Category Archives: Intelligent Design

Does Science Argue For Or Against God


Often times in reading arguments for/against Intelligent Design, Darwinism, Evolution, Creation, Irreducible Complexity etc. I get the feeling I’m reading arguments on how many angels are, or are not, dancing on the head of some pin.
Then once in awhile something comes along that’s simple and intuitive that speaks to my heart, mind and soul. The following video is such a time.
Watch the man’s reaction to a part of vision he was unable to experience prior. We see an immediate reaction, an immediate knowing, and immediate appreciation. No lengthy scientific/theological arguments necessary … no books to read or college courses to take … no experts to consult. His eyes see it immediately and then his whole being understands it.
Beautiful … take a look.

And this —

Does Science Argue for or against God-


Don Johnson – June 2017

The Blessings Of Hearing

Image result for images of conversations

I have been generally blessed over the years (73) with good health. But like all of us, on occasion parts of my body complain and spread frustration or worse in areas where such complaints have no business being. These complaints  often spread outwards and seek to spoil relationships with those around us … family, friends and others.

Hearing loss is one such complaint, and mine has been in a state of decay for quite some time now, and plays a part in the deterioration of my ability to participate in conversation.


Further to these thoughts, let me now shift to a more academic/scientific vein and share my joy and the marvel of the hearing experience.  

A year or so back I wrote an article I’ve Grown Accustomed To Your Face at Here is an excerpt from that article:

“ … We walk into a crowded and noisy room full of mostly strangers and unfamiliar heads bobbing up and down. Then off to the side and slightly behind we hear and recognize a familiar voice … we turn our head searching for that old friend we know is there, and after a short search … there she is, head slightly turned away from our view, but recognizable none-the-less. We are surprised and pleased to meet our old friend once more after some number of years and begin renewing the friendship.

The recognition of the voce and face is instinctive and very quick; and we take it for granted with no thoughts of anything unusual other than the mere co-incidence of the meeting. … “

The article deals with the pattern recognition capability designed and  embedded in each of us by our Creator (yes, there is one.)


Then just the other day I ran across another interesting article, again from the Discovery Institute, titled Mammals Compute Sound Timing in the Microsecond Range at

This article deals with the incredible sophistication and design associated with animals being able to determine, with great precision, the direction of incoming sounds.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

“ … Our brief look into the complexity of auditory localization in mammals provides a good example of not only Behe’s irreducible complexity, but also what Douglas Axe calls functional coherence, “the hierarchical arrangement of parts needed for anything to produce high-level function — each part contributing in a coordinated way to the whole” (Undeniable, p. 144). None of these parts (MSO, myelin, synapses) perform sound localization individually, but collectively, they do.

We could explore the hierarchy further by looking more closely at how molecular machines within the neuron cells participate in the “functional whole” of sound localization. Taking the wide-angle view, we see how all the lower levels in the hierarchy contribute to the bat’s amazing ability to catch food on the wing. Functional coherence is not just beyond the reach of chance (Axe, p. 160), it provides positive evidence for intelligent design. In all our uniform human experience, only minds are capable of engineering complex, hierarchical systems exhibiting functional coherence. The complexity of this one circuit — sound localization — makes that loud and clear. … “

So here we have it, in two scientific articles, studies and descriptions of how we can accurately determine the location of that familiar voice in a crowded room,  and associate that sound with a memory from the past.

But better yet, hear it sung by the great Dean Martin at 


Design in life and nature is a wonderful thing.  My hope is that you will seek this designer, this Creator.


Don Johnson – June 2017   


Just Thinking: thoughts concerning: Atheism, Creation, Evolution, Intelligent Design
Click on the image below to take a look.



“ … I remember those nights as a kid laying out in the backyard on a clear Montana night. Laying out in that mummy bag gazing in wonder at the night sky and … just thinking

How many stars are out there? How big is the universe? Does it have an end? If it has an end … then what’s beyond? How did it get there? How did I get here? How can there be something that has no end? Are there answers?

I think most of us have had such nights, and for many of us such wonder continues …

I’m one of those whose mind seems never to stop with the wondering … I just can’t shut it off — not that I want too.

So this is a collection of thoughts, conversations and writings that I’ve collected over the years. Thoughts and study that go back many, many years. The pages to follow come from my thinking and study on these issues, from my blog and from internet dialogs I’ve had with various people, mainly commenters like myself who seem to be passionate about the same questions and issues. Many have quite the opposite views as me, but that’s OK.


