One of the biggest blows to evolution is abiogenesis, or the origin of life. How did life begin, and where did we come from? Life doesn’t just happen. Or does it?
Many people believe in God (and a great number of religions), and, therefore, believe life and humans were intentionally created for a reason. But others reject religion and anything spiritual in favor of a secular, naturalistic approach, and, therefore, they believe life spontaneously appeared, accidently, from non-living material. Sure, people can believe various combinations of these, but it basically boils down to one of two possibilities: either we’re here on purpose, or we’re nothing more than a cosmic accident.
The problem with the secular, naturalistic approach is enormous… there’s no evidence that life could spontaneously begin.
At one time people believed life could spontaneously generate from non-life. In fact, if you left out some rags containing cheese, they would produce mice. Leaving meat out on the table would produce maggots. Others believed life wasn’t very complicated, consisting of goo, so it was reasonable that lightning could strike the primordial ooze and produce life. But as science progressed, we’ve learned that even the simplest life is staggeringly complex. There’s a reason why the atheist Fred Hoyle commented on the probability of life arising from non-life, saying, “The chance that higher life forms might have emerged in this way is comparable to the chance that a tornado might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.”
But that hasn’t stopped scientists from trying to solve this “mystery”. Researchers have now come up with a software program- called Allchecmy- designed to help figure out how life began. But in order to do that, scientists must speculate on what chemicals were available when life first appeared on earth. The article from Phys.Org indicates that some of the “likely” ingredients have been identified. However, it’s impossible to know for sure. Nonetheless, they believe there was nitrogen, methane, water, sulfur, cyanide, and ammonia, and once they plug these chemicals into the computer program- voila! A list of possible chain reactions is produced.
The program ran for two hours and found “82 previously identified biotic molecules and 36,000 unidentified molecules.” They also found the following patterns, 1: “Molecules within the tree could behave as catalysts for other, later reactions”. 2: “Molecules could produce surfactants”. 3: “Molecules could undergo self-replicating cycles.”
In other words, they believe this proves that the chemicals could conceivably grow in complexity until a living molecule with the ability to reproduce exists. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen in real life. If it did, then life would generate spontaneously in the wild, and more so in the lab. This is all very interesting, but doesn’t get scientists any closer to figuring out the origin of life. Secular scientists would be happy just to find the “precursors” of molecules that might be useful in getting life started, but even that has proven problematic due to the complex arrangements necessary.
Do you remember the famous Urey – Miller Origin of Life experiment? Back in 1952 they mixed methane, water, ammonia, and hydrogen, thinking those chemicals represented the primitive conditions on earth, and afterwards they discovered five amino acids (although in 2007 other scientists identified over 20 when they examined the original sealed vials). All well and good, but they didn’t create life in the lab (as some think). The most they could come up with were the “building blocks” of proteins, a far cry from anything resembling life. Even building blocks must be arranged and assembled in a way that is meaningful, and all origin of life experiments fail to do that.
Computer models are only as good as the programmer- garbage in, garbage out. Yet the DNA contained in every cell is far more complex than any computer program ever developed, containing information to translate, repair, build, regulate, adapt, survive, and reproduce. No scientist would ever stumble upon a useful computer program or story and think they came about by chance, yet they have no problem believing life could spontaneously arise, despite evidence to the contrary.
The Allchemy program does not point to the origin of life from non-living chemicals. All it does is play to the bias and assumptions of scientists who choose not to believe that God created the universe and all life on earth. Yet for those who do believe God created everything, the complexity and order of life is evidence of his existence- as it shouts of an intelligent creator. It’s like God is saying, “Look, here I am!”
Sadly, most scientists ignore such evidence because it’s not what they’re looking for. A supernatural creation is not acceptable, so it is intentionally overlooked. Only naturalistic explanations will do because that is what they’ve been taught. Of course, the problem with this kind of thinking is that, if God actually did design and create the universe in six days as the Bible describes, then any naturalistic explanation will naturally be incorrect and miss the boat. Thus they remain puzzled because there’s no step-by-step process that would naturally lead to life from non-living material.
Ironically, the ancient practice of alchemy was an art rooted in spirituality, magic and mythical substances in the hope of prolonging life. It’s certainly an interesting choice to name their program.
I think it’s safe to say, based on decades of science, spontaneous generation is not a viable option. No matter what kind of prebiotic synthesis of biochemical compounds are produced by the Allchecmy program, it cannot recreate the past, which was never favorable for the origin of life. Life cannot (and never could) spontaneously generate. The complex nature of living organisms attests to a creator, just as a watch, a car, or a computer program does, and no special pleading changes that. God, therefore, remains the most logical and best explanation for the origin of life.