Q: I’ve gotten many challenges that essentially say: “I believe in Science,” as if that dismisses the notion of God. That’s the farthest thing from the truth. Today we’re going to look at just one area where ‘Science’ points to God.
A: EXPLAIN DNA, JACK! – The existence and make-up of DNA has turned into a real problem for atheists and materialists. The issue is this: DNA is an actual language and language requires intelligence. Though not at all intending to make an argument for Intelligent Design, Bill Gates himself admitted as much when he said: “Human DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.” DNA is made up of chemicals represented by the letters A, T, G, and C which provide instructions for the cell’s make-up and actions through the way in which they are arranged. This is no simple language. Within every cell in our bodies are instructions that are 3 billion letters long. Dr Francis Collins, believes that we should “think of DNA as an instructional script, a software program, sitting in the nucleus of the cell.” Science writer Mario Seigle fleshes it out for us. “For it to be rightly called a language, it must contain the following elements: an alphabet or coding system, correct spelling, grammar (a proper arrangement of the words), meaning (semantics) and an intended purpose. Scientists have found the genetic code has all of these key elements.” Human language is the only other code ever found to have these characteristics. This does not exist elsewhere in nature; not in the bellowing of whales, the chattering of dolphins or the barking of dogs. And the origin of human language has always come from an intelligent source – human beings. Information specialist Perry Marshall explains the significance of this fact. “There has never existed a computer program that wasn’t designed…[whether it is] a code, or a program, or a message given through a language, there is always an intelligent mind behind it.” So DNA then is the medium of information, the carrier if you will of this independent genetic information. And highly complex information of this order comes only from intelligent sources. It provides the building blocks of “biological machines that far outstrip human technological capabilities.” [i]
The amount of information held by DNA is just incredible. Harvard researchers studying the use of DNA for information storage have managed to store 700 terabytes of information into a single gram of DNA. In a non-computer setting, the info contained in a human DNA has been compared to that found in 384 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica. This is no simple code. Molecular biologist and author of Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, Michael Denton, lays it out for us. The genetic information found in each cell contains “artificial languages and their decoding systems, memory banks for information storage and retrieval, elegant control systems regulating the automated assembly of parts and components, error fail-safe and proof-reading devices utilized for quality control, assembly processes involving the principle of prefabrication and modular construction . . . [and a] capacity not equaled in any of our most advanced machines, for it would be capable of replicating its entire structure within a matter of a few hours.” There is no way that this vast and complex information could have evolved according to the proposed Darwinian mechanism. Professor of Information Systems, Werner Gitt sums it up. “The basic flaw of all evolutionary views is the origin of the information in living beings. It has never been shown that a coding system and semantic information could originate by itself [through matter] . . . The information theorems predict that this will never be possible. A purely material origin of life is thus [ruled out].”
It was this sort of information that convinced the very famous committed atheist, Anthony Flew to change his tune a bit. While making it clear that he did not accept the Biblical version of God; when faced with the DNA evidence he said this: “Super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature.” There are others in the scientific community that are beginning to see the light. Lee Strobel quotes biology professor Dean Kenyon who has reversed his former position as a believer in Darwinian evolution. Looking at the amount and complexity of information found in DNA he said: “This new realm of molecular genetics (is) where we see the most compelling evidence of design on the Earth.” Still there are many Materialists who deny even the possibly of a Divine Designer and insist that evolution must be the way in which these systems all came to be. Yet the evidence is increasingly against them. There are an increasing number within the scientific community ready to answer them. Arthur L Schawlow, winner of the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics: “It seems to me that when confronted with the marvels of life and the universe, one must ask why and not just how. The only possible answers are religious. . . . I find a need for God in the universe.” [ii] Yet some persist despite the evidence. They will only consider material causes for the origin and existence of everything – even while current scientific belief in the Big Bang speaks of a time before matter & energy & time & the laws of physics – and therefore material causes ever existed. A Universe with a beginning – which the Big Bang posits – begs a beginning outside of materialism. But God holds us responsible to rightly weigh the evidence. Pointing to creation and conscience Romans 1:18-19 tells us: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.” We just need to follow the evidence!
[i] Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator, Zondervan, 2004, pg 244
[ii] Margenau, H. and R. A. Varghese, eds. Cosmos, Bios, Theos: Scientists Reflect on Science, God, and the Origins of the Universe, Life, and Homo Sapiens (Open Court Pub. Co., La Salle, IL, 1992)