A professor assigns a term paper of 50,000 words to his students and finds that he receives among the completed papers ten that appear to be identical. He will rightly conclude that the papers were not written independently. In carefully reading the papers, he finds they are not quite identical. Student number two has a paper just like student one except for a misspelling in word #330. This same misspelled word appears in papers written by student numbers three to ten. In addition to this error, student three has a misspelling in word #7567 and this same misspelling is found in papers written by student numbers four to ten. If this pattern continues with one additional error contributed by each student, there is only one reasonable explanation and that is that student two copied from student one and made one copying error. Student three copied from student two and made one additional copying error and so forth through the remaining students. The chance that student ten made, by chance, the same eight errors as student nine is essentially zero.
This pattern of not completely accurate copying is what we see when we compare the genetic codes for the various forms of cytochrome c in the electron transport system of various organisms from bacteria to humans. Such a pattern is nearly ubiquitous when making comparisons of any two genes that different organisms share. The inescapable conclusion is that each organism has arisen by copying the genes of a previous organism, but introducing in the process a few mistakes, which ultimately cause the organisms to be different from one another. This shows that all life shares a common ancestor from which the other life forms have descended with modification.
Dr. Gray: Well, first of all, let me address what has become an evolutionary mantra, which is, 'similarity proves relationship.' What we are talking about here is similarity among the 10 papers in this analogy. The Bible has an alternative view of where similarity comes from and that view about similarity is that God created the similarities that we observe in modern organisms. Now, evolutionists just frankly dismiss that possibility out of hand. To them similarity proves evolutionary relationship because there is no competing explanation they are willing to entertain. This is against all common sense. All of us readily admit the earmarks of human authorship in literature, music composition, art, etc. Musicologists and art historians regularly identify unsigned manuscripts and works of art as the output of particular people because of the similarities of style. Yet such similarities of design are not allowed as testimony to the One Creator of All Things.
The Bible indicates, of course, that organisms reproduce after their kind, and when organisms do so, they do so on the basis of a genetic sameness that was created by God and perpetuated by God-ordained natural process. God in His wisdom may also have chosen to confer the same genes on other organisms. If He did so, they may have been identical genes; they may have been genes that were very similar, but somewhat different, to fulfill whatever purposes He had in mind for those genes and the products of those genes.
Before we look at present-day genes, and this is where we get back into the science of the issue, we notice a couple of things. Present-day genes are the creative work of God as we have already said. For one who believes the Bible, that is an inevitable conclusion. But we have to also quickly note that what we see today has been modified by mutations since the fall of man. The Bible makes it clear that what we call the fall of man was a catastrophic event for all of nature—that the fall affected all of creation. In the New Testament, we're told that ". . . the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now" (Romans 8:22). We can't be emphatic when we look at modern-day genes, which of their differences are due to creation and which are mutational corruptions of an original gene—the corruptions coming about due to the fall of man.
The proposition of a theoretical-nested series of evolutionary changes is not scientific proof. The statement makes a theoretical proposal about what happened, and this kind of 'circumstantial evidence' has no currency in science. An observation more to the point here is the evolution of the paper itself. The evolutionary model demands that some of the mistakes that are made would actually improve the original paper. Of course, in the analogy it is proposed that these mistakes are all recognizable because they are different from some starting material. The reality of the evolutionary world is more harsh: all of the 'mistakes' that are made must improve the paper or they will be weeded out by natural selection. Finally, in the evolutionary view, when enough mistakes accumulate, we would end up with a new paper on a different topic. Obviously we are not going to see this kind of thing happening.
A much more significant question is, "Where did the information come from to begin with?" The papers in the analogy were clearly written by the professor's students, intelligent human beings, if rather unethical if they actually participated in the kind of activity proposed. The fact is that the only source of information is an intelligent being. A human being is one intelligent source of information. God is the source of all of the information. It is interesting that all substantive evolutionary examples of which I am aware always start with coded information and then they proceed to show how it could be corrupted and could lead to other forms of information. None of them show how the coded information was arrived at to begin with from the random combinations of genetic building blocks that the evolutionary theory demands. The reason that they don't show how this happened is that it can't be done.
As an example of thinking about information arising by chance, let's just think about letters and words. I credit Michael Denton who wrote Evolution: A Theory in Crisis with the substance of this analogy.
Evolutionists like to talk about examples like three-letter words. It turns out that when we make all possible combinations of the 26 letters in the English alphabet, one in 34 combinations is actually a word. But if we look at seven letter words, one in 100,000 combinations of letters is a word. That is, we form a word by chance. When we look at 12-letter words, one in 10 to the 14th power combinations of letters is a word. That is, one in a hundred trillion combinations is an actual word. Evolutionists love the three-letter word analogy, but the fact is that the 12-letter analogy falls far short. Genes are 1,000 or more 'letters' (nucleotides) long, and in addition, genes have to be written in accordance with the rules that govern how DNA is read in the cellular system. This brings into the picture the probability of writing grammatically correct sentences by chance and obeying the rules of subject/verb placement and other conventions that are necessary for clear communication. When you consider all these requirements, there is no possibility that any information was ever generated by chance and certainly not the information that's resident in the genes.