Copyright © By Dr. Adel Elsaie, Book Title: "History of Truth, The Truth about God and Religions"

3.3 Discrediting Evolution: Origin of Life

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Early Atmosphere

Origin of Life

What do algae, a whale, a giant tree, and we have in common? These are just four of the 1,500,000 different living organisms found on Earth. They are about as different as living things can be; yet they are all alike in at least two ways. First they all carry on basic life processes. Second, they all are made up of cells. In the late 1600's, people started using microscopes to observe things smaller than the naked eye could see. An Englishman called Robert Hooke was examining materials under the microscope. One of these materials was a piece of cork. He cut a very thin piece of cork and examined it under the microscope. He observed tiny, orderly, empty spaces that reminded him of the cells in a honeycomb. He called them cells.

The cell is the fundamental structural unit of all living organisms. Some cells are complete organisms, such as the unicellular bacteria and protozoa; others, such as nerve, liver, and muscle cells, are specialized components of multicellular organisms. Cells range in size from the smallest bacteria, which are 0.1 micron in diameter, to the egg yolks of ostriches, which are about 8 cm (about 3 in.) in diameter. Although they may differ widely in appearance and function, all cells have a surrounding membrane and an internal, water-rich substance called the cytoplasm, the composition of which differs significantly from the external environment of the cell. Within the cell is genetic material, DNA, containing coded instructions for the behavior and reproduction of the cell and also the chemical machinery for the translation of these instructions into the manufacturing of proteins. Viruses are not considered cells because they lack this translation machinery; they must parasitize cells in order to translate their own genetic code and reproduce themselves.

All cells are dynamic at some stage of their life cycle, in the sense that they use energy to perform a variety of cell functions: movement, growth, maintenance and repair of cellular structure, reproduction of the cell, and manufacture of specialized cell products such as enzymes and hormones. These functions are also the result of interactions of organic molecules.

The structure and functions of our cells could be compared to a central government or a factory. A factory, for example, is a place of great activity. Fuel and raw materials are delivered to the factory; the plant workers follow a set of directions from the main office as they do their jobs. Fuel is burned in the generators to provide energy. Energy is used to put the raw materials together into finished products. During the manufacturing process, wastes are produced, and need to be removed. The finished product is packed, and stored until it is shipped out of the factory. These manufacturing processes inside a factory are very similar to the life processes carried out inside a cell. The finished products are the compounds that form the many parts of the cell. The main office and the planning department of our factory cell are the nucleus. The nucleus of the cell is the control center that controls everything that happens inside the cell.

To have an appreciation of your human body:

Each of the 100 trillion cells in each human functions like a walled city:

Is there a chance that all of the above came from a hydrogen atom. Human being had to be created by a Mighty God. When the theory of evolution was first proposed, scientists had no clue of the fantastic complexity of a living cell.

Early Atmosphere

Scientists agree that the early atmosphere of the Earth was far different from what it is now. Some feel that it consisted of methane, ammonia, and water vapor. Others think it was composed of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Most believe that the main elements of organic compound - carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen - existed in the early atmosphere. In 1953 Stanley Miller circulated hydrogen, methane, ammonia and water vapor that he thought to be part of the early atmosphere throughout a chamber. He subjected these gases to electric discharges. The discharges represented the assumed sources of energy (lightning bolts and ultraviolet radiation) of the early atmosphere. Water vapor condensed and settled at the bottom of the chamber. At the end of one week, water was studied and found to contain large quantities of some of the many amino acids that are the building block of proteins (organic compounds).

It was therefore concluded that organic compounds could have been produced in a similar manner in the early atmosphere of Earth. This experiment exists in most textbooks of biology, and is presented as a model of the origin of life. Some biology teachers even hail this experiment as a definite proof that "life happened spontaneously on Earth." Miller got only 4 kinds of the 20 amino acids needed for life to exist. Other experiments like this one have produced other kinds of amino acids. However, scientists were still unable to produce all the 20 necessary amino acids under conditions that might simulate the early atmosphere. Some scientists still thinks that this is startling evidence that life can start spontaneously when the conditions are right.

