The most famous, passionately argued, longest-running debate

angry_carlos_hernandez_landeroIn June 2005 I delivered my lecture “If you can read this I can prove God exists” and posted it on my website.

Today, I have to thank a brotherhood of evangelical atheists for making it world-famous. It became the longest-running, most viewed thread on the largest atheist discussion board in the world.

They never successfully countered it.

A few months after I posted my talk, a gentleman named Rob sent me an email that said, “I see right through your sophistry and pseudoscience…” and an intense discussion began.

After a couple of weeks he got flustered, so he went to the largest atheist discussion board in the world, Infidels. He posted a link to my talk and basically said, ‘be nice to this guy while you rip him to shreds.’

I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t nervous. I was nervous. (Wouldn’t you be?) One of me, dozens of them. One slip of the foot and they’d eviscerate my sorry carcass like a pack of wolverines.

If you’ve spent any time on Infidels, you’ve seen – it’s not like those guys are real big on manners. The anger and hostility is so thick you can cut it with a knife. The Infidels website is six thousand pages of rage and spitting vitriol.

It’s do-or-die time. If there’s a hole in my theory, sooner or later these guys will find it.

And I really did fear that at some point someone would pin me down on some technicality. Or at the very least, that I would screw up or say something I didn’t mean and there would be some disaster I’d have to recover from.

Nope. That’s not what happened. What happened was actually a little surprising.

Let’s just say… they used to intimidate me. They don’t anymore.

I called their bluff.

Before this happened, I couldn’t have imagined that any group of self-respecting, educated men and women would actually try to tell me that DNA isn’t really a code. But that’s exactly what they did. (It is formally, scientifically and literally a code. See explanation here.)

They tried to tell me DNA was not a code – then tried to tell me a snowflake is a code – at the very same time!

They mocked me for taking science books and dictionaries literally. They called me every name in the book. One guy got so furious that the moderator had to delete his posts and ban him from the forum.

But after years of trying, they have not punched a single hole in the argument.

_________________

The argument begins with an open question “Did DNA come from natural processes, or was it designed?” and it goes like this:

1. The pattern in DNA is a code (by definition)

2. All other codes we know the origin of are designed (by observation)

Therefore we can explore five possible conclusions:

a) Humans designed DNA
b) Aliens designed DNA
c) DNA occurred randomly and spontaneously
d) There must be some undiscovered law of physics that creates information*
e) DNA was Designed by a Superintelligence, i.e. God.

(a) requires time travel or infinite generations of humans. (b) could well be true but only pushes the question back in time. (c) may be a remote possibility, but it’s not a scientific explanation because it doesn’t refer to a systematic, repeatable process. It’s nothing but an appeal to luck. (d) could be true but no one can form a testable hypothesis until someone observes a naturally occurring code.* So the only systematic explanation that is consistent with science is (e) a theological one.

Therefore:

3. To the extent that scientific reasoning can prove anything, DNA is proof of design.

_________________

That’s it. That’s the argument. It’s that simple.

It’s so elegant, it’s irrefutable. It’s airtight.

There is nowhere for the atheist to go, except to say “I don’t know.”

Which is the truth. We don’t know, we can only infer.

All these guys understand that once they admit they don’t know, I’ll say, “Congratulations. Welcome to the world of agnosticism. Honest inquiry is now possible.”

Die-hard members of Infidels are profoundly committed to their atheist beliefs. They are just as devout as members of any religious sect. They won’t go there.

So they just endlessly argue that DNA really isn’t a code…. or it’s only a code in our imaginations…. or that rocks and snowflakes and cosmic rays are codes. Or that it’s not permissible for rational people to draw these sorts of silly conclusions.

I spent five years answering every single question and addressing every objection. I posted an exhaustive Q&A summary at http://cosmicfingerprints.com/iidb.htm. You can click to six different pages that carefully address all the major arguments.

I noticed that one by one, the ‘smart ones’ dropped out. The moderator refuses to answer any of my questions, even though I’ve answered every single one of his.

