Intelligent Design

Dawkins: DNA is Encoded Digital Information in the “Strong Sense”

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From time to time materialists come into these pages and argue that DNA is not a true “code.”  This proves nothing other than that materialists are often quite shameless in the arguments they make to prop up their religious views.  We would do well to remind that that arch-materialist Richard Dawkins did not get the memo.  Testifying against interest he writes:

After Watson and Crick, we know that genes themselves, within their minute internal structure, are long strings of pure digital information. What is more, they are truly digital, in the full and strong sense of computers and compact disks, not in the weak sense of the nervous system. The genetic code is not a binary code as in computers, nor an eight-level code as in some telephone systems, but a quaternary code, with four symbols. The machine code of the genes is uncannily computerlike. Apart from differences in jargon, the pages of a molecular-biology journal might be interchanged with those of a computer-engineering journal. . . .

Our genetic system, which is the universal system of all life on the planet, is digital to the core. With word-for-word accuracy, you could encode the whole of the New Testament in those parts of the human genome that are at present filled with “junk” DNA – that is, DNA not used, at least in the ordinary way, by the body. Every cell in your body contains the equivalent of forty-six immense data tapes, reeling off digital characters via numerous reading heads working simultaneously. In every cell, these tapes – the chromosomes – contain the same information, but the reading heads in different kinds of cells seek out different parts of the database for their own specialist purposes. . . .

Genes are pure information – information that can be encoded, recoded and decoded, without any degradation or change of meaning. Pure information can be copied and, since it is digital information, the fidelity of the copying can be immense. DNA characters are copied with an accuracy that rivals anything modern engineers can do.

Richard Dawkins, River out of Eden, 16-19

52 Replies to “Dawkins: DNA is Encoded Digital Information in the “Strong Sense”

  1. 1

    Yet another excellent post.

    “This proves nothing other than that materialists are often quite shameless in the arguments they make to prop up their religious views.”

    Priceless!

  2. 2
    bFast says:

    Yea know, Dawkins is mostly, well, wrong. However, he has spoken good truth a couple of times. This is one of them. The other time that comes to mind is that he sees creationism, even young earth creationism, as an hypothesis that is within the scope of scientific inquiry. He doesn’t think it is a correct hypothesis, but he does see it as falsifiable, therefore within the scope of scientific inquiry.

  3. 3
    Dionisio says:

    In a landmark study in 2008 all 6000 genes in yeast were studied using individual knockouts.

    Eighty percent of the knockouts were silent in the sense that no change in metabolic or reproductive activity was observed.

    That does not mean that those genes have no function.

    It means simply that the organisms are extremely well buffered against changes in their own genomes.

    Once the organisms were stressed by depriving them of various nutrients, it was possible to reveal that most of the 80 percent have functional roles.

    At the least, such experiments and calculations force one to think deeply about the basis of [Dawkins’?] gene-centric views of biology.

    What followed was like a falling domino cascade.

    Once one central issue in gene-centrism comes into question, others inevitably also come under suspicion.

    I will now list some of the dominoes that fell in the wake of questioning the gene-centric view of genome-phenotype relationships.

    1. The Central Dogma of Molecular Biology.

    The idea of a one-way determinate read-out of genome sequences (if that is taken as the meaning of the Central Dogma) doesn’t make much sense to a physiologist.

    The 200 or so cell types in a vertebrate organism all have the same genome.

    Each cell clearly controls its genome to produce a pattern of gene expression that is unique to that type.

    Moreover, the environment of each cell type, formed by the tissues and organs the cells find themselves in, also contributes to control of the genome.

    As a mechanism contributing to the rare process of speciation, rare transgenerational inheritance of epigenetic changes could clearly occur.

    In a recent study of Darwin’s finches, this is what seems to have happened.

    Professor Denis Noble interview by TBS
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

  4. 4
    Dionisio says:

    Lateral transfer of DNA.

    The Modern Synthesis was based on Darwin’s idea of the tree of life, radiating from a common ancestor.

    We now know that the tree is more like a network, particularly in the early branches.

    DNA is not just transferred vertically from generation to generation; it can also be transferred laterally between organisms, even between different species.

    Professor Denis Noble interview by TBS
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

  5. 5
    Dionisio says:

    Lynn had killer lines.

    Dawkins: “It [neo-Darwinism] is highly plausible, it’s economical, it’s parsimonious, why on earth would you want to drag in symbiogenesis when it’s such an unparsimonious, uneconomical [theory]?”

    Margulis: “Because it’s there.”

    That’s it in a nutshell. What is there, what exists, is the starting point of all science.

