6. A Series of Divine Coincidences to Create Life?


Section Headings

God-like Creation, Chemical Evolution or Series of Divine Coincidences?

Higher Power Model: Cell’s Mutually Interdependent Systems, Attention & Temporal Sense

Original Bacterium Perfect from Creation 4 Billion Years Ago?

Why haven’t Astro-biologists discovered Life on Other Planets?

Life = Result of Impossibly Random Events? Implications

A Random Event vs. a String of Random Events

15 pages

God-like Creation, Chemical Evolution or Series of Divine Coincidences?

Currently, there is a great debate regarding the origin(s) of Life. There are almost as many theories as there are scientists. Why? Theoreticians tend to interpret the data from their own perspective. This lack of scientific consensus is merely an indication of the problem’s complexity.

A huge shadow looms over the entire debate – the Biblical story of creation. Did God create Life in an instant or did animate matter instead gradually evolve from inanimate matter in series of distinct and replicable processes? Spontaneous generation or evolution?

Virtually all scientists agree that Life arises from Life. This understanding implies that every life form that exists today is due to reproduction. New life forms do not arise spontaneously, as was the belief for thousands of years.

In the 19th century, Louis Pasteur’s research regarding microorganisms dispelled this notion for good, at least for scientifically minded individuals. This line of research ousted the belief that springtime greenery from bare ground was the result of vitalism, i.e. spontaneous generation.

However, it didn’t eliminate the idea, just pushed it back billions of years to the first self-replicating bacterium. Did this initial bacterium ‘evolve’ from inanimate Matter in a series of distinct chemical steps? Or did it come into being via spontaneous generation, e.g. a lightning bolt or a Divine Hand?

To deal with this question, researchers in the field have added a new tool into their box – Emergence. The idea of emergence states that one can’t predict the qualities of a mixture from its components. For instance, the hydrogen and oxygen atoms making up a water molecule provide very little, if any, information regarding the qualities of water. In ancient times, copper and tin, both soft metals, were combined to form bronze, a hard metal. In both cases, the wetness of the water and the hardness of bronze are considered to be emergent properties.

Employing this line of reasoning, origins scientists are claiming that Life is an emergent property of Matter. If inanimate molecules are combined in just the right way, living systems emerge spontaneously. Rather than a single combination, this model claims that Life arose naturally from a series of complex emergent processes. Stated with our initial terminology, the first life form was ultimately the result of spontaneous generation from non-living Matter, a position that most scientists believe1. Further they are committed to the idea that these processes can be replicated in a laboratory – eventually. Right now there are some huge mysteries, some say insurmountable, that have yet to be resolved.

Let us employ this ‘emergence’ tack with the mysterious Attention. Attention is an undisputed quality of all living systems, from single celled bacteria to multi-cellular organisms. There is also a scientific consensus that Attention is associated with the tens of thousands of Integral Membrane Proteins (IMPs) that are embedded, as the name implies, in the cellular membrane.

IMPs are the prime feature of the cell’s sensory motor network. These complex proteins enable cells to both sense and respond to environmental stimuli, both internal and external. Simply put, Attention is an emergent property of the collective IMPs.

While IMPs are individual and reflex based (stimulus-response), Attention is collective and ‘decision’ based (monitor and adjust). IMPs merely respond to a single stimuli. Attention takes the welfare of entire organism into account, for instance whether to move towards food or away from a toxic environment.

Although Attention could be an emergent feature of IMPs, this simple statement neglects some major, if not insurmountable, difficulties associated with the Material Evolution model. For instance how did IMPs, as a feature of a mutually interdependent holistic system, evolve from Matter, which belongs to a reductionist, atomistic system? Origins researchers would, of course, assert ever so cautiously that a long chain of emergent leaps due rising chemical complexity eventually gave rise to IMPs. This is certainly a possible, if not implausible, explanation.

As we shall see in the coming chapters and sections of this Notebook, these emergent leaps would be akin to jumping across the Grand Canyon. Further it is not just one Grand Canyon, but rather a long series of Grand Canyons, each with a different set of ‘impossible’ challenges. Complicating matters is the fact that each emergent leap is based upon a long chain of improbabilities.

