Of course they are correct in saying that. But that doesn't let them off the hook. If, as the Darwinian purists insist, everything has a completely materialistic explanation, they must come up with a completely materialistic explanation for first life. Darwin himself was rightly baffled as to how such a thing could have occurred and never addressed it in his now-famous theory. He did speculate on the issue however. In an 1871 letter to his friend, Joseph Hooker, Darwin famously wrote that he envisioned that such a thing:
"But if (and Oh! what a big if!) we could conceive in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity, etc., present, that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes, at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed"Thus was born the notion of the Primordial Soup. I won't go into it here, but researchers have tried in vain to recreate such a "soup" and every experiment designed to do so has proven fruitless. Though Darwinists still tout the Miller-Urey experiment that was thought to be the answer in the 1950s, we have since learned that the initial conditions assumed in this experiment do not match what we have learned the early Earth to be like. There was no primordial soup -- at least none like what scientists have assumed. Moreover, what we do know about the conditions of the early Earth (yes, the actual evidence -- that pesky little thing you are supposed to use in science) proves corrosive to the ability of life to ever begin ... no matter what kind of soup it happens to be. Fazale Rana summarizes ...
Oxygen’s presence, either in the atmosphere or dissolved in oceanic or subterranean water, shuts down prebiotic chemistry pathways … Ironically, oxygen’s absence would also have turned off prebiotic chemistry … either way, in the presence of oxygen or in the absence of oxygen, the soup is ruined because prebiotic molecule formation is stymied ...Oops.
The evidence that has emerged since Darwin's time leaves us with very little to go on. Obviously Darwin could not have known this. But modern Darwinists do. As a result, they are forced to promote theories like this fascinating admission on the topic. Here, "New Atheist" Richard Dawkins explains how life could have originated on Earth (click here: Dawkins Interview). Please take a couple of minutes (literally) to go watch this short clip.
Notice that Dawkins demands that the aliens who probably planted us here must have originated by some purely Darwinian means. Why? Because he says so.
But note that in his assumption, Dawkins is evading an explanation for how life on this Earth originated through purely naturalistic mechanisms, by touting a "theory" (if you can call it that) that appeals to the notion that it just happened somewhere else. And we are supposed to take this seriously? Though it is not shown here, in the same interview Dawkins also mentions the idea that life could have first originated "on the backs of crystals" with no further explanation given.
The origin of life is a mystery that will probably never be solved. But it is worth noting that in the 150 years since Darwin published his book, we are no nearer to doing so. In fact, when all the evidence is taken into consideration, we are much further away than when Darwin speculated about it in the letter mentioned above. One thing is obvious, however. No matter whose side you are on, the explanation you are forced to appeal to includes the idea of the work of a mighty clever intelligent agent.