12 March 2008

DNA proves the existence of God

This is a bold claim by Perry Marshall, whose definitions of code and pattern I have used here. Note that Marshall is not a biologist, but an information specialist.

For this post, I will outline the argument Marshall makes for the existence of God. After that I will prove him wrong. At the time of going to press, God could not be reached for her comment.

The difference between a code and a pattern


A pattern is a random sequence that does not need the aid of a designer. Marshall claims snowflakes and tornadoes are examples of patterns.

Codes are defined as patterns that carry information. Codes we know the origin of are designed by an intelligent designer. Patterns do not have embedded information, whereas codes do carry information. Marshall lists music, computer programs and DNA as examples of codes.

aliens created our dna. or not
Is this mama? Did aliens design DNA? If they did, why didn't they keep the good DNA for themselves?

Marshall's proof that DNA was designed by a mind


Marshall claims the following for DNA:

  • DNA is not merely a molecule with a pattern, but an information storage mechanism. Since it is a pattern which carries information, DNA is a code

  • codes we know the origin of were created by an intelligence. Codes are created by conscious minds

  • therefore, DNA was created by a conscious mind

Marshall then proposes five possible origins of DNA:

  1. Humans designed DNA.

  2. Aliens designed DNA.

  3. DNA occurred randomly and spontaneously.

  4. An undiscovered physical law creates information, and by extension DNA.

  5. A superintelligence, who Marshall calls God, designed DNA.


some dna courtesy of inmagine
Some DNA. Somewhat puzzling. Especially to Perry Marshall.

Consideration Marshall gives each proposal:

  1. For humans to design DNA, we would require time travel or infinite generations of humans. Since we have no time travel and according to Marshall, finite generations of humans, this proposal is refuted.

  2. Aliens may have designed DNA, but this explanation "only pushes the question back in time".

  3. That DNA occurred randomly and spontaneously is a possibility, but it is not a process that could be repeated.

  4. An undiscovered natural law could have created DNA, but it would only be proved once someone observes a naturally occurring code.

  5. A superintelligence, who Marshall calls God, designed DNA.

Marshall claims scientific reasoning can prove anything, and DNA is proof of its own intelligent designer.

Proof that Marshall is misleading, and by misleading I mean wrong


The syllogism
Marshall's proof that DNA was designed by an intelligent designer rests on a syllogism.

A syllogism is a logical argument that is used to infer a conclusion. The syllogism is comprised of three parts:

  • a major premise: "DNA is a code."

  • a minor premise: "Codes are created by conscious minds."

  • a proposition, in other words a conclusion: "Therefore, DNA was created by a conscious mind."

Fun fact: Aristotle is generally credited with the invention of the syllogism.

There are fundamental flaws in Marshall's syllogism:


  • "DNA is a code." That depends on which level you are looking at DNA. From the level of conscious minds, it would appear as if DNA is a code read by cells to produce a magnificent organism.

    However, at a molecular level, DNA is a nucleic acid. Genes store a particular sequence of DNA, and this sequence determines how the genes interact with each other and its environment. The DNA sequence is never read or interpreted as information at this level. Physical, chemical properties of DNA determine which traits are conserved, expelled or just there.

    An allele is an instance of one of multiple viable possible instances of a gene. To clarify, a gene exists for creating eyes. An allele determines whether your eyes could be blue. The nature of this allele is determined by interaction of the gene with other genes and its environment.

    For the sake of Marshall's argument, let us assert that DNA is a code carrying information as he envisages it. The jury is still out on that one, but let's give Marshall the benefit of the doubt.

  • The minor premise: "Codes are created by conscious minds." Marshall is not so lucky with this premise. Marshall specifically states that "all codes we know the origin of are created by a conscious mind" (bold text mine). We do not know the origin of DNA.
    Since we do not know the origins of DNA, we can not assume that DNA is a code that was created by a conscious mind.

    There are many plausible explanations, mostly pointing to Marshall's third conclusion, namely that DNA occurred randomly and spontaneously. In any event random is not that random upon closer investigation, since as we have seen genes rely on interaction with each other and interaction with their environment to determine exactly how alleles form.

    Furthermore, planetary orbit around the sun is not random at all. It is a pattern, but it is still a code, since from our perspective on the third rock from the sun, this movement transfers information we interpret as the passage of time.

    We do not know the origins of this pattern, but we do know the origins of this code of time. It is indeed a conscious intelligence.

  • The proposition: "Therefore, DNA was created by a conscious mind." The problem with this proposition is that an amoeba has DNA. An amoeba does not have a conscious mind. Amoeba were not created with the intervention of the only conscious minds we know, namely human beings.

    Marshall also proposes the idea that aliens created DNA. It should be noted that we have made contact with aliens, but they were cellular organisms. We have not discovered intelligent consciousness besides ours on earth, but we have discovered aliens that came into being without the intervention of intelligent consciousness as we like to define it. Could it be that the process of randomly occurring DNA is repeated, in space no less?


This syllogism suffers from the classic mistake of an illicit minor. This mistake has the following form:

  • All A are B ("all DNA is a code")

  • All Z are C ("all codes we know the origins of were designed by a conscious mind". If it were "all codes were designed by a conscious mind", the minor would have the correct form All B are C.

    At face value, it seems that Mr Marshall proposes the correct form, however his minor is still illicit, because this claim is false. At first, Mr Marshall incorrectly claims that all codes we know the origins of were designed by conscious minds. Then, when it comes to constructing his key argument, he conveniently forgets that his requirement is that we have to know the origins of the code, which we don't for DNA. Either way the words are minced, the minor is an illicit one.)

  • Therefore, all A are C ("therefore, DNA was designed by a conscious mind")


In closing, the larger argument here is a classic example of the god of the gaps, as described in layman's terms in the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Since we can not disprove that god designed DNA, it has to be true. To mister Marshall: Epic fail. Thank you for playing.

To the rest of us: since we can not disprove that Cthulhu will swallow your soul, it has to be true. Cthulhu Ftaghn!


Related links


24 comments:

Uri Kalish said...

If I understand you correctly, he claims that everything that carries information is designed by an intelligent entity. It took me about 3 seconds to think of a case where something clearly not caused by an intelligent entity, do carry information. How about the magnetic striping of the mid-ocean ridges? That’s rocks carrying information about the Earth’s magnetic field changing through the ages. Or is Plate Tectonics also caused by an intelligent entity?

Uri Kalish said...

This is just the first example that came to mind within the first 3 seconds; I'm sure there are plenty more examples...
But even if we couldn't come up with a single example, why can't it be "all codes, except DNA, were designed by an intelligence"?

machinehuman said...

Nice post. Self destructive argument - "Pattern is a RANDOM sequence that does not NEED the aid of a designer." A non-omniscient / omnipotent God is not a God. There's no random to God (if exists), not any residua. You can't prove God by pointing out one thing that does not need a designer / creator, whatever.

SciFiDrive said...

have you heard of the krill papers?
http://www.mindcontrolforums.com/krillpapers.htm

Mike Haubrich, FCD said...

Good takedown of Marshall's argument. Sometimes I wonder if the problem is the way that evolutionay biologists talk about "genetic programming." Makes programmers think they automatically are qualified to discuss genetics and DNA.

Machinehuman, you are putting limitations on what can and cannot be a god. It's silly, because all gods are human constructs, and they are only bound by our imaginations.

allamax said...

Perry Marshall proposes an interesting syllogism for the origin of the DNA code. I have summarized a number of findings below that support his inductive hypothesis. It is important to note that the digitized DNA code is of specified complexity. Crystal structures, magnetic fields, and plate tectonics have information. However, those types of random information are not of the specified complexity type that is intended for a decoding system that then translates out the action encoded in the information. In the case of DNA, the information is of specified complexity that is decoded and translated by mRNA/protein translation into molecules that then mediate the actions encoded by the DNA code. As far as we know, only conscious, intelligent minds produce such codes that are intended for a translating receiver who then interprets and acts out the intent in the encoded information. Salt crystals, magnetic striping and fields, or plate tectonics do not have information intended for a receiving agent that then decodes the information to produce the intended action. As discussed below, DNA is digitized code that is unlikely to have originated by random unitelligent processes in a primordial ooze.

A paper in Nature confirms the digital code of DNA (Leroy Hood & David Galas, 2003, Nature 421:441-448). It also appears that the selective use of A, G, C, and T sets up the digital code in the DNA double helix with a parity code, a common code used by computer programmers to minimize errors in the transfer of information. Out of the at least sixteen other known nucleobases that could have been selected for the origin of DNA, only A, G, C, T can impart this unique parity code (see The Cell's Design by Fazalle Rana). The even parity code found in DNA is very much like that inserted in computer hardware and software to detect errors. Other codes exist in the cell including the histone code, a phospholipid code, and a oligosaccharide code (6 bit phosphorylation state); it is estimated that perhaps 14 different codes exist in the cell that resemble digitized information and computing programs.

About 8 years ago, I was splicing together two cDNA reading frames in order to generate a hybrid protein consisting of a fluorescent GFP protein sequenced fused to the p53 protein sequence. At the time I was also interested in web page construction as a hobby and was learning about computer code. As I was splicing on paper the two bases of a specific GFP codon with the third base of the p53 codon in the reading frame 1 (the correct translation), it suddenly occurred to me that I was looking at a complex computer-like code that utilized a quaternary system (A, G, C, T) arranged in bytes of 3, analogous in design to our binary bit code that is arranged in bytes of 8 that form the specified computer code that is decoded into meaningful information. The codons are also decoded by the translation system to produce proteins that then perform the action. I was astonished by the similarities of the cell replication/informational processing systems to our own computer information systems. How could it be that such a complex information and decoding system evolved by random chance in a primordial soup, as I was led to believe in my early days as a graduate student?

Even more astonishing is that the naturally occurring genetic code was more optimal than one million randomly generated codes (Freeland and Hurst, J. Mol. Evol. 47:238-248). Moreover, the natural genetic code has the near global optimum of all possible codes with respect to its error-minimizing and –correcting capacities (Freeland, 2000, Mol. Biol. Evolution 17:511-518). These observations implicate the natural genetic code as one in a million. In fact, none of the possible 10 trillion million possible genetic codes similar to the natural code in degree of redundancy come close to the error-minimization capacity that approaches the natural code. In light of the above findings, the probability that the natural code arose through random processes to possess a near-ideal error-minimization property is beyond reasonable probabilities and our current comprehension.

The birth of the earth is believed to be at about 4 billion years ago with the appearance of the first life forms at about 3.85 billion years ago? That allows about 150 million years to spontaneously generate the code to produce the first irreducible life forms that now have been deduced to require a minimum of 300 to 400 proteins to sustain an independent, self-replicating life form. Further reductions in protein numbers have resulted in destruction of replicative life forms; thus the minimal life form of 300-400 proteins appears to be irreducibly complex.

Is 150 million years enough time to naturally generate the code? The biophysicist, Herbert Yockey, looked into this issue and found that natural selection would have to peruse through about a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion different genetic codes in a primordial ooze to find and generate the genetic code for subsequent natural selection to work on (Yockey, Information Theory and Molecular Biology, 1992). Natural selection would have to analyze 10 trillion trillion trillion trillion codes each second just to find the universal one at random. It is highly unlikely that there would be enough time to produce the optimized natural code; one that has digitized information. Also, the production of DNA requires proteins and proteins require DNA. RNA is not the answer, since it is highly unstable and would not even last in a mild aqueous solution at room temperature for very long. From personal experience, RNA is one of the most difficult molecules to work with due to its susceptibility to degradation once extracted from the cell.

Another hurdle for producing the genetic code by spontaneous chemical means is the chirality of the sugar molecules and the amino acids in proteins. In life forms, the vast majority of the DNA double helix contains only the D isomer of deoxyribose and proteins are constructed from RNA information by ribosomes using only the L isomer of amino acids. Randomly-synthesized mixtures of sugars and amino acids comprise equal amounts (racemic mixtures) of two isomers (D and L, right and left handed). Random chemical incorporation of the wrong chiral isomer into DNA or protein leads to chain termination or structural changes not compatible with life.

Based on the above observations, what might we predict from Perry Marshall’s “DNA code is produced by a Mind” syllogism? As with any valid scientific hypothesis, predictions will lead to further testing and gathering of observations that then will either support or discredit the hypothesis (falsify). Some predictions are proposed below.

If DNA is a digitized computer code devised by an intelligent agent, a logical premise is that the intelligence is considerably more intelligent than our own, since we humans have not been able to come even close to producing such complexities in the cell as evident in the manifestation of the efficiencies and complexities of molecular motors, such as the bacterial flagellum (rotary motor), F1-F0 ATPase (turbine motor), and the AcrA/AcrB/TolC complex (peristaltic pump) to name a few. There are many more. In fact, analogies of all the inventions of man can be seen within the miniscule cell. Fazale Rana in his book, The Cell’s Design, says that Paley’s argument from design is now validated by the profound similarities in the cell motors and human designs. The cell motors are much more efficient that the human forms! What appears to be inefficient or wasteful to us is being revealed to be presumptuous based on new evidence for a number of systems thought initially to be imperfect or disanalogist, and thus used as an argument against a designing intelligence. Many vestigial organs are now found to have function rather than just rudimentary remnants of the inefficient random mutation/natural selection evolutionary process. In time, more apparent inefficient or disanalogis systems will very likely be shown to be perfect in the context of the overall system that they are a part of.

