We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.

Buddhadasa Bikkhu, a Thai Buddhist Monk

Monday, February 6, 2012

Getting Closer

British scientists at the Universities of York and Nottingham report having taken a step towards understanding the origins of life on Earth. At some point, obviously, life had to emerge from lifelessness, and how that happened has remained a mystery. The University of York reports (here) that, "Organic chemists at the University of York have made a significant advance towards establishing the origin of the carbohydrates (sugars) that form the building blocks of life."  The news posting states that,
All biological molecules have an ability to exist as left-handed forms or right-handed forms. All sugars in biology are made up of the right-handed form of molecules and yet all the amino acids that make up the peptides and proteins are made up of the left-handed form. 
The researchers found using simple left-handed amino acids to catalyse the formation of sugars resulted in the production of predominately right-handed form of sugars. It could explain how carbohydrates originated and why the right-handed form dominates in nature.
This doesn't mean that scientist can now explain precisely how non-life became life, but it does mean that they are on the track of that explanation and that it is likely to be only a matter of time until they solve the puzzle of life.  Then, of course, our militant atheist friends will trumpet the achievement as further proof that there is no God while the creationists retreat to a new hidey-hole of things science can't yet explain to take their stand against evolution.  The atheists still won't be able to explain why matter had the potential to become life, and the creationists will still be denying the actual nature of the universe in order to protect a totally unnecessary interpretation of Genesis 1-2.  Between rejection and denial stands another faith possibility, one that sees in the cumulative findings of science insights into the nature of God's creation and thus, dimly, some sense of how God is at work in a continuing act of creation superintended among us by the Spirit of God.  It is one of the ongoing themes of Rom Phra Khun that we can embrace the findings of science without fear because they reflect creation's Creator, again however dimly.  Amen.