Intelligent Design Icon Intelligent Design
News Media Icon News Media

Wired Magazine Makes Biological Design Inference

We are often told by Darwinists that design cannot be detected in biology. But an article entitled “Wired Science Reveals Secret Codes in Craig Venter’s Artificial Genome” reports that “Wired Science has ferreted out the secret amino acid messages contained in ‘watermarks’ that were embedded in the world’s first manmade bacterial genome, announced last week by the J. Craig Venter Institute.” In biochemical jargon, each amino acid is ascribed a letter. Thus, one can encode sequences of amino acids that effectively spell out words. (The IDEA logo has done this since 1999 by using a chain of 4 amino acids that spell out “I.D.E.A.”) These are the words that Wired‘s sleuths discovered in the “manmade” parts of the bacterial genome (the words describe some collaborators on the project):






What we see here are complex sequences that match a specific pattern that can be derived independently from those sequences–the hallmark of design.

If Richard Dawkins worked for Wired, would he just assume that “[b]iology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose” and rule out the possibility that these watermarks were designed? But if we take Stephen C. Meyer’s approach that, “in all cases where we know the causal origin of ‘high information content,’ experience has shown that intelligent design played a causal role,” then we can correctly make a design inference.

This is similar to the hypothetical situation I predicted recently:

The integration of biology into human nano-technology raises an interesting hypothetical scenario: What if someday human nano-technology becomes so sophisticated that it can be integrated into an organism’s DNA, and becomes part of self-replicating systems of living organisms? (This would be akin to the Borg, of Star Trek fame.) Then suppose that humans die off, but later alien scientists discover human-designed nano-biotechnology existing freely inside of living organisms that are still left on Earth. Of course those nano-biotechnological systems did not evolve; they were designed. Should those alien scientists be prevented from making a design inference?

It seems that the day when we can detect human intelligent design in biology has come much sooner than expected. But what if there are other sources of intelligent design in biology as well?

(Hat Tip: Patrick’s great work at Uncommon Descent)


Casey Luskin

Associate Director and Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.



BiomimeticsWired Magazine