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DNA: The Tiny Code That's Toppling Evolution

 
 
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 08:19 am
http://www.gnmagazine.org/issues/gn58/tinycode.htm

DNA: The Tiny Code That's Toppling Evolution
Good News Magazine | May 2005 | Mario Seiglie



DNA: The Tiny Code That's Toppling Evolution

As scientists explore a new universe-the universe inside the cell-they are making startling discoveries of information systems more complex than anything ever devised by humanity's best minds. How did they get there, and what does it mean for the theory of evolution?

by Mario Sieglie

Two great achievements occurred in 1953, more than half a century ago.

The first was the successful ascent of Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world. Sir Edmund Hillary and his guide, Tenzing Norgay, reached the summit that year, an accomplishment that's still considered the ultimate feat for mountain climbers. Since then, more than a thousand mountaineers have made it to the top, and each year hundreds more attempt it.

Yet the second great achievement of 1953 has had a greater impact on the world. Each year, many thousands join the ranks of those participating in this accomplishment, hoping to ascend to fame and fortune.

It was in 1953 that James Watson and Francis Crick achieved what appeared impossible�-discovering the genetic structure deep inside the nucleus of our cells. We call this genetic material DNA, an abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid.

The discovery of the double-helix structure of the DNA molecule opened the floodgates for scientists to examine the code embedded within it. Now, more than half a century after the initial discovery, the DNA code has been deciphered�-although many of its elements are still not well understood.

What has been found has profound implications regarding Darwinian evolution, the theory taught in schools all over the world that all living beings have evolved by natural processes through mutation and natural selection.

Amazing revelations about DNA

As scientists began to decode the human DNA molecule, they found something quite unexpected�-an exquisite 'language' composed of some 3 billion genetic letters. "One of the most extraordinary discoveries of the twentieth century," says Dr. Stephen Meyer, director of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, Wash., "was that DNA actually stores information�-the detailed instructions for assembling proteins�-in the form of a four-character digital code" (quoted by Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator, 2004, p. 224).

It is hard to fathom, but the amount of information in human DNA is roughly equivalent to 12 sets of The Encyclopaedia Britannica�-an incredible 384 volumes" worth of detailed information that would fill 48 feet of library shelves!

Yet in their actual size�-which is only two millionths of a millimeter thick�-a teaspoon of DNA, according to molecular biologist Michael Denton, could contain all the information needed to build the proteins for all the species of organisms that have ever lived on the earth, and "there would still be enough room left for all the information in every book ever written" (Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, 1996, p. 334).

Who or what could miniaturize such information and place this enormous number of 'letters' in their proper sequence as a genetic instruction manual? Could evolution have gradually come up with a system like this?

DNA contains a genetic language

Let's first consider some of the characteristics of this genetic 'language.' For it to be rightly called a language, it must contain the following elements: an alphabet or coding system, correct spelling, grammar (a proper arrangement of the words), meaning (semantics) and an intended purpose.

Scientists have found the genetic code has all of these key elements. "The coding regions of DNA," explains Dr. Stephen Meyer, "have exactly the same relevant properties as a computer code or language" (quoted by Strobel, p. 237, emphasis in original).

The only other codes found to be true languages are all of human origin. Although we do find that dogs bark when they perceive danger, bees dance to point other bees to a source and whales emit sounds, to name a few examples of other species" communication, none of these have the composition of a language. They are only considered low-level communication signals.

The only types of communication considered high-level are human languages, artificial languages such as computer and Morse codes and the genetic code. No other communication system has been found to contain the basic characteristics of a language.

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, commented that "DNA is like a software program, only much more complex than anything we've ever devised."

Can you imagine something more intricate than the most complex program running on a supercomputer being devised by accident through evolution�-no matter how much time, how many mutations and how much natural selection are taken into account?

DNA language not the same as DNA molecule

Recent studies in information theory have come up with some astounding conclusions�-namely, that information cannot be considered in the same category as matter and energy. It's true that matter or energy can carry information, but they are not the same as information itself.

For instance, a book such as Homer's Iliad contains information, but is the physical book itself information? No, the materials of the book�-the paper, ink and glue contain the contents, but they are only a means of transporting it.

If the information in the book was spoken aloud, written in chalk or electronically reproduced in a computer, the information does not suffer qualitatively from the means of transporting it. "In fact the content of the message," says professor Phillip Johnson, "is independent of the physical makeup of the medium" (Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, 1997, p. 71).

