“If you can read this sentence, I can prove God exists”

See this blog post I just wrote, that you’re reading right now?  This blog article is proof of the existence of God.

Before you read/watch/listen to “If You Can Read This I Can Prove God Exists,” read THIS first. (700 words – 2 minutes) – then come back and continue reading. Thanks.

Yeah, I know, that sounds crazy.  But I’m not asking you to believe anything just yet, until you see the evidence for yourself.  All I ask is that you refrain from disbelieving while I show you my proof.  It only takes a minute to convey, but it speaks to one of the most important questions of all time.

So how is this message proof of the existence of God?

This web page you’re reading contains letters, words and sentences.  It contains a message that means something. As long as you can read English, you can understand what I’m saying.

You can do all kinds of things with this message.  You can read it on your computer screen.  You can print it out on your printer.  You can read it out loud to a friend who’s in the same room as you are.  You can call your friend and read it to her over the telephone.  You can save it as a Microsoft WORD document.  You can forward it to someone via email, or you can post it on some other website.

Regardless of how you copy it or where you send it, the information remains the same.  My email contains a message. It contains information in the form of language.  The message is independent of the medium it is sent in.

Messages are not matter, even though they can be carried by matter (like printing this email on a piece of paper).

Messages are not energy even though they can be carried by energy (like the sound of my voice.)

Messages are immaterial.  Information is itself a unique kind of entity.  It can be stored and transmitted and copied in many forms, but the meaning still stays the same.

Messages can be in English, French or Chinese. Or Morse Code.  Or mating calls of birds.  Or the Internet.  Or radio or television.  Or computer programs or architect blueprints or stone carvings.  Every cell in your body contains a message encoded in DNA, representing a complete plan for you.

OK, so what does this have to do with God?

It’s very simple.  Messages, languages, and coded information ONLY come from a mind.  A mind that agrees on an alphabet and a meaning of words and sentences.  A mind that expresses both desire and intent.

Whether I use the simplest possible explanation, such as the one I’m giving you here, or if we analyze language with advanced mathematics and engineering communication theory, we can say this with total confidence:

“Messages, languages and coded information never, ever come from anything else besides a mind.  No one has ever produced a single example of a message that did not come from a mind.”

Nature can create fascinating patterns – snowflakes, sand dunes, crystals, stalagmites and stalactites.  Tornadoes and turbulence and cloud formations.

But non-living things cannot create language. They *cannot* create codes.  Rocks cannot think and they cannot talk.  And they cannot create information.

It is believed by some that life on planet earth arose accidentally from the “primordial soup,” the early ocean which produced enzymes and eventually RNA, DNA, and primitive cells.

But there is still a problem with this theory: It fails to answer the question, ‘Where did the information come from?’

DNA is not merely a molecule.  Nor is it simply a “pattern.” Yes, it contains chemicals and proteins, but those chemicals are arranged to form an intricate language, in the exact same way that English and Chinese and HTML are languages.

DNA has a four-letter alphabet, and structures very similar to words, sentences and paragraphs.  With very precise instructions and systems that check for errors and correct them. It is formally and scientifically a code. All codes we know the origin of are designed.

To the person who says that life arose naturally, you need only ask: “Where did the information come from? Show me just ONE example of a language that didn’t come from a mind.”

As simple as this question is, I’ve personally presented it in public presentations and Internet discussion forums for more than four years.  I’ve addressed more than 100,000 people, including hostile, skeptical audiences who insist that life arose without the assistance of God.

But to a person, none of them have ever been able to explain where the information came from.  This riddle is “So simple any child can understand; so complex, no atheist can solve.”

You can hear or read my full presentation on this topic at

Watch it on video:

Matter and energy have to come from somewhere.  Everyone can agree on that.  But information has to come from somewhere, too!

Information is separate entity, fully on par with matter and energy.  And information can only come from a mind.  If books and poems and TV shows come from human intelligence, then all living things inevitably came from a superintelligence.

Every word you hear, every sentence you speak, every dog that barks, every song you sing, every email you read, every packet of information that zings across the Internet, is proof of the existence of God.  Because information and language always originate in a mind.

