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Chapter 7a:

The Primitive Environment

Why Raw Materials on Earth cannot Produce Life

This chapter is based on pp. 233-263 of Origin of the Life (Volume Two of our three-volume Evolution Disproved Series). Not included in this chapter are at least 52 statements by scientists. You will find them, plus much more, on our website: .


HOW THE THEORY TELLS IT—According to the evolutionary theory, life began in this way:

(1) There was just the right atmosphere—and it was totally different from the one we now have.

(2) The ground, water, or ocean where life began had just the right combination of chemicals in it—which it does not now have.

(3) Using an unknown source of just the right amount of energy, amino acids then formed in sufficient quantities that—

(4) they could combine into lots of proteins and nucleotides (complex chemical compounds).

(5) They then reformed themselves into various organs inside a main organism.

(6) They did some careful thinking (as with all the other points, beyond the mental abilities of even our best scientists today), and developed a genetic code to cover thousands of different factors.

(7) At this point, they were ready to start reproducing young. —Of course, this last point reveals that all the previous six had to occur within the lifetime of just one bacterium. Since microbes and bacteria do not live very long, this first one had to think and act fast.

Charles Darwin did a lot of daydreaming in his letters and in his book, Origin of the Species. Here was one of his hopeful wishes, as expressed in a letter to a close friend:

"But if (and oh! what a big if!) we could conceive in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity etc., present, that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes."—*Charles Darwin, in *Francis Darwin (ed.), The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin (1887 ed.), p. 202 (the parenthetical comment is his also).

*Darwin was totally puzzled as to how even one of the plant or animal species could have originated, much less the millions we have today. Yet he wrote a book which, according to the title, explained the problem. An ardent evolutionist refers to the difficulty:

"Since Darwin’s seminal work was called The Origin of Species one might reasonably suppose that his theory had explained this central aspect of evolution or at least made a shot at it, even if it had not resolved the larger issues we have discussed up to now. Curiously enough, this is not the case. As Professor Ernst Mayr of Harvard, the doyen [senior member] of species studies, once remarked, the ‘book called The Origin of Species is not really on that subject,’ while his colleague Professor Simpson admits: ‘Darwin failed to solve the problem indicated by the title of his work.’

"You may be surprised to hear that the origin of species remains just as much a mystery today, despite the efforts of thousands of biologists. The topic has been the main focus of attention and is beset by endless controversies."—*Gordon R. Taylor, Great Evolution Mystery (1983), p. 140.

One of the greatest scientists of the last 200 years said this about the possibility of life making itself out of water and mud:

"Mathematics and dynamics fail us when we contemplate the earth, fitted for life but lifeless, and try to imagine the commencement of life upon it. This certainly did not take place by any action of chemistry, or electricity, or crystalline grouping of molecules under the influence of force, or by any possible kind of fortuitous concourse of atmosphere. We must pause, face to face with the mystery and miracle of creation of living things."—Lord Kelvin, quoted in Battle for Creation, p. 232.

OUR WORLD BEGINS—Evolutionary theorists tell us that long ago, our world spun off from a stellar condensation or collision of some kind. At first it was a molten mass of very hot rock. Gradually this is supposed to have cooled over a period of millions upon millions of years.

THE PRIMITIVE ENVIRONMENT—(*#1/20 The Primitive Environment*) Finally it was time for life to originate by spontaneous generation from (according to which theorist is speaking) warm wet dirt, seashore, hot and dry dirt, ocean water, desert sand, lake, poisonous chemicals or fumes, electrified mud puddle, a volcanic rim, or something else. An atmosphere of some type had formed, and occasionally lightning would strike the earth.

Scientists have tried to analyze what conditions would have had to be like in order for spontaneous generation of life from non-life to occur. They call this the "primitive environment."

What were conditions like at that first moment when life is supposed to have created itself by random chance out of a mud hole or sloshing seawater? Evolutionists try to figure this out. Their conclusions are not only astonishing; but, in this chapter, we will learn—they even more disprove evolution!

