How did life begin?

Posted on January 15, 2014 · Posted in Apologetics

A conversation between a mom and her 12 year old daughter.


“Hey, Mom.”


“Yes, Erin.”


“You have a minute?”


“Sure, what’s up?’


“I watched another program on the Science Channel that was talking about how life began on earth. I’m good with what you and dad have told me, but I just want to make sure I have it down. Can you help me by going over things again?”


“No problem, glad you asked! You remember that there are really only a few ways that modern science thinks how life could have begun?”


“Yeah, uh, one is that over a long time, like billions of years, stuff that was all organic…”


“Erin, I think you mean inorganic.”


“Right, inorganic, that means not having any life, Okay. then after a long time either because of heat, or electrical energy from like lightning, or something, the inorganic stuff became life stuff.”


“That’s basically right. Through some sort of chemical interactions the inorganic material became organic.”


“Okay, Then from simple one-celled organisms, something happened again and then there were some multi-cell forms of life.”




“Then again, over a long period of time these organisms changed again and again until life as we know it evolved.” 


“Sounds good so far, Erin.”


“So there was no purpose or plan but just the evolution of more and more complex life-forms which resulted in the diversity of life we have today.”


“That’s pretty much the thinking if you leave God out of the picture. Now are there other ways life might have begun?


“Well some scientists think that life could have first been brought to earth by an asteroid or something that had life already on it’s surface and then that asteroid crashed into earth. So, life came to earth that way.”


“Yep, that about covers it. There are many different ideas about about how life might have started on earth, but they all seem to be variations on what you just said.”


“Okay, Mom, I remember things now. So, there really is no plan or purpose, but just a random set of events that just happened to work out. So my thoughts are because of this process of evolution and not because of anything else. So life is pretty much random.”


“Again, I think that is fair. I remember having arguments with some professors in college who at first thought this was too simplistic, but essentially, after awhile, they agreed that this is probably how life began on earth. They said probably because there are no observations of what actually happened at the moment life began so there is no way to know for sure.”


“Alright, Mom. Let me see if I can get the rest. What the scientists are not allowing for is that life did not evolve, but was created by God with a specific purpose. We believe the Bible teaches that God didn’t use a long process to create man, but that he made people to be unique creatures who were designed to have a relationship with the Creator God. And the Bible tells us what that relationship should look like. So, we are not the result of random chemical reactions, but we are made in the image of God so that we can live a life of purpose and meaning and where we can know God personally.”


“Couldn’t have said it better myself, Erin.”


“So life is random or God made it happen?”


“Yes, there is a lot more to talk about regarding these things and we will. You know, things like how we have the many diverse forms of life that exist. But yes, that is the question that everyone must answer. This is a good start!”


Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.