Darwinism Intelligent Design Origin Of Life

Origin of life: Wanting to move on but sticking with Darwinian mechanisms?

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Also, who predicted in 2014 that life would be created in the lab in three years? In five years? Origin of life is thought to be a “low” or “very low” probability event, according to two recent articles (in Life and Nature).*

Suzan Mazur reports at Oscillations on an upcoming conference at McMaster University in Canada and wonders if the goals might be changing in origin of life research — but that’s not certain:

The first conference, opening June 24 at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, is being called “Science of Early Life.” Why the downgrade from origin(s) to early life? Does it signal that the caravan has already moved on?

What would Harry say about the Canadian event being framed as “Early Life”? Lonsdale considered his role in the origin(s) investigation “the second biggest thrill” of his life. With Lonsdale’s death in 2014, the investigation may indeed have lost its most enthusiastic supporter.

The keynote speaker is NASA astrobiologist Lynn Rothschild,

LJ Rothschild is also a biology professor at Boston University as well as at UC-Santa Cruz, and co-founding editor of the journal Astrobiology. Rothschild has recently said on one of NASA’s online sites: “Charles Darwin always inspires me.” Will Rothschild stick to the Darwinian script in her upcoming McMaster talk: “Towards a universal biology”?

Paul Higgs - 2
Paul Higgs, Ralph Pudritz, Maikel Rheinstadter (l to r) at McMaster’s Origins Institute

It is disappointing to see a reference to Darwinian evolution in the promo for the Munich event: “How can Darwinian evolution emerge?” Disappointing because Dieter Braun told me months ago in our HuffPost interview: “We’re getting a good corps of people now who are reshaping the field in a completely new way.”

I assumed from the HP conversation that meant letting go of Darwinian natural selection. More.

ID theorists think that the origin of life depends on understanding how very complex, interacting levels of information are created. It’s not clear that natural selection creates much information. It’s there but it’s not the answer.

The situation seems rather more like this: OOL researchers assume that natural selection creates such high levels of information because no other explanation seems likely or palatable. But one could say the same for phlogiston and the ether. Default explanations of that sort have a tendency, over time, to circumscribe enquiry. Inquiry tends to revolve around defending and enriching the explanation.

Well, there are and will be other conferences. But guess who predicted in 2014 “‘life in lab’” in three years” And who predicted it in “five” years? Go here (Mazur’s article) and scroll down a bit to find out…

See: Chemist Harry Lonsdale and the secret of life

* Note: Some argue otherwise, saying that life’s origin is inevitable. These include well-known figures such as Jeremy England and Christian de Duve (1917–2013). See: Does nature just “naturally” produce life?

See also: Suzan Mazur on mechanobiology, the next level of understanding of the cell

Molecular biologist: Speculation re the last universal common ancestor is not helping science


The Science Fictions series at your fingertips – origin of life What we do and don’t know about the origin of life.

3 Replies to “Origin of life: Wanting to move on but sticking with Darwinian mechanisms?

  1. 1
    aarceng says:

    That “life will be produced in the laboratory within the next 2/5/20 years” must be true. They’ve been saying it for the last 50 years.

  2. 2

    “How can Darwinian evolution emerge?”

    The better question is “will we give in?”

    When our skills and technology have increased, and the time is arrived, will we give in and add the symbol system, or will we hold steadfast and grow it instead?


  3. 3
    Elshamah says:

    The possible mechanisms to explain the origin of life


    Natural selection is not a possible mechanism to explain the origin of life, since evolution depends on DNA replication

    When we consider how life might have arisen from nonliving matter, we must take into account the properties of the young Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and climate, all of which were very different than they are today. Biologists postulate that complex biological molecules first arose through the random physical association of chemicals in that environment.
    LIFE The Science of Biology, TENTH EDITION, page 3

    Neither Evolution nor physical necessity are a driving force prior dna replication. The only two alternatives are either a) creation by an intelligent agency, or b) Random, unguided, undirected natural events by a lucky “accident”.

    Koonin, the logic of chance, page 266
    Evolution by natural selection and drift can begin only after replication with sufficient fidelity is established. Even at that stage, the evolution of translation remains highly problematic. The emergence of the first replicator system, which represented the “Darwinian breakthrough,” was inevitably preceded by a succession of complex, difficult steps for which biological evolutionary mechanisms were not accessible . The synthesis of nucleotides and (at least) moderate-sized polynucleotides could not have evolved biologically and must have emerged abiogenically—that is, effectively by chance abetted by chemical selection, such as the preferential survival of stable RNA species. Translation is thought to have evolved later via an ad hoc selective process. Did you read this ???!! An ad-hoc process ??

    Without code there can be no self-replication. Without self-replication, you can’t have reproduction. Without reproduction, you can’t have evolution or natural selection.

    Heredity is guaranteed by faithful DNA replication whereas evolution depends upon errors accompanying DNA replication. ( Furusawa, 1998 ) We hypothesize that the origin of life, that is, the origin of the first cell, cannot be explained by natural selection among self-replicating molecules, as is done by the RNA-world hypothesis. ( Vaneechoutte M )

    Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2000;901:139-47.
    The scientific origin of life. Considerations on the evolution of information, leading to an alternative proposal for explaining the origin of the cell, a semantically closed system
    We hypothesize that the origin of life, that is, the origin of the first cell, cannot be explained by natural selection among self-replicating molecules, as is done by the RNA-world hypothesis.
    The hypothesis espoused here states that it is virtually impossible that the highly complicated system cell developed gradually around simple self-replicating molecules (RNA-hypercycles or autocatalytic peptide networks) by means of natural selection; as is proposed by, for example, the RNA-world hypothesis. Despite searching quadrillions of molecules, it is clear that a spontaneous RNAreplicator is unlikely to occur. Reports of nucleotide and peptide self-replication still depend upon human intervention (for instance, by changing the environmental conditions between two rounds of replication or by denaturing the double strands). The problem of denaturing the double-nucleotide strand in a nonenzymatic manner has been overlooked and has contributed to a failure to establish molecular self-replication. The first cell, life, was born and natural selection (selection among variations on the theme of autonomous duplication) commenced.

    Natural selection requires pre-existing life.

    Chance and necessity do not explain the origin of life
    Selection pressure cannot select nucleotides at the digital programming level where primary structures form. Genomes predetermine the phenotypes which natural selection only secondarily favors. Contentions that o?er nothing more than long periods of time o?er no mechanism of explanation for the derivation of genetic programming. No new informationis provided by such tautologies. The argument simply says it happened. As such, it is nothing more than blind belief. Science must provide rational theoretical mechanism, empirical support, prediction ful?llment, or some combination of these three. If none of these three are available, science should reconsider that molecular evolution of genetic cybernetics is a proven fact and press forward with new research approaches which are not obvious at this time. 5

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