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Origin of Life Reveals a Transcendent Creator

There’s so much evidence for fine-tuning in the origin of the universe, pointing to a transcendent Creator, that scientists had to come up with the far-fetched multiverse theory to try to get around a Creator (even though a multiverse would need a Creator, too).

Now, they’re doing a similar thing vis-a-vis the origin of life. There’s so much evidence that life could not have originated through random chance, implying that it had to have been designed by a transcendent Creator, that (some) scientists are resorting to quantum physics as a possible explanation.

In their book Life on the Edge, Johnjoe McFadden and Jim Al-Khalili (the latter a science popularizer frequently seen on science television shows) discuss the impossibility of life ever originating on its own in the “primordial soup”. When in 1952 Stanley Miller and Harold Urey tried to replicate that primordial soup in the famous Miller-Urey experiment, all they came up with were some amino acids. Such acids are what proteins are made of.

Proteins are the components of cells. (They’re not just nutrients found in meat. They’re so much more than that.) They are molecular structures that take multitudes of shapes, which carry out multitudes of functions within the cell. They are akin to the components of your car engine – i.e. mostly made of metal, but in a variety of shapes and forms (e.g. piston, fan, spark plug, etc.)

Proteins are needed for life to form. Also needed are nucleotides – which form DNA and RNA, the blueprints which instruct amino acids to form the millions of varieties of proteins. The authors cite the Scottish chemist Graham Cairns-Smith, who estimated that just to form an RNA from simple organic compounds in the primordial soup, there are some 140 steps involved. For each step there are about six reactions that have to be avoided. “So the odds of any starting molecule eventually being converted into RNA is equivalent to throwing a six 140 times in a row.” The chances of this happening are roughly one in six to the power of 140.

But six to the power of 140 is far more than there are particles in the universe! McFadden and Al-Khalili write that the earth simply did not have enough molecules or enough time to enable anything like that to happen. And that’s just the first step – random chance also needs to make ribozymes (a certain type of RNA) capable of self-replication. Random chance additionally needs to make proteins. “Clearly, we cannot rely on pure chance alone,” declare the authors.

That points to obvious evidence of a transcendent Creator.

But McFadden and Al-Khalili are scientists, and the job of scientists is to find natural explanations to things, not supernatural explanations to things – even when the evidence screams supernatural.

So McFadden and Al-Khalili resort to quantum physics to try to come up with an explanation – and quantum physics is very supernatural-like. They suggest that quantum tunnelling (akin to going through solid walls) and quantum superposition (where a proto-enzyme can exist in all of its possible configurations simultaneously) played a role.

Scientists often use the terms “weird” and “strange” to describe quantum physics, because things happen therein that from a classical physics perspective are like little miracles. In quantum physics, subatomic particles can be move through solid walls. They can be invisible. They can communicate instantaneously with a twin particle a billion light years away. And a single particle can be in many different, distinct places and configurations simultaneously.

Scientists have no idea how these phenomena happen. They just know that they happen.

They are stumped enough trying to explain how the natural physical world arose on its own. They certainly have no idea whatsoever how the quantum physical world arose, or how it works.

It’s yet more evidence of a transcendent Creator.

Seeing Divinity in Biology

Studying biology is a religious experience. That’s especially the case today, with the advent of 3D animated videos (available on YouTube) depicting what goes on inside and outside our cells. Such videos display the wonderous engineering within our bodies – engineering vastly more sophisticated than any human-engineered phenomena (such as a car engine). The fingerprints of God are everywhere.

Too bad those videos weren’t available when this observer was in high school; I bet I would have taken biology a lot more seriously. I only was able to try to visualize what was going on by reading the printed word and looking at some pictures. My visualization efforts fell woefully short.

To say everything arose by chance is insulting to one’s intelligence. If it did arise by chance, where are all the 3D animated videos depicting how that chance process played out?

