The Origin of Life Part 6

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By Jon Covey, BA, CLS(ASCP), ret.

Edited by Anita Millen, MD, MPH, MA, ret.

Frank Turek said that winning a debate with an evolutionist is not as important as the truth: which is true, creation or evolution? The Law of Non-Contradiction says both cannot be true. The evolutionists claim that evolution is true. According to the theistic evolutionist, because our ancestors were scientifically ignorant, the Genesis account of creation had to be a metaphor for the divinely- guided chemical origin of life and the process of descent from a common ancestor. Both the naturalistic and theistic evolutionist presuppositions suffer from the same erroneous reasoning.

Previously, we noted that scientists have synthesized the genes comprising the simplest possible, viable genome. Clyde Hutchinson and his colleagues designed, built, and tested a synthesized genome based on the genome of Mycoplasma mycoides. They transplanted the genome into the cytoplasm of a cell whose genome had been removed. The cytoplasm and cellular structures of the enucleated cell were needed to support growth and reproduction of the new genome. They reduced the size of the genome to 473 genes, which included genes critical for transcription and translation, plus 149 genes of unknown, but essential, function. [1] Even with the necessary genes, they had to be placed in the cytoplasm of a preexisting cell. Hutchinson et al say, “The genome is dependent on the functions of the cell cytoplasm for its expression.” (See this video by Creation Ministries International.)

Without the cytoplasmic enzymes, ribosomes, molecular machines, and other structures and to transcribe and translate the genome, the genome is helpless.

Hutchinson’s work emphasizes the need for intelligent design of a living cell. The 473 genes required an enormous input of specified information. These genes were copied from already existing genes made by our Intelligent Designer. Most evolutionists consider the 250-gene minimal genome the smallest viable cell, possibly thinking this will greatly increase the probability that such a genome can occur by chance. There are many articles concerning the minimal cell concept and minimal sets of essential genes.[2]

Probability considerations rule out chance development of this information. As we saw previously, William Dembski established a universal probability bound of 10 150. This is the total number of events that could possibly have taken place if the universe were 10 times older than scientists believe. Even the chance formation (1 in 10 195) of a single functional protein comprised of 150 amino acids from a “soup” consisting of the entire universe would greatly exceed the total number of specified events throughout cosmic history.

Any probability less than the universal probability bound of 10150 means it won’t happen because the trial and error process of brute searching probability space for the right sequence of just one protein exhausts all the possible events of the universe for over 140 billion years. Even if the search were completed before all the possible events were over, how would the protein get selected and preserved? There’s no feedback mechanism that would indicate when the protein has finally self-assembled and is functional. To what would it feedback?

Hutchinson says their “hypothetical minimum genome” consisted of 438 protein-coding genes and 35 RNA genes. The probability of generating this minimum genome is incalculable. Yet, in order for chemical evolution to be true, these genes or their proxies would have to be generated and preserved in very close proximity to one another so that cellularization could enclose them all. Because of this critical limitation, the entire universe could not be involved in developing life. We don’t have enough faith to be Darwinists.

 Anything Can Happen—George Wald

The probability for the chance formation of a protein or its gene is much smaller than the universal probability bound of 10150 possible events. Adding the probability of a second protein forming by chance makes the overall probability for even two proteins far beyond the realm of chance An intelligent cause is needed.

I’ve heard evolutionists say something like, “Well, aren’t the genes in Hutchinson’s work modern genes and modern proteins? The hypothetical primitive cell had primitive genes and proteins, all of which performed more than one function. They multitasked, although more feebly than the later evolved genes.” This is fuzzy thinking akin to the “Anything Can Happen Day” of the Mickey Mouse Club: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9BWW6Mb7oA.

In Signature in the Cell, Dr. Meyer considered the external self-organizational forces of just adding energy to assemble a living cell as Nobelist Ilya Prigogine and Grégoire Nicolis alluded to. In Self-Organization in Nonequilibrium Systems, they said that open systems driven far from equilibrium often display self-ordering tendencies. What they mean by this is when a biochemical system is subjected to an external source of energy it will arrange itself into highly ordered patterns and primitive biological structures. Prigogine’s 1977 Nobel prize was won for experimentally documenting how energy flowing into a system could cause order to arise spontaneously. He supposed this could be applied to simple biochemical molecules.

Dr. Duane Gish referred to Prigogine’s work many years ago and explained that the order required for life had to be specified and precisely controlled. Simply supplying energy to a solution of chemicals will do nothing more than rearrange the random order already present. The worst outcome would be something akin to an explosion. The order required for biological function goes far beyond anything that could be achieved by the mere input of energy into a solution of biochemicals. Even Prigogine and Nicolis admitted the improbability of simple building blocks arranging themselves into highly ordered structures under normal equilibrium conditions and said the probability of living systems arising by chance alone was “vanishingly small.”

