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Cpatain Canuck

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http://gnmagazine.org/issues/gn58/tinycode.htm

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 Seiglie
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

 


Posts: 11 | Posted: 8:53 PM on May 31, 2005 | IP
peddler8111

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Silence is submission.
Looks like you stumped the band Captain.
Good job!


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Posts: 242 | Posted: 08:30 AM on June 2, 2005 | IP
Demon38

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Such nonsense is not worth the effort...
 


Posts: 1664 | Posted: 03:25 AM on June 4, 2005 | IP
peddler8111

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Quote from Demon38 at 03:25 AM on June 4, 2005 :
Such nonsense is not worth the effort...


Deafeatism is not what I expected from you . Although I am not suprised you could not resist answering a post you have no prayer of refuting.



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peddler
 


Posts: 242 | Posted: 08:17 AM on June 4, 2005 | IP
EntwickelnCollin

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Deafeatism is not what I expected from you . Although I am not suprised you could not resist answering a post you have no prayer of refuting.


Don't hold your breath, Peddler. Demon is correct in his reasoning. The "Language" argument is terribly overrated.

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?

No. DNA was not devised through Evolution. On the contrary, Evolution is a result of DNA. Perhaps if the question was worded this way...

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

Indefinitely

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.


Mr. Seiglie forgot one more pertinent element of a language: any word can refer to any object. In the case of DNA, this is not so. You can change the code that maps codons to proteins, but that would so significantly alter the code itself that all of its sequences would be different. Furthermore, it is the physical properties of D/RNA that reflect how they act... as opposed to arbitrary meanings.

Remember that when DNA translates to protein sequences, codons change successively to amino acids, the building blocks of the protein. When mapping each triplet of bases to protein, the process is arbitrary. The catch of course being that although that section of the coding is arbitrary, it is the only arbitrariness to the whole process. TalkOrigins sums it up real nicely: The protein itself is a physical object whose function is determined by its physical properties.

Aside from all that, the very prospect that something cannot arise out of thoughtless natural processes, even if supplied with a truly infinite amount of time… is nothing short of a subjective assertion. Seiglie would submit this “topples” Evolutionary Theory… but in reality, it does nothing but raise a completely irrelevant question. In fact, we could ignore my entire rebuttal and skip right to the main point of all of this:

So WHAT if DNA IS “designed”? It does NOT puncture ANY holes in Evolution. If a supernatural deity physically wrote out a code, that wouldn’t change anything but the speculated beginning for an atheistic world of life—that being Abiogenesis. Time and again, I see that people fail to realize the difference between the start of life, and the change of life.



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http://ummcash.org/officers.html
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/08/wow_1.php
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/08/a_triumphant_beginning.php
We're official!
 


Posts: 729 | Posted: 4:25 PM on September 10, 2005 | IP
RoyLennigan

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I couldn't read the whole thing, the writer of the article twisted the facts so much.  The fact is, we don't know how RNA evolved, thats what scientists are trying to figure out.  Christians like the author of the article will try to use every fact they find out of context to try and prove their beliefs.  You have to research the subject yourself, dont trust articles like this at all.

RNA is the oldest known organism on the planet.  It also had almost a billion years to become that.  It is theoretically possible that RNA could have developed from non-life due to the extremely different environment the earth had 3.5 billion years ago.  There have been experiments that prove the most simple life can develop from non-life with the right chemicals and catalysts present.

But there are other explanations.  Strains of RNA could have been trapped inside an asteroid that hit the planet; God could have created RNA; an alien race could have developed RNA and put it on Earth for reasons of their own; the list is almost infinite.  But we do not know for sure and that is why we have science.  Science is a method that will provide irrefutable proof if used properly.
 


Posts: 152 | Posted: 6:54 PM on September 16, 2005 | IP
camaroracer214

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Love the article...and I also love the lack of logical responses by evolutionists.  It is quite funny though to see that Aliens created RNA.  And creationists are stupid and illogical?  Well I hypothesize that the rocks farted and here we are.  Just kidding, but I'm sure someone somewhere does believe that.   But back to the topic.  Besides aliens, all I heard from RoyLennigan was "could have been", "we don't know",  "theoretically", and my favorite, "...life can develop from non-life with the right chemicals and catalysts present".  Ok, show me, where's your proof?  And what I believe you are referring to is that experiment done a while back where a "scientist" was able to create amino acids or something like that, based on some chemicals that he thought were present in the earth's primitive atmosphere.  So, he has a time machine and could go back in time to see the atmosphere  of the earth billions of years ago?  I wonder how rich he is.  The thing is, nobody knows what anything was like before recorded history.  People don't know what the "primitive" atmosphere was like, or even what colors dinosaurs were.  It's all merely speculation and interpretation.

And finally, to all you undecided people teeter-tottering between evolution and creationism, don't believe anything a creationist posts, because in the eyes of the very trusting evolutionists like RoyLennigan says that you can't trust articles like the one opening up this discussion, but we are supposed to believe everything that an evolution-based biologist says.  Everything an evolutionist says is unrefutably true, and christians are seemingly full of it.  Am I getting it right all of you Darwinian brown nosers?

Please note I am strong in my Christian beliefs, and all the evidence presented should be looked into fully.  Not everyone can be right, and in some cases, the information presented can be misleading or misinterpreted.  So, if you have doubts, please explore both sides equally with an open mind.
 


Posts: 21 | Posted: 10:26 PM on September 19, 2005 | IP
EntwickelnCollin

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Love the article...and I also love the lack of logical responses by evolutionists.  It is quite funny though to see that Aliens created RNA.  And creationists are stupid and illogical?


Appears you didn't read my response.

Ok, show me, where's your proof?  And what I believe you are referring to is that experiment done a while back where a "scientist" was able to create amino acids or something like that, based on some chemicals that he thought were present in the earth's primitive atmosphere.


You assert that Doctors Urey and Miller weren't scientists? That's what I'm gathering by the addition of quotation marks.

The thing is, nobody knows what anything was like before recorded history.  People don't know what the "primitive" atmosphere was like, or even what colors dinosaurs were.  It's all merely speculation and interpretation.


Just as a prosecution's criminal case in which there were no witnesses is "all merely speculation and interpretation."

I'd really love to see someone pull that in court. I'm sure it's happened, of course. "What does the DNA evidence collected from the victim's vagina that just happens to squarely match up with the defendant's sperm matter? There were no eye witnesses!"

And finally, to all you undecided people teeter-tottering between evolution and creationism, don't believe anything a creationist posts, because in the eyes of the very trusting evolutionists like RoyLennigan says that you can't trust articles like the one opening up this discussion, but we are supposed to believe everything that an evolution-based biologist says.  Everything an evolutionist says is unrefutably true, and christians are seemingly full of it.  Am I getting it right all of you Darwinian brown nosers?


No, because most Evolutionary-accepting biologists in the Western World are Christian.

Please note I am strong in my Christian beliefs, and all the evidence presented should be looked into fully.  Not everyone can be right, and in some cases, the information presented can be misleading or misinterpreted.  So, if you have doubts, please explore both sides equally with an open mind.


That was quite honestly the only intuitive contribution you made to this entire argument. The silly insults are unnecessary and destructive to the issue. Stop the name calling and try to debate courteously and effectively.

(Edited by EntwickelnCollin 9/19/2005 at 11:05 PM).


-------
http://ummcash.org/officers.html
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/08/wow_1.php
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/08/a_triumphant_beginning.php
We're official!
 


Posts: 729 | Posted: 10:59 PM on September 19, 2005 | IP
RoyLennigan

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Quote from camaroracer214 at 10:26 PM on September 19, 2005 :
Love the article...and I also love the lack of logical responses by evolutionists.  It is quite funny though to see that Aliens created RNA.  And creationists are stupid and illogical?  Well I hypothesize that the rocks farted and here we are.  Just kidding, but I'm sure someone somewhere does believe that.   But back to the topic.  Besides aliens, all I heard from RoyLennigan was "could have been", "we don't know",  "theoretically", and my favorite, "...life can develop from non-life with the right chemicals and catalysts present".  Ok, show me, where's your proof?  And what I believe you are referring to is that experiment done a while back where a "scientist" was able to create amino acids or something like that, based on some chemicals that he thought were present in the earth's primitive atmosphere.  So, he has a time machine and could go back in time to see the atmosphere  of the earth billions of years ago?  I wonder how rich he is.  The thing is, nobody knows what anything was like before recorded history.  People don't know what the "primitive" atmosphere was like, or even what colors dinosaurs were.  It's all merely speculation and interpretation.

