Seems simple enough, but at what point does something cross the threshold from the simple design found in nature to second-order design produced only by intelligence? Mathematician William Dembski illustrates the difference by having us visualize a rat trying to go through a maze.
In a simple maze, the rat can take one turn and escape from the maze. Even a dim-witted rat could take one turn and escape. But now imagine that the maze is extremely complex, possessing walls and requiring 100 precise turns to reach the point of escape. How likely is it that the little critter will quickly learn all the correct turns and escape? Impossible–unless we have one awfully bright rat.
So, when do we infer intelligence? According to mathematicians when the odds against an event occurring are 1 in 10150 or greater, it can’t be accidental.1 In order to grasp such an astronomical number, consider that the odds against winning a Power ball lottery with a single ticket is about 1 in 108. Or trying to pick a solitary atom from all the atoms in the universe would be 1 in 1080.
So, having cleared all that up, we come to the real question. Forgetting all the erosion and snowflake patterns, are there any examples of specified complexity found in nature pointing toward intelligent design? The short answer is yes. What follows, without getting into too much detail, is the longer answer. It uses the example of something each of us has heard something about: deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA.
Continue reading page 5 of 9 of “Does DNA Point to a Designer?”