In this short book I hold out the hope of showing that a world view centered around a designed and created universe is not only reasonable, but that such a view is the one that aligns with and makes sense with our everyday encounter with our universe and all that is within it — including you and me. Scientists of today as well as in years and centuries past have assigned the idea of “Rational Intelligibility” as an apt description of this world view.

This view of a designed and created universe is a minority view these days, not held by many who are the shapers of the modern world view of materialism which holds that everything we experience has come about through entirely natural means. In other words, Darwinian Evolution explains it all and we need seek no further for answers to the many mysterious and profound questions of life.

The popular purveyors of evolution such as Richard Dawkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stephen Hawking and others, dismiss our everyday encounters with design as — the “appearance” of design, but not real design, only an “illusion” of design — not the real experience of design experienced when you turn your television to your favorite show, or talk to your friend on your iPhone.

If you are uncertain, or you hold to a world view of materialism and evolution as holding the ultimate answers, I would encourage you to step back for a moment and take a deep breath — step out and take a risk to examine an alternative view. Examine the examples and thinking I give in the following pages, as well as seeking out your own examples. You can and should take this intellectual plunge initially in the privacy of your own mind — take whatever time is appropriate for you to stir those brain cells into a stirring of questioning. You will indeed take a risk in doing this … questioning your perhaps long standing beliefs … risking ridicule and censure, even from those close to you. It won’t be easy. … “

Click on the image below to take a look


Asking the Right Questions:

(Click on the image or the following link)

Asking the Right Questions: My Visit to Brown University and MIT 

No – this was not my, AYFPs visit, but rather a fellow named Brian Miller.

Some excerpts:

“ … Several of the participants had never heard the evidence for design, so they were visibly struck by its weight and the enormity of its implications. The questions were particularly thoughtful, sincere, and relevant. They were also very common in such discussions, so I thought I would address each of them.  … “

“ … The students commented that they very much enjoyed the discussion, since they never hear the design perspective. And the vast majority wished to stay connected with the sponsoring groups for future conversations. If only all academics could learn to ask the right questions and demonstrate such open mindedness and such a desire for truth. … “

This article is quite fascinating. As the two excerpts point out, some (many?) students at these prestigious universities had never heard the design perspective as applied to biology and life. This is not surprising since the Darwinian evolutionists have had a censoring choke hold on such discussions for many years (see my article at:

So it is quite refreshing that perhaps a toe-hold has been established in the land of Ivy League (I live just a short bus ride from Yale).

I have to wonder though if these events were actually sanctioned by Brown and MIT, or were they off campus and sponsored by some rebellious truth seeking students.    Dr. Miller refers to ‘sponsoring groups ‘ so perhaps it’s wishful thinking on my part to think that Ivy has actually stepped up to taking a look at Intelligent Design – but it seems that some of the students are looking.

Dr. Miller has a BA in Physics from MIT and a PhD in Physics from Duke.


Don Johnson – March 2017

The Hottest New Computer Is: DNA


Further to a previous post here at Take a look at this latest report by clicking on the image above.

By now it seems obvious that many life scientists and researchers doing actual scientific work on life’s designs have bought into the theory of Intelligent Design. This seems counter to the mere “teachers” and popularizers of the  Darwinian Theory of Evolution such as Richard Dawkins and Gerry Coyne.

“ … Intelligent design maintains that it is possible to infer from empirical evidence that some features of the natural world are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than unguided natural processes. Since ID relies on evidence rather than on scripture or religious doctrines, it is not creationism or a form of religion. ID restricts itself to a simple question: does the evidence point to design in nature? – … “ See more at:

In order to accomplish what these DNA/Computer researchers have done, it is necessary that they approach nature, in this case DNA, from the perspective that there are intelligent designs embedded in the DNA. And much like the old timers such as Johann Kepler they pursue and tease out these designs in their laboratories.  


But don’t expect much in acknowledgement of such thinking, for several reasons:

  • Darwinian thinking is so engrained in society, including the scientific community, that for many it has become an unthinking assumption and assertion.
  • There is very real danger in publicly acknowledging or advocating Intelligent Design. Read my report on Ball State University & Intelligent Design to get a good idea of what is happening in our university system.  Here we have a professor who was severely sanctioned for introducing the very idea of Intelligent Design, let alone advocating it in his course work. It’s called censorship.

