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Introduction
God gaps?
Design in life
ID in biology
Junk DNA
Overlapping
genes
Origin of life
Design in the
Universe
Laws of
physics
Design of Earth
More gaps
Removing gaps
Atheists' gaps
Conclusion
Related Pages
References
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Evolution vs.
Design
Design in the
Universe
Design in Biology
Origin of Life
Descent of
Humans
Problems in
Evolution
Evolution & Bible
New Pages
Christians &
Suicide
Judging the
Sabbath
Land Plants
Before Animals?
Four Views on
Divine Providence
Did God have a
wife?
Alien Life in
Meteorites?
Singularity
Movement
Creating Life in
the Lab
NASA's Arsenic-
Eating Bacteria
The Moral
Landscape
'Goldilocks' Planet
Has Life?
Stephen Hawking
is Wrong About
God
Is Satan Real?
Paul Invented
Christianity?
Ancient Hebrew
INTRODUCTION
No Place for God?
Many skeptics believe that as
science makes more
discoveries, the gaps in our
knowledge of how the universe
works become fewer in
number. Accordingly, science
will eventually discover all the
answers, and there will be no
need for God as an
explanation for anything. Does
this principle reflect the
current state of our scientific
knowledge? Is there any need
for God as an explanation for
our existence?
Rich Deem
What evidence for
God's existence has
science eliminated?
Intelligent design in
biology
Junk DNA and
pseudogenes
God of the Gaps - Do All Christian Apologetics Fall Into This
Kind of Argument?
by Rich Deem
"God of the gaps" refers to the perception that all
arguments for the existence of God are the result
of gaps in our scientific knowledge. According to this philosophy,
the number of gaps should decrease as scientific knowledge
expands. Since this knowledge doubles every ten years, we
should see these gaps disappearing at an ever increasing rate.
Is this is what is happening in all fields of science? This page will
examine areas of science commonly cited as supporting the
existence of God to see if they fall into an argument of gaps or if
these "gaps" are actually increasing in number. Since an increase
in the number of gaps would not be predicted by those who
claim that these kinds of arguments represent a "God of the
gaps" variety, we can determine whether these are merely gaps
in knowledge or true evidence for design.
There are three major areas that have
been posited to provide evidence for
the existence of God. Thomas Aquinas,
argued in favor of the existence of God on the basis of fundamental
aspects of the universe such as causality and change. William Paley argued that the hand of
God is evident in the apparent design of the universe and living beings. The third line of
evidence argues that God makes Himself evident in personal transcendent experiences of
people. Of these three lines of evidence, science has eliminated none, although many would
argue that the evidence for biological evolution has weakened the argument for the design of
living organisms. Even so, there are numerous gaps in evolution - many of which have
appeared recently.
Design in life
A common complaint against biological intelligent design arguments is
that our understanding of the biology is insufficient to answer the
question about a mode by which some "irreducibly complex" system
might have arisen through an evolutionary process. The most famous example of this kind of
argument is the one involving the bacterial flagellum. This biological rotary engine is a complex
association of 50 gene products, the absence of any one of which results in an inability of the
system to function at all. Although the system is irreducibly complex now, biologist have
proposed mechanisms by which the system could have been synthesized from previously
existing structures and enzymes. Although these explanations are not likely to account for the
actual way such a system might have arisen, it is possible that better explanations could be
revealed through a better understanding of the genomics of different species of flagellated
bacteria. As such, the "design" of the bacterial flagellum and other "irreducibly complex"
systems could represent a gap in our current understanding of the biology and genetics.
Whether of not the bacterial flagellum is designed could be tested by a further examination of
this, and other examples of intelligent design. It would be expected that very few systems
would have arisen through an extremely rare sequence of evolutionary events (see Michael
Behe's book, The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism). However, since
there are many different biological systems, one would expect that there would be a few
examples of these kinds of systems. If this represents a true God of the gaps explanation, it
would be expected that few, if any, other such examples would be found in nature. If many
examples are found, it would suggest that some kind of design might be involved. Time will tell.
