The Late Heavy Bombardment falsifies abiogeneis?

(Stephen Howerton) #1

Hi all!

This is my first post on the BioLogos forum so I’m hoping the topic is pertinent to the category and produces some good discussion.

I was discussing evolution and origins with someone who holds anti-evolutionary views and one of the issues that was brought up was the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB) and how it falsifies abiogenesis. His position was that since the surface of Earth was sterilized during the LHB then abiogenesis would have most likely occurred in underground hydrothermal vents which would have led to thermophilic organisms and not photosynthetic organisms. Since the life wasn’t photosynthetic, and we have strong evidence to indicate that photosynthesis was occurring since 3.7 billion years ago then this doesn’t allow enough time for the evolution of thermophilic organisms to photosynthetic organisms. Therefore, the best explanation is special creation.

I think the appeal to a God of the Gaps argument is apparent in his argument but I did find the content interesting enough for me to continue to research. Are there any sources that discuss this in depth that would be easy for a layman to grasp? Any refutations?

Thank you!

(George Brooks) #2

@BioMed Steve

It really all depends whether you are invoking God as part of Old Earth Scenarios … or you believe God’s creative work was used on Earth less than 6,000 years ago.

BioLogos should, theoretically, have no definitive opinion on exactly when and where God slowed or accelerated a particular genetic development as part of “common ancestry” and millions of years of time. So I have problem with this particular scenario.


(Patrick ) #3

Welcome. Yes you could invoke a special creation because we really don’t much about this time period on Earth. But invoking a special creation is not a very satisfying explanation. It is more of a cop out than just saying “I don’t know so I am going to do research to figure it out”

Yes, the Hadean period of earth history extending from the time the Earth was formed 4.54 billion years ago to about 4.1 billion years ago was a time when the Earth was very hot and heavily bombarded. But we do have some evidence that around 4.1 billion years ago life processes were established. How that happened is unknown. Proton pump by thermal vents is a possibility as is life processes coming on the meteors themselves. I look forward to reading about new results in the years ahead as this question is researched by scientist all over the world. Search on Hadean period and look for the results just published last year.

(Patrick ) #4

Actually the truth of what happened on Earth to generate life has nothing to do with anyone’s beliefs. Life happened. We have a 3.5 billion year record of life on Earth and we known the physical processes that occurred including the ever changing conditions on Earth due to physical process and catastrophic events like asteroids and mass extinctions.

(system) #5

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