The Summit Lecture Series: Myths of Evolution with Sean McDowell, part 5

The Summit Lecture Series: Myths of Evolution with Sean McDowell, part 5 December 2, 2014

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Charles Darwin proposed a mechanism that causes the process of evolution from a common ancestor to take place without an intelligent agent involved. His mechanism is natural selection acting on random mutation.

That’s the core of Darwin’s theory.

So, with that being said, let’s take a look at some of the evidence:

First off, let’s look at the Miller-Urey Experiment. In 1952, Stanley Miller and Harold Urey sought to find out how life first emerged from “non-life”. So, they took a beaker and put in it the elements that they thought existed in “early earth”, heated the beaker so that the gases traveled up a tube, and shocked the gas with electricity. However, upon chemical analysis of their results, they found amino acids, which are the building blocks of life.

This was heralded as a major scientific breakthrough.

They thought that if one simple experiment, imitating the early atmosphere on earth, produces amino acids, then imagine what would happen as science progresses… scientists would be able to explain the origin of life easily!

Or, as Carl Sagan put it:

“The [Miller-Urey Experiment] is the single most significant step in convincing many scientists that life is likely to be abundant in the cosmos.”

Now, right away, you should be noticing something that is suspect about this experiment – it is totally intelligently designed. Certain chemicals were chosen (at the exclusion of others); they were placed in a controlled environment; the chemicals and gases were directed into a certain place… information and intelligent human input are all over the experiment!

Instead of being a purely blind experiment, it is a directed experiment where information and input are parts of its innate process.

Another problem with the experiment is that there is no evidence that this pre-biotic soup ever existed. Too many people assume that there were prehistoric pools of chemicals and elements that would blend to create life, but there is no evidence that these pools ever existed.

Thirdly, the early atmosphere was different than the chemicals that Miller and Urey actually used.

We know now, due to residue on rocks that we have found through the geological record, that other gases were present than were used in the Miller-Urey experiment. If they were to have used the correct gases, they would get nothing more than a chemical sludge containing no amino acids and is not even remotely close to something that could produce life.

But the most crippling aspect of this theory is the fact that amino acids are not life. Even Richard Dawkins said in The God Delusion that the simplest form of life is a living cell. The difference between an amino acid and a living cell is like the difference between a single brick and the entire city of Chicago!

You see, when they performed this experiment, the scientists didn’t understand the way that life worked. They thought that it was simple. Now that we are able to peer into living cells, we have discovered such incredible technology within them, that now scientists are looking at cells and bacteria to get ideas about how to build better computers.

And we’re supposed to believe that this came about by chemicals in motion? I don’t have enough faith to believe that.

Now, since 1952, some scientists have conceded that the problem is greater than they had originally thought.

Even Stanley Miller admitted:

“The problem of the origin of life has turned out to be much more difficult than I, and most other people, envisioned.”

Furthermore, outspoken atheist and fellow scientist Massimo Pigliucci said:

“Unfortunately, Miller-type experiments have not progressed much further than their original prototype, leaving us with a sour aftertaste from the primordial soup.”

So, when both sides are looked at, does evolution sound like, “Fact… fact… fact?”

Yet, Miller’s works are published in over 30% of our nation’s textbooks today.

In many of them, Miller says:

“This and other experiments suggested how simple compounds found on the early Earth could have combined to form the organic compounds needed for life.”

Not a hint of the other side of the argument or even possibility that an intelligent agent is involved.

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