Tag Archives: ENCODE

Is Darwinism a Scientific Theory?

Tom Wolfe is a powerful thinker and writer. His books include The Electric Cool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, and Bonfire of the Vanities (the last two were adapted into motion pictures). His most recent book, The Kingdom of Speech, annihilates claims that Darwin’s theory of evolution is science:

There are five standard tests for a scientific hypothesis. Has anyone observed the phenomenon – in this case, Evolution – as it occurred and recorded it? Could other scientists replicate it? Could any of them come up with a set of facts that, if true, would contradict the theory (Karl Popper’s “falsifiability” tests)? Could scientists make predictions based on it? Did it illuminate hitherto unknown or baffling areas of science? In the case of Evolution … well … no … no … no … no … and no.

[Tom Wolfe – The Kingdom of Speech, 2016, p. 27.]

Let’s look more closely at how evolution scores.

1. Has anyone observed the phenomenon?

There has never been a case where anyone has observed a new biological system or technology being created from random mutations and natural selection. Franklin Harold, a Darwinist, admits: “We must concede that there are presently no detailed accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.” Scientists see systems that they imagine “evolved,” but they have never observed evolution in action. In one decades-old experiment involving 65,000 generations of bacteria, no new systems were created. Instead, systems not needed to survive during the controlled conditions broke down.

If you look at the complexity of life, and in particular at the fantastic improbability of ever forming by chance a single new functional protein, much less a complete new biological system, it’s not hard to see why. See Counting To God, pages 105 to 112.

2. Could other scientists replicate it?

Obviously, no. Scientists can’t observe or replicate Darwinian evolution.

3. Are there facts which, if false, would contradict the theory?

To me this is the most important test for a scientific theory. If a theory is scientific, there must be a way to test it, to create an experiment that, if the results don’t turn out right, would show the theory is false. Quantum Physics and Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity have each been confirmed to about 13 decimal places. A tiny discrepancy could prove either theory false. Karl Popper wrote: “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”

Here’s Cornelius Hunter:

Being an evolutionist mean there is no bad news. If new species appear abruptly in the fossil record, that just means evolution operates in spurts. … If clever mechanisms are discovered in biology, that just means evolution is smarter than we imagined. If strikingly similar designs are found in distant species, that just means evolution repeats itself. If significant differences are found in allied species, that just means evolution sometimes introduces new designs rapidly. If no likely mechanism can be found for the large-scale change evolution requires, that just means evolution is mysterious. If adaptation responds to environmental signals, that just means evolution has more foresight than was thought. If major predictions of evolution are found to be false, that just means evolution is more complex than we thought.

Evolution cannot be falsified because it makes no predictions (other than change happens). Evolution has no mathematical equations. Karl Popper wrote: “Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research program.”

4. Could scientists make predictions based on it?

Scientists have made predictions based on Darwinism, and those predictions have consistently been proved false. One major prediction was that, because according to Darwin we were created from random mutations, most of our DNA is “junk.” This was disproved by over 400 scientists in 2012 as part of the ENCODE project. See Counting To God, pages 153 to 158.

5. Did it illuminate hitherto unknown or baffling areas of science?

Darwinism has not led to a single scientific discovery. It has led millions to lose faith in God. It has led to a disregard for human beings, and two major world wars. It gave Hitler, Stalin, and Mao justification to kill 100 million people.

Darwinism is a delusion to deny God. Here’s a video that goes into more detail on this subject.

And let’s not forget about the multiverse, another major and unprovable fantasy of Atheists who seek to deny God. The multiverse by definition cannot be observed or replicated – because it is not in the observable universe. There are absolutely no facts or experiments that can contradict the multiverse delusion – all we can do is observe and experiment in our universe. The multiverse leads to no predictions and no new science.

The complexity and beauty of life prove the existence of God. The complexity and fantastic fine-tuning of our universe, fine-tuning in the constants of physics, the laws of physics, and even the structure of time and space, prove the existence of God. There is no scientific theory that can explain these proven facts without God. In each case, the scientific evidence of design is overwhelming. True science proves God.

