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Moshe Averick: Robert Saunders misses Steve Meyer’s point about the language of DNA

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Moshe Averick

Recently, we were talking about a British Darwinist who wouldn’t attend an ID theorist’s talk, and wouldn’t watch it on YouTube. We thought it was all funny, actually. But now it turns out that Reb Moshe Averick has weighed in on the guy in “British Geneticist Robert Saunders Leaves a Highly Prejudiced Signature in His Review of “‘Signature in the Cell’” (Algemeiner Daily, April 2, 2012):

What Saunders seems to have missed is that Meyer is not talking about “evolutionary change” at all. He is talking about the origin of information in the very first living organism. This is such an egregious error that it casts serious doubt as to whether Saunders understood the essential thesis of the book. Even Dr. Eugenie Scott of the NCSE understands the fundamental and conceptual difference between the process of evolution and origin of life: “Although some people confuse the origin of life with evolution the two are conceptually separate.” I guess when Dr. Scott said that “some people” confuse the two, she was referring to Robert Saunders.

Hmmm. Seems Saunders didn’t get the updates to the Darwin script.

Meyer points out a rather astonishing fact – about which there is no scientific controversy – regarding the arrangements of the nucleobases in DNA. There are absolutely no chemical affinities or preferences for which nucleobases bond with any particular phosphate and sugar molecule. The N-glycosidic bond works equally well with (A), (T), (G), or (C). And secondly, there are also no chemical bonds in the vertical axis between the nucleobases. What this means is that there are no forces of physical/chemical attraction and no chemical or physical law that dictates the order of the nucleobases; they can be arranged in a nearly infinite amount of different sequences.

Meyer gives an easy to understand illustration: Imagine a series of magnetic letters on the metal door of a refrigerator. All the letters are attached to the door by the same bond, namely a magnetic attraction. However, while the magnetic attraction is identical, there is nothing at all about the structure of any particular letter, or the magnetic bond, that would determine a preference for the order in which the letters are arranged on the door. If the letter G must always follow L which must always follow C, etc, then all you would get would be an endlessly repeating pattern of C, L, G etc., and no information could be conveyed. In fact, it is this very indeterminate nature of the arrangements of letters which allows them to convey functional information. Similarly, the arrangement of letters on a printed page has nothing at all to do with the chemical composition of the ink or paper. Meyer shows that the same applies to the arrangement of the letters of the genetic text. What allows the storage of encyclopedic amounts of information in DNA is the very indeterminate nature of the arrangements of the nucleobases, which are the “letters” of the genetic text.

The actual source of the information on the fridge door is, of course, people arranging the letters. Which raises an interesting question, the one we have been asking recently: Who really believes that it all happens by chance?

YOU do? Have we gotta bridge ta sell ya! Cheap! Just look at it! Here.  A beauty! And no trouble with anybody if you just take it over tomorrow …

One Reply to “Moshe Averick: Robert Saunders misses Steve Meyer’s point about the language of DNA

  1. 1
    Axel says:

    “Although some people confuse the origin of life with evolution the two are conceptually separate.”

    Equally apt to be confused, once again as a victim of doctrinaire materialism, are the dynamism that drives the putative/limited evolutionary process, and the manifestation of the process or description of it.

    A US journalist once compared the eventual findings of the enquiry into 9/11 with the words of a little boy who’d just knocked over a lamp. Simply: “The lamp broke.” Very like the simplistic, doctrinaire evasions of the anti-ID crowd.

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