abiogenesis evolution religion theology

Mind Before Matter


There are only two possibilities. Either mind arose from matter, or matter arose from mind. Either we, with our minds having such apparently limitless potential, arose from billions of years of chance meetings between various bits of matter, or everything that is was purposely created by a mind vaster than we can imagine. Which is it?

Even granting all that evolution claims: that life becomes increasingly complex, that we share common ancestry with every other living thing on the planet, that our intelligence—our mind—evolved from living things with no mind at all and no mechanism but a mindless need to replicate—even granting all that, the question remains: where did life come from? For if no mind created it, then it must have simply happened somehow on earth or been carried here by some means in the distant past. It turns out that even the simplest living things are extraordinarily complex and fragile. In order for life to succeed, it must have happened not once but many times over the eons. Yet our best efforts at reproducing conditions under which life could just happen have failed to produce a single living thing from non-living matter. Despite recent findings that suggest the primordial earth may have been more hospitable to life than was hitherto believed, no one has been able to suggest a means by which life could have simply appeared in order to take advantage of that more hospitable environment.

Perhaps life came from elsewhere, from some place where conditions we cannot imagine were more favorable to its appearance. Perhaps it was transported here by some meteor that struck the earth at just the right time for the life it carried to thrive in the optimal conditions it encountered. But moving the appearance of life off planet solves nothing. In fact, it raises further difficulties.

If life came from off planet, how did it survive in interstellar space, known to be most inhospitable to life? For everything out there is too hot or too cold, too dry, too exposed to deadly radiation or violence. And having survived the rigors of interstellar space, how did it survive impact with the earth? Just look at Meteor Crater in Arizona. It is a mile wide and was formed by a chunk of rock the size of a refrigerator. The meteor itself vaporized on impact. The idea that life somehow landed on the earth is even less likely than that it simply appeared here by chance.

So are we left with? Either mind after matter with a major conundrum about the origin of life, or mind before matter and the possibility of a purpose beyond ourselves.


2 replies on “Mind Before Matter”

It seems to me that much of the question about where did life come from is ultimately unanswerable through science. If you are examining natural causation you ask, “would x have happened if y did not first occur?” If the answer is “no,” then y caused x.

But when we ask where did life come from? eventually we reach a place where there is no more “y” to study. Perhaps that is the big bang, perhaps it is something else. And then we’re stuck asking, “well what caused that very first thing?” The answer to that question can either be someone/something or no-one/nothing.

Reason seems to preclude the possibility that something can come from nothing. So I believe that everything came from something.

Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
See you!
Your, Raiul Baztepo

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