Herbert W Armstrong Library
Sign In  |  MyHWA  |    
The Origin of LIFE
Good News Magazine
December 1952
Volume: Vol II, No. 12
QR Code
The Origin of LIFE
Kenneth C Herrmann   
Church of God

Born: 1924
Died: 2006
Member Since: 1949
Ambassador College: 1953

When did life begin? Have scientists found evidence that life evolved from dead matter? Are the first fossils simple and primitive as the theory of evolution demands?

   IT IS commonly taught that you and I are end products of an evolutionary process that began with simple one-celled animals. These first simple life forms are supposed to have sprung spontaneously into existence from dead matter.
   Let us examine the evidence.

A Course Entitled "The Origin of Life"

   One of the outstanding large universities of the Los Angeles area made the error of labeling a geology course, "The Origin of Life." I say error, for when the topic came up in class, the professor expressed openly the wish that the course had been given a different name.
   Speaking frankly, this professor, a qualified scientist, said there was little or nothing known about the origin of Life.
   This fact is important. The educators who labeled the course believed their professors capable of teaching a course on how life came into being. Yet the professor assigned to the course indicated that little or nothing could be said concerning the origin of life.
   Will the conclusions of scientists concerning the origin of life disagree with the scripture?

Three Alternatives

   Life does exist. Just where, when and how did it come into existence?
   Evolutionists do not accept the scriptural explanation. Let us examine their own conclusion and the facts upon which it is based.
   Here is evidence and logic apart from Biblical revelation using only accepted facts and sound reasoning to test the theories presented in books on science. Theories of the day will be considered one by one in the light of fact and logic alone. Will pure science disagree with God's revelation?
   Concerning the origin of life on this earth three alternatives present themselves:
   1) "LIFE HAS ALWAYS EXISTED." This idea, they admit, is the weakest of the three. It is untenable because the earth has not always existed. Some have suggested, "Perhaps life came to the earth from outer space. Spores of primitive life might have been pushed along by radiation pressure from starlight or sunlight." Thinking logically, it is very unlikely that life could have come from another planet or from outer space. The chance of such an occurrence and possibility of life surviving such an ordeal is extremely remote. This idea does not answer the question of the origin of life. It merely attempts to avoid facing the question by putting it beyond the reach of investigation.
   2) "LIFE CAME INTO BEING BY SOME SLOW NATURAL PROCESS." This is the favorite belief of the "educated" man of today. Scientists comment that this idea "can be presented plausibly" and that the arguments are "very convincing." Yet the universal opinion of all scientists familiar with the field is that there is "no evidence that this has ever taken place or does at this time."
   3) "LIFE WAS SUDDENLY CREATED." This of course implies a Creator. Could men of science consider this as a possibility in their search for the origin of life? They have and here are a few of their comments: "The idea is as good as any." "Whether you care to accept the idea depends upon personal taste." "It disposes of the very great difficulty of creating living matter out of inorganic (dead) matter." "Much of our culture is based upon such a belief."
   Yes, our scientists do consider the possibility of life having been created. Consider these three alternatives again. The first is untenable. The second is completely lacking in evidence. The third is listed by science as a possibility.
   To accept the third is to believe in a Creator. To accept the second is to have faith that there is no Creator.
   The facts and logic are inescapable. An atheist is a man with false faith that his Creator does not exist. He has absolutely no evidence upon which to base his faith. The atheist "hopes" to find that evidence.

Examine This Evidence

   So far we have considered only how the first bits of life may have come into being. Have evolutionists erred in assuming that the first life to exist was primitive, one-celled animal life? Before we check this matter, it might be well to consider when this life came into existence.
   Many of you have been taught that science has a foolproof method of determining the age of fossils. We can set this matter at rest for the present with two statements from reliable sources. The first from Man's Physical Universe by Bawden and MacMillan: "Of the nearly forty methods of estimating the earth's age (and this would apply to rocks and fossils as well), only one is potentially accurate. This is the method based on the study of radioactivity."
   That statement is true; the one method with potentialities for determining the age of a rock or fossil is the radioactive method. Now let us consider the latest pronouncement concerning this method from J. P. Marble, chairman of the Committee on Geologic Time: "It is well known to those who have followed the subject that we have only one date in the Cenozoic (an era supposedly covering 60 million years) that is anywhere near enough well fixed by radioactive date."
   An admission that the one and only potentially accurate method has not definitely fixed the date of one fossil in what is supposed to have been 60 million years. The faith of the atheist is a thing to marvel!
   We have considered briefly the age of fossils, now suppose we check the fossil record to see the type of life that was first (in the opinion of evolutionists) to be preserved.