In the beginning were words and language.

In the Beginning was Information.

When we consider the mystery of life – where it came from and how this miracle is possible – do we not at the same time ask the question where it is going, and what its purpose is?

Respectfully Submitted,

Perry Marshall

Full Presentation and Technical Details (please review before posting questions or debates on the blog, almost every question and objection is addressed by these articles):

“If you can read this, I can prove God exists” – listen to
my full presentation or read the Executive Summary here:


“OK, so then who made God?” and other questions about information and origins:


Why DNA is formally and scientifically a code, and things like sunlight and starlight are not (Please read this before you attempt to debate this on the blog!!!):

http://cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/information-theory-made-simple and http://cosmicfingerprints.com/faq/#code

-The Atheist’s Riddle: Members of Infidels, the world’s largest atheist discussion board attempt to solve it
(for over 4 years now!), without success:


1,802 Responses

  1. emir Nurican Yılmaz says:

    There are so many proves, one of them is near death experiences, besides, I hate god, I hate god so much

    • Jose Lopez says:

      Emir, when you say god, are you speaking of the Biblical God?

      • Stuart Norey says:

        What god seems determined by where and when you were born, language, culture etc. Take your pick.
        The biblical god is only important to you because of those things. If you were born in Ancient Greece or Egypt, or e.g. Asia today, it’s be some other god(s) you ‘knew’ were the one (or many) true god(s). Might even have been a woman at one time. It’s a lottery, you got a vengeful Jewish bloke who later got turned into a benign absent father?

    • Stuart Norey says:

      What makes you think near death experiences are any sort of proof? I’d say the opposite.

      People reporting them tend to report an experience pretty much aligned with whatever religion they practice, some of the ones from non religious people seem to be fairly ‘non-religious’ although we could reasonably expect some of the religion dominant in their local culture to filter in…

      So, logic would say that near death experiences are not proof of god but more likely something going on locally in the near death brain, probably starved of oxygen and having all sorts of ‘circuits’ firing?

      Most religions claim there is only their god, or indeed some have multiple gods, and many are so different as to be incompatible with one another.

      So, they can’t all be genuine can they?

      It might be very possible that a radical islamist terrorist who had killed himself in a suicide bombing (assuming he had some brain left) would float up towards his promised bunch of virgins etc, a raiding viking warrior see a drinking hall full of his fellow warriors, a slave holding egyptian pharaoh float towards the stars accompanied by animal/human hybrids and a member of the Spanish inquisition be congratulated by St Peter for murdering countless innocent people? Whose are genuine?

      How do these people report seeing light and hearing noises etc when they no longer have the sensory apparatus to capture it?

      I neither hate nor love god, no more than I do Harry Potter or Bilbo Baggins. I love humanity in all its quirkiness, despite the things we do to the planet that created us!

  2. Stuart Norey says:

    Here’s an interesting article – an example of abiogenesis in a molecule we already know can form spontaeneously. Creationism backed into a yet smaller corner.


    A new study showing that amyloids are able to self-replicate, and thus could have quite possibly been life’s original building blocks.

    The ability to self-replicate is an essential trait for early life forms—a lone molecule could not have generated more molecules without that skill—so this finding is extremely important in the scientific community, Phys.org reported. And the study, published in Nature Communications, proved that amyloid protein structures can do just that.

    are capable of abiogenesis, or replicating themselves.
    In an experiment, researchers from the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry in Switzerland showed that amyloids can create short peptides, a chain or two or more amino acids. Two years earlier, the same group showed that amyloids can form spontaneously. The combination of these two findings suggest that amyloids may be the right candidate for the origin of life

  3. Stuart Norey says:

    We are getting closer, step by step. This study goes a long way to showing you don’t need a supreme being to intervene to do what you’ve always said is the hardest bit, the first organic molecules, self replication etc.
    As I’ve said to you many times, science will hopefully one day roll back the story of life to its beginning – and everything we know now says that won’t be a mystical one. We will prove how the information in DNA, the code if you like, evolved.
    Of course there will still be a debate. It’ll be ‘ok, god didn’t do biology, but what about chemistry?’ and then ‘what about physics?’ until finally ‘what about before the Big Bang?’.
    It’s not a battle that can be ‘won’ by science while faith trumps reason. To be fair I don’t think science is fighting religion, just trying to find answers through unbiased and methodological application of logic – which happen to be, more often than not, in opposition to what religion would have us believe.

