The Chemistry of Life –
An Answer to an Evolutionist
Who Believes Life Evolved From Non-Life

Author: Doug Sharp
Subject: Chemistry/Biochemistry
Date:

I once thought quite a bit like you and believed evolution when I was young. My mind was changed when I attempted to construct proteins from amino acids. I thought that if evolution was true, then the peptide bonds would naturally come together almost automatically. I found that was not the case. Even with the coaxing from the best of biochemists, amino acids would much rather bond elsewhere than to form polypeptides. Furthermore, I discovered that proteins found in living systems were made up only of the left handed isomers of amino acids, whereas when amino acids are formed in the test tube, they form equal mixtures of both. This makes the odds against forming a viable protein extremely small. Let us suppose that within the time light travels one millimeter, you form a million proteins at random. Then suppose a snail that travels only one inch in a million years has the job of moving the entire earth to the other side of the universe and back one atom at a time. The snail will have moved the earth many times before one viable protein is formed. There is simply not enough time for life to evolve. Then, should one happen to form, the natural processes that break down a protein occur much faster than the processes that form it.

The next problem is that the formation of the molecules of life requires an atmosphere without oxygen, yet even the lowest strata shows oxygen present in its minerals. The reagents needed to form amino acids conflict with the reagents needed to make sugars, and you can’t get life. Even if you ignore all of this, you need to explain a complex integrated manufacturing process that starts with DNA, creates a messenger RNA strand that acts as a computer program, transfer RNA that shuttles amino acids to the job site, a ribosome made up of another kind of RNA, and specific enzymes to produce proteins. But enzymes are proteins themselves made from this same process. Each DNA and RNA molecule have these enzymes that catalyze their formation. It is what Dr. Michael Behe calls an irreducibly complex system, one that does not function until all of the pieces are in place. His illustration is that of the mousetrap. None of the parts of the mousetrap can catch mice until all of the parts are in place. The base can’t catch mice, the spring cannot catch mice, the cheese can’t catch mice.

That is why I believe it is more reasonable to have faith in the God of the Bible who created everything working with a purpose in the beginning. To say that life evolved would be like saying that a chair was created by an accidental explosion of splintered wood caused by a lightning strike.

I used to think that mutations were the driving force of evolution. Not so! Mutations are never beneficial, and are usually weeded out be the conservative mechanisms of natural selection, part of the creator’s original design. It would be like taking a computer program and scrambling part of it. Would you like to have Bill Gates design his next version of Windows that way?

I know that you probably have your mind already set on an evolutionary explanation for the origin of life, and you think I’m a crackpot. So be it, but my mail runs 95% favorable and I think there are a lot of people out there that agree with me. I encourage you if you are interested to study biochemistry and check out the complexity of the problem of abiogenesis yourself. Then I would order some videos about the age of the earth from the Institute For Creation Research <http://www.icr.org>. You also seem to have some problems with the person of Jesus Christ, who came to be one of us and live with us as an example, and then paid the price for our sin by dying on the cross. His resurrection also stands testimony for his claim to be God in the flesh. You have an evolutionary god, one that appears to be made up by you that you can handle. By whatever standards you set for yourself, I’ll bet you don’t live up to them. That is why Jesus came, and that’s why billions of people have trusted Him.