The First Fossil Remains

   Have evolutionists erred in assuming that the first life to exist was a primitive one-celled type? The theory of evolution would require that in the earliest layer simple forms would be found, few in number, gradually developing step by step into present day forms. The evidence in this first fossil layer will have a great bearing on whether you may logically believe that God created bits of life and then spent millions of years watching them evolve into present day life. "Theistic" evolutionists have apparently never considered these facts.
   Here is the evidence from the first fossil layer, the Cambrian strata:
   1) Instead of few forms of life, 455 different species are found. There are 100 genera of trilobites alone. Of the 13 phyla (divisions) into which all animals are classified, various authorities state that 9, 12 or all 13 are represented depending upon whether actual fossils are considered for theoretical ones based upon representatives of a phylum found "fully developed" in a succeeding layer.
   Thus instead of a few forms of life, evolutionists are forced to admit "a remarkable assemblage of animal remains." The Cambrian layer is "just teeming with all kinds of fossils," to use their own words.
   2) Instead of simple forms of life as the theory of evolution would require, this first fossil layer contains such complex life as the chambered mollusks and the highly developed trilobite which had one set of legs for walking on the ocean bottom and another set for swimming.
   3) Instead of small specimens these so called "early" forms were often giants compared to "later" forms. The "ancient" trilobite, for instance, attained a length of 27 inches. Close modern representatives in appearance are the pill or sow bugs so common today where decaying vegetation is found, The trilobite, however, was an Ocean dwelling creature.
   4) Instead of "primitive" types a considerable number of them have identical or almost identical living representatives today.
   5) Instead of natural deposition such as might occur along beaches or deltas today, the fossils of this Cambrian strata show evidence of having been buried alive by some sudden catastrophy. The "ages" required for a certain strata to form thus become a myth.
   It is obvious that these first fossils do not fit the "few, simple and primitive" pattern demanded by the evolutionary theory. But the proponents of evolution are not through yet. Hope springs eternal in the human heart and for the evolutionist there is always the "hope" that he may find his "proof."

Pre-Cambrian Rocks

   Suppose we follow the thinking of evolutionists one more step. They rationalize: Since evolution is true, the first life must be simple, and since Cambrian life is not simple, it cannot be the first life. The pre-Cambrian rocks, they contend, must hold the answer to the origin of life.
   A thorough search of the pre-Cambrian rocks reveals the following facts: In all rocks termed pre-Cambrian, the sum total of fossils found amounts to a few worm burrows, one or two broken shells which may be brachiopods, some algae, fragments of sponge spicules and a lot of wishful thinking. The wishful thinking is that of evolutionists and the expression that of an evolutionist. How they wish they could find a fossil layer with a "few, simple, primitive" forms of life to establish their dogged faith in evolution. The pre-Cambrian layer fails to give them evidence.
   The list of fossils for this layer is probably incorrect. Another source just as reliable, yet just as anxious to prove evolution, thought the term "The Agnostizoic" (we don't know whether there was life during it) would be quite fitting for this pre-Cambrian layer. In his opinion, the sample of algae he passed around to his class may or may not have been algae and he spoke of the "nearly insurmountable problem of the sudden appearance of complex life in the Cambrian rocks."
   The conclusion from these facts ought to be easy. In the Cambrian layer is complex life; in a supposedly earlier layer, a few fragments of the same thing or perhaps nothing. (Remember also that a layer is identified by the fossils in it and thus these fragments might be Cambrian.)
   Your conclusion: If this complex life of the Cambrian layer were deposited over a long period of time, then life must have been suddenly created near the beginning of the period. If deposited quickly, a creation of complex life is still implied and a destruction by a flood a certainty. But men of science struggle on without the scriptures to guide them.

The Lost Interval

   Retreating from the facts, the evolutionist must now resort to theory to preserve his religion. We have come this far, we may as well continue in pursuit. All reason is dropped and rationalization takes over completely.
   The evolutionist comes up with an idea. Since no life is found in some layers which they therefore term pre-Cambrian and complex life is found in the simplest layer they have discovered, there must have been an enormous period of time between these two layers. Names like "The Lost Interval" and "The Lipalian Interval" are given to make the case seem more authentic. The destruction of the supposed record of these intervals is termed the Penokeenan Revolution or the Penokeenan Revolution.
   A perfect crime has been committed. The supposed proof of evolution is conveniently misplaced and the evolutionist's religion is saved saved for the moment.

