Are Earthlings Really Extraterrestrials?

 

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Most chemists believe, as do I, that life emerged spontaneously from mixtures of molecules in the prebiotic Earth.

How? I have no idea.

—George Whitesides, professor of chemistry Harvard University

Is there anything in chemistry that scientists hope will actually account for life apart from design?

Well, they are looking. They have been looking for well over a hundred years. But, the point of looking, the point of investigating, is to listen to nature. If I can personify her, to listen to what she is telling us. I think that the clear message from cell biology over the past several decades is this: If you want a cell at all, you need a cell to produce it. All life comes from life is the most reliable generalization that biology offers us.

Really the program of origin of life research is predicated or rests not so much on the evidence because I think the evidence points completely in the other direction, but predicated on the assumption of materialism, or what the film (Origin: Design, Chance, and the First Life on Earth) calls “scientific materialism,” which is the view that to explain anything in biology you can only use natural processes and chance. It is that underlying philosophy that drives origin of life research, and the signal from nature herself is saying, “Hey, maybe it didn’t happen that way.”

One of the things that Origin: Design, Chance, and the First Life on Earth deals with is the whole idea of panspermia. It is dispensed in different varieties the basic notion being that life came to earth via aliens or meteorites. Richard Dawkins considers the notion an intriguing possibility but panspermia—literally seeds everywhere—does little to solve the naturalistic conundrum concerning the origin of life, which were dealing with in the film. While Dawkins is moving in the right direction by entertaining intelligent design, he has not yet arrived at an answer for the origin of life nor can he and this seems like quite a stretch. Your perspective?

In 1981 Francis Crick, who won the Nobel Prize with James Watson, for their discovery of the molecular structure of DNA, Crick published a book called Life Itself (Touchstone) that I recommend. It is a beautifully written not very long serious sober proposal that life on earth did not originate here but was rather sent here by an alien intelligence.

Now Crick was an atheist. In fact, he was motivated to go into science by his atheism. Although I think he was a far better biologist than he was an atheist.

The thesis of Life Itself is this planet was not hospitable and was never hospitable for the formation of the first cell and maybe there was a planet elsewhere in the galaxy that had better geological or geochemical circumstances. But, portions of that book could have been written by an intelligent design advocate. Crick recognized that the origin of life was a deep puzzle for his materialist worldview but he was unwilling to let go of that materialist worldview, so he looked for what appeared to be a kind of solution strictly within physical universe having life start somewhere else and be sent here looked like it could do that.

This does not really solve the problem at all. Let us go to that other planet and all the same problems crop up again. You still have to explain the origin of information, you still have to explain how all these proteins got together, hundreds of them to get a cell up and running. It is a solution that ultimately is really no solution at all.

—Paul Nelson

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1, NIV).

For further related study, please see the following equip.org resources:

Can Aliens Account for the Origin of Life? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Would Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life Spell Doom for Christianity? (Guillermo Gonzalez)

Did Ancient Extraterrestrials Visit Earth? (Robert Velarde)

Learn more on the evidence supporting intelligent design in Origin: Design, Chance, and the First Life on Earth by Illustra Media.

This blog adapted from the November 7, 2016 Bible Answer Man broadcast.

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