    Professor Denis Noble interview by TBS
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Finding one code in DNA was bad enough for Darwinists:

    The Origin of Information: How to Solve It – Perry Marshall
    Where did the information in DNA come from? This is one of the most important and valuable questions in the history of science. Cosmic Fingerprints has issued a challenge to the scientific community:
    “Show an example of Information that doesn’t come from a mind. All you need is one.”
    “Information” is defined as digital communication between an encoder and a decoder, using agreed upon symbols. To date, no one has shown an example of a naturally occurring encoding / decoding system, i.e. one that has demonstrably come into existence without a designer.
    A private equity investment group is offering a technology prize for this discovery (up to 3 million dollars). We will financially reward and publicize the first person who can solve this;,,, To solve this problem is far more than an object of abstract religious or philosophical discussion. It would demonstrate a mechanism for producing coding systems, thus opening up new channels of scientific discovery. Such a find would have sweeping implications for Artificial Intelligence research.
    http://cosmicfingerprints.com/solve/

    Ode to the Code – Brian Hayes
    The few variant codes known in protozoa and organelles are thought to be offshoots of the standard code, but there is no evidence that the changes to the codon table offer any adaptive advantage. In fact, Freeland, Knight, Landweber and Hurst found that the variants are inferior or at best equal to the standard code. It seems hard to account for these facts without retreating at least part of the way back to the frozen-accident theory, conceding that the code was subject to change only in a former age of miracles, which we’ll never see again in the modern world.
    https://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/ode-to-the-code/4

    As I said, finding one code in DNA was bad enough for Darwinists, its origin belonging to ‘the former age of miracles’ according to one Darwinist, but now we know that there are multiple overlapping codes in DNA which makes the ‘former age of miracles’, a far, far, far, worse problem for Darwinists:

    Multiple Overlapping Genetic Codes Profoundly Reduce the Probability of Beneficial Mutation George Montañez 1, Robert J. Marks II 2, Jorge Fernandez 3 and John C. Sanford 4 – published online May 2013
    Excerpt: In the last decade, we have discovered still another aspect of the multi- dimensional genome. We now know that DNA sequences are typically “ poly-functional” [38]. Trifanov previously had described at least 12 genetic codes that any given nucleotide can contribute to [39,40], and showed that a given base-pair can contribute to multiple overlapping codes simultaneously. The first evidence of overlapping protein-coding sequences in viruses caused quite a stir, but since then it has become recognized as typical. According to Kapronov et al., “it is not unusual that a single base-pair can be part of an intricate network of multiple isoforms of overlapping sense and antisense transcripts, the majority of which are unannotated” [41]. The ENCODE project [42] has confirmed that this phenomenon is ubiquitous in higher genomes, wherein a given DNA sequence routinely encodes multiple overlapping messages, meaning that a single nucleotide can contribute to two or more genetic codes. Most recently, Itzkovitz et al. analyzed protein coding regions of 700 species, and showed that virtually all forms of life have extensive overlapping information in their genomes [43].

    38. Sanford J (2008) Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome. FMS Publications, NY. Pages 131–142.
    39. Trifonov EN (1989) Multiple codes of nucleotide sequences. Bull of Mathematical Biology 51:417–432.
    40. Trifanov EN (1997) Genetic sequences as products of compression by inclusive superposition of many codes. Mol Biol 31:647–654.
    41. Kapranov P, et al (2005) Examples of complex architecture of the human transcriptome revealed by RACE and high density tiling arrays. Genome Res 15:987–997.
    42. Birney E, et al (2007) Encode Project Consortium: Identification and analysis of functional elements in 1% of the human genome by the ENCODE pilot project. Nature 447:799–816.
    43. Itzkovitz S, Hodis E, Sega E (2010) Overlapping codes within protein-coding sequences. Genome Res. 20:1582–1589.
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0006

    Multiple Overlapping Genetic Codes Profoundly Reduce the Probability of Beneficial Mutation George Montañez 1, Robert J. Marks II 2, Jorge Fernandez 3 and John C. Sanford 4 – May 2013
    Conclusions: Our analysis confirms mathematically what would seem intuitively obvious – multiple overlapping codes within the genome must radically change our expectations regarding the rate of beneficial mutations. As the number of overlapping codes increases, the rate of potential beneficial mutation decreases exponentially, quickly approaching zero. Therefore the new evidence for ubiquitous overlapping codes in higher genomes strongly indicates that beneficial mutations should be extremely rare. This evidence combined with increasing evidence that biological systems are highly optimized, and evidence that only relatively high-impact beneficial mutations can be effectively amplified by natural selection, lead us to conclude that mutations which are both selectable and unambiguously beneficial must be vanishingly rare. This conclusion raises serious questions. How might such vanishingly rare beneficial mutations ever be sufficient for genome building? How might genetic degeneration ever be averted, given the continuous accumulation of low impact deleterious mutations?
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0006