The Last Mile

   Evolutionists claim the record is destroyed. Yet, true men of science among them have inadvertently given us the following facts. They list five theories fog? the lack of preservation of the life which they believe existed in the pre-Cambrian and then take each in its turn and disprove it,
   We ask: Why are there no fossils in the pre-Cambrian rocks? They answer with a theory and then give objections which disprove the theory.
   Here are their theories and their objections.
   THEORY NO. 1) All life was destroyed by the metamorphism of the rocks in which they were. Objection: 90% of pre-Cambrian rocks are schists, gneiss and marble, distorted by heat and pressure, but the remaining 10% are not. They should contain fossils if evolution were true.
   THEORY NO. 2) Life only existed in those areas which were metamorphosed. Objections: This would be very fortunate for the theory of evolution but is most improbable due to the widespread occurrence of the unmetamorphosed areas which were certainly accessible to ocean life and thus ought to contain fossils.
   THEORY NO. 3) The oceans were too acid for calcium to be used for shells and thus no trace of the animal was preserved. Objections: The oceans were more likely fresh to begin with. Also, siliceous and chitinous skeletons could haw been formed and preserved apart from the calcium requirement. Such types are found in the Cambrian rocks.
   THEORY NO. 4) There wasn't enough calcium in the ocean for the animals to have shells. Objection: Limestone layers 50,000 feet ( ? ) thick were deposited in this early strata showing an abundance of calcium.
   THEORY NO. 5) Life forms lived only in the upper zones of the ocean at first and had no hard parts. Either they became lazy, grew hard parts, and being heavier settled to the bottom; or else they found the ocean bottom first, then became lazy in their new environment and grew hard parts. Thus the sudden appearance of fossils. Objections: For life to spend many millions of years in the uppermost portions of the ocean without finding shore, shallow water or ocean bottom is nothing short of ridiculous. Even after accepting such an idea the problem remains as to why suddenly many forms of life should take on complete skeletons with no intermediate "evolutionary steps."
   Thus at present scientists have left themselves without an explanation for the complex, numerous "advanced" life of the Cambrian rocks and the complete absence of life in the layer usually beneath it. In rejecting the scriptural account as evidence they find themselves without any explanation.
   The correct conclusion you ought to have drawn from the evidence presented is that life forms were created complex as we find them; then at a later date buried by a flood in the rocks. They did not evolve to that complex stage as the evolutionary theory demands.

Why Men Can't See

   Since the days of Darwin, men have clung tenaciously to the theory he published but newer proved, even to himself. Why? Because to believe otherwise would in the end lead to the acknowledgement of the Creator revealed in the Bible. To acknowledge this Creator would b: to consent that certain obligations might be due Him. It would also put these educated men in the rather uncomfortable place of having a rival whose knowledge was as far superior to theirs as wisdom is to foolishness. Intellectual pride would have to vanish.
   Man's mind, the carnal mind he is born with, is enmity against God. Romans 8:7. It will not think rationally when faced with the Biblical facts proving the existence of the Creator who has revealed himself to man through the scriptures. It is possible that had no Bible ever been written, the combined efforts of scientists in many fields would have quickly concluded that there was a Creator God.
   Evolution thus becomes the opiate of the atheist to distort his vision and keep him from seeing his God.

A Tree Without Stump or Roots

   The tree of evolution is now missing both stump and roots. The roots disappeared in our search for the evolution of life from dead matter. The stump vanished into thin air when we asked for those "few, simple, primitive" life forms. Thirteen great branches, the 13 phyla into which all animals are classified, now stand separated from one another. Further study will reveal that even these are composed of numerous separate branches (the Original Genesis Kinds) with no connection between them.
   This tree of evolution is but a dream in the minds of men and like a dream will disappear when their eyes are open.

Back To Top

Good News MagazineDecember 1952Vol II, No. 12
|  Fundamental Doctrines of the Church of God  |  Comments or Suggestions?  |  FAQ  |   Holy Day Information   |   Site Map   |   Donations   |
|  Sabbath & Holy Day Services   |   Weekly Bible Study Services   |   Video Groups   |   2016 Feast of Tabernacles   |
Follow Us: HWALibrary - Mobile Site
Copyright © 2016 Herbert W Armstrong Library
Important Notice

Please Note:

The address and phone number for the Worldwide Church of God given for material are no longer valid for obtaining the material offered in booklets, magazines, telecast and radio broadcast.

HWALibrary.com has all material offered on this site 100% free. You do not need to call or mail your requests, simply do a search for the material offered on our site.

The Worldwide Church of God dissolved after Mr. Armstrong's death in January 1986.

Visit our FAQ page for instructions on downloading audio and video files.

Sabbath Services

Sabbath Services:

Hello, and welcome to our Sabbath and Holy Day service tab. The services provided are selected from the recorded library of this website HWALibrary.com.

Services are posted every Sabbath or Holy Day. Our service consists of 3 hymns, a Sermonette, a hymn, the Sermon and a final hymn.

Continue to the Sabbath Service page.

Bible Study Services

Bible Study:

Hello, and welcome to our Bible Study service tab. The services provided are selected from the recorded library of this website HWALibrary.com.

Bible Study services are posted each Wednesday. Our service consists of an opening hymn, a Bible Study and a final hymn.

Continue to the Bible Study Service page.