Referencing: Not a Chance by Dean Overman
I’ve thought a lot about this compelling article today and came up with an idea I will attempt to explain. I never write about science so I havn’t developed the vocabularly to explain myself as well as I should, so have patience.
Overman talked about the mathematical improbabilities of the DNA molecue developing by chance (contra Darwin). As I reflected on this I took it a bit in a different direction based on my experience designing and maintaining this website, particularly learning and using the design coding.
The DNA molecule is essentially an information grid. The bits of proteins that assemble to determine how a human body develops are really biochemical bits of information.
Computer code works the same way, except of course the code is an electronic bit of information. The coder assembles a series of letters and numbers in a particular order and the result is, say, a web page. Change the ordering of the letters and numbers and the design and content of the web page changes.
Looking at both information systems we recognize that all information, if it is to be meaningful — in the case of the DNA a functional human body, in the case of the computer code a coherent web page — must be hierarchical. Information requires an ordered and sequential structuring. Left unstructured, the bits mean nothing.
Darwin was a materialist, which means that the hierarchy — the ordered and sequential structuring of the bits of information — must exist within the matter of the organism itself. In a way this is true. When egg and sperm meet for example and the genetic code is exchanged, the zygote starts the process of becoming a fully formed adult that is already encoded in the genes. The hierarchy is contained within the DNA.
Web pages work the same way. Link to this site, and a stream of data is down loaded into your browser that looks the same to everyone visiting the site. (We will overlook the differences in browsers for the moment.) The hierarchy of the information displayed is encoded in the downloaded bits.
But if we take both DNA and the web page back to its origins, a problem arises. How do the chemical bits that form a person, or the electronic bits that form a web page, take their shape apart from a preexisting informational hierarchy?
Let me try to clarify this. If Darwin is correct and matter is the ground of all being, that is, if only matter and chance existed in the beginning, then the informational hiearchy that guides the ordered and sequential structuring of matter into organisms and systems must have arisen from that same matter.
But the “arising”, the development of any system (or organism) presupposses an informational hierarchy that is already in place. IOW, if the system depends on an informational hierarchy — an ordered and structure sequencing — in order to be meaningful, then the hierarchy must necessarily preexist the development of a system (and perhaps matter itself).
Let me give you an example. If I randomly pounded on my keyboard twenty-four hours a day for a million years I would never create a functioning webpage. It simply is too complex a process. Only when I insert the proper tags, call the relevant files etc. (like the header, copyright notice, etc. things you never see unless you click “view” and “source”), will a webpage be created. I impose the hiearchy by how I assemble the data.
Darwinism argues that the system can assemble itself, randomly and by chance. But it can’t. No system can assemble itself apart from a pre-existing informational hierarchy. It’s a functional impossibility.
How do we know this? Because all information is hierarchical. It’s structured data. Remove the structure and the data becomes meaningless. It is no longer information. This is an indisputable brute fact.
Now of course a web page is at least – and since I’m not a mathematician I’ll use a number we can all understand – a zillion times less complex than the DNA molecule. But the complexity makes my thesis all the more apparent I think.
Comments and critiques welcome.