Difference between revisions of "Does DNA prove a god exists?"

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Revision as of 11:30, 1 June 2020

Many religious apologists have argued that DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) proves that their god exists. This article describes their argument and addresses issues with it.

Argument

This is the general structure of the argument as used by many religious apologists:

P1: Only an intelligent mind can create information. P2: DNA is information. C1: Therefore, DNA could only come about from an intelligent mind. P3: DNA predates natural forms of intelligence. C2: Therefore, only a supernatural intelligence (a god) could create it.

Religious apologists usually follow up this argument with other arguments for why only their god could be the one to create DNA.

Criticisms

I agree with preposition 1; only an intelligent mind can create information. Preposition 2 is where I see the first problem. The arguer is presuming that, because DNA looks like information, it is information.

If a person writes the word, "hi," that is a piece of information, it was created to convey meaning. However, it's important to distinguish between information and informationoid. If lightning strikes the ground and leaves a scorch mark that looks like the word, "hi," that would be informationoid. It looks like information, but, because it was not created by an intelligent mind, it can't convey meaning, and is therefore not information. Informationoid things are not that infrequent in nature. You've probably seen a rock shaped like a number, tree branches in the shape of a letters, or clouds that looked strikingly similar to other shapes which can be used to convey meaning.

Because P2 is problematic, conclusion 1 becomes circular reasoning. How do we know DNA came from an intelligent mind? Because it is information. Howe do we know DNA is information, because it came from an intelligent mind. This is faulty logic. If you want to claim that DNA is information, you must demonstrate that it is information and not informationoid.

I agree with preposition 3. All the evidence points to DNA being billions of years old, while conscious intelligence is typically measured in millions of years old.

Conclusion 2 is also based on the presumption that DNA is information.