Here at UD, comment exchanges can be very enlightening. In this case, in the recent Quote of the Day thread, two of the best commenters at UD — and yes, I count KN as one of the best, never mind that we often differ — have gone at it (and, Box, your own thoughts — e.g. here — were quite good too 😀 ).
Let’s lead with Box:
Box, 49: [KN,] your deep and important question *how do parts become integrated wholes?* need to be answered. And when the parts are excluded from the answer, we are forced to except the reality of a ‘form’ that is not a part and that does account for the integration of the parts. And indeed, if DNA, proteins or any other part of the cell are excluded from the answer, than this phenomenon is non-material.
KN, 52: the right question to ask, in my estimation, is, “are there self-organizing processes in nature?” For if there aren’t, or if there are, but they can’t account for life, then design theory looks like the only game in town. But, if there are self-organizing processes that could (probably) account for life, then there’s a genuine tertium quid between the Epicurean conjunct of chance and necessity and the Platonic insistence on design-from-above.
EA, 61: . . . the evidence clearly shows that there are not self-organizing processes in nature that can account for life.
This is particularly evident when we look at an information-rich medium like DNA. As to self-organization of something like DNA, it is critical to keep in mind that the ability of a medium to store information is inversely proportional to the self-ordering tendency of the medium. By definition, therefore, you simply cannot have a self-ordering molecule like DNA that also stores large amounts of information.
The only game left, as you say, is design.
Unless, of course, we want to appeal to blind chance . . .
So — noting that self-ordering is a species of mechanical necessity and thus leads to low contingency — we see the significance of the trichotomy necessity, chance, design, and where it points in light of the evidence in hand regarding FSCO/I in DNA etc. END