Answering a creationist question – 1

Source: Atheist Universe, David Mills

Creationist argument: Even if one believes that all life evolved from a single cell or cells, a Creator is still necessary to explain the origin and complexity of cellular life.


Usually creationists point to highly evolved organs, such as the human eye, and claim that the organ’s complexity reveals supernatural design. The fallacy of this argument is to assume that “blind chance” or “random accident” guides evolutionary progress. Moreover, the argument falsely demands a lottery-like instant winner, rather than a gradual accumulation of adaptations through natural selection.

Never tiring of repeating the same mistakes, creationists trot out their “random accident” strawman to preach the unlikelihood of cell evolution. Creationists detail the complex structure and inner workings of a single cell—with its DNA, RNA and various organelles that perform so efficiently their complicated tasks.

Then creationists pose a question: “Since the first cell, or group of cells, could not benefit from the accumulated advantages of previous natural selection, how could such intricate structures originate without God’s intervention?”

The answer is that ancient cellular life did not contain the complex nucleic acids and organelles found within modern cells.

 As with the human eye, creationists cite a modern example—the result of four billion years of cellular evolution—then ask, “How could such an elaborate structure randomly pop into existence?”

The answer is that it couldn’t—and no scientist claimed that it could.

The first cells contained no nucleus at all, and were bare structures consisting mainly of an exterior membrane. Biological membranes form easily and spontaneously from a mixture of water and simple lipids. Hundreds of books have detailed at length the now-legendary Miller-Urey experiment performed at the University of Chicago in 1953. As a brief summary: Stanley Miller and Harold Urey found that amino acids—the building blocks of cell proteins—form readily from a mixture of ammonia, methane, water and hydrogen gas, all of which were present in abundance on the primordial Earth. In other words, Miller and

Urey discovered that the molecules of life naturally assemble themselves from a few basic, easily available ingredients. The origin of life required only organic molecules, water and, most importantly, millions of years to develop. Moreover, in the late 1990s, scientists discovered that life can occur and thrive in conditions previously thought to be completely inhospitable to biological systems—such as in near-boiling hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, or in poison methane ice.

Source: Atheist Universe, David Mills

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