The theorists tell us that the first life form developed from nothing about 4.6 billion years ago. But *Steven Jay Gould of Harvard, one of the leading evolutionary thinkers of the latter part of the twentieth century, maintains that there would have been very little time for this highly improbable event to have occurred:

"We are left with very little time between the development of suitable conditions for life on the Earth’s surface and the origin of life . . Life apparently arose about as soon as the Earth became cool enough to support it."—*Steven Jay Gould, "An Early Start," in Natural History, February 1978.

*Fred Hoyle wrote in the November 19, 1981 issue of New Scientist, that there are 2000 complex enzymes required for a living organism,—yet not a single one of these could have been formed on earth by shuffling processes in even 20 billion years!


SPONTANEOUS GENERATION—(*2/9 Spontaneous Generation*) The theory of life from non-living things is the error of "spontaneous generation," an error which was not fully eliminated until more than a century ago. Modern evolutionists believe in and teach spontaneous generation, which they now call biopoiesis, so students will not recognize that they are still advocating spontaneous generation. (Earlier in the twentieth century, it was called abiogenesis.)

In contrast, Biogenesis is the scientific name for the important biological truth confirmed by Louis Pasteur and others, that life can only come from life.

"Biogenesis is a term in biology that is derived from two Greek words meaning life and birth. According to the theory of biogenesis, living things descend only from living things. They cannot develop spontaneously from nonliving materials. Until comparatively recent times,  scientists believed that certain tiny forms of life, such as bacteria, arose spontaneously from non-living substances."—*"Biogenesis," World Book Encyclopedia, p. B-242 (1972 edition).

Spontaneous generation was believed by many scientists, prior to the careful experiments of Spallanzani (1780), and Pasteur (1860), which totally disproved that foolish idea. People thought that fruit flies spontaneously came forth from fruit, geese from barnacles, mice from dirty clothes, and bees from dead calves. Even Copernicus, Galileo, Bacon, *Hegel, and *Shilling believed it, but that did not make it right. Great people believing an error does not make the error truth.

Evolution teaches spontaneous generation. Think about that for a moment. We’re returning to the Dark Ages!

"Pasteur’s demonstration apparently laid the theory of spontaneous generation to rest permanently. All this left a germ of embarrassment for scientists. How had life originated after all, if not through divine creation or through spontaneous generation? . .

"They [today’s scientists] are back to spontaneous generation, but with a difference. The pre-Pasteur view of spontaneous generation was of something taking place now and quickly. The modern view is that it took place long ago and very slowly."—*Isaac Asimov, Asimov’s New Guide to Science (1984), pp. 638-639.

In contrast, true science teaches biogenesis, which means, in general, that life can only come from life and, specifically, that species can only come from living parents in the same species. Speaking of *Rudolf Virchow, the Encyclopedia Britannica tells us:

"His aphorism ‘omnis cellula e cellula’ [every cell arises from a preexisting cell] ranks with Pasteur’s ‘omne vivum e vivo’ [every living thing arises from a preexisting living thing] as among the most revolutionary generalizations of biology."—*Encyclopedia Britannica, 1973 Edition, Vol. 23, p. 35.

" ‘Spontaneous generation is a chimera [illusion].’—Louis Pasteur, French chemist and microbiologist."—*Isaac Asimov’s Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), p. 193.

INSTANT SUCCESS NECESSARY—In order for life to arise from non-life, there would have to be instant success. All the parts would suddenly have to be there, and all would have to immediately function with essential perfection.

In the next chapter (chapter 8), we will learn that, in order for life to occur, DNA and protein would have to link up with ease into long, extremely complicated coded strings. In addition, thousands of other complicated chemical combinations would have to be accomplished within a few moments. How long could you live without a beating heart? How long without blood? And on it goes, item after item. The situation would be no different for the simplest of life forms. Everything would have to be in place, suddenly,—instantly. In structure, arrangement, coordination, coding, chemical makeup, feeding, elimination, respiration, circulation, and all the rest,—everything would have to be perfect—right at the start!

The formation of amino acids, protein, DNA, enzymes, and all the rest needed to form the first living creature, had to occur within an extremely short amount of time! It would all have had to occur within far less than a single generation or even half-hour. It would have had to occur within a single moment! Otherwise the next moment the organism would be dead. Millions of functions had to come together all at once.

