Creation: Of Exchange Servers and iPhones
A Sunday guest post
Every Sunday, my clever husband usually offers me a “day of rest” by writing posts on the subject of his primary ministry. The topic, Creationism vs. Darwinism, is a subject that has broad reaching scientific, social, and metaphysical implications and is gaining more and more attention in our modern culture.
Today, we are honored to host a guest post from a co-worker and close friend also stationed in Afghanistan. This post is the result of a running debate conducted via email and should serve as interesting whether you choose to believe the Biblical account — or secular guesses — about the origins of human life on earth.
Of Exchange Servers and iPhones
by A. D. Acevedo
Scientists are bringing dinosaurs to life by examining their bird “descendants.” See the following link from the UK Daily Mail:
I must be from Missouri.
A biologist “knows” that over long periods of time a dinosaur, or terrible-lizard, can turn into a bird?Hey, I also “know” something: if you leave a Microsoft Exchange Server alone long enough it will naturally turn into an iPhone.All you need is the magic ingredient of millions of years and a really cool, yet utterly random program that will replicate itself.You doubt me? I “know” what I am talking about:I am a professional 14-year IT veteran and a US Government IT Systems Administrator with a Secret Clearance.I also have a deeper understanding than most Luddites of the processes involved in VBScripting, PowerShell and Batch file creation.
This type of argument has been used to stifle any serious dissent anyone may have with a particular theory.All one would have to say is the following:
“I am an expert. I am not required to show you, a neophyte, the source code on exactly how my theory can be accomplished. You are not an expert; you wouldn’t understand.”
This thinking can make for good premises in science fiction, but not actual SCIENCE.Exactly how is a stable wormhole created between two Stargates at opposite ends of the galaxy?It would ruin the “fun” of the show to over-explain it; we just believe that it works.
Creationists are often accused (with some good reason) of this same argument. Darwinists claim that we say:
“How does this work?That’s easy, God did it. That is enough for me.”
This is a gross misrepresentation of our position. While it is true that we do assert revealed knowledge from the Creator, we use it as a cohesive starting point, using the scientific method to validate our assumptions.We logically investigate the “how” within the known framework of the established laws of science.
Here’s an example:We YECs (Young Earth Creationists) maintain that God (Elohim/YHWH) created plants on day 3 according to their “kinds” and land animals on day 6 according to their “kinds.” Therefore, our approach to biology would assume some of the following principles:
- Life produces life (Pasteur’s Law of BioGenesis);
- Observations in nature will show that complexity devolves into less complexity; (Entropy/2nd Law of Thermodynamics)
- Specified complexity found in information systems always comes from an intelligent agent—even Microsoft; (Information Theory/SETI/Intelligent Design)
- Mutations will never be observed to add useful information to any living cell’s programming;
- Cumulative random mutations in the programming of an organism’s DNA, regardless of time, will never be observed to change it to a different kind of organism.
- We will only ever observe one kind of organism produce the same kind of organism; berries produce strawberries, cainines produce dogs;
- Sexually reproducing organisms always require two parents’ information;
- Asexual reproduction will only produce organisms that reproduce asexually;
- Variation is already pre-programmed within an organism’s DNA, and no new information is ever acquired through Natural Selection (Mendellian Genetics);
- Living things can be abstracted as either the sum of its component parts as a “system” or, on a microscopic level, comprised of numerous, inter-dependant systems;(Systems Biology)
- All living things had their start from a few hundred basic kinds of organisms; therefore the variety, or speciation, we observe today was already pre-programmed into the original progenitors and occurs either through the loss, or suppression, of information.
Darwinists once claimed that the mechanism which causes “dinosaur to bird evolution” was Natural Selection using Lamarckian (see below1) processes.Over long eons of time a particular kind of dinosaur will have offspring that needed hollow bones to survive, needed to shed those pesky scales, and needed to develop complex flight systems in order to survive.We only need to believe in the same blind, gradual, and non-destructive processes used to adapt finches’ beaks.
Some may say: “Creationists are dumb because they can’t see the ‘simple’ fact that life changes.How stupid are they?!?You can’t trust them for anything if they deny what is so obvious.Next thing they will be telling you that the earth is flat.”
Any mildly observant human being will discern that life does change.This is not a point with which we take issue.What we do take issue with, however, is the leap of faith that this somehow proves that macro-evolutionary (see below3) changes are so obvious.Consider the following:
- Exchange Servers are silicon-based devices that handle email.So are iPhones.Microsoft develops updates from time to time; let us assume these updates are both non-destructive (lol) and unguided.
- My Exchange Server receives these changes, incorporating them into real-time service.These are my facts; observable science.I, as the “expert,” can now claim, based on “science,” that there will be an Exchange Server somewhere in this world that will eventually replicate itself into an iPhone-like device.
- If we had no knowledge of Apple Computers, Inc. but knew about iPhones, is this assumption really so farfetched?Maybe not, but it would still sound silly.How about if I got together and formed an organization of IT guys who would back me up: “The 1337 Academy of Information Science.”
- We Leets could then submit peer-reviewed articles on the subject.We could even mock the Luddites for suggesting that Apple Computers, Inc. exists.Silly noobs.
