Intelligent Design Origin Of Life

New origin of life book argues, even the simplest life forms are extraordinarily complex

Spread the love

The Stairway To Life: An Origin-Of-Life Reality Check by chemist Change Laura Tan and physicist Rob Stadler, hit the wall over the desk recently and author Rob Stadler writes to offer:

Could natural processes and millions of years have produced the first life?

We know enough to know better.

The Stairway to Life: An Origin-of-Life Reality Check, by Change Tan and Rob Stadler, takes a new approach to addressing the origin of life.

By studying the simplest forms of life and laboratory efforts to synthesize life, we know that the simplest living organisms are extraordinarily complex. Al life contains highly interdependent subsystems and hierarchical layers of information that flows between the subsystems. Tan and Stadler organize this knowledge into a set of minimal requirements for life. The minimal requirements are organized via the convenient metaphor of a stairway: The Stairway to Life.

We also know enough about physics, chemistry, and thermodynamics to understand the creative capacity of natural processes. Tan and Stadler then review the capacity of natural processes to meet the requirements and ascend the Stairway, concluding that none of the required steps can be accomplished by natural processes.

The book then explores why some intelligent people believe that life started naturally. Many believe that science supports a natural origin of life, but this reasoning is shown to be circular because they have constrained the scientific process to only consider natural phenomena. When science is constrained in this manner, it no longer seeks truth; it only seeks the best naturalistic explanation. The Stairway to Life opens inquiry to follow the evidence wherever it leads – notably beyond natural explanations.

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

45 Replies to “New origin of life book argues, even the simplest life forms are extraordinarily complex

  1. 1
    Truthfreedom says:

    “Many believe that science supports a natural origin of life, but this reasoning is shown to be circular because they have constrained the scientific process to only consider natural phenomena.”

    A hallmark of poor reasoning.
    Thank you ‘News’.

  2. 2
    ET says:

    It’s a huge leap to go from replicating molecules to coded information processing systems. It’s an obstacle that nature cannot surmount. But that is moot as nature seems to be incapable of producing biologically relevant molecular replicators.

  3. 3
    martin_r says:

    Repetitio mater studiorum est.
    Repetition is the mother of all learning.

    so let me repeat the following:

    evolutionary theory ‘is a fact’ but ironically, this very absurd theory can’t explain the existence / origin of the MOST ABUNDANT biological entity on Earth … Viruses.

    Why nobody talks about it especially during the Coronavirus outbreak when the whole World is upside down ?

    So what is evolutionary theory good for when it can’t explain the origin of the MOST ABUNDANT biological entity on our planet ?

  4. 4
    BobRyan says:

    We have known for a long time about the complexity of single-celled organisms. Darwin believed them to be simple, since it was the understanding by everyone in his day. For macro-evolution to work, it is required that they be simple. There is nothing scientific about his hypothesis and should be moved to the fiction sections of bookstores where it belongs. It has never been observed and the results have never been replicated. Both are required to move from hypothesis to theory.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Here are a few notes supporting the claim that “Even The Simplest Life Forms Are Extraordinarily Complex”

    The “simplest” life currently found on the earth is the parasitic Mycoplasmal. It has between a 0.56-1.38 megabase genome. Yet Mycoplasma is not a ‘free living’ cell but is a parasitic bacteria, with a stripped down genome, which is dependent on its host for a number of essential functions. A independent ‘free-living’ cell, such as a e-coli bacterium, has about 10 times as many genes as Mycoplasma (484 genes to 4,288 genes respectively):

    Mycoplasma
    Excerpt: There are no free-living Mycoplasma, they are strictly parasites. They parasitize a wide range of organism including humans, plants, animals, and insects. Mycoplasma grow very slowly, even under perfect conditions, with a generation time ranging up to nine hours in some species. They also have a very long lag phase, so it may take an entire week before colonies become visible on agar plates. Due to their degraded genome, and inability to perform basic functions, Mycoplasma rely on their host for much of their nutrition.
    http://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/.....ma#Ecology

    Meet Mycoplasma, a parasitic bare-bones bacterium, with 484 genes – schematic representation of integrated enzyme cycles
    http://www.pnas.org/content/103/2/425/F3.large.jpg

    Craig Venter found that the minimal complexity for a cell that he was able to get down to was 473 genes

    Microbe with stripped-down DNA may hint at secrets of life – Mar 24, 2016
    Excerpt: The newly created bacterium has a smaller genetic code than does any natural free-living counterpart, with 531,000 DNA building blocks containing 473 genes. (Humans have more than 3 billion building blocks and more than 20,000 genes).
    But even this stripped-down organism is full of mystery. Scientists say they have little to no idea what a third of its genes actually do.
    “We’re showing how complex life is, even in the simplest of organisms,” researcher J. Craig Venter told reporters. “These findings are very humbling.”,,,
    The genome is not some one-and-only minimal set of genes needed for life itself. For one thing, if the researchers had pared DNA from a different bacterium they would probably have ended up with a different set of genes.,,,
    The genome is “as small as we can get it and still have an organism that is … useful,” Hutchison said.,,,
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/s.....INNY_GENES

    Yet, even the ‘reduced complexity’ of the parasitic Mycoplasma easily exceeds man’s ability to produce such integrated complexity in his computer programs:

