DNA and Intelligent Design

Question from John:
Can you believe in ID and Evolution? If not how can we prove that a undirected process created information and design within DNA? And if it was created by a misguided process does that mean that everything around us is simply a delusion?

Answer by SmartLX:
Many people, including some scientists and even biologists, believe that evolution happened but God or some other “designer” guided important parts of it, the main instance being the development of human beings. This position is known as theistic evolutionism. It’s not normally called “intelligent design” because self-proclaimed ID proponents like those in the Discovery Institute oppose undirected evolution explicitly; their goal is to establish their designer as necessary to the process, not just a possible part of it.

Undirected processes create additional information within DNA all the time through mutation, often under observation. The easiest-to-understand mechanism by which this happens is gene duplication: a small part of a genome is duplicated, changing the instructions it gives the same way an extra “o” changes “hot” to “hoot”. Here’s a video by Don Exodus which goes into more depth; I’m sure you can find many more.

By definition, an undirected process cannot create true design, which implies the existence of a designer. An undirected process can however create the appearance of design if a selection process exists which favours more elegant solutions to physical challenges, and that’s exactly what natural selection does. Even Richard Dawkins often says that living things look designed; this has no bearing on whether they really are.

Everything we sense around us might well be a badly distorted image of what’s really there, or even a complete hallucination, but we are able to test our surroundings and find consistency. When we let go of a ball, it always falls down (unless we’re underwater). When we feel something hot, it hurts us to touch it. We know from smell alone whether someone’s farted in our elevator. The world we see gives every impression of being a real, tangible world, even if we might not be seeing it as it truly is. Nobody said evolution produced perfect results, but it’s given us good enough senses to make some internal sense of the world and survive in it. That’s technically all we need.

4 thoughts on “DNA and Intelligent Design”

  1. “”By definition, an undirected process cannot create true design,… . An undirected process can however create the appearance of design…., and that’s exactly what natural selection does. Even Richard Dawkins often says that living things look designed; this has no bearing on whether they really are.””

    The god Dawkins and many atheists use is just a straw man god. Its intellectually dishonest and the most pathetic part in using this lame god is they are trying to prove their point to people who know what the real God is. Thats the very definition of Straw.
    The arguments are so poorly thought out, attack minority views, and avoid confronting the main point. instead they just meandering around fake caricatures and false assumption no one even believes in the first place.
    We wonder who they think they’re convincing—themselves –so they can reenforce their worldview daily? Thats just masturbation.

    The real God is Eternal. He is the only one that “Just Is”–you cant apply that to physical creation. He doesnt have to intervene unless it pleases him to do so. Being eternal, he knows all scenarios and counterfactuals. He knows an infinite amount of starting points and their precise result based on whatever physics he creates.
    What we have by atheists is a deliberate failure to imagine because if they do truly give the subjects fair unbiased thought they wouldnt feel as secure cursing God.
    Want to use your mind? Look at a video of the end point of the Mount St Helens aftermath. Exactly where everything landed, the precise plume and distribution of matter. Run the video backwards. Now you dont have infinite knowledge of the space time continuum and interaction therein but if you were All powerful you could place all matter and energy in their precise spacial location at the beginning and *Move everything toward your intended goal with a simple push. Everything would proceed as planned–no intervention after the Prime Move needed.

    God can do anything he wants to achieve his purpose. Im a lucid dreamer and I have no problem whatsoever in manipulating the world and space I create in my dreams and Im just a man. Dawkins god is too small. He is dawkins lame imagination personified.
    If God wants to do things along the way he can do that too. If he wants to plot the entire course of matter, pack that potential into a tiny point of information in which he **Pushes all energy on the specific trajectory that leads to human consciousness in 14 billion years he can do that. Thats the definition of God for crying out loud 🙂
    If he knows many will only turn to him if they struggle through life—he can allow for obstacles.
    This little band of atheists has no imagination and demands their own little genie god and nothing else . A god who goes on CNN(as if they would love God if made himself undeniable). The god lets them do anything they want. They dont want their actual Father who gave them the ultimate freedom, who used no coercion by allowing just as much proof through nature and testimony as doubt through skepticism so people could fully reveal themselves to him. Those who want God as their Father will turn to him and those who dont are free to say its all just bullcrap.
    So I just say a word of wisdom. This sophomoric atheist tooth fairy schtick is so self defeating your better off just standing on your personal belief that there is no God–“Just because”.
    To take the illogical path that Atom just appears designed, spacetime just seems designed, EM force, Nuclear force, CConstant, Earth, Moon’s size and location, Axis, tilt, rotation, DNA, the Eye, the beauty of the Universe, human thought just seems designed is almost more incomprehensible than creation itself.