The same principle is found in the genetic code. The DNA molecule carries the genetic language, but the language itself is independent of its carrier. The same genetic information can be written in a book, stored in a compact disk or sent over the Internet, and yet the quality or content of the message has not changed by changing the means of conveying it.

As George Williams puts it: "The gene is a package of information, not an object. The pattern of base pairs in a DNA molecule specifies the gene. But the DNA molecule is the medium, it's not the message" (quoted by Johnson, p. 70).

Information from an intelligent source

In addition, this type of high-level information has been found to originate only from an intelligent source.

As Lee Strobel explains: "The data at the core of life is not disorganized, it's not simply orderly like salt crystals, but it's complex and specific information that can accomplish a bewildering task�-the building of biological machines that far outstrip human technological capabilities" (p. 244).

For instance, the precision of this genetic language is such that the average mistake that is not caught turns out to be one error per 10 billion letters. If a mistake occurs in one of the most significant parts of the code, which is in the genes, it can cause a disease such as sickle-cell anemia. Yet even the best and most intelligent typist in the world couldn't come close to making only one mistake per 10 billion letters�-far from it.

So to believe that the genetic code gradually evolved in Darwinian style would break all the known rules of how matter, energy and the laws of nature work. In fact, there has not been found in nature any example of one information system inside the cell gradually evolving into another functional information program.

Michael Behe, a biochemist and professor at Pennsylvania's Lehigh University, explains that genetic information is primarily an instruction manual and gives some examples.

He writes: "Consider a step-by-step list of [genetic] instructions. A mutation is a change in one of the lines of instructions. So instead of saying, "Take a 1/4-inch nut," a mutation might say, "Take a 3/8-inch nut." Or instead of "Place the round peg in the round hole," we might get "Place the round peg in the square hole" . . . What a mutation cannot do is change all the instructions in one step�-say, [providing instructions] to build a fax machine instead of a radio" (Darwin's Black Box, 1996, p. 41).

We therefore have in the genetic code an immensely complex instruction manual that has been majestically designed by a more intelligent source than human beings.

Even one of the discoverers of the genetic code, the agnostic and recently deceased Francis Crick, after decades of work on deciphering it, admitted that "an honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going" (Life Itself, 1981, p. 88, emphasis added).

Evolution fails to provide answers

It is good to remember that, in spite of all the efforts of all the scientific laboratories around the world working over many decades, they have not been able to produce so much as a single human hair. How much more difficult is it to produce an entire body consisting of some 100 trillion cells!

Up to now, Darwinian evolutionists could try to counter their detractors with some possible explanations for the complexity of life. But now they have to face the information dilemma: How can meaningful, precise information be created by accident�-by mutation and natural selection? None of these contain the mechanism of intelligence, a requirement for creating complex information such as that found in the genetic code.

Darwinian evolution is still taught in most schools as though it were fact. But it is increasingly being found wanting by a growing number of scientists. "As recently as twenty-five years ago," says former atheist Patrick Glynn, "a reasonable person weighing the purely scientific evidence on the issue would likely have come down on the side of skepticism [regarding a Creator]. That is no longer the case." He adds: "Today the concrete data point strongly in the direction of the God hypothesis. It is the simplest and most obvious solution . . ." (God: The Evidence, 1997, pp. 54-55, 53).

Quality of genetic information the same

Evolution tells us that through chance mutations and natural selection, living things evolve. Yet to evolve means to gradually change certain aspects of some living thing until it becomes another type of creature, and this can only be done by changing the genetic information.

So what do we find about the genetic code? The same basic quality of information exists in a humble bacteria or a plant as in a person. A bacterium has a shorter genetic code, but qualitatively it gives instructions as precisely and exquisitely as that of a human being. We find the same prerequisites of a language�-alphabet, grammar and semantics�-in simple bacteria and algae as in man.

Each cell with genetic information, from bacteria to man, according to molecular biologist Michael Denton, consists of "artificial languages and their decoding systems, memory banks for information storage and retrieval, elegant control systems regulating the automated assembly of parts and components, error fail-safe and proof-reading devices utilized for quality control, assembly processes involving the principle of prefabrication and modular construction . . . [and a] capacity not equalled in any of our most advanced machines, for it would be capable of replicating its entire structure within a matter of a few hours" (Denton, p. 329).

So how could the genetic information of bacteria gradually evolve into information for another type of being, when only one or a few minor mistakes in the millions of letters in that bacterium's DNA can kill it?

