Two Worldviews in Conflict
What do thousands of scientists believe about creation and evolution?
A growing number of scientists, both creationists and noncreationists
alike, are beginning to argue that not only is life
complex, but also that it is ordered in such a way as to exhibit
evidence of intelligent design. Since life is at its core a chemical
code (the DNA code), the origin of life is thus the origin of
a code. A code is a very special kind of order — it represents
“specified complexity” (high information content).
In everyday experience, people detect intelligent design
all the time. For example, if a school teacher finds a sequence
of lettered building blocks on the floor of a kindergarten classroom which spells out THESE BLOCKS WERE NOT PUT HERE ON PURPOSE, the teacher can safely assume that someone did
arrange the letters in that order on purpose — no one would
suppose they accidentally fell down that way. This arrangement
of building blocks shows specified complexity (i.e., it
contains meaningful information).
The meaningful arrangement of bases (or “letters”) in
the DNA code of living things is far higher in information
content than that of the arrangement of kindergarten building
blocks. Indeed, the Encyclopedia Britannica concedes that
the information content of a single simple cell is encyclopedic
— comparable to about one hundred million pages of Encyclopedia
Britannica. Thus, if it is unreasonable to believe that
the arrangement of kindergarten building blocks could have
originated without intelligence, then it is at least as unreasonable
to believe that the encyclopedic amounts of information
contained in the DNA code could have originated without
Everyday experience reveals that information is only produced
with intelligence; it always takes an intelligent agent to
generate information. In nature, there is no example anywhere
in which meaningful information has been observed to arise
by itself, without an intelligent source.
The Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) would
be pointless if there was no criterion for determining what
constitutes an intelligent source. The criterion for SETI is a
radio signal from outer space with a high level of specified
complexity — a signal like this would prove that there was
some kind of an intelligent sender.
If specified complexity indicates an intelligent source
for SETI, then why shouldn’t the high specified complexity
found in the DNA of living things, equivalent to millions of
pages of Encyclopedia Britannica, also indicate an intelligent
Today it is becoming clearer that the biblical creation
model is not unreasonable to believe as a fact of history. The
creation model stands up to an objective analysis; it is consistent
with what is observed around the earth today.
The more that is discovered about the detailed and complex architecture of living things, the stronger the evidence seems to become for the involvement of a Master Designer. It is for precisely this reason that many famed scientists, such as the co-discoverer of DNA, who made one of the most important scientific discoveries of the twentieth century, have begun to abandon their faith in chance alone.