Divine Revelation of Genetic Information

“Information is information, neither matter nor energy”1, is what mathematician Norbert Wiener said in 1948. This however, presents yet another scientific paradox for the naturalist. If genetic information is independent of the matter through which it is transmitted, then the question must be asked; “How did the information of the genetic code originate”?

Even before this question can be entertained however, a workable definition of ‘information’ must be put into effect. This is what I intend to do here, by analyzing 1) What information is not, and 2) What information is, What Information ‘Is Not’

In his article, Scientific laws of information and their implications, Dr. Werner Gitt makes the point that, information is not a property of matter, and therefore it ismassless. He offers the following analogy for illustration:

“Imagine a sandy stretch of beach. With my finger I write a number of sentences in the sand. The content of the information can be understood. Now I erase the information by smoothing out the sand. Then I write another sentence in the sand… Despite this erasing and rewriting, displaying and destroying varying amounts of information, the mass of the sand did not alter at any time. The information itself is thus massless.”

2 Matter contains mass, and since information itself is massless, it is not a property of matter. So we should not think of letters, words and sentences as ‘information’. Rather, these are merely material symbols that are used to convey information.

If we (mankind) had not attributed meaning to letters and words, then they would not carry any meaning at all. Rather, they would be unintelligible symbols and sounds. Thus, language, both written and oral, is merely a set of symbols and sounds to which we have ascribed certain meanings, for the purpose of conveying information that already originated with us. So although information is stored, transmitted and expressed by matter, it is not a property of matter itself.2 ”As a second illustration, consider the word “gift”. In English “gift” means present, but the word “gift” in German means poison.3 So here we have two quite distinct meanings for the same exact set of letters. Therefore since the meaning of “gift” can vary from language to language, there can be no inherent meaning in the word itself. It is merely a set of letters to which different cultures have ascribed different meanings.

To emphasize the immateriality of information, Dr. Gitt offers a final  example:

“Imagine a piece of information written on a blackboard. Now wipe the board with a duster. The information has vanished, even though all the particles of chalk are still present. 

The chalk in this case was the necessary material medium but the information was represented by the particular arrangement of the particles.”2

Here, the particular arrangement of the chalk particles served to transmit information, but once that arrangement was distorted, the informative value of the chalk particles vanished. Therefore, the ‘information’ lie, not with the chalk itself. The chalk was merely a “material medium” which served to represent information.

As shown in the examples above, information is not a property of matter. This leaves us with one very important corollary; matter cannot generate information. Dr. Gitt writes:

“The grand theory of evolution would gain some empirical support if it could be demonstrated, in a real experiment, that information could arise from matter left to itself without the addition of intelligence. Despite the most intensive worldwide efforts this has never been observed.”2

‘What Information ‘Is’

Information, in its purest sense, is ‘an encoded message that is issued from a sender’. Therefore, information can only be produced by an intelligence. This leads to some basic implications: The intelligent sender 1) Must be conscious 2) Have the ability to think autonomously, and 3) Have the ability to act of it’s own volition2

As a  final thought then, I will point out that DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) cannot be ‘information’ in and of itself because DNA is a material substance; and as shown above, information is not a property of matter. However, if the genetic code (which is transmitted by DNA) is to be considered’ information’, then the 3 implications of an intelligent sender (above) must be applied.

  1. Wiener, N., Cybernetics, or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, Hermann et Cie, The Technology Press, Paris, 1948. []
  2. Gitt, Werner. “Scientific Laws of Information and Their Implications—part 1.” Journal of Creation. Web. 11 May 2012. . [] [] [] [] []
  3. Sarfati, Jonothan. “The Programs of Life.” Creation Magazine, 12 May 2012. Web. . []

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