Ph.D. PROPOSAL
“Science & Creationism: Semio-logical Connections”

by Miroljub Petrovic

Content:
1. Definition
2. Semiotics of Rocks
2.1. Canyons
2.2. Sodom and Gomorrah
3. Semiotics of Living Organisms
4. Semiotics of Light
5. Conclusion


1. DEFINITION

The shortest definition of semiotics is that it is the study of signs (from the Greek semeîon, “sign”). Many people probably assume that semiotics is about “visual signs”, such as road signs, store signs, star signs, drawings, paintings and photographs. But, semiotics also includes words, sounds and “body language”.

One of the broadest definitions is that of Umberto Eco, who states that “semiotics is concerned with everything that can be taken as a sign”. Semiotics involves the study not only of what we refer to as 'signs' in everyday speech, but of anything which 'stands for' something else. In a semiotic sense, signs take the form of words, images, sounds, gestures and objects.

In our study, semiotics will be employed in the analysis of rocks, living organisms and lights.


2. SEMIOTICS OF ROCKS

2.1. CANYONS

The greatest miracle of nature is a canyon, the biggest canyon in the world - The Grand Canyon in the USA (see figure). The Colorado River runs through the Grand Canyon. More than 4 million people come to visit this canyon every year.

Why is the Grand Canyon the greatest miracle of nature?

If we look at the geological map of the Grand Canyon, we can see that a little river, the Colorado River, comes from the north and runs across a big mountain (see figure). The mountain is more than 400 km long, 80 km wide and 1500 m deep. The Colorado River goes to the south and flows into the ocean. It would make sense that the river goes around the mountain and flow to the ocean. But, something unusual happens there. The little river Colorado cuts its way through the mountain (see figure) and flows to the ocean in the shortest way.

How did the Grand Canyon become? How was this unusual structure formed? Have we ever seen any canyon become?

There is the Palouse Canyon in the USA (see figure). We know that this canyon was formed when Missoula Lake flooded the region under catastrophic conditions. In a very short period of time, big amounts of sediments were accumulated and the lake water cut through these sediments and had formed this canyon, 150 meters deep.

If we look carefully to this canyon and then look the Grand Canyon, we can see that the shape of both canyons is the same (see figure). Does it mean that the Grand Canyon was formed during a big water flood, too? But, the Grand Canyon is 10 times deeper. How big was this water flood?

Let's continue our search for the answer on the origin of the Grand Canyon.

In this figure we can see the Mount St. Hellens, on May 18th, at 8.20 in the morning. Five minutes later (at 8.25 a.m.) this mountain exploded (see figure). During the eruption, the northern side of the mountain went down (see figure). About half a cubic mile went down into the Spirit Lake which was on the northern side of the mountain. In that moment, a big amount of muddy water was transported and big region was flooded (see figure).

In a series of volcanic eruptions the muddy water carried away many of those trees and accumulated a big amount of sediments, about 60 m thick, in several hours. Also, the water cut those sediments and formed the canyon (see figure). When we compare the shape of this canyon and the shape of the Grand Canyon, we can see a big similarity.

In this figure we can see the canyon wall at the Mount St. Hellens. Sediments of this wall were accumulated as if pancakes. When we look at the Grand Canyon wall, we can see the same structure (see figure). This suggests that sediments of both canyons were accumulated in the same way.

There is a geological process which can reveal how the Grand Canyon was formed. There is a process on the bottom of every ocean which we call "bioturbation" (see figure). Many plants, clams, worms and other organisms, create holes in the ocean bottom. We call this process "bioturbation". If the Grand Canyon sediments were accumulated over a long period of time, there must be many traces of bioturbation. But, when we look at the sediments of the Grand Canyon, we can't find traces of bioturbation, as we can't find them at the Mount St. Hellens. Why? When sediments accumulated under catastrophic conditions, the organisms didn't have time to leave their traces.

We are amazed when we see the Grand Canyon and other huge canyons all around the world. But, in the Bible we have a historical record about the great catastrophe. Is this record valid?

2.2. SODOM AND GOMORRAH

There is a famous fortress on a hill close to the south side of the Dead Sea, named Masada. In 70 AD, it was a place of the last defense line in Jewish rebellion against Romans. In this (figure) we can see the area from the Masada plateau. Part of this area, of approximately 3 x 2 kilometres, is marked with red. It is very different from its surroundings in its appearance and types of rocks.

The surrounding area is made up of large, flat surfaces with stones and gravel that are solid (see figure). But, the colored area is hilly, with vertical rock walls (see figure). It is covered with a thick layer of a heavy, fine-grained substance. One could speculate that there has been something like a town, with streets and houses.

The relics, which can be seen in various places in the area, are very interesting. We can see rows of stone blocks. Do they represent street pavements, house foundations or anything similar? In other places the relics are more like walls at the right angle (see figure). It is not so common in the natural rock formation.

The thing that is odd about the area is that there are large quantities of sulphur balls, which range from one inch in diameter to the size of a tennis ball (see figure). These sulphur balls are only spread within the area that looks different. They have melted into the rock and we can see how the sulphur has penetrated the rock at high temperature (see figure). When the sulphur passed through, the channel was sealed and, with the lack of oxygen, the fire of sulphur went out. The points of impact of the sulphur are marked like a “mashine-gun fire” over the whole area.

A further indication that there used to be high temperatures in the area is the shape of rock, which seems to have been folded by great heat (see figure).

A writer of history, Josephus, makes an interesting, 1900 years old note. He says how beautiful it was before everything was burned up, and how rich the towns were in the area. Rich towns imply the existence of large buildings, temple, walls etc. Josephus described what had happened:

“Now this country is then so sadly burnt up, that nobody cares to come to it... It was of old a most happy land, both for the fruits it bore and the riches of its cities, although it be now all burnt up. It is related how for the impiety of its inhabitants, it was burnt by lightning; in consequence of which there are still the remainders of that divine fire; and the shadows of the five cities are still to be seen, as well as the ashes growing in their fruits, which fruits have a colour as if they were fit to be eaten: but if you pluck them with your hands, they will disolve into smoke and ashes.” (Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, book 4, chapter 8).

This description fits in very well with the appearance of the area. It is very easy to associate the sulphur balls with a yellow citrous fruit (see figure). Also, the relics of these towns can be seen as a shadow. In order to make shadow an object must be higher than its surroundings, and this is precisely how it looks on the place where these sulphur balls are located (see figure).

Samples have been collected from different places in this area in order to analyze the rock type and minerals. What do the analyses show? Samples from the outer area, which were not exposed to the intense heat, are mainly limestone or calcium carbonate. The mineralogist who was to analyze sulphur ball samples did not believe that it was sulphur, since this form of sulphur is not like the one normally found in nature. However, the analyses showed that it was a pure sulphur.

The mineral samples that came from the hot area, where the sulphur balls were, have been found to be gypsum or calcium sulphate. What is most likely to have happened in this place? We can see (in this diagram) that carbon dioxide is released from the limestone under intensive heat. At the same time the sulphur is oxidised to sulphur dioxide, which react with water to form sulphate. Calcium ion can then react with the sulphur ion and form calcium sulphate or gypsum - the dominant mineral in this area. This way, chemical analyses indicate that burning sulphur rained down on this limited area.

In the area, something which is probably pieces of a partly cremated skeleton, has been found (see figure). These parts probably represent pieces of the backbone (see figure), parts of the pelvis bone and parts of the femur bones (see figure). When a skeleton is heated to high temperatures the vertebrae and pelvis bones are those best preserved, while remaining parts of the skeleton break down into a dust or powder.

Analysis of the composition of minerals in these finds could give indication of whether they are skeletal parts. Analysis has been done of both these finds and of surrounding minerals, to discover if there was any difference in composition or simply a formation due to the substances around. These finds show the following:

There is a large amount of quartz (7.7 times more) and aluminum oxide (6.8 times more) in the surrounding minerals, in comparison with the presumed skeletal parts. Skeletons should have lower levels of those minerals. This result shows that the skeletal parts and the surroundings are most likely to be of different origins.

Surrounding substances have a much higher sulphur content (11 times more) than the presumed skeletal parts. This further confirms that these finds, which are probably skeletons, do not originate from surrounding substances.

Fluorine is an element found in nature, but above all in bones and teeth. The presumed skeletal parts have a high content of fluorine (2.16 times more) in comparison with the surrounding substances, which supports the hypothesis that they are skeletal parts.

Calcium is an important constituent of the skeleton, but also a main component of the limestone mineral found on this place. Analyses show that the presumed skeletal parts are closer to the expected value for skeleton than to the value in the surrounding minerals (see figure).

Also, analyses show that the magnesium content in the presumed skeletal parts is much lower than in the surrounding minerals, but very close to what is expected in the skeleton (see figure). This is a further indication that the presumed skeletal parts are skeletal indeed.

When we analyze all these facts, we can read the biblical record about Sodom and Gomorah and think about its validity: “Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah - from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities - and also the vegetation in the land.” (Genesis 19:24-25)

 

3. SEMIOTICS OF LIVING ORGANISMS

We are surrounded with modern technology and scientific inventions, such us cell phones, computers, space shuttles, invisible airplanes. On many carfairs people are fascinated with new car models of Toyota, Chevrolet or Mercedes.

But, if we go into the nature, we will see much advanced examples of technology. For instance, an ant is million of million times more complex system than any model of Mercedes’ car. A simple fly is a miracle of technology compared to the most sophisticated model of airplane. The modern space shuttle is a simple and trivial system compared with a fly.

The fly has two eyes. Its eyes are billion of billion times more complex and sophisticated system than any video. Every eye of the fly consists of thousands of lenses. Every lens of its eyes is connected by special links to its brain. In this way, the fly has a perfect vision.

In an experiment scientists compared the flying of a few modern airplanes and a bee. They analyzed the manner in which the airplanes and the bee changed their flying direction. After many observations they drew this (diagram). The conclusion is that airplanes must reduce their speed when they change their flying direction. Also, airplanes need a big field in the atmosphere to change their direction 90 degrees. For example, the airplane F-16 needs a field of 2000 times 3600 meters to make a right angle turn.

After that, scientists got a bee and closed it in a glass cube and analyzed its flying. They concluded that the bee changed its flying direction without decreasing speed. Also, the bee instantaneously changed it’s flying direction and didn’t require any field for this move. Actually, the bee has much advanced way of flying than any airplane.

Many times scientists use example from nature, analyze them and make projects for construction many systems and products. For example, scientists from the company “Sicorsky Helicopter” analyzed structure and flying of the dragonfly. After many months of analyzing they constructed a modern helicopter. But, this helicopter is only a bad copy of the dragonfly.
When we are speaking about dragonfly, it is very interesting to say that dragonfly has most complex eyes in the nature. Every it’s eye is consisted of 30 thousand lenses. It is the miracle of technology and design.

In this (picture) you can see small intestine. In one square millimeter of the wall of small intestine we have 200 millions of pumps which transport nutrient from the stomach to the blood. Projects of all those pumps are recorded in our genes. Every human being has 12 thousand of billion of cell. In every cell is stored such big amount of information which can fulfill 900 volumes of encyclopedia. Those encyclopedias will be long like one football field.

We can see that one simple cell is billion of billion of times complex system than everything what people constructed. A renowned molecular biologist, Michael Denton, makes the following analogy to describe what kind of a structure the cell has:

“To grasp the reality of life as it has been revealed by molecular biology, we must magnify a cell a thousand million times until it is twenty kilometers in diameter and resembles a giant airship large enough to cover a great city like London or New York. What we would then see would be an object of unparalleled complexity and adaptive design. On the surface of the cell we would see millions of openings, like the port holes of a vast space ship, opening and closing to allow a continual stream of materials to flow in and out. If we were to enter one of these openings we would find ourselves in a world of supreme technology and bewildering complexity.” (1)

We can speak about nature’s complex systems many days and years, but our attention don’t be about question: “How those systems function?” Our attention will be on the question: “How they come into existence?” This is the most important question and we will some implication of those questions.

How one complex system came into existence? We will start from something which we know and go to something which we don’t know.

For example, we have one modern computer, miracle of human technology. How did it come into existence? It will be illogical to say that one computer come into existence by itself. Can you imagine that iron to go from the earth to the surface of the earth in liquid form. Then it cooled and act of wind, water and other agencies erode this iron, and for several million of years, be chance, computer is formed. It will be illogical explanation. Every person in our planet knows that computer is created.

Now we can analyze some much complex system, like fly, or rabbit, or human being. How did it come into existence? We can’t say that some complex system, like bacteria, come into existence by itself. It will be more logical to say that one computer come into existence by itself than bacteria, because bacteria is more complex system that any computer.

We can scientifically prove, in absolute sense, that one complex system, like bacteria, or rabbit or human being is created. There is not alternative answer in scientific sense. If we use the logic, there is the only one possible answer to this question.

So, we can draw conclusion that must exist some superior intelligence who created such complex systems like living systems. It is absolutely scientific conclusion.

Also, we can see that in the nature exist one law which we call “law of biogenesis”. This law tells us that “life comes just from life”. And we can see fulfillment of this law everywhere about us. Cats come from cat, dogs come from dogs, humans come from humans. According law of biogenesis we can conclude that this superior intelligence who created such complex living systems, is live.

In this moment, we know that must exist superior intelligence who created very complex living systems and that it is live.

In third step we can reveal next characteristic of this superior intelligence. Someone can ask: “Who created this superior intelligence?” We can see that my biological cause are my parents. We can say: “They created me.” Their biological cause are their parents, and we can continue in this way. But, how did first human being come into existence? Who created first rabbit?

If we use the logic, we must conclude that there is must exist one super intelligent being who has characteristic to be eternal, who not created. Something must be eternal – or matter is eternal, as claim materialistic scientists, or live is eternal. If matter is eternal, we have not life, because life can come just from life. And materialistic scientists admit that “if life come just from life, life must be eternal in the universe”.

We can use an example to explain this situation. Let’s imagine, father and his some come into library, and son ask father: “Who printed this book?” Father says: “A human printed the book?” And son asks him again: “But, who printed a human?”

We can’t ask: “Who printed a human?” He wasn’t print, he was born. Human being is something different than book. In same way, we can’t ask “Who created First living being?” because he is different than we. He is eternal.

In this way, we can conclude three things. There must exist superior intelligence who created very complex living systems; this superior intelligence has two very important characteristics: it is live and eternal. This superior intelligence who is live and eternal, we call Creator in the science.

So, we can conclude that First Cause of all causes, without cause, must exist.


4. SEMIOTICS OF LIGHT

A recent set of complex experiments at the San Diego campus of the University of California has produced plants that glow in the dark. Never before has the phenomenon of light production by biological activity (bioluminescence) been observed in advanced plants. A variety of organisms, including the common firefly, and especially a number of marine animals, are known to produce "cold light" (because little heat is generated) by biochemical means, but the phenomenon has been unknown in more complex plants and animals. Yet now we have a tobacco plant that glows in the dark. The tobacco plant was selected because its genetic system is fairly well known, and it has a good carrier to transfer new information into that genetic system.(2) This new variety of plant was developed by using the intriguing techniques of genetic engineering.

Genetic engineering is one of the many scientific advances that ought to impress us with its success. Basically, the methodology employs the powerful technique of inserting a gene from one organism into the hereditary mechanism of another. In the case of the glowing tobacco plants, the gene for the enzyme luciferase, which is necessary for light production in the firefly, was incorporated into the genetic system (DNA) of the tobacco plant. When the plants were watered with the proper chemicals (adenosine triphosphate and luciferin), the plants glowed faintly, confirming the incorporation of the gene for luciferase. Other plants treated in the same way but without this gene did not glow. In the glowing plants, light was emitted from most plant parts, but it was brighter in the roots, young leaves and vascular tissues of the plants.

Is it possible that human beings glow?

One of the oldest historical record about humans, written in the Bible, says that human beings were created naked, but they felt no shame. When they rebelled against Creator, they saw that they naked.

This record was originally written on Hebrew language. It is very interesting that when we say “skin” on Hebrew, in the same time we say “light” (“o’r” in Hebrew). Is it accident? Or, maybe this record informs us about some human hidden possibility?

We know that humans use only 20% of their genetic potential. Maybe we have the gene for enzyme luciferase, but now it is inactive. The Bible says that humans have potential to be like angels (lighten beings, according to the Bible). Did humans glow in the beginning, and after rebellion against Creator lose this affinity? Will Creator start our genes for enzyme luciferase (or other similar enzymes) in the future, since He promised that His people be like angels, again?

Also, in Hebrew language “rebellion” and “dress” is the same word (Hebr. “beged”). It is very interesting that humans got first dress after the rebellion against Creator. The Bible says that Creator made garment of skin for first humans and clothed them.


6. CONCLUSION

If we employ semiotics in the analysis of rocks, living organisms and lights, we can reach a few very interesting conclusions.

We can scientifically conclude that when we see nature and living systems in it, we must conclude that Creator exists. This conclusion were adopted from scientists who established basics of modern science, like Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, father of microbiology, Gregor Mendel, father of genetics, Michael Faraday, Johan Kepler, and other.

Because we can see that science say that Creator existed, in next step we are interesting to identify Him. It is logical to conclude that if Creator is created human beings who can speak, this means that Creator also can speak. But, where He speaks?

Scientists like Newton, Pasteur, Mendel and others, claim that Creator speaks in one book, which we call Bible. Semiotics of rocks, lights and other phenomena in the nature can reveal us are they were right.

What are implications of conclusions based on semiotics in this case? If Creator exist, all human beings are brothers, because all we have same Father. Maybe someone think that our parents created us. Many times we can hear that father tell to his child: “You must listen to me, because I give you life.” It is biologically wrong to say: “I give you life.” Parents can’t give life to their children; they just transmit the life to their children. Giver of life is Creator. He can create us without our parents, as first humans – this is creation. Also, He can create us with our parents – this is birth. Again creation of human being is called resurrection.

Another implication is, if Creator exist, who create us one time, it is logically to conclude that He can create us again. This means, if we scientifically prove that Creator exists, we can scientifically solve problem of death.


LITERATURE:

1. Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. London: Burnett Books, 1986, p. 328.

2. Ow DW, Wood KV, DeLuca M, de Wet JR, Helinski DR, Howell SH. 1986. Transient and stable expression of the firefly luciferase gene in plant cells and transgenic plants. Science 234:856-859.