Researchers at Brigham Young University shaped DNA strands into the letters BYU, reported Live Science. Let’s have a little fun with this clever achievement (an indisputable case of intelligent design) with some thought experiments that make use of ID reasoning.
- Suppose instead of forming the DNA into letter shapes, they used a code with the existing bases arranged in triplets: AAA = A, AAC = B, AAG = C, AAT = D, and so forth. Cracking the code would reveal the letters BYU.
- Suppose they spelled out “Brigham Young University” in full using this code and signed their names with it. Now they’re not only approaching the Universal Probability Bound, they are tightening the independently verifiable specification.
- Suppose instead they made a gene that used the existing DNA transcription and translation systems to produce a string of amino acids that, after exiting the ribosome, folded spontaneously into the shapes of the letters BYU.
- Now they get serious and try to do something useful. They engineer a gene that has a function. It codes for an enzyme that produces a cancer-fighting substance.
In all these cases, ID was the indisputably the cause. Would an observer need to know the identity of the designers to detect the design? How much more would ID be the correct inference when a designer can engineer a whole system of genes that can grow a cell into an organism that can interact with its fellow organisms to engineer the letters BYU out of the building blocks of which they themselves are composed?
Some interesting philosophical questions can ensue from this discussion. Did the researchers intervene in nature? Did they use miracles? Would an observer conclude a miracle had occurred? If one grants that ID caused the BYU case, would it be logical to assume the designers (the BYU researchers) were themselves products of chance and necessity? Is human ID an emergent property of matter in motion? How would matter in motion know that?