Intelligent Design

Origin Stories – RNA, DNA and a Dose of Imagination

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Thanks to News for plugging our new book here:

Excerpt from new ID book: Evolution and Intelligent Design in a Nutshell

Couple of follow-up items worth checking out, for those interested in the origin of life.

How much progress are we really making in abiogenesis research?

From Evolution News:

Origin Stories — RNA, DNA, and a Dose of Imagination

From ID the Future podcast:

New ID Book Puts “Self-Replicating Molecules” Under the Microscope

(Apologies for the audio quality in the latter; I think the second episode, hopefully coming out next week, will be slightly better.)

10 Replies to “Origin Stories – RNA, DNA and a Dose of Imagination

  1. 1
    john_a_designer says:

    A few years ago here at UD one of our regular interlocutors who was arguing with me about the ID explanation for origin of life pointed out:

    the inference from that evidence to intelligence being involved is really indirect. You don’t have any other evidence for the existence of an intelligence during the times it would need to be around.

    I responded,

    “We have absolutely no evidence as to how first self-replicating living cell originated abiogenetically (from non-life). So following your arbitrarily made-up standard that’s not a logical possibility, so we shouldn’t even consider it.

    As the saying goes, ‘sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.’”

    When you argue that life originated by some “mindless natural process,” that is not an explanation how. Life is not presently coming into existence abiogenetically, so if such process existed in the past it no longer exists in the present. Therefore you are committing the same error which you accuse ID’ists of committing. That’s a double standard, is it not?

    This kind of reasoning on your part also reveals that you don’t really have any strong arguments based on reason, logic and the evidence. If you do, why are you holding back?

  2. 2
    jawa says:

    Eric Anderson,

    Very interesting and timely topic.

    However, it seems like Dr Cronin and Dr Szostak are about to make the ultimate breakthrough discovery and show us how life could have originated, somehow, somewhere, sometime.
    The only problem is that they’ll have to share the coveted Evo2.0 OOL $10M prize.

  3. 3
    AaronS1978 says:

    Here’s the article he mentions let’s give this a discussion

  4. 4
  5. 5
    jawa says:

    Within the DNA we see at least 3 coding sequences:
    1. Sequences that transcribe to pre-mRNA
    2. Sequences that transcribe to ncRNA
    3. Sequences that serve as landing pads for TF-binding sites associated with promoter and enhancer regions.
    Around the DNA we have at least the epigenetic markers, histone code, chromatin structure.

    It seems like the article deals with the hardware components but not with the software code.
    The hardware of a computer doesn’t do much without the software.

  6. 6
    Eric Anderson says:

    Thanks, Jawa. It isn’t really even the hardware. At best the RNA and DNA building blocks are components of the hardware (still un-assembled into anything functional). Probably even better to view the building blocks as raw materials that still need to be worked into components. After all, the RNA and DNA building blocks aren’t even activated nucleotides yet.

    Then, yes, we need the software.

    Then we need other systems and components to access, interpret and act on the software.

    My self-driving car analogy in the article may sound a little harsh, but it is actually pretty indicative of how far we have(n’t) come with abiogenesis research.

  7. 7
    jawa says:

    Eric Anderson,

    Yes, agree that they are talking about getting a couple of unassembled components of the whole thing.

    The self-driving car analogy is very illustrative in this case.

  8. 8
    jawa says:

    “Having studied the origin of life at length and being aware of the many and acute problems with abiogenesis theories, it struck me as more than a little irresponsible for someone wearing the title of “Professor for the Public Understanding of Science” to claim in a public venue to tens of thousands of listeners that we have a pretty good idea how life started.”

    “more than a little irresponsible”?

    It’s beyond upsetting or disturbing. I’d rather call it deeply depressing.

    The main problem with drugs is not fighting the illegal cartels but helping the potential consumers to stay away from that destructive lifestyle.

    Regarding the public understanding of science, the main problem seems to be how to present current scientific knowledge in a manner that is interesting and easy to understand for a general audience.

    Eric’s self driving car analogy is a good example of ways to present ideas in layman’s terms.

  9. 9
    jawa says:

    Aren’t there any objectors to Eric’s bold arguments in the OP?

    Where are the loud objectors?

    Did they run for the hills?


  10. 10

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