The molecular biologist Jacques Monod, Director of the Pasteur Institute, Paris, and Nobel Prize winner in 1965, excited and upset the world of believers with his book Chance and Necessity, and even the atheistic left were outraged by Monod’s thesis, because they suspected in it a philosophical inflation of biological facts into an ersatz religion.
Monod summarizes the most recent work on molecular biology and genetics. Billions of years ago certain simple carbon compounds (such as methane) entered the earth’s atmosphere and the earth’s crust. Later water and ammonia formed. From these simple compounds many substances originated, including nucleotides and amino-acids, which were finally combined into the first organism, the first cell, and consequently the first life, in the prebiotic primordial soup.
In other words, that was a time when chemical and physical processes were not yet dependent on the presence of living beings. (Gods from Outer Space.) The “short step” to the evolution of homo sapiens ostensibly comes into the theory of evolution in a peaceful development without revolutionary intervention. The core of Monod’s thesis is that the decisive event of life coming into being took place once and once only.
Life as a winner of nature’s lottery? Although the atheistic professor’s ideas may have an impeccable scientific foundation, the decisive question still remains unanswered. What primordial force prepared the chemical substances for the coming into being of life? Whence came the ingredients for the primordial soup on which the first life swam like the circles of fat on top of consommé? Out of the atmosphere, of course, answers science.
But that answer does not satisfy me. Like a curious child I ask: where did the atmosphere come from? From the envelope of the cooling earth, my son. And where did the earth come from? It is a part of the sun, my son. And the sun? It is a part of the Milky Way, my son. Where does the Milky Way come from? It is part of all the other Milky Ways in the universe, my son. And where do those Milky Ways come from? There are only theories about that, my son.
The Russian physicist George Gamow (1904- ), who came to the University of Michigan by way of Paris and London, is known in the scientific world for his knack of inventing catch phrases. He introduced into scientific literature the handy phrase “big bang” to describe the theory which was accepted as most probable in scientific circles that the origin of all worlds and therefore of life was due to a gigantic explosion It is completely credible that the creation began with a “big bang.”
This phenomenon can be observed when a whistling locomotive approaches or recedes. In light waves the spectrum shifts towards blue if the source of light moves towards the observer, and towards red if the source of light moves away from him. The velocity of the movement of all stars can be measured by the Doppler effect, because it has been proved that the stars in all galaxies have the same chemical consistencies and often the same physical conditions as the stars in our Milky Way.
On the basis of this established fact the astrophysicist Edwin Powell Hubble (1889-1953) discovered during his work on cosmic mist and stellar systems at the Mount Wilson Observatory that the shift of the galaxies to red increased as their distance away from us increased.
Professor Hannes Alfven, Professor of Plasma Physics at the Royal Technical College in Stockholm, says:
The frequency of light becomes one per cent smaller if the source of light moves away from us at a speed of one per cent of the speed of light (= 186,000 miles per second). The reader should imagine a colored children’s balloon that has not yet been blown up.
If red dots are added to the deflated balloon and it is then blown up, each of the red dots moves away from the others at a proportional speed, because every dot is pulled faster and further from the others the larger the balloon gets. Obviously one can work out when all the dots were together at one center from the speed given by the distances of the dots from one another and from the directions in which they move.
The age of the universe has been calculated by the red shift method, giving an age of six to ten billion years. Just as everyone had agreed to this estimate, George Abell, Head of the Astronomical Department of the University of California, spoke up in November, 1971 and said:
Scientists of all
disciplines and even philosophers may penetrate ever deeper into the
secret of the atom as the beginning of all things. Atheists may deny
with ever increasing vehemence the existence of a power whom for
want of a better word we call “God.” In the beginning there was a
creation. If the matter composing all the stars comes from the
primordial atom, it is only logical that the stars in all the
galaxies are made of the same stuff, i.e. consist of the same
elements. Either the big bang theory can be proved by the red shift,
in which case all matter was originally compressed into one lump, or
there was no big bang and then nothing can be deduced from the red
shift or the Doppler effect.