    Dynamic Genomes in Bacteria Argue for Design
    By Ann Gauger
    “Codes within codes within codes – highly efficient and highly intelligent systems – don’t happen by accident and/or selection. The cell might begin with one code, which is incredible in itself. To layer another code in the opposite direction is far and away beyond that. Then to add a third layer of structural dynamics is simply awe-inspiring.”
    http://www.biologicinstitute.o.....for-design

    At the 10:30 minute mark of the following video, Dr. Trifonov states that Dawkin’s idea of the selfish gene ‘inflicted an immense damage to biological sciences’, for over 30 years:

    Second, third, fourth… genetic codes – One spectacular case of code crowding – Edward N. Trifonov – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDB3fMCfk0E

    In the preceding video, Trifonov elucidates codes that are, simultaneously, in the same sequence, coding for DNA curvature, Chromatin Code, Amphipathic helices, and NF kappaB. In fact, at the 58:00 minute mark he states, “Reading only one message, one gets three more, practically GRATIS!”. And please note that this was just an introductory lecture in which Trifinov just covered the very basics and left many of the other codes out of the lecture. Codes which code for completely different, yet still biologically important, functions. In fact, at the 7:55 mark of the video, there are 13 codes that are listed on a powerpoint, although the writing was too small for me to read.

    Concluding powerpoint of the lecture (at the 1 hour mark):

    “Not only are there many different codes in the sequences, but they overlap, so that the same letters in a sequence may take part simultaneously in several different messages.”
    Edward N. Trifonov – 2010

    Verse:

    John 1:1-4
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him; and without him [a]was not anything made that hath been made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

  7. 7
    Dionisio says:

    I argue that if large, already-functional sequences are moved around the genome, then potentially existing or new functions travel with the sequences.

    The Modern Synthesis was built on the idea of the gradual accumulation of point mutations.

    I explain the significance of moving large sequences in the next item.

    Professor Denis Noble interview by TBS
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

  8. 8
    Dionisio says:

    Randomness versus functionality of inherited variations. This is perhaps the biggest question of all.

    How does functionality, and hence teleology, arise in random processes?

    My short answer is that viewed from the level of molecules we may never see it.

    Professor Denis Noble interview by TBS
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

  9. 9
    Dionisio says:

    […] organisms have been demonstrated to use stochasticity in effective functional ways.

    The best example is the immune system.

    Professor Denis Noble interview by TBS
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

  10. 10
    Dionisio says:

    Dawkins: Cells are transitory, and DNA is not.

    Denis Noble: This is a common mantra, copied from Dawkins’s The Selfish Gene. It is linguistically incoherent and factually incorrect.

    Professor Denis Noble interview by TBS
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

  11. 11
    jimmontg says:

    I wonder, how many of us pray that Dawkins comes to see the Truth and believes in Christ?
    Prayer has been proven to work in double blind studies. Pray for Dawkins, maybe, just maybe…

  12. 12
    Dionisio says:

    jimmontg @11:
    That’s a good point. Thank you.
    But let’s remember there are friends -including some ID proponents who comment and even write OPs in this blog- who may not have the saving faith either.
    Let’s pray for them too. God loves them.
    One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Christ is Lord, but by then it might be too late for many nice folks in this world. The moment is now.
    Rev. 22:21

  13. 13
    Dionisio says:

    TheBestSchools:

    […] the most striking thing about living things, in comparison with non-living systems, is their teleological organization—meaning the way in which all of the local physical and chemical interactions cohere in such a way as to maintain the overall system in existence.

    Moreover, it is virtually impossible to speak of living beings for any length of time without using teleological and normative language—words like “goal,” “purpose,” “meaning,” “correct/incorrect,” “success/failure,” etc.

    Denis Noble:

    My work on heart rhythm taught me that the rhythm simply doesn’t exist at the molecular level.

    If I placed all the molecular components in a nutrient solution, but without being constrained by a living cell, the rhythm would not exist.

    By the usual ontological criteria the rhythm doesn’t exist at a molecular level but does exist at a cellular level.

