Testable Hypothesis for Intelligent Design, Pt 4

A Counterpart to the Anthropic Principle:

The Genome Intelligence Principle

In astronomy we have the Anthropic Principle, which is both an observation and a hypothesis that the universe appears to be fine tuned to support life.

I postulate a Genome Intelligence Principle.  It is analogous to the Anthropic Principle, as it both observes and presupposes a higher level of order than mere laws of physics or chance would allow.

The Genome Intelligence Principle begins with the observation that the Genetic Code is not derivable from the laws of physics, but is arbitrary.  All codes we know the origin of are designed; codes by their very nature cannot be accounted for by pure physics and chemistry.  Codes only come from intelligence or prior codes.

The philosophical cornerstone of all successful science is the presumption of underlying order.  Such a presumption is never provable in advance; it is only rewarded after hypotheses have been made and experiments done.

Science must always assume that there is a reason for everything, and history shows us that this assumption is eventually rewarded.

***Thus the mission of science is always to uncover the next undiscovered layer of order.***

Anything less than that is beneath the dignity of science.

Large segments of biology are presently blinded by a materialistic paradigm. This view has no reason to presume underlying order and proactively presupposes disorder.  Thus we have an anti-scientific vandalism of biology through terms such as “Junk DNA.”

Science must raise its sights and expectations to make room for greater discoveries.  The only way to do this is to make highly favorable assumptions about the information content and programming of the genome.

In physics we assume underlying levels of order and discover an apparently endless world of subatomic particles.  In biology we will now similarly hypothesize that genome itself similarly contains virtually endless layers of order and function.

Genome Intelligence extends this observation to hypothesize that most if not all aspects of the genome and its information storage mechanisms are extremely optimal. It represents specific choices among trillions of trillions of available configurations. This design represents a nearly ideal set of parameter tradeoffs, maximizing the integrity of data storage over 3+ billion years of history.

This design ensures that evolution occurs as an engineered process and is achieved in a minimal number of steps. In other words the path from the origin of life 3.5 billion years ago to present humans has been traversed at near-optimum speed.

The four-letter alphabet A/C/G/T is a very particular choice.  It could just as easily be two or four or six or any other number of letters; but the tradeoffs have been analyzed in the literature and we see that a four letter alphabet maximizes data storage for a given amount of space.

The specific table of the 3-letter codon convention has already been shown to be optimal, compared to more than 18,000 other possible arrangements.

Genome Intelligence postulates that evolution itself, far from being inevitable, is only explainable as a programmed adaptation feature.  The genome is pre-programmed with Kaizen (the Japanese term for Continuous Improvement) and the tools to achieve it.

Implications of this are:

  • Random mutation, the hero of evolution in the materialistic worldview, is actually the villain.  With only exceedingly rare exceptions, it has no positive role to play in evolution at all.
  • Materialistic evolution is believed to be an aimless, purposeless process.  “Teleology” (purpose) is explicitly denied and even forbidden.  Genome Intelligence assumes the total opposite: That evolution is a directed process with predetermined goals, the means of achieving them already in place, and explicit, premeditated purpose.
  • The biological world is information-driven and organized top-down, not bottom-up.  Teleology is not only warranted but is a consistently productive and essential assumption.
  • The origin of life is explainable only as (1) a deliberate product of external intelligence, or (2) a consequence of a Strong Anthropic Principle such that life itself is the direct result of a profoundly fine-tuned universe.
  • All attempts to explain life as a product of chance will continue to fail; and in fact chance itself is an anti-scientific explanation because it is a non-systematic process.  It fails because it fails to presume underlying order.

Both Strong and Weak Genome Intelligence Principle formulations are possible. A Strong Genome Intelligence Principle hypothesizes that humans and other specific life forms are a pre-meditated goal, and the diversity of our ecosystem exists to support human life.

A Weak Genome Intelligence Principle would be less ambitious in its assumptions, predicting that many other scenarios or creatures might have evolved given slightly different initial conditions.

I am open to a variety of outcomes – and the very real possibility that some of these ideas may lead down blind alleys. What’s important is to follow the evidence wherever it leads.

