Abiogenesis, also known as spontaneous generation, in its 19th century meaning, referred to the "now discredited theory that living organisms can arise spontaneously from inanimate matter". At that time, there was much speculation on just how living things can come into existence. The experiments of Louis Pasteur helped improve the understanding of the subject.
In the modern sense of the word, it refers to whatever transition is presumed to have occurred between a universe with no living things (it is generally accepted that living things were not present in the original quark-gluon plasma of the big bang), and the present universe.
Most scientists believe that an event of abiogenesis, about 3.5 billion years ago, was the origin of life on Earth. How this could have happened is not yet understood; it is matter of intense inquiry and speculation. No process by which organisms, even incredibly simple ones, can be created from non-living matter has been observed, in the wild or in the laboratory.
Abiogenesis relates to so called spontaneous generation, an archaic theory that stated that life could appear spontaneously under particular conditions. For example, pieces of cheese and bread wrapped in rags and left in dark areas were thought to produce mice, because mice appeared in the food after several weeks. This theory was finally put to rest by experiments by Louis Pasteur. In his historical address delivered at the "Sorbonne Scientific Soirée" on April 7, 1864, he criticized this theory i.a. by tracing its roots at least back to celebrated alchemical physician Van Helmont who lived in the seventeenth century. Pasteur exposed declarations made by Van Helmont stating that When water from the purest spring is placed in a flask steeped in leavening fumes, it putrefies, engendering maggots. The fumes which rise from the bottom of a swamp produce frogs, ants, leeches, and vegetation... Carve an indentation in a brick, fill it with crushed basil, and cover the brick with another, so that the indentation is completely sealed. Expose the two bricks to sunlight, and you will find that within a few days, fumes from the basil, acting as a leavening agent, will have transformed the vegetable matter into veritable scorpions. He also affirmed having conducted the experiment described as: If a soiled shirt is placed in the opening of a vessel containing grains of wheat, the reaction of the leaven in the shirt with fumes from the wheat will, after approximately twenty-one days, transform the wheat into mice and added that the resulting mice are adults, male and female, and that they may continue to reproduce their species by copulation. Pasteur ironically commented that "though it is easy enough to conduct experiments, it is far from easy to conduct irreproachable ones" and finally concluded that experiments of the sort adduced, in the seventeenth century, in favor of the doctrine of spontaneous generation, are absurd even if they would be defended by famous names like Epicurus, Aristotle, or Van Helmont himself. Although Pasteur believed the doctrine of spontaneous generation, previously fueled i.a. by earlier Kant's philosophical metaphysical dogmas[note 1] as well as by Pasteur's contemporaries Pouchet, Musset, Joly and Buffon, will never recover from the mortal blow inflicted by his experiments, a group of evolutionists, who needed to camouflage their adherence to failed hypothesis, rebranded and modified original theory under the new name of so-called chemical evolution. Yet, in effort to distance evolutionary theory from the origin of life, most evolutionary propagandists now call it ‘abiogenesis’. Another reason exists to exaggerate abiogenesis claims—it is an area that is critical to proving evolutionary naturalism. If abiogenesis is impossible, or extremely unlikely[note 2], then so is naturalism.
The Current Modifications to the Original Theory
- Initial Ingredients: The water from the purest spring, leavening fumes, crushed basil and other such ingredients have been replaced by references to so called 'primordial soup' or 'warm pond' of unknown composition. Evolutionists such as David Deamer, emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of California at Santa Cruz, have tried to put this idea under the test with the following result: "The results are surprising and in some ways disappointing. It seems that hot acidic waters containing clay do not provide the right conditions for chemicals to assemble themselves into 'pioneer organisms.'" He further explains the reasons for the setback: "in our experiments, the organic compounds became so strongly held to the clay particles that they could not undergo any further chemical reactions." The conclusion was made that if life really did begin in a 'warm little pond' at all, then it was unlikely in hot volcanic springs or marine hydrothermal vents.
