A conversation between a mom and her 12 year old daughter.
“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!”
6 thoughts on “How did life begin?”
There are two definitions for inorganic listed in my dictionary — one refers to compounds that are not carbon based (inorganic) and the other refers to lacking the properties characteristic of living organisms.
So in support of your argument I would say that either definition would pose problems for the evolutionist. How do non-carbon compounds become carbon based? How do non-living things become living? That is still the great mystery. Lots of theories, but no answers apart from God.
This really is a gross oversimplification of abiogenesis to the point of being dishonest.
“Right, inorganic, that means not having any life, ”
This is wholly incorrect. The origins of life are not a study of biology, but chemistry. In the chemistry lexicon, organic simply means it contains carbon. So when her daughter said organic, she was correct.
“What the scientists are not allowing for is that life did not evolve, but was created by God with a specific purpose.”
You say this as if they are suppressing this concept and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Creation is not a valid scientific model as it can’t be tested and the evidence simply doesn’t support it.
As I said in the post, some will say the explanation given is too simplistic. But the point is that an evolutionary based theory says that life came from non-life. There was no attempt to say that scientists are suppressing God’s involvement. As you say, they are dismissing him completely, because he can’t be tested. But that is where the rub lies. God cannot be tested, nor is he subject to the ever-changing hypothesis of science. Science cannot account for what cannot be seen or measured by human testing. We deal with very different paradigms. Your’s is based upon what you observe, historic Christianity is based upon what we believe. Again, as you said, you trust what you can test. I prefer something more certain. Thank you for your comment.
But evolutionary theory doesn’t even attempt to explain the origin of life, but speciation only. Evolution doesn’t say life came from nonlife anywhere!!
How can you obtain knowledge through “faith” and call that certain? Faith is the antithesis of knowledge.
In your first reply you said the origins of life are the study of chemistry. Now you say evolutionary theory does not even attempt to explain the origins of life. I don’t understand the difference unless you are saying chemistry has nothing to do with evolutionary theory. Knowledge and faith are indeed intertwined. The most important things we believe in as people are things that can not be measured or qualified by science. Love, sadness, joy, regret, satisfaction and yes, faith, are unseen realities that give meaning and purpose to life. Faith is the acceptance of presuppositions that cannot be proven by human hypothesis. You have these presuppositions, we all do. You say you have only speculation about the origin of life. I will take faith over speculation any day. Thank you again for your response.