How God Reveals Himself Through Science:

Chemical Evolution

Cannot Create Life

© 2012-2016   Timothy R. Stout.  All Rights Reserved.   This booklet may be copied for

non-commercial use provided it is copied in its entirety, its contents are not

altered in any manner, and additional or tighter

copyright restrictions than this are clearly not imposed on it.

Revision 3.9    September 4, 2016.

A

FREE copy of this booklet is available at

www.creationtruthoutreach.org/articles/hgrh.pdf

Table

of Contents

Chapter 1              The

Situation       

Chapter 2              Why

Natural Processes Cannot Create a Living Cell 

Chapter 3              Middle

Stage Problems        

Chapter 4              Information:

God’s Signature Written in a Cell              

Chapter 5              Entropy

and Abiogenetic Disconnects 

Chapter 6              Evolution  After Chemical Evolution               

Chapter 7              Miscellaneous

Issues           

Chapter 8              What

is Science? 

Chapter 9              God

and Humanism   

Chapter 10            Who Is the Creator?  

Chapter 11            Glorifying

the Creator             

References       


Chapter 1  

The Situation

            Abiogenesis is the scientific study

of a natural appearance of life through evolutionary processes over a long

period of time.  It appears that every

experiment performed in this field has failed. Not one experiment can

demonstrate a process presumably available in a pre-life environment that can

produce chemicals useful for an advance towards life. Instead, each has

uncovered and illustrated problems that work to thwart advance. There are many

experiments that look good at first appearance, but actually expose serious

problems when looked at carefully. It appears that Louis Pasteur was correct

about spontaneous generation. It is impossible, period. We will show

this also applies to long term, evolutionary instances, not

just short term ones. Both fail.

            Am I making a wild, extravagant

claim? —Have there truly been no successful experiments in abiogenesis, ones

which demonstrate a significant advance towards life? If I am wrong, it should

be trivial to expose my error. After all, there are thousands of experiments

available for ammunition. All one needs to do is to point to a successful

experiment. Since a successful experiment would represent a significant

breakthrough, one would expect it to receive a lot of attention with multiple

independent laboratories confirming it. That is the way science works. Much of

the journal literature in abiogenesis is available on the internet for free

access. So, after sixty years and thousands of experiments, there should be all

kinds of experiments showing successful results which can be referenced by

open, free, internet access. It should be trivial to refute any claim of no

successful experiments..

                                                If you disagree with this claim, here is a challenge:

Find and send me the reference information for a journal with free internet

access so that anyone who desires can access it, including me. The article is

to be a report on a successful experiment, where success is defined within the

context of this chapter. My commitment will be to discuss the article openly

and its implications honestly on my internet site, www.creationtruthoutreach.org. Over the past four years over 30,000 free copies of

various versions of the material in this booklet have been distributed on over

40 university campuses, including various branches of the University of

California, The University of Texas at Austin, the University of Minnesota, The

University of Florida, Louisiana State University and many, many others. Lots

of students have promised to send me such a link. To this date, no one has. In

time I have gotten bolder in my claim simply because at this point no one has

taken up the challenge. Yet, if the claim is unfounded, it should be trivial to

expose it as such. If you disagree with me, may you can be the one to expose my

error! As of the date this was printed, no one else has.

            This is the proposed sequence of chemical

evolution, which is another name for abiogenesis and emphasizes its

evolutionary foundation: A series of gradual steps start with the chemicals

naturally available on a planet or moon. These combine with each other to form

the building block molecules for life. Over time the molecules steadily

increase in complexity, becoming closer and closer to forming the molecules

characteristic of a living system. 

Eventually, the complexity increases to the point that some of the

molecules start copying (replicating) themselves. Some of the time these

“self-replicating molecules” would have errors in copying—”mutations” as they

are called. Some of the mutations would accidentally present an improvement

over the original replicators. Natural selection would favor copying the ones

with improved characteristics. Mutation and natural selection are the keys to

evolution. This is the reason this field was initially called “chemical

evolution.” Eventually, over time, a fully-formed living cell complete with

information stored in DNA would appear. Then, eventually these original cells

evolved into you and me and all of the various forms of life we see around us.

This sequence sounds so logical that it has convinced many people that since it

is logical it must be true. However, the facts teach otherwise.

            There is a fundamental, basic,

essential assumption in the above argument. However, this assumption is NEVER

discussed with students in the classroom. The assumption is that each step of

the entire sequence will naturally flow into its successor. This is

important, because it would take only a single failed step to thwart the entire

process leading to life--only one broken link in a chain snaps the chain. By

definition of abiogenesis, it is assumed that no external influence or guidance

is needed for the above progression to take place for every step in its

entirety. Therefore, the 

laws of science must so favor each of the steps needed for life

that the proper chemicals will naturally appear as needed by each step for the

entire sequence to flow smoothly from beginning to end.

            A successful experiment then becomes

defined as one that can convert its initial, starting chemicals into new

chemicals that can be used exactly as produced as the supply chemicals for the

next stage. The theory is that the entire process is to take place in the wild

under uncontrolled conditions and without interruption from its beginning to

its end. So, it certainly should not be unrealistic to expect a controlled

experiment under idealistic laboratory conditions to be able to do this for

least one step. It is also understood that the processes used must be

reasonable for a pre-life scenario. Moreover, they must not be dependent upon

any kind of outside intervention or control —whether directly by human input or

indirectly by automated apparatus designed by humans. So, a major criterion to

count an experiment successful is its ability to produce products which

function satisfactorily as feedstock for a succeeding step of abiogenesis. 

            Scientists have at their disposal

complete control over the exact ratio of starting chemicals, environmental

conditions, and energy sources to perform any hypothetical step they choose. In

a natural setting, these advantages would not exist. Yet, despite all of these

advantages they still have not been able to demonstrate even one step which

produces the proper chemicals to advance to the next one.

            Instead, the chemicals produced

experimentally have been characteristically unsuitable for further use; they

have always resulted in dead ends. Furthermore, the reasons for the dead ends

make sense. We can understand why we get the results that we do. Ultimately,

these reasons lead back to entropy working in tandem with the basic laws of

physics and chemistry. There is no known scientific basis to expect anything

different from what we have actually observed so repeatedly.

            There is a simple,

easy-to-understand underlying cause for the many observed failures. The number

of possible molecules based on carbon atoms is staggering. Beilstein’s

Register lists by name, formula, and basic chemical characteristics over a

million of them. Because of the large number of possibilities, pre-life

processes will be capable of producing a broad range of products from their

initial feed stock. The principle of entropy teaches us to expect this to take

place. In fact, the statistical distribution of the products produced will be

consistent with and determined by entropy. Experiment confirms that this,

indeed, is what happens.

Abiogenetic Disconnects

            This is the key issue: On the

one hand, a broad spectrum of molecules will always be produced in a pre-life

setting. The principle of entropy guarantees this. This is predictable

in theory and confirmed experimentally. On the other hand the molecules

needed for life are

1) very specific,

2)very complicated,

3) very difficult to produce,

and

4) tend to fall apart

relatively quickly.

There

is no connection between the principles that determine which products

are produced by nature in a pre-life scenario and those defining the products

that are useful for life. These two sets of principles are completely

independent of each other. As a result, there is nothing to constrain

natural processes to produce the specialized products needed for life. This

observation provides the explanation for the universal failure of experiments

in abiogenesis. It is the fatal flaw.

            The task facing the abiogenist is

obvious: show how natural processes reasonably available in a pre-life setting

will naturally produce the kinds of chemicals needed for life. These chemicals

must also appear in a form useful for life. I claim that they do not and that

true science shows us why they cannot.

            If this truly is the case, then the

entire field of abiogenesis is false, nothing more than pseudo-science.

Abiogenesis appears to be the equivalent  of an engineer trying to design a

steamship which takes in lukewarm warm water from the ocean and extracts energy

from it to drive a boiler while dumping ice cubes out the back end. Entropy

shows why both are impossible. 

Tar

            There is another serious problem. It

is talked about more in the next chapter. Whenever a mixture

of random organic chemicals are mixed together in an environment

supplying sufficient energy for them to interact, they have a strong tendency

to turn into a gooey, inert tar. As more molecules are added to the tar, fewer

and fewer remain available for any kind of use. 

Experiments in abiogenesis characteristically grind to a halt because of

tar formation.

            The problem here is the same as

mentioned earlier. For abiogenesis to succeed, it is necessary for the entire

sequence of steps to flow smoothly from beginning to end without any hindrance.

Earlier we saw that the wrong chemicals tend to get produced. However, if the

products ultimately bond together to form a gooey tar mass, then it is

irrelevant whether or not they could have been useful. Tar formation is so

characteristic of concentrated organic molecules in solution that is irrational

to assume that the entire process of abiogenesis could proceed in a natural,

unguided environment without being thwarted by it. (See page 18 for more

discussion). Tar formation is a fatal problem, because natural processes

consistently form it, it overwhelms every thing when

it forms, and there is nothing to prevent its formation. Abiogenists need to

address this honestly. A good place to start would be to include in the journal

report for an experiment the amount of tar formed and how rapidly it formed.

How the Creation Reveals its Creator         

                1) It is the thesis of this booklet that a living God directly

created the physical life we see around us. 2) He also created it in such a way

that scientific observation shows us why natural processes cannot legitimately

account for its origin. The primary purpose of this booklet is to justify these

statements and discuss their implications.

I have had people tell me that just because we do

not understand how natural processes could create the chemicals of life, that

that does not mean that God did it.

            Well,

the story does not stop here. The strongest evidence of life being the

handiwork of a living God is provided by the genetic information used to

fabricate and control a living cell (see chapter 4)..

            Information

is a mental construct. It is an abstract representation of meaning. For

instance, the word “car” is not a car, it is only a symbol used to represent a

car. There are no laws of physics or chemistry to favor any one symbol over

another in an abstract relationship. Natural processes do not form abstract

relationships and act on them. In a  living system they can make use of

them. They cannot form them. These relationships are the product of an

intelligent being inventing a code for one thing to represent something else.

      

Intelligence is not the only attribute of the Being who created life. He

must also have the power to work within the creation at the atomic level. A

living cell is built using extremely large, extremely complicated, precisely

arranged molecules. A single atom placed incorrectly can frequently destroy the

ability of a huge, complicated molecule to function properly. Yet, natural

processes do not have the capability to select and position correctly the

individual atoms making a living cell until such a cell already exists.

Therefore, the Intelligent Being must have the personal power to do this. He

must be able to select and join individual atoms into a preplanned structure,

that of the first living cell or groups of cells. Hence He is not bound by the

normal laws of physics and chemistry; He is greater than them.

             This solution is offensive to an atheist, who will blind

himself to the strength of the evidence to avoid conclusions he detests. Yet,

the evidence is clear, it is based on well-established observations, and it is

not difficult to understand. These observations are consistent with the Bible,

which teaches us that there is a living God who expects us to understand that

the creation reveals Him and considers us without excuse if we reject the

message. (Romans 1:18-31).

            This

Intelligent Being chose to create life at a certain point in time. Therefore,

He has a will. It takes planning to create an information-driven machine,

because all the fabrication steps and processes must come together in sequence

and accurately. Thus, this Intelligent Being not only has a will, but makes

plans for what he intends to do.

            What

do you call a Being who is intelligent beyond man’s ability to comprehend, is

not limited in His behavior by the laws of science, has a will, and plans

events?  You call Him, “God.” In fact,

this is a simple definition of the term “personal God.” God is not just an

impersonal force, but a living Being with

intelligence, power, and a will. He makes plans and carries them out. True

science leads us to Him. We have just seen how. Incidentally, modern science

was founded by men who understood this (see page 56).

 ******************

            You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and

power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created

(Revelation 4:11).

            God

created man with the ability to comprehend His existence and to have a living

relationship with Him. Man can understand the meaning of the words in the verse

just quoted above. A computer can’t. Neither can a dog or

cat. God also gave man a will, such that man can choose to know and worship the

Creator God, can worship what the Bible calls a false god or gods, or can set

himself up as his own god. Every man decides for himself the path he will take.

However, there will be eternal consequences to this decision. This will be

further discussed in the final two chapters.

