Written by Vladimir Moss



     In the first half of the twentieth century, the major scientific discoveries had been made in the physical sciences and mathematics. In the second half, it was the turn of the biological sciences. For, as Eric Hobsbawm writes, “within ten years of the Second World War, the life sciences were revolutionized by the astonishing advances of molecular biology, which revealed the universal mechanism of inheritance, the ‘genetic code’.

     “The revolution in molecular biology was not unexpected. After 1914 it could be taken for granted that life had to be, and could be, explained in terms of physics and chemistry and not in terms of some essence peculiar to living beings. Indeed, biochemical models of the possible origin of life on earth, starting with sunlight, methane, ammonia and water, were first suggested in the 1920s (largely with anti-religious intentions) in Soviet Russia and Britain, and put the subject on the serious scientific agenda. Hostility to religion, by the way, continued to animate researchers in this field: both Crick and Linus Pauling are cases in point. The major thrust of biological research had for decades been biochemical, and increasingly physical, since the recognition that protein molecules could be crystallized, and therefore analysed crystallographically. It was known that one substance, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) played a central, possibly the central role in heredity: it seemed to be the basic component of the gene, the unit of inheritance. The problem of how the gene ‘caused the synthesis of another structure like itself, in which even the mutations of the original gene are copied’, i.e. how heredity operated, was already under serious investigation in the later 1930s. After the war it was clear that, in Crick’s words, ‘great things were just around the corner’. The brilliance of Crick and Watson’s discovery of the double-helical structure of DNA [in 1953] and of the way it explained ‘gene copying’ by an elegant chemico-mechanical model is not diminished by the fact that several workers were converging on the same result in the early 1950s. 

     “The DNA revolution, ‘the greatest single discovery in biology’ (J.D. Bernal), which dominated the life-sciences in the second half of the century, was essentially about genetics and, since twentieth-century Darwinism is exclusively genetics, about evolution. Both these are notoriously touchy subjects, both because scientific models are themselves frequently ideological in such fields – we remember Darwin’s debt to Malthus – and because they frequently feed back into politics (‘social Darwinism’). The concept of ‘race’ illustrates this interplay. The memory of Nazi racial policies made it virtually unthinkable for liberal intellectuals (which included most scientists) to operate with his concept. Indeed, many doubted that it was legitimate even to enquire systematically into the genetically determined differences between human groups, for fear that the results might provide encouragement for racist opinions. More generally, in the Western countries the post-fascist ideology of democracy and equality revived the old debates of ‘nature v. nurture’, or heredity v. environment. Plainly the human individual was shaped both by heredity and environment, by genes and culture. Yet conservatives were only too willing to accept of society of irremovable, i.e. genetically determined inequalities, while the Left, committed to equality, naturally held that all inequalities could be removed by social action: they were at bottom environmentally determined. The controversy flared up over the question of human intelligence, which (because of its implications for selective or universal schooling) was highly political. It raised far wider issues than those or race, though it bore on these also. How wide they were, emerged with the revival of the feminist movement, several of whose ideologists came close to claiming that all mental differences between men and women wer essentially culture-determined, i.e. environmental. Indeed, the fashionable substitution of the term ‘gender’ for ‘sex’ implied the belief that ‘woman’ was not so much a biological category as a social role. A scientist who tried to investigate such sensitive subjects knew himself to be in a political minefield. Even those who entered it deliberately, like E.O. Wilson of Harvard (b. 1929), the champion of ‘socio-biology’, shied away from plain speech…”[1]

     However, the discovery of DNA had a far deeper and more fundamental effect than merely eliciting these debates on the relative roles of genes and environment in various human conditions and situations. Although this has not been recognized by most scientists to this day, the discovery of DNA has completely undermined the theoretical basis of Darwinism itself. For it revealed an information-based mechanism for the transmission of the genome that could not possibly have come into existence by chance, but must have been created by an intelligent designer – in other words, God. Information is a concept that makes no sense without a mind possessing it. And the amount of information contained in just the simplest reproducible cell points to an infinite Mind…[2]

     Thus Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, says that DNA is like computer code – only much more complex and sophisticated than any computer code created by man. Now computer code is always created by an intelligent designer – man. So the question arises: who created the code of DNA?