And finally, to all you undecided people teeter-tottering between evolution and creationism, don't believe anything a creationist posts, because in the eyes of the very trusting evolutionists like RoyLennigan says that you can't trust articles like the one opening up this discussion, but we are supposed to believe everything that an evolution-based biologist says.  Everything an evolutionist says is unrefutably true, and christians are seemingly full of it.  Am I getting it right all of you Darwinian brown nosers?

Please note I am strong in my Christian beliefs, and all the evidence presented should be looked into fully.  Not everyone can be right, and in some cases, the information presented can be misleading or misinterpreted.  So, if you have doubts, please explore both sides equally with an open mind.



you have such a closed mind its impossible to speak sense to you.

i was saying that believing that god created all the animals on earth is just as reasonable as saying that aliens created the building blocks of life that started evolution.  i didn't say thats what actually happened.

the chemicals done in that experiment were discovered by comparing the remnants of chemicals left in rock from ~3.5 billion years ago, when first life appeared on the planet.

don't turn my words around on me when you dont even know what they mean.  i don't trust half the articles evolutionists write either, a lot of them are pure garbage.

the thing is, while you state that evolution has no proof, the whole theory is based, solely on proof.  creationism is based solely on a book written by a bunch of guys almost 2000 years ago.  which is more reliable?

i hate how the kind of people like you must think in absolutes.  some things we cannot know.  at least yet.   thats why i say "could have been" "we don't know" and "theoretically".  its better than sounding like an idiot and spouting off theories that have absolutely no evidence for plausability.

please stop reading books and start reading facts.

read these:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_life
don't just skim over it, actually read it and at least try to comprehend it.

(Edited by RoyLennigan 9/20/2005 at 01:04 AM).

(Edited by RoyLennigan 9/20/2005 at 01:09 AM).

(Edited by RoyLennigan 2/2/2006 at 2:41 PM).
 


Posts: 152 | Posted: 01:00 AM on September 20, 2005 | IP
BapRap

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This argument is utterly ridiculous.  Analogies can be twisted and apparently the author wants us to believe that in some strange way written text, for example the English language could be a code for life based on his analogizing written language to DNA.  This analogy is a great one for understanding the concept of the genetic code but the way it is used here is to say DNA and written languages are of the same nature and are created by man or a higher power.  That is a ridiculous comparison and a gross stretching of a useful analogy. For one things it fails to recognize that scribbles on a page and DNA are in fact VERY DIFFERENT on a molecular level.  One is the markings of graphite or printer ink, the other is made of nucleotide bases bonded down a sugar phosphate backbone.  Molecularly they are very different!  Also they serve different purposes, one (DNA....for all the uneducated creationists out there) codes for proteins which make up living things, the other (language) conveys concepts and thoughts to other living things.  Life can exist without the molecules that make up language but cannot exist without DNA.  Think about that for a second...if life exists and existed without language then is language really necessary for creating DNA? No, I think not.  And please, don't stretch the analogy again to say that DNA and language are the same thing.  THEY ARE NOT.  As I said at the beginning language is used to convey concepts and analogizing DNA to language is useful for understanding the concepts behind DNA and its role in protein synthesis.  This analogy does not make DNA the same thing as a language just as analogizing gasoline to nuclear power because they both can produce energy does not make them the same thing!
 


Posts: 2 | Posted: 02:10 AM on February 2, 2006 | IP
zerocool_12790

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To BapRap (and everyone else):

    From your response you seem to agree completely with the author’s analogy of comparing language (written or otherwise) to the information contained in DNA by your statement,“This analogy is a great one for understanding the concept of the genetic code”  but then you immediately avoid the implications of that analogy by the end of your statement, "but the way it is used here is to say DNA and written languages are of the same nature and are created by man or a higher power.” Before you start forming a rebuttal let me explain what I mean.
You say that the analogy fails because;
“For one things it fails to recognize that scribbles on a page and DNA are in fact VERY DIFFERENT on a molecular level.” and
“Also they serve different purposes one (DNA....for all the uneducated creationists out there) codes for proteins which make up living things, the other (language) conveys concepts and thoughts to other living things” and then further mount support of your beliefs by claiming,
“Life can exist without the molecules that make up language but cannot exist without DNA.  Think about that for a second...if life exists and existed without language then is language really necessary for creating DNA? No, I think not.”

    So after you sufficiently said and gave reasons for your belief that the analogy failed you then agree again with the analogy by oddly making the statement,
“As I said at the beginning language is used to convey concepts and analogizing DNA to language is useful for understanding the concepts behind DNA and its role in protein synthesis.”

    So just so your clear of what exactly it is I think you believe so that you aren’t able to then claim that I didn’t understand you this is what I think:
    First, your major claim for the reason that the analogy failed is because in the author’s paper you think he claims that language and DNA are of the same nature. You then continue to cite reasons why they are molecularly different. You then believe that the author claimed that you “NEED” human language in order for life to exist at which point you cited more reasons why you do not need it. Then after all of that you agree that the analogy is sufficient in understanding the “concepts” behind DNA and it’s ability to instruct cells to make proteins. I believe that that’s pretty much what you said and believe.

    I believe that your misconception lies in what you actually thought the author of the paper meant. You seem to think that the paper said that language and DNA are of the same nature. I’ve read the paper and went to the website to see if anything was left out, and not ONCE did I see anywhere, even a hint, that that’s what the author was conveying!

    What you did was successfully build up what is considered a straw-man argument. First you set up a false premise of something which was never said or implied namely, “language and DNA are of the same nature,” and then you mightily knock down that straw-man with ease making it look like the author was wrong and you right. And this would have been fine, if the author had used that premise at all in the paper! Misinterpretation one.

    Next you claimed that the author was either blatantly or through implication saying that you need human language in order for life to exist. Another straw-man. Once again not ONCE in the paper was it ever hinted at that human language was necessary for life. But that didn’t stop you from claiming that and justly knocking down the straw-man. The reason why I said “human” language is because that is what you are implying by your statement that the paper claimed life needs language. This is supported by the fact that you stated that DNA existed without language (meaning no humans were around) so then language is not necessary. You completely misinterpreted what the paper was clearly saying once again. Misinterpretation two.
   
Did the paper say that human language was necessary? No. But, and read this carefully, if what you meant was did the paper say that language is necessary for biological life, then the answer is yes! The answer is obviously yes, that’s because the entire paper was created with that premise in mind! That was the whole point of the author’s case. Now at this point once again it’s important for me to explain what I mean so that you do not misunderstand. The paper approximately said that all life is created using DNA without exception (and for those who say what about RNA, RNA cannot self-replicate and needs a cell containing DNA to do so and is therefore not a candidate for the origins of life. Regardless, the discussion of RNA is irrelevant to this current issue, what is being discussed here is DNA). DNA is a double-stranded molecule that is twisted into a helix like a spiral staircase. Each strand is comprised of a sugar-phosphate backbone and numerous base chemicals attached in pairs. The four bases that make up the stairs in the spiraling staircase are adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C) and guanine (G). These stairs act as the "letters" in the genetic alphabet, combining into complex sequences to form the words, sentences and paragraphs that act as instructions to guide the formation and functioning of the host cell. Maybe even more appropriately, the A, T, C and G in the genetic code of the DNA molecule can be compared to the "0" and "1" in the binary code of computer software. Like software to a computer, the DNA code is a genetic language that communicates information to the organic cell. It’s important to note here, that this is precisely the point the author was trying to make, namely, that DNA “contains” a language that it uses to communicate with the cell to carry out whatever it is designed to do. You even agree to this when you say, “As I said at the beginning language is used to convey concepts and analogizing DNA to language is useful for understanding the concepts behind DNA and its role in protein synthesis.”
The part that is peculiar is that you then neglect to see any implications to this and even insert false ideas back into the paper claiming that that’s what the author wrote when in fact none of what you said was in it (namely that language and DNA are molecularly the same or the same nature, and that human language is necessary for life (and I already explained why I think you meant “human language”)).

