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. Brian Shipley says:

    I have to agree with Anil here.
    Yes, there is a vast amount of hard evidence to show that God exists, to anyone with a fair and open mind, who actually examines the issue.
    Every scientific discipline has long established policies, deciding what is required in the way of evidence, fact and witness for something to be considered proven. Ding this, the life and deeds of Jesus Christ can be considered proven by Law, History, Archeology and statistics, at a minimum.
    Second, there is NO science disproving God.
    Third, Perry’s theory is so elegant and fits so exactly. He takes both acclaimed and obscure science, and revives a discredited theory. Yet, it is rejected by atheists, not because its wrong, but because it includes God, or something very much like Him. So, in their most stubborn Flat-Earther attitude, they summarily reject it. A few burrowing into corners and crevices, trying to gnaw a hole of doubt.
    I am grateful for the insight Anil gave us, about “pistis” meaning “forensic evidence” You know, science?
    I am astounded that atheists ALWAYS claim science, when there is absolutely none to disprove God. Its a fraud. In fact, it actually boils down to “straining at gnats while swallowing camels” as Jesus said. Anything, absolutely ANYTHING, to deny God. Then claim, “It just happened, Dude!” and call it science.
    Atheists are this era’s Flat-Earhers.

    • Carol Sperling says:

      So, Brian, give us your best “hard evidence” for God’s existence.

      • Brian Shipley says:

        Perry already has, and you dismissed it. Just as you dismissed all previous evidence. Atheists are atheists due to many motives, EXCEPT science.
        YOU are the ones claiming “science” for all of history it seems, so you are the ones obligated to prove it with science.
        Its all here, an elegant theory that fixes all the absurd flaws in Evolution, and proves it. But you reject it, because it proves God, or something/someone very, very like Him. The fact atheists swallowed the old evolution bull, hook, line and sinker, but simply refuse to consider Evolution 2.0, despite all their constant yammering of science, is pretty good proof that they decided without knowing or examining the facts. It indicates their motive too. Hostility, extreme, unreasoning hostility towards a God they claim to not believe in. Because when they are handed “science” on a platter, they reject it for myths and fraud, purely because it involves God. Excuse me, but that’s not scientific.

        • Mike Lucci says:

          Again Brian, that’s not how science works. Science assumes the null hypothesis; in this case that God did not create DNA, or that God does not exist. The burden is on whoever is trying to prove causality to actually show causality, and what is presented here doesn’t meet that standard.

          In fact, the argument made here does not even attempt any sort of scientific proof, but rather attempts to use deductive logic.

          The logic is flawed though; every answer but e) is summarily dismissed without logical reasoning. And the reason given for d), that supposedly no one can form a testable hypothesis to prove that codes occur naturally seems patently absurd when no testable hypothesis can be formed to prove e) either.

      • Carol,

        The best that science can ever provide for such questions is inference. Not direct proof. Inference is the gold standard in science.

        At the present time, we have 100% inference to design in DNA and 0% inference to any other explanation. I say this as author of an Ethernet book, observing that like Ethernet packets, genes and chromosomes have start bits, stop bits, checksums, parity, redundancy, error correction and many other systemic features that have never been found in any place besides systems engineered by extremely smart people.

        This does not prove God designed DNA – it could mean that there are some spectacular laws of physics that we are unaware of. And I am eager to take that option as well, and I am offering a $3 million prize for its discovery. http://www.naturalcode.org.

        Until someone successfully meets this challenge, you cannot truthfully dismiss the inference to design in biology, because what we know about codes explicitly indicates it.

        Do you have any counter-evidence to present? If so I invite you to come forward.

        • Mike Lucci says:

          No, we actually have 0% inference to design.

          We know from observation and experimentation that under the right conditions that subatomic particles form atoms, atoms form molecules, and molecules band together to form increasingly complex structures, including proteins and RNA. We’ve actually synthesized the conditions for the spontaneous creation of RNA in labs before, and I’ve seen you try to dismiss it as somehow not meeting your standard of coded information, but RNA is the building block of DNA, and capable of replicating itself, which does in fact require information to be coded within the structure. Even if it didn’t though, it would still be a logical fallacy to infer that just because we haven’t been able to figure out the conditions required for spontaneous creation means that there must be some sort of intelligent design.

