Danny Faulkner – Is the Origin of Life a Scientific Question?


The Origin of Life: What Are the Possibilities?

The origin of life has been debated for a long time. Basically, there are four possible explanations for the existence of life on earth:

Life on earth arose spontaneously.
Life on earth has always existed.
Life on earth came about through a supernatural act of creation by an intelligent Being.
Life was seeded from space.

The Application of Science to the Question

Science is supposed to be about things that are observable. That is, science can probe only things that we can detect with our five senses. Science also must be repeatable. This means that when an experiment or observation is repeated, we get the same results. These restrictions on science have led to what we call the scientific method, the general rules that we follow in doing science. The scientific investigation of the origin of life presents us with at least two problems. First, since life began before people were around, we hardly can observe the process. Second, since the origin of life appears to have been a unique event, we hardly can repeat it.

How do these four possibilities stack up? The fourth possibility doesn’t really explain how life came about, but instead passes the question off to some other location. Many would object that the third option is unscientific and hence ought not to be considered. If we restrict the definition of “scientific” to questions that can be answered through the application of the scientific method to natural processes, then option three may be considered unscientific. However, what is the status of the other two options? Option one is the assertion of abiogenesis, the belief that life must have arisen from non-living things through a natural process. However, abiogenesis has never been observed. To the contrary, it has been shown numerous times that biogenesis is true, that only living things give rise to living things. That is, abiogenesis has been scientifically disproved. To persist in belief in abiogenesis, one must believe in something that clearly is unscientific.

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Dominic Statham – Only the Bible Explains the Diversity of Life


Evolutionists often misrepresent biblical creationists, saying that we claim that one species cannot change into another—that we believe in the ‘fixity of species’. They then present undeniable evidence that species can change and argue that they have shown us to be ignorant of scientific facts. This, of course, is nonsense. Those who base their understanding of the natural world on the Bible do not believe in the fixity of species. Rather, we believe in the ‘fixity of kinds’, i.e. that one kind cannot change into another. (See Genesis 1:11–12, 1:21 and 1:24–25.) Hence finches may turn into other species of finch, or fruit flies into other species of fruit fly; but finches will never turn into hawks or fruit flies into wasps. Nor will apes ever turn into people.

According to the Bible, except for those preserved in the Ark, all air-breathing land animals were destroyed in the global Flood described in Genesis 6–8. God commanded Noah to take into the Ark pairs of every kind of animal. Noah did not take representatives of every species, but every kind. For example, there would have been a pair of the dog kind aboard, a pair of the cat kind, and seven pairs of the cattle kind — not just two, as this was a ‘clean’ animal (Genesis 7:2). In the centuries following the Flood, all of the different dogs (wolves, coyotes, jackals etc.), the different cats (lions, tigers, leopards etc.) and the different cattle (bison, yaks, domestic cattle, etc.) would have arisen from these kinds. But how did this happen?

Variation and selection

All animals have DNA,3 which determines what sort of animal they grow into. So, change the DNA and you will change the form of the animal! Animals inherit DNA from both the mother and the father, and the offspring have various combinations of their parents’ DNA. This, of course, is also true of humans and explains why we’re all different.

For example, some are taller, some shorter; some have darker skin, others lighter skin. All humans are descended from Adam and Eve, whose DNA was such that all their offspring, although different in many ways, are still all of the same species — Homo sapiens. The DNA of the animals preserved on the Ark, however, would have enabled greater variation in their offspring, to the point that different combinations of the males’ and females’ DNA have in many instances produced different (though still similar) species.

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Dr. Werner Gitt – The Basic Assumptions of Creationism

Theories and models of the various creation disciplines are based on the following presuppositions. Assumptions E1 and C1, E2 and C2 . . . E12 and C12 deal with the same topics; their contents, however, are diametrically opposed. The basic assumptions clearly show that these two sets of principles are incompatible.

C1: The basic principle of creation is taken for granted. An understanding of the original creation can only be obtained through a biblical “temper of mind.” Biblical revelations are the key for understanding this world. The Bible is the basic, irreplaceable source of information. It is a fact of creation that we may not extrapolate the currently valid natural laws into the six days of creation. Our present experiences do not allow us to really evaluate something that has just been created.

Examples: All adults were children. But Adam could not have been created as a baby; he was a grown man. He never was a child, and it does not make sense to extrapolate a number of years into his life, just because our present experiences require that every adult should have been a child. Similarly, all the stars were immediately visible in spite of immense distances. Trees were not made as seedlings; they were fully grown and complete. Neither did the birds first have to hatch from their eggs and eventually grow up. The old question of “Which was first—the hen or the egg?” has a clear and unambiguous biblical answer.

