By Design, Not By Chance - Evolution News & Views

Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution, including breaking news about scientific research.

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By Design, Not By Chance

CSC Director Dr. Stephen Meyer yesterday had a lengthy and informative piece --eloquently making the positive case for intelligent design-- published in the National Post in Canada.

Often, there are criticisms from the media that the theory of intelligent design is just an argument from ignorance. How many times have you read this tired, old description of ID: "life seems so complex evolution can't be the answer, must have been a supernatural power." Meyer's piece answers this and shows how recent scientific discoveries and standard methods of scientific reasoning guides our inferences about the origins and diversity of the universe and living systems.

"Yet, the scientists arguing for intelligent design do not do so merely because natural processes-chance, laws or the combination of the two-have failed to explain the origin of the information and information processing systems in cells. Instead, they also argue for design because we know from experience that systems possessing these features invariably arise from intelligent causes. The information on computer screen can be traced back to a user or programmer. The information in a newspaper ultimately came from a writer-from a mental, rather than a strictly material, cause. As the pioneering information theorist Henry Quastler observed, "information habitually arises from conscious activity."

This connection between information and prior intelligence enables us to detect or infer intelligent activity even from unobservable sources in the distant past. Archeologists infer ancient scribes from hieroglyphic inscriptions. SETI's search for extraterrestrial intelligence presupposes that information imbedded in electromagnetic signals from space would indicate an intelligent source. As yet, radio astronomers have not found information-bearing signals from distant star systems. But closer to home, molecular biologists have discovered information in the cell, suggesting--by the same logic that underwrites the SETI program and ordinary scientific reasoning about other informational artifacts--an intelligent source for the information in DNA.

DNA functions like a software program. We know from experience that software comes from programmers. We know generally that information-whether inscribed in hieroglyphics, written in a book or encoded in a radio signal-always arises from an intelligent source. So the discovery of information in the DNA molecule, provides strong grounds for inferring that intelligence played a role in the origin of DNA, even if we weren't there to observe the system coming into existence."

Read the whole article here and decide for yourself.


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