    • Maximilian Somerset says:

      Your reasoning here isn’t really how a Theist reasons. We believe God “did it” not because we are bereft of explanations so we think God or Zog or what ever other non-explanation will do to plug the hole. We believe it all came from God-who was it’s entire potentiality and is it’s sustainer, because God revealed that by his own self revelation of himself. Our universe is consistent with that revelation.

      • Bravo. I absolutely agree. 12 years ago I was still in God-of-Gaps reasoning. And I was fighting “make up a story whenever there’s a gap you can’t solve” which is what the atheists were doing. Scientifically I believe in God because there is necessarily an uncaused cause which by definition cannot fit any any scientific category.

        Any place where you find creationists fighting with reductionists, or scientists making up stories to fig-leaf their lack of explanations, there’s a discovery waiting. Case in point from https://arxiv.org/pdf/1606.07184.pdf
        “The “Hard Problem” of Life by Sara Imari Walker and Paul C.W. Davies

        Their approach and mine are very compatible and I met with them in August when I announced the Evolution 2.0 Prize at ASU.

        • Stuart Norey says:

          I hate to beak it to you, but you are still in god of the gaps mode.

          ‘I believe in God because there is necessarily an uncaused cause which by definition cannot fit any any scientific category’ is god of the gaps thinking in a nutshell.

          You’ve settled on god as that explanation, despite having no evidence. You just believe in him, he’s the explanation you’ll seek. A bad scientist will do the same with his or her pet theory, despite constant knock backs. A good one will screw up his work, applaud his peer (after checking his work of course) and start over.

          Does there HAVE to be an uncaused cause? Only if the universe is part if something finite. A simple circle doesn’t have a start and end. Our laws of phsyics might only apply in our universe, maybe it’s the only one with space and time? Maybe it’s the only one. Even if there has to be an uncaused cause, it is highly improbable it’s the biblical god. Why would it need to have intelligence for starters, or even self awareness? Where and when would it exist, there was no space and time for it to do so?

          Start from ‘there’s a gap in our understanding here, I wonder what fills it?’

          You are not doing that. Your whole blog relies on ‘science hasn’t figured this out yet, that proves god did it’.

          • Yes, Stuart, there has to be an uncaused cause. An uncaused cause is not a gap. It is a logical necessity. Logic tell us this is necessarily the case even if we didn’t have any other evidence.

            But that is ONLY true if we insist on using logic.

            The good news, Stuart Norey, is that you are also welcome to break free from the harsh prison walls and strict confines of logic! You are then allowed believe that a universe popped into existence for no reason at all, caused by nothing at all.

            It’s a free country. Abandon logic if you wish. The good news is you get to decide whether logic is going to be your traveling companion or not.

            • Stuart Norey says:

              It appears space and time only came into existence at ‘the Big bang’. One could argue there was no time for a cause, or space for it to ‘work’ in.

              Some odd stuff happens at the quantum level, where particles seem to pop into existence and matter appears to mostly be empty space (although describing it as space seems wrong, it’s not the same as our macro space). Time even does odd things. I personally think that’s where we might find some answers.

              Maybe the universe is in some way self causing? I know you’ll have me for pleading a special case. Our physical laws would not apply Pre Big Bang though.

              Even with the god argument we are stuck. It would have to have a cause?

              If you claim god is infinite, then you don’t need god. An infinite bundle of some sort of matter/energy (or whatever) would suffice, an eternal and multidimensional bundle of potential… maybe in a parallel ‘universe’ it hasn’t and never will go Bang and in countless others it has. Just like in quantum physics, it could be in several states at once, both ‘big banging’ and forever stable. This quantum state might be where we end up finding our best theories? The god theory is welcome, although it seems we don’t need something so complex.