            So,

this brings up the next issue: if there is a true God who is the Creator and if

there are also false gods, and if we are capable of  knowing and having a living

relationship with the true God, then how do we know who He is or which One He

is?   

            I

am a Christian. I believe that the Bible is the Creator God’s verbal revelation

to man. The creation can reveal to us that a personal, living Creator God

exists. However, the creation does not tell us His standards concerning how He

wants us to relate to Him. This comes from the Bible. Chapters 6, 10, and 11 of

this booklet give evidences establishing the Bible as the unique verbal

revelation of God as well as important details of what He expects from us in

our relationship with Him. It is perhaps good to point out that the issue is

not what we want to believe or not believe, but what the evidence shows is

true. It is the position here that the evidence supporting the God of the Bible

as the God of creation is more than sufficient to establish its validity.

Falsifying Humanism

            Often students on a university

campus will refuse a free booklet such as this when they are offered it. They

will comment, “I am a history major,” or “I am a political science major,” and

then walk off. How unfortunate! The truth is that the material in this and

subsequent chapters is just as relevant to them as it is to a biochemistry

student.

            Secular humanism is a philosophy

built on the assumption that a living, personal God does not exist.  A number of corollaries follow from this

assumption. Since physical life is nothing more than the end product of natural

processes; then a living man is nothing more than a chance combination of

chemicals; his existence stops when he dies. In such a case the only value of

human life is whatever man chooses to give it. Ultimately, a man has no more

value than a hairbrush, a car, or a computer. Underlying this entire train of

thought is the conviction that man’s own intellect is capable of independently

reasoning through and understanding everything and anything worth knowing.

            However, if there is indeed a

living, personal God and if this God truly does intervene into the affairs of

His creation, then humanism is false. In this booklet we show how the tools of

science demonstrate the necessity of a living, personal, Creator God. This in

turn invalidates the foundational premise of humanism, making it irrelevant.

            Humanists absolutely hate and detest

creation science, because it provides a very clear rebuttal to their

foundational premise. The hatred of many professors towards the God of creation

is simple. God’s existence testifies against the validity of their personal

philosophy. 

            The modern university may be viewed

as an attempt to apply the concepts of secular humanism to every field of

study. Therefore, if humanism is a false philosophy, then much of what is

taught in a modern university is false. It is not so much observed facts that

are wrong— facts are facts. However, the normal emphasis in an institution of

higher learning is on the interpretation of facts. Generally, the

only interpretations professors allow are those that are consistent with

humanistic philosophy. Thus, only false interpretations of the observed data

are open for discussion. Whether a student is studying political science,

anthropology, history, or even the moral aspects of business, law, or medicine,

the issue of humanism and its validity is relevant. This makes God’s existence

relevant. 

                        Affirming God’s

existence and His working within His creation is the primary focus of this

booklet. A student interested in learning truth and not

mere propaganda should consider understanding the issues discussed here as his

number one priority. This applies whether he is a political science major or

biology major.

An Absolute Proof of God

            Both chemical evolution

(abiogenesis) and Darwinian evolution deny God His glory as the Creator. As a

man looks in awe at the beauty and the detailed organization of the creation,

God expects this awe to result in praise and thanksgiving to Him. When a person

instead rejects the Creator and attributes His handiwork to mindless, random

activity, it offends Him. He states in Isaiah 48:11, “I will not give my glory

to another.” This is serious, because the One who is being offended is One who has the innate power, wisdom, and will to create

galaxies out of nothing. He does not get tired in the process. You do not want

Him angry with the decisions you make. God has stated that He will reward us

for honoring Him, but also will hold us accountable for not properly honoring

Him. The Bible declares, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this

the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). It is irrelevant whether a person likes this

or not. The issue is whether it is true and supported by sufficient evidence.

            The Bible teaches that it is

possible to prove God’s person and nature. However, this is judicial proof, not

philosophical proof. It is impossible to prove anything to a philosopher,

because his foundational assumptions are subjective and hence always debatable.

Judicial proof is different—it is proof sufficient to convict in a court.

Absolute judicial proof is proof so strong there is no valid legal defense

against it.

            The

declaration, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the

judgment,” is important. God has set a day in which each man will give an

account for how he has responded to God on this earth. Judicial proof is

relevant here. In Romans 1:20 of the Bible we read,

      “Since the

creation of the world His invisible attributes are

clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal

power and Godhead—so that they are without excuse.”

In  other words God designed the creation for it to reveal Him,

a living, personal God, as its Creator. God counts the evidence so clear that

on the day of judgment, He counts people rejecting it and rejecting Him as without  excuse. This

is absolute judicial proof in a court of no appeal, a court whose verdict is

final and eternal.  A

grade in a classroom or a promotion at work pale in significance to this.

Understanding the things presented in this booklet should be a person’s top

priority.

Chapter 2    Why

Natural Processes Cannot Create a Living Cell

            I

like to eat brownies. Brownies with ice cream are perhaps my favorite dessert.

However, if someone were to attempt to make brownies using one part brownie mix

added to four parts cement mix, he would never get

edible brownies. This is true no matter how many billions of years he might try

and retry and retry the recipe. Billions of years of repetitious effort do not

compensate for bad chemistry. Billions of years of repetitious effort do not

turn bad ingredients into good products. 

This is obvious to a cook. It should be obvious to a scientist..

            Many

atheists claim that over the course of billions of years, it would be

inevitable for life to form somewhere. The brownie analogy refutes this. If the

laws of chemistry and physics truly work against a natural origin of life, then

billions of years of repeating the same failures will never overcome the

reasons for the failures. Time only insures that the normal laws of chemical

reactions and chemical equilibrium prevail. If these laws work against a

natural origin of life, then no amount of time will be sufficient to overcome

them.

            Let’s

consider the kinds of chemicals needed for life. These are the chemicals that

abiogenesis will need to form from suggested raw starting materials, such as

ammonia, methane, cyanide, and carbon monoxide among others. There are two

major kinds of biochemicals used in a living cell: proteins and nucleic

acids.

            Proteins

(in the form of enzymes) perform most of the chemical activity within a cell. A

protein is formed by combining long strings of amino acids together. A

particular amino acid is used at each position in the string from among 20

different kinds available.

            The

other major kinds of biochemicals are called nucleic acids. Nucleic

acids are formed by stringing together certain building block molecules called nucleotides,

with a choice from among four kinds of nucleotides available for each position

in the string. There are two kinds of nucleic acids, RNA and DNA. RNA is formed

first, it is occasionally converted into DNA for

increased stability when used to store genetic information. Genetic information

tells the cell what to do.

            The

first step of a pre-life process will be to form what is sometimes called a

“soup” of raw materials, such as amino acids and/or nucleotides. The soup needs

to be pure enough for random chemical interactions between amino acids or

nucleotides to form long strings of pure protein or nucleic acids. If the soup

is not extremely pure, then the impurities will combine with the amino acids or

nucleotides and the required proteins and nucleic acids will never appear. It

would be like adding so much cement mix to brownie mix that it becomes

impossible to make an edible brownie. This is an important issue.   

            If

natural processes were to bring about the origin of life on our planet or even

somewhere else, the first question is obviously, “How did it start?” In 1953 a

young graduate student at the University of Chicago, Stanley Miller, performed

an experiment that startled the scientific community and is still talked about

to this day. He simulated an atmosphere

supposedly similar to that found on the early planet Earth by placing methane,

ammonia, water, and hydrogen in a closed, evacuated flask. He simulated

lightning as an energy source by inducing a spark across the flask. Amino

acids, which are the building blocks for the proteins found in living systems

today, appeared in a trap connected below the flask.

            Let’s consider how Miller’s

experiment operates. The chemicals it starts with are methane,  ammonia,  water and hydrogen gas. A spark is applied

and acts like a bomb, randomly ripping apart the molecules it contacts. The

fragments produced will rejoin in new, random combinations. As this process is

repeated, any newly formed molecules contacting a spark can be ripped apart

again. This process can be repeated multiple times. Eventually, the starting

chemicals organize into the molecules shown on page 13, with 6 times as much

tar formed as shown in the listed materials.

            This would obviously be a very uncontrolled process. With the random ripping apart and

random recombination characteristic of  Miller’s Experiment, it is very easy

to understand why the broad mix of chemicals shown on page 13 was formed. It is

also easy to understand why these chemicals are characterized by all of the

problems discussed below.

            Carbon and nitrogen along with

hydrogen and oxygen are capable of forming over a million different kinds of

molecules. In fact the Beilstein Database catalogues by number over a

million carbon-based compounds and processes. Miller’s experiment has the

potential to create many of the molecules registered in Beilstein. It makes

sense for many different kinds of molecules to be produced, even as shown in

the Table on page 13. This is what we should expect. The predicted kinds of

products and experimental observation agree.

            We should expect that occasionally

and on an incidental basis, chemicals such as amino acids, which are relatively

easy to form, will appear. We should also rarely if ever expect to find

nucleotides, which are extremely difficult to form. Again, prediction and

experiment agree and confirm each other. Nucleotides have never appeared in a

simple, pre-life like experiment unless there is also human intervention. Amino

acids can and do, even without intervention.

            Proteins can never be formed by

spontaneous combinations using chemicals such as those shown in the Table. Just

because amino acids appear on an incidental basis does not mean that they

appear in a useful mix.  It is

amazing how many atheistic chemists refuse to acknowledge this. Yet, it is

chemistry at its most basic level.

            The kinds of chemical reactions

available under pre-life conditions will always produce a complex mix of

products, with too many contaminants for successful abiogenesis. Changing the

energy source from a spark to a high energy ultra-violet light photon or even

to a hot water source does not change the underlying process. The energy acts

like a bomb, randomly destroying whatever it interacts with. Changing the raw

source chemicals does not change the process. Neither does changing the

operating temperature or the acidity of the solution. The Beilstein Database is

the natural goal of pre-life chemical processes, not abiogenesis.

            It is easy to understand that if

random collisions between molecules are going to combine into long, pure

strings of amino acids or nucleotides, then an extremely pure source of these

will be required. The problem is that there is no connection between the broad

range of products naturally produced and the purity required for abiogenesis. Abiogenetic

Disconnects refers to this lack of connection.

            The

appearance of amino acids in Miller’s trap excited scientists and laymen alike;

Miller apparently discovered a feasible starting point for chemical evolution.

His experiment seemed to open up all kinds of scenarios as possibilities for a

natural origin of life, free from the creative efforts of a Supernatural Being.

It is difficult to find an introductory biology textbook that says anything

about origin-of-life issues and does not still describe this experiment and its

significance.

We now understand that this excitement was

premature.

Six Big Problems

            Miller’s

experiment represents a first stage process. It is noteworthy that neither

Miller’s experiment nor any other of the many of variations on it have ever produced the desired target soup of usable

building block molecules.  Instead, they

all share in common the following six problems. All but the first is fully

capable of single-handedly thwarting a natural origin of life unless it can be

resolved or overcome. After more than sixty years of effort, there has been no

progress towards a solution for any of them, except possibly the first. In

abiogenesis, existing known problems do not get

solved. Instead, as we learn more and more, we just keep finding new ones.

            1. Origin-of-life processes require

an untypical initial assortment of raw materials. Something seldom discussed

except by creationists is that even from the beginning, Miller’s experiment

represented intelligent intervention into natural order. Miller’s graduate

advisor Harold Urey, a Nobel prize-winning Ph.D., thought that a reducing

atmosphere such as found on Jupiter and the other large planets, might have

been suitable for the origin of life. (Miller S et al. 2004).

            In

reality, Jupiter’s atmosphere is unsuitable for the origin of life. It has

about 300 times as much hydrogen as methane as well as a small amount of

ammonia and smaller amount of water. This much hydrogen would

prevent methane and ammonia from combining into anything else.

            As

a trained chemist Miller knew that this ratio of raw chemicals would not

produce any amino acids. So, he changed it for the experiment. He introduced

equal amounts of methane and ammonia with a small amount of hydrogen in a

steam-saturated atmosphere and zapped everything with a spark. Miller used

chemicals in close to the ideal ratios needed for producing amino acids and he

was able to get some amino acids.

