Science and origins
Religion and origins
In Six Days
Why 50 Scientists Choose
to Believe in Creation
Edward A. Boudreaux, theoretical chemistry
Professor Boudreaux is Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at the University of New Orleans, Louisiana. He holds a B.S. in chemistry from Loyola University, an M.S. in chemistry and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Tulane University. Professor Boudreaux has spent 29 years in graduate education and research in the area of theoretical and inorganic chemistry and chemical physics, and is the author or coauthor of four technical books in the area of inorganic chemistry, as well as numerous scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks.
Certainly it must be agreed among rational individuals that for anyone bold enough to admit it, the origins issue is strictly a matter of history. Having been initiated and completed prior to the genesis of man at some time in the past, the events of this origins process are nonrepeatable. It matters not whether one believes the mechanism of the process to be via de fiat actions of a supernatural intelligence, some naturalistic evolutionary process, or a mixture of the two; the fact remains that the material universe is in a stable state of static equilibrium.
The initial processes responsible for this stasis are not amenable to the methods of scientific testing, because they were unobservable events. Yet, in spite of this, evolutionists claim that a trail of evidences have been imprinted in the fossil record over long periods of geologic time. Furthermore, it is suggested that biological similarities among various levels of living organisms all imply a common ancestral origin. Similarly, cosmologists maintain that some sort of big-bang scenario, initiated from a unique physical singularity undergoing a quantum fluctuation in some 1043 seconds, is the process by which the origin of the entire universe was initiated.
Hence, the geological, biological and cosmological sciences have been established as ivory towers, from which so-called proofs of evolution emanate, while the scientist practitioners within these disciplines are the gurus who promote, preach and publish what is regarded as scientific data supporting evolution. But there is not one single instance whereby all the tests essential to the establishment of the scientific validity of evolution have been satisfied. There are hypotheses, grandiose models, suppositions and inferences, all of which are formulated and reinforced within the collective and self-serving collaborations of the evolutionist gurus. However, none of this amounts to true scientific evidence for evolution.
It was in the 1970s that, to my great surprise, bewilderment, and disgust, I became enlightened to all of what has been stated above. Up until that time I had not given the evolution matter very much thought. On the contrary, I presumed that researchers committed to the study of evolution possessed the same integrity as that expected of any credible scientist. While it is true that I may not have been as thoroughly schooled in those ivory tower disciplines of evolution as are the so-called “experts,” I was, nonetheless, more than adequately informed as a scientist to be able to read and comprehend various technical publications on evolution. Subsequently, the greatest embarrassment of all was for me to find that there simply was no valid science whatever, in any of these numerous publications touting evolution.
A number of evolutionists openly admit that the coveted fossil record is devastating to the entire scheme of organic evolution, be it neo-Darwinism, punctuated equilibrium or whatever. It has also been clearly demonstrated that observed similarities between organisms, fossil or living, have absolutely nothing to do with proving evolution per se. Similarly, there is neither a single model nor combination thereof, regarding the evolution of the cosmos, that provides an adequate explanation of all observed cosmological data. In fact, the actual data is frequently in disagreement with the various proposed models.
My own fields of specialization are in the areas of theoretical inorganic chemistry and chemical physics. Both of these areas are reasonably immune to the contaminations of evolution. But, once my interest had been aroused sufficiently to study the evolution literature, I also became aware of unique features among chemical properties of specific elements. These characteristics are clearly a reflection of created design.
Consider the element carbon (C). This is the most unique of all the chemical elements in the periodic table. It is a nonmetal, having unlimited capacity to participate in every known type of covalent chemical bonding (i.e., pairs of electrons shared between atoms), which unites atoms of the same kind to each other and to other kinds of atoms as well. This feature, called catenation, is virtually unlimited for the element carbon alone.
Other elements, such as silicon (Si), nitrogen (N), sulphur (S), phosphorus (P), etc., display some very limited capacities for catenation, which do not even come close to rivalling the catenation ability of C. Without this unique feature, the formation of such essential biomolecules as proteins, DNA, RNA, cellulose, etc., would be impossible. Ironically, in spite of its crucial importance, carbon comprises only 9 to 10 percent by weight of the composition of all living things and only 0.017 percent of the earth’s composition. Nonetheless, there is no other element that can replace even one or two C atoms in biomolecules, without destroying the biological integrity of these systems.
Elements such as carbon (C), nitrogen (N), sulphur (S), phosphorus (P), and other nonmetals are called representative or main group elements. With the exception of oxygen, atoms of these elements are stable only when even numbers of their electrons unite in pairs; otherwise the presence of “unpaired” electrons imparts chemical instability. On the other hand, metallic elements such as chromium (Cr), Iron (Fe), nickel (Ni), etc., called transition metals, are among the subgroup elements and do contain unpaired electrons, but surprisingly are chemically very stable.
The element oxygen (O) exists freely in nature as the gaseous diatomic molecule O2. There are other representative elements which also occur as free diatomic molecules, e.g., hydrogen (H2), nitrogen (N2), fluorine (F2), and chlorine (Cl2). However, O2 is the only molecule of this type possessing two unpaired electrons; the others all have paired electrons. In spite of this, O2 is still chemically stable. This singular notable exception to the electron-pair rule of stability for representative elements has no known explanation. The only other molecule with an electron arrangement exactly that of O2 is S2. However, S2 is a highly unstable molecule, which is the reason that sulphur does not exist in this form. Furthermore, if it were not for the two unpaired electrons in O2, it would not be capable of binding to the iron (Fe) atoms in hemogloblin, with precisely the amount of energy needed to carry the O2 into the bloodstream and then release it. Some other molecules such as CO and NO can replace O2 in binding to hemogloblin, but they completely destroy the hemoglobin function.
