PERSONAL MUSINGS

It came about one Saturday morning (yesterday) as I was cleaning the house… that I thought of this Law.  The Law of Biogenesis says that “Life cannot come from non-life.”  This means that only living organisms can create living organisms.  Then it occurred to me.  When the first known life on the planet came about some 3.7 billion years ago, what caused it? Was there a time where this Fundamental Law of Nature did not apply? OR does this Law apply all the time since the Universe is billions of years past the Singularity, where all the laws of physics break down?

This is where the thought started… and it has left me without much sleep last night because this continues to bug me.  Things are a lot clearer now, having read some arguments in favor and against Biogenesis.

I have to say though that I am not a scientist.  I am a Software Engineer doing Apologetics.  Anyway, here goes:

This post is in progress and will be continuously updated as I refine the argument and find more information regarding the Origins of Life.  This is my original argument owned by yours truly in honor of the Copyright Law. :)

THE ARGUMENT

1. Life can either come from a living entity or a non-living entity
2. Life cannot come from a non-living entity.
3. Therefore, life can only come from a living entity.

EXPLAINING THE ARGUMENT

(1) is self-evident.  Everything can be classified as either living or non-living.  Thus, there should be no issue with this premise.

To show that (2) is true, one has to refer to the Law of Biogenesis, which states that “life cannot come from non-life.” Scientists such as Francesco Redi, Lazarro Spallanzani and Louis Pasteur discovered that the creation of life requires an external agent which in itself has to be alive.  To date, there has been no successful experiment that disproves the Law of Biogenesis.

Thus, if (1) and (2) are both true, (3) necessarily follows.

Consider then the implications.  If life can only be created by a living entity, and life began in the universe some 3.7 billion years ago, then this first life has to be created by an external agent which by itself is also living.  In this case, one can infer a couple of attributes this initial life-giver must have.

a. It has to be alive because of premise (2).

b. It has to exist since the beginning because the initial life-giver cannot be created by non-life.

c. It has to be uncaused from (b).

d. It has to exist necessarily from (c).

SUMMING UP THE INFERENCES FOR THE CONCLUSION

God is a being who is (a) Alive, (b) existing since the beginning, (c) uncaused, and (d) necessarily existing.  He is the only being who fits these four qualities perfectly.

LIMITATIONS OF THIS ARGUMENT

The Biogenesis Argument for the Existence of God does not in any way show that this uncaused living life-giver is Holy, Omniscient, and Immutable in thought… all of which are also attributes of God.  So this argument alone does not in any way prove the existence of the Christian God.  This however, when taken cumulatively with the other arguments for God’s existence (ex. Kalam Cosmological Argument, Moral Argument, Argument From Miracles, and Ontological Argument), produces an extremely compelling evidence of an uncaused life-giver.

NOTES ON BIOGENESIS

Greek Philosophers and early scientists believe in Spontaneous Generation as the means through which the first life formed.  This was however, challenged first by the experiment of Francesco Redi in the 17th century.  He put one piece of meat in two jars, one of which is covered and the other, uncovered.  The hypothesis is that maggot eggs would appear from rotten meat.  As both meat rots, the one inside the open jar was found to have been infested with maggots while the other piece of meat, which was sealed in the jar, rotted but was found to be without maggots.  This shows that life does not come from non-life.

In the 18th century, John Needham challenged Redi’s findings by saying that by boiling a nutrient broth, microorganisms began to live within it.  Lazzaro Spallanzani would later refute Needham’s findings by doing exactly the same experiment he did with two flasks.  One corked and the other one left open.  After a few days, Spallanzani found that only the uncorked flask had microorganisms.

Finally, Louis Pasteur, in the 19th century hammered the final nail in the coffin on Spontaneous Generation.  In his experiment, Pasteur boiled a flask with the same nutrient broth from Needham’s experiment.  The only difference is that while he left his flask open, the mouth was in an S-shaped form such that microorganisms that would have entered the broth was trapped at the curvature.  (See image below)

220px-Coldecygne.svg

 

It wasn’t until Pasteur changed the position of the mouth in a manner by which the microorganisms could enter that life was observed from within the broth.  Thus, he coined the phrase Omne Vivum Ex Vivo—All Life From Life.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

1. Am I committing the God of the Gaps fallacy?

Ans: No because the God of the Gaps fallacy is to attribute to God’s act a phenomenon with the absence of both (1) explanation and (2) justification.  The Biogenesis Argument shows reasons why the first cause of life is God through proper reasoning and justification.

