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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2005
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Claim CB010.1:

Even the simplest, most primitive forms of life -- bacteria -- are incredibly complex, much too complex to have arisen by chance.


Sherwin, Frank. 2001. Just how simple are bacteria? Back to Genesis 146 (Feb.).


  1. There is no reason to think that the life around today is comparable in complexity to the earliest life. All of the simplest life would almost certainly be extinct by now, outcompeted by more complex forms.

  2. Self-replicators can be incredibly simple, as simple as a strand of six DNA nucleotides (Sievers and von Kiedrowski 1994). This is simple enough to form via prebiotic chemistry. Self-replication sets the stage for evolution to begin, whether or not you call the molecules "life."

  3. Nobody claims the first life arose by chance. To jump from the fact that the origin is unknown to the conclusion that it could not have happened naturally is the argument from incredulity.


Musgrave, Ian. 1998. Lies, damned lies, statistics, and probability of abiogenesis calculations.


  1. Sievers, D. and G. von Kiedrowski. 1994. Self-replication of complementary nucleotide-based oligomers. Nature 369: 221-224.

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created 2001-2-18, modified 2003-10-4