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Basic Worldview:
102 Atheism vs. Theism

Empirical Evidence

Prelude: "Atheism/Theism" vs. "Science, the Bible, & Creation"
Atheism: Introduction and Charges
Charge 1, Deduction and Induction
Charge 2, Question 1
Charge 2, Questions 2 and 3
Charge 2, Summary and Question 4
Charges 3 and 4, Definitions
Empirical Evidence
Scientists Acting as Mechanisms, Article 1
Scientists Acting as Mechanisms, Article 2
Scientists Acting as Mechanisms, Article 3
Occam's Razor and Conclusions
Footnote 1
Footnote 2 and 3
Proof of Life
Not Theories, Unsubstantiated Hypotheses 1
Not Theories, Unsubstantiated Hypotheses 2
Not Theories, Unsubstantiated Hypotheses 3
Not Theories, Unsubstantiated Hypotheses 4
Scientists: Life on Earth Imported from Outer Space
Atheisms Circle of Reasons
Is God a White Crow?

Now we will turn our attention to an examination of the available empirical evidence to see if it necessitates the conclusion that the First Cause was intelligent in order to explain the universe (including its content, and specifically, the content of life in the universe.)

What options do we have for explaining the origin of life?

Atheists and Agnostics suggest that some natural law or perhaps a universal algorithm caused life to come into existence. However, as stated in the beginning, this is a matter of induction. We have no direct access to natural laws. We derive truths about general laws based upon specific instances of those laws at work or specific instances of observed effects. In order to suggest that life came about as the effect of a natural law, one would have to observe a natural law producing life. No empirical evidence exists of a natural law producing life.

It is an absolute and undeniable fact that no human was around to observe the origination of amino acids, proteins, DNA, RNA, the cell membrane, cell energy utilization, or the replication processes involved in life. No one was around to observe the environment that these things originated in. Therefore, it is also an absolute and undeniable fact that no humans have observed a natural law or algorithm bringing these things about originally on earth.

Since no one has ever observed the origin of these things on earth, how do we know that they were produced by natural laws or algorithms? What empirical evidence then do Atheists and Agnostics offer in order to suggest that life can be produced by unintelligent causes such as a natural law or algorithm?

As evidence that life can be produced by unintelligent causes Atheists and Agnostics rely upon previous and ongoing scientific experimentation. Specifically they point to laboratory experiments in which scientists attempt to produce life from non-living material.

In their labs, scientists construct environments (even on a microscopic level) designed to study the possibility of generating cell components and living cells (or their precursors) from basic molecular elements. These environments can include fluid motion (to simulate possible waves and currents in pools of water), electronic charges (to simulate natural electrical occurrences such as lightning), and ultraviolet heat lamps (to simulate solar radiation.) Now, these environments the scientists construct are necessarily conducive (or at least permissive) to producing results that correspond with the scientists' hypothesis that life could evolve from simple molecular and atomic particles. It is these experiments that Atheists and Agnostics rely upon to demonstrate their claim that life can result from unintelligent causes.

Enter the Question: What exactly have such scientists proven?

Do these experiments prove that life can arise from natural laws? Do these experiments demonstrate that life can be produced by algorithms? In short, do these experiments demonstrate that life can result from unintelligent causes?

No, absolutely not. But why not?

As we will show using specific examples, the available experimentation to date relies upon scientists, who are themselves intelligent agents, acting as the mechanisms creating either the environments or the proto-cell components that natural forces do not produce by themselves. Or in other words, in these experiments, which scientists hail as proof of life from unintelligent processes, it is not some hypothetical natural force, which causes the proto-cell's assembly, but instead it is the intelligent intervention of the scientists. (For a series of quotations exemplifying how modern scientists assert these experiments as proof of life coming from unintelligent forces, please visit our follow-up article entitled, "Proof of Life.")

The unintelligent natural forces that scientists hypothesize could produce a living cell are completely absent leaving scientists to fill in the gaps themselves where nature leaves off. Thus, these experiments have produced no empirical evidence indicating these hypothetical cell-producing natural forces actually exist. But to the contrary, since the relative success of these experiments relies wholly on the intelligent intervention of the scientists to do things nature isn't doing, these experiments, therefore, actually provide empirical evidence that intelligent agency is necessary to produce life.

That bears repeating. As we will demonstrate, these experiments, which scientists and Atheists hail as evidence that life can arise through unintelligent natural forces actually demonstrate the opposite, that an intelligent agent must have been directing the assembly of the cell.

Think about it. Atheists and Agnostics must uphold that a living cell could have been formed without the involvement of an intelligent agent. How do they prove this empirically? As our examination of the experiments will show, they have intelligent agents (scientists) either create environments, which don't exist in nature, or engineer cell components themselves when nature fails to do so under experimental conditions. Such empirical evidence can never prove a living cell could come about without an intelligent cause because the experiments themselves employ intelligent agents acting as the mechanisms necessary to create living cells. Far from suggesting that unintelligent causes can produce life, such empirical evidence only proves that intelligent agents can create such environments and, in turn, a living cell.

It seems unavoidable and obvious, you cannot prove life can come from unintelligent agency while using an intelligent agent to bring about life in a laboratory environment. And it is perhaps one of the more ironic truths in life that intelligent agents work in laboratories creating life, not from the natural forces they hypothesize, but through their own intelligent ingenuity and intervention, all the while thinking that somehow they are proving life can evolve without intelligent agency.

Or in other words, since these types of experiments constitute the only empirical evidence available for how life originates in general, then no empirical evidence is available, which is capable of supporting the atheistic/agnostic theory that life can originate from unintelligent causes. All such experiments by their very nature only demonstrate that an intelligent agent can produce life and the environment necessary to facilitate the development of a living cell.

Now, we've just said a mouthful. And we need to back it up with real data.