In a home building project, we could highlight two time frames. First, the site on which the home is to be built must be prepared in multiple ways, including proper surveys, approvals, payment, assignment of title, and lot clearing, to name a few. Second, previously conceived architectural plans are printed and distributed. Workers lay the foundation, erect the frame, install walls, flooring, and electrical circuitry, fabricate ducts, set doors and windows, and complete the finishing work.
One may ask what connection this story might have with our blog’s focus on creation of the universe and its life forms. Did the Creator adhere to the pattern of preparation followed by execution in bringing our planet to its current state of life-abundance? Did God follow the sequence of the creation of time/space/matter/energy, and then much later in cosmic history intervene to suddenly establish life on Planet Earth? Can we recognize that the universe possessed an original condition of acute fine-tuning and retained that condition during the onset of earth life and continuing until this moment?
Even atheistic and agnostic scientists realize the universe must possess an almost unimaginable degree of precision fine-tuning in order for life to exist at any time in cosmic history. For example, the precise rate of expansion must be matched by a precise quantity of mass in the universe. Translated, this means both must be perfect. The latter has been declared by scientists to be much less than the mass of a dime. There are dozens of additional environmental characteristics scientists know must fall within the same degree of precision.
Alan Sandage, noted astronomer, sums up the sentiments of dozens of well-known, secular scientists by saying, “I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.” We might say “life-site earth” was being prepared.
Then, about four billion years ago, life quickly burst upon the scene, remarkably complex. Previous posts deal with this phenomenon:
Paleobiologist J. William Schopf, confesses he would prefer that earth’s earliest life forms such as cyanobacteria would have a history leading from “primitive ways of living” to later “advanced metabolic lifestyles.” Instead, plentiful, morphologically simple but biochemically complex bacterial life suddenly appeared. Stuart Kaufmann, theoretical biologist, expresses what all origin-of-life researchers know, but cannot adequately explain: “Life emerged…not simple, but complex and whole, and has remained complex and whole ever since.”
From its initial arrival, even single celled bacterial life possessed DNA, with its remarkable ability to replicate and its coded instructions for protein synthesis. This brilliantly conceived code could not have been an evolutionary accident of the random mixing of molecules in the “warm little pond” conceived by Darwin. The problem of life’s origin remains one of the profound enigmas of naturalistic science. There is no naturalistic explanation for life’s origin.
The appearance of life on Earth marks the line of demarcation between eons of a life-absent, but fine-tuned universe, and a suddenly life-plentiful, tiny pinpoint of matter named Planet Earth. Perhaps the second verse of the Book of Genesis locates that point of demarcation this way: “…and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters” (Genesis 1:2 NAS).