Church of God, New World Ministries

The Giver Of Life

How did life begin? Did earth’s vast array of life evolve from nothing? How does inert, lifeless matter become a living tissue?

These are fundamental questions for which we need believable answers.

This area is particularly troublesome for those who accept the atheistic, evolutionary explanation for life. Even Richard Dawkins, the diehard evolutionist, admits that “the essence of life is statistical improbability on a colossal scale. Whatever is the explanation for life, therefore, it cannot be chance. The true explanation for the existence of life must embody the very antithesis of chance” (Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker; p. 317).

Science falls short in providing convincing support for the theory of evolution. In spite of years of concerted attempts, solid evidence for the spontaneous generation of life simply does not exist. The theory of evolution remains just that, an unproven theory.

The fact remains that there is no scientific evidence that life came from nonliving matter. Attempts to show that life can spontaneously generate from nonlife have instead demonstrated the opposite. In spite of much-hyped headlines to the contrary, when scientists have tried to create the most favorable conditions in controlled laboratory experiments, they haven’t come anywhere close. They have managed only to confirm the astronomical odds against life arising spontaneously. It hasn’t happened, nor will it ever happen. Life must come from preexisting life.

After the question of the origin of the universe itself, this is the next big question we must face. How did life get here? Once you establish that the universe had a beginning and did not arise on its own from nothing, it should be obvious that life also did not arise on its own from nonlife.

Evolutionists, however, insist on proceeding with the idea that life originated by a lucky accident and evolved through purely physical processes of random mutation and natural selection without the aid of an intelligent creator and designer. Their assumed progression from simple life form evolving to complex life over billions of years seems to ignore the first issue. How did life generate from nonlife?

Many have attempted to show how life began by describing a hypothetical distant past. The scene is a description of the newly formed earth gradually cooling, with an atmosphere of simple gases like hydrogen, nitrogen, ammonia and carbon dioxide, with little or no oxygen.

This kind of atmosphere, they say, was subject to form of energy such as electrical discharges from lightning and reacted to form elementary amino acids. They theorize that compounds must have accumulated until the primitive oceans reached the consistency of a hot diluted soup. A reaction took place, and elementary amino acids the building blocks of proteins- formed. In time they developed into DNA chains and finally cells. Somehow life emerged from this prebiotic soup.

Researchers have produced a variety of amino acids and other complex compounds by sending a spark through a mixture of gases. However, try as researchers may, they have not been able to create life. All they have demonstrated is that the chemical components were present on earth. They have nowhere remotely shown that life can emerge from chemicals, even the right chemicals, mixing for an indeterminate period under predetermined conditions.

Intelligent man, with advanced technology, has produced only a tiny handful of the components organisms need to live. But never have we been able to create an organism much less a living one. Even cloning, a remarkable scientific achievement that regularly makes headlines, utilizes already existing life. No form of life not even one living cell, much less something as infinitely complicated as a bacterium - has ever been created by concerted human experimentation.

The scientific approach has been backwards. Scientists know life exists, but they assume there was no Creator, Designer or outside intelligence involved. They then have tried to recreate the most likely scenario under which life, according to their thinking, might have arisen spontaneously. So far, they have managed only to rearrange inert, nonliving matter into other inert, nonliving matter.

They haven’t stopped many in the scientific community from concluding that life spontaneously arose from a prebiotic soup. But they still have not and cannot generate live matter from nonliving matter.

Not all scientists are comfortable basing the origin of life on mere assumptions. Many scientists are deeply troubled by the prebiotic soup theory for the origin of life. Some admit it is nothing more than a wishful fantasy.

Biophysicist Francis Crick, who own the Nobel Prize for helping determine the molecular structure of DNA, is one eminent scientist who rejects this scenario. He writes: “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going” (Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature, 1981, p. 88).

Admitting that the odds against life arising on earth by chance make it a sheer impossibility, he and other noted scientists have adopted a belief in panspermia that life could not have arisen spontaneously on earth, but sprouted only when microorganisms or spores drifted or were carried to earth from elsewhere in the universe.

Sir Fred Hoyle is one of Britain’s most famous astrophysicists. He and his colleague, Chandra Wickramasinghe, professor of applied mathematics and astronomy at University College, Cardiff, Wales, computed the odds for all the proteins necessary for life to form by chance in one place, as scientists assume happened on earth. The odds, they determined were one chance in 10 to the 40,000th power the number 1 followed by 40,000 zeroes (enough zeros to fill about seven pages of this publication).