One guy said, “If you quote Hubert Yockey one more time, I’m going to scratch your eyes out.”

One guy, screen name “Robert Webb” eventually showed up. He’s an atheist but he’s also a computer programmer and he called them on it. He said, “Perry’s definitions are correct, points #1 and #2 are right and you’re never going to prove him wrong.” They lashed out at him for saying that, and accused him of secretly arguing my side.

So far as I can tell, most of the ones who are still hanging in there haven’t actually read or listened to my presentation. They just go around in circles and call me names.

I stop by every few months and answer questions. Meanwhile this has become the most viewed, longest-running thread in the history of Infidels.

I have proven God exists, and… the place where this has been most thoroughly articulated is the largest atheist website in the world.

I love it!

God has a sense of humor, doesn’t He?

I’ve learned a lot from this. In no particular order, here’s what I’ve observed:

1. When people are backed into a corner and do not want to change their beliefs. They go into denial. No amount of logic, evidence, scientific findings or proof can change their minds. I guess somehow I had thought that if you put enough peer-reviewed, non-controversial textbooks, definitions and examples in front of them they would admit that I could be right.

Nope… not the case. If someone doesn’t want to believe something, there is nothing you can do to change their minds.

NOTHING.

2. Most people do not know that science is based on inference. The idea that there is a law of gravity is inferred from 100% consistent observations. You can’t literally prove it. Belief in all scientific laws rests on faith in something you cannot prove: Namely, that the universe operates according to fixed discoverable laws.

3. Many people also do not know that the core belief of science – that the universe operates according to fixed discoverable laws – was originally a religious idea. To the best of my knowledge, this idea was first introduced 3000 years ago by Solomon, who wrote “Thou hast ordered all things in weight and number and measure.” (Wisdom of Solomon 11:21)

4. People who are well informed about things like the inner workings of computer systems – hardware and software engineers, for example – almost never challenge me on Information Theory. When I gave three different lectures at Lucent Technologies / Bell Labs, for example (the company where Claude Shannon first developed information theory), nobody accused me of applying the theory incorrectly.

The ones who argue are science wannabes, not professionals. People who think that watching the Discovery Channel or the latest Evolution show on PBS makes their opinions scientific.

5. When people feel threatened they abandon facts and resort to name-calling and emotional tirades. They accuse you of practicing “pseudoscience” and they say that you’re an “idiot” and a “creationist”.

They quote passages from the latest Richard Dawkins bestseller as though it were a Holy Book.

6. The real reason some people believe that life was caused by random accident is they have a very, very hard time fathoming that an all-knowing God would allow the world to be so messed up. This is a moral judgment, not a scientific position. “Accidents happen, therefore it’s all an accident.”

This at least appears to relieve them of having to explain why there is evil in the world. (Perhaps that’s true. But the problem is, it leaves them with no objective definition of what is good.)

7. Theologians gave birth to science in the middle ages. People who believed the world operated according to fixed, discoverable laws, began to search for those laws. People like Newton, Galileo, Kepler, Copernicus, Mendel, Boyle, Maxwell and even Einstein saw science as a way of studying the mind of God.

Science itself got started in ancient Rome, Greece, China and in Islam – but it never went anywhere in those cultures. Why? I would like to suggest that none of those cultures had a theology that described a systematic universe. But Christianity did teach that the universe was systematic and discoverable and that’s why science succeeded in the West after failing everywhere else.

8. Because of my websites www.cosmicfingerprints.com and www.coffeehousetheology.com, I have had literally thousands upon thousands of email conversations with people about science, religion, morality, and all of kinds of deep questions. People from literally every single country in the world, every religion, every race and belief system you can imagine.

And I can assure you – NOBODY argues more stridently than the atheists. Nobody.

Militant atheism is most zealous form of religious fundamentalism in the world today. And yes, based on all my conversations and experiences I do classify atheism as an extremist religion. I’ve heard all the usual objections to that but I just don’t buy them. Modern atheism is not the least bit interested in discovering the truth, it’s only interested in making disciples.