            So,

the ratios between the various molecules Miller used in his experiment and the

ratios found on Jupiter, his initial model, were totally unrelated to each

other. If he had copied the actual Jupiter atmosphere, the experiment would

have failed. It took a trained chemist to know how to modify Jupiter’s

atmosphere to one which could work. This represents human intervention.

            The composition of the initial raw

materials that appear on a planet will be in accordance with various random

astronomical and terrestrial factors that have nothing to do with the

requirements for abiogenesis. Chemical evolution requires specific initial components

in useful concentrations and in useful ratios with each other. No planet or

moon has ever been observed which has raw materials available which are

suitable for abiogenesis.

            Abiogenetic

Disconnects first appears at this, the starting point of chemical evolution.

There is no principle of physics or chemistry to constrain the composition of

the initial raw materials appearing on a planet or moon to match those suitable

for life. There is a disconnect between natural

products and required products. Because of the sheer number of planets in the

universe, this problem makes abiogenesis unlikely but does not

necessarily prevent it.

            2. Origin-of-life processes innately

produce more contaminants than useful product. The table on page 13 shows that Miller made almost

four times as many contaminants as amino acids. For our purposes a contaminant

is defined as any chemical not actually used in a particular, desired chemical

reaction, but which can interfere with it in some manner and thus prevent it

from taking place.          

This

means that the particular building-block molecules necessary for one desired

sequence of operations could become contaminants and ruinous for other

sequences. If the goal is to get amino acids to string together and form a

protein, then any products (or even initial raw materials) which can interact

and interfere with the growing chain are contaminants.

            This is an important observation:

the excessive contaminants are produced as a result of the basic laws of

nature. They can be predicted from chemical reaction theory and the predictions

are confirmed by experiment. There are no natural workarounds to avoid them.

So, there is a disconnect between the kinds chemicals

produced by natural, pre-life processes and the kinds required for chemical

evolution. Abiogenetic Disconnects shows itself again.

            The products are produced according

to their probability of formation at any instant. Changing energy sources or

the kinds of raw materials or temperature or pressure will not change the

nature of the results.  As a result, a

broad product yield such as what we see in Table 1 is characteristic of all

first-stage experiments, not just Miller’s. At best a few amino acids are produced

among a far greater number of contaminants.

            The overwhelming concentration of contaminants dominates future steps.

It absolutely prevents the amino acids from ever assembling into proteins. It

is like adding four times as much cement mix as brownie mix to brownie batter.

Good brownies will never be produced. Repeating a bad recipe over and

over does not compensate for bad chemistry. 

It is amazing how many supposedly intelligent scientists do not seem to

grasp this.

            In truth the discussion stops here.

Because theory is confirmed by experiment under a variety of scenarios, a

person should accept that this is what science teaches us. The only basis for

rejecting this would be to 

demonstrate experimentally how useful products can be produced

from raw starting chemicals. At this point there is no basis to assume this is

even possible.

            We will see in the next chapter that

the late Leslie Orgel, Ph.D., one of the leading abiogenists in history and one

of the fathers of the RNA-world hypothesis, eventually came to much the same

conclusion. In the last paragraph of his final journal article, he stated that

the gap must be closed that exists between the complex products supplied by

pre-life initial processes and the purity required to make complex biochemicals.

Otherwise, if the gap is not closed, abiogenesis would not be possible.

Furthermore, he was not impressed by what he had seen of efforts to close the

gap. He compared those efforts to “If pigs could fly…” logic. 

             Although the disconnect between products

produced by initial processes and products required by subsequent processes is

sufficient in itself to make a natural origin of life impossible, we continue

the discussion just because there is so much more to talk about.  

            3. Origin-of-life processes do not

provide multiply-required products in useful ratios.  Amino acids are used to make proteins.

Various kinds of proteins are used in the body

including enzymes, which are used to control chemical processes in the body.

            Enzymes

have very complicated three-dimensional shapes that control their activity. The

twenty amino acids coded for in DNA have a number of varying characteristics

between them—whether they are attracted to water molecules or repelled by them,

whether they have a positive, negative, or neutral electrical charge, whether

they are large or small, and whether they make sulfur bonds or not (sulfur

bonds are much stronger than other bonds).

            Of

these characteristics, the most important is its attraction to water molecules.

A typical enzyme needs approximately equal numbers of water-attracting and

water-repelling amino acids. This ratio is necessary in order to form the shape

to perform a specific function. However, since water-repelling amino acids much

are easier to make than those that are water-attracting, Miller’s experiment

produced 100 times as many of them. Table 1 shows this. This ratio is not even

close to the approximately equal numbers required. Unfortunately for chemical

evolution, though, the naturally occurring ratio would make it statistically

impossible to string together useful enzymes using random processes. 

            From

the perspective of chemical evolution, there is nothing to constrain the

factors which determine the ratios of the various products formed to provide

ratios suitable for abiogenesis. This means mismatches such as the above

should be the expected norm.   The

relative ratios between the various chemicals produced will always be based on

how easy they are to form from the immediately available chemicals and the

results will in general be unrelated to their usage requirement for chemical

evolution. The disconnect between the products

naturally produced and the requirements of abiogenesis has appeared again. This

is another issue sufficient in itself to stop chemical evolution dead in its

tracks. 


            4. Chirality: Origin-of-life

processes make products without regard to required “handedness.” Amino acids and nucleic

acids can exist in two different forms. These two forms are mirror images of

each other. For convenience they are called “left-handed” and “right-handed.”

This is another serious issue.  The

problem is that for proteins and nucleic acids to form their proper shapes,

they need all their constituent molecules to be either left-handed or right-handed.  Mixing both kinds of handedness together in a

string forces proteins and nucleic acids into useless shapes. Since Miller’s

and similar experiments produce products by randomly joining available

molecules to each other, they 

inherently produce equal 

portions of both left-handed and right-handed molecules. This is a

serious problem. Chemists first noticed this issue 150 years ago. Current

journal articles still recognize its seriousness and are still trying to figure

out how evolutionary processes could overcome the problem. 

            Notice,

the disconnect appears yet again. Natural processes

randomly make both mirror-image forms. Abiogenesis requires consistency of

left-handed or right-handed forms to make the required shapes of proteins and  nucleic acids.

            5. Origin-of-life processes make

more tar than anything else. 

Organic

molecules dissolved in water will tend to clump together in a gooey mass

frequently referred to as “tar.” Once a molecule is in the interior of the

gooey mass, it no longer interacts with the molecules in solution and is

effectively inert. Tar is the normal product of experiments that simulate

pre-life conditions. For instance, the primary product of Miller’s experiment

was actually tar—85% of Miller’s starting chemicals turned to tar. If Miller

had not added a trap to remove some of the products, eventually he would have

had 100% tar, not a mixture of building block chemicals ready to form life.

Yet, Miller did not discuss this in his initial journal report. Abiogenists

since him copy his example; they don’t discuss it either. Yet, it is one of the

most significant issues.

            This

is important: simply leaving the power turned on and adding a continual stream

of new raw materials would not have resulted in Miller eventually providing a

soup useful for second stage activity. It would not have resulted in the amino

acids produced assembling themselves into proteins. It would have merely

resulted in a lot more tar on the walls of his equipment. The test apparatus

would become completely clogged with tar, stopping the experiment.  Abiogenists understand this problem very

well. They choose to ignore it. For instance, few if any textbooks mentioning

Miller’s experiment talk about how his main product was tar. None talk about

how the same problem is characteristic of origin-of-life experiments in

general.

            The

chemicals of life have a natural tendency to make tar. This is a problem at

every stage of development and continues with living cells today. Fortunately,

living cells have an elaborate maintenance system to rid themselves of tar as

it forms and before it destroys them. Otherwise, they could not survive. This

includes us—our own survival depends on effective tar-removal from our cells.

Pre-life chemicals do not have a maintenance system to dispose of tar as it

forms. This makes a natural origin of life impossible. 

            6. Origin-of-life processes do not

provide essential products in adequate concentration. Another

major problem concerns the amount of useful product created.  Shortly after Miller first published the

results of his experiment, scientists speculated that the oceans of the earth

could have once been a “soup” of biological building block molecules working

towards the formation of life. Then, a more careful analysis showed that the

earth’s entire atmosphere would not be capable of supplying enough raw material to turn the world’s oceans into useful soup. As

scientists became more realistic in their expectations, the potential size of

the soup kept shrinking in volume. Now it doesn’t actually appear to have

existed anywhere.

            Current opinion is that natural

processes are incapable of directly producing a sufficiently high enough

concentration of products to promote abiogenesis. Therefore, some means of

concentrating them is required. For instance, we read, “Even in the most

optimistic assessments of the sources for pre-life organic molecules, whether

originating extra-terrestrially or on the earth, the oceans and the large

bodies of water existing three to four billion years ago would have been

extremely dilute. Therefore, mechanisms for selecting and concentrating the

essential biomolecules are required” (Hazen 2010). 

            The bottom line is that there is no

connection between the factors determining the concentration of chemicals

provided by natural processes and the concentration required for the emergence

of life.

            There is a second factor working

against a useful concentration of the products produced. We have already

discussed how pre-life chemical processes inherently produce a wide variety of

products. By simple mathematics this means that no particular product will have

a very high concentration. I find it intriguing to consider various journal

articles that show all of the varied molecules that can be formed by pre-life

processes and then talk as if this were an advantage. They appear to have the

attitude, “With this many possibilities, surely something available will be

effective.” In truth a wide range of products is a serious disadvantage, not

only because of contamination interference by all of the unused products, but

also because of the resulting low concentration of any useful variants.

            As an illustration of this

situation, Benner provides a diagram that shows the overwhelming complexity of

products possible in just a few steps starting with simple raw source

molecules. He thought this was good. I think it is bad. Entropy would prevent

any single one of these from forming preferentially over the others as to allow

it to become a concentrated building-block molecule useful in a path towards

life.  Just because it is needed or

useful is irrelevant. There is no principle of science to form preferentially

the ones needed, apart from the activity of an already living cell. Benner’s

diagram is available free online and worth looking at. (Benner

et al. 2010. FIG 10).

Clay

            Many abiogenists believe that life

started on clay crystals as a concentrating mechanism. This may work in a lab,

but there are problems in a real-life setting. Clay in a lake sweeps out

pollutants. Likewise, it would do the same for the chemicals of abiogenesis.

The following is an excerpt from an article I wrote about this (Stout T.

2013):

“It has been observed that there is a natural influx

of suspended clay particles into a lake. As these particles drift throughout

the lake, various pollutants in the lake adhere to the particles’ surfaces.

Then, as the particles settle and are buried by sediment, the pollutants are

buried along with the particles. The influx of clay particles effectively

“sweeps” the lake free of pollutants and buries them, at which point they no longer

interact with the environment. A clear example of this has been reported for

Lake Michigan. Portions of the lake are surrounded by large urban populations

which introduce into it significant quantities of man-made pollutants. Yet, Eadie (1997) reported that 95% of the pollutants have been

observed to be removed by this sedimentation process, over the course of a few

years”

Likewise,

we should expect the same sedimentation process to remove any pre-life

biochemicals from the water in which they are found. Perhaps this explains the

results of this next experiment:

Soap Scum?

            David Deamer is one of the world’s leading scientists in the study of

abiogenesis. He is co-editor of a Cold Springs Harbor Laboratories collection

on abiogenesis which features nineteen articles summarizing current abiogenesis

research (Deamer D and Szostak J. 2010). He and his

colleagues performed a unique experiment which gave unexpected results.

            Various observations have led one

camp of biochemists to propose that life might have emerged in hot, thermal

vents in the ocean or hot geothermal sites inland. Their ideas have

traditionally been simulated with experiments done in a laboratory setting.

            Deamer and his team decided to go to

a volcanic hot spring, add some amino acids, nucleotides, fats, glycerol, and

phosphate to the water, and see what happened. They would supply the raw

materials of an idealized soup based on their skills as biochemists. The team

was surprised. They had not expected what happened. Some quotes:

“Most of the added organics and phosphate were removed

from solution with half-times measured in minutes to a few hours.”

