No origin theory of life

Primordial soul
A depiction of the electrical origin of life theory (left), sometimes called the warm pond model or Miller-Urey experiment, and meteor origin of life theory (right), sometimes called panspermia theory, both variations of the primordial soup models of origin of life, each being the typical second stepping stone view in progression away from the creator theory of life (stone one): the third stone being the no origin theory of life, the forth being the defunct theory of life.
In life theories, no origin theory of life posits that life is coeternal with matter, has no beginning; hence, in short, there is no origin of life. [1]

The first no origin statement seems to have been made and thereafter debated, by German chemist Justus Leibig:

“It is sufficient to admit that life is as old and as eternal as matter itself, and the entire argument about the origin of life loses apparently all sense by this simple admission. And, really, why can we not imagine that organic life is just as much without beginning as is carbon and its combinations, or as is all uncreated and indestructible matter and the forces which are eternally bound up with the movement of matter in universal space.”
Justus Liebig (c.1850), Publication; refuted by Friedrich Engels in his Dialectics of Nature (1883) as incompatible with the materialistic world view; both cited by Alexander Oparin in his Origin of Life (1936) in §2: Theories of the Continuity of Life (pg. 32)

In 1874, German physicist Hermann Helmholtz, in his “On the Use and Abuse of the Deductive Method in Physical Science”, in his German translation of William Thomson and Peter Tait’s Treatise on Natural Philosophy, penned the following statement—which supposedly is a middle ground position vented in his debated with the romanticism idealisms of German astrophysicist Karl Zollner and objections with Arthur Schopenhauer’s philosophy: [6]

“If failure attends all our efforts to obtain a generation of organisms from lifeless matter, it seems to me a thoroughly correct procedure to inquire whether there has ever been an origination of life, or whether it is not as old as matter, and whether its germs, borne from one world to another, have not been developed wherever they have found a favorable soil.”

In 1874, English physical economist Stanley Jevons gave the synopsis of his concluding views on the over-typical response question of "what separates a rock from a human" if indeed there is no difference from life and non-life, in the chemical sense of things, specifically in context of the scientific method, nebular hypothesis, reductionism, materialism, evolution, heat death, heat birth, thermodynamics, in relation to the human feelings: [2]

“By degrees it is found that the chemistry of organized substances is not widely separated from, but is rather continuous with, that of earth and stones. Life itself seems to be nothing but a special form of that energy which is manifested in heat and electricity and mechanical force. The time may come, it almost seems, when the tender mechanism of the brain will be traced out, and every thought reduced to the expenditure of a determinate weight of nitrogen and phosphorus.”

No apparent limit exists to the success of scientific method in weighing and measuring, and reducing beneath the sway of law, the phenomena both of matter and of mind [mind brain duality]. And if mental phenomena be thus capable of treatment by the balance and the micrometer, can we any longer hold that mind is distinct from matter? Must not the same inexorable reign of law, which is apparent in the motions of brute matter, be extended to the most subtle feelings of the human heart [love]? Are not plants and animals and ultimately man himself, merely crystals, as it were, of a complicated form? If so, our boasted free will becomes a delusion, moral responsibility a fiction, spirit a mere name for the more curious manifestations of material energy. All that happens, whether right or wrong, pleasurable or painful, is but the outcome of the necessary relations of time and space and force, and of the laws of matter emerging from them, which are fixed in the very nature of things.

Materialism seems, then, to be the coming religion, and resignation to the nonenity of human will the only duty. Such may not generally be the reflections of men of science, but I believe that we may thus describe the secret feelings of fear which the constant advance of scientific investigation excites in the minds of many who view it from a distance. Is science, then, essentially atheistic and materialistic in its tendency? Does the uniform action of material causes, which we learn with an ever increasing approach to certainty, preclude the hypothesis of an intelligent and benevolent creator, who has not only designed the existing universe, but who still retains the power to alter its course from time to time?”

He concludes this excellent tract, being already well past the 400-page mark of his treatise, by commenting “to enter actually upon theological discussions would be evidently beyond the scope of this work.”

In 1916, American mathematical physicist William Sidis gave the following statement of the no origin theory: [3]

“The second law of thermodynamics must date from some sort of great collision out of which the present universe evolved. Our theory of the origin of life is that there is no origin, but only a constant development and change in form.”

In 1924, American physical biochemist Albert Mathews, in his article “Chemistry and Psychism”, spoke of the difference between “living and dead hydrogen atoms”, albeit in the end his discussion teetered on the nonsensical, but nevertheless is an interesting example of the perplexity one faces when deciding on which theory to side with: theory of life, defunct theory of life, or no origin theory of life, in the context of the periodic table view of a cell or a human. [4]

In 1946, English mathematical philosopher Bertrand Russell, in his article “Mind and Matter in Modern Science”, seemed to teetering on the solution when in he commented: [5]

“There is increasing reason to think that the whole of difference between living and dead matter is chemical: living matter has the capacity of transforming suitable other matter into something of the same chemical composition as itself.”

See also
Defunct theory of life
Creator theory of life
- Creationism
- Creation from clay

1. (a) Encyclopedia Britannica (c.2005)
(b) Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume One) (pg. 127). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
(c) Thims, Libb. (2008). The Human Molecule (pg. 75) (issuu) (preview) (Google Books) (docstoc). LuLu.
2. (a) Jevons, William Stanley. (1874). The Principles of Science: a Treatise on Logic and the Scientific Method (Book VI, ch. 31: Reflections on the Limits of the Scientific Method, pgs. 427-70; quote, pgs. 427-28).
(b) Mirowski, Philip. (1989). More Heat than Light: Economics as Social Physics, Physics as Nature’s Economics (pg. 219). Cambridge University Press.
3. Sidis, William J. (1920). The Animate and the Inanimate. Draft stage 1916; Formerly published: R.G. Badger, 1925.
4. (a) Mathews, Albert P. (1924). “Chemistry and Psychism”, in: General Cytology (pgs. 25-28, 92), Edmund V. Cowdry, ed. University of Chicago Press.
(b) Slosson, Edwin E. (1925). Sermons of a Chemist (pgs. 11-12). Harcourt, Brace, and Co.
(c) Blavatsky, Helene P. (1937). The Laws of Healing: Physical and Metaphysical (pg. 27). Kessinger.
5. Russell, Bertrand. (1946). “Mind and Matter in Modern Science”, The Rationalist Annual, Watts & Company; in: Bertrand Russell on God and Religion (chapter 11, pgs. 151-63), ed. Al Seckel, Prometheus Books, 1986.
6. Helmholtz, Hermann. (1874). “On the Use and Abuse of the Deductive Method in Physical Science” (translator: Crum Brown), from Helmholtz’ preface to the second part of the German edition of William Thomson and Peter Tait’s Treatise on Natural Philosophy, vol. 1; in: Nature, 11:149-51, Dec 24; in Nature, 11:211-12, Jan. 14.

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