A common stereotype of Muslims, for example, is that they are dogmatic and belligerent. But almost none of the Muslims I have ever encountered are actually like that! Atheists overwhelmingly are.

They’re combative and not only do they fail to show respect, they display burning contempt and derision for religious people. Atheists are more dogmatic about what they believe than anyone else I’ve ever encountered. Again, that’s my own experience from answering thousands of emails and debating in the Infidels forum.

9. Many people perceive science and religion as being in a war with each other. It’s a false war that has been largely invented and perpetrated by a tiny minority of extremely angry people. These people have perpetrated a lot of myths, too – for example they tell you that people believed the earth was flat until 500 years ago.

Wrong. People have known the earth was round for 2500 years.

You may not have known that prior to the mid- to late-1800’s there was far less hostility between science and religion. Yes there are the Galileo vs. the Church stories, but we have an exact reversal of that today: Scientists who are persecuted by secular institutions because of their religious beliefs. I predict that some day the present hostility will subside.

10. Atheists are very good at going on the attack. But they are astonishingly weak when they are called to defend what they believe (i.e. that life was a random accident; that the big bang happened for no particular reason at all; that there’s an infinite number of other universes somewhere.) I’ve found that when I press them for answers, they usually at some point suddenly vanish, never to return.

A very popular biologist, author and prominent atheist spokesman (he is referenced more than 200,000 times on the Internet and was a featured speaker at the 2010 World Atheist Conference in Melbourne Australia) subscribed to this very email series you’re reading right now. He sent me an email just the other day. He said:

“You’re insane, and you’re ignorant. You can stop sending me your foolish twaddle, your info is now in my filters.”

I kindly asked him if I could post his name and his comments on my website. No response.

That’s it. Total refusal to engage.

You know why?

Because he knows he can’t win.

I realize that I am not being terribly kind to atheism here (though I am not being unkind to anyone either). The atheist belief system needs to be punched in the face by people of all beliefs, and forced to account for itself. The infidels debate and this website www.cosmicfingerprints.com is an open challenge for atheists to provide evidence for the things they believe in.

Tossing around words like “rational inquiry” and “science” and “non-sequitur” is no substitute for sound reasoning, actual practice of science, and the use of logic.

If atheism is going to wear the robe of science and reason, it’s time for us to expect it to answer science questions, not evade them. We need to demand reasons, not non-reasons. Open factual discussion, not name-calling and childish behavior from anonymous cowards.

And… if the atheist doesn’t know, let’s allow him to admit he doesn’t know, and be kind to him when he makes that admission.

And once he is open to following the evidence wherever it leads, let us welcome him into the world of honest and rational inquiry.

Perry Marshall

P.S.: I used to say: “If you doubt what I am saying here – go to the Infidels site and see for yourself. Read every single post in the 5+ year thread.” (They took it down and refused my requests to make it public. Screen shot at http://cosmicfingerprints.com/dna-atheists/.) Read every reference you can find to this anywhere on the Internet. If after that you still think that my argument has been dismantled by the Infidels and I’m doing a cover-up job, then come back here and post your questions. Please read the FAQ first.

*P.P.S.: I have a multi-million dollar prize for Origin Of Information at www.naturalcode.org.

312 Responses

  1. Faruk Can Bilir says:

    How you can be sure it’s 100% designer, you say it can be luck, but it’s too unlikely to happen. This is not scientific thought, 100% means even by luck it cannot happen. But it can, that means I proved you wrong and you should change your 100% statement.

    And your word generator theory is meaningless. Why do you people always try to prove your statement using other subjects and using their similar points to evolution theory? Are scientists children that cannot understand simple calculations and should be thaught using simpler examples? Anyway that’s not our subject. You wrote that chances a sentence turning into a new sentence is same as the count of all the particules in the universe. You give only one shot to random mutation but, chemical reactions are happening every second, do you know how many seconds passed since the beggining of the universe? And I’m only thinking of the fourth dimension, there are parellel universes.