Thanks for reading.

Layers of Information

I’ve noted previously the September 2012 announcement by ENCODE – a worldwide collaboration of 450 top scientists – that most and likely all of our 3.2 billion letters of DNA code serves a purpose. That made the front page of newspapers worldwide. This week I want to focus on their lesser known but equally stunning announcement in December 2012 – DNA contains two layers of information.

How can chance build a code with more than one layer of information? Physicist Rob Sheldon is reminded of a Bach fugue that can be played by flipping the music upside-down on the music stand. That’s a highly designed, incredible piece of music.

There’s a good argument that layers of information are predicted by intelligent design. A designing, powerful intellect would want to make maximum use of the available space. Humans do this with phone, radio, and television frequencies, and many other places. Space is often limited, and we want to transmit as much information as possible in that space.

Other scientists have found evidence that our DNA contains even more information. Some studies show that the amount of information in a section of DNA is proportional to the cube of the length of DNA. According to these studies, twice as much DNA typically contains eight times as much information. That is mind-boggling design.

All of these findings contradict Darwin’s theory of unguided evolution; that our DNA code arose through natural selection acting on random mutations. Personally, I’m not aware of any Darwinist response to ENCODE’s announcement that DNA contains two layers of information. As Paul Simon put it, “A man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest.”

Thanks for reading.

New Evidence Against “Junk DNA”

Only 1.5% of your DNA is used to build proteins. Proteins are the machine parts of life. Followers of Darwin’s theory of unguided evolution claim that the rest of your DNA, your “noncoding” DNA, is mostly “junk,” and that this supports Darwin’s theory that human beings were created through accidental mutations and natural selection. They predict that a haphazard, unguided process should produce large sections of useless DNA.

My book has five pages on this subject. Science has now found that most and likely all of our DNA serves a purpose. That stunning announcement was made in September 2012 by scientists working on the ENCODE project. It made the front pages of newspapers around the world. ENCODE found biochemical functions for 80% of our DNA. “It’s likely 80 percent will go to 100 percent,” stated one of their lead researchers. “We don’t really have any large chunks of redundant DNA. This metaphor of junk isn’t that useful.” The front page of the New York Times announced: “The human genome is packed with at least four million gene switches that reside in bits of DNA that once were dismissed as ‘junk’ but that turn out to play critical roles in controlling how cells, organs and other tissues behave.”

This week the prestigious science magazine Nature published new evidence that “noncoding” DNA serves a purpose. The authors “highlight a potentially large and complex set of biologically regulated translational events from transcripts formerly thought to lack coding potential.” In other words, we’re finding out what the other 98.5% does. The authors of this new study point out that just because we may not have figured out yet what the purpose is, doesn’t mean it is junk.

This is a huge problem for Darwinists. “If ENCODE is right, then Evolution is wrong,” admits one, using “Evolution” here to refer to neo-Darwinian theory. But ENCODE is not some fringe group. It is an international collaboration of 450 of the world’s most respected scientists, working together, with no religious agenda whatsoever, “to build a comprehensive parts list of functional elements in the human genome.” The 11 authors of this new study also have no religious agenda.

How did we get 3.2 billion letters of working DNA? Science continues to reveal the existence of God.

Thanks for reading.

A Paradigm Shift to God?

College professors don’t always get it right. They preached the virtues of collective economies as the Soviet Union imploded and China embraced markets. They loved Freud long after working psychiatrists moved past him. Today most refuse to consider evidence of design in living creatures, but new findings from mainstream science point in the same direction. Could we be on the verge of a paradigm shift to God?

Unthinkable, you say? Before you close your mind, consider the evidence. I was an atheist when I was an undergraduate at MIT, and during graduate school in theoretical mathematics. I have spent 30 years reconciling science and God. Let’s look objectively at three relatively new findings.

