ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview
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ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview

Otangelo Grasso: This is my library, where I collect information and present arguments developed by myself that lead, in my view, to the Christian faith, creationism, and Intelligent Design as the best explanation for the origin of the physical world.

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Modern day debate introduction

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1Modern day debate introduction Empty Modern day debate introduction Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:45 pm



The origin of life is widely regarded as one of the most difficult open problems in science.  ‘Bottom-up’ approaches in the laboratory have not generated anything nearly as complex as a living cell. And what has been achieved, is a far cry from the complexity of anything living. The total lack of any kind of experimental evidence leading to the re-creation of life; not to mention the spontaneous emergence of life…  undermines the worldview of who wants materialism to be true. But of course, there is always an excuse: Science is working on it. But is it really justified to put hope that one day a materialistic explanation will be found?

David Denton stated:
We now know not only of the existence of a break between the living and non-living world but also that it represents the most dramatic and fundamental of all the discontinuities of nature. Between a living cell and the most highly ordered non-biological systems, such as a crystal or a snowflake, there is a chasm as vast and absolute as it is possible to conceive.

And Lynn Margulis stated: To go from a bacterium to people is less of a step than to go from a mixture of amino acids to a bacterium.

And Eugene Koonin advisory editorial board of Trends in Genetics stated:
A succession of exceedingly unlikely steps is essential for the origin of life, from the synthesis and accumulation of nucleotides to the origin of translation; through the multiplication of probabilities, these make the final outcome seem almost like a miracle. The difficulties remain formidable. For all the effort, we do not currently have coherent and plausible models for the path from simple organic molecules to the first life forms. Most damningly, the powerful mechanisms of biological evolution were not available for all the stages preceding the emergence of replicator systems. Given all these major difficulties, it appears prudent to seriously consider radical alternatives for the origin of life. "

And in fact, there are basically just two options to consider: Either life emerged by a lucky accident, spontaneously through self-organization by unguided natural events, or through the direct intervention, creative force, and activity of an intelligent designer. Evolution is not a possible explanation, because evolution depends on DNA replication. Many have claimed that physical necessity could have promoted chemical reactions, which eventually resulted in the emergence of life. The problem here however is, that the genetic sequence that specifies the arrangement of proteins can be of any order, there is no constraint by physical needs.

To understand why random events are not a good explanation, we best have a look at the deepest level, on an atomic scale. Life uses just five nucleobases to make DNA and RNA. Two purines, and three pyrimidines. Purines use two rings with nine atoms, pyrimidines use just one ring with six atoms. Hydrogen bonding between purine and pyrimidine bases is fundamental to the biological functions of nucleic acids, as in the formation of the double-helix structure of DNA. This bonding depends on the selection of the right atoms in the ring structure. Pyrimidine rings consist of six atoms: 4 carbon atoms and 2 nitrogen atoms. Purines have nine atoms forming the ring: 5 carbon atoms and 4 nitrogen atoms.

Remarkably, it is the composition of these atoms that permit that the strength of the hydrogen bond that permits to join the two DNA strands and form Watson–Crick base-pairing, and well-known DNA ladder.  Neither transcription nor translation of the messages encoded in RNA and DNA would be possible if the strength of the bonds had different values. Hence, life, as we understand it today, would not have arisen.

Now, someone could say, that there could be no different composition, and physical constraints and necessity could eventually permit only this specific order and arrangement of the atoms. Now, in a recent science paper from 2019, Scientists explored how many different chemical arrangements of the atoms to make these nucleobases would be possible. Surprisingly, they found well over a million variants.   The remarkable thing is, among the incredible variety of organisms on Earth, these two molecules are essentially the only ones used in life. Why? Are these the only nucleotides that could perform the function of information storage? If not, are they perhaps the best? One might expect that molecules with smaller connected Carbon components should be easier for abiotic chemistry to explore.

According to their scientific analysis, the natural ribosides and deoxyribosides inhabit a fairly redundant ( in other words, superfluous, unnecessary, needless, and nonminimal region of this space.  This is a remarkable find and implicitly leads to design. There would be no reason why random events would generate complex, rather than simple, and minimal carbon arrangements. Nor is there physical necessity that says that the composition should be so. This is evidence that a directing intelligent agency is the most plausible explanation. The chemistry space is far too vast to select by chance the right finely-tuned functional life-bearing arrangement.

In the mentioned paper, the investigators asked if other, perhaps equally good, or even better genetic systems would be possible.  Their chemical experimentations and studies concluded that the answer is no. Many nearly as good, some equally good, and a few stronger base-pairing analog systems are known. There is no reason why these structures could or would have emerged in this functional complex configuration by random trial and error. There is a complete lack of scientific-materialistic explanations despite decades of attempts to solve the riddle.

What we can see is, that direct intervention, a creative force, the activity of an intelligent agency, a powerful creator, is capable to have the intention and implement the right arrangement of every single atom into functional structures and molecules in a repetitive manner, in the case of DNA, at least 500 thousand nucleotides to store the information to kick-start life, exclusively with four bases, to produce a storage device that uses a genetic code, to store functional, instructional, complex information, functional amino acids, and phospholipids to make membranes, and ultimately, life.  Lucky accidents, the spontaneous self-organization by unguided coincidental events, that drove atoms into self-organization in an orderly manner without external direction, chemical non-biological are incapable and unspecific to arrange atoms into the right order to produce the four classes of building blocks, used in all life forms.


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