The Iron Curtain of 2010

December 26, 2009

The Berlin Wall, in 1986 (Wall photos courtesy Wikipedia)

The Berlin Wall, in 1986 (photos courtesy Wikipedia)

The Berlin Wall in East Germany fell on November 9, 1989, after 28 years of darkness. When the dominoes of communism began to fall, the speed at which they tumbled was amazing.

Today, traditional Darwinism is in the same place in 2010 as communism was in 1986. It’s wheezing like a dying animal. Flailing wildly. Draining limited resources defending itself against attackers. It’s barely able to feed its own people, let alone advance useful scientific theories of its own.

Please understand: I am an advocate of biological evolution. I don’t believe that God beamed complete Zebras from heaven down to the savanna, Star-Trek style. I hypothesize they came from an earlier ancestor through a process that we can study and learn from. I cast my vote for Common Descent.

Furthermore, Charles Darwin is to be commended for formulating an early concept of Common Descent. I think the mechanism of evolution is an utterly fascinating scientific process that well deserves our close study. The question of how evolution works is the 2nd biggest question in science. Just behind the origin of life, which is #1.

As we begin to solve the evolution question *for real*, we’ll also crack the code on artificial intelligence. Information technology will leap forward at an unprecedented pace. All we must do is take our cues from biology and coveted secrets of technological advancement await us, literally right under our noses.

But my friend, Darwinism is NOT the only theory of how evolution works!
It’s just the loudest one. And it’s fracturing badly. There is no theory in the history of science that has more holes, problems or detractors than Neo-Darwinism. It’s the most troubled theory in all of science.

Here in Chicago there’s an activist group called The Chicago Northshore Darwin’s Bulldogs. I’ve sparred with them on multiple occasions. I often joke that Darwin is the only scientist that needs bulldogs. All the other scientists can fend for themselves just fine, thank you very much.

Darwinism in 2010 is in sad shape. It’s about to shatter. The wall is about to come down.

The best evidence for this comes from a most curious place: The Amazon reviews of Stephen Meyer’s recent book “Signature in the Cell.” This is a superb text, it’s footnoted with incredible thoroughness. It is remarkably readable considering the depth of its subject material.

It’s also quite popular: Today, in all of Amazon it’s ranked #1,110. Remarkable sales for such a technical book.

It analyzes the cell from an information systems perspective, not unlike the approach I use here. It concludes that random processes do not describe the operation of cellular machinery. Meyer shows that a design paradigm is in fact scientific and that it makes successful, testable predictions.

sign_in_cellThis book is currently the subject of a book review war on Amazon. I write this today, there are 188 reviews. 140 5-star reviews, 16 2-, 3- or 4-star, and 32 1-star. People either love this book or hate it.

You’ll glean much about the current sad state of Darwnism by reading the 1-star reviews.

You’ll find that many of the 1-star reviews are pure vandalism. So far more than 60 have been deleted by Amazon’s editorial staff. Most of the 1-star reviews are bitter slams against the author and tirades about the Intelligent Design movement. Read these reviews and decide for yourself how little content they contain on what the book actually says.

Contrast this to many of the positive reviews which discuss the contents of the book in detail.

When all opponents can do is rail about the politics of ID and prattle on about what a waste of time this book is, you tend to become rather suspicious.

However…. a handful 1-star reviews are a welcome exception to this. They do challenge the actual content. One such review is by K. M. Sternberg and deserves comment.

Sternberg says:

“There is a phenomenon known as pareidolia, “The tendency to interpret a vague stimulus as something known to the viewer.” Pareidolia is when we see faces in clouds, or “evil” in the tragic path of a tornado. Meyer’s book is an exercise in pareidolia: the classic “machinery” of cellular cilia, the “computer program” of DNA. He’s appealing to our sense that anything complicated needs human-like interviention, but unless you’re going to buy into the idea that we’d fall apart if angels stopped holding us together, the line between “natural” emergence and the need for divine intervention is tragically fuzzy. Meyer’s book isn’t science, it’s wishful thinking. (It’s also hubris; Meyer’s arguing that, if there’s a God, he and his fellows at the DI can tell us what he was thinking. I suggest anyone who thinks that way go re-read the Book of Job, especially Job 38:4-41.)”

Thank you Mr. Sternberg for finally contributing a good 1-star review to this discussion. There is a LOT that we can unpack from your short paragraph.

The pattern in DNA is not a “vague stimulus.” DNA is a literal code with a 4-letter alphabet, not a figurative one. Thus the term “genetic code” is a proper scientific term. Books and papers discussing linguistics and universal grammars in DNA are plentiful.

This was my epiphany 5 years ago when I began studying evolution. I had written an Ethernet book and spent 10 years in computer networking. I suddenly discovered that everything I knew about 1′s and 0′s, and all of Claude Shannon’s work, applied to the pattern in DNA. Which is why there are scientific journals such as The Journal of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology published by World Scientific.

If Mr. Sternberg was right, this silly journal could not exist. All self-respecting biologists would instruct those ignorant engineers to mind their own business and stop meddling in DNA.

Mr. Sternberg, please write to the journal and inform them that their journal exists purely because of wishful thinking, ignorance and “pareidolia.” Please inform them that DNA only has the appearance of processing and storing information. Let them know that all that DNA “code” is really just a product of their over-stimulated binary imaginations. Tell them that they might as well be telling us that clouds look like sheep.

Mr. Sternberg, I invite you to come to my blog and post the reply you receive from them.

Hubert Yockey addressed this exact question when he said, “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.” This is from his book “Information Theory, Evolution and the Origin of Life” (Cambridge University Press, 2005).

Yockey is the #1 living authority on information theory in biology. He is not a creationist, he’s an evolutionist. He’s not pushing a religious agenda. Cambridge University Press is not the mouthpiece for some Intelligent Design committee. DNA really is a digital code. It really does contain instructions. It’s not just our imagination.

Stephen Meyer is not suggesting that we’d all fall apart if angels stopped holding us together. That statement shows that Mr. Sternberg is not interested in understanding what Meyer is saying.

And finally, the entire field of theology is predicated on the idea that if there is a God, we CAN know at least something about what He is thinking. Scientists of no less stature than Isaac Newton regarded their scientific work as an act of worship, revealing the mind of God. And yes, while one of the main points about the book of Job is that God does not tell us everything He is thinking, He does tell us some things. That’s why we have the book of Job in the first place.

I know all too well that the typical Darwinian response to information theory is to say, “WHOA, wait a minute, don’t be so quick to apply those computer engineering metaphors to DNA!”

Which is like saying, “Slow down there, boy, don’t you go comparing this to things we actually understand. Let’s keep this DNA thing a mystery. Otherwise we might reach conclusions that are not compatible with atheism.”

Because of materialism and “evolution by random accident,” 30 years of precious time has been squandered. Investigation has been resisted because of the “Junk DNA” theory which is now discredited. If you look closely, you find that at every point, “Evolution by randomness” has vigorously opposed scientific inquiry, even as it pretends to endorse it.

Evolution is not driven by randomness. It’s driven by a fantastically sophisticated Mutation Algorithm. Cells employ a built-in program which engineers re-arrangement of Mobile Genetic Elements (as observed by McClintock and Shapiro).  Genes and Chromosomes are re-arranged in a fantastically beautiful process which produces useful adaptations and new species.

The Mutation Algorithm tests design options like blades on a Swiss army knife. DNA has a huge “bag of tricks” and is able to mix and match combinations of eyes, feet and claws, joints, digits, hair, skin and fur colors and patterns, switching out different “blades” as environments change.

It builds animals on a common chassis of head, spine, heart, lungs, stomach and limbs. It ferociously defends this core chassis from being corrupted by random mutations, while switching out different variables in the head, spine, heart etc.

Darwinism is not scientific. Why? because it appeals to randomness instead of presuming underlying order. Explanation by accident is not science. It’s anti-science.

But SCIENTIFIC theories of evolution postulate that an intentional program directs the development of living things. Towards a goal of occupying every imaginable ecological niche. Of filling the earth with life and beauty.

Today, I make a bold prediction.

The “Berlin Wall” of Darwinism will crack in 2013. (I estimate we’ve got about 3 more years to go before this can berlin_wall_nov10_86realistically happen.)

The event will be triggered by some “Deep Throat” scientist who has grown sick and tired of the shell games and politics and charades. He is perhaps retired and no longer fears having his career trashed. He will step forward and speak the truth.

He will publish emails and committee notes and recordings of secret meetings. He’ll tell of organized efforts to rig scientific data. Campaigns to malign skilled researchers, to prevent papers from being published, to halt important research from being seen. He’ll report missions to trash the careers of people who publish work that peers into the design process.

He’ll name university presidents, science journal editors, research teams and grant committees. All with an agenda of suppressing legitimate scientific data.

There have been smaller skirmishes of this kind already. But in times past, the retribution from the Old Guard was so swift, so decisive, that one dared not oppose it. This one will trigger a symphony of reports of censorship from across academia. Reports so loud they cannot be ignored.

This revelation will initially be shunned by the mainstream press. A snarl of protest will arise from the Old Guard. But newspapers are dying and most people don’t trust the media anyway. By 2013 the press will be so emaciated, there will be nothing left but a dry husk. The blogosphere will go wild and an entire branch of the formerly trusted scientific community will be discredited.

This will be a major step in evolving the news media beyond its current, calcified form. Most newspapers will become extinct.

Once the dust settles, a new channel will be open for disseminating scientific research that is allowed to assume purpose and teleology in living things. There will be a “Cambrian Explosion” of new research in the genome, in Artificial Intelligence, and in the development of information storage and communication systems.

wall_graves

This gravesite recognizes the lives lost by those attempting to cross the Berlin Wall. Spraypainted on the wall are the words, "The wall will fall. Beliefs become reality."

The next decade holds wonderful new possibilities.

In the late ’90s I worked closely with a German communication software company near Frankfurt. I traveled there and spent many hours having conversations and beers with the owner and the employees. They told me stories of the aftermath of the Berlin Wall coming down. And hardships of integrating workers from East Germany into the Western economy and work ethic.

This West German business owner explained to me that East German workers over the age of 40 were nearly useless. They had spent so long in the docile, uninspired, toxic environment of communism that they were unable to cultivate new habits.

On the other hand, my German friend said, the 20-somethings were eager to learn, to re-tool, and made great workers.

I predict we will see a similar challenge to biology. It’s going to take a long time to heal the profession of its materialistic bias. And, I mince no words, its intellectual laziness. I am still dumbfounded that a theory like “Junk DNA” could have ever been allowed to circulate. It speaks of a woefully anti-scientific intellectual prison. The men who advanced that theory should be stripped of their credentials and ejected from the academy.

The Old Guard may never change. Fortunately, most researchers in the Human Genome Project, genetic engineering and bio-medicine do not actually act as though they believe biology is purposeless and random. They may even say it is, but in actual practice they assume biology wants to do X, they want it to do Y. They figure out what they need to change to get the result they want.

hole_in_wall

West Germans curiously peer at East German border guards through a hole in the wall

Isn’t it amazing how practical people get when they need to accomplish something productive and get a paycheck?

My friend, not everyone in biology agrees with the Darwinian Dogma. And you don’t need to either, in order to fully embrace science.

Biology is as biology does. It IS purposeful because it acts purposeful. DNA IS a code because it acts like a code.

Countless scientific careers have died in efforts to breach the Darwinian Wall. But this wall will not stand forever.

In June 1987, president Regan had these words for the leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev:

“We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

May the truth be made known.

Perry Marshall

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110 Comments

Binkyboy says:

How much are you willing to bet? $1,000? $10,000?

Or will I just get a great laugh out of a fool’s mistake, again?

Dear Anonymous Binkyboy,

I’m betting my reputation which is worth a lot more than either of those numbers. You’re hiding behind a screen name. I’m not.

I’ll pay YOU $10,000 if you can demonstrate a naturally occurring communication system, i.e. one that’s not designed. See http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/faq for definitions.

Charlie Marsh says:

Thanks for calling him to task Perry. And you may be correct in your prediction of how evolution will crack in 2013. Personally, as things appear in today’s World, I am hopeful that we will be called home before then.

ejbman says:

I would like to collect on the $10,000 for pointing out two naturally occurring communication systems that were not designed.

1) Bees and flowers. Flowers lie to bees by mimicking bee pheromones to attract them. Does that mean flowers have a ‘theory of mind’ about bees? No. Yet they produce signals (chemicals) which are symbolic of something else (bee sexual availability) in order to produce a result.

2) Ant communication. You can read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ant#Communication

Bees, flowers and ants are all derivatives of DNA. I’m asking for a naturally occurring system that does not derive its origin from DNA.

vn says:

“I’m asking for a naturally occurring system that does not derive its origin from DNA.”

No, actually, you are moving the goal posts. Here’s your original request.

“I’ll pay YOU $10,000 if you can demonstrate a naturally occurring communication system, i.e. one that’s not designed. See http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/faq for definitions.”

Now pay the man since he did answer your question. At least do so if you have any integrity.

I have never moved the goal posts – this debate has been going for almost 5 years, see http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/infidels. It is not logical to use animals as an example since they are a derivative of DNA whose origin is not known. Such an answer proves nothing.

John Storey says:

Hi Perry,

You have asked for an example of a code that is not designed by a mind. The examples given by ‘ejbman’, you have rejected because they are derived from DNA.

You say that all codes are known to us are designed by minds (except for those deriving from DNA?) and then conclude that DNA must be designed by a mind (and consequently I presume you would say that those such as the ant and bee examples derived from DNA are also derived by way of DNA from the same mind that DNA derives from).

Two questions: 1.To what degree, would you say, can we speak about ants and bees as having ‘minds’? If we say that they have minds, then the codes they use are also products of minds (albeit these minds originating with DNA).

2. If we grant that ants and bees have rudimentary minds and that the codes they use derive from those minds (although not in any conscious sense analogous to how we understand ‘our own codes’ as having originated), then can we not apply the similar reasoning to ‘our own codes’ and say that, although they derived from minds, they also have their ultimate derivation in DNA.? That in fact all MINDS that we know of derive from DNA, not the obverse? And that we don’t really know how DNA and subsequently minds originated?

I want to emphasize, I am fully with you against the dogma of Darwinism (neo-Darwinism), and I think our intuitions of design in nature should not be devalued ,suppressed or deplored. Our notion of transcendence is the deepest part of who we are and our language and culture(s) are permeated with it. It is the origin of all religion, great art, poetry and mysticism. But if nature itself is a manifestation of Mind ( various philosophies such as the Buddhists, deists,pantheists, idealists expound different variations of this idea) doesnt this, in a way, solve the riddle, although the details, in keeping with Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem, cannot be given an exhaustive rational account?

Another question I want to ask is: would you say that the ‘laws’ ‘governing’ the ‘behavior’ of electrons and the consequent ablility for atoms of different elements to combine to form compounds is a kind of code?
And what about the laws of logic, which we can only think about as being prior to any actual world at all, which any possible world must satisfy in order to be possible, and which, even God, it would seem, would have to satisfy in order to create an actual world. Could EVEN GOD imagine a possible world, let alone create an actual world, where, for example something could both exist and not exist at the same time? Perhaps God can BE that which both exists and doesn’t exist, but could EVEN HE imagine an ACTUAL world that both existed and didn’t exist or where states of affairs both were true and not true?
I like Plato’s theory of the Forms, and I think of them as the eternal, logical possibility of the existence of anything at all, and as the blueprint for the existence of any actual ( or idea of any possible) entity. Do those (logical) forms exist in a mind? Are THEY God?
I am inspired by the idea that the transcendent is drawn upon and manifested in ethics, love, the arts, mysticism and particularly religious revelation. I think the christian revelation is perhaps, in a dialectical sense, closest to the truth, but I dont believe it is ‘infallible’, a ‘perfect’ revelation, I think we must always beware of dogma and the divisiveness of claims for a ‘one true religion’.

All the best
John

1. It’s only barely possible to say insects have minds. Their languages are hard-coded. Bee waggles, for example, are a direct expression of a quantum physics phenomenon (totaly fascinating btw, see http://science.box.sk/newsread.php?newsid=6321 Linguists will tell you that animals do not have the ability to use Universal Grammars and make symbolic choices that humans have.

That said, I think even cells have a will and some form of self awareness, however small it may be.

2. If bees can / could create codes then that’s just another conscious mind making choices of the use of symbols which still perfectly aligns with my thesis: Only minds can create codes from scratch and make arbitrary choices of symbols.

I think what you are driving at is: At what point is there a disconnection between a code that’s derived from DNA and one that’s not? Bee waggles appear to be hard coded into DNA and the bee is just acting that out. When humans develop a specification for USB software they make specific choices from an infinite range of possibilities; in other words humans have a level of free will that animals do not appear to have.

3. Laws as code: Yes in a sense they are but they do not exist as symbols, only as behaviors. If you take Claude Shannon’s encoder > code channel > decoder model and try to map those laws to it you see the difficulty. Where’s the encoder? How is the symbol assigned to a physical substrate?

You make a GREAT point about suppressing intuition, which is an enormously powerful gift of the human mind. “Evolution produces such a strong illusion of design it has fooled almost every human who ever lived.” – Richard Dawkins

I have found from personal experience that when you suppress intuition it leaks around the edges in all kinds of erratic ways. In a nutshell I think that’s why so many atheists that come here are so angry. It takes a lot of work to deny the obvious.

Laws of logic: You’re pushing the edges of my envelope w/ that question. There are things like particle/wave duality and all sorts of apparent paradoxes which are not actually contradictions.

Logical forms: Well I think mathematics ontologically exists. But I don’t think it’s God. Because mathematics is contingent. http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/incompleteness/

Yes, we must always beware of dogma!

John Storey says:

Thanks for your reply.

I checked out the link re bees. Very interesting!

It’s true that humans possess self-reflexive consciousness, which animals don’t seem to. This is probably the origin of ‘free will’, which appears to consist in our capacity for deliberation, choice and justificatory reasoning.

Justificatory reasoning is often ‘after the fact’. Someone asks you why you did something and you say “because I wanted to such and such and I thought the best way would be so and so”…and so on. Quite often we may have been consciously unaware of why we did something, or even that we performed particular actions.

All this ‘telling of stories to and about ourselves obviously goes hand in hand with the ability to use language, and this other animals do not seem to possess in anything more than relatively rudimentary ways.

The big question is: is free will an illusion “by means of the bewitchment of language” (as Wittgenstein put it, although he was referring to philosophical problems such as the problem of free will not the experience of free will itself).

Of course we have our EXPERIENCE of free will, seemingly universal and unquestioned (pre-philosphically) in all cultures. We don’t seem to be in a position to answer the question: did our self reflexive consciousness enable language to develop, or did our pre self-reflexively conscious development of language enable the transition to self-reflexive consciousness?

We don’t seem to be able to give any coherent intellectual account of how it is possible for us to exercise free will. Some ‘hard’ determinists take this as showing that it doesn’t exist. Free will libertarians deny this, arguing that its free nature precludes the possibility of giving a causal account of it. If we could it wouldn’t be free, by definition. All compatibilist theories (of free will with determinism) from Hobbes and Hume and others even earlier down to the present seem to be intellectual ‘fudges’ or ‘cop-outs’.

The greatest exemplification of a rational theory that explains this inability to give an account of free will and seems to preclude the (at least) LOGICAL possibility of its existence is Galen Strawson’s “free will impossibilism’. This says very basicaly: ‘Since our acts are contingent on our natures, whether these latter are determined or non-determined, in order to be held responsible for one’s acts one would have to be responsible for one’s nature, but since this is obviously impossible, then we can’t logically be held responsible for our acts.”

This seems to be a devastating critique of the notion of free will, however I am not convinced by it, since we all experience free will and are incapable of experiencing ourselves as ‘determined’. Perhaps this is sort of an example of Godel’s Theorem at work. We operate within our free wills but are incapable of giving a coherent, logically consistent account of how it is possible. I interpret this fact as showing the limitations of the human intellect rather than the impossibility of free will. The latter conclusion would be based on the assumption that we are able to give a rational account of everything.There would seem, then, to be something miraculous even in our basic everyday experience of freedom! The only other alternative which seems logically viable is that this whole experience is an illusion, which I don’t think is something worth believing, even if we were capable of really believing it, which we are not.

This (ridiculously long) post is also a response to ejbman’s next post after my last post.

My last point (I promise I’ll try to keep it short) is about ‘laws of logic’ and ‘logical forms’. What I was really trying to drive at was that if we try to imagine the conditions just prior (if this makes sense) to the ‘big bang’, it seems impossible not to think that the logical possibilities for everything that developed after the big bang must have been somehow ‘inherent’ in whatever it was that became the universe.

This means the possible behavior of elementary ‘particles’ before they formed stable atoms, the possibility of the formation of more complex atoms from hydrogen and all the logical (mathematical) posibilities of their bonding to form molecules (including the four involved in DNA), and all the logical possibilities of how THESE could combine and so on. The actual nature (behavior) of these fundamental particles seems to be governed by the mathematics (logic, logos) of their possible movements and combinations.

You say mathematics is contingent and there may be infinitely many other possibilities but can we conceive that any of them could be NON-MATHEMATICAL?

Note, I’m not suggesting here that mind, or free will, or beauty, or ethics, or intuition, or God could be described or are limited by logic or mathematics, but it seems that any PHYSICAL reality must be determined by these codes, and it is impossible to imagine (at least for me) how even God could create a physical reality that wasn’t.

All the best and thanks for a great site!

John

ejbman says:

John,

One of my favorite holes to poke in conventional notions of free will is to ask the question “Free of what?” Most people have no clue how to answer that question, even from their own experience (the appeal to which does all the work in your claim).

When it comes to the issue of free will, you could do worse than read Daniel Dennett’s books. Of course, I recommend his entire opus, but I think a good place to start is “Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting”, which was followed up by “Freedom Evolves”. The first does a good job of tickling all the apparently insurmountable bugbears in the free will debate into submission (such as the ‘could have done otherwise’, or the ‘responsiblity’ bugbears). The second neatly wraps up the issue with such a brilliant appeal to the obvious that mathematicians should be jealous.

I find Dennett’s coining of the phrase ‘evitability’ a nice way to capture the true essence of human freedom. In just a few words (mine): the more we know, the more we can avoid.

For instance, because we have pretty good meteorology, we have pretty good predictive power about weather 1-3 days out. So, if going on a camping trip, I can avoid getting too cold or too wet by bringing along just the right gear and no more or no less. Without the (admittedly probabilistic) knowledge, I would have to rely on pure guesswork, or else inefficiently plan for absolutely every contingency. So what I do instead is, hearing about the forecast, I am triggered to envision a future in which the predicted outcome occurs and then envision what I would have to do in that circumstance in order to avoid undesireable states (i.e., cold and wet) and I make selections from among my gear in order to optimize the experience. In doing so, I am doing no more or less than an adequately programmed robot could do – and that’s why human beings can be described as adequately programmed robots (‘programmed’ by the environment and by memes).