Marshall’s syllogism would predict that the information derived from the elucidation of cell information and motor systems, if it originated from a higher intelligence (a premise), should revolutionize our own computer and information processing systems. This prediction is coming to fruition in several areas.

First, DNA computation (Google DNA computing or computers) is now an established field and holds promise to produce computers millions of times faster and more powerful than those currently in use. DNA computers use DNA digitized code to process multifunctions in parallel rather than the single sequence processes used by computers today.

Second, the new genetic programming field (Google it!) is using the Darwinian mechanism of selection to revolutionize artificial intelligence (genetic algorithms). The process will allow a computer/robot to write its own best-fit program for any problem it might encounter using a few basic code templates for selection to work on to perform the best-fit. This will allow for immediate and automated development of customized or personalized codes for each computer as required for a specific problem in any situation or environment.

Third, DNA information storage potential is being utilized to increase our digital information storage system capacities by an estimated trillion-fold. DNA is the most highly compressed information storage system known to man. Each of the 10-100 trillion cells in the human body (excluding red blood cells) contain 6 feet of linear DNA (3 ft derived from maternal and 3 ft from paternal) containing a total of over 6 billion nucleotide (bits) of information packed into a nucleus the size of 1-10 one-millionth of a meter. Bacterial plasmids have been inserted with DNA sequence codes encrypted with information. Another advantage is that the bacteria are engineered to express highly error proof reading systems and can be dried down and rehydrated thousands of years later to extract the DNA information. PCR primers provide the keys to rescue the encrypted information in the plasmids.

Fourth, it is predicted that we will continue to derive more knowledge from the cell that will revolutionize our computing capabilities. We have just begun to explore the erroneously termed, junk DNA, and now realize it as potential microprocessing sequences that produce microRNAs that are predicted to regulate up to 30% of all genes encoding proteins. It is predicted that the movable elements and other transposable elements in this dark DNA do not move at random but hop around according to a program yet to be revealed.

DNA is incredible information and computing wet-ware. It acts very much as a Turing machine. I will conclude with the following statement from the book, Genesis Machines, written by Martyn Amos, a pioneer of the DNA computing field.

“COMPUTER SCIENTISTS ARE REALIZING THAT THE TRUE POWER OF THE DNA MOLECULE MAY LIE, NOT IN THE PARALLELISM OF OPERATION THAT MAY BE PERFORMED ON IT, BUT IN THE FACT THAT IT CARRIES REAL MEANING. INSIDE THE CELL, DNA IS BOTH PASSIVE DATA AND ACTIVE PROGRAM. ….DNA DOESN’T SIMPLY PROVIDE THE TEMPLATE FOR PROTEINS – IT DOESN’T JUST ACT AS DATA TO BE READ AND INTERPRETED – IT ENCODES A PROGRAM THAT CONTROLS ITS OWN EXECUTION.”

Finally, I mined this very relevant quote off the internet:

Human DNA contains more organized information than the Encyclopedia Britannica. If the full text of the encyclopedia were to arrive in computer code from outer space, most people would regard this as proof of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence. But when seen in nature, it is explained as the workings of random forces.
- George Sim Johnson

allamax said...

DNA over millions of years has been subjected to random mutations and natural selection. Natural selection pressures drive the random mutations to nonrandom selection. Thus evolution is not a random process. As explained below, trial and error could not have been a mechanism for a de novo spontaneous origination of the genetic code.

neoDarwinism mechanism (if you want to call it trial and error) can only act on DNA templates that are already in existence. It cannot act on what is not there and cannot generate de novo DNA code templates with specified complexities. Thus there is no trial and error or Darwinism involved in the generation of the DNA code in a primordial soup.

The origination of the DNA code had to have been either nonrandom or random. Any chemical reaction to generate life from nonlife chemicals would have been random (ie, racemic mixtures of nucleotides). For instance, computer simulations of evolution (Avida) begin with code templates already in place. Simulated RM+NS processes to initiate evolution on these progenitor code templates can generate some limited specified complex information, and thus generate new creature codes. Such computer simulations are great analogies for intelligent-directed evolution. For instance, intelligent agents seeded the coded templates, generated the computer programs, and initiated the evolution simulation processes. It’s easy to see how these intelligent agents could very well tweak the process to direct the evolution of computer code creatures without the knowledge of the code creatures. What appears random to the code creatures is actually teleological and goal-directed.

Evidences described in my previous post implicate a nonrandom and intelligent origin to the DNA code. This is not a "God of the gaps" interpretation derived from ignorance and what we do not know. Rather the inductive inference for intelligent origin for the genetic code is based on WHAT WE DO KNOW, and that is only conscious minds, as far as we know today, have the capability to generate information of specified complexity and codes. Random natural processes or a Darwinian mechanism, as far as we know, cannot generate the genetic code de novo or spontaneously from racemic mixtures of chemicals in a primordial soup. Perhaps a natural process will be found one day to produce coded information of specified complexity in a natural setting, but until that time, a nonrandom intelligence process is the inference to the best explanation for the origin of the genetic code. Waiting and hoping for science to produce a natural mechanism that can generate the genetic code of specified complex information is a manifestation of FAITH.

DNA is highly complex computer wet-ware encoding information with intent that is destined for decoding by ribosomes and translation into proteins that then carry out specified and deliberate actions. A hallmark of intelligence is information with intent (purpose) that is directed to a receiver that can then decode the information and act on it. Currently, there are no known natural processes that can generate information of specified complexity that is then decoded into an action by a receiver. Only intelligent minds can do this and thus intelligence is the inference to the best explanation for the origin of the genetic code. This is a valid analogy to argue since human computer systems/codes (binary [1,0] and eight bit bytes) are very much in line with the same DNA computer logic (quaternary [A,G,C,T] and six bit bytes [codons]) which produces molecular motors that are remarkably similar in engineering to human motors. However, the molecular motors run more efficiently than human motors.

Based on what we do know, intelligence is the inference to the best explanation for the origin of the genetic code. If intelligence is behind the origin of the code, then this hypothesis predicts that new knowledge derived from study of the DNA computer wet-ware programming and processes will continue to produce new revolutions in our own computing and informational processing capabilities, since these are truly the unique hallmark characteristics of intelligent, conscious minds.

allamax said...

According to a much-discussed survey reported in the journal Nature in 1997, a leading science journal, found that 40 percent of biologists, physicists and mathematicians believed in God. Not just a nonspecific transcendental presence, but a God to whom one may pray to intervene and to provide an answer.

The survey, by Edward J. Larson of the University of Georgia, was a followup to the one conducted in 1914. In both cases, participants were drawn from a directory of American scientists. Even with all the revolutions made in all scientific disciplines, the results were virtually unchanged for the past 80 years with the proportion of scientists who believed in God.

A growing number of prominent scientists have become skeptical about the creative ability of neoDarwinism as a primary mechanism to produce macroevolution. It most certainly plays a major role in microadapations within species types but its creative power has only a limited role in macroevolution, or the origination of novel complex life forms from lower more simple life forms. Note that these scientists do not disagree about whether macroevolution has occured nor dispute the role of neoDarwinism in species adapations; but they all express doubts about creative power of the neoDarwinism mechanism to produce macroevolution. The document simply states that “We are skeptical of the claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged”. The list will continue to grow as more scientists from all areas of biology begin to critically examine the neoDarwin theory to explain the complexity of life. Some unknown process, not neoDarwinism, is driving the macroevolutionary process. See the list of scientists that dissent for a role of Darwin in macroevolution at http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php?command=download&id=660.

There are eight major areas of scientific observation that I believe make a robust argument in favor of an Intelligent Agent in explaining the origins of the universe and biology.

1. The Big Bang theory – the universe had a beginning –
2. Anthropic fine-tuning – at least 30
3. Cambrian so-called explosion – the uprooting of Darwin Tree of Life
4. The complexity of information stored in the digital DNA computer code
5. The evidence for a language that resides in DNA and that no known natural processes can produce a coded language with an interpretation decoding system - only intelligence has been observed to produce language with a decoder
6. Molecular machines and the evidence for irreducible complexity –
7. Human conciousness –
8. Falsification of the Miller chemical origin of life experiment

Embracing the theory of naturalism (physical laws are the only things that govern the origin and evolution of the universe and biology) would have me believe that:

1. Nothing produces everything
2. Non-life produces life
3. Randomness produces fine-tuning
4. Chaos produces information
5. Unconsciousness produces consciousness
6. Non-reason produces reason
7. Nonmaterial (consciousness, information, intelligence) arises from material

Below are some interesting quotes by leading scientists in various disciplines concerning God:

“It is hard to resist the impression that the present structure of the universe, apparently so sensitive to minor alterations in numbers, has been rather carefully thought out….The seemingly miraculous concurrence of these numercal values [anthropic principles] must remain the most compelling evidence for cosmic design” – Physicist Paul Davies (New York: God and the New Physics)

“Would it not be strange if a universe without purpose accidentally created humans who are so obsessed with purpose?” – Sir John Templeton (Templeton Foundation: The Humble Approach: Scientists Discover God)

“As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency – or rather, Agency – must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?" – Astronomer George Greenstein (New York William Morrow, The Symbiotic Universe)

“Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say 'supernatural') plan” – Nobel Lareate Arno Penzias (LaSalle Ill: Open Court, Cosmos Bios and Theos)

"We have always underestimated the cell…The entire cell can be viewed as factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines….Why do we call [them] machines? Precisely because, like machine invented by humans to deal efficiently with the macroscopic world, these protein assemblies contain highly coordinated moving parts” – Bruce Alberts, President, National Academy of Sciences (The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines, Cell 92, 1998)

"We should reject, as matter of principle, the substitution of intelligent design for the dialogue of chance and necessity; but we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical system, only a variety of wishful speculations” – Biochemist Franklin M. Harold (Oxford: The Way of the Cell)

“Einstein said, ‘God does not play dice.’ He was right. God plays Scrabble.” – Phillip Gold (Stephen Meyer: Word Games: DNA, Design and Intelligence in Signs of Intelligence)

“Why should a bunch of atoms have thinking ability? Why should I, even as I write now, be able to reflect on what I am doing and why should you, even as you read now, be able to ponder my points, agreeing or disagreeing, with pleasure or pain, deciding to refute me or deciding that I am just not worth the effort? No one, certainly not the Darwinian as such, seems to have an answer to this….The point is that there is no scientific answer" – Darwinist philosopher Michael Ruse (Cambridge Oxford: Can a Darwinian Be a Christian?)

“The vast mysteries of the universe should only confirm our belief in the certainty of its Creator. I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprend a theologian who would deny the advances of science” – Werner von Braun, the Father of Space Science (Cal Thomas, World, Gone Bananas)

“Faith does not imply a closed, but open mind. Quite the opposite of blindness, faith appreciates the vast spiritual realities that materialists overlook by getting trapped in the purely physical” – Sir John Templeton (The Humble Approach)

“Nobody denies that macroevolutionary processes involve the fundamental mechanisms of natural selection and random genetic drift, but these microevolutionary processes are not sufficient, by themselves, to explain the history of life. That's why, in the domain of macroevolution, we encounter theories about species sorting and tracking, species selection, and punctuated equilibrian……” Moran LA (2006) Macroevolution. http://bioinfo.med.utoronto.ca/Evolution_by_Accident/Macroevolution.html

“Perhaps the best argument…that the Big Bang supports theism is the obvious unease with which it is greeted by some atheist physicists. At times this has led to scientific ideas… being advanced with a tenacity which so exceeds their intrinsic worth that one can only suspect the operation of psychological forces lying very much deeper than the usual academic desire of a theorist to support his or her theory” - Astrophysicist CJ Isham

"To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. 'Tis much better to do a little with certainty, and leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things." – Newton

Garg the Unzola said...

It is important to note that the digitized DNA code is of specified complexity.

It is important to note that specified complexity is a term invented by William Dembski, and is already discredited. Wikipedia..

How could it be that such a complex information and decoding system evolved by random chance in a primordial soup, as I was led to believe in my early days as a graduate student?

How indeed. As I noted in my post, random is not all that random upon closer investigation, since genes rely on interaction with each other and interaction with their environment to determine exactly how alleles form. Like your quote says: God does not play dice, he plays scrabble.

It is entirely plausible that amino acids originally occurred spontaneously. Abiogenesis has several plausible, observable instances of this occurring. It's a matter of determining exactly what the initial conditions on earth were like before we make a choice, but none of them are as far fetched as relying on an intelligent designer.

