specified complexity

The Information Enigma

The Information Enigma

Information drives the development of life. But what is the source of that information? Could it have been produced by an unguided Darwinian process? Or did it require intelligent design? The Information Enigma is a fascinating 21-minute documentary that probes the mystery of biological information, the challenge it poses to orthodox Darwinian theory, and the reason it points to intelligent Read More ›


A Response to Dr. Dawkins’ “The Information Challenge”

In September, 2007, I posted a link to a YouTube video where Richard Dawkins was asked to explain the origin of genetic information, according to Darwinism. I also posted a link to Dawkins’ rebuttal to the video, where he purports to explain the origin of genetic information according to Darwinian evolution. The question posed to Dawkins was, “Can you give Read More ›

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DNA and the Origin of Life

This article appears in the peer-reviewed* volume Darwinism, Design, and Public Education published with Michigan State University Press. Stephen C. Meyer contends that intelligent design provides a better explanation than competing chemical evolutionary models for the origin of the information present in large biomacromolecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins. Meyer shows that the term information as applied to DNA connotes not only improbability or complexity but also specificity of function. He then argues that neither chance nor necessity, nor the combination of the two, can explain the origin of information starting from purely physical-chemical antecedents. Instead, he argues that our knowledge of the causal powers of both natural entities and intelligent agency suggests intelligent design as the best explanation for the origin of the information necessary to build a cell in the first place. Read More ›
Book cover of No Free Lunch by William A. Dembski

No Free Lunch

No Free Lunch, the sequel to mathematician and philosopher William Dembski's Cambridge University Press book The Design Inference, explores key questions about the origin of specified complexity. Dembski explains that the Darwinian search mechanism of random mutation coupled with natural selection is incapable of generating novel complex, specified information (CSI).

This observation translates into "No Free Lunch" (NFL) theorems, which Dembski explains are inherent constraints upon natural systems. Natural Darwinian mechanisms can shuffle this information around, but only intelligence can generate novel CSI. In other words, when it comes to generating truly novel biological complexity, Darwin can have no free lunch...

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What Is Intelligent Design?

Intelligent design is a scientific theory which states that some aspects of nature are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected cause such as natural selection.  Design theorists argue that we can find biological structures with the same informational properties we commonly find in objects we know were designed.  Design theorists observe that intelligent action produces large Read More ›

Abstract 3d rendering futuristic dots and lines. computer geometric digital connection structure. Visual information complexity. Intricate data threads plot. Intelligence artificial

Refuted Yet Again!

This article is written in response to Matt Young’s “How to Evolve Specified Complexity by Natural Means” which appeared in Metanexus. The mathematician George Polya used to quip that if you can’t solve a problem, find an easier problem and solve it. Matt Young seems to have taken Polya’s advice to heart. Young has taken Shannon’s tried-and-true theory of information Read More ›

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Detecting Design?

In The Design Inference (Cambridge, 1998), I argue that specified complexity is a reliable empirical marker of intelligent design. A long sequence of random letters is complex without being specified. A short sequence of letters like “the,” “so,” or “a” is specified without being complex. A Shakespearean sonnet is both complex and specified. Thus in general, given an event, object, Read More ›

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Why Evolutionary Algorithms Cannot Generate Specified Complexity

While it's true that shaking out random scrabble pieces would render METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL highly improbable (and therefore complex), Dawkins's evolutionary algorithm renders that sequence certain and thereby removes its complexity. Read More ›
National Astronomy Observatory, Socorro, New Mexico

Science and Design

En Español When the physics of Galileo and Newton displaced the physics of Aristotle, scientists tried to explain the world by discovering its deterministic natural laws. When the quantum physics of Bohr and Heisenberg in turn displaced the physics of Galileo and Newton, scientists realized they needed to supplement their deterministic natural laws by taking into account chance processes in Read More ›