     As regards the complexity of DNA, Raymond G. Halvorson writes: “The human body contains some 100 million cells, with the DNA divided into forty-six chromosomes. The total length of the entire DNA in one cell is about three feet. The total DNA content in a human body is estimated to span the solar system. In terms of an analogy, human DNA is like a very large encyclopedia of forty-six volumes, with each one having 20,000 pages. Every one of the 100 million cells in a human body contains this entire library.

     “As scientists began to decode the human genome they found it to be approximately three billion DNA base pairs long. ‘One of the most extraordinary discoveries of the twentieth century,’ says Dr. Stephen Meyer, director of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, Washington, ‘was that DNA actually stores information – the detailed instructions for assembling proteins – in the form a four-character digital code.’

     “David Coppedge, a systems administrator for the Cassini Mission to Saturn and Titan at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA, made the following observation: ‘Life on the molecular level is incredibly complex. A symphony of proteins, enzymes and DNA work in harmony to permit rapid and precisely controlled chemical reactions. At least 239 proteins are required for the simplest conceivable living cell. The change of getting even one of these proteins, even under ideal conditions, is less than one in 10-161 (10 followed by 161 zeros). To get the simplest reproducible cell is one in 10-40,000. Anything less likely than 1 in 10-50 is virtually impossible, anywhere in the whole universe.’…

     “Coppedge calculated the probability that the 200 trillion molecules arranged in perfect order within the walls of a cell would take trillions and trillions of years to generate spontaneously. That is well beyond the actual age of the earth. The immense complexity of a single cell precludes all possibility of life ever happening by chance…”[3]

     Kirk Durstan writes: “An essential, falsifiable prediction of Darwinian theory, therefore, is that functional information must, on average, increase over time.

     “Interestingly, a prediction of intelligent design science is quite the opposite. Since information always degrades over time for any storage media and replication system, intelligent design science postulates that the digital information of life was initially downloaded into the genomes of life. It predicts that, on average, genetic information is steadily being corrupted by natural processes. The beauty of these two mutually incompatible predictions in science is that the falsification of one entails verification of the other. So which prediction does science falsify, and which does science verify?

     “Ask computer programmers what effect ongoing random changes in the code would have on the integrity of a program, and they will universally agree that it degrades the software. This is the first problem for neo-Darwinian theory. Mutations produce random changes in the digital information of life. It is generally agreed that the rate of deleterious mutations is much greater than the rate of beneficial mutations. My own work with 35 protein families suggests that the rate of destruction is, at a minimum, 8 times the rate of neutral or beneficial mutations.

     “Simply put, the digital information of life is being destroyed much faster than it can be repaired or improved. New functions may evolve, but the overall loss of functional information in other areas of the genome will, on average, be significantly greater. The net result is that the digital information of life is running down.

     “The second series of falsifying observations is indicated by actual organisms we have studied most closely. First, the digital information for the bacterial world is slowly eroding away due to a net deletional bias in mutations involving insertions and deletions. A second example is the fruit fly, one of the most studied life forms in evolutionary biology. It, too, shows an ongoing, genome-wide loss of DNA across the entire genus.

     “Finally, humans are not exempt. As biologist Michael Lynch points out in a paper in PNAS, ‘Rate, molecular spectrum, and consequences of human mutation’:

     “’Consideration of the long-term consequences of current human behaviour for deleterious-mutation accumulation leads to the conclusion that a substantial reduction in human fitness can be expected over the next few centuries in industrialized societies unless novel means of genetic intervention are developed.’

     “We continue to discover more examples of DNA loss, suggesting that the biological world is slowly running down. Microevolution is good at fine-tuning existing forms within their information limits and occasionally getting something right, but the steady accumulation of deleterious mutations on the larger scale suggests that mutation-driven evolution is actually destroying biological life, not creating it.

     “This is hardly a surprise, as every other area of science, except for evolutionary biology, grants that natural processes degrade information, regardless of the storage media and copying process. For neo-Darwinian macroevolution to work, it requires something that is in flat-out contradiction to the real world.”[4]


     New discoveries keep being made that are incompatible with Darwinism. Thus Eric Metaxas writes: “The Darwinian mechanism of mutation and natural selection explains everything about life, we’re told—except how it began. ‘Assume a self-replicating cell containing information in the form of genetic code,’ Darwinists are forced to say. Well, fine. But where did that little miracle come from?

     “A new discovery makes explaining even that first cell tougher still. Fossils unearthed by Australian scientists in Greenland may be the oldest traces of life ever discovered. A team from the University of Wollongong recently published their findings in the journal Nature, describing a series of structures called ‘stromatolites’ that emerged from receding ice.

