Tag Archives: Biological Information

Stephen C. Meyer and Doug Axe discuss 5 major problems with macro-evolution

Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed
Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed

The host of the Cross Examined radio show Dr. Frank Turek talks with Stephen C. Meyer and Doug Axe about a recent conference of Royal Society scientists discussing the problems with the theory of macro-evolution.

The MP3 file is here.

Summary:

  • about the Royal Society conference
  • the main topic was whether naturalistic mechanisms can produce new body plans and new organ types
  • no one disputes micro-evolution: beaks changing size, antibiotic resistance
  • many of the naturalistic scientists admitted the problems with current naturalistic theories, but they don’t want to embrace the need for a designer
  • none of the proposals that were debated solved the real problems with macro-evolution
  • Problem #1: the sudden origin of body plans in the fossil record
  • Problem #2: the origin of information (e.g. – in protein molecule)
  • Problem #3: need for favorable early mutations (for body plans)
  • Problem #4: the problem of epigenetics
  • Problem #5: the universality of the design intuition

Some of these problems have actually gotten worse for naturalistic evolution as our scientific knowledge has grown.

If you want the two best books on intelligent design, get Dr. Meyer’s “Signature in the Cell” and “Darwin’s Doubt”. I should note that Dr. Meyer is not a young Earth creationist, and has defended the Big Bang cosmology as a solid evidence for a Creator of the universe. Being in favor of an old universe and an old Earth is compatible with being opposed to evolution – because of scientific reasons.

Stephen C. Meyer and Doug Axe discuss 5 major problems with macro-evolution

Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed
Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed

The host of the Cross Examined radio show Dr. Frank Turek talks with Stephen C. Meyer and Doug Axe about a recent conference of Royal Society scientists discussing the problems with the theory of macro-evolution.

The MP3 file is here.

Summary:

  • about the Royal Society conference
  • the main topic was whether naturalistic mechanisms can produce new body plans and new organ types
  • no one disputes micro-evolution: beaks changing size, antibiotic resistance
  • many of the naturalistic scientists admitted the problems with current naturalistic theories, but they don’t want to embrace the need for a designer
  • none of the proposals that were debated solved the real problems with macro-evolution
  • Problem #1: the sudden origin of body plans in the fossil record
  • Problem #2: the origin of information (e.g. – in protein molecule)
  • Problem #3: need for favorable early mutations (for body plans)
  • Problem #4: the problem of epigenetics
  • Problem #5: the universality of the design intuition

Some of these problems have actually gotten worse for naturalistic evolution as our scientific knowledge has grown.

If you want the two best books on intelligent design, get Dr. Meyer’s “Signature in the Cell” and “Darwin’s Doubt”. I should note that Dr. Meyer is not a young Earth creationist, and has defended the Big Bang cosmology as a solid evidence for a Creator of the universe. Being in favor of an old universe and an old Earth is compatible with being opposed to evolution – because of scientific reasons.

Has MIT physicist Jeremy England solved the origin of life problem?

Casey Luskin assesses a sensational article that was originally published in the radically leftist Salon.

He writes:

In the law there’s a saying, “When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the facts aren’t on your side, pound the table.” Some popular science writers have apparently embraced that maxim while declaring that Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Jeremy England may have solved the origin of life.

At Salon, Paul Rosenberg recently asserted that England’s work shows “God is on the ropes” and threatens “to undo everything the wacky right holds dear.” Claiming England “has creationists and the Christian right terrified,” Rosenberg must be borrowing rhetorical excesses from Chris Mooney, who likewise wrongly alleged last year in Mother Jones that science “has creationists terrified.”

So what exactly are England’s momentous ideas? Business Insider reviewed his theories last month, explaining they are based upon thermodynamic principles that cause matter to “gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy.”

The problem of the origin of life is essentially the problem of sequencing amino acids into proteins. Can you sequence amino acids into proteins by shining sunlight on them?

No:

The fundamental problem with England’s theories, and Rosenberg’s polemics, is that sunlight and other forms of energy do not generate new genetic information, nor do they produce new types of biological machines.

It’s one thing to observe that energy keeps a machine running; it’s quite another to claim energy produced the machine in the first place. You could shine light on random Scrabble tiles or disassembled computer components for billions of years, and you’ll never produce a Shakespearean Sonnet or a functional computer. No wonder Harvard biophysicist Eugene Shakhnovich called England’s proposals “extremely speculative, especially as applied to life phenomena.”

[…]Dr. England’s work, interesting though it may be, does not provide that insight. Sunlight—or any known form of energy—does not produce the genetic information life needs to build its complex machinery. In our experience, only one cause generates new language-based information or machine-like structures: intelligence.

