The Origins of The Universe And Life

I’d be hard-pressed to find more challenging and complicated questions than how the universe began and how inorganic molecules managed to come alive. There certainly are no shortages of hypotheses and theses for how to explain these phenomena, but clearly, humans don’t have all the answers yet (although most people have no idea how close we really are to understanding these phenomena).

In that sense, Christians and other theists have some justification of putting the burden of proof onto atheists, given that the atheist worldview is absent of supernatural phenomena.

The thing that always struck me as odd, even when I was a Christian, was that those same people, who would gleefully ridicule atheists who reject supernatural intervention, would go on to explain that life’s origins included women being formed from a rib, sneaky snakes, forbidden fruit, and zoo arcs crafted to defend against global, year-long floods.

Humans have only had formalized logic for maybe 2500 years, and it took almost two thousand years more for us to figure out how to estimate the area under a curve in mathematics.    Couldn’t it be that, given humans’ fairly primitive current condition, that we just haven’t figured it out yet? Couldn’t it be that, although these problems are profound and complicated, they don’t need supernatural explanations?

The beginning of the universe and abiogenesis are not easy things to grapple with.  To attack them with any sort of authority, one needs to understand a huge collection of science that took the most talented and knowledgeable humans on Earth thousands of years to collect and deduce.  But if history tells us anything, it is that the best method for humans to unravel the complexities of the universe is science.  In other words, our best method to answer very complicated questions is to start with, and assume, natural causes and effects.

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Author: Tim...Stepping Out

Tim Stepping Out

4 thoughts on “The Origins of The Universe And Life”

  1. I always ask such people how they know how life began and they answer “the Bible” (duh). Since the OT was written in the seventh Century BCE, that means these people have “known” how life began for about 2700 years. When did science begin to look in to the origin of life? I’d say a good starting point is 1953 with the Miller-Urey experiment, so science has been looking for roughly 50 years. I then would point out that they had a 2650 year head start, so call me back in the year 4665 and I will definitively answer their question of when and how life began.

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    1. Good point. I recently allowed myself to get drawn into a debate with a YEC a few days ago, and I’ve been trying to dissect what specifically was wrong about those claims, and this post was one thought I had. I found it interesting how they seem to want to equate evolution with the big bang…as if those two phenomena are the same thing, or have some sort of mystic relationship with one another.

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  2. An response that I often give to christians trying to use “how did life begin?” as a gotcha question is that we don’t always have to have the correct answer to a question to be able to tell that some answers are really really wrong. I don’t have to know how magnets work to be able to say that “magic unicorns” is not the right answer. I don’t know what causes Alzheimer’s, but I’m really sure that it’s not going to turn out to be “an imbalance of the four bodily humours”. And while we haven’t solved the question of the origin of life yet, I’m sure the answer is not going to turn out to involve talking snakes and evil fruit.

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    1. Yeah, like I mentioned, it is really ironic that the same people railing against science are the ones who think ribs and sneaky snakes are valid characterizations of the beginning of life.

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