How could the universe and life come into existence without God? How could life evolve without God?

Take a material living organism. Remove all the non-living hydrogen. Hydrogen is not living, so we have not removed life from the organism. Remove all the other non-living chemical elements in turn: helium, lithium, beryllium etc. All those chemical elements are non-living, so in all cases life was not removed from the organism. What is left after all the chemical elements have been removed is the life of the organism.

That is just one of the reasons why vitalism is incorrect. Life is an emergent property, it is not something separate from the components that make up the material organism.

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Am I missing something here? Life was created by God from dust. Isn’t that right? And dust is lifeless chemicals and Adam was alive. God breathed life into lifeless chemicals. Where am I going wrong here, Noose?

Read Genesis again: “Let the waters bring forth…” and “Let the earth bring forth…”. The dust/clay/earth brought forth land animals, just as the waters brought forth fish and birds. The “breath” was specifically for human life. Other life did not require the breath, just non-living chemicals, such as water.

Why didn’t you just say “take an organism and kill it”? You have used so much energy to explain nothing. If you take an organism and stop its Biochemical process (Biochemical processes are chemical processes that are supported by life) then what you remain with is just mere chemical process with no life.

God created living things. Creation of living things involves God giving His life to those living things.

Nope. All life draws from God

Psalms 104: 29
When you hide your face, they are terrified;
when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.
When you send your Spirit,
they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.

And the bible is heavily allegorical. For example; God’s creation was not physical but spiritual, it is man who created the physical and it was after the fall. So things coming from the dust of the ground is not literal.

If we’re doing exegesis over the first couple chapters of Genesis, the wind over the waters in the first few verses could also be translated as spirit or breath. The creative act in general is linked with the breath of God. Humankind is also shown as specially God-breathed.

Was somebody denying that? There was no life and then He made it. From lifeless material. It says exactly that in Genesis. What on earth are you arguing for?

Some of us are simply trying to work out how He did it.

That’s not what Genesis says. Life was there in abundance even before creation but in the form of God’s spirit. Creation is just a transformation of God’s spirit.

Before commenting, I’ll point out Noose is non-demoninational. The ordinary point some try to make is that the natural order on it’s own isn’t sufficient to explain the origin of life, and that it would require an additional input not included in the rest of the natural order from God for life to arise. For those who make this point, the traditional concern for the “leap” to life (any life) is the leap from transient causes in non-living things to immanent causality in living things, though a much more nuanced point on that could be discussed.

Life is a emergent scientifically unexplainable property, it is not something separate from the components that make up the material organism. Life is the difference between live dog and dead dog.

I know, you just need more time. In the meantime, please avoid the word “emergent”; better to admit ignorance then to pretend otherwise.

Two points on this. I don’t know about Noose, but vitalism isn’t the only path to take here.

The other point is that you seem to equate emergent properties with the sum of the parts. But the reason we have the term emergent property is for properties that are more than the sum of parts.

I guess one might first begin by asking how did the universe which is NON-life come into existence, that is, inanimate matter and energy. If one can explain that, then perhaps life is a refined extension of inanimate matter. Even here there are variations as well: nonconscious living things, such as plants (we suppose), then conscious living things: animals and humans. But let’s begin with non-animate matter and energy. Given it could not create itself (or can it?), did it always exist in one form or another without being created?

Life creates the universe not the other way. God creates through human consciousness and reality is only our perception. This is what the bible says and this is why humans are of high regard, being in God’s image.

What the bible says, but which bible (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Mormon, Muslim, Hindu, etc.)? And whose interpretation of the bible (the Church, the Hebrew sages, the gurus, etc.)? You’re bringing an additional layer of complexity into the discussion by engaging in religion. Let’s start with Gd (or gods) and the Creation: is the universe and life possible without Gd? Leave the bible aside.

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Because what is left after my process is your ‘life’. You are projecting ‘life’ as a separate thing from the components of the body. It is not, as is shown by removing all the material elements from, say, an earthworm. Life is an emergent property; it has no existence apart from its components.

That is your claim. My scriptures say differently.

The planet earth is physical, not spiritual. Are you telling us that God did not create the planet earth?

I’m good with that. I don’t believe it, but I have no problem in someone accepting that. Like almost everyone in this forum. But that there were inorganic materials and then later there was life is a statement on which we can all agree.

Except Noose it seems…


The contention between different faith is usually about the nature of God and not godliness. Godliness being the work of God or what He does is mysterious.


Well, aren’t we more than the bag of chemicals from which we are made?

Be very very careful about trying to fit your God into a gap in science. Science works very hard to close those gaps, making any gods fitted into those gaps smaller as well.

I too have ‘scientifically unexplainable’ parts of life. As well as the physical body, rupa, there are vedana, samjna, sankhara and vijñāna. What I do not have is a separate life along with the others. Life is an emergent property, when all the necessary conditions are present.

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