All of the apparent ‘choice’ in the matter is mere selection by sense comparison and meeting threshold values, just like the robot at the auto plant that picks up the right piece of the auto body and sprays on the right paint. Of course it seems satisfying and ‘experiential’ to *us*, because we have complex perceptual gestalts with interlocking association chains that robots don’t need, because their environments are simple and predictable. But our extra apparatus is what makes it ‘feel good’ to pick the fresh fruit, say, over the rotten one. We have informational schemata availbe in a virtual representations of the world (imagination), we compare them, and we are ‘rewarded’ when our selection matches our prediction. Nothing mystical needed.

Of course, all of this could be described as insubstantial and ghostly. But to make the leap that this is somehow related to something metaphysical is like saying software is a magic spell that makes inert boxes talk and glow through witchcraft. Our minds are software that was programmed by millenia of trial and error.

ejbman says:

If you want to see how difficult it is to tell the difference between signal and noise, communication and static, just ask the people at SETI:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126510251&sc=fb&cc=fp

Unless you think there are aliens, you might have to grant this as another naturally occurring communication system.

There appears to be an encoder. Where’s the decoder?

Johan says:

Hi Perry,

I agree with you , biology reached another Iron Curtain.

The previous one was before the mid 19TH century and Louis Pasteur . The final blow that send
that Berlin Wall crumbling was delivered by Louis Pasteur in his famous lecture at the Sorbonne
University:(1964)

“Never will the doctrine of spontaneous generation recover from the mortal blow struck by this
simple experiment” ONLY LIFE BEGETS LIFE.

Neo-Darwinism excepts this but argue that :

“Pasteur, of course, was right, but with one major exception. If we think of contemporary
organisms in the present, life begets life, and like begets like. But if we look into the past, we
quickly realize that there must have been at least one time when Pasteur’s dictum did not hold.
Some 3.8 to 4 billion years ago, life on Earth emerged from nonlife. Astonishingly early in the
history of this planet, its abiotic chemistry assembled into the rudiments of living systems. Those
early systems, capable of organizing their chemical reactions, defining an inside and an outside,
storing information, encoding their own history and, crucially, evolving, would irreversibly alter
Earth’s surface and history.”
( A quote from an excellent article by Dorit on the American Scientist’s Website :
http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/id.9803,y.0,no.,content.true,page.1,css.print/issue.aspx

Dorit is basically agreeing with your introduction to this blog except for the Neo-Darwinism
dogma , the religion of many modern scientists.

ONLY LIFE BEGETS LIFE is a basic theorem or law of modern biology and applicable to all
presently known life forms. The Venter Institutes’s experiments and other similar experiments to
produce synthetic life are included in my referral to presently known life forms The changes
these experiments induce in cells, are the result of the efforts living scientists.

On the surface it might seem if Dorit agree your view (and mine also) but he definitely does not
belief in pre-programmed DNA or any form of Intelligent Design.

“I remain convinced that a commitment to evolution as the explanation for life on Earth is not
incompatible with an equally strong commitment to religious belief as an organizing principle for
personal behavior. But the insights from evolution, cosmology, physics, statistics, geology and
more do require us to swallow hard. For modern science brings us face to face with the fact that
our presence on Earth may, after all, be no more than an immense accident. Nevertheless, we have
been endowed, however accidentally, with self-awareness and the power to understand our own
origins. As this book makes clear, there is grandeur in that power.” Review of WHY
EVOLUTION IS TRUE by Jerry A. Coyne.

Regards,

Johan

MSABBAH says:

Of course the Darwinian Wall will fall, and maybe much sooner than 2013. This invalid theory was built out of ignorance and based on false assumptions. But when this fall will come, will it be convincing enough for the atheists? I do not think so. I feel like atheists will continue to exist, simply because Satan will always be there to change the face of truth, and to mislead ill (in mind) people.
Proofs on God existance are there in all major science, Cosmology, Biology, Biology. English translation of Quran Chapter “45″, talks exactly about this:
45.1: “Ha Mim”
45.2: “The revelation of this Book is from Allah, the Mighty, the Wise”
45.3: “Verily in the heavens and the earth are Signs for those who believe”
45.4: “And in your own creation and in that of all the creatures which He scatters in the earth are Signs for a people who possess firm faith”
45.5: “And (in) the alternation of the night and the day, and (in) what Allah sends down of sustenance from the cloud, then gives life thereby to the earth after its death, and (in) the changing of the winds, there are signs for a people who understand”
45.6: “These are the signs of Allah which We recite unto thee (Muhammad) with truth. Then in what fact, after Allah and His signs, will they believe?”
45.7: “Woe to each sinful dealer in Falsehoods”
45.8: “He hears the Signs of Allah rehearsed to him, yet is obstinate and lofty, as if he had not heard them: then announce to him a Penalty Grievous!”
45.9: “And when he knoweth aught of Our revelations he maketh it a jest. For such there is a shameful doom”
45.12: “Allah is He Who made subservient to you the sea that the ships may run therein by His command, and that you may seek of His grace, and that you may give thanks”
45.13: “And hath made of service unto you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth; it is all from Him. Lo! herein verily are portents for a people who reflect”

May Allah show us the truth, and Guide us in the right path, “The path of those whom Thou hast favoured; Not the (path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray”

Thanks for your remarks. If one studies the debates I’ve had with atheists on these topics, one quickly sees the emphatic state of denial. Atheists ferociously argue that DNA isn’t really a code, once they recognize the implications. (And one could hardly find a more soundly rooted fact in all of science.) It’s a case study in people believing what they CHOOSE to believe. No one can take away anyone’s free choice – it belongs to the individual alone. I’ll respond to your other comments as I have time.

ejbman says:

The freedom you describe is an illusion based on a faulty model of consciousness. The only ‘choices’ we have are weightings between preferences, which are given to us anyway. Now, the more knowledge we gain, the more we can expose our ability to weigh our given preferences to circumstance. In other words, if we never knew about radiation or could not correlated its effects, we would never be able to ‘choose’ to avoid it. This is only apparent choice, however, since we have no choice about wishing to survive (or not survive, as the case may be), since those preferences are given to us by genetics or circumstance.

Binkyboy says:

Most of your faq is made up of presumptions and a limited mind that thinks that he understands what information is actually made of.

DNA is probably not the original form of reproducible sub-genetic information. If you were capable of reading, instead of pontificating about surety’s in religion, then you might already know that. You might also know that attractions between simple organic compounds, in certain atmospheric conditions, have been found.

But you keep beating your drums and writing books that have nothing to do with chemistry or biology. I’m sure at some point someone will think you actually have something useful.

I am fully aware of all those experiments. I have a literal stack of origin of life books on my shelf. Not a single one of them explains the origin of information. Half sweep it under the rug. The other half admits there is no known explanation. Hubert Yockey is the most forthright of all. He explains why the origin of the genetic code is not derivable from physics and chemistry; thus it is unknowable to science and must be taken as axiomatic. Reference: “Information Theory, Evolution and the Origin of Life” by Hubert Yockey (Cambridge University Press, 2005)

When you have a scientific argument and empirical evidence to present, please come forward with it.

Show me an example of a naturally occurring code, Binkyboy, and you can claim your $10,000. And you won’t have to wait until 2013, you can have it right now.

Binkyboy says:

Here is a question: Has DNA existed in its current form since the beginning of life? Is “life” definable only with DNA?

I love your God pounders on this site. Just shows what kind of audience you play to.

All the life we have ever observed is defined by DNA. Perhaps other forms are possible, I’m open to that. But DNA is all that is known to science.

The central question of DNA is not “where did the chemicals come from”, it’s “Where did the genetic code come from? Where did the information come from?” An example of ANY naturally occurring code will suffice as an answer to my challenge, not just DNA. So far none is known to science.

Cobalt says:

The same old argument. It’s like pointing to a top of the range racing car and asking how something like that could miraculously appear. But it didn’t. It is the end product of hundreds of thousands of years from stone tools, the first wheel, smelting of metals, discovery of oil and petrol, rubber from trees, discovery of electricity, and so on as well as many earlier models of cars.

The same with DNA. As I keep telling you; modern day DNA did not just miraculously appear as you claim it did. It evolved from a first strand of RNA, like that which has been created in a laboratory. It has gone though millions of changes over maybe four billion years to reach the incredibly complicated state where it is now.

Could the uncomplicated first strand of RNA from which all life evolved just happen? Yes. With a whole planet full of chemicals, with incoming chemicals from space in comets, etc as well as chemicals and heat from volcanic vents over half a billion years, it would be strange if it did not happen. It apparently also happened on Mars which even NASA believes has life under it’s surface as the gassing off of methane every Martian summer cannot be explained any other way.

Johan says:

Cobalt says

“The same old argument. It’s like pointing to a top of the range racing car and asking how
something like that could miraculously appear. But it didn’t. It is the end product of hundreds of
thousands of years from stone tools, the first wheel, smelting of metals, discovery of oil and
petrol, rubber from trees, discovery of electricity, and so on as well as many earlier models of
cars.”

…… but Cobalt, the evolution you refer to was guided by INTELLIGENCE. Not only the car
you refer to but our whole modern transport system’s evolution was guided by intelligent minds.

You actually agree with Perry!!!!!!

Johan.

ejbman says:

I’ve already debunked this myth by showing you that bees and ants communicate without a designer.

Moreover, we HAVE observed new life that is not made of DNA. We have observed thoughts, which are a form of life that does not even depend upon us. Indeed, your own thoughts have jumped species and now live on magnetic traces in a server somewhere, where they may re-infect some other sapient, who may mutate them and copy them elsewhere in a perfect example of Darwinian evolution.

BigJess51 says:

I have heard enough of this nonsense all of you are basically agreeing with hi and I do as well, but you refuse to see that you are agreeing with him. The fact of the matter is that there is and always has been an intelligent design with all of life, I have heard about the creation of life in the laboratory and this shows that if it exists then it was created by an intelligent design if you can call man intelligent which in some cases is difficult to do after reading some of the vitriol being spread here. If you are so enamored with your own ideas then why are you trying to convert others to your way of thinking? There is an old saying “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still” if you will not allow yourself to learn something new or a different way of looking at things then you are dead intellectually.

Binkyboy says:

Crystals.

Also, information is what culture defined it as. Basic elements can be considered “information” by your pathetic attempt to classify things. Chemicals “pair” because they have free electrons, etc, making patterns which is easy for your brain to handle, not because there is actual information there. You carefully neglect to consider the evolution of DNA, instead making the same mistake Meyer makes when assuming that what we have now, at its simplest form, is what has always been. You then take that and shove God in any of the gaps that you can imagine, and yell “ta-da” like a cheap side-show magician.

Binkyboy,

It’s time for you to do your homework and learn about information theory. Crystals are not communication systems because they don’t conform to Shannon’s model. If you think they do then draw a diagram of encoder, communication channel and decoder. Label the parts and fill in the coding table matching symbols to referent. Apprise yourself Yockey’s book, read Shannon’s paper. Then come and present a scientific argument.

ejbman says:

Perry, you are really funny. You make it seem as if you are open to debate, but then you limit the terms of the question down so tightly that you’ve painted yourself into a corner. Shannon’s information theory already assumes sentience, so the idea that you would limit information generation to things that meet Shannon’s criteria is hilarious!