Previously thought to be one of the best arguments against the
design of biological organisms was the existence of large amounts of
"junk DNA" (technically called non-coding DNA) in the genomes of
most animals. In fact, it was originally thought that up to 95% of the human genome did not
code for any kind of RNA or protein product. However, studies over the last 15 years have
virtually destroyed this kind of argument.
1
In a remarkable pilot study published by the ENCODE
Project Consortium, hundreds of scientists analyzed the functionality of 1 percent (30 Mb) of
the human genome. Much to scientists' surprise, the study found that the majority of DNA in
the human genome is transcribed into functional RNA.
1
Since most of the DNA used in the
study was chosen randomly, it seems likely that this result will hold for the entire human
genome. So, there is a lot less non-coding DNA in our genome then was originally assumed.
According to a news release from the Consortium, "This broad pattern of transcription
challenges the long-standing view that the human genome consists of a relatively small set of
discrete genes, along with a vast amount of so-called junk DNA that is not biologically
active."
2
So, the "gap" that claimed that DNA evolved through extensive instances of gene
duplication and evolution with numerous non-coding failures seems to be wrong. Score one
against "science of the gaps."
Related to this argument is a similar one regarding pseudogenes.
3
These sequences are
hypothesized to represent functional genes that have undergone duplication followed by
inactivation through random mutation over time. Many scientists believed that the presence of
these "molecular fossils"
4
was a sure sign that DNA sequences were not designed. The first
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Ancient Hebrew
Inscription
Babies Go To
Heaven?
Medical Marijuana
'Benefits'
Genetics &
Homosexuality
Origin of
Homochirality
Natural Evil
Is Religion Child
Abuse?
Why are
Scientists
Atheists?
God of the Gaps
Who Created
God?
Living Together a
Good Idea?
Overlapping Genes
Origin of life
Miller's Electrical
Discharge Unit
functional role for a was found in a study that was randomly inserting a fruit fly
into the mouse and accidentally produce a lethal mutation.
5
It was found that the
insertion occurred in the middle of a called Makorin1-p1. Not only was
the functional, but its destruction resulted in a lethal in the mice.
Scientists had found the first required . Since this first study, many other studies
have found that pseudogenes exhibit functional activity, including gene expression, gene
regulation, and generation of genetic diversity.
6
Recent work shows that up to 50% of
pseudogenes in some genomes appear to be transcriptionally active.
7
The ENCODE project
pilot study estimated that at least 19% of all pseudogenes are transcribed (admittedly an
underestimate).
8
When scientists were first sequencing the human genome, they were
expecting at least 30% more genes than what were found. It now
appears that the genome is encoded in a very concise manner and has been optimized for the
minimal length required to do the job. The evidence for the design of DNA is getting stronger -
not weaker - as the mysteries of human genome are being revealed. This evidence certainly
doesn't seem to fall into a God of the gaps variety.
A surprising discovery in genomics is that transcripts of DNA come from regions that
extensively overlap one another. The overlapping sequences that code for these transcripts
are often transcribed over different reading frames (the three base codons are offset from
each other). This means that any insertion, deletion, or base substitution would impact two
transcripts at the same time. In fact, there is at least one example where three transcripts
overlap each other. Even more surprising is that there are coding regions that overlap on the
opposite "anti-sense" strand of DNA. What this means is that any mutation of overlapping
transcripts will simultaneously alter the amino acid sequence in two separate proteins. It is
inconceivable to postulate how natural selection could operate on such a system, since it
would be extremely unlikely that a mutation would be simultaneously beneficial for both
transcripts. Geneticists are puzzled how regions of DNA containing overlapping transcripts
could have evolved:
"Similarly, evolutionary origin of such genes is not known, existing hypotheses can
explain only selected cases of mammalian gene overlaps which could originate as
result of rearrangements, overprinting and/or adoption of signals in the neighboring
gene locus."