Plus the closer they look at the relationship between Matter, Life and the Earth, the more complex the problems are. Like the Hydra whose heads multiplied every time one was chopped off, each ‘solution’ seems to give rise to more questions. Rather than closer, they seem to be getting further away from a satisfactory answer. Our intrepid origins researchers are faced with a growing, not shrinking, list of ‘impossible’ leaps of faith. Rather than narrowing in on a solution, the list of problems that must be solved seems to be expanding.

Due to this growing number of difficulties with their Chemical Model for Life’s Origin, this Notebook suggests and develops the implications of another creation model. Rather than based upon the ‘evolution’ of Matter (Science) or upon Spontaneous Creation (Divine or otherwise), our model integrates scientific finding with a higher power.

Rather than violating any laws of matter by creating so-called miracles, our divine force simply plays with the laws of probability. This higher power arranges a series of divine (impossible) coincidences that result in the ‘emergent’ birth of the first self-replicating, evolving bacterium. Origins research is justified.

One of the implications of this model is a sense of time. This temporal sense is also associated with Attention. Rather than an instant, attending occurs over a series of moments. Because this capability is omnipresent in all living things including themselves, researchers seem to have forgotten, or conveniently ignored, the fact that Matter does not have this capability.

As developed, Attention also exists in a different temporal dimension than does Matter. Due to its circular or spiral nature, Attention’s dimension of time enables Experience, a keystone of Life. Due to its importance, this temporal dimension is sometimes referred to as Attention’s Realm of Experience.

Because Attention et al exist in a different temporal dimension, their very existence and laws are invisible to the material scientists/mathematicians. Data Stream Dynamics provides the mathematical system that underlies this Realm of Existence that is unique to Life. As the interaction of Attention and Matter, Life participates in both temporal dimensions, as does our presumed Higher Power.

The following pages develop each of these topics in more detail.

Higher Power Model Accounts for Cell’s Mutually Interdependent Systems, Attention & Temporal Sense

3 unsurmountable problem areas for Chemical Model of Life

Although origins of life researchers have made some headway, they still face some seemingly insurmountable obstacles. We have identified three major problem areas. They concern qualities that differentiate living matter from inanimate matter. In contrast to material systems, living systems are:

1) Holistic (Mutual Interdependency of internal systems)

2) Dynamic and regenerative content

3) Intentional relationship with Information (Attention)

Time to entertain novel Providence Model

Due to these enormous gaps between the chemical model and reality, let us entertain another possibility - a different model. It falls under the heading of Providence or A Series of Divine Coincidences.

Higher Power coordinates series of random events to create material conditions for Life

Under this model, a higher power than Life or Matter employed the elements of the early Earth to coordinate a series of ‘impossibly’ random events. These ‘miraculous’ coincidences took advantage of the emergent properties associated with Matter’s ability to self-organize into ever more complex arrangements. Eventually these ‘divine’ coincidences resulted in the material conditions that are necessary for Life.

Last step: Providence infuses Matter with Attention = Life

In the last of these ‘impossible’ developmental steps, Providence (the Universe) infused Matter with the capacity for Attention. This infusion resulted in Life – the first bacterium, complete with the abilities to survive, replicate and evolve.

Attention accompanied by ID system & Temporal Sense

Along with Attention came Life’s Information Digestion System (ID system)2.This system employs the image overlay process to transform Raw Data Streams into a useable form. Life employs these Digested Data Streams to make the informed decisions necessary for survival et al as a unitary entity. Accompanying Life’s ability to digest and analyze information is the associated and necessary ability to sense the passage of time.

Model accounts for several Mysteries: temporal sense & interactive relation w/info

This explanation accounts for several mysteries. These ‘divinely’ infused capabilities, i.e. info analysis and a temporal sense, enable both the cell’s holistic system and her ability to ‘monitor and adjust’ to a dynamic environment.

Instantaneous Creation solves problem of mutually interdependent systems

Under this model, Life with its capacity for Attention occurs all at once, rather in stages. Instantly, we have a holistic system with dynamic and regenerative content and an intentional relationship with information. In such a way, this Higher Power model solves the problem of mutually interdependent systems et al.

Providence model continues to rely upon emergent properties of self-organizing Matter to produce Divine Coincidence

 Although somewhat miraculous (as is the scientifically-accepted Big Bang theory), our Providence model for Life’s origins continues to rely upon the self-organizing properties of Matter that origins researchers have uncovered: the spontaneously created monomers, the self-assembling membranes, metabolic-like processes, etc. In brief, Providence took advantage of the emergent properties resulting from Matter’s growing chemical complexity. In this sense, the Earth’s substance had to self-assemble into the components conducive to Life. Only then could Providence arrange the Divine Coincidences that produced the first self-replicating, evolving bacterium with all its wondrous properties.

