The Grand Lottery

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On a recent CD Sampler from Paste Magazine, a track by Cloud Cult caught my ear. It begins with a lengthy and beautiful musical introduction, then the words surface, sounding fine within the music, but… what was that line? The track is titled “When Water Comes to Life.” A snippet:

And when they sew you closed
They'll give you back to the water
From where we're all born
From where we're all born

Isn’t this something we all wonder about? Or, if not for laziness or fear of implications, would wonder about? It’s sung in a tone that assumes acceptance of the idea, and perhaps a sense of satisfaction. How strange.

I don’t have enough faith to accept that we all came from water. Let’s see…

Some time after the universe exploded into being from nothing (4.6 billion years ago), the earth found itself in just the right spot not to be pulled into the fiery surface of the sun or spun away into the frozen reaches of outer space. As if ordered in a bundle package from Amazon.com, it also included all the necessary elements that we would need to exist, breathe, build and fuel our cars, and, as importantly, air-condition them. Amongst other things, of course.

We can’t just start at the water from where we’re all born. There are intricacies in how what got where… There have been discernible findings of micro-evolution, or changes within species, granted. But from there, scientists tell us we most suppose, because there is no evidence of their various theories on how we arrive at that point.

We’re asked to accept that all of the preceding steps were also in good order: macro-evolution (life from another form of life – no definitive fossils have been found), organic evolution (life from the non-living), planetary evolution (planetary formations), chemical evolution (from hydrogen and helium at the Big Bang), stellar evolution (bodies forming from the instant chaos), and our Big Bang.

But let’s focus on the water… this is a blog after all, not a book… nicely positioned on the Earth for good things to happen. We must assume (the very phrase used by evolutionists at every stage of this development) that in the ocean or a pond, something happened (the combination of carbon materials, nitrogen, amino acids, energy) that formed the first simple living cell. That's quite a supposition! But there's a problem, aside from the little "life from no life" issue. There’s no such thing as a simple cell!

"Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small, weighing less than 10-12 grams, each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machinery built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world." (Michael Denton)

The problem is called irreducible complexity. If you take out one functioning part, it ruins the whole system. Or, if building from the ground up with desirable traits (natural selection), it’s difficult to fathom why certain cogs would be formed within a system that wouldn’t work without the complete set. The cogs wouldn’t form and wait “millions of years” understanding that the next cog was just around the corner to make things work. And that’s just a cell. In terms of human health, we’re all too well aware when just one thing goes wrong in our bodies. Missing cogs or cogs that don't work aren't beneficial to a living organism.

But, we must assume… millions or billions of years plus chance can account for such things.

“Chance,” apparently, is our benefactor. We think of it as a random coincidence that causes something to happen. The truth is, scientists can observe chemical behavior, but they have no idea how life originated. But "chance" is a great diversion; we somehow find ample room for possibilities in the word and don't demand further explanation.

Chance is a mathematical probability of known outcomes. A coin has a 50% chance of being flipped heads (or tails). Excluding consideration of any supernatural source, we must assume that there is at least one chance in (fill in the blank with some number) of life emerging spontaneously. We’re here; we’re the proof. So there has to be one chance instead of zero, you see? Scientists have filled in that blank for us:

Sir Fred Hoyle, a popular agnostic who wrote Evolution from Space (1981), proposed that such odds were one chance in 1040,000 ("the same as the probability that a tornado sweeping through a junkyard could assemble a 747").

Um, okay. That’s reassuring, and from a guy who accepts that it happened.

Harvard University biochemist and Nobel Laureate George Wald apparently agreed:

"One has to only contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet we are here - as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation."

Why? We must assume this not because there is no other answer, but because there is no other acceptable answer. Scientists exclude the supernatural from consideration, literally from the beginning in their assumptions that there are naturalistic explanations for everything that can be tested and verified. That’s fine as an approach, as long as the assumptions are stated. But they're not. The result is that the observable world is attempted to be explained without the disclaimer, stating that all of everything just happened. In fact, those that would point out the disclaimer are ridiculed as simpletons who haven't evolved into this scientific age or religious nuts who want to impose their beliefs on everyone. If this isn't clear enough, in 1995, the National Association of Biology Teachers issued a definition for Evolution:

“The diversity of life on earth is the outcome of evolution: an unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable and natural process of temporal descent with genetic modification that is affected by natural selection, chance, historical contingencies and changing environments.”

In short, evolution is proven to the point where the God hypothesis is not needed. They later subtracted the “unsupervised, impersonal” portion to lessen criticism from their intrusion into the theological realm (by positing a denial of same), but, in fact, they were content to do so because an “unpredictable and natural process” was entirely sufficient to state in more scientific terms the same meaning and conclusion.

The moral considerations from whence we came matter.

In the grand scale of things, if we originated from a lucky stroke of sunlight falling on a particular pond with the right soup mix, it doesn’t matter if you steal from your company, cheat on your spouse, or kill your neighbor. Your own morals are arbitrary, and ultimately, you have no right to judge others.

With primordial soup as your maker, it isn’t hard to understand why some people do things that might seem wrong to you. The question you might ask is, why you don’t partake of all the available opportunities you deny yourself? Without morals, you're free to be whatever you want to be. Just because someone else defines right from wrong one way has no significance for anyone else.

Attribute it to a developed sense of self-preservation or a fear of societal punishment systems, but if a person kills an infant, on what basis is that wrong? You can’t stand on any moral position and say that anything someone else has done is wrong. Or good, for that matter. The concept of “dust to dust” is a license to live free of moral constraints because there is no ultimate accountability. There is no ultimate accountability because the lucky strike of sunshine onto earthly muck fails to create an ultimate moral law.

Put your thinking caps on and see if you agree with the following. There are four existential questions that come to a person in life. Where do I come from? What is the nature of good and evil? What is the meaning of life? What is my destiny?

Some, I’m certain, think of the questions but are as quickly distracted by a re-run of Spencer: For Hire. Some may explore and find theological answers to the questions and accept the teachings and implications of a particular faith. Some search for answers and can't find a God that meets their standards, and some find the notion of some ultimate accountability too high a price to pay for more hopeful answers to tough questions. And the rest, like the songwriters for Cloud Cult, I must assume, find some type of comfort in the wisdom of the scientific method and trust in the odds: 1 in 1040,000.

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