It's not surprising to discover that creationists are opposed to the idea that life began by purely natural processes. After all, that's at the heart of the dispute between creationists and scientists.
One of the rhetorical tricks used by creationists is to refer to the origin of life as "spontaneous generation." Why is this a trick? Because the term is most commonly associated with an old-fashioned view of spontaneous generation as a process that occurs regularly when new living things spring into existence. The idea was that the maggots on rotting meat arose spontaneously, for example, without the need for pre-existing life.
This notion was put to rest once-and-for-all by nineteenth century scientists; notably, Louis Pasteur. We all know that spontaneous generation of this sort doesn't happen. The creationists take advantage of this when they talk about abiogenesies—the origin of life. If they can confuse their audience by associating abiogenesis with discredited spontaneous generation, then that's a good thing, as far as they are concerned. They know what they're doing and that's what makes it despicable.
This brings me to Denyse O'Leary, Toronto's own version of IDiot. Last month she posed the following question on her blog: Is accidental origin of life a doctrine that holds back science?.
Accidental origin of life is the basic thesis of origin of life researchers. Life all just somehow sort of happened one day, billions of years ago, under the right conditions – which we may be able to recreate. But there is a constant, ongoing dispute about just what those conditions were.You can win a creationist book for the best response to her question.
Here is the problem I have always had with accidental origin of life: It amounts to spontaneous generation. However, banishing the doctrine of spontaneous generation played a key role in modern medicine’s success. If we assume that life forms (for medical purposes, we focus on pathogens) cannot start spontaneously, then they must have been introduced. Hence, we can develop procedures for a sterile operating room or lab.
If life can be spontaneously generated, why isn’t it happening now? Conditions for life today are probably as good as they have ever been, and maybe better. For over 500 million years they have obviously been good for complex life forms, and for billions of years they have been good for simple ones.
Well, the results are in and the prize goes to StephenB. Here's part of his response. Presumably, this is the best argument the IDiots have to offer on what science is all about.
The accidental origin of life idea hurts science because it militates against the vital principle of causation, the rational and indispensible standard on which science is based. The first question any researcher asks is this: “How did it happen? or—What caused it? Yet, the concept of spontaneous generation popularizes the idea that physical events can occur without causes—that there need not be a “how”—that they can “just happen.”Are there any evolutionists out there who believe that the first living cell just "poofed" into existence without any cause or antecedents? If you believe this then please post a comment below.
Consider the following proposition: Streets don’t just “get wet.” Using the scientific and philosophical principle of causation, we understand that something had to cause the streets to get wet. So, we say that if the streets are wet, then it must be raining, or else someone turned on a fire hydrant, or we look for some other reason. But if, as Darwinists or postmodern cosmologists claim, physical events do not always need causes or necessary conditions, that is, if something really can come from nothing, then streets can indeed just get wet. With this mind set, science is severely compromised. If, indeed, something can appear spontaneously or without a cause, why cannot it happen again somewhere else in some other situation?
In keeping with that point, if one thing can “just happen,” then why cannot anything just happen? Why not everything? Under these circumstances, how could the scientist know which things were caused and which ones were not? Science would become an intellectual madhouse where the impossible is affirmed with confidence and the obvious is dismissed with disdain, which, come to think of it, is not a bad description of Darwinst epistemology. For Darwinists, and for postmodern cosmologists, a universe can pop into existence, life can come from non-life, and, yes, streets could, in principle, just “get wet.” Science cannot survive this irrational mind set indefinitely.
If nobody admits to holding such a belief, then how do we account for the fact that the IDiots misunderstand and misrepresent science?