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…on the origin of life

Ben Stein says…

Evolutionism, as taught by Darwinism, has nothing – nothing – to say about how life originated. – interview on CNN: Impolite Conversation, April 18, 2008

But when I talk to people who are Darwinists or evolutionists and say, “Well, how did life begin” – they’re … they don’t have an answer. I mean, they have an answer, but it’s a BS answer. It’s an answer that wouldn’t make sense to a small child. – interview on the Glenn Beck show, November 13, 2007

Darwinism also has not one meaningful word to say on the origins of organic life, a striking lacuna in a theory supposedly explaining life. – blog entry on Expelled’s website, November 31, 2007

and George Scileppi answers

Evolution has nothing to say about “how life started” one way or the other. If you cannot even start by asking the right questions, how can you possibly achieve the right answers? If your very trailer is starting off with utter dishonesty, how is it possible your propaganda piece will not do the same?

Let me try to put it in the most simplistic terms you may be able to understand: Asking an evolutionary biologist “How did life begin?” and taking him to task or showing him as a buffoon for not answering you, is akin to asking of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, “Why has this movie not achieved world peace?”, or asking of Visine, “Why hasn’t this eye wash cured our fuel and energy woes?”, or asking the author of a few Nixon addresses, “Why didn’t these speeches thwart Watergate?”

and Audrey in Columbus adds

No dear, science doesn’t always make sense to small children. That’s why most experts in the subject have PhDs. Abiogenesis is a complex topic that currently has a generous amount of research being performed. A brief read through the Wikipedia entry on the subject would be enlightening for Mr. Stein (

An honest “I don’t know, but we’re working on it” is preferable to an inquiry-ending “God did it” any day.

and John-Peter Etcheber amplifies

Actually it’s not at all surprising or striking that Darwin’s theory of evolution says nothing about the origins of life. The precise phenomenon evolution describes is the diversity of life and why there are so many different species. In fact, it is common that seminal works of science have nothing to do with origins.

Sir Isaac Newton contributed numerous theories on the nature of gravity, light, and physics. However, none of his theories have anything to do with the origins of gravity, light, or the initial conditions which lead to the physical universe. A couple of centuries would have to pass, and numerous studies and revisions of Newton would have to be done before scientists could ever arrive at the idea of the Big Bang.

Similarly, Gregor Mendel is known as one of the founders of modern genetics, as he discovered that traits were inherited from parent to child. However, his theories about inheritance were completely void of any ideas about how the traits were passed. It was not until the twentieth century that meiosis and chromosomes were discovered and his theories were confirmed.

Scientific research rarely gives a complete picture on the first pass. It usually takes generations of scientists to even scrape the surface of any phenomenon, and those answers often lead to even more questions. This elucidates the best part of the scientific method: no one participant ever has the last word and no scientist is ever so deified that he or she cannot be challenged.