              Anyway, God’s creation claims have in the main been shown to be false ones. He didn’t create man, birds, fish, lights in the sky (the moon isn’t even a light) etc. We know this.

              So, if he didn’t make the actors, I don’t really think we can take his claim of building the stage too seriously either!

              He’s an explanation primitive people needed to huge fill gaps, he stuck around as we became less primitive – in part due to gaps, in part because he enabled social control and in part because it’s comforting. Now, some of us still think they need him, some don’t. What’s important is that we are here, however ‘here’ got here, and shouldn’t let religion or lack of it be a barrier between us.

              • Are you trying to tell me that “what caused time to begin” is a question you are somehow excused from having to face?

                Nice try.

                Time coming into existence doesn’t excuse you from cause and effect, Stuart. It only opens up another dimension of causality that you have also failed to explain.

                Mathematics is outside of time yet some things in mathematics CAUSE other things to be true. Cause and effect exists in pure logic as well as time.

                No, God does not have to have a cause. You’re confusing God with material objects. You’re also forgetting about logic. (Excuse me, I forgot. You opted out of that.)

                Well for those of use who choose to obey the confines of logic, yes. There does necessarily HAVE to be an uncaused cause.

                And that, no matter how you slice it, is a naked fact that you cannot get around.

                Except if you opt out of logic.

                • Stuart Norey says:

                  I’m not confusing god with material objects. They couldn’t have existed in the state we’ve know them ‘Pre big bang’ I.e. in space and time, or our version of it.
                  So, like god, they wouldn’t need a cause either. Or BOTH do.
                  The universe is complex, but doesn’t need a complex and intelligent creator.

                • Stuart Norey says:

                  And our logic would seem to be wholly influenced by the universe we live in, it can’t really be otherwise. Everything we know is finite, has a cause. Except one thing, the Big Bang, where logic breaks down – along with space and time.
                  There ‘might’ be a god, of course. What bothers me is you insist there is – you do not and cannot know that.
                  You also insist (read your introduction) you have proved god exists. You haven’t. You have a theory, it has less going for it than evolution – which is backed up by what we know and can be tested. Your theory is backed up by what we don’t know, I.e. on our little planet we have thus far only found codes created by intelligence. We have the whole universe and all of time still to seek answers. A gap in knowledge doesn’t prove a theory right or wrong, we need to fill that gap with tested and peer reviewed facts.
                  If these answers are evolution or god, scientists will be equally pleased – in fact ANY proof for god would open up whole new areas of work for them (as would any new branch of science).

              • Jose Lopez says:

                Stuart, astronomical research has already shown us that the universe came into existence out of nothing. That includes space, matter and time. I watched, and heard, Sean Carroll change his lectures after evidence of the cosmic radiation, left over from the creation of our universe, was discovered. Just for reference, nobody on this planet is going to discredit the Biblical God by hanging on to anything other than what astronomers already know about the beginning of our universe. Why did I say the Biblical God? I’ll tell you. The Bible is the only “holy book” that says God created our universe outside of space and time. And,how did that look? Astronomers call it the Big Bang, which also says that the laws of space and time do not change. So, does God “uphold” our universe? Yes, He does. And how does that look? Astronomers call that the Anthropic Principle. Stuart, it doesn’t matter if you’re a theist, atheist, or whatever you want to call yourself: The Big Bang and the Anthropic Principle are facts. As far as Perry, he and I may not agree on every detail of the questions of biological life and it’s beginnings, but; I can say that we agree God had much to do about it. We’ll never know everything. But, we know quite a bit. And, in my very strong opinion, Jesus is God, and He’s a scientist.

      • Jose Lopez says:

        Maximilian, how does a theist reason?

      • Stuart Norey says:

        I’m not out to offend or belittle anyone. Believe what you like, everyone is in my mind free to do so. But I find it an offence to humankind and all the work we’ve done to understand our universe and everything in it, when people twist facts or simply make them up to further their cause – for example I’m not a fan of Donald Trump!

        I won’t be offended if you say you think I’m insane for thinking evolution is poppycock. I’ll ask you why of course! You ought not be offended if I say I think god is a delusion.

