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Creation 30(4):31, September 2008

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Tinned sardines—clue to the origin of life?

by Gordon Howard

Posted on homepage: 4 January 2010 (GMT+10)
Tinned sardines—clue to the origin of life ?

Tinned sardines—I just love ’em! Sardines in tomato sauce (ketchup) on fresh, warm toast—the thought makes my mouth water.Smiling face

Even opening the tin is exciting. What if, one day, one of the sardines begins to flop around, anxious to get back in the sea? But these sardines are dead. Maybe, instead, there could be just a little bit of green fuzz that has come to life on my sardines. Wouldn’t that be a blast! Well, no. I think I would be rushing to the shop for my money back, and sending a letter of complaint to the manufacturer: ‘Your sterilization techniques aren’t working. My sardines are contaminated with life.’

We could be hopeful about something coming to life in my sardine tin, because those who say life began by itself tell us ‘less educated’ persons that life could have begun in a ‘primordial soup’ with only about 10% ‘pre-biotic matter’. Now my tin of sardines has almost 100% ‘pre-biotic matter’ (well, ‘post-biotic matter’, since they’re dead), but I never see any signs of life.

Surely, if life can begin by itself, it should happen in a sardine tin. Not only is there all that’s needed by way of the building blocks for proteins, DNA, and all that stuff, but also these are already organized into cells, and all the paraphernalia of living things, all packaged and ready to go. Seems to me a better deal than the wild conditions in a swirling ocean, or even in Charles Darwin’s ‘warm little pond’, with nothing but chemicals floating around.1

Why doesn’t it happen? Evolutionists keep telling us that things keep going on the same for millions of years—that natural processes are all that causes anything. If that is true, life should be popping up afresh all around us. But it doesn’t.

So you’d think they would realize by now: life only comes from life. This experiment (does life arise in sardine tins?) has been conducted millions of times a day for a hundred years or more—with absolutely no evidence of life. It’s time to give up! Evolutionists talk about a ‘primordial soup’ that got it going, but surely tomato soup would be better, even though it uses dead tomatoes—at least they were alive. Now, I’ve never seen a ‘primordial’, and I’ve never come across a recipe for primordial soup, but I’m sure there’s less chance of a ‘primordial’ jumping out of primordial soup than there is of a tomato growing out of tomato soup.

And it doesn’t seem to matter how long we leave the sardines (or the soup) in the tins. A million years or so would only allow the good stuff in the tin to deteriorate, so its chances of producing life would only get worse.2 The same surely would have happened millions of years ago.

Seems to me that the only source of life at the beginning of the universe was someone who has life within himself—a supernatural superhero. The God of Heaven. That’s a logical conclusion.

So, next time someone tries to tell you that life began by itself from chemicals, without God, talk about the tin of sardines. Also suggest that he have a look at the real explanation for the beginning of life, in the beginning of the Bible. Maybe even read it yourself. And while you’re reading, enjoy some delicious sardines on toast.

References and notes

  1. The heating of the sardines during processing denatures proteins. This upsets their structure, but the amino acids are still present. Membranes are also disrupted, but the ingredients are still there, and much of the structure. The sardines have far more of the ingredients necessary for life than any conceivable warm pond. For some of the problems with life arising by itself, see: Demick, D., Life from life … or not? Creation 23(1):36–41, 2000; <creation.com/abio>. Return to text.
  2. Amino acids come in two forms; mirror images of each other, like right and left hands, so this is called handedness. Life is based on left-handed amino acids. With time, amino acids lose their purity of handedness; they racemise. This then makes the origin of life an even bigger problem, because life requires purity. See Sarfati, J., Origin of life: the chirality problem, Journal of Creation 12(3):263–266, 1998; <creation.com/chirality>. Return to text.