Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Another “hint” of a possible origin of life…


From the RNA world file:

New research looking at how the conditions on primordial Earth might have produced life has identified a mixture of salts that, mixed with heat flows from molten rock, could potentially have contributed to the formation of self-replicating biomolecules.

This self-replication is a key part of the ‘RNA world’ hypothesis: the idea that ribonucleic acids (RNA) can both store biological information and perform the required structure folding for life to grow and evolve into the state it is today.

In this case, scientists looked at the mixture of magnesium (Mg) and sodium (Na) as it might have been on Earth in its earliest years: for RNA folding to work, a relatively high concentration of doubly charged magnesium ions and a lower concentration of singly charged sodium is required.

“Accordingly, the question arises as to which environments on early Earth might have provided suitable salt conditions for such prebiotic processes. One geologically probable process that produces saline environments is the leaching of salts from basalt,” the international team of researchers writes in their study. ScienceAlert (September 3, 2021) The paper is closed access.

David Nield, “A Unique Mixture of Salts Could Have Sparked Life on Primordial Earth, Study Hints” at

All these “hints” are simply trying to explain how life might have got started without any information at all.

But you know what they say: When you are in a hole, KEEP digging! Dig harder, harder…

This is part of the RNA origin of life claim:

See also: Welcome to RNA World: The five-star hotel of origin-of-life theories

Entertainment from the swamp:
It takes far less faith to believe that physics and chemistry are the best explanation...
That for someone who doesn't understand 3rd grade grammar and thinks the physics on Venus is different from the physics on earth. He also claims to be a marine biologist but did know that a whale has a tail. Materialism cannot account for physics and chemistry. And there isn't any evidence that life is reducible to physics and chemistry. Codes are arbitrary arrangements which means they are not reducible to physics and chemistry. So even his emotional, yet ignorant, rant just proves that he needs more faith than any religion requires. ET
Seversky@3 "He has strange ways of showing it." It gets complicated. Granville Sewell has authored some thoughts on this that I think should be considered. A sample is at https://evolutionnews.org/2017/07/the-biggest-theological-objection-to-design/ ), regarding the difficulty (or perhaps impossibility) of a world without suffering but still containing all the innumerable design tradeoffs required for meaningful human life. An at least possible Apologia for all the innocent sufferings of the world: First there is the regularity of natural Law, and "natural suffering":
"The laws of Nature which God has made work together to create a magnificent world of mountains and rivers, jungles and waterfalls, oceans and forests, animals and plants. The basic laws of physics are cleverly designed to create conditions on Earth suitable for human life and human development. Gravity prevents us and our belongings from floating off into space; water makes our crops grow; the fact that certain materials are combustible makes it possible to cook our food and stay warm in winter. Yet gravity, water and fire are responsible for many tragedies, such as airplane crashes, drownings and chemical plant explosions. Tragedies such as floods and automobile accidents are the results of laws of physics which, viewed as a whole, are magnificently designed and normally work for our benefit. Nearly everything in Nature which is harmful to man has also a benevolent side, or is the result of a good thing gone bad. Even pain and fear themselves sometimes have useful purposes: pain may warn us that something in our body needs attention, and without fear, we would all die young doing foolish and dangerous things, or kill ourselves the first time life disappoints us. But why won’t God protect us from the bad side effects of Nature? Why doesn’t he overrule the laws of Nature when they work against us? Why is he so “silent” during our most difficult and heart-breaking moments? First of all, if we assume he has complete control over Nature, we are assuming much more than we have a right to assume. It does not necessarily follow that, because something is designed, it can never break down. We design cars, and yet they don’t always function as designed. When our car breaks down, we don’t conclude that the designer planned for it to break down, nor do we conclude that it had no designer; when the human body breaks down, we should not jump to the conclusion that God planned the illness, nor should we conclude that the body had no designer. That we were designed by a fantastically intelligent super intellect is a conclusion which is easily drawn from the evidence all around us. To jump from this to the conclusion that this creator can control everything is quite a leap. In fact, I find it easy to draw the opposite conclusion from the evidence, that this creator cannot, or at least does not, control everything. Nearly everyone seems to assume that if you attribute anything to God, you have to attribute everything to God. And even if we assume he has complete control over Nature it is hard to see how he could satisfy everyone. Your crops are dry so you pray for rain — but I am planning a picnic. It seems more fair to let Nature take its course and hope we learn to adapt. Controlling the motions of all the atoms in the world so that nothing terrible ever happens to us, so that we always get what we most need, is probably not as easy as it sounds! In any case, what would life be like if the laws of Nature were not reliable? What if God could and did stand by to intervene on our behalf every time we needed him? We would then be spared all of life’s disappointments and failures, and life would certainly be less dangerous, but let us think about what life would be like in a world where nothing could ever go wrong." ................................................ Life is a real game, not a rigged one. We know what the rules are, and we plan accordingly. We know that the laws of Nature and of life do not bend at our every wish, and it is precisely this knowledge which makes our achievements meaningful. If the rules of Nature were constantly modified to make sure we achieved our goals — whether they involve proving Fermat’s Last Theorem, getting a book published, finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, earning a college degree, or making a small business work — we would derive no satisfaction from reaching those goals. ................................................ If great works of art, music, literature, or science could be realized without great effort, and if success in such endeavors were guaranteed, the works of Michelangelo, Mozart, Shakespeare, and Newton would not earn much admiration. If it were possible to realize great engineering projects without careful study, clever planning and hard work, or without running any risk of failure, mankind would feel no satisfaction in having built the Panama Canal or having sent a man to the moon. And if the dangers Columbus faced in sailing into uncharted waters were not real, we would not honor him as a brave explorer. Scientific and technological progress are only made through great effort and careful study, and not every scientist or inventor is fortunate enough to leave his mark, but anyone who thinks God would be doing us a favor by dropping a book from the sky with all the answers in it does not understand human nature very well — that would take all the fun out of discovery.
Then there is free will and it's necessity despite the obvious suffering that then results. Sewell then goes into that issue. doubter
It definitely takes more faith to believe in a naturalistic abiogenesis than any known religion requires. It also takes more faith to believe in a naturalistic universal common descent than any known religion requires. There is a reason why there isn't any scientific theory of evolution nor a scientific theory of a naturalistic origin of life. ET
He has strange ways of showing it.
Leibniz said this is the best of all possible worlds. Why isn’t it? Especially if God has a strange way of showing it? jerry
All OOL-experiments, such a desperate business …. it so irrational …. i can’t believe this is happening in 21st century …
Don't be naive this happened also in Heaven (when Adam and Eve knew God "face to face") why shouldn't happen now? It's not about reason it's about pride. If pride is first value then people make reason a slave to justify any imbecility. Lieutenant Commander Data
@3 yeah he does No supreme anything has to care about us God’s gives us and God’s creation freedom to exist and even deny him…… A truly malevolent god would have turned you inside out for your comments A benevolent constantly reassuring you and catering to your existence is not a god but a genie/slave A good way I have always thought of it is like my parents. I know my parents love me but they allow me to live my life and make my own mistakes and I appreciate that I always thought God did the same and I was never taught to think that AaronS1978
‘ .looked at the mixture of magnesium (Mg) and sodium (Na)” Darwinists, alright…. you have your mixture… and then what ? What you guys actually expect from this mixture ?” Well, y’see, Martin, Jeremy England says you just add sunshine for long enough and you have a plant. It’s not just magnesium and sodium salts - sunlight is needed. Belfast
Since DNA/protein production has almost nothing to do with what life per se is in today’s world, why is anyone still looking toward RNA as an origin mechanism for life? No one knows just what life is. It certainly is not protein production. jerry
Martin_r That suddenly thousands of parts/molecules start working in concert for a purpose like we see in the cell ?
To believe in resurrected Jesus requires less faith . Imagine that. Lieutenant Commander Data
God LIKES us.
He has strange ways of showing it. Seversky
"..looked at the mixture of magnesium (Mg) and sodium (Na)" Darwinists, alright.... you have your mixture... and then what ? What you guys actually expect from this mixture ? That suddenly thousands of parts/molecules start working in concert for a purpose like we see in the cell ? All OOL-experiments, such a desperate business .... it so irrational .... i can't believe this is happening in 21st century ... martin_r
Peace & Joy, child, The DETAILS of the Origin of Life are a puzzle for smart humans to play with. The Cause of the Origin has always been known. God LIKES us. We're that special little project God worked on in God's spare time. Now get back to explaining the Orbit of Pluto or something. mahuna

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