Knock! Knock! Who’s there? Pizza? Fluffy? Absolute awareness? While creationism has left the door open for a secular crescendo of doubt, science has sought to rip the House of God off its theological foundation and definitively answer the most evasive question in human history: who or what created life as we know it? Thus, the intergalactic search for the fingerprints of divinity and friendly aliens has produced perhaps the most controversial hypothesis ever put forth: the Big Bang theory.
As both a disciple of Christ and the evolutionary embodiment of science, knowledge gained through observation and mathematical probability, I too love the Big Bang: that iconic moment when atheists magically appear to protest an imaginary God. Or perhaps, just maybe, all that mass and energy that was bottled up and inexplicably confined for eternity…but not in the form of an omnipotent being or conscious energy of course…was the catalyst of intelligent design. Where there is structure; there is purpose. Where there is purpose; there is intent. Don’t you love how a Mercedes is engineered out of thin air? The fact the humane genome stretches to the moon and back over 250,000 times shouldn’t scare any “nonbelievers” or raise any red flags of evolution. Yes, that was empirical doubt disguised as sarcasm. Fred Hoyle, the scientific author of the Big Bang, called his celebrated hypothesis dubious at best and highly unlikely due to the massive statistical improbability the right amount of force and mass would correctly mix in order to form celestial objects and in the process, exact life.
In order to keep from becoming the biggest dud in unrecorded history, or the biggest anomaly since Pop Rocks and Pepsi, the Big Bang had to essentially catch lightning in a bottle. How so? Balance, Danielson; balance! If this cosmic explosion was too strong, matter would only exist in a gaseous form, diffusing at such a substantial rate that stars or planets would be unable to take shape. Likewise, if the bang was too weak, gravity would have pulled the expanding matter back unto itself, eradicating any possibility of celestial bodies forming. As a primer to this singular event, our world renowned astrophysicist Fred Hoyle estimated the odds of life forming on its own to the tune of one shot in ten to the forty thousandth power. That number is so astronomical, excuse the pun, not even a socialist with a meth, yacht and gambling addiction could spend it. Wow, good thing our Indian ancestors taught us how to count. Forget that, I need a solar-powered calculator.
The probability that life started on its own is 1 x 10-40,000.
Therefore, we would naturally ask ourselves if some “entity”
was behind the beginning of life. When scientists test
hypotheses, they test what is called the null hypothesis
or a statement opposite of the hypothesis that presumes
the original hypothesis is wrong. In this case a scientist
would attempt to validate the assumption there was no
entity behind the beginning of life; that it began by chance.
The researcher then determines the probability that the
null hypothesis being tested is false. The standard used
to reject a null hypothesis is = 0.95. A 0.05 probability
can be restated as 1 × 10-1.3. As such, the probability
that life started on its own is many magnitudes smaller
than 0.05. Thus, a scientist using standard statistical
methodology would easily reject the statement that
life began by mere chance.
Life, in its most elementary form, is far from some archaic stew; a random assemblage of mix and match proteins. The DNA of the simplest bacteria contains nearly ten trillion bits of information, more than five million paired bases, all precisely encoded for the purposes of survival and reproduction. And you thought your computer was a dinosaur? Don’t flatter yourself! By contrast, a human’s DNA is a scintillating sequence of approximately three billion paired bases of four separate chemicals; each arranged in perfect order. To duplicate the supposed biological splendor of human evolution, you must flawlessly sequence our DNA through mere adaptation and chance alone. Furthermore, you will be completely isolated, unable to consult anyone or anything, and must finish this paltry paradigm in a little less than 4.6 billion years. Oh yeah, I almost forgot. You cannot begin until the first sign of life appears, which, according to some scientists, will take at least a billion years under the most ideal circumstances; not excluding, of course, that little meteor mishap, the occasional ice age or the ecological plunder from the unlicensed fireworks of super volcanoes.
If you feel like you just gave birth to an accountant, or better Carl Sagan in a turtleneck, you’re not alone. And what does Charles Darwin think about his fashion sense or better yet the butterfly collar effect of this biological quagmire; you know, that English naturalist who floated the supremacy of evolution as the genesis of life and not the divine blueprint from which engineered life evolved?
“To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable
contrivances for adjusting the focus to different
distances, for admitting different amounts of light, for
the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration,
could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I
freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.”
~Charles Darwin, 1859
Other than the inevitability of death, neither science nor religion can definitively lay claim to the throne of creation. Science cannot disprove the existence of a god, though it can “theoretically” account for the origins of life. Religion cannot prove the existence of a god, though any account of creationism must ultimately utilize some form of intelligent design…a scientific framework. Thus, by some literary twist of fate, it seems our two competing notions of universal induction are cosmically linked, or in modern nomenclature, sleeping under the same roof! Please excuse me while I read a little “Genesis” before going to bed and magically begin to feel “genetically” enlightened. I don’t need to solve a riddle or look in the mirror to know life is an unrivaled gift that cannot be enumerated, dismissed or reduced to the palatable tastes of scientific conjecture.