The Instigator
creationtruth
Pro (for)
The Contender
Ockham
Con (against)

God Exists

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/5/2017 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 470 times Debate No: 102408
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

creationtruth

Pro


Rules for The Debate

Round 1: Opening Arguments
Round 2: Rebuttals
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Rebuttals
Round 5: Final Defense of Arguments

*No Logical Fallacies.
*No Red Herrings.


Introduction

Greetings, I am a biblical creationist who trusts the biblical account of God, the Creator and Savior, to be accurate and true based on evidence and reason. I will be presenting a primarily scientific argument, however with serious philosophical ramifications. While I trust in the biblical God, I will be arguing for a more generic God of creation, that is, a God who can at least be shown to transcend physical matter, possess a supreme level of intelligence, be singular in nature, and be immensely powerful beyond all measure.


Some may refer to God as omnipotent and omniscient however the Bible does not use such terminology. While I believe that God is "all-knowing" and "all-powerful," there is no way for me to substantiate such qualities. I believe it is sufficient to demonstrate His supreme intelligence and immense power. As for omnibenevolence or "all-loving" this can be subjective and if you are not using the Bible to define righteousness and love, then many actions or inactions of God can be construed as unloving.

A reasonable prediction of the creation model would be that evidence exists within organisms which testify to their being originally created by an intelligent agent as opposed to unguided natural processes. If it can be shown that the blueprint for all organic life, namely genomes, must have been created by an intelligent agent, any naturalistic model would be implausible.



Argument from Genetic Information

The cells of all organic life forms contain information in the form of genetic code. The chain of genetic code known as DNA harbors the amino acids which themselves contain no semantic meaning, but when placed in a linguistic sequence, can be readily utilized in forming every phenotype known to biology.

The living cell demonstrates a system of communication, particularly between DNA and proteins. DNA codes for proteins which go on to form every part of a creature, including the very DNA from which it was coded. DNA is a macro-molecule in the shape of a double-helix with a sugar-phosphate backbone.

The information in DNA is stored as a code made up of four chemical bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). Human DNA consists of about 3 billion bases, and more than 99 percent of those bases are the same in all people. The order, or sequence, of these bases determines the information available for building and maintaining an organism, similar to the way in which letters of the alphabet appear in a certain order to form words and sentences, or even the way 1's and 0's appear in a certain order to form binary computer code.

Image result for dna


DNA bases pair up with each other, A with T and C with G, to form units called base pairs. Each base is also attached to a sugar molecule and a phosphate molecule. Together, a base, sugar, and phosphate are called a nucleotide. Nucleotides are arranged in two long strands that form a spiral called a double helix. The structure of the double helix is somewhat like a ladder, with the base pairs forming the ladder’s rungs and the sugar and phosphate molecules forming the vertical sidepieces of the ladder.

An important property of DNA is that it can replicate, or make copies of itself. Each strand of DNA in the double helix can serve as a pattern for duplicating the sequence of bases. This is critical when cells divide because each new cell needs to have an exact copy of the DNA present in the old cell.

Image result for dna replication


DNA serves as the blueprint for every creature's phenotype. Since DNA is a language system in which communication occurs between a sender and receiver, it can rightfully be said to contain true information.

"To fully characterise the concept of information, five aspects must be considered: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and apobetics. Information is represented (that is, formulated, transmitted, stored) as a language. From a stipulated alphabet, the individual symbols are assembled into words (code). From these words (each word having been assigned a meaning), sentences are formed according to the firmly defined rules of grammar (syntax). These sentences are the bearers of semantic information. Furthermore, the action intended/carried out (pragmatics) and the desired/achieved goal (apobetics) belong of necessity to the concept of information. . . an encoded, symbolically represented message conveying expected action and intended purpose. We term any entity meeting the requirements of this definition as 'universal information' (UI)."

In the function of the genome within living cells we find statistics in the form of four letters which are cosyntactically organized to give the semantic meaning for transcription and translation. The semantic meaning encoded in the genome is pragmatically utilized in the formation of proteins and thus integral to the process of replication which is a part of the apobetic, or intended goal of the digital code.

