The biosphere is the realm that sustains life. Of concern to us are the following questions:
1. What is Life?
2. What is its origin?
3. How do science and religion view life?
My 9th video - Extraterrestrial Life
- By going beyond the Big Bang, scientists discovered the M theory which gives birth to the idea of a Multiverse. In so doing, scientists have avoided the conclusion that there is God. But can science evade the compelling evidence of an intelligent design which leads to the idea of an Intelligent Designer whom many believers associate with God or Allah? click here.
Between the microscopic and macroscopic worlds is the mesocosmic world, which on Planet Earth constitutes the atmosphere that houses all the basic ingredients needed for the appearance of life, namely: air, fire, earth, and water.
Over the centuries, at least 12 life theories have emerged, namely: (1) Evolutionary Theory; (2) Mechanistic Theory; (3) Vitalist Theory; (4) Reductionist Theory; (5) Morphogenesis Theory; (6) Multi-Regional Metamorphosis Theory; (7) Formative Causation Theory; (8) Intelligent Design Theory; (9) Panspermia Theory; (10) Anthropic Principle; (11) Biocentrism; and (12) Creationist Theory.
Students need to be conversant with all of these theories since this is one core subject that is of utmost significance in ACA. This is especially so, since science and religion are at odds with each other as to the nature, origin, and purpose of life. As a bird's-eye-view, however, I will present below the differing opinions and my critique of each of these life theories. More information are given on the side bar of this File.
These theories, however, are just as controversial as the ancient creation epics. None of them can explain how life really appeared on Planet Earth. Even the definition of life is fraught with controversy. Evolutionary theory cannot convincingly expound how life appeared from non-life. While the ingredients and the conditions for the creation of life had already been identified by physicists and molecular biologists, experiments to produce life in the laboratories fail miserably. The Intelligent Design Theory explains the molecular processes leading to the appearance of life in detail, but can only see a pattern that indicates an intelligent design, which is frowned upon in scientific circles because the implication of an Intelligent Designer closely resembles the Bible’s Creationist Theory. The same can be said of the Anthropic Principle that observes a pattern in life forms, how they are neatly designed with numerical accuracy and how even a small deviation from which would mean its disappearance. The Panspermia theory upholds that the essential elements of life must have been carried from other planets or galaxies riding aboard asteroids, meteors, and comets that heavily bombarded the Planet Earth over millions and billions of years ago. Rhawn Joseph (2001:69) explained that life on Earth has astrobiological origins:
That life did not originate on Earth can also be concluded based on the nature and organization of DNA. As the only source of DNA is DNA, and as DNA could not have originated from an organic soup—as the necessary ingredients did not exist on Earth—then the first DNA to emerge on this planet must have been astrobiological in origin.
Yet, in all this, how life really emerged outside our planet remains controversial. In the absence of a consensus in the scientific world, the biblical account that narrates the appearance of life as a direct act and intervention of a Creator (the breath of life) cannot just be totally ignored, especially because many of the life theories of modern science only seem to indicate the need for an Intelligent Life Giver. One common thread that runs through the discourse is the nature of life and its ability to manifest, and grow from simple into complex forms capable of replicating themselves. It is believed that there is such a thing as a primal cell that marked the beginning and appearance of life on Planet Earth.