Creation: Question Evolution Campaign — 2 of 15
A Sunday guest post by my brilliant husband, Gregg.
Every Sunday, my clever husband offers me a “day of rest” by taking over the homemaker duties here. His primary topic, the Biblical Truth of Creation 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. For believers and non-believers alike, the primary purpose is to present scientific, historical, logical, and/or sociological data in an empirical and defensible fashion, as much as possible written in layman’s terms, and in a format suitable for supplementing any homeschool curriculum whether you choose to believe the Biblical account — or secular guesses — about the origins of human life on earth.
How did the DNA code originate?
Question #2: How did the DNA code originate?
The DNA code is a sophisticated language system with letters and words where the meaning of the words is unrelated to the chemical properties of the letters—just as the information on this page is not a product of the pixels on a screen. What other coding system has existed without intelligent design?
This leads to the second question posed in the question evolution campaign: How did the DNA coding system arise without it being created?
Information theory is fairly new. Information is not material, though materialists must assume that it is or else their theories of materialistic evolution utterly fall apart. To test and prove that information is not material is very straight forward.
Go to a chalk baord and write a coherent sentence. Is the information you just sent in the chalk or the baord or is that simply the medium used to transmit the information? Save this post as a file on your computer. Then erase the file. Did your computer weigh any more or less? Does saving information to a writable DVD or CD make it weigh more or less? Does it change the material state of the optical media in any quantifiable way? The answer, of course, is no.
In his groundbreaking book, “In the beginning was information,” Dr. Werner Gitt, Ph.D states that there are 5 levels of information and they are statistical, syntatic, semantic, pragmatic, and apobetic. From these, he posits 7 natural laws (What we call Scientific Laws in the US and what he describes as theorems) pertaining to information. Paraphrased for clarity, these are:
- There can be no information without a code (statistical level; is the code letters, numbers, dots and dashes, knots in a rope, puffs of smoke, etc.).
- Information cannot originate in statistical processes (randomness only ever produces randomness, never ordered information).
- Any code is the result of a free and deliberate convention (syntax; grammar, spelling, other arrangment of code as in commas at the thousandth mark, decimals, currency symbols, length or brevity of sounds in Morse, etc.).
- There can be no information unless all five hierarchical levels are involved: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and apobetics.
- There can be no information without a sender.
- Any given chain of information points to a mental (intelligent) source.
- There can be no information without volition (will).
Darwinists often throw up numerous straw men to dispute these laws of information, which Gitt, a German, describes as theorems. “Well, a theorem (says the American opponent) is a such-and-so and this is just an argument from ignorance and Shannon did more than discuss statistical information and just a god of the gaps dissertation and this is really completely untestable and blah blah blah blah blah.”
Set aside the collection of religious objections and fallacious rationalizaions and deal with the very obviously false claim. Of course it’s testable.
Gitt’s list can easily be transformed into impossibility theorems and shown to be always true via simple logic. Gitt even does so in his book.
- It is impossible to set up, store, or transmit information without using a code.
- It is impossible to have a code apart from a free and deliberate convention.
- It is impossible that information can exist without having had a mental source.
- It is impossible for information to exist without having been established voluntarily by a free will.
- It is impossible for information to exist without all five hierarchical levels statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and apobetics.
- It is impossible that information can originate in statistical processes.
- It is impossible for information to come into being without volition.
Within Gitt’s definition domain of what information is — and is not — to test his theorems could not be easier. In fact, to disprove all of Gitt’s assertions, it is only necessary to demonstrate that just one of these seven impossibility theorems IS, in fact, possible as it relates to information thus defined.
I say all that to say this. DNA is composed of four molecules. Those molecules are no more and no less relevant to the information stored in the DNA than is the chalk to the chalkboard, the pixels to the screen, or the magnetic bits to the hard drive.
The material is not the information. The code, the language, the information, the messagethat DNA contains very obviously is not material and could not have arisen as a result of randomness and chance.
One “theorem” of Darwinism is that only the material is relevant in solving the origin puzzle. Therefore, if any non-material factor was found to be essential — dare I say foundational — it would utterly disprove Darwinism. In fact, if a non-material apparatus was absolutely required to hold the theory together, such an apparatus would lay the entire Darwinist religion to waste.
Guess what? Within the framework of methodological materialism, Darwinists must constantly co-opt non-material information, ignore the fact that it is non-material, and pretend that only the material exists or that information itself is material. The fact that non-material information exists in very intelligible form lays waste to much of Darwinian religious theory.
