Abiogenesis

"There is certainly some difference between the ideas of Newton and the dung of a mule" - Voltaire

A theory as Stephen Hawking points out in his book, A Brief History Of Time, exists in the mind and it does not have any other reality. Of course as a particular theory is explored and tested certain parts of it may turn out to be matters of fact. The best theories may prove themselves to be entirely factual. In the case of his theoretical model of the evolution of the universe and its progression into life as we know it I really found only one obvious flaw, which can be found in the following statement:

"It is thought that they [primitive forms of life] developed in the oceans, possibly as a result of chance combinations of atoms into large structures, called macromolecules, which were capable of assembling other atoms in the ocean into similar structures. They would have reproduced themselves and multiplied. In some cases there would have been errors in the reproduction. Mostly these errors would have been such that the new macromolecule could not reproduce itself and eventually would have been destroyed. However, a few of the errors would have produced new macromolecules that would have been even better at reproducing themselves. They would have therefore had an advantage and would have tended to replace the original macromolecules. In this way a process of evolution was started that led to more and more complicated, self-reproducing organisms."

Hawking then goes on to explain how he thinks the early earth atmosphere was formed by these primitive life forms producing oxygen etc. as a normal biological process.

This imagined ocean or swamp or underwater place near a volcano exists in the minds of almost all evolutionists as the place where life began. Some imagine in their mind a watery place of some sort on another planet that came to earth on a meteor perhaps. What will be discussed here, however, is not the early imagined conditions of the earth but rather the early imagined condition of "primitive life." The flaw, by the way, that I found in the above account was Hawkingís assumption that "macromolecules" have the capability of turning themselves into life in any form whatsoever. Letís show this error in another paper that more specifically deals with this imagined transition from mindless chemicals to biological life that eventually is imagined to evolve into a human being that has the ability to imagine these things.

The following quotes are from the scientifically distinguished gentleman by the name of Christian de Duve. The title of this paper written in 1995 is The Beginnings Of Life On Earth. He first develops in his mind an early condition of earth similar to that which Stephen Hawking imagined. He then goes on to explain the various scenarios that "it is believed... could have" happened assuming his imagination of events is correct. Weíll go straight to the root of the problem because there is no use discussing the various imaginative abilities of human beings here when we are trying to find fact among the fiction of imaginative possibilities that exist only in the mind.

Of course the first quote which is directly relevant to the scope of this book is the typical statement made by virtually all evolutionists:

"An important rule in this exercise is to reconstruct the earliest events in lifeís history without assuming they preceded with the ability of foresight. Every step must be accounted for in terms of antecedent and concomitant events. Each must stand on his own and cannot be viewed as a preparation for things to come. Any hint of teleology must be avoided."

In other words, lets not even hint that God may have been involved in any way, shape or form. This is just more evidence to add to the pile that shows that modern science cannot be trusted to form any conclusions about God whatsoever because he is excluded from consideration before even one theory is devised or one experiment is undertaken. Basing oneís belief or unbelief in God on modern science represents a total lack of ability to discern truth and reality from fiction. This entire field of science is based on the foregone conclusion that there is no God. Only the most absurd form of circular reasoning can lead one to conclude that science has proved that God is not necessary for our existence. Because this issue is not readily understood by many I will elaborate some.

It is not a fair trial of evidence if only the prosecuting attorney is allowed to present his case. Whole governments have been overturned because of such an insult to the common dignity of mankind. Science cannot ever be used as a tool in determining whether God does or does not exist because it never considers the evidence that even "hints" at the possibility of his existence. Truth is manifest when it is tried in the fire of opposition. Excluding opposing views that point to intelligent design in order to perpetuate a materialistic belief system is intellectually dishonest. Anyway, back to Mr. de Duveís story.

"In all likelihood the first building blocks of life arose as do all chemical compounds - spontaneously, according to the rules of thermodynamics."

This is a very logical possibility if we exclude the possibility of divine intervention. Because we are, along with modern science, excluding that possibility for the sake of argument I see nothing wrong with this assumption because it is based on the known laws of thermodynamics. We will ignore here the fantastic odds of the imaginative scenario presented in his paper falling into place because that will divert us from the main points that are absolutely disputed by known laws. There is no use in engaging in bets and counter bets about whether a certain chance event ever took place because the atheist can always say like the theist; "Well, it could have happened." So we will limit our discussion here on what could not have happened. The appeal to the laws of thermodynamics is entirely appropriate here.

