Science: 1x10^2346789 Creationism: 0."
This is a real kool-aid drinker here. I am not so foolish as to think that only Creation Science is actual science, but for some reason this person thinks that Creationism is against science. Perhaps this is because this person doesn't understand science. In pure form, science is unconcerned with worldview and that is certainly true in operational mode.
Being a creationist or an evolutionist usually makes no difference when it comes to science, that is, operational science in which systems and operations that are observable and testable today are studied in order to make discoveries that benefit mankind. It only makes a difference when grant dollars are being passed out for historical science research, really, or in matters of historical (or origins) science itself.
I have stated that I do believe that a lot of money is being thrown at attempts to prove that evolution has occurred and evolution-related issues and I do believe that money and time is wasted.
Incidently, since creation science has an answer to the advent of the Universe and the beginning of life itself, maybe right now it is creationism 2, atheistic evolutionism 0. But we go on...
The complexity of living beings - I find it either pathetic or hilarious that the SETI project is underway. The folks who are scanning the skies for SETI are looking for any evidence of intelligent patterns in the noise and light that are coming from outside of the Earth. Here is the statement of purpose for the SETI Institute.
The SETI Institute is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research, education and public outreach.
Founded in 1984, the Institute today employs over 100 scientists, educators and support staff. Research at the Institute is anchored by two centers. Dr. Jill Tarter leads the Center for SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Research as Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI. Dr. Frank Drake is the Director for the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe
Institute projects have been sponsored by:
- NASA Ames Research Center
- NASA Headquarters
- National Science Foundation
- Department of Energy
- US Geological Survey
- Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
- International Astronomical Union
- Argonne National Laboratory
- Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
- David & Lucile Packard Foundation
- Paul G. Allen Foundation
- Gordon and Betty Moore
- Universities Space Research Association (USRA)
- Pacific Science Center
- Foundation for Microbiology
- Sun Microsystems
- Hewlett Packard Company
- William and Rosemary Hewlett
- Bernard M. Oliver
- And many others
The Institute welcomes support from private foundations or other groups/individuals interested in SETI. Each funded effort (135 separate multi-year projects funded since 1984) is supervised by a principal investigator who is responsible to the Board of Trustees for the conduct of the activity.
The SETI Institute is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1984 (California Corporation #1261957). The Institute is a scientific and educational organization governed by the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, and the Institute's Federal identification number for reporting and tax purposes is 94-2951356.
All contributions to the Institute will be used to further the goals described above and are deductible to the donor for both State and Federal income tax purposes.
I could go on about the hundreds, yes, thousands of home computers giving processing time to the SETI project and all of the money dedicated to looking for ET. The Phoenix Project gets sky-scanning time to look for intelligent signals from the skies. But whether or not you support this search, I ask you this: If intelligent code coming from outer space means a non-human intelligence, then why isn't this same point of view in use when studying the makeup of life itself????
One would think that to establish that any signal from space came from an intelligent source, it would need to contain coded information. (Any language system is coded information.) This would be a sign of intelligence because it always takes (greater) information to produce information, and ultimately information is the result of intelligence. Many years ago, the very first radio signal was received from space. It was called LGM-1. A regularly repeating blip had evolutionary astronomers very excited. Co-discoverer Jocelyn Bell-Burnell said:
‘One of the ideas that we facetiously entertained was that it might be little green men [emphasis added]—a civilization outside in space somewhere trying to communicate with us.’8
LGM-1 actually stood for ‘Little Green Men-1’, which gives you some indication of what they were expecting to find. However, the radio signal was from nothing more than a pulsar, a very dense celestial object, probably formed from a star that has undergone gravitational collapse. As it rapidly rotates, it emits regular ‘pulses’ of radio waves. (In contrast to the complex DNA code, or the writing on this page, a repeating signal actually has a very low level of information.)
| The SETI Project, Falling “Floppy Discs,” and A Major Missed Implication |
by Kyle Butt, M.A.
SETI is the acronym that stands for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. For some time prior to 1981, the Federal Government pumped millions of dollars into the construction of high-tech satellites overseen by NASA that were designed to scan the skies in an effort to detect messages, codes, signals, or signs from intelligent life forms on other planets. In 1981, however, federal funding for this program ceased, but this roadblock in the search for alien intelligence did not stop the program. Currently, the Planetary Society stands as the major player in the SETI project. Thousands of volunteers all over the world have put their desktop computers to work, equipped with a program that filters information and radio signals from satellites. These computers are looking for patterns in signals that would suggest the existence of intelligence in outer space. Such prestigious institutions as Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley have joined the search. In the past, renowned scientists like Carl Sagan adamantly pushed for the funding and expansion of the SETI project (McDonough, 2004).