Again, evolutionists are uncharacteristically silent on the subject. They don't even have a working hypothesis about it. Lee Strobel writes: "The six feet of DNA coiled inside every one of our body's one hundred trillion cells contains a four-letter chemical alphabet that spells out precise assembly instructions for all the proteins from which our bodies are made . . . No hypothesis has come close to explaining how information got into biological matter by naturalistic means" (Strobel, p. 282).

Werner Gitt, professor of information systems, puts it succinctly: "The basic flaw of all evolutionary views is the origin of the information in living beings. It has never been shown that a coding system and semantic information could originate by itself [through matter] . . . The information theorems predict that this will never be possible. A purely material origin of life is thus [ruled out]" (Gitt, p. 124).

The clincher

Besides all the evidence we have covered for the intelligent design of DNA information, there is still one amazing fact remaining�-the ideal number of genetic letters in the DNA code for storage and translation.

Moreover, the copying mechanism of DNA, to meet maximum effectiveness, requires the number of letters in each word to be an even number. Of all possible mathematical combinations, the ideal number for storage and transcription has been calculated to be four letters.

This is exactly what has been found in the genes of every living thing on earth�-a four-letter digital code. As Werner Gitt states: "The coding system used for living beings is optimal from an engineering standpoint. This fact strengthens the argument that it was a case of purposeful design rather that a [lucky] chance" (Gitt, p. 95).

More witnesses

Back in Darwin's day, when his book On the Origin of Species was published in 1859, life appeared much simpler. Viewed through the primitive microscopes of the day, the cell appeared to be but a simple blob of jelly or uncomplicated protoplasm. Now, almost 150 years later, that view has changed dramatically as science has discovered a virtual universe inside the cell.

"It was once expected," writes Professor Behe, "that the basis of life would be exceedingly simple. That expectation has been smashed. Vision, motion, and other biological functions have proven to be no less sophisticated than television cameras and automobiles. Science has made enormous progress in understanding how the chemistry of life works, but the elegance and complexity of biological systems at the molecular level have paralyzed science's attempt to explain their origins" (Behe, p. x).

Dr. Meyer considers the recent discoveries about DNA as the Achilles" heel of evolutionary theory. He observes: "Evolutionists are still trying to apply Darwin's nineteenth-century thinking to a twenty-first century reality, and it's not working ... I think the information revolution taking place in biology is sounding the death knell for Darwinism and chemical evolutionary theories" (quoted by Strobel, p. 243).

Dr. Meyer's conclusion? "I believe that the testimony of science supports theism. While there will always be points of tension or unresolved conflict, the major developments in science in the past five decades have been running in a strongly theistic direction" (ibid., p. 77).

Dean Kenyon, a biology professor who repudiated his earlier book on Darwinian evolution�-mostly due to the discoveries of the information found in DNA�-states: "This new realm of molecular genetics (is) where we see the most compelling evidence of design on the Earth" (ibid., p. 221).

Just recently, one of the world's most famous atheists, Professor Antony Flew, admitted he couldn't explain how DNA was created and developed through evolution. He now accepts the need for an intelligent source to have been involved in the making of the DNA code.

"What I think the DNA material has done is show that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinary diverse elements together," he said (quoted by Richard Ostling, "Leading Atheist Now Believes in God," Associated Press report, Dec. 9, 2004).

"Fearfully and wonderfully made"

Although written thousands of years ago, King David's words about our marvelous human bodies still ring true. He wrote: "For You formed my inward parts, You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . . My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought. . ." (Psalm 139:13-15, emphasis added).

Where does all this leave evolution? Michael Denton, an agnostic scientist, concludes: "Ultimately the Darwinian theory of evolution is no more nor less than the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century" (Denton, p. 358).

All of this has enormous implications for our society and culture. Professor Johnson makes this clear when he states: "Every history of the twentieth century lists three thinkers as preeminent in influence: Darwin, Marx and Freud. All three were regarded as 'scientific' (and hence far more reliable than anything 'religious') in their heyday.

"Yet Marx and Freud have fallen, and even their dwindling bands of followers no longer claim that their insights were based on any methodology remotely comparable to that of experimental science. I am convinced that Darwin is next on the block. His fall will be by far the mightiest of the three" (Johnson, p. 113).

Evolution has had its run for almost 150 years in the schools and universities and in the press. But now, with the discovery of what the DNA code is all about, the complexity of the cell, and the fact that information is something vastly different from matter and energy, evolution can no longer dodge the ultimate outcome. The evidence certainly points to a resounding checkmate for evolution! GN
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goodfielder
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 08:56 am
Next volley in the cut and past(e) war:


Dinosaur Fossil Provides Evolution Snapshot

http://www.sci-tech-today.com/story.xhtml?story_id=34438
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 09:05 am
Quote:

...So how could the genetic information of bacteria gradually evolve into information for another type of being, when only one or a few minor mistakes in the millions of letters in that bacterium's DNA can kill it?


