Written by Josh Mitchell
Yesterday I was reading one of Sean McDowell’s many books, “Is God Just a Human Invention.”
What stood out in this book was Chapter 6, “How Did Life Begin?”
In this section, the book talks about the question “Could life have begun by chance?”
Below are some probabilistic hurdles to this question that the book mentions. I find the three listed below intriguing. Check it out!
Geneticist Michael Denton says “The smallest bacterial cell is made up altogether of 100 thousand million atoms.”
John Lennox says “A typical cell has roughly 100 million proteins of 20,000 different types”
So, the question would be, how could a mindless material process spawn a system of such dizzying intricacy and sophistication?
Could Life Have Begun by Chance?
Richard Dawkins, who is a very prominent atheist admits that the existence of life is deeply improbable, but he credits chance (luck) as a sufficient explanation.
While it may seem intuitively possible for life to emerge by chance, especially given the size of the universe, the task is much more difficult than it may seem.
Let’s consider some of the many probabilistic hurdles that must be overcome for a single functional protein to arise by chance alone.
Hurdle #1 – How does nature select solely peptide bonds?
All individual amino acids, the building blocks of a protein must be connected to each other through the right kind of bond.
Proteins can only fold properly with peptide bonds.
Hurdle #2 – How does nature know to isolate the left-handed amino acids from the right-handed amino acids to form a functional protein?
Amino acids exist in nature in two distinct forms
-Left Handed (L-Form)
-Right Handed (D-form)
Every amino acid found in nature has a mirror image of itself called an optical isomer.
While both forms of amino acids are produced with equal frequency in nature, Functional proteins can only tolerate left-handed amino acids.
Hurdle #3 – What mechanism in nature arranges amino acids into the proper sequence?
Given these constraints what is the probability that nature could generate a single functional protein by chance alone.
A minimally functional cell requires multiple proteins.
Astrophysicist Fred Hoyle estimated the odds of producing all the proteins necessary for a functional cell by chance to be 1 in 1040,000
Most origin-of-life researchers have abandoned chance theories as an explanation for how life began.
Therefore, Chance would not be a sufficient explanation for the origin of life. God would be the best explanation for the origin of life.
This book is well worth reading