Binkyboy’s point about crystals is not something you can ignore, and here’s why. Simple phase shift in water – going from solid to liquid – increases the order of the system, reversing entropy in that localized system, contrary to what the ‘laws’ of thermodynamics would suggest. Considering that a huge part of what allows complex molecules to form is sheer geometric proximity in ordered arrangement, consider the possibilities. All you need is a puddle of simple molecules sitting around in a dynamic temperature gradient. Freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw and repeat. You get molecules being presented to each other in increasingly ordered geometries, much the same way a crochet needle can create a complex pattern by repetition of a simple motion. Is this ‘communication of information’? Not in a way that conforms with Shannon’s model, but who died and made Shannon the god of information theory? Simple geometric complexity is all you need to create complex systems that are information bearing. Now where’s my $10K?

If you listened to my talk “If you can read this, I can prove God exists” – http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/ifyoucanreadthis.htm you would know that the very first thing I talk about in that lecture is the self organizing properties of nature, ie fractals, snowflakes, crystals, etc.

You must be confusing me with someone else because I never make the argument that nature doesn’t self organize.

My argument is that nature’s ability to self organize dos not extend to building something like a Shannon communication system. All such systems we know the origin of are designed.

Sorry pal, no $10K. If you want the prize money, you have to meet the qualifications. They are posted at http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/solve/

ejbman says:

My ‘paint yourself into a corner’ comment stands. Your requirements can be summarized as: find me a number greater than 10 using single digit integers. Duh. If you set up constraints like that it’s no wonder you think nobody can disprove you.

You’ve suggested that no independent forms of complexity equivalent to that in DNA exist and then excluded nature from possible examples. Well where else are they supposed to exist? The magical land of Oz? Of course, that’s your very point – they must come from a supernatural source. I find it interesting that you leap to a particular supernatural source (from among the billions that have been imagined) when you make that move, but that’s a different discussion.

But, by making your claims incapable of falsification, you have not only painted yourself in a corner, but shot yourself in the foot. I could easily replicate your type of argument ad infinitum as I did with the number series above. I could, for instance, ask you to disprove the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster God, or a teacup orbitting Alpha Centauri a million years ago and so on. If there is no possibility of disproving, there is also no possibility of proving, and the conjecture is utterly meaningless.

Furthermore, lack of conclusive evidence for any particular explanation of abiogenesis does not make the theological point true, any more than the past lack of evidence about how clouds make rain was evidence of rain gods. That’s just attempting to plug the dyke of uncertainty with fluff. All it shows is an inability to cope with uncertainty.

I hope you don’t succumb to the tempation to leave my response unpublished, just because it destroys the foundations of your argument.

We have not observed the origin of DNA, so that is open question.

All codes we know the origin of are designed.

That is an entirely and easily falsifiable statement. Just show me an exception.

All I’m asking for is the creation of one code through purely natural processes. What’s so unreasonable about that?

ejbman says:

What is unreasonable is that you reject the evidence I have given you on unreasonable grounds.

The one example of the sheer anti-entropic action of crystaline structures in freezing and thawing ice is sufficent example of complexity from simplicity to account for our origins. Your strict definition of ‘codes’ is useless and meaningless in the face of this action, because it is but one specific case of anti-entropy that already assumes sentience as the origin of messages. The purpose of its development (Shannon’s work) was to find signal out of noise. That there are complexities in nature which resemble signal do not automatically make their origin sentient. It is a move of remarkable arrogance to think that the productions of humans or our imagined gods are the only possible source of signal-like complexity in nature.

Besides the anti-entropic action of crystal structures, there are dozens and dozens more, including insect activity. However, you reject these out of hand because, like the uroboros snake of legend that swallows its own tail, you assume creation first. Of course if you assume creation first everything will appear to be created! Yet, creation is a ridiculous superfluity, since each of the phenomenon we observe in nature can be explained without it.

Even if the explanations are not yet complete, the very existence of reasonable possibilities utterly dominates the extreme unlikelihood of there being a magical humanoid that did it. Not sure why this is so hard to grasp.

You claim we have not observed the origin of DNA. Well, according to the Bible:

“No one has ever seen God.” ~John 1:18

On that one point, I concur with the Bible.

ejbman says:

BTW, this might help provide some much-needed perspective: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGKRurORkCA

jimmorris395 says:

Is it your premise that:

A) All codes we know the origin of are designed.
B) Therefore all codes are designed.
C) Therefore DNA is designed and has a designer.

levgilman says:

“All codes we know the origin of are designed. DNA is code. It follows that DNA is designed.”
Here, the template is “all phenomenas of class A that have a property B have also property C”. Give it to humourists and get a funny collection of equally adequate statements.

Again, if it is mathematically proven “by Shannon”, why bother about experience?

Just after writing that, heared a joke (from source unrelated to the discussion): people of a small and porr village invite Rotschild: “If you want to gain immortality, come to our village. There has no been a case that a millionaire died in our village”.

My statement “All codes we know the origin of are designed. DNA is code. It follows that DNA is designed” does not come from Shannon’s theory. It comes from experience.

levgilman says:

The statement as whole does not come from Shannon’s theory. The consequence part of it allegedly does.

jimmorris395 says:

OK, there’s a term for “reasoning” that goes like this: This is a dog, it is black, That animal is black, it must be a dog. ( course it isn’t, it’s a horse or a cat or…) What is that kind of reasoning called???

Ira says:

It’s called invalid. But that isn’t Perry’s syllogism which is valid.

sethdbrown says:

Hi Perry

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

My Best to You and Yours This Year and Next,

Seth

Cobalt says:

I hope to be around in 3 years and would happily take your bet as it’s easy money. However from Kent Hovind, another creationist who offered money to anyone who could prove evolution and never paid up when proof was given, I don’t expect you to put your money where your mouth is. Talk is cheap.

I checked out creationist Stephen Meyer. Darrel Falk tore his book apart, exposing many false claims. Mayer claimed that Michael Lynch was wrong but gave no evidence to prove it. As the wiki says:

Falk concluded, “If the object of the book is to show that the Intelligent Design movement is a scientific movement, it has not succeeded. In fact, what it has succeeded in showing is that it is a popular movement grounded primarily in the hopes and dreams of those in philosophy, in religion, and especially those in the general public.”

The fact that the book is a good seller means nothing, any more than the fact that Von Daniken’s or Lobsang Rampa’s books were good sellers too. Some people will buy any such new-age book. Underneath I give a full list of scientific papers by Meyer and his Discovery Institute which have been peer-reviewed by the scientific community:

NONE.

You still put out the same lie about Darwinism aka Evolution being down to randomness. It is down to what works best in any situation, as in a survival trait. These traits build up (because the host survives) till they are distinct from what went before without them.

DNA is a code only in the same sense that any sentence is a code because it must have set structures (words) in it to make it work.

Cobalt,

Your comments are just like 90% of the reviews on Amazon. You didn’t read this book. You let Falk do your thinking for you. You’ve come here to my website and you’ve critiqued a book you haven’t even read, and made false statements about it because you aren’t familiar with the arguments Meyer makes.

Which is exactly what Falk wants you to do. If you read this book and think for yourself, you’ll realize that Meyer raises questions that the Darwinian model has no answers for. And you’ll stop parrotting the Darwinian Groupthink.

I’ll cut to the chase and make you the same offer I made Binkyboy:

Refer to Claude Shannon’s paper “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” (Bell Labs, 1948) and its diagram of a communication system http://cosmicfingerprints.com/shannon_comm_channel.JPG

Reply to this blog post and show me ONE communication system that conforms to this model that is not designed. Draw a Shannon communication system and label the components – encoder, decoder, communication channel, and table of symbols. I have done so for ASCII and DNA at http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/faq and at http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/information-theory-made-simple/

All you need is one example of a naturally occurring code. Come here with an example and I’ll pay you $10,000 cash. You won’t have to wait 3 years, you can get it now.

The #1 point of Meyer’s book is that DNA contains information and there is no process of pure physics and chemistry that creates information. Or, to use your terminology, DNA uses words. So far as science knows, only intelligent beings create communication systems and words.

Cobalt, think for yourself, do your homework. Prove that you can successfully show that materialistic worldview can explain the origin of information. If you can demonstrate that creating a strand of self-reproducing RNA is inevitable, then you should have no problem walking away with a nice prize.

Sincerely,

Perry Marshall

jimmorris395 says:

I haven’t read the aforementioned book. I have studied evolution theory for quite a while. Here’s what I’m looking for: If you have a population of beige rats and you place them on a black environment, in a relatively short time the later generations of surviving rats will be dark. The time that it takes for this change to occur is surprisingly short. It seems shorter than what you’d expect from random mutations. How’s that happen? Is there an ability for the rat to affect changes that will increase the chances of his offspring’s survival?

I’m not talking intelligent design here. The ID that I’ve seen is backengineering science to justify a creation theory that was based on a lack of information. That creation theory wouldn’t exist at all if today’s info was available, back then.

Jim,

I completely understand what you are saying. One possibility is that the black gene was already there, but that’s not evolution, it’s just genetics. But there’s a much larger explanation for evolution. That explanation is “cellular genetic engineering.” See:

1) http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/new-theory-of-evolution
2) James A. Shapiro, “A 21st Century View of Evolution”: http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.edu/Shapiro.2005.Gene.pdf

DNA engineers its own mutations to actively adapt to its environment. It does this intelligently and with great efficiency. It’s not random or accidental. Barbara McClintock first observed this in 1944.

I’m espousing a different kind of ID – that evolution has embedded intelligence. And yes, that intelligence originally had to come from somewhere because it’s not accidental. Yes, it does have strong metaphysical implications. But you do not have to embrace any particular religious worldview in order to embrace it.

jimmorris395 says:

It’s going to take a bit to get Shapiro and McClintock under my hat. Their credentials are impressive. As one educated in science in the 60′s, and having followed scientific development out of interest, I was turned on to the possibility that there’s more than randomness involved in evolution by comments from Ken Wilber: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Wilber . Mr. Wilber has got to be one of the brightest bulbs in the box.

Most people’s idea about the nature of God is wrapped around lessons that are appropriate for children. It was understood that children couldn’t understand a subject that is pretty much, a priori, indescribable, so children were taught something that they could relate to. The next steps, which most never take, is that we are to continue with our education and inquiry as we mature and inculcate the indescribable and ineffable depth of what God is about. That crucial life long stage is pretty much ignored, by both church structures and individuals. People wander around either embracing and protecting or rejecting a children’s concept of God, kinda like Santa Claus, People reject “God”, call themselves athiests, like they no longer believe in Santa Claus. Considering the inaccuracy of this children’s concept, that choice is understandable. It’s just that they tossed something highly valuable, that lends meaning to the second half of life, out with the bathwater.

I like the quote from the physicist, Stephen Hawking, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking , Somebody asked him if he believed in God. He replied, yes, but the God I believe might be different from the God that many believe in.

That’s about where I’m at. And I think this question of the continuance and variety and persistence of life is part of why so many feel that there must be a God. However, the God that is driving life is likely to be the antithesis of the God that so many are willing to exclude or kill others over.

