INTRODUCTION Robert. C. Gallagher once said: “Change is inevitable- except from a vending machine. ” “Change” is the word the practically governs our world today. Everything is slowly and gradually changing, new technologies and opportunities boosting everywhere. But the underlying question which we all wishfully choose to ignore is “All the changes happening is for good only? ” Ellen Glasgow once said: “All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward. ” Such are the changes going on in the world which are definitely not for good.
They are changes like floods, famines, earthquakes and many more natural disasters.
Now it feels as though our Mother Earth is mocking at us and trying to teach us an important lesson as though how does it feel if we were tortured. If we were inflicted upon pain the same way we did to her. In all one thought does occur to all of us that is the world really ending? Are we going back to where it all started? But one more question is to be asked and it is WHERE did all this start? WHERE did earth come from? HOW did the life originate? HOW did we come to life? Some of the truth and myths of this “ORIGIN OF LIFE” Is further discussed in this project.
Theory of spontaneous origin
Introduction Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution on the origin of life proposes that some four billion years ago, inanimate chemicals developed completely by chance into highly complex, living, single-celled organisms. This process of life coming from non-life is called “spontaneous generation.
” According to the theory, a single-celled organism eventually evolved into all the complex life forms on earth in a relentless struggle for resources. Every evolutionary theory of life’s origins is based on spontaneous generation. The evolutionary development of life on earth is commonly depicted as an evolutionary tree. ” If life did arise spontaneously and then evolve into increasingly complex life forms, then spontaneous generation represents the trunk of that evolutionary tree and the branches are the various species that evolved from these earlier forms. If the origin of life cannot be shown to be plausible by the interaction of matter, random chance, energy and time then the existence of an evolutionary tree is a dubious proposition at best. Without a trunk there can be no tree. Without spontaneous generation there can be no evolution. First Call
The notion that life could arise from inanimate, non-living matter is not a recent idea. During the dark ages, people speculated that rats and flies arose spontaneously from garbage because they mysteriously appeared when garbage was left out. Others had noticed that when meat and broths were left exposed they became covered with maggots and microorganisms. These observations led some to believe that these life forms arose suddenly and spontaneously from non-living, inanimate matter. Louis Pasteur entered the debate in 1862 when he published the results of his experiments on the spontaneous generation of microorganisms in broths.
Using glass flasks, Pasteur showed that previously boiled broths remained uncontaminated with microorganisms unless the neck of the flask was broken. Broken flasks quickly teemed with life as the broths became cloudy. He proved that microorganisms were transported through the air to the broth and not generated from the broth itself. The work of Pasteur seemingly ended the debate on the question of the sudden, spontaneous origin of life. By the end of the nineteenth century, the majority of scientists believed that spontaneous generation was not possible.
Loyal Darwinists, however, insisted on spontaneous generation, recognizing that it was the foundation upon which evolutionary theory rests. Ernst Haeckel, one of the chief proponents of Darwinism, stated in 1876: “If we do not accept the hypothesis of spontaneous generation, then at this one point in the history of evolution we must have recourse to the miracle of a supernatural creation. ” Reheated The spontaneous generation debate heated up again in 1924 when Russian biochemist, I. A. Oparin proposed that life had arisen from simpler molecules on the lifeless earth under much different atmospheric conditions than exist today.
However, instead of life arising suddenly, as previous spontaneous generation theories proposed, Oparin believed that it occurred over a very long period of time. In 1929 English biologist J. B. S. Haldane published a paper in which he proposed that ultraviolet light, acting on a primitive atmosphere containing water, ammonia and methane produced oceans with the consistency of a “hot dilute soup” containing the building blocks of life. In the nineteenth century Ernst Haeckel argued that although spontaneous generation was not observable under the current conditions on earth, it did take place in the past under different chemical conditions.
Oparin and Haldane made the first serious proposals regarding those conditions. In 1952 Harold Urey noted that most of the planets in our solar system, except earth, have an atmosphere which contains little or no free oxygen. Furthermore, Urey knew that the building blocks of life are quickly destroyed (oxidized) if they are exposed to an environment containing oxygen. Therefore, he concluded that spontaneous generation must have occurred on the early earth with an atmosphere consisting mainly of hydrogen, ammonia, methane and water vapor, but little or no molecular oxygen.
