5.3 What Is Life? The Evolutionary View

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Evolutionists regard life as an exclusively material process. In this vein. B.O. Küppers mentions four necessary criteria for the existence of life [K3, p. 53–55]:

  • The ability to procreate
  • The ability to mutate
  • The ability of metabolic interchanges (change)
  • The ability to evolve in the Darwinian sense.
The presuppositional role of evolution is immediately clear.

The presuppositional role of evolution is immediately clear (see basic assumption E1). It is thus not strange that an evolutionist straitjacket exists in connection with the origin of life. This leads to the following conclusion: Life is purely a material process and it is therefore possible to describe it in physico-chemical terms. It differs from inanimate nature only in its complexity.

From this point of departure it is therefore possible to study the origin of life, as, for example, Hans Kuhn sees it [K5, p. 838–839]: “The hypothesis that the origin of life was a physico-chemical process that necessarily had to happen under certain conditions, is our point of departure. . . . We expect that (through random variations) self-organizing and self-replicating systems will blindly and automatically arise, and our aim is to understand how the known genetic equipment came into existence during the available time of earth’s history.” At the beginning of the 20th century, Ernst Haeckel was so carried away by his evolutionist euphoria that he told Emil H. Fischer, a chemical scientist who studied proteins [W1, p. 82]: “Stick to your researches, some day they will begin to crawl.” In the same vein, Friedrich Engels defined life as “the special form in which protein particles exist.” M. Eigen regards life as a hyper cycle, and G. and H. von Wahlert reduce it to simply [W1, p. 79]: “. . . an organized condition of matter.” In contrast to the time before Darwin, life was regarded quite differently after his time [W1, p. 73]: “Darwin changed spiritual man into the product of a materialistic development.” Nevertheless, Kuhn hopes to overcome the intellectual problems regarding such a reductionism [K3, p. 838]: “The deeply ingrained perception that a system as complex as the genetic equipment could never have been produced by chance, and that the origin of living organisms was a physico-chemical phenomenon, had a strong influence on philosophical thought. The present work is an attempt to overcome this psychological problem.”

The evolutionistic definition of life leads to the simple formula:

Life = complex matter = a function of (chemistry + physics) (L1)

The well-known evolutionistic biologist E. Mayr bemoans the fact that especially scientists in the exact sciences are not willing to accept such materialism [M1, p. 395]: “The objection most frequently raised against evolution during the past century, was that the theory was materialistic . . . the most exact scientists, the physicists and mathematicians, try to point out the inadequacies of evolution. When I addressed a small group in Copenhagen, Niels Bohr expressed his strong doubts. Since then this doubt even became the topic of scientific conferences.” Indeed, the number of doubters on scientific grounds is increasing steadily. For many years, a new science, informatics, has progressively been growing in importance. From this vantage point, completely new insights into the true nature of life emerged. E. Jantsch believed [J1, p. 411] that natural history, including the history of man, could be regarded as the history of the organization of matter and energy. But our point of departure in the next section is that information is a central factor of all life-forms.

Did God Use Evolution?

According to the view of theistic evolution, God started the process of evolution and guided and steered it over millions of years. As an information scientist, Werner Gitt critically analyzes and rejects the assumptions and consequences of the doctrine of theistic evolution.

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