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A single-celled irony

A single-celled irony
by David White

Materialists scoff at the idea that the first embryonic cell of Jesus arose miraculously, but they accept that the first living cell arose spontaneously.
Many people have trouble accepting the miracle of Jesus’ virginal conception. It’s often dismissed as a biological impossibility—a myth that belongs to a pre-scientific age. Ironically, however, many people who mock the virgin birth have no trouble accepting a similar “miracle” that, just like the virgin birth, begins with a single cell.

Life begins with a single cell
The New Testament implies that Jesus had a normal gestation time (9 months). Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume that, just like you and me, Jesus began His embryonic development as a single cell. Normally, the first cell is formed when egg meets sperm. This first cell contains the entire human genome—one set of chromosomes from each parent. But since Jesus didn’t have a human father, miraculous intervention was required to bring about this first cell.

People who reject the virgin birth essentially have a problem with the appearance of this first cell. The rest of the nine month process is generally not regarded as miraculous, because it takes place millions of times all over the world each year.

Evolution begins with a single cell
The origin of the first cell is also critically important in evolutionary biology. I remember one of my university lecturers telling us that cells only come from other cells—but then he quickly corrected himself: “except, of course, for the first cell”. According to evolutionary reckoning, all life can be traced back to a single cell, which itself arose from non-living chemicals. But since the simplest cell we know of is horrendously complex, this leaves evolutionists with the unenviable task of explaining how such complexity could arise by chance alone.

Many scientists have acknowledged the magnitude of this problem. For example, New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade confessed: “The chemistry of the first life is a nightmare to explain.” But perhaps the most startling assessment of the problem was given by Francis Crick, the man who won the Nobel Prize for co-discovering the structure of DNA. He surmised: “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, 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” [emphasis added]. So even the self-proclaimed atheist Francis Crick thinks it’s appropriate to use the word ‘miracle’ (albeit reluctantly) to describe the appearance of the first living cell.

Maybe atheists have more in common with Christians than they like to admit. While many scoff at the idea that the first embryonic cell of Jesus arose miraculously, they have no trouble accepting that the first living cell (which supposedly gave rise to all living things) arose ‘miraculously’. This is indeed a single-celled irony.


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  • Quoted from above: "Maybe atheists have more in common with Christians than they like to admit. While many scoff at the idea that the first embryonic cell of Jesus arose miraculously, they have no trouble accepting that the first living cell (which supposedly gave rise to all living things) arose ‘miraculously’. This is indeed a single-celled irony."
    My response: David White is misunderstanding science and misunderstanding atheists. The first cell didn't arise miraculously or "miraculously" as he puts it. Science and atheists don't believe with faith and don't hold with miracles and supernatural explanations. If we don't know something we say so. We may also support and be exited by plausible natural models explaining the unknown. Carbon naturally and readily forms complex molecules, proven. (the building blocks of life) Simple protein cells have been observed to form spontaneously under the right conditions, proven. But
    the origin of life or the "first" cell is still not fully proven and our natural models still require more evidence like repeatability and have a few gaps.
    johnsilver - Posted 49 months ago
  • Quoted: People who reject the virgin birth essentially have a problem with the appearance of this first cell.
    My response: This is not true. A supernatural explanation is what is rejected. Or a natural impossibility is what is rejected.
    David is comparing two different things that doesn't make sense and is anyway simply not true. He attempts to say that people that reject the virgin birth rejects any natural conception.

    He also attempts to prove all of science wrong because there is an answer it doesn't know. Then use that as evidence that God-done-it.

    Just because we don't know everything doesn't mean we are wrong.

    The virgin birth requires a miracle. It has nothing to do with single cell irony.

    What is ironic is that David White is happy to use scientific words like "embryonic development" and "genome"
    johnsilver - Posted 49 months ago

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