Lightning, volcanic eruptions, sunlight, and deep oceanic volcanic vents are among the energy sources proposed to stimulate the necessary chemical reactions. It was presumed that the building blocks of life were made in the atmosphere and then gradually fell to earth eventually accumulating in the primeval ocean. Despite absolutely no geological evidence for the existence of this “primeval soup” the Oparin-Haldane-Urey theories became scientific dogma. These foundational assumptions have provided the framework for the modern theory of evolution for the last several decades.
Another Atmosphere The atmospheric conditions proposed by Oparin, Haldane and Urey were radically different from what exists today. Because oxygen destroys the chemical building blocks of life, they speculated that the early earth had an oxygen-free atmosphere. However, in the last few decades, evidence has surfaced that has convinced most atmospheric scientists that the early atmosphere contained abundant oxygen. In the 1970’s Apollo 16 astronauts discovered that water is broken down into oxygen and hydrogen gas in the upper atmosphere when it is bombarded by ultraviolet radiation.
This process, called photo dissociation, is an efficient process which would have resulted in the production of large quantities of oxygen in a relatively short time. Studies by the astronauts revealed that this process is probably a major source of oxygen in our current atmosphere. The assumption of an oxygen-free atmosphere has also been rejected on theoretical grounds. The ozone layer around planet earth consists of a thin but critical blanket of oxygen gas in the upper atmosphere. This layer of oxygen gas blocks deadly levels of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
Without oxygen in the early atmosphere, there could have been no ozone layer over the early earth. Without an ozone layer, all life on the surface of planet earth would face certain death from exposure to intense ultraviolet radiation. Furthermore, the chemical building blocks of proteins, RNA and DNA, would be quickly annihilated because ultraviolet radiation destroys their chemical bonds. It doesn’t matter if these newly formed building blocks are in the atmosphere, on dry ground, or under water. So evolutionists have a major dilemma.
The chemical building blocks of life would be destroyed if oxygen was present, and they would be destroyed if it wasn’t! This “catch 22” has been noted by evolutionist and molecular biologist Michael Denton: “What we have then is a sort of ‘Catch 22’ situation. If we have oxygen we have no organic compounds, but if we don’t we have none either. ” Even if the building blocks of life could survive the effects of intense ultraviolet radiation and form life spontaneously, the survival of any subsequent life forms would be impossible in the presence of such heavy ultraviolet light.
Ozone must be present to protect any surface life from the deadly effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Finally, the assumption that there was no oxygen in the early atmosphere is not borne out by the geologic evidence. Geologists have discovered evidence of abundant oxygen content in the oldest known rocks on earth. Again, Michael Denton: “Ominously, for believers in the traditional organic soup scenario, there is no clear geochemical evidence to exclude the possibility that oxygen was present in the Earth’s atmosphere soon after the formation of its crust. “
All of this evidence supports the fact that there was abundant oxygen on the early earth. However, with or without oxygen, evolution is in a no-win situation. Spontaneous generation could not have occurred either with oxygen—or without it! Another Ocean During the last two decades, the notion of a primordial soup has not fared too well either. Studies of the atmosphere, ultraviolet radiation, and the dilutional effect of a large body of water, have convinced many scientists that the ocean could not have developed into the “hot dilute soup” that was envisioned by Darwin, Oparin, and Haldane.
Oparin envisioned the production of cellular building blocks in the atmosphere as a result of lightning. Once produced, these chemicals would theoretically build up in the primordial oceans and combine to form the first living systems. However, it has been estimated that it would take up to two years for amino acids to fall from the atmosphere into the ocean. This is a huge problem because even small amounts of ultraviolet radiation would destroy the building blocks before they reached the oceans. Furthermore, as we saw earlier, lack of ozone would further expedite this destruction.
A problem seldom noted by textbooks is that the chemical reactions that create the building blocks of life are reversible. That is, the same energy sources that cause the formation of the building blocks of life will also destroy those same building blocks unless they are removed from the environment where they were created. In fact, the building blocks of life are destroyed even more efficiently than they are created. These problems have convinced researchers that the idea of a primordial soup is quite unlikely.