          So, whether we’re trying to use science or logic, we cannot infer causality, and are left with the null hypothesis, which in this case is that DNA is a result of the inherent properties of matter. Of course, you could then ask the question “how did the inherent properties of matter come to exist?”, and are ultimately left with 2 possibilities: either something created them, or nothing created them and they are simply part of what is—and given that binary proposition, in the absence of evidence of causality, science would again assume the null hypothesis (that they simply exist), as unsatisfying as it is.

          • This does nothing to answer the question of where the rules of the code came from. $3 million prize for the answer – http://www.naturalcode.org.

          • Anil Gulati says:

            I just wanted to make a quick reply to Mike Lucci on the spontaneous creation of RNA.

            As you allude in your comment, Mike, you are not addressing the question of information, coding, and organisation of molecules towards a design, which is essential.

            But Just addressing “spontaneous RNA self-creation” alone, your claims make it sound like spontaneous RNA creation is an easy and natural thing, that happens all the time.

            Even just chemically speaking, it could never happen in the wild, and still less in the context of requiring other elements of an organism even to just co-exist in the same location.

            “The most reasonable assumption is that life did not start with RNA …. The transition to an RNA world, like the origins of life in general, is fraught with uncertainty and is plagued by a lack of experimental data” [Joyce, G. F., 1989. RNA evolution and the origins of life. Nature]

            “Without enzymes from a living cell, formaldehyde (HCHO) reactions with hydrogen cyanide (HCN) are necessary for the formation of DNA and RNA bases, condensing agents, etc. But HCHO and especially HCN are deadly poisons — HCN was used in the Nazi gas chambers! They destroy vital proteins. Abundant Ca2+ ions would precipitate fatty acids (necessary for cell membranes) and phosphate (necessary for such vital compounds as DNA, RNA, ATP, etc.). Metal ions readily form complexes with amino acids, hindering them from more important reactions.” [Sarfati, J, 15 loopholes in the evolutionary theory of the origin of life: creation.com]

            Your statements just don’t fit with the literature on the subject. We have figured out the conditions required for RNA to be created, those conditions have been figured out in detail, and they just don’t exist in the natural world.

            Meanwhile you are carrying on with “we just need to figure this out and the theory will work”. How scientific is that? I think you need to be more rigorous about what parts of your beliefs have a scientific basis and which parts you are accepting on faith as part of the Evolutionary religion.

    • Mike says:

      “Second, there is NO science disproving God.”

      OMG…did I really just read this? Clearly, you do not understand how scientific method works. Science is not capable of proving a negative; it cannot therefore disprove God any more than it can disprove unicorns or faeries or the Flying Spaghetti monster.

      As for supposed proof of God’s existence, none of it actually meets the scientific standards of proof. All you’re doing is taking phenomena that you either don’t understand, or can’t conceive of another plausible explanation for even if there is one, and ascribing God as the causality, simply because you can’t come up with a better explanation. That’s not proof. That’s a belief.

      • Mike,

        From now on use your full first and last name or your posts will be deleted.

      • Brian Shipley says:

        Where to start?
        First, I know all this. But, thanks for arguing my point for me. And I most certainly do understand the Scientific Method. Do you?
        Science is not capable of proving a negative, yet atheist go around screeching “Science!” like an old MTV video. THERE IS NONE DISPROVING GOD, so its a fraudulent belief, and not at all scientific.
        Actually? It is only your biased belief that lets you dismiss proof.
        A convention of American lawyers got started on Jesus’ life and works, and using the established and accepted rules of the legal profession, came to the conclusion that Jesus life and works were among the most proven in history. Using the established and accepted rules of the Historian, same thing. Proven. Use statistical probability and the myths atheists believe are staggeringly improbable. You just cant let go of your hostility, nor your “scientific” claims.
        Personally, I think God is waaayyy better as an explanation than, “It just happened Dude!” Sorry, but the whole “happy accident” thing is ridiculous. Astoundingly so. Its a myth, bitterly clung to. Not because its scientific, but because plausible sounding rejection of God.
        Your entire post centers on your own, unsupported premises, and a knee-jerk rejection of anything else, especially God. I don’t accept your unsupported premises. They are fantastic, and grounded in preconception.

  2. Anil Gulati says:

    The scientific method everyone is referring to is the inductive method. This basically means testing your ideas to find out if they’re true. It would be an arbitrary constraint to restrict this to just the natural or physical world. It’s also spiritual.

    In case you misunderstood Brian’s comment, I am not supporting Perry’s theory. Does the one who made the ear not hear? Does the one who made the eye not see? He that teaches man knowledge, shall he not hear?

    And God created more than us, he created the universe for us, the evidence is not just biological. This isn’t just about evolution.

    God is a single central intelligence who also establishes a moral system that brings a good / bad evaluation, and punishment: judgement. Shall he that disciplines the nations, shall he not rebuke?

    Atheists deny God because they don’t want to comply, submit and acknowledge. We want to make ourselves like God which itself rejects God. Wherever there is avoidance of morality, obedience and judgement there is avoidance of God. God is irrefutably a person. And God is love.

    • Brian Shipley says:

      I think Perry HAS proved Gods existence. I also think that you cannot prove Gods existence with Philosophy. I feel Philosophy first requires a belief in God though, to be able to discuss Him. What would be the point of discussing God from an atheists unimaginative viewpoint? In fact, take away God, and you take every good and sublime thing in life, reducing us all to accidents, living out a pointless existence. Far would I rather be a Child of God, then a Monkeys Uncle.
      I have not met an atheist yet who does not claim he is just as moral as anyone, but agree with you. “They “do not want to comply, submit, acknowledge” So, they scoff, without any rational basis, and call it science.
      I think atheists have many motives, but primary is hostility towards God. So they reject Him, in an attempt to hurt Him, and lash out at His followers, constantly mocking and attacking. Another motive is a feeling of insecurity, driving a need to feel superior. Sorry, but most religions have far more basis for belief, even thru science, than atheism, which has no science.

  3. Kevin draiss says:

    Congratulations….You just proved where God came from…..not.

  4. Kevin draiss says:

    The arrogance of you all is stifling…..

  5. edwardtbabinski says:

    Biology lesson #1 for Perry

    All living things are mashups and mixes of genetic material that has been traded between replicators over untold eons. The human genome contains both viral and bacterial genes, and the amount of viral genetic material that has weedled its way inside our cells is equal to or exceeds the number of genes that make us peculiarly human.

    The simplest replicators are not viruses but transposons, transposable genetic elements (TE) or retrotransposons which are DNA sequences that can change its sequence within the genome sometimes causing or reversing mutations and altering the cell’s genome size. These transposons have been found inside viruses that infect other viruses, which in turn affect amoebas that infect human beings. As one microbiologist put it, “I think it’s difficult to see where one organism begins and another one ends, we are only beginning to appreciate how intertwined these layers of organisms are in large flora and fauna.” [from “The Dexter of Parasites” on the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast for Nov 14, 2013, the podcast also discusses a species of wasp that lays its eggs inside caterpillars that have already been infected by wasp eggs, but the larva of this species of wasp not only eats the caterpillar but also the larva of the other wasp species whose eggs hatched earlier inside the caterpillar, basically hot parasite on parasite action]

    We even know via experiments that a single strand of RNA (usually taken from a virus) can make more strands that then make more strands in test tubes filled with that strand & some basic building block molecules & a little zinc as a catalyst. So a single strand of RNA can self-replicate. They even put some RNA dissolving chemicals in one of those test tubes (a dilute amount of chemical that was poisonous to RNA) and then siphoned out of the tube any RNA strands that survived and placed them in a fresh test tube to produce more strands, and then slowly increased the dosage of the poison, and then took out any surviving RNA strands and placed them in a fresh test tube to make more RNA, etc., until an RNA strand that was more highly resistant to the poison was produced, demonstrating the naturally growing adaptability of a strand of RNA to poisonous chemicals over several generations and via a selection of surviving strands.

    Now for viruses. Viruses are so adaptable they can have either RNA or DNA as their genetic material (in other words their nucleic acid may be single- or double-stranded). The entire infectious virus particle, called a virion, consists of nucleic acid covered by an outer shell of protein. The simplest viruses contain only enough RNA or DNA to encode 4 proteins. But the largest known virus, the Pandora salinus virus, is larger than many bacteria and contains more than 2,500 genes! Nor do viruses have proof reading mechanisms, so more mutations occur in them each generation than other replicators on earth. Also, giant viruses are known to be infected by much smaller viruses that invade them! Hot virus on virus action.

    Viruses are the most abundant replicators on earth, with each drop of healthy sea water containing exponentially larger numbers of viruses than either bacteria (prokaryotes) or single-celled organisms (eukaryotes). Viruses attack other viruses, prokaryotes, eukaryotes, and the Archaea (single-celled organisms that were recently discovered to constitute their own separate kingdom of living things neither bacterial nor eukaryotic).

