Summary: There are two theories concerning how the many different forms of life on earth came into existence. One is that it all life evolved from a single-cell organism billions of years ago, and the other is that some intelligent being deliberately created all life. One theory is called evolution, and the other is called creationism or intelligent design. There is much argument over these two theories, and this article takes a look at one aspect of that argument.
When it comes to the origin of life, there are two theories. The most common, and widely accepted is that at some point during the formation of the earth, an assortment of different chemicals came together and in a process we haven’t yet discovered, a living organism came into existence.
A living organism is one that takes in nutrients, digests or processes them for use, and then expels waste as a by-product. For example, plants take in sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide as their food source, converts them into energy to make the plant grow, and as a by-product, they expel oxygen.
It is widely believed by most scientists that the very first form of life on earth occurred in the ancient ocean, billions of years ago, as a one-cell living organism. This was most probably a bacterium, which is the smallest and simplest form of life. Then, through another unique feature of all living things, this single bacteria was able to reproduce through splitting in two and within a few million years, the earth’s ocean was teeming with all sorts of one-cell living organisms.
Then, over millions of more years, through a process of natural, chemical changes within the DNA of the cell, some of these single-cell organisms began to come together and created multi-cell organisms, which over time grew to become a wide variety of sea animals and plants.
Then, at some point, some of these sea creatures ventured onto land and learned how to extract oxygen from the air, instead of from the ocean water, and the process of evolving from one organism to another through random, accidently genetic mutations in one form or another, created all the animals and plants we see today, including humans. This is what most scientists today firmly believe.
But there is another theory that is less common, that says all living things were deliberately and purposefully created by an intelligent being, who designed all the variety of life we see on earth. This theory is known as creationism or intelligent design. Most who believe in this theory feel that this intelligent being is the God found in the Old Testament of the Bible, however, those who believe in the theory of evolution through natural means point to years and years of scientific research to support their beliefs, while claiming that those who believe in creationism have no scientific evidence to support their theory.
However, there is something that evolutionists are choosing to overlook when making this statement, which is that the more science discovers about life, the more it uncovers intelligent design throughout all of nature. And, wherever we find evidence of intelligent design, it is the tell-tale signature that some intelligent being has been deliberately and thoughtfully at work creating what we see. Unfortunately, such evidence doesn’t tell us anything about who this intelligent being is, which leaves that question open to individual interpretation.
It’s one thing to find intelligent design when looking at nature overall, but it’s more impressive when we also find it in the smallest details of nature. To understand why, let’s look at just one, very small piece of a living organism called DNA.
DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid and looks like a twisted ladder whose rungs are made up of four molecules, known as nucleotides, called guanine, cytosine, thymine, and adenine. However, they are better known by the first letter of each word – G, C, T, & A. It’s these four nucleotides that tell the cell everything it needs to know in order to survive, but how does it do that?
DNA contains what are called genes, and the purpose of genes is to tell the cell how to make proteins, which act as mini machines to perform the various things needed for the cell to survive. For example, there is a protein called polymerase (Po- lim Er- aise) that rides along the DNA ladder, pulls the rungs apart, makes a copy of one side of the ladder, then puts the ladder back together again. The copy it produces is called RNA, which stand for ribonucleic acid.
The RNA then leaves the nucleus, where it goes out into the cell and finds another protein called a ribosome, which is what reads the instructions on the RNA, and makes the appropriate protein by connecting amino acids in a specific sequence. This produces a string of amino acids knows as polypeptides.
However, in order for this string of amino acids to be effective, it has to be folded into a very specific shape. To help in that process, the string of amino acids enter another protein called chaperones which then assists in folding the string of amino acids. Thus, it takes three different types of proteins to make one protein.
(To see how this process works, see “From DNA to Proteins”)
The problem here is if it takes the DNA to tell the cell how to make proteins, but it takes three different kinds of proteins to read the instructions of how to make a protein, manufacture it and then fold it, how were these three proteins made before the DNA was first read? This is like the problem of which came first, the chicken or the egg, times three. But it’s worse than that.
Most bacteria either have a tail, called a flagella, that is used to move it through the water, or tiny hairs all around the outside of its membrane called cilia, which rapidly move back and forth that allows the bacteria to propel itself, but the flagella and cilia are themselves proteins, which had to be there in the very beginning in order for the bacteria to move as it seeks to find the nutrients needed for it to survive.
Every cell has a membrane around it and in the membrane are two types of proteins called glycoproteins that allow nutrients and waste to move in and out of the cell, and as we further study how cells work, we discover that it takes a wide variety of other different proteins to accomplish each and every function that a cell needs to remain alive.
What we see then is that all the proteins found in a bacteria had to be there first before the instructions on the DNA were ever read. Therefore, in reality, this is the problem of the chicken and the egg times a hundred.
What all scientists know is that proteins, especially those that are highly complex and perform very specific functions, don’t occur naturally in nature. They have to be manufactured. Then where did all the necessary proteins come from that had to be in the cell before the DNA was able to start making them?
It is absolutely impossible for all these specialized proteins to come together by sheer chance, and among all the scientists in the world, not one of them has any evidence to explain how this happened naturally. In fact, it is admittedly a complete mystery to evolutionists, and the only explanation they can offer are guesses.
