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[Readers interested in extra–terrestrial origins-of-life research can find that information here .]
Another Claim by Origin-of-Life Researchers Dissolves on Inspection
Did U of Tokyo Just Solve the Mystery of Life’s Origin?
Short Answer: Not even close.
“The moment physical and chemical conditions permit[ed] the existence of life on Earth, life appear[ed], and not in just one form. The isotope evidence reveals a diversity of microbial species at the time of life’s origin on Earth. Compounding the problem for abiogenesis (a naturalistic origin of life) is that there is also no prebiotic soup. Isotope ratios of carbonaceous molecules in Earth’s oldest rocks show evidence for postbiotics but no evidence of any prebiotics. A naturalistic origin of life [however] crucially depends on the availability of a highly concentrated supply of prebiotics. At the time of life’s origin, prebiotics were neither abundant on Earth nor concentrated. In fact, they seem to have been nonexistent. Yet another intractable dilemma for abiogenesis arises from the homochirality requirement. Amino acids cannot be linked together to make proteins unless all the amino acids have the same left-handed configuration. Neither can nucleosides be linked together to make DNA and RNA unless they are connected by ribose sugars all with the same right-handed configurations. Outside of organisms, amino acids and ribose exist in a racemic mixture, that is, random mixtures of left-handed and right-handed configurations. No natural source can be found, on Earth or anywhere else in the universe, for homochiral amino acids or sugars. Nor has research identified any possible natural source for the basic amino acids arginine, histidine, and lysine. There are many more intractable problems for abiogenesis. The three briefly described here — no time, no soup, no homochirality — are more than adequate to rule out this explanation for the origin of life.“
2020: “Radical New Theory” on the Origin of Life?
Hardly. It’s the return of an old idea long ago dismissed as too improbable.
Have Researchers Developed a Computer Algorithm that Explains the Origin of Life?
Short Answer: Hardly, again. “It is critical to keep in mind that this work involves computer modeling of chemical processes that could have taken place under the putative conditions of early Earth. And, though the algorithm developed by the investigators from the Polish National Academy of Sciences is quite sophisticated, it still represents a simplified set of scenarios that, at times, fails to fully and realistically account for our planet’s early conditions… [W]e are still a far distance from arriving at any real understanding as to how life could have emerged through evolutionary processes.“
2019: NASA Experiment Creates Life?
“… it’s important to note NASA has not created life itself in [this or any other] experiment… [and w]e don’t have concrete evidence of life elsewhere…”
Have Any Scientists Created Life? Or Something Lifelike?
“The type of things that these scientists are creating are really… extremely crude and extremely simply. In a sense it’s almost laughable to call them cells…”
“Researchers… have long recognized that the apparent lack of a natural nonbiological source of ribose and deoxyribose — [without which molecules] RNA and DNA molecules cannot be assembled — stood as a fundamental barrier to their goal. Hence, for over five decades they have been scouring the earth… in a quest to find the elusive sugars. Realizing that conditions on Earth at the time that life first originated [almost 4 billion years ago] ruled out any naturalistic source of ribose and deoxyribose, origin-of-life researchers looked to the heavens… Interstellar molecular clouds… ha[ve] yielded discoveries of an immense array of carbonaceous molecules... [of which] 60 are complex organic molecules consisting of six or more atoms. The existence of all these molecules implies that chemical reactions must be operating within dense molecular clouds to produce both ribose and deoxyribose. However, the presence of these molecules also implies that chemical reactions must be operating to destroy most, if not nearly all, the ribose and deoxyribose that is manufactured. Consequently, the expected abundance of ribose and deoxyribose in dense molecular clouds, at best, is only a few parts per billion… Comets, asteroids, and meteoroids, which arise from molecular clouds, possess higher concentrations of carbonaceous molecules. Hence, astronomers have been diligently searching for ribose and deoxyribose in these sources… [and researchers have] finally detected ribose, a building block of life, in two primitive meteorites… [while] Deoxyribose was not found in any of the analyzed meteorites… [and researchers have] concluded that the ribose they found was extraterrestrial in origin… The discovery of ribose and the failure to discover deoxyribose was viewed as evidence for the RNA world hypothesis for life’s origin… However, there are scientific reasons for curbing the enthusiasm. The RNA world hypothesis needs a lot more than just the presence of ribose and nucleobases. There also needs to be a natural mechanism to link the ribose molecules and nucleobases together in the just-right sequences to make RNA molecules and protect the manufacturing processes from contamination and from destructive reactions. Furthermore, ribose molecules are manifested in two configurations: a left-handed orientation and a right-handed orientation. RNA requires that 100 percent of the ribose molecules be right-handed. Even under highly controlled, highly technical laboratory conditions, biochemists have been unable to join together more than 50 nucleobases. Though RNA molecules are not as long as DNA molecules, many life-critical RNA molecules consist of many hundreds of nucleobases. Leslie Orgel, the founder of the RNA world hypothesis, publicly declared at an origin-of-life conference…, ‘It would be a miracle if a strand of RNA ever appeared on the early Earth‘… [Furthermore. the] very low [observed] abundance levels [of these molecules] will be of no help to any conceivable naturalistic origin-of-life model. The concentration levels need to be much higher, the ribose and deoxyribose molecules all need to be right-handed, all the different species of bioactive amino acids and nucleobases need to be present at high abundance levels, and all the bioactive amino acids must be left-handed in their configuration. Such requirements, and there are many more, explain why five of the world’s most prominent origin-of-life researchers in their individual lectures at the XVIII International Conference on the Origin of Life in 2017… all agreed that not only do we lack understanding of where the building blocks of life arise, we do not even understand where the ‘building blocks of the building blocks‘ of life arise.”
“It has become axiomatic that life naturally evolved out of nonliving materials billions of years ago. Given enough time and the chemical opportunity, living cells self-assemble. However, the experts on the development of complex molecules from simpler ones, the synthetic chemists, do not know how this process actually occurs. There are no known pathways to create the components that make up a living cell from nonliving matter. They have no idea how amino acids… nucleotides… saccharides… and lipids… can be formed naturally on a prebiotic [E]arth, especially before the formation of biological enzymes, to catalyze many of the requisite chemical reactions… When Craig Venter’s team created the first synthetic cell, they didn’t assemble a cell from scratch; they replaced a living cell’s DNA with a modified version. In other words, they replaced the molecular software of an already existing computer. The hardware already existed. While… Venter’s efforts [are] one of the most important and promising developments of this century, it is important to point out they did not create life from nonliving materials. Synthetic chemists may be able to draw a cell’s component target out on paper, but they cannot retrosynthesize it. And yet [despite the actual scientific evidence] atheists presume life just forms [all by itself]…”
“If [origin-of-life researchers] followed through on [their own colleague’s] recommendation [to report every experimental “intervention“], the number count of how many times the ‘Hand of God’ dilemma has been committed per published origin-of-life experiment easily would exceed an average of a dozen times [that’s *per* each experiment!]. If [they would report these interventions accurately], then the lay public, scientists in other disciplines, and maybe even origin-of-life researchers themselves will [finally] recognize and acknowledge that God, not a set of unguided natural processes, created the first life on Earth.”
“Mindless processes produced the first living organisms, we were told, which slowly evolved over the eons to produce creatures like us… The standard evolutionary story is that life began as simple organisms and gradually progressed to more complex forms, but the best scientific evidence now suggests that early life-forms were already complex and biochemically sophisticated. This is based on evidence from the analysis of ratios of carbon and sulfur isotopes in sedimentary rocks laid down over 3.5 billion years ago. Since these biochemical processes could not have occurred unless highly complex protein enzymes were already present, they obviate an evolutionary explanation… [Later on…] What is clear from the fossil record is that in the space of a short, 10-million-year period starting around 541 million years ago, 80 percent of all existing animal forms appeared on Earth, with no credible evolutionary antecedents. Paleontologists studying fossil layers from the so-called Cambrian Explosion have found no transitional forms in the layers immediately pre-dating this period in Earth history… [Evolutionary biologists are at a complete evidential loss to explain] how any blind process like Darwinian evolution could have produced such stunning biological complexity and diversity in such a short space of time… The fossil record attests to several mass extinction events that occurred over the long history of our planet. Research has shown that these devastating events were followed by equally spectacular mass speciation events… ”
“Life should not exist. This much we know from chemistry. In contrast to the ubiquity of life on earth, the lifelessness of other planets makes far better chemical sense…
We synthetic chemists should state the obvious. The appearance of life on earth is a mystery. We are nowhere near solving this problem. The proposals offered thus far to explain life’s origin make no scientific sense.