Perry Marshall

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30 Comments

James Elijio says:

I am in full agreement of the existence of God — a fact that every atom of the universe and all existence bear witness to — and the fact the fact that God created all existence, including man, with a very clear purpose. The following statements of Baha’u'llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith and one regard by millions of people around the world as the Promised One of all Religions and the Inaugurator of the long promised Kingdom of God on earth:

All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. (Baha’u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u'llah, cix, p. 214)

It is clear and evident that when the veils that conceal the realities of the manifestations of the Names and Attributes of God, nay of all created things visible or invisible, have been rent asunder, nothing except the Sign of God will remain — a sign which He, Himself, hath placed within these realities. This sign will endure as long as is the wish of the Lord thy God, the Lord of the heavens and of the earth. If such be the blessings conferred on all created things, how superior must be the destiny of the true believer, whose existence and life are to be regarded as the originating purpose of all creation. Just as the conception of faith hath existed from the beginning that hath no beginning, and will endure till the end that hath no end, in like manner will the true believer eternally live and endure. His spirit will everlastingly circle round the Will of God. He will last as long as God, Himself, will last. He is revealed through the Revelation of God, and is hidden at His bidding. It is evident that the loftiest mansions in the Realm of Immortality have been ordained as the habitation of them that have truly believed in God and in His signs. Death can never invade that holy seat. Thus have We entrusted thee with the signs of thy Lord, that thou mayest persevere in thy love for Him, and be of them that comprehend this truth. (Baha’u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u'llah, LXXIII, p. 140 – 141)

James Elijio says:

Discussion regarding God’s existence, and His Vision, Will and Purpose must be approached from the standpoint of unfettered justice. Such a condition is linked to the awareness that the most common views on the subject — both positive and negative, simple and complex — result from the downloading of the views of others. The Baha’i principle of personal investigation of truth — using authoritative material, particularly the Revelations of the Mouthpeices of God including Christ and the latest revealed Word of God, the Baha’i Revelation — can help a lot in this regard. A book entitled “We are with you at all times…” with subtitle “Recognizing the Eternal Presence, Sovereignty and All-Knowingness of God within, with, through and around humanity” which was recently published by George Ronald of England on my behalf may contribute much to this very important discussion.

ron says:

I have nothing more to say except that if,as you say, everything in the universe is pre- planed,then where the hell is the planner? Was the builder of all that is ashamed to show (its self?).I believe that the way all things appear some intelligence was lacking in design and it is conieited beyond measure to presume that all was created for mankind here on earth!

RLJ

Claudinei says:

Dear Dr.Marshall,

I appreciate too much you work in this area of science, but in my personnal view I don´t think that astronomy has something to do with this subject. As you already discuss before.

Best regards

Claudinei

I think very much like you on many counts. I’d like to add something if I may about the way we present the origin of the universe. Often, in the description, whether explicitely or implicitely, it is said that a few decisions were made billions of years ago then the universe evolved on its own on those premices until now. I think this obscures the fact that the universe is still being created as we speak. The creation of the universe is an ongoing process that has been occuring each and every second for all those billions of years. And we humans have a role in that process. Here and now.

Srđan Pandurević says:

Your theory is amazingly simple, yet it explains everything. I am only confused about those little details, like how the DNA knows when it has, and how to mutate. And what you consider as a “fine-tuned universe”?

Jim Diamond says:

There are some 7×10^21 stars. We know planets are common so there could easily be a trillion, trillion planets. Out of those, we only know of one planet so far which has life on. We have received no signals from any other, despite looking and listening for half a century now. Considering that a hyper-nova or gamma ray burster going off in our section of the galaxy could sterilise all life within tens of thousands of light years, I see no evidence that the universe is fine tuned for life.

Water in the sky freezes and we get snow flakes. All six sided shapes. All said to be different. to use your way of thinking, this could not happen by accident so god must be behind every snow flake, making zillions of different ones. Well, not really. There is no code in the way that you claim. Molecules only fit together in certain ways so it does not need god to do the job. At some point of complexity, we get endless repetition. Nature is the very small on a large scale. You are still looking for instant modern DNA and refuse to believe that it could have come about in maybe millions of steps from something very simple which formed originally (a RNA of the kind made in a lab recently).

