Hi! Hayley and I have been working on a post swap for awhile now. The idea was that we would each write an essay, send it to the other girl, and then post the essay we received on our blog. Hayley’s essay is about spontaneous generation, while mine is about the colossal squid (read it HERE, on Flourishing by Restful Falls).
Like I said, Hayley’s essay is about spontaneous generation, a false scientific theory. And, to be honest, I had no idea what spontaneous generation was until I read this!
From Smelly Socks to Evolution
This week in science I’m working with Chemistry. And you know? It’s really hard.
So I can’t even imagine being smart enough to not alone understand these things
but to discover them! One really smart chemist, named Robert Boyle, said
scientists should “give glory to the one who authored nature.” Wouldn’t it be great
if scientists in this age would believe this? In the end, only one source is 100%
reliable, and it’s not science, because science is limited, experiments might be
flawed, and when scientists want badly to believe their theories they push them
into areas where they have little or no knowledge.
Scientists don’t understand every detail of creation, so why do most people think
science is infallible? Scientists are limited; They’re real people, no super heroes,
and they definitely make mistakes. They’re human, so we can’t expect them to
know everything. (Did you know that the brilliant Albert Einstein occasionally
asked his wife for help with his math? It’s true.) Aristotle, for example, a
philosopher who lived in ancient Greece, made a pretty big mistake that scientists
believed for thousands of years. In fact, some people still believe it today. You see,
Aristotle observed one day that that maggots would appear on decaying meat that
had been sitting out for a couple of days. After the observation, Aristotle wrote a
hypothesis that stated living maggots can be formed from non-living meat. He
called his theory “spontaneous generation,” which means life can be formed from
non-living substances. He started noticing what he thought were examples of
spontaneous generation all around him. One example? Eels smell like the ooze you
would find at the bottom of the river, so they must have formed from the ooze.
Naturally, today, we think this is silly, but people actually believed it.
It turns out, people naively believed in spontaneous generation for more than 1,900
years, because all the experiments seemed to support it. But experiments might be
flawed. For example, a scientist in the mid 1600s named Jean Baptist van Helmont
“proved” spontaneous generation by placing a sweaty shirt in a closed wooden
box. Every time he performed the flawed experiment he would discover an
enterprising mouse gnawing out of the box around the 20th day. After a while,
everybody thought mice could spontaneously form out of a sweaty shirt. In fact, so
many experiments “proved” the theory that it became a scientific law. (Did you
read that? A scientific law stated that sweaty clothes give birth to mice.) Around
the same time, another scientist, Francesco Redi, decided to dispute the smelly
experiment, explaining that Helmont had no way of knowing if the mice had
gnawed into the box or out of it. When he wisely executed his own experiment, he
inserted meat into a sealed jar. No maggots appeared.
Once spontaneous generation was proven to be a flawed theory, many scientists
contended that maybe it was happening in microorganisms that no one could see.
But within just a few hundred years, thanks to powerful microscopes, scientists
observed the tiny things, and again, spontaneous generation was disproved. (Louis
Pasteur did that well, if you wanna learn more about his experiment, you should
Google it.) So then did science finally abandon the idea of spontaneous generation?
Surprisingly, they didn’t; man are these people stubborn! You see, today scientists
believe in abiogenesis. Abiogenesis is the idea that long ago very simple life forms
spontaneously appeared through chemical reactions. Do you see what they did
there? When Louis Pasteur demonstrated that microorganisms couldn’t just appear
in non-living substances, scientists argued that maybe some unknown life form
might have spontaneously generated from some unknown chemicals at some
unknown time long, long, long ago. So basically, the theory of evolution (which
requires a belief in abiogenesis) is the result of stubborn scientists holding onto the
idea of spontaneous generation long after it’s been disproven, by saying it
happened so long ago that no one can actually test the theory.
Do you still think scientists know everything? If so, you really haven’t been paying
attention. ‘Cause sometimes scientists (whom we rely on way too much) can be
really nonsensical. And let me tell you, there is only one person who we can put
our total trust in. It’s not a scientist or a human being at all. It’s God.
So this is my point: scientists are not all-knowing, their experiments aren’t always
infallible, and they thrust their ideas into an area where they have little or no
knowledge when they want people to trust them. So if you want to know the truth,
read the Bible. It will give you all the information you’d ever want to know. And
it’s all the truth. Every single word in the Bible is truth. If you wanna know how
the world began, read the Bible, because, although scientists are smart, they
weren’t there when the world was created—God was.
Hayley did a great job, didn’t she? That part about the eels was pretty unbelievable — which I guess is the point. ;)
Make sure to check out Hayley’s blog to read my essay about colossal squid!
P.S. I reached 120 followers! Yippee! Expect that book giveaway in the near future. ;)