“It is often said that all the conditions for the first production of a living organism are now present, which could ever have been present. But if (and oh! what a big if!) we could conceive in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity, etc., present,…” Charles Darwin
For almost 150 years, this has been a popular idea for imagining how the first life on earth got started. Take the right non-living ingredients and you might just get life from them.
Let’s see what today’s scientists think of Darwin’s idea:
“Life on Earth first evolved in the seas over 3.5 billion years ago, and even today the majority of living things are aquatic.” University of Maryland, Geology 104, Autumn 2015
“Life on Earth Began on Land, Not in Sea?
First cells likely arose in steamy mud pots, study suggests.” National Geographic News, Feb. 2012
“Although no one is sure, that “warm little pond” is just how many modern biologists imagine life on Earth really did get going. And perhaps the same is true of life in other places, too.” The Economist, Dec. 2014
“…from some warm, little pond on a primordial Earth that has amino acids, sugars, fatty acids just sort of floating around in the environment…” NOVA, How Did Life Begin?, 2004
“Small, warm ponds are one possibility, but recent work has suggested that deep-sea hydrothermal vents, such as those found along mid-ocean spreading centers today, may have been the cradle of Earth’s life.” The Archean, Smithsonian
“IT IS the closest we have ever come to finding Earth’s primordial soup. Ancient rocks deep underground contain water that has been locked away for billions of years. It may never have been touched by life.” New Scientist, Ancient Water Cache, July, 2014
“Viewpoint : Yes, the theory that life began in the “little warm pond” has supporting evidence from a number of experiments, and competing theories are more problematic.
Viewpoint : No, either life began on the surface during the period known as the late heavy bombardment, or it began in a protected environment away from the surface and the devastating impacts.” Science Clarified, Vol. 1
“Life on Earth was unlikely to have emerged from volcanic springs or hydrothermal vents, according to a leading US researcher. Experiments carried out in volcanic pools suggest they do not provide the right conditions to spawn life.” BBC Feb. 2006
“We don’t know how life started on this planet. We don’t know exactly when it started, we don’t know under what circumstances….
Will we ever solve the problem?
I don’t know. I imagine my grandchildren will still be sitting around saying that it’s a great mystery,…” NOVA, How Did Life Begin?, 2004
So, where do they think the ingredients for the warm little pond, mud pit, sea vent, crustal reservoir, or whatever come from?
“About 4.6 billion years ago our solar system formed from a cloud of gas and dust which slowly contracted under the mutual gravity of all of its particles. The cloud was made largely of hydrogen (H) with some helium (He) and small amounts of the remaining naturally occurring chemical elements. The elements larger than He had to have been produced in a supernova.” U. of Arizona, The Solar Nebula Formation of the Earth
Did you catch that? Heavier elements are presumed to come from a supernova. And what is that? An exploded star. In fact, all the ingredients for the Solar System are assumed to come from former stars. This widely accepted framework is known as the Nebular Hypothesis.
This is where the idea that we are stardust comes from
In fact, the Nebular Hypothesis is so generally believed in scientific circles, a search for “reject nebular hypothesis” starts pulling up lots of creationist websites.
We seem to be the only ones willing to question this belief. And that’s even with the problems being so obvious a 6 year old can understand them:
- A gas and dust cloud never collapses on itself, especially in a vacuum. Rather, it spreads out farther and farther apart
- If you somehow did get a nucleus to start collapsing, it would begin spinning, and as it shrank, it would spin faster and faster, eventually flinging everything out once more
Of course, there are lots more problems being ignored by those determined to not see our Creator God:
- Dr. Jonathan Sarfati probably has the best article explaining them.
- Answers in Genesis has an article especially for high school students talking about them
- CreationWiki has a page on addressing the Nebular Hypothesis from many angles as well
- You might just have fun wandering Search Creation.org and see what comes up
What Does our Creator God Tell Us We are Made From?
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1
Then the Lord God took dust from the ground and made a man. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nose, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7
You know, in a way, the atheists aren’t that far off. Earth was made by the same Designer at the same time as the heavens, and we are made of earth stuff. That “mud” idea is especially close.
But as for me, I’m going to rejoice in being a special creation by the God who loves me. The “freedom” of being nothing but animated star stuff isn’t worth the emptiness!
Oh, yes, many scientists see so many problems with life starting on earth they like to imagine it started in space instead.