Intelligent Design Origin Of Life Viruses

Otangelo Grasso has a new book out — Origin of life and the virus world

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The subtitle is “By means of an intelligent designer”

On the Origin of Life and Virus world by means of an Intelligent Designer: The Cell factory maker, Paley's watchmaker argument 2.0 por [Otangelo Grasso]

Readers may recall Grasso from many venues, including an item we published here, “Otangelo Grasso on the difficulties of reasoning with atheists,” which has attracted 121 comments so far.

About Origin of life and the virus world, he writes to tell us,

This book is about one of the deepest unsolved mysteries: The immensely difficult puzzle of the origin of life. Watson and Crick discovered the DNA molecule in the early fifties, and Miller & Urey performed their chemical experiments in 1953, which started the modern era of investigation of the origin of life. Huge sums of money were spent, and incalculable man-hours were invested to solve the mystery of life’s origin, but it did not bring clear answers to the trajectory from non-life to life by unguided natural means.

Investigators have come up with numerous hypotheses, but are even in the dark about having an idea about the trajectory, or a clear model. In popular media, the impression is being nourished, that solving the problem of the origin of life is just a matter of time. “Science is working on it” — so they say. Truth is, there is widespread ignorance and lack of knowledge in regards to the size of the problem — not acknowledged beyond the narrow circle of specialists.

Otangelo Grasso’s work is the result of many years of investigations into biochemistry, and the origin of life. We can now advance Paley’s Watchmaker argument, to the factory maker argument:

Cells have a codified description of themselves in digital form stored in genes and have the machinery to transform that blueprint through information transfer from genotype to phenotype, into an identical representation in analog 3D form, the physical ‘reality’ of that description.

The cause leading to a machine’s and factory’s functionality has only been found in the mind of the engineer and nowhere else.

This book is divided into the following main sections: Cells are chemical factories (Chapter 1), Setting up a framework to investigate the Origin of Life (The Methods [2, 3]) The prebiotic origin of the four building blocks of life (The Materials [4-7]) the origin of biological information storage, transmission, and systems of expression (8) the origin of the Virus world (9), and some notes on why Intelligent Design is the most plausible explanation for the Origin of Life and Viruses (10).

Again, the book is here.

Good thing someone is including the virus world in the discussion.

If readers wish to respond, maybe Otangelo will offer comments below. Some of us would like to know more of his views on the virus world, often avoided in these contexts.

28 Replies to “Otangelo Grasso has a new book out — Origin of life and the virus world

  1. 1
    martin_r says:

    Good thing someone is including the virus world in the discussion.

    touche …

    Viruses – the most abundant biologic entity on this planet and NO DARWINIST can explain their origin. Darwinian theory of evolution can’t explain the origin of viruses, the concept of universal common ancestor does not work with viruses, because viruses are completely “different system” – not made of cell.

    Basically, the existence of viruses is way bigger problem for Darwinists, than the origin of life question. Because, viruses are polyphyletic, that means, thousands of virus species are unique, and have MANY origins.

    So yes, i am glad that someone finally came up with this topic.

  2. 2
    martin_r says:

    Good thing someone is including the virus world in the discussion.

    from a mainstream blog Virology.ws (the author is a virologist)

    Viruses are polyphyletic
    In a phylogenetic tree, the characteristics of members of taxa are inherited from previous ancestors. Viruses cannot be included in the tree of life because they do not share characteristics with cells, and no single gene is shared by all viruses or viral lineages. While cellular life has a single, common origin, viruses are polyphyletic – they have many evolutionary origins.

    Viruses don’t have a structure derived from a common ancestor
    Cells obtain membranes from other cells during cell division. According to this concept of ‘membrane heredity’, today’s cells have inherited membranes from the first cells that evolved, and provides evidence that cells are derived from a common ancestor. Viruses have no such inherited structure.

    There are no ancestral viral lineages
    No single gene has been identified that is shared by all viruses. There are common protein motifs in viral capsids, but these have likely come about through convergent evolution or horizontal gene transfer.

  3. 3
    Otangelo says:

    If you want to read more about Viruses, I will go into it deeper in my follow-up book, but usually, what you will find in my book, is preceded by what I post and publicize at my virtual library.
    The bacteriophage T4 and Giant Phages are a true treasure trove when it comes to Intelligent Design.

    The amazing design of the T4 bacteriophage and its DNA packaging motor
    https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2134-the-amazing-design-of-bacteriophage-viruses-and-its-dna-packaging-motor

    Giant Viruses Called ‘Jumbo Phages’
    https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t3256-giant-viruses-called-jumbo-phages

    The origin of viruses is another mystery besides the origin of life
    https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1433-viruses-another-mistery-of-origin-of-life-scenarios

  4. 4
    martin_r says:

    i was curious what is the current status of the origin of life research.

