By Babu G. Ranganathan
The scientific method is used every day in forensic science to determine whether an event in a crime scene was an accident or by design and intention. Mathematical probability is a scientific argument and is frequently used in determining many issues of scientific inquiry.
The scientific method cannot be used to prove events which occurred outside of human observation. No one observed the origin of the universe by either chance or design, but scientific evidence via mathematical probability can be used to support either a chance or design origins for the universe.
If you went to an uninhabited planet and discovered only one thing, a cliff carved with images of persons similar to what we find on Mt. Rushmore, you cannot use the scientific method to prove that these images came about by design or by chance processes of erosion.
Mathematicians have said that any event with odds of 10 to the 50th power or over is impossible even within the entire time frame of the supposed billions of years popularly assigned for the age of the universe.
The odds of an average protein molecule coming into existence by chance is 10 to the 65th power. That's just one protein molecule! Even the simplest cell is composed of millions of them.
Protein molecules are made of smaller molecules known as amino acids. In order for a protein molecule to work the amino acids have to be together in a precise sequence, just like the letters in a sentence. If they are not in the right sequence then the protein molecule won't work.
What's even more amazing is that there are left-handed and right-handed amino acids. In life all the protein molecules have to be made up of left-handed amino acids as well as be in the right sequence. If a right-handed amino acid gets into the mix the protein won't work.
DNA, the genetic code, also is made up of various smaller molecules (nucleic acids) that have to be together in a precise sequence in order for the DNA to work. There are left-handed and right-handed sugar molecules making-up nucleic acids. In order to get a working DNA molecule the various nucleic acids have to be not only in a precise sequence but they also have to contain only right-handed sugar molecules. If a nucleic acid with a left-handed sugar molecule gets into the mix then the DNA won't work.
The great and well-known British scientist Frederick Hoyle showed that the probability of the simplest form of life coming into being by chance is 10 to the 40,000th power. You don't have to be a theologian to respect such numbers!
In the midst of arguments over evolution and intelligent design, it is amazing how many in society, including the very educated, believe that scientists had already created life in the laboratory. No such thing has ever happened.
All that scientists have done is genetically engineer already existing forms of life in the laboratory, and by doing this scientists have been able to produce new forms of life, but they did not produce these new life forms from non-living matter. Even if scientists ever do produce life from non-living matter it will only be through intelligent design or planning so it still wouldn't help support any theory of life originating by chance or evolution.
If the cell had evolved it would have had to be all at once. A partially evolved cell cannot wait millions of years to become complete because it would be highly unstable and quickly disintegrate in the open environment, especially without the protection of a complete and fully functioning cell membrane.
Natural laws are adequate to explain how the order in life, the universe, and even a microwave oven operates, but mere undirected natural laws cannot fully explain the origin of such order.
Of course, once there is a complete and living cell then the code and mechanisms exist to direct the formation of more cells with their own code and biological mechanisms. The problem is how did life naturally come about when there was no previously existing directing code or mechanisms in nature.
What about natural selection? Natural selection cannot produce anything. It can only "select" from what is produced. Furthermore, natural selection can only operate once there is life and not before. Natural selection is a passive process in nature.
Even the recent news of artificial (or synthetic) life is not creation of any life. In artificial life, scientists, through intelligent design, build a DNA molecule from "scratch" and then implant that DNA into an already living cell. Genetic engineering and artificial life projects all happen by intelligent design - not by chance. Just ask the scientists behind the projects!
Again, science cannot prove that we are here by either chance or design, but the scientific evidence can be used to support one or the other.
It is only fair that evidence supporting intelligent design be presented to students alongside of evolutionary theory. No one is being forced to believe in God so there's no real violation of separation of church and state.
The author, Babu G. Ranganathan, has his bachelor's degree with concentrations in theology and biology and has been recognized for his writings on religion and science in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who In The East". The author's writings may be accessed at www.religionscience.com.