Chandra Wickramasinghe

Evidence in the Trial at Arkansas, 12/81

This is part of his statement prepared for the court.

"Yet perhaps the most significant single difficulty associated with the neo-Darwinist view of life is that microorganisms are far too complicated. When bacteria were created, or accomplished, or formed as the case might be, it is true to say that 99.99% of the biochemistry of higher life was already discovered. Some 2000 or so enzymes are known to be crucial over a fairly wide spectrum of life ranging from simple micro-organisms all the way up to Man. The variation of amino acid sequences in these enzymes are, on the whole, rather minor. In each enzyme a number of key positions are occupied by almost invariant amino acids. Let us consider how these enzymes sequences could have been derived from a primordial soup containing equal proportions of the 20 biologically important amino acids. At a conservative estimate say 15 sites per enzyme must be fixed to be filled by particular amino acids for proper biological function. The number of trial assemblies needed to find this set is easily calculated to be about 1040,000 - a truly enormous, super astronomical number. And the probability of discovering this set by random shuffling is one in 1040,000 ... There is also a serious difficulty to understand how any re-shuffling of amino acids could occur at all in the context of a canonical terrestrial-style primeval soup. To link two amino acids to gether requires the removal of a water molecule and the supply of some 150 times more energy than heat in the Earth's oceans could supply. In the absence of a joining enzyme used by biology or without and excessively large flux of ultraviolet light at the ocean surface, no new arrangements could be achieved. But even if chemical barriers for the linkages are artificially and micaculously removed, the really vast improbability of 1 in 1040,000 poses a serious dilemma for the whole of evolutionary science. Life could not be an accident, not just on the Earth alone, but anywhere, anywhere at all in the Universe."

"The facts as we now see them point to one of two distinct conclusions: an act of deliberate creation, or an indelible permanence of the patterns of life in a Universe that is eternal and boundless. For those who accept modern cosmological views as gospel truth, the latter alternative might be thought unlikely, and so one might be driven inescapably to accept life as being an act of deliberate creation. Creation would then be brought into the realm of empirical science. The notion of a creator placed outside the Universe posed logical difficulties, and is not the one to which I can easily subscribe. My own philosophical preference is for an essentially eternal, boundless Universe, wherein a creator of life somehow emerges in a natural way. My colleague, Sir Fred Hoyle, has also expressed a similar preference. In the present state of our knowledge about life and about the Universe, an emphatic denial of some form of creation as an explanation for the origin of life implies a blindness to fact and an arrogance that cannot be condoned."

F. Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space, 1981

"the intelligence which assembled the enzymes did not itself contain them ... which by no means need be God, however." p139.

Windows of Creation
Evidence from nature Is the universe designed?
Reasonable faith
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