Dr. England shouldn’t be faulted if materialists are co-opting his work into an overstated crusade against God and conservative politics. But naturalistic accounts of life’s origins remain as elusive as they have ever been.

Somebody posted this Salon article on my Facebook page and I deleted it because I thought it must be a hoax or something. After all, it was Salon. I mean, not even atheists are stupid enough to think that you can sequence amino acids into protein by shining light on them, are they? Do they think that you can shine sunlight on a keyboard and get a computer program? I didn’t even think this article needed an answer, it’s so ridiculous.

Seriously – when you are talking about creating the first living cell, you are talking about getting a whole bunch of sequences of amino acids right in one shot. It’s an information problem, not a thermodynamics problem. Why would anyone believe that changes in energy levels could explain the creation of information in the first living cell?

Casey Luskin and Stephen C. Meyer discuss the design inference

This episode of ID the Future is 17 minutes long. It’s the third in a series – here are parts one and two.

Details:

On this episode of ID the Future, Casey Luskin and Stephen Meyer finish up their talk with a discussion of why intelligent design presents the best explanation for the Cambrian explosion.

Special limited time offer: Save 43% and get 4 free digital books when you pre-order Darwin’s Doubt.

You can grab the MP3 here.

Topics:

  •  What sort of reasoning did Darwin use in The Origin of Species?
  • Can this method of “inference to the best explanation” be applied to the Cambrian explosion
  • The importance of appealing to causes that we have experienced ourselves
  • Example: explaining from an effect (volcanic ash) to a cause that his adequate (volcanic eruption)
  • We have experience of how volcanoes cause the ash, so we should infer based on what we know
  • In the case where the effect is information in biology, we see that naturalistic mechanisms are inadequate
  • But we know from our own experience that intelligent agents can generate information
  • Many people think that science must confine itself to materialistic explanations
  • If so, then it is possible miss out on the true explanation by ruling it out before looking at evidence

If you haven’t yet read Meyer’s first book, “Signature in the Cell”, you should probably grab that one. It’s the best book on intelligent design that’s out right now. It talks about the origin of the first living cell, surveying all naturalistic explanations for it, and concluding that the best explanation – the one most consistent with what we know now – is intelligent design.

Casey Luskin and Stephen C. Meyer discuss information outside the genome

This episode of ID the Future is 20 minutes long and it’s a follow up to a previous podcast I posted.

Details:

On this episode of ID the Future, hear the second part of Casey Luskin’s interview with Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, author of the forthcoming book Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design. Dr. Meyer discusses how the origin of information in the Cambrian explosion poses a problem for evolutionary biology.

Special limited time offer: Save 43% and get 4 free digital books when you pre-order Darwin’s Doubt.

You can grab the MP3 here.

Topics:

  • Last time, they discussed how the sudden origin of animal body plans requires an infusion of new information
  • Also, the sudden origin of animal forms is inexplicable naturalistically, because there are no transitional forms
  • New body plans require new genetic information
  • The Cambrian explosion involve a sudden increase of body plans, which means a sudden increase of information
  • For example, a new body plan requires dozens of new cell types
  • Each cell type will be composed of new proteins and enzymes
  • Proteins are composed of functional sequences of amino acids – genetic information
  • Can the neo-Darwinian mechanisms generate new functional sequences?
  • The problem with making functional sequences by chance: Product Rule
  • When calculating probabilities of forming a functional sequence, you multiply to calculate probabilities
  • A bike lock with 4 dials and 10 possibilities has 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 = 10,000 possibilities
  • Each sequence is equally likely to get by random guesses
  • But it’s far more likely that any random attempt will NOT work
  • Getting one or two settings right has no value to opening the lock, and will not be saved for later attempts
  • There is no credit for partial success: you have to get the whole combination right the first time
  • In addition, there are other sources of information other than DNA that are required for new body plans
  • For example, there is information in cell membranes, cytoskeletons, etc. which is also needed
  • Neo-Darwinism can only work on mutating genes – even in the best case it would just give you new proteins
  • Neo-Darwinism cannot add information in non-genome areas, which are required for new animal forms
  • The information in these non-genome areas are required to arrange the proteins to make new body pans
  • Genetic inofrmation = information in the genome, Epigenetic information = information outside the genome
  • This problem of information outside the genome is called “the problem of the origin of form”

So those last few points are, I think, a sneak peek into the contents of the new “Darwin’s Doubt” book.

If you haven’t yet read Meyer’s first book, “Signature in the Cell”, you should probably grab that one. It’s the best book on intelligent design that’s out right now. It talks about the origin of the first living cell, surveying all naturalistic explanations for it, and concluding that the best explanation – the one most consistent with what we know now – is intelligent design.