If one were to write a book entitled, On the Origin of Codes, what might be set forth in the book as an explanation?
We ask the question because we now understand more fully the reason that we are human beings. Inside each of us reside physical codes–hardware–of extremely complex and detailed instructions–software–that provide the information and instructions to build every single organ and component part of us, the connection of those components, and the continued operation of every system of our physical bodies.
Our human body, therefore, is a human computer housing a physical coded instruction set in the form of DNA that codes the software that executes to construct and maintain us. The software executes via our DNA coded instructions such that our human body is built to interbreed with a very differently constructed—but equally human—body to produce another of us, an offspring which is fertile to do the same. All the material evidence we have on Earth, including from efforts at breeding animals, indicates that this process can continue indefinitely with no expectation that the next body produced be anything other than human.
Unless the human hardware–our physical DNA code–is modified dramatically, the software–the coded instructions of our DNA–will never construct anything but another human from the mating of a male and female human being.
Consider: what is likely to result to the software that runs and replicates our human bodies if our physical DNA code is randomly modified over and over and over again?
Evolutionary theory teaches us that we are the result of a drastically and randomly changed DNA code that originated in the first replicating living being. That is, according to evolutionary theory the first original replicating DNA coded instruction set was re-programmed over and over and over again throughout innumerable generations of random changes to result in our human DNA coded instructions. According to evolutionists, the software that once produced a sea sponge has been changed to now produce a human being. And every change along the way was caused solely by random changes in blind nature.
Is this believable? Can nature really re-program a first operating, intact coded instruction set to build a sea sponge to a later operating, intact coded instruction set to build a human being?
Let’s first consider: What do we know about where “codes” come from? What, for example, causes a computer code with instructions to be programmed to purposefully achieve a transformation of some material object? Is there any natural law, force, or cause that can produce a code in nature?
Our inquiry centers on an even more consequential question: How was the DNA code programmed with instructions to build a perfectly good sea sponge re-programmed over many generations to have instructions to build a perfectly good human being?
Fortunately, DNA codes and their software instructions are exactly analogous to computer codes and software we are familiar with. We can use the metaphor of re-programming computer codes to aid in our understanding of the evolutionarily-necessary programming and re-programming of DNA codes.
It is not disputed that computer codes are functionally analogous to DNA codes. It is uncontroversial that the DNA molecule is coded instructions, coded with enormously long sequences of four nucleotide bases (denoted by the letters A, T, G, and C). Nucleotide bases are the part of DNA that stores information and gives DNA the ability to encode a person’s building instructions including a person’s visible traits. In exactly the same manner machine code in computers is coded with long binary sequences of two numbers (1’s and 0’s). These binary sequences store information to encode instructions for computer software. Here Stephen Meyer, an expert in the field of DNA studies, makes this point in an article in First Things:
As it turns out, specific regions of the DNA molecule called coding regions have the same property of “sequence specificity” or “specified complexity” that characterizes written codes, linguistic texts, and protein molecules. Just as the letters in the alphabet of a written language may convey a particular message depending on their arrangement, so too do the sequences of nucleotide bases (the A’s, T’s, G’s, and C’s) inscribed along the spine of a DNA molecule convey a precise set of instructions for building proteins within the cell. The nucleotide bases in DNA function in precisely the same way as symbols in a machine code. In each case, the arrangement of the characters determines the function of the sequence as a whole. As Richard Dawkins has noted, “The machine code of the genes is uncannily computer “like.” In the case of a computer code, the specific arrangement of just two symbols (0 and 1) suffices to carry information. In the case of DNA, the complex but precise sequencing of the four nucleotide bases (A, T, G, and C) stores and transmits the information necessary to build proteins. Thus, the sequence specificity of proteins derives from a prior sequence specificity “from the information” encoded in DNA.
To reinforce the similarity in every functional aspect let us visualize the two codes. If you could see inside your computer software you would find millions and millions of code sequences of 1’s and 0’s that look like this—a fragment of the computer machine code needed to perform simple addition of two numbers:
Likewise, if you could see inside your DNA you would find millions and millions of code sequences that look like this, each letter symbolizing a nucleotide base, the basic structural unit and instruction-storing building block for DNA:
In the first example of the machine code the mis-ordering—that is, a mutation—of even one of the 1’s or 0’s likely destroys the code’s functional ability. Should we reasonably believe that one mutation, much less repeated mutations of the 1’s and 0’s, could ever improve the code’s functionality? Would not random changes more likely produce “injurious variation” (to use Darwin’s terminology) into the code?
Likewise, it would seem, the mis-ordering of even one of the nucleotide bases (A’s, T’s, G’s, and C’s) of a fully operational DNA code for an organism would never improve the DNA code’s functionality? Would such a random change also more likely than not produce “injurious variation” into the DNA code? We know that such mis-ordering can cause cancer and birth defects.