  2. Any atheist would admit that an all-powerful god could have created the universe exactly as it is. It’s silly to suppose that a hypothetical omnipotent being is incapable of something (unless you turn that omnipotence upon itself, as in the omnipotence paradox).

    The question, however, is whether a god actually did this. This cannot be answered simply by looking at the universe, because if a god created it then that god made it look exactly as if there were no creator god. The absence of direct, undeniable evidence for a god may not be proof that there is no god (though it may support that idea, as I argue here), but it certainly doesn’t indicate by itself that there is one. Excuses for a lack of evidence are not a replacement for evidence.

    Dawkins is addressing a new audience whenever he quotes his books aloud, saying for instance that living things look designed, so whether or not he’s convincing himself he’s also convincing a great many new people. By contrast, preachers with steady congregations drill the same message into their congregants week in, week out, and encourage them all to affirm that message to themselves and each other in prayer every single day. The street preachers I’ve seen don’t seem overly concerned with whether anyone is actually listening. A great deal more self-persuasion happens in religion than in any other subject. What is a church sermon, after all, but a man literally preaching to the converted?

    Not all of what you list at the end “seems designed” at all. Spacetime is flexible enough that time can pass differently at different speeds, which hardly speaks to a divine order. Earth and the Moon are just two bodies among what we are now confirming to be countless planets of all sizes throughout the universe, where life appears to have emerged because they happened to form the right environment. DNA is a dodgy system that in any given recombination can produce horrific, fatal mutations as easily as beneficial mutations, and it took a billion years of selection to come up with anything more complex than shellfish. If you search the site for “fine tuning” you’ll see where I’ve already discussed nuclear forces and so on.

    Even if they did all look designed, and that fact were still incomprehensible to you without invoking a god, it would mean nothing. It’s a long way from “I can’t comprehend how this could have happened naturally” to “this could not have happened naturally”, and leaping from one to the other is an argument from ignorance.

  3. What John gets wrong-

    1) He thinks that because God can be used to explain everything, that it’s the best explanation. Since God is a being that can do anything, it can be used to explain anything. Why is the sky blue? Because God made it that way. Why is the grass green? Because God made it that way. “God” can be used as a mindless cookie cutter answer for absolutely anything and everything. However, that’s not the basis by which we arrive at conclusions. We don’t choose the answer that can explain the most; we choose the one that’s supported by the most falsifiable evidence. And this is actually a problem for believers because it’s hard to falsify, even in principle, an explanation that can explain anything.

    every theist should read Karl Popper.

    1) He treats “God did it” as the default explanation. Any time he doesn’t know any other explanation, or he thinks some other explanation is improbable, he chooses “God did it”. He’s not presenting a single piece of evidence that God exists or that he actually did do it. He’s just attacking other explanations and expecting us to believe that God did it by default. But i’d argue that it shouldn’t be the default explanation, and that if you want to show that God did something, you need to actually present falsifiable evidence that he exists and that he did it. If you want to show that God doing something is more probable than another explanation, you need to present the probability that God exists and that he did that thing. And you can’t make arguments from assumptions or arguments based on ignorance.

  4. the God of the bible, if you read his word, did not create evolution. the God of the bible created man, who wrote the Bible. and if you read the Bible, you must know it’s fiction, or nonsense…nonsense mostly.

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