“If you can read this sentence, I can prove God exists”

 
 

1,237 Comments

Chris de Kock says:

Mr Marshall

Extremely interesting site!!

My comment is on the atheist riddle “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”.

I think you argument is flawed and I will explain why I think so. The english language consists of a couple of thousand words made up of 26 letters and to this, you also add some more characters such as figures and @#$% etc. Genetics consist of only 4 “letters” making up an almost infinite number of “words” strung together in extremely long “sentences”. “Sentences” are put together into pairs of a certain number (23 in the case of humans) to write the complete “story” or description of the living organism.

I believe that if we use your analogy of “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” we will find that things work a little different in genetics. In this case for instance we could say that the above “sentence” deals with lets say the hair on a mammal. In all probability the “sentence” dealing with hair is much longer. And keep in mind that in reality we have only 4 “letters” to work with! By changing for instance the word “over” to “qver” does not become a meaningless “word”. Genetics still understand this. It now means that the hair colour is not black anymore but brown. And to change “lazy” to “l%zy” means the hair becomes hollow like in the case of polar bears. Similarly, various other changes in other “words” changes those charactaristics we see all around us in nature i.e. curly hair or staight hair, various colours of hair, various lengths, differing lengths over different parts of the body, differents patterns (stripes of a zebra, spots of a leopard, blocks of a giraffe) etc.etc.etc plus all the variations within variations(in some species of zebra the lines run further down the belly than in other species).

The same will apply to eye colour, is the individual tall or short, fat or thin, shape of the face, shape of the ears, shape of the nose, fingerprints, does he have slightly longer arms, bigger feet, shorter fingers etc.etc.etc.

Does it make sence to look at it this way? I think so, yes. We know that there are variances in each individual’s genetic make-up. This is how forensic science can determine whether genetic material matches that of a specific individual or not, and how they can determine paternaty etc. This applies not only to humans but to animals as well.

Granted, some variations would make “words” that are meaningless. That may be some of the reasons why there are birth defects, or still borns, or natural abortions, or why some fetusses never even start developing or conception does not even take place at all.

I believe that the Fruit Fly and Gypsie Moth experiments you refer to do not mean that these changes or mutations in the “words” cannot randomly happen. In these experiments the “words” or even “sentences” were broken apart by the radiation in most cases causing all kinds of abnormalities. Were some changes (mutations) made to next generations that continued to live? Yes! Was it for the betterment of the species? Perhaps. Under the right set of circumstances this might have been. I can give you some more info on some of these results I saw in a fairly old book if you want.

I am not a trained geneticist or involved in biology or medicine in any way. I am an accountant, but I do have a keen interest in science. So I might be completely off the mark with what I am saying, but I do think my assessment has merit.

Does my theory prove that GOD exists or does not exist? Not at all! But I do believe that I have come up with a very valid counter argument.

Yours Sincerely

Chris de Kock
South Africa

Layers of DNA:

4 nucleotides > 20 amino acids > thousands of proteins > 25,000 genes > tens of thousands of species

Layers of ASCII

2 binary letters > 26 letters of the alphabet + dozens of characters > thousands of words > tens of thousands of phrases > innumerable things you can say

The analogy between the two is actually VERY close.

Randomly mutating ACGT is no different than randomly mutating 100101010.

Yes, genes represent variables in an organisms makeup, and they are exactly like words and paragraphs. They must be left intact.

If you corXupt individual lette5s in t11 code yCu destroy the mesFage.

If you read James A. Shapiro, “A 21st Century View of Evolution”: http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.edu/Shapiro.2005.Gene.pdf you’ll see that evolution is very similar to what a person does when he edits a document – individually re-arranging specific words and paragraphs, not just randomly changing text here and there.

wmorrison says:

It is true that editing by an intelligence is necessary for a sentence in ASCII to make sense and that random stuff won’t do. But genetics also has editing built in. Strict chemical rules govern whether, at any step in the chain, the process moves forward or stops. So, random mutations do not propagate as you imply. Only certain changes can ever make it to phenotypic expression most are filtered out simply because they do not make sense biochemically.

I think it is a bit misleading to suggest that any ordering of base pairs is possible or that they will lead to actual proteins. You are also probably aware that many, many proteins are made and broken down without doing anything at all. I guess, if you want to say the system is designed, you have to admit there are huge inefficiencies and, overall, it is a rather poor design, not like ASCII, where every combination has been put to a use.

I think a better argument is to grant intelligence, but then identify it as ‘system intelligence’. This would be based, not on design, per se, but on current investigations into emergent phenomena. It would end up placing things at the door of physical laws. This would then put human intelligence in the same place and the arguments would evaporate.

I would even point out that a system style design suffers a lack of the parsimony you find in human designed things. In other words, we are less sloppy than nature, less redundant and utilize resources better. But that is because we know ahead of time what we want to end up with.

