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The Origin of Life
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The Origin of Life
Kenneth C Herrmann   
Church of God

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

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

   You and I are supposedly end products of an evolutionary process. This concept is taught as truth in almost all of our educational institutions today. But where is the proof?
   A single simple one-celled animal, it is said, happened into existence millions of years ago. Then, slowly, gradually evolution produced our present-day life.
   Spontaneous generation plus evolution supposedly produced the myriad of complex living forms of today's world. Dead matter became living matter; then living matter evolved.
   Proof is supposed to be found in geology. A study of the fossil strata, they say, reveals that in the "earliest" fossil deposits simple, primitive life is found. "Later" strata contain increasingly complex life till we come to the uppermost layers in which are deposited man and present day forms of life.
   The proof of this theory is rather elusive as we shall see. We ought to examine the evidence before drawing any conclusion.
   Just how did life originate?

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. No one questions this fact. No one, that is, except a few philosophers who for the sake of an argument will contend that the world might be an illusion, just a dream; and that there is really nothing that does exist. "How would one know?" they ask in idle speculation. Let's not awaken them!
   The real problem is this: Life exists. Just where, when and how did it come into being?
   Let us examine the problem from a standpoint of hard, cold logic and apart from Biblical revelation. Evolutionists do not accept the Scriptural explanation. To answer them properly, we must examine their own conclusions and the facts upon which they are based.
   Present day theories will be considered one by one in the light of fact and logic alone. Error will be discarded. Will the pure science remaining agree with God's revelation? We shall soon see.
   Concerning the ORIGIN AND EXISTENCE OF LIFE on this planet three alternatives present themselves:
   1) "LIFE HAS ALWAYS EXISTED." This idea, scientists admit, is the weakest of the three. It is untenable because the earth has not always existed! In their estimation it has not been fit for life but for a portion of its estimated 3 to 5 billion-year existence. Some have suggested, "Perhaps life came to the earth from outer space, from the explosion of another planet in the remote regions of space. Spores of this primitive life might have been pushed along by radiation pressure from starlight or sunlight. Arriving on the earth they found an ideal place to propagate and evolve."
   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. The real question of the origin of life remains unanswered. Since the material universe is admittedly not eternal, life had to come into being at some definite date in the past. Previously scientists had believed the earth to be young, the universe old. These last few decades have seen that idea discarded. The earth in their conclusion is now as old as the universe. Is it strange that that should agree with Genesis 1:1? "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
   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!'
   Plausible presentations and very convincing arguments do not constitute proof. The truth of a matter cannot be determined by the cleverness or eloquence of the orator. Facts and logic (and, if they would accept it, revealed knowledge) alone constitute the basis of all material science.
   3) "LIFE WAS SUDDENLY CREATED." This of course implies a Creator. Since neither life nor the material creation has eternally existed, this Great First Cause would of necessity have existed from eternity. This theory thus postulates the creation of life forms by an eternally existing God who had life inherent in Himself.
   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

Re-Examine These Alternatives

   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. But atheists (men with a remarkable faith that there is no God) prefer the second. Not because of evidence of spontaneous generation of life but solely because they prefer the "no God' idea. To accept this SECOND ALTERNATIVE is to have blind 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.
   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?
   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.
   We are going to search for evidence of these few, small, simple, primitive fossil specimens which supposedly are to be found in the first fossil strata. We are going to examine the foundation of the evolutionary theory. If the foundation is hypothetical the whole structure of historical geology based upon evolution will crumble.

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.
   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 has one set of legs for walking on the Ocean bottom and another set for swimming.
   "It is very interesting to observe that a complex mechanism, the compound eye like that of crustaceans and insects of the present day, was already developed even in the earliest Primordial times." From Elements of Geology by Joseph Le Conte.
   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.
   Perhaps the most widely known example of this is the muscular-jointed fin fish called the crossopterygian found only in Devonian strata (3 "ages" later than the Cambrian) but also found alive today. Specimens have been caught in the waters off Africa much to the consternation of the proponents of evolution. Rather than admit that something is radically wrong with their faith, they cover up by publishing detailed studies on the structure of the fish, showing how it (supposedly) became the ancestor of land life by changing its fins to the jointed condition and then to legs. The missing link between the fish and land animals is thus supposedly found alive in the ocean today. These first fossils are certainly not primitive.
   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 catastrophe. 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 barrows, 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 Precambrian 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" (meaning "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 is 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, supposedly an enormous period of time between these two layers existed. 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 Kilarneyen 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.
   How does the evolutionist attempt to solve this enigma?
   How will he explain the sudden appearance of complex life forms? How will he account for the catastrophic events which buried these life forms? Read the answers to these questions in the next issue of the PLAIN TRUTH!

Synopsis of Above

   Even staunch evolutionists acknowledge that "little or nothing is known about the origin of life." But they offer three alternatives:
   1) That life has always existed; 2) that life came into being by some slow, natural process (the evolution of life from dead matter); 3) the correct solution to the problem life forms were suddenly created by a Being having life inherent in Himself.
   This last theory they list as a "possibility," but their united efforts are to present the second one evolution in a "plausible manner." However, it is the universal opinion of those scientists working in the field that "there is no evidence that" the emergence of life from dead matter the very basis of evolution "has ever taken place or does at this time."
   That is quite an admission!
   The first alternative that of organic life having always existed is completely untenable to atheist, agnostic, and Christian alike. But the second explanation to account for the origin of life the theory of evolution is equally untenable! Notice:
   The first fossil remains are in many instances IDENTICAL TO LIVING FORMS In many cases these creatures were buried alive as if by some great catastrophe. Instead of a few simple primitive forms, myriads of complex creatures are found at the very bottom of the Cambrian strata. In the pre-Cambrian below, nothing or next to nothing is to be found. The few fragments found, even after the most thorough world-wide search, are identical with Cambrian fossils. They could more properly be called Cambrian fossils.
   The problem for the evolutionist remains: Why has it been impossible to find a fossil layer with but a few simple primitive organisms?
   An immense period of time is suggested between the pre-Cambrian and Cambrian strata. The "supposed" record is supposedly destroyed. But complex life forms appear suddenly in this Cambrian strata all over the world.
   Was there ever an earlier record? How could such a world-wide record be destroyed?


Five Rejected Theories

   Evolutionists claim their record is destroyed. Yet, true men of science among them have inadvertently given us the following facts. They list FIVE THEORIES for the lack of preservation of the life which they believe existed in the Precambrian then they 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 occurred. Objection: 90% of pre-Cambrian rocks are schists, gneiss and marble, distorted by heat and pressure, but the remaining 10% are not. The remaining 10% 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 have 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."
   No transitional forms are found. Each species thus learned to develop its hard shell suddenly!
   A great number of species occur together with hard shells in the lower Cambrian. All must have "learned" the secret of hard shell development simultaneously.
   Thus this fifth theory is also completely lacking in facts, logic and plain good judgment.

Why Men Can't See

   Thus at present scientists have left themselves without m explanation for the complex, numerous "advanced" life forms of the Cambrian rocks and the complete absence of life in the layer usually beneath it. In rejecting the Scriptural account (Genesis 1) as evidence they find themselves without any explanation.
   THE CORRECT CONCLUSION you ought to have drawn from the evidence presented is that in the beginning life forms were created complex as we find them; then at a later date they were buried in the rocks by catastrophic upheavals of earth and water. They did not evolve to that complex stage as the evolutionary theory demands.
   Since the days of Darwin, men have clung tenaciously to the theory he published but never 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 be 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 quite possible that bad no Bible ewer been written proclaiming the existence of our Creator, that the efforts of scientists in every field would have quickly discovered the facts of creation Had no Foods ever been described in the Scriptures, historians and archeologists alike would have discovered the evidence, reasoned correctly with it and arrived at the correct historical account of the earth. Geologists would have studied the fossil strata and held forth the truth to the world with fervor equal to that with which they now propagate the godless doctrine of evolution.
   But the human mind is rebellious against God; it will not willingly subject itself to the law of God; neither will it acknowledge that a revealed history of the earth and life forms is correct.
   Evolution thus becomes the opiate of the atheist to distort his vision and keep him from seeing his God.
   The carnal mind cannot accept God. It must cling to this "favorite belief" that life came into being by some slow natural process.

Where Is the Evolutionary Tree?

   The roots from the tree of evolution disappear in our search for the evolution of life from dead matter. The stump vanishes when we ask for those "few, simple, primitive" life forms. The thirteen great branches, the 13 phyla into which all animals are classified, fade away when we find all represented in the earliest fossil strata. Even the smaller branches vanish when we see this Cambrian life "already evolved" into classes, orders, genera, and species.
   It's about time to ask where is the tree? The roots, trunk and branches are gone. Only the twigs remain.
   Blood relation between individuals and many so called species of the Cambrian strata is certain. Further speculation is in the realm of philosophy, not true science.
   This tree of evolution is thus shown to be but a dream in the minds of men and like a dream it will disappear for them when their eyes are opened.

Publication Date: 1956
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