    TheBestSchools blog
    Professor Denis Noble interview
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    semi OT:

    Evolution Just Got Harder to Defend By Eric Metaxas | September 14, 2016
    Excerpt: These life forms came into existence virtually overnight,, “[g]enetic code, proteins, photosynthesis, the works.”
    This appearance of fully-developed life forms so early in the fossil record led Dr. Abigail Allwood of Caltech to remark that “life [must not be] a fussy, reluctant and unlikely thing.” Rather, “[i]t will emerge whenever there’s an opportunity.”
    Pardon me? If life occurs so spontaneously and predictably even under the harshest conditions, then it should be popping up all over the place! Yet scientists still cannot come close to producing even a single cell from raw chemicals in the lab.
    Dr. Stephen Meyer explains in his book “Signature in the Cell” why this may be Darwinism’s Achilles heel. In order to begin evolution by natural selection, you need a self-replicating unit. But the cell and its DNA blueprint are too complicated by far to have arisen through chance chemical reactions. The odds of even a single protein forming by accident are astronomical. So Meyer and other Intelligent Design theorists conclude that Someone must have designed and created the structures necessary for life.
    Meanwhile Darwinists, faced with a fossil record that theoretically pushes the origin of life back further into the past, are forced to assume the metaphorical can opener. They just don’t know how these early cells came into existence, and the more we dig up, the more improbable—rather than likely—life becomes.
    – Eric Metaxas
    http://cnsnews.com/commentary/.....der-defend

  15. 15
    Dionisio says:

    TheBestSchools:

    […] if we must understand teleology in biology as objectively real, how can we do so without bringing in unwanted theological or similar baggage?

    Denis Noble:

    […] explaining purpose in organisms can be complete at any level, without having to go further to higher levels.

    The rhythm of the heart is explained at a cellular level.

    Its function is explained at the level of the cardiovascular system.

    That doesn’t mean that there could not be a theological explanation.

    It does mean that the theological explanation is not necessary.

    TheBestSchools blog
    Professor Denis Noble interview
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

    Obviously, the actual functioning can be explained as more information comes out research. In some areas of biology the complete picture is still missing, but gradually being filled up.

    The problem is explaining how we got all that complex functionality.

    In order to explain how biological systems work, all we have to do is get more information from research.

    The overwhelming volume of information coming out of both wet and dry labs seems to indicate that many serious dedicated scientists are passionately working on trying to figure out how exactly biological systems work in different scenarios.

    Generally they seem heading in the right direction, though sometimes taking ‘long and winding’ paths based on wrong assumptions and false presuppositions, incorrectly following reductionist bottom-up approaches to describe complex information-processing systems that obviously appear to be the result of top-down design.

    However, understanding exactly how things work is not the same as understanding exactly how we got them to begin with. The former may be required for the latter, but they are separate issues that demand different kinds of investigative approaches.

    I may know exactly how my bike works, hence I can maintain it in good condition. However, don’t ask me how exactly it was produced.

    PS. Emphasis mine.
    Note the bold text:
    unwanted? why?

    Also, professor Noble leaves the door open with the bold sentence. 🙂

  16. 16
    Dionisio says:

    TheBestSchools:

    A machine is a goal-directed system (it has a “function”), in which the goal state of the system is determined by an outside observer/agent.

    A living organism is very different. The functionality—that is, the teleology—of the system as a whole arises as a result of purely inherent, internal, or intrinsic processes.

    Do you agree with this characterization of the essential difference between machines and organisms? That is, do you agree with the proposition that organisms are not machines—that machines and organisms belong to fundamentally different ontological categories?

    Denis Noble:

    I don’t think they arise as a result of “purely inherent, internal, or intrinsic processes.”

    They [their functioning?] arise because organisms are open systems interacting extensively with their environment, including the behavior of other organisms.

    TheBestSchools blog
    Professor Denis Noble interview
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

  17. 17
    Dionisio says:

    TheBestSchools:

    What is your definition of “neo-Darwinism” (or “Modern Synthesis”)?

    Isn’t it enough to talk of “extending” it?

    Why do you speak of its needing to be “replaced”?

    Denis Noble:

    The main ideas in the original formulation of neo-Darwinism are the following:

    1. All changes in the genetic material are random […]
    This is the “blind chance” part of the theory with no room for teleology.

    2. The germ line cells are completely isolated from the rest of the organism. Dawkins encapsulated this view in The Selfish Gene: “Sealed off from the outside world.”

    […]

    I am very sympathetic to the extension idea in science.

    But when neo-Darwinism goes so far as to accept the inheritance of acquired characteristics and of non-random functional variations, I think we are talking more about a replacement.
    […]
    I am saying that neo-Darwinism is incomplete.

    TheBestSchools blog
    Professor Denis Noble interview
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

    The 3rd way of evolution attacking the establishment?
    No one can threaten professor Denis Noble with losing his job. That’s why he can afford to rebel against the Neo-Darwinian empire. Also, who’s going to argue with him and his “3rd way” colleagues, who know as much or more biology than the establishment folks? 🙂
    I don’t want to miss the future episodes of this debate between the establishment and the 3rd way rebels. 🙂
    Meanwhile, many seriously dedicated scientists continue to work passionately in wet and dry labs trying to figure out how exactly the amazingly complex information-processing biological systems work.