    Three Subsets of Sequence Complexity and Their Relevance to Biopolymeric Information – David L. Abel and Jack T. Trevors – Theoretical Biology & Medical Modelling, Vol. 2, 11 August 2005, page 8
    “No man-made program comes close to the technical brilliance of even Mycoplasmal genetic algorithms. Mycoplasmas are the simplest known organism with the smallest known genome, to date. How was its genome and other living organisms’ genomes programmed?”
    http://www.biomedcentral.com/c.....2-2-29.pdf

    First-Ever Blueprint of ‘Minimal Cell’ Is More Complex Than Expected – Nov. 2009
    Excerpt: A network of research groups,, approached the bacterium at three different levels. One team of scientists described M. pneumoniae’s transcriptome, identifying all the RNA molecules, or transcripts, produced from its DNA, under various environmental conditions. Another defined all the metabolic reactions that occurred in it, collectively known as its metabolome, under the same conditions. A third team identified every multi-protein complex the bacterium produced, thus characterising its proteome organisation.
    “At all three levels, we found M. pneumoniae was more complex than we expected,”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....173027.htm

    There’s No Such Thing as a ‘Simple’ Organism – November 2009
    Excerpt: In short, there was a lot going on in lowly, supposedly simple M. pneumoniae, and much of it is beyond the grasp of what’s now known about cell function.
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscie.....s-of-life/

    Simplest Microbes More Complex than Thought – Dec. 2009
    Excerpt: PhysOrg reported that a species of Mycoplasma,, “The bacteria appeared to be assembled in a far more complex way than had been thought.” Many molecules were found to have multiple functions: for instance, some enzymes could catalyze unrelated reactions, and some proteins were involved in multiple protein complexes.”
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20091229a

    To Model the Simplest Microbe in the World, You Need 128 Computers – July 2012
    Excerpt: Mycoplasma genitalium has one of the smallest genomes of any free-living organism in the world, clocking in at a mere 525 genes. That’s a fraction of the size of even another bacterium like E. coli, which has 4,288 genes.,,,
    The bioengineers, led by Stanford’s Markus Covert, succeeded in modeling the bacterium, and published their work last week in the journal Cell. What’s fascinating is how much horsepower they needed to partially simulate this simple organism. It took a cluster of 128 computers running for 9 to 10 hours to actually generate the data on the 25 categories of molecules that are involved in the cell’s lifecycle processes.,,,
    ,,the depth and breadth of cellular complexity has turned out to be nearly unbelievable, and difficult to manage, even given Moore’s Law. The M. genitalium model required 28 subsystems to be individually modeled and integrated, and many critics of the work have been complaining on Twitter that’s only a fraction of what will eventually be required to consider the simulation realistic.,,,
    http://www.theatlantic.com/tec.....rs/260198/

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Even the preceding computer model of the simplest life was found to be far too simplistic:

    twitter discussion criticizing the cell model.. – 2012
    Umm – claims of first full computer simulation of an organism seem, well, way way overhyped… one of the worst NY Times science articles I have seen in a while… I do not think they made a complete model …
    Another commenter, Steffen Christensen, voiced his agreement:
    Aye: a model is NOT a complete simulation…There are what, 1000s of molecule types in a typical cell, and their model tracks less than 30?!? They might’ve done a better job of it. You know, modeled spatial interactions, 1000s of moieties, etc… As it is, I just feel… disappointed.
    http://phylogenomics.blogspot......on-of.html

    Further notes:

    “We have no idea how to put this structure (a simple cell) together.,, So, not only do we not know how to make the basic components, we do not know how to build the structure even if we were given the basic components. So the gedanken (thought) experiment is this. Even if I gave you all the components. Even if I gave you all the amino acids. All the protein structures from those amino acids that you wanted. All the lipids in the purity that you wanted. The DNA. The RNA. Even in the sequence you wanted. I’ve even given you the code. And all the nucleic acids. So now I say, “Can you now assemble a cell, not in a prebiotic cesspool but in your nice laboratory?”. And the answer is a resounding NO! And if anybody claims otherwise they do not know this area (of research).”
    – James Tour: The Origin of Life Has Not Been Explained – 4:20 minute mark (The more we know, the worse the problem gets for materialists)
    https://youtu.be/r4sP1E1Jd_Y?t=255

    January 2020 – In other words, Intelligent Design, and a direct inference to God as the Intelligence behind life, (via the non-locality of quantum information and/or the non-locality of quantum entanglement), has, for all intents and purposes, finally achieved experimental confirmation.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/karsten-pultz-why-random-processes-cannot-produce-information-a-new-argument/#comment-690519

    Verse:

    John 1:4
    In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

  7. 7
    martin_r says:

    Repetitio mater studiorum est.
    Repetition is the mother of all learning.

    so let me repeat the following FACT:

    Even if the best scientists in the World would have all the cell-components pre-made and securely stored in their lab’s freezers, they would not know where to start in order to assemble the simplest cell.

    So DESPERATE the situation is after 150 years of the origin-of-life research…

    So, unlike the theory of evolution, what is just wrote IS A FACT !

    To believe, that life arose by some chemical accident, requires lots of faith… it is like to believe in miracles….

    But today, we see lots of smart educated atheists believing in miracles…
    What is wrong with all these people ?

  8. 8
    Seversky says:

    Many believe that science supports a natural origin of life, but this reasoning is shown to be circular because they have constrained the scientific process to only consider natural phenomena. When science is constrained in this manner, it no longer seeks truth; it only seeks the best naturalistic explanation.

    If you would like define what you mean by “natural” and how it is somehow constraining science, that would be a start. As I see it, everything that can be observed or inferred to exist is part of the natural order. There is nothing beyond it. The proper antonym to “natural” is something like “artificial”.