Even more astonishing is that the naturally occurring genetic code was more optimal than one million randomly generated codes.

That's not astonishing at all. It's the monkeys typing Shakespeare problem all over again. Randomly generated codes are akin to a thousand monkeys typing on typewriters. You will not observe a monkey typing Shakespeare. Even if you did, it does not change the odds that a monkey will type Shakespeare. Even if you didn't, it does not change the odds that a monkey will type Shakespeare.

Did those randomly generated codes interact with their environment and with each other to determine what is accepted and what is rejected, like DNA does? Like Shakespeare would have interacted with the theatrical environment in his day? It's apples and oranges.

Based on the above observations, what might we predict from Perry Marshall’s “DNA code is produced by a Mind” syllogism?

Based on logic, Mr Perry Marshall's syllogism is invalid. That is the point of my post. Is it accurate to assume that the sciences you mentioned developed because of Mr Marshall's work? If so, then Mr Marshall must surely be in line for a Nobel prize.

Evidences described in my previous post implicate a non-random and intelligent origin to the DNA code.

According to Mr Marshall's syllogism, you still need to explain who designed god. God is an intelligent life, not so? By extension, god can not come about non-randomly. It is the same argument as Mr Marshall's aliens/superintelligence. It "only pushes the question back in time".

allamax said...

I respond to Garg the Unzola comments to my earlier post:

Garg said:It is important to note that specified complexity is a term invented by William Dembski, and is already discredited. Wikipedia..

Wikipedia evaluated the CSI explanatory filter developed by Dembski and is a biased critique. A fair and balanced critique would present both supporting and opposing viewpoints for complex specified information (CSI), as any respectable review would do. For an enlightened synopsis of non-ID scientists who support CSI, go to http://www.philchristi.org/library/articles.asp?pid=54&ap=1

CSI (or whatever you want to call it) analyses of our surroundings are performed by us humans each day. For instance, if I walk along a beach and see wavy markings along the water line, I would conclude that it was the natural action of waves that produced the design. However, if I see the following “Mary Was Here” in the sand next to the water line, I would use CSI analysis and conclude that the natural random wave action did not produce this pattern. I would inductively infer that it was scratched into the sand by a conscious mind that had a purpose in producing such a message. This is an inductive inference to the best explanation from what I do know; and that is only a conscious mind would produce such a pattern in the sand with a message intended to be decoded and interpreted by a receiver (such as myself). The message in the sand would be extremely improbable for a random wave process and it exhibits independent patterning of language obviously intended to be decoded and interpreted by a receiving agent. The message has information that is not dependent on the material displaying the information. For instance, the same message in the sand can be spoken, emailed, written on paper, beamed through the TV, ect but it will have the same meaning for the receiving intelligent agent regardless of the mode of transmission. This is also the essence of the DNA code, in that it contains information that can be transmitted independently of material. For instance, I can email a DNA sequence or quote it over the phone to a company to make a synthetic polynucleotide. The company would get the immaterial information regardless of the material transmitting process and produce the same polynucleotide in both instances of information transmission. If I sequence the synthetic polynucleotide sent to me by mail from the company, then the same information is released in a printout from an automated sequencer. I can then present it by powerpoint (digitized) to an audience who would then critically evaluate/interpret it with respect to any functions that I might attribute to it.

CSI analyses are used in other scientific disciplines. SETI, archeology, some forensic sciences, psychology and sociology use intelligent agency and various internal states of agents as part of their description of the causal entities, processes, events or actions cited as explanations for certain phenomena. Likewise, we can infer that DNA expresses a highly improbable arrangement (in its molecular sequence) that conforms to an independent pattern (the genetic code), characteristics of CSI generated by intelligence.

CSI (or whatever you want to call it) exists in DNA. Attempts to discredit specified complexity in DNA have utilized computer programs and analogies that specify targets in advance. Evolution is blind and any pre-specification of targets, like that used in Richard Dawkins example in the Blind Watchmaker, is not a valid refutation of specified complexity. Dawkin’s computer program did not, without intelligent guidance, produce specified complexity. The specified complexity was inserted by the programmer to achieve the program’s goal. It smuggles in the information it claims to get out. This is intelligent-directed not blind evolution. Recently, I used a CSI analysis to detect a kinase phosphorylation site motif in a protein. The consensus sequence is not a random string of amino acids but a motif of specified complexity that is recognized by the kinase from among a string of 300 amino acids.

CSI is alive and well and you are using it at this very moment, as you decode this information (language; DNA has codons in reading frames producing sentences that begin with a start and end with a stop codon) that is encoded in binary bits of 0s and 1s (DNA has A, G, C, Ts). It is intended to relay a message that you, the receiver, are decoding (in the cell, genetic information is decoded and translated by ribosomes).

Garg said:How indeed. As I noted in my post, random is not all that random upon closer investigation, since genes rely on interaction with each other and interaction with their environment to determine exactly how alleles form. Like your quote says: God does not play dice, he plays scrabble.

Evolution by RM+NS and the origination of DNA in a primordial ooze are two different issues. Gene interactions may have evolved by a process of random mutation and natural selection (RM+NS), which is not a random process, so your comment above might have some basis. Like I said in my previous quote, evolution is not random but is directed by natural selection acting on random mutations in DNA code. Thus, gene interactions may be the result of long term evolutionary processes derived from RM+NS. However, regarding DNA origins, a natural spontaneous creation of the DNA code would have had to be derived from the randomness of chemical reactions of mixed nucleotide (if DNA or RNA were first) or amino acid (if protein came first) racemers. Current abiogenic experiments are not able to completely generate pure racemers. Any residual molecules of the D amino acid will be incorporated into the protein. As discussed below, there is no known natural chemical mechanism to generate a DNA code in 150 million years that would produce irreducibly complex life forms consisting of 300-400 proteins, the minimal amount of proteins that has been deduced to form a self-replicating life form.

Garg said:It is entirely plausible that amino acids originally occurred spontaneously. Abiogenesis has several plausible, observable instances of this occurring. It's a matter of determining exactly what the initial conditions on earth were like before we make a choice, but none of them are as far fetched as relying on an intelligent designer.

Abiogenesis will involve much more than determining the right conditions on the early earth. Talkorigins.org has a discussion about the current state of abiogenesis (see http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/originoflife.html ). The consensus from this review is that abiogenesis is based predominantly on plausible scenarios derived from evolutionary logic. To date, there are insurmountable hurdles (insurmountable) to produce a 300 protein irreducibly complex self-replicating life form. Below are a few summary statements from that article:

“Indeed, it is one thing that we know all the chemical building materials of life, and that the functioning of life can be fully explained by their collaboration in an extremely complex system. Yet it is another thing entirely how, at the origin of life, they could have formed an initial organization by themselves step by step (via whatever intermediary processes and building blocks). At first glance, evolution from bacteria-like organisms (the last universal common ancestor) to humans may seem child’s play in comparison: it started from an already tremendously complex, entirely self-sufficient, biochemical machinery and bit by bit simply made it even more complex.” - The Origin of Life, Albrecht Moritz

“One cannot lose out of sight that the most elementary cells we currently know, which are not permanently dependent on host-metabolism, the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium, have 482 protein-coding genes (most bacteria, such as E. coli, encode for more than 2000 different proteins), from which, according to the probably best experimental study to date (Glass et al. 2006), the essential ones are 387. The likely most accurate hypothetical study (Gil et al. 2004), puts the minimal number of genes at 216. All the proteins produced from these genes are involved in a maze of pathways of metabolism, replication, as well as building and maintenance of structure, which is of bewildering complexity.”

"There is no agreement on the extent to which metabolism could develop independently of a genetic material. In my opinion, there is no basis in known chemistry for the belief that long sequences of reactions can organize spontaneously Рand every reason to believe that they cannot. The problem of achieving sufficient specificity, whether in aqueous solution or on the surface of a mineral (6), is so severe that the chance of closing a cycle of reactions as complex as the reverse citric acid cycle, for example, is negligible. The same, I believe, is true for simpler cycles involving small molecules that might be relevant to the origins of life and also for peptide-based cycles." РWächtershäuser

“Indeed, even though it is commonly accepted that the RNA World presumably had played an important role in the development of life, it now seems clear that it must have been preceded by other steps, if life were to have arisen spontaneously. Other difficulties are that a ribozyme (catalytic RNA) that can copy itself completely has not yet been found, but this rather seems just a matter of time – so far, a 200 base ribozyme can copy 14 bases of its sequence. Also, "the formidable problem of separating the double-stranded product of the copying reaction so as to permit a second round of copying would remain to be solved" (Orgel 2004 review).”
– RNA is out of the picture since it wouldn’t last in an aqueous primordial soup to allow for natural selection to work. I know this from personal experience with working with RNA molecules.

I find the talkorigins review very revealing as to the problems of generating pure racemic mixtures of either D sugars or L amino acids. Any small residual level of the other enantiomer would be detrimental to the formation of current D-ribose containing DNA or L-amino acid proteins. The author is overly optimistic as to the state of abiogenenic natural mechanisms. Moreover, as far as we know, only intelligent agents, not random processes, have been shown to design and direct the abiogenic processes. Even if a self-replicating life form is produced from abiogenesis, there will never be conclusive proof that this would be the way life arose on the early earth since we have no way to replay the event. It would verify the intelligent origin hypothesis that states that only intelligence is capable of producing a self-replicating life form. We thus will never have absolute confidence in whether life arose spontaneously or by intelligent origin/direction. It will essentially become a matter of FAITH.

Based on my previous post, it is considerably more far-fetched to believe in abiogenesis as the mechanism for the origin of the DNA code (living from nonliving, intelligence from nonintelligence?) than an intelligence, which we know produces codes, languages, and is currently attempting to create life. Based on the current state of abiogenesis, no natural mechanism or experimental evidence can lead me to an inductive inference that abiogenesis can spontaneously generate codes and languages that are intended for decoding systems (ie, ribosomes). The intelligent DNA origins hypothesis is based on inferences to the best explanation from WHAT WE DO KNOW AND OBSERVE IN NATURE. And that is only conscious intelligent minds produce codes with the intent to be decoded and interpreted by a receiver for the purpose of carrying out an action. Abiogenic speculations of the origin of the DNA code are based on what we have never observed in nature; the few weak abiogenic mechanisms have been derived by intelligent agents that have a purpose, and that is to create life. Genesis was right on about the Big Bang….”In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth…..”. It also states that man was created in the image of God, and thus has some characteristics that are a manifestation of God, such as the Moral Law (a concept of right and wrong inherent in man but not animals) and creativity. The machine and internet creations of man closely (but crudely and primitively) resemble machines/motors and signal transduction pathways in the cell. However, the motors and communication processes in the cell far exceed those created by man in efficiency and computing power. Yet, man has only just begun to scratch the surface revealing the incredible complexity underlying cellular processes. New revolutions in computing, information processing, and machine developments are predicted to arise from our new knowledge of genetic programming in the cell.

Garg said:That's not astonishing at all. It's the monkeys typing Shakespeare problem all over again. Randomly generated codes are akin to a thousand monkeys typing on typewriters. You will not observe a monkey typing Shakespeare. Even if you did, it does not change the odds that a monkey will type Shakespeare. Even if you didn't, it does not change the odds that a monkey will type Shakespeare.

Yes it is astonishing when the refuted monkey theorem continues to be used as a strawman. The monkey theorem presupposes loads of design and intelligent processes (see below). The monkey theorem is outdated and has been refuted as an explanation for the origin of CSI DNA code. The probability of a DNA code arising by random chance in 150 million years (from the birth of the earth at 4 billion years ago to the appearance of life forms at 3.85 billion years ago) to produce a complex, self-replicating irreducible life form consisting of at least 300-400 proteins is beyond probability and is essentially zero. This is not plausible and requires too much faith for me at this point to believe, and that is what is required for abiogenic scenarios; a lot of creative speculation using evolutionary logic. More problematic is that we have multiple gaps in the fossil record along with explosions of life forms occurring within relatively short time spans (Cambrian) that would have required phenomenal amounts of new DNA information. I formulate my hypothesis from what I do know, and so far as we know no known experimental evidence has been produced to support de novo generation of life forms. There are only a few weak abiogenic mechanisms that are plausible only when one uses evolutionary logic. The origin of the DNA code is truly astounding and remarkable and its origin, based on current abiogenic evidence, is beyond any known natural unintelligent processes/explanations.

Refutations of the monkey theorem are one reason that Antony Flew renounced atheism. Flew referred to the monkey theorem as “rubbish” and concluded that “it’s simply absurd to suggest that the more elaborate feat of the origin of life [DNA code] could have been achieved by chance”. Let us also note that the typewriters and language in the monkey theorem are of intelligent origin. The monkey theorem presupposes a considerable amount of design. Students and teachers at Plymouth University actually put the monkey theorem to test in 2003. Six Sulawesi crested macaques in Paignton Zoo were placed with a computer for four weeks. The results? The only creativity exhibited was five typed pages but not a single word in the entire text, which consisted primarily of strings of Ss and occasional A, L, M, and J. It seems we need a considerable higher level of intelligence to generate CSI. What might seem plausible by evolutionary logic (monkey theorems) is in fact an improbable scenario to generate a DNA code of astounding complexity that can produce a 300 protein irreducibly complex self-replicating life form.

According to MIT computational quantum physicist, Seth Lloyd, in the known physical universe, chance is capable of producing only 400 bits of prespecified information equivalent to a string of 400 zeros and ones in binary computer code. This amounts to a sequence of 82 ordinary letters and spaces (amino acids and start/stop codons). It is a sobering thought that the longest segment of a coherent phrase that the multibillion year history of the universe could produce is the following two lines:

TO BE, OR NOT TO BE, THAT IS THE QUESTION, WHETHER ‘TIS NOBLER IN THE MIND TO SUFFER

And the codon is a six bit code and there are over 3 billion nucleotide bases in the human haploid genome. This demands an intelligent origin.

Garg said:Did those randomly generated codes interact with their environment and with each other to determine what is accepted and what is rejected, like DNA does? Like Shakespeare would have interacted with the theatrical environment in his day? It's apples and oranges.

You must agree with the intelligent DNA origins hypothesis since you state that Shakespeare, an intelligent agent, would have interacted with the theatrical environment of his day to direct and produce plays. I don’t think Shakespeare acted randomly without any thought, passion, and intentions to produce his written and theatrical works! Thank you for providing an excellent analogy for intelligent origins of DNA.

Let see where the logic in the above statement leads if a DNA strand in a primordial ooze undergoes natural selection pressures. Consider a specific DNA or RNA code that randomly appears in a primordial soup. In order for natural selection to work, this specific DNA or RNA code would have to produce a functional product in order for it to survive and to be propagated/amplified by natural selection. How else would a specific random DNA or RNA molecule out of billions of random sequences get amplified for sustained periods of time. Certainly not through autonomous replication (ribozymes) since the error rate would be so high as to exceed the capacity for natural selection to operate. In fact, this has been observed in certain types of cancer where the mutations rates are so high, leading to extreme accelerations in the production of variant cancer cells, that natural selection does not have enough time to act. A product generated from random DNA code would then have to immediately function to replicate this DNA or RNA code in order to save it before it degrades! DNA replication depends on complex multiprotein machinery. A single protein, as far as we know, cannot replicate DNA on its own. In addition, DNA requires proteins in order to be replicated and proteins require DNA to exist. I don’t see anything plausible about a naked DNA molecule undergoing some type of autonomous replication generated by natural selection. As far as we know, DNA does not undergo self-replication. RNA is out of the picture since it wouldn’t survive as long as the DNA in an aqueous primordial soup to allow for natural selection. The best inference to explanation is an intelligent origin for the DNA code. It is too far-fetched for me to believe in a random, non-intelligent origin for the DNA code. I just don’t have enough faith in evolutionary logic-generated plausible scenarios based on current weak abiogenic mechanisms. Perhaps one day a natural mechanism producing CSI and DNA code with error-proof capacities will be found in the deep ocean vents or in a volcanic ridge, but until that day, intelligent origin for the DNA code is the best inductive inference to explanation, again based on what we do know and observe.


Garg said:Based on logic, Mr Perry Marshall's syllogism is invalid. That is the point of my post. Is it accurate to assume that the sciences you mentioned developed because of Mr Marshall's work? If so, then Mr Marshall must surely be in line for a Nobel prize.

Based on logic, Mr. Marshall’s syllogism is valid until someone can provide a natural mechanism (absent intervention by intelligent agents; ie computer programs) to derive CSI coded language intended for a decoding receiver that then translates and carries out the action encoded in the CSI. It is really very simple; just provide one example and the syllogism fails and invalidates. Until then it stands unfalsified and valid.

Please derive a natural mechanism for the origination of DNA computing, codes, language, and programming processes based on an inductive inference from observations in nature. As far as we know, only intelligent agents (conscious minds) can produce these types of information that are intended for a receiving agent to decode and then act upon to carry out the encoded message. If you can derive a natural mechanism for codes and information logic that are intended for a decoding/translation system that then carries out the action intended and encoded in the code, the syllogy will fail.

Only those who cannot falsify Mr. Marshall’s syllogism claim that it is invalid. In order to falsify Mr. Marshall’s syllogism, a natural mechanism to produce codes and languages must be submitted. Evolutionary logic to derive plausible so-so stories is not valid.

Like any good hypothesis, Marshall’s syllogism also makes predictions. A hypothesis that fails to make accurate predictions is a falsified hypothesis. Marshall’s hypothesis predicts that revolutions will occur in our information and computing technologies based on future knowledge gained from research into DNA and genetic programming. As would be predicted from Mr. Marshall’s syllogism, new computing and information technologies are in fact being developed based on our knowledge of DNA. Of course, I am not suggesting that Mr. Marshall’s syllogism led to the emerging new computing and information sciences that I described in my previous post. But these new sciences were derived from our new knowledge of DNA, and this is to be expected from Mr. Marshall’s syllogism, which makes the inductive inference based on what we do know that an intelligent agent was behind the information and computer logic code inherent in the DNA program. A logical premise from Mr. Marshall’s syllogy is that the intelligent agent responsible for DNA origins is considerably more intelligent/advanced than we are, since we have not even scratched the surface covering the astounding complexities in the cell or even the programming processes in the genome of even the simplest life form.

Computer simulations require intelligent agents. Intelligence, not naturalism, is the inference to the best explanation based on what we do know. Perhaps in the future, someone will present a natural mechanism to explain the complex computation and informational processing properties of DNA. But until then, intelligence is the best explanation. You can continue to place your hope/faith in science to unravel a natural process that does not involve intelligent agents. I predict that only intelligent agents will be able to succeed in abiogenic creation of self-replicating life forms, which will prove Dr. Marshall’s syllogism. No abiogenesis has ever been found or observed in nature.

Garg said:According to Mr Marshall's syllogism, you still need to explain who designed god. God is an intelligent life, not so? By extension, god can not come about non-randomly. It is the same argument as Mr Marshall's aliens/superintelligence. It "only pushes the question back in time".

The Big Bang is the generally accepted theory among astronomers today explaining the birth of our universe. Does this theory require explaining the causal agent behind the Big Bang? Of course not.

I know of no instance in our natural world where there is not a causal agent behind events. In an attempt to explain away a causal agent for the Big Bang, different speculative hypotheses such as the multiverse speculation have been proposed. A multiverse speculation only pushes back this same causal issue, and so it is just as speculative to me as God might be to an atheist.

Since God is outside our time and space, He cannot be disproven or proven by naturalistic, materialistic methods. I am in agreement with Francis Collins, the director of the human genome project, that the Christian God is the originator of the universe and intelligent life forms. The Bible is clear as to the character of God, and that He can be revealed from the study of nature. Francis Collins was once an atheist but his observations of the Moral Law, present only in humans, and the new scientific discoveries about digitized DNA code resulted in his conversion to Christianity.

It all comes down to a matter of faith. What do you want to believe? Do you believe that the most complex computer system and information processing/storage systems spontaneously arose and evolved over period of just 150 million years (4 billion years from the beginning of earth to 3.85 billion, with the appearance of the first life forms estimated to be irreducibly complex at well over 300 proteins)? Science continues to bolster my faith in God as the origin of intelligent life. Science marginalized my atheism and has been instrumental in leading me to believe in a higher intelligence and purpose to our existence, and that is the God of the Bible.

Garg the Unzola said...

If you feel that Wikipedia is biased, feel free to join them and fix their errors. That's the entire point of Wikipedia. Until such time as your ID apologetics survives the scrutiny of a panel of experts and gets itself on Wikipedia, I will use Wikipedia as my primary source for my layman blog posts. Anyone can participate, anyone can reference it at any time and it has been found to be as reliable as more traditional encyclopaedia sets.

Now the Discovery Institute, which funds both Dembski and Behe and started this 'intelligent design is a scientific theory' nonsense is definitely, unashamedly, admittedly biased.

The consensus sequence is not a random string of amino acids but a motif of specified complexity that is recognized by the kinase from among a string of 300 amino acids.

I never said your and my DNA popped out randomly from nowhere, as any intelligent design theory would require. There had to be certain conditions, maybe similar to the ones that caused DNA carrying bacteria to take shape on a meteorite? If you want to view millions of years of branching mapping from one to many and reductional mappings via natural selection as an intelligent design process, then there's your answer.

The probability of a DNA code arising by random chance in 150 million years (from the birth of the earth at 4 billion years ago to the appearance of life forms at 3.85 billion years ago) to produce a complex, self-replicating irreducible life form consisting of at least 300-400 proteins is beyond probability and is essentially zero.

Is it more probable that an intelligent being, who supposedly also needs a designer, but did not have one, came from nowhere and designed DNA?

And the codon is a six bit code and there are over 3 billion nucleotide bases in the human haploid genome. This demands an intelligent origin.

Interesting. You are the first biologist I've talked to who claims that DNA needs an intelligent designer. My biased Wikipedia page does not have any confirmation bias of the sort.

This biologist, for instance, doesn't
like that idea:
http://richarddawkins.net/

You must agree with the intelligent DNA origins hypothesis since you state that Shakespeare, an intelligent agent, would have interacted with the theatrical environment of his day to direct and produce plays. I don’t think Shakespeare acted randomly without any thought, passion, and intentions to produce his written and theatrical works!

No, let me use smaller words. Shakespeare's work is a particular instance and state of a particular language. This language already existed in a certain state before Shakespeare went to work on it, but Shakespeare did not invent the language itself. This is what we agree upon. When this language is randomly(suggest that monkeys can be random) altered without a selection and pruning process, like the monkeys at the type writers would do, you will not get Shakespeare. However, if Shakespeare, whose language at the time was already developed up to a certain point, interacts with his specific environment, he could come up with Shakespeare.

By my reasoning, language could originate spontaneously and randomly under certain conditions and would develop in a certain direction thanks to selection and pruning processes. By your reasoning, language was designed by intelligent beings who could not yet do maths. Maybe it was a gift from the gods?

My reasoning explains why we have several branches of languages which are not mutually intelligible. The medium is irrelevant. Your reasoning fails to explain why an intelligently designed language (like you claim DNA to be) will not allow you to have cow and chicken DNA mix. You can have cows mount chickens and chickens mount cows all you like, but their DNA won't produce a progeny. It's all the same language, regardless of medium, and it's designed to work.. so why doesn't it?

Unless you mean to claim that a bunch of cavemen sat around the fire one day and decided: “Ooh let's have language and tomorrow, let's invent the wheel!”, which is what your intelligent design theory would require. In this case, Shakespeare only discovered Shakespeare by the grace of Cthulhu and did not actually come up with his own works...

Only those who cannot falsify Mr. Marshall’s syllogism claim that it is invalid

Read my post again, slowly, maybe after some coffee. Out of interest, I've had this discussion with several people before and several of us could come up with naturally occurring codes.

A logical premise from Mr. Marshall’s syllogy[sic] is that the intelligent agent responsible for DNA origins is considerably more intelligent/advanced than we are, since we have not even scratched the surface covering the astounding complexities in the cell or even the programming processes in the genome of even the simplest life form.

A more logical premise is that someone had to design the designer. Like I said, it only pushes the problem further back in time. It does not explain a natural phenomenon but it requires scientists to believe in supernatural phenomenon.

The Big Bang is the generally accepted theory among astronomers today explaining the birth of our universe. Does this theory require explaining the causal agent behind the Big Bang?

Of course it does. We simply don't know what the causal agent is yet. Which is fine to admit, but it is lazy to jump to the supernatural conclusion. We observe background radiation from the Big Bang, we observe that the universe is expanding from a certain point, therefore, as far-fetched as it is, a Big Bang theory makes sense.

Since God is outside our time and space, He cannot be disproven or proven by naturalistic, materialistic methods.

If you concern your science with things which can not be proved nor disproved, then you are in the wrong business!

I have three words for you. Flying Spaghetti Monster. The same arguments counts for my not-so-personal god, Cthulhu.

It all comes down to a matter of faith. What do you want to believe?

I want to believe that Cthulhu shall destroy our souls. However, I have no evidence other than the claim that you can not disprove it and you can not use naturalistic or materialistic means to scrutinise Cthulhu.

Sounds rather silly when I say it, doesn't it?

allamax said...

Garg the Unzola said:If you feel that Wikipedia is biased, feel free to join them and fix their errors. That’s the entire point of Wikipedia. Until such time as your ID apologetics survives the scrutiny of a panel of experts and gets itself on Wikipedia, I will use Wikipedia as my primary source for my layman blog posts. Anyone can participate, anyone can reference it at any time and it has been found to be as reliable as more traditional encyclopaedia sets.

