How did life start? This is one of the most important scientific questions of our time. Many scientists now think that the Ryugu asteroid had the right mix of amino acids for life to start on Earth. Christians, on the other hand, have always believed that God created human life.
Evolutionary scientists claim that evidence found on the Ryugu asteroid supports their theory of chemical evolution. But how valid is the science? Scot Devlin is a geophysicist and writer for Creation Ministries. He joined us on 20Twenty to contrast these latest findings against the Biblical version of creation.
Only twice in history have samples been taken from an asteroid. The exciting thing about this is that in 2020, after a 42-month journey, the Japanese space mission Hayabusa2 actually delivered those samples back to Earth. But it’s only in the past few months that we’ve seen the release of the results.
“We’re talking about chemicals becoming biology,” says Scot. “People who don’t believe in God as creator, believe that chemicals become life. But the problem is the complexity. We’ve learnt recently that the early conditions on earth were not susceptible to how amino acids are created in a lab.”
Panspermia is the theory that life cells evolved elsewhere in the universe, and came to earth on a meteorite. But this also means the miracle of creating life can’t happen naturalistically on the earth. Something that’s not living, can’t become living. This is a well-known biological law.
“If that’s true,” says Scot, “you still need supernatural intelligence to create life. If life spontaneously arose on the earth, what’s to stop that same thing from happening elsewhere? Yet what we’ve actually found is of the thousands of planets out there, none of them can support any form of life.”
As scientists do more investigation, the likelihood that life exists elsewhere decreases. The earth’s capacity to support life and its distinctive design, as well as the biology of our bodies, grow increasingly amazing. For Christians, this is exciting because God gets the glory.
“The discoveries of modern science show how intricately we were made,” says Scot. “Through microscopes we can see these miniature machines within cells that are 99.9% efficient motors. They’re things that we could never make. It’s clearly engineered, and that is very exciting for believers.”
According to Scot, the reason scientists are excited about the amino acids discovered on Ryugu, is because they are known as the building blocks of life. In the past we’ve seen the discovery of organic material in space or from a celestial object. But we also know that amino acids can spontaneously generate.
“Synthetic chemists had to work very hard to make these simple molecules,” says Scot. “They had to have the exact right conditions, and there’s a lot of intelligence in it. Creating a protein or an amino acid by chance is nearly impossible.”
Scot believes the most likely possibility is that God created the amino acids on the body of Ryugu. Ryugu looks like it’s been shattered from another parent body. It could have been a planet, and the amino acids were created in place on day four of creation.
“The amino acids also could have formed from U.V. radiation,” says Scot. “Or the other possible scenario is they were created by the chemicals found in interstellar dust. When you read Genesis and look at this in a Biblical context, the process of creation is clearly explained.”
Because of the influence of evolution, some Christian’s no longer want to take the Bible as written history. Some even think they have to do a theological back flip to make the evidence fit the story. But evolution is not proven science.
“We know that God did create the world,” Scot says. “We know that He created the celestial bodies. On day four, He created the sun, moon and the stars. And because He says it, we can trust that it’s true.”