The term junk DNA is at least 3 decades out of date. You make yourself look bad using it.

If you check up on quantum mechanics (atomic stuff), you’ll find that there is anything but order. Particles appear and disappear literally. Read up on entangled particles and the double slit experiment. Even Einstein was baffled by it in his day though more work has been done since then. There is a fuzziness rather than order at that level.

How do we get old? That is when order breaks down in the genome. It starts off ordered at “creation” in babies then chaos leaks in over time, leading to disorder, things that don’t work, cancers, etc and death, when it breaks down sufficiently. Hardly intelligently designed. Any decent biologist can point out many ways in which the body is very poorly designed.

Evolution to our present position is not evidence of god. It all follows possible pathways from simple to ever more intricate over geological time. If we were made of cardboard, had ink for blood and lived on the sun, then you could say god did it because we would be impossible beings but not when things work in a natural way.

Again you talk of random mutation, which is nothing to do with evolution. There may short term be random mutations as in defects but these come and go. Evolution is driven by a need to survive and takes place over millions of years.

What point in intelligent design? Who ever did it makes humans fully formed. Why bother spending billions of years building humans from a strand of RNA upwards?

Take the universe. To get us where we are now, all it needed was lots of hydrogen and lots of time as stars are formed, so heavier elements, so planets, etc. It needed no one to design planets. Everything gets more intricate over time in large systems, so bottom up. As I have said, if top down, then humans would have come first. What point making humans maybe 100,000 years ago when the universe has been around for maybe 13,700,000,000 years? Why not make them and everything else 13,700,000,000 years ago?

Your idea of the origin of life is wishful thinking that no scientist accepts. You have no scientific data to support it. You have no peer reviewed papers to support it. You have no evidence that anyone can test to support it. It is just an idea and nothing more. No creationist aka intelligent designer has ever produced anything but ideas.

Your last statement about life by chance being anti-science is nonsensical. What has ID got to do with science? Nothing. It is a belief system based on an old book which is wrong on many levels.

If only you would follow the evidence. That is called science. You are following ideas unscientific people have made up which are just not realistic.

You are only showing that you have neither read nor listened to anything I have said. Beginning with what you said about snowflakes. “Random mutation has nothing to do with evolution” – sounds like we agree on that point.

Do your homework and challenge me on specific facts. Until you’re willing to do that, don’t waste my time.

Leandro Elizondo says:

………… dear Perry , as Borges wrote in a small poem , explein :

Ajedrez ………..Dios mueve al jugador , y este la pieza , que Dios detras de Dios la trama empieza , on a free transation , God mueves the player , and the player mueves the piece , what God , behaind the God , beguin the trhiller, drama or wathso ever ………… very interesting your mails .

Gheorghe Duna says:

Perry,
I have read all the e-mails that you have sent to me and connected with all of them I think the following question is relevant: “The definition of God as The Fundamental Matriceal Triad : ‘Information(that structure the)-Matter(through the codification of)-Energy’ is correct?” And if yes why yes? And if not why not?My English is not very good so I would be gratefull to you if you will correct my spelling and grammair mistakes.To write correctly takes me much time and will affect my love for brainstorming even through e-mails seriously.Thank You!

God is not matter and not energy and not information. God creates all three. See http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/incompleteness

Jon says:

ACGT represent the four nucleic acid bases that make up DNA. A is for Adenine and pairs with T-Thymine. The C-Cytosine pairs with G-Guanine. DNA are the genetic instructions for all life here on Earth.

ACGT weren’t chosen at random, or because of some sort of comfort. They are observed as part of the DNA molecule.

The one flaw with the Anthropic Principle is that we still only know of one way life is made. We only have one example in biology of life, us. We don’t know if all life in the Cosmos is based around DNA or any kind of genetic code. We still don’t know.

Evolution is messy. Remember, even DNA and RNA evolved. It took alot of failures to make it work, which doesn’t speak of an intelligent designer.

ron taylor says:

Some biochemical researchers have recently succeeded in creating self-replicating organic molecules in a laboratory setting . This is a powerful capability that few people have . The facts are that most people do not know about this , would not understand it and could not themselves do it . Do those facts cancel the powers of those researchers ?