Alexander Tsiaras (screen grab via YouTube)

As associate professor of medicine and chief of scientific visualization at Yale University, Alexander Tsiaras and colleagues used new scanning technologies to see things about the human body “that just made one marvel,” he said in a TED talk. They were looking at collagen, which comprises much of the human body, a kind of rope-like structure that twirls and swirls. Collagen changes its structure in the cornea of the eye, becoming a grid formation in order to be transparent, as opposed to opaque. “So perfectly organized a structure, it was hard not to attribute divinity to it,” said he.

He also scanned the development of the fetus from conception to birth. The human heart at 25 days, he said, is like a magnificent origami. “I look at this with marvel of how do these instruction sets not make these mistakes as they build what is us? It’s a mystery, it’s magic, it’s divinity.”

Regarding capillaries, “The complexity of building that within a single system is, again, beyond any comprehension or any existing mathematics today.”

He adds, “How does the woman’s body understand to have genetic structure that not only builds her own, but then has the understanding that allows her to become a walking immunological, cardiovascular system that basically is a mobile system that can actually nurture, treat this child with a kind of marvel that is beyond, again, our comprehension – the magic that is existence, that is us?”

That’s a strong case for the existence of God.

It’s also a strong case against abortion. How could anyone so unceremoniously snuff out such a marvel of Divine engineering?

Believing in the Non-God of Nothingness

Self-assembled?

Atheists are people of great faith.

Yes, you read that right.

Atheists have amazing faith – in the power of spontaneous self-assembly.

It takes more faith to believe that the raw materials of the universe and that the laws of physics arose from nothing, and that those raw materials somehow self-assembled into stars, objects and and living organisms, than to believe that they were designed by an intelligent agent. That’s particularly remarkable because such assembly happened in defiance of the second law of thermodynamics – that things naturally go from order to disorder.

Cup with your hands some empty space in front of you. Then imagine nothing is there – not even any molecules. If you lack faith in God, then you believe in the unbelievable notion that (1) the laws of physics somehow appeared on their own, (2) subatomic particles such as electrons and quarks somehow appeared, (3) those particles somehow self-assembled into atoms, (4) those atoms somehow bonded to form molecules, (5) those molecules self-assembled into inorganic matter, (6) they also somehow self-assembled into in organic matter, namely amino acids as well as DNA, (5) those amino acids somehow self-assembled into proteins, all on their own, (6) those proteins somehow self-assembled into cells, and (7) those cells somehow self-assembled into bacteria, insects, plants, animals, and humans.

If you believe all that happened without the input of an intelligent agent, then you have a lot of faith in the impossible. You have faith in things for which there’s no evidence – not even circumstantial evidence. On the other hand, there’s a lot of circumstantial evidence for God. Just as a house is circumstantial evidence that it was created by a human or humans (not direct evidence because we didn’t directly see anyone building it decades ago), a tree or an animal is circumstantial evidence that it was created by an intelligent agent, i.e. God.

Walk into a factory. Tell someone that all the components and functions of that factory randomly and coincidentally fell into place over time. Absurd, right? It’s the same idea with the cell – a factory vastly more complex than any factory man could ever build. (For a flavor for that, watch the trailer at www.unlockingthemysteryoflife.com)

Take a pile of of Lincoln Logs. Watch them during the course of your lifetime and see if they ever self-assemble into a log cabin. Or add a stimulous – keep throwing them up in the air over the course of your lifetime and see if they ever land on the floor in the form of a perfectly assembled log cabin.

It’s much harder for the above-mentioned particles to self-assemble into the above-mentioned complex objects than it is for Lincoln Logs to self-assemble into a log cabin.

(It also takes a lot of faith not to believe in the divinity of Christ and authenticity of the Gospels. As former atheist Lee Strobel said, “In the face of this overwhelming avalanche of evidence in the case for Christ, the great irony was this: it would require much more faith for me to maintain my atheism than to trust in Jesus of Nazareth!” For more info read his book The Case for Christ or see his videos obtainable here.)

So to reiterate, given the abundant evidence of an intelligent creator, it takes more faith (in the non-god of nothingness?) not to believe in Him than to believe in Him.

