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From the Editor
Could Life Have Originated By Random Chance?
By: David Deschesne
Editor/Publisher, Fort Fairfield Journal
November 30, 2011
Evolutionists, atheists and others who deny the existence of God run into a problem when confronted with how life and all of its intricacies could have formed without something with intelligence to design and build it. Evolutionists refer to some esoteric, random chance combination of minerals and chemicals in a hypothetical “primordial soup.” Atheists have a much simpler and childish explanation—life and all of its complexities was created by nothing.
In the October 5, 2011 edition of Fort Fairfield Journal I examined the evolutionists’ theories on the origin of life in an effort to better understand their thinking. I examined the Replicator First and Metabolism First theories and found both to be inconclusive. I also looked into the odds of life appearing by random chance if just the appropriate chemicals and minerals were floating around in some pond. As it turns out, the theories expounded by evolutionists and atheists are not rational, reasonable or logical. Examining the odds of chance combinations creating even the simplest forms of life—let alone consciousness—were astronomically large long shots.
As a result of that editorial, I had it suggested to me by a reader that perhaps even if a long shot, the chemicals and minerals could still have mixed together and spontaneously created life all by themselves with no pre-design or entity to construct it, if given enough time. I still maintain it couldn’t have happened by random chance because of a fundamental law of physics called the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
Second Law of Thermodynamics
The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that all matter in an enclosed system always tends toward a greater degree of disorder. It is also known as Entropy.
For example, wood rots, steel rusts, and tea disperses in hot water. All matter is always tending toward its most simplest form. Firewood burns because of entropy, we can brew coffee or tea because of entropy. In fact, our bodies couldn’t metabolize food and convert it into energy without entropy.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics is the greatest stumbling block to atheists because they cannot create a rational, reasonable or logical argument to explain how life has such a high degree of complexity if the chemicals and minerals that make up living organisms are always tending toward a greater degree of disorder.
Quantum physics is the area of study of elements below the size of the atom. This field encompasses electrons, protons, neutrons, leptons, hadrons, quarks and neutrinos, to name a few. An intriguing attribute of quantum physics is that logic and reason break down. We cannot know for certain the exact location and speed of a sub-atomic particle. At those minute sizes, the best one can hope for is a collection of probabilities that a particle might be found at a certain place or time—there are no guarantees, sort of like rolling the dice.
Since the quantum field is inside of individual atoms and atoms make up the stuff we perceive as matter, we can see the quantum effects of probability magnified in the world around us without even knowing that’s what we’re looking at. For example, freed from the effects of gravity, blown about in the wind, clouds in the sky exhibit random patterns with no two ever being exactly alike. The same can be said for snowflakes. Leaves dropping from trees float to the ground creating random patterns and, when blown, do so without any preconceived pattern or image to conform to. We also see the quantum realm in rising smoke, brewing tea, bingo balls, scattered candy sprinkles and falling dice.
In randomly occurring events, complex structures are impossible to attain by chance alone because the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which is inextricably linked to the quantum realm, prohibits complicated order.
For example, multi-colored candy sprinkles will not spill with all of their colors separated and in straight lines; brewed tea will not stay on one side of a cup while leaving the other side with completely clean, untouched water; smoke from a fire will not spell out complex words while rising through the air. Untethered from gravity and outside of the control of an intelligent being, all those compounds will ever do is create constantly changing random patterns.
When a pair of dice are dropped, there is no certainty what numbers will face up when they come to rest and are frozen in space by having their kinetic energy converted back into potential energy. While in the air, there is only a probability that certain numbers will turn up. Placing a handful of dice inside of a vat of churning water illustrates that only randomly occurring combinations of numbers will be observed and as quickly as they occur, they change to another set of completely random numbers.
Because of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, it can never be expected for free-floating and moving dice to display complex, predetermined number sequences because they are constantly tending toward a greater degree of disorder. This is the Achilles heel of the evolutionists and atheists who want to use random chance events to account for the origin of complex life forms, while leaving an Intelligent Designer out of the equation.
The evolutionists, and some atheists, assert that life originated by random chance in some hypothetical “primordial soup” which was water that contained all of the essential chemicals and minerals that make up a living organism. In order to visualize what that chemical and mineral cocktail would look like, with the Second Law of Thermodynamics acting on it, imagine a cup of clear water with yellow, red and blue food dye added to it. As soon as the food dye hits the water it immediately begins to disperse and randomly mixes together until it is eventually evenly distributed throughout the water, exactly the same way tea did in the previous example.