    And you can only be sure of existense of yourself. Maybe you’re an eternal brain coming from the place that God is coming from but you’re not almighty since you don’t know this fact. Altough being the only thing in the universe or heaven you’re not the almighty God. Therefore you can’t be sure there’s a God.

    Also why are you a christian, not a muslim? Chritian mythology is not something that a God who’s more mature than every human being in the world would think of. Can Jesus be so selfish that even if you’re a good person, can fry you in the hell because you’re not believing him. Is Jesus’ maturity level that? There are thousands of people more mature than that in the world. If you’re a believer and you want a religion you should chose islam. I’m not sure if you’re going to hell if you don’t believe in god in islam, but islam makes much more sense. Being a christian istead of muslim now, is like being a pagan back then when the christainty was out.

    And one last thing, in the first paragraph I’ve proven you wrong and you should change your statement about no one proving you wrong. You can say, “someone proved me wrong, but I changed my thoery, now it says ‘chances of god designing the dna is really high (since you can’t actually calculate the luck factor, you should think of 10th dimension)'”. If you don’t change that you won’t be a man of science and I personally don’t have time or english level to teach you science philosophy, and I don’t think I will have the patience of Sokrates when he taught geometry to his slave.

    • Faruk,

      If you wish to say DNA happened according to luck, be my guest. Just don’t call that science because it’s not systematic. If you want to buy lottery tickets that’s fine, but don’t call it business school.

      If you wish to make a scientific case for luck then produce a statistical model. “Do you know how many seconds have passed…” Yes, it’s easily calculated. 13.8 billion years times 31 million seconds per year. Not enough seconds to even produce a 120 character Google ad, let alone a strand of DNA.

      One reason why I’m a Christian: http://cosmicfingerprints.com/audio/newevidence.htm

      Perry

  2. Aki Tuomaala says:

    Here is what I think.1.Noone (a humen) really knows how Dna came to Earth and how life came to Earth.But I still belive that Darwinian principals ,natural laws and forces it gives me the best explanation in the long run.2.Nowone still know how gravitational ACCELARATION rise etc.,but Newton and A.Einstein givs god ex. on how it work etc.We know that electromagnetism bouth attracs and repulse ,but why does gravitation only attract ???????3.Noone can still prove or not finally If God exist,this is also depending how different people want to define God, the word God means different things to different people.I still believe in Tao or a Tao kind off God always somehow present but vague apprehendid.I dont belive that something above nature exists,I believe everything have a natural explenation and a true suorce.I believe there are an absolute trueth and a relative trueth in the superreallity terrain ,the relative trueth are depending on the absolute trueth,but usually we find the relative trueth because we (homo sapiensis)are limited creatures.How can things work an other way compered what I try to explain here on the szuare???!!!

  3. Usman Javaid says:

    ASSALAM-O-ALIKUM (May Peace Be Upon You)

    Sir, I don’t know much about DNA but i want to tell you a real story.
    Once a Muslim Scholar had a discussion with an Atheist. The Atheist said that the whole universe came into being on its on. The Scholar said that Allah (God) created the whole universe.They started giving references on their points
    So the discussion went on for very long time. At last, they decided to discuss this topic in front of the people on an island

    The next day the atheist went to the location on time but the scholar was not present. he waited very long a\but the scholar did not came. He started saying “He is afraid, He is afraid”. After a while the scholar came. The atheist asked why are you so late? The scholar said “When I went to the side of the river but there was no boat. I waited a lot but no ship passed by. Just the I saw a tree started to cut into the planks on its own then these planks assembled to make a boat. I boarded on that boat and now I am here. While he was saying that, the Atheist kept on saying “Lie, lier. lier!”. The Sxholar said “My dear If even a small boat cannot be made on its own then how can this whole universe be.
    Hearing this the Atheist ran away.

    Thank You.