9
Although this particular argument could turn into a God of the gaps type, it is certainly
intriguing, and worth watching, especially since molecular biologists admit that there is no
viable evolutionary mechanism to explain the vast majority of instances of overlapping genes.
The appearance of new "gaps" is not what one would predict from a purely naturalistic
perspective as scientists rapidly gain new knowledge of how genetic systems function.
The origin of the first biological organism has been an
intense area of study for the past 50 years. Beginning
in 1953, when Stanley Miller first demonstrated that mixtures of
reducing gases subjected to electrical discharges produced many
organic compounds, including several , scientists were
confident that the mystery of life's origin would be discovered.
10
However, recent studies have revealed what chemistry can and
cannot do. In addition, continuing studies in earth and planetary
sciences reveal that the atmosphere of the early earth was not
reducing, as had been assumed in many prebiotic chemistry
experiments (including Miller's). In fact, the presence of oxidized
zircons dated at 4.3 billion years ago
11
(only 0.25 billion years after earth's creation) tell us
that atmospheric conditions were not reducing when life appeared ~3.8 billion years ago.
12
Such facts have relegated origin of life hypotheses to hydrothermal oceanic vents, where
volcanic outgassing produces reducing conditions. However, since there is no source of
electrical discharge undersea, the process is prohibitively inefficient (if it functions at all). The
other problem is that many of the critical building blocks of life cannot be synthesized under
these conditions. Even if they could appear miraculously, assembly often requires high
concentrations, which would not have been available. Although it is possible that such
materials could be concentrated by drying on shoreline coastal areas, the simultaneous drying
of the salts present in the sea water inhibit virtually all assembly reactions. Additionally, recent
studies have show that the polymerization of the molecules necessary for cell membrane
assembly cannot occur in sea water,
13
which was at least twice as salty as it is now.
14
The
once highly touted RNA World hypothesis has been seriously challenged, since pyrimidine
nucleosides ( and ) do not form under prebiotic conditions nor are found in
carbonaceous meteorites.
15
Synthesis of ribose and deoxyribose (the sugars that form the
backbone of RNA and DNA) is extremely inefficient (and unstable) and produces racemic (both
left and right handed versions) mixtures of nucleosides (the homochirality problem), which
cannot self-assemble. In addition, the maximum spontaneous RNA assembly length of 50 mer
(bases) is insufficient to code for anything meaningful (the average transcript consists of
hundred to thousands of base pairs). Even assuming this problem could be solved, searches of
quadrillions of randomly generated have failed to yield a spontaneous
replicator.
16
Although many of the arguments against the naturalistic origin of life may seem like God of the
gaps variety, the fact that they haven't gone away after 50+ years of intensive research, but
have actually increased in number, suggest that the problems are real and probably
insurmountable. Multiple unattainable steps in such processes defy the laws of physics and
chemistry. Originally thought to be gaps in our understanding of chemistry, origin of life
research continues to produce "science of the gaps" explanations for naturalistic origin of life
scenarios. Only one whose philosophy is predisposed to naturalism-only explanations would
seriously entertain such unlikely scenarios as realistic models for how life arose on earth.
pseudogene
gene DNA
pseudogene sequence
pseudogene mutation
pseudogene
amino acids
cytosine uracil
RNA sequences RNA
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Law of physics
Design of the
earth/solar system
Milky Way Galaxy
(reconstructed)
(NASA/JPL-Caltech/R.
Hurt (SSC/Caltech)
Design in the universe
Arguments for the presence of design in the universe consist of the unique fine tuning of the
laws of physics and the uniqueness of the earth and solar system.
The makeup of the universe and the laws that govern how the it works are
fine-tuned to an amazing degree. For example, scientists would expect in
the primordial universe that the ratio of quarks to antiquarks would be exactly equal to one,
since neither would be expected to have been produced in preference to the other. However,
quarks outnumbered antiquarks by a ratio of 1,000,000,001 to 1,000,000,000. The remaining
small excess of quarks eventually made up all the matter that exists in the universe. Without
this small excess of quarks, the universe would have consisted entirely of energy, with no
matter. The ratio of electrons compared to protons must be exactly equal to one to better
than one part in 10
37
or else electromagnetic interactions would dominate gravity, resulting in
the universe consisting of scattered particles.
