Sunday, February 26, 2012

John Lennox on DNA and Design

"We have only to see a few letters of the alphabet spelling our name in the sand to recognize at once the work of an intelligent agent. How much more likely, then is the existence of an intelligent Creator behind human DNA, the colossal biological database that contains no fewer than 3.5 billion 'letters' - the longest 'word' yet discovered?”

John Lennox
God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design Is It Anyway?
, p. 75.


Walt said...

I disagree with this rather idyllic view of DNA. To add my own twist to the analogy, imagine that you are walking down the beach and find your name in the sand. You're standing there gazing at its wonderful design when you notice that the UV radiation begins to chip away at the letters, that the letter L breaks apart entirely (we'll call it Fragile L syndrome), and that tiny little ABC viruses insert themselves and condemn your name to either an abrupt or protracted (and contagious) death. While I too marvel at the complexity and wonder of life, I would urge anyone to take a serious look at what goes on with these 'intelligently designed' systems before attributing to them a (non-falsifiable) creator.

Brian said...


I think that it is legitimate to ask about the nature of the designed based upon what we see in the design.

But do you think it is legitimate to call into question design itself simply because something might be harmful (or unpleasant, or destructive, etc.)?

Take something that we already know is designed, for instance. You could look at something absolutely terrible like a roadside bomb. When it comes to the design question, I can't dismiss design when I see an I.E.D. simply because it is made for killing people.

But then, if we are saying something may be designed, and that design may be the God of the Bible (a fair candidate), then it must also be granted that we can reconcile "evils" that we see if we suppose the Christian account of God is true. Most importantly, one element would be that we live in a sinful, fallen world—that things are not in their ideal state.

So if someone recognizes designed, I don't think it is unwarranted to infer a designer (in particular, the Christian God), even if there are "evils" in the world.

Unknown said...

Can falsifiability be falsified?


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