Carolyn Godfrey English 101 Ms. Lazzo 10/26/2010 Theories of how Life on Earth began We certainly know that our universe exists, however, this knowledge alone has not satisfied mankind’s quest for further understanding. Our curiosity has led us to question our place in this universe and furthermore, the place of the universe itself. Throughout time we have asked ourselves questions such as: How did our universe began? How old is our universe? How did matter come to exist? Obviously, the search for clues has not ceased. Yet, after all this energy has been expanded, much of what we know is still only speculation.
We have however, come a long way from the mystical beginnings of the study of cosmology and the origins of the universe. The theories I have heard about how life on earth began are interesting but the one that makes the most sense to me is Creationism. There are numerous theories that mankind has come to believe how life began on earth. One theory is The Big Bang theory. The Big Bang is an effort to explain what happened at the very beginning of our universe. Discoveries in astronomy and physics have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that our universe did in fact have a beginning.
Prior to that moment there was nothing; during and after that moment there was something: our universe. The big bang theory is an effort to explain what happened during and after that moment. According to the standard theory, our universe sprang into existence as “singularity” around 13. 7 billion years ago. What is a “singularity” and where does it come from? Well, to be honest, we don’t know for sure. Singularities are zones which defy our current understanding of physics. They are thought to exist at the core of “black holes. ” Black holes are areas of intense gravitational pressure.
The pressure is thought to be so intense that finite matter is actually squished into infinite density (a mathematical concept which truly boggles the mind). These zones of infinite density are called “singularities. ” Our universe is thought to have begun as an infinitesimally small, infinitely hot, infinitely dense, something – a singularity. Where did it come from? We don’t know. Why did it appear? We don’t know. What are the major evidences which support The Big Bang theory? First of all, we are reasonably certain that the universe had a beginning.
Second, galaxies appear to be moving away from us at speeds proportional to their distance. This is called “Hubble’s Law,” named after Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) who discovered this phenomenon in 1929. This observation supports the expansion of the universe and suggests that the universe was once compacted. Third, if the universe was initially very, very hot as The Big Bang suggests, we should be able to find some remnant of this heat. In 1965, Radio astronomers Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered a 2. 725 degree Kelvin (-454. 765 degree Fahrenheit, -270. 25 degree Celsius) Cosmic Microwave Background radiation (CMB) which pervades the observable universe. This is thought to be the remnant which scientists were looking for. Penzias and Wilson shared in the 1978 Nobel Prize for Physics for their discovery. Finally, the abundance of the “light elements” Hydrogen and Helium found in the observable universe are thought to support The Big Bang model of origin (Kupperbang 33). Any discussion of The Big Bang theory would be incomplete without asking the question, what about God? This is because cosmogony (the study of the origin of the universe) is an area where science and theology meet.
Creation was a supernatural event. That is, it took place outside of the natural realm. Another popular theory is “Evolution. ” Darwin’s theory of Evolution is his widely held notion that all life is related and has descended from that all life is related and has descended from a common ancestor: birds and bananas, the fishes and the flowers. –all related. Darwin’s general theory presumes the development of life from non-life and stresses a purely naturalistic (undirected) “descent with modification. ” That is, complex creatures evolve from more simplistic ancestors naturally over time.
In a nutshell, as random genetic mutations occur within an organism’s genetic code, the beneficial mutations are preserved because they aid survival–a process known as “Natural Selection. ” These beneficial mutations are passed on to the next generation. Overtime, beneficial mutations accumulate and the result is an entirely different organism, not just a variation of the original, but an entirely different creature. Darwin’s theory of evolution became a theory in crisis when advances were made in molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics over the past fifty years.
We now know that there are in fact tens of thousands of irreducibly complex systems on the cellular level. Specified complexity pervades the microscopic biological world. Molecular biologist Michael Denton wrote. “Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small weighing less than 10 grams, each is in effect a veritable microminiaturized factory contains thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up together of one hundred thousand million atoms far more complicated than any machinery built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world.
