Life From Inanimate Matter

Abiogenesis:
Life From Inanimate Matter

Is It possible?

In the beginning the Earth was almost formed but void of life, and a primordial soup comprised of water, hydrocarbons and ammonia was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of abiogeneses hovered over the face of the waters. And a lightning bolt struck the soup, and, behold, the building blocks of life were created.

And there was soup in the evening and lightning in the morning, and this was one theory. And scientists saw that this theory was good and called it science.

Is it me, or does this sound like Creation? The only thing missing is God.

The “scientific” theory of lightning creating the first Amino-acids is as close as science has ever gotten to explaining the initial appearance of the building blocks of life on Earth. How inanimate matter than came to life (abiogenesis), nobody knows.

Nobody knows because no one has ever reproduced abiogenesis and there is no evidence of it ever occurring. So if no one’s ever reproduced it and there’s no evidence of it occurring, what makes it science? And what makes it better than Creation? That is, if you say that God caused inanimate matter to come to life, that’s not science because you can’t prove it. But if you say that inanimate matter came to life through some other unprovable process, a process that some scientists even believe may never be possible to prove, that is science. Why?

From the euphoria displayed by scientists every time there is the slightest hint that evidence of abiogenesis is about to be uncovered, and the disappointments that invariably follow, it seems scientists’ faith in abiogenesis is based more on emotional expectations rather than meaningful facts.

In April 2007 a team of European astronomers announced that, using a telescope in La Silla in the Chilean Andes, they discovered an Earth-like planet (named Gliese 581c) 20.5 light years away that could be covered in oceans and may support life.

An article on DailyMail.co.uk. reporting on this discovery, using a tactic typical of science writing, begins with, “[Gliese 581c has] got the same climate as Earth, plus water and gravity. [This] newly discovered planet is the most stunning evidence that life — just like us — might be out there.” The article then admits, “We don’t yet know much about this planet,” but goes on to say, “This remarkable discovery appears to confirm the suspicions of most astronomers that the universe is swarming with Earth-like worlds.”

Stunning evidence that life just like us might be out there? The universe is swarming with Earth-like worlds? Does this discovery really say all this?

Only a month later, dismay set in over Gliese 581c having been erroneously touted as an Earth-like planet. As one website put it: “…the source of so much press speculation about terrestrial worlds, turns out to be far too hot to support life … it’s closer to its star than Venus is to ours.” And that was the “end of life” on this “Earth-like” planet.

The practice of publicizing discoveries along with wishful interpretations before facts are checked is common in scientific circles. Then, when facts that contradict initial assumptions come out, they are often not given the same urgency and publicity as the original announcements. The public is thus left with perceptions that coincide with what scientists would like to believe rather than with the way things really are.

Another planet discovered quite close to us in space was described by NASA in April 2004 as follows: “The similarities [to Earth] are striking. Each planet has roughly the same amount of land surface area. Atmospheric chemistry is relatively similar, at least as Earth is compared to … other planets in [our] solar system. Both planets have large, sustained polar caps and the current thinking is that they’re both largely made of water ice. The … planets also show a similar tilt in their rotational axises, affording each of them strong seasonal variability. [They] also present strong historic evidence of changes in climate.”

This planet is Mars.

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If we had found a planet so similar to Earth several billion light-years away, scientists would have been screaming with euphoria that we’ve just about found life on another planet. In fact, at one point we did entertain the thought that Mars may contain life, and the word Martians became a staple of science fiction for many years.

Then what happened? We explored Mars. Suddenly, the Martians disappeared, and we’re now down to dredging up soil to find microorganisms. The disappointments in exploring Mars go far beyond bruised egos; they’ve shaken the very foundation of abiogenesis.

In December of 2007, scientists at the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory had shown, by analyzing organic material and minerals in the Martian meteorite Allan Hills 84001, that building blocks of life (organic compounds containing carbon and hydrogen) did form on Mars early in its history.

The Phoenix lander’s May 31st, 2008, transmission of photos of ice on Mars was hailed as a possible breakthrough in our search for life on other planets. By July, the Phoenix lander had detected water in the Martian soil. “We have water,” proclaimed William Boynton of the University of Arizona, lead scientist for the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer (TEGA). “We’ve seen evidence for this water ice before in observations by the Mars Odyssey orbiter and in disappearing chunks observed by Phoenix last month, but this is the first time martian water has been touched and tasted.”

So, after finding the building blocks of life and water, have we found life on Mars? No, we haven’t. Why not? The answers you get usually go along the lines of, “We have to dig some more,” or, “We’ve only explored a small portion of Mars.”

If you were an alien visiting Earth’s vicinity, how many orbits around Earth would you have to make before discovering life? Not even an entire orbit. Half way around Earth you’d discover a plethora of life. Would you even have to land? Of course not; any half decent telescope in orbit would detect life on Earth. And you certainly wouldn’t have to dig.


We do know one thing about Mars for just about certain; there is no life on the surface. This alone is a serious problem, as far as biogenesis is concerned. Earth and Mars, according to scientists, were formed in roughly the same period of time and from the same stuff in space, 4.5 billion years ago. During that time Earth has produced literally billions and billions of life forms, some as huge as dinosaurs, some as advanced as humans. Mars, however, in a staggering 4.5 billion years, has produced absolutely no life that we can discern — not even small ants! How’s this possible?

