Life Begets Life
Where does life come from?
This is a foundational question that begs to be answered. There are two basic answers to this question which descend from either the acceptance or denial of a Creator. The first is a stance that most Americans adopt: seeing God as the originator of life. The other alternative is the materialistic acceptance of evolution that is dogmatically promoted in our schools and public media.
While this view is decidedly faith-based, it acknowledges that all life emanates from the Son of God. He is the One who became the Lamb of God, the sacrificial atonement for the sins of mankind. All who trust in Him are forgiven and will inherit everlasting life. The most logical conclusion is that “life begets life,” and that all life has its origin in a Divine Creator who is eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present. This life can only come from Jesus Christ who is the living Word of God. In John 1:1, we are told that He formed the amazing cosmos including all life forms in just one week.
And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
The first time the word “life” (chay in Hebrew) is used in the Bible, it pertains to all life. The second time it is mentioned is in Genesis 2:7. It is here that man is created from the dust of the earth and God breathes the essence of life into man. This has marvelous implications for how God personally relates to man. God gives man so much more significance than he could ever have on his own. God is far above all other created things in that He alone breathed life into man. By this, God created him to be a living soul. In Genesis 2:7 we read, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
The nature of life is a combination of the most complex biological systems that the human mind can comprehend. In the center is a molecular map called DNA – the code of life that keeps tiny biological units operating in near perfect harmony. As we dig deeper and deeper into new levels of understanding, we are continuously challenged by the enormity of this great mystery of life. As more and more scientific information is revealed, we are faced with the compelling conclusion that life requires a Divine Creator. This logic destroys any natural mechanism that the evolutionary model presents. To deny this conclusion – that a creation requires a Creator – is just pure ignorance bordering on foolish defiance.
Evolution’s Foundational Icon: Abiogenesis
The principle that “life begets life” has been scientifically illustrated many times. The evolutionary theory that life can spontaneously arise from inorganic substances is called Abiogenesis. This concept of Spontaneous Generation finds its origin in the ancient Greek philosophers. Both terms clearly imply that life comes from non-living things. The Greek philosopher, Aristotle (324 -322 BC), believed that living organisms can originate from other things. His examples included: flies arising from decaying flesh, plant lice from dew on plants, crocodiles from rotten logs, and many other bizarre ideas.
One of the first sets of experiments to disprove Spontaneous Generation was implemented by Francesco Redi almost 2000 years after Aristotle. Following the theory of Spontaneous Generation, raw meat was left alone for a time and maggots were later found crawling around in the meat. Although it was at that time unknown, the process where maggots would eventually become flies was a result of metamorphosis. Redi’s 1668 experimental challenge demonstrated a method of obstructing the flies’ access to the meat which would then prevent the appearance of maggots. This result falsified the hypothesis that rotting meat could generate living organisms.
A century after Redi’s refutation of Spontaneous Generation, it reappeared with the discovery of microscopic organisms. Barren Georges Buffon (a French naturalist and the one whom renown evolutionary biologist, Ernst Mayr, called the Father of Evolution) proposed that plants and animals had “living organic parts.” He said these were basic chemical structures that could be found in our natural environment. He believed that complex organisms could arise from what he identified as “corpuscles” of matter that could be observed in the tiny microbes that were invisible to the naked eye. In 1748, with the help of John Tuberville Needham, an English microscopist and priest, they concocted a gelatinous organic mixture and made a pronouncement that would revitalize the Abiogenesis movement. Shockingly, the men declared that they observed newly-formed microscopic organisms that were different that any animal and plant previously found. They identified these fundamental microscopic creatures as Zoophytes. Needham acknowledged that, by its very nature, these non-living chemicals had their own inherent productive force to generate life.
In 1768, Lazzaro Spallanzani, an Italian biologists, physiologist and Catholic priest took up this challenge of Buffon and Needham’s experiment and extended the boiling time killing all the microbes. This destroyed all the endospores that protected the microbes Buffon and Needham had mistakenly thought to be new life. Spallanzani demonstrated that after an hour of boiling a liquid and hermitically sealing the vessel, no microbes were to be found. A century later, the renowned French chemist and microbiologist, Louis Pasteur, replicated Spallanzani’s work by performing a series of detailed experiments that clearly demonstrated that non-living substances could not produce living organisms. He successfully delivered the final death blow to the theory of Spontaneous Generation and became one of the chief pioneers of the Germ Theory. His research into the fields of immunology and vaccines resulted in some of the most effective life-saving treatments in the history of medicine.