Jim,

I love your comments. Yes, a lot of people learn about God in Sunday School and they don’t know that theology grows up just like you do. How precious few have read authors like Augustine or Origen. Or Jonathan Edwards or Karl Barth. Or even Matthew, Mark, Luke and John for that matter. I think the book of John in the New Testament puts forward an incredibly sophisticated theology, with LOVE palpably wrapped all around it.

Yes, God is indescribably and ineffably deep. And you’re right, I can totally understand why someone would reject God outright if they think God is a kid-simple santa-claus proposition.

Perry

davidmwpowers says:

Both “Evolution” and “Intelligent Design” have severe defects and cannot be classified as true theories in the Popperian sense. To be a properly formulated scientific theory involves having clear hypotheses (aka assumptions), a clear methodology (including both empirical experimentation and logical reasoning), and making clear predictions (that is predicting new unobserved data, not just showing consistency with the evidence used to develop the theory). Just adducing new discoveries to one side or the other, or bending the theory to fit them in, is not the same as predicting them either.

However, while Evolution is in some senses dead (and has never truly been a live theory in the above sense), I doubt very much that we will see the last of it for a good few decades. The problem is that for many an atheistic scientist, Evolution is the only religion they are able to believe in, and this belief is just as much a matter of faith as trust in God. Thus it goes beyond the usual Kuhnian paradigm, as it is not just maintained by a scientific establishment, it is maintained with a religious zeal.

Genetics is not the same as Evolution, and variation within a species is not the same as mutation into a new species that is formally distinct (and in particular cannot interbreed with the original species).

In terms of information theory and psycholinguistic theory, the advent of the computer has revolutionized many areas of science, including in particular the behavioural sciences, with the birth of cognitive science. Whereas a century ago (or less) psychological theories (e.g. of perception) were couched in terms of daemons, and fifty years ago (or less) perceptual theories were couched in terms of neurons (with riders explaining that the units of the theory may actually be clusters or networks rather than individual cells), the advent of the computer has allowed theories to be simulated, and the legacy for psychology, linguistics etc. is suddenly great predictive power and much stronger theories, as at last true theories making substantial predictions are possible. Information theory is one of the strands on which Cognitive Science is built, and much of modern linguistics, or Computational Linguistics, is now built around Information Theory as an extension of Probability Theory/Statistics.

Interestingly, over the last 30 years, work on Machine Learning of Natural Language, or Unsupervised Language Learning, or Computational Psycholinguistics, or even Cognitive Linguistics, has been based around the idea that language can be learned and is an extension of our ability to understand the world, and a consequence of the design of the ontological learning system that makes sense of our sensory-motor world.

We have a system that is designed to understand a world in which entities and actions have certain causal relationships. As you walk across the room, your head and arms and legs tend to go with you, so do your clothes and your glasses, and the glass you are holding in your hand. Cognitive Linguistics sees the whole of the language system as hinging on metaphor, whilst Natural Language Learning tends to build models hinging on some underlying concept of similarity. These are just two sides, or more accurately two levels, of the one idea. The “No Free Lunch” theorem shows that what you learn is dependent on the bias built in to the system, viz. the design of the system. In the theory I have outlined, the biases are designed to understand the world we live in in the way we understand it (conceivably an alien or an animal might understanding it quite differently, or see quite different dimensions of the same reality). The NFL theorem is quite relevant to your challenge about self-organization of a code – basically the meaning is in the eye of the beholder, and it is all a matter of biases, both the biases of the learning/evolving/self-organizing system, and the biases of the observer.

I have deliberately used the word “design” here, but don’t think I am necessarily talking about ID. I see science as exploring what can be explained and giving shape to what is (as yet) unexplained and in the domain of faith. As a good scientist, I try to avoid letting my faith get in the way of my science, biasing or constraining it, whether faith in God or faith in my own intelligence, or faith in scientific theories of my own or anyone else.

smax says:

The DNA code is a digital code and this quality of DNA has been published in the prestigious science journal Nature (see “The Digital Code of DNA” by Hood and Galas in Nature; http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v421/n6921/full/nature01410.html). The fields of bioinformatics and biocomputation have also established DNA as a digital code with not only informational and language aspects but also programming capabilities.

About ten years ago while splicing cDNA into the reading frame of an expression vector to produce a recombinant tagged protein, I noticed a similarity in organization of the genetic code with binary computer code. The genetic code appears to be a quaternary (A,G, C, T) bit code that is organized into bytes of three bits. Computer code is binary bit organized into the language of bytes each consisting of eight bits.

I have come to appreciate the improbability of such a complex DNA programming algorithm arising de novo in a pool of random chemicals. I am well aware of the abiogenesis experiments that have so far failed to randomly generate by chemical association anything resembling a code that is required for the expression of even a small 100 amino acid protein containing a function that could then be acted on by natural selection. The organism with the smallest genome is mycoplasma, which contains 482 genes made up of 0.58 million bases. This most simple of organisms requires a host cell to provide many necessary nutrients that it can’t make for itself. Darwinism begs of us to believe that a minimal self-replicating organism like a mycoplasma could arise de novo without a more complex system. Others have attempted to calculate the bare minimum of a self-replicating cell as being around 256 genes. Darwinism requires self-replicating systems to be acted on by natural selection, so how could such self-replicating systems be acted on by Darwinism to give rise to self-replicating organisms?

Hubert Yockey calculated that a pool of activated amino acids (aminoacyl-tRNAs) over a period of 1 billion years would only produce about a single polypeptide about 49 amino acids in length, which is only 1/6-1/8 the size of a typical protein. The hypothetical most minimal self-replicating cell would require at least 256 proteins. These realizations really impact how unlikely it is that the origin of life spontaneously arose by a “happy chemical accident”, a now very improbable hypothesis stated by the atheist Richard Dawkins. The mycoplasma and hypothetical most-minimal self-replicating cell are irreducibly complex, and are not compatible with a Darwinian mechanism in generating the first life forms.

The hypothesis that the DNA code has an intelligent origin makes several predictions that will be experimentally validated or falsified within the next few years. One premise of this hypothesis is that if an intelligent mind generated the digital DNA code, it would have radically superior intelligence to our own, in particular with respect to computational and information processing capabilities. We should thus be able revolutionize some aspects of our own computational and information technologies by studying the processes in the proposed DNA algorithms, in effect conducting a reverse engineering process, much like we would if an alien craft crash-landed a vehicle that we recognized had superior capabilities to our own. Reverse-engineering is conducted by countries who capture a ship or plane of an enemy in order to learn more about their technology. The intelligent mind behind the DNA code would be more intelligent than our own since we have only scratched the surface of understanding the running and application of the proposed DNA digital code and algorithms.

In support of the intelligent origins for life hypothesis, our knowledge and understanding of DNA has led to several new emerging computational and information technologies.

First, genetic programming was established using the principle of Darwinian natural selection, where a group of template codes are acted on by a program to solve a problem. Here is what Wikipedia states about genetic programming: “In artificial intelligence, genetic programming (GP) is an evolutionary algorithm-based methodology inspired by biological evolution to find computer programs that perform a user-defined task. It is a specialization of genetic algorithms (GA) where each individual is a computer program. Therefore it is a machine learning technique used to optimize a population of computer programs according to a fitness landscape determined by a program’s ability to perform a given computational task.” The best-fit template is mutated and then utilized to find the next generation best-fit template and so on and on. This is essentially allowing a computer to develop its own code. One other important point regarding genetic engineering is that it requires an active input of information (minds) that have an intended goal or outcome (solving a problem).

Second, DNA computing is now a hot field where the ability to solve certain problems can be conducted at many times faster than the speed of our current computers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_computing). DNA computing is much like parallel computing in that it uses different sequences of DNA to try many different possibilities at once. DNA computing also requires much lower power consumption than traditional silicon computers. DNA computers are faster and smaller than any other known computer.

Third, information storage is now being radically impacted utilizing the DNA coding capacity, which is phenomenal. In each of trillions of cells in our bodies, six feet of DNA is compacted into a 1-10 one-millionth of a diameter nucleus and contains 6 billion bases (diploid).

Here is one report that describes the potential of DNA digital algorithms as (http://www.ercim.org/publication/Ercim_News/enw43/mc_caskill1.html):
• OPENING the possibility of a simultaneous bootstrapping solution of FUTURE computer design, construction and efficient computation
• PROVIDING programmable access to nanosystems and the world of molecular biology, EXTENDING the reach of computation
• ADMITTING complex, efficient and universal algorithms running on dynamically constructed dedicated molecular hardware
• CONTRIBUTING to our understanding of information flow in evolution and biological construction
• OPENING UP NEW formal models of computation, EXTENDING OUR UNDERSTANDING of the limits of computation.

The above predictions would be expected if the intelligent origins hypothesis for DNA is valid.

I have conducted cancer research for the past 25 years and have taught graduate courses in genetics, biochemistry, and molecular & biology. Years ago I was an atheist but the recent revelations in science including the fine-tuning of many cosmological constants and fine-tuned conditions for life on earth, and in particular the digital code of DNA and molecular machines in the cell, have brought me to the belief that a higher intelligence is behind the origin of life. Like other noted ex-atheists (Flew and Collins), the science that converted me to atheism in my youth has now brought me to a belief in God.

My research now has a new purpose that is a motivated by a desire to understand more about the nature of God through the study of His creation. History illustrates that a belief in God does not impede the advancement of scientific discovery, since scientists like Newton, Galileo, Bacon, Kepler, Descartes, Boyle, Faraday, Mendel, Kelvin, and Plank believed in God, a belief that probably gave them a unique motivational perspective in conducting scientific research. Einstein also believed that it was unlikely that the universe was created without some higher power. The Encyclopedia Britannica says of him: “Firmly denying atheism, Einstein expressed a belief in “Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists.” This actually motivated his interest in science, as he once remarked to a young physicist: “I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.” With respect to his uncertainty principle, Einstein stated that “God does not play dice”.

Smax,

What a beautiful post. It’s like you’re reading my mind. Thanks for these thoughtful words, I couldn’t have said this better myself.

Perry

Tim says:

That was a great post by smax and you Perry, so much so I copied that last bit of data to my facebook notes with a picture of some DNA . I also agree with your bio evo way of understanding.

What you are saying about the world and it’s recognition of creation and therefore of God and religion does sound theoretically plausible. However, in light of Revelation chapter 17 it seems as if the world political powers are prophesied to destroy organized false religion as a whole which is referred to as Babylon The Great, which means they might still try to cover up the facts.
Whoever proves to be God’s true servants will refuse to pledge allegiance to the wild beast and will then be saved. ( sorry to sway off topic somewhat )

The idea of evolution as an engineered process originates with Barbara McClintock who discovered this in 1944. These ideas have been around a LONG time, and insiders in biology are at least peripherally aware of them. She won a Nobel prize for it, after all. The fact that her discoveries have never been given much attention is just proof that human nature and its capacity for denial is profound. The idea that any of this happens because of random accident is simply not supported by scientific research. Yet this idea persists with tremendous stubbornness.

Darwinism is nothing less than a materialistic idolatry. I do not use that word lightly. This is what atheists worship – in their words, the “nearly omnipotent power of natural selection”. Their refusal to recognize the ingeniousness of DNA & enjoy the benefits of that research proves the power of that idolatry. It makes fools of them all.

Michael says:

Dear Perry, you have so many blogs that sometimes one doesn’t know where to post. PS been getting seo and im emails for a while now, thanks for the good info.

Great to see other people being open to discussing some pretty important topics. Last night I wanted to make a sizable post but baby needed her bottie.