  18. 18
    Dionisio says:

    TheBestSchools:

    What about the role of genes in life?

    Nowadays, many people are saying that the word “gene” has acquired so many senses as to be almost meaningless.

    What is your own working definition of a “gene”?

    Denis Noble:

    I agree that we now have so many definitions of “gene” that some even question the utility of the concept.

    I try to distinguish clearly between the various definitions to avoid the pitfalls of confusing them.

    TheBestSchools blog
    Professor Denis Noble interview
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

  19. 19
    Dionisio says:

    TheBestSchools:

    What is the best way to think about the relationship between genes and organisms?

    Denis Noble:

    The sequencing of the genomes […] has not led to much success in enabling the development of new therapies.

    Even the leaders of the Project admit that the outcome has been disappointing. In fact it has been disastrous.

    […] genes do not fit what was expected of them.

    Very few ailments indeed depend on a single gene. Most are complex interactions involving many components in networks that extend in the body well beyond the genome.

    TheBestSchools blog
    Professor Denis Noble interview
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

  20. 20
    Dionisio says:

    TheBestSchools:

    Would you say that your criticism of neo-Darwinism (the Modern Synthesis) is primarily conceptual […]?

    Denis Noble:

    One of the problems with the hardening of the Modern Synthesis during the mid-twentieth century is that it made it difficult both to think that certain experiments […] were worth doing and, even if one thought they were, there wouldn’t be funding to do so.

    Many of the problems with neo-Darwinism arise from the misuse of language and the influence that has on our thought patterns.

    […] many of my other papers deal with the empirical evidence for changing our ideas on evolutionary biology.

    TheBestSchools blog
    Professor Denis Noble interview
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

  21. 21
    Dionisio says:

    TheBestSchools:

    Do you find it fruitful to interact with philosophers?

    What do you think they have to bring to the table in important scientific disputes like the one surrounding the adequacy of the neo-Darwinian explanatory framework?

    Would you recommend more collaborations of this sort between scientists and philosophers?

    Denis Noble:

    Such interaction used to be much more common.

    The world of science today makes it very difficult.

    This is unfortunate.

    As the great French physicist and polymath Henri Poincaré (1854–1912) remarked a century ago, those who claim they are not philosophers make the worst conceptual errors.

    They don’t even see the conceptual holes into which they fall.

    TheBestSchools blog
    Professor Denis Noble interview
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

  22. 22
    Dionisio says:

    TheBestSchools:

    Why do you think the interpretation of evolutionary biology raises such passion, and even anger?

    Denis Noble:

    Two opposing sides became entrenched into dogmatism […]

    […] dogmatic science shouldn’t exist.

    When it does it becomes a faith rather than a science.

    TheBestSchools blog
    Professor Denis Noble interview
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

  23. 23
    Dionisio says:

    TheBestSchools:

    Recently, you have been involved with a number of like-minded scientists in launching a website devoted to spreading anti-reductionist ideas about the nature of life. It is called the Third Way of Evolution.

    Denis Noble:

    A recurring theme amongst those who question aspects of neo-Darwinism, whether proposing extension or replacement, is that they often experience frankly insulting remarks from some of the more dogmatic neo-Darwinists (I emphasise that this is not true of all neo-Darwinists by any means) and that they have much greater difficulty getting articles published.

    Criticism of neo-Darwinism should not be taken to mean support for creationism or intelligent design.

    TheBestSchools blog
    Professor Denis Noble interview
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

  24. 24
    Dionisio says:

    TheBestSchools:

    […] could you please expand on the difference, as you see it, between your approach to teleology in biology and that of the Intelligent Design people?

    Denis Noble:

    The difference from creationism and intelligent design is that we think that evolution has produced organisms with purpose.

    TheBestSchools blog
    Professor Denis Noble interview
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

    The problem is how exactly could that happen?

    No one knows. No one.
    🙂

  25. 25

    Dionisio: Not sure what all these consecutive posts are meant to convey. Please give me the short summary pitch. Thank you.

  26. 26
    Dionisio says:

    Truth Will Set You Free @25

    It’s showing interesting parts of an interview of professor Denis Noble at the blog The Best Schools, where they refer to Dawkins. Since this OP is also related to Dawkins, I thought some folks visiting this thread would like to read what Noble said about Dawkins and Neo-Darwinism too. The interview is relatively long, but I quoted what I think are the most interesting parts, specially related to the person this OP mentions in the title.

    Looking back, I should have posted this in the 3rd way of evolution thread instead of here. Or perhaps should have posted just the link to the interview. Or better yet, shouldn’t have posted anything at all, thus saving myself precious time I could use on better things. After all, who am I to suggest any reading material? Right?

    Thank you for alerting me.

