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Life in the lab: One model for a simplest self-replicator


In “Origin of life: How to bring the naturalistic pseudoscience to an end, I suggested that trying to create life in the lab would at least bring some science discipline to a field that has had an unhinged model-of-the-month feel to it for decades. And if you think I’m unkind, you should hear well-known science writer John Horgan on the same subject!

Anyway, just recently, I got a review copy of Engineering and the Ultimate, and it offers, in Part IV, “Developing a Functional Model for the Simplest Self-Replicator” (SSR), by Arminius Mignea, which enumerates in an orderly fashion what functions are required in a self-replicating system.

Can such a system be produced in a lab? That is a question like “Is the Mars Rover feasible?” rather than an answer like

It seems likely that the earliest cells were rickety assemblies whose parts were constantly malfunctioning and breaking down. … How can any metabolism be sustained with such shaky support? The key is concurrent and constant redundancy.

Let alone this from the Berkeley Evolution Web site:

Although several lines of evidence are consistent with the hypothesis that life began near deep sea vents, it is far from certain: the investigation continues and may eventually point towards a different site for the origin of life.

In short, they don’t know anything and are not likely to learn much.

See also: Science-Fictions-square.gif The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (origin of life)

– O’Leary for News

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The book “Engineering and the Ultimate” is the result of the presentations at the Engineering and Metaphysics conference held in June 2012 in Tulsa Oklahoma. The presentations and the slides of the conference are available on the Blyth Institute Site Here are the conference presentation, abstract and slides that resulted in the book chapters titled: “Developing a Functional Model for the Simplest Self-Replicator (SSR)” that Denyse mentioned. InVivoVeritas
OT...In the news: German-based biotech company CureVac plans to honor Friedrich Miescher, the little-known discoverer of DNA, by converting his old lab in the kitchen of a medieval castle into a public exhibit. (from AAAS science.org) Upright BiPed
This ought to be a very interesting debate: Paul Nelson and Joel Velasco Will Debate the Tree of Life; Event to Be Live-Streamed - March 2014 This Saturday in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Center for Science & Culture Fellow Paul Nelson will debate Texas Tech philosopher of biology Joel Velasco on the question of universal common ancestry -- sometimes referred to as Darwin's Tree of Life (TOL). If you don't happen to be in the area, you can also watch online. That's March 29, at 3 pm (Eastern Time) in the auditorium of Penn Highlands Community College - For online viewers, the Johnstown Daily American will be providing the live stream (link on page) for the event, titled "The Origin of the Species: A Debate over Common Descent and Separate Ancestry." http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/03/paul_nelson_and083661.html bornagain77

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