Work such as described in these articles on DNA research undercuts Darwinian Evolutionary theory. But Darwinism is a “religion” and Intelligent Design is treated as heretical thinking. Do your own research and your own thinking here. When someone tells you that what you see in nature as design is only an illusion, only the appearance of design – question that thinking. Even if such thinking comes from the “smartest man in the world” such as a Richard Dawkins.   

Don Johnson – March 2017

Can information such as movies be stuffed into DNA?

(Click on the image above)

All who are reading this post are obviously quite familiar with and are in fact using a computer. By now we pretty much take for granted that when we turn on our PC, Mac or Smart Phone we see the results of an operating system appear before us ready for use as in the picture above and on your lap.  

These operating systems are very complex and are the result of many years of development by many very intelligent people – visionaries, designers, programmers, testers, managers and various types of support people. Though never perfect, and most often containing many bugs, the end result of these operating systems is quite elegant and very useful in a seemingly endless variety of applications, limited only by the creative ideas of the development teams. From smart watches to space shuttles, modern life if filled with myriads of computers and computer operating systems and applications (Apps.)

No one in their right mind and with just a bit of computer literacy believes that these modern marvels of human Intelligent Design came about other than through directed intelligence on the part of the development teams.

So now with the project shown here and at the link above,  we see the marriage of two Intelligently Designed products. We see a human designed and developed product, a computer operating system, embedded within and extracted from a naturally occurring Intelligently Designed system called DNA.

Each of the several trillion cells within our body contain DNA, each of which contain what is needed to “manufacture” our body and all of the parts within such as eyes, bones, muscle, heart ….  .  And to repair these parts as a matter of course as they are injured or fail.

Read here the original report I read a few days ago, and below a comment from a reader with a background similar to mine.   


“ Full disclosure: I’m a Software Engineer by trade.

Not only did they encode a movie in the DNA, they also encoded (amongst other things) a computer operating system. As proof of concept of the efficiency of the DNA fountain algorithm, they then read back the DNA and booted a virtual machine with it. The link below shows the OS boot up as well as demonstrating that it is a “working” OS – someone plays Minesweeper and opens a text editor.

I immediately saw this as, not only evidence for, but as close to absolute proof as one can get, that the cell/DNA is intelligently designed. I’m not ashamed to say that tears welled up in my eyes when the VM booted up.

What the scientists did here was mimic, in a very crude manner, what occurs “naturally” in the cell. If what Yaniv Erlich’s team did required intelligence, how much more so did the far more efficient workings of the cell require an intelligence to engineer? “ (Emphasis  above mine)


My own working career of 40 plus years was spent as a member of development teams creating complex computer based applications ranging from smart torpedoes to  automated warehouses (disclosure: not the ones I worked on)  to Air Combat Training Systems – including on several systems, the development of tailor made real-time operating systems.


1 Corinthians 13:

11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

Isn’t it time to put the foolishment of our childhood (Darwinism) behind us ?


Don Johnson – March 2017

Closing In On Why Bogie Quit Talking


[After 25 years or so of much talking and companionship, Bogie, the African Grey in our house, has suddenly quit talking – boo-hoo — a sad state of affairs.]


It’s time for another paradigm change. “These findings suggest that a fundamental assumption of current theories of motor coding requires revision,” as the Abstract of a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concludes. Neuroscientists from Emory University have uncovered another coded signaling system, this time in nerves and muscles. The paper’s categories include “Computational Neuroscience” and “Information Theory.”

Neurons and muscles have a strong relationship. To get a bicep to flex, or a diaphragm to bend for breathing, the muscles involved need to be triggered. The triggers come from nerves connected to the muscle fibers. Until this paper came along, most neuroscientists figured that the brain just sped up the “spike rate” of pulses to the muscle to get them to respond. The emerging view is much richer.  It’s not just the rate; it’s the timing.

A crucial problem in neuroscience is understanding how neural activity (sequences of action potentials or “spikes”) controls muscles, and hence motor behaviors. Traditional theories of brain function assume that information from the nervous system to the muscles is conveyed by the total number of spikes fired within a particular time interval. Here, we combine physiological, behavioral, and computational techniques to show that, at least in one relatively simple behavior–respiration in songbirds–the precise timing of spikes, rather than just their number, plays a crucial role in predicting and causally controlling behavior. These findings suggest that basic assumptions about neural motor control require revision and may have significant implications for designing neural prosthetics and brain-machine interfaces. [Emphasis added.]