    BTW, what does “Truth Will Set You Free” mean?

  27. 27
    rvb8 says:

    Of course DNA is information. Barry says occasionally materialists visit the site and deny this? Do they? Then they are morons. What Dawkins describes is entirely consistant with evolution. DNA, or rather dicreet units of DNA, code for proteins which then make their coded for, bodily necessities; skin, bone, whatever other cells.

    What on earth is DNA except a huge parcel of information, much of it, unused, or inaccessable.

    This is what Dwkins elequently expresses. We use the human word, ‘information’, to poorly describe what is going on; the inherited, and heritable construction plans, honed by millions of years of cut and paste.

  28. 28
    groovamos says:

    rvb8: We use the human word, ‘information’, to poorly describe what is going on; the inherited, and heritable construction plans, honed by millions of years of cut and paste.

    Although Shannon very early in his writings eschewed any discussion of meaning or philosophical implications of his work, much of which I’m familiar with, I think the many times I have discussed this on this thread show that information is meaningless outside the context of mind. Stochastic events can take on the role of furnishing information when they are studied which requires a mind. Obviously a mind can supply information. But the idea that stochastic events can furnish information that exists independent of a mind, or that requires no role for any mind is the biggest blunder of philosophical materialism. You have no way around this. This is because Darwinian evolution is unfalsifiable. Hence it is a story. No more no less.

  29. 29

    groovamos @ 28: I have said it many times on this site…rvb8 is insane. Either that, or he is just goofing around and having fun with the stuff he spouts on this site.

    Dionisio @ 26: See John 8:32

  30. 30
    rvb8 says:

    And I have said it many times that there is an inherent impolite nature to this site. It seems to have two sets of posting rules; strict and rigourously enforced for atheists, and rather more loosely applied to creationists.

    “rvb8 is insane”. Well argued TWSYF.

    By the way your moniker is alarmingly similer to, ‘Arbreit macht frei!’

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    RVB8, DNA is obvious machine code, and such is inherently informational. Information, being a linguistic term used to denote certain important classes of phenomena well known to us as living in an information age. You seem to be going down the road of denial of patent reality, never a healthy sign. It inadvertently testifies to the force of the facts of information systems in the cell. KF

    PS: I think you will be well advised to pause before trying to associate a classic statement of Jesus in the NT — “ye shall know the truth and the truth will make you free” — with the lying motto above the gate of Auschwitz. That level of trollish snideness and attempted tainting is beyond the pale, blasphemous and inexcusable.

  32. 32
    Dionisio says:

    Truth Will Set You Free @29:

    You did not mention if my reply @26 answered your request @25. Should I assume it did? Was it clear?

  33. 33
    Dionisio says:

    Truth Will Set You Free @29:

    Thank you for pointing to the source of that phrase.

    BTW, do we understand the whole context it was said in?
    Do we understand the verses 31 & 32 together?
    Do we understand what they mean and the implications they have for anyone who claims to be Christian?

    Are we followers of the One who said that? Or are we just His fans?

  34. 34
    Dionisio says:

    Truth Will Set You Free @29:

    I noticed a law firm in NC linked to your blog identifier. Are you related to that office?

  35. 35
    Dionisio says:

    Truth Will Set You Free @29:

    You wrote to groovamos referring to your interlocutor from NZ in not so nice terms.

    Do you think it’s good for someone who publicly claims to be a Christian to refer to someone else in such derogatory terms, just because they think differently?

    Not long ago the New Zealander interlocutor said (i.e. wrote) very clearly his motives for commenting here. Apparently you missed reading it. I’ll try to find it to post it here for your information.

    If you truly believe the author of the phrase you use as your identifier in this blog, then you know that we all, including the New Zealander interlocutor, were made in IMAGO DEI, hence we all have the dignity that automatically comes from that fact.

    Our Lord taught us the positive (proactive) version of the golden rule (Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31). The passive (negative) version was known much earlier.

    Is it right for us to call someone ‘insane’ just because we don’t like what they say or write?

    Would we like to be called that name for saying things others don’t understand?

    Actually, we are called derogatory names for telling others about the only true source of Life, but we should let Christ handle that for us. We don’t have the power or authority required for that task.

    We should have a compassionate heart towards the spiritually lost, remembering that God loved us long before we loved Him back. Only He can cure spiritual blindness.
    Let’s just pray for those who still cannot rejoice in the Lord. Let’s share that greatest joy with all.
    Soli Deo Gloria.

  36. 36
    Dionisio says:

    rvb8 @30:

    By the way your moniker is alarmingly similer to, ‘Arbreit macht frei!’

    First, please allow* me to correct your misspellings:

    English:
    It’s ‘similar’ instead of ‘similer’. Maybe they use the latter in NZ? 🙂

    German:
    It’s ‘arbeit’ instead of ‘arbreit’.

