Thursday, January 24, 2008

Can Science Produce Life from Non-Life?

(Sterling State Park, Monroe, MI)

In today’s there’s an article in the Science section that begins with this: “Taking a significant step toward the creation of man-made forms of life, researchers reported Thursday that they had manufactured the entire genome of a bacterium by painstakingly stitching together its chemical components.”
“Synthetic biologists envision being able one day to design an organism on a computer, press the “print” button to have the necessary DNA made, and then put that DNA into a cell to produce a custom-made creature. “What we are doing with the synthetic chromosome is going to be the design process of the future,” said Dr. J. Craig Venter, the boundary-pushing gene scientist.”
Note, especially, the word “design.” And the idea of “painstakingly stitching together… chemical components.”
So, it’s not an easy thing to design life. But it is designed. Which, for me, argues against such a phenomenally difficult thing happening without a Designer.
And, by the way, evolutionary theory says nothing about this sort of thing. Evolutionary theory is about actually existent life. The word ”abiogenesis” is used to describe life coming from non-life. This is NOT an easy thing to have happen.
But now look at this. The nytimes article states: “The synthetic genome made by Dr. Venter’s team was not designed from scratch, but rather was a copy, with only a few changes, of the genetic sequence of a tiny natural bacterium called Mycoplasma genitalium.” Ah, so it’s not really an act of abiogenesis. Now THAT would really be painstakingly difficult. “George M. Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, said, “Right now, all they’ve done is shown they can buy a bunch of DNA and put it together.” ”
Somewhere along the way life came from non-life. That is, from no DNA there came DNA. Psalm 139:13 expresses it this way: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” You and I have been stitched together in our mother’s wombs. It was not an easy thing, at least from our human perspective. So if scientists accomplish this painstaking process of designing life it will show that, minimally, scientists have painstakingly designed human life. From this one cannot conclude that life is undesigned.