    Now so that I do not stray from my point I’ll continue. The author clearly portrays that DNA contains a language. This is known throughout the biological scientific community (just do a quick search on information theory concerning DNA). You then agree to this and then quickly create and subsequently knock down straw-men. The only reason I can see you doing this is because you can’t deny that DNA does in fact contain a language, so to keep from thinking about it you make up what the author said and then claim that he is wrong taking your mind off the troubling topic. The amazing part is that you clearly agree and are comfortable in stating that DNA is a code, but then immediately dismiss that this code is actually a language, when in fact that is exactly what a code is! You’re logic is truly cryptic. You also state that language and DNA serve different purposes which once again has nothing to do with the analogy’s purpose, which is to show that DNA and language are similar in how they are set up (e.g., they both communicate information). And besides, the purpose of language is to “convey concepts and thoughts” as you say but it most certainly can also be used to instruct, which is exactly the way DNA is set up, it’s language purpose is to instruct. So once again your statements fail to support any “correctness” of what you’ve written on your part.

    Now, back to your first misinterpretation. In the author’s analogy he never once states that he believes language and DNA share the same nature. Any more than me saying, “your head is like a rock” means that I’m claiming your head and a rock share the same molecular composition. Analogies are used to convey concepts like you said but they are hardly ever all-encompassing. Analogies are almost always used to show something very specific. In my example my analogy was used solely to show that that person’s head was hard. In any other context the analogy wouldn’t work. Now in the author’s analogy you rightly see that what he’s conveying is that DNA transmits instructions in a similar way that could be compared with a language. That’s all the author is stating. Now the next part is what is the implications of that. Well, since people are the only ones to have ever used language, and since people created language, then it looks like Someone created the language contained in DNA. Now obviously I’m not saying that people did it, since DNA was around before people, but what I am stating is that some intelligent force created it. Now by force I mean some type of being, whether physical or non. I of course believe that the God of the Bible is the One who created DNA, but you can form your own conclusions as to who did it. But who did it is not the point. In fact even if the author actually stated everything you claimed he did (which he didn’t) then that still wouldn’t be the point. The point is that if language is created only by intelligence, and DNA contains a language (just as much as binary code or Morse code), then logically DNA must have been created by intelligence.

    As for your second misinterpretation you wrote,
“Life can exist without the molecules that make up language but cannot exist without DNA.  Think about that for a second...if life exists and existed without language then is language really necessary for creating DNA? No, I think not.”  

    Once again when you claim that DNA and life has existed without language you then contradict that by stating that you agree with the analogy that DNA is like a language,
“As I said at the beginning language is used to convey concepts and analogizing DNA to language is useful for understanding the concepts behind DNA and its role in protein synthesis.” So since DNA is like a language, then obviously it needs it in order for it to exist. Now just so we’re clear on if I’m understanding you correctly your last statement says you agree with the analogy of language compared with protein synthesis. Now here’s the important part, by that you mean? If you mean that the process of making proteins is analogous to the DNA using it’s language to instruct the cell exactly how to proceed in making a protein, then you agree with the author and myself and subsequently agree that DNA contains a language. If this is not PRECISELY what you meant then please elaborate.

    Interesting to note as well is that you claim that life existed without the “molecules” that make up language, whatever that means. I was unaware that language was made up of molecules. I can only surmise that you are referring to your previous statement that written human language on paper contains molecules when written with pencil. You then go on to state that life and DNA existed without language which is why I rightly concluded that you MUST be referring to human language since that is the only one you specify. I then showed you the error of that statement by pointing out that the author never said that. I find it important here to explain that “language” is not actually made up molecules. Language is nothing more than meaning ascribed to certain objects or other things. And as we all “should” know, “meaning” is not made up of anything, unless you want to claim it’s energy or something to that affect, but we lack any empirical evidence to back that up. Let me illustrate:

    The DNA code, like a floppy disk of binary code, is quite simple in its basic paired structure. However, it's the sequencing and functioning of that code that's enormously complex. The cell is very complicated, using vast numbers of phenomenally precise DNA instructions to control its every function. And although DNA code is remarkably complex, it's the information translation system connected to that code that really baffles science. Like any language, letters and words mean nothing outside the language convention used to give those letters and words meaning. This is modern information theory at its core. A simple binary example of information theory is the "Midnight Ride of Paul Revere." In that famous story, Mr. Revere was to put one light in the window of the farmhouse if the British came by land, and two lights if they came by sea. Without a shared language convention between Paul Revere and his fellow Patriots, that simple communication effort would mean nothing. Well, take that simple example and multiply by a factor containing many zeros. Meaning DNA is obviously far far more complex.

    We now know that the DNA molecule is an intricate message system. To claim that DNA arose by random material forces is to say that information can arise by random material forces. Many scientists argue that the chemical building blocks of the DNA molecule can be explained by natural evolutionary processes. However, they must realize that the material base of a message is completely independent of the information transmitted. Thus, the chemical building blocks have nothing to do with the origin of the complex message. As a simple illustration, the information content of the clause "nature was designed" has nothing to do with the writing material used, whether ink, paint, chalk or crayon. In fact, the clause can be written in binary code, Morse code or smoke signals, but the message remains the same, independent of the medium. There is obviously no relationship between the information and the material base used to transmit it. Once again just to make this point abundantly clear, the origins of the code or language inside DNA has absolutely nothing to do with the molecules that make up DNA itself or the cell. Some current theories argue that self-organizing properties within the base chemicals themselves created the information in the first DNA molecule. Others argue that external self-organizing forces created the first DNA molecule. However, all of these theories must hold to the illogical conclusion that the material used to transmit the information also produced the information itself. Contrary to the current theories of evolutionary scientists, the information contained within the genetic code must be entirely independent of the chemical makeup of the DNA molecule.

    It all comes down to what the core issue is, did life originate by chance vis-à-vis DNA and the cell arising by naturalistic means, or did DNA and the cell originate by some intelligent higher power. The evidence concerning the information contained in DNA points us to the fact that if it’s a language, and language can only be created by intelligence, then Someone must have created it. The scientific reality of the DNA double helix can single-handedly defeat any theory that assumes life arose from non-life through materialistic forces. Evolution theory has convinced many people that the design in our world is merely "apparent" -- just the result of random, natural processes. However, with the discovery, mapping and sequencing of the DNA molecule, we now understand (or should) that organic life is based on vastly complex information code, and such information cannot be created or interpreted without a Master Designer at the cosmic keyboard.

    Moreover the concept of abiogenesis is vital to the atheistic evolutionist. It follows in their thinking that if life can arise spontaneously under the right conditions, then there will be perhaps millions of planets in the Universe where life already exists. In some of these places intelligent life may have evolved. These ideas have spawned a large body of literature, films and video games involving imaginary extraterrestrial life. Billions of dollars have been spent by government sponsored searches for messages from out there (e.g., project SETI). The irony is that evolutionists would recognize that a nonrandom signal from space that carried information with meaning and purpose must have come from an intelligent extraterrestrial. Yet they consider nucleic acids in the living cell, a nonrandom sequence of nucleotides carrying far more information with precise meaning and exquisite purpose, and say it must have arrived by chance!

    Your previous derogatory statements have therefore been shown to be merely puffs of smoke, and the conclusion to the language contained in DNA is inescapable. You aren’t forced to believe in logic and reason, but I highly suggest you use it to accept that life was created by intelligence as indicated by the language in DNA.


best wishes,


zerocool_12790


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Posts: 37 | Posted: 04:15 AM on February 7, 2006 | IP
EntwickelnCollin

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Your previous derogatory statements have therefore been shown to be merely puffs of smoke, and the conclusion to the language contained in DNA is inescapable. You aren’t forced to believe in logic and reason, but I highly suggest you use it to accept that life was created by intelligence as indicated by the language in DNA.


You’re just a little too uncomfortably cocky.

Next you claimed that the author was either blatantly or through implication saying that you need human language in order for life to exist. Another straw-man. Once again not ONCE in the paper was it ever hinted at that human language was necessary for life.


Zerocool, what you just did is known to yourself as a strawman argument. It’s akin to misinterpretation. Not ONCE in BadRap’s post was it ever hinted at that he thought the article said human language was necessary for life. On the other hand, the article is saying that language is something that only intelligence can create, and that natural forces cannot create a language. It explains that DNA just so happens to be an example of a language… that intelligence had to create. I’ll get back to this later.

Now so that I do not stray from my point I’ll continue. The author clearly portrays that DNA contains a language. This is known throughout the biological scientific community (just do a quick search on information theory concerning DNA).


Nope, not true. This thread is getting down into a technical definition of “language” versus “code,” and appears to have come down to: DNA contains a code, not a language. In order to go on, we’ll have to come up with an acceptable definition of a language that sets it apart from a code. Because, as it turns out, if we are to accept DNA as a language, then DNA becomes one of many “naturally occurring” languages, and its value against Evolution and Abiogenesis is then left virtually non-existent.

