Intelligent Design Origin Of Life

New at Inference Review: A sizzling exchange on the origin of life

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We are told that Brian Miller holds a PhD in physics from Duke University and that Jeremy England is a Principle Research Scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology. England proposes a naturalist
origin of life and Miller, research co-ordinator for the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, says it’s not that simple:

[From Miller:] A minimally complex free-living cell requires hundreds of tightly regulated enzyme-enabled reactions.62 If even one enzyme were missing, all metabolic processes would cease, and the system would head irreversibly back toward equilibrium. England’s research does not explain how such a complex, specified system could originate.63 Both the proteins that constitute an engine’s building blocks and enzymes represent sequences of amino acids that contain large quantities of functional information.64 The amino acids must be arranged in the right order in the same way the letters in a sentence must be arranged properly to convey its intended meaning. This arrangement is crucial for the chains to fold into the correct three-dimensional structures to properly perform their assigned functions.65 This information is essential for constructing and maintaining the cell’s structures and processes.66 Until origins researchers address the central role of information, the origin of life will remain shrouded in mystery.67

Brian Miller & Jeremy England, “Hot Wired” at Inference Review

vs.

[Jeremy England:] In the end, the most important thing to emphasize is that the time has come to start being empirical in this research. Back-of-the-envelope calculations of prohibitively great improbabilities like the one quoted from Morowitz in this piece’s partner have been around for a while. They invariably rely on straw-man assumptions. Let it be granted, once and for all: waiting for a thermal fluctuation at thermal equilibrium to slap together a living organism is not going to work.

So what? The first equation mentioned in my response implies that if scientists actually intend to compute the probability of forming a live cell, they should have to specify how long it takes while making reference to kinetic factors controlling the rates of reactions and to the amount energy absorbed and dissipated per unit of time by the system. If this sounds horribly complicated, it is. It should bring a humble understanding that such probabilities are unlikely to ever be computed accurately. Instead, our window onto thermodynamics should spur new empirical investigation.

The theoretical relationship between probability and dissipated work is a thread that if pulled harder may yet unravel the whole tapestry. Coming into view is a gray spectrum of increasingly complex fine-tuning distinguishing the dust of the earth from life. Already, examples exist of structures that can form rapidly at high energy and low entropy and last for a long time, so long as they are fed with more energy of the type that generated them. That may not be life, but it surely is reason to hold back grand declarations about what is likely or impossible until we have better explored a new frontier.

Brian Miller & Jeremy England, “Hot Wired” at Inference Review

If we create a great deal of fuzz around the questions, we can certainly smother any growing realization that intelligence underlies life.

Note: Miller offers a less technical perspective here.

13 Replies to “New at Inference Review: A sizzling exchange on the origin of life

  1. 1
    MatSpirit says:

    Miller: “A minimally complex free-living cell requires hundreds of tightly regulated enzyme-enabled reactions.”

    That’s a modern cell which has benefited from about four billion years of evolution to build all that complexity and fine tuning. What did the FIRST cell look like? Was it even a cell? Origin of life researchers generally assume that the first living thing was very simple and it’s only real trick was to reproduce itself and thus grow in numbers. No DNA, no proteins, no RNA except maybe one very small piece – in other words OOF researchers generally assume the first living thing was very simple and they don’t think it had the hundreds of tightly regulated enzyme-enabled reactions that concern Dr. Miller because those are only found in modern, highly evolved organisms.

  2. 2
    martin_r says:

    Jeremy England, just another Darwinian clown who believes in miracles, like all Darwinians do…

    also, let me remind you once again, what Nobel laureate and famous OOL-researcher Jack Szostak said in 2014:

    “Life in lab in 3-5 years, more likely in 3 years”

    Now, in 2020 these guys have got nothing … they even did not start to have something :)))))

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1406/S00007/jack-szostak-life-in-lab-in-3-5-years.htm

  3. 3
    martin_r says:

    England: “Already, examples exist of structures that can form rapidly at high energy and low entropy and last for a long time, so long as they are fed with more energy of the type that generated them. That may not be life, but it surely is reason to hold back grand declarations about what is likely or impossible until we have better explored a new frontier. ”

    so what?

    what is this guy suggesting ?

    Is he suggesting, that a 3D-printer will arise from ZERO, with no help from an engineer ?

    What are all these Darwinians clowns suggesting in 21st century ?

    A cell is a 3D printer, but of course, the cell is much more advanced 3D printer, beyond our comprehension. Lay uneducated persons can not comprehend how advanced it is … only engineers can appreciate how sophisticated it is. It is an engineering SCI-FI

    I can hear Seversky “what? a 3D printer ?” yes, Seversky, a cell is literally a 3D printer – this is not a metaphor . It prints 3D objects from zero. (humans, animals, insects, trees ….)

