exists in a humble bacteria or a plant as in a person. A bacterium has a shorter genetic code, but qualitatively it gives instructions as precisely and exquisitely as that of a human being. We find the same prerequisites of a languagealphabet, grammar and semanticsin simple bacteria and algae as in man.
Each cell with genetic information, from bacteria to man, according to molecular biologist Michael Denton, consists of "artificial languages and their decoding systems, memory banks for information storage and retrieval, elegant control systems regulating the automated assembly of parts and components, error fail-safe and proof-reading devices utilized for quality control, assembly processes involving the principle of prefabrication and modular construction . . . [and a] capacity not equalled in any of our most advanced machines, for it would be capable of replicating its entire structure within a matter of a few hours" (Denton, p. 329).
So how could the genetic information of bacteria gradually evolve into information for another type of being, when only one or a few minor mistakes in the millions of letters in that bacterium's DNA can kill it?
Again, evolutionists are uncharacteristically silent on the subject. They don't even have a working hypothesis about it. Lee Strobel writes: "The six feet of DNA coiled inside every one of our body's one hundred trillion cells contains a four-letter chemical alphabet that spells out precise assembly instructions for all the proteins from which our bodies are made . . . No hypothesis has come close to explaining how information got into biological matter by naturalistic means" (Strobel, p. 282).
Werner Gitt, professor of information systems, puts it succinctly: "The basic flaw of all evolutionary views is the origin of the information in living beings. It has never been shown that a coding system and semantic information could originate by itself [through matter] . . . The information theorems predict that this will never be possible. A purely material origin of life is thus [ruled out]" (Gitt, p. 124).
Besides all the evidence we have covered for the intelligent design of DNA information, there is still one amazing fact remainingthe ideal number of genetic letters in the DNA code for storage and translation.
Moreover, the copying mechanism of DNA, to meet maximum effectiveness, requires the number of letters in each word to be an even number. Of all possible mathematical combinations, the ideal number for storage and transcription has been calculated to be four letters.
This is exactly what has been found in the genes of every living thing on eartha four-letter digital code. As Werner Gitt states: "The coding system used for living beings is optimal from an engineering standpoint. This fact strengthens the argument that it was a case of purposeful design rather that a [lucky] chance" (Gitt, p. 95).
Back in Darwin's day, when his book On the Origin of Species was published in 1859, life appeared much simpler. Viewed through the primitive microscopes of the day, the cell appeared to be but a simple blob of jelly or uncomplicated protoplasm. Now, almost 150 years later, that view has changed dramatically as science has discovered a virtual universe inside the cell.
"It was once expected," writes Professor Behe, "that the basis of life would be exceedingly simple. That expectation has been smashed. Vision, motion, and other biological functions have proven to be no less sophisticated than television cameras and automobiles. Science has made enormous progress in understanding how the chemistry of life works, but the elegance and complexity of biological systems at the molecular level have paralyzed science's attempt to explain their origins" (Behe, p. x).
Dr. Meyer considers the recent discoveries about DNA as the Achilles" heel of evolutionary theory. He observes: "Evolutionists are still trying to apply Darwin's nineteenth-century thinking to a twenty-first century reality, and it's not working ... I think the information revolution taking place in biology is sounding the death knell for Darwinism and chemical evolutionary theories" (quoted by Strobel, p. 243).
Dr. Meyer's conclusion? "I believe that the testimony of science supports theism. While there will always be points of tension or unresolved conflict, the major developments in science in the past five decades have been running in a strongly theistic direction" (ibid., p. 77).
Dean Kenyon, a biology professor who repudiated his earlier book on Darwinian evolutionmostly due to the discoveries of the information found in DNAstates: "This new realm of molecular genetics (is) where we see the most compelling evidence of design on the Earth" (ibid., p. 221).
Just recently, one of the world's most famous atheists, Professor Antony Flew, admitted he couldn't explain how DNA was created and developed through evolution. He now accepts the need for an intelligent source to have been involved in the making of the DNA code.
"What I think the DNA material has done is show that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinary diverse elements together," he said (quoted by Richard Ostling, "Leading Atheist Now Believes in God," Associated Press report, Dec. 9, 2004).
"Fearfully and wonderfully made"
Although written thousands of years ago, King David's words about our marvelous human bodies still ring true. He wrote: "For You formed my inward parts, You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . . My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought. . ." (Psalm 139:13-15, emphasis added).
Where does all this leave evolution? Michael Denton, an agnostic scientist, concludes: "Ultimately the Darwinian theory of evolution is no more nor less than the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century" (Denton, p. 358).
All of this has enormous implications for our society and culture. Professor Johnson makes this clear when he states: "Every history of the twentieth century lists three thinkers as preeminent in influence: Darwin, Marx and Freud. All three were regarded as 'scientific' (and hence far more reliable than anything 'religious') in their heyday.
"Yet Marx and Freud have fallen, and even their dwindling bands of followers no longer claim that their insights were based on any methodology remotely comparable to that of experimental science. I am convinced that Darwin is next on the block. His fall will be by far the mightiest of the three" (Johnson, p. 113).