        By all means have theories, we can debate them. Make mistakes or misjudgements – I do frequently.

        But if you want to debate, you really have to challenge everything you think you know and everything you believe. ‘God said’ or the ‘bible says’ don’t belong in scientific debates unless accompanied by evidence. And I’d suggest, given the weight of evidence against ‘god’ and in favour of e.g. theory of evolution, it would have to be of an equivalent weight.

        ‘Revealed that by his own self revelation of himself’ what does that mean?

        Jesus, for example, is not evidence. He may or may not have existed. There’s no proof. He was likely a real person, but the biblical jesus story probably incorporates the stories of other men too – and a fair bit of speculation, misinterpretation and pure fantasy. The words attributed to him were written centuries after his death. When the ‘cult’ spread and the Romans adopted Christianity, the various sects debated and voted on what went into a kind of consolidated and heavily edited bible. Lots then got mistranslated or purposefully changed.

        Who did he reveal it to? It’s all hearsay, not fact. You have to choose to believe the bible on faith alone, or not. It’s not evidence. Much of the Old Testament draws on stories from older religions.

        Why did god create the universe then bugger off for 13.7 billion years? Why did he only then reveal himself (very frequently) in a very short period in human evolution and history, often championing people who’d be considered immoral by today’s standards? Why always up a mountain, or in a dream? Why did he come in so many conflicting forms around the world, sometimes worshipped as a rock or tree, the sun or moon, a living pharaoh, Odin, Zeus, often multiple gods etc etc.

        I’m not saying YOU necessarily plug the gap in understanding with god. People did that 2000+ years ago (and some more recently, in fact much of what christians believe is embellishment from medieval times onwards, there are some who still plug every gap with god), in my eyes your error is that you are accepting something for which there is zero real evidence.

        This is damaging. Look what’s being taught in some US schools. Stuff that tells kids good peer reviewed scientific findings are lies. In Britain we have ‘faith schools’ doing the same.

        Our universe is NOT consistent with the bible. Sure, you can change timings, order of events, scale etc and cobble something together, teach it to kids who’ll possibly accept it for life – it came from someone they trust, they have busy lives as they grow up and more to worry about – like getting shot at school or having their own kids, most of us can’t even understand how our tv works anymore, let alone the universe. But it’s a bit of a Frankenstein…

        Perry IS plugging a gap. Science does not yet understand how we got from the Big Bang to DNA. Our understandably limited understanding of the universe hasn’t yet revealed a conveyor of information / code without either intelligence (e.g. a bird singing) or made by intelligence (e.g. a book). So he’s using that gap, and a man made definition, to argue god exists. In fact he says he ‘can prove’ it. He can’t. He’s just taking humanities lack of total understanding and saying we don’t understand it so god did it.

        Classic god of the gaps. He denies this of course.

        Science comes up with findings. Not good enough. DNA is one of the more recent milestones in the evolution of life. Lots had to come before that. Science has shown him some of those previous stops – I highlighted a case of ‘potential’ abiogenesis just the other day (scientifically sound it seems) which is a step towards complex life and DNA. Not good enough. Science has to fill EVERY gap, or god made the universe before abiogenesis and DNA after, but he’ll concede the tiny bit of ground to science!

        • Jose Lopez says:

          Stuart, why is our universe not consistent with science?

          • Jose Lopez says:

            Pardon me, why is our universe not consistent with the Bible?

            • Stuart Norey says:

              Have you read the creation story? The two totally contradictory ones?

              Two of every global species on a boat?

              Turning people into pillars of salt?

              As for Jesus…

              Loaves and fishes?

              Water into wine, which I can never remember if he did before or after walking on it?

              Restoring severed body parts?

              All after being born from a virgin?

              I could go on, and often do.

              • This argument can’t even come close to valuable because you have to prove there is no God first, if u don’t all these miracles are very possible.
                Second if u want to know why they happened you have to pay attention and read their purpose first.
                Thirdly different and uncountable miracles are happening by people who believe in the miracles you mocked, why don’t you try YouTube and see for yourself first.

