Richard Swenson, on the roll of “time” in evolutionary development:
“In his book THE SCIENCE OF GOD
, Gerald L. Schroeder, PhD, explains how the ‘time solves everything’ argument was claimed in 1954 by Harvard biology professor and Nobel laureate George Wald in a Scientific American article entitled ‘The Origin of Life’:
’However improbable we regard this event the start of all life, or any of the steps which it involves, given enough time it will almost certainly happen at least once. And for life as we know it … once may be enough.
’Time is in fact the hero of the plot. The time with which we have to deal is of the order of two billion years. What we regard as impossible on the basis of human experience is meaningless here. Given so much time the ‘impossible’ become the possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait: time itself performs the miracles.’
“It sounded authoritative, and who is going to argue with a Harvard Nobelist? The only trouble is, it was wrong. So wrong, in fact, that twenty-five years later Scientific American made the rather shocking decision to print an unequivocal retraction:
'Although stimulating, this article probably represents one of the very few times in his professional life when Wald has been wrong. Examine his main thesis and see. Can we really form a biological cell by waiting for chance combinations of organic compounds? Harold Morowitz, in his book ENERGY FLOW AND BIOLOGY
, computed that merely to create a bacterium would require more time than the Universe might ever see
if chance combinations of its molecules were the only driving force.’
Richard A. Swenson, MD, is a medical doctor and award winning author of several acclaimed books. He travels extensively, speaking to a variety of business, denominational and government groups on issues of faith and reason, stress, complexity, social change, and management.
“Since 1979, observes Schroeder, reputable scientific journals no longer accept articles that cite the origin of life as rising from random reactions over billions of years. ‘Confirmed evolutionists agree that you just cannot win … The time is just not there.’
“Time, it seems, doesn’t perform miracles,” concludes Swenson. “That is still God’s department (including the clever trick when He reached into a hat and pulled out time itself!).”