|printer friendly version
return to Discipleship Training Materials
Creation Or Evolution? - Part
The Chemical Record
a century and a half ago, an academic controversy swept the
world, as a liberal, materialistic philosophy collected data
to give Man a new view of his origins. Strong religious reaction
began; foolish and unfounded statements were made by uninformed
church people. Science and faith quarreled, and for the first
time in a great many years, received a virtual divorce. Early
viewpoints became clouded, ignored, or discarded; our century
has thus inherited almost wholly humanistic thought. For over
a hundred years we have accepted this philosophy and tried
to live with it; till again, on the brink of nuclear disaster,
we seem to have tried everything from drugs, sex, mysticism,
and UFO-hunting to find a new future. Now the chips are down,
the facts are coming in, and it's time we had a long, hard
look at what an idea can do to a world.
Origin Of Life - The Final Frontier
certainly come a long way since the day a researcher stood
up to declare there was nothing significant left to discover.
(Shortly before the invention of the atomic bomb, the transistor,
and the laser). Yet for all our advances, Life itself is the
"final frontier" for a bewildering complex of sciences.
only two major questions remain shrouded in a cloak of not-quite
fathomable mystery: (1) the ORIGIN OF LIFE (i.e. the events
that first gave rise to the remarkable cooperative functioning
of nucleic acids and proteins) and (2) the MIND-BODY problem
(i.e. the physical basis for self-awareness and personality).
Great strides have been made in the approaches to both these
problems but the ultimate explanations are perceived very
dimly indeed" (Biology and the Future of Man -
Ed. Philip Handler).
what are the options? Really only two. It all depends on your
premises and presuppositions. Everything comes down to one
of two alternatives, summed up like this:
the beginning, GOD CREATED the heavens and the earth,"
(Genesis 1:1) and, "By FAITH we understand that worlds
were framed by the Word of God so that which is seen does
not owe its existence to that which is visible."
(Heb. 11:3, Weymouth Translation)
upon a time perhaps two and a half billion years ago,
under a deadly sun, in an ammoniated ocean topped by a
poisonous atmosphere in the midst of a soup of organic
molecules, a nucleic acid molecule came ACCIDENTALLY INTO
BEING that could SOMEHOW BRING ABOUT the existence of
another like itself" (Isaac Asimov, science-fiction
author, The Well-Springs of Life)
choices. Pick the first, and you see all natural
history as divinely guided towards Man's coming; with it the
conviction that man has special destiny and moral responsibility
(with a probable judgment on the horizon as well). Pick the
second, and you are left with no God, Heaven, Hell, or for
that matter, any confidence in humanity and its future. The
choice is really quite narrow. Of course both sides have their
creeds, authorities, and prophets, and both in the final analysis
are religious - are matter of faith. The only question
is, which one has the facts going for it?
man consists of some seven octillion (7X10 to the 27th)
atoms grouped in about 10 trillion cells (10 to the 13th).
This agglomeration of cells and atoms has some astounding
properties. It is alive, feels joy and suffering, discriminates
between beauty and ugliness, and distinguishes between good
and evil." (Genetics of the Evolutionary Process -Theodosius Dobzhansky)
much ARE you worth?
estimates (from the book Time, Chance & Matter = Man
& The Whole Universe) put your value (with inflation)
at around $7.50; the new reckonings are greatly revised. Your
proteins, steroids, and hormones alone are terribly complex
and costly, and as for living organs, how much is a replacement
heart worth if you need a transplant? The point is, your value
has been reappraised because we now appreciate much better
the scarcity and complexity of your molecules. Man IS marvelously
complex, and complexity shows one of TWO THINGS: incredible
luck or intricate engineering. The seven system-command computers on the Columbia space
shuttle (cross-checking each others' fact and figures, and
voting on the result) didn't mutate from some engineer's lost
four-function calculator; yet Man's design leaves the computers'
the Evolutionary Obstacle Course
enough, since this theory was accepted by so many for such
a long time, it takes some courage and conviction to change
your position now, especially to the dismay or ridicule of
professional colleagues. Evolutionary theory still runs right
through many, many sciences, and its collapses in one field
are not always heard in others. People seeing real problems
in their ONE area assume researchers in OTHER fields have
the missing evidences; this forms a series of interdependent
"hurdles," making it difficult for honest researchers
to see the situation clearly. Thus, "Expert Opinion"
assumes "The Specialist is Always Right" - which
dismays the poor specialist, who (as careful as he or she
can be) is after all, only human. "Specialized Biology,"
for instance, may assume "the rocks are as old as the
fossils"; while "Specialized Geology" assumes
"the fossils are as old as the rocks." Hopefully,
geochronology (dating-methods data) will unhesitatingly confirm
the age of both! But if all else fails, won't a majority opinion
prevail anyway? (I mean, that's right isn't it? How could
so many be so wrong! Lie still, and try not to think of Hitler.)
