Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Designer's Recipe

This brief essay, DNA: A Stew-pendous Creation by Frank Sherwin, M.A., is a reminder that the facts of nature do not conflict with creation. Because we can refer to specifics like DNA and give rational reasons why DNA is better explained by non-standard analyses than the RNA world, we have data for intelligent design as well. I am a Christian but I do not need scriptural references to support a solid case for origins by design. Mindful of some recent comments I have included much of the essay but have left out footnotes and other information that can be read at the linked site. The essay follows. My comments are in bold.

"Often those who prefer non-Darwinian explanations for the origin of the species are accused of being unscientific. One may believe in creation (or intelligent design), evolutionists maintain, but there certainly isn't any evidence for it. Ironically, it is research by the scientific community that begs to differ, revealing stunning and sophisticated features of the living world:

DNA's simple and elegant structure -- the "twisted ladder," with sugar-phosphate chains making up the "rails" and oxygen- and nitrogen-containing chemical "rungs" tenuously uniting the two halves -- seems to be the work of an accomplished sculptor.

Yet the graceful, sinuous profile of the DNA double helix is the result of random chemical reactions in a simmering, primordial stew. Just how nature arrived at this molecule and its sister molecule, RNA, remains one of the greatest -- and potentially unsolvable -- scientific mysteries."1

There are a number of points of note in this remarkable quote. The most obvious is that judging simply by what the secular scientist can see (Romans 1:20), DNA has all the earmarks of a Sculptor who is gifted, skilled, and clever. But then notice they deny what is "clearly seen" choosing to attribute the "graceful, sinuous profile" of DNA to "a simmering, primordial stew." In 1952 a graduate student in Chicago attempted to emulate prebiotic conditions on a young Earth "billions of years ago." But organic life and DNA were never "created."2 What biochemists cannot do given almost unlimited funding, time, and contact with the brightest and best scientific minds in the world -- a "simmering, primordial stew" can do! There have been other simulation experiments, but no one has been able to make "the sugar molecules dioxy-ribose |sic| and ribose necessary to build DNA and RNA molecules."3

Besides having "the earmarks of a sculptor" DNA also has encoding features associated with an intelligent and gifted programmer and some related translating mechanisms worthy of a linguist. There is no better biological example of an intelligent inference.


At 9:05 AM, Blogger William Bradford said...

ID suggests an intelligent or purposeful input at some point in the process leading to life or its subsequent development. It is not refuted by showing that processes exist that function independently of the above. ID can be supported by findings at any step in the historic process. If that step occured at the outset then all subsequent life forms are products of ID. That's the point of the focus on DNA.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger CJYman said...

On the same topic ... (from an essay in progress)

Although there are natural laws describing protein folding, there is no law to describe the correct
amino acid sequence, (and scientists definitely do know what sequences produce which proteins,
with all that genome sequencing going on) except that the correct sequence is the one which creates
a folding protein. There is nothing to specify amino acid sequences before the first protein. Yet, you need the specific amino acid sequence to create the specific protein. Even pure dumb luck in arranging amino acids doesn’t explain how there should be those finely tuned natural laws ready to take the proper sequence of amino acids and fold them into a cascade of proteins which work
together to create life. It’s as if natural laws were describing a universe which is crafted around the ability to support life yet did not have the ability to create it save by some random chance
occurrence. I will explain this further along in the essay when I discuss the relation between natural laws, codes, and intelligence.

As stated by Albert Voie in

Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, 2006, Vol 28(4), 1000-1004. :

"Polanyi argued that; “since the structure of life is a set of boundary conditions that harness the laws of physics and chemistry their (the boundary condition's) structure cannot be defined in terms of the laws that they harness. Nor can a vocabulary determine the content of a text (a boundary condition on the vocabulary), and so on” [20]. Since biological function or “boundary conditions” are crucial also in replication, life seems not to have evolved from inanimate matter.

At 7:52 PM, Blogger William Bradford said...

The argument that life is the end product of a non-material cause is consistent with the absence of a chemical bias in the direction of life. It also aligns well with non-material information found in nucleic acids.


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