We do not need a microscope to observe irreducible complexity. The eye, the ear and the heart are examples of irreducible complexity, though they were not recognized as such in Darwin’s day. Nevertheless, Darwin confessed, “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances for admitting different amounts of light, and for correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. This brings us to another theory, Intelligent Design. What is Intelligent? Intelligent design refers to a scientific research program as well as a community of scientists, philosophers and other scholars who seek evidence of design in nature. The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.
Through the study and analysis of a system’s components, a design theorist is able to determine whether various natural structures are the product of chance natural law, intelligent design, or some combination thereof. Such research is conducted by observing the types of information produced when intelligent agents act. Scientists then seek to find objects which have those same types of informational properties which are commonly known to come from intelligence.
Intelligent design has applied these scientific methods to detect design in irreducibly complex biological structures, the complex and specified information content in DNA, the life-sustaining physical architecture of the universe, and the geologically rapid origin of biological diversity in the fossil record during the Cambrian explosion approximately 530 million years ago The theory of Intelligent Design is simply an effort to empirically detect whether the “apparent design” in nature acknowledged by virtually all biologists is genuine design (the product of an intelligent cause) or is simply the product of an ndirected process such as natural selection acting on random variations. Intelligent Design vs. Creationism typically starts with a religious text and tries to see how the findings of science can be reconciled to it. Intelligent design starts with the empirical evidence of nature and seeks to ascertain what inferences can be drawn from that evidence. Unlike creationism, the scientific theory of intelligent design does not claim that modern biology can identify whether the intelligent cause detected through science is supernatural.
Honest critics of intelligent design acknowledge the difference between intelligent design and creationism. University of Wisconsin historian of science Ronald Numbers is critical of intelligent design, yet according to the Associated Press, he “agrees the creationist label is inaccurate when it comes to the ID [intelligent design] movement. ” Why, then, do some Darwinists keep trying to conflate intelligent design with creationism? According to Dr. Numbers, it is because they think such claims are “the easiest way to discredit intelligent design. In other words, the charge that intelligent design is “creationism” is a rhetorical strategy on the part of Darwinists who wish to delegitimize design theory without actually addressing the merits of its case. Is intelligent design a scientific theory? Yes. The scientific method is commonly described as a four-step process involving observations, hypothesis, experiments, and conclusion. Intelligent design begins with the observation that intelligent agents produce complex and specified information (CSI).
Design theorists hypothesize that if a natural object was designed, it will contain high levels of CSI. Scientists then perform experimental tests upon natural objects to determine if they contain complex and specified information. One easily testable form of CSI is irreducible complexity, which can be discovered by experimentally reverse-engineering biological structures to see if they require all of their parts to function. When ID researchers find irreducible complexity in biology, they conclude that such structures were designed “Is there really a Creator? “Did we come from monkeys, or fish, or a tadpole, or were our ancestors actually humans all along? ” “How old is the earth? ” “Did it come about from an explosion, or was intelligent design involved? ” As modern day scientists continually dream up new ways of explaining away evidences of Creation, more skepticism arises over the true origin of life as we know it. Fortunately, the book of G enesis holds the answers to every Creationism question imaginable, and it’s there for the taking for anyone who is willing to listen and read.
From world origins to world religions, one needs to search no farther than Genesis for answers to life’s toughest questions. Theories surrounding our origin have floated around for centuries; some have died out, some have morphed into new theories, and some have come to stay. But whatever the theory, if it’s not Biblical in my opinion, it’s not true. This is one fact most individuals find hard to accept. Even when the science is presented, ears are deafened and hearts are blinded to reality.
But the truth of the matter is that each theory based upon an origin of chance can be easily debunked when aligned with Genesis concepts. Perhaps the most monumental is the creation of the universe as a whole. Work Cited Evolution. 2001. <http://pbs. org/wgbh/evolution/index. html>. Kupperbang, Paul. Hubble and the Big Bang. New York: NY, 2005. Print. Petto, Andrew, and Laurie Godfrey. Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism:. Berkeley: CA, 2007. Print. The Big Bang Theory. n. d. 26 October 2010 <http://big-bang-theory. com>.