If you want to strike a raw nerve with supporters of the theory of evolution, ask them about the origin of life. I already spoke about this, but it seems to be such a controversial topic that it may be worth sharing some further thoughts.
For the origin of life, biological evolution accepts the existence of an organism with certain characteristics as axiomatic. However, something can only be considered axiomatic if it is self-evident or explained. That is the reason that colleges include origin of life in their courses on evolution. As we all know though, the origin of life is neither self-evident nor well explained at the moment.
The question then is, how reliable can your theory be if one of the axioms are unknown?
And I can hear the protests, have heard them many times: “We don’t need to know it, all we are doing is describe the subsequent happenings.” The problem with that line of reasoning is that at the very least life had to have certain characteristics that directly originated from pre-life for the evolutionary mechanisms to work as postulated. The demarcation between life and non-life then becomes a little foggy, and the boundary between the origin vs the existence of life vague, and boils down to the question how that can be experimentally proven? I.e. how do we experimentally prove what is part of biological evolution and what is not? By the definition given by evolution supporters, that would be the requirement for it to be scientifically valid.
Should one wish to assert that nature and living creatures can create new information, one has to account for what the first bit of information changed by mutation and selected by nature looked like. One cannot describe what it looked like without going to the logically prior step, which was non-life. The origin of life is the first of a series. The terms of reference for the first in a series can never be totally irrelevant in establishing a sequence or series if you establish that no such first term of the series could exist when constrained by the same terms of reference. (Thanks GeorgeR)
The terms of reference cannot be different for the first in the series than it is for the rest. Evolution is an origins science. The first in the series had to come about by the same mechanisms as the successive. For example, the most primitive life form needs around 100 proteins to function. How did it get from 90 proteins to 100 proteins? One cannot assume a first life form for changes to act on unless it contains the elements needed, i.e. DNA, RNA and proteins, and without assuming that the mechanisms at work necessarily existed. How can one assume that the evolutionary mechanisms are at work in successive generations, but they are not present or workable during the first? To logically make those assumptions, they must be proven to have existed, otherwise one indulges in some serious question-begging.
In evolution, the elements needed for the mechanisms to act on are supposedly exactly the same between life and prelife, it’s only a critical mass that differs.
And that remains a huge obstacle for evolutionists. They have an axiom which is not self-evident nor easily explained, therefore they want us to simply ignore it.