One day in Mayapur I was sitting on the terrace relishing the night kirtans. As I glanced at the star lit sky I wondered How can scientists claim that in the beginning there was some kind of matter or primordial soup (as they prefer to call it), and the entire cosmos was created from it? But what is the primordial soup? In simple terms it means – A random mixture of material elements. By chance this soup produced simple one celled organisms, which in their turn evolved into plants, animals, apes, and finally human beings. And human society, according to this theory, has evolved from primitive, superstitious, and religion oriented cultures to the modern cultures of the twentieth century. In popular works and in textbooks scientists present their account of the material origin of life as the only possible scientific conclusion. They claim that no other theory can be scientifically acceptable. And so everyone is taught that life gradually arose from chemicals, a "primordial soup" consisting of amino acids, proteins, and other essential ingredients. Yet in their journals and private discussions, the same scientists acknowledge that their theory has grave, sometimes insuperable difficulties. For example, certain features of the DNA coding mechanism cast serious doubt upon the substance of evolutionary thought.
The noted biologist W. H. Thorpe writes, "Thus we may be faced with a possibility that the origin of life, like the origin of the universe, becomes an impenetrable barrier to science and a block which resists all attempts to reduce biology to chemistry and physics." The highly committed evolutionist Jacques Monad has pointed out these same difficulties. Theodisius Dobzhansky, another prominent advocate of evolution, can only agree: "Our scientific knowledge is, of course, quite insufficient to give anything like satisfactory accounts of these transitions [from no life to life, from no mind to mind]. Biologists as basically different in their views as W. H. Thorpe and Jacques Monod agree that the origin of life is a difficult and thus far intractable and unsolved problem. I concur. Dobzhansky goes on to call the origin of life "miraculous." These admissions by Dobzhansky, Monod, and Thorpe are by no means unique. Yet in popular presentations and textbooks one finds little hint of such widespread doubt. Nobel prize winning physicist Eugene Wigner has shown that the probability of the existence of a self duplicating chemical unit is zero. Since the ability to reproduce is one of the fundamental characteristics of all living organisms, Wigner concludes that our present understanding of physics and chemistry does not enable us to explain the phenomenon of life. Herbert Yockey has demonstrated by information theory that even a single informational molecule such as cytochrome C (what to speak of complex organisms) could not have arisen by chance in the estimated lifetime of the earth: "One must conclude that, contrary to the established and current wisdom, a scenario describing the genesis of life on earth by chance and natural causes which can be ccepted on the basis of fact and not faith has not yet been written."
As we can see, on the one hand many scientists have a deep personal commitment to the concept that life comes from matter. On the other hand they admit that they do not have the evidence to corroborate their conviction, and that their theory is beset with intractable problems. They are convinced that life arose from matter and is reducible to matter, yet at the same time they must confess to having scant scientific grounds for their conviction. Thus their theory is a priori: it supersedes the scientific method and science itself. Their fervent, almost messianic hope is that someday, somehow, someone may be able to validate it, and in the meantime their faith is unshakable.
Dazzling technological achievements have given modern scientists an aura of infallibility, and so when the scientists present untested or unprovable theories about life's origin, people tend to accept with blind faith. In 'Passages About Earth' William Irwin Thompson writes, "Just as once there was no appeal from the power of the churches without risking damnation, so now there is no appeal from the power of science without risking a charge of irrationality or insanity." And as botanist Garrett Hardin notes, anyone who questions the status of Darwin "inevitably attracts the speculative psychiatric eye to himself."
Srila Prabhupada used to simply laugh at the childish claims of the so-called scientists. 'When the scientists claimed that it may take millions of years before the whole creation process can take place again he said that this was the defect. A hen lays eggs which appear like chemical combination. But when fermented life comes within few days. Why should we wait for billions of years? Srila Prabhupada humorously remarked that "Before seeing that life system, his life will be finished and the student also will be finished, and who is going to see?"
One of Srila Prabhupada's students, Bhakti Swarupa Damodara, Swami remarks, "Actually, if we think of it not in terms of science, but just in terms of our day-to-day experience, in social, moral, ethical, all levels of consciousness, the root cause of our complete ethical background at this time is mainly due to this theory that 'You are from molecules, and when you finish your body you'll also go back to molecules. So don't worry about all these high-sounding philosophical words. You just enjoy whatever you want and do whatever you like to do.' So this type of completely materialistic [life] is meaninglessness; it has no purpose because of this very concept."
One devotee told about his personal experience as a fifth grade student in the 1950's. The students were taught that five hundred years ago people in Europe were so backward in their scientific understanding that they thought that maggots were born from dead meat and mice came from a heap of rags. As this was based on mere observation it was thought to be true. Of course now everyone knows that maggots come from live houseflies and mice came from mice. If this was such a commonsense idea then how come these scientists want us to believe that the origin of life is not life but some chemical soup .. .foolish isn't it? That's what it is.