Interesting question...
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 11:50 am
gungasnake wrote:
Quote:

...So how could the genetic information of bacteria gradually evolve into information for another type of being, when only one or a few minor mistakes in the millions of letters in that bacterium's DNA can kill it?


Interesting question...


Not really...
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 12:10 pm
gungasnake wrote:
Quote:

...So how could the genetic information of bacteria gradually evolve into information for another type of being, when only one or a few minor mistakes in the millions of letters in that bacterium's DNA can kill it?


Interesting question...


How can anyone drive a car when the smallest mistake can kill them?

Simple answer to BOTH questions. Most mistakes are not deadly. Just because a given mistake is deadly doesn't translate to all mistakes are.
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 12:17 pm
When lazy, pick on the glaringly obvious...

Quote:
Moreover, the copying mechanism of DNA, to meet maximum effectiveness, requires the number of letters in each word to be an even number. Of all possible mathematical combinations, the ideal number for storage and transcription has been calculated to be four letters.


...the "word" of DNA is the codon, and the codon contains three letters.

Now, if you're talking about the number of letters an alphabet, four is right on. Supposing there's any reasoning for four being "ideal" (there's no attributation whatsoever for this little factoid), there's no reason to think that systems using a different number of letters weren't simply out-competed. I fail to see how that's a clincher.
0 Replies
 
raprap
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 12:59 pm
patiodog wrote:
When lazy, pick on the glaringly obvious...

Quote:
Moreover, the copying mechanism of DNA, to meet maximum effectiveness, requires the number of letters in each word to be an even number. Of all possible mathematical combinations, the ideal number for storage and transcription has been calculated to be four letters.


...the "word" of DNA is the codon, and the codon contains three letters.

Now, if you're talking about the number of letters an alphabet, four is right on. Supposing there's any reasoning for four being "ideal" (there's no atributation whatsoever for this little factoid), there's no reason to think that systems using a different number of letters weren't simply out-competed. I fail to see how that's a clincher.


Group theory and algebra

Finite groups with a prime number of elements is unique and cyclic, consequently if one were to consider group of three letters (order 3) that is cyclic then any of the nontrivial subgroups would be identical <1>, <2> s,t <1>={1,2,3} & <2>={2,1,3}

Four, on the other hand, is not prime and although all nontrivial elements are cyclic, they are not identical <1>={1,2,3,4} <2>={2,4} & <3>={3,2,1,4}

Now this is strictly hypothetical and it may be a red herring, but from an algebraic group perspective there is a significant difference between finite sets of things with prime numbers of elements and non prime numbers of elements.

Rap
0 Replies
 
El-Diablo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 01:07 pm
Yes codons only have 3 "letters" which are really nucleotides.

Quote:
"The six feet of DNA coiled inside every one of our body's one hundred trillion cells contains a four-letter chemical alphabet that spells out precise assembly instructions for all the proteins from which our bodies are made . . . No hypothesis has come close to explaining how information got into biological matter by naturalistic means"


Its a 3 NUCLEOTIDE codon not 4! And I think the analogies are getting a little overdone. There's no "letters" or "words" in DNA. There's nucleotides, codons and the various forms of RNA and amino acids.

Quote:


I'm not sure what this is getting at but I don't think it's true. Unless it still using that anoying metaphor instead of using the actual words.

Quote:


We're also not dealing with a typist here. Think about it adenine by mere chemistry and physics should bind with thymine. Rarely is there going to be a "screw-up" in the meiosis where say guanine will match with adenine and produce a flawed copy of DNA whereby you have a guanine instead of a thymine which would translate to a different amino acid formed by the RNA and a flawed protein blah blah blah. Possible but unlikely.

Also sickle-cell anemia does have "evolutionary" aspects. Sickle-cell anemics are immune to malaria which is why many of the native amzon tribes and such are sickle-cell anemics since their ancestors with the disease had a better chance of survival.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 01:18 pm
parados wrote:
gungasnake wrote:
Quote:

...So how could the genetic information of bacteria gradually evolve into information for another type of being, when only one or a few minor mistakes in the millions of letters in that bacterium's DNA can kill it?


Interesting question...


How can anyone drive a car when the smallest mistake can kill them?