“The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy … For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
Robert Jastrow (b. 1925) PhD Theoretical Physics, recipient of NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, exerpted from God and the Astronomers (1992) pp.106-107
Fervent religious belief in atheistic evolution is, simply put, blind faith. It is a belief based in non-observed, unproven and unprovable AND untestable scientific processes, while philosophically denying hope, purpose, justice or ultimate meaning to life. While this philosophy is firmly held, evidence that very obviously contradicts the Darwinist faith is excluded from those very same individual world views, publically censored by secular humanists, and systematically rejected — even when such contradictory evidence is undeniably true. That is not reasonable. That is not even rational. That is a religious crusade.
Faith in Jesus Christ is based on trust in God’s word. The Bible is a credible message given to us from the past from One who foresaw our needs and cares and wants the best for us. It has not, as some critics claim, been lost in translation, but rather it is a message that has been faithfully passed on for hundreds of years. It is not a blind leap, but rather an intelligent step forward based on both existing evidence and simple logic.
For more (pardon the pun) information about how the very existence of the information of life refutes materialistic origin theory, visit creation.com/code
I commit to you that I will publish every single comment that meets this blog’s commenting criteria. You may want to review that criteria before adding your opinion here.
God Bless you and yours.
Additional Posts dealing with Creation and Darwinism
Excellently written article!
More great information expounding on this idea can be found in the documentary “Unlocking the Mystery of Life– The Scientific Case for Intelligent Design”. It can be bought here: http://www.unlockingthemysteryoflife.com/ or found in parts via youtube.
As for where the genetic code came from, I’d say that at this point we don’t know, and may not ever know. But at this point I don’t think there’s even a good model. I expect the answer is that it was a result of chemical affinities and chemical evolution. Initially the code could have been very simple, maybe not even a code but a loose binding of any amino acids. In a hypothetical picture of how the first cells might have developed, the first strings of amino acids would not have had, and would not have needed, the complexity or specificity of proteins in cells today. The specificity would have developed through selection of the replicating protocells and their nucleotide sequences (assuming RNA or some related nucleotide as both sequence as catalyst). (I know you don’t agree with that picture, but that’s the mental picture I have.)
As for this comment of yours:
…”In fact, if a non-material apparatus was absolutely required to hold the theory together, such an apparatus would lay the entire Darwinist religion to waste.
Guess what? Within the framework of methodological materialism, Darwinists must constantly co-opt non-material information,…”
I think there are several ways something can be called non-material. What biologists object to is the assumption of undetectable supernatural actions as explanations. Concepts like the concept of information may be nonmaterial but they are not supernatural. The genetic code is a property of biological material. The written word as a code arises from the substitution of a visible message from an audible one; it is not imposed from an outside supernatural force. (I know I’m not writing this clearly.)
( I’m not sure it isn’t also possible to define it as material by looking at it in a different way, not as a conflict, but just a different approach).
But in any case, the idea that information can be labelled as non-material is not at all a problem for biologists. There is not a contradiction. If you think there is one, it is in the way you are using the words.
In response to this comment:
…”Within Gitt’s definition domain of what information is — and is not — to test his theorems could not be easier. In fact, to disprove all of Gitt’s assertions, it is only necessary to demonstrate that just one of these seven impossibility theorems IS, in fact, possible as it relates to information thus defined.
I think Gitt’s book is not very clear, and to me his ideas about information seem circular.
He says the concept of information is too complex to express in a simple statement, so instead, he “formulates” a set of theorems from which the definition of information is supposed to arise. He does not give evidence for his theorems, just proposes them. He uses the earlier theorems as a basis for subsequent ones. He also considers that each of these theorems is a ‘natural law’. He puts forth theorems such as #2, “Information only arises through an intentional, volitional act”, or #11, “A code system is always the result of a mental process (it requires an intelligent origin or inventor)”. But his definition of information is supposed to be a result of all his theorems. If you use his theorems (which he considers natural laws) as a basis for the definition for information, he has already rejected the possibility of information arising from a sequence of natural events.
I think it’s hubris by Gitt to label these points as ‘Natural Law’; I think they’re hypotheses or suggestions or a model, no more.
I expect the answer is that it was a result of chemical affinities and chemical evolution.
The logical fallacies in this single remark are “Begging the Question” and the “Excluded Middle” fallacy. You beg the question by simply assuming that some kind of “evolution” decided to form mindless minerals into dense information. Somehow, someway, some “unknown and unobserved and perfectly unobservable evolutionary forces simply MUST” be responsible though it is contrary to any evidence in the known universe that this is actually the case.