Bioscience: Providence unnecessary as Attention emergent property. Maybe

Of course, the bio-scientific community would claim that the Providence construct is unnecessary. Attention is simply an emergent feature of unimaginable material and chemical complexity. It could be. We are not really arguing this indeterminate Mystery.

Not minimizing discoveries, just claiming their model lacking an entire dimension

Nor does our model sidestep the marvelous discoveries of origins researchers. Indeed, we reside in their bosom. We are just claiming they are missing a piece – an entire dimension of the Puzzle.

While Matter exists in one temporal dimension, Life participates in both

We are only claiming that Matter infused with Attention, i.e. Life, has properties that can’t be accounted for by the standard Chemical Model. Indeed, according to our model, Attention operates in different time zone and realm of existence from the Chemistry of inanimate Matter. Further rather than Matter’s deterministic Calculus, Data Stream Dynamics, a unique non-material mathematical system based upon the image overlay process, reveals the patterns of Attention. While Matter only exists in one of time’s dimension, Life participates in both.

Not attempting proof, just interested in implications of Higher Power Model

Under this perspective, it doesn’t really concern us whether Attention is an emergent property of Matter’s complexity or whether the Universe infused Matter with Attention. The overall intent of this paper is not to ‘prove’ that a Higher Power was responsible for Life (although I believe it to be.) Rather, we are mainly interested in the implications of the Higher Power model.

Original Bacterium Perfect from Creation 4 Billion Years Ago?

The Higher Power model also provides a plausible explanation for another origins of Life mystery. Or vice versa, this origins mystery provides additional support for the Higher Power model. This question mark surrounds the perfection of the original bacterium.

To understand Life’s beginnings, researchers employ both bottom-up and top-down approaches. The bottom-up approach examines the material conditions of the early Earth and then attempts to determine the chemical steps that might have occurred that would have enabled the emergence of Life from the growing material complexity. Due to the insurmountable problems associated with this approach, we have proposed the Higher Power model.

The top-down approach starts with the present state of living systems and then works back to the first evidence of life. Intriguingly, the first fossils from almost 4 billion years ago when the Earth was just forming are strikingly similar, indeed virtually identical, to modern day bacteria. In other words, while some bacteria eventually evolved into multi-cellular organisms, some bacteria have remained the same for 4 billion years.

While there is no fossil or chemical evidence for any intermediate stages between matter and the first bacterium, origins researchers have proposed many models for this missing piece of their puzzle. For instance, DNA cannot reproduce itself without proteins. And cells require DNA to produce proteins. As such, ‘neither DNA nor proteins can exist in modern cells without the other.3’ To solve this conundrum, origins researchers have proposed an intermediate RNA world.

Just as there are huge gaps in their understanding of the actual creation of Life from the bottom-up approach, there are equally insurmountable problems associated with the top-down approach. Besides no fossil evidence, how did the RNA world transition into the DNA world? And how did Matter evolve into the RNA world?

Let us suppose that Life is instead the result of an unimaginably large, once in the age of the Universe, string of random coincidences. The extreme impossibility of this chain of events suggests that there was a divine force, rather than random coincidence, nudging Matter in the proper direction. Then in an instant, Matter was infused with Life; no intermediate steps.

Unbelievable? How about the Big Bang? Also occurred in an instant from nothing. If Matter came into existence instantaneously, why not Life. Big Bang – Divine Creation, equally miraculous.

This Instantaneous Creation Model provides an explanation as to why the first bacterium are virtually identical to modern bacteria. Life was perfect from the original Creation. The first perfect bacterium replicated a perfect pair of bacteria and so on and so forth. Then some random mutations during the early duplication process generated different kinds of living perfection. Evolution has merely made living systems more interesting, e.g. the emergence of humans with our self-reflective consciousness.

Why haven’t Astro-biologists discovered Life on Other Planets?

There is yet another mystery associated with origins research. Question: Given the abundant funding, the increased sophistication of our spaceships, the incredible power of our newly created telescopes, and our deeper scientific understanding, why haven’t scientists been able to find Life on other planets despite nearly a century of effort? Because their funding is dependent upon discovering evidence of extraterrestrial life, scientists don’t mention it much.

