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Origin of life: Is the real story mainly the comments now?

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What’s really interesting about the latest claim (Science) to have (maybe) solved the origin of life conundrum is the comments. Here’s one:

I’m pretty much shocked at the emotionally charged comments. They are simply testing hypotheses for the building-blocks of life and how they were assembled. The intent is not to disprove your god(s) or say ‘haha, we are right.’ …

Of course, the commenter is at best mistaken.

The reality is that naturalism has gotten nowhere with origin of life and has nowhere to go anyway. The emotional uproar is an outcome of that fact.

Nothing will work with origin of life until information is factored in.

See also: Suzan Mazur’s interview with an origin of life society president

and Maybe if we throw enough models at the origin of life… some of them will stick?

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29 Replies to “Origin of life: Is the real story mainly the comments now?

  1. 1
    Jim Smith says:

    Getting the building block molecules used by living cells doesn’t explain how homogeneous polymers (proteins, DNA, RNA) were produced instead of random agglomerations of tar.

  2. 2
    Evolve says:

    But this is one piece of the puzzle. They have shown that amino acids, nucleotides and lipids – the 3 main components of a living cell can form simultaneously from the same raw materials – Hydrogen Cyanide, Hydrogen Sulfide and UV light. This means RNA or DNA didn’t have to form first to give rise to proteins or vice versa. That’s an important discovery.

    Creationists, like always, never do any proper research of their own but jump into the fray with criticisms whenever real scientists publish new discoveries. God-did-it is all they know. Don’t ask where, when or how.

  3. 3
    chris haynes says:

    Thanks for that great information.
    But shouldn’t you be on the Ladies’ Cosmetics forum?

    You wrote
    “Amino acids, nucleotides and lipids – the 3 main components of a living cell can form simultaneously from blah blah blah”

    Those amino acids, that they’ve formed simultaneously, when did they make a homo-chiral ones? (all right handed)
    Homo-chiral amino acids, that’s what living things are made out of.

    Achiral amino acids (all mixed up both left and right handed) are what ladies cosmetics are made out of.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Evolve from your link:

    “the researchers have found that these electrons tend to destroy certain organic molecules slightly more often than they destroy their mirror images.”

    ‘slightly more often’ is of small comfort to the atheist for a 100 percent requirement:

    Homochirality and the Origin of Life November 7, 2011 By Dr. Hugh Ross
    Excerpt: Life chemistry demands homochirality (same chirality). Proteins cannot assemble unless all the chiral amino acids (20 out of the 21 bioactive amino acids are chiral) are either 100 percent left-handed or 100 percent right-handed.
    http://www.reasons.org/article.....in-of-life

    Homochirality and Darwin: part 2 – Robert Sheldon – May 2010
    Excerpt: With regard to the deniers who think homochirality is not much of a problem, I only ask whether a solution requiring multiple massive magnetized black-hole supernovae doesn’t imply there is at least a small difficulty to overcome? A difficulty, perhaps, that points to the non-random nature of life in the cosmos? http://www.uncommondescent.com.....in-part-2/

    The current status of origin-of-life chemistry. – Charles Garner – Dec. 2014 – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUmT6aY4gMY

    Dr. Charles Garner on the problem of Chirality in nature and Origin of Life Research – 2010 – audio
    http://castroller.com/podcasts.....he/1028875

  6. 6
    johnnyb says:

    Evolve:

    The problem is that *everyone* knows that origin-of-life is a dead end, even origin-of-life researchers.

    Here’s an experiment. Go buy canned, pureed tomatoes from the store. This has every amino acid, every protein, every biomolecule needed for life, all with correct handedness, spilled out into a soupy mixture.

    Now, if you open the can, one of two things will happen:

    (1) you will either see pureed tomatoes, or

    (2) you will find something growing on the pureed tomatoes

    Let’s say that (2) happens to an origin-of-life researcher. Are they going to proclaim (a) “look – life originated from a sea of biomolecules!”, or are they going to proclaim (b) “oh, shoot, it looks like this got contaminated”.

    My money is on (b). Despite the fact that a can of pureed tomatoes has every ingredient needed for life, life will not startup from the pureed tomatoes. You can replace this with *any* assemblage of biomolecules from *any* living organism. Put it in *any* condition. Life still doesn’t start. Having *every* biomolecule needed in *any* condition doesn’t help with the origin-of-life problem, because it is not a chemistry problem.

    Everyone knows this; and everyone would react the same way to something growing in their tomatoe puree.

