I read a lot of both Creationist and evolutionary literature. Both are full of questions and challenges for the other. One common question asked by both sides is how did life, and by extension, the universe, spring into being? The question is certainly valid and needs to be answered effectively by both sides. However, focusing on that question ignores a much deeper problem. Both evolution and Creation must answer the question of why life exists. This is not the same thing as asking the meaning of life. The question of why life arose is crucial because it impacts everything from how life came to be, to what life means. With that in mind, this article will discuss why life exists from both a creationist and evolutionary perspective and see if either has an acceptable explanation.
From an evolutionary perspective, the very existence of life is difficult to explain. There are numerous points to ponder. Why, for example, would the universe generate life? Was there a need for it? Did the universe somehow sense that it should contain life forms? How would it do so? Why did life arise? It is a philosophical and scientific question.
Evolutionists will point out, correctly, that natural processes do not need a reason to function. They are simply repeated chemical reactions. They then attempt to extrapolate this idea to say that the existence of life is also the result of natural processes and thus does not need a reason. However, this is fallacious thinking. The action of me typing this article could be controlled by chemical reactions. However, the article itself is not controlled by chemical reactions. The thoughts placed on virtual paper for you to read are not the products of chemistry, but rather the result of logical thought. The universe and life can be viewed in the same way. The action of a living thing, be it the blossoming of a plant or the hunting of the lion, can be explained by chemistry. The reason for the action, on the other hand, cannot be.
As if that was not bad enough, everything in the universe is governed by reason, logic, and order. It makes sense that an apple falls down to the ground rather than up to the sky. This is referred to scientifically as the Law of Universal Gravitation. Laws such as gravitation, thermodynamics, and biogenesis, govern the universe. These laws point to order, design and logical reasoning. They tell us that everything which occurs does so for a logical, understandable reason. Even a madman thinks before acting, often planning meticulously. Though some things in the universe may not make sense as yet, the design of the universe demands that there be a knowable reason for everything. Therefore, the origin of life must have a knowable “why”. This brings evolutionists back to the beginning, having to explain why life developed? Why did earth bring forth life? The evolutionary theory gives them no answer.
Creationists must answer the same question that the evolutionists do. To the Creationist, life appeared because God made it appear. However, beyond that answer, which evolutionists will never accept, there is further depth. Revelation 4:11 tells us why God made the world. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” The world was made for God’s pleasure, along with everything in it. This brings up the question of what gives God pleasure? Psalms 147:11 tells us “The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” Thus life was created to obey God. However, only one of His creatures has the ability to refuse Him, that being man. Thus the Bible answers the “why” life began. God created life to obey Him, However, to man He granted the great gift of choice. As much as God takes pleasure in obedience, He allows man to choose his own path. Though man was created to obey, he can choose to disobey, much as he did in the Garden of Eden.
The two views are, of course, irreconcilable. Combining God creating with evolution requires some special mental gymnastics. But does either one answer the “why does life exist?” question in a logical fashion? Evolution claims that there is no reason for life to exist and that it happened randomly, as a result of an unguided natural process. While this may appeal to those who wish to avoid the need for God, it does not answer the question. By ignoring the very nature of the universe, evolutionists become unable to explain why they themselves exist. Creationists can answer these questions by pointing to a loving God Who takes pleasure in His creation. This makes far more logical sense than saying that life has no reason to exist.