Aliens Creation/evolution

The cosmos might be mostly devoid of life

That is the headline of an articlewritten by the British-Australian theoretical physicist and astrobiologist Paul Davies in the September 2016 Issue of the Scientific American magazine. Wow! Finally the evolutionists are waking up. This is what biblical creationists have been saying for decades. What an admission from probably the most popular level ‘science’ magazine and a leading promoter of the evolutionary paradigm.

SCIAM 2016 Sept Issue image
Image from Paul Davies article in SCIAM 2016 September Issue. The image represents the search of mankind in the cosmos for other sources of life. Credit: Tim Bower

Davies article is subtitled “We still have no idea how easy it is for life to arise—and it may be incredibly difficult.” Actually the Creator told us a long time ago, in the Bible, how it was done and it took a Creator God to do it so we might reasonably infer that it is not easy to do. Since then mankind has discovered the science of genetics and we now know it is incredibly complex (that is an understatement from a non-specialist). Just look through all the peer-reviewed journals on the origin of first life on Earth 3.8 billion years ago. Yeah right! — that’s the problem, there aren’t any!

On the alleged evolution of life Charles Darwin was clueless thinking it was like mixing paint; just add blue and yellow and you’ll get green. His notion was that simple organisms could add new information as the need arose, just add the right pre-biotic soup ingredients and hey presto! But genetics has now told us that it is just not that simple. And that does not even touch on the problem of the first life–the origin of living organisms from lifeless chemistry.2

Paul Davies thus writes that when he

“… was a student in the 1960s, almost all scientists believed we are alone in the universe. The search for intelligent life beyond Earth was ridiculed; one might as well have professed an interest in looking for fairies.”

And that the origin of life that gave rise to all organisms on Earth

“… was widely assumed to have been a chemical fluke of such incredibly low probability it would never have happened twice.”

Even the famous Nobel laureate who co-discovered the DNA helix Sir Francis Crick is quoted as saying back then:

“The origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle” … “so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.”

And finally he quotes Jacques Monod from his 1976 book Chance and Necessity:

“Man knows at last that he is alone in the indifferent immensity of the universe, whence which he has emerged by chance.”

The reasons for these beliefs back in the 1960s was that it was beginning to be understood the immense difficulty of lifeless chemistry spontaneously forming a self-replicating organism. But also what underlies these beliefs is that there is no Creator. So for life to have arisen once on Earth billions of years ago, putting it outside the realm of science to even verify, can only be assigned to a total fluke, because essentially it is impossible to have occurred even just once.

In his article Paul Davies continues:

Today the pendulum has swung decisively the other way. Many distinguished scientists proclaim that the universe is teeming with life, at least some of it intelligent. Biologist Christian de Duve went so far as to call life “a cosmic imperative.” Yet the science has hardly changed. We are almost as much in the dark today about the pathway from nonlife to life as Charles Darwin was when he wrote, “It is mere rubbish thinking at present of the origin of life; one might as well think of the origin of matter.” (emphasis added)

With the last few years we have seen a massive increase in the discovery of exoplanets–planets around other star systems–that could potentially support life. Now there are thousands of candidates and hundreds confirmed. But SETI–the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence–has turned up absolutely nothing. There was even the much touted discovery of Earth 2.03 but where are the news bulletins of even bacterial life found on Mars or on some moon of Saturn or Jupiter? There aren’t any! Even the only potential message from space, the Wow! communication, has now been relegated to have been generated by a natural source.4  Paul Davies writes:

Yet because we do not know the process that transformed a mishmash of chemicals into a living cell, with all its staggering complexity, it is impossible to calculate the probability that life has actually arisen on these planets.

Then the belief that life is common in the Universe–so common in fact that it must always arise–was not based on probability but….

on a tacit assumption that biology is not the upshot of random chemical reactions but the product of some kind of directional self-organization that favors the living state over others—a sort of life principle at work in nature. There may be such a principle, but if so we have found no evidence for it yet.

For all the looking, no life has ever been found, and more importantly, even on this planet, no mechanism has ever been discovered that might indicate, outside of a Creator God, how life arose here in the first instance.

I am sorry but this article has really been written by Paul Davies. It is hard to make a more precise informed comment than he has done here. It is also quite an admission by Scientific American.


  1. Paul Davies, The Cosmos Might Be Mostly Devoid of Life, Scientific American, September 2016.
  2. J.G. Hartnett, Cosmic evolution–Myth or Fact, January 13, 2014.
  3. J.G. Hartnett, Life on Earth 2.0–Really?, August 13, 2015.
  4. J.G. Hartnett,Wow! Communications from little green men, April 5, 2016.

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By John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.