Previously, I argued that we can test whether a Universal common designer exists in biochemistry to explain the origin of digital information. What I mean by “Universal” is existing by necessity where a natural world with life could not possibly have been otherwise without an intelligence. What I mean by “common designer” is a human mind that is composed of digital information and consciousness according to Orch-OR’s theory of consciousness (Hameroff, Stuart; Penrose, Roger 2014). Both combined make a Universal mind.
More importantly, I made this inference based on in-vitro selection experiments, which suggested that intelligence was required for life to emerge. For example, whenever unguided chemical processes under atmospheric conditions were left to themselves without any interference, they did not produce the desired results. Rather, the living state would always subside and turn into “useless networks of RNA sequences” as demonstrated by Szostak and Bartel (1993) where more than half of the pool of RNA molecules precipitated when incubated. They were able to solve this problem by tying the molecules onto a substrate to make sure the pool of RNA molecules do not diffuse and form intermolecular reactions, and, thus, safely incubated. Although this is an unlikely occurrence within the primordial soup, this was the prevailing inclination within in vitro selection experiments under atmospheric conditions (Breaker & Joyce 1994). So the question now becomes…
What if all currently living organisms have a common design from a universal common designer rather than a universal common descent from a universal common ancestor?
it is important to note that this theory will be an improvement of the Modern Synthesis NOT a negation, but it will not offer an explanation for how consciousness arose either. Lastly, I will be showing how the origin of our life and advanced life emerged this time unlike the previous topic I created:
UNIVERSAL COMMON DESIGN THEORY
A Universal common designer formed the first life and the anatomical structures of multicellular life separately from the physical-chemical world and continues to maintain these structures by ensuring that the organism’s distinctive shape, control, arrangement of body parts, DNA, etc. generate traits that fit the environments it occupies to survive, reproduce, and fill the biosphere.
This means that the functional systems as a whole between organisms and how you compare these fully functional systems between organisms to their respective environments would provide a very key difference and separation from common ancestry’s predictions.
For example, contrary to what evolutionists have previously expressed about the "bad design, " of the giant panda’s thumb, A study analyzed it and showed that the radial sesamoid bone (its “thumb”) is “one of the most extraordinary manipulation systems” among mammals. Following this publication, another study found that the giant panda and the red panda were not related even though both species possess the false thumb. The false thumb of the giant panda was intended to manipulate bamboo and the false thumb of the red panda was designed as an aid for arboreal locomotion, With the red panda secondarily developing its ability for item manipulation.
(A) Design Decay hypothesis
There are three main hypothesizes on the origin of viruses with no clear explanation as to which one is correct:
- The virus-first hypothesis claims that viruses predate or coevolved with their current cellular hosts; 2. The progressive, or escape, hypothesis claims that viruses arose from genetic elements that gained the ability to move between cells; 3. the regressive, or reduction, hypothesis suggests that viruses are remnants of cellular organisms (Wessner, David R. 2010).
However, what if all three hypotheses are true?
For instance, viruses are responsible for the abatement of 80% of prokaryotic heterotrophic production. Virus-induced prokaryotic mortality rises with increasing water depth, and beneath a depth of 1,000 m almost all of the prokaryotic heterotrophic production is converted into organic detritus. The viral shunt, releasing on a global scale ~0.37–0.63 gigaton of carbon per year, is a vital source of labile organic detritus in the deep-sea ecosystems. This process sustains a high prokaryotic biomass has a significant influence on prokaryotic metabolism, allowing the system to manage the severe organic resource limitation of deep-sea ecosystems and seems to play a vital role in global biogeochemical cycles (Danovaro et al., 2008).
The beneficial role of viruses applies to terrestrial environments as well since viruses modulate host population ecology, food web structure, energy and nutrient flow between habitats, and apparent competition processes, and they favor habitat formation and can transfer genetic information (Lefèvre et al., 2009; Wessner, 2010).
More importantly, researchers from the University of Connecticut discovered through modeling studies that horizontal gene transfer among microbes has the same genetic signature as common ancestry. Horizontal gene transfer encompasses any mechanism that transfers genetic material to another organism without the recipient being the offspring of the donor.
According to all these studies, the systems would have similar functions and have similar parts used to construct species, but it is the specified complexity of the shapes, arrangements, and DNA that allows organisms to fit specific applications which gives them their separate uniqueness. This would explain why and how humans share the appearance of universal common ancestry, such as viruses being used to initiate design diversity around the globe.
How to determine whether evolution was a completely guided process?
When the biologist chooses a particular set of natural conditions to work on from using a Lenski type experiment, the observer has to first test and determine whether or not life can be developed within that condition without interference. Then, the observer must perform the same experiment with the same set of natural conditions following the previous one but impose unrealistic interference in the second round of experiments.
The combined outcomes of these experiments would produce evidence for the hypothesis. If we apply the same procedure to a different natural condition, it would produce additional evidence for this hypothesis. This is because even though the experimenter who guides evolution within each natural condition is finite and contingent, there could not be any conscious life before simple life emerged, hence why we have to include the first experiment to support the “necessary” attribute of this common designer.
