In the Beginning Was Information

Proverbs 9:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

In the year 2000, a German scientist called Dr. Werner Gitt, wrote a book called In the Beginning Was Information. In this book, Gitt introduced the reader to the sophistication of Information Science. Gitt says that information consists of five levels, of increasing complexity. Evolutionary biologists assume that information can arise by itself from statistical accumulation. This leads to the popular In the Beginning Was Informationnotion that, if enough letters were randomly generated, one could eventually get a sequence which included Hamlet’s Soliloquy. But these Statistics, says Gitt, are simply the lowest level of information. Writers of blogs used to like to produce word-clouds for their blogs. A word cloud lists the words they have used, and the size of the font of each word gave an indication of how frequently the word had been used. I once produced a word cloud of one of my books. It yielded interesting information, but it could not replace the book as a source of all the information contained therein. In addition to the low level statistics, we find: 2. Syntax (why is c-a-t a word, but not x-m-w?) 3. Semantics – the possible meanings of each word 4. Pragmatics – how the information is received by the sender and 5. Apobetics – the purpose behind the information. Gitt shows that DNA contains all five levels, and he concludes that it is simply not possible for the information in DNA to have arisen by chance.

The Bible says that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. This is not merely a pious sounding phrase. The source of all wisdom and knowledge can only be God.

How great are Your words, O Lord! Thank You for the depth of knowledge and information that we see, even in these amazing DNA molecules. As the psalmist prayed, truly Your ways are deep. Amen.

Gitt, W. (2006, 2nd Edition), In the Beginning Was Information, (Green Forest, AR: Master Books)
Image: Word cloud generated from the author’s book “Only Believe”, copyright to author