Over the millennia, believers in God have marshaled numerous arguments in an attempt to demonstrate God’s existence. Various forms of the cosmological, ontological, and moral arguments have been developed and refined with much success. One frequently discussed form of theistic argument has been the argument from design. The design argument has had many notable proponents from Plato to Thomas Aquinas and beyond.
While several versions of the design argument are valid and have been persuasive to many, recent discoveries at the cellular level have provided further ammunition for design proponents. In 1953, researchers Francis Crick and James Watson elucidated the structure of the DNA molecule. In doing so, they discovered that DNA was a carrier of specific genetic information that takes the form of a four-character digital code. This information is contained in an arrangement of four chemicals that scientists represent with the letters A, C, T, and G. The sequences of these chemicals provide the instructions necessary to assemble complex protein molecules that, in turn, help form structures diverse as eyes, wings, and legs.
As Dr. Stephen C. Meyer has noted, “As it turns out, specific regions of the DNA molecule called coding regions have the same property of “sequence specificity” or “specified complexity” that characterizes written codes, linguistic texts, and protein molecules. Just as the letters in the alphabet of a written language may convey a particular message depending on their arrangement, so too do the sequences of nucleotide bases (the A’s, T’s, G’s, and C’s) inscribed along the spine of a DNA molecule convey a precise set of instructions for building proteins within the cell.”
The information-bearing properties in the DNA molecule seem obvious. However, does this fact, by itself, force us to infer an Intelligent Designer as the cause of this information? Meyer continues, “Whether we are looking at a hieroglyphic inscription, a section of text in a book, or computer software, if you have information, and you trace it back to its source, invariably you come to an intelligence. Therefore, when you find information inscribed along the backbone of the DNA molecule in the cell, the most rational inference, based upon our repeated experience, is that an intelligence of some kind played a role in the origin of that information.”
The information-rich features of DNA provide further confirmation that our universe was created and designed by God. As the apostle Paul said in his letter to the church at Rome, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). This inspired utterance seems more obvious now than when it was originally written nearly 2,000 years ago.