Evolution has had its run for almost 150 years in the schools and universities and in the press. But now, with the discovery of what the DNA code is all about, the complexity of the cell, and the fact that information is something vastly different from matter and energy, evolution can no longer dodge the ultimate outcome. The evidence certainly points to a resounding checkmate for evolution! GN
We know only two explanations for such: either it was there forever, or it was created. At the least we have a dearth of intelligences popping into existence out of a literal nothing.
ping...and with that, could you remove me from your ping list? thanks :)
God exists outside of our physical universe. He is the source of our physical universe. The buck stops there.
oh come on now..missing the topic..thats like saying can god create a rock he can't lift?
Dr. Behe spoke in Ithaca this past week, and reiterated - by citing writings of prominent Darwinists themselves - that no one has yet demonstrated how any complex biochemical systems have "happened to develop" in the incremental stepwise manner that classical Darwinism requires.
Well, of course, God IS the universe and evolves along with everything therin (resolving the omnipotence, omniscience and free will criteria for God at once).
I especially like the part in the article about the difference between DNA material and the DNA message. Obviously intelligence placed intelligent information in the medium of DNA.
The more I study this issue the more I come to belief that evolutionists who adhere to classical Darwinism are really kind of quaint. Kind of like flat earthers.
Claiming that DNA is complex is hardly evidence that evolution is false. If you keep telling people that something is too complex for them to understand, apparently some of them start to believe it's magic.
ID ping time
And you consider the article above to be logical? If so, I'm staggered.
Now, I would have to agree that the theory of evolution, like all scientific theories, is a work in progress. There is no end of the road in science as the quest for knowledge is never ending. It is just not a legitimate criticism of scientific knowledge to say that it is incomplete.
Yet, the theory of creationism is also "full of holes", that is to say that it fails to explain, in any way other than the circular, HUGE elements of the real world as we find it. It is not enough to say that "God just made it that way." That is not an adequate answer.
Yet, on threads like these, that argument is the one that is always resorted to. And always by people who have no trouble tossing the entire body of scientific research into the evolution of life on earth on the trash heap because some issue or another remains unexplained in full detail.
It's basically dishonest.
Self ping for later reading.
A bible-oriented magazine doesn't like evolution!
Next you'll be telling us the sun rises in the east.
Oh, and by the way. That's not proof of anything. Sorry.
I don't think that's the argument. I think the argument is that DNA is too complex to have happened by chance or random occurrence. A computer is complex and there's relatively few people in the world who know and can understand all the elements of electricity, electronics, computer theory, magnetics, and all of the processes that go into a computer...yet nobody claims that computers just randomly evolved from lightning bolts.
Keep reading and studying... You'll catch on eventually.
And your theories are what? The primordial soup coded and manufactured the just right media for life and animated it on the one planet with life sustaining abilities? Not just once but with multiple species and self sustaning sexual modifications to propagate? You actually believe this? The acceptance of creation is so much more likely and believable by such a large magnitude, it's hardly worth the effort.
Well it's hardly evidence that it's true.
If you keep telling people that something is too complex for them to understand, apparently some of them start to believe it's magic.
No, we're not talking about global warming.
"The more I study this issue the more I come to belief that evolutionists who adhere to classical Darwinism are really kind of quaint. Kind of like flat earthers."
And DNA is just one little part of the whole works. The requirements for dozens of enzymic reactions to start a given RNA/DNA replication, e.g. making new pieces of DNA, proteins and other biochemical structures with a fully functional living cell, is mind boggling. Everything must already be in place, in order for these processes to happen. If things don't work properly within the particular design critera for a given type cell, depends a lot on what kind of animal or plant in some cases, a particular thing would happen or not be a part of the over process, the cell would die, or at best go bad, disease resulting in the animal or plant.
And then spend a few years reading about all the very suspect views on how earth geology does not show a uniform strata as insisted by evolutionists, investigate the problems many scientist claim are wrong with all our major radiometric dating systems, e.g. get a reading of 1.2 million years on one sample and a hundred on another sample of same rock, picked up a few feet away from first etc..
The lists of things that go against evolution is so great it is truly a wonder that anyone would dare preach it as being a fact in at this late date. Of course little has changed from the late 60's to present. I get so tired of hearing the issue is between religion and science. That is a ploy to make it sound like evolution is supported by the total scientific obervations and learning curves in many of our branches of science, and that religion is religion and has not place in science. It has been going on for a long time.
"the Good News" magazine is always an excrement source for balanced scientific articles.
The article isn't about creationism. It is essentially about the defeat of TOE by ID.
Many of the people described in the article are scientists who have become "people who have no trouble tossing the entire body of scientific research into the evolution of life on earth on the trash heap."
I'm staggered that you're staggered.
Flat earthers? You want flat earthers? Try this.
"A fine Biblical scholar," Brady tells the court, "Bishop Usher, has determined for us the exact date and hour of the creation. It occurred in the year 4004 BC."
"Well, that's Bishop Usher's opinion" Drummond replies.