    Origin-of-life researchers often produce very good organic chemistry research, but really ridiculous origin-of-life research. It’s almost as if branding organic chemistry as “origin-of-life research” was a way to get research money and excitement for organic chemistry research…but perhaps I’m letting myself be overly cynical there.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: OK, Who told the bacteria to do this?

    Oceanic microbes behave in a synchrony across ocean basins – March 16, 2015
    Excerpt: Researchers have found that microbial communities in different regions of the Pacific Ocean displayed strikingly similar daily rhythms in their metabolism despite inhabiting extremely different habitats — the nutrient-rich waters off California and the nutrient-poor waters north of Hawai’i. Furthermore, in each location, the dominant photoautotrophs appear to initiate a cascade effect wherein the other major groups of microbes perform their metabolic activities in a coordinated and predictable way.,,,
    The bacterial groups common to both ecosystems displayed the same transcriptional patterns and daily rhythms — as if each group is performing its prescribed role at a precise time each and every day, even though these communities are separated by thousands of miles.
    “Our work suggests that these microbial communities broadly behave in a similar manner across entire ocean basins and that specific biological interactions between these groups are widespread in nature,”,,,
    “Surprisingly, however, our work shows that these extremely different ecosystems exhibit very similar diel cycles, driven largely by sunlight and interspecies microbial interactions,” said Aylward, “This suggests that different microbial communities across the Pacific Ocean, and likely waters across the entire planet, behave in much more orderly ways than has previously been supposed,”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....102112.htm

  8. 8
    Evolve says:

    ///‘slightly more often’ is of small comfort to the atheist for a 100 percent requirement. ////

    In typical creationist fashion, you missed what they say next:

    “This small imbalance could have then amplified over time.”

    How could it have amplified over time? Well, here’s a brand new discovery which shows that molecules tend to seek their own type to form large assemblies:

    http://www.uakron.edu/im/news/.....phenomenon

  9. 9
    Evolve says:

    johnnyb,

    /// Despite the fact that a can of pureed tomatoes has every ingredient needed for life, life will not startup from the pureed tomatoes ///

    That’s exactly what we would expect if life originated from a series of chance events involving several different molecules reacting under a multitude of changing conditions over hundreds of millions of years.

    If life was created in one instant by some creator using a specific recipe under a specific condition, it would have been far easier to replicate the feat.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Evolve, in typical dogmatic atheist fashion you forgot to note the caveats in your very own quotes

    ‘could have’ then amplified over time.”

    ‘molecules tend to seek their own type’

    The requirement is for 100% Homochirality, not 60,70,80, or even 90 percent, it must be 100%!

    Moreover, in DNA this tendency of molecules to ‘seek their own type’ is found to be driven by the ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, quantum process of entanglement and, if it is the same type of quantum process in amino acids, is thus of no help to the reductive materialist who shuns appealing to any beyond space and time causes! In other words, the finding of non-local quantum entanglement in biology has falsified the reductive materialism upon which neo-Darwinism is based.

    As you said previously, try to ‘Stay up to date, kid!’

  11. 11
    ppolish says:

    “If life was created in one instant by some creator using a specific recipe under a specific condition, it would have been far easier to replicate the feat.”

    Easy like replicating the Big Bang?

    •Knowledge of God arising from Consciousness.
    •Consciousness arising from Life.
    •Life arising from Matter.
    •Matter arising from Nothing
    •Nothing arising from Something

    “Oops” is awfully consistent. Laws arising from “Oops” are awfully awesome. “Oops” is a bit laughable sorry.

  12. 12
    Axel says:

    It would be nice if you could tell the truth and sugar the pill for them, at the same time, BA… It seems to so mean to lay it on the line like that, all the time. They then have to resort to gibbering about your spam!

  13. 13
    johnnyb says:

    evolve:

    I think you are unclear as to what life is. At minimum, life is self-replication. At some point in time it had to start replicating. “Replicating” vs “non-replicating” is not a gradual process. It is a binary question. In order to replicate, a lot of things have to be in place. For a moderate list of replicator requirements (and why they are required), you should check out the last three chapters of Engineering and the Ultimate.

    If it is not replicating, then the actions of chemistry will be breaking it down, not allowing it to build. If it does not have a contained compartment, then what is replicating? Therefore, the most that could have occurred before self-replication is an abundance of macromolecules, which is exactly what you have in a can of soup.