So i have been reading your websites for a while, among other books and texts. You’re clearly and intelligent person, and you remind me of and expert pastor i know. Based on your seo stuff you are really good at creating messages that have a good structure and build to a crescendo point in an easy for the reader ride!

This is great for getting ones point across, with Wikipedia style citations, bullet points and reference lists and links.

However sometimes i think one can be overly speedy on getting to that crescendo that one glosses of the “small” statements… for example:

“Name one other resurrection story that stuck. Just one.” I don’t know of any. I think there’s a reason for that. From here;

http://www.coffeehousetheology.com/top10/#2

There are none because normally the losing religious text or system does not get the opportunity to “stick”. :-)

Anyway its not really important, but I do have some questions that perhaps you can give me your insight into?

1. Why does God only have one son? I find that really strange that an omnipotent and all the other om’s would have only one “child”.

2. How great a sacrifice is it really for a god to die for our sins? If one is a god, and resurrection is certain then is it really a sacrifice? Would a greater sacrifice not be to give up ones immortality to spare us?

3. What is your current take on the bible (not sure for your version preference) translation accuracy from Greek and Hebrew? What about King Jame’s choices and his morals while creating his translation? What about the Geneva version? What about all the others before and now after? (Where are the footnotes for goodness sakes)

4. Why did the Roman Catholic Church want to suppress the English bible?

5. Why was there a tree of knowledge in the garden of Eden? What purpose did it serve to test us? Why not have it protected by angels or not exist at all?

6. Does god know all our choices? If so does he let us choose? If yes, does free will combined with inherited sin condemn us always?

7. Inherited sin – do you accept that we all have it?

I have so many questions…

Looking forward to your answers…

Regards
Michael

Michael,

If you have any faith at all in the ability of the human race to eventually sort out truth, then the fact that Christianity is larger and more pervasive in this century than it ever should have some import. When you talk about other religions “losing” to Christianity, let’s not forget who and what we’re talking about. Greek and Roman mythology, all kinds of idols and pagan religions, etc.

To your questions, which are excellent BTW:

1. God only has “one begotten son” because there is only one God and the Son is, in essence, God and God has only one expression. Paul says Christ is “the exact representation” of God’s nature.

2. To see how great a sacrifice this was, you might consider the difference between living in heaven and living on earth – the sacrifice of giving that up for any length of time; and the degree of suffering that was experienced at the cross. This is what Gibson’s Passion movie depicts. And yes, giving up one’s immortality was a sacrifice too. But fortunately that sacrifice was temporary.

3. Translation from Greek and Hebrew definitely loses some flavor, though the salient points still come through loud and clear. If you want to get an idea of the broadness of the variations then just put 3-4 translations next to each other. As for all the different kinds of Bibles, the more recent versions are made from earlier manuscripts. I think you will find that the difference between the NASB (which is translated as literally as reasonably possible) and the KJV (which comes from much later manuscripts than the NASB) still say essentially the same thing most of the time. BTW all these ancient manuscripts are readily accessible, there is no sleight of hand or big mystery about the geneaologies of the documents.

I think you can question the morals of everyone who has ever handled the Bible; the question is, was the translation handled accurately? Answering this question isn’t really all that difficult. There are mountains of manuscripts and translations that can all be compared. They’re all, broadly speaking, the same.

4. I think this may be too broad of a statement for me to simply accept. However I will say that the church’s attitude at the time was that the Bible was for the educated clergy not for the common man, that the common man needed the church to interpret the Bible for him. The printing press & the reformation were a sea change in this attitude.

5. I think the tree of knowledge was deliberately put there to test us. Most theologians agree on this. It most emphatically was NOT protected. I think the triviality of a piece of fruit (!) simply shows that man will trade a bloody fortune for the shortest-lived pleasure that promises to make him “like God.”

6. Yes, God knows our choices. Yes, he lets us choose – refer to #5. We DO have free will, it is not an illusion. We are not “always” condemned, but no one is exempt from a corrupt sin nature.

7. Yes, I accept original sin. As to what precisely this means, there is lots of hair splitting over that. But I would just generalize that after Adam’s sin, all of us have chosen sin from the youngest age that we are capable of making a choice. I don’t see this as a theoretical guilt that we have from conception; I see this as a behavioral reality that we observe in all people.

I presume you’re familiar with http://www.coffeehousetheology.com as well, it deals with the kinds of questions you ask here more than this site does.

Nice to meet you,

Perry

Qqccho says:

Perry,

From your answer in points 6 & 7 to Michael’s questions I have to ask this; 1- If we were designed to act thru a coded DNA, how are we responsable for our own actions? 2- What happens with a newborn that dies right after his birth before realizing his got a free will? 3- Does the Creator have the same DNA codes as we do since we were created as his image-All codes we know the origin of are designed (your words)? 4- Was HE designed too or we don’t know his origen? 5- Have we either celestial and natural code DNA- in case you give a negative answer to latter question since He’s out of the circle? 6- What (good behavioral) part of Him we have gotten at Creation that we won’t be question about? 7- Why Adam sold or traded his God condition to an evil fruit if he was god already (Genesis)? 8- Didn’t his coded DNA simply cope with situation he was put into? This all means that God created man at some point with the DNA man posseses now, or his DNA evolved thru time as everything else? If it evolved- DNA, you won’t find it as it was in the beginning-let’s go back to the BB, therefore all stories about Man’s creation and his fall are false.

I think mixing science and religion in one discussion is like mixing oil & water in a inexistant flask.

Darwin doesn’t make any references about God or Man’s creation. What he may have found is the process by which the Creator created everything including Man in the formula from the very beginning without the necessity of coming back to it- the creation process, every time. That process is Evolution. Why can’t life come from the primordial soup if it was God’s desire? If we can infer that HE can do whatever HE wants or how He wants then we might have a Creator and an evolution process which makes Darwing correct. Let’s wait for science discover the Creator. This blog is an atempt or intent. As Darwin’s it might have found the code DNA as the evolution meaning. We have reached the stage to discuss about it thru intelligence. Well this human intelligence will continue to grow or evolve till we encounter HIM- the divine intelligence. The Free Will I see is the one that won’t stop science to do its job; find the truth.

Best wishes(05/02/2010) Good to log in indicating date

1- I believe we are granted consciousness and free will. This is a theological position. It’s worth pointing out that a purely materialistic view of the world has a hard time explaining that free will could actually exist.
2- I assume you’re asking something like “What happens to babies when they die?” See Top 10 objections to Christianity & my response to each: #8 at http://www.coffeehousetheology.com/top10/#8 – apply this to children.
3- “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word WAS God.”
4- In the beginning WAS. God always was. There was no starting point. Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”
5- Celestial code
6- We are made in the image of God, see Genesis 1
7- He was not god already
8- Read Genesis 1 carefully. What part of it is not compatible with evolution?

Most people have never been informed that Darwin clearly referenced God – on the very first page of the first edition of “The Origin of Species”:

“Let no man think or maintain that a man can search too far or be too well studied in the book of God’s word or in the book of God’s works, but rather let man endeavor an endless progress or proficience in both.”

I am sure that God could cause life to come from the primordial soup. I can only point out that there is no known chemical process that creates codes, soup or not.

reindeercreek says:

A bunch of very good questions Michael and ideas that many people before you have had. The problem that you are facing in answering these questions is based on the idea that is basic in many people, that the Bible we have has every single bit of information included in it and is doctrinally complete and sound. That is a false assumption that leads to questions like yours. The questions are simply normal based on the flawed views of the people who have interpreted the scriptures that you have wondered about.

1. God has Billions of sons and daughters – all of us who are now and have ever been on earth. The Son of God that we call Jesus is simply the one of us who was the most obedient and most faithful and was deemed by God and us capable of meeting the requirements of being our Savior.

2. You do not understand much of what was involved and what was at stake for Him and us in His life and in the process of His death and all of what had to happen so perfectly so that there could be a Resurrection that then made it possible for us to go back to live with our heavenly Father again. You also do not understand why any of this had to happen or what becomes or could become of us as a result. At this point, suffice to say, there are fabulously incredibly important reasons why all of this creation came about the way it did and all of us here, before and now and coming in the future are the beneficiaries of that plan.

3. The Bible is true as it came from the Prophets but you have to understand that the Bible is a collection of 66 vastly different books written under vastly different circumstances to vastly different peoples over a period of many thousands of years and different cultures. The Bible was never 1 book by one person meant as a unified and complete description of all the whys and whats of this creation. That concept is the ultimate fairy tale fiction. All of the New Testament books were originally letters by individual Apostles to individuals or churches helping those people with problems they were having by giving authoritative guidance from people who knew the mind and will of the Savior. You are looking for things that aren’t there and aren’t supposed to be.

We are supposed to have a living Prophet as Israel had and we are supposed to have a church that was organized by the Savior, not a bunch of confused and uninspired denominations that do nothing more than parrot the same uninformed gobbldygook every Sunday, year in and year out. They teach as though they have the Wisdom of God, when all they have is the foolishness of men.

4. The Roman Catholic Church burned people at the stake for speaking scriptures in their native tongue in every country because they were aware that if the people in any country knew the scriptures, instead of just what their priest or Bishop said about the scriptures, the people would see the vast corruption of the Church and how far it had fallen from the Gospel as lived and taught by the Savior. As long as the Bible only existed in Latin – the Catholic Vulgate – and could only be read by a very few Catholic educated scholars, any dissension was totally controllable because the scholars were all employed by Catholic supported schools. As one Catholic Bishop in England said “If we don’t root out printing, printing will root us out!” King James had nothing personally to do with the Bible, he just arranged for the translation to be done.

The word Bible comes from the word biblos a Greek word that simply means book.

5. Please keep in mind that God did not write the Old Testament and drop it down to Moses when Moses got the Ten Commandments. Surprising how many people think something like that happened. That is typically what many people do and it isn’t even common sense, let alone factual. Don’t take every word of the Bible as literally word perfect or the complete story. Obviously we do not know every detail about everything there.

6 and 7.The principal reason for this whole world and all that goes with it is very simple. We lived as spirits with our Heavenly Father and this Earth was created as a place where we could come and have a physical body and the opportunity to choose between many things, good and bad and show whether or not we were willing to put the things of God and righteousness ahead of personal gain and sin. There is no such thing as “Original Sin” that is a fraudulent teaching of some early church leaders who used it to scare people so they would be easier to get money and obedience from. We have a loving Heavenly Father who is bound by the eternal laws of both justice and mercy and who wants to bless us not damn us to some hell but who can only reward sincere integrity and righteousness. If you have children you love, what would you look forward to doing for them? Would you give them everything you had if you knew that they could not handle it and would only destroy themselves and others if you gave it to them or would they be better off if you gave them some experience so they could see the wisdom you had so that when they had the opportunity to have the same power and authority you had, they would use it wisely?