Miller assumed that Earthís early atmosphere was similar to the one in his laboratory. He said, "The synthesis of compounds of biological interest takes place only under reducing (free oxygen does not exist) conditions." But evolutionists maintain that oxygen was present in the early atmosphere. This creates an interesting dilemma that is expressed by Hitching as follows: "With oxygen in the air, the first amino acid would never have got started; without oxygen, it would have been wiped out by cosmic rays."

However, any attempt to predict the composition of the Earthís early atmosphere can only be based on guesswork or speculation. Our present knowledge does not permit any actual facts about the exact composition of the early Earthís atmosphere. Although Millerís experiment is still a classic subject about the early atmosphere, new insights of planetary formations have made it extremely doubtful that methane and ammonia ever existed in the early atmosphere.

Origin of Life

The warm little pond that Darwin imagined as lifeís birthplace contained a rich broth of organic soup. Over eons, he hypothesized that they would gradually assemble themselves into primitive organisms. For the next century, Darwin assumption was expanded by the neo-evolutionists that decided that the pond was really the ocean and began trying to figure out where the building blocks of life could have come from.

Most colleges and high schools textbooks in biology, zoology, and life sciences present the origin of life from the evolutionistsí point of view. Life just started through a series of happy coincidences that led to the development of the first living cell. Reading these books, one would find a great deal of usage of speculative sentences like "could have been", "might have been", "it was suggested", and so on. However, the usual final conclusion of this subject is that "life developed on Earth through a series of chemical reactions that just happened when the circumstances were right." This is part of the brainwashing of the education systems that are mostly controlled by evolutionists. No mention of the probability of the occurrence of a single step in this hypothetical scenario. There is no mention of the fact that we do not know exactly the composition and the environment of the early atmosphere. There is no mention of any suggestion that there might be another alternative for the origin of life just in case that the hypothetical steps to start life do not add up. The biggest irony is that the origin of life is presented as a fact using doubtful languages!

Some scientists imagined that simple organic molecules produced in the early atmosphere could have fallen from space during heavy rain. The origin of these molecules could have been under the blazing skies of a faraway planet racked by volcanic eruption and bombarded by comets and asteroids. It is hypothesized that the molecules reacted to form more complex compounds such as fat, protein, and nucleotides. They were then happened to sweep into the newly formed oceans.

What are the chances of the whole above scenario to happen in the above sequence? Realistically speaking, not a single chance. However, in a science fiction movie, a group of scientists traveled back in time to watch the formation of this organic soup! The lightning and ultraviolet would quickly decompose any complex amino acids that formed. Miller saved the 4 amino acids that he obtained only because he removed them away from the discharges. Had he left them there, the discharges would have decomposed them.

However, if it were assumed that amino acids somehow reached the oceans, then under the surface of the water there would not be enough energy to activate further chemical reactions. Water in any case prohibits growth of more complex molecules. Thus, once the amino acids are in the water, they must get out of it if they are to form larger molecules and evolve towards becoming proteins. But once they get out of the water, they are faced with the destructive ultraviolet light again. In other words there are no chances to reach this first and relatively simple step (getting the amino acids) in the evolution of life. It is therefore difficult to see how polymerization (linking together smaller molecules to form bigger ones) could have proceeded in the early ocean, since the presence of water favors depolymerization (breaking up bigger molecules into smaller ones) rather than polymerization. That is to say that water has the property of dissolving matter and not combining them. This is one of the many difficult problems that encounter evolutionists.

To continue this science fictionís scenario, groups of these molecules could have come together in the oceans. Some kind of a membrane might have formed that kept them separated from the surrounding water. The chemical surrounded by the membrane might be called the first living cell on Earth! But this membrane is extremely complex, made up of proteins, sugar, and fat molecules. The cell membrane includes channels and pumps that specifically control the influx and efflux of nutrients, and waste products. These specialized channels involve highly specific proteins, which could not have been present at the very beginning of life. Other molecules outside the membrane might have been brought together in a simple "life machine." Some protein might have served as enzymes to activate chemical reactions. Sugar might have been formed and used as a source of energy. With energy from respiration that did not use oxygen, because it did not exist freely, early living cells became better organized. Nucleic acids eventually took over control of the activities (including reproduction) of these first cells.

