Help Atheism and Join the 1%!
Attention all Wall Street Occupiers, unemployed persons, or any reader who would just like to have an extra $1,050,000 in disposal income. No, you don’t have to start a business, send out your resume, invest wisely, or buy a lottery ticket. It’s simple. Just figure how the first self-replicating, DNA-based bacterium could have emerged from a pre-biotic swamp roughly 3.5 billion years ago by means of a totally undirected, naturalistic process and the money is yours. (Actually, some say it was 3.8 billion years ago and perhaps even earlier, but hey, what’s a couple of hundred million years between friends?)
The prize money is no joke. $1,000,000 is being offered by The Origin-of-Life Science Foundation, “for proposing a highly plausible natural-process mechanism for the spontaneous rise of genetic instructions in nature sufficient to give rise to life,” and, as far as I can tell, the offer has been around since 1997. A quick look at RichardDawkins.net – where the elite of the cyber-atheist world go to strut their stuff – tells us who is putting up the remaining (miserly?) portion of the money. The headline of the post reads: “Origin of Life Challenge: How did life begin?” The sub-headline: ORIGIN OF LIFE RESEARCH AWARD, $50,000 AWARD FOR BEST PROPOSAL“ The post continues: “The sponsor named below is offering an award of $50,000 for the best original proposal pertaining to the study of the origin of life on Earth…submissions should provide a cogent hypothesis for how life first arose…” A little bit of analysis is in order.
– “the best original proposal” – from the use of the word “original” one could deduce that the current proposals are quite inadequate to say the least. After all, if one of the past or present speculative theories about the origin of life were worthwhile, why would anyone offer $50,000 for the best original proposal? (I know that $50,000 isn’t what it used to be, but still…) This deduction turns out to be true. Here are some of the current theories and their standing in the scientific world: RNA-World Theory: “It goes without saying that the emergence of this RNA and the transition to a DNA world implies an impressive number of stages, each more improbable that the previous one.” (Nobel Prize winning microbiologist, Francois Jacob) “The spontaneous appearance of RNA chains on the lifeless earth would have been a near miracle.” (Dr. Gerald F. Joyce of the Scripps Institute and the late Dr. Leslie Orgel of the Salk Institute) Thermal (Submarine) Vent Theory: “Submarine vents don’t make organic compounds, they decompose them…a real loser…I don’t understand why we even have to discuss it.” (Dr. Stanley Miller, Nobel Laureate) Organic Soup Theory: “In short, there is not a shred of evidence that life began in an organic soup here on Earth.” (Sir Fred Hoyle) “The entire effort in the primeval soup paradigm is self-deception.” (Dr. H.P. Yockey, physicist, information theorist) “New Research Rejects 80-Year theory of Primordial Soup as the Origin of Life”, Science Daily, 2/3/10) Metabolism-First Theory: “[based on] if pigs could fly chemistry.” (Dr. Leslie Orgel) “New study contradicts the Metabolism First Hypotheses”, (Science Daily, 1/9/10) Clay Crystal Theory: “Implausible” (Dr. Leslie Orgel) “grossly mistaken” (Dr. H.P. Yockey)
– “Origin of Life Challenge: How did life begin?” – From the use of the word “Challenge,” it is obvious that whoever enters this contest has their work cut out for them. In light of the following remarks of some veteran Origin of Life researchers, we should all wish these young turks luck, they’ll need it. “We don’t know how life started on this planet, we don’t know when…we don’t know under what circumstances…I imagine my grandchildren will still be sitting around saying it’s a great mystery.” (Dr. Andrew Knoll, Harvard University) “It is virtually impossible to imagine how a cell’s machines…could have formed spontaneously from non-living matter…the actual nature of the first organisms and the exact circumstances of the origin of life may be forever lost to science.” (Dr. Jack Szostak, Dr. Alonso Ricard) “We may never understand how life originated on Earth, because the traces of early life have vanished.” (Dr. Jerry Coyne) “The reality is that despite the egos of some, the existence of life remains a mystery. It is not merely that biology is scratching the surface of this enigma; the reality is that we have yet to see the surface!” (Dr. Milton Wainwright)
The man who is putting up the fifty grand, Harry Lonsdale of Oregon, is a successful businessman, was the Democratic candidate for Senator in Oregon in 1990, and is an “avowed atheist.” When I read in Lonsdale’s proposal that “submitters are encouraged to offer unconventional hypotheses,” I thought to propose the unconventional notion that maybe aliens from another planet secretly sent life here on a spaceship…but then I thought, that’s the most idiotic idea imaginable. After all, we are dealing with rational, logical scientists; people who don’t believe silly stories like the sea splitting or aliens from outer space…that is, of course, unless you are a Nobel Prize winning scientist like Francis Crick and you give the theory a fancy name like Directed Panspermia.
