This is the written transcript for Lesson 7 in this series of presentations on evidence for the existence of God — (it is likely that transcripts will vary somewhat from the actual video recordings).
In lesson 5 we introduced the teleological argument for the existence of a purposeful and intentional Designer. Perhaps, nowhere is the intelligence, purpose, and intentional design required to orchestrate life and ensure its continuation more evident than in our own genetic code. According to Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei (2012):
- DNA is the “blueprint” of life.
- Almost all the cells in our body have DNA with the exception of red blood cells.
- Our entire DNA sequence is called a genome.
- There’s a copy of our entire DNA sequence in every cell of our body with one exception.
- There’s an estimated 3 billion DNA bases in our genome.
- One chromosome can have as little as 50 million base pairs or as much as 250 million base pairs.
- One million bases (called a megabase and abbreviated Mb) of DNA sequence data is roughly equivalent to 1 megabyte of computer data storage space.
- Our entire DNA sequence would fill 200 1,000-page New York City telephone directories.
- A complete 3 billion base genome would take 3 gigabytes of storage space.
- If unwound and tied together, the strands of DNA in one cell would stretch almost six feet but would be only 50 trillionths of an inch wide.
- In humans, the DNA molecule in a non-sex cell would have a total length of 1.7 metres.
- If you unwrap all the DNA you have in all your cells, you could reach the moon 6000 times!
- DNA can self-replicate using cellular machinery made of proteins.
- If all the DNA in your body was put end to end, it would reach to the sun and back over 600 times (100 trillion times six feet divided by 92 million miles).
- It would take a person typing 60 words per minute, eight hours a day, around 50 years to type the human genome.
- If all three billion letters in the human genome were stacked one millimeter apart, they would reach a height 7,000 times the height of the Empire State Building.
(Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei, 2012)
Concerning the genetic code of living things, Dr. Egnor (2011) goes on to state:
The genetic code, intricate nanotechnology is so sophisticated that we are nowhere near understanding it, let alone replicating it, let alone explaining how it came to be without an agent intelligence. Not only does Darwinism have no explanation for most of this, but the Darwinist presupposition is that there can’t be any purpose or direction in living things. Philosophically, Darwinists are precluded from explaining design in life. It’s a real bind for them. (Dr. Egnor, 2011)
To assert that life as we know it is simply the result of random combinations of elements and chemical processes occurring by chance over vast periods of time, without the benefit of intelligent design, is a futile assumption that runs contrary not only to biological evidence, but also mathematical probability.
Smith (2012) notes that, “The mathematical odds of a single DNA molecule occurring by chance exceed, even by conservative estimates, 1:1010000. In fact, some scientists have said that it is even greater” (Smith, 2012, p. 3).
Smith goes on to reference Dr. Fred Hoyle and associates (1981), scientist and one-time atheistic evolutionist, who said:
Life cannot have had a random beginning. The trouble is that there are about two thousand enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in (10 to the 20th) to the 2,000th = 10 to the 40,000th, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup. (Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, 1981, pp. 148-150)
Smith (2012) elaborates on Hoyle’s statistics, saying, “Here’s a simple way to think about how big this number (1040000) is. The number of atoms in the universe (yes, the entire universe – space, matter – all of it) is estimated to be about 1087” (p. 3). As Smith relates, Hoyle (1981) also noted that:
The enormous information content of even the simplest living systems cannot in our view be generated by what are often called natural processes. For life to have originated on the Earth it would be necessary that quite explicit instruction should have been provided for its assembly. (Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, 1981, pp. 30-31)
Dr. Egnor (2011) comments on the inability of material evolutionists to come to grips with the idea of divine intelligence being responsible for the intricate design evidenced in life as we know it, saying:
- Since Darwin’s theory is supposed to eliminate teleology from biology, the continuing indispensability of teleology to understand biology is a glaring embarrassment to Darwinists. They had two choices: Purge biology of all references to teleology, which would make it incomprehensible and lead to the casting-aside of the Darwinian paradigm.
- Make up a new word that sounded like teleology, but that could be claimed to do away with it. Since most people won’t bother to figure out the philosophical subtleties, the fact that it’s gibberish wouldn’t matter.
According to Dr. Egnor, this is how the new word “teleonomy”—processes that produce complex products without the benefit of a guiding foresight or purpose—got a foothold. In responding to critics of intelligent design who say that, “it is illegitimate to describe evolutionary processes or trends as goal-directed (teleological),” Egnor says, “Most natural change manifests directedness, as understood classically. Recognition of this fact of nature is not ‘illegitimate.’ It’s merely honest. The only reason not to admit the obvious directedness of natural change, including evolutionary processes, is if one is protecting an ideology from scrutiny.”
Dr. Hoyle (1982) asserts:
My impression is that most biologists really know in their hearts the issue is there, but are so appalled by its implications that they are prepared to swallow any line of thought to avoid it. If one proceeds directly and straightforwardly in this matter, without being deflected by a fear of incurring the wrath of scientific opinion, one arrives at the conclusion that biomaterialists with their amazing measure of order must be the outcome of intelligent design. Problems of order, such as the sequences of amino acids in the chains… are precisely the problems that become easy once a directed intelligence enters the picture. (pp. 27-28)
So, there you have it… if you can’t prove your hypothesis, just tinker with the vocabulary enough to cloud the truth and throw people off the trail. Get people to thinking only about teleonomy – the “processes” that produce complex products, rather than about teleology – the intelligence, or purpose, or reason for the production of complex products. It’s sad to me that, even in the alleged scientific community, people are not above perpetrating that kind of subtle deception.
Until next time, may you draw ever closer to your Creator on your journey to forever…
Resources and References
Egnor, M. (2011). Teleonomy and teleology. Retrieved from the Egnorance blogsite at: http://egnorance.blogspot.com/2011/07/teleonomy-and-teleology.html
Hoyle, F., & Wickramasinghe, N.C. (1981). Evolution from Space. London: J.M. Dent & Sons.
Hoyle, F. (1982). Evolution from space (the Omni lecture). Hillside, NJ: Enslow Publishers.
Lei, H. (2012). 100 facts about DNA. Retrieved from Eye On DNA website at: http://www.eyeondna.com/2007/08/20/100-facts-about-dna/
Smith, B. (2012). Argument by design: The teleological argument. Retrieved from the knowtruth.com website at: http://www.knowtruth.com/god/existence/design_argument_1.php
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