            • It is you’re just not looking, you tube simply answers your questions. All you have to do is search undeniable live miracles and testimonies and you will find millions and millions of Christian undeniable testimonies, live healing and much more

        • I see you have many questions but your flow is that you have not researched your questions which mostly have been answered. For example your questions about Jesus can easily be answered by the book or movie “Case for Christ”. So please do your research before you boldly debate already answered questions. And for your creation questions you can look the website creation.mobi/who-created-God.

          • Stuart Norey says:

            You will see elsewhere that I’ve repeatedly said no one knows exactly how the universe came to be and what, if anything was there before. I’ve said it could be a god type figure – a very unlikely solution, and they’d almost certainly not be the biblical god. I’ll be swayed by evidence.
            This is where I have an issue with what you are saying, and Perry’s blog title ‘I can prove god exists’.

            Firstly, I think Perry should change the title – he’s as good as said elsewhere that he can’t PROVE it. It’s an interesting theory.

            Second, I take issue with your ‘proofs’. I’m not saying there are not amazing things happening, but YouTube isn’t proof, just like the bible isn’t proof. They should not be credited to god, even if all those involved believe it was him.
            It’s an ‘acceptable’ theory of course, but there is no proof what look like miracles actually are miracles or are down to god.
            We know through trials that in some ‘medicines’ the placebo effect is actually bigger than the effect of the ‘chemicals’ given to patients. There are some studies showing prayer has a positive impact (also many showing none and some showing it actually made things worse). Some dogs have, due to amazing sense of smell, spotted cancers – some humans claim to also.
            So, we need to consider placebo effects, fraud, people getting better anyway, enhanced/unknown senses etc etc alongside ‘god’. We live in an amazing world.
            YouTube is there to suck in clicks and advertising dollars. One can find claims for Bigfoot, aliens etc etc. It’s not a source to be blindly trusted, I hope you agree there have been many religion based scams over the centuries!?
            I have no issue with you debating for a god. You just can’t quote these as facts and truths because they are not established facts and truths. That’s why science has theories, either strengthened or weakened by accumulation of evidence until they are proven or disproven – there’s also a stage where most people would look at the evidence and alternatives and say ‘that’s highly likely’

            • Jose Lopez says:

              Stuart, astronomical research has already shown us that our universe came into existence out of nothing: That’s space, time, matter and energy. That’s a fact……What did the Biblical God have to say about that: Genesis 1:1.

              • Stuart Norey says:

                Jose. At one end you are confusing the bible with fact. At the other you are confusing scientific theory with fact. The universe could have come from nothing, yes, both that is a theory and there are mathematical models showing it could have happened – which don’t require a creator by the way. But we don’t know. We’ve not got a unified theory yet so far as I know, including quantum mechanics.
                We have to approach these challenges rationally and methodically to make progress, humanities days of making up supernatural answers to fill gaps in understanding ought to be well over by now.
                God should be treated like any other theory and we don’t see evidence for the biblical creation like other theories – e.g. cosmic microwave background and gravitational waves.

                • Jose Lopez says:

                  Stuart, you’re way behind common knowledge. Our universe was created out of nothing. That’s a fact. If you can’t get past that then you and I are wasting our time.

                  • Stuart Norey says:

                    Jose. To the best of my knowledge it is a theory, not a fact. We can see the CMB and light from stars hundreds of millions of years after the Big Bang, but I’m not aware we’ve got closer than that. The rest is theories, maths etc?
                    If you send me a link to the proof I’ll gladly read it – I’d be interested.

  4. Donny Muncie says:

    What do you think of Jeremy England’s work? It seems he is on track to win your prize, if he hasn’t already.

  5. Minnase Dereje says:

    Perry Marshall I think all of the points you have made are backed with scientific proofs which are very necessary in these times but as a friendly advice one of the most repeated and in my capacity of information unanswered question is proof of a miracle or a sign, so I would like to invite everyone to see millions and millions of healing testimonies of live videos, miracles in numbers you can’t imagine and all you have to do is use YouTube and search for live miracles and healing by T.B Joshua, Benny Hinn, Emmanuel Makandiwa, Katherine Kulman. You will get so many witnesses, doctors and scientists speechless and if this isn’t enough search for prophecies about world events by T.B Joshua and the names I mentioned above and you will see that there is a God WITHOUT A DOUBT

    • Jose Lopez says:

      Minasse, Benny Hinn is a joke. He doesn’t represent the Christian faith. You may want to research. The Bible commands us to test everything.

