In this BBC-Discovery TV program1 Sir David Attenborough tells us his purpose is to look at the origin of life and for the very first living creature that appeared on Earth. As he presents the evolutionist worldview, we shall examine what he says and compare it with the biblical worldview.
He begins by showing us a rock surface in Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire, England, and he says: “A discovery was made that transformed our understanding of that mystery of mysteries, the origin of life.” In 1957 a schoolboy named Roger Mason found a fossil in these rocks that evolutionists said were 600 million years old [i.e. Precambrian]. Viewers see a computer-reconstruction of this fossil as a leaf-like plant growing on the sea-floor in darkness. It has been given the genus name Charnia.
First life: microscopic single cells
Before Charnia and other complex organisms existed, the only living things were microscopic single cells. They first appeared about 3½ billion years ago when the earth was a very different place. … The land was dominated by volcanoes, hostile and lifeless; but deep in the oceans life had begun. The latest theory is that chemicals spewing from underwater volcanic vents … produced the conditions needed for the first cells to form. Some of these began to harness the energy of sunlight just as plants do today, and form colonies.
It is true that organisms (sometimes called ‘extremophiles’) can and do thrive in the corrosive and near-boiling environments around some underwater volcanic vents and hot springs.2 However, the claim that life originated there does not follow. Such a claim is actually a faith statement, i.e. that an unknown reaction mixture, under unknown reaction conditions, gave unknown products by unknown mechanisms, and these products were somehow alive. So a few questions are in order:…
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