Where did life come from? Is Evolution the best scientific answer?

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Human fetus. Copyrighted, Films for Christ.
The Earth is filled with life forms of enormous complexity. Where did the first life come from? How did it form?

Is evolutionism correct? Could time, chance and natural chemical processes have created life in the beginning?

Many modern scientists are materialists. That is, they believe physical matter is the only ultimate reality. They suppose that everything in the cosmos, including life, can be explained in terms of interacting matter. Materialists do not accept the existence of spiritual or supernatural forces.

Biologists who believe in materialism are particularly concerned with: (a) proving a purely materialistic origin of life, and (b) proving that life can be created in the laboratory.

Most scientists are not strict materialists. Biochemist Dr. Arthur Wilder-Smith:

“Life rides upon matter, and matter has to be highly organized to carry life. The materialists say that life, since it's made up of atoms, molecules, and chemical reactions, is just simply chemistry and nothing else and that life originated by chance chemical reactions.

Now, if life consists merely of chemistry, and nothing but chemistry, the best way to understand its real potentialities is to look at some of the chemical substances of life. And we shall see that it is NOT merely a matter of chemistry.” [115]

It was the famous French scientist and Creationist, Pasteur, who provided the first scientific evidence that living things are not produced from non-living matter. [116] During the Middle Ages, some people thought non-living matter often gave birth to living things (spontaneous generation). Worms, insects, mice, and other creatures were thought to be created by materials in their environment.

spontaneous generation: the idea that living creatures can be produced naturally from non-living substances. [117] It is important to note that science has never observed such an occurrence. [118]

All living things come into existence from parents.
Parent and child. Photo copyrighted, Films for Christ.
All creatures have a parent of some kind. All the instructions are in the parent(s)'s DNA code. At the moment of conception, the DNA code goes to work, using nutrients to build an entire human body, brain, and personality from a single fertilized egg cell.

No one has ever found an organism that never had a parent of some sort. Today, this is one of the most accepted facts in biology. All living things are produced from one or more parents. Surprisingly, however, many modern people still faithfully believe in a form of “spontaneous generation.”

Materialists assume life arose spontaneously somewhere in ancient Earth's water supply water which contained absolutely no life, just minerals and chemical substances used by living things. [119]

Because oxygen in the atmosphere would destroy all possibility of life arising by natural processes, materialists wrongly assumed the atmosphere had no oxygen. [120] They also assumed it contained certain necessary ingredients, including ammonia, nitrogen, hydrogen, water vapor and methane. [121] However, it is well known that mixing these ingredients does not create life. Therefore, materialists theorized something else must be needed perhaps a bolt of energy. [122]

Scientists Try to Create Life

Stanley Miller with his famous apparatus. Copyright, Films for Christ.
Dr. Miller with his famous apparatus. Scientists have utterly failed at producing life in a test tube. To date, all attempts to prove that life could have evolved on Earth by any natural means have also failed. (Photo from ORIGINS video series.)

Dr. Stanley Miller and Dr. Sidney Fox were two of the first scientists to attempt laboratory experiments aimed at trying to prove that life could arise spontaneously. They designed a Pyrex apparatus containing methane, ammonia, and water vapor, but no oxygen. Through this mixture they passed electric sparks to simulate lightning strikes. [123]

What was the result? No life was produced, of course, but the electricity did combine some atoms to form amino acids.

amino acids: compounds that are the simplest units out of which proteins can be assembled. [124]

Did the Miller/Fox experiment prove that life could eventually have arisen in some ancient sea struck by lightning? No, their results actually weakened the case. The mixture of amino acids and other simple chemicals produced is not correct for producing life. All known life uses amino acids which are exclusively of the “left-handed” form. [125]

Left and right handed amino acids. Illustration copyrighted, Films for Christ.

left-handed molecules: a term used to refer to the “stereochemistry” of a molecule's construction; An amino acid can be chemically “left-handed” or “right-handed” in its orientation. These two forms are identical in their atoms, but opposite in their 3-dimensional arrangement. They are mirror images of each other. [126]

Right-handed amino acids. Copyright, Films for Christ.