In the photo sequence above, the food coloring represents the chemicals and minerals that may be found in the evolutionists’ “primordial soup.” As you can see, everything in the soup tends toward the highest degree of disorder—that is the colors do not remain separate and distinct, but completely blend until they are indistinguishable. The Second Law also dictates that the matter in that system will remain in a perpetual state of disorder until something acts upon it to decrease the entropy and make it more ordered. In order for that to occur, energy must be expended and, depending upon how much order and complexity is desired, intelligence would have to be impressed upon it.
If we could examine the water at the conclusion of the above sequence under a high powered microscope, the individual molecules of food coloring would look very similar in arrangement as the previous example of candy sprinkles. I have drawn an estimation of what that might look like here:
With the molecules in the above example you will notice a random distribution pattern as predicted by the Second Law of Thermodynamics and Boltzmann’s Distribution Law. As currents and temperature in the water changes, the arrangement of the distribution pattern will also change. However, it will always remain random and unless the water dries up, or freezes, will constantly be in motion so the pattern will be constantly changing.
Without any outside force acting upon it, the pattern of food dye molecules will continually remain disordered and always resemble a dark, black liquid when observed at the normal viewing scale. It is this random distribution of elements in a theoretical “primordial soup” that evolutionists claim brought forth highly complex proteins as a precursor for life. Let’s now examine that theory to see what things would look like to see if they conform to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
The basic building blocks of life are proteins. There are four basic proteins that make up DNA; DNA is a strand of protein molecules strung together millions of proteins long in a highly specified and complex manner to provide a blueprint for not only a cell’s nucleus, but all construction, organization and operation of a complex living organism’s organs and metabolic activity. Protein strands are comprised of highly specific patterns of chemicals being catalyzed and connected by minerals and simpler proteins.
The proteins adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine—known as the letters A, T, C, and G are what make up cellular DNA. In order for those proteins to occur for DNA, the chemicals and minerals that were previously randomly dispersed and distributed in the “primordial soup” would somehow have to come together and arrange themselves in a highly specified form, have millions of exact duplicates all at once, and resist the Second Law of Thermodynamics which states they will constantly be compelled apart into random patterns again. In our water dye analogy the four proteins, and their duplicates, might look like this:
As you can see in the above illustration, complex proteins require precise, consistent and duplicable patterns in order to exist in great numbers. Since the Second Law of Thermodynamics says all matter tends toward a greater degree of disorder, it may be possible for one protein strand to spontaneously construct itself by random chance, but millions are required for DNA and since they would always be tending toward disorder in their “primordial soup” the first protein strands would be broken up and randomized before the subsequent strands would be formed.
Now, for argument’s sake, let’s give the evolutionists the benefit of the doubt. Let’s make pretend millions of complex protein strands could assemble themselves and maintain their structure while floating around in a pond of water. That still doesn’t create DNA. In order for DNA to exist, those randomly occurring protein strands must take the next step toward order and assemble themselves into a DNA strand in a highly specific way that would allow the strand to both contain the necessary blueprint for a living cell and the information necessary to duplicate itself. While the arrangement would appear random, each section of the strand would have to exist exactly as it is in order for the blueprint to be functional and create a living cell. A small segment of that complex, millions of characters long DNA strand would look something like this with our food dye analogy:
A DNA strand assembling itself by random chance in violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics would be amazing enough. But, DNA cannot self-replicate without highly sophisticated and irreducibly complex cell machinery. While the DNA is somehow randomly assembling itself in the soup, fatty acids would have to come together to form cell walls, the lysosome would have to be constructed and metabolizing proteins be built and arranged to perform their tasks in a highly specified order. As you can see, the Second Law of Thermodynamics would prohibit such action without some form of an intelligent creator and an external energy being applied.
No atheist or evolutionist has ever offered a scientifically verifiable method by which the Second Law of Thermodynamics can be violated and extremely sophisticated, irreducibly complex systems be derived all by themselves from random actions inherent in the quantum realm.
For complexity, order and design one must first have a designer. Once that’s admitted, that opens up the door for the possibility of God –a possibility that is anathema to those who have decided ahead of time to steadfastly rule His existence out of the list of possible explanations for the origin of life.
All photos and graphics conceived
and composed by David Deschesne
©2011 David Deschesne All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to copy and distribute provided entire article remains intact, unedited and attribution is granted to David Deschesne, Editor/Publisher, Fort Fairfield Journal. For high resolution jpg files of the photos herein, please contact us at the link at the top of this page.