Bacteria and the Origin of Life, by Landon Freeman

Landon Freeman

[Editorial note: Landon Freeman is one of my bright young internet friends. He wrote this very compelling essay on a subject that interests me quite a bit, and gave me permission to share it here.]

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY: Landon Freeman is a native Georgian who currently studies psychology at Georgia Southwestern State University. He has been interested in the creation-evolution debate for several years now and runs the Facebook group “Evidence for Creation”, which discusses a variety of topics related to creationism and evolution. When not discussing the topic of creation online, Landon can usually be found writing, listening to music, or playing video games.

When discussing the hypothesis of abiogenesis, I’m astounded to see that many atheists and evolutionists act as if it’s a given that life evolved through purely naturalistic processes, and that life wouldn’t have much trouble getting started.

There are several issues with abiogenesis, though the one I’m going to discuss is the problem of not only functional, operating organisms arising from non-living matter, but intelligence arising as well. Indeed, even allegedly simple bacteria display intelligence and foresight.

An article from NewScientist states and provides evidence that microbes can communicate with each other, make decisions, form communities, and even accelerate mutations to gain new abilities.

The issue here is bacteria have been living since not long after life began. Life allegedly began around at least 3.5 billion years ago, and the earliest bacteria fossils are allegedly, “3.77 billion years or 4.22 billion years — just 340 million years after the formation of the planet.”

This means that both biological intricacy and intelligence would have to arise within a very short time frame. Bacteria are even able to “see” using an “eye” similar to an animal or human eye, which means the basic workings of these miniature light collectors may not be so different from those of cameras or the human eye, researchers claim.

“The idea that bacteria can see their world in basically the same way that we do is pretty exciting,” study lead author Conrad Mullineaux, a microbiologist at the Queen Mary University of London, said in a statement. “Our observation that bacteria are optical objects is pretty obvious with hindsight, but we never thought of it until we saw it. And no one else noticed it before either, despite the fact that scientists have been looking at bacteria under microscopes for the last 340 years.”

Even viruses display intelligence, and they aren’t even considered living organisms by many scientists, though some do consider viruses to be alive. One article states that: “Viruses are very intelligent. They can think. They do things that we do not expect. They adapt to the environment. They change themselves in order to survive,” said Lai, professor of molecular microbiology and immunology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. “Part of this comes from the ability of viruses to shuffle genes with as much deft as some genetic engineers. Viruses can pick up pieces of cellular genes or incorporate their genes into the cell’s genome. That means that evolution occurs all the time in viruses. It’s a very dynamic process – that’s why I always feel that the viruses are alive.”

Another study on viruses determined that: “What has confounded the virology community for quite some time is the observation that the cell fate of a bacteria infected by a single virus can be dramatically different than that infected by two viruses,” said Joshua Weitz, an assistant professor in the School of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “Our study suggests that viruses can collectively decide whether or not to kill a host, and that individual viruses ‘talk’ to each other as a result of interactions between viral genomes and viral proteins they direct the infected host to produce.”

Through analyzing the available evidence, it is very reasonable to conclude that viruses, bacteria, and life in general were not the product of completely naturalistic processes, and that some entity had to be involved in life’s initial creation. Of course, we know this entity as God, the Creator of life and all of the universe.

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory, honor, and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” -Revelation 4:11


  1. Rodney Vigil says:

    I think the author is completely correct concerning the external entity. Simple chemical interaction has never been proven (that I am aware of) the ability to randomly or through engineering, produce a living organism. Something behind it and holds the key of life.

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