Working with six male Bengalese finches that were anesthetized, the researchers monitored their breathing while recording neural spikes to the lungs. They were able to stimulate the motor neurons arbitrarily in vivo and watch what happens. This is delicate work; they had to work at 250 micro-amp levels. To locally block certain nerve-muscle junctions, they applied curare — the compound Brazilian hunters use on poison darts — but not enough to paralyze the poor birds! (How do you say that in scientese? “Applying too much curare and fully paralyzing EXP [expiratory muscle group] would endanger the wellbeing of the animal.”)

Next, they analyzed triplets of spikes where the middle spike was variable. They wanted to test whether a “neural code” exists in the train of spikes. To do this, they had to measure interspike intervals (ISIs) at millisecond resolution. If the brain controls these intervals, and the muscles respond accordingly (for instance, with changes in air pressure), it would signify the presence of a neural code.

With these techniques they were able to isolate properties of the neuromuscular response for a variety of experimental tests. In particular, they were looking for the effects of different signal patterns. “Therefore, we believe that our muscle stimulation experiments were only activating the axons of motor neurons and were not activating muscle fibers directly,” they say. “This finding allowed us to make insightful comparisons between the results of our spike pattern and stimulation analyses.” After gathering large data sets and crunching them with software, they came to the conclusion they had found a code — not just in songbirds, but all animals:

Overall, we have shown that respiratory motor unit activity is controlled on millisecond timescales, that precise timing of spikes in multispike patterns is correlated with behavior (air sac pressure), and that muscle force output and the behavior itself are causally affected by spike timing (all on similar temporal scales) (Figs. 2D, 3C, and 4C). These findings provide crucial evidence that precise spike timing codes casually [sic, causally] modulate vertebrate behavior. Additionally, they shift the focus from coding by individual spikes (1, 14, 19) to coding by multispike patterns and from using spike timing to represent time during a behavioral sequence (20, 21) to coding its structural features. Put another way, although it is clear that earlier activation of neurons would lead to earlier activation of muscles, this relationship only accounts for encoding when a behavior happens (10, 22). Here, we show that changing the timing of a single spike within a burst by ∼1 ms can also affect what the animal will do, not just when it will do it. Furthermore, we showed that the effect of moving a single spike is stable across animals (Fig. 2). We believe that this precise spike timing code reflects and exploits muscle nonlinearities: spikes less than ∼20 ms apart generate force supralinearly (SI Appendix, Fig. S12), with stronger nonlinearities for shorter ISIs [interspike intervals]. Thus, changing the first ISI from 12 to 10 ms significantly alters the effect of the spike pattern on air pressure (Fig. 2B). Such nonlinearities in force production as a function of spike timing have been observed in a number of species (23⇓-25), highlighting the necessity of examining the role of spike timing codes in the motor systems of other animals. Importantly, our findings show that the nervous system uses millisecond-timescale changes in spike timing to control behavior by exploiting these muscle nonlinearities, even though the muscles develop force on a significantly longer timescale (tens of milliseconds as shown in Fig. 3B).

They speak of the “surprising power of spike timing to predict behavior,” indicating that patterns of spikes coming down the nerves are the determining factor in behavior, not just how fast they come.

Is this really a code? Well, count the number of times they refer to coding directly, beside the suggestion in the title, “Motor control by precisely timed spike patterns.” Result: 29 times. “Information,” a related concept in coding, gets 51 mentions. “Precision” and related terms, important for conveying information, gets 14 mentions.

Take a moment to watch this video of a nightingale singing on YouTube and prepare to say Wow!

How much information does the forebrain have to send to the vocal muscles to achieve that kind of performance? The authors note in their concluding discussion, “Because respiration is critical to vocalization in songbirds, it will be of special interest to record respiratory timing patterns during singing….” Indeed!

Think of the possibilities this discovery opens for further research. A multitude of questions come to mind: how does the brain know what pattern to send to a distant muscle to get it to act in a certain way? Are the codes inherited or learned? How reproducible are the patterns from one animal to another? Can a spike code from one bird sent to the nerves of another bird make it sing the same song? How does a human mind interact with the brain to turn a choice into an action? What translates the thought “I must run” into a spike timing pattern that makes you run? How rich, do you think, is the spike timing code in a performance of Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu? (See the video at the top.)

Being a new discovery, this “spike timing code” will undoubtedly prompt much more research on more animals in more settings.


Article credit: Discovery Institute


Don Johnson – January 2017