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Film clip on the probability of a protein forming by chance passes 500k views


Origin: Probability of a Single Protein Forming by Chance (2017)


Hat tip: Philip Cunningham, who also provides the following notes:

This clip is an excerpt from the film Origin: Design, Chance and the First Life on Earth, produced by Illustra Media Copyright Illustra Media 2016/ All rights reserved. Used by permission

Related notes:

Mathematical Basis for Probability Calculations Used in (the film) Origin

Excerpt: Putting the probabilities together means adding the exponents. The probability of getting a properly folded chain of one-handed amino acids, joined by peptide bonds, is one chance in 10^74+45+45, or one in 10^164 (Meyer, p. 212). This means that, on average, you would need to construct 10^164 chains of amino acids 150 units long to expect to find one that is useful.

Minimal Complexity Relegates Life Origin Models To Fanciful Speculation – Nov. 2009

Excerpt: Based on the structural requirements of enzyme activity Axe emphatically argued against a global-ascent model of the function landscape in which incremental improvements of an arbitrary starting sequence “lead to a globally optimal final sequence with reasonably high probability”. For a protein made from scratch in a prebiotic soup, the odds of finding such globally optimal solutions are infinitesimally small- somewhere between 1 in 10exp140 and 1 in 10exp164 for a 150 amino acid long sequence if we factor in the probabilities of forming peptide bonds and of incorporating only left handed amino acids.

The Case Against a Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds – Douglas Axe – 2010

Excerpt Pg. 11: “Based on analysis of the genomes of 447 bacterial species, the projected number of different domain structures per species averages 991. Comparing this to the number of pathways by which metabolic processes are carried out, which is around 263 for E. coli, provides a rough figure of three or four new domain folds being needed, on average, for every new metabolic pathway. In order to accomplish this successfully, an evolutionary search would need to be capable of locating sequences that amount to anything from one in 10^159 to one in 10^308 possibilities, something the neo-Darwinian model falls short of by a very wide margin.”

“We have no idea how the molecules that compose living systems could have been devised such that they would work in concert to fulfill biology’s functions.”

  • James Tour – one of the top ten leading chemists in the world

The Origin of Life: An Inside Story – March 2016 Lecture with James Tour


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