Like all creation scientists, the folks at the Discovery Institute are constantly groping for evidence that their supernatural intelligent designer — blessed be he! — created the universe and everything in it. Unfortunately, they don’t know what evidence is, nor are they very skilled at reasoning.
This is abundantly obvious in the latest post at their creationist blog, Is Genome Grammar Just a Figure of Speech?, which has no author’s byline. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Without controversy, everyone knows texts written by human beings are intelligently designed, unless they are ramblings from a maniac. Human language is characterized by syntax (rules of word order) and grammar (rules of spelling, part of speech, case, person, number, voice, tense, mood, etc.). But that’s not enough. One can follow the rules and make up nonsense sentences, such as [example of gibberish]. For effective communication, language must also make sense. That’s semantics: the communication of meaningful ideas.
Not much problem yet. Because we humans use language, which has rules, to communicate more or less intelligently, then … . You know what’s coming, don’t you? Okay, then sit back and enjoy it. They ask:
Does DNA meet these conditions? How proper is it to discuss the DNA code as a language?
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Who is communicating in the “language” of DNA? To whom is the “communication” directed? What is being “said”? Let’s read on:
We should point out that software meets the requirements of language. It, too, has rules of syntax, grammar, and semantics, even though humans do not speak it in conversation. … We must also expand the range of languages beyond the English of this paragraph to include all languages, past and present, used by humans, plus all forms of coded information (including Morse code, sign language, mathematics, and even the rope-knot language of the Incas). Rules can vary widely between languages, but they all have in common the purposeful communication of meaningful information, regardless of the substrate or carrier of the symbols used.
We agree with that, but in all of those examples, it’s always humans doing the communicating, and we understand what they’re doing. But the Discoveroids’ vision is so superior to yours that they can transcend those limitations. They continue with a brief note of caution:
Analogies can enlighten, but they can also mislead. We in intelligent design circles are prone to assume the comparison between DNA and language, but we must beware of drawing the analogy too tightly, even though most scientists unhesitatingly speak of the “genetic code” and the “language of life.”
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, even though they can easily quote-mine phrases used by biologists, the Discoveroids wouldn’t dream of carrying such things too far. Or would they? Here’s more:
With these caveats in mind, we can examine the analogy between language and genomics.
They then proceed to do an ark-load of the very thing they just cautioned against, by purporting to quote Dr. Scott Barolo, a professor of cell biology at the University of Michigan. We’ll skip that material and move along:
While we still don’t fully understand the rules of DNA, the assumption of syntax and grammar appears to be a fruitful heuristic. One only has to observe how accurate [sic] the DNA software runs!
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! How do the Discoveroids measure such “accuracy”? They don’t bother to say. DNA does manage to perform certain functions — except when it doesn’t and the organism dies — but they don’t worry about that. Near the end, they present several points they think they’ve made. We’ll give you only a few of them:
Let’s take stock of the analogy between genomics and language.
• We know in human language and in software that “astonishing reliability and precision” depend strongly on sequence specificity. Unclear writing reduces information. Sloppy coding crashes or reduces functionality.
• DNA can be translated from the DNA code into the protein code. This resembles translators (whether human or machine) that can convert English into Chinese. Both have to share the same language convention.
• DNA uses molecules that symbolize or represent something else. Similarly, languages use symbols whose shapes do not necessarily represent what they mean.
Are you impressed, dear reader? No? You must be a Darwinist fool! This is their conclusion:
Human language may lack the 3-D shape and activity of DNA “letters” but shares the most important characteristic: reliable communication of information for a functional result. It also shares requirements for specificity and rules of operation. If anything, the comparison is from the lesser to the greater: if human language is designed, how much more the “astonishing reliability and precision” of the genome?
So there you are. The intelligent designer is talking to us. He (or “it”) is using the language of DNA. Are you listening? The Discoveroids are. That’s why they know so much more than you ever will.
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