No known life can use any combination of both “right-handed” and “left-handed” amino acids. Adding even one “right-handed” amino acid to a chain of “left-handed” amino acids can destroy the entire chain! [127] When amino acids are synthesized in the laboratory, there is always a 50% mixture of the two forms. Only through highly advanced, intelligently controlled processes can these two forms be separated.

Even if this overwhelming obstacle did not exist, far greater problems remain for the production of life. There are numerous reasons why the amino acids would disintegrate or never form in the first place. [128] Furthermore, life requires much more than amino acids. One necessity is proteins; another is a DNA code.

proteins: extremely complex chemicals (molecules) constructed of amino acids; found in all animals and plants.

Chemicals + Energy: Could They Have Given Birth to the First Life?

One chemist has calculated the immense odds against amino acids ever combining to form the necessary proteins by undirected means. He estimated the probability to be more than 10 to the 67th to 1 (1067:1) against even a small protein forming by time and chance, in an ideal mixture of chemicals, in an ideal atmosphere, and given up to 100 billion years (an age 10 to 20 times greater than the supposed age of the Earth). [129] Mathematicians generally agree that, statistically, any odds beyond 1 in 10 to the 50th (1:1050) have a zero probability of ever happening (“and even that gives it the benefit of the doubt!”). [130]

Various highly qualified researchers feel they have scientifically proved, beyond question, that the proteins needed for life could never have come into existence by chance or any natural processes. [131]

molecule: a chemical combination of atoms.

What did chemist Dr. Wilder-Smith conclude is the bottom line on this issue?

“It is emphatically the case that life could NOT arise spontaneously in a primeval soup of this kind.” [132]

At that moment, when the RNA/DNA system became understood, the debate between Evolutionists and Creationists should have come to a screeching halt.
—I.L. Cohen

DNA Molecules and the Overwhelming Odds Against Spontaneous Generation

Within each cell there is an area called the nucleus which contains the all-important chromosomes. [133] Chromosomes are microscopically small, rod-shaped structures which carry the genes. Within the chromosomes is an even smaller structure called DNA. [134] This is one of the most important chemical substances in the human body or in any other living thing. Increasing scientific understanding of DNA molecules has revealed enormous problems for materialism.

DNA. Illustration copyrighted, Films for Christ.
What are the chances of evolving the DNA molecule crucial to all life by natural processes? Without an outside controlling designer of some kind, it is virtually impossible.

DNA is a super-molecule which stores coded hereditary information. It consists of two long “chains” of chemical “building blocks” paired together. In humans, the strands of DNA are almost 2 yards long [approx. 1.82 meters], yet less than a trillionth of an inch thick [approx. 0.0000254 microns]. [135]

In function, DNA is somewhat like a computer program on a floppy disk. It stores and transfers encoded information and instructions. It is said that the DNA of a human stores enough information code to fill 1,000 books each with 500 pages of very small, closely-printed type. [136] The DNA code produces a product far more sophisticated than that of any computer.

Amazingly, this enormous set of instructions fits with ease within a single cell and routinely directs the formation of entire adult humans, starting with just a single fertilized egg. Even the DNA of a bacterium is highly complex, containing at least 3 million units [137], all aligned in a very precise, meaningful sequence.

Aspirin. Photo copyrighted. Courtesy Eden Comm.

DNA and the molecules that surround it form a truly superb mechanism a miniaturized marvel. The information is so compactly stored that the amount of DNA necessary to code all the people living on our planet might fit into a space no larger than an aspirin tablet! [138]

Many scientists are convinced that cells containing such a complex code and such intricate chemistry could never have come into being by pure, undirected chemistry. [139] No matter how chemicals are mixed, they do not create DNA spirals or any intelligent code whatsoever. Only DNA reproduces DNA.

