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Spontaneous Generation Is Still Enthroned in Science


Spontaneous generation is a defunct theory text books use to illustrate the superiority of modern science. It was a medieval belief that things like rotting meat would spontaneously generate maggots, and so on. Our textbooks explain that this theory was abundantly disproven and that modern academics would never be suckered into that kind of silliness.

Hold on to that thought.

Breaking the Laws of Physics, Very, Very Slowly

Let’s start by saying that the laws of thermodynamics are as rock solid as anything in physics has ever been and as solid as anything is likely to be in the foreseeable future. They’ve been held up so many times by experiments and in everyday life that challenging them is generally taken as a sign of derangement.

The second of those laws says the entropy of a closed system can only increase. Entropy, as you may recall, is the tendency of matter to wind down and wear out. Entropy breaks up concentrations of things, spreading them out till all is a neutral, useless mass. Always.

And that brings us to something all of us learned about in grammar school: the primordial soup. That’s the story, I trust you will remember, that there was a mud puddle (or maybe a swamp), back a jillion years ago. And in that puddle, life created itself. A micro-glob of this connected to a micro-glob of that, and boom, life began. Teacher said so.

Except that this flatly violates the second law of thermodynamics. After all, the law says that things go from higher concentrations to lesser concentrations, from more order to less order. So, how can this puddle organize itself? And how are we to reconcile all of this with the fact that Teacher is never wrong?

Perhaps the second law of thermodynamics fell asleep for an eon or two, allowed the micro-globs to start life, and then came back? That would be quite a trick. I wonder how we’d run an experiment to check that.

Ah, but wait! Maybe it got struck with lightning! Well, that explains it. Lightning reverses the second law of thermodynamics, right? Only in Frankenstein movies.

“No, no,” Teacher says. “You don’t understand. It took a really, really long time. More time than you can imagine.”

Well, that changes everything, right? The second law functions only in the short term, yes? No, of course not. We don’t drop an egg on the sidewalk, wait a year, and expect it to come back together… that ain’t happening… and it wouldn’t happen if you waited a hundred billion years either. Entropy works in the other direction. After a week or two the pieces of egg would be scattered beyond recognition.

And by the way, have you ever examined the strings of DNA that are a central component of all living things? Even at their simplest, they are gigantic molecules that look like a twisted ladder, several million rungs long… a ladder that’s so perfectly designed that it zips and unzips itself right down the middle. And swamps produce these things all the time, do they?


Come to think of it, what we were taught in school sounds a lot like the old medieval idea… leave dead stuff laying around and life will pop out of it.

So, you see, people do still believe in spontaneous generation. They just cloak it in “billions of years.”

I think we can now say good-bye to the primordial soup… and to all the confused children it produced.

The Infallible Word of Darwin

There is, however, a problem here: The primordial soup is Darwin’s hook… it’s what evolution hooks up to at the end of the line[1]To be fair, not all Darwinists believe this.! That point of origin can’t be changed… and it’s only questioned by religious nuts!

Still, that second law really is kind of important, isn’t it? Hmm…

Okay, let’s back up and be honest long enough to say two things about the work of Charles Darwin:

  1. Evolution does occur.
  2. Darwinism is a religion.

Evolution, meaning the changing of organisms over time, really does happen. It can be demonstrated in laboratories, among other things. So we can’t honestly ignore Darwin.

On the other hand, Darwinism really is a religion, and its adherents display the zeal of converts. And in fact most of them are converts. Mainly they’re people who are really pissed off at Christianity or Judaism and who use their Darwinism as a tool of revenge… to the point where they’ll ignore whatever stands in the way of their revenge… like that pesky second law.

Still, species do change over time. And so, I’d suggest to the Darwinists (not that they’d listen) that they should start with what they can prove by experiment and then try to get back to the primordial ooze in a strictly scientific way (piece by slowly established piece).

The magnificent irony here is that the Darwinists get back to their beginning with a very religious claim: “See, there’s a pattern!”

Patterns are fine for making guesses; they’re not fine for spawning dogmas.

I Could Go On…

I could go on, but the fact that spontaneous generation is still enthroned in the world of science is quite enough to bite off in one day.

* * * * *

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* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg

References   [ + ]

1. To be fair, not all Darwinists believe this.

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  • WildBill99

    “…the entropy of a closed system can only increase.”

    The earth is not a closed system, so the 2nd law does not apply, and your argument falls apart.

    • Paul Rosenberg

      It’s closed enough that spontaneous generation fails.

      If you want to go for panspermea, that would be a legitimate argument, primordial soup is not… unless swamps produce DNA all the time.

      • WildBill99

        It is not “closed enough.” It is not closed at all. Large amounts of energy are continuously bombarding the earth and have since the earth was formed. This energy causes many changes to happen on the earth.

        To say the earth is a closed system as part of a thermodynamic argument is laughable nonsense. It doesn’t matter where else you go with your argument, all credibility is lost at the point where you suggest the earth is a closed system.