Simple answer to BOTH questions. Most mistakes are not deadly. Just because a given mistake is deadly doesn't translate to all mistakes are.


Nice answer Parados.

We need quick "common sense" answers like this for live debates with creationists. Farmerman, are you taking notes? Smile
0 Replies
 
El-Diablo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 01:21 pm
I can't belive the mistake in thsi article. THe whole article is thrown into vehemant question when it claims that DNA IS BASED ON 4-LETTER ARRANGMENTS, when it is actually based on 3 LETTER ARRANGMENTS. THese people in this article don't know a thing about science and yet they tote it around like they do because the ignorant foolish masses (mainly of theists) will accept what they say.
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 01:31 pm
Frankly, I'm irked by the suggestion that DNA is merely information. This is not the case at all, as is becoming increasingly clear. DNA is a thing, and its properties as a thing -- the way it twists into superstructures -- are crucial to its function. The message is not indpendent of a medium. In any form other than DNA (or RNA), the message is absolutely useless.

Another thought on the four nucleotides...

There are 20 or so amino acids, and 64 possible codons. There is a great deal of degeneracy in the code. Not very good from a design perspective, but very nice if randomness is thrown into the mix. The more common amino acids are coded for by more codons. Thus, changes in the codons for the most common amino acids (and, thus, for the largest chunks of genes) are less likely to result in a mutation (that is expression of the change in the amino acid sequence of the protein).




It's probably also a good idea to bring up the point that always has to be brought up: the theory of evolution has nothing to say about the origin of life. There are always efforts to attack evolution from the point of view of "But where did everything COME from?" That's like trying to attack the Copernican model of the solar system by saying, "But where did the sun COME from?" It's a nonsequiter, as stupid a claim as anyone saying that the theory of evolution does shed light on where life came from.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 02:40 pm
patiodog wrote:
It's probably also a good idea to bring up the point that always has to be brought up: the theory of evolution has nothing to say about the origin of life. There are always efforts to attack evolution from the point of view of "But where did everything COME from?" That's like trying to attack the Copernican model of the solar system by saying, "But where did the sun COME from?" It's a nonsequiter, as stupid a claim as anyone saying that the theory of evolution does shed light on where life came from.


Hi Patio,

While you are correct that the theory of evolution doesn't talk about the origin of life, and doesn't offer any specifics on the origin, it's the implication which some people are afraid of: That if life can evolve without direct guidance, then life might also have originated without guidance.

And since the rules of evolution and natural selection apply all the way back to simple replicative molecules, and amino acids are being found in meteorites and formed in conditions like the early Earth, it's not that hard to see how you might get from inorganic reactions to organic life. The gap just isn't that large any more.

Let's face the creationists fear straight on, and not shy away from what we know evolution is telling us. When creationists complian about "Evilution", they aren't talking about Natural Selection and genetic drift, they are talking about the idea that the natural world we see has resulted from a purely natural process which does not require a creator, and shows no sign of outside intervention.

The theory of evolution may not talk about the origin of life, but let's be honest, the implication is clear: The origin of life was a natural event, just like the evolution of life.
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 02:55 pm
ros, I just wanted to get that out in the air because they are different fields of inquiry, even if mechanisms underlying models for each are similar. Cosmology and physics are intimately intertwined, but they are not one field. All too often, a post will interrupt a discussion on evolution by saying, "That's bunk. Why are you talking about where diversity comes from when you can't explain where life itself comes from?" That's just not a useful point of view, as I'm sure you agree. The lack of GUT shouldn't be used as a bludgeon against particle physics; the lack of a theory of origins shouldn't be used as a bludgeon against biology.


I do like that you bring up the word "afraid," because I think that's what any cosmological picture comes down to for a lot of people. I have no doubt that I will die with the biggest questions -- where did the universe come from? how did life begin? -- unanswered. I'm all right with that.* (I'm tribeless, sans culture, so maybe that's got someting to do with it.) Some people aren't, and have to have some sort of answer to those questions, for whatever reason.




*Contemplating astronomical distances does give me the heebie jeebies, though, I'll admit that...
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 03:01 pm
patiodog wrote:
ros, I just wanted to get that out in the air because they are different fields of inquiry, even if mechanisms underlying models for each are similar.


I understand, and you are correct of course.

But whenever we dodge the bullet by falling back on the definition of the theory, I feel like we're not addressing the real issue.