IMMEDIATE REPRODUCTION NEEDED—Biologists are deeply concerned how that first living cell could have originated; but *Montalenti goes a step beyond that point and says "what really matters, to start life, is the faculty of reproduction" (*G. Montalenti, Studies in the Philosophy of Biology, 1974, p. 13). What good would one amoeba be, if it did not have all the needed DNA coding and fision ability to divide, or the reproduction ability—and a mate—to produce offspring?


CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS AND LABORATORIES—Complicated chemical compounds are prepared in well-equipped laboratories, staffed by intelligent, highly skilled workers. They do not work with the sand in the back lot, but with shipments of specialized chemicals which arrive at their loading dock.

About all that most evolutionists offer for the original primitive environment for the first amino acids, proteins, etc., is dirt or seawater. Yet when scientists want to synthesize amino acids, they go to a very well-equipped laboratory, with instruments, gauges, apparatus, chemicals, and machines costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. They use high temperatures, special solutions, sparking devices, and glass traps. They do not go down to the seashore and start sloshing around in seawater in the hope of producing those amino acids.

Because they are intelligent and highly trained, they know how to do it in million-dollar laboratories, fitted out with expensive equipment and lots of purified chemicals. Yet, according to evolutionary theory, seawater somehow did it by itself.

CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS AND THE LAW OF MASS ACTION—Evolutionists recognize that, if a life form suddenly appeared from nothing, it would probably have had to do it in an ancient sea. It is generally felt that water would have had to be present.

But the Law of Mass Action would immediately neutralize the procedure and ruin the outcome. This is because chemical reactions always proceed in a direction from highest to lowest concentration (assuming that the exact amount of energy is even present to perform that reaction).

"It is therefore hard to see how polymerization [linking together smaller molecules to form bigger ones] could

have proceeded in the aqueous environment of the primitive ocean, since the presence of water favors depolymerization [breaking up big molecules into simpler ones] rather than polymerization."—*Richard E. Dickerson, "Chemical Evolution and the Origin of Life," Scientific American, September 1978, p. 75.

We are told that amino acids miraculously formed themselves out of seawater. But the seawater needed to make the amino acids would prevent them from forming into protein, lipids, nucleic acids and polysaccharides! Even if some protein could possibly form, the law of mass action would immediately become operative upon it. The protein would hydrolyze with the abundant water and return back into the original amino acids! Those, in turn, would immediately break down into separate chemicals—and that would be the end of it.

"Spontaneous dissolution is much more probable, and hence proceeds much more rapidly than spontaneous synthesis . . [This fact is] the most stubborn problem that confronts us."—*George Wald, "The Origin of Life," Scientific American, August 1954, pp. 49-50.

The law of mass action would constitute a hindrance to protein formation in the sea as well as to the successful formation of other life-sustaining compounds, such as lipids, nucleic acids, and polysaccharides. If any could possibly form in water, they would not last long enough to do anything.

This law applies to chemical reactions which are reversible,—and thus to all life compounds. Such reactions proceed from reactant substances to compounds produced in the manner normally expected. But these reactions tend to reverse themselves more easily and quickly (*"Review of R. Shubert-Soldern’s Book, Mechanism and Vitalism," in Discovery, May 1962, p. 44).

Not just a few, but hundreds of thousands of amino acids had to miraculously make themselves out of raw seawater devoid of any life. But the amino acids would separate and break up immediately and not remain in existence long enough to figure out how to form themselves into the complex patterns of DNA and protein. The problem here is that, as soon as the chemical reaction that made the amino acids occurred, the excess water would have had to immediately be removed.

"Dehydration [condensation] reactions are thermodynamically forbidden in the presence of excess water."—*J. Keosian, The Origin of Life, p. 74.

CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS AND CONCENTRATION—(*#3/4 The Primitive Ocean*) We never find the concentrations of chemicals in seawater that would be needed for amino acid synthesis. All the elements are there, but not in the proper concentrations. Most of what is in seawater—is just water! (*H.F. Blum, Time’s Arrow and Evolution (1968), p. 158).

CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS AND PRECIPITATES—Even if water loss could occur, enzyme inhibitors would neutralize the results. The problem here is that a powerfully concentrated combination of chemicalized "primitive water" would be needed to produce the materials of life,—but those very chemicals would inhibit and quickly destroy the chemical compounds and enzymes formed (David and Kenneth Rodabaugh, Creation Research Society Quarterly, December 1990, p. 107).

Even if they could survive the other problems, many organic products formed in the ocean would be removed and rendered inactive as precipitates. For example, fatty acids would combine with magnesium or calcium; and arginine (an amino acid), chlorophyll, and porphyrins would be absorbed by clays.

Many of the chemicals would react with other chemicals, to form non-biologically useful products. Sugars and amino acids, for example, are chemically incompatible when brought together.

The chemical compounds within living creatures were meant to be inside them, and not outside. Outside, those compounds are quickly annihilated, if they do not first quickly destroy one another.

CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS AND FLUID CONDENSATION—In addition to synthesis problems, there are also condensation problems. Fats, sugars, and nucleic acids can come from the proteins only by very careful removal of fluid, amid other equally complicated activities conducted by the laboratory technicians. Without water loss, proteins cannot form in water.

CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS AND WATER—So most of the chemicals needed by life could not arise in a watery environment, such as seawater. In fact, the lab technicians do their work with fluids other than water! They do not use seawater or even regular water, when they prepare dead amino acids. (That which they synthesize is always dead; it never has life in it.)

"Beneath the surface of the water there would not be enough energy to activate further chemical reactions; water in any case inhibits the growth of more complex molecules."—*Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe (1982), p. 65.

CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS AND ENERGY—And then there is the problem of an energy source. Scientists know that there had to be some form of energy to work the chemical transformations. They generally think it had to be a bolt of lightning, since there were no wall outlets back in the beginning to plug electrical cords into. But anything struck by lightning is not enlivened, but killed!

"[Arrhenius] contends that if actual lightning struck rather than the fairly mild [electrical] discharges used by [Stanley] Miller [in making the first synthetic amino acids], any organics that happened to be present could not have survived."—*Report in Science News, December 1, 1973, p. 340.

CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS AND OXYGEN—(*#4/20 Fighting it Out Over Early Environment*) Another problem is the atmosphere. It is a well-known fact among biochemists that the chemicals of life will decompose if oxygen is in the air.

"First of all, we saw that the present atmosphere, with its ozone screen and highly oxidizing conditions, is not a suitable guide for gas-phase simulation experiments."—*A.L Oparm, Life: Its Nature, Origin and Development, p. 118.

Living plants and animals only have certain proportions of the 92 elements within their bodies. These elements are arranged in special chemical compounds. Chemists say they have been reduced. When the chemicals found in living beings are left in the open air, they decompose or, as the chemists say, they oxidize. (A similar process occurs when iron is left in a bucket of water; it rusts.)

In the presence of oxygen, these chemicals leave the reduced (or chemical combination) state and break down to individual chemicals again.

"The synthesis of compounds of biological interest takes place only under reducing conditions [that is, with no free oxygen in the atmosphere]."—*Stanley L. Miller and *Leslie E. Orgel (1974), p. 33.

"With oxygen in the air, the first amino acid would never have gotten started; without oxygen, it would have been wiped out by cosmic rays."—*Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe (1982), p. 65.

CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS AND SUPPLY—There simply would not be enough other chemicals available to accomplish the needed task.

Since most biochemicals contain nitrogen, Gish, a biochemist, has discovered that there never has been enough concentration of nitrogen, in air and water, for amino acids to form by themselves. It does not occur naturally in rich enough concentrations.

Similar studies have been made on the availability of phosphorus by *Bernal. There would not have been enough phosphorus available for the many chemical combinations needed. Phosphorus is needed for DNA and other high-energy compounds. But phosphorus concentrations are too low outside of living things.

Even worse news: *Carl Sagan found that adenosine triphosphate (high-energy phosphate) could not possibly form under the prebiological conditions.

CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS AND RICH MIXTURES—An extremely rich mixture of chemicals would be required for the alleged formation of the first living molecule. There ought to be places in the world where such rich mixtures are found today, but they do not exist.