Michael Denton comments on the lack of evidence for the primordial soup: “Rocks of great antiquity have been examined over the past two decades and in none of them has any trace of abiotically produced organic compounds been found…Considering the way the pre-biotic soup is referred to in so many discussions of the origin of life as an already established reality, it comes as something of a shock to realize that there is absolutely no positive evidence for its existence. ” Equilibrium There is one other hurdle that must be successfully cleared if the evolutionist’s scenario on the origin of life is to have credibility.
This is the problem of chemical equilibrium. In any broth or solution, there is the tendency for the materials to become evenly distributed with time. This tendency is called the development of equilibrium. For example, if a drop of red dye is put into a container of water the dye particles gradually disperse throughout the solution until the entire solution turns a dilute red color. The larger the volume of the solvent (i. e. , the water in the dye example), the more dilute will be the solution once the dye particles have become evenly distributed. This dilutional effect is irreversibly tied to time.
As time advances, the dye particles become evenly distributed until the solution reaches a state of chemical equilibrium. Again the chemical reactions leading to the formation of DNA and proteins are reversible. This means that the building blocks of DNA and proteins are broken off of the chain just as easily as they are added. Consequently, the building blocks of life, if they survived the effects of oxygen and UV radiation, would constantly be combining and coming apart in the primordial soup. This combining and coming apart of chemical building blocks proceeds until a state of equilibrium is reached.
In the case of amino acids and nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA and proteins will be predominantly unbounded when the solution is at equilibrium. Since the natural tendency for the building blocks of life is to disperse and remain un-bonded, the question evolutionists must answer is how did the building blocks of life become bonded and stay bonded in a primordial soup which is steadily progressing towards equilibrium? When confronted with the problem of equilibrium, most evolutionists will appeal to the magic ingredient of time.
Nobel Laureate George Wald attempted to explain: “Time is in fact the hero of the plot. Given so much time the impossible becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait: Time itself performs the miracles. ” However, Dr. Blum, who is an evolutionist himself, points out that Wald’s faith in the miraculous ingredient of time is mere wishful thinking. Prolonged time periods, he asserts, actually worsen the dilemma: “I think if I were rewriting this chapter [on the origin of life] completely, I should want to change the emphasis somewhat.
I should want to play down still more the importance of the great amount of time available for highly improbable events to occur. One may take the view that the greater the time elapsed the greater should be the approach to equilibrium, the most probable state, and it seems that this ought to take precedence in our thinking over the idea that time provides the possibility for the occurrence of the highly improbable. ” According to Dr. Blum, the magic bullet of time does not increase the likelihood that chains of DNA or proteins will form by chance chemistry.
In fact, increasing the time factor actually ensures that any primordial soup would consist of predominantly unbonded amino acids and nucleotides! The Odds During the last several decades a number of prestigious scientists have attempted to calculate the mathematical probability of the random-chance origin of life. The results of their calculations reveal the enormity of the dilemma faced by evolutionists. Dr. Blum estimated the probability of just a single protein arising spontaneously from a primordial soup.
Equilibrium and the reversibility of biochemical reactions eventually led Blum to state: “The spontaneous formation of a polypeptide of the size of the smallest known proteins seems beyond all probability. This calculation alone presents serious objection to the idea that all living matter and systems are descended from a single protein molecule which was formed as a ‘chance’ act. ” In the 1970’s British astronomer Sir Frederick Hoyle set out to calculate the mathematical probability of the spontaneous origin of life from a primordial soup environment.
Applying the laws of chemistry, mathematical probability and thermodynamics, he calculated the odds of the spontaneous generation of the simplest known free-living life form on earth – a bacterium. Hoyle and his associates knew that the smallest conceivable free-living life form needed at least 2,000 independent functional proteins in order to accomplish cellular metabolism and reproduction. Starting with the hypothetical primordial soup he calculated the probability of the spontaneous generation of just the proteins of a single amoebae. He determined that the probability of such an event is one chance in ten to the 40 thousandth power, i. . , 1 in 1040,000. Prior to this project, Hoyle was a believer in the spontaneous generation of life. This project, however, changed his opinion 180 degrees. Hoyle stated: “The likelihood of the formation of life from inanimate matter is one to a number with 40 thousand naughts [zeros] after it. It is enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of evolution. There was no primeval soup, neither on this planet nor on any other, and if the beginnings of life were not random they must therefore have been the product of purposeful intelligence. ” Hoyle also concluded hat the probability of the spontaneous generation of a single bacteria, “is about the same as the probability that a tornado sweeping through a junk yard could assemble a 747 from the contents therein. ” Hoyle’s calculations may seem impressive, but they don’t even begin to approximate the difficulty of the task. He only calculated the probability of the spontaneous generation of the proteins in the cell. He did not calculate the chance formation of the DNA, RNA, nor the cell wall that holds the contents of the cell together. Example 1 Consider this. The odds of winning a state lottery are about 1 chance in ten million.
