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Secular Science and Spontaneous Generation

QUESTION: Secular Science and Spontaneous Generation


But in order to change from one species to another, Humanists must first have a theory of how life initially appeared on the planet. Their answer is that life arose spontaneously from non-living matter. However, as we covered in some detail in the section on Biblical Christian biology, the idea of spontaneous generation was scientifically demonstrated to be false through the experiments of Redi and Pasteur in the mid 1800s. Yet, because of their commitment to philosophical naturalism, Humanists assume that life must have come from non-living matter, they have just not yet discovered how that happened. They also assume that features of the “early” earth were different from today, and would thereby allow for the emergence of the first life.

Secular Science – Darwin and First Life
Ironically, not even Charles Darwin was willing to postulate a theory that hinged on the idea of spontaneous generation. Rather, he wrote, “Probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed.”1 Even though Darwin felt the need to postulate a supernatural force to explain the appearance of first life, the Humanist cannot afford such a concession. As Harvard paleontologist Richard Lewontin protests, “Materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”2


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 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, cited in Sagan, Cosmos, 23.

2 Richard Lewontin, “Billions and Billions of Demons,” The N.Y. Review of Books, January 9, 1997.

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