Louis Pasteur’s basic biological principle was that all “life came from life.” As a believer, he had deep faith in a personal Creator. As Darwin published his book “On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection” in 1859, Pasteur set out to prove that life can only come from life. Pasteur became of the “Father of Microbiology,” passionately declaring, “Never will the doctrine of Spontaneous Generation recover from the mortal blow struck by this simple experiment.”
Abiogenesis: A Nagging Theory
One would think that Pasteur’s monumental work proving that “life begets life” would put an end to Abiogenesis, but unfortunately, it still lingers. It is fundamental to the evolutionary faith for atheists and evolutionists to exist in a materialistic world that denies the presence of God. Darwin evoked the irrational hope of Abiogenesis when he suggested to his loyal friend, Joseph Hooker, in an 1872 letter that from some primordial soup – a “warm little pond’ somewhere – life in its simple form would emerge.
The term Abiogenesis is the popular and preferable term used by evolutionists today. It follows Darwin’s belief that living organisms can be naturally generated by chemical organic compounds, salts, and minerals under the right conditions. He believed they could eventually form a living organism, centering on the belief that haphazard chemical reactions over millions or even billions of years can come together to assemble molecules into the most complex form known to man. Such hope appears to defy mathematical probabilities, and today many scientists have given up the chemicals on earth or “goo-to-you” theory for the origin of life. Many have opted for an extraterrestrial source of life known as panspermia. Like the ancient Greeks, the idea of evolutionary transformations originating from non-living materials is still very persistent no matter how irrational it appears to be.
More recently, in 1953 and 1959, the popular duo Miller and Urey emerged and constructed experiments on the speculative hypothesis introduced previously by scientists Oparin and Haldane. Their 1920’s hypothesis speculated that life began in the ocean in an oxygen-free (reducing) environment.
They proposed that the only chemicals needed would be ammonia, carbon dioxide, and, of course, water. They also suggested lighting was needed, because the mixture needed energy to have the chemicals react.
It was upon this hypothesis that Miller and Urey built their experimental apparatus providing the conditions that have been popularized in student textbooks and museums throughout the world to explain the origin of life.
Although Miller and Urey produced a few amino acids found in proteins, and some interesting organic molecules they called proteinoids, it fell drastically short of producing the complexity and the extreme organization of interlocking systems with numerous functioning molecular machines that we observe in living organisms today.
As one observes how desperate man has become to get rid of the idea that only “life begets life,” you begin to see the irrationality of Abiogenesis. Oparin and Haldane’s theory was not built on any believable data, but on a totally speculative hypothesis of a reducing atmosphere wherein no oxygen could exist for long. The fact remains that the oldest rocks discovered on earth contain oxygen, proving that the atmosphere at the time they were formed was not a reducing atmosphere at all. This completely falsifies all of their speculations.
In addition to this, the Miller-Urey experimental apparatus also made unbelievable assumptions. These men thought they could know for certain what conditions existed 3.5 billion years ago when they speculated how life first came into existence. They also thought they could replicate ancient conditions that allegedly existed at that time in a laboratory setting.
All of their conclusions failed because their understanding of life was fundamentally warped. It is not as simple as providing the fundamental building blocks of life. They would have to know how these precursors assembled themselves into a higher order of complexity that would defy the imagination of man. Even the most primitive organisms on our planet exhibit such complexity and specificity of purpose that is beyond human comprehension.
The possibilities that life can emerge out of chemicals is the central doctrine upon which all of evolutionary theory stands. Evolutionary theory will never disappear because secular science refuses to even acknowledge that a creation requires a Creator. The earth as well as the whole cosmos give testimony to the Creator who gives us life. He not only gives us creation, but also the ability to see and begin to understand His amazing attributes and eternal love. It is the Author of all things who has manifested His grace to us and revealed His truth that life can only be generated by life.