"If there ever was a primitive soup, then we would expect to find at least somewhere on this planet either massive sediments containing enormous amounts of the various nitrogenous organic compounds, amino acids, purines, pyrimidines, and the like, or alternatively in much metamorphosed sediments we should find vast amounts of nitrogenous cokes . . In fact, no such materials have been found anywhere on earth. There is, in other words, pretty good negative evidence that there never was a primitive organic soup on this planet that could have lasted but a brief moment."—*J. Brooks and *G. Shaw, Origins and Development of Living Systems (1973), p. 360.


PROTEIN SYNTHESIS—Protein is a basic constituent of all life forms. It is composed of amino acids. There are 20 essential amino acids, none of which can produce the others. How were these made? How could they make themselves? First, let us examine the simplest amino acid: glycine. *Hull figured out that, due to inadequate chemicals and reaction problems, even glycine could not form by chance. There was only a 10-27 (minus 27) concentration of the materials needed to make it. If one glycine molecule was formed, it would have to hunt through 1029 other molecules in the ocean before finding another glycine to link up with! This would be equivalent to finding one person in a crowd that is 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 times larger than all the people on earth!

But what about the other nineteen amino acids? Checking out the others, *Hull found that it was even less possible for the other 19 amino acids to form. The concentration needed for glucose, for example, would be 10134. That is an extremely high improbability! (*D. Hull, "Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Spontaneous Generation," in Nature, 186, 1960, pp. 693-694).

PROTEINS AND HYDROLYSIS—Even if protein had been made by chance from nearby chemicals in the ocean, the water in the primitive oceans would have hydrolyzed (diluted and ruined) the protein. The chemicals that had combined to make protein would immediately reconnect with other nearby chemicals in the ocean water and self-destruct the protein!

A research team, at Barlian University in Israel, said that this complication would make the successful formation of just one protein totally impossible, mathematically. It would be 1 chance in 10157. They concluded that no proteins were ever produced by chance on this earth.

PROTEINS AND SPONTANEOUS DISSOLUTION—Evolutionists bank on the fact that, somehow, somewhere, in some way,—a small bit of inorganic matter formed some amino acids. Yet even if such an impossible event could have happened,—it would rapidly have disintegrated away!

"In the vast majority of processes in which we are interested, the point of equilibrium lies far over toward the side of dissolution. That is to say, spontaneous dissolution [automatic self-destruct process] is much more probable, and hence proceeds much more rapidly, than spontaneous synthesis [accidental put-together process] . . The situation we must face is that of patient Penelope waiting for Odysseus, yet much worse: each night she undid the weaving of the proceeding day, but here a night could readily undo the work of a year or a century."— *G. Wald, "The Origin of Life," in The Physics and Chemistry of Life (1955), p. 17.

In the world of biochemistry, automatic dissolution is always easier than accidental once-in-a-thousand-lifetimes putting-together. Regarding this massive obstacle to the initial formation of life, *Wald says it is "the most stubborn problem that confronts us" (ibid.).

FATTY ACID SYNTHESIS—Scientists are not able to even theorize how fatty acids could originally have come into existence.

"No satisfactory synthesis of fatty acids is at present available. The action of electric discharges on methane and water gives fairly good yields of acetic and propionic acids, but only small yields of the higher fatty acids. Furthermore, the small quantities of higher fatty acids that are found are highly branched."—*S. Miller, and *L. Orgel, The Origins of Life on the Earth (1974), p. 98.

OTHER SYNTHESES—There is more to a living organism than merely chemical compounds, proteins, and fatty acids. There are also enzymes, which scientists in laboratories do not know how to produce. Yet there are thousands of complicated, very different enzymes in a typical animal!

There are also massive DNA and other coding problems. Has any scientist ever synthesized even one new animal code? No, he would have no idea how to accomplish the task successfully. The key word here is "successful." If the researcher could somehow interject one new code he invented, it would only damage the organism. Scientists are now able to slightly adapt existing codes (genetic engineering); but they do not dare invent brand new ones. The list of necessities goes on and on.

WHAT ABOUT LIFE ITSELF?—But what about life itself? One minute after it dies, an animal still has all its chemicals, proteins, fatty acids, enzymes, codes, and all the rest. But it no longer has life. Scientists cannot produce life; why then should they expect rocks and seawater to have that ability?