This is an incredibly small and severely incomplete summary of the answers to your questions. If you have a sincere interest in knowing more, and there is much more to learn, I would be glad to share what I know. You could go to my Youtube channel where I have read and explained each of the chapters in both the Old and New Testaments -almost 1000 chapters in all – plus started to teach what the original teachings of Christ were from both the Old Testament Prophets and the new Testament. Neither the Catholic nor the Protestant denominations teach the things that are in the Bible. They both just teach what they have interpreted them to be.

jimmorris395 says:

I’ve figured that original sin is the inevitability of developing an ego, as a child, to get around in this world and the resultant losing touch with our basic Christ nature. Repentance is when you regain awareness of your Christ nature and have a consistent presence in this nature.

boledle says:

Perry, I haven’t read the book yet. It’s on my list. All of this is really making me re-think a few things. I have a couple questions for you. I know you think Genesis’ account of the heaven’s and earth’s beginnings neither sanction nor rebut evolution, so:

1 – Has the earth really been around for 14+ billion years as is the claim? What of the layer of moon dust on it’s surface that suggests a mere 20k years?
2 – Did man, “in God’s image,” actually evolve from lesser intelligent animals? Do we share common ancestors with the blind shrimp that dwell at the lowest levels of the sea?
3 – if #2 is yes, then why did God wait so long to get involved, as it were, with humanity? Why did He sit and watch as we struggled to become what we are now and then suddenly start talking about morality and eternal life and Heaven and Hell? Did we have souls before evolving into His image?

Some of this may be just your opinion, but it may help eleviate some of the confusion I am feeling at this moment.

Thank you.
Kelly, Bay Point, CA

I don’t know the answer to the moon dust question. I’m sure there’s dozens of websites that explain all that.

I believe that man has common ancestry with all other creatures. In Genesis it says “God breathed the breath of life into the man and he became a living being” – that’s when humans became spiritual creatures. That’s when we started asking “why” and making music and writing and worshipping.

Based on what I just said, then God has been involved with man from day 1 of man being a spiritual creature. I believe that from that point forward you can take the Genesis story essentially literally.

u235 says:

Mr. Marshall,

This is a very interesting website you have here. I have been reading through all of your articles, and you make some thought-provoking claims worth considering. It’s funny, I’ve never had any objection with the idea that DNA is a code…it seemed intuitive that it is. A set of instructions by definition is a code, is it not? But then I never considered the implications of such a statement. Yours (and I am assuming these theories are shared by some scientists you have read?) is probably the best argument for the existence of a higher intelligence that I’ve ever come across. Now, I did have to think about your original statements for a bit before I could conclude there are no holes in it. Not the part about DNA being a code (of course it is!), but as to a code having to be designed and not randomly occurring. What I considered is that, it is possible, however unlikely, for a set of “legible” instructions to form by chance. However, to go beyond that point, of a set of primitive DNA with the instruction to “replicate” for example, would be for all intents and purposes, impossible. I’ve always had my doubts about strict Darwinism, simply because I have trouble believing in nothing but random chance of a few proteins mingling and making a world full of life…and being that there is no real data to back up such claims, it is belief indeed that is required to subscribe to such a thing, or faith if you will. So I have always been content to just say “I don’t know how it happened”, and I feel that is a rather objective approach, and a fine one since biology is not my field. I never could understand why some people so vehemently defend Darwin’s theories as completely true…almost biblically so (and people who aren’t even biologists!). The same people will question every holy book from every culture, but thou shalt not question the word of thy lord and god, Charles Darwin! The irony has always amused me.

So this is what I see from your writings. You claim that DNA is a code (I assumed that was a given), and then you point out in a rather simple, yet eloquent way that code, which is a form of language, must be written by a sentient intellect and does not occur by random chance, eg. twigs may fall from a tree and spell the word “Hi”, but they won’t keep falling to say “Hi, my name is tree and I live in the forest”, nor shall the wind blow the twigs away randomly over a billion years to take away any errant characters which make the sentence meaningless. This makes sense, and honestly, my understanding of DNA is that it is by orders of a great magnitude more complex than such a simple sentence. The more I consider it, the more absurd the idea of random DNA becomes. So then you postulate further that evolution happened, over the same time period as Darwinists claim, and that the driving mechanism was not random chance (with which I can agree) but with a part of the code itself that picks and chooses mutations. That would be a monster of a code that could do such a thing. So now you have life being coded, and as such written by a sentient being of some kind, and that code itself so complex and unimaginable that this sentient programmer must be at some level of intelligence we could never understand (or so I assume). So you put all of this together, and use it to point to the existence of God. The way you go from point A to point Z is pretty clear, and any reasonable person must consider your conclusions. It really does make pure Darwinism look as silly as unicorns and fairies the more I think of it.

Now, I do have a question for you. You say you are a Christian, and you quote the Bible often enough on this site. Does not the Bible say that God then created Adam from the dust, and Eve from Adam? Yet you say that you believe in common ancestry of life and complete evolution. The two seem rather contradictory, don’t they? Was Adam real? Was he born of some almost-human primate mother? I am not attacking your faith, please don’t think I am, I am just confused about how you can reconcile this discrepancy. Did God then make humans as the Bible said, and the rest of life was evolved over Billions of years? The bible is rather specific about God creating a female for Adam so that he would have a companion as well.

And I would also ask, since I’ve never been able to find a clear answer…why are atheists so dead set on their ideals? I work with many atheists, and they are quite aggressive about their “faith” (also rather amusing in its irony). Alright, you don’t believe in a god, good for you, why do you attack everyone that does? I simply don’t understand it. And further, their arguments are rather repetitive and tired. I question their apparent knowledge of the physical as well as the metaphysical, both of which they have had no hand in defining through research in the first place, and they defend it as if their own reputations were on the line. They call you names if you question their supposed superior knowledge! It’s comical…

Great question.

If you read Genesis and make 4 assumptions:

1. “Day” is a period of time
2. The story is told from the surface of the earth
3. “animals” = livestock
4. “God breathed the breath of life into the man and he became a living being” means he imparted Spirit into a human-like creature

Then with these 4 rather simple assumptions the Genesis story fits modern science exactly.

Historically many Christians, especially catholics, have never had any particular problem with evolution. This is why. It’s just not that difficult to make it fit.

Compare that, by the way, to any other religion. Try making the creation story of Hinduism fit modern science.

Christianity is very robust in this regard. There’s a reason why your atheist friends hate it so much.

I’m real glad you liked the site.

Perry

u235 says:

Alright, now I have read about the terminology (ie. ancient Hebrew) used in the Genesis chapter, and I think the English “Day” was not necessarily the correct word in the modern translation. Perhaps it was, but with primitive languages, one can never know for sure. I’ll accept that it could mean a year or an age even. I never thought much of the time thing. To me it is a basic property of the supernatural to not be, well, natural. In other words, to work outside of nature as we know it. Time is a part of nature as we know, so something supernatural would operate outside of that time. I mean, if you think of it that way, a supernatural being should be able to move back and forth “through time”, or more likely, from one vantage point of our natural world to another. I would see what we consider time as basically a point of observation to anything outside of our time…like looking at a book, where you can flip back and forth as much as you like. Perhaps I am wrong on this, but if there is a supernatural being which created our universe, then I have a lot of difficulty in assigning natural constraints to such a being…that would be illogical. So, day, year, whatever…it doesn’t matter I don’t think, from the perspective the creator (and this Genesis story was provided to man by the creator, correct? Then it would be in the creator’s point of view.)

Alright, so I have never heard this perspective, that you are saying Adam was the Homo Sapiens ‘model’ that God had intended to be a result of his designed evolutionary process? And he then chose this particular product of his coded evolution as the species to which he would give souls? I assume this is what you mean by giving the breath of life, etc? So, you are saying that, man was not man, and history did not begin until God chose the evolved animal he had envisioned to bear souls? And what of souls in offspring? Are souls imparted in everyone by God, or do they multiply? Each answer brings another question or two I am afraid.

Yes, I am saying that God gave man souls and not the other animals. Only men have shame over nakedness. Only men create art and ask the kinds of questions we’re asking here. Only men create codes from scratch.

I can’t say for sure whether souls are imparted by God or multiply. I’m inclined to say the former.

u235 says:

Thanks for responding to my endless questions again, and I will warn you in advance that I have more. First, I think you have answered one of my first questions (or I have extrapolated the answer from what you have said) concerning the biblical reference to finding a suitable partner for Adam, and that being Eve, the first Woman according to the bible. God simply gave to Eve, a female of Adam’s exact evolved species (presumably) a soul, making her the first sentient female. This leaves the question about casting Adam into a sleep and removing a rib to create her, or do you think this is literally what happened? As in, only the animal who God chose to be Adam was the exact genetic form he wanted to be “Man”, thus giving him a soul, and then used him (his rib) to create a female version to ensure a continued population of sentient humans? Or is this some kind of figurative story in Genesis (it doesn’t seem to suggest that it was figurative)?

Then I would wonder, if God gave a soul to a human animal (Adam), did he perhaps give souls to others of the same species (Adam simply being the first) creating more “new men/women” not directly related to Adam, and adding variety to the gene pool? If this is what happened, then it would answer the old question of, who did Adam and Eve’s children mate with? From my understanding, the common idea has been that there was some incestuous relationship between the offspring of Adam to start humanity, and that has never seemed reasonable to me. Perhaps it was Adam, and then Eve to receive the first souls (and there is something about another woman I have read, I forget the name?), then the removal from Eden, then suddenly the world is being populated. I’ve always found that confusing as Genesis begins to talk about all of these people, and I wonder where they all came from.

Also, I have been reading through the post you have referred to on the “infidels” forum over the past week. I think I am up to page 40 or some such (I recently read the one from the guy who said he was a molecular biologist) and it has been very very interesting so far. Not so much the discussion (the first few pages can provide all the necessary information concerning what is presented by you and what is being refuted by the atheists), but more the psychological aspect of the discussion. I have always thought that the phrase “let he with eyes see and with ears hear” was a little confusing…after all, can’t anyone with both functioning eyes and ears, see and hear? Now I know how true that statement is. We could argue back and forth about the proposition of your syllogism (dna=code->code from intelligence->dna from intelligence), since you are inferring, and not proving something. I can understand such an argument. I would not argue it, because I agree with your syllogism (when something makes sense, it just makes sense…reason says so). I assumed that is what these atheists would argue, if they didn’t just resort to calling you stupid. I was amazed that their argument had little to do with your proposition, and targeted instead your premises, especially that DNA contains information and instructions (ie. CODE). I have read what you said about that thread on this site, but I was not prepared for how far (supposedly intelligent) people will go to refute a universally accepted fact. I assumed you would respond and clearify a few things, and then they would shift to your proposition, but they didn’t! They kept on and on about Code, and nitpicked wording and semantics ad nauseum. I started wondering if any of these people even knew what DNA was, or had any exposure to science at all? I found myself thinking “What part of information and instructions does this or that bozo not understand?”. But this went on for years! The same horrible arguments to try and state that DNA is nothing but some chemicals, just some stuff that “happens to” (code words for either not knowing what you’re talking about, or not wanting to explain it) build organisms, like water builds snowflakes. Snowflakes and beaches are codes! Wow! My goodness, where do they get these absurd ideas? As it went on, and on, and on…I finally understood. These people have put on blinders. They won’t attack your preposition, because they don’t want to go near it. Your preposition is taboo to an atheist. It shakes the very foundations of their faith. It was so easy to picture these people wearing robes and having shaved heads and shouting “heretic!” from inside their sacred temple of Atheism.

A very very interesting case study of how unreasonable humans can be when it comes to questioning their faith. And since “reason” is such a pillar of their faith, it is very telling indeed.

U235,

I think that Adam & Eve’s children married their sisters. Taboo in our culture. Not so back then. BTW there’s a book “Havah” by Tosca Lee, which is a historical fiction account of Eve’s life. Tosca does a superb job and if you want to climb inside that story I recommend it. Beautifully written, with well-chosen elements. She carefully considers all those kinds of questions and tells them in the form of a novel.

