The Intelligent Design Movement is big news today, but did you know much of the scientific reasoning behind it came from a European organic chemist?  William Dembski, author of several key books in the ID movement, credits Dr. A. E. Wilder-Smith for the inspiration to make the study of origins his life’s work.  Dean Kenyon, the evolutionary origin of life researcher turned creationist, called Dr. Wilder-Smith one of the two or three most important scientists in his life.  Much of the literature coming out of the modern intelligent design movement contains echoes of powerful arguments made by A. E. Wilder-Smith decades ago.

In his books and tapes, Arthur Edward Wilder-Smith stressed the importance of information in biology, stressing that the materialist’s formula for the life, energy + matter + time, was deficient because it left out the factor information.  He convincingly argued that the information in DNA, in its translation, had to follow a language convention which presupposed an agreement between parties needing to communicate with one another.  For example, he explained how SOS is a meaningless sequence of letters unless there has been a convention (a “coming together” agreement, in advance) that it is a signal for distress.  Similarly, the DNA triplet codon for alanine, GCC, looks and smells nothing like alanine, by itself.  Unless both the translation mechanism (the ribosome) and the DNA code both have a convention that GCC means alanine, it means nothing at all.  This, he explained, was prima facie evidence of intelligent design.

He also argued effectively against Thomas Huxley’s old monkey-typewriter analogy, the claim that a million monkeys typing on a million typewriters would eventually produce Psalm 23 by chance, given enough time.  Wilder-Smith pointed out a fatal flaw that undermined the whole argument.  By showing that since the chemical reactions that would have led to life in a primordial soup are reversible, that fact rendered the analogy useless – in the monkeys’ case, if the letters fell off the page as soon as they were typed, no meaningful sequence would ever be produced.  Huxley, therefore, had cheated by claiming that the letters typed would remain on the page.  The laws of chemistry do not permit that sort of stability in chemical evolution scenarios.  With points like this, he argued that creation was scientific and naturalistic evolution was unscientific….

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