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If you are like most people, you do not believe these words fell randomly onto this page. And like most people, you do not believe that life arose simply from a mix of random molecules or that it progressed from sponge to man entirely by accidental means. But also, like more and more people, you believe in evolution because nothing in biology makes sense without it. Yet subtly, the very idea of God is being made to seem incompatible with science by a drumbeat of publications, including Richard Dawkins’ The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design and The God Delusion. Modern “experts” have taken to branding genetic processes as random. How they can call random processes that are among the most orderly natural events ever observed leaves many scratching their heads. Here I show how the same theory of evolution can be viewed from a theistic as well as secular perspective.
I use game theory to account for the occurrence of random events in living mechanisms. Games use random processes, such as in throwing dice, that, when combined with skill produce meaningful outcomes. In this book I describe how biological systems, such as the genetic code, pair order and chaos to bringing about developmental change. Do you consider a roulette wheel a random device? It generates random outcomes but it is certainly not random as a mechanism. The outcomes are confined to 1 of 38 numbers, and colors red and black. The outcomes generated by the genetic code are even more confined, each limited to one of four nucleotides and each set of three nucleotides translated into 1 of only 20 amino acids.
We will take a look at how DNA, a polymeric mechanism of codifying and preserving information, is ordered in genes. We will see that genes sometimes containing tens of thousands of nucleotides are conserved for hundreds of millions of years. And there are tens of thousands of such genes, all displaying varying levels of fidelity. Here I propose that the episodic chaos that remains, the random or iterative changes in DNA nucleotides and chromosomal rearrangements, is used in a developmental manner to search for increasingly useful forms. We will explore the genetic “up crawl” from single, simple genes and proteins to multiple, complex sets of both in higher life forms.
Recent genome sequencing efforts reveal a complex, once hidden, world of tiny mechanisms. Consider that the lowly sponge, with no nerves or eyes, has been found to contain genes encoding a post-synaptic scaffold (basically, half a nerve synapse) as well as photoreceptors. The accidental model is at its worst in suggesting that such complex pre-structures can be selected for prior to becoming functional. I suggest a theistic perspective in viewing this as developmental genetic foreboding or foreknowledge. Just as a sky scrapper is built upon a complex architectural base designed to support its ascent, animals are built upon a chronologically accumulated base, simple to complex. Here we will view many markers of evolutionary intelligence and view them as an extension of the order inherent in the formation of elements in the stars.
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