New intelligent design concept applies to all aspects of life

Photos Wikipedia.org Irreducible structure
Irreducible structure. The silver coins (left) have properties of flatness, roundness and impressions on faces and rims that cannot be explained in terms of the crystalline state of silver (close packed cubes) or its natural occurrence as native silver (right).
Contrary to the well-known intelligent-design claim that some biological systems are so complex that they must have been designed, botanist and environmental scientist Alexander Williams has now described a new concept that shows all aspects of life point to intelligent design.

‘This concept is simpler, and broader in its application, than Behe’s concept of irreducible complexity’, Williams says, ‘and it applies to all of life, not just to some of it.’

Writing in the latest issue of the Journal of Creation, Williams outlines the biological concept of autopoiesis, a term that literally means ‘self-making’. Autopoiesis refers to the unique ability of a living organism to continually repair and maintain itself, ultimately to the point of reproducing itself, simply by using energy and raw materials from its environment.

According to the ID concept of irreducible complexity, some biological systems are so complex that they can only function when all of their components are present. This means that the system could not have evolved in small steps from a simpler assemblage that did not contain the full machinery.

In the popular book Darwin’s Black Box, biochemist and ID theorist Michael Behe introduced the concept of ‘irreducible complexity’. Behe made much of examples such as the blood-clotting cascade and the proton-driven molecular motor in the bacterial flagellum.

‘Because Behe appealed to complexity, many equally complex rebuttals have been put forward’, Williams said. ‘And because he claimed that only some of the aspects of life were irreducibly complex, he thereby implied that the majority of living structure was open to naturalistic explanation.’

Williams says that these two factors explain why the concept of intelligent design still remains controversial and unproven in popular understanding.

‘Autopoiesis or “self-making” provides a compelling case for intelligent design, first because it is universal in all living things. This makes it a pre-requisite for life, not an end product of natural selection’, Williams said.

‘Furthermore, “self-making” is not reducible to the laws of physics and chemistry. There is an unbridgeable abyss between the dirty, mass-action chemistry of the natural environment and the perfectly-pure, single-molecule precision of biochemistry.’

In his article,1 Alexander Williams sets out the concept of ‘self making’ and applies it to specific examples.

Journal of Creation is a peer reviewed science publication dealing with a broad range of creation and evolution issues. It is a forum where creation scientists test new concepts and thinking as they develop the details of the creation model.

Some of the other topics dealt with in the latest Journal of Creation 21(2) include:

    Journal of Creation Volume 21(2) Cover
  • Granite formation. It is now recognized that slow-and-gradual ideas inhibited research and that granite formed suddenly.
  • The origin of oxygen. It turns out to be more complicated than evolutionists have thought.
  • Jurassic animals. Latest findings show they were more diverse than previously believed.
  • Sea-floor sedimentation. How can a large area of the Pacific Ocean escape sediment deposition for 85 million years?
  • Anomalous acceleration of Pioneer spacecraft. A creationist cosmology explains why it’s happening.
  • Genetic code optimization. How the creationist framework explains the behaviour of genetic information.
  • Book Reviews. Dawkins’ The God Delusion, and The Devil’s Chaplain; Darwin Strikes Back; Darwin’s Proof: The Triumph of Religion Over Science. These are just a few of the contemporary books reviewed in this issue—reviews that develop your skills and keep you up-to-date on the issues.
  • Hamilton Cave. Tell-tale clues in this underground tourist site in West Virginia point to unusual formation processes.
  • And lots, lots more.

If you are keen for more information on the latest in creation science research then Journal of Creation is for you.

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Browse contents of this issue.

Published: 27 June 2007


  1. Williams, A., Life’s irreducible structure—Part I: autopoiesis, Journal of Creation 21(2):109–115, 2007.