Identifying underlying non-intelligent physical laws is what materialism is all about. It would be the goal of a naturalistic explanation. Of course, I cannot go this far, the science isn’t there yet. And, even after this, there will remain a gap for God — He just moves into the creator of natural laws role.

Bill

Bill,

Not so fast. 64 codon combinations are ALL used. They map redundantly to 20 amino acids and the redundancy scheme is literally 1 in a million in terms of its optimization for error minimization. Nothing whatsoever is wasted. I don’t know who told you this is terribly inefficient but that is not true. See http://www.springerlink.com/content/82v55v5717306284/

Those amino acids can then form many thousands of proteins, some of them useful some of them not – just like words in English – but even genes that are switched off are real “words.”

The fact that editing is built into the genome is yet another indication of extreme sophistication and design. It is not merely natural selection that filters out copying errors, the cell is profoundly sophisticated error correction mechanisms, superior to those designed by humans. See http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.edu/21st_Cent_View_Evol.html

Neither the genetic code nor the error correction and cellular engineering mechanisms in DNA can be derived from the laws of physics. I know of no algorithm that can be derived from the laws of physics. The existence and nature of information overturns the reductionist / materialist philosophy. See http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/video

wmorrison says:

And not so fast back at ya.
I think we may be talking at cross purposes and this may drift down the rabbit hole. I was comparing DNA to ASCII based on your original talking point.

When you say that all are used, you are being a bit misleading. You mean it in the way that all letters of the alphabet are used, even in this word: hoidks. They are all used in the sense that they get mindlessly translated into junk (sometimes) but there is another flaw. All of the amino acids coded for have multiple condons — and methionine has the same codon as “start” — so some codons mean different things.

For instance, the mRNA sequence for Proline is either CCU, CCA, CCG, or CCC (and the same argument can be made for Arginine and Leucine). The last letter of those triples is redundant. It doesn’t matter what it is, you still get proline.

The ASCII analogy would be if the word DOG were the same as DOO and DOE (or some similar mix). This is redundant and wasteful. But that is how nature works.

As far as DNA as placeholder, that’s a good case until you recognize that the actual DNA doing the spacing isn’t critical. The analogy would be the @ and the % in this word: F@%T or the spaces between words, although here too ASCII is more parsimonious, so that “How are you?” and “How…are…you?” both make sense, but “Howzareyyou?” doesn’t.

I can’t comment on your other points until I read your references. I am intrigued by the statement you made, “the cell is profoundly sophisticated error correction mechanisms, superior to those designed by humans”. Get back to you on that one.

Bill

Redundancy is not wasteful, it is desirable and absolutely necessary for the code to be preserved against copying errors and random mutations. If this redundancy were not there life would not be here because life would have died of birth defects over a billion years ago. Read the 1-in-a-million paper and it describes how necessary and desirable this redundancy is – and that it is optimized to literally one in a million perfection.

Case in point – as author of an Ethernet book I can assure you that ALL digital communications systems incorporate some form of redundancy and/or error checking – CD’s, Ethernet transmitters, TCP/IP and between your computer and my blog there are literally a dozen layers of redundancy to make sure the message arrives intact.

Whoever told you this redundancy is wasteful (1) does not understand digital communication and (2) is bringing an insulting philosophical perspective to the study of life. It’s just another version of the “Junk DNA” argument which is both fallacious and anti-scientific.

Yes, do read the references I provided and the error correction mechanisms in particular. And here’s another from http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.edu/Shapiro2007.SHPSC_370.pdf

“The take-home lesson of more than half a century of molecular microbiology is to recognize that bacterial information processing is far more powerful than human technology. The selected examples of bacterial ‘smarts’ I have given show convincingly that these small cells are incredibly sophisticated at coordinating processes involving millions of individual events and at making them precise and reliable. In addition, bacteria display astonishing versatility in managing the biosphere’s geochemical and thermodynamic transformations: processes more complex than the largest human-engineered systems. This mastery over the biosphere indicates that we have a great deal to learn about chemistry, physics and evolution from our small, but very intelligent, prokaryotic relatives.”

wmorrison says:

Excellent reading, thank you.

I’d like to nail one point down in my head though. I understand you have an extensive background in communications, so I will take your answer to heart.

I want to know if you take the redundancy in the genetic code as it relates to codons — specifically the fact that there are 4 different codons for Proline, Glycine, others; 6 for Gylcine and Leucine; two for Tyrosine, Lysine and others; and only one for Tryptophan — as similar to the way we send information with error checking (ie, Reed-Solomon)?

Doesn’t the one strike you as wasteful? I understand that all error correction coding is wasteful in the sense of overhead, but how do you reconcile 6 codons for one type of amino acid and only one for another type?

DNA, at least in this way, lacks rationality. Rationality would be one of the hallmarks of an intelligent design for me.