  9. 9
    Seversky says:

    Martin_r @ 7

    Repetition is the mother of all learning.

    “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.” Attributed to Joseph Goebbels among others.

    Tell people from childhood that there is a god and they will come to believe it unquestioningly.

    so let me repeat the following FACT:

    Even if the best scientists in the World would have all the cell-components pre-made and securely stored in their lab’s freezers, they would not know where to start in order to assemble the simplest cell.

    That’s right. Ask any scientist and they will tell you that there is still a huge amount to learn about this Universe. Why would you expect otherwise? Does the fact that biologists are unable to build a viable cell from scratch today mean that they never will? We don’t know that either.

    So DESPERATE the situation is after 150 years of the origin-of-life research…

    The Universe is currently estimated to be around 13.8bn years old and you expect us to have cracked it in just 150 years? Give us a break! If you have a better way then let’s hear it.

    To believe, that life arose by some chemical accident, requires lots of faith…

    Yes, it does. But as David Hume wrote, “A Wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.”

    We have more evidence for the naturalistic and materialistic nature of life than for any other explanation.

    But today, we see lots of smart educated atheists believing in miracles…

    No, you don’t.

    What is wrong with all these people ?

    Nothing. What do you think is wrong with atheism?

  10. 10
    Truthfreedom says:

    @9 Seversky

    Tell people from childhood that there is a god and they will come to believe it unquestioningly.

    That is kinda strange because literally hundreds of thousands of people who were raised to believe in God abandoned the faith after having questioned it. Some UD members are living examples.
    And you, Seversky, you know that there is not a God. It is not a belief, it is an absolutely, completely, totally unquestionable, warranted knowledge.

  11. 11
    Truthfreedom says:

    @9 Seversky

    That’s right. Ask any scientist and they will tell you that there is still a huge amount to learn about this Universe.

    We do not need to ask any scientist, it is a matter of common sense that human knowledge has limits.

  12. 12
    Truthfreedom says:

    Look at all the information contained in a single, microscopic virus.
    It’s potentially there, waiting for the cellular machinery to become actual.

  13. 13
    Truthfreedom says:

    Whales have very big brains and they can not decipher what is happening with this SARS-CoV-2 thing.
    What are the correct form and size needed to understand ‘nature’? It looks like H. sapiens has approached them.

  14. 14
    ET says:

    seversky:

    If you would like define what you mean by “natural” and how it is somehow constraining science, that would be a start.

    Produced by nature. And it is constraining because nature id not produce living organisms. So saying it did is a lie. Lies hurt science.

    As I see it, everything that can be observed or inferred to exist is part of the natural order.

    As I see it, natural processes cannot produce nature as natural processes only exist in nature. And that means your “natural order” is question-begging nonsense.

  15. 15
    ET says:

    seversky:

    “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.” Attributed to Joseph Goebbels among others.

    Evolutionism is that lie. Materialism is also that lie,

    Tell people from childhood that there is a god and they will come to believe it unquestioningly.

    Total unsupportable nonsense. However if you show them the evidence and explain that no one can explain it in naturalistic terms, they may come to believe it unquestionably. But I hope not as questions are the way to understanding.

    Ask any scientist and they will tell you that there is still a huge amount to learn about this Universe.

    Then they should shut up about pushing an atheistic agenda,

    But as David Hume wrote, “A Wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.”

    We already know that evos are not wise.

    We have more evidence for the naturalistic and materialistic nature of life than for any other explanation.

    Liar. There isn’t any such evidence. If there was then it would be printed in the papers. People would have won Nobel Prizes for discovering it. Yet we have a total absence of it in any papers and Nobel laureates.

    Clearly seversky is deluded and proud to be a liar

  16. 16
    Truthfreedom says:

    @15 ET:

    Then they should shut up about pushing an atheistic agenda.

    No, they won’t. 72 virgin LUCAs are awaiting them in heaven.
    They are forced to spread their gospel.

  17. 17

    .
    In speaking on the Origin of Life, Seversky makes these various statements:

    We have more evidence for the naturalistic and materialistic nature of life than for any other explanation.
    – – –
    As I see it, everything that can be observed or inferred to exist is part of the natural order. There is nothing beyond it. The proper antonym to “natural” is something like “artificial”.
    – – –
    What do you think is wrong with atheism?

    Simple. You don’t have an argument for a natural Origin of Life that doesn’t force you to merely assume your conclusions against the accumulated physical evidence to the contrary. And given that life was either designed or it wasn’t, this is to say that you don’t have a valid evidence-based counter-argument to the design argument (ID). Yet, being a socio-political ideologue (fully engulfed in anti-ID rhetoric) you pretend otherwise.

    Want to have it demonstrated again? Okay.

    In the first half of the 20th century, it was predicted by prominent scientists (Erwin Schrodinger among others) that a living thing (an autonomous open-ended self-replicator) would have to be specified from memory in order to exist. It was later predicted this would require a symbol system, a language structure, and semantic closure in order to function. In the second half of the 20th century, each of these things was famously confirmed via experimental result, and each has been subsequently (and carefully) described in the literature using the language and equations of physics. The symbol system requires discontinuous association mediated by a set independent constraints; the language structure requires spatial orientation to enable multiple referents in a rate-independent medium, and semantic closure requires the simultaneous corporeal organization of the system in order for it to persist over time. It is also noted in the literature that the equations used to model the elementary forces of nature (as also predicted) are not capable of modeling this organization (requiring complimentary descriptions throughout both physics and biology); and that the only other organization known to science that has this type of structure is human language and mathematics (i.e. two unambiguous correlates of intelligence).

