The Information in Living Structures and The End of Materialism
At the foundation of the theory of evolution lies materialist philosophy, based on the hypothesis that nothing exists apart from matter. This theory maintains that matter has existed and will continue to exist for all time. Materialists employ a logical process known as reductionism in order to back up these claims. Reductionism is the idea that, like matter itself, invisible forces can also be explained in terms of material agents.
To clarify this, consider the example of the human mind, something that cannot be touched or seen. What is more, there is no "mind center" in the human brain, which inevitably leads to the conclusion that the mind is beyond matter. The thinking, loving, passionate rejoicing, happy or suffering entity we refer to as "me" is not a material entity in the same sense that a table or a stone is.
Materialists, however, maintain that mind can be reduced to matter. According to this claim, our thinking, loving, rejoicing and all other mental activities basically consist of chemical reactions between the atoms in our brains. Our loving someone is a chemical reaction in various cells; the way we feel fear is another such reaction. The famous materialist philosopher Karl Vogt expressed this with irrational logic: "The brain secretes thought just as the liver secretes bile."132 The fact is, however, that bile is matter, but no evidence suggests that thought is matter, too.
Reductionism follows a logical course, but logical progressions may not always be based on sound foundations. What happens when reductionism, the fundamental logic of materialism, is compared against scientific facts?
Nineteenth-century scientists and thinkers imagined that they could easily answer that question by saying, "Science confirms reductionism." However, 20th -century science has revealed that the information existing in nature can never be reduced to matter.
DNA, Not Merely a String of Nucleic Acids, Also Contains Information
You have already seen that living things' DNA contains very wide-ranging information. A literal data bank that describes all the physical details of an organism's body is squeezed into a space just 1/100,000 of a millimeter. In addition, the living cell also possesses a system that reads and interprets this information and engages in production accordingly. In every living cell, the information inside DNA is read by various enzymes, and proteins produced according to that information. Every second, the manufacture of millions of proteins, of just the type required for the site concerned, takes place inside our bodies. By means of this system, eye cells or blood cells that die are replaced by new ones.
Can the information inside DNA be reduced to matter, as materialists would have us believe? Or can DNA be regarded as only a collection of matter, with the information it contains emerging through random interactions of matter?
All the scientific research carried out in the 20th century, the results of all the experiments and observations, show that life definitely does not consist of matter alone. As the leading information theoretician and biophysicist Hubert Yockey puts it: "Like all messages, the life message is non-material but has an information content measurable in bits and bytes."133
Prof. Phillip Johnson says:
In his book In the Beginning Was Information, the information theoretician Prof. Werner Gitt also states that life cannot be reduced to matter alone:
The fact that the genetic code contains non-material information shows that evolutionists' dreams regarding the genetic code are unfounded right from the outset. Their scenarios assume that matter somehow organized itself in order to give rise to the genetic code and genetic information. But since matter is unable to spontaneously produce that genetic code, all materialist explanations are totally meaningless.
Furthermore, the arrangement of the genetic letters in DNA is of vital importance for life. Nucleotides are meaningless on their own, by coming together in particular sequence, they give rise to genes that carry meaningful information that significantly distinguishes DNA from other structures seen in nature. Prof. Phillip Johnson refers to this property of DNA in these terms:
As Johnson states, the random combination of chemical substances cannot establish the necessary conditions for organisms to live and reproduce. Chemical substances must be assembled in such a way as to constitute the comprehensive and meaningful information in DNA. It is impossible to find such an intention in atoms and molecules. The source of this information is Omniscient and Almighty Allah, the Creator of all things on the Earth and in the sky. The well-known theoretical physicist Paul Davies describes the value of genetic information from this perspective:
Paul Davies refers to the origin of genetic information as a "mystery" because no materialist account for the information inside DNA can be given. Materialism has once again collapsed in the face of the fact of creation. The chemist Michael Polanyi, an eminent 20th century philosopher of science, states that there can be no materialist explanation for the transmission of the information in DNA:
In "Information in the Holographic Universe" an article published in Scientific American magazine, the theoretical physicist Prof. Jacob D. Bekenstein describes the importance of information:
When you look at evolutionist writings, you can see that they sometimes admit that their theory is at a complete impasse in the face of the information in living things. One outspoken authority on this subject is the French zoologist Pierre-Paul Grassé. Despite being a materialist and an evolutionist, Grassé admits that the most important fact to invalidate Darwinism is the information constituting life:
The reason why Grassé says "science seems incapable of solving it" is his unwillingness to regard any non-materialist explanation as scientific. In fact, however, that science itself refutes the assumptions of materialist philosophy and proves the existence of a Creator. Grassé and other materialist scientists close their eyes to this, or else say "Science is unable to explain." Because they are materialists first and scientists second, and they persist in believing in materialism, even if science proves the exact opposite.