Adam’s rib: I would like to make a study of this someday. I have not yet. Some scholars interpret it as saying “from adam’s side” or almost a sense of splitting Adam in half. I tend to take this as somewhat figurative language. Again I would really like to dig into this at some point but I haven’t yet. One thing’s for sure, commentators have been writing about this for 3000 years and you might be surprised at how many views there are. I think the larger question is not what does it literally mean, but what is it trying to say about the relationship between men and women? I take it to be saying that men and women each represent half of a single essence and their unity is an essential part of God’s plan. Consider the difference between a great marriage vs a couple who’s on the brink of divorce. Heaven vs hell on earth.

And yes my friend, congratulations for sifting through that pile of rubble on Infidels until you could finally see what’s really going on. There’s very little new that is ever said after the first 4-5 pages. The fact that DNA is a code is literally THE most fundamental building block of modern biology. But if it implies God, then an atheist will reject all of modern science before he will accept a simple scientific definition.

So yes, as you have seen for yourself, atheism is completely irrational. You begin to see the wisdom in the statement “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.” Or when Paul says, “In professing to be wise they became fools.”

Something else I noticed along the way: When people prattle on and on about “reason” and “logic” it’s usually a sign that they actually hate reason and logic. They’re trying to distract you from the fact that they’re avoiding it.

It’s kind of like, if your sister’s boyfriend says, “The last thing I would ever want to do is hurt you” it probably means he’s going to get physically abusive when he gets mad. Or if you go to a business seminar and a guy prattles on and on about “integrity” it means he’s about to rip you off. Or if a preacher prattles on and on about “purity” it means he’s sleeping with the organist.

Gamblers call that a “tell.” A subconscious signal that somebody is lying to you.

As you dig further into the layers of this argument, and into information theory, you see that the materialistic worldview completely unravels. Because keep in mind, the genetic code is only the first layer. Evolution is driven by an information processing system that is unfathomably more elegant than anything humans are designed. There are layers and layers of intelligence in living things, not just one.

Which is why I have declared that the Berlin Wall of Darwinism is about to fall. Genetic research is bounding forward at an incredible pace and the old paradigm cannot survive. When Communism fell, it fell fast. The same thing is about to happen in biology.

Remember the chaos and turbulence that followed in Eastern Europe in the 90′s? Suddenly everything was up for grabs. Old kingdoms were swept away for the new. The next 20 years of biology is going to be like that.

Like the infidels thread, it will be fascinating to watch. Especially the psychology and the politics.

u235 says:

It’s been quite a while since I responded to this discussion and I get an email every once in a blue moon about it. This time I read through it. And I had a question. How does one deal with the die hard literal creationist? You know the one I am talking about. There are all kinds of “biblical scholars” now that claim if you do not believe everything was done in 6 literal Earth days, then you are denying Christ. Because Christ said some thing that, as far as I can tell, doesn’t have anything to do with 6 literal days of anything. It was bad enough arguing about DNA as a code with atheists. What about literal creationists? It seems to be the same type of argument…facts vs belief.

Manzoor Ahmad says:

Dear Sir, I am seeing your research deeply you are right about but still on a micro step of cosmic finger prints ,I have a question from you as you say DNA
codes are made by God ok absolutely right .Can you tell me how are made or elements by which codes are made after this I shall be able to next Step of my
mind capability.

bornagain77 says:

Perry, I would hope that you are correct yet remember these wise words:

“A new scientific truth does not establish itself by its enemies being convinced and expressing their change of opinion, but rather by its enemies gradually dying out and the younger generation being taught the truth from the beginning.”
Max Planck – Father Of Quantum Mechanics and a Christian

andrewnjeru says:

Perry.

Stop relying on your ability to think and understand life and nature, manage your reliance and overconfidence in your ability to understand and interpret stuff.

This is what the bible tells us, lean not upon your own understanding.

To say that you don’t believe that God ”beamed complete Zebras from heaven down to the savanna, Star-Trek style”

This is a statement made our of sheer arrogance and overconfidence.

How much can you know? How much do we really know?
Look at it this way,
If the universe tends to infinity though no one knows it size,, How much should we know to understand and picture the nature in totality, or how much time do we need to make conclusive statements on the origins of life and the universe?
We are yet to explore this planet earth to its fullest.

Einstein asked his students the same question and his answer was like 3% if not less. We know so little.

If you wanted to make conclusive judgment and informed opinion on anything don’t you think you need more than 50% of seemingly infinite universe and natural phenomena:

Perry, we know so little to make any conclusive and confident statements of how life started. I know for sure that God started it all! About how? I have no idea.
He could have done it any way he wishes.
AGAIN PERRY, STOP TELLING GOD WHAT HE SHOULD HAVE DONE or SHOULD DO WISH HIS DICE.

In the end, Einstein gave up and acknowledged the mystery and incomprehensibility of our God and his wonders. This is what He had to say,

”We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations.”

It sounds to me like you’re telling God how He created things, or should have.

What does the Bible say?

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.

And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.

“Let the land produce vegetation” – doesn’t sound very much like “let vegetation be beamed down from the sky.” I don’t see anything here that precludes the possibility of evolution.

If life evolved from a single cell to everything we have today, then it’s the most incredible engineering feat imaginable and God is a far more elegant designer than the Young Earth Creationists ever gave Him credit for.

solomon says:

Dear Mr. Perry,
Before I pose any questions I would sincerely like to know what is your religous backgrounds, I mean what do you believe in.Are you a Christian or are you attracted to Islam or anything else.

GuvJim says:

I think… personally, this idea is very boring and sort of pathetic. I mean to have spend thousands of years investigating to reduce everything to god.
very lame I think…

It’s like watching an amazing movie with a very bad-boring-1star ending

The search can not ever end!!

MARKCOLE says:

Hi Perry,

You may be interested to have a look at this link…

http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/evolhow.txt

I’ve been reading your work for a while now and am impressed at not only the depth of study you’ve clearly gone to – i’m a fellow Christian, but it’s really helped me understand in greater depth a lot of stuff – but also your resilience in standing up to these closed minded atheists who keep trying to beat you down…clearly they’re just talking themselves round and round in pointless circles whilst patting themselves on the back for being so darn clever you know…yeah, woohoo!!

I find it really funny and rather disburbing at the same time that “so called” intelligent people – scientists and fellow atheists – genuinely (I mean do they honestly believe this when they have a cold hard look in the mirror or is it just a case of say it enough times and your mind will just accept it eventually??…we all know that that can in fact happen) – with their own intellects (wonder where that came from?) – that loads of truly intelligent stuff just kind of happened out of absolutely nothing, it all just kind of popped out of knowhere and then this “stuff” all of a sudden started INTELLIGENTLY furthering itself until we have all these fantastic things in life today….

Grass etc to feed the animals we eat/use, plants etc to provide a range of services including medication to heal us, natural resources to support and further our lifestyles etc etc etc….all made up of truly intelligent stuff, not a bunch of random NON-intelligent bs.

The very fact that a male is compable with a femal – do people actually stop to ponder that for even 5 minutes…..what if a female (in her evolutionary cycle) wasn’t sexually compatable with a male?

Err the human race (and all of the species as we know it) wouldn’t exist, that simple.

What is the mathematical probability that a random bunch of stuff happening would produce a male and a female of the same type of species which were totally sexually compatable such that their populations could grow??

I doubt math can actually produce such a stupenedously large number a probability of that nature would require.

Even stupid folks can understand that, surely!!

You know there were loads of chemicals – just there, let’s assume they came from some “other stuff” – and then all of a sudden they just produced a early strand of dna – bam, just like that, wow how intelligent of it – which then “somehow” (intelligently) mutated into being the very strands of life as we know it, yabadadoo; let’s call ourselves scientists and join a “we don’t need nutting but our own egos’” club and if we all just repeat this bull over and over whilst reminding people of our academia prowess then it’ll be ok, err, no it won’t as it’s got zero basis bar a bit of intelectual spin.

Maybe these atheists need a check up or a visit from the men in white suits??

I mean their views are completely and utterly insane.

You just have to look in your back garden or the mirror to (literally) see evidence of a intelligent designer and dig deeper and you will find mountains of evidence about intelligent design.

Just how dumb does someone have to be to not get that?

Perry, I really admire your patience with these idiots, truly do!!

The main point of this message is, why do you bother with them?

Someone once told me, where people don’t believe in God, they’ll believe anything and whilst a simple statement, it’s very true as clearly these folks are believing stuff that a child would on the kindergarden playground.

“Hey Johnny your mamma came from a monkey, haha”

Johnny goes: “Oh mamma, Pauly said you’re a monkey, is that why you feed us bananas?”

These people will simply come up with some other spin on a theory (just like that…amazing how you can just say something off the cuff with no back up and that makes it ok…) or poke holes / insult (clearly the usual response).

It’s quite absurd really, you’ve clearly got a whole lot of patience!

Anyway, all the best with everything and I pray God strengthens you in your uphill struggle and that you find true purpose in what you’re doing!

Best Wishes Mark

Thanks for your kind words.

There are three kinds of people who show up at this website:

1) People such as yourself
2) People such as the atheists you describe
3) The fence sitters

People in category #2 will rarely be convinced. However make no mistake, when they can’t get anywhere with their arguments it really does shake them up. It disturbs them at a deep level. “When you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the one that yelps is the one that got hit.”

I may not convince them. But they help me sharpen my argument, every time. It gets leaner and meaner as time goes on.

Meanwhile, there are LOTS of fence sitters who are watching. And lots of people like yourself who need to see first hand the fact that atheists can go on the offense but they have no defense. You are right, atheism is completely irrational. And DEEPLY emotional.

jimmorris395 says:

I would hunch that most atheists feel pretty ripped off. They were taught something as kids, for kids, that was titled “God” but where they should have been taught/exposed to the next chapters, to be further immersed in the depths of what “God” points to, they were left hanging.

Frankly anybody that thinks they can smugly say what “God” is and where we came from, and how we got “designed”, is being arrogant. If you can describe it, nail it down, put a face on it, think you know it, can tell others what it is, you’re wrong. That’s the ineffable part of it. Really all you can do is experience the vastness of existence and the wonder. The Jews had it right, don’t even say the word, You have to come at it from the part of your mind that does art, poetry, wonder in nature, the beauty of the flock of birds landing on the water, the part that doesn’t use words.

Science, which I generally deeply respect, will figure a bunch of this out, over the years, kinda like finding missing pieces to a jigsaw puzzle. They will never get it all.

MARKCOLE says:

Hi Jim,

The amazing thing is that God and His son Jesus are actually relational.

It’s easily hard to grasp or even feel comfortable with the fact that the creator of the universe is genuinely interested in having a relationship with us.

There’s a lot of cues in how all of life interacts with itself, including how we interact and have relationships with one another.

The bible (*) is clear that God made us in His image / likeness, doesn’t mean we’re some sort of “demi gods” but it does mean we have some of His charecteristics.

* You/others may feel the jury is out on the bible, but anyone in this position should actually just read it first and then make their own minds up. It’s so easy to take something and quote it out of context (like atheist websites do); i.e. a good one they come up with is; “if you had faith the size of a mustard seed you could tell this mountain to go and it would”….and the atheists laugh and make out as though Christians believe that literally when the fact is all it means the “storms” folks face in their lives….you can in fact find a lot of the same principles that you’ll find in the bible being taught (after being put into context for the specific audience of course) by success coaches; i.e. Tim Robbins, Jack Canfield etc,

All the best

Mark

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