Beyond our planet, all the others that have been probed are lifeless, a result in accord with our chemical expectations. The laws of physics and chemistry’s Periodic Table are universal, suggesting that life based upon amino acids, nucleotides, saccharides and lipids is an anomaly. Life should not exist anywhere in our universe. Life should not even exist on the surface of the earth.”
“All of these little pictures of molecules coming together to form the first cell are fallacious, are ridiculous. [We in th]e origin of life community ha[ve] not been honest. [We] will write in [our peer-reviewed] papers, [we] will see some small phenomenon and extrapolate what this means in the context of origin of life. And then [we] will work with the press and the press will [exaggerate] it all the more, and you get many many people deceived, thinking that life has been all but made. All of this is a lie… We haven’t created life, nowhere close! What they did is: they took a cell; they took the genome out of that cell; they manufactured a genome that’s similar to it; and they put it in. That is akin to taking an engine out of a Ford and putting it into a Buick and then saying, ‘Look I created automobiles!‘ No, you just took one piece — and not even the engine, it’s just the computer control box — you took out of one car and put it in another car, that’s what it was like. But the design of the computer control box you got from other cells.”
— James Tour, Ph.D., Evolutionary Synthetic Chemist
Evolutionary Chemist James Tour Is Scathing, Hilarious:
“Show Me the Chemistry” of Abiogenesis. “It’s Not There.”
James Tour Responds to Critics of Dallas Lecture
“[T]hermodynamic and information[al] barriers place the belief that solely natural processes could explain the origin of the first cell very nearly into the same category as belief in alchemy or the possibility of a perpetual motion machine.”
— Brian Miller, Ph.D., Physics
“Origin-of-life researchers [have, for at least 20 years] now acknowledge[d] the virtual impossibility of any natural explanation for life’s origin on Earth, on Mars, on any solar system body, or anywhere among the comets or interstellar clouds.”
“The scientific question about the origin of life is still unanswered: it is still one of the great mysteries that science is facing.”
Pssst! Don’t tell the creationists, but scientists don’t have a clue how life began.
“There are so many problems with purely natural explanations for the chemical origin of life on earth that many scientists have already abandoned all hopes that life had a natural origin on earth.”
[Though some continue to try…]
“… the PNAS model lacks credibility for most of the same reasons that other RNA World models do… [because 1)] frequent impact of meteorites in such an early epoch would have sterilized the surface of the Earth and vaporized the oceans… [and 2)] RNA self-replication doesn’t explain the origin of the information necessary to getting natural selection going (let alone life). Instead, RNA self-replication depends upon preexisting unexplained sources of information… [and 3)] The authors acknowledge that the nucleobases (adenine, cytosine, guanine, uracil, and thymine) essential to RNA and DNA could not have been easily produced on the early Earth.”
RNA World Is Sterile — And the Mystery of Life’s Origin Remains
“[I]t is rare for prebiotic simulation studies to fully take the actual conditions of early Earth into account in the experimental design. It is rarer for origin-of-life investigators to acknowledge this limitation.”
“[T]he discovery of protein species in [meteoritic] carbonaceous chondrites is not surprising. If amino acids are present in meteorites (or gaseous nebula), it stands to reason that, under certain conditions, these materials will react to form amino acid polymers. But, even so, a protein-like material made up of glycine and hydroxyglycine residues has questionable biochemical utility and this singular compound is a far cry from the minimal biochemical complexity needed for life. Chemical evolutionary processes must traverse a long road to move from the simplest amino acid building blocks (and the polymers formed from these compounds) to a minimal cell. More importantly, it is questionable if the amino acid polymers in carbonaceous chondrites (or in gaseous nebula) made much of a contribution to the inventory of prebiotic materials on early Earth… Once delivered to the early Earth, these materials would have been further diluted to even lower levels as they were introduced into the environment. In other words, these compounds most likely would have melded into the chemical background of early Earth, making little, if any, contribution to chemical evolution.”
