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Rob Sheldon on life from the lab: “Information first” is essential

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A propos an interesting recent article by George T. Javor at Geosciences Research Institute on why the century (and more)-old dream of synthesizing life in the lab hasn’t yielded the confidently hoped for results, experimental physicist Rob Sheldon writes to say,

All these people are talking about “chemistry-first” OOL, where you put non-living chemicals in a jar and shake them and out pops life.

I think what ID is showing is that you must do “information first” OOL. It isn’t the chemicals, it’s the information that comes first.

No, this means it can never be random, just as OOL in the lab is not random. But that doesn’t mean that info-first cannot produce OOL. I’ve written a paper on the info-first OOL problem.

It would be nice if it got included in the list of OOL mechanisms.

Rob Sheldon is the author of Genesis: The Long Ascent and The Long Ascent, Volume II .

You may also wish to read: Why isn’t life being synthesized in a laboratory? Synthesis of life in a laboratory is intelligent design. But using intelligent design only means we’ve left the world of fantasy (“it all just sort of happened a long time ago… ”). Here’s an example of a typical real problem: Living cells cannot reach equilibrium because their metabolisms would stop. They must dance till the music stops.

Maybe information is indeed needed first, but by itself, information does nothing. It needs to be fed into or associated with some sort of process to produce results, and the process must be able to interpret or decode the information. Thus the information and process must occur together to yield any good result. Fasteddious
The last part of the process is what matters, not the first. Taking the martini implication: The ideal drink is judged by the drinker. The bartender can't know the correct proportion of vermouth until he has heard "discerning" drinkers judge his repeated tries. Without a discerning EDITOR or CRITIC at the end of the OOL shaking, there's no possible way for each stage of proto-life to have an advantage over the billions of non-living outputs. The most important line in Genesis is "And God saw that it was good." polistra

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