The Source of
The earth is full of life of
incredible diversity. Scientists
continue to discover new species at the rate of 1500 a year. The best estimate is that there may be over 8
million species on earth.
of the most fundamental questions is where all of this life came from. There are two basic answers. Some believe it came about naturally, through
a non-directed evolutionary process.
Others believe that it was created by God.
The Belief in
Natural evolutionists believe that in a primordial environment there was
the right mix of gases such as hydrogen, methane, ammonia, carbon dioxide,
nitrogen, etc. that interacted with some type of energy such as the sun or
lightning that converted these basic elements into a variety of amino
acids. Those evolved into proteins; the
proteins eventually evolved into simple cells, complete with DNA to replicate
Stephen Meyer, a geophysicist who earned a doctorate at Cambridge, wrote,
“Consider what you’d need for a protein molecule to form by chance. First, you need the right bonds between the
amino acids. Second, amino acids come in
right-handed and left-handed versions, and you’ve got to get only left-handed
ones. Third, the amino acids must link
up in a specified sequence, like letters in a sentence. Run the odds of these things falling into
place on their own and you find that the probabilities of forming a rather
short functional protein at random would be one chance in a hundred thousand
trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion
trillion trillion. That’s a ten with 125
zeroes after it! And that would only be
one protein molecule — a minimally complex cell would need between three
hundred and five hundred protein molecules.” (Dr. Stephen Meyers, quoted from The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask, Mark Mittelberg, Tyndale, pp. 39-40)
the simplest of cells is amazingly complex and has hundreds of thousands of
bits of information stored in its DNA.
DNA is an astonishingly complex storage mechanism. During cell division this DNA is replicated
into the new cell, so both have the same information. In fact, scientists have recently discovered
that DNA has a built-in error-proof
mechanism so that mistakes in replication rarely happen.
So effective is
DNA at storage that scientists are experimenting with using DNA as a storage
device for computer data. As of this
writing they’ve succeeded at storing 700 terabytes of information in a single
gram of DNA. It would take 14,000
Blue-ray discs to hold that much information!
If we saw several
dozen stones on a beach we’d think they’ve been placed there by the forces of
time, including the waves. But if those
stones clearly spell “I love Lucy” we’d know someone had consciously moved them
into the appropriate places so that they make sense. Information requires someone to have
organized it. The storage and sharing of
information in a meaningful way, so that it makes sense, requires intentional
effort. DNA seems to shout that it has
great effort and using complex laboratory equipment, have failed to create a
protein, let alone a strand of DNA or a simple cell. Even if they succeed at creating a protein,
or something slightly more complex, it will only add to the argument that it
takes intentional and intelligent effort to do so!
How, Then, Did God Create Life?
Among those who
believe God created life there’s disagreement as to how exactly He did so. There are three major views. There are those who hold to a young-earth
view, that the world and everything in it was created in a literal six days of
twenty-four hours each. Others hold to
an old-earth view, that the “days” of Genesis refer to vast periods of time:
millions or even billions of years. A
third view is the theistic evolution view, that God used and guided the
Though Christians differ on how
God created the universe and life, they all hold to the belief that God created
all that is. Christians can have a
friendly debate with each other as to how God created it all, but we stand
united in the firm conviction that God did it.
“Then God said,
‘Let the land produce vegetation’… And God said, ‘Let the water teem with
living creatures’… And God said, ‘Let the land produce living creatures’… Then
God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…’” (Genesis 1:11, 20, 24, 26)
A Creator Makes Sense
We can’t use science to disprove
God. Science can only deal with what’s
observable. Many people believe that
what is observable was made by a creator who is not observable, at least not by
scientific methods. The belief is that
God, who is outside space and time, and is neither energy or matter, created
what exists — energy, matter, and life — within a space and time continuum. According to Dr. Francis Collins, a
geneticist who is the head of the Human Genome Project, forty percent of
scientists believe in God and believe that He created life.
that after serious reflection, “I began to realize that the evidence for the
existence of God, while not proof, was actually pretty compelling. It made me realize that atheism would no
longer be an acceptable choice for me, as it was the least rational of the
options.” (quoted in A Place for Truth, Dallas Willard, ed., IVP, pp.
Yes, there is an
anti-supernatural bias among many scientists and others. But to those of us who have opted for a
belief in God, it seems that it takes a far greater leap of faith to believe
that life just happened and that it happened to evolve into the amazing
complexity and diversity that we see all around us!
True, some very
smart and thoughtful people don’t believe in God, but some very smart and
thoughtful people do believe in God.
Admittedly, a decision about whether God exists and created life,
including us, has profound ramifications.
If it all just happened, and happens to be here, life has no ultimate
meaning and purpose. If God created it,
and us, our lives have meaning and a purpose, and this reality should make a
difference in how we should live. The existence of life can’t force someone to
believe in God as creator, but the miracle of life gives many of us reason
enough to believe that He is just that!
by David J. Claassen
Copyright 2014 by David J. Claassen