In a talk at the Dallas Conference on Science and Faith (2021), philosopher Steve Meyer looked at the question of whether a multiverse, as in Multiverse of Madness (2022), or God, as in many traditions is the origin of our universe. That is, is our universe designed — as considerable evidence suggests — or is ours just one of a few lucky universes whose extra-lucky conditions allow for advanced life?
Stephen C. Meyer: At a previous Science and Faith conference I had the opportunity to do an interview with Eric Metaxas about my new book. About halfway through, he and others noticed that one of the young women who was manning the camera for the interview was weeping visibly.
Later we got a letter from the producer who had hired this young camera woman. The young woman — we’ll call her Alice — had shared her story with him.
She was listening to us discuss scientific evidence for the existence of God. She found herself overcome with emotion and she told us a bit of the backstory in her letter. This is what she said.
Throughout my college career professors would constantly lecture that, based on the evidence they had provided there should be no way that anyone in class could believe in God. They’d argue that science was proven, and hence God was a myth. I was not equipped to present a valid opposition in debate. I was desperate to find commonality between my beliefs and my scientific education, but could find none.
Stephen C. Meyer: There are many powerful voices in our culture today that have declared that science properly understood undermines belief in God.
Stephen C. Meyer: Now, Dawkins has done a nice job of framing the issue. He says, “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect at bottom. There is no design, no purpose, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.” In other words, the universe we observe is consistent with what philosophers call a materialistic worldview. There’s only matter and energy are the things from which everything else comes. And there’s no purpose of intelligence behind the universe whatsoever. “And the properties of the universe,” Dawkins says, “are exactly what we’d expect if that kind of a materialistic universe was in fact the case.”
And I want to argue that no, it’s not. I’ve focused on just one discovery: In the foundation of life, every living cell, every living organism, there is a molecule that contains digital code. Code for producing the really important protein molecules that keep cells alive. And that molecule of course is DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid.
Stephen C. Meyer: In 1957, 1958, Francis Crick proposed what he called the sequence hypothesis. And this hypothesis was, if anything, more significant than the original discovery of the double helix structure.
The sequence hypothesis proposed that the four chemical bases called nucleotides function like alphabetic characters in a written language or digital characters in a machine code, like the zeros and ones that we’d use in software today. And in fact, our local hero here in the Seattle area, Bill Gates has said that, “DNA is like a software program, only much more complex than any we’ve ever devised.” Now… to build life you need code. Just as you need new information to build a new program or operating system on your computer.
Digital information has to be present in the DNA in order to build the proteins that service the types of cells that are present. Where did it come from? In my book Signature in the Cell, I argued that the origin of the information that’s necessary to new forms of life is best explained by designing intelligence.
Full article available at Mind Matters.
So, the pivotal question that the information content of DNA and other biomolecules raises is, can the relevant forces of nature, namely gravity and the electromagnetic forces, produce the complex, information-rich, functional biomolecules found within even unicellular organisms? Do we have here evidence of intelligent design (as in Dr. Meyer’s book, The Return of the God Hypothesis), or has our study of the interaction of these forces with the precursor, constituent atoms of biomolecules shown us that there is a reasonable expectation of the atoms forming into a living organism naturally?