Naturalism and Abiogenesis

Hello Otto.

I do not know if materialistic abiogenesis is possible. There are many scientists dedicated to the problem, applying theory, observations, measurements, and empirical experimentation. Hypothesis concerning abiogenesis absolutely are in principle and practice subject to empirical verification and testing by the scientific method. Why would you suggest otherwise?

That you are asking this is a demonstration that you have not done your own homework, and initiated the thread with no real idea of the relevant extensive scientific literature before presumptuously laying a charge of hypocrisy. Before you come back with - “those do not prove that biogenesis can occur” - of course a natural path to life has not yet been demonstrated in the lab. This is a big problem with a lot of pieces to be put together, and advances would be expected to be incremental. What, in your opinion, is wrong with working on it? Some think that significant scientific progress has been made, so maybe you should consider tempering your loaded question.


You aren’t posting in sentences.

Nor are you defining abiogenesis correctly.

As best I can tell from your punctuationless stream-of-consciousness, this was your first ‘sentence’:

You later attempted to clarify your meaning thus:

Both of these say* that life only came from non-life in the distant past, and only comes from life today - I’ve highlighted the relevant sections - but that is not part of the concept of abiogenesis. Abiogenesis is the process by which life arises from non-life (non-living matter). It does not include any restrictions on when or how often that may have happened, or that it could not happen or be happening now, on Earth or elsewhere. So when you include “life only comes from life” in your ‘definition’ of abiogenesis YOU ARE WRONG, no matter what else you include in your definition.

It’s as if you defined a camel as a ‘purple-hatted desert-dwelling herbivorous quadruped’, some-one objected to your definition starting with ‘purple-hatted’ and you insisted you were right because camels live in deserts and eat plants and wear purple hats.

Do you understand this?

*assuming no error due to aperiodicity.


As I said at the top of this thread, there is at present no theory of abiogenesis to test. There are some facts and data points and there is ongoing research to find more evidence. One fact is that when planet Earth first formed it was too hot for liquid water and there were no living organisms. We have indirect evidence that living organisms began to proliferate soon after liquid water condensed on the surface. Whether this event was unique is something that is being actively investigated. We are looking for clues on Mars, which once had surface water, that life may have started independently there. If that question can be answered (yes or no) that would be a hugely important second data point. Recent advances in discovering exoplanets, which seem to me much more numerous than once thought, may create further data points in future.

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No, you are not.

There is an important difference between hypothesis and theory that you are missing. That, and other things, greatly interfere with your understanding. There is a recent thread on some amazing abiogenesis research here:


@LogosOfLogic, so you really don’t have any data, nor can you cite any, that supports your claim that “this natural phenomena is not a curling right now”.


Actually quite the contrary I have done my homework and I know that there is no scientific experiment for materialistic abiogenesis. I’m just asking questions from the ones that know more than me to ascertain why a naturalist or atheist or materialist can believe in something that cannot be empirically verified tested or repeated using the scientific method? yet that is their biggest complaint against theists? that they themselves believe in something that is not empirically verified or testable through the scientific method? How are they not being hypocritical then?

Punctuation would be welcome too.


Well, OK, but are you reading the answers that several people have posted? For instance, the simple point that there is no theory of abiogenesis. You don’t appear to have taken that on board.

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Well, people do homework and still flunk. You are factually wrong.

Searching NIH database on “RNA world” yields over 1000 papers, just for one avenue of investigation.

As @Mercer posted above, @Rumraket initiated a recent thread in this forum on a fascinating result for the prebiotic basis for ATP. Regardless of what you may think about the conclusions, that is definitely a scientific experiment with implications for the investigation of materialist abiogenesis.

The classic 1952 Miller experiment qualified. And these examples are only the tip of the iceberg.

At one time, vitalism was the prevailing idea, that organic compounds could only be derived from life. Do you believe Wöhler have just accepted that vitalism was a law and no scientific experiment for non living synthesis of organic compounds was possible? He did not, and went on the synthesize urea. How many millions of organic compounds have been synthesize since? Clearly, abiogenic origin of organic compounds is experimentally validated. Vitalism never was soundly based on fundamental principles, it just that only living organisms had been observed to produce organic compounds before Wöhler’s breakthroughs. Likewise, while abiogenesis is far from being fully demonstrated, there is no basic principle of science which precludes the gap between non-life and life being breached. If you think it was reasonable for Wöhler to pursue his work, why would you not extend the same to origin of life research?


A lot of vitalists claimed that DNA synthesis required vitalism, but Kornberg proved them wrong by synthesizing DNA in vitro with purified enzymes and chemicals.


A hypothesis is an educated scientific guess theory is a group of hypotheses thought to be true

Talkorigins has several well-written articles on abiogenesis. It would serve your personal education well to read them up.

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Half right.

A theory used to be a hypothesis, but it has survived multiple rigorous attempts to falsify it. Theory is much more rarely used in the collective sense you described here, but in that case, it is not a group of hypotheses, but of theories.


Abiogenesis, the theory that life evolved from nonliving chemical systems , replaced spontaneous generation as the leading theory for the origin of life. … Experiments by Miller and Urey showed that likely conditions on early Earth could create the needed organic molecules for life to appear.

I’m sorry but everything that I’m finding about abiogenesis States that it’s a theory a scientific theory

So please correct me if I’m wrong in this following exerpt from the links you sent the author is simply saying that the mathematical probability is a little lower than the astronomical figure that most creationists have come up with however the number that he comes up with is still exceedingly large and not that likely from a statistical mathematical viewpoint

“The probability of generating this in successive random trials is (1/20)32 or 1 chance in 4.29 x 1040. This is much, much more probable than the 1 in 2.04 x 10390 of the standard creationist “generating carboxypeptidase by chance” scenario, but still seems absurdly low.”

So by the same rationale any number that would be even a couple of digits less than “(1/20)32 or 1 chance in 4.29 x 1040.” that number which still satisfy the requirements even though there would be astronomically improbable from a statistical point of view

That life emerged from nonliving matter is not a theory. It is a fact.

In addition, spontaneous generation and abiogenesis (at present) are two different ideas and the latter did not replace the former. I suspect you are getting these misconceptions from some creationist website.

It is not a theory, but there are models on how it could have happened.

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How did you miss the concession by the author in the excerpt you posted?

"This is much, much more probable than the 1 in 2.04 x 10390 of the standard creationist “generating carboxypeptidase by chance” scenario, but still seems absurdly low.

Everything is reputable academic and scientific websites and not creationist websites. They are all saying that it’s a scientific theory. Can you please give me some links where it says scientific fact? thank you

In the actual terminology employed by these academic papers the authors use terms like, " if, could, and possibly" none of those sound like facts

What does the author conceding that point have anything to do with my assertion my assertion is true there’s just a little bit less probability than what the creationists assert

It’s hard to know what “scientific experiment for materialistic abiogenesis” means, but if you mean to say merely that scientists haven’t yet demonstrated the generation of life from non-life, then so what?

How do you know it can’t be tested or repeated using the scientific method? I’m pretty sure scientists are working on testing it right now as we speak.

Untestability is certainly one complaint among many that “atheistic materialist naturalist scientist darwinist elitist pessimists” advance against proponents of the power of magical wishing.

They’re not being hypocritical when, in fact, they are testing the theory as we speak. When in fact there is evidence for it, and when, contrary to the theory of a natural origin of life, the power of magically wishing life into existence by an invisible incorporeal agent with libertarian free will really is completely untestable.

Scientists are working on that as we speak.

How do you know it’s not happening right now somewhere? What measurements did you perform, where, and when and for how long?

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Citation please.