C2: Creation is a universal principle, that is, the entire universe and all life on earth originated at creation. According to John 1:1–3, creation encompasses everything from the microcosm to the macrocosm and from inanimate matter to man: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (KJV).

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Philip Bell – True Versus False Humility: The Incarnation, Creation and Evolution

At this time of year, our attention is increasingly focused on the amazing fact of the incarnation of the Lord Jesus, God’s promised Messiah. My own thoughts often turn to the wonderful prophetic words of Isaiah about the birth of God’s Son, “and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” These tremendous truths, immortalized by Handel in his Messiah, should cause us to stand in awe of this Person who is so much greater and higher than we are.

The Humility of Christ

And yet, this same eternal Word of God, through whom the entirety of the Cosmos was made (John 1:3), left the perfections and glory of heaven and ‘took on flesh’ (John 1:14). And so it is that we are also faced with the amazing humility of the Son of God in his incarnation as a baby boy. His majesty hidden from view, Jesus grew up in very humble circumstances, was familiar with human struggles, suffering and grief, ultimately submitting to the torturous and shameful death of Roman crucifixion. Of course, all of this, though at the hands of sinful people, fulfilled God’s grand purpose of procuring forgiveness, reconciliation and salvation for anyone who would now approach Him in true repentance and faith. It’s no wonder that we read, “How shall we escape if we neglect (ignore) such a great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3).

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Calvin Smith – Sleeping With the Enemy

CMI has long pointed to the connection between atheism and evolutionary teaching. By definition all thinking atheists must believe in evolution of some sort (and its co-joined concept of millions of years of earth history) to explain their existence without a creator. F. Sherwood Taylor (former Curator of the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford) summarized his belief about his country’s general apostasy this way; ‘ … I myself have little doubt that in England it was [uniformitarian, long-ages] geology and the theory of evolution that changed us from a Christian to a pagan nation.’1

And as street preacher/evangelist Mark Cahill stated; “I think the real issue is if people know that evolution is true, they then know that the Bible would not be true and that then leads to the conclusion of atheism.”2 From their universities’ inner halls to their wide open streets, evolution’s effect on the western nations has been the same. The obvious implication is that if the Bible cannot be accepted as plainly read then why trust it at all?

Of late, some Christians have added a new slant to this by claiming it is Bible believing creationists that are actually the cause of people rejecting the Christian faith. The twist is this. They say that when Christians affirm a plain reading of the Bible and teach it to young people they are setting them up for apostasy. Why? They declare that once youngsters get older and learn ‘real science’ (which is often stated as millions of years and evolution) then they reject all of Christianity, not just the Genesis account.

Typical of this type of attack is Karl Giberson’s article in the Huffington Post titled; “Creationists Drive Young People Out Of The Church”.3 In it he cites studies by Barna pointing out the alarming defection of young people from the church and points to a tension between Christianity and science as a major culprit.

In his online Christianity Today article “Young Earth Creationism Makes Life Difficult for Everyone” author Rob Moll bashes biblical creationists and then quotes Stephen Moshier (department chair of Wheaton Christian College) saying; “Many of us at Christian colleges really grieve at what a problem this young-earth creationism makes for the Christian witness.”4

And these views are making inroads. CMI Canada’s ministry dept recently received an email communication from a supporter attending one of the largest churches in Western Canada who confessed his Senior Pastor had declared from the pulpit that biblical creationists are “ … responsible for the spiritual demise of millions of discouraged Canadian church youth … ” and that the literal biblical creation account is outdated and that those who hold to it “ … show disgusting pride”. (An interesting note is that this supporter is a physician with extensive training in zoology, psychology, theology and ancient history with earned degrees in all of these areas.)

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Tony Breeden – Underminers: The Self-Defeating Proposition of Compromising Scripture With Millions of Years of Evolution

Imagine you are in command of military forces defending a castle. You have lots of things to worry about. Your enemy will use catapults and trebuchet to hurl rocks, incendiary devices, hornet’s nests and plague-ridden horse carcasses over your walls. They will use battering rams to bash in your fortified gates. They will scale your walls with ladders, hooks and siege towers. They will send swarms of arrows over your walls. They will do everything in their power to reduce the number of defenders and find a way inside.