The first finding is a stunning negative, an inability to come up with an atheist explanation for the origin of life. Harvard’s 2007 “Origin of Life Initiative” is a good example. Their 2009 conference only served to emphasize that we don’t have a clue how life began. There is no chance-based explanation for the origin of life, for the appearance, perhaps 3.5 billion years ago, of complex molecules with millions of DNA subunits and ultra-sophisticated machines to copy and repair DNA and use its information to build proteins. All life works on this same operating system. Chance can’t explain the simultaneous appearance of DNA coding and this molecular machinery, particularly when you realize it’s a chicken and egg problem. To get life, you need to begin with both the exact code for the proteins and those same proteins – machine parts – to read the code and build themselves and other proteins. Yale Professor Harold Morowitz estimated decades ago that the odds of life arising by chance in the history of the universe are about one in a number with one hundred billion zeros. Darwin’s theory of unguided evolution (random mutations and natural selection) doesn’t apply; natural selection only works after you have a system for storing and passing on traits. Where did the information and technology to create life come from?

The second finding comes from 450 scientists worldwide working on the ENCODE project to map the human genome. In September 2012 they announced that most and likely all of our 3.2 billion “letters” of DNA is functional. Despite attacks by Darwinists, ENCODE issued a paper this year holding their ground. As one die-hard Darwinist admits, “if ENCODE is true, then Evolution is wrong,” using “Evolution” here to refer to Darwinian theory. ENCODE announced in December 2012 that human DNA has two layers of information. How could 3.2 billion letters of all or mostly functional code with two layers of information arise by chance? Some Darwinists would now like to believe that extra DNA confers a major evolutionary disadvantage, but there is no known disadvantage to excess DNA. Some species have a lot. The marbled lungfish has 132 billion “letters” of DNA; a Japanese flower has 152 billion.

The third finding is that all species contain genes with no analogue in any other species. They are called “orphan genes,” because it was once believed we would find their ancestors. We know today their ancestors never existed. Orphan genes play a key role in making a species unique, such as creating toxins in jellyfish and preventing freezing in polar cod. A 2009 paper reported that “Comparative genome analyses indicate that every taxonomic group so far studied contains 10-20% of genes that lack recognizable homologs [similar counterparts] in other species.” Leaf-cutter ants have 9,361 genes that are unique; they create the largest and most complex societies of all animals, surpassed only by human beings.

Each of these findings is evidence of information in the universe. In all of human history, and in all of science, we have found only one thing that can create meaningful information. That is intelligence. I gave a lecture at MIT earlier this year, and asked the roomful of scientists if there was there was any other known source of information. The room became silent.

This argument from probability is a paradigm buster. Take the atheist/Darwinist claim that there is nothing special about human beings. In 2011 scientists identified 198 orphan genes in humans, chimpanzees, and orangutans that code for proteins used in the brain. Fifty-four of these genes are solely human. The odds of getting by chance DNA code to perform a specified function are vanishing small; one paper estimates that likelihood as one part in a number with 77 zeros. How many proto-human candidates do you think there could possibly have been – maybe a number with nine or ten digits at most? The odds that any of those proto-humans ever had a mutation creating one of these orphan brain genes is less than picking a specified marble out of almost unimaginably big pile, a pile of marbles 100 light years in diameter, extending far beyond our Solar System to include many nearby stars.

As the experimental evidence points to God, the academic rhetoric gets louder. A recent piece in the Sunday Review came from a biology professor who gives his students an anti-God “Talk” each year. He admits living things are “wonderfully complex,” but states that this is consistent with random variations plus natural selection, unguided evolution. That may be Darwinian dogma, but it’s mathematical nonsense. Orphan genes can’t be explained by chance; they’re not derived from any prior genes. 3.2 billion “letters” of all or mostly functional DNA code can’t be explained by chance. The origin of life can’t be explained by chance. I’d like to give that professor a course in probability.

