Saturday, April 3, 2010

Science and The Origin of Life

The news is that scientists have created the first cell controlled entirely by man-made genetic instructions. First thing to understand is that these genetic instructions did not come into existence by chance but by intelligent design. Second, scientists didn't create life but what they did is implant their man-made genetic instructions into an already existing living cell. All this happened by using intelligence, not chance. All of this is, in a very small way, nothing more than copying God, the original Intelligence and Source behind life. Even if scientists ever create life from scratch it won't be by chance.

Millions of high school and college biology textbooks imply that Stanley Miller, in the 1950's, showed that life could arise by chance. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Miller, in his famous experiment in 1953, showed that individual amino acids (the building blocks of life) could come into existence by chance. But, it's not enough just to have amino acids. The various amino acids that make-up life must link together in a precise sequence, just like the letters in a sentence, to form functioning protein molecules. If they're not in the right sequence the protein molecules won't work. It has never been shown that various amino acids can bind together into a sequence by chance to form protein molecules. Even the simplest cell is made up of many millions of various protein molecules.

Also, what many don't realize is that Miller had a laboratory apparatus that shielded and protected the individual amino acids the moment they were formed, otherwise the amino acids would have quickly disintegrated and been destroyed in the mix of random energy and forces involved in Miller's experiment.

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 found in our genetic code.

In nature there are what scientists call right-handed and left-handed amino acids. However, life requires that all proteins be left-handed. So, not only do millions of amino acids have to be in the correct sequence, they also all have to be left-handed. If a right-handed amino acid gets mixed in then the protein molecules won't function. There won't be any life!

Similarly, the nucleic acids in DNA and RNA must be in a precise sequence. The sugar molecules that make-up the various nucleic acids in DNA and RNA must be right-handed. If a nucleic acid with a left-handed sugar molecule gets into the mix then nothing will work.

What about “Junk DNA”? The latest science shows that "Junk DNA” isn't junk after all! It's we who were ignorant of how useful these segments of DNA really are. Recent scientific research published in scientific journals such as Nature has revealed that the "non-coding" segments of DNA are more than just useful; they are vital in regulating gene expression (i.e. how, when, and where) genes are expressed.

As for repetitive structures in DNA, they're not junk either. They may have a “back-up” purpose, like a spare tire in car, which the organism can utilize should it lose genetic material due to damage from random mutations caused by environmental forces.

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. And even having a complete cell doesn't necessarily mean there will be life. After all, even a dead cell is complete shortly after it dies!

Of course, once there is a complete and living cell then the genetic code and other biological mechanisms exist to direct the formation of more cells. The question is how could life have arisen naturally when there was no energy-converting and directing mechanism at all in nature.

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.

The cell seems to be irreducibly complex. For example, without DNA there can be no RNA, and without RNA there can be no DNA. And without either DNA or RNA there can be no proteins, and without proteins there can be no DNA or RNA. They're all mutually dependent upon each other for existence! It could not have gradually evolved! Evolutionists generally believe that it took one billion years for the first life form or cell to have evolved. That belief, although still taught as gospel in many elementary and secondary schools, cannot be sustained by modern science.

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!

Thanks to evolution's popular high priests and evangelist writers such as Richard Dawkins, many in society have come to believe that natural selection will solve all of evolution's problems.

Natural selection cannot produce anything. It can only "select" from what is produced. It is a passive process in nature. If some life form develops a feature that helps it survive we say it was "selected". That's natural selection. It's another term for "survival of the fittest". It's not a conscious or actively producing force. Furthermore, natural selection operates only once there is life and reproduction and not before.

There are natural limits to evolution or biological change in nature which not even mutations are capable of over-coming, especially considering that mutations are accidental changes in the genetic code caused by random environmental forces like radiation. Most biological changes are not because of true mutations but because of new combinations of already existing genes.

Genetic information, like other forms of information, cannot arise by chance, so it is far more logical to believe that the DNA and biological similarities between species are due to a common Designer rather than common ancestry through evolution by way of random mutations. The Creator simply designed similar functions for similar purposes in all the various forms of life.

DNA similarities within a true species can be used to establish relationship because within a true species the various individuals can interbreed, but this not the case across true species. Therefore, similarities across true species cannot be used for establishing biological relationships.

In the midst of arguments over evolution and intelligent design, it is amazing how many in society, including the very educated, believe that scientists had already created life in the laboratory. No such thing has ever happened.

All that scientists have done is genetically engineer already existing forms of life in the laboratory, and by doing this scientists have been able to produce new forms of life, but they did not produce these new life forms from non-living matter. And, as mentioned, even if scientists ever do produce life from non-living matter it will only be through intelligent design or planning so it still wouldn't help support any theory of life originating by chance or evolution.

Again, the recent news of artificial life is not creation of any life. In artificial life, scientists, through intelligent design, build a DNA molecule from "scratch" and then implant that DNA into an already living cell. Genetic engineering and artificial life projects all happen by intelligent design - not by chance. Just ask the scientists behind the projects!

Science cannot prove that we are here by either chance or design, but 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. No one is being forced to believe in God so there's no real violation of separation of church and state.

But, when all the evidence is presented it should show beyond all reasonable doubt that life didn't originate by chance but by design.

The Institute for Creation Research ( offers excellent articles, books, and resources from Master's or Ph.D degreed scientists showing how true science supports creation.