What, then, are these scientists and volunteers hoping to find in the data collected from their satellites, observation equipment, and computer analyses? They are hoping to find patterns or codes in radio or laser signals that contain some type of communication from an extraterrestrial intelligence. On the Planetary Society’s Web site, under the heading of Frequently Asked Questions, the question is posed: “How could we possibly understand signals from another civilization?” The answer given to this question is:
Even though we and an alien civilization would not have a language in common, there are ways to communicate that should be understandable to intelligent beings. Mathematics, physics, chemistry, and astronomy contain fundamental laws that provide a common “language” throughout the universe. Television pictures are a way of communicating that do not even require a common language to understand (“Frequently Asked Questions...,” 2001).
We can see that mathematical patterns, codes, languages, algorithms, and various other “fundamental laws” would be accepted as evidence that some type of intelligence did exist. The premise that can be surmised from the SETI program is that intelligence could be recognized and distinguished from non-intelligent, natural explanations; the required criteria for this recognition being some type of code, mathematical sequence, physical patterns, etc.
Suppose we were to send a man to the moon, and tiny floppy discs started falling to the moon’s surface. Upon inspection of these discs, the astronaut discovers they contain intricately coded information. Suppose further that he is able to decipher this code. Upon doing so, he discovers that the instructions contained in the code, if followed precisely, would produce a machine that could convert sunlight and minerals into food edible by humans and animals. Such an amazing find would receive world-wide recognition to say the least. And there would be no doubt that these discs had originated from an advanced intelligence. Yet, this hypothetical lunar scenario has a terrestrial equivalent.
In his book, The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins purports to show how life in this Universe could have evolved over millions of years. He claims to present information that shows that complicated life forms such as humans could have arisen from non-living substances by tiny, gradual steps over eons of time. In chapter five, he begins a discussion on DNA, and attempts to explain how such amazing codes of information could have arisen through natural processes. In his introduction to that chapter, however, he makes a startling admission that, to the honest reader, is impossible to explain in terms of naturalistic evolution. He discusses a willow tree that sits in his garden, shedding its “cottony” seeds through the air, to the ground and the passing water in the canal. In his discussion of the seeds, he explains that each seed contains DNA that, if allowed to grow, will produce another willow tree. He then explains briefly some of the coding capabilities of DNA and the instructions found in it for growth. Referring to these seeds and the DNA they contain, he makes the following statement: “It is raining instructions out there; it’s raining programs; it’s raining tree-growing, fluff-spreading, algorithms. That is not a metaphor, it is the plain truth. It couldn’t be any plainer if it were raining floppy discs” (1996, p. 111).
It is ironic, is it not, that the very coded mathematical information that, if found on the Moon, would be hailed as proof for the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence, when found on the Earth, is viewed by many as the product of a mindless, multi-million-year random process. How is it that such prestigious academic institutions such as Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley spend thousands of man hours and millions of dollars searching the skies for mathematical codes, radio signal patterns, etc.? And yet when they find such patterns, in biological, terrestrial organisms, they attribute them to non-intelligence. The logical implication in this situation continues to be missed by many of the major players in the scientific community: if complex coded information is found anywhere in the Universe, it proves that it was put there by a superior intelligence. If such is not the case, why waste time scanning the skies for these patterns? Dawkins’ book attempts to explain away this implication when it comes to coded information found on Earth, but it fails completely. Such an obvious, logical implication cannot be explained away. In truth, the coded information found in the DNA of living organisms points overwhelming to the fact that these organisms were design by an intelligent Being.
Dawkins, Richard (1996), The Blind Watchmaker, (New York, NY: W.H. Norton and Co.).
“Frequently Asked Questions About the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence,” (2001), [On-line], URL: http://www.planetary.org/html/UPDATES/seti/SETIFAQS.html
McDonough, Thomas (2004), “Two Decades of SETI,” [On-line], URL: http://www.planetary.org/html/UPDATES/seti/seti-history.html.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us that everything is running downhill in the Universe, from energy to entropy. Different scientists and organizations state this in differing ways but all agree with the above statement.
Rooms tend to get messy. Tires wear out and eventually flatten. Faces get wrinkly. Pictures fade. We see the Second Law in operation all around us.
"All point mutations that have been studied on the molecular level turn out to reduce the genetic information and not to increase it." Dr. Lee Spetner.
Evolution, which has not been observed, must go directly against the Second Law. It is a random process, not driven by any intelligence. Yet, at the very core of living beings there is DNA, a remarkably complex system which is the very definition of design.
Astonishing DNA complexity uncovered
When the Human Genome Project published its first draft of the human genome in 2003, they already knew certain things in advance. These included:
- Coding segments (genes that coded for proteins) were a minor component of the total amount of DNA in each cell. It was embarrassing to find that we have only about as many genes as mice (about 25,000) which constitute only about 3% of the entire genome.
this means that probably the whole genome is used by the cell and there is no such thing as ‘junk DNA’
- Genes were known to be functional segments of DNA (exons) interspersed with non-functional segments (introns) of unknown purpose. When the gene is copied (transcribed into RNA) and then translated into protein the introns are spliced out and the exons are joined up to produce the functional gene.