“A white scum appeared in the Kamchatka pool within

minutes of adding the organic mixture. The precipitate is probably a mixed iron

and aluminium soap, which would remove the fatty acid as a potential reactant.”

“The phosphate and added amino acids were below

detectable limits in minutes to hours….”

“The observation that organic compounds were below

detection limits so rapidly was surprising.”

“It is significant that most of the clay mineral

apparently bound the added solutes” [this shows how well clay binds

biochemicals].

“...The origin of life in a natural setting would have

had a variety of possible fates other than those observed in a laboratory

setting, where pure compounds react in glass containers”  (Deamer D. et  al. 2006).

 

            The last three quotes taken together

represent perhaps the greatest significance of the entire experiment. Deamer is

one of the foremost biochemists in the world. Yet he was still unprepared for

how much harsher a natural environment is than a laboratory setting. In so many

words he effectively acknowledged that there can be all kinds of unexpected

glitches that would be capable of thwarting abiogenesis in a true-to-life

setting that do not appear in a lab, although he was more discrete in his

wording. This is particularly significant when one considers that even with all

of the advantages of a “laboratory setting, where pure compounds react in

glass containers,” naturally occurring roadblocks have so far thwarted every

effort to provide a clear, successful demonstration of an advance in

abiogenesis at any stage. Yet, in the wild we should expect significantly worse

results than observed in a laboratory, even as the experiment demonstrated.

            It is intriguing to do a journal

search for articles discussing the potential role of clay in abiogenesis. There

are very many. It is humorous to see that many of them discuss how well

biomolecules join to clay. This merely insures that when the clay settles out

and is buried as sediment, the biomolecules will be buried along with it. This

is an extremely serious issue that is singlehandedly capable of thwarting

abiogenesis.

RNA

            RNA nucleotides, the building blocks

of RNA, have never been fabricated in the lab using a realistic pre-life

process. Currently, the best hope for possibly doing this is with what has been

called the “one pot approach” by John Sutherland (Powner M et al.

2009). Sutherland spent 14 years tinkering with it before he

finally stumbled onto a workable process for it to make nucleotides, although

he finally did. However, Steve Benner pointed out that Sutherland’s scenario is

not realistic, still requiring too much human intervention to make it work and

to prevent the production of tar as the major product (Benner S et al.

2012). Human intervention is nothing more than a scientist

constraining a process to give the required results for abiogenesis when nature

doesn’t constrain it.

            Abiogenists like to act as if the

problems we have looked at are isolated. They just “put them on the back

burner” until a solution comes forth. If the problems were actually isolated

from each other, this might be acceptable, even if the back burner is rather

crowded. However, the observed “failed results” of the experiments are actually

consistent with expectations from normal chemical behavior. The experiments are

not failures in the sense that they confirm the validity of  the normal laws of chemical reactions.

The only “failure” is that normal chemistry does not meet the needs of

abiogenesis.

            It is time to say that enough is

enough. Abiogenetic Disconnects provides a unifying factor for the problems.

This changes the situation. Science now provides a sound reason why natural

processes are incapable of forming life—Abiogenetic Disconnects.

Chapter 3  Middle-Stage Problems

            It is in the hypothetical second or

middle stage of abiogenesis that the building block amino acids and nucleotides

formed in the first stage combine into useful chemicals. The goal of this stage

is to provide a series of steps leading to a replicating system of large,

complex molecules capable of evolving through mutation and natural selection.

In the preceding chapter we looked at how the products of a first-stage

process, as represented by Miller’s experiment, do not provide products useful

for this stage. There are too many contaminants, ratios are wrong,

the desired chemicals are supplied in too low concentration, etc.

            The reality of these problems is

illustrated by the procedure scientists use to study middle-stage issues. They

never start with the products of a first-stage process, although in a natural

setting this would be all that was available. Instead, they go to a

chemical supply house and purchase the exact chemicals needed for a particular

test, with laboratory-grade purity, in a specified concentration, and in the

proper relative ratios. Despite this advantage over a realistic pre-life

assortment of chemicals, their experiments still fail to produce products

suitable for a subsequent step.

            Of course, chemical supply houses

did not exist on the pre-life earth. Abiogenists typically justify using

chemical supply houses for their supplies, claiming that it speeds up the

process. The inference is that if Miller’s experiment were to run long enough,

it would eventually supply the desired soup of pure building block molecules in

the right concentrations. They don’t seem to understand that bad chemistry will

always produce bad products. Miller’s experiment will primarily produce tar

along with its characteristic broad mix of products. This will be true no

matter how many times it is repeated, how long it runs, or how the raw

chemicals might be varied from run to run. Cement mix added to brownie mix

never makes good brownies. Abiogenetic Disconnects prevent first-stage

processes from  ever

forming products useful for middle-stage steps.

            When one looks at the results of the

experiments performed at the middle stage, he finds Abiogenetic Disconnects at

work again. The problems listed below are representative; there are many

others. They all are a manifestation of Abiogenetic Defects.

Problem 1. The Great Divide.            An  interesting

article appeared fairly recently in BioScience

magazine, which is published by the American Institute of Biological Sciences.

Melissa Lee Phillips wrote a feature article titled, “The Origins Divide:

Reconciling Views on How Life Began” (Phillips M. 2010). Although the title

speaks of reconciling the various divergent views on the origin of life, in

truth there was little if any reconciliation in the article. It offered a

history of our understanding of abiogenesis. Whenever someone would offer a

proposal regarding any facet of abiogenesis, there would soon be someone else

giving sound reasons against its viability. This situation continues until the

present. Apart from a statement at the end of the article expressing a hope of

success because of Sutherland’s approach in forming RNA, the article could well

have been written by a creationist, documenting known problems. Of course, we

have already seen that Steve Benner pointed out how Sutherland’s approach still

requires human intervention at certain critical steps.

            Here are a few quotes from her

opening paragraphs: “Deep divides in opinion are found in almost all areas of

origin-of-life research.” “If we’re going to make any progress, we really have

to be critically honest about what we don’t know.…And

that’s just about everything.” “The questions surrounding life’s origins are

indeed vast and, for the most part, unanswered.” Then, she mentions the large

macromolecules which are so critical to the functioning of living organisms and

comments, “In modern life, all of these molecules and processes are so

intertwined that it’s difficult to imagine how any of them could have arisen

without the others already in place. Chicken-and-egg problems abound.”

            The major divide is between those

who believe in metabolism first or information first (proteins first or RNA

first). Sadly, which side a person takes seems to be the one which he believes

has the fewest arguments preventing it. Neither side

shows experimentally a working sequence of steps to implement their choice.

Somehow, when a person takes a particular position because it has the fewest

known fatal obstacles preventing its success, it seems he has left science.

            I have claimed that there have been

no successful experiments in abiogenesis. This conviction is partly my own

observation from reading various journal articles. However, there are a number

of articles summarizing the current state of abiogenesis similar to this one by

Melissa Lee Phillips. They all only seem to talk about problems. One gets the

feeling that if they could just point to one truly successful experiment, they

would puff it up to the fullest extent possible. They just don’t seem to have

anything to puff up.

Problem 2. Amino acids preferentially break apart, not join together. Proteins need to form in water in order to get their

proper shape. Their shape determines their chemical action. However, when two

amino acids join, a water molecule is released. In an aqueous environment, the

natural action is for water to split joined amino acids, not for separated

amino acids to join and release a water molecule to the already high

concentration of water. So, the normal chemical reaction—splitting—is opposite

of that required for life—joining.

            Various attempts are made by

abiogenists to work around this. Typically, this is by increasing the

concentration of amino acids by evaporation or by causing them to adhere to a

clay surface.  Both proposed solutions

have problems.

            Evaporation is an unstable process,

dependent on widely varying geological and weather conditions. It is

unrealistic to expect this to be a consistent, reliable process for the

millions of years required for abiogenesis. RNA is particularly sensitive to

decay. Under some conditions it lasts only days before it falls apart. It would

not take much of an extended dry period to permanently undo any progress.

Conversely, extended wet times would keep the raw materials too

dilute for usefulness long enough for the RNA to spontaneously decay. In

general one should expect varying climatic conditions to occasionally produce

an excessive number of dry times and wet times over the course of several

million years. This is a significant potential natural barrier against the

effectiveness of wetting and drying cycles as they occur in nature as a

required process for RNA.

            Clay presents a different set of

problems. Typically, there will be more clay surface than biochemicals. In the

previous chapter we saw how seasonal mud flows into a lake tend to bury all

organic molecules. Buried organic molecules do not interact, so burial would

prove fatal to abiogenesis. We also saw how Deamer ran into this problem

headlong when he performed an abiogenesis experiment in a natural hot

spring.  The mud quickly adsorbed all of

his chemicals.

            Thus, concentrating a solution in

order to encourage building block molecules to join into proteins or nucleic

acids does not appear to be a practical way to solve the problem.

Problem 3. Side

Chains. The utility of amino acids comes from their ability

to join together to form proteins, which are long strings of typically 100 to

1,000 amino acids chained together. In order for a string to form properly, the

amino acids must join end to end. It then folds into various combinations of

coils and sheets and in the process takes on the shape of a specific protein.

The shape determines its activity.

            However, the end of one amino acid

can easily connect to the side of another amino acid, forming what is called a

side chain. Side chains force a string into a new shape, thus destroying its

ability to function properly.

            A living cell uses a ribosome and a

group of supporting molecules to force the  amino acids to join together in proper

sequence and without side chains.  This

is a cumbersome process, requiring many complicated components. However, it has

been observed experimentally that without a ribosome, long strands of amino

acids in solution do not form spontaneously and any joining that does take place

is characterized by multiple side chains. We understand how this is the result

of the normal laws of chemistry. It is not circumvented by blindly repeating

the process over and over.

            A ribosome is an extremely

complicated molecule. It also requires a controlled energy source for its

operation. It depends on a group of support molecules such as transfer RNAs and

synthetases for its operation. It is also an information-driven component; it

cannot function properly without information from messenger RNA being fed to

it. So, a living cell has access to and uses an extremely complex system of

components and information to constrain amino acids to join together with the

proper structure and the proper sequence to form a protein. Pre-life, free

amino acids in solution do not have the proper constraints to get the proper

results. As a result, in a free solution the natural behavior is contrary to

that required for life. There is a disconnect between the products needed for

life and the products 

normally produced by pre-life chemical activity.

Problem 4.  Enzyme

specificity. Here is a

conundrum.  Giri

et al said, “Large molecules such as proteins and nucleic

acids are crucial for life, yet their primordial origin remains a major puzzle.

The production of large molecules, as we know it today, requires good

catalysts, and the only good catalysts we know that can accomplish this task

consist of large molecules. Thus the origin of large molecules is a chicken and

egg problem in chemistry” (Giri V et

al. 2012).

            Giri

et

al proceeded

to develop a computer simulation of a proposed solution. However, simulations

are nothing more than hypothetical speculation unless they are simulating

experimentally confirmed results along with the factors which affect them.

Theirs weren’t.

            The true problem is that one needs

to have these results appear as a continuation of Miller’s experiment or the

equivalent without any human tinkering. We have never come close to showing how

this could even be possible—it would require overcoming all six problems

mentioned in the previous chapter plus the new ones of this chapter. Yet, this

would be only the second step of a long journey.   


            The problem of getting large

molecules was discussed by the late Leslie Orgel in his final journal article,

published in 2008. Orgel was a giant in abiogenesis. He was one of the few

people to see the Watson-Crick DNA model in 1953 before the journal Nature announced

the model to the world. He wrote journal articles in chemistry for over 50

years before passing away in 2007. He had a unique understanding of

abiogenesis, that of one who had lived it from its beginnings until his recent

death over 50 years later. He was head of the Chemical Evolution Laboratory at

Scripps Institute in San Diego, California, one of the premier laboratories of

the world in his field. He shared an office with Crick for many years at

Scripps. He and Crick were the fathers of the RNA World hypothesis. At the time

of his death, Orgel was not impressed with the state of abiogenetic

chemistry.

