The Difference between Matter and Information The Origin of the Information in Nature
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 The Difference between Matter and Information

We earlier mentioned that there is incredibly comprehensive information contained in the DNA of living things. Something as small as a hundred thousandth of a millimeter across contains a sort of "data bank" that specifies all the physical details of the body of a living thing. Moreover, the body also contains a system that reads this information, interprets it and carries out "production" in line with it. In all living cells, the information in the DNA is "read" by various enzymes, and proteins are produced. This system makes possible the production of millions of proteins every second, of just the required type for just the places where they are needed in our bodies. In this way, dead eye cells are replaced by living ones, and old blood cells by new ones.

At this point, let us consider the claim of materialism: Is it possible that the information in DNA could be reduced to matter, as materialists suggest? Or, in other words, can it be accepted that DNA is merely a collection of matter, and the information it contains came about as a result of the random interactions of such pieces of matter?

All the scientific research, experiments and observations carried out in the twentieth century show that the answer to this question is a definite "No." The director of the German Federal Physics and Technology Institute, Prof. Werner Gitt, has this to say on the issue:

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...385

It is impossible for the information inside DNA to have emerged by chance and natural processes.

Werner Gitt's words summarize the conclusions of "information theory," which has been developed in the last 50 years, and which is accepted as a part of thermodynamics. Information theory investigates the origin and nature of the information in the universe. The conclusion reached by information theoreticians as a result of long studies is that "Information is something different from matter. It can never be reduced to matter. The origin of information and physical matter must be investigated separately."

For instance, let us think of the source of a book. A book consists of paper, ink, and the information it contains. Paper and ink are material elements. Their source is again matter: Paper is made of cellulose, and ink of various chemicals. However, the information in the book is nonmaterial, and cannot have a material source. The source of the information in each book is the mind of the person who wrote it.

Moreover, this mind determines how the paper and ink will be used. A book initially forms in the mind of the writer. The writer builds a chain of logic in his mind, and orders his sentences. As a second step, he puts them into material form, which is to say that he translates the information in his mind into letters, using a pen, a typewriter or a computer. Later, these letters are printed in a publishing house, and take the shape of a book made up of paper and ink.

We can therefore state this general conclusion: If physical matter contains information, then that matter must have been designed by a mind that possessed the information in question. First there is the mind. That mind translates the information it possesses into matter, which constitutes the act of design.

385 Werner Gitt, In the Beginning Was Information, CLV, Bielefeld, Germany, pp. 107, 141. (emphasis added)