DNA is a code because every one of its nucleotides code (I hate to use the verb code in the noun’s definition, but “represent” doesn’t seem as fitting) for something individual and unique. Unlike a language, the nucleotides cannot code for anything else. In English, we have “read” (pronounced reed) and “read” (pronounced red). They have the exact same alphabetical makeup, yet they mean “to read” in a command and past tense at the same time. The only way you can ever tell the difference is the context in which they’re placed. The codes of DNA and RNA, on the other hand, will always mean the same thing. You can’t take a DNA section of ATG and come out with two different amino acids. Read (reed) and read (red) are two different words. ATG, along with every other conceivable arrangement of the DNA code, has no twin.

Now, back to your first misinterpretation. In the author’s analogy he never once states that he believes language and DNA share the same nature. Any more than me saying, “your head is like a rock” means that I’m claiming your head and a rock share the same molecular composition.


Zerocool, the article’s intent clearly is to assert that “DNA and written languages are of the same nature and are created by man or a higher power” as BadRap put it. I don’t know about you, but “of the same nature” doesn’t mean literally composed of the exact same molecular materials. “Of the same nature” implies similar properties, and that’s exactly what the author of the article was getting out.

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!


It’s a very misleading article. I did get a kick out of his use of Lee Strobel’s quote, when he just could have gotten his own had his point been so obvious to the rest of the scientific community, as you put it at the top of my response. Of course, this doesn’t give much insight into the author’s intent if you disregard the bias toward Strobel and the Discovery Institute.

Further:

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.


There you have it. Now stop twisting BadRap’s words. The article is obviously trying to show that written languages (or languages overall, if you’d prefer) are “similar in nature” to DNA.

Now I’d like to explain once more (ignoring my previous post from many months back) how the article is incorrect.

First of all, I don’t agree on the author’s definition of language. “It must contain an intended purpose.” I’m not sure if the author means to imply that languages are all consciously created with a very specific intent, but that’s what it seems like. At any rate, he’s missing the element of a language that sets DNA apart from other naturally-occurring codes. The orbital notation of an electron is a great example.

As is the case with DNA being called a language, orbital notation isn’t a language either, unless you come out and call it so. For instance, at a glance it would seem the orbiting patterns of electrons around the nucleus of an atom have no alphabet, but in fact they do. The pattern of electrons circulating around the atom is dictated by many different letters. The most obvious of them is the atomic number of the atom. After all, if you have five protons, you have five electrons, and those five electrons will always follow the same path until forced to stop by the chemical bond with another atom.

The author’s next element of a language is correct spelling. Well, that’s a given. There aren’t nearly so many instances in electrons circulate the “wrong” way, though in the case of DNA, that isn’t so. In fact, “spelling errors” are so frequent in DNA that it allows us to evolve after the past couple billion years.

Then there’s intended purpose. Well, if DNA’s subconscious “intent” is to code for amino acids, then it’s the subconscious intent of the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom to code for the orbiting pathways of electrons.

But wait… Can a single number of protons (in this case five) code for, say, six different electron orbiting pathways? Well, no, unless you want to change the chemical properties of the atom itself, which would make it different to begin with.

Looks like the orbiting pathways of electrons don’t make up a language either, then.

No: DNA is not a language, and even if it was, I fail to see where the author’s idea that because it’s a language, it couldn’t have come here through natural processes, is a scientifically valid one. The whole idea of Intelligent Design is a scientifically un-testable premise, but that’s another story.

(Sorry if I made any confusing explanations or gaping grammatical flaws. I finished this reply at 6:30 in the morning.)



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Posts: 729 | Posted: 07:44 AM on February 7, 2006 | IP
zerocool_12790

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EntwickelnCollin:

Thanks for the reply. You seemed to have done a fairly decent job of critiquing what I wrote while systematically ignoring what I wrote. For those who think my last sentence portrays an inherent contradiction then you passed at noticing what jeering sarcasm is. Moving on...

1. I’ll ignore your personal opinion of how you “felt” (your first sentence) about my closing response since it is irrelevant to this debate. What IS relevant is the implications of whether or not DNA actually contains a language.

2. You wrote:
“Zerocool, what you just did is known to yourself as a strawman argument. It’s akin to misinterpretation. Not ONCE in BadRap’s post was it ever hinted at that he thought the article said human language was necessary for life. On the other hand, the article is saying that language is something that only intelligence can create, and that natural forces cannot create a language. It explains that DNA just so happens to be an example of a language… that intelligence had to create. I’ll get back to this later.”

EntwickelnCollin, Since you clearly didn’t understand me the first time let me show you how I showed EXACTLY that BapRap was talking about human language. I disagree that I ever misinterpreted what BapRap wrote because I showed what he was saying precisely. But even though I’ve already written it (sigh), I’ll write it again just to once-and-for-all show clearly that BapRap was saying that ““HUMAN” language isn’t necessary because DNA has existed in the past without it.” I’ll copy and paste his exact words and show you the logical progression. If you believe that the logic I’m about to present is in error then feel free to correct me. Otherwise stop defending someone else’s faulty logic (BapRap’s) revealing your own, and let them defend themselves!

BapRap:
1. First BapRap states; “Analogies can be twisted and apparently the author wants us to believe that in some strange way written text, for example the English language could be a code for life based on his analogizing written language to DNA.”
Clearly BapRap already is analogizing WRITTEN “HUMAN” LANGUAGE with DNA and saying that the author is stating they are one-and-the-same thing. As I’ve explained the author was not saying that human language was “exactly” the same in every way as DNA, but that they show the same tendencies, which even you yourself saw and agree with with your statement, ““Of the same nature” implies similar properties, and that’s exactly what the author of the article was getting out.”

2. Next BapRap states; “This analogy is a great one for understanding the concept of the genetic code but the way it is used here is to say DNA and written languages are of the same nature and are created by man or a higher power.”
Now here is where he wrongly states that the author is stating that HUMAN language and DNA are of the same nature. What do you suppose BapRap means by same nature? Let’s see with his next comment…

3. BapRap: “That is a ridiculous comparison and a gross stretching of a useful analogy. For one things it fails to recognize that scribbles on a page and DNA are in fact VERY DIFFERENT on a molecular level.  One is the markings of graphite or printer ink, the other is made of nucleotide bases bonded down a sugar phosphate backbone.  Molecularly they are very different!”
Hmm. What’s this? It appears that BapRap is equating “same nature” with “molecular composition” between written HUMAN language and DNA. Looks exactly like what I wrote he meant! BapRap is glaringly stating that the author meant that of the “same nature” means that physical written human language and DNA were molecularly the same. I wrote BapRap’s exact words that clearly show that that’s what he meant and thought the author meant. So next time you decide to take a splinter out of someone’s eye, make sure you first take the beam of wood out of your own! I clearly showed that the author never ONCE said that language and DNA have the same molecular composition, but that didn’t stop you from criticizing me and accusing me of being wrong. But wait, that was just one of the points of criticism you were in error on. The real point comes next…

4. BapRap: “Life can exist without the molecules that make up language but cannot exist without DNA.  Think about that for a second...if life exists and existed without language then is language really necessary for creating DNA? No, I think not.”
Hmm. What’s this? It appears that BapRap is saying that life can exist without the “molecules” that make up language. He also states that life existed without language. What language is he referring to? And what molecules could he be referring to? Could he be referring to his statements 3 and 4 sentences prior? Let’s see; “For one things it fails to recognize that scribbles on a page and DNA are in fact VERY DIFFERENT on a molecular level.  One is the markings of graphite or printer ink, the other is made of nucleotide bases bonded down a sugar phosphate backbone.” and  “Molecularly they are very different!”

It appears that BapRap is referring to the MOLECULAR composition of written HUMAN language compared to DNA and that HUMAN language is not necessary for life to exist. How shocking! Who would have ever thought that that’s what he meant, it would take a million years to figure out what he mea….oh wait, that’s exactly what I said he meant. It appears that YOU are the one who MISINTERPRETED what BapRap meant! So it appears your statements of; “Not ONCE in BadRap’s post was it ever hinted at that he thought the article said human language was necessary for life.” as well as, “Now stop twisting BadRap’s words.” are completely unfounded, rash, and in error. Your inadequate attempt to discredit me has been found wanting. I expect an apology for such a gross FALSE accusation against myself. If you can’t even understand what BapRap was saying and if you incorrectly accused me of twisting his words, how in the world are you equipped to reveal to me anything further concerning this topic on more in-depth issues? (that was a rhetorical question)

To top it off you then state:
“the article’s intent clearly is to assert that “DNA and written languages are of the same nature and are created by man or a higher power” as BadRap put it. I don’t know about you, but “of the same nature” doesn’t mean literally composed of the exact same molecular materials. “Of the same nature” implies similar properties, and that’s exactly what the author of the article was getting out.”
This is exactly what I said the article meant. And I just showed you that BapRap, not me, is the one who said they were molecularly similar. I think you gave your rebuttal to the wrong person, since BapRap is the one who said that “of the same nature” meant literal molecular composition. Once again you show your shabby polemical abilities since you are here confusing me for BapRap when it is BapRap who equated “same nature” with “molecular composition!” Apparently you are arguing with yourself since you came to the same conclusion I did. Either you like to see your writing in forums, or you screwed up. I’ll let that speak for itself.