2. What about the Urey-Miller Experiment?

Ans: There are several problems with this experiment.

(1) The experiment used Methane, Ammonia, Water Vapor, and Hydrogen to represent the early Earth’s atmosphere.  A decade later, most geoscientists were convinced that the early Earth’s atmosphere is not like that at all.  They found out rather that there’s Oxygen presence in the atmosphere.  However, IF there is Oxygen in the mixture, its reaction with Hydrogen would’ve caused an explosion.  They also discovered that the early Earth’s atmosphere is not Hydrogen rich.  Most geoscientists now think that the atmosphere of the Earth in those times is composed of the same materials as the gases that comes out of a volcano in the modern days.  These are water vapor, carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

If you put those gasses into the Urey Miller atmosphere, and shoot electricity into it, you won’t get amino acids at all.

(2) Even if someone could show that certain basic building blocks of life could form under pre-life conditions, we would still be immeasurably far from creating a living cell.  If you have all the chemicals present that makes up a living cell in this condition, we still wouldn’t be able to put them together and create a living cell out of it.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZDPY6DxeI4

 

 

OTHER NOTES

OLD ARGUMENTS

ARGUMENT A1

1. The Law of Biogenesis states that Life cannot come from Non-Life.
2. Life exists.
3. Therefore, the first cause of life has to be an Uncaused and Living Entity.

EXPLANATION OF ARGUMENT A1

(2) is self-evident and properly basic.  (3) simply follows when (1) and (2) are both true.  Thus the crucial premise of this syllogism hangs on premise (1).

Now here’s the power of the argument.  There has been NO successful experiment to date that disproves the Law of Biogenesis.  NONE.  (See Notes on Biogenesis down below for a more detailed information on this Law)

Now to explain (3), here’s how I arrived at it.  Consider the known fossils of the early single celled organisms.  Consider the Cambrian Explosion.  The coming into being of Plants, Reptiles, Birds, and Mammals.  These are new species with different cells which could not have evolved from other cells.  (Plant cells do not produce animal cells). This shows that the origins of these living cells that make up the first plant, the first animal, and so forth HAS to come from a prior life.  For two reasons.

(1) The Second Law of Thermodynamics, the Law of Entropy states that order cannot come from disorder.  The protein molecules that make up a cell will not suddenly come together and begin to function in the absence of an agent aiding the process.  For to create order (a cell) from disorder (a sea of proteins) violates the Law of Entropy.

(2) The Law of Biogenesis states that in order for a living cell to be produced, it has to come from a prior cell of the same kind.  Yet life has to have a starting point since the Universe began 13.6 billion years ago and life on Earth began at around 3.7 billion years ago.  this means that living cells has to have come from somewhere… but since Louis Pasteur’s experiment has already thoroughly discredited the Theory of Spontaneous Generation, we are left with one last option: the only agent that could potentially produce the first generation of cells of different species HAS to be a living entity.

Now this living entity has to be uncaused.  This is because this first cause of life must also not come from non-life if the Law of Biogenesis is true.  Thus, if this first cause of life did not come from non-life, the only other possible recourse is that this first cause of life has to be uncaused.

Now this brings us one step further.  If this entity is uncaused, then it has to exist necessarily because a contingent being has to come from an external cause.  But this being has been shown uncaused and therefore, could not have been created.  Thus, it necessarily exists.

This being must also be extremely powerful because it is able to produce cells of different species.

 

LONGER VERSION OF THE ARGUMENT A1
1. Life cannot come from Non-Life.
2. Life exists.
3. If (1) and (2), the source of life is a living entity.
4. If (3), therefore, this living entity must not have been created from non-life.
5. If (4), therefore, this living entity must have been living since the beginning.
6. If (5), therefore, this living entity must be uncaused. (Causation requires the passage of time)
7. If (6), therefore, this living entity must be necessary, as contingent entities requires causation.

SOME THOUGHTS THAT I AM CONSIDERING AT THE MOMENT

If the Law of Entropy applies in the process of creating life in the universe, it could be said that this uncaused life-giver is the GREATEST LIFEFORM as everything that comes out of him would be affected by entropy and thus, be less than who he is.  It is thus, the reason why we will never be on par with this LIFE SOURCE.  It is not that he cannot create perfect beings.  It is that our wings are clipped due to the natural laws present.  This is SIMPLY a hypothesis.  I haven’t given much thought on it but might later include or remove it from the argument (I’ll most likely remove this as I find this not as compelling as the first four attributes).

 

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