By Babu G. Ranganathan
But, does this same reasoning apply to living things? Once there is a complete and living cell then, of course, the genetic program and highly complex biological mechanisms exist to direct the formation of more cells. The question is how did life come about when there was no mechanism in Nature to direct natural laws.
Natural laws are adequate to explain how the order in life, the universe, and even a microwave oven operates, but mere undirected natural laws cannot fully explain the origin of such order.
Here's an example to illustrate the point being made here.
Imagine finding a planet where robots are programmed so that they can make other robots just like themselves from raw materials.
Now, imagine an alien visitor coming to the planet and, after many years of studying these robots, coming to the conclusion that since science can explain how these robots work, function, and reproduce there's no reason to believe that there was any ultimate intelligent designer behind them.
The analogy above certainly is not perfect but it is sufficient to reveal the fallacious thinking of those who attack intelligent design behind life and the universe.
Chance physical processes can produce some level of order but it is not rational to believe that the highest levels of order in life and the universe are by chance. For example, amino acids have been shown to be able to come into existence by chance but not more complex molecules or structures such as proteins which require that the various amino acids be in a precise sequence, just like the letters in a sentence. If they're not in the right sequence the protein molecules will not function. A single cell alone has millions of complex protein molecules!
There is no innate chemical tendency for the various amino acids to bond with one another in a sequence. Any one amino acid can just as easily bond with any other. The only reason at all for why the various amino acids bond with one another in a precise sequence in the cells of our bodies is because they're directed to do so by an already existing sequence of molecules in our genetic code. Without being in a proper sequence protein molecules will not function.
The sequence of molecules in DNA (the genetic code) determines the sequence of molecules in proteins. Furthermore, without DNA there cannot be RNA, and without RNA there cannot be DNA. And without either DNA or RNA there cannot be proteins, and without proteins there cannot be DNA or RNA. They're all mutually dependent upon each other for existence!
If the cell had evolved it would have had to be all at once. A partially evolved cell cannot wait millions of years to become complete because it would be highly unstable and quickly disintegrate in the open environment, especially without the protection of a complete and fully functioning cell membrane.
Of course, as was previously mentioned, once there is a complete and living cell then the genetic program and highly complex biological mechanisms exist to direct the formation of more cells. The cell's membrane draws in raw materials from the environment and the cell's genetic program and complex biological mechanisms then re-arrange the material into forming more cells. But, the question again is how could life have come about naturally when there was no directing mechanism in nature.
If humans must use intelligence to perform genetic engineering, to meaningfully manipulate the genetic code, then what does that say about the origin of the genetic code itself!
Contrary to popular belief, scientists have never created life in the laboratory. What scientists have done is genetically alter or engineer already existing forms of life, and by doing this scientists have been able to produce new forms of life. However, they did not produce these new life forms from non-living matter. Even if scientists ever do produce life from non-living matter it won't be by chance so it still wouldn't help support any argument for evolution.
Even in the recent case, as reported in the news, involving the creation of what is called synthetic (or artificial) life, scientists don't actually create or produce life itself from non-living matter. What scientists do in this case is create (by intelligent design) artificial DNA (genetic instructions and code) which is then implanted into an already existing living cell and, thereby, changing that cell into a new form of life. And, again, even if scientists ever do create a whole living cell from scratch (and not just its DNA) it still would not be by chance but by intelligent design. Synthetic life is another form of genetic engineering. But God was there first genetic Engineer. Remember that always!
The great British scientist Sir Frederick Hoyle has said that the probability of the sequence of molecules in the simplest cell coming into existence by chance is equivalent to a tornado going through a junk yard of airplane parts and assembling a 747 Jumbo Jet!
Considering the enormous complexity of life, it is much more logical to believe that the genetic and biological similarities between all species are due to a common Designer rather than common evolutionary ancestry. It is only logical that the great Designer would design similar functions for similar purposes and different functions for different purposes in all of the various forms of life.
Many think that natural selection in nature is proof that we had evolved. Natural selection does occur in nature. However, natural selection itself does not produce biological variations. Natural selection can only "select" from biological variations that are possible and which have survival value. It is a passive process in nature. Natural selection is simply another way of saying that if a biological variation occurs which is helpful to an animal or plant's survival then that that variation will be preserved and be passed on. Of course, nature does not do any active or conscious selecting. The term "natural selection" is simply a figure of speech. Also, natural selection only applies once there is life and not before. In other words, natural selection is not involved in any pre-biotic, non-living interactions of chemicals.