And after all, we don't have to dodge the bullet at all, because it's not a damaging point against evolution, it's just more fear from the creationists about the implications of what reality is throwing in our faces.
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 03:09 pm
The converse can be damaging as well, though: in the long run, I think every time one bullshits through an answer -- about origins, say -- without admitting uncertainty, they stoop to the level of the doggedly religious, clinging to certainty when none is to be had. Where did life come from? I dunno -- I've yet to see a satisfyingly fleshed-out model. The RNA universe model has some appeal, certainly, and could take us back to a certain point in the origins of life if anything can be demonstrated. But to act like that's an answer rather than a speculation is to put oneself on shaky ground, and to leave an opening for the charge of "You say you know when you don't really know!" That charge is an excellent one to level against the dogmatic, and I'd hate for it to lose its effectiveness because I engage in it, as well.

I like to draw the line between evolution and theories of origins (of which there are none, at present) not because I don't want to step on the toes of the religious, but because I like to have the field of play clearly delineated -- indeed, I like to know just what game I'm playing.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 03:16 pm
patiodog wrote:
But to act like that's an answer rather than a speculation is to put oneself on shaky ground, and to leave an opening for the charge of "You say you know when you don't really know!" That charge is an excellent one to level against the dogmatic, and I'd hate for it to lose its effectiveness because I engage in it, as well.


Is there any doubt in your mind that life originated naturally, without supernatural intervention?

Or are you simply saying that you don't know the details of how it originated naturally?

Because if you say you don't know if it originated without supernatural intervention, then you would also have to say that you don't know if evolution occured (and is occuring), because once you adopt the supernatural, you cannot know anything.
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 03:31 pm
So, you're looking for my epistemological viewpoint...

I see no evidence of supernatural intervention in the natural world, nor do I see the need for it. Certainly I find all of the personifications of the supernatural (if such exists) posited by organized (or disorganized) religion to be laughable, and I think it's pretty clear that gods and God are human inventions.

Additionally, I have no use for any explanation that must invoke the supernatural to explain natural phenomena. What is the value of the explanation? Attempting to explain natural phenomena through observation, hypothesis, and verification through experimentation or further observation, on the other hand, has been phenomenally useful to us.

Is there any doubt in my mind that life originated naturally? No, but that in itself is not a position I'm going to defend, for it is merely a belief. That said, the only practical way to approach the question is as if it did occur through natural processes. To invoke the supernatural is to close the question to inquiry, and that is of no use whatsoever. I guess when it comes down to it I am a utilitarian: intellectually, it is of no use to stop asking questions, so I will reject any system of thought which purports to answer all questions.

Does that make any sense?
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 04:01 pm
Tons.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 04:51 pm
patiodog wrote:
So, you're looking for my epistemological viewpoint...

I see no evidence of supernatural intervention in the natural world, nor do I see the need for it.



There's no such thing as "supernatural"; just **** that we don't understand yet...
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 May, 2005 04:57 pm
I just got home from a 14 hour drive and I see that gunga has a new fart pellet on the board. His babblings about the"Magic 4 number sequence" is wrong from the getgo anyway. All his creationist quotables , like Denton , forgot about URACIL in RNA. A base pair is 2 of the above , and the codons cluster in groups of 3 base pAIRS. 3,6,12. aLL THESE ARE the 20 proteins.

Im amazed at the sheer dipshit wrongheadedness in the article. Not by commission , but ommission.

ros, yeh , I loved parados'answer. You bet Im taking notes but the benefit we will have is that the ID side of the case, will be made up of the scientists who gunga has quoted.

One of the "sheer mysteries". of an ID spin on DNA. If everyone like Denton is mystified why not look at replicant sections of DNA from genomes that have been already deciophered. The vast similARITY AND "BUILDING BLOCK NATURE" of the genome of , say, a mouse and a groundhog, then from a mouse to a human. Watsons latest book on DNA shows a mouse and human DNA strand from a single gene, and even included a stop codon (intron) in a box. The similarity is astounding. How much economy of genomic structure is preserved by evolution. Obviously what the DNA strands show is that , when a genome was coded it didnt have to be "reinvented" for the subsequent species. It was truly built upon ad nauseum.
There is also plenty of evidence that certain sections of genes were actually acquired by totally unrelated species (like lichens contain keratin and the coding sequences from crab shells to a lichen plant is essentially the same). Thats a whole nother area of inquiry.

Im not even a molecular biologist. I just happen to feel that I should have a familiarity with other information sources that affect evolutionary sciences besides geology. Im just amaqzed at how the ID scientists arrive at their conclusions when all the evidence, when layed out on the table, sez otherwise.
0 Replies
 
 

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