Lesson 7

(or the left-hand better know what the right-hand is doing)

One of the most damaging evidences against the "primordial soup" as the source of the building blocks of life, and therefore life itself, is the problem of Chirality. Stanley Miller's ‘spark and soup' experiment produced a mixture consisting of 85% tar, 13% carboxylic acids, and the amino acids Glycine (1.05 % ) and Alanine (0.85 %). Trace amounts of the amino acids Glutamic acid, Aspartic acid, Valine, Leucine, Proline, Serine, and Treonine were also produced. The production of these amino acids was considered "PROOF" by the scientific community that the amino acids needed for life could arise from random chance. However, those that have put forth and believe this conclusion have not taken into account or given any explanation of the chirality of the amino acids that are found within all living systems.

What is chirality? Chirality is the phenomenon of "handedness" in amino acids. The amino acids that make up DNA, RNA, and proteins are molecules that can exist in both right-handed (dextro) and left-handed (levo) forms which are mirror images of each other. A picture describing the two forms is included below. The amino acids that result from performing a ‘spark and soup' experiments are a mixture of 50% left-handed and 50% right-handed forms. This is a true result of random chance, just as you would expect to get 50% heads and 50% tails when flipping a coin many times. The insurmountable problem with the results of random chance is that the DNA and RNA in all living systems are comprised of 100% right-handed nucleotides and the amino acids in all living systems occur only in the left-handed form, with very rare exception.

Lets examine the facts again:

1) The building blocks of DNA and RNA are made up of 100% right-handed nucleotides, the amino acids that are the letters of the genetic code (Figure 1).

2) The building blocks of virtually all proteins found in living systems are left-handed amino acids.

What does this mean for those that believe in random chance producing life? Are we expected to believe that random chance will produce living systems that contain only 100% left-handed amino acids? This is a mathematical impossibility. Also impossible is the idea that the same random forces could produce DNA strands that are 100% right-handed. To further add to the problem, geneticists studying DNA have concluded that a DNA chain that contains only a few left-handed nucleotides will be useless in functionality. It cannot work unless it is 100%.

This problem is so huge that a symposium was conducted in the early 1980's to figure out just how living systems that are made of 100% left-handed proteins and 100% right-handed nucleotides, could have come out of a primordial soup that contained 50% right-handed and 50% left-handed building blocks. The conclusion of the symposium was that living systems could not have arisen from the soup. There is no way in the world that chance chemistry could have accomplished it. For example consider that a single cell creature has approximately 2 million nucleotide pairs in its DNA - could you flip a coin 2 million times in a row and get 2 million heads to show? Of course not.

Lets take a look at the mathematical probability of life spontaneously generating as estimated by scientists:

Harold Morowitz, Yale University, in "Energy Flow in Biology, 1968, put the chance to form a single celled animal by chance in a ‘soup' as one in 10100,000,000,000

Sir Fredric Hoyle, a British astronomer (with well known anti-evolution views) in Nature, 1981, v.294, calculated the odds of only the proteins of an amoebae rising by chance at one in 1040,000. These odds caused him to state, "It is enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of evolution. If the beginnings of life were not random, they must therefore have been the product of purposeful intelligence. The chance that higher life forms might have emerged by random chance is about the same as the probability that a tornado sweeping through a junkyard could assemble a 747 from the contents of the junkpile".

The odds mentioned by Morowitz and Hoyle are staggering. Mathematics tells us that any event that has a probability that is less than one in 1050 is in the realm of metaphysics. In other words, it is a miracle! If chance chemistry could not have caused the structures that we find in living systems, what could have? Only one way - an intelligent Creator with the power and ability.

Here is an amazing quote from George Wall, a biochemist from Harvard University and winner of the Nobel Prize in Biology, who said in The Origin of Life, 1955: "One has only to contemplate the magnitude of the task to conclude that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet, we are here as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation". This scientist admits the impossibility of S.G. and yet trusts in it. This is no less than a statement of faith.

Francis Crick in "Life Itself, its Origin and its Nature", 1981, pg. 88. "An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears, at the moment, to be almost a miracle. So many are the conditions which would have been satisfied to get it going".


Shortly after the structure of DNA was discovered, the method of information storage and retrieval used by living systems was quickly determined. If you recall from the first section of this class, DNA is in essence a digital code, more complex than any known computer program today.
Here is the question, given that DNA is present in all living systems today, each living system having distinct DNA, who wrote the codes? Could a digital, error-correcting, redundant, and overlapping information storage systems be the product of chance? In a word, no. Consider computer programs..., could any of today's programs, even the simplest, write themselves if we turn on a computer and wait for random circuits to do the writing? The answer is obvious.