    Seversky, is the cellular gene system (at the very heart of Life and evolution on earth) dependent on an irreducible system of symbols and constraints, a language structure, and a simultaneous organization of the system?

  18. 18
    ET says:

    Yes, TF, it’s pathetic that they say “we don’t know” when the really mean “we don’t know but we ‘know’ it ain’t via Intelligent Design. Hypocrites, all of them.

    That said, please let’s leave Upright Biped to discuss the evidence if any anti-IDist cares to try.

  19. 19
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: You don’t have an argument for a natural Origin of Life that doesn’t force you to merely assume your conclusions against the accumulated physical evidence to the contrary. And given that life was either designed or it wasn’t, this is to say that you don’t have a valid evidence-based counter-argument to the design argument

    I, PERSONALLY, do not see evidence of designer outside of the supposed designed things. (Which you may assume means I’m not agreeing with the fine tuning argument either.) We can/could get into a discussion of the nature of the evidence/data which I doubt will change anyone’s mind, let’s be honest. I just wanted to say that I don’t think I’m making any kind of assumption: we disagree about whether or not life was designed so I looked around for other evidence of a designer, I didn’t find any. But I did look. And I am very open to consider any hard evidence that is brought forward.

  20. 20
    ET says:

    JVL, you don’t know how to assess evidence. And you damn sure don’t have any explanation for it. ID is evidenced in biology, physics, chemistry and cosmology- for a start. And you don’t have anything to account for any of it.

    You didn’t look. You don’t know how.

  21. 21

    .
    Hello JVL,

    I, PERSONALLY, do not see evidence of designer outside of the supposed designed things.

    This appears moot, given that I made no argument about things outside of the designed things.

    (Which you may assume means I’m not agreeing with the fine tuning argument either.)

    See above

    We can/could get into a discussion of the nature of the evidence/data which I doubt will change anyone’s mind, let’s be honest.

    As you might suspect, I’m prepared to defend my arguments regardless of your ability to modify your beliefs. You might also notice that the first part of that is a healthy and necessary practice in science and reason, while the second is generally considered a well-known limitation.

    I just wanted to say that I don’t think I’m making any kind of assumption: we disagree about whether or not life was designed so I looked around for other evidence of a designer, I didn’t find any. But I did look.

    I’m trying to parse what exactly the point of this statement is. You hold that there is no uncontested evidence of design in nature; so you looked for other uncontested evidence and didn’t find any, but you want me to know that you make no assumptions in your beliefs. I’m not sure how convincing you expected this statement to be. You might need to clarify it, if not abandon it altogether. I can suggest to you — given the documented predictions, experimental confirmations, and the recorded history in the literature that life and evolution depend upon a multi-referent symbol system/language structure to encode information in a semantically-closed system — that your statement comes off as a sort of up-in-your-head attempt to skip over evidence altogether. Ignoring documented physical evidence because another human being can muster a way to disagree with it is tantamount to giving oneself intellectual permission to ignore whatever they wish.

    And I am very open to consider any hard evidence that is brought forward.

    Given that you are here responding to a question (which is based on nothing but hard evidence) and you chose to do so by providing the dubious statement above – while not engaging the actual question or evidence in any way – perhaps it would be prudent to have to disclose exactly what you mean by “hard” evidence. Do successful predictions, their experimental confirmations, or any of the recorded history in the literature qualify as hard evidence to you? Does physical evidence that is otherwise considered “settled science” qualify? For instance, during the process of protein synthesis, the amino acid-to-anticodon association is physically independent of the codon-to-anticodon association, thereby establishing the necessary system of discontinuous association between DNA sequences and their products, which are then mediated by the set of aaRS constraints in the system.

    Does that kind of thing count as “hard” evidence, or no?

    – – – – – – – – – –

    EDIT: JVL, if in fact such things are what you would consider “hard” evidence, then I think the question that you responded to (without engaging in) is perfect for you. Here it is again:

    In the first half of the 20th century, it was predicted by prominent scientists (Erwin Schrodinger among others) that a living thing (an autonomous open-ended self-replicator) would have to be specified from memory in order to exist. It was later predicted this would require a symbol system, a language structure, and semantic closure in order to function. In the second half of the 20th century, each of these things was famously confirmed via experimental result, and each has been subsequently (and carefully) described in the literature using the language and equations of physics. The symbol system requires discontinuous association mediated by a set independent constraints; the language structure requires spatial orientation to enable multiple referents in a rate-independent medium, and semantic closure requires the simultaneous corporeal organization of the system in order for it to persist over time. It is also noted in the literature that the equations used to model the elementary forces of nature (as also predicted) are not capable of modeling this organization (requiring complimentary descriptions throughout both physics and biology); and that the only other organization known to science that has this type of structure is human language and mathematics (i.e. two unambiguous correlates of intelligence).

    JVL, is the cellular gene system (at the very heart of Life and evolution on earth) dependent on an irreducible system of symbols and constraints, a language structure, and a simultaneous organization of the system? Or not?

    If you feel this is too much to bite off, then we can certainly break it down into smaller pieces, you will find that none of those pieces of evidence (like the discontinuous association mentioned above) are even in question.