            The final paragraph of Orgel’s final journal article is significant.  Basically, he acknowledges the validity and

seriousness of the problems we have been discussing.            He says in a somewhat cryptic statement,

“The prebiotic syntheses that have been investigated

experimentally almost always lead to complex mixtures. Proposed polymer

replication schemes are unlikely to succeed except with reasonably pure input

polymers. No solution to the origin-of-life problem will be possible until the

gap between the two kinds of chemistry is closed….Solutions offered by

supporters of geneticist or metabolist scenarios that

are dependent upon ‘if pigs could fly hypothetical chemistry’ are unlikely to

help.”

            The “prebiotic syntheses” he is

talking about include first stage processes, such as Miller’s experiment. These

are the ones that supply the building block molecules used to assemble

replicating molecules.

            The “complex mixtures” are

represented by the broad products we saw in Table 1 on page 13, where natural

processes make many more contaminants than required products.  

            “Proposed polymer replication

schemes” would be the processes at work in this stage to provide the eventual

ability to copy large proteins and RNA.

            So, Orgel is saying that the

proposed second stage schemes are unlikely to succeed unless they can start

with reasonably pure chemicals. (Four times as many contaminants as working

stock is not reasonably pure.) Of course, even when

the proposed processes do start with pure chemicals they haven’t been able to

demonstrate a single successful, significant step of progress. Obviously,

starting with extremely contaminated products would make it that much harder.

            His next comment, about “no

solution,” is particularly significant. Paraphrasing, he says that unless the

gap is closed between the products of stage 1 and the requirements of stage 2,

abiogenesis is not possible. This is a major statement. Notice—the gap Orgel

is talking about is the one between the products of Miller’s experiment and the

purity required for abiogenesis. Miller’s experiment will never produce the

required purity of molecules. Thus, one of the most qualified abiogenists in

history has effectively acknowledged that abiogenesis as it now stands in the

light of experimental evidence is impossible.

            In the ellipses he mentions a few

things people are attempting in order to purify the stage 1 products. However,

these have been tried for many decades without success. There is no more basis to expect a “hands off” purification scheme to appear

spontaneously than to expect Miller’s experiment to provide pure products

without help. Abiogenetic disconnects will prevent either from succeeding.

            His final statement is most

revealing of all. Whether a person believes in “information first” or

“metabolism first” doesn’t matter. If a person’s theoretical scheme of

abiogenesis depends on hypothetical chemistry that violates known chemical

principles, then it doesn’t help much in solving the “origin-of-life problem.”

It is the equivalent of starting a statement, “If pigs could fly, then ….”

Everything that follows is nonsense, because pigs can’t fly.

                                                Compare Miller’s experiment with Watson and Crick’s

model of the structure of DNA.  Both date

to 1953. The DNA model has been extremely fruitful; it provided the foundation

for most of the developments of modern biochemistry. By contrast Miller’s

experiment initially got hopes up for many people that man could now explain

how he got here without calling on a Creator God. Yet, 60 years later, not a

single true advance has been made toward this. However, a stream of new

problems, each of which is also potentially capable of thwarting success, have been discovered. 


            If one looks carefully at the issues

that concerned Orgel, they 

can be traced back to two words: “Abiogenetic Disconnects”

            If the Bible is true, if God did

create the universe including the life that is in it for it to reveal itself to

be the handiwork of a living, personal, Creator God, then Orgel’s

observation is consistent what we should expect.

Problem 5. Statistical Probabilities. (This section is rather technical and may be skipped

by those without a mathematical background.)

            Here is a critical problem: an

emerging system needs a reliable energy source from its earliest steps.

However, the enzymes used to provide this will take multiple Googols of years

to make through random processes. There is no rational basis to expect them ever

to appear. The extreme complexity of the enzymes that bothered Orgel in his

final article were the ones needed to appear very early in abiogenesis. His

concern was legitimate.

            A Googol is the number “1” followed

by 100 zeroes. It is so big that changing its value by plus or minus ten

billion does not show up until its 90th significant figure. Ten billion years,

the approximate age of the universe estimated by some, would not even be

discernible on a scale of Googol-year increments.

            In an article posted on the web

(Stout T, 2014) I show that a Googol years is not long enough to

form randomly a specifically-needed enzyme of 167 amino acids under extremely

idealized, theoretical conditions. An enzyme of 267 amino acids would be

diluter than this by yet another Googol. Every 100 additional amino acids in an

enzyme reduces the concentration by yet another

Googol.

            What is the significance of this? It

takes energy to do the various functions of a cell. Cells typically use a kind

of molecule called “ATP” to provide tiny packets of energy for cellular

operation. Every kind of cell using oxygen to burn fuel converts the fuel into

ATP molecules using what is called the “Krebs cycle.” For every atom of oxygen

used to burn a sugar or fat molecule supplying fuel for the Krebs cycle, two

molecules of ATP are produced. Unlike typical random energy sources, these tiny

power packets are just right for biochemicals: weak enough not to damage the

products being worked on and powerful enough to accomplish a task. The Krebs

cycle requires eight different enzymes. Missing any one of them is fatal to

proper cycle operation. These enzymes are huge in size.

            Let’s look at just 4 of them. One of

them, called malate dehydrogenase,

is made from over 300 amino acids. It should take well over a Google years

to generate a single, isolated copy of this enzyme through random processes.

Another, called citrate synthase, uses 437. In life, these two enzymes are used in equal

numbers. By contrast, a random sequence will be over a Googol times more likely

to generate  malate dehydrogenzase

than citrate synthase. These are the easy

ones. By contrast, Succinyl CoA Synthetase  is made from two identical strings of 693 amino acids

each. This will be hard to get. However, that is simple compared to Succinate Dehydrogenase

which is over 1,100 amino acids. To get the Krebs cycle to work, all of

these enzymes plus others need to be attached to a wall of some sort

next to each other in sequence. This provides an “assembly line” for processing

the steps. Many copies of such assembly lines are required for each cell. 

             There is a reason these enzymes are

composed of so many amino acids. Orgel explained in the main body of his final

article that highly specific enzyme activity is required for the cycle to

function properly. Small enzymes cannot provide the required specificity.

Therefore, extremely large ones are required. In other words, the cycle won’t

work with smaller enzymes.

            When one considers that the human

body has over 10,000 different enzymes  averaging over 400 amino acids

apiece,  the complexity of life becomes

staggering. Most of the enzymes would not appear randomly under ideal

conditions even in a Googol years. Yet, these enzymes are merely building

blocks for a cell, such as construction supplies at a lumber yard are for a

house. The true complexity is in putting them together properly.  How to

represent the instructions to do this by a sequence of nucleotides stored in a

genome is beyond current human comprehension.

            Evolutionists such as Dawkins in his

book the Blind Watchmaker (Dawkins R. 1987) propose a process called cumulative

selection as a way around the statistical problem. However, cumulative

selection does not work, because natural selection cannot choose between the

better of two options when both fail. Natural selection cannot choose which of

two sequences of amino acids is closest to being able to function effectively

as succinate dehydrogenase

until at least one of them already does. Therefore, the first appearance of a

required enzyme needs to take place in a single-step at the right place and

the right time in the proper quantity. Dawkins’ process of cumulative

selection works fine with computer simulations with computer programs which

were hand tailored to produce the desired results. It doesn’t apply to

the realities of life. The astronomical odds against forming a required group

of nucleotides or amino acids represent an extreme example of Abiogenetic

Disconnects.

            Cumulative selection also assumes an

already working system, capable of translating nucleotide sequences into

proteins. So, it is useless in forming the proteins needed for the first

appearance of such a system.

Problem 6. Replication. 

Replication refers to copying

a cell or molecule. It is one of the basic characteristics of life. I will be

brief in discussing the problems associated with replication.

            An already living cell assembles

free nucleotides to form strands of RNA. This is done by an enzyme or

combination of enzymes adding a specifically required nucleotide one at a time

to a forming string according to a sequence defined by a template. The enzymes

to do this properly are long, typically over 400 amino acids in length.

            Some abiogenists propose that before

living systems used amino-acid based enzymes, they used nucleotide-based “ribozymes” to do the same function. To this end there is a

lot of experimental effort at work to uncover a string of nucleotides that

could assemble free nucleotides from a solution into a sequence in accordance

with a supplied pattern. So far the results are not promising. Here are a few

problems that are discussed in the literature. They may be viewed as yet more

instances of Abiogenetic Disconnects. 

            1. RNA has a very short lifetime,

typically from hours to days, depending on temperature and other factors. Any

interruption in the supply of RNA nucleotides as nutrients to an ongoing

copying operation which is longer than this could result in all of the key RNA

molecules disintegrating during the delay, thus destroying any progress. There

is a disconnect between the rapid natural decay of RNA

and the stability needed for it to be useful in a pre-life environment.

            2. As an illustration, Johnston et

al (2001) developed a 176-nucleotide RNA molecule capable of copying

strings of RNA. It spontaneously disintegrates while copying strings longer

than about 14 nucleotides. Thus, it typically disintegrates before it has

copied less than 10% of itself. This illustrates just how severely RNA’s short

lifetime impacts abiogenesis.  176

nucleotides is much too many to reasonably appear in a

single step. Yet, even this is not long enough to give the copying efficiency

required for it to make a copy of itself before it spontaneously decays. This

is another disconnect between natural behavior and the requirements of

abiogenesis.

            3. “Parasites” have been observed

with experiments studying replicators taken from already living cells.

Parasites are molecules which do not make a useful contribution to cellular

activity, but get copied by the replicator, consuming nutrient nucleotides in

the process. Parasites can be small molecules. Small molecules are generally

more active than larger ones, so replicators will tend to preferentially copy

them. Eventually, the parasites starve the system, progress stops, and RNA’s

rapid natural decay soon destroys everything. There is a disconnect between the

natural  indiscriminate

copying by simple replicators and the need by abiogenesis for only useful

molecules to be copied.

 “I am

the LORD, that is My name; and My glory

I will not give to another…” (Isaiah 42:8).

Chapter 4  

Information: God’s Signature Written in a Cell

It does not take a deep technical background to follow

the arguments of this chapter. Yet, they are decisive. They make a natural

origin of  life

impossible. Anyone willing to take the effort to work through the next seven

pages should be able to understand why.

 Living cells

are information-driven machines. This single observation does away with the

possibility of an evolutionary origin of life. Information-driven machines

consist of two separate but essential components: a body of information stored

in a medium and hardware to read the medium and use the information. Each of

the components need to be in operating condition for

the system to be effective.

            A computer provides an example of an

information-driven machine.  Both the

hardware and the software must make their first appearance simultaneously in already

working form. This requirement is the heart of the argument. By definition

single-step appearance is not evolution. The requirement of a simultaneous

first appearance of both hardware and the information controlling it is

characteristic of information-driven machines in general.

            A

living cell is also an information-driven machine, so it follows the same

pattern. The physical components of a cell that are needed to process and use

cellular information have no value unless the associated information is

present. Likewise, the information has no value unless the physical cellular

components used to read and process the information are present. Both need to

function properly. Both need to make a simultaneous first appearance. The tiny,

gradual steps of progress which define evolution are not capable of producing a

cell.

            There is an added level of

difficulty concerning a living cell. The instructions on how to make the

various physical components to read the information are only found in the

cell’s information. So, the parts needed to read the information cannot be made

using the information until the parts already exist. This entire system is

much, much too complex to appear spontaneously through natural processes alone

in a sudden step. Indeed, the entire purpose of evolutionary theory is to

reduce the size of steps needed to produce major changes to individual steps of

insignificant size. This doesn’t work here.

                                                 A major

issue concerns the minimum amount of information required to build a minimal

cell capable of self sustenance. The amount appears to be staggering. For instance,

160,000 nucleotide base pairs are used in the DNA to define the genetic content

(genome) of a certain parasite. However this parasite cannot sustain

independent life on such few base pairs; it is dependent on its host to perform

certain functions it cannot. It cannot do these because its genome is not large

enough to contain the information required to do them. (Nakabachi A. et al.

2006).

            An atheistic scientist is faced with

a set of severe problems. 160,000 base pairs represent far too much information

to show up correctly in a single, random step. The atheist must either take the

unscientific position of giving up the laws of statistics, must acknowledge

that science points to a Creator God, or must justify how a much smaller

number, one which is reasonably probable, could specify the minimum number of

base pairs required to define a working cell capable of sustaining an

independent existence.          