For example, phage-assisted continuous evolution (with the apt acronym “PACE”) is a microbial experiment where molecules from E.coli drift through a provocatively named “lagoon” filled with bacteriophages. Each phage contains a copy of the gene of interest (GOI) that will undergo directed evolution. To successfully infect E. coli, the phage requires a protein called pIII (Badran & Liu, 2015). To force the GOI to evolve, researchers substitute the phage gene for pIII into the bacteria, linking its expression to the activity of the GOI. Thus, phage containing more active versions of the GOI will generate more pIII and will be more infectious, spreading more copies of that version of the GOI as they infect more hosts. Eventually, only the most successful mutant version(s) of the GOI will be left. However, the phages that are lacking the functional pIII protein are rapidly lost under continuous culture conditions because they have no ability to propagate (Badran & Liu, 2015).
Therefore, the fundamental difference between Lenski’s experiment and this directed evolution experiment is that the experimenter intervenes within the material process of natural selection and random mutations and inserts specialized proteins within the organism to give it a boost in function and fitness. This is considered unnatural because a random view of mutations has not been shown to produce either novel gains or consistent gains in nature or in the laboratory. Especially, when viruses have only been shown to arise without a host from scientists who genetically or synthetically create viruses (Smith et al., 2003)
However, if, at some point, someone produces new information from these viruses within a natural condition that does not require a conscious agent, then this would falsify the common design theory completely.
Although previous studies seem to suggest that life must be directed by a Divine intelligence, critics have pointed out apparent flaws within this design inference. In his book Why Evolution is True, evolutionary biologist Coyne claims, “Imperfect design is the mark of evolution; in fact it’s precisely what we expect from evolution.” (Coyne, 2014, p. 81)
His prediction is based upon the observation that “[n]ew parts don’t evolve from old ones, and we have to work well with the parts that have already evolved. Because of this, we should expect compromises: some features that work pretty well, but some not as well as they might, or some features—like the kiwi wing—that don’t work at all, but are evolutionary leftovers.” (Coyne, 2014, p. 81)
Coyne is not the first to make this argument. In the mostly anti-ID volume Intelligent Design Creationism and its Critics, Smith states, “if a design in nature is clearly inferior to what a human engineer could produce, then we are entitled to [reject ID]” (Smith, 2001, p. 724).
The examples of supposed design flaws come in four forms. The first form encompasses suboptimal designs, which are optimized for their purpose but not completely optimized to exercise their full potential in achieving that purpose when compared to similar designs that show better optimization. The second form comprises bad designs, which are considered poorly made to achieve their recognized purpose. The fundamental difference between a bad and a suboptimal design is that bad designs are designs considered not constructed well, while suboptimal designs are those considered not constructed well enough. The third form includes useless designs; designs without function, which probably had function in the past. Finally, the fourth form comprises sinister designs, in which organisms are designed in a way that seem to only bring harm and degeneration upon that organism or to other organisms.
However, upon further inspection, it has been repeatedly found that what initially seemed to be design flaws caused by an unguided process instead of a divine agent turned out not to be flaws at all with increasing understanding of the design (just ask for the list). In future, it will be paramount for scientists to reexamine the remaining claims of design flaws by looking at the organism as a whole, even if it exhibits some features that may be perplexing, rather than make an argument from ignorance or personal incredulity.
What looks like a flaw from the harmful effects of cancerous mutations in organisms is primarily a result of decay imposed by the second law of thermodynamics rather than poor design (Serena Nik-Zainal and Benjamin A. Hall, 2019). However, some might argue that an all-powerful all-knowing omnibenevolent common designer, whose purpose is to ensure species survive and reproduce under natural conditions, could have effectively designed living organisms in which these flaws would not occur at all. However, the second law of thermodynamics must exist in all possible worlds unlike other laws of nature because it pertains to quantum mechanics as well as general relativity (Abe & Okuyama, 2011). This means it would require the suspension of the second law (i.e., a miracle) to prevent them from occurring at all.
According to the theory, we would not expect a miracle or random event to happen based upon that designer’s personal nature that is similar to ours. More importantly, it appears as though this designer uses the laws of nature to eliminate these instances and chooses to remain consistent with them. This involves editing and limiting the harmful genetic changes (Martincorena et al., 2012; Martincorena & Luscombe, 2013; Garvin & Gharrett, 2014) and regulating harmful mutations that do arise in a way that preserves a balance between predator and prey populations because too many predators or prey can cause a collapse of the ecosystem (Moore et al., 2010; Smee, 2012; Gilljam, 2015).
For instance, mitochondrial and chloroplast DNA are abundantly involved in apoptosis, which is the single most important feature of multicellularity because it ensures timely death of individual cells. Cancer may be the ecological equivalent of apoptosis, ensuring the timely death of individuals so that resources are available for the young.
In addition, there are examples of cancer cells developing through viral infection (Morelli et al., 2004) and thus, as stated before, viruses are necessary evils. Further research might find more cases like these in other genetic diseases.
With that said, these explanations do not adequately explain why we see these occurrences in humans since we seem to be uniquely made in the image of this designer where we have the ability to recognize and manipulate digital information to our advantage, which we don’t definitively see in animals yet. For this reason, we would most likely expect this designer to want a special relationship with humans based on human experience.