Gitt-universal-information


In the creation.com reference I provided, one will notice Dr. Werner Gitt's four scientific laws of information (SLI). I will assume for the moment that Con agrees with the first two laws, if not he can explain why. The contention certainly arises with the 3rd and 4th laws.


SLI-1
A material entity cannot generate a non-material entity.


SLI-2
Universal information is a non-material fundamental entity.


SLI-3
Universal information cannot be created by statistical processes.


SLI-4
Universal information can only be produced by an intelligent sender.


In order to refute SLI-3, one would need to demonstrate even one example of statistical processes producing UI which meets the criteria of the five levels of information. The primary reason such an example is infeasible is that statistical processes can never produce information containing semantic meaning, let alone pragmatic, purposeful code.


SLI-4 is substantiated by Dr. Gitt's SLI-4a-d:


SLI-4a
Every code is based upon a mutual agreement between sender and receiver.


SLI-4b
There is no new universal information without an intelligent sender.


SLI-4c
Every information transmission chain can be traced back to an intelligent sender.


SLI-4d
Attributing meaning to a set of symbols is an intellectual process requiring intelligence.



Conclusion

Information intrinsically depends upon an original act of intelligence to construct it, therefore the information seen in living cells testifies to having been originally created by an intelligent Creator. Note that this argument is not based upon the inability for naturalistic/statistical processes alone to account for the formation of genetic information, but rather my case is built upon what we do know about genetic code and function. Therefore this is not a god-of-the-gaps argument, as the claim is based on observation. Note also that this is not an argument from complexity but from specified universal information. To refute my case is actually quite a simple task; one must only need demonstrate a single case where universal information, of the type seen in genetic code, is derived entirely from purely material sources.



References

http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov...

http://creation.com...

Ockham

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for challenging me to this debate. The argument they present is much better organized than most theists I have debated on this issue previously.

My opponent begins with a discussion of DNA, which I enjoyed reading, and asserts that DNA contains information. Since DNA contains information, and information requires the intervention of an intelligent agent, DNA must have been created by an intelligent agent. The conclusion that allegedly follows from this is that there is a God with the following properties: they "transcend physical matter, possess a supreme level of intelligence, be singular in nature, and be immensely powerful beyond all measure."

First of all, I think the conclusion clearly does not follow from the premises offered. For example, there could have been an intelligent alien with an advanced knowledge of science who came to earth at the dawn of life and engineered DNA. DNA could have been the result of a team of scientists from another planet; it's a bit of a far fetched scenario, but it's worth considering before appealing to God. Another possibility is that a human scientist with a time machine went back in time and planted organisms with DNA in the primordial soup.

The conclusion that the argument warrants, even if all of the premises are granted, is only that an intelligent being created DNA. Clearly, this being does not have to "transcend physical matter, possess a supreme level of intelligence, be singular in nature, and be immensely powerful beyond all measure." The being could be physical, or possess the intelligence of an ingenious human scientist, or consist of a group of creators rather than being singular, or have some measurable degree of power. None of the attributes my opponent ascribes to God follow from this argument.

In addition, my opponent's argument misunderstands how we arrive at the conclusion that a given object was designed. In every uncontroversial case in which we attribute design to an object, we base that attribution on its similarity to objects that we know from experience have been designed by humans, and we attribute a human designer to them. DNA has no real similarity to objects designed by humans, so we cannot draw the conclusion that DNA was designed. Maybe in most cases information is the product of an intelligent agent, but to assume that it was the product of an intelligent agent in the case of DNA is question begging, since the very existence of a creator is what is in question.

I conclude that my opponent has not met their burden of proof. Thank you.
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Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by creationtruth 1 year ago
creationtruth
Fair enough. . .
Posted by Ockham 1 year ago
Ockham
I have two issues with this debate.

1. "Only science arguments." This puts the burden on me to disprove the existence of God scientifically, which I don't think is possible. It also unfairly forecloses the philosophical objections to your opening argument.

2. "No new arguments." I see no reason for this requirement, and I don't impose it on my own debates. If I want to introduce some argument against the existence of God in round 3, I should be able to do that.

If you remove those requirements I will accept the debate.
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