The Information in Living Structures
And the Death of Materialism
Materialist philosophy lies at the basis of the theory of evolution. Materialism rests on the supposition that everything that exists is matter. According to this philosophy, matter has existed since eternity, will continue to exist forever, and there is nothing but matter. In order to provide support for their claim, materialists use a logic called "reductionism." This is the idea that things which are not observable can also be explained by material causes.
To make matters clearer, let us take the example of the human mind. It is evident that the mind cannot be touched or seen. Moreover, it has no centre in the human brain. This situation unavoidably leads us to the conclusion that the mind is a concept beyond matter. Therefore, the being which we refer to as "I," who thinks, loves, gets nervous, worries, takes pleasure or feels pain, is not a material being in the same way as a sofa, a table or a stone.
Materialists, however, claim that mind is "reducible to matter." According to the materialist claim, thinking, loving, worrying and all our mental activities are nothing but chemical reactions taking place between the atoms in the brain. Loving someone is a chemical reaction in some cells in our brain, and fear is another. The famous materialist philosopher Karl Vogt stressed this logic with his famous words "Just as the liver secretes gall, so do our brains secrete thought."16 Gall, however, is matter, whereas there is no evidence that thought is.
Reductionism is a logical deduction. However, a logical deduction can be based on solid grounds or on shaky ones. For this reason, the question we need to ask is: What happens when reductionism, the basic logic of materialism, is compared to scientific data?
19th century materialist scientists and thinkers thought that the answer would be that "science verifies reductionism." 20th century science, however, has revealed a very different picture.
One of the most salient feature of this picture is "information," which is present in nature and can never be reduced to matter.
Matter Cannot Produce Information
Matter which contains information is ordered by the possessor of that information. The information in DNA has been designed and created by God, the possessor of matchless intelligence.
We earlier mentioned that there is incredibly comprehensive information contained in the DNA of living things. Something as small as a hundred thousandth of a millimetre across contains a sort of "data bank" that specifies all the physical details of the body of a living thing. Moreover, the body also contains a system that reads this information, interprets it and carries out "production" in line with it. In all living cells, the information in the DNA is "read" by various enzymes, and proteins are produced according to this information. This system makes possible the production of millions of proteins every second, of just the required type for just the places where they are needed in our bodies. In this way, dead eye cells are replaced by living ones, and old blood cells by new ones.
At this point, let us consider the claim of materialism: Is it possible that the information in DNA could be reduced to matter, as materialists suggest? Or, in other words, can it be accepted that DNA is merely a collection of matter, and the information it contains came about as a result of the random interactions of such pieces of matter?
All the scientific research, experiments and observations carried out in the 20th century show that the answer to this question is a definite "No." The director of the German Federal Physics and Technology Institute, Prof. Dr. Werner Gitt has this to say on the issue:
A coding system always entails a nonmaterial intellectual process. A physical matter cannot produce an information code. All experiences show that every piece of creative information represents some mental effort and can be traced to a personal idea-giver who exercised his own free will, and who is endowed with an intelligent mind.... There is no known law of nature, no known process and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter...17
Werner Gitt's words summarise the conclusions of "information theory," which has been developed in the last 50 years and is accepted as a part of thermodynamics. Information theory investigates the origin and nature of the information in the universe. The conclusion reached by the information theoreticians as a result of long studies is that "Information is something different from matter. It can never be reduced to matter. The origin of information and physical matter must be investigated separately."
For instance, let us think of the source of a book. A book consists of paper, ink, and the information it contains. Paper and ink are material elements. Their source is again matter: Paper is made of cellulose, and ink of certain chemicals. However, the information in the book is nonmaterial and cannot have a material source. The source of the information in each book is the mind of the person who wrote it.
Moreover, this mind determines how paper and ink will be used. A book initially forms in the mind of the writer. The writer builds a chain of logic in his mind, and orders his sentences. As a second step, he puts them into a material form, which is to say that he translates the information in his mind into letters, using a pen, a typewriter or a computer. Later, these letters are printed in a publishing house and take the shape of a book made up of paper and ink.
We can therefore state this general conclusion: "If physical matter contains information, then that matter must have been designed by a mind that possessed the information in question. First there is the mind. That mind translates the information it possesses into matter, which constitutes the act of design."
The Origin of the Information in Nature
When we apply this scientific definition of information to nature, a very important result ensues. This is because nature overflows with an immense body of information (as, for example, in the case of DNA), and since this information cannot be reduced to matter, it therefore comes from a source beyond matter.
One of the foremost advocates of the theory of evolution, George C. Williams, admits this reality, which most materialists and evolutionists are reluctant to see. Williams has strongly defended materialism for years, but in an article he wrote in 1995, he states the incorrectness of the materialist (reductionist) approach which holds everything is matter:
Evolutionary biologists have failed to realize that they work with two more or less incommensurable domains: that of information and that of matter. These two domains will never be brought together in any kind of the sense usually implied by the term "reductionism.." The gene is a package of information, not an object... In biology, when you're talking about things like genes and genotypes and gene pools, you're talking about information, not physical objective reality... This dearth of shared descriptors makes matter and information two separate domains of existence, which have to be discussed separately, in their own terms.18
Therefore, contrary to the supposition of materialists, the source of the information in nature cannot be matter itself. The source of information is not matter but a superior Wisdom beyond matter. This Wisdom existed prior to matter. Matter was brought into existence, given form, and organised by Him.