     “’Stromatolites’ may sound like something your doctor would diagnose, but they’re actually biological rocks formed by colonies of microbes that live in shallow water. If you visit the Bahamas today, you can see living stromatolites.

     “What’s so special about them? Well, they appear in rocks most scientists date to 220 million years older than the oldest fossils, which pushes the supposed date for the origin of life back to 3.7 billion years ago.

     “This, admits the New York Times, ‘complicate[s] the story of evolution of early life from chemicals...’ No kidding! According to conventional geology, these microbe colonies existed on the heels of a period when Earth was undergoing heavy asteroid bombardment, making it virtually uninhabitable. This early date, adds The Times, ‘leaves comparatively little time for evolution to have occurred…’

     “That is an understatement. These life forms came into existence virtually overnight, writes David Klinghoffer at Evolution News and Views. ‘genetic code, proteins, photosynthesis, the works.’

     “This appearance of fully-developed life forms so early in the fossil record led Dr. Abigail Allwood of Caltech to remark that ‘life [must not be] a fussy, reluctant and unlikely thing.” Rather, “it will emerge whenever there’s an opportunity.’

     “Pardon me? If life occurs so spontaneously and predictably even under the harshest conditions, then it should be popping up all over the place! Yet scientists still cannot come close to producing even a single cell from raw chemicals in the lab.

     “Dr. Stephen Meyer explains in his book Signature in the Cell why this may be Darwinism’s Achilles heel. In order to begin evolution by natural selection, you need a self-replicating unit. But the cell and its DNA blueprint are too complicated by far to have arisen through chance chemical reactions. The odds of even a single protein forming by accident are astronomical. So Meyer and other Intelligent Design theorists conclude that Someone must have designed and created the structures necessary for life.”[5]


     With the discovery of DNA, in other words, Darwinism became a statistical impossibility. Unfortunately, however, the world continued as if nothing had happened. Darwinism remained, and remains at the time of writing, the corner-stone, not only of biological science, but of the whole modern world-view...

     At the same time, one of the (very few) encouraging signs about the world today is the stubborn resistance to this corner-stone of the modern world view even among highly educated people.

     Thus Yuval Noah Harari writes: "According to a 2012 Gallup survey only 15 percent of Americans think that Homo sapiens evolved through natural selection alone, free of all divine intervention; 32 percent maintain that humans may have evolved from earlier life forms in a process lasting millions of years, but God orchestrated the whole show; 46 percent believe that God created humans in their current form sometime during the last 10,000 years, just as the Bible says. The same survey found that among BA graduates, 46 percent believe in the biblical creation, whereas only 14 percent think that humans evolved without any divine supervision. Even among holders of MA and PhD degrees, 29 percent believe the Bible, whereas only 29 percent credit natural selection alone with the creation of our species."[6]

     The problem with Darwinism does not consist solely in its non-correspondence with the facts. As Fr. Seraphim Rose pointed out, it is not falsifiable, and therefore not science at all: it is in fact philosophy. More accurately, it is a religion – a modern, sophisticated form of paganism. Paganism believes in the spontaneous generation of higher life-forms, even gods and goddesses, out of lower forms, as if by magic. So does Darwinism.

      The unfalsifiability of Darwinism has been demonstrated by Tom Bethell, who “wrote in Darwin’s House of Cards that natural selection is unscientific no matter how it is formulated. After looking at the logic of it in Chapter 5, and the presumed evidence for it in Chapter 6, he concluded, ‘Natural selection functions in the realm of philosophy, not science.’ For support, he quotes none other than staunch Darwinian Richard Lewontin of Harvard, who at least had the intellectual rigor to critically examine the meaning of natural selection: ‘For what good is a theory that is guaranteed by its internal logical structure to agree with all conceivable observations, irrespective of the real structure of the world? If scientists are going to use logically unbeatable theories about the world, they might as well give up natural science and take up religion. Yet is that not exactly the situation with Darwinism?’

     ”Bethell began his journey as a Darwin skeptic by pondering the circular reasoning inherent in selection theory. Is there any way of deciding what is ‘fit’ other than seeing what survives?” he asks in the Introduction (p. 11). ‘If not, maybe Darwin was arguing in a self-confirming circle: the survival of the survivors.’ Throughout his journey, as he documents in the book, he found leading Darwinists admitting to this core flaw in the logic of natural selection...”[7]


     Towards the end of the twentieth century the word “creationism” began to be dropped in favour of the less religious-sounding “intelligent design”. [8][ Those who teach intelligent design are as firmly opposed to evolution as the old-fashioned creationists, but it is not politically correct to say that you believe in a Creator God (you might lose your job). So you have to say that you believe in “intelligent design” instead – which comes to the same thing, for who could have intelligently designed the universe if not God?