    It doesn’t take “time” to get self-replication. Time is actually its enemy, as more time means that the components will be more likely to degenerate. If the process can’t happen with all of the components present, then it can’t happen.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    evolve, you might appreciate this:

    How Quantum (Entanglement) Mechanics Helps Us Breathe – Aug 5 2014
    Excerpt: According to conventional theory, the proteins should typically link up more often with molecules of carbon monoxide – from inside and outside the body – than with oxygen molecules.
    If that happened regularly, it would result in asphyxiation, killing off humans and animals.,,,
    “Using DMFT, we showed that, in fact, close to one electron is transferred to the oxygen molecule,” Cole explained. “This provides much greater electrostatic stabilization than previously thought. It means that our estimate of the relative binding of oxygen and carbon dioxide is now in excellent agreement with experiment.”
    The analysis revealed that an effect called entanglement plays a critical role in binding oxygen molecules to the protein. Entanglement is a quintessential characteristic of quantum mechanics that links pairs of electrons so strongly that they no longer act independently.
    http://www.insidescience.org/c.....eathe/1871

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
    Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum (entanglement) correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”
    http://www.quantumlah.org/high.....uences.php

    Verse and Music

    Psalm 150:6
    “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.”

    Creed – One Last Breath
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnkuBUAwfe0

  15. 15
    Evolve says:

    ///The requirement is for 100% Homochirality, not 60,70,80, or even 90 percent, it must be 100%!////

    My goodness! How incompetent can you get?
    First an imbalance in the relative amounts of the mirror versions happen.
    Then the more abundant version gets amplified over time.
    Over long periods of time, it comes to really dominate its counterpart.
    This means any newly forming cells are far more likely to incorporate the dominant version. When natural selection takes over, all descendants will inherit that ancestral chemistry.

    Get educated, kid.

  16. 16
    Evolve says:

    ///Easy like replicating the Big Bang?///

    If you didn’t know, we’ve already replicated a mini version of the big bang:
    http://www.bbc.com/news/scienc.....t-11711228

    ///“Oops” is awfully consistent. Laws arising from “Oops” are awfully awesome. “Oops” is a bit laughable sorry.///

    Scientists – we don’t know where the laws came from, but we’re looking at it, proposing and testing theories.

    Creationists – we know where the laws came from – GOD. Now shut the hell up and accept it. Don’t you dare ask what this imaginary God did, where, when and how.

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    Evolve, goodness grief, if you had a mind I would be tempted to say you have lost it, but Darwinists deny they even have a mind to loose in the first place! 🙂

    The 100% requirement is not something you can loosely skip over by making up a just so story:

    Dr. Charles Garner on the problem of Chirality in nature and Origin of Life Research – 2010 – audio
    http://castroller.com/podcasts.....he/1028875

    Moreover, Homochirality is far from the only problem you have to worry about in OOL:

    Chemistry by Chance: A Formula for Non-Life by Charles McCombs, Ph.D.
    Excerpt: The following eight obstacles in chemistry ensure that life by chance is untenable.
    1. The Problem of Unreactivity
    2. The Problem of Ionization
    3. The Problem of Mass Action
    4. The Problem of Reactivity
    5. The Problem of Selectivity
    6. The Problem of Solubility
    7. The Problem of Sugar
    8. The Problem of Chirality
    The chemical control needed for the formation of a specific sequence in a polymer chain is just not possible through random chance. The synthesis of proteins and DNA/RNA in the laboratory requires the chemist to control the reaction conditions, to thoroughly understand the reactivity and selectivity of each component, and to carefully control the order of addition of the components as the chain is building in size.
    http://www.icr.org/article/che.....-non-life/

    And even if you were granted all that, you would still face the insurmountable hurdle of finding the proper functional sequence:

    Stephen Meyer (and Doug Axe) Critique Richard Dawkins’s “Mount Improbable” Illustration – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rgainpMXa8

    Of related note: There is also the small problem that there is no evidence for a ‘prebiotic world’ as Evolve falsely imagines there to be

    Dr. Hugh Ross – Origin Of Life Paradox (No prebiotic chemical signatures)- video (40:10 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=UPvO2EkiLls#t=2410