17
The mass of the universe cannot be more
than it is by one part in 10
59
. Based upon the mass of the universe (about 10
80
baryons),
adding just one extra grain of sand would have resulted in the collapse of the universe early in
its history. However, none of these parameters comes close to the design required for the
most recently discovered law of physics - the cosmological constant (or dark energy). This
constant is fine-tuned to one part in 10
120
. One atheist cosmologist, confronted with these
facts said, "This type of universe, however, seems to require a degree of fine tuning of the
initial conditions that is in apparent conflict with 'common wisdom'."
18
In conclusion,
cosmology is producing more and more evidence that our universe is based upon numerous
parameters that must be extremely fine tuned in order for life to exist (which is exactly
opposite of what would expected if the explanation were god of the gaps). Naturalism would
posit that increased knowledge in cosmology would provide evidence that our universe was
just an average one, instead of an extremely unlikely one.
Special Galaxy - The earth is housed in a
unique spiral galaxy. Although spirals are
reasonably common in the universe (~15%
of all galaxies), most have been disrupted to various degrees through
collisions with other galaxies. In contrast, the milky way galaxy exists
within a small galaxy cluster known as the local group, being one of
only two large galaxies, and has numerous, symmetric spiral arms.
Scientists have yet to find a comparable galaxy among millions of
others examined (see Pictures of Galaxies). The solar system exists in
a space between two spiral arms, at or near the co-rotation radius,
which means that it will remain between spiral arms for some time to
come. In contrast, most stars in other parts of the galaxy enter and leave spiral arms
periodically. Stars that travel through spiral arms risk disrupting planetary orbits through
gravitational interactions with other stars. In addition, our fortuitous location between spiral
arms at the co-rotation radius allows us an almost unhindered view of the universe, with the
possibility that this was intentional.
19
Special Solar System - Now that over 300 extrasolar planetary systems have been
discovered to date, we know that our solar system is quite rare. So far, it is the only planetary
system in which the large gas giants are located far (greater than 5 AU) from the parent star.
In all other systems, such gas giants are found at locations within the region that would
correspond to where our inner, rocky planets are located. In all other planetary systems
discovered to-date, large gas giants form at a distance from their star, but migrate inward.
Computer simulations indicate that this is the usual scenario, with our solar system being a
rare exception.
20
According to Frederic Rasio, the author of the study:
"We now know that these other planetary systems don't look like the solar system at all.
We now better understand the process of planet formation and can explain the
properties of the strange exoplanets we've observed. We also know that the solar
system is special and understand at some level what makes it special."
21
The reason why it is important to have gas giants far from the Sun is because Jupiter and
Saturn protect the inner solar system from constant bombardment by comets. Without this
protection, advanced life would not be possible on the earth. In addition, a large gas giant
roaming close to a star's habitable zone would eject any rocky planets from the planetary
system.
Special Star - Our star, the Sun, is a slightly above average-sized star. Large stars burn too
quickly for life to develop on possible terrestrial-like planets (with stellar life spans as short as
a few million years). Small stars burn for a long time (tens of billions of years). However, the
reduced energy output requires that rocky planets be very close to the star in order to be
within the habitable zone. This closeness results in all such planets becoming tidally locked
(rotational period equals revolutionary period) within a short period of time. Tidal locking means
that one side continually faces the star, resulting in extremely hot temperatures, whereas the
other side stays very cold, eventually accumulating all the water as ice, and possibly even
freezing out the atmosphere.
The Sun is unique in that it is one of only a small percentage that are metal-rich. Originally,
the universe consisted almost entirely of hydrogen and helium. The first stars had no rocky
planet companions, since there were no building materials. The Sun has rocky planets because
it is probably a third generation star that had the fortune of igniting within an area of previous
supernova events. Rocky planets cannot form at all unless the amount of metallicity is at least
60% of that of the Sun. The Sun is an unusually metal-rich star (richest out of 174 well-
studied stars).
