What Materialism Teaches
The secular orthodox position is that the building blocks of life must have coalesced from inorganic materials at hand through some process made possible by the environment at a time millions of years ago on earth. Perhaps lightning or sunlight or chemical catalysis as a source of energy acting on inorganic compounds in water—primordial goo acting as a chemical vat in which compounds coalesce into the first amino acids and then eventually into single-cell creatures, and then multiple-cell creatures, and so on.
“Big Bang” of Life
We looked at the idea of the “Big Bang” for the origin of all matter. The origin of life requires another “Big Bang,” of sorts: the jump from non-life to life. This requires explanation.
All of life is composed of the same atomic materials that otherwise exist in the universe at large. The periodic table of elements taught in high school chemistry class is a listing of all the basic elements of matter. If the human body were to be analyzed by its most basic constituent elements, they would all be found on the periodic table.
From this fact, one can hypothesize that there is no ultimate difference between inorganic material and living, organic life, other than that organic material is more complex, and when alive, is self-replicating. It is said to arise from the environment in which it is formed, and then, through the self-replicating process, adapts to its environment for survival. Inorganic material just is; one can say that it along with energy constitutes the environment to which organic material adapts.
Getting from passive constituents of the environment (rocks, soil, atmosphere, water) to even the simplest organic compounds is the subject of much study and conjecture. It is an unresolved question of science how this could have happened without the input of an intelligent Creator. The orthodox secular belief is nonetheless that it occurred, somehow; we just don’t know the early conditions in which it occurred, and cannot replicate the process ourselves. It is thought to be a process involving vast stretches of time; stretches of time far exceeding that within which scientists have had the opportunity to ponder the question; time during which much evidence of changes to environment and living things has become lost to us.