Monday, July 16, 2012

God Revealed in Creation – Part 3

So far we have God revealed as eternal and self-existent, confirmed by scripture and by science. We also saw God use division as a creative tool, dividing light from darkness and dividing surface water from water vapor in the clouds. We begin each day with the evening dark and hidden then God will act with power and immeasurable intellect to accomplish His purpose. We addressed controversies, the length of a creation day or "yowm", and looked at whether or not those days were consecutive. These are not questions we are likely to solve to everyone's satisfaction but it is good to understand the different perspectives. Today we will cover one of the most remarkable creation days, "yo·vm she·li·shi"

So after verse 8 the earth is progressing, a rocky planet still covered in water, but with a stable atmosphere or "raqiya" consisting of Carbon dioxide, Nitrogen, Water Vapor, and Sulfur dioxide; not yet suitable for man.

Genesis 1

9 Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

At the command of God the surface of the earth begins to change. Through a process we now call plate tectonics, the mantle of the earth is divided into two layers, a lighter rocky layer called the Lithosphere that floats on a denser molten layer known as the Asthenesphere. There are about 7 major tectonics plates in the Lithosphere and they move respective to each other by a complex interaction of gravitational fields. In some places this movement opens up deep ocean trenches, and in other places the continental plates push together lifting one over another.As the continents rise and the ocean trenches sink the water seeks the lowest point and it opens up the great land masses of the earth.

Notice that we see the word earth (Hebrew erets) used in Genesis 1 first for the whole planet, then here for the dry land. It is also used later in Genesis for the area inhabited by man.

Prior to this time of a stable earth surface scientist believe our planet was pelted by a series of massive asteroids with enough energy to liquefy the earth's crust and sterilize the planet, but with no extant life nobody cares.

Cosmologist aren't really sure how and why this Late Heavy Bombardment ended, but some suggest the gas giant planets of Uranus and Neptune formed later than earth and now act as a kind of shield for the earth by absorbing these major asteroids in their own gravitational fields. But since the bombardment ended, earth has enjoyed a favored place protected from most of these threats.

11 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Verse 11 is remarkable for a number of reasons. Note that this third creation day has God working a double shift ("then God said"). First He divides the seas from the dry land, then as though moving massive continents were not enough for one day; he creates life itself on earth.

Here is where evolutionist really struggle because every theory proposed for a natural process that could cause the origin of life has been an abject failure. In reality abiogenesis has become the creation myth of unbelievers because it is completely without foundation in terms of scientific evidence, but evolutionist cling to the idea all the same. Prior to the work of Louis Pasteur belief in spontaneous generation of life from non-living matter was very common. What Pasteur proposed and later demonstrated was that unseen life in the form of microbes and even tiny eggs were in all cases responsible for the appearance of life in dead matter. His theory stated in Latin was "Omni vivum ex ovem" or "all life from eggs". It is from his work that we learned how to sterilize things with heat in order to kill bacteria and other pathogens. Because of Pasteur, belief in the spontaneous generation of life from non-life faded from the world of science, except when it comes to the origin of life where it remains among naturalist the belief against all evidence, or part of the de facto religion of scientism.

So what makes abiogenesis or the natural evolution of life so unlikely? First you have the 20 alpha amino acids which are single threaded complex chemical chains necessary to make all proteins and encode your genes. In 1952 Stanley Miller and Harold Urey tested a theory that the earths early atmosphere could produce these amino acids so he combined water, methane, ammonia, and hydrogen into a sort of distillery using fire and electric sparks to trigger chemical reactions, and he produced some amino acids and similar compounds in trace amounts making plausible the mythical primordial soup. Unfortunately for Mr. Miller's legacy he got the basic ingredients wrong. He created a reducing environment, and as we discussed last week earth's early atmosphere was not a reducing atmosphere is was an oxidizing atmosphere made mostly of Carbon dioxide, Nitrogen, Water Vapor, and Sulfur dioxide. So Millers chemical reactions were not even possible on early earth, but you still find this experiment in all the textbooks to support abiogenesis. Trace amounts of a few amino acids have been detected in some asteroids giving hope to evolutionist, but other amino acids (arginine and lysine) necessary for life have never been found outside of a living thing, making their origin a complete scientific mystery (prebiotically implausible).