The odds of someone winning the state lottery every single week from age 18 to age 99 is 1 chance in 4. 6 x 1029,120. Therefore, the odds of winning the state lottery every week consecutively for eighty years is more likely than the spontaneous generation of just the proteins of an amoebae! A more detailed estimate for spontaneous generation has been made by Harold Morowitz, a Yale University physicist. Morowitz imagined a broth of living bacteria that was super-heated so that all the complex chemicals were broken down into their basic building blocks.
After cooling the mixture, he concluded that the odds of a single bacterium re-assembling by chance is one in 10100,000,000,000. This number is so large that it would require several thousand books just to write it out. To put this number into perspective, it is more likely that an entire extended family would win the state lottery every week for a million years than for a bacterium to form by chance! Example 2 In his book, Origins–A Skeptics Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth, Robert Shapiro gives a very realistic illustration of how one might estimate the odds of the spontaneous generation of life.
Shapiro begins by allowing one billion years (5 x 1014 minutes) for spontaneous biogenesis. Next he notes that a simple bacterium can make a copy of itself in twenty minutes, but he assumes that the first life was much simpler. So he allows each trial assembly to last one minute, thus providing 5 x 1014 trial assemblies in 1 billion years to make a living bacterium. Next he allows the entire ocean to be used as the reaction chamber. If the entire ocean volume on planet earth were divided into reaction flasks the size of a bacterium we would have 1036 separate reaction flasks.
He allows each reaction flask to be filled with all the necessary building blocks of life. Finally, each reaction chamber is allowed to proceed through one-minute trial assemblies for one billion years. The result is that there would be 1051 tries available in 1 billion years. According to Morowitz we need 10100,000,000,000 trial assemblies! Regarding the probabilities calculated by Morowitz, Robert Shapiro wrote: “The improbability involved in generating even one bacterium is so large that it reduces all considerations of time and space to nothingness.
Given such odds, the time until the black holes evaporate and the space to the ends of the universe would make no difference at all. If we were to wait, we would truly be waiting for a miracle. ” Regarding the origin of life, Francis Crick, winner of the Nobel Prize in biology, stated: “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going. “
Regarding the probability of spontaneous generation, Harvard University biochemist and Nobel Laureate, George Wald stated: “One has to only contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet we are here–as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation. ” In this incredibly twisted statement, we see that Wald’s dogmatic adherence to the evolutionist’s paradigm is independent of the evidence. Wald’s belief in the “impossible” can only be explained by faith: “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. “
Despite these incredible odds and insurmountable problems, spontaneous generation is taught as a fact from grammar school to the university level. In fact, NASA reported to the press in 1991 their opinion that life arose spontaneously not once, but multiple times, because previous attempts were wiped out by cosmic catastrophes! Conclusion The overwhelming evidence is clear…spontaneous generation is an impossibility. It is a scientifically corrupt theory that, among other things, violates the Law of Biogenesis, which says that that life never arises except from life. Life simply cannot come from non-life.
Since spontaneous generation is impossible, so then the foundation that evolution rests on has been shattered. Without spontaneous generation there can be no evolution. Despite scientific evidence to the contrary, however, there are those who continue to believe in evolution, and are therefore forced to accept and defend some form of spontaneous generation. The reason for this dogmatic adherence to spontaneous generation is eloquently pointed out by George Wald: “When it comes to the origin of life there are only two possibilities: Creation or spontaneous generation. There is no third way.