Bill

Off the top of my head, I don’t have an immediate answer for why there are 4 for some and 6 for others. What I can tell you quickly here is that if you study the research of Jean-Claude Perez http://golden-ratio-in-dna.blogspot.com/ who’s authored many scientific papers and books about fractal geometry in DNA, the codon table is not just a map for the micro level of DNA but also serves as a parity checking macro mechanism that incorporates the golden ratio 1.618. In other words all information in DNA is organized in a self-similar fractal structure.

This is *profoundly* rational and is indication that there is a fractal data compression algorithm at work, which enables each gene in DNA to be used dozens of times in dozens of ways at the same time. Nothing goes to waste in DNA. Quite the opposite.

Human DNA is 750 megabytes. If humans wrote this code it would be 75 Gigabytes. And it would crash all the time.

If you bring to DNA a hypotheses that everything is there for a reason and that it is designed for extremely specific reasons, that hypothesis will almost always be rewarded. Without a long investigation I can assure you there is a very good design reason for the apparent disparity that you mention here.

What I would encourage you to do is search for a reason – I have no doubt you will find one in the current literature.

adityahurry says:

Perry,

I have been following your posts for some time. I have one problem: even if we accept that “God” did create the universe and programmed the first DNA etc., there is no reason to believe that any god exists today. I am willing to accept that god flicked the switch on the universe, but the second he flicked the switch he stopped “being”.

This may not be atheism in the conventional sense but i am willing to accept that the universe could not have created itself. However, there is no proof that any god exists today.

Thank you,
Aditya.

islamtruth says:

dear fellow
there is nothing to be proof and cleared the existance of god the you called in christanity and we muslim called ALLAH merciful and beneficent to all man kind who has created the earth and all the serving s to one creature called human beings who is superior to all other creatures like ani,mals plants etc. the allay th emerciful who had send 1 corore holy many fro the benfinicent of man kind and our last prophet hazarat mohammad peace be upon him who teaches us to be areal human being how live like a real life. with the help of our sacred book the HOLY QURAN. in which every thing is cleary mention without any emendments since 700 years . the real truth of universe. that ALLAh has created this universe in 7 days, this has sceintificlly proved we all made of sand , it is also proved. there is one way of rotation of all planets on universe showing the uniformity and consistancy of one master only. so dear brothers if you wanted to know more and got to belive that god (ALLAH) is exist can read without any fear and hasitation. our book is fro all mankind.

Keeno1984 says:

mince.

It falls in its face when you hazily tried to make DNA somehow be a language. While DNA is made up of structured blocks – similar to letters and words. You take a hop skip and a jump to call them a language. Everthing in the universe follows a set of rules – gravity, magnetism, etc. And while it is very possible that the universe was created by a god, it is extremely unlikely that DNA was specifically created by anything other than chance.

Leading theory is that more basic molecules (RNA) were formed and through evolution become much longer complex strands (DNA). Evolution takes over. The odds of this happening are ridiculously slim, however – imagine I throw 1000 dice in the air and expect them all to land at ‘one’. It’s unlikely, but given enough time its bound to happen. We had 200,000,000 years for DNA to develop.

So sorry to break it to you, but there is no God – well at least not once that cares about this backwater planet orbiting a medium sized star in a medium sized galaxy.

I know youve addressed 100,000 people, but if you stopped to do a google search on ‘origin of DNA’, you could have saved yourself a lot of time.

Just my opinion tho

Cheers Keeno

nicholas achor says:

Thank you for the insights.
It is difficult to deny the existence of a “mastermind”.
It is equally mind buggling to believe that the universe was created by this master designer calling out things from zero matter.
The bible says when he created these things He saw that they were good.
It is also written that ;”and the Father is perfect”
How do you account for the chaotic situation of the Universe with ugly-shaped asteroids and nebulae and hot gases dangerously burning in the cosmos as revealed by the Hubble telescope?
What do we benefit from uninhabitable Mars. Will God rearrenge things in the course of time?

DeveshB says:

your explanation did give me a new dimension for thinking and it was amazing, but it led me to compare the growth of living thing to that of ‘a crystal’ . As it has a lattice structure which follows a code eg. hcp lattice(ABABAB) and ccp lattice (ABCABC) . As we know crystals are formed by change in pressure and temp. of magma which has no lattice , so hasn’t a code been formed by a natural process.

rach says:

well i m sorry i didnt read the P.Marshall code’s definition, well now its done, according to that a natural occuring material blueprint for a machine would do the trick.(if i understood well)
so take a planet with a high level of water on it then put it in orbit around a sun at a good distance so that the water wont freeze or crack into hydrogen and oxygen (or even just evaporate) then put a moon in orbit around that planet and then you get a macro perpetual three component gravitational engine that we call tide, this is a non intelligent design.
PS: sorry for my english

insaneinindiana says:

Perry,
I hate to break it to you, but DNA is not a language. It is a chemical reaction!
Cells do NOT communicate with each other. The base pair sequences of DNA are nitrogen based and are attached by hydrogen bonds. Thymine to Adenine and Cytosine to Guanine, ALWAYS!! If this were a created language why can’t first two attach to the second two? The first two are unable to form a hydrogen bond with the second two! It’s a chemical, and natural, process!