Similarly, there are several other transition metals comparable to iron which can replace it in hemoglobin and also bind O2, but this binding is either too strong or too weak. Thus, there are no noniron analogues of hemoglobin having the required properties of normal hemoglobin for transporting O2 in blood metabolism.
The structured portion of hemoglobin which binds iron is called a porphrin ring. If this porphrin is translated into another biomolecular environment and the iron atom replaced by magnesium (Mg), chlorophyll, a key component essential to plant metabolism, is the most efficient photoelectric cell known. It is some 80 percent more efficient than any photocells fabricated by man. While calcium (Ca) and some other metals can replace Mg in chlorophyll, the products do not at all duplicate the photoelectric efficiency of true chlorophyll.
Proteins are composed of amino acid molecules chemically bound together by what are called polypeptide bonds. The amino acids themselves are carbon hydrogen compounds containing an amine group, i.e, -NH2, -NHR or -NR2 (where R represents one or more carbon hydrogen groups) bonded to a C atom, plus an acid group (-COOH) bonded to the same C atom. Although there are thousands of varieties of amino acids, only 20 are involved in all protein structures.
Furthermore, amino acids exist in two structural forms, D and L, which are nonsuperimposable mirror images of each other. In the absence of any imposed controls, both D and L forms will naturally occur in essentially equal amounts; however, all proteins are made of only the L form. By way of contrast, sugars (saccharides), which are carbon-hydrogen-oxygen compounds, have closed ring structures and also exist in both D and L isomeric forms. While there are numerous varieties of sugars, it is only the simplest, 5-membered ring structure called ribose, in only its D form, that is present as one of the three fundamental molecular components in the structures of DNA and RNA.
Both DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid) are in some respects more complex than proteins, because they contain a greater variety of molecular units forming nucleosides (nucleotide bases, ribose, and phosphate). These nucleosides are all joined together in very specific patterns so as to perform unique and crucial functions. The ribose and phosphate (-PO4) units are bonded together in a regularly alternating sequence, thus producing long chains coiled in a right-handed helix. Each nucleotide is bound to one specific C atom on each ribose unit. In the case of RNA, the structure is a single-stranded right-handed helix containing four different nucleotides (adenine, cytosine, guanine, uracil) arranged in very specific repeating sequences throughout the length of the chain. Each type of RNA has a different pattern in the sequencing of the four nucleotides. The DNA structure consists of a right-handed double helix, also containing four nucleotides. Three of these are the same as in RNA, but one is different: thymine replaces uracil.
The nucleotides themselves belong to two classes of molecules called purines and pyrimidines. Adenine and guanine are purines, while cytosine, thymine and uracil are pyrimidines. There are many hundreds of varieties of purines and pyrimidines, but only these select five determine the structures and functions of DNA and RNA.
Similarly, ribose is only one of a large number of molecules called saccharides. Why only ribose and its D isomer, but not one or more other saccharides in DNA and RNA? Likewise, why only phosphate and not sulfate or silicate, etc? Only phosphate works.
These few examples contain clear evidence of complex design imparting tailor-made functions. Such characteristics defy the probability that any random evolutionary process could account for such unique specificity in design.
Admittedly, it may require some general comprehension of chemistry to fully appreciate these chemical evidences of creative design which have been presented. But it is this evidence provided not only from chemistry, but from all other areas of science as well, that convinces me to accept creation by God as the only viable and scientifically reasonable explanation of origins. Of course, science cannot prove either creation or evolution, but it certainly is in agreement with the former and not the latter. Consequently, it should take considerably more faith to believe in evolution rather than divine creation.
Hence, having concluded that creation by the power of an omnipotent God is the only acceptable explanation for the origin of life, I was convinced that the only reliable source of this account must be from the Creator alone. Now the Bible claims to be the written word of God to man. While this documentation was by the hand of man, the information is directly from God. If God actually is who He reveals himself to be, He is perfectly capable of preserving the complete accuracy and integrity of His own word.
God begins the Bible with the revelation of himself as the Creator. The Book of Genesis relates specific details of God’s own account of His creation, details which are, for the most part, in complete contradiction to the evolution scenarios. One major contradiction is the length of time for the entire creation process to be completed. All popular evolution models maintain billions of years from the origin of the cosmos, to hundreds of millions of years involving death, destruction and survival of the fittest for the total completion of macroscopic biological evolution. But the Bible says that all of creation was completed in just 6 days.
There has been much controversy regarding the interpretation of six biblical days for creation. Many believe that these days could be indefinite long periods of time, thus accommodating requirements for the evolution process. However, the most complete and reliable exegesis of the Hebrew word yom (day), as it is used in Genesis, is that it can only mean a literal 24-hour period. In fact, the complete context of the Genesis creation account does not even allow for yom to be translated as an indefinite length of time.
Finally, I am forced to conclude, as reason dictates, that if the Bible is truly the Word of God (as I am convinced that it is), then it must be accurate in every detail, including the account of creation in 6 literal days. Science tells me that evolution is certainly not scientific, while creation is not in disagreement with what is truly scientific. Hence, creation is the more acceptable account of origins. Since creation requires a supernatural, omnipotent Creator, and the Bible is the only convincing source of who this creator God actually is, then the biblical account of creation must be accurate in every detail, including six 24-hour days for completion from beginning to end.