I want to thank you dear reader for the responses, questions and explanations in part 2 of the series. There was some fantastic debate around some of the claims made and that in turn sparked additional articles that readers submitted. I will say again that the truth can be known.
The First life : Natural Law or Intelligent Design?
Many evolutionists and creationists speak as if they know beyond any doubt how the first life came to be. Both can of course not be right. How do we discover who is right? So if nobody has ever seen or observed this one-time historical event how do we investigate it? What do we do? Well the answer lies in science and we use the forensic principles, so in short the origin of life is a forensic question that requires us to piece together all the evidence. The central principle of forensic science is the principle of uniformity this holds that causes in the past were like causes we observe today. An example of an intelligent cause would be something like; a note stuck on the freezer telling you that your supper is in the microwave so any similar message from the past also would require such an intelligent cause.
When we look at the first one-celled life the principle of uniformity tells us that only an intelligent cause can be responsible. Natural laws has never been observed to create even a simple message like “Have a nice day!” much less a 1000 volume encyclopaedia found in a single cell! Since the days of Pasteur one of the most fundamental observations in science is that life only arises from similar existing life. All experiments ever done including Dr Craig Venter’s “synthetic life” have not only failed but suffer from the illegitimate application of intelligence. To make this clear scientists intelligently contrive experiments and they still cannot do what we have been told a million times; that mindless natural laws did this already!
The complexity of DNA is not just a problem for naturalistic causes but its origin is also a problem for those naturalist views. There is a real chicken-egg dilemma because DNA relies on protein for their production but protein relies on DNA for its production! So which came first Protein or DNA? One of those must have already been in existence for the other to be made.
As I have mentioned before science is all about causes and for life there are logically only two causes an intelligent one or a non-intelligent one. The problem for naturalistic causes is immense and Francis Crick once said “Every time I write a paper on the origin of life I swear I will never write another one, because there is too much speculation running after too few facts”. The evidence for intelligence is so overwhelming and very much against naturalism that prominent evolutionists have actually suggested that aliens deposited the first life here. Fred Hoyle formulated his theory of Panspermia after he calculated that there was zero chance that life could spontaneously generate. As crazy as this theory is it at least it advocates what we know is true that life had some sort of intelligence behind it.
Life contains a message, DNA: it is expressed in chemicals, but those chemicals cannot cause the message any more than the chemicals in ink and paper can cause the sentences that you read here. A message points to stuff beyond chemicals the message in life points to intelligence beyond its chemical elements.
I know where you are going you’re saying “Hey you’ve not considered time and chance you zealot!” Well let’s revisit the second law of thermodynamics you know how it goes; more time actually makes things worse not better. You might just say well that does not apply to life and hey I agree with you but I’m speaking in the context of first life. How did this happen that non-living chemicals that are susceptible to the second law spontaneously form life? The next one that you’re going to chuck at me is chance! Can all the incredible specified complexity in life be explained by chance? There is no chance! Chance is a word we use to describe mathematical probabilities, chance is not a cause and it has no power of its own Chance is nothing. Using the word chance in science equates to bad science because it is used as an explanation out of ignorance not knowledge. I will recap on this because it is really important Chance is not a cause!
So Here we go and You’re saying it already what the heck makes you think ID is even scientific? Is this not just another God of the Gaps fallacy? Are you not smuggling that damn six day creationism crock in here disguised under a new name?
Is Intelligent design actually an alternative?
Let us start with this; as I write this I need to agree that evolution is true but certainly not in the sense that many hope it to be true. Living things adapt and change and for the lack of a better word they indeed evolve, this however is on a micro level and not on a macro level. There is a major lack of evidence for macroevolution and even better evidence that it is not true.
I’ll list the evidence; (You can research each one in your own time because there is allot of data)
1. Genetic Limits
2.) Cyclic Change
3.) Irreducible Complexity
4.) Non-viability of transitional forms
5.) Molecular Isolation
6.) The fossil record is inadequate to establish ancestral relationships.
If macroevolution is not true then what is? If there is no natural explanation then there must be an intelligent explanation. It really is the only other option! There is no halfway house either intelligence was involved or it was not! But many people really don’t like this option and because they cannot adequately defend their position with good science, they do what people do best; they turn their guns on those who oppose them.
Science is a search for causes and there are only two types of causes: intelligent or non-intelligent (natural). Naturalist’s claim that intelligent design is not science and they say so based on a biased definition of science if your definition of science rules out intelligent causes beforehand then you’ll never consider it science. Here is the irony for naturalists; if intelligent design is not science then neither is Darwinism. Why? Because both naturalist scientists and ID scientists are trying to discover what happened in the past. Origin questions are forensic questions and thus require the use of forensic science principles. In fact for naturalist scientists to rule out intelligent design from the realm of science they would also have to rule out archaeology, cryptology, criminal accident forensic investigations, and also the search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence. These are all legitimate forensic sciences that look into the past for causes.
I know its coming you’re saying this is “God of the Gaps!” When we conclude that that intelligence created the first cell or the human brain, it’s not from a lack of evidence of a natural explanation it is in fact because there is positive empirically detectable evidence for an intelligent cause. A Message (specified complexity) is empirically detectable. When we see 1000 encyclopaedias worth of specified complexity in a single cell we know it must come from an intelligent source because all our observational experience tells us that messages only come from intelligent beings. How do we test this? Can natural laws spell out a message like “Have a nice day and enjoy your coke-cola!”? It is a valid scientific conclusion based on observation and repetition. It is not an argument from ignorance nor is it based on any gap in our knowledge.
I know you’re heading towards the religion thing you just can’t seem to get that out of your head can you? Those damn God-bots! I have to ask you this? Even if there are some scientists in the field of ID that are religiously motivated so what? Does that make intelligent design false? Truth does not lie in the motivation of the scientists but in the quality of the evidence. A scientist can have a bias and still be right or wrong. Bias and motivation is not the main issue truth is. I have to make this clear; intelligent design is a conclusion based on empirically detectable evidence that does not require any sacred texts from any religion. If you wanted to go down the route and say o well intelligent design is false because well you know there are crappy and sub optimal stuff out there you are actually proving what ID theorist have been saying all along ID is in fact a science because design is empirically detectable and you, yes you the layman even have the ability to distinguish between optimal and sub optimal design, fancy that!
So what does the evidence look like so far for a designer?
1. A universe that came into existence from nothing
2. A universe with a 122 fine-tuned life enabling constants for this tiny and seemingly insignificant planted called earth
3. Life that has been observed to arise only from existing life.
4. Life consists of thousands of or even millions of volumes of empirically detectable specified complexity.
There is of course much more, and it would actually be necessary to write a book on this matter which many has done of course. This then brings part 3 to a conclusion and I hope you are as excited as I am on where the evidence will lead us to next. As always it’s been fun. You know my motto by now;