A visiting astro-physicist at the UCSB Institute for Advanced Physics summarized the state of affairs. When she first entered her field a few decades ago, there were only 8 conditions that a planet had to have to be considered for having the possibility of Life. Due to the limited technology of the time period, telescopes and spaceships could not even detect other solar systems and their planets. Astro-biologists had to make educated guesses based upon single stars or collection of stars. Since that time, astro-physicists have been able to detect actual planets in faraway solar systems via increasingly powerful telescopes combined with information from spaceships that travel ever farther into the Universe. Despite these technological advances, the number of planetary candidates for Life’s possibility has been dwindling and getting ever further away.

Why? There are at least two reasons. First, advances in astrophysics have led to the understanding that our solar system is special. For instance, our planetary orbits have been relatively fixed for 4 billion years. In most solar systems that have been detected, the planets are gradually moving in, rather than residing in fixed orbits. This inward drift alone reduces the number of candidates considerably.

Second, the number of planetary conditions necessary for Life has jumped from 8 to over 20 over the subsequent decades, and seems to be growing. This expansion in the number of requirements is due to an ever-increasing understanding of the dynamic conditions necessary for Life. For instance, a planet must now have the possibility of plate tectonics and a molten core to create a changeable weather system. Further this weather system must fall within a certain range to support life. Not too turbulent, not too static. The Goldilocks effect.

In brief, the increased scientific understanding of solar systems combined with the knowledge of the conditions necessary for Life has reduced the number of planetary candidates to distant galaxies, which are barely observable even through our most powerful telescopes. Geologists and astrobiologists are coming to an increasing understanding of how special our Earth and solar system really are. Despite technological advances and the billions of billions of stars and solar systems, they are having an increasingly difficult time discovering a single planetary match for the Earth. Rather than origins, the field is becoming the origin of Life -  as in only once.

The Higher Power model provides an explanation for this miraculously ‘random’ event.

Life = Result of Impossibly Random Events? Implications

What do scientists think about this model? Dr. Hazen, our origins of Life expert, says that scientists are committed to reasonable random behavior. If they discovered that Life only occurred once from a miraculously rare coincidence, it would invalidate origins research. They would never be able to replicate Life in a laboratory. Scientists would have to admit that there is no cellular Life elsewhere in the Universe. The Earth is the only place that replicating, evolving living systems exist.

Paul Dirac, the founder of Quantum Electrodynamic, is on the same page as Hazen. Due to his many achievements, some consider Dirac to be the most influential mathematician scientist of the 20th century, including Einstein. This influential thinker is even more extreme than Hazen in his assessment of the origins of Life.

According to Dirac’s crystal-clear reasoning, there are two logical possibilities. 1) Establishing the chemical origins of Life proves that we live in a deterministic universe that obeys the laws of higher mathematics. 2) Conversely, conclusively establishing that the creation of Life is an impossibly random event, proves the existence of God. Rather than just invalidating a line of research, the ‘Impossibly Random’ conclusion is proof of God.

This is quite a statement coming from Dirac, who was a committed atheist.

“If I understand Dirac correctly, his meaning is this: There is no God; and Dirac is his prophet.” Wolfgang Pauli, Nobel Laureate

As this quotation from Pauli suggests, Dirac was not merely neutral, but rather the ‘prophet’ of atheism - unambiguous in his beliefs.

As do most biologists and origins of life researchers, Dirac held the belief that Life evolved chemically from Matter. He was convinced that this chemical approach was going to be successful eventually. If so, this would prove that we live in a deterministic Universe governed by strict mathematical laws, at least according to his ‘impeccable’ logic.

However, he understood logically that this chemical approach might not be successful. If not and scientists instead came to the definitive understanding that Life occurred due to an unbelievably large chain of random coincidences; then this would be proof that a god or higher power exists.

Completing his existence as a human in 1984, Dirac died before researchers had encountered the mounting complexity of living systems, especially cells. Rather than getting closer and closer to a solution, scientists seem to be getting further and further away. With each new discovery comes more new ‘impossible’ requirements.

For instance, the transition from inanimate molecules to Life’s DNA form was a daunting leap. Origins researchers were thrilled when mounting genetic evidence indicated that a ‘RNA world’ preceded the current DNA world. Under this way of thinking the versatile RNA molecule evolved through ‘genetic mutation’ into the superior DNA molecule. Despite the genetic evidence, there is no fossil evidence for this transition. Further, there are now two ‘impossible’ mysteries, rather than one. How did random self-organizing molecules become the RNA world? And how did the RNA world evolve into the current DNA world? Each ‘solution’ to a single problem seems to introduce more questions that are equally mysterious.

