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  Asia-Pacific
Op-Ed special
God and Science
Special Contribution
By Babu G. Ranganathan
God and Science

In the midst of arguments over evolution and intelligent design, it is amazing how many in society, including the very educated, believe that scientists had already created life in the laboratory. No such thing has ever happened.

All that scientists have done is genetically engineer already existing forms of life in the laboratory, and by doing this scientists have been able to produce new forms of life, but they did not produce these new life forms from non-living matter. Even if scientists ever do produce life from non-living matter it will only be through intelligent design or planning so it still wouldn't help support any theory of life originating by chance or evolution.

If the cell had evolved it would have had to be all at once. A partially evolved cell cannot wait millions of years to become complete because it would be highly unstable and quickly disintegrate in the open environment, especially without the protection of a complete and fully functioning cell membrane.

The great British scientist Sir Frederick Hoyle has said that the probability of the sequence of molecules in the simplest cell coming into existence by chance is equivalent to a tornado going through a junk yard of airplane parts and assembling a 747 Jumbo Jet!

Although it has been shown that the basic building blocks of life, amino acids, can come into existence by chance, it has never been shown that the various amino acids can come together into a sequence by chance to form protein molecules. Even the simplest cell is composed of millions of protein molecules.

Natural laws are adequate to explain how the order in life, the universe, and even a microwave oven operates, but mere undirected natural laws cannot fully explain the origin of such order.

Of course, once there is a complete, living, and fully-functioning cell the genetic progam and various biological mechanisms exist to direct the formation of more cells from random raw materials in the environment. The question is how could life have come about naturally when there were no genetic programs and the necessary biological mechanisms in place.

Many think that natural selection in nature is proof that we had evolved. Natural selection does occur in nature. However, natural selection itself does not produce biological variations. Natural selection can only work with biological variations that are possible and which have survival value. It is a passive process in nature. Natural selection is simply another way of saying that if a biological variation occurs which is helpful to an animal or plant's survival then that that variation will be preserved and be passed on. Of course, nature does not do any active or conscious selecting. The term "natural selection" is simply a figure of speech. Also, natural selection only applies once there is life and not before. In other words, natural selection is not involved in any pre-biotic, non-living interactions of chemicals.

Evolutionists believe that random or chance mutations in the genetic code (caused by random environmental forces such as radiation) will produce the favorable evolutionary changes necessary for natural selection to act upon.

However, there is no evidence that random or chance mutations in the genetic code are capable of producing greater biological complexity (vertical evolution) among natural species. Mutations are only capable of producing horizontal evolution (variations within natural species). In any case, most biological variations among natural species are due to new combinations of already existing genes and not mutations.

Considering the enormous complexity of life, it is much more logical to believe that the genetic and biological similarities between all species is due to a common Designer rather than common evolutionary ancestry. It is only logical that the great Designer would design similar functions for similar purposes and different functions for different purposes in all of the various forms of life.

What if we should find evidence of life on Mars? Wouldn't that prove evolution? No. It wouldn't be proof that such life had evolved from non-living matter by chance natural processes. And even if we did find evidence of life on Mars it would have most likely have come from our very own planet - Earth! In the Earth's past there was powerful volcanic activity which could have easily spewed dirt containing microbes into outer space which eventually could have reached Mars. A Newsweek article of September 21, 1998, p.12 mentions exactly this possibility.

All of this simply means that real science supports faith in God. Science cannot prove that we are here by chance (evolution) or by design (creation). However, the scientific evidence can be used to support one or the other. It is only fair that evidence supporting intelligent design be presented to students alongside of evolutionary theory. As a religion and science writer, I encourage all to read my Internet article "The Natural Limits of Evolution" at my website www.religionscience.com for more in-depth study of the issue.



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The above opinion piece is written by Mr. Babu G. Ranganathan (Email: bgrnathan@yahoo.com), religion and science writer who was recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis Who's Who in The East. He holds a B.A. with concentrations in theology and biology. His articles can be reached at www.religionscience.com

 

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