        • Paul Rosenberg

          We can argue this at length, Bill (everything is bombarded with cosmic radiation, so nothing is closed?), or we can jump to the end by asking this:

          Does inanimate matter still produce DNA? And if not, when did the laws of physics change?

          “Billions of years” doesn’t change the laws of physics.

          • WildBill99

            Cosmic radiation? I was referring to the sun.

            No, we can not argue at length about whether the earth is a closed system relative to the 2nd law of thermodynamics. There is no argument to have. Because of the constant stream of energy reaching the earth from the sun, it is clearly and unarguably not a closed system. Therefore, the 2nd law does not apply and your entire argument is false.

            You should take down this article and recall your emails. You’ve only made yourself a fool.

          • Paul Rosenberg

            You can cling to an arcane argument over what constitutes”closed” as long as you like, Bill, but you still haven’t answered my questions. Rather, you’ve reverted to insults.

            So it goes.

          • WildBill99

            The sun is an arcane argument?

            As I said, laughable nonsense.

          • Paul Rosenberg

            And still you don’t address my questions… plus, I’m an idiot.

            Have a nice day.

          • http://xfoolnature.org Doug Nusbaum

            Your entire argument was premised on the assertion that you made that the earth is a closed system. That argument is clearly false. Now a false premise does not mean that the conclusion is false, but your arguing as to what constitutes a closed system clearly indicates that you have little or no knowledge of basic physics, or you live in a humpty dumpty world where words mean what you want them to mean.

            That is not how science works. Words have very well defined and unambiguous meanings. You appear to be ignorant of this fact, and want to ignore it.

            then you insist: “I’m not positing any theory,
            JdL. I’m just saying that this one violates the second law of
            thermodynamics.” on this. then you argue that

            “We can argue this at length, Bill (everything is bombarded with
            cosmic radiation, so nothing is closed?), or we can jump to the end by
            asking this:

            Does inanimate matter still produce DNA? And if not, when did the laws of physics change?”

            which again demonstrates massive ignorance of physics. In addition to an unwillingness to learn, which is a synonym for stupid. Isolated systems are always artificial man made structures. Something with a box around it. Where experiments are done.

            As to inanimate matter producing DNA. Well, if he 2nd law does not apply to this argument — and CLEARLY it does not — than what law, exactly would apply to show that abiogenesis is not possible? Please be so kind as to inform us. Maybe the law of conservation of mass, or conservation of momentum?

            Or maybe the Rosenbers law. You know the one… Words mean exactly what I want them to mean, nothing more and nothing less.

            Clearly all the evidence available indicates that you are ignorant of basic science and physics, and worse, you will do almost anything to avoid admitting error / learning. That is the very definition of stupid, no matter how many books you sell.

            You can call this name calling. I call it describing an observed situation backed by abundant evidence which you have not refuted.

          • Paul Rosenberg

            See tomorrow’s post.

  • JdL

    Paul, nothing is “enthroned” in science, just as, contra the ravings of AGW fanatics, nothing is “settled”. Spontaneous generation is one theory. Actually, that term is more associated with ancient speculations which not surprisingly have proven to be more fantasy than reality. More modern theories use the word abiogenesis (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis for some interesting reading on the subject).

    You don’t say what your guess is for how life arose on earth. Would it involve some sky-dwelling all-powerful being? I hope not, since such a theory doesn’t really get you anywhere. If this magic being exists, who/what/where/when was he/she/it created?

    • Paul Rosenberg

      I’m not positing any theory, JdL. I’m just saying that this one violates the second law of thermodynamics.

  • Seeking_Truth

    Here is a link to an article; it’s not exactly about evolution, but it contains a little different question to ask Darwinists. If you read the article, come back here and give me a comment about it.

  • Douglas Kelly

    I always enjoy reading your Freeman’s Letter for its great insights. But I believe you have Darwin wrong and at a disadvantage since he’s not here to defend himself. I’ve read considerably about Darwin, and it’s my opinion that people purposely misunderstand it and claim things about it that Darwin never said nor implied. And I’ve never heard it referred to as a religion. Not ever.
    In case you’re still reading, his premise was that “It is not the strongest of the species, nor the most intelligent that survives. It’s the one that Is the most adaptable to change.”

    • Sheila

      Darwin would probably spin in his grave if he knew how closeminded Darwinians have become.

    • Paul Rosenberg

      I’m not blaming Darwin for creating a religion, and I don’t think he had that in mind. My point was that a version of his work has become a religion to a significant number of people. They are dogmatic, aggressive, rude and enjoy hurting heretics.

      Note that I did not degrade Darwin himself, nor his work.

  • Sheila

    They’ve enthroned lots of things, for example, the “scientific fact” that meteors are really earth rocks.

  • Mercy Otis Warren

    I know it is a big question (perhaps the ultimate question), but I would be interested in your opinion on the origins of life. If spontaneous generation violates the law of entropy, is something along the lines of Aristotle’s “unmoved mover” a more scientifically sound theory? Or are you inclined toward some other explanation? Thank you.

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