However, any rational person looking at this would conclude that even the smallest living organism is a highly complex machine that clearly shows something possessing a magnificent design that could have only been created by someone who possessed extraordinary intelligence.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg because when we look even deeper into DNA, we find something even more amazing.
As pointed out earlier, the rungs of the DNA ladder are made up of only four nucleotides – A, T, C, & G. When the polymerase reads the DNA it makes a copy of just one side of the DNA ladder, and as stated before, this copy is known as RNA which is read by the ribosomes. But the ribosomes don’t read each individual nucleotide. Instead, it reads them in groups of three. This is known as a codon. Or stated in reverse, a codon is made up of three out of the four nucleotides, A, U, C, & G. (The RNA changes thymine to uracil, or T to U) Therefore, when the ribosome goes to make a protein, it uses each codon like we would use a letter.
For example, one letter could be AAT, another letter could be CGU, and so on. Using the four nucleotides A,U,C, & G in groups of three, this can produce 64 different combinations. If we think of each codon as a letter, then the DNA alphabet has 64 letters.
We use letters to spell a word, and a word can have anywhere from one to over a dozen letters, and the same is true for making a protein. It takes the proper sequence of codons (letters) read in the right sequence to make the correct protein.
For example, the words sun, run, pun, and fun, all differ from each other by one letter but that one letter changes the entire meaning of each word. And the longer the word, the more accurate the spelling has to be. For example, take the word three. If we forget to put in the h we get tree, or if we forget to put in the r we get thee. If we misspell it as jhree we get a word that doesn’t make any sense or has no meaning.
The same is true with making a protein. If there is just one codon too many or one codon too short, or there is just one codon in the wrong place, it changes the kind of protein being made or the protein is misshaped and doesn’t function properly or at all.
According to some estimates, there are 400,000 different kinds of proteins in the human body, and each protein can contain anywhere from 50 to thousands of amino acids. The human body has 20 different amino acids and it is the exact sequence of how they are connected together that makes one protein different from another. And the information that tells the ribosome what sequence the amino acids are to be assembled is found in the DNA in the way the nucleotides are arranged.
We’re all familiar with computers, but they are just machines made of metal, and we can take them apart and examine each piece and study how they work. In the same way, we can examine all the parts of a cell to discover what each of them do and how they all interact with one another, but doing this doesn’t explain how the computer or cell came into existence, who made it, or what makes it work.
What makes all the different parts of a computer work together isn’t because of their natural physical reaction to one another. Rather, there is something called a program that tells all those parts what to do. We can think of that program as being the DNA of a computer, and that program is known as a language. However, it’s not the kind of language humans speak, but it’s one that computers fully understand and can respond to. In addition to this, there isn’t just one computer language but dozens of them and as time goes on, these languages become more complex in order to instruct computers how to do more complicated tasks.
In the same way, the DNA of a bacteria is a very simple language, but according to evolutionists, over millions of years, more and more instructions became added to DNA that allowed for more complex organisms to develop that were able to perform more complicated tasks.
There is not one scientist in the entire world who would ever say that all the various computer languages came about through natural means without any kind of intelligence being involved in their creation. In fact, they would all agree that it took human intelligence to design, not only the computer language, including all of its upgraded and improved instructions, but also the machine that reads, understands, and carries out the instructions of the language.
In other words, computer languages don’t update themselves through random, accidental changes in their code, which is the reason evolutionists give for how DNA is responsible for all the different species of life on earth came to be. Rather, the creation and changes found in any language come about as the result of a deliberate intervention by someone with a high degree of intelligence.
During wartime, it’s important for generals to communicate information to their troops, but it’s equally important to do so in a way that the opposing side can’t understand what the messages say should they get possession of them. Therefore, codes are invented to convert the native language into an unknown language that only those sending and receiving it can understand. As such, codes are also classified as a language.
But the creation of a language doesn’t happen by itself. It takes someone with intelligence to invent it. Of all the many and varied animals on the earth, only humans have that kind of intelligence, therefore whenever we see a language, whether it is English, Arabic, Japanese, Hebrew, cuneiform, computer, or wartime codes, it is the unmistakable evidence of an intelligent mind.
The DNA of a cell is as much a language as any other, and it is more complex than most human languages. But it takes more than having instructions telling a cell how to perform all of its functions, because without a way for those instructions to be read, understood, and carried out, then the instructions are useless.
Therefore, a cell has to be designed in such a way that everything in it must be there from the beginning in order for the DNA to have any effect on the functioning of a cell. That means, for those instructions to be of any use, there has to be a fully functioning organism with all the necessary proteins already in place from the very beginning.
When we examine the different parts of a cell or learn how cells work together to form complex systems, the level of sophistication in design and function increases exponentially. As any doctor will attest, the human body is a marvel of such engineering complexity that with all of our advances in medicine, we still don’t understand all the different processes that are involved to making the human body function as it does. Many of the inventions in medicine have come more from duplicating what we find already existing in nature than from creating something new.
No one looking at a computer, a pacemaker, a heart defibrillator, or a dialysis machine would ever say they see no evidence of intelligence in their creation, design, or function, yet, in order for someone to look at the simplest to the most complex living organism and say they see no evidence of intelligent design requires them to turn a blind eye.
Related articles can be found at Parting Thoughts