Cover image for Origins of life : biblical and evolutionary models face off
Origins of life : biblical and evolutionary models face off
Rana, Fazale, 1963-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Colorado Springs, Colo : NavPress, [2004]

Physical Description:
298 pages; 24 cm
Format :


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Material Type
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Item Holds
QH325 .R36 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A biochemist and an astronomer reveal a scientific model that shows how perspectives on first life's beginnings can be tested--as a creation event--with astounding results.

Author Notes

Scientist and author Hugh Ross was the youngest person to serve as director of observations for Vancouver's Royal Astronomical Society. He received a provincial scholarship and a National Research Council of Canada fellowship to study at the University of Columbia, the University of Toronto and at Caltech in the US.

Ross is a lecturer in the Simon Greenleaf Institute of Apologetics at Trinity Law School in California. He has written many books and hosts the TV show Reasons to Believe, which is also the name of the organization he founded in 1986.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Convinced that "creation is a testable idea that can fall within the domain of science," biochemist Rana and astrophysicist Ross do not shrink from scientific findings about the long and tumultuous history of the earth. Conceding that "the beginning of life (relative to cosmic history) under hellacious conditions poses initial problems for creationists and evolutionists alike," the authors argue that the origin and survival of life on earth over the past 3.8 billion years now seen by most researchers as an awesomely improbable set of events parallels biblical models of God "hover[ing] over early earth like a mother eagle brooding over her young." Although Rana and Ross are Christian apologists with the "Reasons to Believe" organization, their forays into theology are generally modest and brief. Their primary focus is compiling results from biology, chemistry and geology that illustrate how deeply puzzling the origin of life has become. Discussions of the "primordial soup" of prebiotic chemistry, the enigmatic origin of cell membranes and homochirality (the unexplained preponderance of left-handed amino acids and right-handed sugars essential to life) all take readers further than is typical in the creation/evolution literature. Whether or not Rana and Ross quite prove a creation model proof being in the eye of the beholder they certainly tell a compelling story of the early history of life that inspires curiosity and a sense of wonder at what is still, for all we know, a unique habitable and inhabited world. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Authors' Notep. 9
Acknowledgmentsp. 11
Introduction: In Pursuit of My Passionp. 13
Part I The Mystery Unfolds
1. Questions, Questions--Always Questionsp. 21
2. Are There Any Answers?p. 29
3. Putting Creation to the Testp. 35
4. The Naturalistic Approachp. 47
Part II The Facts of Life
5. An Early or Late Appearance?p. 63
6. A Slow or Sudden Arrival?p. 81
7. Where's the Soup?p. 93
Part III From the Bottom Up and Top Down
8. The Search for Chemical Pathwaysp. 109
9. Look! Only One Handp. 123
10. The Codes of Lifep. 135
11. Beneficial Boundariesp. 143
12. Life's Minimum Complexityp. 159
Part IV Looking for Loopholes
13. Extreme Lifep. 171
14. Life on Mars?p. 183
15. Europa and Beyondp. 197
16. Life, Seeded on Purposep. 205
Part V A Model for Life
17. Solving the Mysteryp. 211
Epiloguep. 223
Appendix A Biblical Creation Referencesp. 227
Appendix B Carbon-12 Enrichment in Photosynthesisp. 229
Notesp. 231
Glossary of Termsp. 269
Indexp. 277
About the Authorsp. 297
About Reasons To Believep. 299
Figures and Tables
5.1 Stromatolites in Shark Bay, Australiap. 65
6.1 Cratering Intensity for the Inner Solar Systemp. 83
6.2 Before, During, and After the Collision Event Between Earth and a Mars-Sized Planetp. 88
9.1 Chiral Moleculesp. 123
10.1 The Different Levels of Protein Structurep. 137
11.1 Transmission Electron Micrograph of Biological Membranesp. 144
11.2 The Molecular Structure of a Typical Phospholipid with a Schematic Representation of Its Structure Superimposed upon Itp. 145
11.3 Tail-to-Tail Assembly of Phospholipid Molecules to Form a Bilayerp. 146
11.4 The Different Ways Proteins Interact with Phospholipid Bilayersp. 147
11.5 Structures of Different Phospholipid Aggregatesp. 153
11.6 Different Bilayer Structures Formed by Phospholipidsp. 155
14.1 Martian Meteorite ALH84001p. 184
14.2 Tiny Martians?p. 188
14.3 Outflow Channels and Valley Networks on Mars' Surfacep. 192
15.1 Galileo Spacecraft Image of Europa's Surfacep. 198
4.1 "Textbook" Description of Life's Originp. 48
4.2 Origin-of-Life Scenariosp. 50
12.1 Organisms with the Smallest Genomesp. 161
12.2 Probabilities That Proteins Could Come into Existence Simultaneouslyp. 164
12.3 Bacterial Components Displaying Organizationp. 167