Any “panel of experts” can have a biased point of view or philosophy. I have experience with numerous grant study sections that have shown biases, depending on their focus and philosophy as to where they would like to direct funding. A lot of good science is rejected for funding due to human biases in the sciences that are influence by worldviews and philosophies. You will also find bias in the editorial boards of scientific journals. Although science should be fair and balanced and lack bias in critical review, scientists are human and can at times intentionally or subconsciously incorporate bias into their work and reviews.

I find it revealing that Hubert Yockey, an information expert who has written a well-respected book entitled “Information Theory, Evolution and the Origin of Life”, is not evaluated by Wikipedia concerning Information Theory. Perhaps the “panel of experts” felt that it was not relevant to their “critical” analysis of DNA and information. Yockey uses communication theory not only as a metaphor, but also as a theory to describe, explain and predict phenomena in molecular biology, including the DNA code.

Yockey is a physicist who worked under Robert Oppenheimer and worked on the Manhattan Project (production of the first atomic bomb). In the fifties he published about effects of radiation on living systems and started to work on the application of information theory to genetics and evolution. Yockey published 7 articles in the Journal of Theoretical Biology from 1974 - 1995 and was organizer of the Symposium on Information Theory in Biology.

In order to balance the “expert” Wikipedia review on CSI, please refer to Yockey’s writings and the link in my previous post that shows how non-ID scientists (Sagan, Dawkins) support CSI. I have taken liberty to post below a section from that link article, which is entitled ” The Design Inference from Specified Complexity Defended by Scholars Outside the Intelligent Design Movement; A Critical Review” by Peter S. Williams (MA, MPhil), Southampton, England (www.philchristi.org/library/articles):

Williams writes:

In Climbing Mount Improbable, Dawkins draws a distinction between objects that are clearly designed and objects that are not clearly designed but superficially look like they are-which he calls "designoid." Dawkins illustrates the concept of being designoid with a hillside that suggests a human profile: "Once you have been told, you can just see a slight resemblance to either John or Robert Kennedy. But some don't see it and it is certainly easy to believe that the resemblance is accidental." Dawkins contrasts this Kennedy-esque hillside with the four president's heads carved into Mt. Rushmore in America, which "are obviously not accidental: they have design written all over them."
Hence Dawkins admits intelligence is capable of outperforming the design-producing resources of nature in such a way as to leave empirical indicators of its activity.


Dawkins argues that, while "a rock can weather into the shape of a nose seen from a certain vantage point," such a rock (for example, the Kennedy-esque hillside) is designoid. Mt. Rushmore, on the other hand, is clearly not designoid: "Its four heads are clearly designed." The fact that Rushmore is designed is, according to Dawkins, empirically detectable: "The sheer number of details [that is, the amount of complexity] in which the Mount Rushmore faces resemble the real things [that is, the complexity fits four specifications] is too great to have come about by chance." In terms of mere possibility, says Dawkins: "The weather could have done the same job. . . . But of all the possible ways of weathering a mountain, only a tiny minority [complexity] would be speaking likenesses of four particular human beings [specification]." Hence, "Even if we didn't know the history of Mount Rushmore, we'd estimate the odds against its four heads [specification] being carved by accidental weathering as astronomically high . . . [complexity]."

Again, Dawkins argues that "Of all the unique and, with hindsight equally improbable, positions of the combination lock [complexity], only one opens the lock [specification]. . . . The uniqueness of the arrangement . . . that opens the safe, [has] nothing to do with hindsight. It is specified in advance." According to Dawkins, the best explanation of an open safe is not that someone got lucky, but that someone knew the specific and complex combination required to open it.

The article also describes how Massimo Pigliucci and Carl Sagan also apply and support CSI in their scientific analyses.

I formulate my intelligent DNA origins hypothesis on what I do observe. I have observed conscious intelligent agents, but never a natural process, produce codes intended for decoding receivers that then produce a reaction or effect. What appears random might in fact be an allusion to a higher purpose or design to nature. This concept is the opposite of Richard Dawkin’s belief that evolution can give rise to the appearance of design (designoid) through RM+NS without God. I believe that RM+NS is only one mechanism driving evolution, which is not blind, but directed by a intelligence outside our time and space. God can be past, present, or future, and thus controls the direction and outcome of evolution. I base this latter proposal on the ability of evolutionary algorithms to produce designs when under teleological pressures. These evolutionary and genetic algorithms are developed by intelligent agents that then use supercomputing (design) to direct the outcome toward a design for a particular purpose (teleological). Definitely not a natural, unintelligent process at all.

When I embraced atheistic beliefs, I would only consider naturalism and materialism for answers to all questions in life and science. I had faith that science could answer all of life mysteries. I no longer can accept this empty faith.

Now that I believe in God, I am more open-minded and thus can allow myself more freedom to pursue the evidence/data to whatever conclusion it may lead, whether natural or teleogical supernaturalism. This worldview has given me a new appreciation into the natural world and a new purpose in studying the mechanisms of God’s creation. Like many other God-believing scientists, I believe that conducting the scientific method to unravel the secrets of creation will reveal new insights into the nature of God, as well as give Him the glory.

Some relevant quotes:

“The quality of a scientific approach or opinion depends on the strength of its factual premises and on the depth and consistency of its reasoning, not on its appearance in a particular journal or on its popularity among other scientists.” -Stephen Jay Gould

“The spiritual worldview provides another way of finding truth. Scientists who deny this would be well advised to consider the limits of their own tools….” – Francis Collins

“Fact is, ‘skeptics’ [atheists] take a whole bunch of things on faith, too – faith that science will fill the ever widening gaps of the origin of life question for example. Skepticism fails to satisfy its own criteria – because every worldview invokes a miracle, somewhere along the line.” – Perry Mashall

allamax said...

Garg said:Now the Discovery Institute, which funds both Dembski and Behe and started this ‘intelligent design is a scientific theory’ nonsense is definitely, unashamedly, admittedly biased.

Of course the Discovery Institute is biased! I don’t agree with their anti-evolutinary stand but I respect their right to support an intelligent design hypothesis for life origins and present evidence that they believe support their ID hypothesis. Talkorigins supports a biased atheistic naturalistic hypothesis for the origin of life based on extrapolations of evolutionary theory. Both of these viewpoints interpret the scientific data in different ways, which can be based on different worldview philosophies.

An atheistic scientist, like Richard Dawkins, believes that blind evolution can be extrapolated to explain the origin of life, whereas a scientist who believes in God, like Francis Collins, believes life was created by God. Both are well-respected scientists and philosophers who have derived their conclusions based on differing interpretations of the scientific evidence. Some my scientific colleagues are atheistic but others accept the Christian faith as the explanation for the origin of life. Of those who believe in God, several are professor emeriti at a world-renowned university and one is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Early in their careers, like me, they were influenced by Darwinism and moved toward atheistic or agnostic views. However, like me, they have moved back to a belief in God based on the scientific evidence revealing DNA as exhibiting code/language/computing/information processing attributes that are hallmarks of intelligence; not the production of any known natural mechanistic process as far as we know. Inductive inference, based on what we do know today, leads me to accept the hypothesis that the origin of life is best explained by a creative intelligence agent.

Garg said:I never said your and my DNA popped out randomly from nowhere, as any intelligent design theory would require. There had to be certain conditions, maybe similar to the ones that caused DNA carrying bacteria to take shape on a meteorite? If you want to view millions of years of branching mapping from one to many and reductional mappings via natural selection as an intelligent design process, then there’s your answer.

Again, you are relying on faith when you state that there had to be certain conditions to produce a complex DNA code by abiogenic mechanisms. What were those conditions? At this time it appears that it will take a miracle of science to overcome the obstacles confronting abiogenic science. You are putting your faith and hope in future research.

A quote from Mr. Marshall:

“Fact is, ‘skeptics’ [atheists] take a whole bunch of things on faith, too – faith that science will fill the ever widening gaps of the origin of life question for example. Skepticism fails to satisfy its own criteria – because every worldview invokes a miracle, somewhere along the line.”

Perhaps some day in the not too long future abiogenesis will give rise to a self-replicating life form in a laboratory. However, this will be proof that intelligence can only produce life forms. To show a natural mechanism, an abiogenic process would have to be found in nature, say at a deep ocean vent.

At present there is no evidence that a natural mechanism can produce codes, which are hallmarks of intelligence, as far as we know. At present, inductive inference leads me to conclude that intelligence is the origin of the code. Nobody has produced a naturalistic mechanism that generates codes intended for a receiver that then decodes the information to produce specific effects. Until someone can produce a code according to this definition, Mr. Marshall’s syllogism remains unfalsified and valid. If someone eventually does produce a natural mechanism producing codes, then I will concede falsification of the intelligent DNA origins hypothesis.

I am not saying that DNA popped out randomly from nowhere. I am saying that some intelligent agent produced the code. Whether it was instantaneous or through a process taking some length of time is of course unknown.

Garg said:Is it more probable that an intelligent being, who supposedly also needs a designer, but did not have one, came from nowhere and designed DNA?

An intelligent agent is inductively more probable based on what I do know and observe each day around me. Abiogenesis has never been shown to produce codes. Only intelligence. You can choose whether to believe that the DNA code arose spontaneously by chance (never been observed) or by intelligence (codes generated by and CSI analyses applied by intelligence is observed everyday). To believe in a natural process for the origin of the code really comes down to a matter of faith. You base your faith on science to fill the ever widening gaps of the origin of life. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. There are questions that science will probably never be able to answer from based on naturalism. As Mr. Marshall stated, “……. every worldview invokes a miracle, somewhere along the line.”

Only intelligent agents produce codes. No naturalistic mechanism has been shown to produce a code. The laws of physics and chemistry do not explain the existence of information in the DNA code, which is information that is received by the decoding ribosomes and put into action to produce effects by proteins based on the information in the DNA code. I have yet to see crystals, magnetic fields, clouds, and rocks produce coded CSI that is intended for a receiver that then decodes the information to produce an effect. I use intelligence to make an inductive inference that natural processes, not intelligence, is the best explanation for the origin of the DNA code, just as I inductively infer that the written messages in posted in this blog originated from intelligent agents.

The DNA coded information is immaterial of the material units that carry the information that produces real effects through a decoder. Take for example, you see a meaningless pile of sticks on the ground one day when walking through the woods. The next day you come along and and instead of a pile of sticks, you now observed the sticks positioned in the pattern, “HELP ME PLEASE”. The sticks still weigh the same but now contain immaterial information that conveys a meaning. The message will motivate a call to action to determine whether someone in the area needs help. Would you doubt that an intelligent agent composed this message? Or would you conclude that a random, natural process (wind, rain) produced the message and thus ignore it and continue your walk out of the woods and not take action to help? Anyone who would think that this message arose naturally and thus could be ignored would be cold-hearted and ignorant to say the least. This is the essence of CSI analysis, which is conducted by you and me each and every day.
Until it is shown that a natural process can generate codes intended for a receiving decoder that then translates the coded information into action, then an intelligent agent is the most probable explanation as the originator of the DNA code, more so than natural chance-based mechanisms. Again this based on what I do know and observe each and every day. I have yet to see a code/decoding system arise spontaneously from clouds, crystals, magnetic fields, rocks, which are random information complexes that are not intended or directed to a receiver to be decoded and produce an effect. If anything, I the intelligent agent, receive those random or repetitive codes (crystals, clouds) by observation and process by inductively inference (CSI analysis) that they are random or repetitive and not produced by intelligence but are the product of natural processes.

“Information is Information, neither matter nor energy. No materialism that fails to take account of this can survive the present day.” -Norbert Weiner, MIT Mathematician and Father of Cybernetics

Interesting. You are the first biologist I’ve talked to who claims that DNA needs an intelligent designer. My biased Wikipedia page does not have any confirmation bias of the sort.

This biologist, for instance, doesn’t
like that idea:
http://richarddawkins.net/


With around 40% of scientists, a good proportion in the biological sciences, that believe in God, I am surprised that you haven’t encountered any biologists who believe in God and thus a Creator for the DNA code. Francis Collins, a world-renowned biologist and the director of the human genome project, believes in God and thus an intelligent origin for the DNA. He believes that evolution is a process of creation by God. You can read about Collins’ analysis of the scientific evidence that supports the Christian God as the origin of life in his book “The Language of God”. I personally know many other biologists, chemists, physicians, and physicists who believe in God and also believe that each new scientific discovery will reveal more about the glory of God and his nature.

If the evangelical atheist, Richard Dawkins, can proclaim that DNA demands an atheistic origin, then I, a scientist who believes in God, can proclaim that DNA originated by an intelligent Creator. Dawkins believes that evolutionary science is evidence against the existence of God. However, many other scientists believe that the scientific evidence cries out for a divine explanation for the origin of the universe and life. About 40% of scientists, a good proportion who work in the biological sciences, believe in a personal God, and thus believe in a Creator for the universe and life and thus support an intelligent origin for the DNA code. Evangelical atheism such as that promoted by Dawkins has no monopoly over the biological sciences.

allamax said...

