“Abiogenesis is Irrelevant to Evolution”
The Law of Biogenesis tells us that in nature, life comes only from life of its kind (Miller, 2012). Therefore, abiogenesis (i.e., life arising from non-living materials) is impossible, according to the scientific evidence. How then can atheistic theories like Darwinian evolution be considered acceptable? There is a growing trend among evolutionists today to attempt to sidestep the problem of abiogenesis by contending that evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life, but rather is a theory which starts with life already in existence and explains the origin of all species from that original life form. However, this approach is merely wishful thinking—an effort to avoid the logical import of the Law of Biogenesis.
Historically, evolutionists have recognized that abiogenesis is a fundamental assumption inherent in evolutionary theory, and intuitively must be so. In 1960, British evolutionary physiologist, G.A. Kerkut, listed abiogenesis as the first assumption in a list of non-provable assumptions upon which evolution is founded. “The first assumption is that non-living things gave rise to living material, i.e., spontaneous generation occurred” (Kerkut, 1960, p. 6). Evolutionary theory is an attempt to explain the origin of species through natural means—without supernatural Creation. Logically, unless you concede the existence of God and subscribe to theistic evolution in order to explain the origin of life (a position that has been shown to be unsustainable, cf. Thompson, 2000), abiogenesis must have originally occurred in order to commence the process of Darwinian evolution. Abiogenesis is required by evolution as the starting point.
Further, atheistic evolutionary geologist, Robert Hazen, who received his doctoral degree from Harvard, admitted that he assumes abiogenesis occurred. In his lecture series, Origins of Life, he says, “In this lecture series I make a basic assumption that life emerged by some kind of natural process. I propose that life arose by a sequence of events that are completely consistent with natural laws of chemistry and physics” (2005, emp. added). Again, evolution is an attempt to explain life through natural means, and abiogenesis must go hand-in-hand with such a theory. Hazen further stated that in his assumption of abiogenesis, he is “like most other scientists” (2005). It makes perfect sense for atheistic evolutionists to admit their belief in abiogenesis. Without abiogenesis in place, there is no starting point for atheistic evolution to occur. However, many evolutionists do not want to admit such a belief too loudly, since such a belief has absolutely no scientific evidence to support it. It is a blind faith—a religious dogma.
It is also true that atheists themselves use the term “evolution” as a generalized catchall word encompassing all materialistic origin models, including those dealing with the origin of the cosmos, not just the origin of species. A simple Google search of the keywords, “cosmic evolution,” illustrates that contention. Consider, for example, the title of Harvard University astrophysicist Eric Chaisson’s Web site: “Cosmic Evolution: From Big Bang to Humankind” (2012). Consider also the comments of NASA chief historian, Steven Dick: “Cosmic evolution begins…with the formation of stars and planetary systems, proceeds…to primitive and complex life, and culminates with intelligence, technology and astronomers…contemplating the universe…. This story of the life of the universe, and our place in it, is known as cosmic evolution” (2005). If atheism were true, in this mythical story of how the Universe evolved from nothing to everything, abiogenesis must have occurred somewhere along the way. Thus, abiogenesis is a fundamental, implied phenomenon of evolutionary theory. Creationists are merely using atheistic evolutionists’ terms in the same way they use them.
The truth is, one cannot logically commence a study of Life Science or Biology—studies which are intimately linked with the theory of evolution by the bulk of the scientific community today—without first studying the origin of that life which allegedly evolved from a single-celled organism into the various forms of life on Earth today. Biology and Life Science textbooks today, with almost unanimity, include a discussion of biogenesis, abiogenesis (ironically, discussing the work of Pasteur, Spallanzani, and Redi, who disproved the theory of abiogenesis), and extensive discussions of evolutionary theory. The evolutionists themselves inevitably couple Biology and Life Science with evolution, as though they are one and the same. But a study of life—biology—must have a starting point. So, evolutionists themselves link the problem of abiogenesis to evolution. If the evolutionary community wishes to separate the study of biology from evolution—a position I would strongly recommend—then the evolutionist might be able to put his head in the sand and ignore the abiogenesis problem, but not while the evolutionist couples evolution so intimately with biology.
The reality is that abiogenesis stands alongside evolutionary theory as a fundamental plank of atheism and will remain there. The two are intimately linked and stand or fall together. It is time for the naturalist to forthrightly admit that his religious belief in evolution is based on a blind acceptance of an unscientific pheonomenon.
Chaisson, Eric (2012), “Cosmic Evolution: From Big Bang to Humankind,” Harvard College Observatory, https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~ejchaisson/cosmic_evolution/docs/splash.html.
Dick, Steven J. (2005), “Why We Explore: Our Place in the Universe,” NASA, http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/whyweexplore/Why_We_13.html.
Hazen, Robert (2005), Origins of Life, audio-taped lecture (Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company).
Kerkut, George A. (1960), The Implications of Evolution (London: Pergamon).
Miller, Jeff (2012), “The Law of Biogenesis,” Reason & Revelation, 32:2-11, January, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1018&article=1722.
Thompson, Bert (2000), Creation Compromises (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).