Jim Diamond says:

Where´s my previous answer gone? Have you started deleting posts you cannot answer? You are going over the same ground again, arguing from incredulity, not knowledge. If you believe goddidit (since ID has been proved in the Dover School trial to be merely creaionism under another name), then give some evidence for such a character to prove that your argument has a basis of some kind.

Meanwhile you are saying: How about this Ferrari? How could it have come about from metals in ores in the ground, from sap from a rubber tree, from electricity, etc? Take one bit away, like the spark plugs and it does not work.

Reality says that like MODERN DAY DNA, the Ferrari had so many previous steps to reach it´s present form. You should not ask about the plausibility of modern day DNA but about the plausibility of the first short strand of RNA which started it all. Similar RNA has already been created in a lab, not needing a planet full of materials and half a billion years to do it. Or a mythical being.

Jim,

Stop telling me what I’m saying when you’re not even listening. If you don’t start reading what I have actually written I will start deleting your posts.

Tahseen says:

I just came across a book “Extraterrestrial Intelligence: Amazing New Insights from Qur’an…” It quotes extensively from Qur’an to prove in an extremely amazing and convincing idiom that biological evolution isn’t at all at variance with the Qur’an. It is available online at HarperCollins’ website Authonomy: http://www.authonomy.com/ViewBook.aspx?bookid=11309

Paradise Holding says:

The real God is only on the other side of the unobservable universe. Mankind has created their own God. Yes, God started the evolutionary process…the Big Bang. God didn’t start the DNA helix. AGCT developed from encoding from its natural selection of adapability and not from devine creation. The encoding we read (assigned ACGT) is billions of years of development not spoken creation from what some call God. It’s impossible to communicate with the real God. Humanity has created its own false God. We see many narcisistic people claiming to communicate with the real God…how foolish!
Gravity, electromagnatism, weak and strong nuclear force developed from the BIG BANG. What could have been behind the molten primordial density but the true God.
Humanity created a good thing in an imaginary God but it has become a run away train. Humanity should be focusing on itself not a created imaginary force.

ron taylor says:

Allah – the Supreme Being of Islam – empowers some Muslims to obliterate themselves and anyone else nearby . Do you really believe those suicide bombers and others nearby are destroyed as a result of the empowerment of an imaginary force that does not exist and is not real ?

Old Git Tom says:

Dear Mr Marshall,
heady, exciting stuff! Your picture of a programmed universe is supported from other sources. Eg., readers can try the Howard Bloom website, or this ‘Privileged Planet’ video -

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/privileged-planet/

I recall that earlier in his career, academic Paul Davies (on the vid) was a mainstream scientific positivist, & presumably a materialist.

Query:
‘- – - a four letter alphabet maximizes data storage for a given amount of space.

The specific table of the 3-letter codon convention has already been shown to be optimal, compared to more than 18,000 other possible arrangements.’

Er. lost me there. What’s a ’3-letter codon’, please? OGT

nuke777 says:

I just don’t get your connection. science is the ordered study of substances and their interactions with one or the other. science cannot prove or disporve what is not physical. I hear silly things all the time where people try to disprove God. or prove that mircales do not exist. you cannot prove a negative hypothosis either. It just does not stop them from trying.

look here is the thing your theory brings science as far as science can go. you prove that there was an intelligent mind behind the creation of DNA. unfortuantlly, your disquallification of aliens is also a disqualification of God. I am not being inflamatory. Faith is the evidence of things unseen. If we could prove them scientifically, empircally then we would have the evidence of things unseen in our hands and we would not need faith. you cannot prove God did it anymore than you can prove aliens did it.
your contention is that God really existis and aliens don’t. but I know intellegent scientific people who believe exactly the oppisite. ON BOTH COUNTS. you also maintain that aliens creating or inserting DNA into this planet only pushes the question backward in time. Why does this follow? How do you know something no one has any empirical evidence to suggest even exists has DNA as its core blueprint. SCIENCE cannot take the step that you are suggesting it can take. As you say the best scientific answer that can be arrived at given the evidence at hand is. We do not know where it came from? A valid theological answer is that God put it there. But you cannot prove it scientifically. You need to be able to take the next step here, and you have not yet. and I don’t think you can. Would it be faith if you could? would it still be faith if you could logically scientifically prove God put it there and not aliens.