Garg said:Unless you mean to claim that a bunch of cavemen sat around the fire one day and decided: “Ooh let’s have language and tomorrow, let’s invent the wheel!”, which is what your intelligent design theory would require. In this case, Shakespeare only discovered Shakespeare by the grace of Cthulhu and did not actually come up with his own works...
By my reasoning, language could originate spontaneously and randomly under certain conditions and would develop in a certain direction thanks to selection and pruning processes. By your reasoning, language was designed by intelligent beings who could not yet do maths. Maybe it was a gift from the gods?


DNA determines biology and behaviors in animals and humans. The language you discuss above in humans has origins in the DNA. Thus, the cavemen did not spontaneously derive language. DNA gave man the ability to produce language and codes. Birds, dogs, cats and other animals have languages that originate from genetics (DNA codes). If DNA is a coded language, it makes sense that the creatures it produces would also express language, the predicted emanation of the code/language attributes of DNA. It is quite striking how our computer/information processing/internet system resembles the that of the DNA coding and genetic programming in cells.

Our ancestors who produced the early languages/codes were intelligent agents, who worked through an intelligent process over time to develop many mutually exclusive languages that cannot be mixed without intelligent intervention.

The natural laws of chemistry and physics indicate quite clearly that God had extensive knowledge and application of high level math, well beyond the capabilities of man. Man has only just begun to understand the incredible mathematical complexity of the universe and the cell.
God’s creation and grace are gifts to man.

Garg said:Read my post again, slowly, maybe after some coffee. Out of interest, I've had this discussion with several people before and several of us could come up with naturally occurring codes.

Perhaps you should get a stronger cup of coffee. As I have repeatedly requested from you, please present a valid naturally-derived coded language according to the criteria outlined below and I will go away. DNA is code, language, and information that is intended for decoding by ribosomes that then translate the genetic information into proteins that carry out actions and effects. Code, language, and information are terms applied to DNA that are literal; they are not analogies. These terms to describe DNA have been used for the past 60 years in the scientific literature and textbooks. DNA not only stores encoded information but directs processing of the information. DNA and information processing in the cell conforms to the definitions of coded language according to Webster’s as outlined below:

Code:

(1) a system of signals or symbols for communication b: a system of symbols (as letters or numbers) used to represent assigned and often secret meanings

(2) a set of instructions for a computer

Language:

1 a: the words, their pronunciation, and the methods of combining them used and understood by a community b
(1): audible, articulate, meaningful sound as produced by the action of the vocal organs
(2): a systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meanings
(3): the suggestion by objects, actions, or conditions of associated ideas or feelings language in their very gesture — Shakespeare
(4): the means by which animals communicate
(5): a formal system of signs and symbols (as FORTRAN or a calculus in logic) including rules for the formation and transformation of admissible expressions

Please derive a natural code that displays encoded language intended for a receiver that then translates the information to effectors that carry out the intended action, producing the effects encoded in the original code source.


Garg said:Of course it does. We simply don't know what the causal agent behind Big Bang is yet. Which is fine to admit, but it is lazy to jump to the supernatural conclusion. We observe background radiation from the Big Bang, we observe that the universe is expanding from a certain point, therefore, as far-fetched as it is, a Big Bang theory makes sense.

Ahh, Yes, a “causal agent”. “Causal” as having a purpose and intent behind its actions? How can we use our naturalistic methods to determine the causal agent behind the Big Bang, when time and space in our reality was created within a few seconds after the Big Bang? It is not lazy to propose a supernatural agent; belief in God as the creator of the universe certainly didn’t make Newton, Galileo, Copernicus, Francis Collins, myself, or thousands of other God-believing scientists become lazy and stop from actively pursuing research or experiments using the scientific method to understand and elucidate natural mechanisms. A belief that a God is the creator didn’t make any of those scientists or myself throw up their hands and proclaim, “Well boys, we now have the answer to all our scientific questions! God did it, so let’s just call it a day and go home!” Pursuing research into natural mechanisms is an act of worship to God because new knowledge of our universe and life processes proclaim the glory of God (Romans 1:20).

The causal agent behind the Big Bang would have to be outside of our time and space references, and thus not restricted by our time and space frames, and thus could be present in our past, present, or future. This is exactly the nature of the God described in the Bible (I Kings 8:27). The scientific evidence, I believe, supports the God of the Bible as the causal agent behind the DNA code/language. Francis Collins in his book, The Language of God, presents a good argument and case for this as well.

allamax said...

Garg said:A more logical premise is that someone had to design the designer. Like I said, it only pushes the problem further back in time. It does not explain a natural phenomenon but it requires scientists to believe in supernatural phenomenon.

Newton, Galileo, and Copernicus all believed in a divine Creator of the universe. The theories they developed, which showed specific laws and design in nature and the universe, were not surprising to them but were expected and predicted based on their belief of a designing intelligence. Nor did their belief in a God put a “stopper” on curiosity and experimentation to explain the natural world, for it was believed, as the Bible states, that the nature of God will be revealed from the study of nature. They believed that the study of nature was a form of worship and giving glory to God. My belief in God spurs me on to unravel molecular and cellular mechanisms, which I believe, according to the Bible, will give more understanding into the nature of God. Because of this belief, I consider my scientific research as having a higher purpose in the hope of providing help to cancer patients. As an atheist, I only cared about ego and what financial gain or glory I could gain from scientific prestige.

Nobel laureate Arno Penzias has stated “The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole”. Robert Jastrow, in his book God and the Astronomers, concludes with the following: “For the scientist who has lived by faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak [Mount Improbable]; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

With the acceptance of the Big Bang theory, scientists now recognize that the universe had a beginning and is finite in duration and size. If matter, space, and time had a beginning, then it is logical to hypothesize that the universe had a non-physical, non-spatial, and non-temporal cause. I agree with Francis Collins that the Christian God fits quite well with this view.

The now refuted ”infinite universe” theory was comforting to those of atheistic worldview, since it would allow as much time as required for the most improbable event to occur, such as the origin of DNA and life. The Big Bang cries out for a divine explanation.

Garg said:If you concern your science with things which can not be proved nor disproved, then you are in the wrong business!

I have three words for you. Flying Spaghetti Monster. The same arguments counts for my not-so-personal god, Cthulhu.


I conduct my science into natural processes using the scientific method to explore the creation of God. Science alone is not enough to answer all the important questions about life and our existence. Science is also not the only way of knowing. As Francis Collins says in his book ‘The Language of God’, “The spiritual worldview provides another way of finding truth. Scientists who deny this would be well advised to consider the limits of their own tools….”

What do you believe? I personally know scientists that are atheists and others that believe in a personal God. Both worldviews have a history of functioning quite well in conducting research in the naturalistic sciences. Both require a faith that is outside the capacity of naturalistic or materialistic methods to prove or disprove the existence of God. Science can confirm, but never prove, an atheistic or supernatural worldview depending on how one wants to interpret the data. From my point of view, the scientific data support a God as the creator of the DNA code. New findings about the incredible complexities of biology derived by naturalistic methods continue to confirm and complement my faith in God. However, one can view the same data and might believe it supports an atheistic view.

Garg said:I want to believe that Cthulhu shall destroy our souls. However, I have no evidence other than the claim that you can not disprove it and you can not use naturalistic or materialistic means to scrutinise Cthulhu.

Sounds rather silly when I say it, doesn't it?


The evidence for intelligence origins in the DNA doesn’t sound silly to me, because I base it on what I observe each and every day. And that is only intelligence produces codes/languages/computations/information processing.

I agree with Francis Collins that the God of the Bible is the creator of the DNA code. Although naturalistic and materialistic means cannot in itself conclusively disprove or prove the existence of God, they can provide inductive support for or against God. Scientific philosophers debate the evidence for or against God all the time.

Please provide valid evidence that can define your Cthulhu or Flying Spaghetti Monster. I present valid, historical, and predictive evidence below defining the God of the Bible as the originator of the DNA code.

My definition for a Creator is the God that is defined in the Bible, the most historically accurate book of all mankind. The Bible is validated in that it predicted the Big Bang and the creation of man as the pinnacle evolutionary/creationary outcome thousands of years before scientists came up with these theories. It also predicted quite nicely the uniqueness of man that distinguishes him from the rest of the animal kingdom, in that man exhibits Moral Law, which the Bible clearly states is a manifestation of God, and man was made in the image of God.

Moral Law is the concept of right and wrong recognized by all men regardless of atheistic or religious worldviews, because all men are made in the image of God and thus will exhibit qualities of sacrificial altruism and unconditional love, regardless of their worldviews. Sacrificial altruism where one gives up their own life (gene pool) to save a stranger (that might have defective genes) and caring for the invalid, genetic-diseased, and mentally-ill (defective gene pools) by healthy individuals are manifestations of Moral Law. Evolution cannot account for why man would want to preserve defective genes or give up his gene pool in sacrificial altruism.

Biblical archaeology and the historical validation of Christ provide additional premises for my definition of the Creator for DNA. According to Edwin Yamauchi of Miami University, a leading expert on ancient history, “We have better historical documentation for Jesus than for the founder of any other ancient religion”. Sources from outside the Bible corroborate that many people believe Jesus performed healings and was the Messiah, that he was crucified, and that despite his shameful death, his followers, who believed he was still alive, worshiped him as God. Lee Strobel, once an atheist himself, discusses in his book, “The Case for Christ”, the documentation of 39 ancient sources that corroborate more than one hundred facts concerning Jesus’ life, teachings, crucifixion, and resurrection. John McRay, a professor of archeology for more than 15 years and author of “Archeology and the New Testament”, stated that there is no question that archeological findings have enhanced both the Old and New Testament’s credibility. No discovery has ever disproved a biblical reference. Further, archeology has established that Luke, who wrote one-quarter of the New Testament, was an especially careful historian. If Luke was so painstakingly accurate in his historical reporting of minor details, on what logical basis may we assume he was credulous or inaccurate in his reporting of matters that were far more important, not only to him but to others as well? Like, for instance, the resurrection of Jesus, the event that authenticated his claim to being the unique Son of God (Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ). Jesus also referred to himself as the Son of God, and reference the Big Bang (In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth….) in Genesis. I can go on with many more validations of the Bible, making this a valid premise that defines the Creator that produced the DNA code.

The God that I define as the creative intelligence for the DNA code can be portrayed by the additional premises below extracted from the Bible. The Bible predicted the Big Bang and the evolution of man, created in the image of God, which accounts for man’s inherent diplay of Moral Law, creativity, intelligence, and free will. As outlined below by Lee Strobel in his book “The Case for a Creator”, the scientific data and the nature of humans are eerily consistent with the God of the Bible as the intelligent source that created the universe and life:

Creator: “In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands” (Psalm 102:25)

Unique: “You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God: besides him there is no other” (Deuteronomy 4:25)

Uncaused and Untimeless: “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Psalm 90:2)

Immaterial: “God is spirit.” (John 4:24)

Personal: “I am God Almighty” (Genesis 17:1)

Freedom of will: “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:3)

Intelligent and rational: “How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures” (Psalm 104:24)

Enormously powerful: “The Lord is…..great in power” (Nahum 1:3)

Creative: “For you created my innermost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; our works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:13-14)

Caring: “The earth is full of his unfailing love” (Psalm 33:5)

Omnipresent: “The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you” (I Kings 8:27)

Has given humankind purpose: “For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible,…everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him” (Collosians 1:16)

Provides for life after death: “He will swallow up death forever” (Isaiah 25:8)

The evidence of God in creation is clear: “For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from has been made [that is, His creation], so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20)

The Bible states that man was made in the image of God, so it is expected that man would create, develop language, exhibit Moral law (not found in animals), and have an innate desire (all cultures exhibit this) to search and try to commune with God.

God is defined in the Bible, which has been validated by scientific predictions and archeology, as well as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies of the coming of Christ, which were stated in the Bible hundreds of years in advance.

Likewise, please produce historically relevant and validated evidence to define your Cthulhu or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Submitting an imaginary Flying Monster figure as an explanation for the origins of the DNA code that does not have a valid historical, archeological, or scientific basis is silly. The God of the Bible does have a valid basis for inclusion as a definition for the Creator of the DNA intelligence as discussed above.

More support for a higher intelligence deriving the DNA and evolutionary processes has recently come from the evolutionary algorithms derived from human intelligence, the basis of which originates from the DNA code. Most of the evolutionary algorithm applications require ultra-fast computers, both to breed the thousands, or even billions, of generations and to simulate the results to select those offspring that are fit for re-breeding. Such computerized abilities to produce novel designs toward a goal, requiring supercomputing, appear to be strikingly teleological. The intelligent agents, programmers and computer scientists, setup and conduct the computation of evolutionary algorithms, which have required the designs of new computing power. Without intelligence, evolutionary logic is not possible.