Sir, I suggest you read Hubert Yockey’s book “information theory, evolution and the origin of life” for an explanation of why DNA is a communication system. My friend, it is not just a chemical reaction, any more than your hard drive is just a magnet.

Kagmi says:

First of all, let me say I deeply appreciate the thoughtful and well-informed discourse on this subject.

I have to say, though, that I see a flaw in this argument as far as an understanding of natural selection goes. It is absolutely true that information does not randomly arise without a driving force. However, the operative word there is “without a driving force.” If you have a mechanism by which certain random configurations are promoted over others, you have a mechanism for ending up with information as a result of natural processes.

If pure randomness and chance were all that was involved here, you’d be absolutely right. But the force of natural selection is vital, and what’s more, it’s just common sense. In fact, it’s inescapable. Watching any system over time, you would expect those forms that are better at reproducing themselves to proliferate as time passes, wouldn’t you? In fact there’s no way to get rid of this bias, to give poorly-reproducing forms the same staying power as more stable forms.

In my mind, this selection can easily result in the formation of information because, while only randomness pops into existence, there’s a powerful mechanism which favors the survival only of those random configurations which are able to reproduce themselves. How powerful do you think that force is? It can easily be shown that intelligence is highly beneficial to survival. Therefore it seems to me that those very few random configurations which lead to intelligence would be helpful.

Nick says:

I signed up for your newsletter and watched your video;

I think you should just get a recognized biologist and a chemist here
(and to atheist forums) to tell all those stubborn, petty fools that DNA IS a code.

I disagree that DNA is a code written by a conscious mind, but rather it’s another property of our universe (like how water is more dense at 4 deg C).
I think the formation of DNA, proteins etc is only a complex chemical reaction that we don’t fully understand yet. (Perhaps only applicable to our planet;
extra-terrestrials may not have DNA)

Personally, I don’t see why those atheists are so stubborn… because it is VERY unscientific to not believe in the possibility of an extra-dimensional intelligence residing outside our dimension,
(espcially since they claim be think logically or whatever +
they’re really petty and horrible at biology) –
I believe there is an extra-dimensional entity (because scientifically, that is what a god is) that has created the universe. It is not bound by physics, time, space or matter, so that’s why it can preform what we think is supernatural.

1nasacova says:

You have been using a random number generator to show how random mutations can never produce improvements. I don’t disagree with that. However, where did this idea come from that genetic mutations are random? Did Darwin say that or is it an assumption that nobody has questioned? What if the genetic mutations are not actually random at all?

Perhaps mutations occur not from random mistakes, but because the organism itself desires to mutate. If DNA has the ability to repair itself, as you have shown, would it not logically also have the ability to improve itself?

Just a thought.

dave12350 says:

Thought some of you might be interested in this resource, as well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzetqYev_AI&feature=related

It’s Dr. Gerald Schroeder’s account of proof for the existence of God.

wisp says:

Hello.

Is the type of information you talk about measurable?

The type of information and language you find in the DNA… Do you find them both in a spiderweb?

Thanks in advance.

rach says:

dont know if it is the right place but , about the evidence of a natural occuring code you have cristals for a complex one, under specific cooling conditions spécific minerals give spécific cristals, isnt that a code? its about chemical properties of silicium, i wont go further on that (chemistry is not my domain).
besides there is an other problem with intelligent design, according to the first principle of thermodinamics any creation can only be made by combining existing elements and any new element cannot be known before its created so how can any mind consiusly create something that he or it dont know about? it must be a try and see process, if anybody have a scientific answer i take

NickV says:

Dear Mr. Perry

My name’s Nick Verger, I just watched your videos and I really glad there’s still some poeple out there that are able to share their ideas with the world.
however, I kinda disagree with you about evolution, randomness and DNA, and I think it would be a big adventage for both of us if I could debate some points with you, you could get new points of view an so could I.

I’m going to start with your, I’ll call it “noise theory” to give you an exemple

you said random mutation can’t better anything, and your demonstration is pretty good, there’s no doubt about that. But you’re taking the whole thing wrong :

1st of all, with the exemple of the sentence or the Ad randomly mutated, lets take “the red fox is on his way”, you can’t say that there isn’t a chance that random mutation gives us “the blue fox his on his way”, even if, and I agree with this, the so called chance is very very low. That’s my main and 1st point.

