To produce a machine which works, not only must there be the material necessary to make such a machine, there has to be a blueprint or set of instructions to build and run it. The information that is responsible for building living organisms is located inside the DNA molecule that is present in the nucleus of each cell. According to evolution, the immense information that exists in the world has arisen by genetic mistakes. However, according to information theory, information cannot spontaneously arise by random processes. In addition, observations fully support the argument that information cannot spontaneously appear in the DNA. The reason why creatures can undergo small changes in order to adapt to a new environment is that this involves a shuffling of genes that already exist within the DNA. Gene variation does not involve the creation of new information. On top of this, in making a machine blueprint, there has to be prior agreement that a language is to be used such that both speaker and listener are communicating. The language rules must be unchanging for careful communication to work. (Gitt, Werner, Information: the third fundamental quantity, Siemens Review, Vol 56, Part 6, pp.36-41, 1989) If we start in English, and midstream change to French, chaos will emerge. The very existence of a sophisticated coded language using the position of 4 different nucleotides (Guanine, Thymine, Cytosine and Adenine), operating between the nucleus and other components of the cell, shows that there is indeed a Mind which has put such a coding language system together. Information is not defined by the material world, but uses it. Information does not come about by accident.

Irreducible bio-engineering: flight

Flight is one of the clearest examples of irreducible mechanisms on a macro scale. An aeroplane has an irreducible number of parts necessary for flight. An aeroplane requires a set of wings for lift, wing flaps and rear rudder for control and engines for propulsion. Engineers spent over one hundred years of intense research designing the first aeroplane because a flying machine could not be evolved from any land machine. Exactly the same principle applies to birds. A bird needs wings for lift, tail feathers for control and lightweight bones. A bird cannot have evolved from any land creature because all the mechanisms needed for flight are very different from anything required for land. The fossil evidence of extinct birds completely supports the argument that birds did not evolve. Other flying creatures such as bats and butterflies appear fully developed in the fossil record, and no evolutionist connects these creatures together. Consequently the evolutionist must regard flight as having developed by accident at least three times independently.

There are many other examples of irreducible mechanisms in nature which show that random chance operating with the well founded principle of natural selection, far from creating new structures only modifies existing ones. (Behe, M. Darwin's Black Box – The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Free Press, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1996) Biologists generally accept that gene variation can only produce limited changes to an organism. For example, whilst a bird (like Darwin's finches) can adapt to different environments by gene variation and natural selection, it cannot develop any new devices other than those already programmed for in the DNA (and possibly not prominent in one particular generation). Modern neo-Darwinian evolution suggests new types of mechanisms and new organisms evolving by genetic mistakes alone. However there is no empirical evidence for such new mechanisms such that new types of organisms evolve by gene mutations. Mutations are only a subset of what existed previously, so, as one would expect, the world is losing creature kinds not gaining them. Particle to people evolution in our view does not fit the evidence.

Andy C McIntosh is Professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory, University of Leeds and Dr. Stuart Burgess is Reader in Engineering Design, University of Bristol