The original question was: Dr. Neeland, when you answered the question; “Did God use Evolution? Human Genome expert Dr Francis Collins says so” your reply shows a blatant misunderstanding of evolution. Please either fix the question or remove it. Evolution does not pertain to the beginning of life, only what happens after. Once again, please don’t lie.
This comment came in response to the question “Did God use Evolution? Human Genome expert Dr Francis Collins says so.” See Ed Neeland’s answer here.
Answer by Ed Neeland
Let’s examine this claim by using some facts and critical thinking. This summer (2011), Discover magazine published a special evolution issue with articles entitled: “A Cold Start” by Douglas Fox which discussed “Life may have begun at deep-freeze temperatures, new science suggests. Was the primordial soup served up cold?” and “Did Life Start with a Virus?” by Charles Siebert. Consider also this particularly appropriate peer-reviewed paper: Perry, R.S. and Kolb, V.M.; “On the applicability of Darwinian principles to chemical evolution that led to life”; Int. J. of Astrobiol.; 2004; 3; 45-53. As far back as 1960, the noted zoologist Gerald Kerkut defined evolution as “The theory that all living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form.” (Implications of Evolution, p 157, 1960.)
In virtually every high school and college biology text book the section on evolution commences with a chapter or more on the origin of the first protocell replete with suggestions as to how simple, low molecular weight chemicals reacted to create (if I may use that term) larger chemicals which somehow self-organized into the first protocell (life). Usually the chapter includes diagrams, pictures and chemical formulae pertaining to the famous Miller Amino Acid experiment and a rapid skip and a jump analogy via the first proteins, then the first living cell.
Modern evolutionists repeatedly define evolution as change, so to progress from non living chemicals to a protocell certainly represents change, and by the very narrow definition above, it therefore qualifies as evolution. Hence contrary to your statement – evolution does include the origin of life.
Have prominent evolutionists like Charles Darwin or Richard Dawkins written about the beginning of life in their popular books?
Absolutely, yes. Darwin and Dawkins both tried to account for the idea that simple chemicals reacted (somehow) to make the first cell. Do university biology textbooks ignore the idea of how life began? No, the term ‘abiogenesis’ is certainly used in biology textbooks, and abiogenesis deals with how lifeless chemicals became a living cell. So it very misleading when our skeptical evolutionist questioner argues their theory doesn’t pertain to the beginning of life when there is so much evidence that the theory is vitally concerned with it.
This is sadly a claim which is thrown around by liberal theologians who try to argue God created and then let everything evolve naturally. But the gross inconsistency of this should be obvious. Mutations, the very engine of evolution, involve the making and breaking of chemical bonds which supposedly generates new information in the genome. So, if modern day evolutionists claim that the same making and breaking of chemical bonds that would have been involved in gaining the information to create the first cell somehow does not fall under the umbrella of evolution, they are guilty of woeful inconsistency in thinking.
Clearly, for the evolution story to be workable and convincing it has to be complete from start to finish. It should begin with how life arose and eventually build to an explanation for the origin of complex multi-cellular forms of life. To say it only deals with the latter is to offer an incomplete theory on life’s evolution from chemistry to biology. The evidence, and some critical thinking, support the view that the theory of evolution certainly includes an attempt to explain how simple chemicals naturally became the first living cell despite the raucous protestations of modern-day evolutionists.
I understand why modern day evolutionists are attempting to distance their theory from abiogenesis, simply because the evidence that simple chemicals reacted to form the first cell does not exist! Mathematicians report that abiogenesis is statistically impossible, and scientists (especially synthetic chemists such as myself) have shown that intelligently directed abiogenesis fails every experimental effort to create even one living cell. It follows that the idea of life arising naturally from simple chemicals without intelligent guidance is a bit of joke and frankly a slap in the face to anyone who understands organic chemistry. This places evolutionists in a precarious position. If they recognize that abiogenesis cannot be part of their theory, since that would entail having to also accept the thoroughly discredited hypothesis of spontaneous generation, which includes the claims that mice arose from a mixture of dirty undergarments and wheat. There is as much evidence for that as there is that simple chemicals left to themselves over time will react to make a living cell. Their solution? Remove abiogenesis from the evolution theory. This is a disingenuous act at the highest level. Creationists rightly point out the inconsistency of such a stance and will continue to point out all the associated problems with the evolution theory including its foundational fantasy of abiogenesis. In light of this evidence, the creation model just makes more sense.
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