Ron Lyttle is a volunteer Animal Talker at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, specializing in bats from around the world.  In fact, he is usually referred to by his colleagues and tourists as:  Batman.  He has written the article below, and has agreed to allow its inclusion on this web page.  Ron is also an active member of DSA, Oregon's "Design Science Association" for the study of creation/evolution issues. 


Could Life 'Just Happen'?
by Ron Lyttle

     THE STORY
Millions of years ago, evolutionists will tell you, many chemicals were swirling around in lifeless seas (or ponds, or puddles) here on earth.  Methane gas was in the atmosphere being bombarded with cosmic rays from outer space, and powerful lightning bolts arced through the skies, lighting up the desolate landscape.  Given enough time, cosmic rays, and lightning bolts, a "primordial soup" gradually formed which contained amino acids.  These in turn got hooked together to form simple proteins, the "building blocks" of life.  At some point these proteins happened to get connected in just the right way, and a threshold was crossed:  the proteins started reproducing themselves, and simple life was "born".

During uncounted eons, this simple life gradually became more and more complex as chance modifications of the original proteins combined with external conditions of moisture, temperature, food supply, etc., to eventually produce all the varied and complex life forms inhabiting first the oceans, then the land, and finally the air, that we see today.  Homo sapiens is seen as the topmost branch in the evolutionary tree of life, but the tree is still growing, and who knows what the next branches will look like?

     REALITY CHECK
While the above is an interesting story, and variations of it (with many imaginative details added) are taught in most schools and universities around the world as the scientific explanation for the origin and development of life, more and more people are asking, "Is that really how we came to be?  Do those people who call themselves scientists really know what they are talking about?"  After all, nobody was around millions of years ago to watch the stirring of the primordial soup, or to see the first fish crawl out onto land, or to see the first winged creature take to the air in powered flight.  The story of evolution is a pretty one, but is it supported by the facts?

     RNA & DNA
Every living thing, from the most simple virus to the most complex animal, contains in its cells very complex compounds called nucleic acid .  There are two forms, called ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).   Viruses contain only one or the other, but cells contain both.  While RNA controls protein production, DNA is the main component in chromosomes, which provide the blueprint or pattern of heredity.  Every time a cell divides into two, the RNA in the cell body and the DNA in the nucleus must be exactly copied, with one copy going with each cell.  DNA is an incredibly complex molecule, resembling a long ladder that has been twisted into a spiral.  The sides of the ladder are made up of compounds called phosphates and sugars , while the "rungs" are composed of two of four possible bases in all the possible combinations.  The exact make-up and order of "rungs" varies from one kind of living thing to another.  Each DNA "ladder" has about 20,000 "rungs", and each chromosome contains many thousands of DNA molecules.  RNA has a similar structure, but the sugar is different, and one of the four bases is also different.

Since it is the chromosomal DNA (and in some cases RNA) that provides the blueprint for each cell and individual, if any of the thousands of rungs gets damaged, or if different combinations get substituted in the copy, that cell will be defective.  Contrary to popular belief, most changes in the DNA structure (mutations) at best weaken, and at worst kill the cell.  Only a very few are neutral, and beneficial changes are virtually non-existent.  To produce a healthy, fully-functional individual, each copy of DNA and RNA must be identical to the original, down to the last "rung".

     THE POINT
That such complexity could arise from "primordial soup" by random-chance chemical reactions is statistically, bio-chemically, and thermodynamically impossible.  1) There are too many connections in a DNA molecule to ever occur by chance, no matter how long you allow.  2) When biochemists have managed to produce simple amino acids in simulated "soup", it was by carefully controlling the conditions; there was nothing "random" or "chance" about the process, and the leap from simple amino acids to a DNA molecule is astronomical .  3) The second law of thermodynamics says that order moves toward disorder, and complex moves toward simple (not the other way around), unless acted upon by a higher force .  Lightning bolts (the supposed driving force behind the chemical reactions) are actually great randomizers.  The notion that anything as complex as a DNA molecule could arise by accident is therefore a non-scientific absurdity!

     YEAH, BUT...
For the sake of discussion, suppose that a strand of DNA did somehow come together, and suppose further that thousands united to form a functional chromosome, and many chromosomes all joined forces (and no lightning bolt blasted the whole collection apart).  You still only have a blueprint, a list of instructions telling how to make a living organism.  It takes a living cell to use that blueprint, but it takes that blueprint to make a living cell.  (To this seeming paradox evolutionists can only mumble, "it must have happened somehow .  Life exists, doesn't it?")

     AN EXAMPLE
I work in a manufacturing plant.  We buy raw iron and brass castings that our machine shop turns into finished parts that our assemblers put together to make pumps.  The machinist gets a blueprint created by the Engineering Department that shows all the dimensions of the finished part, and special instructions like how smooth a surface has to be, what thread size for tapped holes, "start machining here," etc.  You can lay that blueprint on a raw casting and watch it for a billion years and it won't make a finished part.  But the machinist picks it up, puts the casting in his machine, and when he is done a part is ready for use.  He needs the blueprint to tell him how to make the part, and the blueprint is worthless without the machine and operator.  So it is with DNA and living cells.  Each needs the other to function, and together they can make new cells.

     IN CONCLUSION
 Far from being a logical, scientific, provable explanation of the origin and development of life on earth, Evolution appears to be a belief system held to with as much religious faith as any other creed, with the added difficulty of being contrary to known facts.  To believe in evolution, a "scientist" must throw out the scientific method, suspend his common sense, and twist or ignore the facts.  That so many continue to do so, and belittle those who dare to challenge their belief, shows the strength of their faith.  Far from being open-minded seekers of truth, evolutionists appear to be closed-minded, dogmatic "defenders of the faith".  Did life "just happen"?  What do you think?
 

"Could Life 'Just Happen'?" is by Ron Lyttle 
<http://www.creationism.org/batman/>
 

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