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Theories on the Origin of Life

The debate between Creationism (Intelligent Design) and Evolution (Big Bang, molecules to man) continues to this day. Where did the matter in the Big Bang singularity come from? [1] 

The Oparin-Haldane theory of abiogenesis proposed that life came from chemicals and an external energy source, progressed into complex molecules, and into increasingly complex organisms. This theory was tested in the Miller-Urey experiment and generated much excitement when amino acids were produced under the simulated conditions of primitive Earth. However, this theory was disproved when it was discovered that the gases used in the experiment were not the same as the composition of the atmospheric gases found in the early Earth environment.

Professor Michael Behe (biochemist) is known as "The Father of Intelligent Design".  In his book "Darwin’s Black Box" he talks about the principle of "Irreducible Complexity". This principle has to do with the discovery that some biological functions are so complex, they require all the parts in the functions to be present at the same time and cannot evolve by random processes. [2] 

William Dembski is a mathematician and author who helped found the Discovery Institute Center for Science and Culture. He has written books about his belief that Intelligent Design bridges the gap between science and theology. In his book "The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design” he writes: “The very comprehensibility of the world points to an intelligence behind the world. Indeed, science would be impossible if our intelligence were not adapted to the intelligibility of the world. The match between our intelligence and the intelligibility of the world is no accident". [3] 

Phillip E. Johnson, who passed away in 2019, was a law professor and a proponent of intelligent design. He was well known for his book: "Darwin on Trial" where he stated that evidence for Darwinian evolution was lacking and could be considered as “another kind of fundamentalism.” 

Secular, evolutionary, theories on the origin of life (abiogenesis) include: 

  • the panspermia theory (life began in ice deposited on Earth from space)
  • the clay theory (life began in clay from crystals)
  • the spontaneous theory (life began in deep-sea hydrothermal vents)
  • the Oparin-Haldane theory (life began from chemical reactions caused by lightning)
  • the RNA world theory (life began from molecules of RNA which evolved into more complex molecules). [4]

An evolutionist must rely on historical evidence in the fossil record to support his claims, since evolution is not an observable science. A creationist relies on the fossil record as well but views the evidence differently. He also relies on the historical evidence in the Bible to explain how life began on earth. He trusts that evidence because the Bible claims it is the Word of God. According to Dr. Michael Ruse from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, evolution is more than a theory, it is a secular religion and an alternative to Christianity. [5]

It seems that faith is required for both viewpoints on the origin of life. A person's identification with either viewpoint depends on whether their worldview is God's way or Man's way. [6]

James Tour, Stephen Meyer, Michael Behe, and John Lennox have created many YouTube videos on challenges to the current origin of life research. Here are some links to their videos,

Stephen Meyer

God and the Origin of the Universe - God and the Origin of the Universe

Does Science Point to God? - Does Science Point to God

James Tour:

The Mystery of the Origin of Life - The Mystery of the Origin of Life

The Origin of Life Has Not Been Explained - The Origin of Life Has Not Been Explained

Michael Behe, John Lennox and Stephen Meyer

By Design: Behe, Lennox, and Meyer on the Evidence For a Creator - Evidence for a Creator

John Lennox:

Discusses the Beginning of the Universe - Beginning of the Universe


1 Comment(s)

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    Rachelle  11/8/2023 3:23:33 PM

    Very interesting article. I like to sources of information listed. Very helpful!