One more thing…
Next time you decide to impetuously defend someone’s mistake, and accuse people incorrectly, rethink that decision. And if you’re going to be imprudent and defend someone else, it’s usually polite to in the very least, spell the person’s name whom your defending correctly (It’s BapRap, not BadRap). It’s speaks highly of your skills to debate (as well as competence). And if you’re going to blame it all on the fact that it was early in the morning (6:30AM) as you say, and if you know you’re going to be making glaring errors, try waiting for a better time when you are refreshed instead of me having to defend myself because you decided it would be “fun” to write a rebuttal on-the-fly full of errors, accusations, and blather.

Look I don’t know you, or know anything about you. And vice-versa. I don’t want to get mixed up in name calling (which neither of us have done) or bickering, insults and getting off topic by pointing out stupid issues such as arguing what BapRap meant. The issue at hand is whether or not DNA contains a language and if so then does that naturally mean it must have been created with intelligence. Now that we’ve got the core issue, let’s continue from there shall we? (I apologize for any offense I might have just caused you from anything I’ve written above. You just frustrated me by falsely accusing me of being wrong (when in fact you were the one in error) that I let out my emotions. If I was harsh or insulting I take it back. I’d rather we start fresh and clean).

Now, on to the rest of your response. You wrote:
“This thread is getting down into a technical definition of “language” versus “code,” and appears to have come down to: DNA contains a code, not a language. In order to go on, we’ll have to come up with an acceptable definition of a language that sets it apart from a code.”

If you prefer I will refer to DNA as a code from now on. We will both be in agreement on that. Then logically according to our new criterion of DNA being a code, then we (humans) ourselves use a form of code to document, copy, transfer, read and process information within the context of our language. DNA is just such a complex code (but technically without a language using our new rule), which defines every minute detail of each organism's physiology, as well (apparently) as at least some of its behavior. This is the issue redefined. DNA has shown itself to be just as complex a code as the one that is used in language.

Now in response to your analogy of using an atom and DNA and comparing that either both are languages or both are not:

My understanding is that the behavior of electrons is dictated by natural laws of attraction and motion. No information is stored, copied, transferred, or read, in order for an atom to function, any more than it is so for the ocean tides to rise and fall. This is a completely different -- and infinitely simpler -- class from genetic information and the vast complexities of living organisms defined by their DNA. So your comparison is ill-equipped when referring to the code contained in DNA.

And though I know your analogy was to supposedly show me that if DNA is a language then so must an atom, you are truly reaching beyond the bounds of credibility by suggesting that the parts of an atom are acting in response to "language" instead of merely obeying natural laws. I also find your introduction of "subconscious 'intent'" of DNA curious. DNA is not intelligent, it is merely a code, more specifically it’s a program that instructs an organic cell which is the mechanism that interprets the program’s meaning and carries out it’s specific instructions. It has no subconscious. Though it is ok to say it has an intent, or more correctly a purpose, it has no subconscious.

As for your other comments you wrote:
“Unlike a language, the nucleotides cannot code for anything else. In English, we have “read” (pronounced reed) and “read” (pronounced red). They have the exact same alphabetical makeup, yet they mean “to read” in a command and past tense at the same time. The only way you can ever tell the difference is the context in which they’re placed. The codes of DNA and RNA, on the other hand, will always mean the same thing. You can’t take a DNA section of ATG and come out with two different amino acids. Read (reed) and read (red) are two different words. ATG, along with every other conceivable arrangement of the DNA code, has no twin.”

This is a perfect example of what a straw-man argument is, something I refereed to in my first post. You start out with a false unproven assumption, namely that “a language MUST have the ability to use more than one meaning for each symbol to be considered a language.” You then use this false premise to conclude that DNA fails this test “proving“ it‘s not a language. That would have worked if that definition of language actually existed.

Nowhere have I ever seen, as far as I know, that a language MUST have the ability to assign “multiple” meanings to any given object or symbol to be considered a language. That is not one of the requirements for something to be considered a language. There are words that we use as well as I’m sure every language uses where the language only contains one meaning for that word. Of course you’re saying that a language must include the ability to, if wanted, designate more meanings to any given word for it to be considered a language. This is an unproven assumption that I have never even heard of before let alone seen confirmed. A language need not have the ability to assign multiple meanings to a symbol rather than just one to be considered a language, and DNA does not need this “flexibility” of assigning multiple meanings in order for it to be rightly called a code (as we’ve agreed upon) and manifest the same tendencies of a language. The burden of proof is on you to validate your assumption that a requirement to be considered a language is the ability to assign multiple meanings to an object or symbol.

Your arguments have thus far consisted chiefly of misinterpretation (confusing what BapRap and I said), accusation (incorrectly accusing me), false assumptions (languages must have the ability to assign multiple meanings to one object), misunderstanding (the difference between an atom‘s function and information content compared to DNA), and overall largely lacking in depth.

The author's article and my previous post still stand.

Thus far you still have not provided any substantial proof to discredit DNA containing a code that contains complex information, manifesting the same tendencies of a language, invariably meaning that it was created via intelligence. Or to put it another way, you have not provided any evidence to discredit that the complex information and patterns in DNA could have arisen in any other way besides intelligence.


best wishes,


zerocool_12790


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Posts: 37 | Posted: 06:17 AM on February 9, 2006 | IP
Milken

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Quote from EntwickelnCollin at 4:25 PM on September 10, 2005 :
TalkOrigins sums it up real nicely: The protein itself is a physical object whose function is determined by its physical properties.


Are you saying a proteins function is determined by how it's bonded?

Quote from EntwickelnCollin at 4:25 PM on September 10, 2005 :
Aside from all that, the very prospect that something cannot arise out of thoughtless natural processes, even if supplied with a truly infinite amount of time… is nothing short of a subjective assertion. Seiglie would submit this “topples” Evolutionary Theory… but in reality, it does nothing but raise a completely irrelevant question. In fact, we could ignore my entire rebuttal and skip right to the main point of all of this:


A subject assertion is not a bad thing. Nearly every new idea begins as a subjective assertion, especially Evolution, right? It was not quickly accepted by scientists.

If E reasons things are caused by natural causes, how is it irrlevant to say "natural causes can not make something arise from nothing"? It is a direct attack.


Quote from EntwickelnCollin at 4:25 PM on September 10, 2005 :
So WHAT if DNA IS “designed”? It does NOT puncture ANY holes in Evolution. If a supernatural deity physically wrote out a code, that wouldn’t change anything but the speculated beginning for an atheistic world of life—that being Abiogenesis. Time and again, I see that people fail to realize the difference between the start of life, and the change of life.



I see your point about "irrelevant". E theory explains things once they have been started. . . . okay, great, wonderful. . . . so how did it start? It begs the quesiton.
If I was a pure evolutionist/naturalist, letting God into the picture is asking for it. = )

 


Posts: 96 | Posted: 02:54 AM on February 18, 2006 | IP
Nemoralis

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I just now got around to replying to this, although I have been meaning to for a while. Sorry for raising a dead topic. ;)

I’m going to start with the news article. It’s a very dull one, after you’ve read about 50 nearly identical ones in various places.

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).

Isn’t it interesting how, no matter how far you look or what article about Intelligent Design you are reading, you always run into the same names over and over again? It almost seems like the percent of the scientific community that actually favors ID must be very small indeed! You always see Meyer, Wells, Behe, Dembski (who isn’t even a scientist at all), Denton, and a few other people named repeatedly in these types of articles. Now, that fact has no bearing on their actual arguments, I will admit that. But it is something to think about.

And please, don’t get me started on Strobel’s book. I recently finished it and it is by far the most deceitful piece of Christian literature I’ve come across. The fact that an ID proponent needs to cross-reference a source such as that is very telling. But again, this has no bearing on the actual argument presented, so I’ll move on.

