XP and I.D.

  In one aisle, the local computer store sells a single CD for between $99 and $299. In the next aisle, they carry multi-pack CDs for less than a dollar per disc. Why the drastic price discrepancy? They're both made of the same plastic. The difference is, of course, that the cheap compact discs are blank -- while the expensive ones are encoded with various versions of Microsoft's new Windows XP operating system. The analogy for explaining the difference is the chemist who calculated the value of the chemicals in his body. Computing the cost of the carbon, iron, calcium, and the other elemental chemicals on the periodic table of the elements -- he found his body was worth ninety-seven cents. But that's not the way the chemicals appear in living bodies. When he calculated the value of the hemoglobin, insulin, and other complex organic compounds that actually composed his body, he realized he was worth more than $6 million! That's what the body's programming does. It's information technology from the DNA, which is why many scientists are now talking about Intelligent Design of the body. When I was in high school, my science teacher said everything consisted of matter and energy. Now scientists know better. Caltech president and Nobel laureate David Baltimore says, "Modern biology is a science of information," noting that DNA is matter that is alive because it contains complex informational codes. But Dr. Baltimore thinks the DNA software wrote itself. Last year, shortly before the White House announced completion of the preliminary mapping of the human genome, Baltimore wrote in the New York Times, "It will take many decades to fully comprehend the magnificence of the DNA edifice . . . held in the nucleus of each cell of the body . . ." Yet, he says, even our limited understanding confirms that human genes "look much like those of fruit flies, worms, and even plants. . . . [W]e are all descended from the same humble beginnings . . . That should be, but won't be, the end of creationism." Now let's think about that for a moment. Deciphering DNA and the human genome is very similar to what computer scientists call "reverse engineering." They take a software program and work backwards to find out how it was written. Can you imagine anyone reverse engineering the new Microsoft software, and concluding that natural processes put it together? Does Windows XP somehow prove that Bill Gates or his engineers don't exist? I don't think so. Yet some materialists explain the complexities of nature by ingenious intellectual headstands to avoid recognizing an Intelligent Designer. Former atheist Dr. J. Budziszewski remembers the efforts he expended in that direction, and summarizes, "There are certain forms of stupidity that one has to be highly intelligent and educated to commit." The person who tries to dodge the conclusion of Intelligent Design, is like the customer who tries to convince himself that Windows XP wrote itself -- and therefore he needn't be concerned about copyright rules. If we have a Creator, we're accountable to him -- and some people prefer to avoid that conclusion. The recent release of Windows XP illustrates the concept of intelligent design. If Windows XP points to Bill Gates, how much more do the marvelous complexities of DNA point directly to God, the great Intelligent Designer?


Chuck Colson



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