When the kind of fine-tuning that makes earth habitable is seen in living organisms, it is called irreducible complexity. Irreducible complexity refers to the concept that certain biological systems, in order to exist functionally, must have occurred as complete systems, and could not be the product of successive modifications brought about by natural selection. To go back to the example of a Rolex watch, if one part of the watch is missing, the watch will not work. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) alluded to the problem of irreducible complexity when he wrote, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Darwin thought the cell was a simple organism, but with modern microscopes the cell is revealed to be a complex machine with many interconnecting parts. Today, human DNA is seen by some as an example of what the father of evolutionary theory believed did not exist.
DNA is the basic building block of life. It is a molecule that contains encoded instructions for the growth and operation of every living organism. The twenty-three pairs of chromosomes in each DNA molecule are the blueprint of a unique individual. DNA molecules consist of two strands of nucleotides that coil around each other to form a double helix shape. These nucleotides are composed of one of four bases: guanine (G), adenine (A), thymine (T), or cytosine (C). The sequence of these bases encodes biological information. As the double helix separates and forms a new molecule (DNA replication), it passes its precise programing to a new cell. All in all, the human DNA molecule is composed of over three billion bits of information in a precise sequence. A single cell has more digital information encoded in its DNA then an entire set of Encyclopedia Britannica. Like a Rolex watch, the complexity of DNA is evidence of design.
Richard Dawkins claims there are a “billion billion” planets in the universe. Then he gives the chance of DNA arising from nothing as one in a billion. He concludes that “even with such absurdly long odds, life will still have arisen on a billion planets—of which Earth, of course, is one.” In reality, the chances of DNA forming into usable information are vastly lower than one in a billion. In their book, Answering the New Atheism, Scott Hahan and Benjamin Wiker write that even for a “small DNA strand of 100 bases—much, much smaller than we find in any actual cell—the odds against getting a particular combination is a staggering 4-100 [4 to the 100th power] to one against.” The difference between Dawkins’ information and that of Hahan and Wiker, bears spelling out.
The probability of dealing a perfect hand in bridge, where each of the players receives a complete set of cards, is 2,235,197,406,895,366,368,301,599,999 to 1. But the improbability of DNA randomly assembling is much higher—not Dawkins’ chance of 1 in 1,000,000,000, but a chance of 1 in 1,600,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000, 000,000, 000,000, 000,000,000, 000,000. The chances of human DNA randomly assembling are as good as the odds that a deck of cards thrown up into the air in the middle of a hurricane will fall to the ground and form a four-story house of cards with each story being a perfect suite of cards in order from high card to low card.
With such odds, it is impossible for the precise encoding of DNA information to have happened by chance. When one looks at the complexity of DNA, it is obvious there is a Creator. Intelligent design suggests an intelligent designer. The God of Jeremiah says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5).
The law of biogenesis tells us life only comes from preexisting life. Worms come from worms. Mold comes from mold spores. Human children come from human adults. No science lab has ever been able to create life. Science has never been able to get something living from something non-living. No scientist has been able to recreate replicating DNA in a laboratory. The inability of scientists to create life from non-life is not just a “god-of-the-gaps” problem, it is an insurmountable roadblock to the theory of evolution. When I look at my body and all of its intricacies, millions of cells working together in perfect harmony, I say, “Yes, God is there!”
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About the Author: Dr. Daniel King is a missionary evangelist who has traveled to over seventy nations in his quest for souls. His goal is to lead 1,000,000 people to Jesus every year through massive Gospel Festivals, distribution of literature, and leadership training. Because of his experience and research on evangelism, he is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in mass evangelism. As an evangelist, he has a deep interest in using apologetics to convince skeptics that God is real.