Due to the growing mystery, we feel justified in applying Dirac’s logic to the original perfect bacterium problem.

Despite decades of funded research, life’s origins researchers still have some major, if not impossible, hurdles to surmount. Developed earlier: 1) Mutual Interdependence of a Holistic System, 2) Revolving door of molecules, and 3) Intentional Relationship with Information. Because of the impotency of the current approach, let us instead assume that Life is an ‘impossibly’ rare random event that was orchestrated by a higher power. What are logical inferences that can be drawn from this ‘Higher Power’ model of Life’s Creation? Which can’t?

A Random Event vs. a String of Random Events

In order to fully explore the implications of this ‘Higher Power’ model, we must first form a better understanding of random creation from the presumed scientific perspective of both Hazen and Dirac. Why would Life’s random occurrence invalidate Hazen’s research? And why would this impossibly unlikely event transform Dirac, a confirmed atheist, into a Deist?

The probabilities associated with a string of random events (coincidences) is entirely different from a single random event. For instance, winning a lottery is highly improbable, but winning a string of lotteries is next to impossible. Statisticians even have a separate name for a random string – a stochastic process.

The butterfly effect is a rare, but potential consequence of a stochastic process. A stochastic process is a string of random events with one or multiple factors. While throwing two dice multiple times is a simple stochastic process, the weather is an incredibly complicated random sequence of events.

To appreciate the potential complexity, let us understand the origins of life as a stochastic process. Each impossibly improbable coincidence CN sets the stage for the next impossibly improbable coincidence CN+1. CN provides the necessary requirements for the next impossibility CN+1. For instance, the likely generation of monomers set the stage for the improbable generation of biomolecules, which in turn set the stage eventually for the improbable generation of a bacterium.

For the raw materials found on the early Earth, e.g. hydrogen and oxygen in water molecules, to self-organize into the unimaginable complexity of a single cell would certainly require a long string of random coincidences. Plus the stochastic process would include an uncountable number of variables, e.g. heat, pressure, and climatic conditions. As such, the foundation of each coincidence is qualitatively different. Some are associated with natural chemical processes, while others are associated with environmental conditions.

Indeed NASA scientists looking for the possibility of Life on other planets have a growing list of necessary environmental conditions, e.g. a stable orbit for life sustaining seasons, tectonic action, a molten core for wind, and an orbiting moon for tides. When first investigating the possibility of Life on other planets, there were less than 10 requirements that needed to be met for a planet to be considered as a candidate. In the following decades, the number of requirements has ballooned to over 20 and is growing due to an increasing understanding of the importance of a specific geology to sustain life.

For our model to work, the Universe/Higher Power had to arrange divine coincidences in the chemical realm that lined up with divine coincidences in the geological and planetary realms. Each of these events in this cosmic stochastic process had a specific time frame in order to coordinate properly with other stochastic events.

The overall point is that the random improbable possibilities that Hazen and Dirac envision are not associated with a single instantaneous coincidence, but instead a long chain of impossible random events. In other words, the Divine Being did not create material miracles in this scenario. But rather the Providential Universe merely manipulated random probabilities.

No physical laws just a probabilistic nudge here and there. Just below the Uncertainty Principle. Undetectable. Hmmm? 7 standard deviations from the norm/the mean. No Problem. An imperceptible push here and there and two lovers come together under the night sky. This is the logical understanding that would cost Hazen his job and transform Dirac into a Believer.

Reiterating our Divine Creation model is not a single miraculous event as in the Biblical religious traditions or even the Big Bang scientific tradition. Rather than instantaneous, Life’s creation was still chemical, as origins researchers believe. But rather than predictably random like subatomic entities and gas, the formation of Life in this model is based upon an incredibly complicated stochastic process – in this case a sequence of random events with a virtual infinitude of factors. Impossibly Improbable, but logically Possible. No scientific laws violated.

Now that we understand the random impossibilities that frightened Hazen and Dirac, we can explore the implications of our Divine Creation model.


1 Dr. Nowicki, cited above

2 See Information Digestion System #48:1

3 Dr. Nowicki, cited above


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