The Incoherence of Evolutionary Origins (3)


Life not from Earth

It is a universal law which, as all scientific laws, has not witnessed an exception: life does not come from non-life.  Yet evolutionists, of the non-theistic sort) must teach that it does.  Going further back, ex nihilo nihil fit, out of nothing comes nothing.  No one has ever seen or heard of something (i.e. that which has properties and permits predication) coming into existence from nothing (that which has no properties and does not permit predication).  Yet evolutionist must adhere to the contradiction of this very basic principle.  That is, unless they want to teach the eternity of matter.

Is it a sign of rationality and a coherent system to flout two empirically static principles of science at the very outset of ones thinking? So how do they get around it?

Staying with the life question, one quite popular maneuver is to equivocate on the word “life”.  Instead of keeping with a basic definition like “a self-replicating organism” (which is a reductionistic and often imaginary concept itself), they talk about “life” within hypothetical extrapolations where amino acids are formed in an ancient “soup” under propitious chance conditions.  In this chance scenario these different amino acids came together in one place, beating off all the enormous odds of ultra-violet destruction and threat of contamination and, voila! “Life.”  A self-replicating cellular system?  No.  Any DNA?  No.  What was it then?  “Well suppose…..”  So the story (or a version of it) runs.  In evolutionism, organic life must come from non-living compounds.  So much the worse for the laws of science. 

The problems with getting life started, even granted the excessive gratuity of the 20 correct left-handed amino acids which make up basic proteins, would still remain a fantasy.  In fact, as geneticist John Sanford, the inventor of the ‘gene gun’ has said, “fill the whole world with proteins, and you would still be no closer to getting life.  Because proteins do not equal life.”  This is because of the amazing micro-machinery within even the simplest cell; machinery which is told what to do by a ‘code’ far more advanced than any computer software we possess.

Knowing the extremely unlikely chances that life could come about on this planet  the way many evolutionists had hoped, eminent scientists like Fred Hoyle, Francis Crick and Carl Sagan believed that it had to start elsewhere and come from outer space (And the complexity of the cell is known to be yet more wondrous than these men knew).  Of course, claiming life came from outer space isn’t an answer at all (although it might keep the issue of biogenesis off the table for a while longer).  We still have to ask, ‘How did life start some other place in the universe?’  Out of sight, out of mind is really all that is being done here;  just a rhetorical trick.

This rhetorical trick is performed all the time by evolutionists. They simply put their imaginations forward as some kind of scientific proof.  Therefore, they try to put the burden of proof on someone who says ‘Well, how did this happen?’ They say,”I’m not sure, but I can imagine it happened this way.”  If they can imagine it happened that way, then it could have happened that way, couldn’t it?  This is what Miller-Urey, or Avida or any other like program is.  As Stephen Meyer has said about these information fed extrapolations,

Since the lawlike processes of necessity do not generate new information, these combinatorial models invariably rely upon chance events to do most, if not all the work of producing new information.  This problem arises repeatedly for models invoking prebiotic natural selection in conjunction with random events, whether Oparin’s theories or various RNA-world scenarios.  Since natural selection “selects” for functional advantage, and since functional advantage ensues only after the result of a successful random search for functional information, combination models invariably rely upon chance rather than selection to produce new information.  Yet these theories face formidable probabilistic hurdles, just as pre-chance models do. – Stephen C. Meyer, Signature in the Cell, 331 

Here are some fundamental questions to start with:

a. If the chances of  a living cell coming from non-living elements (which themselves came from hydrogen and helium!) are staggeringly small, why believe it?

b. All living cells contain DNA, but how did the informational instructions (incredibly complex specific code) for each of the cell’s operations come about?

c. As every instance of this kind of instructional information ever known comes from minds, why look for it’s cause in mindlessness?

d. Why because all amino acids are left-handed must that mean all life is related to a common ancestor? (a variety of the compositional fallacy).

e. In the same vein (and the same fallacy), why because different creatures have features which look similar are they necessarily derived from a common source?  N.B. These fallacies are built upon the premise that evolution is true – hence begging the question.  Do forks and spoons and scissors and whisks have a common ancestor?

f. Since evolutionists wrongly predicted there would be much “junk DNA” (see Meyer, Signature, 406-407) and creationists rightly predicted there wouldn’t, why label evolution science and creationism religion?

g. How long is it going to be until evolutionists admit that the fossil record, which is the sole source for determining the truth or falsity of evolutionary history, undermines the whole theory?

