Years ago I remember reading a quote supposedly by an Evolutionist arguing that evolution must be true since creationism is ridiculous. In this article, an evolutionist tries to defend Dr. Wald's position by quoting him properly.
The original quote is probably in reference to this,
We tell this story to beginning students in biology as though it represented a triumph of reason over mysticism. In fact it is very nearly the opposite. The reasonable view was to believe in spontaneous generation; the only alternative, to believe in a single, primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third position. For this reason many scientists a century ago chose to regard the belief in spontaneous generation as a "philosophical necessity". It is a symptom of the philosophical poverty of our time that this necessity is no longer appreciated. Most modern biologists, having reviewed with satisfaction the downfall of the spontaneous generation hypothesis, yet unwilling to accept the alternative belief in special creation, are left with nothing.To which Dr. Wald responds,
I think a scientist has no choice but to approach the origin of life through a hypothesis of spontaneous generation. What the controversy reviewed above showed to be untenable is only the belief that living organisms arise spontaneously under present conditions. We have now to face a somewhat different problem: how organisms may have arisen spontaneously under different conditions in some former period, granted that they do so no longer.Why does Dr. Wald think a scientist has to approach the origin of life through the hypothesis of spontaneous generation? Because in his mind, Louis Pasteur only perpetuated a myth of creationism. Pasteur was rejecting a "common-sense a belief as that in spontaneous generation".
In the conclusion of the article, Dr. Wald is quoted as saying,
So hey, give something enough time, and something magical will happen. This is called reason over mysticism. Sorry, folks. This is as religious as anything I have read. We didn't observe it. We don't know how it happened. We don't know where it happened. We don't know really much of anything. But we are here, so it must have happened.
The important point is that since the origin of life belongs in the category of at-least-once phenomena, time is on its side. However improbable we regard this event, or any of the steps which it involves, given enough time it will almost certainly happen at lest once. And for life as we know it, with its capacity for growth and reproduction, once may be enough.
Time is in fact the hero of the plot. The time with which we have to deal is of the order of two [sic] billion years. What we regard as impossible on the basis of human experience is meaningless here. Given so much time, the "impossible" becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait; time itself performs the miracles.
I think the misquote by some over zealous creationist got the spirit of the presuppositions correct.