A frequent and unusual question that believers tend to bring up when “proving” god is on the origins of life.
“How do you think we were created?”
“I don’t believe we arose by chance.”
Frankly, I think this sort of questions is kinda redundant when discussing the existence of god. I’ll explain…
Abiogenesis is the process and the study of how life arose from inanimate matter. Some may find the idea itself implausible, citing that it is impossible for non-life to create life. However, if you know what life is, you would realize that organisms are essentially a unique arrangement of chemicals and chemical reactions.
Abiogenesis is still in its early stages – There isn’t any established theories yet. Right now, there are several competing hypotheses and research is still under way. One such hypothesis is the RNA World Hypothesis.
At this moment in time, Science do not have the complete answer to the origins of life. All we know is this: It is possible that inanimate matter produce life but we don’t know exactly how.
Destroying the False Dichotomy
At this moment, some theists may jump and say “AH HA! You don’t know how life arose! Obviously, God did it.”
Not understanding the origin of life does not automatically imply it had to be god. That would be a false dichotomy.
Besides, god is the massive non-answer. If god is defined as the creator of life and life exist, thus the conclusion is god did it – You’ve just engaged incircular reasoning.
Here’s a video that makes the point:
The thing that made the things for which there is no known maker.
Let me say this here. If tomorrow, all the scientists say that all their hypotheses on abiogenesis are wrong, it still does not mean that god did it. The correct response would be I don’t know.
Saying “I don’t know”
If there is an unexplained phenomenon, it does not imply that cause must be supernatural. The unexplained is simply the unexplained. However improbable or counter-intuitive anything is, it does not require us to jump straight for a supernatural. That is unwarranted and irrational.
Indeed, it may be uncomfortable to not know how life arose or why the universe exist, but such gaps in our knowledge does not grant us the right to attribute it to god. But there is people who do that and hence the term: The God of the Gaps.
Such actions are not harmless, they are actively harmful. If one accepted the god of the gaps as the answer, one stops any attempts to seek the truth.
“I don’t know” is not that hard to say – It’s an honest response.
Science and Progress in Knowledge
Unusually, some people see “We don’t know yet” as a weakness of Science. They are too used to receiving dogmas that assert absolute certainty without evidence.
Science is an active search for truth. It gathers evidence and create hypotheses. It test those hypothesis and when they withstood scrutiny, they are established as theories. The Scientific method is the best tool humanity has to distinguish fact from fantasy.
As an active search for truth, it doesn’t have all the answer yet. And the scientific community is simply being honest when it says “We don’t know”. Compare this with dogmatic baseless assertions that religions make in spite being contradicted in several instances, I’ll pick science any day.
Related video: Science, it works!
This article was first published in Atheozoa. Reproduced with permission.