A question that scientists, philosophers, and theologians have attempted to answer is how did life begin?
Essentially, there are only 2 possible explanations to this question:
- Life was created by chance; or
- Life was created by an intelligent designer.
COULD LIFE HAVE BEEN CREATED BY CHANCE?
Proponents of the theory that the Big Bang and all life thereafter was created by mere chance include:
-Charles Darwin, Naturalist (Geologist, Biologist)
-Richard Dawkins, Atheist (Evolutionary Biologist)
-Sam Harris, Atheist (Neuroscientist, Philosopher)
-Steven Hawking, Atheist (Theoretical Physicist)
-Lawrence Knauss, Atheist (Physicist)
-Michael Shermer, Atheist (Scientific Advisor)
The men listed above claim that Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859) gives us the best explanation regarding the origins of life. However, even Darwin admits that his book is just an argument to his theory on natural selection. He never intended to be able to explain the origins of life.
Not only does chance not prove to be a reasonable conclusion it would have to disregard the fine tuning of the universe. Chance alone doesn’t factor in a spaceless and timeless, nothingness and then all of a sudden a great amount of life appeared. We know and can measure the first event of the universe, the Big Bang because of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. This law describes the expansion rate of the universe. As the universe expands it is also cooling.
Next, we have the presence of DNA which holds the assembly directions for life, this is not reflective of a life created by chance, even if we had billions of years before chance got it right.
Theoretical Physicist, Alexander Vilenkin has purposed that the universe was created by a quantum vacuum which doesn’t align with current cosmological models. Also, his quantum vacuum theory is not popular even among most of his colleagues except for Stephen Hawking. Hawking alluded to the same theory, “We are a product of quantum fluctuation in the very early universe.” However, if there was nothing it doesn’t follow logically that during this nothingness, the conditions were just right in which a quantum fluctuation took place and therefore, life was created. Thanks to science we know that life cannot be created from nothing.
At one point scientists thought that life could have been created from non-living matter but matter is still something. It’s impossible for a cause to bring about an effect without being in existence first.
LIFE WAS CREATED WITH PURPOSE BY AN INTELLIGENT DESIGNER
The second theory for the origins of life is that there was an intelligent designer who directed the first cause to take place, the Big Bang. As I mentioned earlier the 2nd law of thermodynamics prove this first cause to be true. Further, we know that the universe is not eternal as it will one day come to an end when it uses up all of its energy. Our universe has displayed that it is fine tuned and earth is even more fine tuned for life to exist, something another planet can’t claim. The sun and the moon aide in our survival and if they were to be even a small fraction closer or farther away than what they are now, life wouldn’t be able to survive.
“The standard cosmological model accepted by physicists today is grounded on the foundational premise that our universe came into being from something beyond the space, time, matter, and energy of our universe.”
-J. Warner Wallace, God’s Crime Scene
What does this mean? It means that based on the evidence we have we can know that this intelligent designer has to be an external agent (meaning they exist outside of our universe) who is uncaused, non-material, and atemporal. This agent also has to be powerful enough to create everything we see in the universe.
“We must now admit to ourselves that the probability of life arising out of chance by evolution is the same probability of throwing six in dice five million consecutive times.”
-Sir Fred Hoyle
Further, the presence of DNA in every living thing is enough evidence for many scientists to affirm the Intelligent Design Theory. Information in DNA was discovered in 1953 by scientists, James Watson and Francis Crick. So, up until that point in time we did not know just how precise life was and how exactly it functions.
5 Evidences for Intelligent Design:
- COSMOLOGICAL: Our universe has a finite beginning and based on life it appears that life was purposely created by an intelligent being (outside of space, time, and matter).
- BIOLOGY: There is DNA in every living thing and it holds a specific set of instructions that we don’t see anywhere else. They are the driving force of life and is not something that could have conveniently “popped into existence”. It’s also not a product of evolution because like the bacterial flagellum, it is irreducibly complex. Meaning if you take away one part of it, it fails to do its job.
- GOOD AND EVIL: There is objective good and evil in the world. If chance created us we wouldn’t even be considering this dilemma. However, because there are clear standards of good and evil we can infer that we were created with specific, directed, and intentional purposes.
- CONSCIOUSNESS: Just like biological information, the presence of consciousness cannot be created by chance. It is additional evidence of a superior intelligent being creating a complex life with physical and non-physical features.
- FOSSIL EVIDENCE: Unlike what is taught in classrooms the fossil evidence we have proves that all life did not all come from a common ancestor.
“What I think the DNA material has done is that it has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements to work together.”
There are many pieces of evidence that support intelligent design and creationism and one I must mention is The Cambrian Explosion. It took place during the Cambrian period, approximately 541 million years ago. There was an explosion of animal phyla. The fossil record shows us a sudden appearance of life here, which corresponds to the creation account in the book of Genesis. Darwin also was aware of this discovery and guessed that it would be a considerable blow to his own work.
In all, the evidence in support of intelligent design far out weights the unsupported, weak arguments brought forth by scientists still holding onto a thread that Darwin’s theory of evolution is true. The discovery of DNA was a game changer on the origins of life debate and while we may not have every question answered, we are closer to having the best idea of how life was created.