- Copying (transcription) of the gene began at a specially marked START position, and ended at a special STOP sign.
- Gene switches (the molecules involved are collectively called transcription factors) were located on the chromosome adjacent to the START end of the gene.
- Transcription proceeds one way, from the START end to the STOP end.
- Genes were scattered throughout the chromosomes, somewhat like beads on a string, although some areas were gene-rich and others gene-poor.
Because of evolutionary notions of our origin, our DNA was supposed to be mostly ‘junk’, leftovers of our animal ancestry. This has proven to be yet another evolutionary impediment to scientific progress.
This whole structure of understanding has now been turned on its head. A project called ENCODE recently reported an intensive study of the transcripts (copies of RNA produced from the DNA) of just 1% of the human genome.1,2 Their findings include the following inferences:
- About 93% of the genome is transcribed (not 3%, as expected). Further study with more wide-ranging methods may raise this figure to 100%. Because much energy and coordination is required for transcription this means that probably the whole genome is used by the cell and there is no such thing as ‘junk DNA’.
- Exons are not gene-specific but are modules that can be joined to many different RNA transcripts. One exon (i.e. one part of one gene) can be used in combination with up to 33 different genes located on 14 different chromosomes. This means that one exon can specify one part shared in common by many different proteins.
- There is no ‘beads on a string’ linear arrangement of genes, but rather an interleaved structure of overlapping segments, with typically 5, 7, 9 or more transcripts coming from the one ‘gene’.
- Not just one strand, but both strands (sense and anti-sense) of the DNA are fully transcribed.
- Transcription proceeds not just one way but both backwards and forwards.
- Transcription factors can be tens or hundreds of thousands of base-pairs away from the gene that they control, even on different chromosomes.
- There is not just one START site, but many, in each particular gene region.
- There is not just one transcription triggering (switching) system for each region, but many.
The authors conclude:
These results are so astonishing, so shocking, that it is going to take an awful lot more work to untangle what is really going on in cells.
‘An interleaved genomic organization poses important mechanistic challenges for the cell. One involves the [use of] the same DNA molecules for multiple functions. The overlap of functionally important sequence motifs must be resolved in time and space for this organization to work properly. Another challenge is the need to compartmentalize RNA or mask RNAs that could potentially form long double-stranded regions, to prevent RNA-RNA interactions that could prompt apoptosis [programmed cell death].’
This concern for the safety of so many RNA molecules being produced in such a small space is well-founded. RNA is a long single-strand molecule not unlike a long piece of sticky-tape—it will stick to any nearby surface, including itself! Unless properly coordinated, it will all scrunch up into a sticky mess.
These results are so astonishing, so shocking, that it is going to take an awful lot more work to untangle what is really going on in cells. And the molecular taxonomists, who have been drawing up evolutionary histories (‘phylogenies’) for everything, are going to have to undo all their years of ‘junk DNA’-based historical reconstructions and wait for the full implications to emerge before they try again. One of the supposedly ‘knock-down’ arguments that humans have a common ancestor with chimpanzees is shared ‘non-functional’ DNA coding. That argument just got thrown out the window.
- Birney, E., et. al., Identification and analysis of functional elements in 1% of the human genome by the ENCODE pilot project, Nature 447: 799–816, 2007.
- Philipp Kapranov, P., Willingham, A.T. and Gingeras, T.R., Genome-wide transcription and the implications for genomic organization, Nature Reviews Genetics 8: 413–423, 2007.
Concerning the complexity of life, these few words barely scratch the surface. Let me share the words of Dr. Gary Bates of the Creation Research Institute:1) Scientists have never observed chemicals forming themselves into complex DNA molecules, the blueprint for life. DNA molecules do not produce new genetic information, they reproduce it. DNA appears to be designed, and information science demonstrates that information must be fully present in the beginning.
2) Mutations and natural selection reduce pre-existing information. There is no evidence of organisms evolving upward (including mankind - technological increase is not biological evolution).
3) All life in the fossil record appears abruptly and fully formed; the chains of transitional series hoped for the the evolutionists since Darwin are conspicuous by their general absence.
In terms of the complexity of life, the creation model makes a great deal of sense. DNA is a design function of life, created by the Designer, the Creator God, that functions as the blueprint for all living things. DNA and countless other instances of the incredible complexity of life, unknown to scientists in the day of Darwin, show us that life has been designed. The atheistic evolutionist must turn a blind eye to this somehow.
In my own life, the complexity of life helped cement for me the decision to abandon evolution and embrace creation. Both sides must have faith to believe their positions but it seems to me that such faith in an atheistic evolutionist is stretched to the breaking point in this instance.
Creationism 3, atheistic evolutionism 0.