Here is my third offering this week in remembrance of my grandfather. Antony Flew, the famous former atheist, addresses the problem of the purpose and origin of life.
“Let us first look at the nature of life from a philosophical standpoint. Living matter possesses an inherent goal or end-centered organization that is nowhere present in the matter that preceded it.”
"The first challenge is to produce a materialistic explanation for "the very first emergence of living matter from non-living matter. In being alive, living matter possesses a teleological organization that is wholly absent from everything that preceded it." The second challenge is to produce an equally materialist explanation for "the emergence, from the very earliest life-forms which were incapable of reproducing themselves, of life-forms with a capacity for reproducing themselves. Without the existence of such a capacity, it would not have been possible for different species to emerge through random mutation and natural selection. Accordingly, such mechanism cannot be invoked in any explanation of how life-forms with this capacity first 'evolved' from those that lacked it." Conway concludes that these biological phenomena "provide us with reason for doubting that it is possible to account for existent life-forms in purely materialistic terms and without recourse to design.”
"Paul Davies observes that most theories of biogenesis have concentrated on the chemistry of life, but "life is more than just complex chemical reactions. The cell is also an information storing, processing and replicating system. We need to explain the origin of this information, and the way in which the information processing machinery came to exist." He emphasizes the fact that a gene is nothing but a set of coded instructions with a precise recipe for manufacturing proteins. Most important, these genetic instructions are not the kind of information you find in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics; rather, they constitute semantic information. In other words, they have a specific meaning. These instructions can be effective only in a molecular environment capable of interpreting the meaning in the genetic code. The origin question rises to the top at this point. 'The problem of how meaningful or semantic information can emerge spontaneously from a collection of mindless molecules subject to blind and purposeless forces presents a deep conceptual challenge.'”
"The Nobel Prize–winning physiologist George Wald once famously argued that 'we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose"spontaneously by chance.' In later years, he concluded that a preexisting mind, which he posits as the matrix of physical reality, composed a physical universe that breeds life:.. This, too, is my conclusion. The only satisfactory explanation for the origin of such "end-directed, self-replicating" life as we see on earth is an infinitely intelligent Mind.", [Antony Flew with Roy Abraham Varghese, There is a God]
This book can be purchased at many book stores including Amazon.com, or as an e version at various sources including e-books. I own both. A hardback copy to keep, and an e copy for quoting.
Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: