When did evolutionary processes start? There seems to be two schools of thought among evolutionists. The first maintains that evolutionary processes started only after life was already present, and from there makes a leap of improbable proportions to a “single, universal, common” ancestor for all life on earth. The second group, comprised of the National Academy of Sciences, Darwin, Gould, Dawkins and other notable pioneers and supporters, assert that evolutionary processes were responsible for everything. Cosmological and chemical evolution, along with biological, describes how all came to be.
The origin of life on earth has been speculated on for a long time. In the 1920’s, science gave it’s “final” answer. It came in the form of the Oparin-Haldane scenario, which says that the chemical building blocks for life was produced by lightning activating some minerals in the primordal oceans. The scenario remained untested until the early 1950’s, when Miller and Urey conducted their now-famous experiment, and supposedly proved the hypothesis correct.
Dogma firmly established that chemical evolution preceeded the biological. There are a host of problems with the conclusions, starting with the composition of the atmosphere on pre-biotic earth. As usual, the facts don’t get in the way of a good story, Miller-Urey remains in mainstream biology textbooks as proof for where the universal common ancestor came from.
Those who assert that evolution only started once life was present need to then come up with some explanations of their own. Of course, there is no real proof for a universal common ancestor, it is argued that it must have existed in a circular fashion. Anyhow, what did it look like? What genetic information did it contain? In what environment did it exist? What did it contain in terms of DNA, RNA and other proteins? Where did that come from? What are the minimum number of parts required for something to be classified as alive?
See, you cannot logically escape a regress when it comes to describing a universal common ancestor. Microbes, viruses and parasites are in general not considered to be alive, since they are dependent on the DNA of their host to replicate. The first life form could not have been dependent on a host, and, it needed to “manufacture” it’s own food. The more complex lifeforms needed to sustain life forms that cannot manufacture it’s own food could not have come until much later.
The smallest life-form with a genome, Mycoplasma Genitalum, contains 482 genes over 500,00 base pairs. It must also live off other, more complex, life, which logically should exist before MG can exist.
Most bacteria, which is genrally accepted to be the first viable independent life form, contain several thousand genes, and is made up of 100 thousand millions of atoms, all linked and functional.
The dilemma remains, where did these complex life-forms come from? The generally accepted “scientific” answer is described above. When lighting struck the ocean, chemical elements reacted and almost instantaneously arranged itself in RNA and DNA, which further arranged itself into several thousand genes and millions of atoms capable of feeding itself from non-organic sources. It then remained in stasis for around 3.5 billion years, when over the next 600 million years, it then proceeded to arrange itself into all life. Simple.
Theistic evolutionists get around this problem by saying that God, aliens or meteorites created or seeded earth with that first bit of life. I think that if aliens were clever enough to come from many light years away, they would leave more than a simple microscopic bacterium. In all of the meteorites known, there has not been a single e-coli on any one of them. It would be pretty impossible for anything that can survive in the cold vacuum of space to survive on earth.
Speculating that it is how God created seems pretty silly too. Firstly, it is inconsistent with the Biblical account of creation. In addition, if one believes that there is a God who has an established plan for the future, which we can safely assume that He has, given the existence of prophesy, then He would have had to interfere all the time to make sure that humans came out of the evolutionary process. The first life-form was too small and simple to contain all the information needed for life to proceed in the millions of directions that it did. Furthermore, given standard Darwinian assumptions that genetic errors are the primary factor causing diversity, then those errors would have to have been pinged into existence by God, trillions of times. But that just ain’t scientific.
I’ll just stick with creation as described in the Bible. God spoke, and there it was.