Previously infamous for his pungent, atheistic views and vociferous arguments, Anthony Flew had a total eclipse of the heart while investigating the enormous complexities within the tiny rungs of DNA. He stated that:
“I now think that [the origins of life point to intelligence behind creation] almost entirely because of the DNA investigations […] The almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements to work together […] It is all a matter of the enormous complexity by which the results were achieved, which looked to me like the work of intelligence” (Huxley 45).
In fact, many scientists have seen the complexities within DNA and its correlated process as evidence for God and creation. In fact, biology professor and author Dean Kenyon described this as the “most compelling evidence of design on the Earth,” repudiating the claims of his own books written before he was fully aware of the “absolutely mind-boggling” nature of DNA (Unlocking the Mystery). Moreover, former president Clinton described it as “the language in which God created life” and famous geneticist Francis S. Collins described it as “our own instruction book, previously known only to God” (Witham 172).
DNA is responsible for everything we are and everything we will be. As computer programmers know, it is impossible to create something new without adding a new line of code, just as in life it is impossible to acquire a new function or structure without having the proper instructions with the DNA. But where did this genetic material, this complex language, come from?
Stephen Meyer, PhD geneticist, professor and author, claims that the “origin of information in DNA—which is necessary for life to begin—is best explained by an intelligent cause rather than any of the types of naturalistic causes that scientists typically use to explain biological phenomena” (Strobel 235-236).
The information in DNA is like an alphabet made of four letters—A, G, C, and T. (These are actually chemicals known as adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine, but are often simplified to the four letters). The specific arrangement of these letters results in specific instructions to build different sequences of amino acids which yield very specific types and shapes of proteins.
In fact, there are “six feet of DNA […] tightly coiled inside every one of our body’s one hundred trillion cells,” with all the information necessary to create every single protein our body needs (231). Our human genome is made of 3.1 billion “rungs” of the DNA ladder, each rung consisting of pairs of four of the letters (or bases). In “each one of the thirty thousand genes that are embedded in our twenty-three pairs of chromosomes can yield as many as 20,500 different kinds of proteins” (232).
The first step in creating a protein is a process known as transcription, in which a section of the DNA helix is unwinded so that the instructions can be read. This section corresponds to a very particular type of protein. The instructions are then copied into the messenger RNA which carries the instructions to the ribosome.
The ribosome, as previously stated, acts like a little factory which builds the correct sequence of amino acids. These are often hundreds of units long! After it is built, it is moved into a “barrel-shaped machine that helps fold it into the precise shape critical to its function” (Unlocking the Mystery). It is now a complete protein and is ready to be shipped into its specific location within the cell that allows it to complete its function. (Remember that this process is also exceedingly complicated).
So how did all of this happen, not once but centillions of times (that’s 10^303)?
Not Through Evolution
While the possibility that natural selection could work at the biological level is being debated, there is absolutely no way that evolution could work at the chemical level. Theodosius Dobzhansky told the scientific community that “pre-biological natural selection is a contradiction in terms” (Fox 309).
According to Darwinian theory, natural selection requires a self-replicating organism to work. It reproduces and its offspring have variations. The “better evolved” ones live while the “less evolved” ones die off. Over time, the “better evolved” organisms will survive, reproduce and perfect the adaptation. There has to be cell division to reproduce.
Cell division requires “the existence of information-rich DNA and proteins. But that’s the problem—those are the very things they’re trying to explain!” (Strobel 243). In conclusion, DNA can most certainly not stem from evolution. It had to predate evolution, if evolution even exists (and as previously stated, macro-evolution certainly does not).
Other Theories Disproved
As stated in the very first blog post (about the failures of Darwinian theories of the origins of life), the following cannot be used to explain the evolution of life, nor DNA:
- Random Chance
- Chemical Affinities
- Self-Ordering Tendencies
To my knowledge (and that of Rice Broocks, Stephen Meyer and Lee Strobel), there are no other proposed theories for the existence of DNA nor the complicated biological processes at the cellular level. For now (and probably forever), there are no sufficient biological explanations, but there is a supernatural one.
Language from the Mind of God
“Information is not something derived from material properties; in a sense, it transcends matter and energy. Naturalistic theories that rely solely on matter and energy are not going to be able account for information. Only intelligence can […] Intelligence is the hallmark of mind” (258). The complex information exhibited within DNA can be seen as the hallmark of the mind of God without abandoning logic, reason, and science.
Through using the scientific principle of reasoning known as uniformitarianism—which states that “our present knowledge of cause-and-effect relationships should guide our reconstruction of what caused something to arise in the past”—we can infer that the information in DNA came from an intelligent mind, from God.
If we received six feet of complex code from outer space, we would infer the existence of aliens attempting to communicate with us. Why can’t we admit that the six feet of complex code within us is evidence of a Creator attempting to communicate with us?
There truly is evidence for Royalty within our DNA. Thanks for reading! As always, feel free to comment!
For more information, check out…
Broocks, R. God’s Not Dead: Evidence for God in an Age of Uncertainty. Nashville, TN: W Publishing, 2013.
Fox, S.W, ed. The Origins of Prebiological Systems and of Their Molecular Matrices. NY: Academic Press, 1965.
Huxley, J. “At Random: A Television Preview.” In Evolution After Darwin, ed. Tax, S. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago, 1960.
Meyer, S.C. “DNA and the Origin of Life: Information, Specification, and Explanation.” In Darwinism, Design, and Public Education, ed. Campbell, J.A., & Meyer, S.C. San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1999.
—. “Evidence for Design in Physics and Biology.” In Science and Evidence for Design in the Universe, ed. Behe, M.J., Demsbki, W.A., & Meyer, S.C. San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1999.
—. “The Explanatory Power of Design: DNA and the Origin of Information.” In Mere Creation, ed. Dembski, W.A. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1998.
Strobel, L. The Case for a Creator. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004.
Unlocking the Mystery of Life. Illustra Media. Retrieved from: www.illustramedia.com.
Witham, L. By Design.