To put that number in perspective, there are only about 10 to the 80 power subatomic particles in the entire visible universe. A probability of less than 1 in 10 to the 50 power is considered by mathematicians to be a complete impossibility. The possibility of life arising according to the traditional scientific scenario, they concluded, is “an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup” (Evolution from Space, 1981, p. 24).

Professor Hoyle concluded that “life could not have originated here on the earth. Nor does it look as though biological evolution can be explained from within an earth-bound theory of life. This much can be consolidated by strictly scientific means, by experiment, observation and calculation” (The Intelligent Universe, 1983, p. 242).

If science cannot explain how life originated, can it explain how new life forms originated? Charles Darwin simply side-stepped the issue of life’s origin by adopting the attitude that “it is mere rubbish thinking at present of the origin of life; one might as well think of the origin of matter” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th edition, Macropaedia Vol. 10, p. 900, “Life”).

The theory of evolution is widely spoken of as fact fact based on two earlier assumptions: that the universe came from nothing and that life spontaneously generated from lifeless chemicals. Assuming those two are true, evolution then states the case for complex and varied life forms developing from the cells that sprang to life in a presumed prebiotic soup.

This is where Charles Darwin comes in. Darwin gave life to the idea of evolution by proposing that species continually transform themselves with small changes through the mechanism of natural selection of individual organism. These small variations, he said, arose by chance and spread by chance. These small changes ultimately influenced reproductive success, and natural selection then was able to pass on the newly crafted advantages of the descendants.

There are several problems with this scenario. In keeping with the “survival of the fittest” idea that underpins evolution, there must have been pressure for these advantages to be developed. If the particular change (for example, a leg to help a creature move about better on land or a wing to keep if from breaking its neck in a fall) were necessary for survival, then it had to come about rather quickly or else the change could not benefit the creature in question. Under most circumstances a half-developed leg on an amphibian or half a wing on a dinosaur puts the animal at a distinct disadvantage in the struggle for survival.

The fossil records we find outlined in textbooks depicts the varied life forms, many of which are extinct, that have existed throughout the history of the earth.

The common interpretation of the fossil record is largely a human construct that is used to support Darwin’s theory that life developed naturally from simple to complex forms without the assistance of a supernatural cause. You can find charts and pictures in almost any biology book depicting a gradual transition of one species to another: fish to amphibians, amphibians to reptiles, reptiles to mammals, and so on.

These pictures and charts describe a consistent pattern of simple to complex fossil forms in the earth’s strata. But in real-life geology that pattern is not so consistent. The inconsistency between the charts and pictures and what is actually found in the strata is rarely acknowledged in textbooks or popular writings on evolution. So convinced are evolutionists that all life developed from its most simple forms to complex living creatures that they tend to exclude evidence that contradicts their conclusions.

If evolution were the explanation for the teeming variety of life on earth, we would surely find abundant evidence of the incalculable number of intermediary varieties that must have existed. Charles Darwin himself struggled with the fact that the fossil record failed to support his conclusions. “Why, if species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why do we not find them imbedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth” (The Origin of Species, 136-137).

“The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed, (must) be truly enormous,” he wrote. “Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain, and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory (of evolution). The explanation lies, I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record” (ibid, pp. 260-261).

Darwin was convinced that later discoveries and explorations would fill in the abundant gaps where the transitional species on which his theory was based were missing. But now, a century and a half later, with few corners of the globe unexplored, what does the fossil record show?

Niles Eldredge, former curator in the department of invertebrates at the American Museum of Natural History and adjunct professor at the City of University of New York, is a vigorous supporter of evolution. But he admits that the fossil record fails to support the traditional evolutionary view.

“No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long,” he writes. “It seems never to happen. Assiduous collecting up cliff faces yields zigzags, minor oscillations, and the very occasional slight accumulation of change over millions of years, at a rate too slow to really account for all the prodigious change that has occurred in evolutionary history.

What does all this mean? In plain language, if evolution means the gradual change of one kind of organism into another kind, the outstanding characteristic of the fossil records is the absence of evidence for evolution and abundant evidence to the contrary. Evolution is a theory, and the only logical place to find proof for that theory is in the fossil record. But, rather than proof of slow, gradual change over eons of time, the fossils show the opposite.

In this article we have only briefly discussed some of the mounds of evidence for an intelligent Designer, Lawgiver and Creator of the universe. Many excellent books have been published in recent years detailing scientific findings and conclusions that point to a Creator.

If you would like to dig more deeply into the case for a Creator and against evolution, you can read the following books, all written by authors with background in the physical sciences: “Show Me God; What the Message from Space Is Telling Us About God.” We also have an article “How Can You Know That God Exists.”

 
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