Intelligent Design Origin Of Life

But is origin of life research, in its present state, a science?

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From Brian Miller at Evolution News & Views:

Nearly all researchers recognize that the first cell could not have come about by chance. They instead believe that some physical processes helped to beat the odds. As an analogy, one could never role one thousand sixes in a row with fair dice. However, if the dice were loaded, that outcome could be quite likely or even close to guaranteed. Analogously, some systems do, in fact, naturally move from states of higher entropy to those of lower entropy (i.e., seemingly low probability) if the lower-entropy states are highly biased to occur. Such a bias is created by a second driving tendency. Namely, nature tends to move from states of higher energy to those of lower energy. For instance, rocks roll downhill, since lower altitude corresponds to lower gravitational energy. Likewise, molecules of water attract each other, so ice is a lower energy state since the water molecules are on average closer to each other than in the liquid or gas states. At low enough temperatures, this attraction overcomes the tendency to move toward higher entropy resulting in water freezing.More.

Look, I (O’Leary for News) don’t care. The government can fund origin of life studies on the same basis as it funds Shakespeare in the Park.

But let’s not kid ourselves about the fact that no one really knows anything about the origin of life.

See also: What we know and don’t know about the origin of life

4 Replies to “But is origin of life research, in its present state, a science?

  1. 1
    kmidpuddle says:

    The government can fund origin of life studies on the same basis as it funds Shakespeare in the Park.

    But let’s not kid ourselves about the fact that no one really knows anything about the origin of life.

    It’s a good thing that our anscestors didn’t take that approach. You and I would be living in the British Isles, or more likely, Africa. Eating raw meat that we had to catch by hand.

  2. 2
    EDTA says:

    Um, so when those water molecules lose thermal energy and move closer together to form ice, they tend to form crystals. You know, those quite regular and hence information-poor things…not the analogy you want to be using.

  3. 3

    Ice isn’t “information-poor”. It doesn’t contain any information at all.

  4. 4
    Eric Anderson says:

    EDTA and UB:

    Exactly. Such molecules and naturally-occurring reactions don’t contain any information by their mere existence.

    Incidentally, this idea of entropy states (in particular thermodynamics) driving toward living systems is something that Nick Matzke asserted some time ago in these pages. He referenced a so-called “kinetic theory” of life, which turned out to be complete nonsense, after I had tracked down his red herring literature bluff and looked into the details. Somebody named Prosser(?) I think was the one putting forth the theory.

    It is worth noting, however, that researchers are recognizing the complete failure of chance-based approaches to OOL and are grasping for something more regular, less of a crapshoot. Unfortunately, law-like processes won’t cut it either (by definition).

    And so, being unwilling to even consider the possibility of design, they grasp at some laughable idea, until they reluctantly realize it won’t work and then stumble on to the next — ever learning, but never coming to a knowledge of the truth . . .

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