This striking fact concerning DNA-the fact that genetic information cannot be accounted for in terms of matter and energy or natural laws-continues to represent an insuperable barrier in front of the theory of evolution. Prof. Werner Gitt, director of the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology says this:
In another extract, Gitt states that information can only exist by being created:
Gitt's words are also the conclusions reached by the Information Theory, regarded as part of thermodynamics and developed over the last 20 to 30 years. Information theory investigates the structure and origin of the information in the universe. The conclusion reached thanks to lengthy research by information theoreticians is that information is something different from matter. It can never be reduced to matter. The origins of information and matter must be investigated separately.
The origin of the information in DNA is a dilemma that materialists can never resolve. The origin of the information encoded in the DNA molecule can never be accounted for through any natural mechanism. All observations, experiments, and experience show that information can emanate only from a conscious entity. The information in DNA is the work of Almighty Allah, the Creator of all life. In the Qur'an, our Lord's creative artistry and infinite power are described in these terms:
That is Allah, your Lord. There is no deity but Him, the Creator of everything. So worship Him. He is responsible for everything. Eyesight cannot perceive Him but He perceives eyesight. He is the All-Penetrating, the All-Aware. (Surat al-An'am, 102-103)
The Source of Information in Nature
When we apply this result revealed by science, we are confronted by a most important conclusion. Because, as in the case of DNA, nature is full of glorious information-and since this information cannot be reduced to matter-it must have a non-material source.
George C. Williams accepts this fact that most materialists and evolutionists are unwilling to see. For many years, Williams supported materialism in a most dogmatic fashion. But in an article written in 1995, he expressed the error of the materialist (reductionist) approach that assumes that everything consists of matter:
Twentieth-century science revealed that the information in DNA cannot be reduced to matter, as materialists maintain. Therefore-and contrary to what materialists imagine-the origin of the information in nature cannot be matter itself. The source of information is not matter, but a supra-material Intelligence that existed before matter. Matter came into being, took shape and was arranged through it. That Intelligence belongs to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. While demolishing materialist philosophy, this extraordinary information in the origin of life also provides countless proofs of the manifest existence of Allah.
132. Encyclopædia Britannica, "Modern Materialism"
133. Hubert Yockey, "Information in Bits and Bytes", BioEssays, 1995, Vol. 17, p. 85.
134. Dean L. Overman, A Case Against Accident and Self-Organization, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1997, p. 37.
135. Phillip E. Johnson, Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, InterVarsity Press, Illionis, 1997, p. 75.
136. Werner Gitt, In the Beginning was Information, p. 89.
137. Phillip E. Johnson, The Wedge of Truth, p. 53.
138. Paul Davies, The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin and Meaning of Life, Simon & Schuster, 1999, p. 60.
139. Michael Polanyi, "Life Transcending Physics and Chemistry", Chemical & Engineering News, Vol 45, no. 35, 21 August 1967, p. 56.
140. Jacob D. Bekenstein, "Information in the Holographic Universe", Scientific American, 14 July 2003, p. 59.
141. Pierre P. Grassé, The Evolution of Living Organisms, 1977, p. 2.
142. Werner Gitt, In the Beginning was Information, pp. 47, 107.
143. Ibid., p. 97.
144. George C. Williams, The Third Culture: Beyond the Scientific Revolution, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1995. p. 43.