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Specified Complexity

By Les Sherlock

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Arguably, one of the greatest evidences for the impossibility of Darwin’s theory of the Evolution of Species is that of specified complexity. Every form of life on Earth is largely controlled by DNA, the ‘computer code’ in every cell that determines body size, shape, and many other things. There are just four different ‘letters’ in all DNA ever examined: A, C, G and T. DNA, therefore, with a huge number of these ‘letters, all of which must be in the correct place and order, is both specified and complex.


It is specified because the order in which those four letters are duplicated and appear, over and over again, is absolutely critical. Just one mistake in one letter can be the difference between life and death. For example, an error of one letter through mutation in humans, has resulted in sickle cell anaemia: a highly debilitating defect in the blood that usually results in early death.

It is complex, of course, because there are so many ‘letters’ contained in DNA, with just over one million of them in the smallest living thing capable of independent life, and over three billion in humans.


Mutation is the only means any evolutionist has ever been able to come up with that could change existing DNA to produce the ever-increasing amounts of DNA information required to enable the first, single-cell organism they claim randomly appeared from inanimate matter, to develop different physical features and thus produce all the many millions of different life-forms on the planet. However, mutation is random mistakes in copying DNA letters, and while this certainly will produce change, random activity can never increase specified complexity.

An example of specified complexity would be a pack of playing cards, arranged in numerical and suit order. Shuffling the pack would make it less specified, while not changing the complexity. Adding a second pack of shuffled cards would increase the complexity but would not make it any more specified. For new organs to evolve, which is essential to enable all the forms of life on earth to form from a single cell, additional DNA coding must appear (increased complexity), accurately coding (increased specificity) for the new organ.

It is certainly possible for mutation to increase the complexity, since there are observations of occasions when sections of DNA have been duplicated: for example, the cause of Down’s Syndrome, where the DNA has an extra chromosome. However, as can be seen from the ailment, the result is damage, not improvement. It is absolutely impossible for mutation to go on to increase the specificity of this extra chromosome in order to enable it to code for an additional feature that did not previously exist in humans, in the same way that shuffling a pack of cards cannot increase its orderliness.


Half a pack of cards:
specified complexity


Now a full pack of cards:
greater complexity, but because the new cards are
in no particular order, they are no more specified


The full pack of cards:
greater complexity and
more specified


Another example is the craft of dry stone wall building, found in parts of England. The photo below shows such a wall in Derbyshire. Stones of different sizes are carefully chosen by the builder, and laid upon each other in such a way that they interlock and produce a wall that can remain standing for many decades. No mortar, cement or any other agent is used to hold the stones in place, and as can be seen from the photo, the top layer of stones is laid differently from those below.


In theory, it is possible that through erosion, earth tremors, etc., these stones could have rolled down a hillside, and bounced into position. But common sense will tell you, after the briefest of glances, that this wall could only have appeared through the ‘intelligent design’ of a builder. There are so many more ‘wrong’ places for the stones to fall compared to ‘right’ ones, that even getting a ‘wall’ just two or three stones high would be impossible.

Even the simplest DNA has far more ‘stones’ in its ‘wall’ than can be seen in the photo, yet the evolutionist is required to believe it appeared, and became more and more complex, billions of times over, as a result of DNA letters appearing and ‘bouncing into position’ as a result of the ‘erosion’ of mutation. As with the dry stone wall, common sense tells you this is impossible. In fact, in the entire history of mankind, no-one has ever seen a single example of specified complexity arising or increasing by any means other than intelligent design.

Then they say that evolution is ‘science’ while creation is not! Well, perhaps if they could give us one or two clear examples of the increase of specified complexity appearing in DNA, then I might take them a little more seriously. I have read many evolutionary books, including Richard Dawkins’ book purporting to be presenting the evidence for evolution and answering creationists; but I have not yet seen a single example of specified complexity increasing in DNA.* So until this evidence is presented to me, I shall continue to oppose Evolution of Species with as much energy as I can muster!

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* It could be argued that Dawkins does present one example, but see my comments on Richard Dawkins’ book for why it is actually evidence that specified complexity can never arise through mutation.