What if we should find evidence of life on Mars? Wouldn't that prove evolution? No. It wouldn't be proof that such life had evolved from non-living matter by chance natural processes. And even if we did find evidence of life on Mars it would have most likely have come from our very own planet - Earth! In the Earth's past there was powerful volcanic activity which could have easily spewed dirt-containing microbes into outer space which eventually could have reached Mars. A Newsweek article of September 21, 1998, p.12 mentions exactly this possibility.
"We think there's about 7 million tons of earth soil sitting on Mars," says (evolutionist) Kenneth Nealson. "You have to consider the possibility that if we find life on Mars, it could have come from the Earth" [Weingarten, T., Newsweek, September 21, 1998, p.12]. Furthermore, MIT scientist Dr. Walt Brown (a creationist) in his book In The Beginning points out that during the great Genesis flood, as recorded in the Bible, the fountains of the deep that were let loose could have easily spewed out meteors and meteorites into space that very well may have contained micro-organisms such as bacteria.
We know from the law of entropy in science that the universe does not have the ability to have sustained itself from all eternity. It requires a beginning. But, we also know from science that natural laws could not have brought the universe into being from nothing. The beginning of the universe, therefore, points to a supernatural origin!
Even the scientific followers of Prigogine, the father of Chaos theory, have admitted that only a very minimal level of order will ever be possible as a result of spontaneous or chance processes.
Those advocating the teaching of intelligent design are not demanding that Darwinian theory no longer be taught. Rather, the advocates of intelligent design want the merits of both theories taught side by side when the issue of origins is covered in science classes and textbooks. This is only fair.
Science cannot prove how life originated since no human observed the origin of life by either chance or design. Observation and detection by the human senses, either directly or indirectly through scientific instruments, is the basis of science and for establishing proof.
The issue is which position has better scientific support. Both sides should have the opportunity to present their case.
What we believe about life's origins does influence our philosophy and value of life as well as our view of others and ourselves. This is no small issue!
Just because the laws of science can explain how life and the universe operate and work doesn't mean there is no Maker. Would it be rational to believe that there's no designer behind airplanes because the laws of science can explain how airplanes operate and work?
If some astronauts from Earth discovered figures of persons similar to Mt. Rushmore on an uninhabited planet there would be no way to scientifically prove the carved figures originated by design or by chance processes of erosion. Neither position is science, but scientific arguments may be made to support one or the other.
All of this simply means that real science supports faith in God. Science cannot prove that we are here by chance (evolution) or by design (creation). However, the scientific evidence can be used to support one or the other.
It is only fair that evidence supporting intelligent design be presented to students alongside of evolutionary theory, especially in public schools, which receive funding from taxpayers, who are on both sides of the issue. Also, no one is being forced to believe in God or adopt a particular religion so there is no true violation of separation of church and state.
The best little article ever written refuting the origin of life by chance is "A Few Reasons an Evolutionary Origin of Life Is Impossible" by scientist and biochemist Dr. Duane T. Gish. Dr. Gish presents "simple" but profound scientific barriers to evolution of life which aren't mentioned or covered in Johnny's high school biology textbook or in college textbooks for that matter. This article is truly great! Dr. Gish's aricle may be accessed for reading at: http://icr.org/article/3140/ where also links to other articles may be found.
Trust me, Dawkins and all the evolutionists put together can't hold a candle to the scientific genius of Dr. Gish. Just read one of Dr. Gish's books and you'll see why. Dr. Gish has successfully debated hundreds of evolution scientists in secular colleges and universities across the nation over the past two decades, and students have consistently voted him the winner in all of those debates. Don't try looking for this news in the main stream media. You won't find it there anymore than you'll find a half-evolved chipmunk running around in your backyard!
There is, of course, much more to be said on this subject. Scientist, creationist, debater, writer, and lecturer, Dr. Walt Brown covers various scientific issues ( i.e. fossils, biological variation and diversity, the origin of life, comparative anatomy and embryology, the issue of vestigial organs, the age of the earth, etc. ) at greater depth on his website at www.creationscience.com. Another excellent source of information from highly qualified scientists who are creationists is the Institute for Creation Research (www.icr.org) in San Diego, California.
Babu G. Ranganathan
*Some other Internet articles by the author are: "Why The Traditional View of Hell Is Not Biblical," "Free Will and Sovereign Grace," "Christ Was Begotten, Not Created," "Artificial Life By Intelligent Design," "Any Life On Mars Came From Earth!," "Creationists Right On Entropy, Evolution," "Are There Natural Limits To Evolution?," "Where Are All The Half-Evolved Dinosaurs?" The most up-to-date versions of these and other articles may be accessed at: Babu G. Ranganathan's Articles.
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The above opinion piece is written by Mr. Babu G. Ranganathan (Email: email@example.com), religion and science writer who was recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis Who's Who in The East. He holds a B.A. with concentrations in theology and biology. His articles can be reached at www.religionscience.com
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