  22. 22
    BobRyan says:

    Macro-evolution has never been witnessed, nor has it ever been replicated. Without both, it is not a valid theory. No evolutionist can point to a single example of the Scientific Method being used. Science is about what is observed and being able to accept any given hypothesis or theory will change over time. The more something can be observed, the more of an understanding we have. Macro-evolution is not the exception to the rule, but the violation of all the rules used to determine if a hypothesis should move to theory.
    The laws of physics have been observed and the results have been replicated. Those laws are not random. If one cannot see intelligence and purpose behind those laws, then they are blind to reason.

  23. 23
    jawa says:

    Martin_r @3 & @7:

    Very well said.

  24. 24
    jawa says:

    Upright BiPed @17 & @21:

    Very well stated.

  25. 25
    martin_r says:

    Seversky@ 9

    you wrote “The Universe is currently estimated to be around 13.8bn years old and you expect us to have cracked it in just 150 years? Give us a break! If you have a better way then let’s hear it.”

    i don’t expect anything from you guys, because it can’t be cracked. So simple it is.

    Seversky, do you understand what i just said ?

    IT CAN’T BE CRACKED !!! THIS IS A FACT !!!

    I am sure that OOL researchers even know that, but why don’t take other people’s money, easy money

    so once again, it can’t be cracked – that is why after 150 years of OOL research there is a ZERO progress ….. ZERO ZERO ZERO… they have got nothing … ZERO…. not 10%, not 5%, not 1%… but ZERO %

    Seversky, do i have a better way for what?

    To show you how a masterpiece of engineering self-engineered with no help from an engineer ? :))))))

    Seversky, no, i don’t have a better way to show you how this can be done …

    … i don’t do miracles :)))))

  26. 26
    Truthfreedom says:

    @25 Martin_r:

    so once again, it can’t be cracked – that is why after 150 years of OOL research there is a ZERO progress ….. ZERO ZERO ZERO… they have got nothing … ZERO….

    They have the Miller Urey experiment and some unproved non-sense about a ‘warm little pond’. 🙂

  27. 27
    JVL says:

    UprightBiPed: Hello JVL,

    ‘ello, ‘ello, ‘ello! Hope you’re keeping well.

    This appears moot, given that I made no argument about things outside of the designed things.

    Yes, I know. I was just going to address your comment about people like me making assumptions and then I threw on some other general stuff. I wanted to be honest and clear in stating my own opinion so that other readers would know my basic view.

    As you might suspect, I’m prepared to defend my arguments regardless of your ability to modify your beliefs.

    As well I know!! I should have just addressed the assumption issue. Sorry.

    I’m trying to parse what exactly the point of this statement is. You hold that there is no uncontested evidence of design in nature; so you looked for other uncontested evidence and didn’t find any, but you want me to know that you make no assumptions in your beliefs.

    Well, I looked for other evidence, not necessarily uncontested. But then I admitted I already didn’t buy the fine-tuning argument so that means I had already written off stuff you consider evidence. I probably should have just stayed quiet!! I do think I wasn’t making any pre-assumptions. But I suspect we will differ on that!!

    JVL, is the cellular gene system (at the very heart of Life and evolution on earth) dependent on an irreducible system of symbols and constraints, a language structure, and a simultaneous organization of the system? Or not?

    Well, I have read that there is some evidence that the genetic ‘code’ isn’t really an abstract code at all; it may have come about from basic chemical attractions. IF it’s the case that the genetic ‘code’ is built on chemical reactions then it’s more likely that it could have arisen with no guidance. It’s an area of ongoing research and I don’t expect there to be a definitive answer soon but it’s worth monitoring the work. So, to answer your question: I don’t know. I’m going to wait and see what the research says.

    From Wikipedia: (One of three basic scenarios) Stereochemical affinity: the genetic code is a result of a high affinity between each amino acid and its codon or anti-codon; the latter option implies that pre-tRNA molecules matched their corresponding amino acids by this affinity. Later during evolution, this matching was gradually replaced with matching by aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases.

    Some references:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3223571/

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC336109/

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00239-009-9270-1

  28. 28
    JVL says:

    BobRyan: Macro-evolution has never been witnessed, nor has it ever been replicated. Without both, it is not a valid theory. No evolutionist can point to a single example of the Scientific Method being used. Science is about what is observed and being able to accept any given hypothesis or theory will change over time. The more something can be observed, the more of an understanding we have. Macro-evolution is not the exception to the rule, but the violation of all the rules used to determine if a hypothesis should move to theory.

    Do you think the Big Bang occurred? Did we actually observe it? Can we reproduce it? It is now hypothesised that the Moon was formed when something collided with the early Earth. Did we observe that or can we reproduce it? Do black holes exist? Dark matter? No one has ever seen a living dinosaur or recreated one yet who doubts they existed? Neanderthals . . . real or just weird humans that fossilised? Was there a Phoenician state? What about the Druids? And who did build those pyramids anyway?

    Not all sciences are of the type that you can test every single hypothesis in the laboratory. Archaeology, for example, consists mostly of first finding the data and then trying to interpret it compared to other data from other sites and other kinds of records. Very, very few archaeological discoveries are reproducible or observable and yet archaeology is a science is it not?

    What evolutionary biologists do try and do is to check as many of the possible developmental steps as they can by reproduction. It will never be complete, it will always be somewhat guesswork until we invent a time machine. But I would say it’s still a science since the goal is to try and explain the data and evidence as best as possible making as few assumptions as possible.