    “We get that evidence from looking at carbon 12 to carbon 13 analysis. And it tells us that in Earth’s oldest (sedimentary) rock, which dates at 3.80 billion years ago, we find an abundance for the carbon signature of living systems. Namely, that life prefers carbon 12. And so if you see a higher ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 13 that means that carbon has been processed by life. And it is that kind of evidence that tells us that life has been abundant on earth as far back as 3.80 billion years ago (when water was first present on earth).,,, And that same carbon 12 to carbon 13 analysis tells us that planet earth, over it entire 4.5662 billion year history has never had prebiotics. Prebiotics would have a higher ratio of carbon 13 to carbon 12. All the carbonaceous material, we see in the entire geological record of the earth, has the signature of being post-biotic not pre-biotic. Which means planet earth never had a primordial soup. And the origin of life on earth took place in a geological instant” (as soon as it was possible for life to exist on earth).
    – Hugh Ross – quote as stated in preceding video

  18. 18
    Evolve says:

    johnny,

    ///I think you are unclear as to what life is. At minimum, life is self-replication. At some point in time it had to start replicating ///

    It is you who are all at sea here. You’ve no idea what you’re talking about.

    Lipid molecules can spontaneously assemble into bi-layer membrane vesicles. These vesicles can also grow and self-replicate – all without having any DNA-encoded information to guide the process.

    Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ5jh33OiOA

    It is entirely possible that the very first cells replicated in this fashion (dividing and distributing their contents among daughter vesicles) until RNA/DNA could evolve and establish the now-familiar replication process.

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    Evolve as to this claim of yours,

    ‘we’ve already replicated a mini version of the big bang’:

    actually no they did not. they simulated conditions a millionth of a second after the big bang,,, quote from your article

    ‘This way, they hope to learn more about the plasma the Universe was made of a millionth of a second after the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago.’

    as the old joke goes

    “get your own dirt’

    Get Your Own Dirt
    One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him. The scientist walked up to God and said, “God, we’ve decided that we no longer need you. We’re to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don’t you just go on and mind your own business?”
    God listened very patiently and kindly to the man. After the scientist was done talking, God said, “Very well, how about this? Let’s say we have a man-making contest.” To which the scientist replied, “Okay, we can handle that!”
    “But,” God added, “we’re going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam.”
    The scientist said, “Sure, no problem” and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.
    God looked at him and said, “No, no, no. You go get your own dirt.”
    Moral: It isn’t enough just to be able to explain the origin of life, if you cannot explain the raw materials and fine-tuned parameters of chemistry and physics. As Carl Sagan said in Cosmos, “To really make an apple pie from scratch, you must begin by inventing the universe.”

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    “It is ‘entirely possible’ that the very first cells replicated in this fashion,”

    So, as usual, you have no actual evidence that it actually is possible, just ‘wishful thinking and ‘just so story’ telling that it may be ‘possible’?

    Perhaps you would like to run your story by Dr. Tour?

    Dr. James Tour, who, in my honest opinion, currently builds the most sophisticated man-made molecular machines in the world, will buy lunch for anyone who can explain to him exactly how Darwinian evolution works:

    Top Ten Most Cited Chemist in the World Knows Darwinian Evolution Does Not Work – James Tour, Phd. – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Y5-VNg-S0s

    “I build molecules for a living, I can’t begin to tell you how difficult that job is. I stand in awe of God because of what he has done through his creation. Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.”
    James Tour – one of the leading nano-tech engineers in the world – Strobel, Lee (2000), The Case For Faith, p. 111

  21. 21
    ppolish says:

    “If you didn’t know, we’ve already replicated a mini version of the big bang:”

    Please be serious Evolve. The LHC did no such thing, even if an outdated article is headlined as so. Sheesh.

    What did the LHC actually discover? An impossibly fine tuned Higgs. Now we have a “Hierarchy Problem” to add to the growing body of Scientific evidence for “Unnaturalness”. Bummer.
    http://io9.com/did-the-higgs-b.....-512856167

  22. 22
    Mapou says:

    Evolve:

    That’s exactly what we would expect if life originated from a series of chance events involving several different molecules reacting under a multitude of changing conditions over hundreds of millions of years.

    This is not falsifiable. It’s voodoo pseudoscience, chicken feathers and all that. Which is to be expected because it comes straight from materialism, the one true mother religion.

  23. 23
    tjguy says:

    johnny,

    ///I think you are unclear as to what life is. At minimum, life is self-replication. At some point in time it had to start replicating ///

    It is you who are all at sea here. You’ve no idea what you’re talking about.

    Lipid molecules can spontaneously assemble into bi-layer membrane vesicles. These vesicles can also grow and self-replicate – all without having any DNA-encoded information to guide the process.

    Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ5jh33OiOA

    It is entirely possible that the very first cells replicated in this fashion (dividing and distributing their contents among daughter vesicles) until RNA/DNA could evolve and establish the now-familiar replication process.

    Give this guy a Nobel Prize!! He has solved the origin of life! At last.

    Amazing considering that just last summer at the Origin of Life conference in Kyoto they had 15 HUGE questions that they were considering tackling. But they only had time to talk about 7 of them.
    http://www.lifephys.dis.titech.ac.jp/oqol2014/?page_id=180

    As of July 2014, this was the situation of OoL research:

    The scientific question about the origin of life is still unanswered: it is still one of the great mystery that science is facing. We all accept the 1924 idea of Oparin, according to which life originated from the inanimate matter through a long series of step of increasing molecular complexity and functionality. The real mile stone came 1953 with Stanley Miller flask experiments, showing that amino acids can be formed under prebiotic conditions from a mixture of gas presumably present in the prebiotic atmosphere. Which conceptual progress have we made since then? It is too much to say that we didn’t really make any, if we look at data under really and honest prebiotic conditions?

    Adding that this situation is not due to shortage of means and finances in the field- but to a real lack of difficulty to conceive conceptually how this nonliving-living passage really took place?

    I guess they made some amazing progress over the past 9 months, eh Evolve?

    Funny, we never heard about that in the news!

  24. 24
    harry says:

    To plausibly explain how significant functional complexity might arise accidentally, one must first know at least one way to bring about the same functionality intentionally. Only then can one begin to consider how mindless natural forces might combine to produce the same result. If you don’t know how to build an instance of a self-replicating unit on purpose, you won’t ever be able to explain how one might come about accidentally.

    So, what origin of life researchers must first do, is, in a lifeless natural environment using only the available material, build a unit that can self-replicate. The descendants of that unit, using only the resources provided by the natural environment, must be able to sustain the replication. Once science understands how to build such a first unit, they can begin to consider how that might happen accidentally.

    Good luck!

  25. 25
    Zachriel says:

    harry: So, what origin of life researchers must first do, is, in a lifeless natural environment using only the available material, build a unit that can self-replicate.

    Robertson & Joyce, Highly Efficient Self-Replicating RNA Enzymes, Chemistry & Biology 2014.

  26. 26
    drc466 says:

    What no one talks about is the trade secret of “Origin of Life” research – none of the researchers are actually researching the “Origin of Life”, they are all researching the “Origin of the Chemical Combinations that are Part of the Makeup of Living Things” (aka “building blocks”). In 60 years, they’ve gotten from 3 amino acids to 20. Great – at this rate, we’ll actually get to the “Origin of Life” in about 1000 years.

    Here’s what a true “Origin of Life” research project would look like:
    Starting Product: Non-living “organics”
    End Product: Living organism

    Instead, what researchers are doing is:
    Starting Product: Non-living chemicals
    End Product: Different non-living chemicals

    Think about it – if I told you I was researching the “Naturalistic Origin of the Car”, and my project was How to Naturalistically Turn Iron Ore into Smelted Iron, is what I’m doing really “car” research? If I’m trying to reverse-engineer a computer virus, do I really start down at the machine-code level trying to figure out how to get from ADD and STORE to “add two numbers and put them in the data segment”, and call that computer virus research?

    This of course leaves the question: why so much time spent on amino acids, or even self-replicating enzymes, when what they are trying to do is get from non-living cell components to living cell? why not “poke a hole in a cell wall, let the guts out, and then re-assemble”?

    Everyone knows the answer.

  27. 27
    harry says:

    zachriel @25

    And did they assess the odds of a natural environment occurring that would allow for that instance of “Self-Replicating RNA Enzymes,” or was it something that could only occur in an intelligently designed environment like a laboratory? Not that a natural environment can’t be effectively simulated in a laboratory, but what was their evidence that that was the case when this replication occurred? Or were they even claiming they had simulated a naturally occurring environment?

  28. 28
    Zachriel says:

    harry: And did they assess the odds of a natural environment occurring that would allow for that instance of “Self-Replicating RNA Enzymes,” or was it something that could only occur in an intelligently designed environment like a laboratory?

    The experiment was highly contrived. No one has a complete theory able to link plausible prebiotic conditions with abiogenesis. However, Robertson & Joyce is proof of principle. RNA can self-replicate.

  29. 29
    harry says:

    Zachriel @28

    The experiment was highly contrived

    Right. Life itself was “highly contrived.” It couldn’t come about any other way. ;o)

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