But what if you could get the 20 amino acids in sufficient amounts to make the primordial soup, would they naturally assemble into some network of proteins? The answer is no. Amino acids are naturally chiral molecules that appear in mirrored pairs commonly referred to as left handed and right handed, so in any pool of amino acids you would have an equal number of left handed and right handed molecules (racemic). The problem is that amino acids only assemble into the necessary chains for protiens when they are homochiral, meaning they are all left handed or all right handed molecules, this is the way they are made in living organisms through a very complex process, but there is no known way to simulate this 100% separation outside of biology. In truth the best naturalistic explanations yield only about a 1% excess of left-handed or right-handed molecules.

The next challenge for abiogenesis is the genetic code itself. The universal genetic code shared by all life is a complex encoded language understood by assigning a letter to each chemical base (Adenine, Thymine [Uracil in RNA], Guanine, Cytosine) then three of these together in a particular order form a codon, and each codon represents an amino acid to be added in a sequence or chain, these are the instructions for living things to make proteins from which all parts of the body are constructed. The instructions to build a single protein are called a gene.

So how do you get the information to construct a complex language with rules for transcription, translation, and a built in spelling checker, when there are no living things? Again this is bad news for naturalist because there are enough data to refute the possibility that the genetic code was randomly constructed. To date outside of a supernatural intelligence there is no robust hypothesis for the origin of the genetic code. DNA is the language of life, the supernatural endowment of every living thing and another example of how God is revealed in creation.

What kind of life did God make on this 3rd creation day? Herbs, grasses, basically any form of seed bearing plant. In biology these are known as autotrophs because they can make their own food from carbon dioxide, water and an energy source like sunlight. In soil formation these types of plants are also called pioneers because they can break down rock into constituent minerals both to use in their own metabolism and to begin soil formation.

What may be most disturbing for those who doubt God as Creator, is that scientists have found evidence of life in the earths oldest rocks. What is means is that as soon as the earth had a stable rocky surface, life began. There were no billions of years for amino acids to "evolve", sort by chiral orientation, conspire to create the genetic code, then somehow animate themselves into living cells, it just happened. Now look again at verse 9 and verse 11 and see what Moses has done. He has linked the emergence of the earth's rocky surface to the beginning of life in one creation day. This is an example of "correspondence" a Biblical assertion confirmed by earth's history supporting the supernatural revelation of scripture. How else would an Egyptian raised Midian goat herder know that 3,500 years later science would link these two events in just this way?

With the creation of autotrophic life, the earth's atmosphere would steadily become more oxygen rich, and the rocky surface would be broken down to form the top soil. Like the first two days of creation, what God makes is stable and able to remain for a long time. For plant life this is revealed in the phrase "according to its kind" meaning each succeeding generation would be like the generation before. Now some have looked at the taxonomy classification (kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species) trying to figure out what exactly "kind" was referring to. This is a problem because taxonomy can be arranged by physical similarities, by presumed evolutionary relationship, or by genetic similarities; and none of these techniques yield the same results. The Hebrew word translated kind is "miyn" which means to portion out. In terms of DNA this makes perfect sense where each plant received that portion of the genetic code it required. One way we understand this is that no matter how many dog breeds you can make; breeding dogs will never yield a cat, because dogs simply do not have the genetic code to make a cat.

13 And there was evening, and there was morning —the third day.

So God's good work ended a 3rd creation day with the familiar "evening and morning" divider. "yo·vm she·li·shi" yielded the dry land, the seas, plant life, and very strong evidence for the supernatural origin of life, and the supernatural inspiration of scripture, making this a very important creation day.


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