Abiogenesis, the idea that life sprang from unguided chemistry, continues to be a central topic in the creation/evolution debate. On May 19, 2023, Dr. James Tour, a Messianic Jew, organic chemistry professor at Rice University, and well-known associate of intelligent design advocates, debated Mr. Dave Farina, aka “Professor Dave,” on the question of the origin of life (Fig. 1). 1
Miracle of the Cell (Discovery Institute Press, 2020) 1 is the most recent in a series of books on evolution and intelligent design by Michael Denton.2 ,3 ,4 Denton is best known for his books Evolution: A Theory in Crisis and Nature’s Destiny. Denton holds a PhD in biochemistry and is also a medical doctor. He grew up in England but has also lived and worked in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. He is a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Many of the leading proponents of the intelligent design movement, including Michael Behe and Philip Johnson, have said Denton inspired their work.
With support from the United States National Institutes of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, scientists from several medical research laboratories in the United States and the Netherlands have recently completed a series of experiments designed to sequence the male-specific region of the Y chromosome (MSY) in the chimpanzee. 1 In their words, they achieved for the first time “levels of accuracy and completion previously reached for the human MSY.” They also compared the MSYs of humans and chimpanzees and found that “they differ radically
The central question evolutionary science has yet to answer is by what natural processes is novel information introduced into the biological world. Until this question is answered, evolution will remain an organized system of unproven speculations and “just so” stories. There are two main events in the evolutionary tale that need this type of explanation: the origin of life and the mechanism for macroevolution.
The genome of organisms contains their genetic material, which largely determines how they will develop. Scientists are learning more and more about the genome of various organisms, which is revealing more and more about the amazing wisdom of God in their design and creation. It seems that our understanding of the functioning of life is always incomplete, and the genome is always more complex than we had thought. Will we ever fully understand the functioning of life, or will it always be a mystery to us?