22
Although planets are fairly common around stars, no earth-sized rocky
planets have been discovered to date (2008). The smallest planet discovered is 5.5 times as
massive as the earth, but is quite frozen.
23
Part of the problem discovering rocky planets is
that they had been impossible to detect with the techniques that have been used to discover
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Earth from Apollo 11
Removing the
"gaps" in science
Gaps in atheists'
arguments
CONCLUSION
large planets. However, new instrumentation and techniques developed since 2005 should
allow the discovery of earth-like rocky planets within the next few years, if they exist. So, the
lack of rocky planets is a God of the gaps explanation for now, but will be answered within the
next few years.
Special Planet - The earth is a remarkable place among the other planets and moons of our
solar system. It is the only rocky planet in our solar system that contains significant amounts
of liquid water on its surface. Although the planet Mars sustained surface water billions of
years ago, it was mixed with large amounts of sulfuric acid - producing toxic seas that would
have made it unlikely that living organisms could have survived there.
24
However, the presence of liquid water is not the only unusual feature
of planet earth. Although water is quite common in the universe, it
would be either absent (as it is on the other rocky planets in our
stellar system) or so abundant on rocky planets that virtually all other
rocky planets would be either deserts or waterworlds.
25
All other
rocky planets (including our "sister planet," Venus) in our solar system
have no significant tectonic activity. Without tectonic activity,
water-abundant planets like earth would be water worlds. The reason
that earth has tectonic activity and continents is because it suffered
a major collision with a Mars-sized planet soon after its formation. The
metallic core of the collider was incorporated into the earth's core,
with the outer part becoming earth's moon. Without this additional metallic component, earth's
core, kept molten through radioactive decay, would have solidified, shutting down tectonic
activity and the earth's magnetic dynamo (which protects earth's creatures from solar
radiation). Large planets do not form continents because the increased gravity prevents
significant mountain and continent formation. Earth-sized planets completely flood, and any
land formed is eroded by the seas in a short period of time. Smaller planets lack tectonic
activity, so would have no land masses, but would be completely covered with water.
Therefore, virtually all rocky planets (other than those that suffered a large collision soon after
formation) would be expected to be water worlds. Earth-like planets (with both water and dry
land) would be extremely rare. Exactly how rare they would be in the universe is uncertain,
making the argument somewhat of a God of the gaps type for now. However, the next decade
should give us a much better estimation. For more information on these design features, see
The Incredible Design of the Earth and Our Solar System.
Whereas a God of the gaps explanation of the design of our galaxy, solar system, and planet
would posit that science would be discovering that we really aren't that unique, the data
continues to show that we are more unique than first thought. In fact, some of this
uniqueness was discovered just this year.
20
If the data truly were God of the gaps, we would
expect the evidence for design to decrease, rather than increase with additional scientific
knowledge.
More Gaps
One particular "gap" in scientific understanding concerned the
darkness of the night sky. Since an infinite universe would result in a
sky that was always light (because the volume of space increases 8-
fold with a doubling of the radius, although the amount of light decreases 4-fold with the same
doubling). Despite having this knowledge since Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers first proposed it in
1823, scientists proposed the steady-state universe - infinite in age and size. Of course, it
turns out that the "gap" in our understanding of why the sky was dark at night was no gap at
all, but a real observation that required that the universe be non-infinite and non-eternal. So,
it is not just theists who posit the existence of gaps - it is commonly done in science, as well.
Scientists and theists are not the only ones who use "gaps"
arguments. In fact, many atheists use gaps arguments to argue
against the existence of God. Most of the answers on the hall of
questions page merely remove the gaps in atheists' understanding - either philosophical,
biblical, or scientific in nature. For example, atheists complain that a loving God would never
allow evil in His creation. However, this argument is based on a gap in atheists' understanding
of the main purpose of the universe - to choose between good and evil. Obviously, it would be
impossible to choose good over evil if evil did not exist.
