After a series of posts on, “What is the origin of the information that allows for life?” a series that rules out Chance, Predestination (chemical necessity) and RNA replication, an atheist said, “Is there nothing that will satisfy you?”
I’m on the driveway, lying under my car when the guy next door walks over to see what I’m doing. He asks if he can do anything to help and I say, “Ya, actually. Could you bring me the hammer from the workbench? It’s lying right beside the vise.” The guy comes back with a Screwdriver and I say, “No. A Screwdriver won’t do. I need the claw hammer that’s lying on the bench.” He comes back with a Saw and I say, “Kyle! A Saw won’t work for what I’m doing. I need the steel claw hammer that is on the workbench right beside the vise.” Kyle comes back with a rubber hammer and when I reject that as well, Kyle says, “Is there nothing that will satisfy you?”
I’m not just writing here because I’m retired and I don’t have anything else to do. Well, I don’t have anything else to do. Reading is pretty much what I’ve done all day every day for the last eight years. I love it. This stuff is important to me. I don’t just want an answer for the sake of having an answer. I want the RIGHT answer and if the right answer can be found then I’m willing to search for it. If there is a right answer, that means that other answers are going to be wrong. So far, based on fact, scientific fact, we can know that for the question “What is the origin of the information that allows for life?”
. Predestination (chemical necessity) and
. RNA replication
are not the right answer. In this series I’ve shown you why that is.
I’ve shown, that when this series began, “multiple competing hypotheses” were present. However, little by little we are getting rid of ones that won’t work and I’m still looking for something that will work. Enough of that.
We know from science that cells are a storage site for information and that a particular kind of information is absolutely essential for those cells to function. As a result, it’s important to find out where that information came from. In fact, if you want to explain the origin of life, you need to know where the information in DNA came from, because without that information, there isn’t any life - period.
As Gorth has pointed out, not all information is the same. The information in DNA happens to be what is called, specified complexity.
Shannon, “A Mathematical Theory of Communication”
The information in DNA is functionally specified. It didn’t just appear from some random, non directed process.
The information in DNA is there to do a job. It didn’t arise from some random, non directed process.
I’ve noticed that most if the atheists passing through at this time get confused in this area. It’s important to note that:
. Information Content is not just information-carrying capacity.
. Specified Information is not just Shannon information, and
. Specified complexity is not just complexity.
Meyers, “Signature in the Cell” 327
The origin of the functional information that is found in DNA is what is being sought.
Peter Lipton wrote, “Inference to the Best Explanation.” In it he describes what I’ve been calling Best Evidence. Best evidence, according to Lipton is one that points out or highlights a “causal difference.” A causal difference is an explanation that is measurably and quantifiably different than explanations that do not meet the criteria of answering the question being studied. a causal difference is an explanation that stands out because it explains what is being studied.
A forensic scientist is going to look for things, situations or a process that has the ability to produce the event or evidence that is being studied - in this case Specified Complexity.
A forensic scientist is looking for a causal difference that better explains the evidence than those things, situations or processes that don’t have that ability - in this case to produce Specified Complexity.
Here’s the thing! Scientists begin their search for answers of this type by FIRST looking to causes now in operation.
Lyell, “Principles of Geology 1:75-90
An Agent or Intelligent Mind capable of creating / making a conscious, deliberate, choice or direction to affect a certain outcome or objective, THAT is what is meant by Intelligent Design. Because of the metaphysical implications of what we know (and know absolutely and uniformly) regarding the origins of Intelligent Design in the world we observe, atheists have forced science to implement answers, virtually any answers when looking for a causal difference regardless of whether or not they are "Causally Adequate Explanations."
Ginx gives a perfect example of this in his second reply below. This is not a case of "Let's just fill in the blanks. Any answer will do." Just any answer will NOT do!
That desperation is what causes atheists to show their frustration when all of their favourite reasons are shown to not be workable. “Is there nothing that will satisfy you?”
Eliminating Chance, Predestination and RNA replication does not mean that Intelligent Design is the winner by default. It does means however that ID should not be discarded because of philosophical reasons or because your predetermined world-view doesn't allow for such an answer. Because we know of no other means of creating specified complexity other than by Intelligent Agents, ID, at the very least, should remain a possible contender as to the Cause of the evidence that we observe.
I’ll admit that I’m looking for the hammer (ID) because I believe that the hammer is the only tool that will do the job. One thing I know, however, and you know as well, a Screwdriver (Chance), a Saw (Predestination) and a Rubber Hammer (RNA replication) will not do the job at hand.