Student: "My theory, or belief, for how life began involves a supernatural act. I believe God, a divine being, created all plant, animal, and human life on this planet in the beginning of time on Earth. I realize that this view is sometimes ridiculed and labeled as a "myth" or "fairy tale." I would like it if you, Mr./Ms. ____ (professor/teacher/indocrinator), would just give me a simple summary of how you think life began on this planet."
Thoughts to Consider
No one was there when it all started. Whether it was billions of years ago or 6000 years ago, we can still be confident that no one alive today was anywhere close to the events that launched this whole process! Therefore, right off the bat, we know one thing for sure. Everything about the origins of life is educated guesswork at best. Theory! Neither side can be dogmatic about much of anything. So, then, it comes down to how evidence is interpreted.
This leads to some follow-up questions that students can always ask, all based on whether evidence is interpreted in an objective, sensible manner.
Now, when a teacher does honestly answer this student's question and includes things like life arising from nonliving matter, primordial soup, a moon-like object breaking apart and then combining with other "space rocks" to form another ball of rock that continues to grow and morph into a suddenly life-sustaining planet on a defined orbit (another proposal I've heard), etc., then it will be up to that student to determine whether the answer sounds more like science or science fiction.
Below is an excerpt from a PBS website that is about a NOVA special considering how life began:
In a nutshell, what is the process? How does life form?
The short answer is we don't really know how life originated on this planet. There have been a variety of experiments that tell us some possible roads, but we remain in substantial ignorance. That said, I think what we're looking for is some kind of molecule that is simple enough that it can be made by physical processes on the young Earth, yet complicated enough that it can take charge of making more of itself. That, I think, is the moment when we cross that great divide and start moving toward something that most people would recognize as living.
The truth is that the more you read responses from evolutionists about how life may have begun, the more you will find there is great uncertainty, and even disagreement, among many of them. Of course, to their defense, there can't be much certainty about something no one was around to observe.