How did life begin? This is a question that intrigues scholars and the average person alike. Science has shown that the trillions of cells, that make up our bodies, are unfathomably complex with prescriptive information codes at their very core. This issue has two layers that point strongly in one direction: authorship
In medieval times, it was commonly thought that rats, flies and other vermin spontaneously came into existence in certain conditions such as dark and moist cavities (rats) or meat (flies). This belief was handed down from pagan philosophy, centuries before. It was an ignorant and superstitious belief that was largely due to our ancestors’ lack of understanding of life cycles.
Spontaneous generation was soon exposed as false by Rene and Pasteur who demonstrated the doctrine of biogenesis: that life comes from life. The idea that life could spontaneously arise in certain favourable conditions was disproved by robust experiments.
But recently, atheists have revived the old superstition of spontaneous generation and given it a new name. But more about that in a moment.
Chicken or egg? What came first?
Life has many important components but DNA, RNA and proteins (made of amino acids) are essential. Without any one of these three components, life is impossible. DNA is the prescriptive information code that carries the instructions for the blueprint of life. Proteins perform many functions include reading, writing and proof reading DNA and RNA. RNA is a prescriptive information code that is less durable than DNA but more versatile. Proteins transcribe DNA instructions into the temporal code of RNA. A specific type of RNA is used by proteins to produce proteins. But a further type of protein is then needed to fold the proteins so they can function.
Without DNA, there are no instructions or blueprints for proteins. Without RNA, the DNA instructions cannot be translated into proteins. Without Proteins, the DNA and RNA instructions cannot be read, replicated, executed or proof read.
Subscribers to the newly revived superstition of spontaneous generation are trying to cloak superstition with science. Different ideas have been put forward. One idea is that life started when a strand of DNA accidentally formed. Those who push this view point out that proteins require DNA instructions. DNA is exceedingly more stable than RNA. Others argued that, DNA is too rigid, but RNA is more flexible and that is was what spontaneously strung itself together. While some others claim a protein world hypothesis, where a complex protein suddenly formed in a bubbling soup of amino acids. They would point out the RNA is far too unstable to support life.
The fact is they’re all half right. DNA is too inflexible and cannot replicate itself. RNA is incredibly unstable and would not be able to remain stable for long enough to spontaneously generate into meaningful codes. Both DNA and RNA wouldn’t be able to replicate without proteins. And the protein world view is dead in the premordial soup, too, since proteins do not carry their own instructions. Protiens are completely dependant on DNA and RNA for instruction on how to form and function. They all have a deeper problem.
The difference between life and non life is the existence of functionally specified complexity, which is information. This is not any type information either, but prescriptive information. The question “how did life begin?” can be phrased “How did all that prescriptive information get there?”
The information encoded in DNA is incredibly complex. It is not merely functional or shannon information but a very specifically prescriptive information code. It has not only data but also metadata. In fact, there is more metadata than basic data. Much of the data is contingent on the metadata. This is apparent in DNA splicing. DNA splicing is a process where different parts of multiple genes will be cross read to reveal another code. For example, if you took the capitalised letters out of the following words, you would have “creation”: inCRedible Evidence ATtracts thInking Observers Normally. It can do this because of the metadata in the DNA that tells the protein how to read the code. This is just another reason why mutations can’t improve the genome overall, even when beneficial, since one improvement in one gene will inevitably destroy other genes.
Authorship of life
“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” (Heb 11:3)
The best explanation for encoded prescriptive information is an intelligent author. Human experience, common sense and science supports this.
The Bible teaches all things were made by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3; Genesis 1). So it is no surprise that there is a code in all living things and natural laws that underlie the universe. DNA is a written record of God’s prescription for living things. God made all things by His word and that is why it is so finely tuned!
But something went wrong. We were separated from the Author of life. This led to decay and eventually death. The separation was caused by sin; we had disobeyed the Word of God and so we became separated from the Author of life.
The Author of life
Thankfully, the “Word became flesh”, the very flesh it created, “and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). He came to pay the penalty of our sin on the cross so that we could live in him, reconciled with the Author of lIfe. His name is Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
People rejected and crucified “…the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.” (Act 3:15)