When Francis Crick proposed his aliens-from-another-planet-seeded-the-earth-with-life theory back in 1973, it is amazing that he did not become a laughingstock. The reason that he was prepared to propose such a ridiculous idea and why he did not become a laughingstock is obvious. Atheist/materialist scientists will desperately propose and consider any theory for the origin of the frighteningly complex and sophisticated nanotechnology and genetic self-replicating systems of the simplest bacterium, rather than consider the obvious answer; that it was created by an intelligent being that is not bound by time, space, matter or energy. As Dr. Robert Shapiro, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at NYU wrote:
One favorite analogy [of believers] involves the discovery of a watch…it would function only if its components had been put together…by a watchmaker…Similarly, the existence of bacteria and other living beings, all of which are much more complex than a watch, implies the existence of a creator…we will not take this escape route in our book, for we are committed to seeking an answer [for the Origin of Life] within the realm of science…a being with the capacity to create a watchmaker would be the most complex of the lot. By following this line of reasoning, we have made our problem more difficult…we can resolve it only by introducing supernatural forces. We must look for another solution if we wish to remain within science.
It is a shame that Dr. Shapiro was held prisoner by the chains of his scientific faith agenda. He abandoned a perfectly valid “line of reasoning” because it led him to an answer that was not “scientific.” He was afraid of committing scientific heresy by coming to the obvious conclusion that science does not have an answer for everything. Like a true believer he was “committed” to finding a scientific answer; whether or not that answer actually existed. Shapiro, and his colleagues along with him, have deluded themselves into believing that their “commitment” to finding scientific answers, magically creates scientific realities. I, of course, am a free man and don’t care if the answer to a question is scientific or not; I only care if it is the truth.
I wanted to contact a Nobel Prize winning scientist by the name of Dr. Werner Arber (Medicine, 1978), inform him of the prize, and suggest he submit his own “unconventional” and “original” proposal: “Although a biologist, I must confess that I do not understand how life came about…the most primitive cells may require at least several hundred different specific biological macro-molecules. How such already quite complex structures may have come together, remains a mystery to me. The possibility of the existence of a Creator, of God, represents to me a satisfactory solution to this problem.” (Dr. Werner Arber) Unfortunately, RichardDawkins.net excludes Nobel Prize winners like Arber from expressing their opinions and proposals: “Submissions involving the supernatural or that violate physical laws will not be considered.” How is that for open-minded intellectual inquiry? I know that the skeptics, atheists, freethinkers, and scientists that inhabit RichardDawkins.net pride themselves on their open-mindedness and intellectual integrity. In fact at the top of the home page it says “A Clear Thinking Oasis.” For those of you naÃ¯ve enough to believe such nonsense, let me spell it out for you. RichardDawkins.net is a muddy, filthy swamp, filled with fanatical atheists who wouldn’t recognize an open-minded intellectual discussion if it jumped up and bit them on the nose.
As I have said many times; the notion that a bacterium could emerge from non-life through an undirected process is so absurd, it can be rejected out of hand. It is as absurd as proposing that cave drawings in France emerged through an undirected process. Both exhibit the undeniable imprimatur of a conscious, intelligent agent. The onerous burden of proof is on the one who asserts that they are the result of an unguided, naturalistic process. I, therefore, humbly put myself way out on a limb and make a simple prediction:
The following events will occur well before anyone finds a highly plausible, empirically demonstrable, testable and falsifiable explanation for the undirected, naturalistic emergence of life from non-life:
– The Holy Grail will be discovered in a used clothing bin at the famed Shipshewana Flea Market in Shipshewana, Indiana.
– Al Gore, during an interview on GlenBeck-TV, will admit, “Global Warming? Oh C’mon Glen, I was just kidding!”
– The Chicago Cubs will win a World Series
– Hell will freeze over
– The Chicago Cubs will win another World Series
It’s a shame that RichardDawkins.net, Harry Lonsdale, and The Origin of Life Science Foundation aren’t offering a prize to discover something a little more plausible than an atheistically-satisfying origin of life. Like for instance, “A Prize of $1,050,000 is being offered to confirm that Elvis is still alive and is working at a major flea market in the Midwestern United States.” Heck, I could jump in my car right here in Chicago and be in Shipshewana, Indiana in a few short hours…and if I hurry, I might find Elvis and the Holy Grail!
If you wish to be notified when Rabbi Averick’s new columns appear, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and simply write the word Subscribe in the subject bar. Rabbi Moshe Averick is an orthodox rabbi and author of Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused and Illusory World of the Atheist. It is available on Amazon.com and Kindle. Rabbi Averick can be reached via his website.