Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Brief Criticism of the Evolutionary Theory of the Origin of Life

[The following is a composition I have written for my biology class addressing the theory of evolution and its presuppositions...]

The truth proclaimed in the theory of evolution, namely macroevolution, is inadequate in itself to explain the existence of life. In this brief criticism, I will debunk the notion that evolution is a thorough explanation for the origin of life. Evolution is insufficient to demonstrate scientifically the question of how life began. Therefore, I will endeavor to refute the evolutionary theory of the origin of life as an absolute science, or a fact, but is rather a presumptuous dogma.

For the theory of evolution to be considered as an established fact, two essential premises must be authenticated. First, the scientific law that “life comes only from life” must ultimately be disproven. This is what is known as a biogenesis, in which something nonliving can produce something that is living. Second, producing a simple life form is not enough; the evolutionary theory must demonstrate these simple life forms evolving into complex life forms.

According to Sylvia S. Mader, “Today we do not believe that life arises spontaneously from nonlife, and we say that ‘life comes only from life.’ But if this is so, how did the first form of life come about? Since it was the very first living thing, it had to come from nonliving chemicals.”1 I am not a scientist, but the statement made by Sylvia S. Mader is logically incoherent. One who believes the premise that “life comes only from life” cannot believe the contrary, namely, that the first living thing had to come from nonliving chemicals. This is a contradictory statement.

Stanley Miller attempted to prove the evolutionary theory through an experiment that was meant to replicate the primitive atmosphere that provided a field for the first molecules to appear. His experiment is thought to have been a monumental step for proving the evolutionary theory of the origin of life, but major flaws in the experiment were immediately detected by scientists. The foibles in this experiment included: Miller’s newly formed amino acids were quickly isolated from its natural environment, nitrogen was substituted with ammonia, oxygen would have been abundant in the atmosphere during this time period, and his experiment only produced right-handed amino acids which cannot, in the final analysis, function in living organisms. It is no surprise that Harold Urey, Stanley Miller’s teacher who helped produce the experiment, said “All of us who study the origin of life find that the more we look into it, the more we feel it is too complex to have evolved anywhere. We all believe as an article of faith that life evolved from dead matter on this planet. It is just that its complexity is so great, it is hard for us to imagine that it did.”2

In light of Miller’s unsuccessful experiment, evolutionists have established the theory that chemical evolution began in hydrothermal vents. This theory also claims that “amino acids will form peptides in the presence of iron-nickel sulfides under vent-like conditions.” 3 It is the next step to validate the formation of proteins, yet it is debunked of any scientific evidence. Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, form a peptide bond when bonded together. A water molecule is given off during the formation. Yet, according to the “Le Chatelier-Braun principle” in chemistry, it is impossible that a water-releasing reaction can occur in a hydrous condition. A dilemma of monstrous proportion as this caused Sidney Fox, an evolutionist, to create a different conclusion for the formation of peptides.

Fox suggested “…that once amino acids were present in the oceans, they could have collected in shallow puddles along the rocky shore. Then the heat of the sun could have caused them to form proteinoids, small polypeptides that have some catalytic properties.”3 There are many flaws in this theory, but perhaps the most compelling is that the exposure to ultraviolet rays, all too common in the primordial atmosphere, would have instantly disintegrated these irregular amino acid chains. Also, he did not use the useless amino acids from Miller’s experiment, namely, right-handed amino acids, but instead he used amino acids from living organisms and it resulted in useless irregular proteins that do not resemble any regular proteins present in living things. It is similar to comparing a plasma television with scrap metal.

Therefore, I conclude that if this theory cannot get off the ground, it cannot fly; it is then safe to assume that this theory is rather a philosophy based on presuppositions rather than science. A presupposition based on evolution’s dogma of naturalism.

1Sylvia S. Mader, Biology- eighth edition, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2004, p.320
2W. R. Bird, The Origin of Species Revisited, Thomas Nelson Co., Nashville, 1991, p. 325
3Sylvia S. Mader, Biology-eighth edition, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2004, p. 321