Biology Eyes Rolling Self-Org. Theory

David Deamer’s “Poof” Theory of Information

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David Deamer, a distinguished professor of zoology at UCSC, in an interview with Susan Mazur gives us his theory of information as it relates to genetics.


I think genetic information more or less came out of nowhere by chance assemblages of short polymers.

Am I being unfair in interpreting the phrase “more or less came out of nowhere” as “poof”?

I report. You decide.

11 Replies to “David Deamer’s “Poof” Theory of Information

  1. 1
    GilDodgen says:

    This is why zoologists need to study a little more math and computer science.

  2. 2
    bFast says:

    Actually, DaveScot, I question whether you are being fair.

    First, of course, we must start with an assumption that there were prebiotic conditions that produced a whole bunch of random short polimers. Secondly, we must assume that certain specific patterns of short polymers self-replicate (I believe that this has been shown experimentally.) Thirdly, we still have the huge IC issues such as which came first, protein or the pattern (DNA or RNA) to protein translator.

    Lastly we must consider the definition of the term “short”. Here Dembski has provided us with an absolute maximum length that still qualifies as “short”, this is found in the UPB. If there are particular short polymer patterns that self-replicate which are realistically likely to occur by chance (better chance than UPB), then chance becomes a reasonable explanation.

    So, as long as “short” is short enough, chance, or “poof” is a reasonable naturalistic explanation.

  3. 3
    Granville Sewell says:


    As I read the statement, the claim is that all genetic information came by chance assembly of short polymers…I think you misread it didn’t you?

  4. 4
    Borne says:

    GilDodgen : “This is why zoologists need to study a little more math and computer science.”
    And this is also why people with scientific ‘authority’, but no brains, should not be allowed to use pointy or sharp objects πŸ˜‰ just kidding

  5. 5
    StuartHarris says:

    I think “miracle” characterizes David Deamer’s belief better than “poof”. He believes in miracles.

  6. 6
    Lutepisc says:

    Re: bFast’s post…I’m amazed at how often a tongue in the cheek slips under the radar of the serious posters on this site!

    Lighten up, comrades! πŸ™‚

  7. 7
    Granville Sewell says:


    Maybe we miss the sarcasm because we’re so used to seeing nonsense from the other side being offered and taken seriously; indeed his parody was scarcely more absurd than the original statement. Though coming from bFast, I knew this was either a parody or he misunderstood the statement.

  8. 8
    Lutepisc says:

    Maybe we miss the sarcasm because we’re so used to seeing nonsense from the other side being offered and taken seriously…

    My theory exactly, Granville. We all need a little therapy for PTSD! πŸ™‚

    A little R&R or something…

  9. 9
    bFast says:

    Granville Sewell, as usual you have read correctly. I didn’t dig far enough into Dr. Deamer’s dialog to notice this:

    There was probably an extensive mixing of genetic information at that time, as Carl Woese and others have suggested. This means that there was no tree of life at that time, instead just countless numbers of microscopic experiments occurring everywhere as the first catalysts and genes learned to work together in cellular compartments.

    I assumed he was working the model where a random RNA-producing environment existed, and a lucky RNA pattern began to reproduce itself. The “poof” of such a “small polymer” model would be subject to simple and reasonable probability calculations — UPB. However, he seems to be talking about multiple “experiments” of multiple interacting lucky polymers that were happening all over the place.

    The chance that someone out there wins the lottery is pretty good. The chance that I have bunches of neighbors who each won a different lottery becomes rather far fetched.

  10. 10
    MaxAug says:

    Are you sure he is a zoologist? The dude has articles on membrane formation.

    Also, he should know better: he tried twice to add the ingredients to make a cell in warm clay-lined pools and got nothing (corroborating Pasteurs results), the ingredients actually got imprisoned in the clay. Google for it, a 2006 article.

  11. 11
    Domoman says:

    lol Here’s the article you might be talking about. http://sciencenow.sciencemag.o.....2006/215/3

    I’d like to see more science experiments like this, where scientists drop all the ingredients for life into water. I’m guessing it won’t add up to anything. Then the abiogenesis can be debunked for good! Stupid theory!

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