    Now for bacteria. Most bacteria are larger than most viruses. Bacteria passively absorb genetic material they happen to run into. And they actively exchange packets of genetic material. This means they are filled with loads of odd genetic material at all times. And keep in mind how many countless viruses and bacteria are perishing every second on earth (never passing along their genetic material to future generations, while others are busy producing far more offspring than others) and you begin to realize just how much genetic shuffling and natural selecting has been going on for a long time. In fact for the majority of biological history on earth there was nothing but single-celled organisms on earth. Multicelluar organisms haven’t been around nearly as long as single-celled organisms. So however amazing the internal architecture of single-celled organisms, they had a long long time to develop that internal architecture–far longer than the time multi-cellular organism have been around.

    After the appearance of mosquitoes & flies many viruses and bacteria have spread far more widely than they ever could have spread before. Pandemic-causing diseases, multi-cellular parasites, and even relatively benign viral and bacterial DNA thus have spread exponentially further since the appearance of mosquitoes and flies.

  6. edwardtbabinski says:

    Biology Lesson #2 for Perry

    But we do know for a fact that DNA does not produce perfect copies of itself, not even in eukaryotic cells with their copy reading capabilities. And we do know that endless offshoot species or cousin species perished over time for every one that succeeded, just as we know that endless numbers of each newborn generation die, and only those who survived every hurdle life had to offer get to produce the next generation. We also know that if there is some principle of I.D. at work, it doesn’t seem to care whether it spends eons creating and perfecting some species only to see it wiped out in an instant via a meteor. Nor does this alleged principle of I.D. seem to care about cleaning up the genome since there is redundancy (duplicate copies of genes) as well as pseudogenes (inactivated duplicates), heavily methylated inactive regions of the genome (which if activated cause CANCERS, as has been proven in experiments), retroviral genes (from ancient viral infections that reached the germ cells and were passed down to the next generation), plenty of neutral mutations that accumulate changes over time, and even some bacterial genes inside the human genome. Nor does the size of the genome point to anything in particular because we know about whole genome duplication events that lead to similar species having widely different genome sizes. If there is little visible in the way of genetic cleanup, then how can one be sure this principle of I.D. ever added anything?

  7. edwardtbabinski says:

    Biology Lesson #3 for Perry

    WE HAVE EVIDENCE that mutations happen, there are cosmic rays that randomly penetrate the nucleus, mutation-causing chemicals found naturally inside each cell, and we know for a fact that DNA does not produce perfect copies of itself during meiosis. We also know that it takes countless deaths (in other words many genomic dead ends) for every individual that successfully passes along its genes. And species are not isolated but always have many near cousin species, and countless numbers of those near cousin species don’t succeed for every species that survives longer and flourishes. As for grand mutations and survival, some species even survive mutations as radical as WHOLE GENOME DUPLICATION events (many lesser mutations are also survivable by some species, such as whole chromosome mutation events, or chromosomes sticking together, or breaking apart, or simply the duplication of single genes, or point mutation events as well, most of which are neutral). https://edward-t-babinski.blogspot.com/2015/01/human-dna-and-evolution-carnival-of.html See also

    EIGHT QUESTIONS FOR I.D. ISTS https://edward-t-babinski.blogspot.com/2015/02/eight-questions-for-intelligent-design.html

    and

    SIX REASONS WHY MORE BIOLOGISTS ARE NOT PRO I.D. https://edward-t-babinski.blogspot.com/2012/09/why-arent-more-biologists-idists.html

    In contrast what EVIDENCE does I.D. offer? Cells look complex. That’s it. They can’t imagine, they don’t even seem to be curious about natural connections and mechanisms when they can cut the Gordian knot with “God did it.” Let me quote two leading lights of the Discovery Institute on their theory of “puff of smoke” and “ta da.”

    ‘Michael Behe told us his hypothesis a few years ago. We both took part in a week-long lecture series on the intelligent design debate at Hillsdale College. After Michael Behe’s lecture, some of us pressed him to explain exactly how “irreducibly complex” mechanisms arose–mechanisms that cannot, according to Behe, be explained as products of evolution by natural selection. He repeatedly refused to answer. But after a long night of drinking he finally answered: “A puff of smoke!” A physicist in the group asked, Do you mean a suspension of the laws of physics? Yes, Behe answered. Not very persuasive as a scientific answer.’
    –RBH July 9, 2012 http://evolutionwiki.org/wiki/Puff_of_Smoke