Spontaneous generation was disproved one hundred years ago, but that leads us to only one other conclusion, that of supernatural creation. We cannot accept that on philosophical grounds; therefore, we choose to believe the impossible: That life arose spontaneously by chance! ” According to Wald, it’s not about discovering the truth through the finding of fact, it’s not a matter of evidence, not a matter of science…it’s a matter of philosophy! Like George Wald, many people do not like the alternative: that all life on earth was created by God. So, as Wald said, they are willing to “believe the impossible. Since the impossibility of spontaneous generation is a conclusion that leads to a supernatural creative act by God, it is a conclusion that many choose not to accept. It carries with it what are felt to be, in the present politically correct climate, undesirable philosophic and religious implications. It is for that unfortunate and illogical reason most scientists continue to cling to the unscientific, disproved theory that life arose from non-life through spontaneous generation. Biogenesis is the law that living things come only from other living things, e. g. spider lays eggs, which develop into spiders. It may also refer to biochemical processes of production in living organisms. The biogenesis theory claims that all living things arise from living things. This theory of biogenesis is completely opposite from the spontaneous generation theory. In this article, we shall learn a bit about what is biogenesis theory. But before we go into the details of theory of biogenesis, let us understand the spontaneous theory of generation. Spontaneous Theory of Generation Long before 1900’s, people believed that organisms could evolve from non living things.
One of the early thinkers who believed that non-living things could spontaneously give rise to living things was Aristotle. For example, it was a common belief that logs gave rise to crocodiles, dirty sewers gave rise to rats, maggots came from dead bodies, wet soil lead to creation of toads, etc. This spontaneous theory of generation had a strong ‘belief system’ among people over many centuries. What is Biogenesis Theory? An amateur microbiologist, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, observed small organisms in dirty water and some material he scrapped from his teeth. These organisms were called ‘animalcules’ that we call as protozoans, today.
This discovery took Europe by storm and scientists were thrilled to find these animalcules. The most pricking question in the minds of many was about the origin of these animalcules. This doubt had only one answer, spontaneous theory of generation. Over the years, many intelligent minds came up with theories that defied spontaneous generation theory. An Italian physician, Francesco Redi could prove in 1668 that life cannot evolve spontaneously. However, people who supported biogenesis did not think that Redi’s theory was applicable to microbes. Many other scientists continued their attempts to dissolve the pontaneous theory of generation. However, John Needham in 1745, added chicken broth to a flask and allowed it to cool. Then after few days, microbes did grow in the broth, and Needham proposed it a proof of spontaneous theory of generation. Needlam claimed that vital life is needed for spontaneous generation of animalcules. His claim was challenged by Lazzaro Spallanzani in 1768, who repeated the experiment in a sealed container. He found there was no growth in the container. Then, in 1858, Rudolf Virchow, a scientist challenged the spontaneous generation theory by proposing the theory of biogenesis.
He stated, ‘living cells can arise only from pre-existing living cells’. This biogenesis theory partly explained the presence of animalcule under the microscope. However, without any concrete scientific evidence, Virchow’s biogenesis theory was not accepted by all. Louis Pasteur and Theory of Biogenesis Louis Pasteur was one of the most intelligent scientist of his time. He was the first to be able to prove the biogenesis theory. He proposed that the organisms that are not visible to the naked eye are present in air. However, he emphasized on the fact that air did not give rise to living things.
He carried out an experiment that would dissolve the spontaneous theory of generation and prove the theory of biogenesis. In his experiment, Pasteur heated a number of short necked flasks that contained beef broth. After heating the flasks, he immediately sealed the mouths of some flasks and left a few unsealed. Then after a few days, microorganisms were observed in beef broth that was in flasks that were unsealed. The sealed flasks had no microorganisms present in the broth. This proved that the microorganisms were present in the air and could contaminate the beef broth without the seal.
Now, to prove that air did not give rise to organisms, he demonstrated another experiment. He filled long-necked flasks with beef broth and the flasks were bent into S-shaped curves. These flasks were heated to kill any presence of life in the beef broth. Then he left the flasks as they were for a few days without sealing them. This way the air could reach the broth as it was not blocked. After a few days, Pasteur observed the beef broth and found no microorganisms in it. This showed that the air can access the broth, but the organisms are trapped in the S-shaped neck of the flask and thus are not able to reach it.
You can read more on some interesting creation theories and learn about the human evolution. This simple and ingenious experiment was enough to break an age-old theory of spontaneous generation. The world could now understand the relevancy of biogenesis theory and that only a living thing can give rise to a living thing. Thus, the mystical belief of non living things giving rise to living things was shattered by a simple experiment by Louis Pasteur. In the end, the answer to the question ‘what is biogenesis theory’ is that all living things will be created only from living things and no other process.