• Decrease
  • Increase
  • Show Icons

How life started

By Cameron

In Mary Shelly’s novel Frankenstein, the doctor creates life from old body parts and an electric current from a lightning strike. We used to believe that this was impossible, but this might not still be the case, as putting an electric current through a mixture of water, hydrogen, ammonia and methane will cause the formation of amino acids. In this way Stanley Miller and Harold Urey thought it would be possible to create the prebiotic soup necessary for all life on earth.

While I find this fine in principle, I have to point out that there would be many other variables in reality that would make it impossible to reproduce the process now in the laboratory as it supposedly originally happened. Volcanic clouds may encourage lightning that causes the formation of amino acids, but are just as likely to break them down again before falling into pools in sufficient concentrations to lead to the formation of RNA and DNA. So while the process is clearly hard to reproduce, perhaps it is just too improbable anyway. Does it make more sense to say that someone or something had to be there to ‘tamper’ with the environment to get the reaction to take place to start life? I am not saying that the religious creation story is entirely correct, but it answers some questions. Even though electricity can form left and right handed amino acids, how else does cell structure, sexual reproduction, and some key aspects of sentience or self-awareness arise without intervention? If we are just left with lightning bolts, the odds are too long. It is possible that our existence is due to complete and utter random luck, but I would rather propose a theory that involves a higher being that interferes with our earth and makes it possible for us to become as we are now.

Why should this be reasonable? An all present, all knowing intelligence would perhaps ‘tweak’ a natural and chaotic process to enable the formation of bacteria or amoebae, not to mention at later points in history, in order to arrange this kind of earth with life we see today. The first reproducing cells need a number of vital structures to ensure their survival. Some of these parts may well work alone, now or in the past, but they are all necessary to begin with to make a functioning species. Irreducible complexity theory is a justification for an intelligent designer. I believe that such an intelligent designer is necessary to produce our creation because the enormous amount of luck and chance involved in the chaos-style theory is too great for me to believe or accept.

Leave a Comment

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

© 2011 LASAR (Learning about Science and Religion)