You may want to look at Dr. Dean Kenyan (sp?) who did massive amounts of research into “chemical affinities” as an explanatory rescue device for a lack of a cogent abiogenesis hypothesis. After writing a textbook, he realized the complete error he had published and essentially recanted most of his life’s work in his book “Of Panda’s and People.” One indication that he is onto something is that he is mercilessly mocked by die hard Darwinists for his ethical stance based on personal integrity in the face of radical and venomous opposition.
Concepts like the concept of information may be nonmaterial but they are not supernatural.
Information always is the product of a mind. If the information in DNA is no exception, then what kind of mind would it take to author that information along with authoring the information that holds the universe together if not a mind that is far FAR outside of our material realm? This is not an argument from ignorance, but a genuine question on my part.
Also, the concept of something nonmaterial as a foundational requirement for a matierlistic argument is a perfect example of the complete lack of cogency the Darwinist apologetic consistently generates and claims is valid and reasonable. It is utterly non sequiter. Really, it’s like a smarmy side-show act of intellectual dishonesty if you want it straight. If the doctrine is methodological materialism and disallowing “any divine foot in the door,” as Lewinton so elegantly stated, then what in the world are we doing handling nonmaterial things as a foundational requirement in order to even reach a materialistic conclusion? Perfectly fallacious from top to bottom.
I’m not sure it isn’t also possible to define it as material by looking at it in a different way, not as a conflict, but just a different approach.
Is information subject to gravity, the laws of thermodynamics, radiation, radiometric frequencies, or any other material measurement? No. Information is not a material thing. It is a perfect example of a nonmaterial thing. So is thought. So is consciousness. So is anything that has no weight, dimension, or material substance. Anyone who defines it otherwise is simply in error or else stating a false premise in order to reach a fallacious conclusion based on some personal agenda.
I think Gitt’s book is not very clear, and to me his ideas about information seem circular.
Please support either or both of these claims with evidence. Otherwise, this is just a question begging epithet.
He does not give evidence for his theorems, just proposes them…
The statement above, which appears to be a paraphrase from talkorigins, is patently false. Gitt absolutely supports each and every theorem with evidence and example(s). The book is a free download. The video that expands upon the book is free to watch in three parts
Please be informed before copying and pasting such an easily falsifiable claim.
If you use his theorems (which he considers natural laws) as a basis for the definition for information, he has already rejected the possibility of information arising from a sequence of natural events.
Personally, I have no issue with this because it is so very obviously always true 100% of the time in 100% of cases in 100% of the known universe. It is only in mythical imaginary scenarios or fictional religious hopes and dreams that absolutely “anything” is possible. If that were true, if absolutely “anything” were possible, then it would certainly be possible that information could somehow and someway arise via random processes just as it would be equally possible for me to flap my arms and fly or time travel or change into a dinosaur. But in dealing with the REAL natural world, there are things which are and things which plainly are not possible.
In dealing with the REAL natural world, randomness never generates highly specific order in the form of information. The most complex thing you get out of nature is going to be a soap bubble or a crystal. A coherent sentence or original thought? Sorry. It is impossible. Random processes never send highly specific and exactingly correct information out into the universe and other random processes never receive and interpret the information thus sent. It simply isn’t possible. Information never arises from a sequence of natural events because it is impossible for that to occur.
And all kind of irrelevant. What is possible is to disprove Gitt in whole or in part by showing that any one of his theorems is incorrect based on more than hopes and feelings.
I think it’s hubris by Gitt to label these points as ‘Natural Law’…
That may or may not be true. Either way it is a personal judgement (an epithet) and perfectly irrelevant to the questions at hand. It is actually an ad hominem fallacy. If they are not “Laws,” then demonstrate where the flaws reside in them. It should be child’s play. If I, in my arrogance, claim that it is a “natural law” that peanut butter can turn into jelly, you should have no problem whatsoever poking holes in my pride on that point, right?
….”The statement above, which appears to be a paraphrase from talkorigins, is patently false.”
Maybe I’ll respond to your comment later, but I’ll respond to this bit right now – I did read the book, and my statement was my own response.
…”Gitt absolutely supports each and every theorem with evidence and example(s).”
Look at the theorem I quoted, #2, about volition, and explain to me how he supported that. The only example given in the section ahead of it is about being prompted to write a letter, postcard, etc. That is an example for a familiar human mental decision, but it doesn’t deal with other things he lists later in the book such as insect pheromones, which are not the product of thought according to his view as expressed on his footnote to theorem #11 that I also quoted above.