In another example, atheists cannot imagine how God can exist as a non-created being.
However, the gap is filled by throwing out the assumption that time has always existed. We
are so used to cause and effect that we can't imagine an existence without it. However, all
the evidence from cosmology points to the fact that the universe - the dimensions of space,
matter, energy, and time - all came into existence 13.7 billion years ago. The Bible indicates
that God created the entire universe and the time in which it operates.
26
If it is true that God
created time specifically to accomplish His purposes for the universe, it isn't unreasonable to
propose that God (who exists outside the universe) is uncreated. Cause and effect does not
operate in the absence of time. Atheists' arguments suggesting that if God exists, He must
have been created by an even greater cause fail because they ignore evidence (the gap)
suggesting that time began only at the creation of the universe.
Many skeptics believe that all arguments for the existence of God fall into the
God of the gaps variety. According to this premise, one would expect these
arguments to become fewer in number as scientists make more discoveries and learn more
about our world. In reality, evidence continues to accumulate suggesting that the universe
was designed by an intelligent agent. The evidence suggesting that the universe and its
physical laws were designed continues to accumulate at a rapid rate. Although we are not
certain about the degree to which the earth and solar system are specially designed, evidence
to-date suggests that earth-like planets are rare in the universe.
Ten years ago, it was thought that neo-Darwinian evolution had eliminated all suggestion that
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living organisms were designed by an intelligent agent. However, recent studies in molecular
biology and genetics have eliminated much of the supposed evidence that life exhibits
numerous examples of poor design, including the presence of "junk DNA" (which does not exist)
and pseudogenes. New genetic evidence suggests that mammalian DNA is optimally coded to
reduce DNA size through overlapping transcripts. This encoding presents special problems to
current Darwinian evolutionary models, since these mechanisms would be unable to produce
these kinds of sequences through mutation and natural selection.
Origin of life studies continue to run into problems with uncooperative chemistry, and planetary
science discoveries about the nature of early earth environments. Replicator-first models fail to
establish mechanisms to produce even the basic chemical building blocks for an "RNA World",
including a failure to produce homochiral sugars and amino acids. Beyond these problems, the
assembly of rudimentary biological membranes under early earth environments is virtually
impossible.
If evidence for the existence of God were truly a God of the gaps type, we would
expect these gaps to be disappearing, instead of increasing in number. The evidence is so
strong that long-time promoter of atheism, Antony Flew announced in 2004 that he had
become a deist because he "had to go where the evidence leads."
4
His new book,
There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His
Mind explains how he
came to the conclusion that God does exist.
RELATED PAGES
When Junk DNA Isn't Junk
Pseudogenes: Argument for Evolution and Against Design?
Bad Designs in Biology? - Why the "Best" Examples Are Bad
Abiogenesis: Is the Chemical Origin of Life a Realistic Scenario?
Problems with the Origin of Biological Membranes in an Early Earth Environment
Origin of Homochirality: A Major Problem for Origin of Life Theories
General Introduction for Non-Believers, Part 2: Evidence for Belief in God
Evidence for the Fine Tuning of the Universe
Extreme Fine Tuning - Dark Energy or the Cosmological Constant
The Incredible Design of the Earth and Our Solar System
Moons Like Earth's Moon are Rare in the Universe
There is Too Much Evil and Suffering For God to Exist?
If God Created Everything, Who Created God?
The Universe is Not Eternal, But Had A Beginning
REFERENCES
1. See numerous examples in When Junk DNA Isn't Junk.
2. Spencer, Geoff and Anna-Lynn Wegener. 2007. New Findings Challenge Established Views
on Human Genome. NIH News.
3. See Pseudogenes: Argument for Evolution and Against Design?
4. Lee, J. T. 2003. Molecular biology: Complicity of gene and [News and Views]
Nature 423: 26-28.
5. Hirotsune, S., Yoshida, N., Chen, A., Garrett, L., Sugiyama, F., Takahashi, S., Yagami, K.,
Wynshaw-Boris, A., and Yoshiki, A. 2003. An expressed regulates the
messenger- stability of its homologous coding . Nature 423: 91-96.