    Reminds me of what Berlinski wrote: “Before the Cambrian era, a brief 600 million years ago, very little is inscribed in the fossil record; but then, signaled by what I imagine as a spectral puff of smoke and a deafening ta-da!, an astonishing number of novel biological structures come into creation, and they come into creation at once.– [Berlinski, “The Deniable Darwin” (June 1996), Commentary magazine. Oh, and BERLINSKI AND STEPHEN C MEYER ARE WRONG ABOUT THE CAMBRIAN, simply repeating an old creationist lie: https://edward-t-babinski.blogspot.com/2014/11/is-intelligent-design-viable-scientific.html ]

    Berlinski added to Behe’s explanation by adding the word “Ta da.”

    Compare BIOLOGOS — founded by a leader of the Human Genome Project, an organization of Christians who are scientists who support evolution and critically analyze I.D. arguments.

    Biologist Jeffery P. Schloss used to be pro-I.D. and was a former senior member of the Discovery Institute https://pandasthumb.org/archives/2008/08/the-evolution-o-7.html#more who left after the Institute’s film, Expelled, was released, and he wrote a lengthy review and rebuttal of the film’s arguments here: http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Schloss200805.pdf
    Schloss has since joined BIOLOGOS http://biologos.org/about-us/our-team/jeff-schloss

    Biologist Dennis Venema use to be pro-I.D. and he explains why he changed his point of view at the BIOLOGOS website: http://biologos.org/blogs/dennis-venema-letters-to-the-duchess/series/from-id-to-biologos
    Venema joined BIOLOGOS.

    • I am not sure why you are saying all of this.

      Much of it I already know and agree with.

      Not all of it is right, but we can get to that later.

      You seem to be under the impression that I’m an “Intelligent Design” ID guy a la Discovery Institute. As though I’m an old earth creationist or something. Is that what you believe?

  8. Perry Daciuk says:

    Perry

    A very interesting webpage, and fascinating thread of comments and arguments. You have one clear scientific question – what is the origin of DNA? With all the research and scientific data you’ve investigated you present your case that in the end DNA requires a designer, and the only one who qualifies is God. I have read all the posts and you’re right, no one is able to refute it. Some play with semantics and definitions, some accuse you of being philosophical or talking theology. Some play the denial game as you mention in the beginning. Some try to take you down a rabbit hole of another topic. Some try to get your goat and draw you into a theological discussion (usually in order to diminish the science behind your argument). I love how you keep coming back to the original question, showing how no one has yet adequately refuted it (as hard as some have tried, though with no hard evidence). And you are able to make your argument because you have the scientific data to back it. Brilliant.

    If God wanted us to have 100% undeniable tangible proof He existed He is capable of that. However, He chooses not to, because it would violate our free will to choose. And this world is messed up, not because of what God has or has not done (Absent Watchmaker), but because of the multitude of bad choices mankind has made throughout history, mostly selfish. To truly have free will the consequences of choice MUST be real. If God were to intervene on every bad choice, we would NOT have free will. We would be puppets living in a world where the only things that happen are those which God approves of. So, He rarely reveals Himself in very overt ways. But when we examine the evidence (as provided by scripture and other ancient documents, by historical events, by archaeology, by logic and reasoning , by legal arguments, and by books written by people such as Josh McDowell, J. Warner Wallace, Ravi Zacharius, Lee Strobel and many others) we see that faith is built on reason, not in denial of it. It is not a “leap of faith”. It is an undeniable realization of the truth, undergirded by reason and evidence. And yes, with all the data and experience we have we then choose to believe, and we find we personally experience God in a many different ways. No coercion involved. If God shows up in the sky above us all, all choice is thrown out the window. So, He won’t do that until the time is right. But I’ve gone off on a tangent, mostly because people bring up evil and suffering as an argument against God, when it is an indictment against human choices through the ages. At least believers have an answer to the question, though unbelievers may not like it. I don’t know any unbelievers who can provide a reasonable explanation for the existence of evil and suffering in the world.

    One more point, all areas of knowledge are connected and related to one another in some way, including science and theology. The world is much too integrated not to realize this. I could list off a number of categories, but I won’t. It is only hard-line atheists who make a clear distinction between science and religion. I get it, they don’t want to acknowledge any sort of God in any way. But it’s they who have made this divide and it is fairly recent in history (though they like to pretend otherwise). The rest of us see how all of life is interconnected.

