Christianity and Science – Spontaneous Generation

QUESTION: Christianity and Science – The Impossibility of Spontaneous Generation


It has been scientifically demonstrated that life only comes from pre-existing life. This accords with Creationism and is yet another disproof of evolution. Evolutionists must postulate that for life to have arisen by naturalistic, random processes, at some point in time non-living matter must have come alive. The late George Wald (Harvard University and Nobel Prize winner) admitted that the “reasonable” view was to believe in spontaneous generation because it was the only alternative to believing “in a single, primary act of supernatural creation.” There is no third position. He also said, “One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet, here we are—as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation.”1

In 1996, the National Academy of Sciences framed the issue as follows: “For those who are studying aspects of the origin of life, the question no longer seems to be whether life could have originated by chemical processes involving non-biological components, but rather what pathway might have been followed.”2 This statement of the National Academy of Sciences is anti-Darwinian since Darwin rejected the concept of spontaneous generation, arguing instead for a Creator who “originally breathed” life into “a few forms or into one.”3

Christianity and Science – Life Arising from Prebiotic Soup
Many evolutionists point to the work of Alexander Oparin in defense of spontaneous generation. Oparin described a theory that supposedly allowed for chance processes working in a prebiotic soup to give rise to life. Unfortunately for evolutionists, this theory is rapidly being refuted by science.4

In fact, the further science progresses, the more unlikely spontaneous generation seems. Dean Kenyon, a biochemist and a former chemical evolutionist, now concedes, “When all relevant lines of evidence are taken into account, and all the problems squarely faced, I think we must conclude that life owes its inception to a source outside of nature.”5 Kenyon based this conclusion on four premises: (1) the impossibility of the spontaneous origin of genetic information; (2) the fact that most attempts to duplicate the conditions necessary for chemical evolution yield non-biological material; (3) the unfounded nature of the belief (necessary for the chemical evolutionists) that prebiotic conditions encourage a trend toward the formation of L amino acids; and (4) the geochemical evidence that O2 or oxygen existed in significant amounts in the Earth’s early atmosphere (organic compounds decompose when oxygen is present).

Brown also believes the existence of oxygen creates an insurmountable problem for chemical evolutionists: “If the earth, in its alleged evolution, had oxygen in its atmosphere, the chemicals needed for life to begin would have been removed by oxidation. But if there had been no oxygen, then there would have been no ozone in the upper atmosphere. Without this ozone life would be quickly destroyed by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.”6 Ozone and life, therefore, must have originated simultaneously at the time of creation.


Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

1 George Wald, “The Origin of Life,” Scientific American vol. 190 (August 1954): 46, quoted in Brown, In the Beginning, 37.
2 Commentary (February 2006): 22.
3 Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection Or The Preservation Of Favored Races In The Struggle For Life, 2 vols. (New York, NY: D. Appleton and Company 1898), 2:306.
4 Walter T. Brown, In The Beginning, 7th ed. (Phoenix, AZ: Center for Scientific Creation, 2001), 5, 42: “Spontaneous generation (the emergence of life from nonliving matter) has never been observed. All observations have shown that life only comes from life” (5).
5 Ibid.
6 Ibid., 5.

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