It is also suggested that there was competition for energy sources between the primitive cells. This struggle for existence might have led to the evolution of the first producers. These are organisms that used photosynthesis to make their own food and provided food for the earlier consumers. Photosynthesis would have led to the existence of free oxygen, which in turn could have been used for respiration. As a result, more energy would be available for other functions.

As you read the above sequence of hypothetical events that led to the first living cell, you should ask yourself about the feasibility and the likelihood of each step. The chance of composing a living cell in such a manner is equal to the chance of composing a book by an infinite number of monkeys using an infinite number of computers in 10 billion years!

There are many unanswered questions that face evolutionists. For example, there are actually over 100 amino acids, but only 20 of the 100 are required for life's proteins. These amino acids come in two groups. Should they be formed at random, as in the imaginary organic soup, it is most likely that each half would be from one group. And there is no known reason why either group should dominate living cells. Yet, the 20 amino acids used in producing life's proteins are from one group! It must be admitted that the explanation of this problem still remains one of the most difficult questions. Evolutionists just may never be able to explain it. What is the probability that 20 amino acids, of the same group, would come together by chance to form a protein molecule? To have an appreciation of this question, you may try the following experiment:

Mix a hundred grains of rice with another hundred grains of lentil. The rice represents one group and the lentil represents the other group. Plunge a spoon randomly in the pile as many times as you want. The objective is to get only 20 grains of rice arranged in a specified place in the spoon. How many numbers of times you think it will take you to achieve this objective? Do you think that it is even possible to do that? No. Then how would it have been possible in the hypothetical organic soup?

To understand the meaning of probability of something to happen, assume that you have 2 cards, 1 and 2, with faces down, and you want to get them in ascending order 12. So, if you get 1 and then 2, you are correct. But if you get 2 and then 1, you are wrong. Thus there is one chance in two that you get the right combination. This probability calculation is based upon the assumption that once you get a wrong combination you do not repeat it, because there is a chance that you may be unlucky and always get the wrong combination 2 and then 1.

Now, assume that you have three numbers: 1, 2, and 3, and you want to get the combination in ascending order 123. There are six possible ways to a combination: 123, 132, 213, 231, 312, and 321. Since you are required to get only 123, then you have 1 chance in 6 of success. The number of chances is obtained by calculating the factorial as follows:

Number of combination to 2 cards = 2 x 1 =2

Number of combination to 3 cards = 3 x 2 x 1 =6

Number of combination to 4 cards = 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 =24

Number of combination to 10 cards = 3,628,800

Number of combination to 20 cards = 2.43E18

Number of combination to 100 cards = 1E158

Now, assume that you already have the required 20 amino acids, and you just want to put them in the right sequence in a single protein molecule. If each trial to arrange the 20 amino acids takes one second, you would require 2.43E18 seconds to do that. If we assume that the universe is 30 billion years old, then this number can be calculated in seconds as follows:

30,000,000,000 x 365 days x 24 hours x 60 minutes x 60 seconds = 1E18 seconds

It is now obvious that the time required to arrange the 20 amino acids in a single protein molecule (2.43E18 seconds) may be more than double the age of the universe! This is without considering that the 20 amino acids of the same group, and there are over 100 amino acids.

According to Henry Morris in "Scientific Creationism", the chance of even a medium protein molecule forming at random in an organic soup is only one in 1E600 (one followed by 600 zero!). In plain English, this mean that someone may try this 1E600 times before getting a chance to succeed! Mathematicians consider this kind of a chance as never happening. This number of 1E600 is larger than the estimated total number of electrons in the universe, which is 1E80.

Yet another greater difficulties for evolutionary theory involves the origin of the complete genetic code - a requirement for cell production. The old philosophical paradox of "the chicken or the egg?" can now be stated "the proteins or the DNA?" This creates an interesting dilemma that is expressed by Hitching as follows "Proteins depend on DNA for their formation, but the DNA cannot form without pre-existing proteins." Some evolutionists think that they have the answer; they developed by chance together at the same time and in the same place! Does this strike you as reasonable explanation even if this statement is coming from a modern serious scientist?

It is obvious that the origin of life discredits evolution.


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