     Jim Holt provides some examples of “intelligent design” thinking. “Michael Behe attacks Darwinism at the molecular level. If you peer inside a cell, Behe says, you see intricate little machines, made out of proteins, that carry on the functions necessary for life. They are so precisely engineered that they exhibit what he calls ‘irreducible complexity’: alter a single part and the whole thing would grind to a halt. How could such machinery have evolved in piecemeal fashion through a series of adaptations, as Darwinism holds?

     “Alwin Plantinga makes a philosophical assault on Darwinism, claiming that it is self-undermining. Suppose the Darwinian theory of evolution were true – our mental machinery, having developed from that of lower animals, would be highly unreliable when it came to generating true theories. (Darwin himself once confessed to the same doubt: ‘Would anyone trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind?’) In other words, if our belief in Darwinism were true, then none of our theoretical beliefs would be reliable – including our belief in Darwinism. But theism escapes this difficulty: if we are made in the image of God, he can be counted on to have supplied us with reliable cognitive faculties.

     “William Dembski bases his anti-Darwinian argument on what he calls ‘the law of conservation of information’. Our DNA contains a wealth of complex information, he observes. How did it get there? Natural causes can’t be responsible. Chance and necessity cannot create information. Therefore, the origin of genetic information ‘is best sought in intelligent causes’.”[9]

     These are powerful arguments, and the creationist or intelligent design movement shows no signs of decline. Many thousand of Ph.D. scientists now reject Darwinism, and to many the arguments of leading evolutionists such as Richard Dawkins are no longer convincing. We come back to the question: if DNA is a code, and all known codes are created by intelligent designers, who created the code of DNA?


June 7/20, 2019.

[1]  Hobsbawm, Age of Extremes, London: Abacus, 1994, pp. 552-554.

[2] In spite of this undoubted fact, huge prizes are still offered to anyone who can produce a genetic code from inorganic material. See Megan Humphrey, “$5 million Tech Prize Seeks Answer to Origin of Life”, Front Line Genomics, March 1, 2018, http://www.frontlinegenomics.com/blog/19919/5-million-tech-prize-seeks-answer-origin-life/

[3] Halvorson, Evolution. The World’s Fourth Great Religion, Colorado Springs: Dawon Media, 2011, pp. 19, 105.

[4] Durston, “An Essential Prediction of Darwinian Theory Is Falsified by Information Degradation”, Evolution News, July 9, 2015, https://evolutionnews.org/2015/07/an_essential_pr/[5] Metaxas, “New discovery makes Darwinists’ case even harder to make”, LifeSiteNews, September 14, 2016, https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/evolutions-can-opener

[6]Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus, London: Vintage, 2015, p. 119.

[7] “No Controversies about Darwinism? Try this one”, Evolution News, May 30, 2017; Lewontin, “Testing the Theory of Natural Selection,” Nature 236, no. 543 (1972): 181-182, cited in Bethel, p. 65.

[8]Of course, there were still some old-fashioned, but formidable scientists who preferred to talk about God. One of these was the Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Paul Dirac, who said in 1971: “It could be that it is extremely difficult to start life. It might be that it is so difficult to start life that it has happened only once among all the planets... Let us consider, just as a conjecture, that the chance life starting when we have got suitable physical conditions is 10100. I don't have any logical reason for proposing this figure, I just want you to consider it as a possibility. Under those conditions ... it is almost certain that life would not have started. And I feel that under those conditions it will be necessary to assume the existence of a god to start off life. I would like, therefore, to set up this connexion between the existence of a god and the physical laws: if physical laws are such that to start off life involves an excessively small chance, so that it will not be reasonable to suppose that life would have started just by blind chance, then there must be a god, and such a god would probably be showing his influence in the quantum jumps which are taking place later on.” Of course, if the extreme improbability of the emergence of life is enough to make the existence of God probable, the existence of DNA makes it far more probable! (Helge Kragh, "The purest soul". Dirac: A Scientific Biography. Cambridge University Press, 1990, pp. 256–257)

[9]Holt, “Divine Evolution”, Prospect, May, 2002, p. 13.

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