Even if life on Mars had somehow gotten wiped out, we’d at least have to find some bones, carcasses or something. But nothing? What we’ve found is a planet that seems to be totally barren.

The mere fact that we have to dig in hopes of finding any traces of life on a planet with such strong similarities to and the same age as Earth says there’s something wrong with the concept of biogenesis. Ironically, scientists see the discovery of the building blocks of life and water on Mars as hopeful signs of someday finding life there, when in fact the opposite is true. Being that these vital components of life do exist shows very clearly that inanimate matter does not come to life.

And the notion that the Martian environment is too harsh to support life rings pretty hollow. Harsh environments do not deter life here on Earth. Here’s an idea of how harsh things can get here on Earth, and how life thrives in spite of it:

In 1977 we found the first hydrothermal vent, an opening where water heated by Earth’s molten interior is released into the ocean. Closest to the vent, in the midst of water which sometimes exceeds 450 degrees Fahrenheit, were eight-foot long tube worms. Most animals need sunlight to survive; the area where these tube worms thrive receive no sunlight whatsoever.

Then, as if to laugh in the face of what’s considered “normal” for biological life forms, these tube worms had no eyes, mouth, or intestinal tract. They get their nourishment from surrounding bacteria.

To add to this ecological mystery, these bacteria thrived on hydrogen sulphide, which is found in the water coming from the hot vent. To most higher animals, hydrogen sulphide is as poisonous as cyanide!

Since 1977 many more vents have been discovered on the ocean floors. Besides tube worms, other exotic animals have been found thriving in the immediate vicinity of the vents — pink fish, snails, shrimp, sulphur-yellow mussels, and foot-long clams, to name a few. Similar animal populations have since been discovered in waters only a few degrees cooler than freezing. Talk about adapting to extreme and adverse conditions.

Cacti are known to survive the most difficult and unusual climates. Their ability to sustain themselves in areas of little rainfall, hot dry winds, low humidity, strong sunlight, and extreme fluctuations in temperature is nothing short of phenomenal. Some cacti can survive internal temperatures of near 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Most plants haven’t got a chance where some cacti prosper.

Lichens, a combination of fungus and algae, have been found thriving in an area of Antarctica where temperatures sometimes get colder than 70 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. As far as hostile environments go, this seems to be the extreme opposite of deep, dark, hot waters.

Bacteria have been found growing an amazing 25 feet underground in Antarctica.

In the course of Earth’s history, there have probably been over a half billion animal species in existence, from such monstrosities as whales and dinosaurs right down to microscopic life forms such as amoebas and viruses. That’s a half billion before you even bring plant life into the picture.

The planets in our solar system, according to scientists, formed about four and a half billion years ago. The most primitive forms of life allegedly appeared on Earth as far back as three billion years ago. Huge creatures such as dinosaurs roamed our planet an alleged 200 million years ago, and ruled for an enormously long period of over 100 million years. Finally, scientists believe, humans appeared about two to three million years ago.

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That is, something as complex as the human brain has allegedly been around for at least a staggering two million years. An optical instrument as sophisticated as the eye has been around even longer.

Yet, when we look at a planet formed at the same time and from the same stuff as Earth, right next to us in space, what do we find? We find a barren world with absolutely no traces of life. We have to dig in search of even the simplest organism, which we have not yet found. Is there something wrong with this picture?

Sure the Martian environment is hostile. But two miles down at the bottom of our oceans near vents which spew hot water mixed with hydrogen sulphide in total darkness is not exactly a summer vacation spot — it’s about as hostile as an environment can get! But life thrives there in complete defiance of what are normally considered ecological adversities.

So is 25 feet deep in the ice of Antarctica a hostile environment. So is the desert. Furthermore, in that alleged period of three and a half billion years ago, the entire Earth, according to scientists, was hostile. Life on Earth allegedly began in an environment which would be hostile to many of today’s life forms. And many of today’s life forms live in conditions which would have been intolerable to the organisms which allegedly brought life into existence billions of years ago. But life on Earth thrives in spite of it all.

It’s hard to imagine life on Earth being completely wiped out by any natural or manmade disaster. But somehow, life on Mars has either been completely wiped out (and the telltale traces mysteriously hidden) or life on Mars never came into existence. It’s totally inconceivable that something as tenacious and as diversified as life has not left its mark on Mars.

Well, maybe there’s no life on Mars because the notion of inanimate matter coming to life is a fantasy. It doesn’t happen and it’s never been proven to happen. Mars actually proves that given billions of years an entire planet will never produce even one single microscopic organism.

It follows logically that if abiogenesis does not work, we may very well be the only life, as we know it, in the universe, which I believe is the case. Again, it is scientists’ job to give us honest conclusions based on facts, not interpretations based on biases.

I understand it must be a frightening thought to some scientists, if we’re not just some “accident” or “probability” in a universe bursting with billions of civilizations, we may be here by design. But that’s for the public to deal with, not for scientists to rule out.

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