On October 29, 1971, the geologists Gosta Vollin and David B. Ericson of Columbia University, New York, announced in Nature that during laboratory experiments they had succeeded in producing amino-acids by irradiating a mixture of four kinds of matter that demonstrably exist in the universe. Almost simultaneously research workers at the Radio-astronomical Observatory of Green Bank, West Virginia, reported that in gas cloud B2 in the constellation of Sagittarius they had found a substance that contains all the prerequisites for the origination of life.
It was cyano-azethylene, the most complicated chemical compound that it has so far been possible to demonstrate in interstellar space. Molecules of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, ammonia, water, hydrocyanide, formaldehyde, formic acid, methyl alcohol and a series of carbohydrates have been shown to exist in the universe, as have amino-acids in meteorites and lunar rocks.
In October, 1971 NASA scientists reported that they could prove the existence of 17 (!) aminoacids - including ones found as protein builders in all terrestrial organisms - in the Murchinson and Murray meteorites (named after the sites in South Australia). The University of Miami found two free protein-building amino-acids, glycin and alanin, in lunar rocks brought back by the crew of Apollo XI.
But where is there room for the “good God" in this fantastic theoretical structure erected by science? The personification of the force that must have existed before the original big bang as God, and the conceptions of this kindly old man produced for the faithful by the cathechists simply blindfold us.
The original prodigious force which existed before the beginning of all being was a neutrum.
In the course of countless discussions I have tried to express this concept of mine by a highly simplified example. Terrible simplificateur!
The explosion takes place. 100 billion bits shoot off in all directions at various speeds depending on their size. The originally centralized computer consciousness no longer exists, but the clever self-destroyer had programmed the future after the explosion. All the magnetic bits with then-separate information will meet again some time at the center of the explosion. Once it is back, each bit adds a new factor, personal experience, to the original “personal consciousness” of the great machine. From the moment of the explosion to the moment of return no “bit” knew that it was a minute part of a larger consciousness and was now going to be so again.
That would all be logical if the concept God had not been loaded in the course of two thousand years with accretions which provide us with a story of the creation suitable for children and savages, but which prevent us from getting to the heart of the real mystery of the creation. But if the phenomenon IT (God) decided to transform itself into matter, then IT is the creation and at the same time a product of its creation.
What does Professor D.L. Pieper of Stanford University say?
Like the computer bits we find ourselves again in a unity. We are parts, minute parts, of the IT, which will find their way back to the infinite cosmological community.
All theories, all philosophies torture themselves with the questions “why” and “whence.”
On the threshold of the third millennium of our era the world is split into five great rival religions and thousands of fanatical sects. With great certainty technology will enable us to establish communications with alien intelligences in the cosmos.
The systems analyst Jay W. Forrester of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has made an extremely detailed study of the rates of human growth and its consequences. The Limits of Growth (May, 1972) is the title of the book in which Professor Dennis Meadows confronted the world with the terrifying future prospects based on Forrester’s calculations. The number of human beings grows daily, hourly.
A human flood is inundating our planet. All men need food, clothing, housing. All men produce refuse and excrement, increase nitrogen. More agricultural land and more raw materials are needed than are available on our planet.
Like the metastasis of a cancer-like tumor the earth’s surface is overgrown with towns and settlements. Yet if man roots up jungles and forests in his dire necessity, he is committing suicide. He is destroying the sources of oxygen. The elixir of life, water, is no longer sufficient even if the oceans and the volume of the polar ice are taken into account. The scientists warn us that the earth will perish before the year 2100.
Starting from this position he would acquire a more balanced sense of his own importance, he could hold on to his world as home and at the same time make a more daring reach for the stars. The future will bring space travel-the moon landings were only a beginning-because we shall need raw materials and also space. But space travel will also bring with it, with a probability bordering on certainty, the encounter with the ‘lord from the other star.”
The places of assembly are necessary, but the rest is superfluous.