Robert Hooke is credited as the first to discover a cell in 1665, which he found in bits of cork–dead plant material. Though he truly discovered cells (they looked to him like little rooms), he only observed dead, empty cells. The world, as yet, knew nothing of the complexities in those little rooms.
Almost 200 years later in 1838, two men (Schwann and Schleiden) together observed living plant and animal cells and noticed the similarities. They gave the world the first cell theory:
- The cell is the unit of structure, physiology, and organization in living things.
- The cell retains a dual existence as a distinct entity and a building block in the construction of organisms.
- Cells form by free-cell formation, similar to the formation of crystals (spontaneous generation). (from BiteSizeBio.com)
One small observation for man; one giant theory for mankind.
You may have caught the problem with number three above, because cells do not form spontaneously. “How does new life form?” was the great question, and the answer so many had rested upon was that it simply popped into existence! Louis Pasteur famously disproved spontaneous generation once and for all in 1859.
In 1858 Rudolf Virchow introduced the following description of cellular regeneration:
Omnis cellula e cellula: “All cells come from cells.”
In other words, in order to get a new cell, you must have a pre-existing cell. That sounds right, doesn’t it? In fact, it has been scientifically verified again and again until today, and we now understand much more as to the actual mechanics of how cells transfer data from a mature cell to a brand-new duplicate.
But think about the consequences of that statement: all cells come from other cells. If I killed every kind of platypus cell on earth, it would be absolutely impossible to generate another platypus.
Newly-generated life must derive from pre-existing life. That’s what we can observe. That’s what is scientific. Of course, scientists and philosophers wonder (along with everyone else) how life first came into being, because that’s a question science cannot answer–it’s not observable, quantifiable, or reproducible.
So what might we say about the theory of Evolution and the theory of Creation? Which is more probable? Which supports more of the facts? Which seems to continue to rely on the theory of spontaneous generation?
In the words of Maria in The Sound of Music, “Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could.”