With the onset of Lilliputian Biology and the science of how cells and DNA work, an extremely complicated source code for life was discovered.19th Century discoveries of Natural Selection alone seemed inadequate to explain the staggering complexity of this new reality.Micro-biologists, biochemists and most of those concerned with origins had to postulate brand-new theories.
Some came to believe in new theories such as punctuated equilibrium; i.e. numerous, random non-harmful mutations on a molecular level occurring within a scant few generations of an organism’s overall existence.These neo-Darwinists focus their research on discovering how the Theory of Evolution can be expanded to apply not just to biology and cosmology, but to chemistry, psychology and even physics.
Evolutionary physicists and cosmologists will develop haughty, yet fascinating ideas like Quantum Physics, String Theory, or Multi-dimensional black holes.Evolutionary anthropologists will study primitive homo-sapien–sapien cultures, like the Egyptians; or the behavioral patterns of primitive sub-human people groups, like Creationists.Evolutionary biologists will write theses explaining the perceived inefficiencies of complex systems like the Eye.They’ll even spend time trying to retro-engineer an Emu or chicken into a dino-bird.
Others came to believe that if a Master Programmer originally created the software of life then an understanding of already established engineering principles, coupled with a true recognition of the laws governing Entropy, would greatly benefit further research.Some even went so far as to apply these principles to living organisms and the universe.This continues to produce genuine results:
Copernican Mechanics, Information Theory, Boyle’s Law, Newtonian Physics, Mendellian Genetics, Systems Engineering, Systems Biology, Synthetic Biology, Intracellular Signaling, Cancer Research, Injury Research, Holistic Medicine, Nutrition and numerous other logical applications resulting from the revolutionary idea of a programmed universal order; an order subject to the effects of entropic forces.
These above referenced Evolutionary biologists really do have overwhelming evidence to point to micro-Evolution or ADAPTATION:
- Thousands of species of corn can be bred from only a handful of parent types (get it–Corn-Bred?–nm);
- Finches have all the information programmed within their DNA to adapt their beaks based on Natural Selection;
- Malaria can be thwarted by the loss of information in certain types of harmfully mutated blood cells;
- Dogs can be selectively bred to breed out undesired traits (someone selected a poodle?);
- Microwaving thousands and thousands of generations of fruit-flies in the lab produces more fruit-flies;
- Fruit-flies do not acquire any useful information in their DNA, but can adapt to their environment—only to a point, (diet, etc, not sledgehammer);
- The Hebrews have tried to eradicate foreskins over millennia, yet still perform the bris; (ouch!)
- We find dried up bones in the dirt;
- We don’t know which of those bones had kids; (can bones have kids?)
- Birds have vertebrae and beta-carotene;
- Dinosaurs have vertebrae and beta-carotene;
- Lizards have vertebrae and beta-carotene;
- People have vertebrae and beta-carotene;
- Fruit-Flies don’t.
Trying to make sense of the complexities of information is my profession.Are these facts enough evidence for me, as a (sometimes) logical human being to ASSUME that dinosaurs came from birds? Can a rock (i.e. non-living material) produce the INFORMATION found in a DNA molecule?What about the enormous complexity found in the chain reaction of the blood cascade?The eye?Was that INFORMATION gradually acquired?If so, how?I would love to see the source code for that; it would create some nasty computer virus.
You can believe that homology (see below3) is enough evidence to believe that birds evolved from dinosaurs; after all, we YECs believe in revealed knowledge.Does that make your belief more valid than mine? Why are we YECs constantly ridiculed for our beliefs?Are we stupid because we even ask questions like these?Am I?Am I somehow NOT capable of understanding the answers?Will Stephen Hawking seriously entertain my “ignorant” dissent or just deride me?Richard Dawkins?How about the UK Daily Mail?Why aren’t students at Western schools and universities allowed to discuss these topics without it becoming personal?What’s with the term YEC anyway?It sounds too much like yak or hack.
I am a scientist; in my field of science, Information Technology, we don’t have the luxury to concern ourselves with proving the existence or non-existence of manufacturers.We simply assume manufacturers exist, trust the information they have encoded and move on to developing our practical science, which deals with issues such as trying to get those darn updates to work on our network.
Exchange Server-to-iPhone evolution may sound ridiculous.Am I not allowed to intellectually propose that dinosaur-to-bird-evolution does as well?It is a strange and slightly Orwellian society we have “evolved” into when just even asking this question makes you a fool.
I submit to you, dear reader, that your beliefs determine how you approach science.I don’t want to offend anyone’s belief system, but I believe that Apple Computers, Inc. developed and produced the Apple iPhone.Is this so wrong? Is it scientific?
1 You can read more about Evolutionist Jean-Baptiste Larmarck’s now disproved theories about inherited characteristics in his book Philosophie Zoologique
2 Remember, Macro-Evolution is NOT defined as cross-species but cross “kind”; i.e. dinosaur/bird, or rock/DNA NOT coyote/wolf.For more information on Macro-Evolution, I highly recommend Michael Behe’s book, The Edge of Evolution.It is a well-written, well researched and very detailed study by a very famous micro-biologist who is not a YEC (Young Earth Creationist).
3 Dr. Jonathan Wells has a great paper on homology if you want to read more; see http://www.trueorigin.org/homology.asp.