Harun Yahya - Mediawatch - Artificial Life?
Artificial Life?

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The recent news about two scientists who have decided to work for synthesizing a new type of bacteria has attracted great attention in the media. J. Craig Venter, a well-known gene scientist and Hamilton O. Smith, a Nobel laureate, are behind the plan. What they are trying to do is:

... to create a single-celled, partially man-made organism with the minimum number of genes necessary to sustain life. If the experiment works, the microscopic man-made cell will begin feeding and dividing to create a population of cells unlike any previously known to exist. 1

Some people are inclined to see this "creation of life" in the laboratory as an evidence for the theory of evolution. Nothing can be further than the truth. In fact, if these scientists, or others, manage to synthesize a life form, they will be confirming the basic argument for creation - the argument that life is only possible through intelligent design.

To realize this, one needs to recall what the two theories about origins, namely evolution and creation, mean:

1) The Darwinistic theory of evolution argues that life on Earth is the product of natural laws and blind chance. The theory denies the existence of any intelligent and guided process in the origin of life.

2) Creation argues that life on Earth is not the product of natural laws and blind chance - they don't have such power. A conscious creator must have designed life.

If there can be any experimental or observational evidence for evolution, this should be the emergence of life from non-living matted through a non-designed process. In other words, scientists should observe that, out of inanimate matter, a living organism should arise by itself. Such an observation has never been made and, in fact, the history of the 20th century science shows that this is literally impossible.

The gap between life and nonlife is so huge that it can only be filled with the presence of an intelligent designer. Like the fact that the gap between a piece of rock and a statue by Michelangelo can only be filled by intelligent act of sculpture - not by natural causes like rain, wind or earthquake.

So, what will happen when scientists - if they really can - synthesize a new microbe species by a meticulous work? The answer is obvious: They will confirm the intelligent design theory by experimentally showing that life can come about only through very specified and complex information.

In fact, what Craig Venter and Hamilton Smith are trying to do is much simpler than what evolution requires to have happened by chance. They are not trying to build proteins from amino acids or genes from nucleic acids; they will simply use the pre-existing proteins and genes of a living cell. They are not starting from the building blocks that can be found in nature; but they are starting from the already built complex macromolecules that could never have been synthesized from those building blocks through natural processes. In others words, they are not trying to build a house from bricks; they are just trying to make a little change in the structure of an already existing house. An MSNBC report reads:

IN A NUTSHELL, what Venter and Smith propose to do is create a very simple microbe. Some viruses have only 400 or 500 genes. Venter and Smith are going to remove the genes from one such tiny bug, synthesize a new set of genes, drop them into the bug and see if the new instructions will bring the microbe to life. 2

Even this easy job - when compared to the origin of life itself - requires a great deal of information and design. This project is based on the scientific information which modern science accumulated throughout the past centuries, plus the advanced level of technology that we have reached. Despite these, it is still such a complex job that the project is funded with a $3 million, and three-year grant from the Energy Department.

Thus the search for artificial life, like other scientific developments of our day, confirm the fact that life on Earth is not the product of blind natural causes. All life, including ourselves, is the artifact of the Creator, who has the power and wisdom to create everything that exists.


(1) Justin Gillis, "Scientists Planning to Make New Form of Life", Washington Post November 21, 2002; Page A01
(2) Art Caplan, Ph.D., "Should scientists create new life?", MSNBC, 21 November 2002