7 December 2004
Getting a complex
The editors of Discover, a science mag published by a Disney subsidiary, replied to a letter from an intelligent-design advocate (January '05) with this comparison:
Language is an information medium, as is DNA. Language gets transmitted and transformed from generation to generation, just as the information in DNA gets transmitted and transformed. Many languages have appeared, changed, and vanished over the centuries, but nobody has ever seen a new language spontaneously appear. Nevertheless, people accept that languages evolve and that modern languages derive from earlier ones that were, in many cases, considerably different. Why then is it so hard to accept that the same process might happen to the information in our DNA?
Obviously, this doesn't settle anything. My own thinking here is that it would be a fairer comparison were there any languages as complex as DNA strands: there are, admittedly, only four different building blocks, but the structures are astoundingly convoluted.
Then again, my own thinking along these lines has always been something like "Evolution is God's standard upgrade path," a position that appeals neither to hard-core Darwinists nor to young-earth partisans. I'd like to hear some rational (or at least justifiable) arguments either way.Posted at 8:54 PM to Dyssynergy