email - June 2007

Evolution and Abiogenesis

Stanley Miller’s work was in the area of abiogenesis, which some people don’t consider to be part of the theory of evolution.

We commonly get email complaints from evolutionists who object to us including abiogenesis as part of the theory of evolution. They claim that the theory of evolution is limited to natural selection, and says nothing about the spontaneous origin of life through natural processes (abiogenesis). Here is part of a typical email.

… And from http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html:

"One should also note that the theory of evolution doesn't depend on how the first life began. The truth or falsity of any theory of abiogenesis wouldn't affect evolution in the least."

If you intend to show the flaws in a theory, you must be familiar with its wording and content. Errors such as this leave you struggling with false arguments, whilst the proponents of the theory gleefully advertise your mistake as willful ignorance.

I hope this helps,

-Johnny

TalkOrigins would love to limit evolution to natural selection. If schools taught nothing more than natural selection, then there would be no controversy. The well-known creationists all agree that (natural or artificial) selection produces limited variations in living things. That’s why we have different breeds of dogs, horses, pigeons, corn, and roses.

There is controversy because the theory of evolution, AS IT IS TAUGHT IN AMERICAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, is not limited to natural selection. It includes the origin of life, creative mutations, and long ages. This can be seen from the table of contents of this typical college biology textbook.


Unit 3 – Evolution
Chapter 14 – Principles of Evolution
Chapter 15 – How Organisms Evolve
Chapter 16 – The Origin of Species
Chapter 17 – The History of Life on Earth
1

The History of Life on Earth chapter falsely presents Stanly Miller’s 1953 origin of life experiment as a plausible explanation for how life began.

Here’s part of another college biology textbook’s index.


Chapter 34 Theory of Evolution
Early Theories of the Origin of Life
2

The table of contents for Cliff’s Notes on Biology (let’s face it, that’s what kids really read) says,

Chapter 12: Principles of Evolution
Chapter 13: The Origin and Evolution of Life
Chapter 14: Human Evolution

If the origin of life isn’t one of the principles of evolution, then human evolution must not be one of the principles of the theory of evolution, either.

Schaum’s outline on Biology has just one chapter on evolution, and it is “Chapter 15 Evolution and Origin of Life.”

Since Evolution and Origin of Life are in the same chapter, does that make them part of the same thing? Or does the fact that they are listed as a pair imply that they are two different things?

We could argue at length as to whether the origin of life and evolution are two separate things, but arguing about whether or not the origin of life technically is part of the theory of evolution is exactly what evolutionists would like us to do. It is simply a red herring used to divert discussion away from evolution. Every page we write about whether or not abiogenesis is part of the theory of evolution is one page we haven’t written about the weaknesses of the theory of evolution.

The natural spontaneous origin of life, abiogenesis, is scientifically absurd. Nobody knows any way that it could happen. Louis Pasteur, Stanley Miller, and many others have found many reasons why it cannot. But it is the foundation of the theory of evolution taught to our school children.

Because abiogenesis is so clearly false, most evolutionists want to separate it from the theory of evolution. They want to start with a living cell and proceed from there. But that is cheating. You have to start at the starting line. You have to start with a dead planet that naturally and spontaneously produces the first living thing. Scientifically, evolution as an explanation for the existence of all the various forms of life on Earth, is a non-starter.

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Footnotes:

1 Audesirk and Audesirk, Biology: Life on Earth (5th edition) 1996, page xx
2 Roohk and Karpoff, Introducing Biology, (3rd edition), 1990, page vi