    ALLAH HAFIZ (May Allah be your Guardian)

  4. Stuart Owen says:

    Dear Perry,
    I too have studied (with honest eye’s) the hugely facinating subject of the origins of life for a very long time now,and I too have come to the SAME conclusions as yourself.
    I was at one time an ardent believer in the evolution theory, yes, yet there was one particular instance that led me to undersatnd that ‘Chance’ had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!!! It was this:
    Since we know that DNA possesses an instruction to replicate itself ( making a copy-template of the original code so as to protect it against future corruptions), we therefore have to conclude that this could never have been achieved by ‘chance’ since ‘chance’ by very definition cannot return back on itself to ‘protect’ its own original outcome.
    In other words: Supose for a moment that DNA really was a one-time ‘chance’ event in our universes past; the fatal paradox thus arises.
    No ‘chance’ event ever studied can ‘return-back’ to the moment of its ‘happening’ and ‘repair’ its outcome back to original default. To do so would be to imply TIPPED odss or a fully BIASESD chance event.

    Yet either way – a ‘biased event is what we’ve got – and hence DNA is SCIENTIFICALLY NOT a pure chance event in any way. Quite conversely,DNA is fully ‘tipped’ in favour of a particular outcome (specifically to instruct the creation of organic life – even AGAINST the chemical attacks that break-down DNA on an hourly basis.)

    Anyway, keep up the excelent work, and God be with you.
    Stuart

  5. Jim Diamond says:

    ID has been shown to literally be creationism under another name. There is nothing intelligent about the bible. Darwin lived 150 years ago. He had never heard of planes, rockets, cars, computers, the internet, galaxies, black holes, mobile phones, DVD players, TV’s, etc. Had he been told that the Earth was 4.6 billion years old, he would almost certainly have denied it, thinking it crazy.

    Like all creationists, you love repeating the old lies. Variation occurs in the womb. We have what was originally called junk DNA but is now generally called ancestral DNA. 90% of our DNA is this, so it gives a lot of new possibilities each time someone is born.

    It does not matter if you say evolution does not happen. It is a proven fact and we even have transitional fossils that creationists used to whine that they did not exist. Check out the talkorigins site.

    Come to the BBC Christian Topic site. We could do with a laugh there as most of the christians and creationists have lost heart because they always lose. I have put God on trial there at present for the untold millions of people he has murdered.

  6. Roberto Arriaga says:

    Dear Perry:

    I must admit that I am neither an expert regarding codes and information theory, and neither atheist, agnostic, or a very religious type (although I consider myself a catholic heretic).

    I just think codes can be natural as for example just looking at the sky in the morning: if there are clouds, I may read that sign as approaching bad weather, even rain, so I prepare myself for that possible situation. On the other hand, the lack of clouds in the horizon just tells me it is going to be a wonderful day.

    I know it sounds corny, but the best way to put it is maybe there are billions of natural ocurring codes but we are not aware of them. Mathematics can show complex relations such as the Fibonacci series, and maybe now we are not considering it as a code, but who knows in a future. One thing we must remember is that our perception of reality changes with time: from crude drawings in a cave wall, to life like oil paintings, to hd pictures, to hd video and who can tell what new media will give us more and different information about our reality.

    BTW congrats on these blogs, I have found them excellent, just wish to have more time to read all the postings.

    Best regards

  7. Concerning the “argument” that the universe is not eternal but “13.8 billion years old,” delaying my real point, I suggest that anyone who comes up with a fractioned figure for a time frame of such near infinite proportion is invoking unnecessary suspicion. I have never been able to imagine how someone of Stephen Hawking’s intelligence can’t “see G-d” throughout His creation.

    But to my point, when Christianity is credited with the facts of creation, and even Moslems are mentioned nearby in the paragraph, like Joseph Campbell, the author is refusing to extend his investigation appropriately to credit where truth, where science, requires. Christianity offers nothing to the fundamental debate. it’ all in the Torah and its commentaries that G-d gave to the Jews for the benefit of all humankind. We are all His children. But only the Torah is perfect and with flaw. It’s all there. Any unbiased investigation will reveal the severe flaws in fact and interpretation, even the changing of words in the “NT” that discredit it from this all-important knowledge.

    Be well,

    Paul H. Goodley,M.D.