Then you can’t just compare this to the mutations that occur naturaly, and that for 2 reasons :

1- you have to consider the previous cell, if you were to do it with the sentence exemple it would give us something like this :

“the red fox is on his way”
||
“the red fox is on his way” + “the Ded fox ks on has way”
||
“the red fox is on his way” +”tha red box is on his wey” + “the Ded fox ks on has way” + “thh Der fax ks on has wry”
etc, etc…..

and you have to keep “the red fox is on his way” and all the others till they stop “reproducing” even if we make that 2 or 3 generations, it really improves the odds of getting “the blue fox is on his way” and the more generation we have the greater the odds are.

2- we are talking about a 4 nucleotides encoded DNA, and that makes the possible mutations of a gene way fewer than those of our previous sentence.

And that is why I think the your noise theory can be improved or replaced.

I would really like to debate this and several other points with you, and I think it would be way easier if I was directly chatting with you (no obligation here, just a big hope of mine)

keep thinking about everything and don’t hesitate to study all the point of view,
I really enjoy studying yours and I hope I can help you better it.
See you soon

Nick Verger

Nick,

I appreciate what you are saying. I just encourage you to actually test what you are proposing. What you are saying sounds plausible until you actually try it.

1) I challenge you to use actual random mutation to accomplish anything remotely resembling what you have described.

2) DNA has only four letters that’s true but that’s similar to the fact that computers only use 2. You’re forgetting the characters and words that those letters form. The four letters form 20 amino acids and in turn a million proteins – that’s hardly any different from 26 letters and a million words in the English language. In fact it’s eerily similar when you look closely.

There’s nothing to debate here. Use random mutation with actual natural selection and see if you can get anything to happen with any system. Unless you cheat (which is what all Genetic Algorithms do) you’ll get nowhere.

You don’t have to believe me. Try it for yourself.

NickV says:

Dear Mr Marshall,

about that point, what I think is, you don’t really have to try it out, since it’s only statistics, the most important thing I’m pointing out is the probability of getting a potentialy naturaly selected Genome through random mutations isn’t of 0%.
I didn’t study DNA enough to make the maths come out, but I’m pretty sure of what I’m saying here,
Even though once again, taken one only sentence and randomly mutating it generation by generation, the odds are very low, but it would be ilogical to say the possibility isn’t there

The point I’m trying to make next to that, is that these chances aren’t that low if you consider the event over enough individuals and time.
take 10 000 years, and a relatively populated spicies, and you have a pretty good probability of getting at least one of the good kind of mutation through the random method, with is pretty much what really happened on this planet with a lot of those spicies.

I Still hope I’d have the chance to debate with you.

Take good care of yourself

Nick Verger

You have not made a single factual statement that can even be debated. Please come forward with some real statistics.

JonathanWagner says:

Let me put your argument into a context. If you put enough monkeys into a room with a pen and ink eventually, given enough time, they would write Shakespeare.

The whole given enough time argument is fallacious, because it is not true. In the above argument to even give it a probability of truthfulness the monkeys would have to live forever, which is an impossibility. There is such a thing as statistical impossibility.

You’re wrong, it is 0% because in order for it not to be 0% you would have to make all kinds of impossible assumptions to justify it. This is not to mention I don’t think you have actually read his arguments.

I also want to point out that even if we take everything scientists to say to be true, the statistic probability (that you are trying to justify) for random mutations creating information wouldn’t take millions, or billions, or trillions, it would take Googles of years. I assume Googles upon Googles of years because I know there isn’t a single computer program that has used complete randomness to generate anything useful over any know computational cycles.

I usually wouldn’t reply to something like this but I am really sick of the whole statistical probability given enough time argument that people just simply accept as the truth.

beritk says:

Dear Nick,

Do you know, that according to Hebr. 7:25 and I know it is true, Jesus are both leading you to God and praying with you when you pray, and for you. He is the one who lead you to this site today.

You seem to be an honest man.. it is written the one who seach will find, the one who knocks ot him will it be opened.

There is a book written by Dr. in Genetic J.C Sanford called Genetic Entropy wich you might find interesting, There is a study conducted by Kimura, leading to what is called Kimuras curve. There is actually a lot.. It is true that many thing is happening on this planet today.. however it is still true that what we see is that everything must be hold together by an higher order else it will go toward destruction.

In the Bible, rev. 3:18 Jesus tells people to ask for eyesalve to see. He is the one who will open our eyes so we understand, many see and dont dare to see but remember His prayers encircles you when you pray, He loves you and will pull you true.. Verily it is written if you do these things you shall never fail..

