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Chicken OR Egg
AS THE USS Whitfield County approached the beach at Chu Lai in 1966, the Marines on board got their first sight of Vietnam and first feel for the tropical climate. One ...

Chicken or Egg

It was hot. The sun itself was a burden. It sucked moisture out through the pores of my skin until I felt like a fish left to dry on the sand. Hot. My heavy pack rode in a darkness of sweat on my back as we were ordered into full combat gear for the beach assault. Web gear, pouches, packs, weapons, and ammo. Someone once observed that a Marine was nothing more than a life-support system for his rifle.

This last comment brings to mind another ironic quip—“A chicken is an egg’s way of making another egg.” Or the age-old conundrum—“Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” This apparently unanswerable question actually alludes to one of the great unanswered questions of science—the origin of life. Evolution has explained much about how living things have changed and adapted, but not how it all started.

Scientists exploring the origins of life are confronted with an apparent paradox. DNA stores information to produce proteins and to replicate itself. Proteins are needed to interpret genetic information but are also the product of this interpretation. Biologists continue to speculate on which could have come first: DNA or functioning proteins? And how could either have come into existence without the other? To explain the origin of life, science would have to explain the origin of amino acid and protein sequencing, and the organization of proteins into cells, tissues, and organs. In other words, where did the information come from? So far, there is no scientific answer to this question.

Some scientists continue to hold to their faith in natural causes, seeking logical explanations relating to random chance or chemical necessity. Many, however, are conceding the fact that intelligent design is not only a possibility, but also the most reasonable explanation for the greatest miracle of time, space, and the universe—life.

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