Then again, if you are terribly committed to the premise that
there "cannot possibly be a God", (who will one
day call us into account for all the funny ideas we had about
His creation), you would no doubt always find some objections
to what Creationists are saying.
Just A Minute!"
up almost any magazine today to see how hot the Creation -
Evolution debate has become. Creationists openly challenge
Evolutionists to packed, public debates in university forums
around the world. There is a growing body of creation-favoring
research and literature, thousands of procreation scientists,
and many Evolutionists willing to carefully and honestly consider
both possibilities. Yet almost without exception, the secular
media (accepting evolutionary theory uncritically for decades)
has been deeply threatened; their "rebuttal" articles
sound increasingly shrill, or are based on the idea, "say
it often enough and people will keep on believing it - despite
of the biased articles say:
misuse the word 'theory' to convey the false impression
that Evolutionists are 'covering up the rotten core' of
their premise." Translation: It is "not fair"
to point out well established rules of science, especially
if according to those rules evolution doesn't even qualify
as scientific THEORY much less as proven FACT. The key
to the scientific method is to see it and repeat it; with macro-evolution you can do neither. As opposed
to micro-evolution, which means changes within kind, or
"species" - as in the development over the centuries
of different breeds of dogs, cattle, etc., which of course
obviously occurs. Macro-evolution would involve one species
evolving into another - like a lizard evolving into a
misuse a popular philosophy of science to argue they are
behaving scientifically in attacking evolution."
(Really? Improper to criticize an idea in the light of direct scientific evidence - such as the fossil
record, laws of probability, thermodynamics, and laws
of genetics?) Current media tactics also repeatedly call
evolution "a fact" then discuss how it is both
fact and theory, getting fact and theory hopelessly (purposely?)
confused. (S. J. Gould, DISCOVER Magazine, "Evolution
As Fact & Theory," pp. 34-37, May 1981)
Stanley Weinberg recommends that Evolutionists do not
publicly debate, as they will not win. He says this is
mainly because Creationists use "selective quotations.
They put them together in such a way as to make an argument
which the writer had no intention of making" (Stanley
Weinberg: Science Council of New York, Dec. 1980).
Creationist authors usually do two things: quote directly
from evolutionist sources and document everything,
so the quotes can be checked out in context.
Them Sneaky Creationists!"
says the Evolutionists' best approach is to say:
isn't 'science' as it is universally defined today."
down a scientific theory doesn't make that critic's program
scientific argument against evolution is not automatically
an argument for creation."
(Jim Adams: St. Louis Dispatch-"Evolution-An
Old Debate With A New Twist," May 17, 1981).
creation really not "science" as it is "universally
defined today"? The whole world of research is undergoing
tremendous change; once again it appears science is rapidly
moving AWAY from materialistic world views as new discoveries
break down our last century's limited and totally inadequate
picture of reality. Much of the life-sciences, locked into
a century of old physics, are now under intense scrutiny and
challenge. What is significant about all this is one fact
- the cutting edge of research today points directly towards
Mollusks To Monoliths In Media
magazine's, like Time/Life, Science Digest, and of
course, Scientific American, have editorial policies
that seem especially devoted to evolutionary thought. Evolution
is a basic idea in popular movies of the past like "King
Kong," "Planet of the Apes", and its sequels.
More recently in the sci-fi field, the theme develops still
further: Man may eventually reach a "Godlike" state,
as in the conclusion of what A. C. Clark called "the
first ten and a half million dollar religious film" -
the classic "2001: A Space Odyssey," and more recently,
"Star Trek: The Motion Picture."