I never disaqualified aliens. In fact I say that’s perfectly logical, it just leaves you with the question of where the alien came from. If the alien is a life form then you are no further along in solving the origin of life problem.

In my opinion the question we are trying to answer here is:

-Do we have reason to believe that (1) ordinary chemical processes caused life to emerge naturally, or are there indications that there is (2) some kind of intelligent agent responsible for life on earth?

I have shown that we have 0% scientific support for (1) and 100% scientific support for (2). This does not prove God but it makes it clear that scientific knowledge definitely infers design. And yes, that is as far as science can go.

Andrea says:

Perry,

I just finished to watch the movie you posted on your site and was a bit surprised to hear DNA is a code ..I guess I never thought about it that way. So thank you for opening my eyes on this one.

But I do not agree with you on the comparison you make between DNA structures and words, as I don t think you can make that comparison. First of all the 1/4 error that happens in the DNA, will still preserve a valid DNA sequence which is not the case with words. What are zour thoughts about this?

thank you Andrea

DNA is just as sensitive to errors as human language, with the exception that DNA is actually 2/3rds redundant, meaning that roughly 2/3rds of the time a copying error of a single nucleotide will not change the meaning of the Messenger RNA. This is an error-prevention feature. And yes there is a DIRECT comparison between DNA structures and words, see “Linguistics of DNA” http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~sji/Linguistics%20of%20DNA.pdf

phillipheath says:

I’m a computer network engineer and I have found your explanation fascinating. It is the only plausible explanation so far. If you look at the computer and electronic age you find the same “evolution” by design since computers also evolving from simple electronic devices to computers now verging on the brink of artificial inteligence and as you say as we get betting at building software eventually our computers will be able to build and evolve all by themselves.

I’m not a doomsday prophet and believe that your should always be ready as we do not know when the end will come. And I’m also not against computers. The interesting part is that the bible talk about the animal in the end times which number will be 666.

This is my take on it.
All electronic and computer devices that need to be able to do something needs a crystal which happens to be a quarts crystal which happens to have 6 sides and 6 sides on the top and 6 sides on the bottom. see http://www.quartzpage.de/gen_struct.html
Yes I know they cut it to be a thin flat layer but the crystal structure still stay the same and the crystaline number is still 666.

And even if it is so then it is by design and meant te be and not stoppable.

So it is possible that our computers will eventually be the animal referred to in the bible. It just have some more “evolving” to do.

Maybe computers is simply the next step in our evolution and created on the eigth day of the creation process

Old Git Tom says:

Perry & Andrea,
please remember ordinary language evolved as speech before becoming text. Mistakes in verbal exchanges are easily corrected – we just repeat or use synonyms, etc. No so easy with text, but it can & is done all the time. If you listen to most normal conversation, you can note that a lot of the verbals is redundant, repetition, ‘fillers’, etc.

dave12350 says:

Looking at the Big Picture, and from a slightly different angle… Perry, you must be on to something big… because all the powers of darkness seem to be allying themselves to try and obliterate what you are trying to say. I believe in my heart that the truth of what you and other Christians in the science profession are saying is the solution to one of the biggest stumbling blocks that the church has known: The HOW of Creation. The devil stole this truth and added a little lie, namely, that “random mutation” was the driving force. This supposed meaninglessness is, of course, anathema to the Gospel. The truth you have found belongs to the church. She may never receive it before the Groom appears. What a shame.

Yet… she may accept it. She is His bride, after all.

tom says:

Perry, my comment is not so much as your conclusions and hypothesis regarding DNA as a designed code. To me the argument is amazingly clear and compelling in its consistent simplicity.

My questions is, so now what? How do you go from the logical acceptance of design creation, to Jesus Christ is Savior of Mankind? That is, for me, a HUGE leap and, unlike your DNA hypothesis, the assertion is not founded in science or logic. An intelligent design does not equate to an involved God who sacrificed his Son to redeem mankind from sin. You have me on the DNA part. How do I get to the redeemer part?

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