I know this is old news by now (I was teaching an ID-intensive last week at Southern Evangelical Seminary, so I’m only now getting caught up), but the following paragraphs in ScienceNews struck me:
RNA molecules are formed from three components: a sugar, a base and a phosphate group. In past research, chemists developed each of the components and then tried to put them together to make the complete molecule. “But the components are quite stable, and so they wouldn’t stick together,” Sutherland says. “After 40 years of trying, we decided there had to be a better way of doing this reaction.”
The team took a different approach, starting with a common precursor molecule that had a bit of the sugar and the base. “Basically, we took half a base, added that to half a sugar, added the other piece of base, and so on,” Sutherland says. “The key turned out to be the order that the ingredients are added and the way you put them together — like making a soufflé.”
Another difference is that Sutherland and his team added the phosphate to the mix earlier than in past experiments. Having the phosphate around so early helped the later stages of the reaction happen more quickly and efficiently, the scientists say.
The starting materials and the conditions of the reaction are consistent with models of the geochemistry of an early Earth, the team says.
“But while this is a step forward, it’s not the whole picture,” Ferris points out. “It’s not as simple as putting compounds in a beaker and mixing it up. It’s a series of steps. You still have to stop and purify and then do the next step, and that probably didn’t happen in the ancient world.”
SOURCE: click here
Excuse me? Doing the chemical reactions in precise sequence and purifying the products at each step hardly seems like recreating realistic prebiotic conditions. In fact, it almost sounds like, dare I say it, intelligent design.