            Realistically, the maximum number of

base pairs that could be rationally expected to be generated through random

processes in a single step would be well under 100. The difference in

difficulty between assembling 100 base pairs randomly and 160,000 base pairs

randomly is staggering. (For the mathematically minded, the ratio in difficulty

would equal 4160,000/100, which is approximately equal to 101000. This

number is so large it dwarfs a Googol. For one who believes in a Creator, the

discrepancy between 100 and 160,000 base pairs reveals the greatness of God’s

power and wisdom. Science becomes a tool for us to marvel at God’s wisdom and

power.)

Evolution theoretically advances by taking a working

system, making slight changes to the information defining it, and then using

natural selection to give reproduction preference to whichever alternative has

the better reproduction value over its competition. However, this concept

requires an already working system before it has value.

Natural selection cannot select between the better of

two failures. This statement is

foundational to our entire argument. It precludes the possibility of converting

a random assortment of data symbols by an evolving series of steps into a large

body of coherent information. From the beginning, the information must be

capable of reliably operating the hardware. The hardware must be capable of

reliably read, translating, and using the information. This in turn means that

evolutionary processes are powerless to create the first living cell.

Mutations and Information

            It is impossible to create a large,

complex body of information by making random changes to a group of randomly

sequenced symbols. According to the principle of entropy, discussed in the next

chapter, a large number of random changes will ultimately destroy any kind of

existing order; this includes an organized set of symbols defining information.

This precludes forming order from scratch.

            Suppose a string of one thousand

nucleotides is required to code for a new enzyme. Suppose only a single

nucleotide is improperly coded and prevents the new enzyme from functioning

properly. It will then take an average of one thousand mutations to the string

before the errant symbol is changed. Even then, a mutation to the defective

nucleotide may simply introduce a new error and not fix the problem. Since the

enzyme was not working properly to begin with, natural selection cannot

distinguish between variants with many mutations and those with few—natural

selection cannot choose between the better of two failures. By the time the

string has been mutated a thousand times without defects being removed, any

information initially present will have been pretty much obliterated. Notice,

more time and more mutations do not fix this problem. This is a significant

issue that is never taught by professors of biological evolution to their students.

            This problem makes it easy to

understand Dr. Dose’s comment in the opening paragraph, “we do not actually know where the genetic

information of all living cells originates.” It is certainly not through

evolutionary processes of mutation working with natural selection.

Coded Information: a Product of Intelligent Thought

The kind of information used in a cell may be

classified as coded symbolic information. Coded symbolic information is

information in which an abstract meaning is represented by a sequence of

symbols arranged according to a code. The DNA nucleotides (sometimes called codons

by biologists) function as the storage medium for the information stored in

a living cell.

An intelligent mind can assign meaning to things it

understands. It can then invent a code to represent this meaning. Information

is the coded representation of meaning. The concept of meaning is

extremely broad, essentially limited only by the intelligence and experience of

the one inventing the code. Of course, the laws of physics are not dependent on

the intelligence of the objects acted on for their effectiveness. By contrast,

the levels of meaning and the sophistication of codes to represent the meaning

are dependent on the intelligence of the one inventing and implementing them.

This establishes coded information as the domain of intelligence, one outside

of the normal laws of physics and chemistry.

As an illustration of a simple form of information,

consider the cardinal numbers 1, 2, 3, etc. 

These can be represented by ink shapes on a sheet of paper, by sounds

such as spoken in any of the languages on our planet, or by any other set of

symbols a person chooses to invent. A person could even invent a code to

represent a limited quantity of numbers by certain smells if he chose to do so.

Notice, there is absolutely no relationship between the physical structure

representing the meaning and the meaning itself. The only relationship is in

the mind of an intelligent being—or in hardware he designs to translate it.

However, meaning is not limited just to simple things like cardinal numbers. Poets can have very

subtle shades of insight into the experiences of a living human being that go

beyond normal words to express. Such insight is a product of intelligence. The

poet then expresses these insights with symbols on a sheet of paper. The

meaning can then be communicated to other intelligent beings, even though in

the case of artistic works, effective communication is also dependent on the

observer’s intelligence and background. There are no principles of physics or

chemistry which preferentially define a code to represent the insights of a

sensitive poet, even though the medium—words on a sheet of paper—is a physical

entity which can be studied.

Einstein learned and discovered new concepts of

relativity and gravity and then invented a way to express these concepts using

words and symbols; their expression represents information. The meaning of the

symbols he used is far beyond my capacity to understand. That is because

information is a product of intelligence and I do not have the intelligence or

the training to understand the information Einstein created. To me his

information has no meaning. To one with the proper intelligence and training,

the information Einstein gave us is full of meaning.

Therefore, the formation of codes to represent meaning

is an intellectual function. Natural chemical and physical processes do not

invent codes nor form abstract relationships. This in turn requires an

information-driven machine to be designed and built by an intelligent being. Humans

can design and build computers. It takes a living Creator God to design and

build a living cell.

The code used in a living cell is extremely

complicated. A person can easily access a discussion of the genetic code from a

source such as Wikipedia, and study the “triplet” coding used to associate a

sequence of nucleotides with a sequence of amino acids. However, that is only

the trivial part of the code. Embedded within the genetic information of a cell

are all kinds of control sequences that scientists are only just beginning to

understand.

If a person reads the science journals, he finds that

those scientists trying to give an evolutionary explanation for cellular

information and a translation system to use it have hit a “brick wall” head on.

They do not have the slightest clues about the origins of the genetic code or

the origins of the translation system needed to implement it. They still

haven’t deciphered the control mechanism embedded within the code.  For instance, if you cut your finger, your

body will go through a healing process. That process is defined by various

sequences of nucleotides in your genes. What is the code that defines the

nucleotide sequence for this process? Which genes implement it? So far, no one

knows.

             

The translation system of a cell consists of the cellular components

used to extract information from DNA, feed it to a ribosome, and assemble amino

acids into enzymes. Wolf and Koonan made a concerted

effort to figure out how this might have happened through evolutionary

processes. This is their conclusion:

     “The

origin of the translation system is, arguably, the central and the hardest

problem in all evolutionary biology. The problem has a clear catch-22 aspect:

high translation fidelity hardly can be achieved without a complex, highly

evolved set of RNAs and proteins but an elaborate

protein machinery could not evolve without an accurate translation

system.”   (Wolf W. and Koonin E. 2007,

Abstract).

      “...the

fundamental problem we wish to address here: the origin of the translation

system and the genetic code. Indeed, the translation system might appear to be

the epitome of irreducible complexity because, although some elaborations of

this machinery could be readily explainable by incremental evolution, the

emergence of the basic principle of translation is not. Indeed, we are unaware

of translation being possible without the involvement of ribosomes, the

complete sets of tRNA and aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRS), and (at least for

translation to occur at a reasonable rate and frequency) several translation

factors. In other words, staggering complexity is inherent even in the

minimally functional translation system…

“Even this does not do the full justice to

the difficulty of the problem. The origin of translation appears to be truly

unique among all innovations in the history of life in that it involves the

invention of a basic and highly non-trivial molecular –biological principle,

the encoding of amino acid sequences in the sequences of nucleic acid bases via

the triplet code [15,16]. This principle, although

simple and elegant once implemented, is not immediately dictated by any known

physics or chemistry (unlike, say, the Watson-Crick complementarity) and seems

to be the utmost innovation of biological evolution  (Wolf W. and Koonin E. 2007, p.2).

All

Wolf and Koonin can do is marvel at the wisdom shown in the elegance and

inherent simplicity of the genetic code and the hardware to read and use it. To

them it represents the utmost innovation of evolution. They certainly cannot

explain how natural processes could have produced it. Their observation that

there is no known physics or chemistry to produce the triplet code gives us yet

another Abiogenetic Disconnect. 

            However,

I would disagree with them on one account. 

There is something in a cell far more innovative than this. We have

already mentioned it: it is how a cell uses stored information to control when

the various cellular components get built, control how many of them are built,

and control how they are used. Coded control information is used to regulate

how a cell puts the pieces together and operates. The code defining how to do

this represents a level of innovation and complexity far beyond that of the simple

triplet code. Scientists have not even begun to figure out how natural

processes could invent and implement a code of this complexity.

The reason is simple: Coding is a product of intelligence, not physics.

            Science reveals to us all manner of

difficulties that block a spontaneous, evolutionary origin of life. It does not

give us reasons for believing a natural origin is possible. After 60 years of

efforts, the findings of the modern field of abiogenesis are completely

consistent with creationism. Those who continue to believe chemical

evolution do so because of personal philosophical convictions, not because of

the testimony of science.

Since a living cell is an information-driven machine,

the first appearance of the cell must have every single one of the following

cellular components working satisfactorily: 


1. A medium capable of storing coded information.

2. A huge body of debugged coded information stored in

the       cellular              medium, requiring perhaps a minimum of 100,000 base

pairs.

3. The entire translation system for extracting and

using the          information.  This includes messenger RNA, ribosomes,       synthetases, transfer RNA, etc., all of

which need to appear in           working

order in a single step.

4. An energy system such as ATP for supplying energy

to cell

components, including the translation system. 

5. A fuel source to drive the energy system

(photosynthesis or the

means to use external sources of nutrients).

6. A waste removal system.

7. A cell membrane.

8. A cell replication System.

With the exception of replication, if any one of these

systems does not function properly, none of the others can either. Since

replication is needed to replace dying cells, all of the above components need

to appear together in working form from the beginning.

At a certain point we need to say enough is enough.

The use of information to control and build the components of a cell is

conclusive. It is impossible for natural processes to create living organisms

such as we see around us. Thus, life had to come from a source outside of

natural processes. The use of information points to an Intelligent

source. This in turn points directly to a Creator God as the source of life, a

God who is intelligent, has a will, and has the power to intervene into the

affairs of His creation to bring into existence in a single step the living

cells He designed.

Often an artist will sign his name on a painting to

show that he painted it. In the same way, the information stored in the DNA of

a living cell may be viewed as the signature of God showing that He is the one

who placed it there.

“He has made the earth by

His power, he has established the world by His wisdom, and has stretched out

the heavens at His discretion” (Jeremiah 10:12).

Chapter 5.

Entropy and Abiogenetic Disconnects

            Abiogenetic Disconnects are a

manifestation of the principle of entropy. Entropy is the principle that random

changes to an organized system tend to destroy its order.  By contrast, the steps of abiogenesis

contradict this; each step requires random changes to produce higher degrees of

organization. This should be a warning of potentially serious problems. The

warning becomes validated when a person looks at the details of various

experiments performed in abiogenesis over the years. They all reveal problems.

Analysis shows these problems are the direct result of entropy acting on the

processes. This means that the observed problems truly are problems; they are

not just the result of an improperly performed experiment. 

            If a gallon of hot water is mixed

with a gallon of ice water, the resultant temperature will be between the two

original temperatures. The molecules of the hot water have more energy than the

molecules of the cold water. This is an important concept: Separation of high

energy molecules from low energy molecules represents organization. However,

when the two gallons are mixed together, the temperature shifts to a point

between the two original temperatures. As the mixture reaches a uniform

temperature, the organization originally present disappears, as well as the

ability for the system to do useful work.

            By contrast, the molecules in a bowl

of water at lukewarm temperature do not spontaneously organize themselves such

that ice forms at the bottom of the bowl and steam at the top. This would

represent spontaneously increased organization. Entropy illustrates an arrow of  time. Random

changes tend to destroy existing order. They do not produce new levels of

organization. Time doesn’t go backwards.

            The water in a bowl can be turned

into ice. However, this will require an external source of energy. Typically,

though, this energy will need to be applied by some sort of hardware apparatus,

such as a refrigerator. The kind of energy and its amount must match the

requirements of the hardware apparatus, such as 120 VAC for household

refrigerators. Setting off a bomb in a refrigerator supplies energy but does

not produce ice, it destroys the refrigerator.