There’s other evidence. The fossil record contradicts Darwinian theories of gradual descent; it documents an infusion of information into the universe 540 million years ago as part of life’s Cambrian Explosion. Could we be on the verge of a paradigm shift to God? Will people be open to these new facts of science? God only knows.

Thanks for reading.

Perfection and Whale Hips

One so-called “scientific” argument against the existence of God is that there are organs or features that appear unnecessary or imperfect. The argument is that this somehow shows that species evolved through a purely unguided process. Darwin wrote:

“On the view of each organism with all its separate parts having been specially created, how utterly inexplicable is it that organs bearing the plain stamp of inutility … should so frequently occur.”

This is nonsense. To borrow a phrase from a friend who teaches physics at MIT, this argument “is so bad it’s not even wrong.” It makes no sense on several levels. First, we are not able to judge God. What we think of as useless or imperfect may make sense in God’s plan. Second, who says everything has to be perfect or even useful? You don’t have to show that everything is perfect to have a scientific basis for belief; all you have to show is clear evidence of design in the universe and in life. (My book shows overwhelming evidence for that in seven areas of science.)

That’s all old news. What’s new, and amazing, is that organ-by-organ, feature-by-feature, scientists are discovering that items once thought useless are absolutely necessary. Take the appendix, cited by Darwin himself as useless. We now know the appendix is a “safe house” for helpful bacteria that may be otherwise destroyed in our stomachs, and serves other critical functions. About fifty species of mammals have an appendix, and those species are so diverse that, to quote one scientist, the appendix “must have evolved separately at least 32 times, and perhaps as many as 38 times.” Wow! So some blind, unguided, and ultimately chance-based process produced the same organ dozens of times in different species – or a common designer placed it there for a reason. Draw your own conclusion.

Take the myth of junk DNA – the argument that human beings were not designed because the majority of our DNA code was thought to be useless “junk.” This myth was destroyed in 2012 by 450 scientists worldwide as part of the ENCODE project.

And now whale hips. Whale hips were said to be the “marquee example” of a useless feature. Guess what? A recent scientific article explains why they are still necessary. Details aside, without whale hips you’re not likely to get baby whales.

I think baby whales are cute. Perhaps they’re perfect.

Thanks for reading.

Information Revisited – New Proteins

Last week I explained why random events cannot create meaningful information. This week let’s see how recent laboratory results confirm that, by looking at the creation of new proteins.

Proteins are biological machine parts. They are manufactured using the code in DNA by snapping together the specified sequence of amino acids. All life uses the same 20 amino acids, and they are snapped together, like plastic building blocks, and folded into a functional protein, a working biological machine part. Functional proteins are rare, in exactly the same way that a random collection of letters is rarely going to form a coherent paragraph.One very recent estimate is that human beings have about 19,000 functional proteins.

In 2009 researchers at the University of Oregon found that Darwinian, chance-based evolution doesn’t work in reverse – that is, once you have a new protein, there is essentially zero chance that natural processes will somehow be able to recreate the original protein. In June 2014, in an article published in prestigious Nature magazine, they found tremendous problems with forward evolution. They found that to get from one protein to another you had to assume a fantastically unlikely exact sequence of intermediate steps.

In other words, they disproved Darwinian evolution –it all happened solely by chance and natural selection. They verified in the lab that natural processes alone cannot create information. Of course, they don’t admit it. Just like most scientists worldwide seek to ignore the ENCODE results of 2012, that substantially all of our human DNA serves a function, and that we have multiple levels of information in our DNA coding.

So where does information come from? Where did the DNA coding come from to build the thousands of functional proteins in our bodies?

“If you start with a protein that has a particular function, to some extent you can generally change some of the amino acids in its sequence, and the protein will still perform that same function. But you can’t rationally expect to “accidentally” mutate from one functional protein to another amino acid sequence with a new function. The odds of that are one in 1063 for 92 amino acid sequences and one in 1077 for 150 amino acid sequences, and far worse for longer amino acid sequences.” Counting To God, p. 158.

Thanks for reading.