The emergence of evolutionary algorithms would be expected/predicted from Mr. Marshall’s syllogism, in that DNA is not only code but a processor that can generate novel information and designs, based on the target goal of the intelligent agents using computer programming, an instrument of intelligent design. DNA gives humans the intelligence to derive evolutionary logic to produce designs not possible by humans alone.

allamax said...

Garg said:My reasoning explains why we have several branches of languages which are not mutually intelligible. The medium is irrelevant. Your reasoning fails to explain why an intelligently designed language (like you claim DNA to be) will not allow you to have cow and chicken DNA mix. You can have cows mount chickens and chickens mount cows all you like, but their DNA won't produce a progeny. It's all the same language, regardless of medium, and it's designed to work.. so why doesn't it?

A Russian and Englishman can be put into a room together but they will continue to communicate in their native languages. In my experience, along the southwestern border of the US, Spanish has been influenced by English by the emergence of slang and vice versa. However, Spanish remains mutually exclusive and not understandable by those who only communicate in English. Language experts can trace the evolution of a language to a common progenitor and DNA is the basis for the capacity of man to develop languages.

So it is with DNA language, having evolved into many different dialects (species). DNA is coded language that gave man the ability to produce languages and codes in the first place, which have evolved to become many mutually exclusive and distinct languages throughout the world.

Below are relevant statements that can better address the DNA information/language from Marshall’s CosmicFingerprints website.

Please follow these premises when proposing your natural mechanism for the DNA code.

Marshall states:

“I define ‘Coded information’ as a system of symbols used by an encoding and decoding mechanism, which transmits a message that is independent of the communication medium.”

”Examples of code include English, Chinese, computer languages, music, mating calls and radio signals. Codes always involve a system of symbols that represent ideas or plans. Other examples include, yes, Bee waggle dances. Bird songs. Whale songs. And ant communication by pheromone.”

”Since all the above are derivatives of DNA, my challenge to naturalists is to cite a single example of coded information that occurs naturally - outside the realm of life, outside the realm of DNA. All you need is one example[to falsify the syllogism].”

”Snowflakes, rocks, magnetic fields, crystals, pebbles contain no coded information because they symbolically represent nothing (no plan, no idea, no instructions) other than itself, and because there is no encoding / decoding mechanism and no system of symbols.”


The book Information Theory, Evolution and the Origin of Life is written by Hubert Yockey, the foremost living specialist in bioinformatics. The publisher is Cambridge University press. Yockey rigorously demonstrates that the coding process in DNA is identical to the coding process and mathematical definitions used in Electrical Engineering. This is not subjective, it is not debatable or even controversial. It is a brute fact:

“Information, transcription, translation, code, redundancy, synonymous, messenger, editing, and proofreading are all appropriate terms in biology. They take their meaning from information theory (Shannon, 1948) and are not synonyms, metaphors, or analogies.” (Hubert P. Yockey, Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life, Cambridge University Press, 2005)

“The information in DNA is independent of the communication medium insofar as every strand of DNA in your body represents a complete plan for your body; even though the DNA strand itself is only a sequence of symbols made up of chemicals (A, G, C, T). We could store a CAD drawing of a hard drive on the same model of hard drive, but the medium and the message are two distinctly different things. Such symbolic relationships only exist within the realm of living things; they do not occur naturally. And Yockey acknowledges that the source of the original encoding is unknown, a question which naturalistic theories cannot answer. If you disagree, all you need is one example.”

“The pattern of base pairs in DNA is a code. From the beginning I've been very clear about the difference between the message and the medium. The molecule itself is the medium; the ordering of the base pairs defines the code. The question that naturalism can't answer is where the code came from. The question of where the molecule and chemicals came from is an important one, but outside the scope of this thread.”

“If you spell your name on your driveway with rocks and sticks, you have created a code. The rocks and sticks do not weigh any more than they did before, but now they possess coded information whereas they didn't before, thus illustrating the immaterial nature of information.”

“A strand of DNA in a skin cell that falls from your body contains a plan for a human being (you), even though neither the skin cell nor the strand of DNA are human beings. This is what I specifically mean by the phrase ‘independent of the communication medium.’ A book represents more than paper and ink, because it contains plans and ideas and instructions via coded information. Even if the topic of the book is paper or ink chemistry, or instructions for printing books, it still contains plans and ideas independent of the paper and ink it's printed on.”

Common dictionary definitions relevant to DNA information/language:

CODE: 3a: A system of symbols for communication 4: Genetic Code
(Webster's 9th collegiate dictionary)

GENETIC CODE: the biochemical instructions that translate the genetic information present as a linear sequence of nucleotide triplets in messenger RNA into the correct linear sequence of amino acids for the synthesis of a particular peptide chain or protein. Cf. codon, translation
(Random House Unabridged Dictionary, emphasis mine)

DNA: A nucleic acid that carries the genetic information in the cell and is capable of self-replication and synthesis of RNA
(Houghton Mifflin Dictionary, emphasis mine)

DNA: Genetics.
deoxyribonucleic acid: an extremely long macromolecule that is the main component of chromosomes and is the material that transfers genetic characteristics in all life forms, constructed of two nucleotide strands coiled around each other in a ladderlike arrangement with the sidepieces composed of alternating phosphate and deoxyribose units and the rungs composed of the purine and pyrimidine bases adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine: the genetic information of DNA is encoded in the sequence of the bases and is transcribed as the strands unwind and replicate. Cf. base pair, gene, genetic code, RNA. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, emphasis mine.)

Therefore:

”Snowflakes and tornados and sand dunes and water molecules do not contain coded information because there is no system of symbols, no encoding / decoding mechanism, no transmission of a message (plan, idea or instructions) that is independent of the communication medium. In other words, these things represent nothing other than themselves.”

”DNA contains coded information because it is a system of symbols used by an encoding and decoding mechanism which transmits a message (a plan, an idea, instructions for assembling a complete organism). The plans, ideas and instructions are independent of the communication medium, because the DNA molecule represents something other than itself.”

“The decoding of the human genome is the interpretation of DNA's base pairs, mapping them to specific biological functions. The reason we can make that genome map is because a direct relationship between genetic code and creature actually does exist; it's not just our imagination. DNA codes for specific characteristics, which are discoverable and definable. We decode the genome because cracking the genetic code has utility. It enables us to change the code (thereby changing the creature), understand how biology works, achieve specified goals.”

“A water molecule does not contain coded information because it represents nothing other than itself. Through chaos, water can form steam or clouds or condensation or snowflakes, depending entirely on the conditions. But unlike DNA, water molecules contain no code or instructions which specify in advance what any of these larger forms will take. Furthermore, we know from chaos theory that it's sometimes impossible to determine these forms in advance. That's why one snowflake is different from the next, even though the water molecules are identical.”

”Chaos produces patterns (snowflakes, sand dunes, stalactites, hurricanes, tornados) naturally, but chaos does not produce symbols or coded information. “

“The DNA for a particular cat uniquely determines that one cat in the exact same sense that a crime scene investigator uses DNA to uniquely identify one criminal. Any particular strand of DNA, by itself, uniquely specifies many characteristics. This is well-established. Gravity, by itself uniquely specifies nothing in advance, and by all formal definitions in information theory, cannot be defined as a code. To say otherwise is to conflate two completely different things. Gravity is not a code. It's a force.”

“The words ‘code’ and ‘symbol’ are not used metaphorically in any of them. Science textbooks and papers are written very literally, and the word genetic code in biology is just as literal as the word protein. When you look up these definitions in biology textbooks, they don't say DNA is a "code" with quotation marks, or that it contains ‘information’ with quotation marks, or that it is like a code, or that it contains something like information. They say that DNA is the basis for genetic code, and that it contains real, measurable information, and that the code uniquely determines real proteins."

“The problem of how a sequence of four things (nucleotides) can determine a sequence of twenty things (amino acids) is known as the ‘coding' problem.” –Francis Crick

”A review of the literature quickly shows that this terminology has been standard for over 40 years. See Yockey's earlier statement about this. This is not a matter of opinion, this is a matter of rigorous definitions from information theory. (HRG, I should also point out that you have been insisting that DNA is not literally a code, while at the very same time arguing that gravity is literally a code.)”

“The bits and bytes on your hard drive don't “know” anything, they simply obey the laws of physics. It's a purely electro-mechanical process. But they still have to be programmed to do what they do. Computer programs don't emerge naturally, they are designed. The information on your computer cannot be reduced to so many pounds of magnetic material or silicon. Similarly, you and I cannot be reduced to so many pounds of carbon atoms. A book cannot be reduced to paper and ink.”

“All specific DNA strands specify specific phenotypes. And all English sentences specify particular books, poems, songs, speeches, conversations etc.”
“….we create coded information every day – but also we observe that only minds create coded information.”

“To fit the formal definition of a code, DNA need only uniquely specify one or more characteristics (male/female, blood type, etc). It does, therefore by Perlwitz's definition DNA is a code. The fact that you refer to them as identical twins (even though they obviously are not absolutely identical in the fullest possible degree) is an everyday example of the fact that their DNA uniquely specifies much of what they do have in common. Sex, blood type, number of arms and legs, and for monozygotic identical twins, a very very long list of other things.”

“If your computer is set to turn the monitor off after 30 minutes of non-use, then the monitor turns off. The information that commands this to happen is just as real as the monitor, and just as real as event of the monitor turning off. It cannot perform this task successfully without the information. Information is a real entity, not merely a human abstraction.”

“CP/IP affects its environment because it brought you the message on the screen that you are reading right now. A hypothetical DNA strand with completely randomized sequence of base pairs contains no semantical content and builds no real organism; A DNA strand for a mouse has semantical instructions for the building of a mouse. Semantics = meaning, and DNA ostensibly has semantical content.”

“Your computer only knows physics too but it still communicates symbolically. The data on your computer cannot be explained purely in terms of the materials your computer is made of; which is as good an illustration of any as to why purely materialistic interpretations fail. Many years ago a discussion about this topic would seem hopelessly abstract to most people, but now we live in the information age. We all know exactly what information is and we all understand that information is the entity that defines living things, man-made things, and all designs.”

“…the message [is] independent of the medium. It's the same television show regardless of which TV you watch it on, and whether it came to you through the antenna or the cable company. Whether the screen is a tube or LCD. The message is distinct from the medium that carries the message. An image of Barbara Walters is not glass, it's not air, not wire.”

“DNA obeys a host of rules as well, and as Yockey points out, these rules obey the laws of physics but are not derivable from them.”
“A coding system can operate for eons without any conscious intervention. But direct observation tells us that only conscious minds create coding systems in the first place.”

“From definition 4 of the CODE alone, DNA is a code. When you shift to definition 3, a system of symbols for communication obviously has a designer. A designer is a creator, so when you capitalize his name, the designer of DNA is the Creator, or God…. both 3 and 4 [definitions of CODE] in the dictionary are consistent with my original definition of coded information as “A system of symbols used by an encoding and decoding mechanism, which transmits a message that is independent of the communication medium.” DNA and computer languages alike fit this definition, while purely physical phenomena like snowflakes do not.”

From Hubert Yockey:

“The genetic code has many of the properties of codes in general, specifically the Morse Code, the Universal Product Bar Code, ASCII, and the US Postal Code. I shall explain the relation of these codes to the genetic code in the following discussion. Every code, as the term is used in this book, can be regarded as a channel with an input alphabet A and an output alphabet B.

“Here is the formal definition of a code:

Given a source with probability space [Omega, A, p(A)] and a receiver with probability space [Omega, B, p(B)], then a unique mapping of the letters of alphabet A onto letters of alphabet B is called a code. Here p(A) is the probability vector of the elements of alphabet A and p (B) is the probability vector of the elements of alphabet B. (Perlwitz, Burks and Waterman, 1988)

“Nature has extended the primary four-letter alphabet to the six-bit, 64 member alphabet of the genetic code. Each amino acid except Trytophan and Methionine has more than one codon. Thus, the genetic code is redundant (not degenerate). The sloppy terminology designating the genetic code as degenerate is responsible for most of the misunderstanding of the genetic information processing system.”

“The genetic code is distinct and uniquely decodable, because the single Methionine codon AUG, and sometimes the Leucine codons UUG and CUG, serve as a starting signal for the protein sequence and performs the same function as the long frame bars at the beginning of the postal message in the ZIP+4 code and the Universal Product Code. The codons UGA, UAA and UAG function usually as non-sense and stop the translation of the protein from the mRNA and initiate the release of the protein sequence from the mRNA (Maeshiro and Kimura, 1998). They perform the same function as the long frame bar at the end of the postal bar code message (Bertram, 2001). Remember that non-sense does not mean nonsense or foolishness. Code letters are called non-sense because they have been given no sense or meaning assignment in the receiving alphabet.”