TV we had "Battlestar Galactica" with its city of
lights, and Carl Sagan's multi-million dollar "Cosmos"
TV series. It seems there is too much evidence for design on Earth, but since we can't go on talking about God,
we might as well come up with a novel solution to the design
problem: "There is intellect and personality
behind Man's creation all right - super-beings from space!"
Bring on Eric VonDanniken and his Chariots of the Gods or Gods from Outer Space. (And let's not talk about
how they got here, shall we? Perhaps "long,
long ago, in a galaxy far, far away." If we move the
problem back far enough and long enough ago, maybe it'll go
Christian researchers "bring in God" just to explain
what cannot currently be explained? Is He invoked to "fill
gaps" for faulty theories, perhaps to be squeezed out
by the next scientific advance? No way. We honor Him as Creator
God, evident in His Universe NOT because other explanations
fail, but because studies point to His mind, His purpose,
and His planning. Can there be "gaps" about origins? To acknowledge God as Creator is to honor Him where science
reaches its limits and cannot ever expound.
lot depends on your PREMISES
"premise" is an idea you start with (a
"presupposition") before you collect facts to try
to answer questions. Very often it is not the fact that cause
arguments; conflicts come because two people start with very
different bases by which they interpret what they
instance, a fish and a submarine are alike in some ways; they
both have tails, move underwater, and so on. The facts are: they are similar in many ways.
assume the premise:
equals common ancestry." With all the right facts, (the noted similarities), we decide therefore
that the fish is a highly-advanced, miniaturized great-nephew
of the submarine. This is no doubt offensive to fishes as
well as common sense, but facts are facts!
your premise to:
equals common design," and with the same set
of facts you see something very different. Both fish and
submarines were DESIGNED TO WORK UNDERWATER. One designed
by Man, one by Man's Creator. With the right facts but a wrong premise, you can come up with the wrong answer for all the right reasons.
Of the Facts
fussing is going on today about "the origins of life."
We had Miller's and Urey's experiments, shooting little sparks
though organic gases in concentrations carefully picked to
favor the formation of life's building blocks. Not surprisingly,
some were formed. Never mind that Earth's original atmosphere
couldn't hold heavy gases like xenon and krypton, (shades
of Superman!), let alone that a real lightning bolt would
effectively fry a darling little amoebae-in-the-making. It
is bothersome also that ultraviolet light from our sun knocks
out ammonia faster than it can form, and old sedimentary rocks
ought to show significant amounts of organic stuff in them
if this is the way it was, but they don't. (P. Abelson: "Some
Aspects Of Paleobiochemistry," Annuals of New York
Academy of Science, 69:275, 1957; "Chemical Events
on the Primitive Earth," Proceedings of the National
Academy of Science, 55:1365, 1966)
to that what Louis Pasteur, Linus Pauling, and Francis Crick
(evolutionist co-discoverer if the DNA structure) all pointed
out: The amino acids of life, from mold up to Man, are all
of one special form. John Maddox, English biologist, call
this "an intellectual thunderbolt": Randomized experiments
always give a "racemic" mixture (a mixture of both
right and left-handed molecules), approximately equal proportions
of D- and L-, right-handed and left-handed amino acids (chemically
identical, but "mirror images" of each other) -
whereas life proteins consist of left-handed molecules only!
(Francis H.C. Crick, Molecules and Men, Seattle University
of Washington Press, 1966, p. 60; John Maddox, Revolution
in Biology, New York, Macmillan Company, p. 59)
why in the world should that be so accidental? It's enough
to drive poor scientists batty trying to dig up some exotic
catalyst that might shift the yield in some tiny way (to date
always less than 10%) in the "right" direction (left!).
(James F. Coppedge: "The Mystery of Left-handed Molecules
in Proteins"; Evolution-Possible or Impossible?, pp. 55-79)
is even more disappointing is that no high-order, information
carrying molecules like those life uses ever arrive in the
soup, let alone anything remotely looking as if it could move,
eat, or reproduce itself.
there is Sidney Foxe's ingenious "microsphere" idea.
"Perhaps," he thinks, "volcanoes did it."
Cook a dry mix of L- amino acids and you get a "thermal
pan-polymer" or "proteinoid." Drop these amino
acid chains into water and they clump into little groups he
calls "microspheres." Since these little shapes
look and act physically in many ways like living things, Mr.