6. Balakirev, E. S. and F. J. Ayala. 2003. PSEUDOGENES: Are They "Junk" or Functional
DNA? Ann. Rev. Genetics 37: 123-151.
7. Zheng, D. and M. B. Gerstein. 2007. The Ambiguous Boundary between Genes and
Pseudogenes: The Dead Rise Up, or Do They? Trends in Genetics 23: 219-24.
8. The ENCODE Project Consortium. 2007. Identification and analysis of functional elements
in 1% of the human genome by the ENCODE pilot project. Nature 447: 799-816.
9. Makalowska, I., C.F. Lin, and W. Makalowski. 2005. Overlapping genes in vertebrate
genomes. Comput. Biol. Chem. 29: 1-12.
10. In a 1996 intrerview with Reuters, Miller said, "Making the amino acids made it seem like
the rest of the steps would be very easy. It's turned out that it's more difficult than I
thought it would be. It's a series of little tricks. Once you learn the trick, it's very easy.
The problem is learning the trick."
11. Watson, E. B. and T. M. Harrison. 2005. Zircon Thermometer Reveals Minimum Melting
Conditions on Earliest Earth. Science 308: 841-844.
12. Although it is possible that life could have arisen before 4.3 billion years ago, it would
have been destroyed by 3.9 billion years ago, during the late heavy bombardment. "A
few of these impactors were probably 500 kilometers in diameter--big enough to create
a superheated atmosphere of vaporized rock that would in turn have vaporized the
oceans for 2700 years and sterilized even the subsurface, say Sleep and Zahnle." Cited
from Benner, S.A. 1999. Old views of ancient events. Science 283: 2026.
13. Szathmáry, E. 2000. The evolution of replicators. Philosophical Transactions: Biological
Sciences 355: 1669-1676.
14. Knauth, L.P. 2000. Life on Land in the Precambrian and the Marine vs. Non-Marine
Setting of Early Evolution. First Astrobiology Science Conference, April 3-5, 2000, NASA
Ames Research Center, 403 (Abstract 353).
pseudogene
pseudogene
RNA gene
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Knauth, L.P. 2002. Early Oceans: Cradles of Life or Death Traps? Astrobiology Science
Conference 2002, April 7-11, NASA Ames Research Center. p. 9.
15. See Is the Chemical Origin of Life (Abiogenesis) a Realistic Scenario?
16. Benner, S.A. 1999. Old views of ancient events. Science 283: 2026.
17. See Evidence for the Fine Tuning of the Universe.
18. Zehavi, I, and A. Dekel. 1999. Evidence for a positive cosmological constant from flows
of galaxies and distant supernovae Nature 401: 252-254 401: 252-254.
19. The Bible indicates that God wanted us to see His glory through the appearance of the
universe:
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day
after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no
speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the
earth, their words to the ends of the world." (Psalm 19:1-4)
20. Thommes, E. W., S. Matsumura, F. A. Rasio. 2008. Gas Disks to Gas Giants: Simulating
the Birth of Planetary Systems. Science 321: 814-817.
21. Universally Speaking, Earthlings Share a Nice Neighborhood. National Science Foundation
Press Release 08-137. August 7, 2008.
22. J.-P. Beaulieu, et al. 2006. Discovery of a cool planet of 5.5 Earth masses through
gravitational microlensing. Nature 439: 437-440.
23. Lecture 24: Is There Other Intelligent Life in the Universe?
24. Bibring, J. Y. Langevin, J. F. Mustard, et al. 2006. Global Mineralogical and Aqueous Mars
History Derived from OMEGA/Mars Express Data. Science 312:400-404.
