5.6 The Origin of Biological Information and of Life

by Dr. Werner Gitt on November 15, 2012

From these discussions it should again become clear that all efforts to explain an origin of information depending on matter alone fail empirically.

Paul Davies states [D1, p. 61]: “Atoms do not need to be ‘animated’ to yield life, they simply have to be arranged in the appropriate complex way.” This mechanistic reduction is inappropriate in view of the information “installed” in living organisms. This deficiency in the evolutionary model is acknowledged by H. Kuhn [K5 p 838]: “It is not clear how the first biological systems could have developed . . . they must already have possessed a mechanism which operated like the finely tuned genetic apparatus of present-day organisms. How could such systems have originated? Are the laws of physical chemistry sufficient for understanding such a process, or should we postulate further unknown principles?” As long as an intelligent source of information is excluded, people will try to invent the “perpetuum mobile of information.” This is exactly what B.O. Küppers attempted in his book with the highly promising title The Origin of Biological Information [K4]. Instead of a consistently scientific treatment which would have brought him to the primary spiritual (mental) source of all information, he practices a natural “molecular-Darwinistic” philosophy. The following counter arguments can be raised against his exposition:

  1. Küppers concedes that man-made artifacts (Latin arte factum = artificially made) are always preplanned for a specific purpose and use. He affirms that “we do not postulate any final purpose for natural objects” (p. 34). But this is refuted by the presence in living organisms of highly purposeful organs and mechanisms like the brain, the limbs, internal organs, effectively controlled protein synthesis, sensory systems, and systems for the transmission of information.
  2. Küppers ignores two fundamental empirically established theorems (see Theorems 3 and 4):
    • Every piece of information has a teleological (apobetic) aspect (Greek apóbainon = result, consequence, source, purpose).
    • Every piece of information implies that it has been transmitted by an intelligent source.
  3. On the one hand, Küppers acknowledges that every complex operational process requires a plan: “. . . we now know that a definite meticulous plan underlies the process of metabolism” (p. 36), but, on the other hand, he ignores exactly the One who originally specified this informationally controlled plan. At another place he stumbles on a crucial characteristic of information, without thinking it through: “One can only speak of information with respect to a sender and a recipient. Symbols are required for the establishment and transmission of information . . . recognition of these symbols requires a prearranged semantic agreement between the sender and the recipient” (p. 62). He comes very close to the conclusion that information is an intellectual entity and thus requires a spiritual source, but his philosophical predisposition prevents him from realizing this.
  4. In his “molecular-Darwinistic” approach, Küppers mistakenly regards information as a material entity, contrary to the empirically established results 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, and 10. Norbert Wiener, the well-known cyberneticist, had already pointed out that information could not be a physical entity: “Information is information, neither matter nor energy. Any materialism that does not accept this, cannot survive today.”
  5. Furthermore, there are no empirical results which support the Küppers model or indicate that information could originate by itself in the realm of molecules. His views therefore carry no scientific weight, but are merely a philosophical-mental construct having no connection with reality.
  6. On pages 126–136 of his book referred to above, Küppers describes a computer simulation which purports to demonstrate that a certain target word could, by means of a selection mechanism, “evolve” from an initial sequence of letters. Evolution has no place for goals to strive to, but in this case the target word has been prearranged. In this way, the molelucular-Darwinistic point of departure reduced itself “ad absurdum.” And again we have shown that information cannot originate by itself. The anticipated result has been prearranged.

From these discussions it should again become clear that all efforts to explain an origin of information depending on matter alone fail empirically. We thus turn to another source which is unknown to and actively rejected by evolutionists, namely the witness of the Bible.

The intellectual source for all information as required by information theory, including biological information, is already mentioned on the first page of the Bible: “In the beginning God created . . .” (Gen. 1:1).

Further revelations in the New Testament persistently emphasize that Christ is the Creator (John 1:1–4, (10); Col. 1:15–17; Heb. 1:1–2). Any theory of origins, whether evolutionistic or even creationistic, which does not include Christ, must inevitably lead to false conclusions. Per definition, atheistic evolution leads away from Christ, and theistic evolution which provides a place for God or some other deity, is similarly unable to explain the origin of life, because the essential role of Christ as Creator is excluded from consideration. In Colossians 2:3, the New Testament describes Jesus Christ as the source of all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; He is therefore also the source of all biological information. Similarly, John’s distinctive introductory words uniquely identify the information source with Jesus, the incarnate Word of God: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. . . . He was in the world, and . . . the world was made through Him” (John 1:1–10). The theorems mentioned above, in particular 5, 7, and 8, are thus confirmed in the Bible, because the information found in biological systems requires a really brilliant initiator of ideas. New information can only originate through a creative thought process. Understanding, wisdom, planning, and profound thoughts mutually imply one another, and they are synonyms for the present-day concepts of intelligence and information.

The Bible expresses this relationship in many ways:

Proverbs 3:19: “By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place.

Psalm 40:5: “Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned.

Psalm 104:24: “How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

All these affirmations make it clear that Christ is not only the Prime Source of all biological information, but He is also the Creator of all life. When this answer is accepted, then all evolutionist concepts about the origin of life prove to be false.

Did God Use Evolution?

According to the view of theistic evolution, God started the process of evolution and guided and steered it over millions of years. As an information scientist, Werner Gitt critically analyzes and rejects the assumptions and consequences of the doctrine of theistic evolution.

Read Online Buy Book

Recommended Resources


Get the latest answers emailed to you or sign up for our free print newsletter.

See All Lists

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more