biogenesis is the field of science
dedicated to studying how life might have arisen for the first time
on the primordial young Earth. Despite the enormous progress that has
been made since the Miller-Urey experiment, abiogenesis is under
constant attack from creationists, who continually claim that the origin
of life by natural processes is so unlikely as to be, for all
practical purposes, impossible. Following are some articles that
challenge this claim and demonstrate the fundamental misconception
at the core of the creationists' arguments.
Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, and Probability of Abiogenesis Calculations
How likely is it that even a single bacterium could form by chance
in the primordial sea? Not very likely, that's for sure, and creationists have been
only too happy to provide ludicrously huge numbers purporting to be the odds
against such a thing. However, even if these calculations are correct, they
are irrelevant, as modern theories of abiogenesis require nothing of the kind
to happen. This article briefly illustrates what abiogenesis really is
and shows why the creationists' probability calculations do not matter.
Borel's Law and the Origin of Many Creationist Probability Assertions
Creationists have asserted that a statistical principle called "Borel's Law"
mathematically demonstrates that abiogenesis is impossible. This article
explains what Borel's Law is and shows that Borel himself clearly understood
that his law was not relevant to the probability of the origin of life.
Spontaneous Generation and the
Origin of Life
Creationists often claim that Louis Pasteur disproved spontaneous generation
and hence any naturalistic origin of life. This article shows what Pasteur
really demonstrated and gives a history of the subject from early ideas of
spontaneous generation to modern ideas about the origin of life.
The Origin of Life
A discussion of the main models on the spontaneous origin of life
that aims to show how cellular complexity could have gradually emerged
from simple systems - in contrast to the sudden appearance of
complexity that creationists claim to have been necessary at the
beginning of life. Central issues like the composition of the early
atmosphere of the Earth and the origin of the homochirality of amino
acids and sugars are reviewed as well.
Review of the Miller-Urey experiment chapter of Icons of Evolution
Jonathan Wells of the Discovery Institute has made false claims
about abiogenesis research in his
book Icons of Evolution.
An Index to Creationist Claims: Abiogenesis
Brief replies to various origin-of-life claims by antievolutionists.