    I googled Nobel laurate Jack Szostak’s interview from 2021 (University of Chicago)

    I was amazed. This guy is unbelievable …
    I double checked, Szostak was in the OoL-research since 1990 (30+ years!!! )

    Today, he is repeating the same things about RNA world like 30 years ago …
    Self-replicating RNA molecule …. Self-replicating RNA molecule ….Self-replicating RNA molecule ….Self-replicating RNA molecule …. he keeps repeating it over and over again.

    But after 30 years of research, he doesn’t have any RNA molecule which can self-replicate !!!!

    Such an embarrassment …

    In that 2021 interview, look what he is saying:

    But I will say, over the last 10 years, I’m edging closer to the idea that it might not be that hard to go from chemistry to life ….

    it might be not that hard ? :)))))))) This guy failed big way, but he still thinks it might be not that hard ? :))))))))
    This is unbelievable!!!

    PS: this guy was repeating the same things about RNA world for 30 years… after 30 years, no results. Zero. I don’t understand, how someone can still fund this guy (not the research, but this particular scientist). He obviously failed big way (of course, every scientist will fail) but i just don’t understand how someone can spend more money on this guy.

    The full interview
    https://news.uchicago.edu/big-brains-podcast-unraveling-mystery-lifes-origins-earth

  5. 5
    martin_r says:

    i was curious what is the current status of the origin of life research.

    this guy should be ashamed too …

    Lee Cronin and his 2011 TED talk … these guys are so self-confident…but i can’t understand why ????

    Lee Cronin: Life in lab in 2 years

    Here is the short TED talk video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxm1CHyw8NU

    :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

  6. 6
    Otangelo says:

    Martin
    i write about Szostak’s failed prediction in 2014 in my book.

    3 June 2014 Jack Szostak: “Life in Lab” In 3 – 5 Years
    Harvard biologist and Nobel laureate Jack Szostak told a “Search for Life” gathering of 50 on Saturday afternoon in New York that he expected to make “life in the lab” in three to five years. And more likely within three years.
    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1406/S00007/jack-szostak-life-in-lab-in-3-5-years.htm

    In the JULY-AUGUST 2019 Harvard magazine edition, featured an article on “How Life Began Jack Szostak’s pursuit of the biggest questions on Earth”. At the end of the article: “When Crick and Watson sat down and started making cardboard models of the structure of DNA, they had no idea that it would spawn an industry worth billions of dollars 70 years later,” John Sutherland notes. Szostak remains committed to chipping away at those big, challenging questions, continuing the work of decades. “I do hope to be able to build an evolving cellular system before I retire,” he says. He’s optimistic about his chances. “I think we’re getting there. There are a few more hard problems, and then I think everything will hopefully be solved in a couple of years.”
    https://news.uchicago.edu/big-brains-podcast-unraveling-mystery-lifes-origins-earth

    The irony is pretty self-evident… LOL

  7. 7
    relatd says:

    “Intelligent designer” !!! Right on the cover! This could get into schools !!! Kids might be taught an Intelligent designer made them – as opposed to nothing.

  8. 8
    Seversky says:

    Grasso describes himself as a machine designer – so, engineer? Why am I not surprised?

    Yes, the origins of viruses like the origins of life is a tough nut to crack. If it did happen through natural processes it probably took hundreds of millions of years at least. So not coming up with a solution in 30 years is not exactly a failure.

    Maybe engineers can do better.

    After all it was engineers who discovered the existence of bacteria and viruses and discovered DNA and genomes, wasn’t it? Oh, wait …

  9. 9
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 6,

    So, just raise the magic curtain, wait millions of years and poof – viruses. You have zero evidence for that. And I’m buying hundreds of copies of his book and giving them to schools 🙂

  10. 10
    Seversky says:

    Relatd/5

    Kids might be taught an Intelligent designer made them – as opposed to nothing

    If most kids belong to a church – as I guess most of them do – then they are already being taught an intelligent designer made them, so what’s the problem?

  11. 11
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 8,

    The problem? The current public school system in the U.S. is run on Marxist-Atheist principles. So, all of those ID book ‘reviewers’ care about is ID getting into public schools. That would be a disaster – for them. That would take away the “life just appears – by magic – on any planet with water and the “building blocks of life” – amino acids. There is zero evidence that this is true.

  12. 12
    Seversky says:

    Relatd/7

    So, just raise the magic curtain, wait millions of years and poof – viruses. You have zero evidence for that.

    I thought that’s what I just said, more or less.

    If you have better evidence for a magic designer that just poofed them into existence then bring it on.

    And I’m buying hundreds of copies of his book and giving them to schools

    That could be a useful teaching resource.

  13. 13
    Seversky says:

    Relatd/9

    The problem? The current public school system in the U.S. is run on Marxist-Atheist principles.

    No, it’s not. But even if it were, so what? Aren’t you teaching your kids your version of the origins story in church?