Meyer explains that Hubert Yockey, a prominent information theorist, didn’t accept Prigogine and Nicolis’ thesis for the development of living organisms. He said that the specified digital information found in DNA, software, and written languages needs to be explained. This is not just order in biological systems, unlike the repeating, symmetrical patterns of salt or ice crystals. Only intelligent agents produce large amounts of variable, irregular order of specified functional information like this sentence. Repetitive sequences produced by the laws of chemistry cannot do this. [3]

Further compounding the extremely low probability of chemical evolution leading to life are the epigenetic factors, the highly improbable envelopment of a cell’s essential constituents (proteins, RNA, organelles, and stable chemical environment) by a cell membrane, the supposed early earth’s oxygen atmosphere (inimical to abiotic development of proteins and RNA), and the fact that water splits the bonds that make up protein and RNA chains, breaking them up into their individual building blocks (amino acids and nucleotide bases). Chemicals do not spontaneously self-organize into information-rich macromolecules such as proteins and RNA, which break apart in watery environments, including hydrothermal vents, strongly indicating that life cannot arise by purely natural means. Prior to the chemical evolution of life and a means of reproduction, natural selection cannot operate. Prebiotic chemicals cannot sense any advantage to preserving functional, complex, information rich molecules. The hypothetical clay substrate for forming and preserving such molecules posited by naturalists is unscientific.

Motives for Murder and other Crimes

The presuppositions of atheists and materialists force them to consider only naturalistic causes. If intelligent design becomes the dominant origins theory, it would destroy their hold on grant money and their audience (political power). They interpret everything in terms of evolutionary processes and they demand that everyone accept evolution as fact.

Belief in God would destroy their sexual freedom, because God holds everyone accountable for all their sins and ruins their ability to have guiltless sex with whoever is available. In criminal investigation, detectives look for three major motives: sex, money, and power. One or more of these motives are involved in most crime, including murder. When Jesus preached, the Sadducees’ and Pharisees’ positions of power were threatened. If Yeshua was the true Messiah and what He preached was God’s will, they would lose their control over people, money, and sex. Hophnea and Phineas abused their priestly power and forced women to have sex with them (See 1 Samuel 2:22). They also forced worshippers to give them raw steaks rather than the stew offered (I Samuel 2:12-16).

The Fossil Record and Genetic Similarities

Evolutionists, especially the Internet trolls who incessantly disparage creationists and ID advocates, claim the fossil record and genetic similarities are evidence for evolution from a single-celled common ancestor to us. They insist that numerous fossilized transitional organisms make their case despite the lack of innumerable, finely-graded intermediates that Darwin predicted. He wrote,

“Firstly, why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined?”[4]

It’s not just fossils that should reflect all the transitional features of evolution; living organisms should also display intermediate characteristics as new, phyletic body plans. Darwin was keenly aware of the sudden appearance of the 20 animal phyla in the Cambrian. He confidently supposed their ancestors, as well as the intermediates that evolved into modern organisms, would eventually be unearthed.

However, as Stephen Meyer pointed out in Darwin’s Doubt, paleontologists have found no trace of those ancestors in oceanic or terrestrial sediments. Paleontologists have found only scant dubious remains of such creatures as whale, amphibian, reptile, bird, and man in the fossil record, which were deemed ancestral only because of their naturalistic presupposition that all species descended from a common ancestor.

In The Design of Life, William Dembski and Jonathan Wells say evolutionists use the fossil evidence selectively.As in the case of therapsids, fossils more mammal-like can occur earlier in the fossil record than fossils that are less mammal-like. Yet to trace an evolutionary lineage on the basis of the fossil record requires that therapsids structurally more similar to mammals enter the history of life later than those that are structurally less similar. Evolution, after all, needs to follow time’s arrow and cannot have offspring giving birth to parents.”

What about the similarities of DNA? As Michael Denton pointed out, the genetic percent sequence differences of organisms in different phyla are almost mathematically the same, regardless of the combination, and that lamprey eels are equally separated molecularly from the carp, frog, chicken, kangaroo, and human, and that shouldn’t be.[5] Why should these widely disparate organisms reflect the same degree of molecular differences if evolution is true?

A new 47-minute DVD by Illustra Media, Origin: Design, Chance and the First Life on Earth, covers many of the same points we’ve been making about the chemical origin of life. The graphics and animation are excellent. Origin exposes the flaws of materialistic theories. See the trailer at www.illustramedia.com and order the DVD.

[1] Hutchison, C. A., et al, “Design and synthesis of a minimal bacterial genome.” Science, 351(6280), Mar 25, 2016. Free online.

[2] R. Gil, F. J. Silva, J. Peretó, A. Moya, “Determination of the core of a minimal bacterial gene set.” Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Rev. 68, 518–537 (2004).

 

[3] Meyer, Stephen C., Signature in the Cell, p. 66.

[4] Darwin, C., On the Origin of Species, p. 171, (1859). A digital copy of the original book is freely available online.

[5] Denton, M., Evolution: a Theory in Crisis, p. 284 (1986).

 

 

 


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About the Author
Jon Covey and is wife Anita have been long-time members of the South Bay Creation Science Association. Jon and Anita write the monthly Creation in the Crossfire newsletter and have been invaluable in adding great research and insight into the creation articles we send out.