    Cleary all sciences contain some wide ranging speculations and conjectures. Physics is replete with things like worm holes and dark energy and the multi-verse to say nothing of string theory. But those things are acknowledged to be merely hypotheses. There’s nothing wrong with coming up with ideas and seeing if they match the observed data. No one knows how life originated on Earth; there are some ideas floating about and some researchers are trying to see if they can verify parts of them. So far it is all somewhat far-fetched but 100 years from now . . . 200 years from now . . . who knows? I’m not saying someone will ‘crack’ the problem eventually but I am also not willing to bet that it won’t be cracked. Humans being can be pretty clever when they’ve got a problem to solve.

  29. 29
    Jim Thibodeau says:

    @JVL about 20 years ago I knew the guy who had the record in Sweden for the fastest ever PhD. From the moment he finished his bachelors, he had his PhD about six months later. He was a math guy, and he had one of those tweaked math brains that just sees complex patterns in ways that yours and mine don’t. He was also basically an idiot on any other topic, but very sure of himself because he was such a math genius. He used to explain to me what was wrong with movies and the actors in like Lord of the rings, and it was clear that he just didn’t understand how blocking and camera work worked.

    But I bring this up because he told me a story one time, about this math class in like Germany or Hungary many years ago. A doctoral student had arrived at a grad class late and frantically copied the problems he saw on the board. And the professor wondered what happened to the guy when the guy disappeared for like two weeks. Finally the guy shows up and says hey I’m sorry it took me so long to do the homework, but this one problem was horrible. What he had copied off the board was several homework problems, but the last one was a problem the professor had just mentioned for fun as an outstanding problem that no one had managed to figure out in 100 years. This guy thought it was a homework problem, and spent two weeks, and solved it. That guy wound up being the guy who got the Fields medal for figuring out wavelets if I recall correctly.

    We’ve been doing agriculture a dozen times longer than we’ve been doing modern Science or math, and I bet the physicists and chemists etc. 500 years from now will regard us all as a bunch of daft Neanderthals, in the same way that a modern watermelon would seem like alchemy to an earlier farmer.

  30. 30
    bornagain77 says:

    Today on ENV: “We are not saying DNA is like a message. Rather, DNA is a message. Even though logic indicates a message sender, a result that has obvious philosophical and spiritual implications, it is important to note that it was not reached by philosophical or spiritual presuppositions. It may be an unwanted or unpopular result in some quarters, but scientists do not have a reputation of advocating only what is wanted or popular. We seek the truth. ”

    “Nothing More Deceptive than an Obvious Fact” – Charles Thaxton – April 6, 2020
    Excerpt; The so-called Shannon information laws apply equally well to human language, Morse code, and the genetic code. Hubert P. Yockey notes in the Journal of Theoretical Biology:
    “It is important to understand that we are not reasoning by analogy. The sequence hypothesis [that the exact order of symbols records the information] applies directly to the protein and the genetic text as well as to written language and therefore the treatment is mathematically identical.”
    There is an identity of structure between DNA (and protein) and written linguistic messages. Since we know by experience that intelligence produces written messages, the implication, according to established experimental method of inferring causes from effects, is that an intelligent cause most probably produced the informational pattern in DNA and protein. The significance of this inference lies in the security of it, for it is much stronger than if the structures were merely similar.
    We are not dealing with anything like a superficial resemblance between DNA and a written text. We are not saying DNA is like a message. Rather, DNA is a message. Even though logic indicates a message sender, a result that has obvious philosophical and spiritual implications, it is important to note that it was not reached by philosophical or spiritual presuppositions. It may be an unwanted or unpopular result in some quarters, but scientists do not have a reputation of advocating only what is wanted or popular. We seek the truth.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2020/04/nothing-more-deceptive-than-an-obvious-fact/

  31. 31
    ET says:

    The earth/ moon system did NOT form by accident. And evolutionary biologists don’t have a clue about macro-evolution. They don’t have a mechanism capable of producing the transformations required. They don’t have a mechanism capable of producing developmental biology. They don’t have a mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes given starting populations of prokaryotes.

    All evolutionary biologists have are assumptions supported by speculations. Science requires that the ideas be testable. Evolutionary biology hasn’t reached that level yet.

    Well, I have read that there is some evidence that the genetic ‘code’ isn’t really an abstract code at all; it may have come about from basic chemical attractions.

    There isn’t any such evidence. But there is speculation based on the assumption.

  32. 32
    ET says:

    Primal tRNA? Where did that come from? Again, the things evos accept as science proves they don’t understand the concept.

  33. 33
    ET says:

    JT:

    We’ve been doing agriculture a dozen times longer than we’ve been doing modern Science or math, and I bet the physicists and chemists etc. 500 years from now will regard us all as a bunch of daft Neanderthals…

    Yes, for your thinking that evolutionism was in any way, scientific.

  34. 34
    Truthfreedom says:

    and I bet the physicists and chemists etc. 500 years from now

    No clima-apocalypse then.

  35. 35
    Truthfreedom says:

    @ET

    But there is speculation based on the assumption.

    Naturalists rely on speculation (multiverse crap, everything is ‘randomness’, ‘natural selection’ as a ‘creative’ force, life appearing in a ‘warm little pond’, etc.)
    Cold hard facts: not that much.

  36. 36

    .

    Well, I looked for other evidence, not necessarily uncontested.