Scientists Are Almost Sounding Religious

There’s an anti-religion website called Disbeliefnet, evidently created by comedian Bill Maher, which trumpets the motto, “You won’t believe what people believe.”

He’s right. People buy into a lot of outlandish and fantastical stuff that defy common sense and the laws of nature – in a word, miracles. Such propositions are so foreign to our five senses that it’s no wonder that so many academics and other highly educated people have no tolerance for them.

Here’s a sampling of bizarre, other-worldly, and downright fanciful notions that some people believe:

* There are other dimensions beyond our own.
* Certain entities can move through solid walls.
* Some things can be invisible.
* Certain things can travel back and forth through time.
* The same entity can be in multiple distinct locations at the same time.
* Certain entities can communicate instantaneously with other entities – that are billions of light years away.

Bill Maher could have a field day with this stuff.

In centuries past, people believed in the supernatural because they didn’t have science to explain things. Now, we’re nicely ensconced in the age of science and reason; if it’s not explainable by science, goes the thinking, then it can’t be true.

Or maybe not.

It turns out that the strange notions described above are championed by top physicists.

That’s right. The weirdness falls into the realm of quantum physics – the branch of physics that seeks to explain how subatomic particles behave.

Physicists often use the adjectives “bizarre” or “weird” when describing quantum physics – because things happen that defy classical physics or common sense. And they admit they can’t explain how such things happen.

So let’s get this straight. The secular elite disparages religion because they find silly the notion that there are spiritual beings that can exist in different dimensions, be invisible, go through solid walls, time travel, and carry out other seemingly miraculous activities.

Yet, renown scientists are telling us that subatomic particles can do all of these things.

If one accepts that, then it’s by no means a stretch to infer that there is a spiritual world in which similar things occur.

Far from being in conflict with each other, science and religion are complementary. Twentieth-century physicist and Nobel Prize-winner Eugene Wigner pointed out that materialism – the atheistic worldview that reality only consists of physical matter – is not “logically consistent with present quantum mechanics.”

Another Nobel Prize winner, neuroscientist John C. Eccles, posited that the spiritual mind and physical brain are independent entities, and that the two interact through quantum physics.

In quantum physics there are systems, laws, and observers. “There is something about observers like us that’s not reducible to (classical) physics,” said University of Delaware physicist Stephen Barr. He explained in a 2012 Research on Religion podcast interview that once you accept the nonphysical reality of our own minds, then it’s easier to accept the reality of greater minds, such as that of God. And given how incredibly orderly the universe is from a mathematical standpoint, which suggests a supreme designer, “Modern physics ought to make every particle physicist in the world get down on their knees,” he remarked.

The dictionary defines the term supernatural as “not existing in nature or not subject to explanation according to natural laws.” It’s also defined as “of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe.”

If that’s the case, then to this reporter, modern science indicates that the supernatural must exist. “An order of existence beyond the visible observable universe” immediately evokes dark matter and dark energy. Astrophysicists widely agree that the visible observable universe only makes up about 4 percent of all matter. The rest is matter that is invisible to us, known as dark matter, as well as dark energy. Scientists know it’s there because without the gravitational effects of dark matter, galaxies would fly apart.

Some physicists, notably Lisa Randall at Harvard, theorize that dark matter comes from higher dimensions, and that gravity is “leaking” from these dimensions. Apart from that, string theory has long predicted hidden dimensions. And at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, they’re working hard on finding evidence of other dimensions.

Oxford physicist David Deutsch considers there to be vast numbers of parallel worlds, and that perhaps someday we’ll be able to contact them using quantum computers.

To be sure, scientists very rarely use the term supernatural when describing quantum physics. And when discussing other dimensions, most physicists don’t touch the word “spiritual”. Whatever the case, all this talk of other dimensions blurs the lines between the definition of physical and spiritual.

And one thing is certain: for evidence of the supernatural, the theologians have a much stronger case than the secular elite. Science confirms it.

 

(Originally published in Newsmax.)

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