Saturday, May 18, 2013

Evolution's Five Fundamental Assumptions--Are They Scientific or Philosophical? Part Three

Assumption Three:  Life Emerged from Non-Life *

Evolution’s third foundational assumption is the conjecture that the origin and subsequent evolution of all life on earth began with chemical evolution. Here’s how it supposedly played out. Somehow, around 3 ½ billion years ago—at least once and by pure chance—inorganic (non-living) chemicals in some kind of alleged “prebiotic soup” reacted with sunlight, or some other energy source, in such a way that a living, self-replicating, single-celled organism emerge (called abiogenesis). This inexplicable event initiated biological evolution, and from that point on the random, accidental, trial-and error process of natural selection created all the rest of the earth’s incredibly complex and diverse plant and animal life.

Is there demonstrable scientific evidence to support this naturalistic assumption? No there isn’t. It has never been observed in nature, done in a laboratory, and there is no known evolutionary pathway by which it could be accomplished. So, once again, we can conclude that this evolutionary assumption is not a scientific fact but a philosophical statement about science.  On the other hand, there are scientific evidences that disprove it.

No Evidence of a Prebiotic Soup

First, there is no known mechanism by which living organisms could have mysteriously emerged from some kind of primordial, non-living chemical soup. As said, it has never been observed in nature and—despite numerous attempts—produced in a laboratory. In fact according to biochemist Fazale Rana (and other researchers) there is no evidence that any kind of prebiotic soup ever existed; geological evidence is completely lacking. “Origin-of-life researchers,” explains Rana, “have failed to recover any geochemical remnants of prebiotic molecules—organic molecules produced by nonbiological processes.” Most origin-of-life researchers further agree that the presence of oxygen and other chemicals in the earth’s early atmosphere would have destroyed organic molecules before they could ever have evolved into living organism.

No Evolutionary Pathway

The lack of evidence for a prebiotic soup is not the most serious issue confronting the evolutionary model of the origins. Chemical “evolution” couldn’t have happened anyway. Why? Because evolution requires random mutations in DNA, and there would be no DNA to mutate in an inorganic (non-living) chemical soup!  Natural selection cannot operate unless there already exists living, self-replicating organisms. In other words, to use the term “evolution,” as in “chemical evolution,” is an oxymoron. Non-living chemicals, according to the principles of evolution, can’t evolve!  I like the way former Baylor University professor Walter Bradley put it: ”Until molecules are formed and arranged in a cell-like structure, there is no reproduction on which natural selection might work. . . .Claims by atheistic scientist that evolution/natural selection is ‘blind and undirected with no purpose’ are nothing more than philosophy masquerading as scientific fact.”

Not enough Time

A third crucial factor that would have prevented life from emerging from non-life is that the earth is not old enough for even the simplest organism to emerge out of some kind of alleged prebiotic soup—even if it did exist. Statistically, it’s impossible—even within conventional geological perimeters for the age of the earth. The late renowned British mathematician and astronomer, Sir Fred Hoyle, estimates the possibility of life emerging from non-life by random processes as 1040,000. He provides an illustration to help make senses of such overwhelming odds. He likened it to the same possibility as a tornado “sweeping through a junkyard” and, when the debris settled, there sat an intact Boeing 747! Elsewhere he calculated the probability of life emerging from non-life by pure chance as equivalent 1050  blind people all solving a Rubik’s Cube puzzle at the same time!

One more thought. Let’s suppose that by some ingenious method science one day does create life in a laboratory. What would it really prove? Intelligent Design! Such an accomplishment would not be the result of accidental, random processes—but of specifically designed, carefully manipulated, judiciously controlled experimentation. The bottom line is that there is no scientific evidence that inorganic, non-living chemicals have ever evolved into organic life—or ever could.  This is additional powerful evidence of creation by a Designer—God.

Dan Story

 *  This and the other blogs in this series are copyrighted material and may not be reproduced electronically or in print. But feel free to link this blog to your own website, blog, or Facebook. I have also developed these arguments more fully in my book The Christian Combat Manual  (AMG Publishers), and my sources are documented there.

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