It is hard to fathom, but …

The next few paragraphs are basically just filler – a high school biology lecture narrowed down into a newspaper article for some of America’s scientifically illiterate. We can skip that bit.

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?

This is only slightly more interesting. I just adore the continual reference to a “who” or a “what”, as if the processes of Evolution actually intentionally “come up” with “languages” like DNA. This is intentional deception, setting up the reader to subconsciously consider the notion that DNA must be manually put into an order to function.

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…

No. For it to be called a written language, it must be popularly understood and be used like every other language on earth – in other words, it must be written down. It must also reflect a spoken tongue. DNA has none of these qualities. The author is trying to make a metaphor into something literal. Not a good idea.

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?

The problem with the computer analogy is that computers cannot self-replicate. There is no way that a computer could have arrived by accident, because there is no way for information to be passed on and modified. Not so with DNA. Yes, a God could have done it. But so also could Evolution, and we have much more evidence for the latter.

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.

This is equivocation. DNA does not carry information in the same sense that the Iliad contains information. DNA carries out its function through chemical reactions. That’s all. It’s not information in the sense that you are using the word information. I’m not really quite sure how to explain this basic principle. Let me know if I need to elaborate.

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"

The gene is a molecule, and the “information” (again, this is an analogy, not a literal description) is the chemical reaction that takes place when the gene carries out its biological function of coding for a protein.

Next are a few paragraphs expressing incredulity at how life works. I’ll skip over those, since I completely agree that the functions of a complex organism are nothing short of incredible. Now, does that mean that they were created by a designer? No. Does their having evolved by gradual evolution make them any less amazing than if they had been created? No.

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.

That is to say that Evolution violates prior known laws of science. Yet no example is given. If you have one, I would like you to present it.

Michael Behe, a biochemist and professor….writes: "Consider a step-by-step list of [genetic] instructions… 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"

Of course, you must fall back on Behe. But no matter -  this point is moot. Evolution does not predict the sudden production of a fax machine instead of a radio. Hence the term gradual.

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.

What a statement! That’s quite an assertion for an article that doesn’t even produce any data.

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"

Again. The author must learn to distinguish between the literal and the figurative. This is an oft quote-mined statement, and I wouldn’t have expected to see it in a news article.

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.

This is almost laughable. We don’t have the technology to produce a complex piece of biological material. Is that evidence against evolution? Definitely not. No matter how often you try to say it isn’t, this is an article from incredulity. At one time, man probably thought it was impossible to go to the moon. But does that mean that all the scientists have to throw up their hands and give up? No! It means that we keep working on it. It’s highly possible that at some point in the future we will be able to produce a biological agent such as a hair.

But now they have to face the information dilemma: How can meaningful, precise information be created by accident—by mutation and natural selection?

Accident? Natural selection is anything but random. No one claims that we are an accident.

None of these contain the mechanism of intelligence, a requirement for creating complex information such as that found in the genetic code.

And here we are back to equivocating the word ‘information’. It seems like this argument is always used by someone who is very literate but has no real scientific (specifically biological) knowledge. I don’t mean that as a personal insult, but as an observation.

Secondly, evolution doesn’t claim to create anything. The atoms that make up your body have been here for millions of years, probably since the beginning of time. Due to chemical affinity and various other factors, they now reside in, or as part of, your body. Evolution helps to mold atoms into their current functions in living organisms. Only you claim that anything has been created.

The next section, entitled “Quality of genetic information the same” is more evidence for Evolution than against it. Those paragraphs seem to be saying that, because DNA is the same for all organisms, it does not make sense that the same DNA could have caused one organism to evolve into another, and that Evolution cannot change the makeup of DNA to form a new organism. Let me know if I misinterpreted it.

The fact that all organisms share DNA is evidence for common ancestry. It is absolutely correct that even the tiniest of organisms, such as a protist, has DNA with the same basic 4 letter code that we have. This four letter code can obviously “create” (for lack of a better word) an organism as simple as a protist or as complex as an elephant, because we see those organisms today. This code can change, mutate, split, divide, and replicate so that huge modifications are accomplished. The fact that all organisms use the same DNA and that evolution cannot affect this DNA in a huge way is not evidence against the theory.

“…No hypothesis has come close to explaining how information got into biological matter by naturalistic means"

Again with Strobel. Could a more authoritative source not be found? I can’t touch upon this subject until someone defines ‘information’. This entire article hinges on that one definition, and yet the author has failed to give it.

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]"

It’s always pleasant to hear that abiogenesis, a biological theory, has been ruled out by a mathematician!

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.

Evidence? For this article to really be called evidence for ID, some data must be produced. This has not happened, nor has it ever happened even in the few professional ID articles that have been published in peer-reviewed literature. There is no evidence here.

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).

Another quote from a mathematician, more probability arguments, and no data even referenced. I can see that this article really does contain mostly filler information, with very little substance.

The “More witnesses” section is at least very honest. The author does not even pretend that he or she has collected testimonies from an equal number of pro and anti evolution sources, so as to make the article less biased. These are all from very well-known ID proponents and the author does not claim otherwise. This is more than I can say for Strobel.

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.

This is patently false. Cell Theory had been formulated before Darwin, and it known that cells were more complicated than “blobs of protoplasm.” In fact, scientists had already distinguished between animal and plant cells. Genes, patterns of inheritance, and nuclei within cells were being discovered. While this is only basic information about cells, it is clear that Darwin knew that cells were quite a bit more than blobs of protoplasm.

The rest of those quotes are simply more ID proponents getting their say in. Still no real information, just a lot of fancy talking. IDists are rather good at avoiding research in this way. I will go through and point out some careless errors in the article.

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.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but evolution does not say that DNA was created. This is verging on a strawman.

The next few paragraphs are utterly unsurprising. A Bible quote, some Theistic propaganda, and more fancy talk. Nice work!

But I have to point out this quote, even though it’s rather irrelevant to the topic as a whole:
"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"

Marx and Freud fallen? Well, that’s news to the psychological world! Marx’s economic theories are relevant to this day, although his ultimate prediction was obviously wrong (as of right now). Freud’s theories are still the basis of most of psychology. My mother, who has three masters in the subject, would have quite a shock if she saw this quote. Clearly the author does not have much experience in either of these subjects.

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!

I rather like this quote. It sums up the author’s article very succinctly. What it doesn’t address is what it takes for a theory as evidenced as evolution to truly fall. Evolution has to falsified. This article did not even come close to doing that, and no IDist has come close to that goal either. Data has to be produced in favor of ID. Some news article won’t make the cut. Evolution will continue to be the prevalent thought unless IDists can put their money where their mouth is and either falsify evolution or produce some positive evidence for ID.

I haven’t read any of the responses to this article. I’m just trying to show that even the pathetic newspaper articles that IDists so often quote are full of errors, misinterpretations, false analogies, and blatant lies. The same people are quoted over and over again, because ID is not really gaining support from the scientific community.

And still, the funniest thing that I see in this whole post is that creationists such as the author of this article cannot distinguish between the literal and the figurative. Genesis, I believe, is meant to be taken figuratively. Jesus’ sermon on the mount, I believe, is meant to be taken as literally as possible. Noah’s ark is meant to be taken figuratively. And for goodness sake, the metaphor relating DNA to a language is figurative, invented by a scientist trying to explain DNA to a student who has no real grasp of the function of DNA. It is not an exact analogy meant to be taken literally and used in an intelligent conversation!


(Edited by Nemoralis 3/1/2006 at 12:32 PM).

(Edited by Nemoralis 3/1/2006 at 5:09 PM).


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Posts: 3 | Posted: 11:01 AM on March 1, 2006 | IP
RoyLennigan

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Quote from Milken at 02:54 AM on February 18, 2006 :Are you saying a proteins function is determined by how it's bonded?

both the order of different proteins and how they are put together (how its bonded) determines its function.  if one strand is changed or missing, the function changes.  if one strand is out of order, the function changes.  if one part is bonded with a different part, the function changes.  the relation of proteins to each other in every imagniable way determines their function.

Quote from Milken at 02:54 AM on February 18, 2006 :A subject assertion is not a bad thing. Nearly every new idea begins as a subjective assertion, especially Evolution, right? It was not quickly accepted by scientists.

