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Errors in James Watson’s “Source of Information”

In the May 2003 issue of “Bilim Ve Utopya” (Science and Utopia) magazine, an article was published entitled, “Yasamin Ruhsal Degil Moleküler Bir Temeli Vardir” (The Basis of Life is Molecular not Spiritual). This title was based an interview conducted with James Watson whose findings on the spiral structure of DNA were published in “Scientific American” magazine. This article is a response to the errors that Watson has fallen into.

In a report in Scientific American magazine, James Watson tried to explain the source of information stored in DNA from a materialist point of view. Claiming that DNA came to be by a chance evolutionary process, Watson refused to take into account the countless other examples of biological design.

The Brain’s Structure Cannot be Explained by Chance

“There are still very major problems to solve on how information is stored and retrieved and used in the brain. It”s a bigger problem than DNA, and a more difficult one.” ( Scientific American, “A Conversation with James D. Watson,” April 2003 )Watson constructed his evolutionist claims on the basis of the brain. In the meantime, he was forced to admit that his views contradicted the facts. He pointed out an important fact about the operation of the brain:

To be sure, the brain’s design and operation is beyond the capacity of the human intellect to comprehend.

The brain is composed of up to 10 billion neurons; but what allows the brain to function is the perfect organization within this mass of cells. Every neuron is constantly connected with other related neurons. These connections are called ‘synapses’ and because of them, a communication received from one point in the body is evaluated by other relevant neurons who react to it appropriately. In short, the perfect operation of the nervous system is made possible by right working of these connections.

“Numbers in order of 1015 are of course completely beyond comprehension. Imagine an area about half size of the USA (one million square miles) covered in a forest of trees containing ten thousand trees per square mile. If each tree contained one hundred thousand leaves the total number of leaves in the forest would be 1015 , equivalent to the number of connections in the human brain!” (Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, London, Burnett Books, 1985, p. 330)The number of connections between the 10 billion neurons challenges the limits of mathematics. In his book entitled “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis”, the well-known biochemist, Michael Denton, says that there are about 1 quadrillion ( and continues:

Because of this incredibly large number of connections inside your head, you can perform different and unconnected acts at the same time without getting confused. You can listen to music and sip your coffee at the same time. You are not even aware of your heartbeat, the level of oxygen in your blood, your body temperature, or the delicate balance in the force of your muscle contractions.

It is inconceivable that such functional organization could come into being by a series of chance events. This is an example of the perfect creative artistry of Almighty God Whose intelligence is supreme.

The Error of Seeking the Source of Information in Matter

According to dogmatic evolutionist logic, when inanimate matter undergoes the process of evolution, it can construct meaningful sentences and make intelligent designs and detailed descriptions. Watson claims that the structure of DNA and the organization in the brain formed themselves, and the information that dominates in each of these examples is again the work of chance. In his attempt to explain the concept of information by evolution and chance, Watson proposes again that the source of information is in matter.

Considered from the materialist point of view, every concept has a material counterpart. The brain is a functioning machine but the mechanism that makes it work is invisible. Neurophysiology cannot solve the riddle of how information is stored in the brain, the neurons or their influence on one another. The observed functioning of the brain is only the electrical communication among the neurons. It does not show where the information is stored and it does not answer the question about a material source of information.

The answer to this question is sought in philosophy under the heading of the theory of information and this is the conclusion reached by theoreticians of information after long research: “Information is different from matter and cannot be reduced to matter. The sources of information and matter must be investigated separately.”

For example, a book is composed of paper, ink and the information it contains. Paper and ink are materials used to relate the information. But the information in the book is not material and does not have a material source. The source of the information in this case is the mind of the writer who wrote the book.

At this point we can state this general conclusion: “If a material object contains information, that material object must have been organized by a mind that possessed the information. First, there was a mind. That mind put its information into matter and a design came into being.”

The Source of Truth is not Chance

According to Watson, truth of information cannot be taught, but come to be by chance. This perverse logic includes all the incidences of intelligent deign in the world that science has observed. In the same way, according to Watson, the perfect design of DNA and the way information is stored in the brain, which even the most advanced computers have not been able to discover, are the result of millions of years of chance events.

This is a nonsensical supposition because it has been proved mathematically that there is no room for chance in the formation of the information stored in DNA. Formed in millions of stages, it is less than impossible that the DNA molecule could be formed by chance. The evolutionist biologist, Frank B. Salisbury, writes about this impossibility:

“A medium protein might include about 300 amino acids. The DNA gene controlling this would have about 1,000 nucleotides in its chain. Since there are four kinds of nucleotides in a DNA chain, one consisting of 1,000 links could exist in 41,000 forms. Using a little algebra (logarithms) we can see that 41,000=10600. Ten multiplied by itself 600 times gives the figure 1 followed by 600 zeros! This number is completely beyond our comprehension.” (Frank B. Salisbury, Doubts About the Modern Synthetic Theory of Evolution, American Biology Teacher, September 1971, p. 336)

Even if we suppose that all the required nucleotides are in place, and all the requisite complex molecules and binding enzymes are present, the probability that the desired arrangement of nucleotides would be produced is one in 4 to the 1000th, in other words, 1 in 10 to the 600th. In short, the probability that a DNA number in a medium sized protein in the human body could come to be by itself is practically non existent. This means that such a molecular arrangement has not come about by chance but by the information and under the control of a power with consciousness and intelligence; that is, it has been created.

All scientific research in the 20th century, results of all experiments and observations have shown that, contrary to what materialists claim, the information in DNA cannot be reduced to matter. In other words, the idea that DNA is merely a mass of matter and that the information it contains came about by the random influence of matter, has been definitely rejected.

Prof. Dr. Werner Gitt, director of the German Federal Physical and Technological Institute, writes:

“A coding system always entails a nonmaterial intellectual process. A physical matter cannot produce an information code. All experiences show that every piece of creative information represents some mental effort and can be traced to a personal idea-giver who exercised his own free will, and who is endowed with an intelligent mind…. There is no known law of nature, no known process and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter…” (Werner Gitt, In the Beginning Was Information, CLV, Bielefeld, Germany, pp. 107, 141)

The Source of Information in Nature

As in the case of DNA, nature is filled with an amazing amount of information; and, because this information cannot be reduced to matter, it must come from a source beyond the material. The source of information is not matter; it comes form a supreme intelligence beyond matter. This intelligence existed before matter. Matter was created, shaped and ordered by this intelligence. The Creator of everything is God, Lord of the Worlds, Whose power is supreme.

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