25. See The Incredible Design of the Earth and Our Solar System.
26. The Bible indicates that God was acting before the creation of the time:
No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that
God destined for our glory before time began. (1 Corinthians 2:7)
This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time (2 Timothy
1:9)
The hope of eternal life, which God... promised before the beginning of time (Titus
1:2)
To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty,
dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:25)
Today's New Reason to Believe
Integrating Science and Faith
05/13/2011 12:11 AM
Understated Elegance: The Uniqueness of Human Biology
During the international coverage of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, I
heard a commentator describe the style of the bride’s gown as “understated
elegance.†This phrase is also an apt description of the subtle cellular mechanisms used
to create the extraordinary uniqueness of human biology. Before 2001, scientists
thought human genes would be sufficiently … Read more
()
05/11/2011 09:40 AM
Manufacturing the Case for Intelligent Design
I worked for a number of years in research and development for a Fortune 500 company.
Visits to our manufacturing facilities stand out as some of the most memorable
experiences during my tenure. It was truly astounding to watch the massive assembly
lines in operation, generating products I had helped develop in the lab and … Read more
()
05/09/2011 09:20 AM
Interpreting Creation, Part 4: Hermeneutical Principles
Both friends and adversaries raise questions about Reasons To Believe’s apologetics
methods and hermeneutical principles. This five-part series has been intended to address
those questions. In part 1, I reviewed the different apologetics methods Christian
leaders use and explained why I believe all these methods need to be fully integrated in
apologetics and evangelism ministries. … Read more
()
05/06/2011 11:46 AM
“Junk†DNA: An Outdated Concept, Part 6 (of 6)
I started this article series by retelling an evolutionist’s claim that the existence of
Alu elements in the human genome is proof of evolution. His hypothesis could be stated
as follows: Supporting statements: Nonfunctional DNA sequences that have the same
location in many species prove that their DNA was “inherited†through the process
of evolution. … Read more
()
05/04/2011 09:25 AM
A Cornucopia of Evidence for Intelligent Design: DNA Packaging of the T4 Virus
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the food, fellowship, and the chance to reflect
on the abundance of blessings in my life. I’m filled with a spirit of gratitude. I
experienced this same feeling of thankfulness after thinking about recent scientific
research from the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. These scientists
have … Read more
()
05/02/2011 12:01 AM
Interpreting Creation, Part 3: The Scientific Method
In part 1 of this four-part series on Reasons To Believe’s interpretation methods, I
reviewed the different apologetics methods used by Christian leaders and explained why
I believe all the methods need to be fully integrated in apologetics and evangelism
ministries. In part 2, I described four different classes of models used across the
creation-evolution … Read more
()
04/29/2011 01:36 PM
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“Junk†DNA: An Outdated Concept, Part 5 (of 6)
For the last four weeks, this article series has detailed the junk DNA argument against
intelligent design and shown why this argument no longer holds water. Last week, I
focused exclusively on transcription factor binding to Alu elements (a type of so-called
“junk†DNA once thought to be functionless) because of the critical functions and …
Read more
()
04/27/2011 04:36 PM
ATP Synthase Ratchets Up the Case for Intelligent Design
I love reading Shakespeare’s plays and seeing them performed. One of the things
that fascinates me about the Bard’s work is his use of dramatic devices such as a
“play within a play.†He effectively employed this technique in both A Midsummer
Night’s Dream and Hamlet as a way to advance the plot, with each … Read more
()
04/25/2011 12:01 AM
Interpreting Creation, Part 2: Science-Faith Models
In part 1 of this four-part series on Reasons To Believe’s apologetics and
hermeneutical methods I reviewed the different apologetics methods used by Christian
leaders. I also explained why I believe all these methods should be used and fully
integrated in our apologetics and evangelism. Here, in part 2, I will briefly describe four
different … Read more
()
04/22/2011 09:22 AM
“Junk†DNA: An Outdated Concept, Part 4 (of 6)
In this series, we’ve been discussing the use of so-called “junkâ€
DNA—specifically Alu elements—as an argument for evolution. In part 1, I explained
why evolutionists might believe that junk DNA is a sound argument and gave an
overview of where we would be going in this series. In part 2, I covered the structure
of … Read more
()
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