  6. Tom Godfrey says:

    Stuart Norey,

    Please excuse me for jumping into this discussion late, but I just came across an interesting comment you made here back on February 23, 2018, at 12:58 pm. (Other participants may have dropped out anyway.) You said, “Here’s an interesting article – an example of abiogenesis in a molecule we already know can form [spontaneously]. Creationism backed into a yet smaller corner.” Here is your link to the article.

    It certainly was interesting, all right, but I think your excitement was premature, and I dispute your idea that creationism has been “backed into a yet smaller corner.” I also think you overlooked an important point made by Maximilian Somerset in his (12:30 pm) comment for you the next day, a comment that Perry applauded later that day.

    The Newsweek article does indeed say, “The ability to self-replicate is an essential trait for early life forms […] And the study, published in Nature Communications, proved that amyloid protein structures can do just that.” The paragraph following this one was mysteriously truncated and had nothing in quotes: “are capable of abiogenesis, or replicating themselves.” Fortunately, Dana Dovey, the author of the article, provided links to more technical sources that we can use to check out her story.
    Dovey may have wanted to claim that amyloid protein structures have been proven to be “capable of abiogenesis, or replicating themselves,” but the cited sources tell a different story. Though she was probably eager — maybe too eager — to break sensational news, she may have been misled and therefore not totally at fault for any confusion that fooled you.

    Her first source says, “By proving that amyloids self-replicate, Riek and his team have not only highlighted another amazing aspect of this commonly underestimated protein, but also filled in a previously missing link in the amyloid hypothesis’ argument.” However, the same source had already provided the basis for this claim, suggesting to me that it was actually a bit of a stretch: “ETH [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] scientists have been able to prove that a protein structure widespread in nature – the amyloid – is theoretically capable of multiplying itself. … Early proponents of the amyloid hypothesis include ETH Professor Roland Riek and his senior assistant Jason Greenwald, from the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry. In an experiment, they have now been able to show that amyloids can serve as a chemical template for the synthesis of short peptides. And the critical point: ‘This ability also potentially applies to the amyloid itself – meaning the molecules can self-replicate,’ says Riek.” In other words, while the amyloid “is theoretically capable of multiplying itself,” this has evidently not yet been demonstrated in a lab. You might say the proof in question remains theoretical.

    The second source reinforces my conclusion: “However, concerning questions of abiogenesis, there is still little experimental evidence of molecular replication in a truly prebiotic system. While the templating capability of the amyloid structure is well documented, it remains to be shown how far their self-organizing nature can be taken towards a self-replicating system of simpler molecules in more prebiotic conditions.”

    As interesting as developments like this may be, it is important to keep them in perspective. Lab experiments are all about science, a study of nature and the laws of nature as they are currently observed and better understood through repeatable experiments. Science should be carefully distinguished from history, which is all about events and conditions in the unobservable past and about worlds no longer subject to repeatable experiments. We should appreciate contributions that scientists have made to the advancement of modern technology, but I challenge you to point to even one of them that sprang from a study of origins or speculations about history. After all, history is not really their specialty. We normally turn to historians for help with questions about history, and the story of our origins is certainly in this category. Historians collect and summarize documents and testimony deemed credible, seldom finding a modern scientific study of physical clues relevant to their topic.

    My point is that whatever can be demonstrated in a modern lab really has no bearing on what actually happened in the past except to provide ideas for guesses, which may or may not be correct, depending crucially on the validity of the assumptions involved, such as the assumed “prebiotic conditions” mentioned in the second source article.