Could Life Be Silicon-Based?
Short Answer: Not in this universe.
The Origin of Information:
“RNA self-replication doesn’t explain the origin of the information necessary to getting natural selection going (let alone life). Instead, RNA self-replication depends upon preexisting unexplained sources of information.”
“The distributed nature of biological information leads Davies and Walker to introduce a principle that happens to be key to intelligent-design theory: the idea that information is a fundamental, non-physical property that can be expressed in disparate contexts without altering the message.”
The Information Enigma: From where does information come?
Answer: Always, 100% of the time, from intelligence.
“The obvious answer to the origin of the highly complex smartphone is that it created itself ex nihilo.”
[ASND reminds readers that good satire is simultaneously tragic and comedic, made so by its grounding in reality that is likewise both.]
“For the evolutionary paradigm to be true, macroevolution and chemical evolution must be unequivocally established. And they simply haven’t been.”
“The probability that a random sequence of physicochemical events would lead to a bacterium by spontaneous self-organization of biomolecules is negligibly low.”
“‘Even the simplest microorganisms known on Earth are breathtakingly complex,’ with the result that the probability of a random series of events of physics and chemistry leading to a bacterium by spontaneous self-organization of biomolecules ‘is negligibly low.’”
“Even though [origin of life] experiments are designed to validate a naturalistic explanation for life’s origin, they end up demonstrating the necessity of intelligent agency in creating life from inanimate matter. ”
Early Life Was More Complex than We Thought
Top Five Problems with Current Origin-of-Life Theories
More from Thomas Nagel on Neo-Darwinian Evolution and the Chemical Origin of Life
“This [new] approach [to origin-of-life research] is exactly what advocates of ID have been stressing from the beginning.”
New Findings Challenge [Darwinistic] Assumptions About Origins of Life
3.7 Billion-Year-Old Fossils Perplex Origin-of-Life Researchers
“… all we need is a good sample of soft tissue from a frozen mammoth.”
[Exactly. Just like all we needed to generate life from non – life was the right chemicals . Piece of cake.]
The Origin of Life: Evolution vs. Design [Full Debate]
The Origin of Life: Evolution vs. Design
Fazale Rana vs. Michael Ruse
“The fact that bacteria can evolve doesn’t mean that evolutionary processes can account for life’s origin and history.”
Sulfur Caused Early Life to Sprout
Sea Vents Closed as Life-Origin Site
“[I]f life somehow emerges on a planet, it only rarely evolves quickly enough to regulate greenhouse gases and albedo, thereby maintaining surface temperatures compatible with liquid water and habitability. [This discovery] implies that a planet must be continuously inhabited to remain habitable and that life on a planet must change dramatically and rapidly (to a degree and at a rate that challenges naturalistic explanations) for there to be any hope of compensating for the increasing brightness of its host star.”
Could [Planetary] Impacts Jump-Start the Origin of Life?
Short answer: No
“Theists think Earth’s first microbes will be diverse in size, metabolism, and morphology and will include cyanobacteria with over 1,500 gene products. Nontheists think Earth’s first life will be limited to a single bacterial species no larger than 0.1 micron and containing only a few hundred gene products. NASA… has the opportunity to return to the Moon with a different mission. Instead of mining indigenous lunar rocks, they could recover Earth soils deposited by meteoroid delivery. In those soils will be pristine fossils of Earth’s first life. Thus, NASA has the opportunity to demonstrate who got the origin of life on Earth right, the theists or the nontheists.”
[Dr. Ross makes one significant error in that essay by limiting NASA’s future moon mission(s) to purely scientific research. While that would be a profoundly useful purpose for more moon missions, it would hardly be a the only useful purpose for such missions. Mining could very possibly — perhaps very likely — pay for those missions many times over by returning material value from those missions for sale here on Earth.]