    What’s the similarity you see between those two phrases?

    Why is it alarming?

    (*) formally asked for permission to suggest the spelling correction in this case because English is not my first language. Usually my comments have many misspelled words too, but I blame the editor autocorrect feature or the fact that my first language is not English (we humans like to find external excuses for everything we do wrong, don’t we?). In any case I like and appreciate to be corrected, because I may learn from it. 🙂

  37. 37
    bFast says:

    RVB8 (27) “We use the human word, ‘information’, to poorly describe what is going on; the inherited, and heritable construction plans, honed by millions of years of cut and paste.”

    Um, in my opinion you started this comment very correctly, “Of course DNA is information.” Dawkins also has said, “Genes are pure information”. I disagree with you when you use the word poorly when you say, “poorly describe what is going on”.

    However, you over-make a valid point. We IDers tend to overload the term information with our belief that “information” = intelligent cause. This has not been proven — at least to the satisfaction of the greater scientific community.

    I say that you over-make your point because you say, “honed by millions of years of cut and paste.” In this statement you strongly declare that information most surely can come into existence without intelligence. In overstating this claim, you negate your obligation to provide an evidentiary proof.

    Your only proof, Dawkins’ only proof is philosophical, metaphysical. Premise 1, there was no intelligence back when DNA based information was established. Premise 2, DNA contains information. Conclusion, information can come into existence without intelligence.

    Our challenge is to premise 1.

  38. 38
    NeilBJ says:

    A code is an intellectual concept. A code is an arrngement of symbols that can be implemented in various mediums. In the case of living origanisms that medium is the DNA. A code can only be created by a mind. In the case of the DNA code, as well as any code created by man, a code must not only solve the current design problem, but it also must anticipate future applications.

  39. 39
    bFast says:

    NielBJ, you say, “A code can only be created by a mind.”
    Rvb8 says, “the inherited, and heritable construction plans, honed by millions of years of cut and paste.”

    I say that these declarative statements on either of your parts, without proof, are just nattering.

  40. 40
    Otangelo Grasso says:

    DNA stores literally coded information

    http://reasonandscience.heaven.....nformation

    Paul Davies :
    “DNA is not a special life-giving molecule, but a genetic databank that transmits its information using a mathematical code. Most of the workings of the cell are best described, not in terms of material stuff — hardware — but as information, or software. Trying to make life by mixing chemicals in a test tube is like soldering switches and wires in an attempt to produce Windows 98. It won’t work because it addresses the problem at the wrong conceptual level.”

    Inside each and every one of us lies a message. It is inscribed in an ancient code, its beginnings lost in the mists of time. Decrypted, the message contains instructions on how to make a human being.

    Although DNA is a material structure, it is pregnant with meaning. The arrangement of the atoms along the helical strands of your DNA determines how you look and even, to a certain extent, how you feel and behave. DNA is nothing less than a blueprint—or, more accurately, an algorithm or instruction manual—for building a living, breathing, thinking human being.

  41. 41
    rvb8 says:

    Kairos,
    ‘beyond the pale’? Possibly. ‘Inexcusable’? Possibly. ‘Blasphemous?’ No! Sorry, to you definately, as you believe someone is listening. But to an atheist, blasphemy is an empty accusation. As you should know, we believe there is nothing to offend that is not materially present.

    Did I insult TWSYF? Sure, but to use schoolyard jargon, ‘only coz he did it first!’

    You have the classic ability of all of the religious to be instantly offended (much like the university ‘snowflakes’), and yet not grasp that your own ideas of ‘election’, ‘worship’, ‘abjectness’, ‘guilt’,are to atheists more ‘inexcusable’. And they are inexcusable to us, because there is no good reason why the evidence before you, presented in a clear and accessable way, should be ignored; now that is truly offensive!

    Thank you, Dionisio. I am indeed a poor speller. It has nothing to do with my country of birth, merely lazy:) You have the job of my spell checker; remuneration is non-existant.