"Whatever the earliest events on the road to the first living cell, it is clear that at some point some of the large biological molecules found in cells must have emerged."

Now how did we get to "biological molecules" and how do they "emerge"? Do they emerge according to known scientific laws as the supposed "building blocks" do? Mr. de Duve asserts that there is evidence that they can assemble themselves spontaneously but "under more contrived conditions." That means that intelligent human beings are forcing chemicals to form themselves into substances that are contained in a living cell. They are, in the laboratory, trying to create life or as much of it as they can. Now, lets assume that they are someday successful. What has that proved? It would prove on its face without any need to appeal to any theory or story or idea that an intelligent source had created life. Wouldnít that be the case? Well, letís look at this closely.

The conditions in the lab are admittedly "contrived." By who? We cannot ask here, by what? - because we know full well that intelligent human intervention is the source of this manipulation of mindless chemicals. Now isnít that true? What we have then in the lab even as we speak is intelligent atheists inadvertently trying to prove that there is a God! Maybe I was too hasty in saying that modern science cannot prove anything in regard to divine intervention. Unfortunately for my side of the argument the contrivers have only succeeded in partially proving that there is a God. Oh well, I can wait for the final proof which will be that much more convincing because it comes from my opponents. But letís get back to the imaginative story that scientists call a hypothesis or theory. The golden rule however that applies to all such scientific stories is that if they are proved to be impossible then they are dropped from consideration. That is unless they are stories about the natural evolution of matter to man. In those instances there seems to be an exception that allows the continuation of the fiction regardless of facts or proof.

"The debate over the earliest biological molecules, however, has centered mainly on the nucleic acids, DNA and RNA, and the proteins."

The reason that the debate has centered on DNA, RNA and proteins is because they are essential parts of the finished product and these parts seem to be capable of various partly overlapping functions. The main feature of all of these mentioned biological molecules is that they contain information that is necessary for the operation of life (however primitive that life is assumed to be). All of life including bacterial life is based upon information. If we remove the information then life stops. Mr. de Duve is led to believe, as are many others in this field, that the biological molecule RNA must have been one of the first, or the first, molecule formed from the dust of the earth (if I may wax poetic for a moment). So letís begin exploring this subject of information by using some more quotes from the paper by Christian de Duve.

"They [proteins] cannot do this [replicate themselves] without the information contained in... DNA and RNA".

For our purposes here we will call RNA simply a copy of DNA. Because we are discussing information we should have no problem in assuming that generality for now. So the absolutely essential proteins are dependant on the information contained in RNA. Proteins cannot make themselves into other proteins without a support mechanism that is based upon information.

"The DNA contains in encrypted form the instructions for making proteins."

Again we will assume that RNA does the same thing so that we do not lose track of the problem. He eventually leads us to the conclusion that RNA can serve as a theoretical intermediary by making proteins and DNA so lets assume that he is correct and go on.

"More specifically, encoded within the DNA is the exact order of amino acids, selected at each step from 20 different varieties, should be strung together to form all of the organismís proteins."

This is simple biology. Letís put it in other words: DNA and its copy RNA has a code which is translated into another code within the cell (by tRNA and biological machines called ribosomes, etc.) into useful proteins which because of the specific order of their construction contain a record of this information. The key word is information.

"In order for DNA to fulfill its primary role of directing the construction of proteins..."

The "direction" of course is done by way of the instructions and information contained in DNA and RNA - and by extremely relevant other means that will be discussed in later chapters.

"Once the chemical machinery for protein synthesis was installed, information could enter the system, via interactions among certain RNA components of the machinery."

What all of this means is that de Duve (along with many similar theorists) is proposing the following:

The specific detailed instructions that are necessary for the operation of the machinery of the cell in all of its complexity (which we have not touched here) arose by natural means without the intervention or aid of an intelligent source. He is seriously suggesting that established laws of science are not to be considered at all. Nowhere in his paper does he hint at any problem with regard to this information arising by natural means. He is entirely consumed with a series of chemical reactions that completely ignore the very foundation of life. This error can be found in virtually all such papers written by supposedly learned scientists. This is like designing a car and forgetting about the engine, transmission and the wheels. What possible use is there for a theoretical string of remote possibilities when there is absolutely no consideration given to the essential parts?

Some here think that I am crazy because they will say that he did consider the essential parts by focusing the paper on the "evolution" of RNA, DNA, and proteins. So I suppose we have no choice but to turn to the next chapter.


© 2003 by Raymond F. Hendrix. All rights reserved.