    The fact that no one has won the Evolution 2.0 Prize yet is no proof that no one ever will or that it is impossible to get a code from chemicals. I think Perry acknowledged this in his book, because he said, “My design hypothesis is falsifiable” (p. 339). A prize winner would falsify it, but the current lack of one does not prove it. A claim that no perpetual motion machine will ever be built is logically falsifiable too. If someone built one, this would falsify it, but would it make sense to offer a prize to build one and patent it? At least it is clear that Marshall believes his design hypothesis is not easily proven wrong, but he also understands that it could be wrong and wants to encourage people to try hard to prove it wrong.

    By the same token, the fact that abiogenesis has not yet been demonstrated in a lab is no proof that the scientists working on this will never succeed. This would be like arguing in 1905 that no one had ever converted matter into energy, so therefore this must be impossible, and Einstein’s theory must be wrong. In general, one ought to avoid the argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy. The other side of this coin is that even a modern demonstration of abiogenesis would be no proof that scientists had discovered how life first appeared on earth. They could only guess, hoping that their assumptions were correct. This is why I dispute the idea that any modern experiment can back creationism “into a yet smaller corner,” which brings me to the comment by Maximilian. Here it is again for ease of reference:

    “Your reasoning here isn’t really how a Theist reasons. We believe God ‘did it’ not because we are bereft of explanations so we think God or Zog or what ever other non-explanation will do to plug the hole. We believe it all came from God-who was [its] entire potentiality and is [its] sustainer, because God revealed that by his own self revelation of himself. Our universe is consistent with that revelation.”

    In my own words, creationists simply believe that God did what the author of Genesis says he did. We reject the whole approach to knowledge of our origins through a study of modern, necessarily incomplete, physical clues, strictly interpreted under the no-miracle presupposition or methodological materialism. If we were to go that route, then if we came to some mystery we could not solve and jumped to the conclusion that God did it, that would indeed be a God-of-the-gaps argument, but that is not our approach at all. We plead not guilty. Maybe Perry does too, but I cannot speak for him.

  7. Stuart Norey says:

    I do think studies like that back creationism into a smaller corner. I’ve said many times the ‘proof’ some creationists ask for is almost certainly impossible – it would require a time machine or, in the case of the Big Bang, a machine capable of travelling beyond space and time (although anyone claiming God created the universe probably needs one of those too).
    The best we can, and maybe ever will, do is to develop theories and test them as far as we can.
    Man made global warming is probably one of the most researched and best evidenced we have. Evolution is pretty well accepted too as we can see it happen in the fossil record and in life today, and trace its path in DNA.
    Research like that I pointed out surely adds more weight to the ‘evolution based’ or non creationist theory at the expense of creationism, one becomes more likely and the other less.
    Certainly, however you twist it and dress it up, biblical and similar creation stories don’t match the evidence. In fact, the way some people interpret them would have had them burnt at the stake a few hundred years ago, and a thousand or so years ago you’d have got blank looks – they probably would not even see what you present as any sort of Christian or Jewish god (many creationists today wouldn’t either, thankfully most people don’t go for stake burning nowadays).
    I suppose we have more gaps in understanding to fill and one day we might even run an experiment actually ‘creating’ simple life from organics from chemistry.
    Many theories remain so, especially grand ones, that does not make them devoid of facts.
    It still won’t be enough, you mention belief/faith and that doesn’t demand or accept evidence. Faith doesn’t even demand logic.
    In my view at least deism is all in, although still Mumbo jumbo. Theism is neither here nor there, seems to be an acceptance that the biblical god is probably fantasy but unwillingness to completely give up the comfort blanket…
    Atheism isn’t really about belief, it’s a considered position that accepts one theory relies on zero evidence (in fact I’d say it’s gone overdrawn) and another on plenty – we considered the evidence and found him not guilty of creation, or rather decided there was no case to answer. However, if god popped his head out of the clouds tomorrow or real evidence showed up, we’d all know – and apologise for getting it so wrong!

    • Jose Lopez says:

      Stuart, you seem to be hanging on to doubt just for the sake of not accepting the fact that thelogians were correct. The universe began out of nothing, Stuart.
      You don’t need a thelogian to prove anything. It’s a fact. Do you realize that you’re out of touch with that fact? Let it go.

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