  8. Peter Law says:

    Why only five possible conclusions to the DNA code argument? You would only need one more feasible conclusion and the proof falls over.

    I would have thought there would be five million more conclusions given the complexity of the universe and the superintelligence of its creator. Most might be proven wrong after a quick analysis, some might take a few decades of research to prove one way or another.

  9. Charlie Marsh says:

    I have been having an ongoing debate with atheists (I refer to them as heathens because that ensures a response) on Twitter. Recently, I made reference to your website and some of your material and was immediately ridiculed for subscribing to the “philosophy of someone who is speaking outside of his exertise” and “comparing apples and oranges.” Of course they frequently speak in such generalities, but I have been unable to locate a bio for you so I could at least credit you with some credentials. I am confident that even Solomon, in all his wisdom, did not receive a Ph.D. in biology from an accredited university. Thank you for your significant contribution to God’s Kingdom, and if you can direct me to your bio, I would be grateful.

  10. Bob. says:

    If you wish to make a statistical case for luck, (chance) produce a scientific model.
    At the sub atomic level, apparently, you cannot plot the course of an electron around a nucleus. Because it appears to be in more than one place at any given time, (like God?) forgive my manners. But if that be the case,and science knows no better. Than ” The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” could be a mere snip, to such a generator. DNA however, could take a little longer, say 10-12 billion years or so, to get going, before it starts to evolve. Once it does, it might build upon itself in an evolutionary sense, to produce a thinking self. Like you and me. Such a model wouldn’t need a higher entity, than the thinking self? Unless Perry, you should think otherwise.

    Then of course, we agree to disagree, which leads to uncertainty. Which is the only law we have at the sub atomic level. You cannot prove the existance of God, At least not yet, can you see that?

  11. Barry says:

    I saw on the History channel that the universe is running down, space is expanding, The earth is also wearing out, we running out of energy. Is there any truth to this, and if there is, can the names of scientist who support this be reveiled., I’m a Christian, and I believe the Bible can support these claims as the Bible says in Revolution, Heavens and earth will pass away. I know you receive thousands of Emails, but hopefully you have a lot of helpers that can help me with this. I enjoy your website and I’ve really learned a lot by visiting it often. Thank you so much for providing us less educated folks with answers and information.. God bless, ..Barry

  12. Thanks for your response. I read the FAQ and I dont think it does answer all my points but does state some interesting information. I think there should be some comfort in the fact that a lot of it makes sense, however a lot of the text on christ was written a long time after he died. This coupled with the alarimng simularities between ancient egytian mythos and Gods such as Horas and Osaris (not to be found in any regular text/encyclopedia due to it’s destruction to fit propaganda and religious dogma) as presented by Gerald Massey and Arachaya.S seems to be compelling evidence that christ did not exsist. I think for balance it would be worth checking these sources out. You can get the rough outline from a film called zeitgeist. The rebuttal to the common arguments against the film can be found at the website http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com. A movement that any true Christian with decent Christian values should be championing.

    As for Genesis in your own words it’s open to interpretation. It could have been far more consise instead of throwing in terms of measurable human time lines like days.

    Something else to take into consideration is the rest of the text which you seem prepared to avoid ( I dont blame you). For instance Leviticus 11,12. This clearly states that it is a sin to eat prawns. This is quite obviously ridiculous and seems to only spell out why a book written by several different people over hundreds of years had no chance of being accurate or reasonable.

    You either buy into the whole or nothing. Thats science. I buy into science entirley because it says it can always be wrong in favour of the furtherment of knowledge and understanding through feedback by the exsisting enviroment tangible via the senses. This just can not be the case with any dogma, religion or institution as they have their self preserving interests at heart making them bias to their particular world view.

    As a man who champions a decent scientific reasoned argument it does not seem to make sense to champion one which at the very least is not water tight. Spiritality is one thing. Religion is another.

    I will repost this on your board. I would stress for the record that I subscribe to the idea that I am trying to live by the laws of nature which tend to obey most of the ten commandments (apart from the honour my father and mother one which is a farce. They like every one else has to earn it.) and try to respect the better aspects of most religions due to wether they make sense.