            In chapter 2 we saw how Miller’s

experiment works by randomly ripping apart and recombining the molecules in a

spark chamber. A complex mixture of chemicals is the natural result. For

Miller’s experiment to suddenly produce only amino acids and those in useful

ratios with each other would be an organizing process, similar to ice forming

spontaneously at the bottom of a bowl. Entropy prevents each from happening.

            Entropy is an extremely broad

principle and applies to many domains unrelated to each other. Applied to heat

flow, it becomes the second law of thermodynamics. Applied to information

theory, random changes to a body of  information, such as a computer

program or a genome, tend to destroy existing information, not create new

information. Concerning the arts, a mistake in a music performance rarely adds

to the performance, but distracts from it. One stroke by a monkey with a

paintbrush can ruin a Rembrandt painting.  


            Entropy can also be applied to

abiogenesis. There is no principle of science to constrain a process such as

Miller’s experiment to produce only that portion of its normal output which

would be suitable for abiogenesis. Entropy thus guarantees that the broad  complex will be

produced.. Calling the behavior Abiogenetic Disconnects instead of

entropy merely indicates the domain in which entropy is operating—not heat, not

music, not art, etc.

            There is another characteristic of

entropy. Sometimes, a random fluctuation can produce momentary order. However,

this order is only temporary. Eventually the order will be overwhelmed by the

sheer magnitude of the random events. For instance, if a person rolls a pair of

dice enough times, he will occasionally get double sixes  (or any other number for that matter)

three times in a row. It is possible this could happen the first time he tries

it, which would give a false appearance of organization: double sixes would

appear to be preferred over other numbers. However, as the number of dice rolls

increases, entropy will cause the momentary appearance of organization to

disappear. Ultimately, the momentary appearance of order is overcome by the

overwhelming magnitude of the normal, random results. Eventually, a truly

random final assortment prevails. This is entropy in action.

            Many abiogenists seem to assume that

if the elapsed time is long enough, these random fluctuations would be adequate

to allow life to accidentally appear. However, these assertions are only

rhetoric; they are not backed up with calculations. Creationists can show

calculations such as presented in Chapter 3 part 5. These calculations show

that a Googol years is not long enough for random

processes to produce a single typical enzyme. Dawkin’s

cumulative selection is the typical response to this problem. Yet, it is based

on faulty assumptions, ones that do not apply to real life. Thus, entropy truly

prevails as confirmed by experiment after experiment. *

            Entropy not only shows itself in

first-stage processes, but interferes with a natural origin of life every step

of the way. It’s as though God has placed a series of barriers against a

natural origin, such that the first one should be fatal to the process. If it

is not, then a whole string of potentially fatal scenarios provide a series of

backups to insure ultimate failure. The use of coded symbolic information in

the last step insures that abiogenesis cannot occur.

            Biologists seem not to understand entropy

very well. For instance, many biologists have a standard response to claims by

creationists that a natural appearance of life is contradicted by the principle

of entropy. They claim entropy only applies to a closed system. The sun adds

energy to a chemical reaction towards abiogenesis and this energy can drive a

system to the organization required for life.

            They don’t seem to understand that

without the specialized hardware which is energized by the discrete units of

energy used by a living cell, useful products of life are not produced with the

purity needed, when needed, and where needed. Sunlight in a pre-life scenario,

that is, one before the specialized enzymes used in a living cell have come

into existence, will essentially function as a variant of Miller’s experiment.

There is no scientific basis to expect success. Sunlight energy does not

automatically overcome entropy. A bomb does not turn a wagon into an

automobile.

            Ilya

Prigogine won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1977. He demonstrated that in a

system far from equilibrium, self-organization can take place. An example of

this would be the formation of an organized thunderstorm when a stable mass of

cold air collides with a stable mass of warm, moist air. Evolutionists like to

extrapolate this principle to the appearance of life. Simply supply an unstable

mix of raw chemicals and self-organization can appear, giving us the steps

useful for life and circumventing the normal restraints of entropy.

            It does not take much insight to see

the fallacy of this argument. The appearance of a thunderstorm follows very

precise laws of physics. Its behavior is predictable within our limits to

measure initial conditions. Prigogine’s self-organization still follows strict

guidelines.

            Likewise, in a pre-life scenario, an

energy source such as a spark can make raw chemicals unstable. As a result they

can self-organize into a wide range of complex products. However, just as a

thunderstorm follows established laws of physics, the products of a pre-life

scenario such as Miller’s experiment will follow established laws of chemistry.

This is exactly what we observe in the table showing the results of Miller’s

experiment on page 13. The chemicals formed represent self-organization. Since

there is nothing to constrain the products produced to be suitable for life,

suitable products do not appear. Self-organization still follows strict

guidelines. The principle of entropy proves fatal to abiogenesis.

Chapter 6  Evolution After Chemical Evolution

             It is generally accepted among

scientists dedicated to the study of abiogenesis that going from the simple

chemicals found on a planet without life to the complexities of a single living

cell is more difficult than going from a living cell to all of the varied forms

of life around us. For instance, Margulis (1996a) said, “To go from a bacterium

to people is less of a step than to go from a mixture of amino acids to that

bacterium.”

            From this perspective, the steps of

evolution proposed by Darwin in his The Origin of Species are the simple

ones. The hard steps are those of chemical evolution, of those to get to the

first cell. The thesis of this booklet has been that science itself teaches

that a living God is necessary for these, the hard steps. This raises a

significant question: If God is needed for the hard steps, why exclude Him from

the easy ones? If God created the first living cell fully formed and in a

sudden, single step, then why could He not have created higher forms of life in

a single step as well?

              The Bible teaches that God created kinds,

not species.  Species is a

modern-day taxonomical category with a technical definition which is unknown to

the Bible. So, then, how much variation would be possible within a Biblical kind?

Fortunately, the Bible gives us a general basis for making a reasonable

estimate of the answer to this question. It is definitely not zero.

            We read, “Then God said, ‘Let the

earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that

yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth,’ and

it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed

according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

So the evening and the morning were the third day” (Genesis 1:11-13).

            The little phrase “whose seed is

within itself according to its kind” is the key to properly understanding what

God created. These nine words are unique to the Bible. To my knowledge, neither

they nor their equivalent are found in any other ancient document,

religious or secular. Yet, these words provide the key towards building a model

which is far superior to the modern evolutionary model for understanding the

characteristics of observed variation in plants and animals.

            Seed is used in the Bible as the

means of reproduction. Angels do not reproduce and do not have seed. Stars do

not reproduce by means of seed. Plants do.  Furthermore, seed is

“according to its kind.” Reproduction only takes place within a kind. Wheat

does not fertilize  an

apricot tree. Grapes do not fertilize poison ivy. Furthermore, wheat and

apricot trees do not interbreed. Nor do grapes and poison ivy. Therefore, significantly, if two different types of plants can be

bred together and produce living offspring, then they initially came from the

same creation-day kind. Understanding the significance of this gives an

entirely new perspective on taxonomy, which is the scientific classification of

the various forms exhibited by life on earth.

            Next, we read the account of animal

creation in Genesis 1:25,

            “And

God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its

kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God

saw that it was good.”

            The significance of this passage is

that God also made the animals in distinct groups according to various kinds

and a few verses later, 

in Genesis 7:3, the Bible says that animals also have

reproductive seed. 

            We now have a model based on the

creation account of the Bible. In this model, God created various kinds of

plants and animals already fully formed. We have seen that science teaches us

that an initial   fully-formed creation

was required for the first cell. The Bible merely extends this to include

large, multi-cellular animals and plants.

            Each kind was provided the innate

capacity to reproduce itself by means of seed. Reproduction only takes place

within a kind and not outside of it. Therefore, if two dogs can mate and

produce living offspring, then according to this model they came from the same

initial kind. If a dog and a wolf can mate and produce living offspring, then

they came from the same creation-day kind. Likewise, if two different types of cats

can reproduce with each other, they came from the same creation-day kind.

However, cats and dogs do not hybridize; they do not mate with each other and

produce living offspring.

            This model allows for some

interesting studies. For instance, if one does an internet search on the

phrase, “cat hybrid,” he will find that a house cat can produce living

offspring by breeding with an ocelot. So, a house cat and an ocelot came from

the same creation-day kind. The same results take place with an ocelot and a

puma, a puma and a leopard, and a leopard and a lion or tiger. Thus, all of

these cats came from the same creation-day kind. As a result, we find an

unbroken succession of hybrids linking a house cat to an Asian tiger.

            It appears that all of the modern

cats within the taxonomic classification Felidae, commonly called the cat

family, originated from a single creation-day kind. This is interesting. By

looking carefully at what the Bible teaches and then applying it to a study of

the things we see around us, we gain a tremendous insight. The creation-day

kinds were created with a huge potential variation. This is the exact opposite

of what Darwin believed. His theory of evolution was presented as a solution to

a problem which did not exist.

            It would not be necessary for the

hybrid offspring to be still fertile today. The modern-day divergence between

the parents from the original kind could be great enough to prevent their

having fertile offspring even though they can have living offspring with each

other. A horse and a donkey producing a sterile mule would be an example.

            Cats represent one family within the

order Carnivora, the carnivores. Internet searches show that the pattern of

hybridization within the cat family also applies to dogs, bears, and

seals.  

            However, the pattern is not limited

to the Carnivora. It also applies to cattle and oxen. Another CSRQ article

indicates that an early broad study places many of the original kinds near the

family taxon (Wood TC. 2006). A yet different CSRQ article discusses how

there is extensive hybridization among snakes.  (Hennigan,

2005).  

            We can speculate concerning a

plausible reason God created the initial kinds with such large potential

variation. Doing this has allowed their descendents to fill all kinds of

changing environmental niches without Him needing to create new forms for

them. 

            There is a biological principle

called “adaptive radiation.” This is a standard biological term and frequently

observed in the fossil record. If an animal or plant is introduced into a new

ecological environment with a number of differing niches available, and if the

plant or animal is capable of filling those niches if it is modified a little

bit, then the original form will modify into specialists to fill the niches. It

is as though the original form “radiates” into different adaptations to meet

the needs of the niches. Thus, an early cat kind could radiate into house cats,

bobcats, ocelots, cougars, panthers, lions, tigers, cheetahs, etc.

            If the information required for an

adaptation to take place is already present in the genes, then the radiation

can proceed quite

rapidly.

For instance, suppose that an original cat-kind had the genetic potential to

form all of the cats from house cats to Asian tigers as well as yet others

which are in the fossil record but now extinct. Further suppose that the

initial environment had the equivalent of today’s mice and zebras available as

food supplies. House cats do not kill and eat zebras. African lions do not

survive on mice they catch. Various alternatives of gene combinations would

give different characteristics to the offspring of the original cat kind. Some

of the offspring could be small and become mouse predators. Others could become

large and relish zebras.

            It is conceivable that perhaps only

50 generations would be sufficient to establish the major divisions in the cat

family, perhaps at the genus level. This would only require fifty years of

elapsed time at one generation per year. Then, over the course of time yet more

specialization would eventually produce the species we see around us today. So,

if the information for adaption is already in the genes, the adaption can take

place quickly, perhaps in only a few decades.

            The traditional, historical

taxonomical system of classification is based on the following categories, with

representative examples leading towards lions and tigers:

1. Kingdom. (Animals.

Plants. Molds).  

2. Phylum.  (Chordates.

Arthropods. Mollusks).

3. Class. (Mammals.

Fish. Amphibians. Reptiles. Birds).

4. Order. (Carnivores.

Primates. Bats. Rodents).

5. Family. (Cats. Dogs. Hyenas. Bears.

Skunks).

6. Genus. (Roaring cats.

Purring cats).

