Sunday, 6 March 2011

”Don't Tell the Creationists, But Scientists Don't Have a Clue How Life Began”

Tintoretto: Creation of the Animals (ca. 1550). Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

Recently, science writer John Horgan wrote a blog post at Scientific on the difficulties of the origin of life theories. Horgan refers to Dennis Overbye’s report on a conference on origins of life research recently held at Arizona State University.

Geologists, chemists, astronomers and biologists are as stumped as ever by the riddle of life”, Horgan says.

There are many difficulties lurking along the way towards birthing life spontaneously. DNA cannot make copies of itself without enzymes that act as catalysts for chemical reactions, so the classical dilemma of the origin of life remains unsolved:

Which was first, the hen or the chicken?

Researchers had hoped that RNA would provide the solution but “the RNA world is so dissatisfying that some frustrated scientists are resorting to much more far out—literally—speculation”, Horgan admits.

Horgan mentions Francis Crick’s panspermia hypothesis. Crick speculated that space aliens brought the seeds of life to Earth in their spaceships. Others assume that life came to Earth in the form of microbes from comets, asteroids or meteorites.

All this just moves the problem further back into space. Horgan admits this and says: “Creationists are no doubt thrilled that origin-of-life research has reached such an impasse.”

He is probably right. Life cannot originate spontaneously on Earth or even elsewhere. It needs more than just a catalyst.

It needs an Omnipotent (all powerful) Creator who can give birth to that what is impossible for natural processes even in a trillion years.


Horgan, John. 2011. Pssst! Don't tell the creationists, but scientists don't have a clue how life began. Scientific (28 February).