BeritK

NickV says:

alright, first to answer Mr Marshall :

I actualy made a factual statement, the probability not being of 0% is a fact, I’ll take the exemple of the sentence again to demonstrate that (even though it doesn’t look like calculating it with the actual numbers of DNA)
(I’m gonna hate this… maths are boring)

you take a simple sentense : “I love cakes”

lets calculate the probability of getting “I hate cakes” through random mutation.(here with only one mutation, because the probability would be the same mutation by mutation)

we’ve got 12 slots for letter including the spaces, 26 letters in our alphabet
each slot is either mutated or not.

that gives us 1/27 chance to get a chosen letter by slot…

and the final answer is : the probability of getting ‘I hate cakes” on the first try is
of (1/27)^12

(please don’t make me do it with more factors… it’ll never be 0, I swear)

Now to answer Mr Wagner, I think I’ve just proven you wrong, but a more suitable exemple would be : you’re throwing dice, and you want to get a double 6 fifty times in a row, the probability of succes is low, but not 0, and the more time you have (the more tries) the more chances you have.
and to even better the odds, imagine a whole population throwing dice and enough tries per man or woman… I think I’ve made my point.

Finaly to answer BertiK, sorry but even though I believe in the possiblity of an unknowed form of consciousness, being at the origin of the energy fluctuations that gave the big bang, and logicaly us, I don’t believe in any kind of implicated creator, connected to us in any way

First of all your math is wrong. But let’s suppose it’s right:

(1/27)^12 = 6.66246331 × 10E-18

One chance in 10^17. That is a very small chance, my friend. And that’s with only 12 letters.

If you wish to believe that 3 billion letters of DNA forming precise instructions to build self-replicating nano-machines could arise by chance, then that is your decision. I believe in God with a capital G. You believe in Chance with a capital C.

NickV says:

Dear Mr. Marshall

I am pretty disapointed that you turn it that way, I never said it was anything like a high probability, my intention there is to point out it is not 0.

Anyway I don’t believe in chance, and I intend to show you that you’re not taking the problem the good way.

I took the exemple of the sentence to make my point, but it is nowhere near how random mutations actualy work :

the whole genetic sequence is not randomly rewriten with each generation !
but once in a while, an error in the copying of a gene happens, and it has only three possible consequences :
1- it has absolutely no effet on the next generation, and the mutated gene is transmited like the normal one

2- it has a negative effect due to environemental factors, or it is simply lethal to the individual, wich isn’t likely to reproduce and transmit the gene.

3- it has a positive effect, and the individual is more likely to reproduce and transmit the gene

that is called natural selection.

when a gene is mutated, it is nothing to compare to the old sentence exemple.
it happens pretty often, within a large amout of individuals and time. plus DNA doesn’t exactly work like a language, when you make a typo in a text, it is often noticed, but cells don’t “care” about that, they just make the thing into proteins and here you go your eyes are blue, like I said the changed amino acid in the protein either has no effect or changes its fonction in a “good or bad” way

genetic information isn’t realy a text, one gene does not depend on the other.
(that’s not entirely true for the “building” genes, but still it concerns a limited number of other genes)

and to use the point I made again, not only the prob of getting a naturaly selected mutated gene isn’t of 0, but it is not as low as you might think, since it does not work like our sentence exemple, and it concerns large time and populations.

Your actual numbers are so close to zero as to be impossible under any realistic circumstances.

Random mutations never have positive effects. If you disagree then show me one scientific paper that proves that random mutations provided new features to an organism. In 6+ years of research I have never found such a paper.

Yes, DNA does work exactly like a language. See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10415511

Genes are intimately interrelated just like words in text are. That’s what gene expression is all about.

You are right, the probability is not literally zero…. but it is vastly lower than *you think. It is for all practical purposes zero.

Research overwhelmingly indicates that the source of evolution is systematic mechanisms like transposition, symbiogenesis, genome doubling, epigenetics and horizontal gene transfer. Not copying errors.

wmorrison says:

“Your actual numbers are so close to zero as to be impossible under any realistic circumstances.”

This argument from incredulity loses its power when you use it in other improbable situations.

I am the product of my parents who are the offspring of their parents.

What is the likelihood that all these people would be born, and me as well, and then, I should read and respond to your post? I might express it this way: “The actual numbers are so close to zero as to be impossible under any realistic circumstances.”

Funny though, here I am. Are you willing to posit that any unlikely chain of circumstance requires some guiding, intelligent hand?

There is a flaw in your logic and here is the flaw:

The probability of you yourself being born and your combination of DNA via the laws of genetics, occurring, is unfathomably small.

However the probability of some sort of human being being born is 100%.

If we translate to your analogy, the probability of “I like cake” is what we calculated it to be.

The probability of random letters generating *anything* in intelligible English is much larger. But still nothing like 100%. It’s not even 0.00000001%. It’s vastly smaller than even that.

Nowhere in the history of science has there ever been any experiment to suggest that random processes can create codes. If you disagree, show an example.

wmorrison says:

There seems to be a reply link missing, so I’m responding to your post below, “The probability of random letters generating *anything* in intelligible English is much larger.”

Surely it wouldn’t have to be English would it? Any language, even a dead language would count. To push it, any language that might ever arise would also count — even Klingon or a language spoken on some distant planet.

That said, I cannot comment on the random processes generating a code, that is beyond any expertise I have. I pretty much only know about codes from what I’ve read here on your site and the links you have given me.

