CSI: THE UNIVERSE
Here is what you need to remember about CSI, or complex, specified information. Nature can generate information that is complex, and it can produce information that is specified, but it cannot do both.
The best way to understand this is to think of yourself as a computer programmer. (You might want to grab a large bag of potato chips and a six-pack of Coke to get into character.) I want you to write a program for the computer telling it to type random letters of the alphabet.
It should be fairly easy to write the program. Just instruct the computer to type keys at random and repeat the process infinitely. Now, occasionally the letters might make an interesting pattern, perhaps even type the word “Nixon” by accident, but it is clearly generating a design of complexity without any real specificity.
Now let’s switch it around. Let’s say I ask you to program the computer to type the word “the”. This is going to require specificity. You must specify, “Computer, type the letter ‘t,’ then ‘h,’ and then ‘e,’ and do this over and over again until your printer runs out of ink or your hard drive crashes.” This is specific, but it is not complex. You can program the computer in this case, like the previous one, with just a few lines of instructions.
Typing random letters or typing a simple word over and over is like the kind of design that natural processes can handle on their own.
Now let’s look at specified complexity. Let’s say I ask you to program the computer to write out a Harlequin romance novel and make the girl decide to dump the guy in the end. You would have to write a list of instructions for the computer larger than the book itself. You would have to specify, in the form of a command, every letter of every word.
Few people would have thought of Harlequin romances as specified complexity, but as you can see, they are. The commands to the computer are extremely complex and extremely specific. That’s the kind of detail we must demand if we are going to believe that there is intelligent design exhibited in the world.
Continue reading page 4 of 9 of “Does DNA Point to a Designer?”