This is part of a series of posts on the “Life Dialogue” within Christianity. Check out other posts in the series here.
It is hard to underestimate the importance of the question: “Are we designed?” I’ve really started to realize the question’s reverberations even within the Christian community. Creationists definitely believe we are designed, as we were brought out of nothing by God into being. But theistic evolutionists often argue that the only design inherent in God’s creation was His plan to bring about sentience through evolution. Yet this evolution is blind and unguided. So on theistic evolutionism, we are not designed. Is there a middle ground? Can we say evolution mostly correct, but we are still designed?
Stephen Meyer argues that there is such a middle ground. In his enormously successful book, Signature in the Cell, he argues cogently for the position that there is more to life than “just matter and energy.” There is also information (85). If that is the case, then whence the information?
Essentially the argument goes as follows:
1) If there is information in our cells, its origin must be explained.
2) There is information in our cells.
3) Therefore, the origin of the information must be explained.
4) There are three possible explanations for information: chance, necessity, or design.
5) Chance and necessity are not sufficient explanations for information.
6) Therefore, the information is in our cell due to design.
In defense of premise 2, Meyer argues that there is information in the cell that we can detect because DNA isn’t simply random amalgamations of enzymes, rather, they are put in specific order so that they can regulate the production of proteins and RNA. Thus, they act as information which regulates activity of the cell.
3 follows from 1 and 2.
Chance doesn’t seem a sufficient explanation because not only is the generation of information highly improbable, it is also specified (it is information set in a certain way). Necessity won’t work because it presupposes information is already present. Therefore, the cell is designed.
To those Christians interested in the Intelligent Design, Theistic Evolution, Creationism debate, I highly recommend Stephen Meyer’s Signature in the Cell.
A response to an attack on this post found here (search “On Intelligent Design”)
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