“The decoding of the genetic message from the DNA alphabet to the mRNA alphabet is called transcription in molecular biology. mRNA plays the role of the channel, which communicates the genetic message to the ribosomes, which serve as the decoder. The genetic message is decoded by the ribosomes from the 64 letter mRNA alphabet to the 20 letter alphabet of the proteome. This decoding process is called translation in molecular biology… (Ribosomes) act like the reading head on a tape machine (Turing, 1936). The protein molecule, which is the destination, is also a tape. Thus, the one-dimensional genetic message is recorded in a sequence of amino acids, which folds up to become a 3-dimensional active protein molecule. One is reminded of the linear signals that fold up to show a 2-dimensional picture on the television screen.”

(From Hubert Yockey, Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life, Cambridge University Press, 2005)

”If, as you have already inferred, DNA uniquely determines any phenotype characteristic at all, then it does qualify as a code. As Yockey states in this one example (and there are others), it does.”

“Yockey's work is far from being anti-evolutionary material about information theory; Yockey is in fact an evolutionist.”

Garg the Unzola said...

You said it yourself: you are making a leap of faith.

There really is no point in carrying on with this discussion, because you do not rely on facts and logic, but on your beliefs.

Thanks anyway.

allamax said...

Garg said: You said it yourself: you are making a leap of faith.

There really is no point in carrying on with this discussion, because you do not rely on facts and logic, but on your beliefs.


Au contraire, my friend! It is you, not I, who have taken a leap of faith. I have used the scientific method employing the process of inductive inference to derive the best explanation for DNA origins based on WHAT WE DO KNOW (OBSERVATIONS), and that is, only intelligence, as far as we know, can produce codes, according to Marshall’s premises that I listed above in my previous post. I have also presented valid historical premises supporting the Bible, which defines the Creator. Reasoning by inductive inference derives an interpretation to the best explanation based on WHAT WE DO KNOW AND OBSERVE AROUND US EVERY DAY.

I formulate the intelligent DNA origins hypothesis using inductive reasoning based on what we do know.

AND THAT IS, ONLY INTELLIGENT AGENTS HAVE BEEN OBSERVED TO PRODUCE CODES. NO ABIOGENIC MECHANISM, WITHOUT INTELLIGENT MEDDLING, CAN GENERATE CODES THAT ARE INTENDED FOR A RECEIVER THAT THEN DECODES THE INFORMATION TO PRODUCE AN ACTION OR EFFECT, AS ORIGINALLY INTENDED IN THE CODE.

IF YOU KNOW OF JUST ONE NATURAL PROCESS GENERATING CODES, ACCORDING TO MR. MARSHALL'S SPECIFICTIONS, THEN PLEASE PRESENT IT HERE. IT ONLY TAKES ONE TO FALSIFY MR. MARSHALL’S SYLLOGISM.

As a molecular biologist, I support the validity of Mr. Marshall's premises that are the basis for his hypothesis.


If You Cannot Produce A Natural Process Producing Codes According To Mr. Marshall's Premises, Then It Is You Who Have Failed To Use Facts And Logic, And Thus It Is You That Have Taken A Leap Of Faith.

The Scientific Process: Gathering careful and unbiased observations, making inferences and generalizations formulating laws and theories (induction), , testing generalizations: making predictions (deduction) and further testing of predictions. Called the scientific - hypothetico-deductive method, it involves induction and deduction and more

Induction is the process of reasoning from the particular to the general as opposed to the inverse process of deduction. The basis of induction is the assumption that if something is true in a number of observed instances, it is also true in similar, but unobserved, instances.

The Wester’s definition of inductive is below:

2 : of, relating to, or employing mathematical or logical induction [inductive reasoning]

The definition of inference is below:

1: the act or process of inferring: as a: the act of passing from one proposition, statement, or judgment considered as true to another whose truth is believed to follow from that of the former. 2: something that is inferred; especially : a proposition arrived at by inference. 3: the premises and conclusion of a process of inferring

The definition of inductive or induction below, according to your Wikipedia:

“Induction is sometimes framed as reasoning about the future from the past, but in its broadest sense it involves reaching conclusions about unobserved things on the basis of what has been observed. Inferences about the past from present evidence – for instance, as in archaeology, count as induction. Induction could also be across space rather than time, for instance as in physical cosmology where conclusions about the whole universe are drawn from the limited perspective we are able to observe (see cosmic variance); or in economics, where national economic policy is derived from local economic performance.”

An inductive statement or inference is a statement about the properties or behavior of a group of objects or situations that is formulated on the basis of direct evidence from a sample of the objects or situations.

The concept of natural selection was based on many years of observations (inductive reasoning) and deductive reasoning.

Thus, the process of inductive inference that I make concerning origins of the genetic code is using induction to make a logical conclusion or judgment concerning a process based upon what we do observe and know. And that is, only intelligent agents produce codes according to Yockey’s and Mr. Marshall’s definition.

You state that abiogenesis has provided a plausible(?) mechanism for the spontaneous origin of amino acids. However, there have been absolutely no observations of an abiogenic-generating process that can produce coded information of specified complexity according to Mr. Mashall’s premises that formulate his syllogism.

The Definition of Faith below, according to your Wikipedia:

Faith is a belief in the trustworthiness of an idea that has not been proven.

You believe that DNA arose abiogenically. This is based on faith, according to your Wikipedia definition above, since no abiogenic mechanism has ever been determined, as yet, to produce coded information, and thus abiogenesis at this time is an unproven process to produce DNA codes. If a scientist ever did show that an abiogenic mechanism could produce coded information in the laboratory, it would indicate that intelligence is required. My intelligent DNA origins hypothesis is based on numerous and reproducible observations where only intelligent agents produce codes, as defined according to the premises of Mr. Marshall’s syllogism.

Please provide a physico-chemical natural process, outside of the replicating life forms/cells, which generates codes according to Mr. Marshall’ premises. Abiogenesis would have had to occur before any replicating life forms existed.

If you cannot provide a physico-chemical process that generates codes, according to Mr. Mashall’s specifications for the genetic code, then it is you who have taken a leap of faith, not I, since I have formulated my intelligent DNA origins hypothesis based on logic/observation/inductive inference. It is based on what I have observed day in and day out, and that is only intelligence produces codes according to Mr. Mashall’s premises. You have formulated your naturalistic DNA origins based on what might be plausible, but not proven, rather than solid observations, and that is a display of faith. You have put your faith in an “experiment of the gaps”, which may or may not prove abiogenic origins for the genetic code.

FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF ABIOGENIC MECHANISMS HOPED FOR, THE EVIDENCE FOR ORIGINS OF DNA CODES UNSEEN

I have formulated my intelligent DNA origins hypothesis based on observation. And that is, only intelligent agents produce codes and messages intended for receivers that then decode the information and then take an action, according to the intended coded information. I have yet to observe such a code arising in clouds, rocks, magnetic fields, or pebbles. I also have never before heard reasonable people, who do not agree with Mr. Marshall’s syllogism, designating crystals, clouds, and magnetic fields as codes. In contrast, DNA has been designated as coded information/language/alphabets for well over fifty years. Marshall Nirenberg, who decyphered the DNA code, called DNA for what it really is; the Code of Life and the Genetic Code.


Mr. Marshall states:

If you can provide an empirical example of a code or language that occurs naturally, you've toppled my proof. All you need is one.

The information theory argument is based on rigorous logical and mathematical definitions, and long-standing conventions in Electrical Engineering. The pattern in DNA is not like a code, it is a code, by definition. So information theory applied to DNA is not an analogy ………


The fact is, it is you, Garg, who have taken a leap of faith:

“Fact is, ‘skeptics’ [atheists] take a whole bunch of things on faith, too – faith that science will fill the ever widening gaps of the origin of life question for example. Skepticism fails to satisfy its own criteria – because every worldview invokes a miracle, somewhere along the line.” – Perry Mashall

How very interesting that the atheist position cannot accept one of the most fundamental definitions in modern science, once the implications become clear: If DNA is a code, then we have every reason to believe that it is designed. This is based on inductive inference, which gathers known observations to derive a conclusion that is an inference to the best explanation.

Just because a plausible(?) abiogenic mechanism is popular and sounds good, giving comfort to an atheistic belief, doesn’t mean it is true. Take heed of the following quote:

“The quality of a scientific approach or opinion depends on the strength of its factual premises and on the depth and consistency of its reasoning, not on its appearance in a particular journal or on its popularity among other scientists.” -Stephen Jay Gould

Garg the Unzola said...

If you read my original post, you will find that according to Mr Marshall definitions, his syllogism is invalid. Read it again. You will find that my facts and my logic concerning this matter are correct.

We don't know the origins of DNA. Therefore, we don't know that DNA was designed to begin with.

There are many naturally occurring codes which satisfy Mr Marshall's definitions of a code.

Mr Marshall and yourself have nothing conclusive to infer that there is an intelligent designer.

Even if you did, it only pushes the matter further back in time. There is no difference between your intelligent designer and Mr Marshall's aliens.

Note also that Mr Marshall did not conclusively rule out any of his alternative suggestions for the origins of DNA.

DNA does come to earth from space(read up on the Murchison meteorite and the ALH 84001). This means that the idea that aliens may be the source of DNA is not too far fetched, but it does push the question further back in time.

Bearing this in mind, it is not logical nor scientific to infer that whatever is behind curtain number five is the correct conclusion. You have not eliminated any of Mr Marshall's other proposed explanations for the origins of DNA. This means that all of the explanations (except possibly that humans designed DNA) are equally as valid as the superintelligence idea.

I do believe that DNA could come about spontaneously under the correct conditions. That is my leap of faith. The building blocks of DNA do come about spontaneously, and while this is still a long way from DNA, it's a much better start than the inference that god did it with his mojo.

As for the bible being historically accurate, that is yet another leap of faith. The bible contains many contradictions and historical inaccuracies, but the point of my post was not to get involved in religious debate. The point of my post is that we don't know enough about the origins of DNA to make conclusions (or correct inferences) about the origins of DNA.

Dibban said...

First of all, you seems to be caught in your left brain and that's why you think everything logically. But you may be hurt at the fact that all your logic is rubbish. It's because a logical mind can only see half of the picture. Whatever there is, it exists in pairs. what you put up as logic is equally true and false. your arguments are both true and false. DNA is both a code and not a code. the levels that you've mentioned are there imbibed in a point of singularity. And of course, human beings don't only have a consciousness but a subconscious mind also. Have you overcome all your emotions or passions? if you have then you are not a human being but a robot which can not create anything of it's own, lest information. but if you have not, then please understand that all your understanding about consciousness is half correct and until you free yourself from this bondage of logic, you won't ever learn about real consciousness. please don't be cross with me. I'm not criticizing you. I'm only pointing out to you that don't claim yourself to be knowledgeable with half knowledge. And for your gurus, whom named at the end of the post, the same is applicable for them as well. The simple truth is that all human beings are both theist and atheist simultaneously. But it takes very deep knowledge to realize this. Thank You.

Garg the Unzola said...

Thanks for the comment, Dibban. You may not know this, but I am a trained fine artist, a qualified graphic designer, a former musician and a fairly cunning linguist. There's nothing wrong with my creative, right brain. I think the word you are looking for is agnostic. I agree with you wholeheartedly - human beings should doubt and be uncertain about everything to some degree, while simultaneously being certain to some degree. Personally, I do not believe in god. Some others have a strong belief in god. This much is fine, but it's a bit far fetched to start from convictions and find reasons for your belief. I do believe in being rational, which to me means starting from premises, testing them one by one, finding the pattern between them and reaching a conclusion. You'll find that most religious arguments take exactly the opposite approach, namely they start at a conclusion and fill in the gaps to feign a sound argument. To me, this is rationalising instead of being rational. The reason why I chose logic in this case is because the original claim was that there is a proof for the existence of god, and that this proof is thus logical, sound and valid. I merely pointed out the errors in the proof.

Anonymous said...

I think the statement is better put this way.

DNA is perfectly good evidence TOWARDS the idea that there may be intelligence at work.

Something like that.

You simply CANNOT tell someone they are silly for thinking DNA has SOMETHING about it that is reasonable to say might be okay not so stupid to at least infer there might be intelligence around.

MY FCK you atheists are so closed minded and ludicrous. Evolution as currently described is silly beyond belief. Where are all the vestigal organs and appendages?
"THERE SHOULD BE BILLIONS of vesitagl everything

i get so blooming p-o'd at you numb nuts for acint like YOU ARE THE SMART FCKKERS


Mutation cannot lead to speciation.

Period.

Its self evident

It cannot.

Life cannot come from clay

Period.

Y'all keep your faith in the increidble ability of the inanimate to create babies.

ya bunch of lying cuntz

Garg the Unzola said...

I'd love to deal with your concerns. In fact, I have so I would humbly request that you bother reading my posts before you decide what they're about.

Garg the Unzola said...

Speaking of vestigial organs:

Ostriches have wings. What for? Here's a discussion on more vestigial structures:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section2.html#vestiges

As you prefer making anonymous comments, your balls are pretty much vestigial too.

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