Evolution and the Problem of the Origin of Form and Information

This post continues a critique of theistic evolution- the idea that God used evolution. I’ll provide some of the main points presented by Dr. Stephen Meyer.

Evolution is thought to be natural, unguided and undirected. Organisms are said to come into existence via natural laws, and then they evolve over time, or they go extinct. Evolution is primarily an atheist or secular belief to explain our existence without any supernatural being(s).

But one problem is that most people around the world do believe in God or god(s), and that an intelligent being was involved in the design and creation of life and the universe. The Bible reveals that God’s design in nature is clearly seen from what he made (Romans 1:20). And if any of this is true, then there should be evidence for design, and there is.

Evolutionists, however, deny design and claim it’s merely an appearance, not actual. Thus, there’s a real conflict between evolutionary beliefs and traditional religious beliefs.

If life really is designed, then there must be a designer, and the design is not just an appearance. Therefore, the theistic evolutionist has a dilemma because Darwinian evolution seeks to explain the appearance of design without evoking intelligence. Darwinian evolution is in direct opposition to the existence of an intelligent agent, i.e. God.

Nonetheless, the theistic evolutionist accepts Darwinian evolution, and, at the same time, imposes that belief with the existence of God. Therefore, the theistic evolutionist must consider whether evolution is a directed or undirected process. If evolution is directed by an intelligent agent, then this would indicate intelligent design. Theistic evolutionists, however, often oppose intelligent design and conclude that God doesn’t know the outcome of evolution because he’s not directing it. Or they may claim that we can’t tell if evolution is guided or not.

But what does this say about God? Is God in control of the universe or not? Is God guiding an unguided process, or is he not guiding anything? Is God just observing the universe as it unfolds, or does he know what the outcome will be? And doesn’t this diminish God’s sovereignty?

Meyers calls this a convoluted and vacuous proposition.

So the central issue of theistic evolution seems to be an issue of causation. Is God involved or not? And if they don’t know, then why be so opposed to Intelligent Design? The theory of Intelligent Design states that living systems are best explained by an intelligent creator rather than unguided natural processes. Intelligent Design states that living things look designed because they were designed.

Now consider, in nature we find miniature machines that infer design; in all our human experiences, machines are always designed  by a designer and never form on their own. A classic example is the flagellum. It’s the most efficient system on the planet and contains a hard-wired transduction system with short term memory, a clutch, brake and a water-cooled rotary engine. The motor is built with the genetic regulation to turn on and shut off genes in the correct sequence, and evolution can’t explain the step-by-step process required for such a complex system. Removing just one part would cause the motor to cease functioning, and the evolutionary process would be halted.

Evolutionists tried to claim that the flagellum evolved from the Type III secretion system, which is a molecular syringe that injects toxins into a host organism. Accordingly, the flagellum would be a product of evolution.

However, we’ve discovered that the Type III secretion system didn’t exist until after the flagellum, and therefore it couldn’t have evolved into the flagellum. The Type III secretion system is an example of devolution, not evolution.

More evidence of design in biology comes from digital information stored in genes that is sequence specific. According to Richard Dawkins, “The machine code of the genes is uncannily computer-like. Apart from differences in jargon, the pages of a molecular biology journal might be interchanged with those of a computer engineering journal.”

Scientists are increasingly realizing how big a problem the origin of life is for evolution. Henry Quastler said, “The creation of new information is habitually associated with conscious activity.”

If science is interested in the best explanation of the data, then Intelligent Design should be given more credit. Intelligent Design advocates are making great advances in science, and we can see this in their search for informational design patterns- patterns that are automated, contain hierarchical information and embedded information. These patterns are being found, and we’re learning things that evolutionists wouldn’t have found or predicted. ID advocates predicted that Junk DNA would have a function, and the 2011 genome project determined that most of this Junk DNA is functional. We also find messages within messages- a method of information compression and storage, and we’ve found overlapping genes.

Orphan genes are something else that shouldn’t exist in an evolutionary model. These genes have no known similarity to other genes. Instead, we find vast stretches of the genome comprised of genes with no similar sequence, and this astonishes evolutionists.

ATP synthase is further evidence of ID. ATP synthase is a battery pack for metabolic reactions in the cell, and it couldn’t have developed by gradualistic means.

All this has been predicted by Intelligent Design, and this theory is providing new insight as to how biology works. ID is using rational design principles to understand function, and these principles allow us to innovate and redesign biological nanomachines. ID is creating technological advancements and paving the way to destroying prostate cancer cells while leaving the healthy cells alone.

Theistic evolutionists find themselves in the middle of two competing religions, yet they tend to side with secular philosophy (or religion) at the expense of their own religion. But there’s no good reason to. Life and the universe are better explained by the existence of God. Things look designed is because they were designed.

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