This is a reason I think his book is not very clear. He wants to make a point about information and natural processes but IMO for most of his theorems he doesn’t give clear descriptions of how they relate to his biological examples like animal communication. Those show up in footnotes or appendices. For instance, in the section where he talks about codes, it would be helpful if he gave an example of how hormones work as codes (if he thinks that). You may find it clear, but I found it unclear.
As for circular reasoning, I get the logical fallacies confused, and maybe circular reasoning is not the right one. Maybe it’s’ begging the question’. In any case, I gave an example of this in my comment above, including this statement:
…”If you use his theorems (which he considers natural laws) as a basis for the definition for information, he has already rejected the possibility of information arising from a sequence of natural events.” (I’ll finish later.)
….”You may want to look at Dr. Dean Kenyan (sp?) who did massive amounts of research into “chemical affinities” as an explanatory rescue device for a lack of a cogent abiogenesis hypothesis. After writing a textbook, he realized the complete error he had published and essentially recanted most of his life’s work …”
Yes I know of him. As I remember it, he was confronted with the apparent paradox that the code in DNA was required to make protein, but accessing the DNA code to make protein required protein. Since he couldn’t see a way around this problem, he decided a chemical origin of life was impossible and turned to creation.
But there is a way around that problem and it is RNA (or related nucleotides). RNA can carry the code and can also act as an enzyme-like catalyst. So he didn’t have to conclude it was impossible. “We don’t know how it happened” is not the same thing as “impossible that it could have happened”.
“We don’t know how it happened” is not the same thing as “impossible that it could have happened”.
… and EITHER are VASTLY different from “We’re absolutely sure it couldn’t have happened the way the Bible describes.”
…“and EITHER are VASTLY different from absolutely sure it couldn’t have happened the way the Bible describes.”
There’s a gulf between the origin of life and what the Bible describes. For me (I know it isn’t true for you) I think there’s good evidence for biological evolution from single cells. Not every detail is known, but in general there is consistent logical evidence. And I think the same thing is true for the billions of years old age of the earth. To me, the origin of the genetic code and the origin of life is already remote from Genesis. Genesis is already out of consideration because it conflicts with biological evolution. Even though we lack information about exactly how life originated on earth, it is already reasonable in my view to say that it will not be explained by the Genesis account.
As I’ve said before, it is impossible to prove that an undetectable all=powerful supernatural being outside of time and space didn’t create life as described in Genesis but gave it the features that fit with biological evolution. So can I be precise and say that it ‘absolutely’ could not have happened as described in Genesis? No. But the available evidence says that it did not happen the way the Bible describes.
Suppose a mouse appeared in your kitchen. I think you would assume that it came in from the outside somehow. Even after you blocked all the cracks you could find, so that you thought you had made it impossible for a mouse to get in, if you saw a mouse I think you still would assume it came in from the outside. Would you be absolutely sure it had not been created de novo behind your kitchen stove? Would you be 100% sure? 99.9999999% sure? 80% sure?
Even if you believed that God had the power to create a mouse behind your stove, and that you couldn’t predict the actions of God, even allowing for that theoretical possibility, wouldn’t you still assume it likely that the mouse had come from the outside? Wouldn’t you look for more ways the mouse could have gotten in?
….”Information always is the product of a mind.”
Either I don’t agree with that statement or I don’t agree with your )and Gitt’s) definition of information.
I think there’s good evidence for biological evolution from single cells.
By what mechanism? Neither mutation nor selection adds information to genes. There is no evidence that it is even possible.
… the available evidence says that it did not happen the way the Bible describes.
The evidence doesn’t actually say anything. The evidence is a collection of facts. To claim that the evidence speaks is to commit the fallacy of reification. The truth is that your interpretation of the evidence is what allows you to infer that it didn’t happen the way the Bible described. The evidence is silent on the question.
Even if you believed that God had the power to create a mouse behind your stove, and that you couldn’t predict the actions of God, even allowing for that theoretical possibility, wouldn’t you still assume it likely that the mouse had come from the outside?
Did God tell me, using very specific language, that He created the mouse behind my stove? If not, I would have no reason to assume that God had done so. If, however, God said how, when, and where he created the mouse, then I would have absolutely no reason to doubt Him.
Do you agree that there are non-material things in life? Consciousness, ideas, thought, love, hate, the profound effect of music to name a few.
If so, then you must accept that information is likewise a non-material entity. That being the case, how does information arise from randomness?
It never does. It is always the product of an intelligent agent, a mind, a will — call it whatever you like.