How much life is necessary to make a human? One cell? A few chemicals?
Dr. Joseph Kuhn, a surgeon at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, wrote in his piece titled “Dissecting Darwinism” that if you don’t have all the components of life, then you don’t have a human being.
Darwinism accounts for life arising from a pond of primordial slime through random chemical reactions and bit-by-bit improvements on lower life forms over millions of years. But Dr. Kuhn explains that there are both anatomical structures and biochemical systems that must exist and function simultaneously and interrelatedly in order for the human body to be, well, really human.
It’s an all-or-nothing proposition.
Biochemist Michael Behe calls this “irreducible complexity.” And removing any single core part from one of these systems prevents the entire system—the human body—from working. Which means all these features had to be present at the beginning of life.
So, what would happen, for instance, if you didn’t have a heart? What if you didn’t have the biochemical called hemoglobin, or you had too much or too little of it?
Both the heart and hemoglobin are required and need regulating. When these don’t work (or don’t exist), your body dies, and you're left with nothing.
It doesn’t require a Ph.D. to look around and see that humans are unique creatures, fantastically distinct from every other creature on this earth.
Science experts like Dr. Kuhn remind us that in order for humans to exist at all—with all our complicated body systems—we had to have been made fully functional, not randomly put together over millions of years by an unintelligent entity we call Nature.
Is there another explanation to the origin of human beings that doesn’t contradict the all-or-nothing principle of life?
Mo, I read you post here. This material strays from the intended subject but I think there are some misconceptions, especially about the scriptures being "ambiguously translated" and "heavily edited". Here are some points on this.
1. Tiny silver scrolls found at Ketef Hinnom contain parallel references to Numbers 6:24-26, the Priestly Benediction. The tiny silver scrolls are the oldest references to the bible, nearly 400 years earlier than the Dea Sea Scrolls. Also Ezekiel 11:1, 13, a seal found from this time could belong to Pelatyah. Ref - The Riches of Ketef Hinnom, BAR 35(4&5):31, 122-126, 2009 (200th issue celebration) I don't recall reading anything indicating this very ancient quote from the Old Testament is heavily edited or ambiguously translated when compared with today's Bible and the same passage.
2. Josephus had this to say about the Old Testament books -
"8. For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from and contradicting one another, [as the Greeks have,] but only twenty-two books, which contain the records of all the past times; which are justly believed to be divine; and of them five belong to Moses, which contain his laws and the traditions of the origin of mankind till his death..." Ref - Flavius Josephus Against Apion Book 1, The Works of Flavius Josephus.
3. Abegg, M. Jr., Flint, P., Ulrich, E., ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible’, (The Oldest Known Bible Translated for the First Time into English), 1999. Check it out and see if the Old Testament in the DSS has been “ambiguously translated” and compare to modern versions like the ESV, NASB 1995 or NKJV Bibles. I use ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible’ periodically in my personal Bible study times. Luke 24:44 testifies that Jesus Christ understood a sacred scripture already existed for the Jews and references the collection, very similar to Josephus citation as well as DSS references uncovered. Jesus Christ in Mark 7:6 quotes Isaiah the prophet and uses the phrase “as it is written”. We see this phrase in II Kings 23:21 when Josiah kept the Passover as well as passages like Joshua 8:31 and I Kings 2:3. The phrase “as it is written” is found in quotes and references to writings that were considered divinely inspired and sacred scripture. This phrase is also found in the DSS texts too.
“Furthermore, all of these passages—whatever specific quotations or general references—imply an authoritative collection of writings. The expression "it is written" either directly implies or specifically refers to the authoritative writings—sacred Scripture—of the Jewish Old Testament. These references actually mean "It is written in the writings [Scriptures]." Ref - A General Introduction to the Bible Revised and Expanded by Norman L. Geisler and William E. Nix © 1968, 1986 by Norman L. Geisler and William E. Nix. Database © 2007 WORDsearch Corp.
I realize this has nothing to do with the topic, but it is a response to Jim M's statement: "The Bible was translated once, from Hebrew into English."
The Bible was compiled from writings originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and, in some respects, Latin. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew. This later was most commonly translated into Aramaic, as it became the lingua franca of the Jewish people who were in Babylonian exile. The New Testament was written in Koine Greek, the lingua franca of the Eastern Mediterranean Roman world at the time of the 1st century. This later evolved into translations of Greek Septuagint, used in Alexandria. The New and Old Testaments were compiled into the Latin Vulgate as Christianity moved to become the state religion of the Late Roman Empire. As a reference, The King James Version was written to correct perceived translation errors from earlier English translations of the Latin Vulgate. The King James Version used Hebrew as the basis for the Old Testament, but also used certain Greek and Latin sources to attach more Christ-like phrases. The New Testament was translated from both the Greek and Greek-influenced Latin translations - more from the Vulgate than that of the Old Testament. Tynedale, Geneva, and Bishop's bibles do have large influences on the KJV. The Apocrypha (Greek translation) was not included after the 17th century. As another example, The New International Version uses primarily Greek texts for the NT and several other Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Nabataean, and Latin translations in the OT. In addition, the order and presence of the books of the Bible vary across denominations. Psalm 151 is not present in the Protestant tradition, but it is canon in the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Book of Enoch is left out of every canon except for the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible. The Letter of Jeremiah is included in every canon, except for the Protestant tradition. The same goes for Maccabees. Josephus? Jubilees? Corinthians to Paul? Gospel of the Nazarenes?
So, while I won't again comment on the divinity of the original versions of the works that would become the Christian Bible, I do still stand by my statement that the final product is "ambiguously translated" and "heavily edited".
