Judeo-Christian Culture: Intelligent Design and Fish Facts

Judeo-Christian Culture:

Intelligent Design and Fish Facts

All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator. ~Alma 30:44

The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God. ~Doctrine and Covenants 88:45

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Science Facts, DNA, and Intelligent Design

Science Facts, DNA, and Intelligent Design

What is the Best Evidence for Intelligent Design? Interview with Brian Johnson.

by Sean Mcdowell

science-dna-intelligent-designLast year, when I was speaking at a church in South Dakota for a Heroic Truth Event, I met Brian Johnson. He invited me on his Podcast, and we had a great conversation about “hot” cultural issues today.

Brian is one of the founders of South Dakota Apologetics, an organization dedicated to spreading the Gospel and helping fellow Christians better understand why they believe what they believe. Brian and his buddies at SDA actually offer their speaking services for free, so check ‘em out!

Brian is especially passionate about the evidence for intelligent design. Given his interest and expertise, I recently caught up with him and asked him some pressing questions about the evidence for intelligent design. Enjoy!

SEAN MCDOWELL: Are there any recent scientific advances that are changing what we know about the inner workings of the human body?

BRIAN JOHNSON: I think that accolade needs to go to the discovery of the DNA double helix in 1953 by Crick and Watson. Once this was discovered it blew open the doors to a whole new world of biology. From that we have been able to begin to piece together an entirely new understanding of what it takes to make our bodies function. This has led to major advancements in medicine as well as many other disciplines. The discovery of DNA has also enabled us to build an incredibly strong case for Intelligent Design.

creationhandsSEAN MCDOWELL: What got you interested in DNA as evidence for design? And why do you think this is such an important area for Christians, and in particular students, to understand?

BRIAN JOHNSON: I’ve always been interested in science and it was the scientific evidences for God that really started to convince me of His existence. As I started to look into the biological evidences I was awestruck at how obvious it was to make a design inference based on the inner workings of the cell. The molecular machines that are working inside each of our bodies at this moment scream of a designer.

If more Christians understood the beautiful structure of how the different processes within our bodies function I know it would not only strengthen their faith but would give them a much greater sense of just how amazing God’s creation really is. And this is certainly true for students who are often not exposed to the evidence for ID since our schools only teach Darwinian evolution.

SEAN MCDOWELL: Can you give a few specific examples of things in DNA that point to design?

BRIAN JOHNSON: Sure!

The first argument for Intelligent Design is based on the information we find in the cell. The arrangements of the four nucleotides, ACTG, contain specified information and convey meaning for the production and arrangements of proteins. Stephen Meyer makes the case for this in his book Signature in the Cell.

The second is a process called DNA error correction (aka, DNA repair). This process is mind-boggling and is currently at work in your body as you read this. Your body is creating new DNA at this moment in a process known as DNA Replication. During this process the DNA double helix is split in two, kind of like a zipper on a coat. As you unzip your coat you then have two sides of that zipper. Now pretend that the ‘teeth’ of the zipper on one side of the coat are each represented by a nucleotide letter of either a, c, t, or g. During the replication process a brand new set of ‘teeth’ are joined to the existing set of ‘teeth’ much the same way as when you zip the coat up and the two set of ‘teeth’ are joined together to seal the coat. If during this process an incorrect nucleotide is put down an error correcting process catches the error, stops the process, plucks out the wrong nucleotide, inserts the correct nucleotide, and then allows the replication process to continue. Describing this process as mind-blowing is actually an understatement.

The third process is one that has just recently been discovered. It now appears that in addition to repair mechanisms DNA also contains proofreading processes as well that make sure the information that passes through it is as accurate as possible. This all happens where messenger RNA transcripts are translated into proteins. The complexity of these processes is simply inconceivable.

SEAN MCDOWELL: Isn’t Intelligent Design based on a “God of the gaps” fallacy?

BRIAN JOHNSON: The God of the gaps objection is a common one. But it is mistaken. Rather than arguing from gap in our knowledge (i.e., what we can’t explain), Intelligent Design reasons from what we do know about the world by considering all the evidence and making an “inference to the best explanation.” This is the exact same scientific method Darwin used in his theory of natural selection. If you want to disregard the method we just used to infer an Intelligent Designer as the cause for what we find in the genome, then you must also reject Darwin’s conclusion as well. The knife cuts both ways.

What is the Best Evidence for Intelligent Design? Interview with Brian Johnson.

 

Culture Wars: Junk Science vs. the Creator, Intelligent Design

Culture Wars:

Junk Science vs. the Creator

keyoldSurely, your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay. But behold, I will show unto them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that I know all their works. For shall the work say of him that made it, he made me not? Or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, he had no understanding? ~Isaiah 29:27

Intelligent Design sans designer?

Carolyn Reeves

American Family Association Journal

Junk Science’s unreasonable allergy to the Creator

creation-pottery2June 2016 – This is not the first time the mere mention of Creator in a scientific article, class, or other public forum has created an uproar. An article entitled “Biomechanical characteristics of hand coordination in grasping activities of daily living” was published in the online scientific journal PLOS ONE in January 2016. The authors wrote about how human hands have an amazing ability to grasp things and perform a multitude of other coordinated tasks.

In the article, hands were said to have the “proper design by the Creator.” If the article had said that hands had been properly designed by Nature, there would have been no objections. But because of the use of the word Creator, there was a flood of complaints as many furious readers called, emailed, and tweeted their criticisms. Some called for the editor to be fired while others demanded that the article be immediately retracted. Some even thought PLOS ONE itself should be shut down or boycotted.

PLOS ONE reacted quickly to retract the article and apologized for the “inappropriate language.” The authors of the article also apologized and blamed the offending language on the fact that English was not their primary language.

On the other side, perplexed Christians who read about the raucous debate were thinking Of course human hands are designed by the Creator, as are our eyes, our brains, our hearts, and every other part of our bodies. Why is saying that hands are the proper design by the Creator offensive to PLOS ONE readers? Why is the idea of a Creator or an Intelligent Designer out of bounds in scientific discussions?

The answer is that the authors violated a “rule” that all science must be explained in terms of natural processes, and anything supernatural is outside the realm of science.

creationhandsDuring the Scientific Revolution, early scientists working in the field of operational science limited their scientific explanations to natural processes because they were studying in real time how, why, or what happens in nature. Later, the field of historical sciences (which included Darwinian evolution) began to gain prominence. Assuming that origins could be explained naturalistically, evolutionists also chose to limit their attempts to reconstruct the past to natural processes. However, the very real possibility of an intelligent cause or a Creator was eliminated because all fields of science had been defined so that only natural processes were considered scientific.

Thus, when the word Creator showed up in a scientific journal, scientists who believed that only natural processes were allowed in science reacted as if science itself might be about to collapse. The same frantic reaction is often seen by some national science organizations when public schools consider including evidence that living things are the result of intelligence and design. Words like planned and purposeful elicit the same kinds of response, because Darwinian evolution requires random, unguided natural events.

Darwinian evolutionists would never promote outright atheism in public schools because schools are required by law to be religiously neutral. Nevertheless, the leaders of some national science organizations have come to staunchly limit science to explanations that are based only on natural processes. So, influenced by naturalistic Darwinian evolution, many students wonder if God is either false or irrelevant.

Basic Darwinian explanations for our origins are based only on unguided natural processes, while a designed, purposeful, supernatural creation is not a consideration in science. In responding to this, Christians should carefully consider Romans 1:18-20, which tells us that humans cannot not know that God, the Creator, made everything. Furthermore, suppressing this truth is a great wickedness in God’s sight.