A MOST IMPORTANT UNANSWERED QUESTION
Here’s a question that science has asked and not yet definitively answered:
“How did life on earth begin some 3.6 billion years or more ago?”
There are a variety of theories—one might better call them speculations—but until a model is produced that can be empirically verified, it will remain a scientific mystery. I won’t explore this topic fully here—it would take a book—but links are given to articles that develop the various models.
PROBLEMS IN A THEORY OF HOW LIFE BEGAN
CHEMICAL MODELS TO GET BUILDING BLOCK MOLECULES
- Primordial Soup: the early oceans were warm and full of chemicals; these reacted after sufficient time to form the building blocks and then the long chains (improbable reactions, but remember there was a long time for the pot to cook);
- Electrical Synthesis: the building block molecules were formed by electrical discharge—lightning—acting on simple nitrogen containing molecules;
- Clay Template: the building block molecules and long chain molecules were formed by surface reactions on clay, which set structures and catalyzed the reaction;
- Undersea Hot Mineral Vents: hot undersea volcanic vents provided high temperatures to accelerate reactions, minerals to act as catalysts, and lots of inorganic and organic compounds as building blocks
- Panspermia: the building block molecules came from outer space, either planted deliberately by aliens, or by chance from meteors, comets or cosmic dust; the question is, from where did these chemicals or aliens originate?
|Example of spontaneous self-organization:
milk rings formed in coffee mug left in refrigerator
The origin-of-life theories referred to above are interesting, albeit speculative since they have not yet been subjected to detailed analysis and empirical proof.
“We know today that both the biosphere as a whole as well as its components, living or dead, exist in far-from-equilibrium conditions. In this context, life, far from being outside the natural order, appears as the supreme expression of the self-organizing processes that occur.” —Ilya Prigogine, Order out of Chaos, p. 175
FINAL THOUGHTS: PURPOSE IS REQUIRED
- First, how were the building blocks of life–amino acids, nucleic acids, phospholipid chains–formed?
- Second, how did these building blocks assemble into the biological polymers–proteins, DNA, RNA, membranes?
- Third, how did these assembled polymers come together to form primitive cells?
“I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.” Isaiah 45:12 (KJV)
The evidence for Creation by God, both of the universe and of life, is not given here; however arguments to this are given in other posts on this blog, for example, Are We Special–New Thoughts about the Anthropic Principle, and in my web-book,”Truth Cannot Contradict Truth”.