Topic: Genetics and Biochemistry Do Not Admit Evolution as a Scientific Theory

Oct 2000
by Roger X. Lenard

This is Essay3a in a series of debate topics between CSFNM and NMSR.
See CSFNM Homepage for details.

Recent advances in biochemistry and information theory have been devastating for Darwinism or any other naturalistic philosophy. Evolution claims that undirected, random process account for observed order, complexity and information in living entities[1]. However, random, undirected processes cannot produce such characteristics.

Michael Behe shows that well-matched, irreducible complexity cannot be the consequence of undirected random processes. Recent attempts by evolutionists to claim that multi-point metastable equilibrium chemistry [2] can produce order dramatically miss the point of well-matched irreducible complexity; there is no more information in the final state of the system than there was at first. Evolutionists Shanks and Joplin claim the biochemical systems can be redundantly complex, where biochemical pathways can overlap; sometimes (they postulate) chaotic conditions can lead to order.

They miss the fundamental feature that Irreducibly Complex (IC) systems can never be replicated by Simple Interactive SI) ones such as demonstrated by the Blousov-Zhabitinsky (BZ) reaction, even chained SI ones. This cannot occur because there is no functional mechanism to gradually build up a system, in a random undirected way, creating constituent parts over time, when the system requires all parts to function simultaneously [3]. If the BZ reaction were to lead to a crystal, the repeated structure would still contain very little information. It is similar to a string of x's --- lots of order, little information.

Alternatively, massive information generation and transfer is clearly observed in extant self-replicating systems, i.e., living creatures. Reactions proceed to transcript information as accurately as possible. There is no known instance of a random generation of information; quite the reverse, a great deal of intelligent, directed effort is expended to eliminate sources of noise that corrupts information content.

Recently I demonstrated that the energy required to create information is very significant, and has employed the above analysis on simple biochemical species [4]. Thousands of Gigajoules are required simply to generate the chemical codons forming the alphabet of DNA. Thousands more to form them into information-bearing sequences. The net consequence is that when chemical equilibrium is achieved, the condition is not simply energy liberating, (as in BZ), but energy intensive. Energy must be released in order to produce information, so a lot is required. Nor is the biological system chemically stable as in BZ; once the entropy reducing mechanism (life) ceases, racemization rapidly results and energy is released as the information degenerates.

There exists no undirected, random physical mechanism to produce either information or complexity. Information is not a property of matter; purely material processes are fundamentally precluded as sources of information [5]. Matter can carry code; it is not the code. Since evolution is a materialistic philosophy, it cannot naturalistically explain the existence of information. Information is comprised of 5 irreducible parts: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics [6]. Even the availability of DNA codons occurring randomly in nature are no further than statistics. Structuring codons into coded DNA sequences raises to the level of syntax, only provided that the code is interpretable. The biological requirement is for DNA to transcript into mRNA and reproduce. Modern evolutionary biology cannot decide whether DNA or RNA came first [7]. However, RNA is only a temporary storage medium for genetic information; being an unstable sugar. Why undirected processes should select this mechanism has not been made clear, other than it is a less complex path and the probabilities of random formation are only slightly less absurd than starting with DNA.

There are many subtleties in a biological system, much of the DNA contains sequences that appear not to code for proteins and are poorly understood. Much of the DNA codes for processes rather than product. This carries IC to an entirely new level. Now (many) separate processes must be structured to produce the product. This is what Behe means by well-matched irreducible complexity. Eliminate one of the processes, and the product is either flawed or gone. DNA itself performs very few of the essential functions of life. Further, no one has ever succeeded in predicting the three-dimensional structure of a protein from its one-dimensional sequence of amino acids. Thus DNA code as presently understood does not reveal the functional structure of the molecule for which it codes [8].

Darwinism is completely out of its element when true science steps to the plate. Shanks and Joplin are at least trying to address the complete lack of science in understanding how information can be generated through random undirected acts evolution requires. They aren't even close, of course, but at least they recognize a serious problem exists. The problem is that they are trying to arrogate to matter a fundamental property of containing inherent information. This is the fundamental building block of the "molecules-to-man" hypothesis. The molecules must contain the information, because no known physical process will generate it ex nihilo. However, if the molecules contain latent information, then the process cannot be either random or undirected. The epistemological poverty of evolutionary theory is manifested in its inability to provide coherent, viable processes, based on known physical principles to generate order, information and complexity. The inescapable conclusion is that evolution doesn't work at the most fundamental level of biochemistry and information theory.

References (not included in word count)

1. Miller, K. Levine, J. Biology, Fifth Edition, Prentice-Hall, 2000. p 658.
2. Shanks and Joplin, 1999.
3. Behe, M. Darwin's Black Box.
4. Lenard, R.X. "Entropy, Energy and Probabilities Associated with Generation of Order In Complex Biological Information Systems" draft, 2000.
5. Gitt, W. 2000. In the Beginning Was Information. Ed. 2. Christliche Literatur-Verbreitung, Bielfeld, Germany.
6. ibid.
7. Ward, P.D. and Brownlee, D. 2000. Rare Earth. Copernicus, Springer-Verlag, New York.
8. Robinson, A. "Access to Energy". Cave Junction, OR. May 2000