Darwin didn't have an explanation for what sparked life, and as far as I know he didn't try to explain how life began. An assistant professor at MIT supposedly has taken up Darwin's mantle and will fill in the gaps of Darwinism with the Statistical physics of self-replication and he'll explain biological self-organization with the very concept Christians have tried to use to disprove the possibility of evolution...
Jeremy England will attempt to make the case that the Second Law of Thermodynamics (entropy, which is disorder, and where everything eventually goes to a steady state/equilibrium because energy disperses over time) can not just help life begin, the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics requires life will begin (given the right circumstances he adds). My first thought as I read about England's theory was his work will probably end much like the once celebrated Miller-Urey experiments. Click here on to read how far off Miller-Urey missed the point
This idea isn't entirely original. Back in seminary over ten years ago I was reading similar theories that claimed entropy didn't disprove evolution, because of how stalactites, tornadoes, snowflakes, and crystals form randomly. Note, these non-living, fairly simple configurations of material do not go on to spawn more complexity. The reality is, if you leave a box of nails and pile of wood outside, it won't jumpstart itself into a house, instead it all disintegrates because of entropy. What England adds to discussion is that entropy not only won't eliminate creative capacities, it drives creativity.
England's ideas are not far from those of Lawrence Krauss who says energy and matter can spontaneously appear Ex Nihilo. England, Krauss, and others have pulled a fairly cool sleight of hand over on people. To say that life, or matter, or energy can spontaneously self-create and appear requires quite a leap of faith. Not a leap of faith that's based on common sense or with rational proofs and good reason, but a leap of irrational faith.
Along with other Darwinistic thinkers who claim we see patterns in creation that would seem to lend evidence to an Intelligent Designer, but we only see these because we are hardwired to formulate or to make sense out of these cosmic accents which are really just random, unguided processes. Now, we have this next generation of mental gymnastics that will try to explain away the need for God as creator. This clever trick is so slick, only a snake oil salesmen could truly appreciate how it works.
So, with a shrug of the shoulders and disdain for the uneducated, we are told the complexity we see in nature is just an illusion. We are told that the cosmic accident called the universe popped into existence, uncaused, and even though all the Laws of physics were in place, this hostile, blind, mute universe which breaks down and falls apart over time really sparks life in the very process we observe that causes chaos and destruction.
Not only can't Darwinism account for life, it can't provide a reason for the complexity and variation of living forms. Mutation, time, chance, and change still would not account for the vast overabundance of life forms. If you ask what guides the mutations or the changes, the thimblerig game shuffles once more, and the illusive pea is once more out of sight and we are mocked for insisting on making sense of the universe that appears to have purpose and meaning...
The theory that entropy (which as we observe it undoes everything) actually causes life, is sown together about as tightly as the Emperor's New Clothes. Lest I be misunderstood, I want to clarify that science & faith are not enemies. And, I know, I'm just a theologian by training -- so I might not have the right to discuss science -- but wouldn't that imply that people not trained in theology shouldn't talk about God?