Foxe believes this is the way it happened. Top marks for ingenuity,
but proteinoids resemble life like a junkyard resembles a
Ferrari, and they grow like a wet toilet roll, not like an
orange. Real life proteins are unique because of their structure
and information-carrying sequence. "ProteinOID: is not
at all proTEIN; the name looks the same to the innocent, but
they lack tertiary form (a technical term involving a threefold
arrangement of molecules), their structural mix of amino acids
is hopelessly different, and they are essentially random,
too fragile, and too simple. Other than superficial, physical
characteristics, they have nothing complex enough going for
them inside or outside to ever grow up to be real proteins.
(S. L. Miller & H. C. Urey: "Organic Compounds Synthesis
on the Primitive Earth," Science, 130:247, 1959;
Fox, Harada, Woods, & Windsor: Archives of Biochemistry
and Biophysics, 102:439, 1963; H. Holter: "How Things
Get Into Cells," Scientific American, 205:167-180,
1961; M. & L. Hokin: "The Chemistry of Cell Membranes,"
op. cit. 213:78-86, 1965)
In A Test-tube?
didn't scientists make life in a test-tube somewhere?"
No, Virginia, they did not. (Some have transplanted
little lives - the "test-tube babies" - but that
is another story.) Neither DNA nor protein is a molecules
that can duplicate itself; DNA is the servant of the cell.
Likewise the virus is absolutely dependent on the cell for
its survival, and either came after the cell or was
created with it. (R. L. Wysong: "Is Life Definable?", The Creation-Evolution Controversy, Inquiry Press,
1978, pp. 190-220).
Parker, an ex-evolutionary biologist and geologist (whose
excellent little book Creation-The Facts of Life, along
with Wysong's detailed volume was one of the best resources
for this article), has written DNA: The Key to Life (Educational
Methods, Inc., Chicago), a programmed textbook of the subject.
He asks, "What does it take to make a living cell alive?
The answer is something every scientist recognizes and uses
in his laboratory, something every scientist can infer from
his observations of DNA and protein creative design and organization.
What we know about the DNA-protein relationship suggests that
living cells have the created kind of design." (Creation
- The Facts of Life, pp. 14-15).
Had A Better Idea
have shot long-suffering pools of chemicals with everything
they can think of-sound, light, heat, gamma-rays, even bullets,
but naturally enough, they stay dead. (J. Keosian: The
Origin of Life, NY Reinhold 28, 68, 1968) All this with
the express and intelligent purpose of creating life
could save a lot of trouble and revisit Dr. Frankenstein who
had a better idea. All the material we need is in the morgue.
Why bother battering around poor old amino acids when there
are all the cells, DNA, enzymes, and proteins you need ready
assembled in your local cemetery (or even the supermarket)?
Save the taxpayers millions; hit, burn, and shoot sparks into
corpses or chicken gizzards. When all is said and done, there's
a great deal more said than actually done. "Chemistry
is not then our ancestor, it's our problem.
When cells lose their biological order and start reacting
in chemical ways, we die, what's lost at death is balance
and biological order that otherwise uses food to put us together
faster than chemistry can tear us apart!" (Parker, op.
cit., pp. 8-10) If the ultimate computer-researcher interface
successfully synthesizes an egg, no self-respecting hen will
touch it. Life is not merely chemical complexity, but a gift
from the Living God.
Or Destiny? Take your pick
are either the product of a cosmic crap-game; or imagineered
by Wisdom, Love, and Power beyond comprehension. Those are
the options; accident or design, chance or creation. You either
have three impersonals: Time, Chance, and Matter, adding up
to Impersonal Man and an Impersonal Universe; or you have
Preexistent Personality imposing order on creation, giving
meaning to love, truth, and dignity. These options have profound
implications for the way you feel about yourself and others
in this world. What, for instance, do you do when overwhelmed
by the beauty and awesome, orderly arrangement of a flower?
Vote scenario two and say, "Thank You God!" Vote
scenario one and be stuck with, "Praise and honor be
to Gases, Geology, and Genes." And did you ever think
it odd that a brilliant man could spend fifty years of his
life in a lab trying to duplicate life to show no intelligence
was necessary to form it in the beginning?
1998 Winkie Pratney.
Contact at Box 876 Lindale TX 75771