    If your God is who he says he is he will care what I did. Not which team I supported.

    Regards,

    James Phillips

    • James,

      In one way or another I address almost all of these questions, and several others, in a documented I just posted at http://www.coffeehousetheology.com/top10/

      Eating prawns: For the Jews, eating certain foods was forbidden under the Mosaic law. All foods were permitted after Peter had a vision in ~35AD.

      Feel free to post further comments at the bottom of the link I just gave you and we can go forward with the discussion.

      Perry

  13. Arthur says:

    GOD BLESS YOU FOR THE WORKS OF YOUR FAITH.

    1.Kindly, from your miracle, reason of belief in Christianity, what is your comment about the miracles in ‘black’ science as purported by the Egyptians snake against Moses’ ?

    2.What is the significance of Moses’ lifting of the bronze serpent for the healing of the Israelite s, a symbol already condemned to represent devil in the garden of Eden?

    • Arthur,

      There is no question in my mind that there is a dark side to spirituality. The black arts practiced by the egyptians were real. In my opinion, demonic.

      The serpent moses lifted up was symbolic of the coming of Christ and his death on the cross.

  14. Liliana says:

    Perry, I really appreciate your contribution to the debate and am grateful for your insights. Have you read anything by Rudolf Steiner? I think you will find him extremely interesting. See http://www.rsarchive.org/Lectures/index.php?q=F and read the First Scientific Lecture-Course”. I would really like to hear your opinion on his thoughts.

  15. Andy says:

    “Your (B) invokes some completely unknown cause which is utterly beyond investigation.”
    funny, i thought that was the very bedrock upon which christianity is based. Funny that an obviously intelligent man who has done scads of research and has formulated a seemingly bulletproof thesis is arguing in favour of faith, which is the belief in that which cannot be proven rationally. And here you are, taking on all comers day in and day out, going out of your way to answer all detractors with your impervious logic and arguments.
    Who are you trying to convince? And why do you need to convince anybody if you are yourself convinced? Does faith really require all this effort to be proved?

    • Andy, if you believe Christianity is founded on “some completely unknown cause which is utterly beyond investigation” – or that anyone expects people to believe Christianity on such grounds – you’ve been misinformed. And for that I apologize.

      The leading intellectual atheist philosopher of the 20th century, Antony Flew, abandoned atheism in favor of deism/theism in 2004. He has a recent book “There is a God” in which he lays an extremely rational and logical groundwork for believing in God. Yes, you can get to God from rationalism, contrary to what you were perhaps told.

      There’s a chapter in Flew’s book by N.T. Wright that I suggest you read, which makes a rational case for Christianity specifically. AFTER (!) you read this book and this chapter in particular, I will be happy to discuss this subject further with you.

      Any hypothesis that says DNA was “randomly generated” is not a scientific hypothesis. (And is also statistically as close to impossible as one can get.) Science is about systematic explanations for things, not spurious accidental ones.

      Got a question for you, Andy:

      Show me a code we know the origin of, that didn’t come from a mind.

      Perry

  16. Andy says:

    or conversely (or perversely) you are trying to explain a creator using rationalism and reason because you cannot accept that DNA was randomly generated. That’s fine with me. But the idea of something coming from nothing seems to be a fairly religious argument. You say that DNA is proof of a creator, fine. Is that it? That’s the definition of “something from nothing” to me…

  17. CJ Emanuels says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for making my life so much easier.

    I have mostly atheist friends and the few times we’ve gotten into debates about the topic of whether or not God exists I’ve always just a very crude version of your theory to support my argument that he exists;

    “A metaphorical version of my argument is to say that there is a can, which is earth, and there is a human, which is where the can came from.

    A metaphorical version of your argument is that it is absurd to say that there is a can. To say it is created is absurd.”

    It always basically boils down to that, or variations thereof.

    But since reading your stuff I can take comfort in knowing that all I have to do is point any of them to your site and say “There.”