Devil's Advocate says:
Irreducible Complexity is a ridiculous attempt by enemies of Evolution to discredit the theory. Though there are some organisms that seem to be irreducibly complex, they can easily be explained by the Mullerian Two-step: “add a part, make it necessary.” For example, say you have a bridge made of a series of three stepping-stones that cross a river, then you add a plank across the stones (this adds nothing to the functionality of the bridge), and then you remove the middle stone so that the plank rests on top of the two remaining stones. Voila! You now have an irreducibly complex system: take away any part of this bridge, and it ceases to function. This is only one example of how “irreducibly complex” organisms could have evolved.
Praise the Lord for making our bodies so complex! I think it's a huge burden lifted off the shoulders of man to rest their faith and trust in a sovereign Creator who designed every intricate detail to perfectly work together in what we know as the human body. "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16 ESV)
Occasionally we get posts from would-be participants using bogus email addresses. Obviously, these participants are not interested contributing to the conversation, so these comments will not be posted.
If aliens had "seeded" the earth eons ago it only makes sense that they would have kept an eye on us. We would have been contacted and told to quit destroying this planet. Wait God has told us that Jesus will return and destroy them that destroy HIS earth. The bible has predicted so much that has came true, some events hundreds of years before they happened. King Cyrus was named 400 years before he came to be. If you haven't; try reading the bible esp. the King James version. I have studied it and evolution for the last 30 years and the Bible is more convincing than the religion of evolution. I call it religion because it takes a lot of faith to believe that we are the product of a violation of the second law of thermodynamics rather than created beings
Jim M says:
February said: "How is this theory any stranger than saying, for example, aliens came to Earth a long time ago and manipulated human DNA? Or look up the terms "panspermia" and "exogenesis." Just because an (ambiguously translated and heavily edited) ancient collection of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic texts says history happened a certain way, doesn't mean it actually did happen that way. "
February, you answered your own question. We have God’s Word to back up this “theory”. If the Bible is not God’s Word, then it is no different than your idea and no one can ever really know the truth. However, the existence of an intelligent and powerful Creator is said to be self-evident so that anyone who denies that truth, is without excuse. The Bible is not ambiguously translated and heavily edited. It has been translated once from Hebrew into English. There are places where the original meaning of a particular Hebrew word is a bit unclear, but those are few and far between and affect no major doctrine of Scripture. We have prophecy, archaeology, Jesus Himself, the life transforming power of the Bible, etc as witness to it’s truth. If you reject that, then sure, in your view, alien manipulation of DNA could be just as true as a Divine Creator. Although, even in that case, I personally still think a Divine Creator makes more sense.
February continues: “The Bible is true because....the Bible says it's true? Additionally, the theory of "irreducible complexity" has been rejected in every peer-reviewed paper and has been repudiated by almost all of the scientific community. It is no coincidence that the vast majority of people who dedicate their lives to the study of biology, chemistry, genetics, etc. agree that all living species on Earth evolved from a common ancestor between 3.5 and 3.8 billion years ago.”
No, it is no coincidence that they all agree that all living species on earth evolved from a common ancestor.” Do you know why that is? Because as scientists, they think they have to find a 100% natural explanation for what we see today. They dismiss God from the outset because that is outside of science, so, no it is not a coincidence. It is the only answer allowed. When you allow yourself to be led by the evidence, and are not constrained by the worldview of naturalism, then you are free to follow the evidence where it leads – to Intelligence! Codes, design, language, machines, irreducible complexity, beauty, conscience (morality), self-consciousness, spirituality/worship, love, etc etc all clearly point to intelligence, plan, and purpose as opposed to non-intelligence, randomness, and purposelessness
Yes, you say that most scientists do not believe in irreducible complexity, but you have to understand, this is a game stopper for them. If they can’t find a way to explain this, their theory is finished. They have to admit defeat and even their worldview would need adjustment. This is unthinkable so for them this is more a matter of faith than evidence. They don’t know if their explanations are true or not. Fortunately for them, they cannot test them. I think real science and rationality lies on the side of irreducible complexity. How does any machine know which parts it needs, when, what order to put them together, and the reason for the plan? Matter has no plan. It has no creative ability. It cares not if a particular organism survives or not. It has not goal or even ability to organize itself or decide what materials it needs to build a machine. This requires a strong faith in chance – even if all the necessary pieces for a particular molecular machine already exist in the cell. Just how would they all get organized into a functioning machine that would be meaningless until all parts are organized and arranged properly? Me thinks scientists lose all sense of scepticism when it comes to supporting their own worldview. I think you have far too much faith in chance, dear friend.
How is this theory any stranger than saying, for example, aliens came to Earth a long time ago and manipulated human DNA? Or look up the terms "panspermia" and "exogenesis." Just because an (ambiguously translated and heavily edited) ancient collection of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic texts says history happened a certain way, doesn't mean it actually did happen that way. The Bible is true because....the Bible says it's true?
Additionally, the theory of "irreducible complexity" has been rejected in every peer-reviewed paper and has been repudiated by almost all of the scientific community.
It is no coincidence that the vast majority of people who dedicate their lives to the study of biology, chemistry, genetics, etc. agree that all living species on Earth evolved from a common ancestor between 3.5 and 3.8 billion years ago.
Arthur Bryan says:
The idea that life started from a single cell is not logical. Because the cell is so complexed that it's individual components had to have it's orgin. It would be like saying all cars came from a scooter. It seems simple and smaller. The reality is the car came first. The scooter is just as complexed as the car in some ways. There comes a point where can't break down the cell because it would not function. Michael Behe shows us this with the irreducible complexity. Some have contered this argument by saying that the funtion of the parts in the cell get changed. I would say 95% of the time they don't. In some rare cases we see structure that look the same as others. Usually it a loss of information and it's not heading to a greater evolution, but rather de-evolution. Again this is a great conversation.