There is no evidence – none whatsoever – that the genetic code arose through blind unguided natural processes. The genetic code instantiates a semiotic process in matter. On the basis of countless trillions of instances of experience, where the provenance of an instantiation of a semiotic process in matter has been actually observed, it has always – without a single exception – been the production of intelligence.
Thus, there is plenty of evidence that suggests it is, in principle, impossible for the genetic code to have arisen through blind unguided natural processes. After all, the old aphorism “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” has its limits. As this article in Forensic Science International discusses, it is only common sense to conclude that the best explanation for failure to find evidence after an intense search for such evidence is that the evidence does not exist.
Everyone knows there has been a decades-long search for evidence that the genetic code arose though natural processes. The results of that search to date: Nothing, nada, zilch, zero. Truly, there are not even plausible speculations about how this could have happened.
Of course, this abject failure does not put the slightest dent in the blind faith of true believers. That’s why the call it blind faith — it is impervious to logic and evidence. There is a formal name for such faith – fideism.
Fideism is the exclusive or basic reliance upon faith alone, accompanied by a consequent disparagement of reason and utilized especially in the pursuit of philosophical or religious truth. Materialism is at its heart an intensely religious proposition. And there are many materialist fideists. I was reminded of this by a recent exchange between JVL and Upright Biped.
In the exchange, UB kept trying to get JVL to admit the glaringly obvious fact that if a process that did not exist in the past (the operation of the genetic code), exists today, there had to be a time when it began to exist. And if that process can only function as it does because of the roles that object A and object B play in the process, then the roles that object A and object B play in the process had to exist when it began to function.
JVL was having none of it. He refused to address, much less answer, UB’s point. He simply dismissed it all with: “Personally I think it was a purely mechanistic process but I admit that is just a belief.”
A more perfect declaration of fideism was never written. JVL is a materialist fideist. He has faith, not knowledge. One can no more reason with him than one can reason with a fundamentalist snake handler in the mountains of Tennessee. I admire UB’s persistent efforts to do so, but those efforts are wasted on such as he.
This is not to say UB’s efforts have no value. Certainly they do. But the value is not in convincing JVL. Fideists are indifferent (or even hostile) to rational argument. The value of UB’s efforts lies in showing that materialism is a religious system impervious to logic and evidence. UB’s efforts also highlight a delicious irony. Doubtless, JVL believes that he is a paragon of rationalism and scoffs and mocks those religious fundamentalists. And yet he himself is a religious fundamentalist.