Obviously, for all to see.
A sentence appears in a paywalled article in a peer-reviewed publication (Journal of Molecular Evolution):
Since the subject of cellular emergence of life is unusually complicated (we avoid the term ‘complex’ because of its association with ‘biocomplexity’ or ‘irreducible complexity’), it is unlikely that any overall theory of life’s nature, emergence, and evolution can be fully formulated, quantified, and experimentally investigated.
But that is not a justified change in terminology and certainly not an improvement.
“Complicated” is usually a pejorative term, that is, a term that means something negative.
Compare: “The new system is more complicated” [= messy, time-wasting, not ergonomic, typical product of a committee, etc.… ]
“The new system is more complex” [= has more features than the previous one. Is more internally organized. But it may also do more. We must see. ]
If a researcher must conceal the complexity of nature under implicit accusations of mere complicated-ness, what does that say about the likely strength of his argument?
Irreducible complexity. Ah yes. Behe did not invent the term; he just insisted on saying the obvious, in a world of tenured mediocrities who hope they can still muscle anyone who reflects on evidence and asks questions.
Of course, there may yet be time to remove or edit the sentence in this world of prepress… Anyway, here’s the Abstract:
Abstract: We review physicochemical factors and processes that describe how cellular life can emerge from prebiotic chemical matter; they are: (1) prebiotic Earth is a multicomponent and multiphase reservoir of chemical compounds, to which (2) Earth–Moon rotations deliver two kinds of regular cycling energies: diurnal electromagnetic radiation and seawater tides. (3) Emerging colloidal phases cyclically nucleate and agglomerate in seawater and consolidate as geochemical sediments in tidal zones, creating a matrix of microspaces. (4) Some microspaces persist and retain memory from past cycles, and others re-dissolve and re-disperse back into the Earth’s chemical reservoir. (5) Proto-metabolites and proto-biopolymers coevolve with and within persisting microspaces, where (6) Macromolecular crowding and other non-covalent molecular forces govern the evolution of hydrophilic, hydrophobic, and charged molecular surfaces. (7) The matrices of microspaces evolve into proto-biofilms of progenotes with rudimentary but evolving replication, transcription, and translation, enclosed in unstable cell envelopes. (8) Stabilization of cell envelopes ‘crystallizes’ bacteria-like genetics and metabolism with low horizontal gene transfer—life ‘as we know it.’ These factors and processes constitute the ‘working pieces’ of the jigsaw puzzle of life’s emergence. They extend the concept of progenotes as the first proto-cellular life, connected backward in time to the cycling chemistries of the Earth–Moon planetary system, and forward to the ancient cell cycle of first bacteria-like organisms. Supra-macromolecular models of ‘compartments first’ are preferred: they facilitate macromolecular crowding—a key abiotic/biotic transition toward living states. Evolutionary models of metabolism or genetics ‘first’ could not have evolved in unconfined and uncrowded environments because of the diffusional drift to disorder mandated by the second law of thermodynamics.: – Jan Spitzer, “Emergence of Life on Earth: A Physicochemical Jigsaw Puzzle,” Journal of Molecular Evolution, in press, DOI 10.1007/s00239-016-9775-3 More.
See also: Eric Metaxas on Michael Behe, Revolutionary
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