7. Species.  (Tigers, Lions. Panthers. Leopards).

            It appears that according to this

system of classification, in many cases the original kinds would have been at

the level of the family. In such a case, classifications higher than the

family, i.e., those between Order and Kingdom, would

simply represent a convenient way to organize the original kinds into

hierarchical groups having similar design features. The distribution of these

characteristics would have been made according to the personal preferences and

whims of the Designer.  However, nothing

in the Bible requires an initial Biblical kind to be the exact equivalent of a

taxonomical family, even though it appears this might be the case much of the

time. Some of the original kinds might have actually been closer to the

taxonomic level of a genus (such as cattle) or an order (whales). See article

at

http://www.icr.org/article/real-nature-fossil-record/

The Flood of Noah

            According to the Bible in Genesis

chapters 2-10, God created an initial man and woman, Adam and Eve, who

disobeyed a simple command not to eat the fruit of a certain tree. In

consequence to that disobedience, Adam died spiritually immediately, as shown by

his running from God. We, his descendants, are still trying to avoid Him. Adam

also eventually died physically, even as now we also all die physically. Men

know of God, but want to be their own God (humanism dates back to the days of

Adam). The entire universe is corrupted and under a curse. As a consequence to

this disobedience, the entire human race has inherited an overpowering desire

for sin. In the early days of man’s history, personal rejection of God and his

standards led to a world full of violence, similar to what we see happening

today. Eventually, God decided to destroy the entire world that existed at the

time by a world-wide flood. The animals and plants buried in the flood became

the fossils we see today, with a few minor exceptions. The flood took place

about 2,000 years after the days of creation and a little over 4,000 before the

present time.

            People today have become so steeped

in evolutionary theory that the above account seems ludicrous. It is difficult

for many to understand how anyone could believe it. Yet, God tells us in the

Bible that we should expect this reaction. In the opening verses of 2 Peter 3,

we read that the days will come when scoffers will reject the Biblical teaching

about the authority of Jesus Christ and a coming time when He will return to

rule over the world. The basis for their rejection will be what today we call

“uniformitarianism,” which provides the philosophical foundation of

evolutionary theory. However, the scoffers will actually be willfully

ignorant that earlier in man’s history God judged with a flood of water

those that rejected Him. The flood is intended to be a warning that God does

judge and that modern sins will bring a new judgment, although the coming

judgment will be with fire and not water.

            The significance is that God is

indirectly telling us to expect that there will be abundant evidence of the

earlier worldwide judgment by water. However, people will willfully scoff

at the evidence because they do not want it to be true. So, we should not be surprised

at the hostility of modern man against the notion of a recent world-wide flood.

Man will do everything in his power to cover the evidence.  He will twist and distort the evidence and

deliberately draw false conclusions from it. His main weapons will be slander

and ridicule.

            The mocker should be aware that God

knows of this coming rejection of the message and told us to expect it. Hence,

the God of creation, i.e., the God who invented the laws of science, who

created matter and energy out of His own innate power, and who designed the

intricacies of living organisms and made the life forms we see around us, is

not impressed with the modern evolution-based arguments against the recent

world-wide flood. He decrees that from His perspective, He has provided us with

sufficient evidence to confirm the truth of His message. We need to be very

careful at placing our wisdom above His.

                                                Let’s suppose that the Biblical account of the flood

is true. What would we expect the fossil record to be like?

            First of all, it should be noted

that until very recently, geologists taught that fossils were formed by burial

in lakes, with sediments deposited  at

the rate of about one layer per year or at most only a few. Now it is

recognized that this is false. Fossils do not form in lakes today—scavengers

and decay destroy the material faster than sedimentation can take place.

Instead, fossils require rapid burial by several feet of mud. This typically

happens only in moving water. This most often happens during a flood, although

a mudslide or a tsunami can provide local, small scale fossilization.

            Just how big a flood would be

required? Fossils can be distributed throughout a large formation extending

over hundreds of thousands of square miles. There are no floods of this size

today; but such would be consistent with the scope of the Biblical world-wide

flood.

            Recent studies have shown that

moving waters in a major flood can deposit thousands of layers many feet thick

in only a few hours.  For instance, at a

particular location near the Mt. St. Helens volcano eruption site in 1980, 25

feet of thin-layered, stratified mud was deposited in less than a day on June

12, 1980 (Austin, S. 1986). Yet, this was nowhere near the scope of what could

take place in a world-wide deluge.

            As a starting point of analysis,

since mud deposits from floods typically form stratified layers, according to

the Biblical flood model, we should expect to find stratified rock throughout

the world. This is the case.

            The flood took place several thousands years after the days of creation spoken of in

Genesis 1 in the Bible. This would have given ample time for the initial kinds

to have radiated into various specialists as they adapted to various

environmental niches. However, the specialists would have been much more

similar to each other than to unrelated kinds. Typically, the initial kinds

would have been capable of a wide range of characteristics for a large number

of features. Each specialist would represent a certain assortment of the possible

characteristics. Assuming that many of these characteristics were distributed

independently of each other, then a diagram of their relationship to each other

would look like a bush, not a tree. This is exactly what is observed in the

record.

            The flood took place in under a

year. This is not sufficient time for any observable evolution to take place.

Thus, various species (specialists) would be identifiable in the record, but

would be static in their characteristics. There would be gaps between the

species; i.e. in general there would be no strings of fossils showing one

species evolving into another one. However, even today a single species can

appear to get larger as it is located farther north; apparently larger size

helps protect against cold. The fossil record could show various grades of

characteristics between organisms living at the same time under slightly

different ecological conditions. These could give a false appearance of

evolution within the fossil record. Since the record would be a snapshot, the

appearance would not represent true evolution of one form into another.

            The fossil record would also show

gaps between the kinds. This is  obvious, since links between kinds

would never have existed. So, for example, there would be no fossil trail

between fishes and amphibians, between amphibians and reptiles, and between

reptiles and birds or mammals. By contrast Darwin expected that most of the

fossils would appear as what we consider “transitional forms.” Yet, these are

not found in the record. Many times evolution is pictured as a tree, with

initial forms at the bottom and evolutionary changes being represented by the

trunks and the limbs until we finally today would have the modern species being

at the tips of the branches. Darwin was concerned because according to his

theory, most of the fossils should have been along the trunks and branches.

Instead, they are all at the tips. The connections characterized by his theory

do not exist in the record.

            So, what do we find when we examine

the fossil record? We find that it matches the above characteristics: species

are static, they don’t evolve within the record. Gaps

exist between species at all levels. There are no fossils showing the path to a

new, distinct family from a supposed lower level ancestor. Fossils reputedly

linking different families are rare and typically controversial in

interpretation. 

            With this in mind, here is an

interesting quote from a book on evolution: "The evolutionary origins of

taxa in the higher categories are poorly known.... Most order, classes, and

phyla appear abruptly and commonly have already acquired all other characters

that distinguish them.... We are forced to the conclusion that most of the

really novel taxa that appear suddenly in the fossil record did in fact

originate suddenly. (Ayala, F et al. 1979, pp. 266-267)

            Ayala et al observed that

they do not know how to connect between taxonomic groups at the order and

higher levels. They do not know this because the fossil record consistently

misses all of the expected links required to make the connections. Instead,

they have been forced to acknowledge that the levels that appeared suddenly in

the fossil record (i.e. typically family) truly did originate suddenly. This is

significant: the missing links are listed as the levels above the family, i.e.,

the “order, classes, and phyla.” This is precisely what would be expected from

the Biblical model we just developed.       


            At this point I would like to make a

number of additional quotes from the scientific literature. They also show how

the fossil record agrees with the predictions of the Biblical flood model.

 

            Derek Ager was president of the

British Geological Association. He wrote, “It must be significant that nearly

all the evolutionary stories I learned as a student...have now been debunked” Ager, D. 1976.

            David Raup

(1933-  ) was a

University of Chicago paleontologist and Curator of Geology at the Field Museum

of Chicago. He wrote,

            “Instead of finding the gradual

unfolding of life, what geologists of Darwin’s time, and geologists of the

present day actually find is a highly uneven or jerky record; that is, species

appear in the sequence very suddenly, show little or no change during their

existence in the record, then abruptly go out of the record. It is not always

clear, in fact it’s rarely clear, that the descendants were actually better

adapted than their predecessors. In other words, biological

improvement is hard to find” (Raup, D. 1979).  (Emphasis was added.) Comment: this sounds

like the Biblical model of created kinds. Specialists within a kind represent

adaptations to niches, not evolutionary improvement.

             George Gaylord Simpson (1902-1984) has been

called “the greatest paleontologist of the twentieth century” (Wikipedia). He

wrote, “The facts are that many species and genera, indeed the majority, do

appear suddenly in the record, differing sharply and in many ways from any

earlier group, and that this appearance of discontinuity becomes more common

the higher the level, until it is virtually universal as regards order and all

higher steps in the taxonomic hierarchy (Simspon G.

1984. p.99).” Comment: This is amazing. The phrase

“order and all higher steps” (see page  44) means the gaps between the

families are virtually universal. This is consistent with the Biblical model of

God directly creating kinds,  most of which were at the

family level.  The order is the

next higher level.

            Richard Dawkins wrote in The

Blind Watchmaker,

“...the

Cambrian rocks, vintage about 600 million years, are the oldest in which we

find most of the major invertebrate groups. And we find many of them already in

an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as

though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history. Needless

to say, this appearance of sudden planting has delighted creationists” (Dawkins

R.  1987. p. 229).

            Comment: Dawkins has devoted his

life to fighting creationist arguments. There is very little he says that I

agree with (see the bottom of page 30). 

However, this time he has hit the nail on the head. There is a reason

the initial appearance of all of the major groups appear about the same time

(in the Cambrian) and as if they “were just planted there.” They were. 

            Stefan Bengtsson

was a paleontology professor at Uppsala University in Sweden. In an article

presented in Nature, perhaps the world’s most prestigious science

journal, Bengtsson wrote, “The animal phyla emerged

out of the Precambrian mists with most of the attributes of their modern

descendants”  (Bengtsson

S. 1990). Comment: This sounds like the Biblical model with created kinds. The

information for all of the potential features was available from the beginning.

It became evident as the niches were filled.

Stephen Jay Gould

            Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was a

renowned paleontologist at Harvard University and an outspoken evolutionist and

anti-creationist. He was a co-founder of the theory of punctuated equilibrium,

which was an attempt to reconcile the observations of the fossil record with

evolutionary theory. Basically, his position was that evolutionary changes took

place so rapidly that the fossil record wasn’t able to detect them. Then, once

something appeared, it would remain stable until it disappeared. He was

unconcerned about the incompatibilities of his theory with genetics; that

wasn’t his field. He decreed that reconciliation was the geneticist’s problem, he simply stated what the fossil record taught.

Below are some quotes by him.

            Gould (1977) said: “The extreme

rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of  paleontology. The

evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and

nodes of the branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the

evidence of fossils. 

            “...Stasis. Most species exhibit no

directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil

record looking much the same as when they disappear; morphological change is

usually limited and directionless.

            “...All paleontologists know that

the fossil record contains precious little in the way of intermediate forms;

transitions between major groups are characteristically abrupt.”

            Gould (1980) said: “The absence of

fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic

design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional

intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution.”  Comment: Have you ever noticed how vague the

discussion becomes about any proposed evolutionary paths between amphibians,

reptiles, mammals, and birds? The reason  is simple. There is not enough fossil

evidence even to imagine the steps to fill in the blanks. This is saying a lot

when one considers that a paleontologist can take a single tooth of a

prehistoric man and make a drawing or statue showing the shape of his feet, his

hip bone structure, the length of his arms, how hairy he is, how sloped his

forehead is, and a whole list of other features—all from a tooth.

Adaptive Radiation

            Gould (1987) said, “But evolution is

a copiously branching bush, not a ladder.” Comment: this fits the Biblical

model. The species in existence at the time of the flood would have been

specialists which radiated from the original kinds. The original kinds would

have had many different characteristics independently capable of wide

variations. The various species would have various assortments of the form

these characteristics took, hence the appearance of a bush.

            David Raup

(1987) said, “Students of evolutionary history have observed repeatedly that in

an adaptive radiation, the major subgroups appear early and at about the same

time.”  Comment: a rapid, simultaneous

radiation fits the Biblical model, one in which the genetic information for the

adaptation already exists. By contrast, the acquisition of new information is a

slow process whose rate of appearance cannot be predicted, or worse yet, based

on what we understand about the biochemical issues in creating new information,

could never be expected to take place even within a long time, let alone

rapidly. Systematic, simultaneous filling of niches seems consistent with the

Biblical model and inconsistent with our understanding of genetics and the

evolutionary, uniformitarian model.