- Mechanism: The necessity to use flask or cover one brick with another, so that the indentation is completely sealed, has been eased by using 'the little bit of luck' instead. Evolutionary biologist and University of Oxford's Professor Dawkins explains: "And, of course, the puzzling thing is where does all this complexity come from? Where does all this information come from? It cannot come about by chance. It’s absolutely inconceivable that you could get something as complicated as a bird, and as well designed as a bird, or a human, or a hedgehog, coming about by chance. That’s absolutely out. Because to get from nothing, from no complexity, no information, to the extreme complexity of a modern living thing in one step of chance couldn’t possibly happen. That would be like throwing a dice a thousand times and getting six every single time. It’s out of the question. But if you allow a little bit of luck in any one generation, and then a little bit of luck in the next generation, little bit of luck in the next generation, by cumulatively adding this luck[note 3] step by step by step by step[note 4], you can work from any degree of simplicity to any degree of complexity.[note 5] All you need is enough time."[note 6] As this proposition remains out of reach of any scientific test that, as Pasteur pointed out, assumes the possibility to conduct experiments, this alien 'mechanism' can be effectively labeled as Evolution of the gaps.
- The time line: Van Helmont claimed that transformation of start-up ingredients into living organisms such as veritable scorpions takes place within a few days and 'wheat into mice' after approximately twenty-one days. On the other hand, though the contemporary theory of evolution does not specify an origin to life on Earth, some evolutionists and nearly all atheists believe that abiogenesis has occurred at least once approximately 3.5 billion years ago. They theorize that several molecules connected in a way that allowed them to be self-reproducing, and that these "living" beings later evolved into present organisms. As of yet, no self-reproducing molecules have been observed to raise their existence in assumed early-Earth-like conditions. Sometimes a vague proposition "All you need is enough time" is given.[note 7]
Omnia viva ex vivo
Pasteur effectively confirmed with his experiments the long-standing truism that life comes only from life, expressed in Latin words as Omnia viva ex vivo, which thus had been according to German information specialist Werner Gitt elevated to the status of natural law. After accounting for the contemporary scientific research results, Werner formulated the corresponding theorem:
There is no known law of nature, no known process, and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter.
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. Genesis 1:20 (KJV)
- cf. Kant: Philosopher of Protestantism vs. of Evolutionary thought:
- cf. "Here we show that although dual coding is nearly impossible by chance, a number of human transcripts contain overlapping coding regions." 
- In the Roman mythology, good luck was represented by the goddess Felicitas. In his book the City of God (De Civitate Dei), Saint Augustine compares the idolatrous pagan worshipers of this goddess to mistaken primitive and stubborn people who would attempt to satiate their hunger by licking the bread painted on the wood.
- cf."But were I to make such a claim I would observe, as Richard Dawkins does, that to the extent that simultaneous and parallel changes are required to form a complex organ, to that extent does the hypothesis of random variation and natural selection become implausible. It is one thing to find a single needle in a haystack, quite another to find a dozen needles in a dozen haystacks at precisely the same time. Surely the burden of proof in such matters is not mine. I am not obliged to defend such mathematical trivialities as the proposition that as independent events are multiplied in number, their joint probability of occurrence plummets." (David Berlinski)
- cf.Logic of possibility
- (The God Delusion, p. 59)
- cf. Explanation in science and Fog displacement
- Dictionary.com: Abiogenesis
- Alexander Levine (17 November 2011). On Spontaneous Generation: An address delivered by Louis Pasteur at the "Sorbonne Scientific Soirée" of April 7, 1864.
- Jerry Bergman. Why the Miller–Urey research argues against abiogenesis. CMI. “Abiogenesis was once commonly called ‘chemical evolution’, but evolutionists today try to distance evolutionary theory from the origin of life. This is one reason that most evolutionary propagandists now call it ‘abiogenesis’. Chemical evolution is actually part of the ‘General Theory of Evolution’, defined by the evolutionist Kerkut as ‘the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form’.”