  18. Stuart Owen says:

    Hi all, you know I enjoy following this debate whenever I get a moment but one thing that strikes me quite strongly is that this God/Creation debate might very well be a ‘manufactured’ debate – possibly by power-focused companies such as Monsanto in the US – to take the focus away from their distateful hidden motives.
    If you think about it, whats the best way to achieve full genetic control over all of Mother Nature? Answer – You brainwash an entire generation of people to belive that nothing in this universe ever had a purpose or a designer. That way, the path is fully open to you to begin robbing the design copyrights from the whole of MOTHER NATURES construct, and hence begin abusing it in any way you feel fit.

    From a purely bio-chemical point of view, the topic in all honesty has no real confusion anyway: In genetics a ‘Code’ exists. This code is not only programed to make copies of its self, it is also programed to re-write corrupted letter sequences which – were it to have been a ‘chance’ event couldnt therefore happen. Not only THAT, but Genetics also has ‘program’ STOP/START markers which prevents the genetic code from being ‘read’ over & over, and it even has some hugely complex super-coiling technology; technology that no ‘MAN’ has even got close to inventing as yet.

    Anyway, before I rant on for ever, take care all.

  19. vashiket says:

    You can prove that god exists..right? forget about dna, can you define existence for me?
    i believe that things that cannot be explained by words do not try to explain it or prove it until you discover the 28 alphabet!!

  20. Jim Diamond says:

    Perry Marshall. You have made a number of ignorant statements and arrived at even more ignorant conclusions from them. Did you want congratulations. OK, here we go.

    1) DNA fits together in a set way. I do not see “Made by god, inc” on any of it so no reason to see a designer any more than a designer made a puddle accurately fit the depression it is in.

    2) Who designed the DNA of viruses which have over time killed literally billions of people? Your god? There is ever increasing complexity over time from simple hydrogen originally to what we have now. Increasing complexity. Not god has learned to make ever more difficult things over time.

    3) How is DNA proof of design? We can track how it probably began, there being RNA originally. We can make RNA in a lab. You are arguing from incredulity sayinmg you don’t have a clue as to how it happened, so goddidit!

    New 1) Indeed they do, and every creationist is a prime example of someone not willing to look at the ample proofs of science which show that they are wrong, but prefer to believe in a book of lies which has been proven wrong so many times. Check out the talkorigins site instead of hiding from it.

    2) OK, so you don’t have a clue about science. you’re a creationist. No one expects you to know any science, but stop shouting your ignorance of it.

    3) Even a world class dummy would know that all things are ordered in weight, number and measure. You don’t have a mountain of water or a desert of flames or trees growing on clouds.

    4) Saying DNA is a code is like saying a book is a code. You are just playing with words to make a silly idea look valid.

    5) Ever tried to teach an idiot child who is incapable of learning anything? That is every creationist, ever. Sooner or later, the same old lies do get to atheists.

    6) The real reason people believe life come about through set processes which science has learned of is through knowledge. The real reason why creationists think goddidit is because they had no education as a kid and believing goddidit means they do not have to learn anything because they have the answer to all their questions.

    7) Science got started despite all religions, like christianity which said that the Earth was at the centre of thee universe, immovable and on pillars, with the sun going around it, and stoppable in the sky, according to the bible. Islam had great science till several centuries ago when mullahs and imams noted that science started contradicting Allah, so like the christians who literally burned books, they banned it.

    8) If a child keeps insisting that Santa Claus is real, it will often upset adults.

    9) Science = facts. Religion = lies and fantasies. No common ground. You can only believe in both if you do not know one of them.

    10) I have to agree with the anonymous character, assuming he exists as creationists are known for their lies, especially when they are claiming the truth. Atheists defend their position well but when an adult debates with a little child, the child often thinks he has won by not understanding the argument.

    If you want to try a website, try the Pleisoaur website run by Richard Forrest who posts on the BBC. He loves pointing out why creationists are wrong, with lots of factual evidence. You’ll find pointing to the bible or arguing from wishful thinking does not work with him.

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