If E reasons things are caused by natural causes, how is it irrlevant to say "natural causes can not make something arise from nothing"? It is a direct attack.

evolution does not posit that life came from nothing.  in fact evolution does not even attempt to determine how life originated (it almost seems taboo in evolutionary science).  every scientists knows that it is impossible for something to come from nothing.  no scientific theory predicts that it is otherwise.  non-life to life is not nothing to something; there is still matter and energy which can be formed into different structures and forms.

Quote from Milken at 02:54 AM on February 18, 2006 :I see your point about "irrelevant". E theory explains things once they have been started. . . . okay, great, wonderful. . . . so how did it start? It begs the quesiton.
If I was a pure evolutionist/naturalist, letting God into the picture is asking for it. = )

the problem is, its impossible to always start at the beginning, because everything has a beginning.  evolution is only the study of how speciation occurs.  by definition, it does not concern the origin of life.  in studying something, you have to pick a place to begin, even if in the long run, you find out that it wasn't the best place to start.

 


Posts: 152 | Posted: 12:02 PM on March 1, 2006 | IP
Milken

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Quote from RoyLennigan at 12:02 PM on March 1, 2006 :

evolution does not posit that life came from nothing.  in fact evolution does not even attempt to determine how life originated (it almost seems taboo in evolutionary science).  every scientists knows that it is impossible for something to come from nothing.  no scientific theory predicts that it is otherwise.  non-life to life is not nothing to something; there is still matter and energy which can be formed into different structures and forms.


Pure E has to answer the origin-of-life because it also says god didn't do it. Non-living to living fits directly into E, but going backward, eventually it is something from nothing.


Quote from Milken at 02:54 AM on February 18, 2006 :I see your point about "irrelevant". E theory explains things once they have been started. . . . okay, great, wonderful. . . . so how did it start? It begs the quesiton.
If I was a pure evolutionist/naturalist, letting God into the picture is asking for it. = )


Quote from RoyLennigan at 12:02 PM on March 1, 2006 :
the problem is, its impossible to always start at the beginning, because everything has a beginning.  evolution is only the study of how speciation occurs.  by definition, it does not concern the origin of life.  in studying something, you have to pick a place to begin, even if in the long run, you find out that it wasn't the best place to start.


Pure E has to account for the origin-of-life otherwise it can not rule out god doing it. Unless you're open to theistic evolution.



 


Posts: 96 | Posted: 3:16 PM on March 1, 2006 | IP
Milken

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Nemoralis,

      I read of another bad critique of Lee Strobel's book, why was is so horrible?

I didn't read your whole response but I think you missed the genetic 'language' metaphor.
 


Posts: 96 | Posted: 3:19 PM on March 1, 2006 | IP
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The problem that most people have with Strobel's book is not that the evidence provided is incorrect (it isn't), but that the book doesn't offer both sides of the argument, unlike high school science classes.  Wait, nevermind.


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"Thou believest that God is one; thou does well: the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19 - Belief is never enough.
 


Posts: 1287 | Posted: 3:38 PM on March 1, 2006 | IP
RoyLennigan

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Quote from Milken at 3:16 PM on March 1, 2006 :Pure E has to answer the origin-of-life because it also says god didn't do it. Non-living to living fits directly into E, but going backward, eventually it is something from nothing.

evolution most certainly does not say that god did not create life.  you might get this from any number of proponents of the theory, but the theory of evolution itself says nothing about god.  as such, evolution does not need to disprove the existence of god because speciation has nothing to do with whether there is a god or not.

also, you cannot get something from nothing, i don't know why you keep insisting that evolution requires this axiom.  no matter how far you go back i guarantee you will always find a cause to an effect.  that means there is never any situation in which something is created from nothing.  even in the christian belief, god creates the universe.  god is something which creates something else.  there is never nothing.

Quote from Milken at 3:16 PM on March 1, 2006 :Pure E has to account for the origin-of-life otherwise it can not rule out god doing it. Unless you're open to theistic evolution.

again, evolution does not need to account for the origin of life because it says nothing about god.  anything you hear about evolution and god is only personal opinion, it is not science (unless it includes physical evidence supporting a theory, and then it is not evolution, it is a new science).

 


Posts: 152 | Posted: 4:22 PM on March 1, 2006 | IP
EntwickelnCollin

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Pure E has to answer the origin-of-life because it also says god didn't do it.


No, it merely says God didn’t HAVE to do it.

Pure E has to account for the origin-of-life otherwise it can not rule out god doing it. Unless you're open to theistic evolution.


You don’t understand the perspectives here. Theistic Evolution is saying God DID do it, not that it’s merely POSSIBLE God did it, which is just “normal” Evolution’s stance.



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http://ummcash.org/officers.html
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/08/wow_1.php
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/08/a_triumphant_beginning.php
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Posts: 729 | Posted: 4:37 PM on March 1, 2006 | IP
Nemoralis

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I read of another bad critique of Lee Strobel's book, why was is so horrible?

Strobel starts the book playing the "I used to be an Atheist, and here's why" part, and then he goes on to set up the introduction to the book as if he was a skeptic trying to interview people to determine the real truth. This sounds good. But then do some basic research. At the time Strobel wrote The Case for a Creator, he had already written a Case for Faith and a Case for Christ (or at least one of those two). So he was not actually a skeptic who was trying to find answers. He was already a Christian. He leads the reader to believe that he was an Atheist before he wrote the book and that those specific interviews and evidence changed his mind. That is not so.

Secondly, he is a reporter who claims in the introduction to his book that he is on a quest for truth. You don't find the truth by interviewing ONLY those people who are well known for supporting ID. I would have thought highly of him if he would have followed Meyer's interview with a promonent geologist who disputes what Meyer said. And maybe if he could have followed Behe's interview with a biochemist who disagrees with Behe. He leads the reader to believe that he is on an honest search for the truth, and that he was an Atheist before he had these interviews. That's simply not the case.

Another thing about Strobel himself (not necessarily this book in particular) is that he always switches from one worldview to the next, depending on what suits his purposes. If he's interviewing someone who is an Old Earth Creationist trying to prove that God created the earth, then Strobel readily agrees with everything he says, ignoring the fact that the evidence that this person is giving only works if the earth is old (such as Meyer's geological evidence for God being responsible for the Cambrian Explosion). A few chapters later, however, Strobel is nodding away at someone who is trying to prove that God created the earth only 6,000 years ago. It's like he changes his mind to suit his purposes.

In short, Strobel did not write his books to convince anyone who can actually understand his arguments and fancy writing. He wrote the books to reinforce the beliefs of those who are already on his side.

I didn't read your whole response but I think you missed the genetic 'language' metaphor.

How so?


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Posts: 3 | Posted: 5:03 PM on March 1, 2006 | IP
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EMyers: slick comment = )

RoyLennigan: I agree that you don't get something for nothing,  but eventually I have to ask what caused the universe. So far I do not know of any viable self creation models.
When I say Pure Evol, I mean Darwin's version. D was not open for letting God into the equation. If E does not have to account for the begining then C/ID has an open forum to do so (oops wrong thread, get ready)

Entw: When I say Pure Evol, I mean Darwin's version. D was not open for letting God into the equation. We're saying the exact samething for Theistic Evolution (God started it then it evolved).

General: DNA is a complicated directed process.
 


Posts: 96 | Posted: 03:02 AM on March 2, 2006 | IP
Milken

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I'll just delete it all

(Edited by Milken 3/3/2006 at 02:53 AM).
 


Posts: 96 | Posted: 03:33 AM on March 2, 2006 | IP
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Entw: When I say Pure Evol, I mean Darwin's version. D was not open for letting God into the equation. We're saying the exact samething for Theistic Evolution (God started it then it evolved).


Never mind that Darwin belonged to a church, and that he doesn’t make any attempt to rule out the possibility of a creator in his books. Darwin’s personal opinions on the matter are irrelevant anyway. He could have said, “If the other side holds a party on my birthday and everyone eats cheese, my Theory will be disproved,” and that obviously wouldn’t make it so.

I think it would be have been interesting for him to have done opposing interviews. However, given his background as an educated Yale Law School student (investigative journalism) he's qualified to cross-examine people. He IS the otherside, Mr. Strobel read/studied/investigated all the books on the otherside.


No… Lawyers are not the whole side in any situation. Lawyers make arguments based off of what the actual people involved have to say about everything. Getting back to Nemmy’s point: Quoting Strobel in a case against Evolution is like quoting Michael Moore in a case against the War in Iraq. You need more credible sources.

Are you saying it was a hard read?