I would be curious to know what the other side of the argument may be however. Are there any academics (with the proper background) who have taken up your challenge?

I do know that random processes can generate patterns, such as the seasons, but I understand that is not what you are getting at.

Bill

Bill,

I would accept any language. Even all languages at the same time.

Please notice that even under those circumstances, the challenge presumes an existing alphabet.

In a purely naturalistic scenario, you don’t even really get to take that for granted either. But that issue aside, if there were 10,000 permissible languages and you got to take a string of 1′s and 0′s for granted, and if you got to take ASCII (digital alphabet) for granted, your chances of generating any coherent sentence in any language are still small.

And they get exponentially worse with each additional letter you need. The smallest known organisms have 500,000 base pairs. Which is roughly equivalent to a half dozen pages of text.

Yes, there are quite a few people with the proper background who have taken up my challenge. There’s a number of such people on the Infidels thread.

Bill, I really do not intend to belittle you. I hope you feel we are having a congenial discussion. I would like you to consider the question – why is it that you prefer a random explanation to a systematic explanation. Is not a systematic explanation for evolution more in keeping with the aims of science? Isn’t science supposed to look for orderly mechanisms and embrace them, not reject them?

beritk says:

Dear NickV,

Jesus is your unknowed form of consciousness. Unknowed because you do not know Him. But He is preparing you to get to know Him. Jesus is not to be confused with a person, or a idol of stone or gold but the only living saviour. It is written: Wherefore He is able also to save them completely and to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He live to pray for and with them them. Heb:7:25/ STRONG When everything boil down there are only two options for salvation left you or Jesus. Are you able to save your self? As the time getting closer to the coming of Jesus, there will be an tremendous increase of earthquakes, water related and other natural catastrofes as we see it today. It will be much worse. The best leaders the greatest men on this earth can do nothing to stop what is coming. There is only one way of salvation that is to submit without conditions to Jesus Christ and let Him lead you into safe ground.

Mesila says:

The fallacy of your argument is simple: you claim there can be no ‘code’ without a mind to create it? The mind that creates information that is ‘encoded’ is OUR OWN collective human mentality, which has – somewhat arbitrarily – formed its notions of how the multiverse manifests…it is our minds that put order to the chaos based on our sense impressions vis a vis their abstract interconnections as we have interpreted them.

There needn’t have been a mind before all this to create it. I believe there are “gods’ but they are transdimensional meta-forces that human beings tend to anthropomorphize because it is in the anthropomorphic mode that it seems human beings interface with these forces with the most ease and inspiration. I do not believe God(s) are ‘alive’ like living things are, but they’re certainly alive in the sense that all things are dynamic and even inanimate objects are actually full of motion at subatomic levels.

Our interface with God or gods is a very personal thing. I don’t think we need to “prove” anything about the existence of the divine, to anyone but our own selves. To have to prove God exists or does not exist is only seeding and fertilizing tomorrow’s great religious wars. Please consider this. Thank you…

C3P0 says:

Dr. Ken Miller’s response when I asked him about the code of DNA:

This little 3-step bit of nonsense is a classic case of assuming what one is pretending to prove. It make an incorrect, unsupported assertion, and uses that assertion in a way that pretends to be logical. In reality, it’s nothing of the sort.

DNA is not a code or a language or a storage mechanism. It is a molecule. The structure of the molecular makes it possible for DNA to function in information storage, and one can describe the sequence of bases in certain regions of DNA (or RNA) as a code. However, DNA can also function as an enzyme, as a binding site, or as a metabolite. So it is not a “code” in and of itself. Rather, it can function as a coding molecule in the appropriate context.

The existence of a code does not imply conscious creation. This is the mistaken assumption upon which the faulty reasoning of this argument is based. There are, in fact, many examples of processes that produce information in molecules like DNA. In fact, this is the very basis of genetic novelty. For example, in a 1994 experiment, Gerald Joyce showed that successive rounds of selection were able to produce DNA sequences that could cleave a specific chemical bond in RNA (reference: Chem Biol. 1994 Dec;1(4):223-9. A DNA enzyme that cleaves RNA. Breaker RR, Joyce GF.). Joyce started with a purely random sequence, and then allowed for five rounds of selection. The result was a sequence of bases (equivalent to a code) with greatly increased specificity for the reaction. Other well-studied examples document the evolution of DNA sequences coding for antifreeze proteins and an enzyme that breaks down nylon from non-coding sequences. None of these were “created by a conscious mind.” Therefore the assertion is simply false.

Therefore DNA was created by a mind? No, it wasn’t. DNA is a natural molecule that changes over time due to natural, genetic and molecular forces that are well understood. To affirm that DNA sequences were specified by a conscious mind is to ignore almost half a century of molecular biology demonstrating exactly the opposite.

The statement, and the line of “reasoning” it pretends to advance are both incorrect.

