“... before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” Isaiah 43:10
There are two, and only two, explanations for the means whereby life now exists on this planet.
First, there is the explanation that life on earth was divinely created. Regardless of the great variety of legends depicting such an occurrence, all such legends have in common two things: Life was originated by some supernatural means, and this means was employed by some divine being or beings.
Since, obviously, there is no way that the above explanation of the origin of life can be subjected to any scientific analysis, it would be profitless to discuss its merits (at this point). Therefore, let us examine the other explanation for the origin of life and see what conclusions may be derived from such an analysis.
The other means I am referring to is, of course, the theory of evolution. By evolution, I mean the process or processes whereby life as we now know it has come about from an originally inorganic universe through purely mechanistic actions in conformity with the laws of the physical universe. Keeping these parameters in mind, let us now see what relevant conclusions may be derived:
What we learn it from the above is that the formation of organic molecules from inorganic atoms is entirely permissible, mathematically speaking, according to the laws of physics and chemistry governing such interactions.
Most of the stony meteorites contain small glassy inclusions, and about two percent of these are called carbonaceous chondrites because they contain significant quantities of organic matter. The proportions, in fact, are extraordinarily high. About 0.1 percent of all material, which has ever fallen on Earth, is organic. By comparison, if we measure the total weight of all organic matter on earth against the mass of the planet itself, only 0.0000001 percent is of living origin. This means that meteors are coming from somewhere that is a million times more organic than earth itself which is something one has to stop and think about for a while.5
Not only are organic molecules mechanistically permissible, but direct evidence of their existence, in astounding proportions, elsewhere than on Earth is a fact.
The existence of organic molecules has not only been verified in meteors reaching the Earth’s surface, but has also been verified as being true for interstellar space as well. How can this be so? Weren’t we taught that chemical reactions required heat and were inhibited by cold, cold such as we find in interstellar space?
It used to be assumed that chemical reactions need heat and slow down as temperatures were reduced. This is true, but only up to a point. We now know that as the temperature nears absolute zero, it strange thermodynamic inversion takes place and many processes actually accelerate, so that the complex early evolution of carbon compounds is more likely to Lake place inside interstellar clouds than almost anywhere else.7
The chemical reactions permissible under cold conditions have been shown to be capable of producing a very high level of complexity of organic molecules, even up to the level of the basic constituent of all known life, DNA.
The compounds in the carbonaceous chondrites are not life; they have formed in the direction of our kind of lifeand human experimenters have had nothing to do with their formation. On the whole, then, meteoritic studies tend to support laboratory, experiments and make it appear all the more likely that life is a natural, a normal, and even an inevitable phenomenon. Atoms apparently tend to come together to form compounds in the direction of our kind of life whenever they have the least chance to do so.9
It is always possible that the laboratory conditions producing organic molecules have exceeded the limits that existed under the natural conditions that they are simulating. However, meteorites have been shown to contain organic molecules with the same indications; and these were not produced by human experimentation.
It is a big jump from prebiotic molecules in interstellar clouds to primitive organisms on a comet, but it is not an unreasonable one. When a comet gets anywhere near the sun, its water melts and could mingle with the trapped dust to produce a solution of organic molecules which, we know from spectroscopic analysis of Khoutek’s comet in 1973, includes amino acids find heterocyclic cmpounds.10
Scientific analysis has confirmed that organic molecules basic to life definitely do exist in space.
At least one further source of information about the strange things in meteorites remains to be explored. If the organic compounds are protocells in a state of suspended animation, perhaps they can be roused. Soviet and American scientists have been trying to do just that.
Fred Sisler of the United States Geological Survey has begun collecting samples from the interior of carbonaceous chondrites, and he rinds that even after a long period under sterile conditions, some of his nutrient broths nevertheless cloud over, indicating the presence of living microorganisms. And at least one of these sleeping beauties, roused from an unimaginable slumber, is totally unfamiliar to terrestrial microbiologists. No one has ever seen anything like it here before, so it is going to be hard to dismiss that one as a contaminant.11
Evidence proves that meteorites are of interstellar origin. This means that organic material not only is distributed throughout interstellar space but also is readily available to any planetary system in the galaxy. Let us now examine what is known about processes involving organic molecules under terrestrial conditions.
All indications are that, given the constituency of the primordialbiosphere, the formation of life as we know it appears inevitable.
The implications were overwhelming. The ingredients themselves had the automatically linked together into these compounds fundamental to life.14
But the selfassembling tendency of matter, its inherent capacity to form living material, had been clearly demonstrated. 15
All of this evidencein the laboratory, in meteorites, in interstellar clouds makes it look as though the HaldaneOparin suggestions are correct. Life did start spontaneously on the primordial Earth, and all indications would seem to be that it must have started readily, that the reactions in that direction were inevitable.
It follows that life would therefore start, sooner or later, on any habitable planet. 16
Scientific evidence indicates that, wherever favorable planetary conditions exist, life will inevitably evolve.
Obviously, the next question to be answered is: do we know whether or not our planetary system is unique?
The next step is to estimate the number of habitable planets both in the universe and in our particular galaxy.
Up to a billion galaxies can be detected by modern telescopes, stretching out to distances of a billion lightyears.20
That would mean that in the observable universe, there are as many as 1,000,000,000,000,000.000,000 (a billion trillion) stars.21
1 - The number of stars in our galaxy 300 ‘000,000,000.22
8 The number of habitable planets in our galaxy 650,000,000.23
It is rather breathtaking to decide on the basis of (we hope) strict logic and the beat evidence we can find that there are 650 million habitable planets in our galaxy alone, and therefore over 2 billion billion in the Universe as a whole.24
How hard it is for the human mind to comprehend the enormity of this conclusion! How hard it is to realize the astronomical magnitude of our universe!
The number of planets in our galaxy on which a technological civilization has developed 390,000,000: ...
That means that of the 390 million civilizations in our galaxy, only 260 are as primitive as we arean inconsiderable number. All the rest (meaning just about all of them) are more advanced than we are.25
According to what are perhaps the most logical estimates that we can at present supply, there are 390 million civilizations in our galaxy alone, all but 260 of which are more advanced than ours. There are approximately 3 billion times that many civilizations in the universe. What conclusions can be deduced if we add to these figures the implications inherent to the process of evolution itself?
The ultimate result is that each creature tends to become more and more improved in relation to its condition. This improvement leads to the gradual advancement of the organization of the greater number of living beings throughout the world. … 26
Evolution is the climbing of a ladder from simple to complex by steps, each of which is stable in itself. …That is what has brought life by slow steps but constantly up a ladder of increasing complexity- which is the central progress and problem in evolution. 27
It might even be that a dying civilization might provide for its own succession, either by the genetic engineering of some near-intelligent species or by the creation of artificial intelligence. 28
Given the vastness of the universe and the consequent profusion of life, what must the ultimate consummation of the process of evolution be?
It is my contention that the inevitable and ultimate result of evolution is this: that somewhere, sooner or later, an entity would be evolved through either natural or artificial means who would no longer be subject to time.
What are the implications of such a conclusion?
Such an entity would in all practicality be:
1. Omnipotent and
2. Omniscient and
Such an entity would, by definition, be God.
By no means am I intending to speculate about the origin of God.
Such speculation is vain at best and blasphemous at worst. My intention is to show that no matter what method that you employ to explain the existence of life, the inevitable implication is the existence and reality of God.
Summary of Chapter Two:
“The fool has said in his heart; there is no God.” (Psalm 12:1)