  14. 14
    whistler says:

    If it did happen through natural processes it probably took hundreds of millions of years at least.

    Nonsense. If it did happen through natural processes it probably took between 12 minutes and 24 hour for simplest life form “to invent” the reproductive system before dying forever. 🙂 Atheists need the Mother of all miracles for their theory to work. Unfortunately for them miracles are performed only by God.

  15. 15
    martin_r says:

    Seversky

    So not coming up with a solution in 30 years is not exactly a failure.

    Just to clarify …
    30 years are gone and Szostak does not even have a proper self-replicating molecule, let alone life :)))))
    If this is not a failure, then i don’t know ….

  16. 16
    relatd says:

    All of the following contain living things that just happened to appear – by chance…

    https://www.nbcnews.com/slideshow/nikon-photo-contest-reveals-fantastic-microscopic-world-surrounds-us-n1299748

  17. 17
    Seversky says:

    Whistler/12

    Atheists need the Mother of all miracles for their theory to work. Unfortunately for them miracles are performed only by God.

    … which is just another way of saying you have no more idea how it was done than we do.

  18. 18
    Seversky says:

    Relatd/14

    All of the following contain living things that just happened to appear – by chance…

    We don’t know how life, the Universe and everything originated.

    We have some idea about how life changed over time to lead to what we see now.

    Who knows what we’ll know a thousand years from now?

  19. 19
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 16,

    Yeah, a thousand years from now, all reading will be dead. In the meantime, kids are being taught they came from nowhere. From dead chemicals. As opposed to an Intelligent designer.

  20. 20
    relatd says:

    That reminds me. I just got a box of Primordial Soup. Too salty. I don’t recommend it.

    There’s a warning on the box. “Do not use during thunderstorms.”

  21. 21
    Seversky says:

    Relatd/18

    Yeah, a thousand years from now, all reading will be dead. In the meantime, kids are being taught they came from nowhere. From dead chemicals. As opposed to an Intelligent designer.

    I would hope and assume they’re just teaching what we know about how life has changed over time and not teaching anything about origins other than that the scientific position is that we don’t know.

    What should make you happy is the survey of high school biology teachers back in 2017, I think, which found that around 13% were actively teaching creationism, even though it’s both unconstitutional and a clear breach of their ethical and contractual obligations.

  22. 22
    AaronS1978 says:

    I’m actually relatively fascinated with the origin of viruses and the virus world. There are a lot of fascinating things there, like medusa viruses, even HIV. I personally don’t think viruses were the product of a chemical vat or sulfur vents, I lean towards their origin stemming from the the early stages of cellular life

    I would really like to hear what other people think and actually get more details on this topic

  23. 23
    Querius says:

    AaronS1978 @20,
    Here are some more details.

    Apparently some viruses, called endogenous retroviruses, can be beneficial. The genetic code from these viruses that insert themselves into their host DNA can be edited by means of a process called transposition. The result is a sort of “hijacking the hijacker” when cells rewrite their own code.

    All very fascinating!

    -Q

  24. 24
    AaronS1978 says:

    @querius
    This might be me being a lay person as I’ve not done micro biology in 20 years, but don’t certain cells deploy crispr to self edit to better combat viruses

  25. 25
    martin_r says:

    AaronS1978

    I’m actually relatively fascinated with the origin of viruses and the virus world. There are a lot of fascinating things there, like medusa viruses, even HIV. I personally don’t think viruses were the product of a chemical vat or sulfur vents, I lean towards their origin stemming from the the early stages of cellular life

    I would really like to hear what other people think and actually get more details on this topic

    Obviously, viruses work as population regulators, were designed for this purpose.

  26. 26
    martin_r says:

    Seversky @6

    Grasso describes himself as a machine designer – so, engineer? Why am I not surprised?

    Seversky, through the years, i have asked you like thousands times, what is your occupation/education ? You never answer. Never.

    As to Grasso engineer, and WHO ELSE SHOULD TALK ABOUT DESIGN ?
    WHO IS MORE QUALIFIED ?

    a biologist ? or a paleontologist ? or you ?

  27. 27
    Querius says:

    AaronS1978 @24,

    Our immune system is horrifically complex. I don’t know how it works to combat new viruses:
    https://www.ivis.org/library/concise-review-of-veterinary-virology/host-defenses-to-viruses

    CRISPR is a family of DNA sequences found in the genomes of prokaryotic organisms such as bacteria and archaea. These sequences are derived from DNA fragments of bacteriophages that had previously infected the prokaryote. They are used to detect and destroy DNA from similar bacteriophages during subsequent infections.

    Great, but I have no idea how CRISPR does this. I’d imagine it’s not by accident, though.

    -Q

  28. 28
    Querius says:

    Martin_r @26,

    Great question. I’d say electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, medical doctors, organic chemists, physical chemists, and synthetic chemists would top the list.

    -Q

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