The video is here:
I have read and listened and watched a lot of material on intelligent design, but I have never seen so much value packed into such a short lecture. I really hope you’ll watch this and that it’s helpful to you.
- the big question when discussing the origin of life: where did the information in living systems come from?
- Until 530 million years ago, the oceans were largely devoid of life
- In a 10 million year period, many new forms of animal life emerged
- New biological forms of life require new information
- the discovery of DNA shows that living systems work because cells have information that allows them to build the components of molecular machines: cell types, proteins, etc.
- can random mutation and natural selection create new functional information?
- normally, random mutations tend to degrade the functionality of information, e.g. – randomly changing symbols in an applications code does not usually introduce useful new functions, it usually renders what is there non-functional
- the majority of possible sequences will NOT have functions, so random mutations will more likely give you non-functional code, rather than functional code
- example: a bicycle lock with 4 numbers has many possible sequences for the 4 numbers, and only one of them has unlock functionality, the rest have no functionality
- if you have lots of time, then you might be able to guess the combination, but if the lock as has 10 billion numbers, and only one combination that unlocks, you can spend your whole life trying to unlock it and won’t succeed
- how likely is it to arrive at a functional protein or gene by chance? Is it more like the 4-dial lock (can be done with lots of time) or the 10 billion dial lock (amount of time required exceeds the time available)?
- the probability is LOW because there is only one sequence of numbers that has unlock function
- consider a short protein of 150 amino acids has 10 to the 195th power possible sequences
- if many of these sequences of amino acides had biological function, then it might be easier to get to one by random mutation and selection than it is with a lock that only unlocks for ONE sequence
- how many of the possible sequences have biological function?
- Thanks to research done by Douglas Axe, we now know that the number of functional amino acid sequences for even a short protein is incredibly small…
- Axe found that the odds of getting a functional sequence of amino acids that will fold and have biological function is 1 in 10 to the 77th power
- Is that number too improbable to reach by chance? well, there are 10 to 65th atoms in the entire Milky Way galaxy… so yes, this is a very improbable outcome
- can random genetic mutations search through all the sequences in order to find the one in 10 to the 77th power one that has biological function? It depends on how much guessers we have and how many guesses we get in the time available
- even with the entire 3.5 billion year history of life on Earth, only about 10 to the 40th organisms have ever lived, which far smaller fraction of the 10 to the 77th total sequences
- even with a very fast mutation rate, you would not be able to reach a functional protein even with all that time, and even with all those organisms
I was once having a discussion with a woman about the research that Axe did at the Cambridge University lab. He published four articles in the Journal of Molecular Biology. I held out one of the papers to her and showed her the numbers. She said over and over “I hate the Discovery Institute! I hate the Discovery Institute!” Well, yeah, but you can’t make the Journal of Molecular Biology go away with hating the Discovery Institute. JMB is peer-reviewed, and this was experimental evidence – not a theory, not a hypothesis.
We have been blessed by the Creator and Designer of the universe in this time and place with overwhelming evidence – an abundance of riches. For those who have an open mind, this is what you’ve been waiting for to make your decision. For the naturalists who struggle so mightily to block out the progress of experimental science, they’ll need to shout louder and shut their eyes tighter and push harder to block their ears. Maybe if they keep screaming “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” over and over to themselves, they will be able to ignore the real science a little longer.
3 thoughts on “Information Enigma: 21-minute video explains intelligent design”
Ironically, Star Trek (TOS) has more deep and interesting philosophy and science than most of what we hear from modern-day atheists – and that series was created by an anti-religionist.
If you watch closely, you will see “God” smuggled in throughout most episodes, sometimes for good, sometimes for evil, and sometimes for mixed, as in City on the Edge of Forever, where a B-Theory of time is applied to time travel, and the Guardian of Forever is an obvious substitute for “God.”
Objective moral values and duties are rampant throughout nearly every episode, although a fair dose of situational ethics are often in play too, the times being what they were. Even Gene Roddenberry could not entirely escape the objective reality of the universe he was in, nor the one he created.