    This doesn’t really address the issue that you yourself put on the table, that is the issue of your own reasoning. A person who says he/she discounts evidence because other people find ways to disagree with it has ultimately given himself permission to discount whatever he wishes, in particular a) evidence that he cannot effectively confront on its strength and merits, and b) evidence that is contrary to his own personal preferences. (This is precisely why I gave you a clear example of the evidence you are dismissing and asked if it met your stated criteria of “hard evidence”. Further, it was a chance for you to get your hands on the evidence, so to speak, and actually show that you’ve already considered it or that you are willing to. You, in turn, chose to address neither the example nor the question).

    In any case, reading over the content in your response above, there is little doubt (in my mind) that this is exactly what you are doing here. There is also no doubt, given your own words, that you are an intelligent person who wants to think of himself as such; indeed, promoting himself as an open-minded thinker who carefully weighs and reasons important issues. You can quickly pick up on this by the number of times you’ve said as much since you began commenting here (including in your comments on this thread).

    Well, I have read that there is some evidence that the genetic ‘code’ isn’t really an abstract code at all; it may have come about from basic chemical attractions.

    The living cell (as it is actually found to be) has the capacity to replicate because it successfully describes each individual constituent of a complex dissipative process; where the dissipation of energy causes the constituents to physically read linear descriptions and use those descriptions as the means to specify the construction of the products necessary to continue the process. It also describes a special group of products; the set of constraints in the system that establish how the description itself is to be interpreted. These two groups of descriptions are critically linked together because changes among the constraints immediately alters all the descriptions of the dissipative process, leading to catastrophic failure of the system. This means that different sections of the description must be simultaneously organized with one another for the system to begin to function. What part of this temporal organization (semantic closure) is resolved by stereo-chemistry? None of it whatsoever.

    Let me ask a question (one that I’ve asked here before). The set of aaRS are the physical constraints in the system that independently establish the genetic code. You can easily grasp their importance to cellular function. The aaRS are individually specified from memory, and it is a virtual certainty that there was once a time on this planet when they did not exist, but yet came to exist. Here is my question: Regardless of what one might think preceded their arrival, at the point in earth’s history when the first ever aaRS constraint was synthesized from memory, how many of the other constraints had to be in place?

    It’s interesting to watch. The successful model of a significant phenomenon (like semiosis, for instance) is molded, contemplated, honed, and advanced over a considerable number of years (indeed multiple generations) with each new discovery and each advancing technology confirming the core validity of the model and adding weight to its universality over all the domains where the phenomenon is found. Layers upon layers of primary and secondary observations, all carefully documented to confirm the model, while not collecting a single instance of contradictory fact along the way. This is where I think the (frankly outrageous) “I didn’t find any” and the “it’s not convincing” part of your reasoning comes into play; where an entire block of coherent science and observation is neatly swept away by a mere speculation that doesn’t even explain the observations in hand. Then there is another speculation behind that one, and another to follow on after yet another after that. What results is rigorous universal evidence is dismissed out-of-hand with tone-deaf demands like “hard evidence” and conclusions like “not convincing”. These are almost inevitably accompanied with self-assurances like “I looked” and “I am making no assumptions”.

  37. 37
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: Further, it was a chance for you to get your hands on the evidence, so to speak, and actually show that you’ve already considered it or that you are willing to. You, in turn, chose to address neither the example nor the question).

    I think we got our wires crossed just a little. I was specifically referring to evidence of a designer as in the sort of detritus or stuff living creatures leave behind. Something outside of the living forms and celestial indicators we disagree about, i.e. the designs you see which I do not. I should have been more clear.

    There is also no doubt, given your own words, that you are an intelligent person who wants to think of himself as such;

    Don’t we all? 🙂

    This means that different sections of the description must be simultaneously organized with one another for the system to begin to function. What part of this temporal organization (semantic closure) is resolved by stereo-chemistry? None of it whatsoever.

    I was first made aware of a possible naturalistic genesis for the genetic code via comments made by a biologist so I assumed they knew what they were talking about. The research seems to be progressing, albeit slowly. But I do not have the background to consider the finer points of the situation. I was intrigued by the possibility that the genetic ‘code’ was not a true code so I mentioned it.

    Let me ask a question (one that I’ve asked here before). The set of aaRS are the physical constraints in the system that independently establish the genetic code. You can easily grasp their importance to cellular function. The aaRS are individually specified from memory, and it is a virtual certainty that there was once a time on this planet when they did not exist, but yet came to exist. Here is my question: Regardless of what one might think preceded their arrival, at the point in earth’s history when the first ever aaRS constraint was synthesized from memory, how many of the other constraints had to be in place?

    No idea, not even close to something I know much about.

    This is where I think the (frankly outrageous) “I didn’t find any” and the “it’s not convincing” part of your reasoning comes into play; where an entire block of coherent science and observation is neatly swept away by a mere speculation that doesn’t even explain the observations in hand.

    Yes but those are only opinions and not research or data or published work. And, for myself and myself only, I have NOT seen compelling evidence that there is a designer. Not in the design inferences made and certainly not in outside, hard evidence that some being was around with the necessary skills and supporting technology. Just my opinion though.

    What results is rigorous universal evidence is dismissed out-of-hand with tone-deaf demands like “hard evidence” and conclusions like “not convincing”. These are almost inevitably accompanied with self-assurances like “I looked” and “I am making no assumptions”.

    We seem to have differing views on what is rigorous and universal evidence. And we’re clearly not going to change each other’s minds. My opinion may be completely fallacious. Your opinion may be completely fallacious (although that will seem like a very, very remote possibility to you, granted). I’ve been observing the ID vs naturalistic discussion for a while now and we always come to that point: what one side finds compelling and rigorous the other side finds completely unconvincing. Both sides have their thought out arguments which haven’t changed much in the last decade or so.