Most notoriously, the enemy will send sappers, engineers whose sole aim is to dig under your walls and fortifications to either weaken them so that they fall or simply to create a tunnel passage by which enemy troops can invade a castle from within. Counter-sapping measures involve sending sappers to thwart the mining operations of the enemy’s sappers. For example, the castle’s sappers will seek to undermine the tunnels of the enemy and collapse them before they reach the walls. The Chinese were known to dig to an enemy’s tunnel and then use a bellows to blow smoke into the tunnel, suffocating those inside.

Sappers and counter-sappers both had to practice good listening skills. Periodically, work had to be halted so they could listen for the sound of their foe’s mining operations and thereby adjust their digging pattern or even prepare for battle underground. They also had to make sure they knew where they were. It wouldn’t do for defenders to emerge from the earth within the enemy’s camp, since this would afford their enemy a chance to seize the tunnel for their own use and invade the castle from the tunnel’s other exit. Likewise, you wouldn’t want to collapse your foes tunnel if they were already beneath your walls because collapsing the tunnel would accomplish the very goal of your enemy’s efforts: weakening the castle walls to the point of collapse. Imagine the irony of collapsing the enemy’s tunnel and thereby bringing down you castle’s walls!

Rather than collapsing those tunnels, the castle’s defenders should have smoked out the invaders, collapsed the tunnel well away from the foundations and filled the tunnel under the walls with rock and rubble to shore up the damage.

It goes without saying that modern Christendom has a problem with “friendly” forces who nonetheless undermine the foundations of the faith: the Bible as ultimate authority. These well-meaning Christians suppose that they are undermining the efforts of the enemy, but they are blind to the fact that they are undermining the foundations in the process. By compromising the Bible’s ultimate authority with extraBiblical ideas like millions of years [when the Bible plainly teaches the creation of the universe and all living things in six calendar days] and microbes-to-man evolution [when the Bible likewise teaches that God created plants, animals and man, each according to their kind, implying some sort of ultimate limits to biological change], they are accomplishing the work of the enemy.

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Tony Breeden – Deflating Dobzhansky’s Grand Assumption, Revisited: Is the Assumption Still Necessary?

Theodosius Dobzhansky on Equating Microevolution and MacroevolutionRecently, a fellow Appalachian objected to my use of a 1937 quote from Theodosius Dobzhansky based on an implied appeal to novelty. An appeal to novelty is the fallacious assumption that just because something is newer, it must be better or more true than something older. He basically asked, given my 1937 quotation, whether I would also use 1937 medical science and then accused me of supposing that science “never changes, never gathers evidences, never formalizes a hypothesis into a theory” because I did not use a more recent quote. I know, I know… it’s a bad argument, but let’s make this an educational experience.

First, to demonstrate how silly his rhetoric is, let’s answer the question of whether I would use 1937 medical science? Well, it depends upon the science. Consider, for example, medical hygeine. History records that in the late 1840′s, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, then working as an assistant in the maternity wards of a Vienna hospital, observed that the mortality rate in a delivery room staffed by medical students was up to 3 times greater than that of a second delivery room staffed by midwives. He further observed that these medical students were coming to the delivery room straight from working on cadavers, so he figured these guys must be carrying infection from their autopsies to birthing mothers. Accordingly, he ordered doctors and medical students to wash their hands with a chlorinated solution before examining women in labor, and the death rate in his maternity wards eventually dropped to less than one percent.

Amazingly enough, I still insist that doctors practice 1840s medical science when it comes to pre-exam handwashing precisely because it works. Medical science has marched onward, but some things remain true despite the passage of time. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Which brings us to our 1937 Dobzhansky quote, from Genetics and the Origin of Species:

“There is no way toward an understanding of the mechanism of macroevolutionary changes, which require time on a geological scale, other than through a full comprehension of the microevolutionary processes observable within the human lifetime. For this reason we are compelled at the present level of knowledge reluctantly to put a sign of equality between the mechanisms of micro– and macroevolution, and proceeding on this assumption, to push our investigations as far ahead as this working hypothesis will permit.” [emphasis mine]

In an article entitled Deflating Dobzhansky’s Grand Assumption, I noted:

“Dobzhansky had to make an assumption that small changes could account for big changes. Why? Because he couldn’t observe them. Because such changes allegedly took place over long periods of time that were, well, prohibitive to say the least. So he had to make an assumption.”

I went on in that article to demonstrate why this was essentially impossible, since the horizontal changes observed do not add genetic information as would be required of the microbes-to-man evolution model, but rather are more consistent with the creationist position of variation within created kinds.

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