The Atheists’ Faith, Part 2 (of 4)

Post 19 - DNA Helix

In my last post, I showed how the scientific community has to break their own rules to get the Big Bang theory to work.

So now, fast-forward a few billion years as the Universal “dust” from the Big Bang starts to coalesce into stars and planets and other debris, and we have balls of rock (or gas) orbiting stars.

Sidebar:
Can anyone explain to me why the asteroid belt (between Mars, the furthest terrestrial planet from the sun, and Jupiter, the next planet out, and a gaseous one) never coalesced into a planet? Isn’t that how all the other planets were formed? Should we be expecting another terrestrial planet to form?

I remember from high school biology / chemistry / science classes, that mixing hydrogen and oxygen, adding a platinum catalyst, and zapping it with electricity will produce water. Do that on the Earth, and we now have a wet rock, but we still need to create living things on this wet rock.

According to the scientific community, given the atmospheric conditions of primordial Earth, there were enough chemicals around to produce amino acids, which are the building blocks of DNA. In high school, I watched a video where scientists were able to recreate this in a lab. They took nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and a few others, added a platinum catalyst, and zapped it with electricity. Afterward, they were able to see the formation of amino acids.

That’s pretty cool, but it’s not alive. In fact, the building blocks of life, DNA, is not as simple as a little hydrogen and oxygen. It is fantastically complex, and recreating it in a lab takes weeks.

This article celebrates the notion that eventually, it might be possible to do it in a day:

“The most popular DNA synthesis method today is a near 40-year-old legacy technique rooted in organic chemistry. The method takes the four letters of DNA and jams them together one by one using a mix of toxic chemicals. Each letter takes three minutes to add and is prone to errors. To the exasperation of synthetic biologists, custom-made DNA chains typically cap out at only 200 letters before too many mistakes build up – a sliver of the thousands of letters normally present in a gene.

Our bodies, in contrast, can add 1,000 letters per second with virtually no errors.”

For reference, the human genome contains 3 billion base pairs of DNA (about the same amount as frogs and sharks.) But other genomes are much larger. A newt genome has about 15 billion base pairs of DNA, and a lily genome has almost 100 billion.  A lot more than science’s current max of 200.

Yet in the scientific view of creation, DNA like this combined randomly. Careful, intelligent, experienced scientists – working in a controlled lab – take weeks to do this (unsuccessfully), and yet lots of people believe that the first time it happened, all the letters just randomly fell into place. Remembering that there are no “simple” cells, we’re talking about a lot of DNA base pairs just randomly showing up where they should be. Okay…

So let’s pretend that given a Petri dish the size of the Earth, and a few million years’ worth of shakes on the old Yahtzee dice of Life, random chance could generate an error-free strand of DNA (and that’s a HUGE assumption.) To borrow a joke from Dana Carvey’s stand-up routine spoofing OJ Simpson’s lawyers, in this case, DNA probably stands for “Does Not Amount to much” because on its own, DNA will do nothing, and the evolutionists’ view seems to overlook that. Cells from a cheek swab will not grow into a person, nor will they even replicate once removed from the living host. And, regardless of what we all learned from the Frankenstein movies, simply electrocuting non-living material does not bring it to life.

The leap from a strand of DNA, to a single cell organism is enormous. Especially when you consider that this single cell organism has to be capable of a-sexual reproduction. Not self-replication, reproduction. It has to give rise to an independent and unattached version of itself. And we now know that the entire blueprint for this reproduction process has to be spelled out in its entirety in every strand of DNA. How to replicate plasma, cell walls, nuclei, mitochondria, how to combine those things in the right place, order, and proportion. (A quick search will tell you just how complicated cells are. With modern observational equipment, we know that there is no such thing as a “simple cell.”)

This article (from 2012) talks about an attempt to build a computer model that replicated all the processes in the “simplest” cell we know of, a little microbe called Mycoplasma genitalium. Running 128 inter-connected computers, the scientists needed 10 hours to model a single cell division. From the article:

“The M. genitalium model required 28 subsystems to be individually modeled and integrated, and many critics of the work have been complaining on Twitter that’s only a fraction of what will eventually be required to consider the simulation realistic.”

Given the complexity of even the “simplest” one-cell organisms, our science seems to conclude that no amount of Earth-sized-Petri dish-shaking could formulate a DNA recipe that would suffice.

The other, and largest, Flying Wallenda-sized leap that the scientific theory requires us to take is going from nonliving matter to living matter. I want to point out that in all of our scientific advances made throughout history, this is a feat that has never been replicated in a laboratory. Yes, we can reanimate frozen sperm cells or egg cells. We can resuscitate dead animals, but we cannot take purely non-living, non-organic matter, and cause it to be living. The closest anyone has come has been to strip out a few genomes from a bacterium without killing it. It will reproduce with its modified genomes, but it doesn’t thrive.  The article misleadingly refers to it as “synthetic life”, but basically, it’s the genetic equivalent of declawing a housecat.

In fact, outside of the Bible, no one has ever been able to take inorganic things and make them living. Ever. And yet, the entire theory of the “scientific” explanation of the origin of life depends on this impossibility.

 

Next week: animals turning into other animals.

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