- Wen-Yu Chung et al. (2007 May). A First Look at ARFome: Dual-Coding Genes in Mammalian Genomes. PLoS Comput Biol.. Retrieved on December 30, 2013.
- Rebecca Morelle (13 February 2006). Darwin's warm pond idea is tested. Retrieved on 4 August 2013.
- Saint Augustine (Translated by Marcus Dods). "Book IV/23.Concerning Felicity...", The City of Gog. Christian Classics Ethereal Library. “Was Felicity perhaps justly indignant, both because she was invited so late, and was invited not to honor, but rather to reproach, because along with her were worshiped Priapus, and Cloacina, and Fear and Dread, and Ague, and others which were not gods to be worshiped, but the crimes of the worshippers? ...the Capitol was built in such a way that these three also might be within it, yet with such obscure signs that even the most learned men could scarcely know this. Surely, then, Jupiter himself would by no means despise Felicity, as he was himself despised by Terminus, Mars, and Juventas. ... But if Felicity is not a goddess, because, as is true, it is a gift of God, that god must be sought who has power to give it, and that hurtful multitude of false gods must be abandoned which the vain multitude of foolish men follows after, making gods to itself of the gifts of God, and offending Himself whose gifts they are by the stubbornness of a proud will. For he cannot be free from infelicity who worships Felicity as a goddess, and forsakes God, the giver of felicity; just as he cannot be free from hunger who licks a painted loaf of bread, and does not buy it of the man who has a real one.”
- David Berlinski (July 8, 2003). A Scientific Scandal? David Berlinski & Critics. Center for Science and Culture(originally: Commentary). Retrieved on May 15, 2013.
- James F. Coppedge. Evolution: Possible or Impossible?. Retrieved on January 3, 2014. “While it is true that opposites can be linked in the laboratory, what about that question if we consider the conditions that evolution assumes to have been existing before life began? ... After considering all the attempts, it is clear that unless chance could do it, there is at present no adequate answer from a naturalistic standpoint to explain how this left-handed condition began. As a result, there is little evidence of any agreement or consensus among scientists regarding its source. Oparin must presume that this stereoselectivity started without prior design. Any other belief would be inconsistent with his communist philosophy. (Interestingly, that viewpoint – dialectical materialism – is not atheistic after all. Professor Claude Tresmontant of the University of Paris has pointed out with unanswerable logic that communists are actually pantheists, worshiping matter-in-motion. ...The probability of the formation of one antipode or the other is therefore the same. As the law of averages applies to chemical reactions the appearance of an excess of one antipode is very improbable, and, in fact, we never encounter it under the conditions of non-living nature and in laboratory syntheses . . . . In living organisms, on the contrary, the amino acids of which naturally occurring proteins are made always have the left-handed configuration. . . . This ability of protoplasm selectively to synthesize and accumulate one antipode alone is called the asymmetry of living material. It is a characteristic feature of all organisms without exception but is absent from inanimate nature. Pasteur pointed out this fact as follows: “This great character is, perhaps, the only sharp dividing line which we can draw at present between the chemistry of dead and living nature.”)”
- Werner Gitt (2011). Without Excuse. Creation Book Publishers, 143, 177, 323. ISBN 978-1-921643-41-5.
- David Berlinski (2009). "Was there a Big Bang?", The Deniable Darwin. Seattle, USA: Discovery Institute Press (reprinted from Commentary February 1998 by permission), 476. ISBN 978-0-9790141-2-3. “On the level of intuition and experience, these facts suggest nothing more mysterious than the longstanding truism that lifes comes only from life. Omnia viva ex vivo, as Latin writers said.”
- Klaus Dose (December 1983). Die Ursprünge des Lebens (German). Nachrichten aus Chemie, Technik und Laboratorium. DOI:10.1002/nadc.19830311208.
- Werner Gitt (2006). In the beginning was information. New Leaf Publishing Group, 106. ISBN 9781614581208.