|DNA – a highly complex very efficient information storage and retrieval system|
In the 2002 movie “Windtalkers”, Sergeant Joe Enders, played by Nicholas Cage is given this charge: “Protect the code.” It’s World War II and the Marines are using the code for critical tactical communications that they cannot afford to have intercepted. They’ve developed a unique code that proves to be unbreakable. That’s because it’s double coded.
According to this Wikipedia article, in a moment of luck mixed with a touch of genius reminiscent of the insight highlighted in “A Beautiful Mind”, Captain Lawrence of the U.S. Army overheard two men speaking in the Choctaw native American language – and had an inspiration for the code. The article gives further details on the “Code Talkers” but the point I want to make is this: The communication employed by the Marines was coded. Coded information always requires someone – an intelligence – to create the code. If that is not obvious, this particular case clarifies things because the communication is double coded – which highlights the intelligence required. It’s quite obvious that there is no process in the universe that can create double coded information without an intelligence behind it.
Consider the complexity of creating and decoding a double coded message. Suppose the word they wanted to communicate was “Plateau”. Plateau may be coded (in English) to the word “horse”. “Horse” would then be translated into the word used in the Choctaw language for horse, which is issuba.1 The process looks something like this:
Plateau > Code word: Horse >Horse re-coded : issuba
Notice the process of mapping meaning to a symbol that takes place. It’s clear to see why this code was unbreakable. Even if they could catch the syllables of the Choctaw words which were spoken (which would have been difficult enough) – the enemy wouldn’t know what those syllables “is-su-ba” meant. Let’s say the enemy managed to catch the word, they next have to determine the convention used. It’s not English, French, Spanish, etc. They need to figure out the language convention: Choctaw. If they manage to figure that, they additionally need to find someone who speaks Choctaw. If you do, you now have the meaning of the word in Choctaw – “horse” but you still haven’t intercepted the message, because the message is still in code. “Horse” isn’t the message, “horse” must be again decoded by an intelligence to retrieve the originally intended message using yet another code. And for that you must have the code. And I’ll say it again because it’s a critical point: Codes are not created by random processes, they are the result of an intelligence. Intelligence is required to create a code, to encode a message, and to create a process to decode the message.
Clearly coded messages require intelligence. Both to encode and decode. But in fact the need for intelligence goes beyond that. The coder must use a system of pre-defined symbols as the medium by which the coded message is transferred or carried. (And if one does not exist, the communicator must create such a system.) For example on this web page, the system employed is the specially formed black marks called “letters” used to represent small units of meaning that represent sound. The letters are then formed into a concept by arranging them in the pre-selected units of the code or language, in this case English words. Once the concepts are encoded into words, an intelligence must further arrange the words to communicate something even more complex: a complete message – a phrase conveying meaning. Consider this string of letters and characters:
lb)rah ured(e sy(eir)
It has what appears to be letters arranged into words, but it is meaningless. This is what you get from random processes – Darwinian processes. Now consider the same letters, after being arranged by an intelligence into words – which when strung together with further intelligence, properly convey meaningful information:
(red hair) (blue eyes)
So an intelligent coder uses the letters of a pre-defined system (or creates one), and superimposes a pre-defined message (in this case hair color, eye color) on those letters by arranging them according to a pre-defined code (or language) such that the component parts (the individual words) communicate the intended message when decoded by the pre-defined code (in this case the code is the English language). This process of information encoding and decoding is far beyond what random processes alone can achieve. Random processes could not even create a complete set of letters, much less a word or message.
Now consider DNA. DNA is highly complex, very efficient information storage and retrieval system. It contains coded information. There is not a biologist (or any other scientist) in the world that denies these facts. Consider what this means. For DNA to have originated, the following would have had to have occurred:
1. An intelligent designer had to create a system of symbols to carry the message. In the case of DNA it is a chemical alphabet that scientist represent by the letters ACGT – representing the nucleobases in DNA – Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine, Thymine. These function as the letters of an alphabet
2. An intelligent designer had to create a “language” that communicates a message when the 4 letters are arranged in a certain way.
3. An intelligent designer had to arrange the letters in an intelligent, specific ways to encode and transmit the instructions necessary to create chemical words that specify the various traits we see in the many creatures that exist – such traits being things like hair color or eye color.
4. An intelligent designer had create a system capable of decoding the coded message.
On this point of the information bearing properties of DNA, Stephen Meyer, philosopher of science and author of the book “Signature in the Cell” which details this process correctly observes:
“NeoDarwinism and its associated theories of chemical evolution and the like will not be able to survive the biology of the information age, the biology of the 21st century.”2
The random processes claimed for evolution are simply incapable of creating such a system because random processes do not create complex, specific, organized information nor the systems that store such information. Since evolution could not have created DNA, those seriously seeking the truth about the origins of life are left bereft of any plausible naturalistic explanation. Since evolution is eliminated as an explanation for the origins of life (which Darwinism never provided in the first place3), the only source of such a super complex information storage and retrieval system and the information contained within – is an intelligence capable of creating them both. In the face of such clearly designed, intelligent systems and complexly coded information, Darwinian random processes and undirected mutations don’t stand a chance. For those seriously seeking the truth, I direct you to a testimony of the Creator:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
As this testimony from the psalms of David shows, the works of the Creator are evident even without knowledge of the complexities of DNA. Truly, those with knowledge of DNA and still denying God are “without excuse.”4
1 Chahta Anumpa Aiikhvna, School of Choctaw Language, 2013
2 Stephen Meyer in Lee Strobel’s DVD Documentary “The Case for a Creator”, Illustra Media, 2006
3 Darwinian Evolution cannot operate until life already exists. Thus claims that processes like natural selection created DNA are non-starters since natural selection cannot operate until life (include DNA) already exists. So much for Dawkin’s “intellectual fulfillment”. (Richard Dawkins says evolution allows him to be a “intellectually fulfilled” atheist The Blind Watchmaker (1986), page 6)
4 The Apostle Paul, Romans 1.20
Image: DNA – Public Domain, National Institutes of Health