Sunday, July 17, 2011

Digital Logical Abstraction - Smoking Gun for Intelligent Design

How did the universe reach its current level or order and complexity? Was it an accident or by design? William Paley put forward an argument for the existence of God by appealing to evidences of design. Paley used numerous analogies for design. His favorites were the structure and function of bird wings and the complexities of the eye.

Paley’s analogical argument for design was persuasive with many before the advent of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Looking at the design of the human eye, for example, one finds it difficult to think such intricate detail could be accomplished by accident. The evolution of complex systems, such as the eye, is   highly improbable. Darwin introduced the idea of slow, gradual change over millions and even billions of years. The introduction of such time frames makes even the most improbable outcomes plausible.

The study of analogical complexity has been around for a long time. Analogical complexity exists because a designer or designers create analogous structures and analogous architecture by arranging things in a physical order than is compatible with the logical order that was set in the mind. Analogical design is always based on the physical properties of the elements of the design. For example, the design of a stopwatch is based on the physical relationship between the tension of the spring, the size of the gears, and the speed the gears move. Watchmakers used that relationship to calculate the time. Examples of analog computers include abacuses, telescopes, hourglasses, etc.

Atheists dismiss the improbably of analogous design occurring by chance or random processes. Analogous design renders the development of complex structure and even architectures of structures highly improbable, but not absolutely impossible. However, we are discovering evidence of digital design. Whereas analog design is marked by direct physical relationship between the conceptual design and physical components, digital design is marked by segregation of logical and physical components.

In computer technology, the physical components that are relevant to data storage and transmission are electrical impulses. Electrical impulses are on or off. The one logical component that has a relationship with the physical is the binary code. One corresponds to on and zero corresponds to off.  There exists, however, no analogous relationship between characters and binary code. A convention called ASCII assigns each character a unique ASCII code, which is a number 1 and 255 that translates to an eight digit binary code between 00000000 and 11111111. The ASCII code is an arbitrary convention. Any number could be assigned to any character.  ASCII code is a building block in multiple layers of a logical structure that has no physical analogy. The logical structure has connection to the physical world if and only if the logical structure is created by a mind with logical categories that correspond with the physical world.

In the human mind, we discover no analogy between symbols used in language and the real world objects they signify. No physical relationship between the letters G-O-D and reality of God. We could have referred to God as D-O-G or O-D-G or E-L-O-H-I-Y-M or A-L-L-A-H. People form symbols in language based on whatever convention they choose. Language is an effective tool in thinking and communicating with the real world if and only if the language is created by a mind with logical categories that correspond with categories in the real world.

Digital logical abstraction   as a way of processing and interacting with the real analog world is possible because there is a mind with categories that corresponds with categories in the real world. How is it possible that the categories of a human mind correspond to the categories of the external world? The human mind did not create the external world. 

The initial answer is that the mind has the categories it has because the brain has the cognitive structure/information architecture necessary to support language. Atheist linguistic expert Noam Chomsky refers to this as a universal grammar. But this merely pushes the question back. Where did the brain get its cognitive structure? It got it from instructions in DNA. DNA preceded not only human minds but of any living physical creature, so man did not create DNA. Any evidence of design in DNA is evidence of a Supernatural designer.

One of the most revolutionary discoveries in recent scientific discovery is that DNA is a digital program. It is composed of quaternary, rather than binary, digital code. The chemistry of DNA is radically different from conventional chemistry. The outcomes of chemical reaction involving DNA are based not on the chemical properties, but the physical sequence or arrangement of the pairs. The chemistry of DNA behaves like that of text or digital code. It is the arrangement of characters/bits/base pairs defines the logic and function of digital code rather than physical or chemical properties of the components.

If DNA is a digital code, then digital logical abstraction occurs in the natural universe. If digital logical abstraction occurs in nature, and it can occur if and only if there is a Mind to encode/decode for the abstraction, then the creation/evolution of DNA is the architecture of a mind or minds.

Digital logical abstraction is proof of the existence of mind because it is impossible to evolve properties of physical elements. This is no unbroken analogy between perceptions/concepts and chemical impulses in the brain. There is no broken analogy between electrical impulses and advanced software platforms. There is no unbroken analogy between WHY a particular DNA sequence yields a particular function. In each of these cases, there is a mind to mediate these relationships. A logical and digital abstraction is performed by the mind.

In computers, the abstraction that is performed by the Operating System using a Hardware Abstraction Layer succeeds because there existed minds beyond that of that which was embedded in the operating system that created the architecture that allowed the abstraction to occur. Likewise, the human mind can perform abstraction only because there is an Architect that created an architecture that gave the human mind both a cognitive structure compatible with the real world and the capability to engage in logical digital abstraction.