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Given the origin of the Cosmos in the finite past, it is entirely plausible (if not obvious) that Mind that preceded matter and that life itself is the result of intelligent design, but “science-think” tells us that invoking God as the Creator of anything is unscientific, therefore all information must be the result of chance and its omnipotent god-of-the-gaps, “Pure Chance”. (This is your cue to bow your knee to Big Science and its god-of-the-gaps.)
OK, the fun’s over.
What scientists should be able to do is to discover (or create through intelligent design) the simplest possible, irreducibly complex organism and then remove a single part and watch what happens. You can bet that natural chemical reactions will immediately jump into action to further decompose the remains of our once irreducibly complex organism into dust long before the necessary and highly specified missing component would miraculously (probabilistically speaking) appear to prevent its further decay.
The result? Another notch in the belt of the Law of Biogenesis and another humiliating defeat for abiogenesis.
If you consider either the inference to intelligent design or unintelligent design to lie beyond the natural sciences, consider Biogenesis: perhaps the best tested scientific Law of nature. Life proceeds only from pre-existing life, the mind of its creator and/or the Mind of its Creator.
If you have something to contribute to the discussion of Biogenesis, please write me at email@example.com.
“I appreciate it and good night.”
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In contrast, pro-ID microbiologist Scott Minnich has properly tested for irreducible complexity through genetic knock-out experiments he performed in his own laboratory at the University of Idaho. He presented this evidence during the Dover trial, which showed that the bacterial flagellum is irreducibly complex with respect to its complement of thirty-five genes. As Minnich testified: “One mutation, one part knock out, it can’t swim. Put that single gene back in we restore motility. Same thing over here. We put, knock out one part, put a good copy of the gene back in, and they can swim. By definition the system is irreducibly complex. We’ve done that with all 35 components of the flagellum, and we get the same effect.”37
Q. Do you know employ principles and concepts from intelligent design in your work?
A. I do.
Q. And I’d like for you to explain that further. I know you’re prepared several slides to do that.
A. Sure. All right. I work on the bacterial flagellum, understanding the function of the bacterial flagellum for example by exposing cells to mutagenic compounds or agents, and then scoring for cells that have attenuated or lost motility. This is our phenotype. The cells can swim or they can’t. We mutagenize the cells, if we hit a gene that’s involved in function of the flagellum, they can’t swim, which is a scorable phenotype that we use. Reverse engineering is then employed to identify all these genes. We couple this with biochemistry to essentially rebuild the structure and understand what the function of each individual part is. Summary, it is the process more akin to design that propelled biology from a mere descriptive science to an experimental science in terms of employing these techniques.
So it was inoculated right here, and over about twelve hours it’s radiated out from that point of inoculant. Here is this same derived from that same parental clone, but we have a transposon, a jumping gene inserted into a rod protein, part of the drive shaft for the flagellum. It can’t swim. It’s stuck, all right? This one is a mutation in the U joint. Same phenotype. So we collect cells that have been mutagenized, we stick them in soft auger, we can screen a couple of thousand very easily with a few undergraduates, you know, in a day and look for whether or not they can swim.
We have a mutation in a drive shaft protein or the U joint, and they can’t swim. Now, to confirm that that’s the only part that we’ve affected, you know, is that we can identify this mutation, clone the gene from the wild type and reintroduce it by mechanism of genetic complementation. So this is, these cells up here are derived from this mutant where we have complemented with a good copy of the gene. One mutation, one part knock out, it can’t swim. Put that single gene back in we restore motility. Same thing over here. We put, knock out one part, put a good copy of the gene back in, and they can swim. By definition the system is irreducibly complex. We’ve done that with all 35 components of the flagellum, and we get the same effect.
(Kitzmiller Transcript of Testimony of Scott Minnich pgs. 99-108, Nov. 3, 2005, emphasis added)
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