Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Friday, May 14, 2021

Science Night - Darwin's Methods 

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Watch this seven-minute video. Can you decipher Meyer’s basic thesis? What he is basically saying is that if you are going to look for a cause for something, you should look for a cause currently observable that is known to produce the kind of thing you are looking for. So what current cause is known to produce information? He quotes Henry Quastler:

The creation of new information is habitually associated with conscious activity.
The essence of DNA is information:
The information density of DNA is remarkable — just one gram can store 215 petabytes, or 215 million gigabytes, of data. For context, the average hard drive in a laptop can house just one millionth of that amount. —John Cumbers
So what is the cause of the massive amount of information contained in the DNA molecule? Clearly it would involve some sort of conscious activity. The idea that the bringing in of DNA would be associated with conscious activity is not only rational, it is nonsensical to assume that something with such massive information storage capacity could come about without conscious activity, as a result of a crude accident of nature.

Meyer goes as far as to say that if Darwin had applied his own methods using the information we have available to day, he would have drawn very different conclusions than the ones we all study in our science books. Not sure about that, because I don’t know if mere lack of information was the primary cause of Darwin’s conclusions. But I guess I would say that if Darwin had had access to a microscope, the conclusions he came to would have been much harder to justify, which is why they are being challenged today. And there is no way his book Origin of Species could have been published today, because the title, at least, is overtly racist. Here is the full title of Darwin's classic: Origin of Species by Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

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In the video below, Michael Behe explains his growing skepticism of Darwin's theory, and he outlines some of the problems with it, particularly that scientists in Darwin's day had no idea how complex the human cell is, because they had never seen it.

If I could summarize the basic thesis of the Intelligent Design folks re: Darwinian evolution, it would look like this:

Darwin’s methods + today’s information = Intelligent Design

The general idea seems to be, “Now that we have microscopes and can see how complex the human cell actually is, there is no more excuse for believing a theory as juvenile as Darwin’s theory of evolution. The complexity of the cell makes obvious the existence, at some point in the process, of a vastly intelligent mind.”

I don’t know if I have expressed it just the way they would, but I would say that, while I agree with the Intelligent Design folks that the irreducible complexity of the cell makes evident the presence of intelligence in the development of this complexity, I believe that intelligent design was more than obvious long before there were microscopes. The question I pose to Chinese young people when I am talking about this, is not “How can something as complex as the human cell have evolved without direction?” My question is “Who put the stars in the sky?” You see, even if you believe that all life evolved originally from some sort of “primordial soup,” you still have to explain where that primordial soup came from. And where did the planet on which it existed come from? So the existence of an intelligent designer is not just obvious to anyone with a microscope. It is more than obvious to anyone who has ever looked into the night sky and tried to count the stars.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” (Psalm 19:1)

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