Two well known scientists calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes. They estimated that there is less than 1 chance in 1040,000 that life could have originated by random trials. 10 to the 40,000th is a 1 with 40,000 zeros after it! [140]

How can one gain some conception of the size of such a huge number? According to most Evolutionists, the universe is less than 30 billion years old [141], and there are fewer than 10 to the 18th (1018) seconds in 30 billion years. So, even if nature could somehow have produced trillions of genetic code combinations every second for 30 billion years, the probabilities against producing the simplest one-celled animal by trial and error would still be inconceivably immense! [142]

In other words, probabilities enormously favor the idea that an intelligent designer was responsible for even the simplest DNA molecules.

Chemist Dr. Grebe:

“That organic evolution could account for the complex forms of life in the past and the present has long since been abandoned by men who grasp the importance of the DNA genetic code.” [143]

Researcher and mathematician I.L. Cohen:

At that moment, when the DNA/RNA system became understood, the debate between Evolutionists and Creationists should have come to a screeching halt. …the implications of the DNA/RNA were obvious and clear. Mathematically speaking, based on probability concepts, there is no possibility that Evolution was the mechanism that created the approximately 6,000,000 species of plants and animals we recognize today.” [144]

Evolutionist Michael Denton:

“The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle.” [145]

Jet airplane. Photo copyrighted.

Famed researcher Sir Fred Hoyle is in agreement with Creationists on this point. [146] He has reportedly said that supposing the first cell originated by chance is like believing “a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.” [147]

The notion that… the operating programme of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial soup here on the Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order. [140]
—Evolutionist Sir Fred Hoyle

Many, if not most, origin-of-life researchers now agree with Hoyle: Life could not have originated by chance or by any known natural processes. [148] Many Evolutionists are now searching for some theoretical force within matter which might push matter toward the assembly of greater complexity. Most Creationists believe this is doomed to failure, since it contradicts the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

It is important to note that the information written on DNA molecules is not produced by any known natural interaction of matter. Matter and molecules have no innate intelligence, allowing self organization into codes. There are no known physical laws which give molecules a natural tendency to arrange themselves into such coded structures. [149]

Like a computer disk, DNA has no intelligence. The complex, purposeful codes of this “master program” could only have originated outside itself. In the case of a computer program, the original codes were put there by an intelligent being, a programmer. Likewise, for DNA, it seems clear that intelligence must have come first, before the existence of DNA. Statistically, the odds are enormously in favor of that theory. DNA bears the marks of intelligent manufacture.

Dr. Wilder-Smith was an honored scientist with three earned doctorate degrees. He was well-informed on modern biology and biochemistry. What, in his considered opinion, was the source of the DNA codes found in each wondrous plant and animal?

“… an attempt to explain the formation of the genetic code from the chemical components of DNA… is comparable to the assumption that the text of a book originates from the paper molecules on which the sentences appear, and not from any external source of information.” [150]

"As a scientist, I am convinced that the pure chemistry of a cell is not enough to explain the workings of a cell, although the workings are chemical. The chemical workings of the cell are controlled by information which does not reside in the atoms and molecules of that cell.

There is an author which transcends the material and the matter of which these strands are made. The author first of all conceived the information necessary to make a cell, then wrote it down, and then fixed in it a mechanism of reading it and realizing it in practice so that the cell builds itself from the information…" [151]

THE BOTTOM LINE on the origin of life

Author: Paul S. Taylor, Christian Answers. Adapted from The Illustrated ORIGINS Answer Book.










SCIENTISTS TRY TO CREATE LIFE — Miller/Urey/Fox and other abiogenesis experiments










Evolution from Minerals and Water?

DNA MOLECULE: The Odds Against Evolution
















Evolutionists Document the Mathematical
Impossibility of Evolution of Life

Layman-Level Explanations of Origin of Life Probabilities — including more evidence of the extreme odds against the Evolution of proteins, DNA molecules, cells, etc.


More Documenation on Problems for the Evolution of DNA and Life



More information

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