Bilbo at Telic Thoughts comments on remarks by Craig Venter who recently succeeded in coaxing a cell to accept the synthesized DNA from a different species. An article in Technology Review says of this feat:
Venter also points to what the cells--powered by genomes made in a lab from four bottles of chemicals, based on instructions stored on a computer--reveal about what life is. "This is as much a philosophical as a technological advance," he says. "The notion that this is possible means bacterial cells are software-driven biological machines. If you change the software, you build a new machine. I'm still amazed by it."
Bilbo says that Venter has in these four sentences conceded the debate over intelligent design to the IDers. I think he's right, but materialists will surely object. If they stay true to past practice one thing they can be counted on to do is criticize IDers for quoting them. Darwinian materialists hate it when IDers quote their own words because it's so unfair to have to be on one's guard all the time, fearing that one's frank admissions will be used as evidence against one. It's misleading, too, because it should be understood that materialists would not be nearly so clear and forthright if they knew that their antagonists would be taking their words seriously and embarrassing them with them.
As for Venter's statement, it's exactly what IDers have been saying for almost thirty years: Cells are software (information) driven biological machines. Neither information nor machines are the product of random processes conjoined with physical forces. Four bottles of chemicals mixed together for billions of years by wind and sun would never produce a library of coherent information. Neither would they produce DNA. Only a mind can do that and Venter pretty much acknowledges the fact.
I'm sure he's already received dozens of emails from colleagues telling him to just shut up.RLC