"If evolution is true, there must be a universal prinicple
operating in nature that brings organization to random systems and
adds information to simple systems. Over the ages, if evolution is
true, primeval particles have evolved into molecules and galaxies,
inorganic chemicals have developed into living cells..."~Henry M.
Morris and Gary E. Parker, What is Creation Science?, (El Cajon:
Master Books, 1987), p. 12
Scott Huse a young earther says,
"Furthermore, computer scientists have demonstrated conclusively
that information does not and cannot arise spontaneously.
Information results only from the expenditure of energy (to arrange
the letters and words) and under the all-important direction of
intelligence."~Scott M. Huse, The Collapse of Evolution, (Grand
Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983), p. 95.
The old earthers like Gange say the same thing
"When something becomes ordered, it becomes less complex. On the
other hand, a living cell is a highly complicated structure whose
description requires a vast amount of information."~Dr. Robert
Gange, Origins and Destiny, (Waco: Word, 1986), p. 45
Phil Johnson writes:
"Perhaps evolutionary biologists have avoided noticing that
information and matter are fundamentally different things because
that insight is fatal to the whole reductionist project in
biology. If the message is truly not reducible to the medium,
then trying to explain the creation of the information by a
materialistic theory is simply a category mistake. One might as
well try to explain the origin of a literary work by invoking the
chemical laws that govern the combining of ink and paper, and
then proposing speculative hypotheses about how those laws (with
a boost from chance but without intelligence) might have
generated meaningful sentences."
"As specific letter sequences convey information (e.g., tomorrow
is election day), so specific nucleotide sequences in DNA convey
information to tell the cell how to make enzymes."~Norman L. Geisler
and J. Kerby Anderson," Origins Science," (Grand Rapids: Baker Book
House, 1987), p. 155
"Information theorist Hubert Yockey argues that the information
needed to begin life could not have developed by chance; he suggests
that life be considered a given, like matter or energy."~Michael J.
Behe, Darwin's Black Box, (New York: The Free Press, 1996), p. 29
This is a very pervasive view in the anti-evolutionary paradigm. But I
think I have an example which shows that the design, has to be far more
subtle than all these gentlemen believe. I am reading _The Symbolic
Species_ by Terrence W. Deacon, one of the top neuroscientists today. His
book is tough slogging but I have been rewarded with the fact that the
brain, our brain, cannot be designed in the fashion that Behe, Gange, et al
believe. Lets do a quick calculation of the information necessary to
construct our brains. According the Deacon (Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human
Evolution, 1992, p. 115), the brain has 10 billion neurons, each neuron
having "thousands" of dendritic connections. The Purkinje cells may have as
many as 100,000 synapses with other neurons! (Scott F. Gilbert
"Developmental Biology, 3d ed. 1991, p. 169)
The calculation below is mine, not Deacon's or Gilberts or anyone elses. But
Deacon does say,
"One reason for this lack of specificity is that the amount of information
necessary to specify even a few percent of neural connections between cells
would demand incredible amounts of genetic information. Further evidence
that there must be an outside source of brain-wiring information is provided
by the relative constancy of genome size across vast differences in brain
size and correspondingly astronomical differences in connections. Although
the human brain probably possesses hundreds or even thousands of times the
number of neurons that are in some of the smallest vertebrate brains and
millions of times more connections, it does not appear that this has
correlated with a significant increase in genome size." Deacon The Symbolic
Species (New York: W W. Norton, 1997), p. 197
If you want to specify the connections of the human brain you need, a 10
billion numbers one for each cell, and then 4 numbers for each dendrite. One
number specifies the length of the dendrite and three numbers specify the
direction it is supposed to grow. We will assume that each neuron has 2000
synapses and each number requires only 11 bits of information. (this
actually is favorable to the design crowd. This eleven bits is only enough
to represent numbers between 0 an 2048) The quantity of numbers required to
specify the wiring diagram for the brain is
10 x 10^9 x 2000 x 4 = 8 x 10^13 numbers.
I am going to rework the DNA code to encode the requisite information. We
need to have numbers between 1 and 2000 so the triplet code won't work
because it will only represent numbers between 1 and 64. A six nucleotide
code is required. As in the triplet code there will be some positions not
needed. Now to represent the wiring diagram for the brain requires a string
of DNA which is
6 x 8 x 10^13= 2.4 x 10^14 nucleotides long.
The total human genome is only 3.5 x 10^9 nucleotides long. Obviously,
there is not enough information in the entire genome to encode for our human
brain. Thus, since I believe that God did design us, the design must lie
somewhere below this level.
What experimental evidence do we have that the human cells do not have
encoded information specifying the human wiring diagram is shown by some
experments where either a human or pig embryonic neurons are transplanted
into a rat embryo. Deacon writes:
"For example, it is often assumed that human brains are different because
human brains are different because human neurons receive different genetic
instructions about where to grow and where not to grow, and which cells to
connect with and which not to connect with. Taking a bit of brain tisue
from one species and placing it in another species' brain should therefore
mess up the neural 'switchboard,' so to speak, by flooding it with misrouted
connections. The chimeric brains that result from such interspecies
transplantation experiments should be dysfunctional i the extreme, and the
greater the species difference, the greater should be the disruption of
function." Deacon The Symbolic Species, 1997, p.199
They took either embryonic pig brains, (p. 199) or embryonic human brain (p.
206) and implanted it into a rat embryo. What kind of brain is developed?
A rat's brain! Apparently the foreign neurons can conform themselves to the
wiring diagram of the rat brain, not the pig or human wiring diagram.
So how does the brain construct itself? It originally makes connections
almost willy-nilly. Then those connections that are used, are the
connections that remain. The others die from lack of use.
Why do human brains appear so similar? Various populations of different
types of neurons compete for connections with the same parts of the brain.
The winners are largely determined by the population which has the most
members reaching out and touching the region. Thus if you cut the
connections to a particular part of the body, other nerves will take over an
area which is normally reserved for the cutoff function. Apparently, the
visual cortex of the blind mole rat has been taken over by tactile and
auditory functions. (p. 210) Because of this phenomenon, the brains of an
individual species can be "wired" similarly, because the various populations
of neurons is under genetic control. However, the detailed wiring diagram
is not the same at all.
Thus, it appears that God did not find it necessary to encode the
information into the genetic system that the design advocates seem to think
is necessary to manufacture a very complex system like the body or the
brain. I think that those engaged in the design movement should take a hard
look at what Deacon is saying.
It would appear to me that there are three choices.
1. Each brain is a miracle where God provides the information for its wiring.
2. The information comes from external to the individual (experiences) as
3. Information theory is being misapplied to biological systems.
if anyone can think of other options I would be interested.
Foundation, Fall and Flood