DNA BY DESIGN?
Scientists have been stunned by the overwhelming probability against DNA forming by chance. It is one thing for intelligent scientists to manipulate chemicals under laboratory conditions, and it is quite another to attribute the origin of DNA to random action. Even the most ardent materialists do not claim to have explained DNA’s origin.
Amir Aczel questions his own materialistic belief by admitting that DNA is too complex to have arisen from natural processes. In a reflective mode he asks,
Are we witnessing here something so wondrous, so fantastically complex, that it could not be chemistry or random interactions of elements, but something far beyond our understanding?17
DNA’s co-discoverer Francis Crick also considers DNA to be too complex to have arisen in a warm pond on early Earth. This highly regarded Nobel Prize–winning biologist concludes, “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to almost be a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.”18
In spite of Crick’s assertion that DNA appears miraculous he remained a materialist and began looking to outer space for the origin of life. (panspermia).
Having acknowledged the impossibility of DNA to originate naturally, some scientists have shifted their focus to RNA. Several biologists believe that DNA emerged from RNA. However, microbiologists who have analyzed RNA now believe it too “could not have emerged straight from the prehistoric muck.”19
Not only is RNA prohibitively intricate, but it’s far more delicate than DNA, meaning it couldn’t cohere by itself even if it did come together by chance. Thus, the origin of life remains an unsolved riddle to scientists.
Aczel reasons that the complexity of DNA could not have arisen naturally on Earth, He asks, “Was it perhaps the power, thinking, and will of a supreme being that created this self-replicating basis of all life?”20 Like Crick, Aczel concludes that DNA must have arrived from outer space.
But according to Dembski, “Natural causes such as chance and law are incapable of producing CSI.”21 Since these laws apply throughout the universe, one shouldn’t hold his breath about finding Klingons on Planet Qo’noS in the Beta Quadrant–unless a designer made DNA based life elsewhere.
So how did life on Earth originate? Is intelligent design worthy of consideration? Not according to Dawkins, Eldridge, Mayr, and a host of other materialistic scientists who are convinced it is an enemy of science.
Yet other leading scientists are willing to objectively look at the evidence. And new scientific evidence has pushed intelligent design to the forefront of the debate on origins. Even many hardened atheists have considered the evidence and admit the implications of design.
Antony Flew is one materialist who led the charge against an intelligent designer. Recognized by many as the world’s leading atheist for the past fifty years, Flew wrote over thirty books arguing against a creator.
But this formidable atheist took an honest look at DNA, remarking,
What I think the DNA material has done is show that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements together. The enormous complexity by which the results were achieved look to me like the work of intelligence.22
Flew, who accepts Darwinian evolution, but doubts it can account for life’s origins, sees intelligent design as the best option to explain biological complexity. He made front page news when he renounced his atheism, remarking,
I think the argument to Intelligent Design is enormously stronger than it was when I first met it…It now seems to me that the finding of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.23
Flew’s honesty is to be applauded, but materialists aren’t clapping. As the intelligent design movement gains momentum, many refuse to consider it as an option, dismissing it as “unscientific.” However, most thinking people want to hear the facts and draw their own conclusions. Like Flew, many who have honestly investigated the evidence, are in awe at what appears to be a super-intelligence behind life and all its intricate complexity. Endnotes