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    RVB8, you are simply revealing a fundamental incivility and profound disrespect driven by the sort of ill-advised sense of superiority that in a parallel thread is leading you to join Pindi in making yourselves into poster children of the irretrievable incoherence of evolutionary materialistic scientism. (Origines at 133 is a classic: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-617371 ) Above, a citation from a famous statement by Jesus [one that lies behind for instance the Harvard Uni motto] was twisted into a reference to Nazism. That is utterly beyond the pale, and it fully deserves the strictures I made. Further to this, you need to ask yourselves why there are universally recognised limits to verbal and physical public behaviour; in my part of the world, sometimes termed broughtupcy. You and your ilk need to ask yourselves, whether you would be willing to say some of the things you routinely write online, while sitting in the living rooms of those you obviously view as targets to play rhetorical one upmanship with. As in, it seems that you are revealing the basic amorality of evolutionary materialstic scientism and its invitation to the nihilistic mentality, that might and manipulation — I can get away with it — determine ‘right’ ‘truth’ etc. As in, bags of chemicals have no true rights, selves or dignity; or, as Francis Schaeffer used to summarise long ago now, man on your view is a zero. No need to spin out a tangent, you just told us a lot about yourself and your ilk, regarding some pretty ugly basic motives, intents and attitudes which you would be well advised to reconsider and change profoundly. Good day. KF

  43. 43
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: On the substance of this thread, I note, that it is patent to anyone with experience of machine and/or register transfer level processing in computational substrates, that DNA acts as machine code in a molecular nanotech based information processing system. This implies DNA is essentially linguistic and code is an empirically and analytically strongly supported signature of language using intelligence at work. It is the force of that simple inference that leads to the endless attempts to block or dismiss it. As the incoherence of evolutionary materialistic scientism becomes ever more evident, thus its blinding nature . . . if one believes and is committed to a falsity as a yardstick of truth it leads one to dismiss the real truth as it will not conform to a false yardstick . . . the basic force of the inference will tell. That is why Dawkins’ testimony on record against known interest is worth noting and commenting on. KF

  44. 44

    rvb8 is a willfully blind fool unworthy of respect. He gets none from me.

  45. 45
    Dionisio says:

    As shown in various preceding comments, according to professor Denis Noble and other scientists proposing the ‘third way of evolution’, Dawkins made serious mistakes in his description of biological reality.

    There’s more to biology than the DNA and the outdated central dogma.

    In a recent paper we read this interesting analogy:

    “That all of these interactions between genetically identical cells should somehow work themselves out in the creation of many distinct microenvironments, all in the right place at the right time, is about as plausible as having a musically untrained crowd of chattering people suddenly switch their cacophony to four part harmony and perform Mozart’s complete Ave Verum Corpus.”

    The organelle of differentiation in embryos: the cell state splitter
    Natalie K. Gordon and Richard Gordon
    Theor Biol Med Model. 2016; 13: 11.
    doi: 10.1186/s12976-016-0037-2

    Ave Verum Corpus:
    https://www.youtube.com/embed/HXjn6srhAlY

  46. 46
    Dionisio says:

    Truth Will Set You Free @44:

    Would you mind responding the other questions @32-35?

    Thank you.

  47. 47
    Dionisio says:

    Although Dawkins writes on the last pages of The Selfish Gene that man is the only creature to rebel against the selfish genes, how [would that] be possible in the light of the reductionist determinism which permeates the preceding two hundred pages of his book [and] remains completely unresolved[?]

    Jos de Mule, Dutch philosopher
    “Noble versus Dawkins”
    DNA is not the program of the concert of life.

  48. 48
    Dionisio says:

    Of course, I do not claim that the neo-Darwinian view of man alone drove [well-known Dutch author Joost] Zwagerman to suicide.
    But the idea of genetic predestination found in books like The Selfish Gene seems to me very likely to have played a role.

    TheBestSchools blog
    Professor Denis Noble interview
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

  49. 49
    Dionisio says:

    My belief is that those of us who think differently need to try at least to emulate the literary skills of the popularizing neo-Darwinists.

    TheBestSchools blog
    Professor Denis Noble interview
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

  50. 50
    Dionisio says:

    Briefly, the central problem with neo-Darwinism, as with reductionist biology in general, is that it makes some (usually hidden) metaphysical assumptions.

    You get drawn in by the colorful metaphors, greatly helped by the ease with which the reductionist story can be told.

    Complexity is much more difficult to expound to a general audience.

    […] it would take a root-and-branch approach to counter it.

    The central idea (“there are only molecules”) is what needs challenging.

    That is clearly not true.

    TheBestSchools blog
    Professor Denis Noble interview
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

  51. 51
    rvb8 says:

    Kairos asks if I would say the things I say in the homes of believing Christians.
    I most certainly would not! My mother raised a person with far too many good manners to show disrespect to any individual’s beliefs, however absurd.
    Would I say them to a guest in my own house? Hmm, depends upon the stupidity of the guest. If they said they were Christian, and left it that, then no. If the said they were Christian and then attempted preaching, then yes, they would get an earful, in MY home.
    Sound fair Kairos? Or is mocking ‘the Lord of Hosts’, in MY own home also beyond your childishly constructed, ‘pale’?

  52. 52
    harry says:

    My thoughts on the contents of the coding regions of DNA being code in the truest sense of the word were expressed here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....of-codons/

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