The Origin of Life

If the remarkable coincidences that make up the parameters or context for life on our world are amazing, the actual development of life is infinitely more so.  The discussion on the parameters for life fundamentally assumes that if life is to exist (which it obviously does) there are necessary ingredients and processes that the world and the universe must have to sustain that life.

Now we take a further step and ask how life itself began, given the incredible context of “remarkable coincidences” that make sustaining life possible.  Did some unknown, transcendent being (not confined to time or space) start the universe and then leave life to come into being through natural processes?

Can Darwinian evolutionism be saved by the Anthropic Principle with only a minimal deistic acknowledgement of the transcendent?  Apparently not.

Astrophysicist Hugh Ross explains:

For the universe and the solar system we noted some characteristics that must be fine tuned to better than one part in 10(37) for life to be possible.  But, the fine tunings necessary to build an independent, functioning organism require precision crafting such as people have never before imagined, precision to one part in a number so big that it would fill thousands of books to write out.

The first problem that biologists face, when it comes to the origin of life, is the issue of the time scale.  There simply isn’t enough time available “for natural processes to perform the necessary assembly.”   Life is recent and unexpected on earth despite conditions that would sustain that life.  In fact, some of the very atmospheric conditions that are necessary to sustain life are not the right conditions necessary for life to develop naturally without any intelligent intervention.

It isn’t just the development of a basic living entity from non-living building blocks (as difficult, if not impossible, as that may be), but also the assembly of those basic living entities into a living organism.  The incredible amount of specific information contained in every living cell and the vast array of options that need to be decided for the step-by-step construction of each cell are far beyond anything that Mr. Darwin could imagine in his time, long before the advent of molecular biology.

Lee Strobel puts the issue of the origin of life into a succinct summary that is hard to refute.

Darwinism can offer no credible theory for how life could have emerged naturally from nonliving chemicals.  Earth’s early atmosphere would have blocked the development of the building blocks of life, and assembling even the most primitive living matter would be so outrageously difficult that it absolutely could not have been the product of unguided or random processes.  On the contrary, the vast amount of specific information contained inside every living cell – encoded in the four-letter chemical alphabet of DNA – strongly confirms the existence of an Intelligent Designer who was behind the miraculous creation of life.

No one doubts that there is some form of microevolution within a species but the basis for a macro-evolutionary origin to human life is at odds with the strong evidence for intelligent design in the creation of living organisms.  The necessity for a DNA/RNA source for the development and assembly of any living organism and the obvious unavailability of such a key piece of the puzzle begs for a supernatural origin from the same transcendent being who both created the universe out of nothing and did so in such a way as to support and sustain human life.  The “creation” of human DNA/RNA strands by an intelligent being is a necessary and logical condition for the existence of human life on our planet.

Of course, one could argue that, in light of the available information, it is best to remain agnostic and wait for more details to surface or for another explanation of the origins of life to come to light.

Perhaps in the context of scientific debate, that agnosticism would be the most intellectually honest approach, but in the context of life in general, many scientists and atheists are having a difficult time maintaining their former positivism and/or absolutism for a naturalistic explanation of the world.

God has made his presence known – scientifically.


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Whispers of the Desert Warrior by Bert A. Amsing
Copyright © 2012 by vanKregten Publishers.  All rights reserved.

Footnotes and references included in original manuscript.