Nobel Laureate Jack Szostak, for instance, stated that “It is virtually impossible to imagine how a cell’s machines ... could have formed spontaneously from non-living matter.”
Dr. Harold P. Klein, of NASA, once wrote in similar terms: “The simplest bacterium is so damn complicated from the point of view of a chemist that it is almost impossible to imagine how it happened.”
When one of the greatest chemists alive today, Dr. George Whitesides of Harvard University, was awarded the Priestley Medal for Chemistry in 2007, he said: “Most chemists believe like I do, that life emerged spontaneously from mixtures of molecules in the prebiotic Earth. How? I have no idea…On the basis of all chemistry I know, it seems to me astonishingly improbable.”
Dr. Eugene V. Koonin, a molecular biologist, once observed that:
Despite many interesting results to its credit, when judged by the straightforward criterion of reaching (or even approaching) the ultimate goal, the origin of life field is a failure – we still do not have even a plausible coherent model, let alone a validated scenario, for the emergence of life on Earth. Certainly, this is not due to lack of experimental and theoretical effort, but to the extraordinary intrinsic difficulty and complexity of the problem. 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.This seemed to echo what science writer and cosmologist Dr. Paul Davies had written years earlier:
You might get the impression from what I have written not only that the origin of life is virtually impossible, but that life itself is impossible ... fortunately for us, our cells contain sophisticated chemical-repair-and-construction mechanisms, and handy sources of chemical energy to drive processes uphill, and enzymes with special properties that can smoothly assemble complex molecules from fragments…but the primordial soup lacked these convenient cohorts of cooperating chemicals…so what is the answer? Is life a miracle after all?Averick goes on to summarize the current state of OOL research:
- Everyone agrees that the simplest living bacterium – which is functionally complex beyond comprehension – looks like it was designed and created by an intelligent creator.
- Everyone agrees that it is virtually impossible to imagine how it could have happened through an undirected process.
- Everyone agrees that no one has any idea how it actually did happen.
I simply draw the obvious conclusions. The reason it looks designed, is because it is designed. The reason why it seems “astonishingly improbable” for it to happen through an undirected process, is because it is “astonishingly improbable” for it to happen through an undirected process, and the reason why, in fact, no one has any idea how it happened through a naturalistic process, is because it didn’t happen through a naturalistic process.But if one is a naturalistic materialist and has apriori ruled out the possibility of a non-natural, non-physical designer of life then it simply must have happened through some natural, mechanistic process.
Averick appositely reminds us of a quote from Darwinian biologist Richard Lewontin who once said:
“Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to the understanding of the real struggle between Science and the Supernatural. We take the side of science despite the patent absurdity of some of its constructs…because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to naturalism…we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanation, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine foot in the door.”What are we to make of all this? One conclusion I think we can draw is that evolutionary science is not just about science, it's about religion. Following the evidence where it leads is a maxim adhered to only if the evidence leads us away from a Divine mind. If the evidence leads toward the uncomfortable inference that there really could be an intelligence directing the progress of life then, as Lewontin admits, many scientists are prepared to accept patent absurdity in order to cling to their faith in naturalism.
They've got a faith commitment to an atheistic worldview and no amount of evidence will be allowed to change their mind. And they think theists are irrational?