    But your “scientific” argument presented here Perry, is another solid piece of evidence in a long chain of evidence (if people were to truly investigate it with an open mind) that there is a designer. Thank-you for your marvelous contribution and sticking to the topic, unlike me, who has veered off somewhat. I would ask that people who post here, whether they agree or not would do so in a spirit of kindness, without name calling or demeaning comments. I believe the hope is to respect differences and pursue truth and examine the argument as presented. Be well my brother. I appreciate all the work you’ve put into this… from another Perry.

  9. Bowie says:

    No surprise since the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus in his words also. A tough roe to hoe indeed!

  10. David Greeley says:

    ITT The exact opposite of the argument atheist’s use.

  11. Nicolás says:

    Greetings, Perry.

    I’ve really enjoyed this post but I disagree with some specific point:

    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.”

    I don’t know about Rome or China, but as a muslim I don’t think that great scientific era in the muslim world ended because our teology does not describe an universe behaving rationally according to God’s laws. The causes of this ending are hotly debated by historians but there is no consensus.

    It’s true that some have seen the writings of our influential scholar Abu Hamid Al Ghazali as the cause of the decline of islamic science, because he said that cause and effect do no exist as 100% real things but was directly the will of God what makes wood be burnt by fire. But I also don’t think his point wasn’t that universe doesn’t work according to laws, because he says in his book “Alchemy of Happiness”:

    “Those whose eyes never see beyond the world of phenomena are like those who mistake servants of the lowest rank for the king. ->The laws of phenomena must be constant, or there could be no such thing as science <-; but it is a great error to mistake the slaves for the master."

    His point really was that we don't have to forget Who is behind natural laws, and that this laws don't function apart from his will.

    And, much more important, the Holy Qur'ān promotes the "universe functioning rationally" worldview, as can be seen in verses like:

    "Certainly, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the succesion of day and night, lo! are signs for the people of deep understanding: those who remember God standing, sitting and on their sides. And reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: our Lord! you didn't create this in vain, so keep us from the punishment of the fire!"
    (Chapter 3:190-191)

    or

    "The Merciful,
    taught the Quran,
    created man,
    taught him eloquence,
    the sun and the Moon [run] by calculations"

    (Chapter 55:1-5)

  12. Carol says:

    Hello to you all ,I have read every statement and every response written here, each argument ,each defense . This whole conversation seems a battle over who is right and who is wrong .I myself would like to put a twist on it all ….just throw this out there …okay ,here goes .Starting with scientific findings , proven facts , instead of disproving that God exists what if ,it’s actually proving he does ? EVOLUTION for example,due to environmental changes, food supply and sources ,weather conditions etc.many living things adapt eventually their offspring are born not having to they’ve “evolved “so to speak ..in many different ways some stronger ,some bigger,some taking different looks all together.The purpose for this is survival .Who’s to say this wasn’t a higher beings doing .?Gravity this I don’t even understand the argument here ..earth was created for all living things and beings to live survive.. without it and at just the perfect levels ,how would that be possible here on earth?So many things science has PROVEN…has in my opinion actually like it or not should have “BELIEVERS “and scientists alike believing in a higher being..look around you.. how perfectly our planet earth ..sustains millions of living creatures and human beings .Everything from the ocean the land the moon ,sun .The oxygen all living breathing creatures humans plants the list goes on and on.Plants and trees that actually cleanses and releases oxygen filters it back into our beautiful earth .The ocean the tides the bees my God,everything here on this EARTH serves a purpose to sustain the life of millions of living creations !!!So yes,science is a wonderful thing ….not that disproves there’s a GOD but actually shows just how amazing and loving he really is !!! HONESTLY I don’t go to church I believe most people are actually hypocritical who claim to be CHRISTIANS …or whichever religion they may follow ..and turn around judge others snub their noses at people and honestly believe going to church alone makes them worthy …or better than those who don’t .GOD is inside of you ..it’s a very personal connection ..one on one you don’t need walls or pay dues,or ask for forgiveness ,from any one man that tells you to hail Mary x amount of times …YOU ASK GOD ..YOU TALK TO HIM and not only when you want or need but when your thankful as well or if you just need to have someone to talk to without judgment .I’VE SEEN A LOT OF “IF THERE WAS A GOD THEN WHY THIS OR THAT…….I’VE GOT TWO ANSWERS ….1 FREE WILL.. 2 OTHER PEOPLE..AND THE CHOICES MADE…GOD DOESN’T HURT PEOPLE.. PEOPLE D0 .

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