What is the Best Evidence for Intelligent Design? Interview with Brian Johnson.

Last year, when I was speaking at a church in South Dakota for a Heroic Truth Event, I met Brian Johnson. He invited me on his Podcast, and we had a great conversation about “hot” cultural issues today.

Brian is one of the founders of South Dakota Apologetics, an organization dedicated to spreading the Gospel and helping fellow Christians better understand why they believe what they believe. Brian and his buddies at SDA actually offer their speaking services for free, so check ‘em out!

Brian is especially passionate about the evidence for intelligent design. Given his interest and expertise, I recent caught up with him and asked him some pressing questions about the evidence for intelligent design. Enjoy!

Evidence Intelligent Design

SEAN MCDOWELL: Are there any recent scientific advances that are changing what we know about the inner workings of the human body?

BRIAN JOHNSON: I think that accolade needs to go to the discovery of the DNA double helix in 1953 by Crick and Watson. Once this was discovered it blew open the doors to a whole new world of biology. From that we have been able to begin to piece together an entirely new understanding of what it takes to make our bodies function. This has led to major advancements in medicine as well as many other disciplines. The discovery of DNA has also enabled us to build an incredibly strong case for Intelligent Design.

SEAN MCDOWELL: What got you interested in DNA as evidence for design? And why do you think this is such an important area for Christians, and in particular students, to understand?

BRIAN JOHNSON: I’ve always been interested in science and it was the scientific evidences for God that really started to convince me of His existence. As I started to look into the biological evidences I was awestruck at how obvious it was to make a design inference based on the inner workings of the cell. The molecular machines that are working inside each of our bodies at this moment scream of a designer.

If more Christians understood the beautiful structure of how the different processes within our bodies function I know it would not only strengthen their faith but would give them a much greater sense of just how amazing God’s creation really is. And this is certainly true for students who are often not exposed to the evidence for ID since our schools only teach Darwinian evolution.

SEAN MCDOWELL: Can you give a few specific examples of things in DNA that point to design?

BRIAN JOHNSON: Sure!

The first argument for Intelligent Design is based on the information we find in the cell. The arrangements of the four nucleotides, ACTG, contain specified information and convey meaning for the production and arrangements of proteins. Stephen Meyer makes the case for this in his book Signature in the Cell.

The second is a process called DNA error correction (aka, DNA repair). This process is mind-boggling and is currently at work in your body as you read this. Your body is creating new DNA at this moment in a process known as DNA Replication. During this process the DNA double helix is split in two, kind of like a zipper on a coat. As you unzip your coat you then have two sides of that zipper. Now pretend that the ‘teeth’ of the zipper on one side of the coat are each represented by a nucleotide letter of either a, c, t, or g. During the replication process a brand new set of ‘teeth’ are joined to the existing set of ‘teeth’ much the same way as when you zip the coat up and the two set of ‘teeth’ are joined together to seal the coat. If during this process an incorrect nucleotide is put down an error correcting process catches the error, stops the process, plucks out the wrong nucleotide, inserts the correct nucleotide, and then allows the replication process to continue. Describing this process as mind-blowing is actually an understatement.

The third process is one that has just recently been discovered. It now appears that in addition to repair mechanisms DNA also contains proofreading processes as well that make sure the information that passes through it is as accurate as possible. This all happens where messenger RNA transcripts are translated into proteins. The complexity of these processes is simply inconceivable.

SEAN MCDOWELL: Isn’t Intelligent Design based on a “God of the gaps” fallacy?

BRIAN JOHNSON: The God of the gaps objection is a common one. But it is mistaken. Rather than arguing from gap in our knowledge (i.e., what we can’t explain), Intelligent Design reasons from what we do know about the world by considering all the evidence and making an “inference to the best explanation.” This is the exact same scientific method Darwin used in his theory of natural selection. If you want to disregard the method we just used to infer an Intelligent Designer as the cause for what we find in the genome, then you must also reject Darwin’s conclusion as well. The knife cuts both ways.

Free CrossExamined.org Resource

Get the first chapter of "Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case" in PDF.

Powered by ConvertKit
6 replies
  1. Bob Seidensticker says:

    Intelligent Design reasons from what we do know about the world by considering all the evidence and making an “inference to the best explanation.”

    Sure, let’s find the best explanation. The supernatural has never been the answer. Science has discarded countless supernatural explanations and replaced them with natural ones. Might this be the first exception? Maybe, but that’s certainly not where the evidence points.

    Reply
  2. Ed Vaessen says:

    Just a few phrases:

    “The molecular machines that are working inside each of our bodies at this moment scream of a designer.”

    “specified information and convey meaning”

    “This process is mind-boggling”

    “Describing this process as mind-blowing is actually an understatement.”

    “The complexity of these processes is simply inconceivable.”

    They only make clear that ID is not science and will never be.

    Reply
    • Sandy Pidgeon says:

      Ed, DNA convinced Antony Flew and a whole host of other atheists to at least espouse Deism as the EVIDENCE is undeniable. ….your scientific rationalism killed 94 million people in the last century. It might be time for you, Larry Krause, Hawking, Tyson, and Dawkins and all those other who are fascinated but “science” which CHANGES all the time to consider real objectivity….GOD.

      Reply
      • Ed Vaessen says:

        Sandy Pidgeon wrote:
        “Ed, DNA convinced Antony Flew and a whole host of other atheists to at least espouse Deism as the EVIDENCE is undeniable. ….your scientific rationalism killed 94 million people in the last century. It might be time for you, Larry Krause, Hawking, Tyson, and Dawkins and all those other who are fascinated but “science” which CHANGES all the time to consider real objectivity….GOD.”

        That Antony Flew changed his mind doesn’t make the arguments better. They are still flawed. The logical fallacy of personal incredulity remains a logical fallacy.
        I wonder how scientific rationalism killed 94 million people. But you may explain. It doesn’t happen to be about fascism and communism?
        If God is a real objectivity, we first must ask which God you mean. There are quite a lot of them around and always have been. And even within one religion, God changes his/her/its mind depending on the Zeitgeist. The OT God had no problem with slavery or a man having more than one wife. Today, our good Father in Heaven would frown upon such things, according to modern Christians.
        Science changes indeed, which can be expected from a human enterprise. If we knew all answers, we would no longer need science to find out things. But not everything changes in science. Many findings have been tested so thoroughly that it is not to be expected that we will ever change our opinion about it: continental shift, common descent, the old age of the earth, the connection between certain diseases and viruses/bacteria. Things like that.

        Reply
  3. KR says:

    Sandy Pidgeon wrote: “your scientific rationalism killed 94 million people in the last century.”

    How do you define scientific rationalism and how did it kill 94 million people in the last century?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *