Hey Wistah, Iâ€™m sorry it took so long to get back to you. I pray that both you and your family had a wonderful Holiday season and are all well. The reason is that Dembski is attempting to make a scientific analysis of information and itâ€™s origin, not a philosophical analysis of â€œwhoâ€ or â€œwhatâ€ that origin may be. I see, this is kind of like the â€œwho created Godâ€ argument right? Except you have substituted the "possibilities" for God. As far as I can ascertain, we can trace â€œcreationâ€ (for lack of a better word) back to a singularity. Now many theoretical physicists are hard at work attempting to smash that singularity (see Stephen Hawkingâ€™s â€œImaginary Numbersâ€) but thus far they have been unable to do so, at least not without resorting to â€œbending the rulesâ€œ so to speak. We really have no way to look any further back than the singularity, and while we can speculate and postulate theory after theory based on differing hypothesis, we are left with no way of knowing how that singularity came to be. All we know is that in the natural world things donâ€™t have a tendency to spontaneously create themselves, especially something as complex as the singularity in question would have to be, considering from it emerged the universe we now experience all around us. Thus there must have been what is commonly referred to as a â€œFirst Causeâ€. I donâ€™t think we need really concern ourselves with what happened prior to the â€œFirst Causeâ€ as much as we need be cognizant of what happened after it. I think you are right that it is completely beyond our â€œcapacity to understandâ€ but we would expect this of an intelligence advanced enough to accomplish what we are talking about. Dembski attempts in some way to explain how CSI works from a biological perspective by indicating that, in some cases of CSI, the â€œpatternâ€ is given after the â€œpossibilityâ€ is actualized. Many of the interesting cases of specified information, however, are those in which the pattern is given after a possibility has been actualized. This is certainly the case with the origin of life: life originates first and only afterwards do pattern-forming rational agents (like ourselves) enter the scene. It remains the case, however, that a pattern corresponding to a possibility, though formulated after the possibility has been actualized, can constitute a specification He goes on to qualify his statement. Certainly this was not the case in the third scenario above where the target was painted around the arrow only after it hit the wall. But consider the following example. Alice and Bob are celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Their six children all show up bearing gifts. Each gift is part of a matching set of china. There is no duplication of gifts, and together the gifts constitute a complete set of china. Suppose Alice and Bob were satisfied with their old set of china, and had no inkling prior to opening their gifts that they might expect a new set of china. Alice and Bob are therefore without a relevant pattern whither to refer their gifts prior to actually receiving the gifts from their children. Nevertheless, the pattern they explicitly formulate only after receiving the gifts could be formed independently of receiving the gifts-indeed, we all know about matching sets of china and how to distinguish them from unmatched sets. This pattern therefore constitutes a specification. What's more, there is an obvious inference connected with this specification: Alice and Bob's children were in collusion, and did not present their gifts as random acts of kindness. But what about the origin of life? Is life specified? If so, to what patterns does life correspond, and how are these patterns given independently of life's origin? Obviously, pattern-forming rational agents like ourselves don't enter the scene till after life originates. Nonetheless, there are functional patterns to which life corresponds, and which are given independently of the actual living systems. An organism is a functional system comprising many functional subsystems. The functionality of organisms can be cashed out in any number of ways. Arno Wouters (1995) cashes it out globally in terms of viability of whole organisms. Michael Behe (1996) cashes it out in terms of the irreducible complexity and minimal function of biochemical systems. Even the staunch Darwinist Richard Dawkins will admit that life is specified functionally, cashing out the functionality of organisms in terms of reproduction of genes. Thus Dawkins (1987, p. 9) will write: "Complicated things have some quality, specifiable in advance, that is highly unlikely to have been acquired by random chance alone. In the case of living things, the quality that is specified in advance is . . . the ability to propagate genes in reproduction." So, did the â€œoptionsâ€ or â€œpossibilitiesâ€ exist apart from the intelligent cause of the universe? Or did they exist in the â€œmindâ€ of the designer? I donâ€™t know, all I do know is that we are able to observe in varying ways what has occurred since that one optional singularity was chosen and what we see, in my opinion, is a definite pattern. A pattern that is quite distinguishable from uncaused chance. Take care.