A fundamental dilemma exists for the chance creation of DNA. The duplication and translation of the information on the DNA molecule requires the employment of dozens of proteins. However, living cells cannot make proteins until the DNA-RNA replication and translation "machinery" is in place.

This dilemma was noted by chemist John Walton who stated in his article "Organization and the Origin of Life", Origins, Vol.4, No1,1977, "The origin of the genetic code presents formidable unsolved problems. The coded information in the nucleotide sequence is meaningless without the translation machinery, but the specification for this machinery is itself coded in the DNA. Thus without the machinery the information is meaningless, but without the coded information the machinery cannot be produced. This presents a paradox of the ‘chicken and egg' variety, and attempts to solve it have so far been sterile". Like complex systems, the entire system needs to be present for the system to work. The only rational explanation is that the two parts of the system arose at the exact same time.


Why does a word have a specific or specific set of meanings? The answer is found within the conventions (rules and regulations) set up for that language. For instance, the sequence of letters - gift - has a specific meaning in the English language. The word gift is a positive word in English, somebody is going to receive something. But how did the word ‘gift' come to mean this? Through language convention, the rules that define the word (note that the words used to define ‘gift' are themselves governed by language convention). It is interesting to note that the word ‘gift' is not a positive one in the German language. To give a person a gift in German means that you are giving them a disease! Language convention governs the translation of all words and every language has its own conventions.

Consider the information contained within the DNA of a living system. How did the segments of a DNA strand come to mean, for instance, an arm, or an eye? Would a DNA molecule that arose by random chance have any information, codes, programs, or instructions? According to the basic principles of information theory the answer is a clear no. Again, consider a computer program, the sequence of 1's and 0's that ultimately are processed by the main processor have meaning because the sequences are interpreted within a framework of a language convention.

In all information storage systems (including DNA), the rules and regulations used to interpret sequences must be devised first. This means that randomly generated letters on a page or nucleotide sequences on a DNA molecule do not have meaning. But we know that DNA sequences do have specific meaning, which implies that before the DNA sequences were made, a language convention was in place. Who defined the language convention? Only one possible answer, someone who was here before life on this planet.


In the 1970's, speculation on the origin of life took an odd turn. As the laws of physics, chemistry, and mathematical probability showed that spontaneous generation could not have happened, and that the origin of the information on the DNA molecule could not have arisen by chance, scientists began to look for another explanation. They started to look for an extraterrestrial source for the origin of life. This search for life originating off of the planet continues today.

Francis Crick, one of the discoverers of DNA, has concluded that the spontaneous generation of life is "almost a miracle" (almost?). Since life could not have arisen by chance, Crick proposed that the first life forms on earth were single-celled "spores" delivered here from interstellar space. This theory, called ‘Directed Panspermia', then goes on to say that these spores evolved into all of the life forms on earth. Some have gone so far to say that the planet earth was deliberately seeded by ET. This brings up two questions: 1) Why; and 2) What are the origins of ET? Sooner or later the question of how life itself originally began must be answered by those who don't want to believe in a Transcendent Creator - God. Directed Panspermia is nothing more than an effort to dodge the question, "How did life begin". Michael Denton in his book, Evolution, a Theory in Crisis, 1986, put it this way, "Nothing illustrates more clearly how intractable a problem the origin of life has become than the fact that world authorities can seriously toy with the idea of Panspermia". SOME LAST THOUGHTS

Why do people believe in evolution, Panspermia, spontaneous generation, and all of these God-less explanations for life? I believe that these are all a way to deny God. Some might say, please don't confuse me with the facts. Here are two amazing quotes, the first from Earnst Heckle, a famous evolutionist in the 19th century, in his book The History of Creation, and the second from George Wall who gave us the quote that spontaneous generation is impossible but we are here because of it.

"If we do not accept the hypothesis of spontaneous generation, then at this one point in the history of evolution we must have recourse to the miracle of a supernatural creation".

"When it comes to the origin of life, there are only two choices - creation or spontaneous generation. Spontaneous generation was disproved 100 years ago, but that leads us to only one other conclusion, that of a supernatural creation. We cannot accept that on philosophical grounds. Therefore, we choose to believe the impossible, that life arose spontaneously by chance."

Obviously, people have a choice, the god called chance, the god called ET, or a Transcendent Creator.