"It's not opinion," says Brady, "it's a literal fact which the good Bishop arrived at through careful calculation (which he then describes), in fact,"he continues, "he has determined the actual time of creation as having occurred on the 23rd of October, 4004 BC at 9 am."
I think the argument is that DNA is too complex to have happened by chance or random occurrence.What is the evidence of this? Individual Hydrogen atoms are extremely complex too. So lets say you assume Hydrogen atoms and protons, and quarks are designed as well -- at what point does one then believe that physical laws no longer apply and an Intelligent Designer has control over everything? Wouldn't it make sense for us measly humans to try and figure out how this stuff works instead of just throwing up our hands and giving up?
This is not a redaction of the First Cause argument. It is a simple acknowledgement that human intelligence can find its reflection in matter. That means that a person is doing the looking.
Is there anything in the article that is factually incorrect?
"The more I study this issue the more I come to belief that evolutionists who adhere to classical Darwinism are really kind of quaint. Kind of like flat earthers."
I see your point. It is though they still believe the earth is at the center of the universe. When in reality they have placed man at its center.
I think you meant for your post to be directed to DouglasKC in post #12
Sure physical laws exist. Sure you can try to figure out how these things work...go for it. But I'm sure you'll understand a lot more when you acknowledge and credit the creator.
Whatever BEGINS to exist has a cause. Does God have a beginning?
You are correct in that science cannot abide such a lame explanation as "God just made it that way".
But if he DID just make it that way, it wouldn't really matter that it isn't a satisfying scientific explanation.
Creation is by its very nature an extra-scientific event. But it doesn't claim to be anything else. Evolution on the other hand makes the scientific claim, and therefore must be measured on that basis.
There are those who argue for "scientific creationism", but they don't mean that the act of creation is scientific (which really confuses the issue). They mean that the evidence of history which is discovered through observation is not inconsistant with whatever view of creation they are peddling.
But the detective work of divining history through observation is not the same "science" as the "scientific theory" of evolution. Which in fact is a theory with widespread evidence,observable and repeatable. It's just that the "scientific theory of evolution" describes a natural process, not an historical event. Historical events are not scientific theories.
If we could distinguish between history and science, and teach stuff in the proper context, I imagine most "creationists" would crawl back into their spiritual worlds and leave the rest of you alone. They have a point -- no matter how well you can 'explain' observations by the evolutionary model, and no matter if you can find fossils which fit a historical hypothesis that is consistant with an evolutionary model, you simply cannot prove the manner in which we reached our current state of affairs.
Part of the problem is that those who wanted to be free from religion co-opted the science of evolution to use it as a hammer to smash the pillars of religion. The "God is Dead" crowd made a religion out of the science of Evolution, and it was inevitable that those who held to other doctrine would fight back. Science simply was caught in the crossfire.
The acceptance of creation is so much more likely and believable by such a large magnitude, it's hardly worth the effort.Absolutely creation is much more believable. All you have to do is stick your fingers in your ears and claim you don't want to learn about the world around you. That's the easy way out. If no one had ever questioned the world around them and just accepted "That's just the way it is", don't you think the world would be a pretty boring place?
O please. Not "inherit the wind" again.
I don't know.
I guess we'll find out for sure when it appears in peer reviewed scientific journals & the MSM (haha).
A very important implication of DNA study is its proof of the unique individuality of every person. I wonder why this has not become an important part of pro-life discussions. They would then not be discussing something abstract called life, but a singular, irreplacable person which begins to exist when the DNA does. Individual worth has been undermined by Marxist thought that considers people as faceless members of classes, and you can see that this is often the basis of what democrats say.
How about, advance it as a theory?
You have just shown us all how much you understand about science. Please read, and understand, the following:
the·o·ry (the¯'?-re¯, thîr'e¯)
n., pl. -ries.
1. A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.[Late Latin theo¯ria, from Greek theo¯ria¯, from theo¯ros, spectator : probably thea¯, a viewing + -oros, seeing (from hora¯n, to see).]
2. The branch of a science or art consisting of its explanatory statements, accepted principles, and methods of analysis, as opposed to practice: a fine musician who had never studied theory.
3. A set of theorems that constitute a systematic view of a branch of mathematics.
4. Abstract reasoning; speculation: a decision based on experience rather than theory.
5. A belief or principle that guides action or assists comprehension or judgment: staked out the house on the theory that criminals usually return to the scene of the crime.
6. An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture.
1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
2.Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See synonyms at belief, trust.
3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
4. often Faith Christianity. The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith. 6. A set of principles or beliefs.
Now, do you see the difference????????
DNA has little to do with the unique individuality of every person. Unless you believe identical twins are the same person.
Actually, that's what non-ID evolutionists must believe, since they don't consider the possibility of a Creator; hence everything happens just because.
Evolution does not even attempt to explain where something once came from nothing. It explains the progress- this turned to this which turned to that- but not where Life began. And Evolution does not rule out God.
Notwithstanding, historical events are factual and true when the witness to the events describes them accurately. And I believe quite literally.