Amazing. He actually says DNA isn’t a code??? What does he think Watson and Crick discovered in 1953?

The bases Joyce created do not code for anything, in the Shannon sense of code.

To give him the benefit of the doubt, he may not really understand the question. The exact nature and definition of codes and information is something that an electrical engineer or computer programmer perceives much more readily than a biologist. Ask him if he can satisfy the requirement at http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/solve

He’s welcome to come here and discuss.

Eocene says:

Google Dr Ken Miller and you only find this guy on all the Atheist religious websites. Nothing this man said has anything to do with real science. He’s speaking purely from a metaphysical worldview and personal religious phiosophical experience and nothing more. That explanation isn’t even remotely scientific. Any who believe what he claimed have more blind faith than all of the other religions put together.

It barely deserves a response.

bill100 says:

Show me just ONE example of a language that didn’t come from a mind.
The problem of this question is that it is self refering aka ping pong. Implying that language only comes from a mind and thus how can language not come from a mind. Thus you cannot find an example of a language that does not come from a mind. This question is a mind trickery to me. Your ideas are full of mind traps.
Example of a “code” which arises naturally aka randomly. H2O for example.2 Hydrogens and 1 oxygen represent a third thing we call water. Constructing molecules from different atoms is a “language” that didnt come from a mind.

H20 is not a communication system. See http://www.naturalcode.org for definitions.

Dragon says:

Hi Perry

As a person with no religious background, no scientist and limited English, I just want to type what is on my mind regarding this topic. I still, most probably, have more questions.

Firstly I have read a book online, ‘The history of the devil and, the idea of evil from earliest times to the present day’ by Paul Carus. First ed 1900. The writers assumption of God is not far from your view that God is not a person but some kind of ‘force’ linking all. Yours ‘information’ his ‘personality’. But doesn’t this conflict with Holy Scriptures that we are made to His mirror image?

http://books.google.co.za/books?id=79KEpjUgX5IC&printsec=frontcover&dq=devil&lr=&as_brr=1&cd=10#v=onepage&q&f=true

Everything we know on religion is handed down from one generation to next. And that some Scriptures are changed to suite our life. The Bible don’t read the same today as 100 years ago..Does it? The Quran, for that matter, stayed untouched…? But the Quran can be interpreted to suite the readers cause easily. This is my main reason for being a non-believer.

At this stage of my life paganism is making the most sense..Dark and light, good and evil, Horus and Set, etc…

For me, we are all still asking the question….WHY…?Why are we here..? Why does God give us something beautiful, like Earth, so that we can extinct life on it? Is it in our DNA..?

Perry I truly appreciate your dedication to your work and would liked to have contacted you via e-mail as I’m afraid of my true comments might upset a few of your readers…

Regards

Dragon (I’m a construction worker)

desire_creates_time says:

Dear Perry
I must thank you for sending me those email, in fact after the first email, I would literally wait to read the next one. Those mails leave me empty. I somehow for some moments realize how each one of us, even if you take the entire humanity in relation to the entire universe, is just a tiny spec of that ‘dust’ – that bigger brain. The existence seems so organized in so many ways and still so liberal in many other ways… when I look at closely at the other life forms including insects, I see that our body has the same… somewhere same scheme. What we do is also not very different, fundamentally. They have hunger, anger, jealousy etc.,, as the life evolves these things find more and more expressions… the only thing that I see that is different in us is – ‘there is a lot we can manipulate in this nature what other life form can not do… still we use the same brain. I feel it is rather audacious, naive or a dull brain that will assume an independent existence of human being or of this existence. As you say, it actually is something even a child can understand that whether it was created or it happened… there is a ‘supper-intelligence’ behind. In fact this very hand that is typing this, this very mind that is thinking of words is a spec of that ‘dust’. Thanks for your emails… I eagerly wait for the next series i.e. An Atheist Riddle. bye. love

Thank you for your kind remarks! God bless. I hope you’ll also check out http://www.coffeehousetheology.com.

bob smith says:

Thanx for takeing the time to put this site together.Your saying we live in a divine matrix,i totally agree,for the simple fact that something cannot come from nothing.Example:My gf and i were talking about this subject and she didnt want to hear about a divine matrix so i asked her “how did it ALL start in your veiw”?”The big bang”she says, good scientific answear so i asked “how would a big bang happen”she says “two atoms smashing together”another good scientific reply, ‘ but where did the two atoms come from”?i asked.I’m sure i dont need to finish the rest because i reasted my case. Now your lecture had me untill you started to talk about jesus.Why would you need a jesus(or a blood sacrifice in my view)?.I know you’ve heard this question a million times but if were in this matrix(i dont think you called it that but what else would you call it?)and its this elaborate why would a being this powerfull and all knowing need to send a son of his down to die for our sins?Why wouldnt he just change the matrix (or our dna)so no SIN could be present?

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