  4. 4
    martin_r says:

    Part 2:

    England: “Already, examples exist of structures that can form rapidly at high energy and low entropy and last for a long time, so long as they are fed with more energy of the type that generated them. That may not be life, but it surely is reason to hold back grand declarations about what is likely or impossible until we have better explored a new frontier. ”

    so what?

    what is this guy suggesting ?

    that one day, autonomous self-navigating flying systems will arise with no help from aerial engineers ?

    OR WHAT ARE THESE DARWINIAN CLOWS SUGGESTING IN 21ST CENTURY ????

  5. 5
    martin_r says:

    MatSpirit @1

    why are you lying?

    There was no 4 billions of years of evolution when the first complex cell arose.

    some quotes from mainstream papers:

    “It appears that life first emerged at least 3.8 billion years ago, approximately 750 million years after Earth was formed (Figure 1.1). How life originated and how the first cell came into being are matters of speculation, since these events cannot be reproduced in the laboratory.”

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK9841/

  6. 6
    martin_r says:

    some other quotes from mainstream scientists:

    “”The evolution of modern cells is arguably the most challenging and important problem the field of Biology has ever faced. In Darwin’s day the problem could hardly be imagined. For much of the 20th century it was intractable. In any case, the problem lay buried in the catch-all rubric “origin of life”—where, because it is a biological not a (bio)chemical problem, it was effectively ignored.” (Carl Woese, 2002)

    Let me repeat this one:

    ” In Darwin’s day the problem could hardly be imagined. ”

    TOUCHE!

    Now, in 21st century, most Darwinists seem to live in 19th century :)))))))

    They ignore everything, we just hear more and more just-so-stories… the whole OOL-research is a fiasco …

    The more they discover, the problem only gets bigger and bigger, but Darwinians still pretend that everything is OK, that one day, in 1,000,000 milions of years, they will explain everything :)))))

    Meanwhile, they attack reasonable people who believe in a Creator/Designer.

    These days, the frustration of Darwinian-clowns must be enormous.

  7. 7
    jawa says:

    Martin_r,

    Good contributions to the discussion, as usual! Thanks!

  8. 8
    jawa says:

    Martin_r,

    Regarding Dr Szostak’s promise, hey, at least he got a recipe, didn’t he?
    He got some RNA from a primordial warm pond, simulated in his lab, right?
    Hey, that’s at least a start, isn’t it? 😉

    Remember that old British song?
    All we are saying, it’s give him a chance… 😉

    Well, I changed the lyrics it a little 🙂

    But that famous guy depends on chance, right?

  9. 9
    Seversky says:

    Martin_r @ 3

    I can hear Seversky “what? a 3D printer ?” yes, Seversky, a cell is literally a 3D printer – this is not a metaphor . It prints 3D objects from zero. (humans, animals, insects, trees ….)

    No, it’s not a 3D printer. It’s a lot smaller for a start and I couldn’t use one to print a model of the Starship Enterprise. A cell has some similar functions to a printer but it’s different in a lot of other ways. Comparing the two is called an analogy.

  10. 10
    Seversky says:

    Martin_r @ 4

    what is this guy suggesting ?

    that one day, autonomous self-navigating flying systems will arise with no help from aerial engineers ?

    Already done. They’re called birds. And insects. And bats.

  11. 11
    Seversky says:

    Martin_r @ 6

    Meanwhile, they attack reasonable people who believe in a Creator/Designer.

    What do you expect given your Creator/Designer must be behind the coronavirus (and all the other nasty little bugs out there)?

  12. 12
    martin_r says:

    seversky @10

    “Already done. They’re called birds. And insects. And bats.”

    already done by who ? :)))

    let me guess …. done by unguided natural process :)))))))))))))))

    Seversky, listen, i have asked that question at least 10 times – what is your education ? You never answer…

    Seversky, now focus and read slowly!

    I have some very simple questions:

    Have you ever seen a single scientific evidence (not some just-so-stories) that birds’ wings evolved, that insects’ wings evolved, or bats’ wings evolved? or you just BELIEVE ?

    Have you ever seen a single scientific evidence, that GPS-level navigation can arise by chance, in other words, no engineers are needed ? or you just BELIEVE in non-experts in this field…

    Have you ever seen a single scientific evidence, that autonomous flying systems can arise with no help from an engineer ? Or you just BELIEVE in this non-sense especially in 21st century ?

  13. 13
    martin_r says:

    Seversky @11

    in regards to viruses, i already answered that question elsewhere, have you noticed?

    Viruses seem to be population regulators. So simple it is. E.g. T4 bacteriophage (virus) kills only bacteria – control/regulates population of bacteria.

    But when will you finally answer my question ? WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION ?

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