Did Life Begin?

The question of how life began (or in more technical terminology, abiogenesis) is one that often comes up in debates between the anti-science young-earth creationists and everyone else.

Ricky Carvel has posted some interesting thoughts on the topic on his blog. He suggests that, if one posits a living God as creator of life on this planet, then that is not the beginning of life. It is simply the creation of life by an entity that already lives.

The debate would, in that case, be between those who say that a form of life (namely God’s) simply always existed, vs. those who say that life came about through natural processes.

I think this is an interesting take on the topic, and it might result in some very different discussions (given that it suggests that many people dive into these discussions with inverted assumptions). What do blog readers think?

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  • Ian

    There’s a similar objection to Cosmological arguments. If everything has a cause, then what caused God.

    This lead to the little verbal two step of the “Kalam Cosmological Argument”: “everything that began to exist has a cause”. Which, of course, just assumes its conclusion.

    Another victim is the “it takes intelligence to design intelligence”, so who designed God?

    Ultimately I think neither the arguments nor the objections feel satisfying though. They all feel a bit too much like wordplay to me. I don’t think many believers would be genuinely stumped by your observation. Which suggests that they are only appearing to base their arguments on that kind of reasoning. I’m sure you’d get a good range of post-hoc rationalizations.