No, she’s saying the book wasn’t meant to argue thing at all. It was only supposed to provide solace to the people who already agreed with Strobel’s position. It’s just like one of Michael Moore or Sean Hannity’s books. They do a horrible job of arguing the other side, but the books earn lots of money from the people who already agree with Moore or Hannity politically.



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http://ummcash.org/officers.html
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/08/wow_1.php
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/08/a_triumphant_beginning.php
We're official!
 


Posts: 729 | Posted: 07:41 AM on March 2, 2006 | IP
Nemoralis

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Milken, can you go back and edit the code where you quoted me? That's what's causing the forum alignment to mess up. I did that at first in my original post and had to edit it. Now it's your fault. ;)

This entire paragraph is false. Do you still have the book?

Ok, that's fine. But instead of telling me I'm wrong, why don't you refute my point? Yes, I still have the book.

He IS the otherside, Mr. Strobel read/studied/investigated all the books on the otherside.

This is extremely illogical. Strobel introduced his book as if it were a search for truth. He made it sound as if he was looking for interviewees who were the top of their field and trying to find out what they thought on the issue. That's not what he did. In fact, he specifically selected a minority group of scientists who do not represent the majority of scientists in their field. This is a blatant dishonesty. Strobel himself is not the "otherside" (that sounds like a word from Orwell). He doesn't provide any counter arguments to the people he interviews. It's an extremely biased piece of work.

I think you took 'language' to literally. You critiqued it based on how it wasn't like literal language. The author used ' ' make the distinction between literal language and metaphorical language (ie computer language).  Genetic 'language' is a complex form of communication, operating under rules and restrictions (grammar & usage). Blah blah. . .

Ok, I see what you're saying. I adressed this in my first post. Actually, my main point was that the author of that article took the metaphor as a literal interpretation of DNA. That's not what it is. I understand that the author realized it was a metaphor (as do I) but then the article went on to say that because DNA is like a language, it must be designed (simplified version, obviously). This was basically the 'meat' of the article. While this is a valid point, it's no reason to assume design and it's certainly not a strong enough point on which to base an article about ID.


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Posts: 3 | Posted: 3:25 PM on March 2, 2006 | IP
Milken

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ajlfjdla;fa;jfd

(Edited by Milken 3/3/2006 at 03:17 AM).
 


Posts: 96 | Posted: 03:13 AM on March 3, 2006 | IP
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Quote from EntwickelnCollin at 07:41 AM on March 2, 2006 :

Never mind that Darwin belonged to a church, and that he doesn’t make any attempt to rule out the possibility of a creator in his books. Darwin’s personal opinions on the matter are irrelevant anyway. He could have said, “If the other side holds a party on my birthday and everyone eats cheese, my Theory will be disproved,” and that obviously wouldn’t make it so. 


I will nevermind it because he also graduated from Cambridge U(Christ College), basically a minister. Why didn't he mention God? Why did this "church going" create a theory that secularized science? Why is William Provine of Cornell University (also a historian) so confused? The original theory was meant to leave out God, pure E.  


No… Lawyers are not the whole side in any situation. Lawyers make arguments based off of what the actual people involved have to say about everything. Getting back to Nemmy’s point: Quoting Strobel in a case against Evolution is like quoting Michael Moore in a case against the War in Iraq. You need more credible sources.

See the quote, he's an investigative journalist who studied at Yale Law. I didn't say he was the whole side but he played the part( he used to be on the otherside). He "interrogated" the scientists with opposing documents(let's say around 8 hours). I agree 100% he wasn't an atheist for the interviews, but since he used to be an atheist his bias is not like Michael Moores, I know you're making a  point though.  


It wasn't meant to be a debate, true. It did explain the other side.


 


Posts: 96 | Posted: 03:21 AM on March 3, 2006 | IP
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Quote from Nemoralis at 3:25 PM on March 2, 2006 :
Milken, can you go back and edit the code where you quoted me? That's what's causing the forum alignment to mess up. I did that at first in my original post and had to edit it. Now it's your fault. ;)


Hopefully we're clear here. Now it's doing it automatically when I click quote

Quote from Nemoralis at 3:25 PM on March 2, 2006 :
Ok, that's fine. But instead of telling me I'm wrong, why don't you refute my point? Yes, I still have the book.


I wanted to make sure you could see for yourself, maybe you'll show me something. Read page 276, I thought it was clear by the dates he mentioned earlier on but . . . .

Quote from Nemoralis at 3:25 PM on March 2, 2006 :
This is extremely illogical. Strobel introduced his book as if it were a search for truth. He made it sound as if he was looking for interviewees who were the top of their field and trying to find out what they thought on the issue. That's not what he did. In fact, he specifically selected a minority group of scientists who do not represent the majority of scientists in their field. This is a blatant dishonesty. Strobel himself is not the "otherside" (that sounds like a word from Orwell). He doesn't provide any counter arguments to the people he interviews. It's an extremely biased piece of work.


Extremely illogical for a Yale Law school former atheist to think he has what it takes to be familiar with current Evol lit and question people about it. Extremely is a misused word here but it's okay to disagree.

The title is "Case for the Creator", not against. He's suppose to pick people who support the idea, it's not suppose to be debate. I've read extremely biased, Dawkins (great mind) is extremely biased, the book by Pencock with "debates" is extremely biased, other C/IDers are extremely biased, this is not.

Quote from Nemoralis at 3:25 PM on March 2, 2006 :
This was basically the 'meat' of the article. While this is a valid point, it's no reason to assume design and it's certainly not a strong enough point on which to base an article about ID.


Generally speaking I think a directed more likely points to ID and undirected one points more to E. Given the "point" he made would you say it pointed to E or ID? (bias test)



 


Posts: 96 | Posted: 04:12 AM on March 3, 2006 | IP
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See the quote, he's an investigative journalist who studied at Yale Law. I didn't say he was the whole side but he played the part( he used to be on the otherside). He "interrogated" the scientists with opposing documents(let's say around 8 hours). I agree 100% he wasn't an atheist for the interviews, but since he used to be an atheist his bias is not like Michael Moores, I know you're making a  point though.  


He didn’t interrogate anyone though. That’s the point.

Extremely illogical for a Yale Law school former atheist to think he has what it takes to be familiar with current Evol lit and question people about it.


He clearly doesn’t. If he was a full atheist, which I doubt, he obviously wasn’t a very strong one. One thing he could have started with is the refutation of his own points from when he was younger and supposedly arguing for the other side.

Generally speaking I think a directed more likely points to ID and undirected one points more to E. Given the "point" he made would you say it pointed to E or ID? (bias test)


It doesn’t point to either. How DNA arose is irrelevant to Evolution, and we don’t know enough about the creator to determine if it’s even in His nature make anything at all.



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http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/08/a_triumphant_beginning.php
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Posts: 729 | Posted: 07:35 AM on March 3, 2006 | IP
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Quote from EntwickelnCollin at 07:35 AM on March 3, 2006 :

He didn’t interrogate anyone though. That’s the point.


The word interrogate was in quotations so it's not to be taken literally.

Quote from EntwickelnCollin at 07:35 AM on March 3, 2006 :
He clearly doesn’t. If he was a full atheist, which I doubt, he obviously wasn’t a very strong one. One thing he could have started with is the refutation of his own points from when he was younger and supposedly arguing for the other side.


He was an atheist who read atheist literature and held aheist beliefs. God was nonsense, a fairytale. Strobel did bring up positions he held in the past but he mostly brought forth current issues.

Quote from EntwickelnCollin at 07:35 AM on March 3, 2006 :
It doesn’t point to either. How DNA arose is irrelevant to Evolution, and we don’t know enough about the creator to determine if it’s even in His nature make anything at all.


The point from the article was how DNA was a 'genetic language', check out some of the prev posts it's explained well. Not how it arose per say. You do not know enough about the C but an ID point of view is directed, complex, is what they're looking for.

Very diplomatic on your last statement, random mutations(chance) acting on the given gene variation with these mutations being favored by survival and reproduction does not fall into the category of a directed process.

This is not like homology where it does not point to either; furthermore, it may be out side of the Evolution framework but it's not outside of ID.


 


Posts: 96 | Posted: 01:16 AM on March 4, 2006 | IP
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This is not like homology where it does not point to either; furthermore, it may be out side of the Evolution framework but it's not outside of ID.


Correct. At this point, we're arguing Abiogenesis.


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http://ummcash.org/officers.html
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/08/wow_1.php
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/08/a_triumphant_beginning.php
We're official!
 


Posts: 729 | Posted: 01:21 AM on March 4, 2006 | IP
    
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