Here’s an interesting perspective from Paul Benedict (War of Words, July 2, 2011):
Stephen C. Meyer, expounding Intelligent Design in his book Signature in the Cell, makes a point he does not seem to appreciate: for decades microbiologists have been abandoning Darwinism. Breakthrough technologies have shown that life at the cellular level is complex beyond anything Darwin or any 19th century biologist could have predicted. From the variety of cellular functions to the complex information transmitted in the gene, many outstanding scientists recognize that the math just doesn’t work. Intelligent Design represents only one concession to the statistical impossibility that chance caused the life of simple cells. Interrupting the following parade of microbiologists who, like Meyers, recognize that random chance alone cannot have produced the simplest cellular life, are conclusions flowing from this scientific consensus.
Christian de Duve, for example, a Nobel Prize winner, and in no way an advocate of Intelligent Design, has abandoned random chance as the agent of upwards evolution or the ascent of man. He envisions primordial planet earth as a chemical reaction waiting to happen. Recognizing that the odds of random chance being impossibly against the formation of a single cell, let alone man, he has ceaselessly been searching for the string of chemical reactions that, once started, must have inevitably and, without chance, led to mankind. So far… no luck.
Ilya Prigogine, won his 1977 Nobel Prize for his theory that biological life self-assembled from inorganic non-life through the non-equilibrium thermodynamic processes. Again, random chance was abandoned, this time for the notion of an outside force arising in a thermodynamic process that, somehow, energized evolution. Such a force has never been identified.
Manfred Eigen, won the Nobel Prize in 1967 for his work measuring extremely fast chemical reactions brought about by energy pulses. Though proud to use the term evolution, his models of the origin of life are not based on chance but on self-organizing chemical reactions that cycle to higher and higher levels. He is also the author of Eigen’s Paradox that explains a critical problem in positing cycles of RNA that lead to DNA.
Lynn Margulis believes parasites aided random chance in the evolution of the cell.
Freeman Dyson, feeling random chance and self-organizing molecular scenarios are insufficient seems to believe in a combination of Eigens self-organizing RNA cycles andLynn Margulis sense that cellular evolution was the result of parasites.
Michael Polanyi, whose interest in science often impacted his philosophic notions, rejected chance as the origin of life in Lifes Irreducible Structure.
Bernd-Olaf Kuppers, like Michael Polanyi, supports his notions that the whole (the living cell) is greater than the sum of its parts (chemical reactions) with evidence that random chance cannot result in the irreducible complexity of a living organism (60) nor explain the information it transmits.
Bernd-Olaf Kuppers, using methodology like that of noted Darwinian apologist Richard Dawkins, also modeled mathematical algorithms that guide randomly generated computer simulations of origin of life scenarios. Kuppers calls his theory of self-organization the molecular-Darwinistic approach. It is hard to tell what Kuppers means by statements like, inanimate matter organized itself of its own accord into animate systems (82). More.
A libertarian, he ends with a Cry, Fredom: “Tradition dies hard in every generation. Ignorance is not a lack of information; it is willfully ignoring knowledge. Centralized bureaucratic power breeds fear even in professionals, but tenured teachers can do better. It’s time to tell the kids: it is statistically impossible that Darwin’s explanation of the origin of life is correct.”