But the theory of evolution relies on the re-programming of DNA coded instructions solely via random mis-ordering–mutations–in the DNA code as it replicates from generation to generation. This, then, is our inquiry: Can we rationally believe that random mutations alone caused the re-programming necessary to evolve DNA codes from that of a sea sponge to a human being?
Thus, our inquiry is directed to the question of how nature, using only random, blind forces can take a starting building code with instructions to build a primitive organism and turn it into a highly complex building code with instructions to build human beings. We are not primarily concerned with where the DNA coded building instructions in us came from in the first place. Our inquiry is focused on the question of how does a primitive DNA building code evolve–get re-programmed–to become a usefully complex DNA building code capable of building eyes, brains, hearts, and other new, complex body parts in human beings.
Stanford University Explains the Necessary Process for Programming and Reprogramming Coded Instructions
To examine the question of how coded information can become more usefully complex through re-programming, let’s utilize an excellent discussion of how computer codes are programmed and re-programmed presented by Stanford University. Below we utilize portions of Stanford’s “CS101, Introduction to Code” for teaching and commentary related to how codes are created. We urge our readers to read Stanford’s full discussion.
Stanford’s CS101 discussion is directed to how computer codes can be usefully changed over time. Figure 1 below is a graphic that introduces the issue. We added the result in red text–“Sum of 2 numbers”–to illustrate the usefulness of the computer code. As indicated, a computer is programmed to follow certain fixed instructions, for example to calculate the sum.
To illustrate the exact analogy of computers to DNA codes, in Figure 2 below we have modified Figure 1 to show how the exact same concept applies to DNA codes in your body. Note the exactly analogous nature of DNA coded information (red text is our modification). The human body is programmed to follow certain fixed instructions, for example to build a protein.
Following Stanford’s CS101 discussion sheds light on just how a simple raw computer code can be made into a code to produce something more complex and beneficial. In Figure 3 below we show the question as presented by Stanford. In Stanford’s example, the question is how to modify a computer code to build a unique functionality–in this case “red-eye reduction.” As Stanford asks: What connects coded information with a new useful feature to be added?
Consider Figure 3 carefully and note the question mark. What connects the two sides? How do new, useful functions, such as red-eye reduction, arise out of raw computer code?
Just as computer codes are modified–programmed–to add useful functions, according to evolution our DNA coded instructions have also been modified innumerable times to produce innumerable new and often unique features and useful functions, such as eyes, lungs, brains, ears, and every other feature humans enjoy that sea sponges don’t.
Thus, in Figure 4 below we reproduce Figure 3 with modifications to show the directly analogous nature of DNA codes in our bodies. In our analogous example, the question is: Can DNA coded instructions be modified to build increasingly complex and unique functionality–in this example, “eye focus.” The question mark represents the same question: What, in nature, “connects the two sides” such that existing, working DNA coded instructions can be modified to produce new working DNA coded instructions to build a new function or feature in a human body? Consider the red text in Figure 4 which is exactly analogous to the content in Figure 3.
Again, consider the question mark. What is it that can change existing DNA coded instructions without a “eye focus” building instructions into new coded instructions with a “eye focus” building instructions?
At this point we ask the reader to consider what might be the change agent represented by the question mark in Figures 3 and 4 for natural systems such as the DNA hardware executing the coded instruction software to build a human being. If evolution is true, the question mark represents a natural process must operate in nature. More specifically, if evolution is true, one or both of (1) descent with modification, and (2) natural selection must operate where the question mark is.
Let’s see what Stanford’s CS101 puts in the place of the question mark. Study Figure 5 below, noting the added red circle and arrow.
For the beneficial modification of computer codes, programmers are the necessary link between computers and useful features and functions.
The Stanford course further includes the explanatory detail shown in Figure 6 below:
Because DNA codes are directly analogous to computer codes, we can consider the truth of the following analogous statements: The gap between the computer (our human bodies) and doing something useful (building and maintaining every part of us) is where __________________________________ creates solutions.
What can evolutionists fill in the blank space? What “creates solutions” in natural, blind, evolutionary processes?
The only tools available in evolutionary theory to be a programmer substitute are (1) genetic mutations, and (2) natural selection.
We have already seen that natural selection plays no role in creating anything; natural selection merely acts on already-created things.
Thus, the only tool available in evolutionary theory to serve as a “programmer substitute” is genetic mutations: random, copying errors in replicating DNA. Does it stand to reason that random, copying errors in inherited DNA codes can cause a primitive DNA coded instruction set to build a sea sponge to gradually be re-programmed into a highly complex, feature rich DNA coded instruction set to build a human being?
We at Creation Reformation submit that until evolutionary theory can supply a natural cause as a “programmer substitute,” there is no reason to believe that any of the natural processes of evolution can rationally explain the claimed evolutionary change from sea sponge to human.
And thus, we believe it is safe to jettison evolutionary theory as a plausible explanation for human beings, and we will seek our answers elsewhere.