The endless search for complexity from simplicity without intelligence:
Researchers at the University of Tokyo have for the first time been able to create an RNA molecule that replicates, diversifies and develops complexity, following Darwinian evolution. This has provided the first empirical evidence that simple biological molecules can lead to the emergence of complex lifelike systems…
Although there have been many discussions about this theory, it has been difficult to physically create such RNA replication systems. However, in a study published in Nature Communications, Project Assistant Professor Ryo Mizuuchi and Professor Norikazu Ichihashi at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tokyo, and their team, explain how they carried out a long-term RNA replication experiment in which they witnessed the transition from a chemical system towards biological complexity.
The team was truly excited by what it saw. “We found that the single RNA species evolved into a complex replication system: a replicator network comprising five types of RNAs with diverse interactions, supporting the plausibility of a long-envisioned evolutionary transition scenario,” said Mizuuchi.
Compared to previous empirical studies, this new result is novel because the team used a unique RNA replication system that can undergo Darwinian evolution, i.e., a self-perpetuating process of continuous change based on mutations and natural selection, which enabled different characteristics to emerge, and the ones that were adapted to the environment to survive.University of Tokyo, “New insight into the possible origins of life” at ScienceDaily (March 18, 2022)
A friend tips us off: The RNA replication system the researchers used (see Fig. 1a) is a single-strand RNA (host RNA) encoding an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and a reconstituted E. coli translation system. The RNA replication was occurring on account of the replicase subunit being translated and becoming active in association with EF-Tu and EF-Ts in the translation system.
Bottom line: A lot of the machinery that supposedly spontaneously created complexity was in fact borrowed. We’re told that James Tour gets quite angry about what amounts to cheating in the claims about origin of life.
See, we have a bucket and we could give you a bucket of maple syrup if we could borrow a sugar maple tree, provided the sap is running at this time of year = see, we create maple syrup…
The paper is open access.