The Math

The mathematics on this is just staggering!  Michael Denton is not Christian, doesn’t believe in God, and he doesn’t believe in creationism, but he doesn’t believe in the present neo-Darwinistic view of evolution either.  He says that it’s ‘nonsensical’. Writing about the possibility of life starting by chance he says:

As it can easily be shown that no more than 10 to the power of 40 possible proteins could have ever existed on earth since its formation [and Denton believes Earth is billions of years old], this means that if protein functions reside in sequences any less probable than 10 to the power of -40 it becomes increasingly unlikely that any functional proteins could ever have been discovered by chance on earth. To get a cell by chance would require at least 100 functional proteins to appear simultaneously in one place; that is 100 simultaneous events, each of an independent probability, which could hardly be more than 10 to the power of -20, giving a maximum combined probability of 10 to the power of -2,000.

Evolutionists have got to take the odds (although they often subtract important data to reduce the number).  Denton continues:

Recently Hoyle and Wickramasinghe in Evolution from Space provided a similar estimate of the chance of life originating, assuming functional proteins have a probability of 10 to the power of -20: ‘By itself this small probability could be faced because one must contemplate not just a single shot at obtaining the enzyme, but a very large number of trials such as are supposed to have occurred in an organic soup early in the history of the earth.’  The trouble is that there are about 2000 enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in 10 to the power of 20 to the power of 2000; that is 10 to the power of 40,000, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of an organic soup. – Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, 323

These numbers are closer to nil than quarks and mesons are to nothing.  When you are getting this kind of figure; when you think that 10 to the power of 40 possible proteins ever existed, and yet the chances of life originating by chance is 10 to the power of 40,000, you need to give it up.  We are way past Disneyland imagination here.  We’re in Cuckoo Land.


the probability that even one of these information-rich molecules arose by chance, let alone the suite of such molecules necessary to maintain or build a minimally complex cell, is so small as to dwarf the probabilistic resources of the entire universe. – Stephen C. Meyer, Signature in the Cell, 222

Evolution couldn’t get going.  The mechanism of evolution is natural selection, but that cannot be part of the equation at this critical juncture.  This is nonsense.

Yet according to Hazen and Trefil in the book Science Matters, the first stage chemical evolution, “encompasses the origin of life from non-life.”  We have every right to say, “No it doesn’t!”

And when we have the National Association of Biology Teachers in the USA writing such things as:

The diversity of life on earth is the outcome of evolution; an unpredictable and natural process of temporal dissent with genetic modification that is affected by natural selection, chance, historical contingencies, and changing environments.

We have a right to ask if that is what the fossil evidence demonstrates.  It demonstrates the exact opposite.  We have a right to proof that genetic entropy does not far outpace beneficial genetic modification.  We have a right to inquire about the circularity of the whole idea of natural selection and its power to effect the macroevolutionary change implied in the statement above.

Even if we allow them every pass, they have not come anywhere near proving macroevolution.  We could even go so far as the progressive creationists and allow some form of evolution.  Thus, Collins observes:

Let us grant that it is possible that some parts of neo-Darwinism are right. Say that animals today are descended from animals that lived long ago and that there has been some process of evolutionary change, the question is however is the grand theory as a whole worth believing? Well, if it depends on claims that haven’t been proven, we can say that it hasn’t been proven true and if it depends on things that are likely to be false then we can say that the theory is likely to be false. – C. John Collins, Science and Faith, 270- 271

That is putting it mildly.  

Part Four   

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