Dear Brother Ron
Does the theist argument that abiogenesis is unlikely imply that gods are
infinitely more unlikely?
Many theists argue that even the basic proteins in the most basic forms of
life are so complex as to make the chance of life coming into existence
through random events impossible throughout the observable universe
containing 100,000,000,000 galaxies, most galaxies containing billions of
stars, many stars being part of their own solar system in which may be
planets capable of supporting carbon-based life as we know it, not to
mention other possible forms of life, i.e. silicon-based and possibly more.
Does this then imply that gods, being infinitely more complex, are
infinitely more unlikely to come into existence through random events?
Wouldn't that mean that the theist argument against abiogenesis is an
argument against God? If abiogenesis is impossible, then so are gods? Should
they just go back to their faith and leave the thinking to us? After all,
no mature atheist claims to have absolute knowledge that gods couldn't
possibly exist, right?
For those unfamiliar with the term, abiogenesis refers to theories about the
origins of life. There are two basic scientific theories about how this
occurred. The first is the iron-sulfur world theory, This theory proposes
that an early form of metabolism predated genetics. The other is the RNA
world hypothesis, which proposes that a world filled with RNA (ribonucleic
acid) based life predates current DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) based life.
The first flaw in this argument is the statement that even the basic
proteins in the most basic forms of life are so complex as to make the
chance of life coming into existence through random events impossible. You
go on to point out (correctly) that we have observed about 100,000,000,000
galaxies, each containing billions of stars. Given this enormous number of
stars and billions of years, it is safe to say that anything that can happen
probably already has happened.
But all of this assumes that deities are subject to our limited concepts of
space, time and probabilities. This is not true. Our concept of space and
time assumes that an object (including people) can only be in one place at
any given time. It also assumes that we are incapable of moving backward or
forward in time. It further assumes that there is only one chain of events.
In other words, that which has happened and those things which will happen
are the only things which could have happened or will happen. These
assumptions are not valid in God's reality. God exists in all times, places
and realms of possibility simultaneously.
Once again, we see theologians attempting to practice science and scientists
attempting to practice theology. Perhaps we would all be better off if
everybody stuck to the fields in which they are competent.