    I’m happy to keep attempting to answer your questions/queries honestly if you want to keep asking them. On the other hand, if you wish to stop here because I’m just not seeing your logical and well laid out rationale then that’s okay too. I’m not here to change anyone’s mind or score points. I’m more interested in a conversation instead of a contest. And if you think the conversation is pointless then I won’t take offence if you wish to drop it.

  38. 38
    Truthfreedom says:

    @37 JVL

    The research seems to be progressing, albeit slowly.

    150+ years ‘slow’? Now people know the trick, so you are going to need a better ‘argument’. The ‘keep waiting, one day we will show you how’ one is no longer valid.

  39. 39
    Truthfreedom says:

    @37 JVL

    I’m not here to change anyone’s mind or score points.

    And how the hell can you know if that (changing someone’s mind) is going to happen or not? Your continuous assertions of clairvoyance are really strange and boring.

  40. 40
    JVL says:

    Truthfreedom: 150+ years ‘slow’? Now people know the trick, so you are going to need a better ‘argument’. The ‘keep waiting, one day we will show you how’ one is no longer valid.

    I specifically meant the work into trying to tease out the orgin(s) of the genetic code. And that has not been going on for 150+ years. I didn’t say “and one day we will show you how.” We may never get to the bottom of it; we not going to be able to travel back in time to be completely sure. But it’s worth working on. It’s a tough problem.

    And how the hell can you know if that (changing someone’s mind) is going to happen or not? Your continuous assertions of clairvoyance are really strange and boring.

    Obviously I don’t KNOW what’s going to happen (I didn’t say I did) but I do know that I’m not intentionally trying to alter peoples’ opinions. That’s all I meant.

  41. 41
    Truthfreedom says:

    @37 JVL

    And we’re clearly not going to change each other’s minds.

    Pass me the crystal ball.

    We seem to have differing views on what is rigorous and universal evidence.

    True. Darwinism from-bacteria-to-man-one-mutation-at-a-time is trash. Pseudoscience at its best. Religious dogma at its worst.

    Jsust my opinion though.

    We are discussing facts, not opinions. This is not a tavern. Maybe visiting the latter you would feel in better company.

  42. 42
    JVL says:

    Truthfreedom: True. Darwinism from-bacteria-to-man-one-mutation-at-a-time is trash. Pseudoscience at its best. Religious dogma at its worst.

    Other opinions are available!

    We are discussing facts, not opinions. This is not a tavern. Maybe visiting the latter you would feel in better company.

    I was just trying to be honest; owning up to the things that are just my opinion. I thought you’d appreciate me being frank and not trying to beat you over the head with notions you find ridiculous. If you’re just going to scorn and mock when I’m trying to be straight and respectful then perhaps I shouldn’t bother.

  43. 43

    .

    UB: This means that different sections of the description must be simultaneously organized with one another for the system to begin to function. What part of this temporal organization (semantic closure) is resolved by stereo-chemistry? None of it whatsoever.

    JVL: I was first made aware of a possible naturalistic genesis for the genetic code…

    Yes, of course. Universal physical evidence is easily dismissed on the mere nugget of a possibility — as you raise your hand to demand hard evidence otherwise. Good grief.

    And let me guess — just moments before this unexpected revelation, you happily believed the universal physical evidence that all encoded languages have an intelligent source, right?

    Trust me on this, Muhammad Ali was better at rope-a-dope than you are.

  44. 44
    ET says:

    It’s very telling that the people who disagree with the design inference have absolutely nothing to account for what we observe. Even Richard Dawkins has admitted that science can only accept so much luck and yet that is all the anti-IDists have- nothing but sheer dumb luck. So the people who find the arguments from design as unconvincing only do so for personally biased reasoned. They are irrational and illogical.

    Is it also worth working on a natural formation process for Stonehenge? We know that Stonehenge was designed because of our knowledge of cause-and-effect relationships. We know that nature could not have possibly produced it. Yet Stonehenge is by far more simple than biologically relevant replicators.

  45. 45

    .
    On a previous thread, JVL stated that random mutations might help some poor sap run faster or fly higher or whatever whatever to survive, thus affording the opportunity to leave more offspring. So I asked him how many of those beneficial mutations would require a symbol system and interpretive constraints in order to serve up the benefits. He steadfastly (and very clearly) deflected the question 5 (FIVE) times in-a-row before finally punting with a non-answer. On this thread he tells us that he is open and willing to discuss any “hard” evidence supporting the kinds of arguments he hears here. So I give him an example of completely settled science – been settled for more than half a century –no one questions it — it’s taught in every biology textbook on the surface of the planet — and I ask him if this is what he considers “hard evidence”.

    But does he answer? Nope. To answer would be to submit to the evidence he seeks to avoid. So instead of just answering a fair question, he reaches into his bag and pulls out another positioning statement. He tells me that we have “different ideas” about what constitutes rigorous “hard” evidence. I am thinking, wha? man, it’s settled friggen science!. But of course, it all makes perfect sense. Regardless of the milkman routine JVL uses to sell himself, if shining a light on physical evidence (that has been settled for 50 years) serves the design inference in any way, or causes one blade of grass to twitch on his perfectly protected lawn, then JVL clearly wants no part of it. He is as closed-up and guarded as it gets.

Leave a Reply