UD Editors: No one has come close to refuting UB’s thesis after 129 comments. We are moving this post to the top of the page to give the materialists another chance.
I take the following from an excellent comment UB made in a prior post. UB lays out his argument step by step, precept by precept. Then he arrives at a conclusion. In order for his argument to be valid, the conclusion must follow from the premises. In order for his argument to be sound, each of the premises must be true.
Now here is the challenge to our Darwinist friends. If you disagree with UB’s conclusion, please demonstrate how his argument is either invalid (as a matter of logic the conclusion does not follow from the premises) or unsound (one or more of the premises are false). Good luck (you’re going to need it).
Without further ado, here is UB’s argument:
1. A representation is an arrangement of matter which evokes an effect within a system (e.g. written text, spoken words, pheromones, animal gestures, codes, sensory input, intracellular messengers, nucleotide sequences, etc, etc).
2. It is not logically possible to transfer information (the form of a thing; a measured aspect, quality, or preference) in a material universe without using a representation instantiated in matter.
3. If that is true, and it surely must be, then several other things must logically follow. If there is now an arrangement of matter which contains a representation of form as a consequence of its own material arrangement, then that arrangement must be necessarily arbitrary to the thing it represents. In other words, if one thing is to represent another thing within a system, then it must be separate from the thing it represents. And if it is separate from it, then it cannot be anything but materially arbitrary to it (i.e. they cannot be the same thing).
4. If that is true, then the presence of that representation must present a material component to the system (which is reducible to physical law), while its arrangement presents an arbitrary component to the system (which is not reducible to physical law).
5. If that is true, and again it surely must be, then there has to be something else which establishes the otherwise non-existent relationship between the representation and the effect it evokes within the system. In fact, this is the material basis of Francis Crick’s famous ‘adapter hypothesis’ in DNA, which lead to a revolution in the biological sciences. In a material universe, that something else must be a second arrangement of matter; coordinated to the first arrangement as well as to the effect it evokes.
6. It then also follows that this second arrangement must produce its unambiguous function, not from the mere presence of the representation, but from its arrangement. It is the arbitrary component of the representation which produces the function.
7. And if those observations are true, then in order to actually transfer recorded information, two discrete arrangements of matter are inherently required by the process; and both of these objects must necessarily have a quality that extends beyond their mere material make-up. The first is a representation and the second is a protocol (a systematic, operational rule instantiated in matter) and together they function as a formal system. They are the irreducible complex core which is fundamentally required in order to transfer recorded information.
8. During protein synthesis, a selected portion of DNA is first transcribed into mRNA, then matured and transported to the site of translation within the ribosome. This transcription process facilitates the input of information (the arbitrary component of the DNA sequence) into the system. The input of this arbitrary component functions to constrain the output, producing the polypeptides which demonstrate unambiguous function.
9. From a causal standpoint, the arbitrary component of DNA is transcribed to mRNA, and those mRNA are then used to order tRNA molecules within the ribosome. Each stage of this transcription process is determined by the physical forces of pair bonding. Yet, which amino acid appears at the peptide binding site is not determined by pair bonding; it is determined by the aaRS. In other words, which amino acid appears at the binding site is only evoked by the physical structure of the nucleic triplet, but is not determined by it. Instead, it is determined (in spatial and temporal isolation) by the physical structure of the aaRS. This is the point of translation; the point where the arbitrary component of the representation is allowed to evoke a response in a physically determined system – while preserving the arbitrary nature of the representation.
10. This physical event, translation by a material protocol, as well as the transcription of a material representation, is ubiquitous in the transfer of recorded information.
CONCLUSION: These two physical objects (the representation and protocol) along with the required preservation of the arbitrary component of the representation, and the production of unambiguous function from that arbitrary component, confirm that the transfer of recorded information in the genome is just like any other form of recorded information. It’s an arbitrary relationship instantiated in matter.