Comment: I'll try to answer, BugMan.

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SteveMT's picture

I'll try to answer, BugMan.

I understand what you are saying that no total extinction events have occurred since life first began here. Got it. The point I was trying to make was there was a burst of life over a relatively short period of time, like a mini-creation, during this Cambrian Explosion. If life was able to start on earth from nothing once, just given sufficient time and repeated rolling of the dice, why not again after we have offed ourselves or after some other cataclysmic event? It's just a matter of time and chance, if nothing else special was involved. The question is did life begin here as a random event, i.e. deterministic forces of matter? In other words, the same life generating process that occurred on earth would occur in the same way on another earth given the same circumstances in a different part of the universe. If it was no big deal here, why not a second time somewhere else? We believe that there is a high probability of a lot more life out there in the universe. The distances are just too vast to locate it.

To you question: A God-controlled evolution is my best assumption. The genetic code links all earthly life together, from bacteria up to us. That is the best evidence for evolution that there is. The same code links everything together. However, ontogeny does not recapitulate phylogeny as put forward by Haeckel. Even with a protein that is only 20 amino acids long, there is not enough carbon on the planet to have even one molecule of each possible protein of this length existing at the same time. In other words, there were "preferred sequences" that were used not just pure random events. Hemoglobin is over 500 amino acids long. The possible functional molecules for something this large would be even more restricted. My belief is that there was at least some divinity involved with life starting here. Hawking and perhaps you also would disagree.

Hawking - “The question is: is the way the universe began chosen by God for reasons we can’t understand, or was it determined by a law of science. I believe the second,” Hawking writes in The Grand Design.

“If you like, you can call the laws of science ‘God,’ but it would be a personal God that you could meet, and ask questions.”