“God is imaginary”? Really?! Part 37: Think About DNA

Marshall Brain, in proof 37 from his website “God is imaginary”, admonishes us to “think about DNA”. This is a relatively short “proof” and is centered around this argument:

As we saw in Proof 25, however, there is no “creator” for DNA. The creator is evolution. No intelligence is required to encode DNA. Instead, the information in DNA is the result of natural selection acting upon random mutations, rather than the actions of a “being” like God. (Links removed).
I responded to proof 25 here. But let’s deal with the substance of his argument and his confusion about DNA.
The instant that he uses the word “encode”, he is immediately begging the question of “who encoded it?” (Now, if someone wants to assert the schoolboy question, “who encoded the encoder”, I have a response here.) Information requires a mind. While paper may come from trees, books containing information do not; likewise, while DNA may be composed of atoms which occur in nature, the information contained in DNA does not. When Mr. Brain wrote this on his computer, he did not doubt that the software code that was running on it to place his words out on the internet was produced by an intelligent agent, or else he would not have used the program, so why dismiss the information contained in DNA, which is basically hardware (the molecular machinery that is running the DNA code) running software (the information contained in DNA)? Because DNA is more than chemistry, but also information, it spans multiple fields of scientific research: chemistry, biology, and information technology. That last one holds the most promise to understanding DNA because there are such features in DNA as transcription, interpretation, coding, decoding, and signal loss.
Here’s another problem with his argument: evolution, being a process, cannot “create” anything. If we think of evolution as a tunnel, with an train engine entering at one end and a loaded 30 car freight train exiting the other, we have to figure out where the starting information, represented by the engine entering the tunnel, something that is already complex in its own right, and gains greater complexity, meaning that we have to figure out where the second or third engine and associated cars, as well as the freight they contain came from. As hard as evolutionary biologists, who are absolutely committed to a materialistic explanation, try, but the best answer that they can come up with is nothing short of “magic”. If we equate the matter to a magician pulling a rabbit from a hat, we have several things to explain: the magician, the rabbit, and the hat, and how the rabbit got in the hat in order to be pulled out.
 What the research appears to be showing is that certain information contained in DNA can be moved between various species, leading to various expressions within the populations. We can call this “random”, because it is occurring at various points in time without consistency, but most of those “random” mutations are either harmful, which means that they don’t go very far in the population, if at all; or they get removed or repaired in the process of transcribing or encoding. The research seems to indicate that for a mutation to be successful, and therefore transmittable within a population, is that it has to give a definite survival benefit and be widespread enough to assert itself; but it’s not just one mutation, rather it is multiple mutations at multiple points at the same time in order to avoid the problems inherent in the process of hybridization.
Mr. Brain tries to drag the issue of near death experiences into the matter, but I’ve answered that here.
So, to simply dismiss the actions of an intelligent creator, feeding the initial information into the system as well as establishing the processes and the environment in which they could occur successfully is the height of presumption and a full expression of naiveté. Just on the basis of the argument, this “proof” is simply disproven.

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