60 years ago origin of life (OOL) researches practically wet themselves with excitement over Miller-Urey. Now everyone knows Miller-Urey, while perhaps mildly interesting, had nothing to do with OOL, because the early earth’s atmosphere was weakly reducing and the M-U reaction simply does not occur in such an atmosphere.
No worries. We get this from a new Proceedings of the National Academy of Science paper:
As to the sources of nucleobases, early Earth’s atmosphere was likely dominated by CO2, N2, SO2, and H2O. In such a weakly reducing atmosphere, Miller–Urey-type reactions are not very efficient at producing organics. One solution is that the nucleobases were delivered by interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) and meteorites.
This is amusing. You can’t get nucleobases from known natural sources? Just invoke space particles and meteorites. This is just one step removed from “little green men did it.”
47 Replies to “Sweeping the Origin of Life Under the Rug”
really really small little green men. cyanobacteria.
Origin Of Life MUST have come from something other than “God did it”, no matter how ridiculous the proposed alternatives are. Even if God does claim to have done it, using language to tell us so (even though we have no explanation for the Origin Of Language either). And so what if He did do it a second time on Easter Sunday. Just ignore all those claiming to have witnessed that second Origin Of Life event and their fake good news! Who needs eternal life any how, when life is so easily obtained from IDPs and meteorites.
That’s an interesting quote and proves what exactly?
The premise of the M/U experiment was to produce a possible ancient earth environment and see if organic chemicals could be produced by existing physical forces.
Later experiments added to Miller’s original heat, and electric discharge, by introducing bursts of steam,and ultra violet light, and different theorized atmospheric gasses.
These tests, and the rechecking of the original 1950s experiment produce over 20 amino acids.
It is theorised (based on knowledge we have of existing very primitive species), that the last universal common ancestor (LUA), didn’t need all of these to synthisize the first replicating molecules.
Once again, an article about how ID simply can’t see how this could be accomplished in nature.
Perhaps a little less negativity, and a little more experimentation.
RVB8, the sort of reducing suggested atmosphere used by Miller and Urey has not been credible for decades. Go to a more “realistic” model and the reactions collapse; that is the point of the OP, which then notes on how its force is evaded by appealing to a just so story on space dust. That’s why it is one of the classic misleading textbook and pop sci icons of evolutionary materialism rather than part of the citation for winning a nobel prize for successfully explaining OOL on evolutionary materialism. (Which is itself revealing, and nope Prigogine was not even close, as he acknowledged.) Besides, there is a huge issue on sustaining products and/or [lack of] molar concentration, there is another on the handedness (chirality) of life molecules, and on the gap between bricks and a self-replicating house — you need FSCO/I rich plans and since von Neumann 1948 we have had a very good idea of what a kinematic self-replicator requires. Suffice to note, we have yet to build such a vNSR seventy years later, never mind, doing that with molecular nanotech. And more. The OOL challenge chops out the root of the darwinist tree of life type model and it puts design at the table right from the start. If, people are willing to listen to the force of evidence provided by empirically well-warranted signs of design. In short, please open your mind to the actual weight of evidence. KF
Also, as the article you link plainly states cosmic dust, asteroids, and comets are known as a rich source of organic molecules, and amino acids. But even with out this well understood supply of organic molecules, the article doesn’t say the RNA molecules couldn’t synthsize in an old earth environment.
This is not science fiction, as Barry appears to allude to. It is a well known scientific fact that these organic molecules are hurtling through space, again produced by other perfectly well understood natural forces.
A question Barry. Why the link, the article in no way supports your… what exactly are you suggesting? That these crackpot evolutionists think aliens did it? Isn’t that an ID position for a possible designer?
UD: Why don’t you read the article rvb8? The authors write: “nucleobases have not been identified in IDPs”
read the article Barry linked.
UD: Why don’t you? The authors write: “nucleobases have not been identified in IDPs”
rvb8- You and yours don’t have any explanation for the origin of life. You can have all of the molecules you want and it won’t get you a living organism. Heck you and yours can’t even get a replicating molecule without direct human intervention.
Rvb8 – What organic molecules in space ? Why if organic molecule can exist in space were none found on the moon ?
They say these molecules exist in space because they find organic molecules on meteorites but meteorites have to pass through the organic laden atmosphere then crash land into organic laden earth , hence organic molecules on meteorites. Just as there is no crying in baseball there are not organic molecules in space.
I am sure you know that life is not just about chemistry. Living organisms are non-homogeneous self-reproducing autonomous decision making systems. To reproduce, life needs a semantically closed organization enabling information translation. M-U experiment is totally irrelevant to this. M-U has nothing to do with the organization of symbolic constraints on the motion of matter in the system.
Not even wrong.
–Origin Of Life MUST have come from something other than “God did it”,–
Rejecting a possibility — solely on the basis of personal aesthetics at that — before you start the investigation is bad science.
That one made my day! Especially, I liked the acronym IDP. If the dust is interplanetary, everyone surely must believe the authors…
> and since von Neumann 1948 we have had a very good idea of what a kinematic self-replicator requires.
And studiously ignored it.
Again, it’s unclear why we should conclude some aspects of the world are inexplicable, let along that the origin of life is just one such aspect.
Of course, it is clear why *you* would expect it to remain inexplicable. Explicable things are just merely unseen processes. If the OOL was explicable, then God couldn’t have done it. And you know God did it because it has been revealed to you by some supernatural source of knowledge.
IOW, your assumption that it is inexplicable is based on the idea that knowledge comes from authoritative sources, which is in and of itself, and inexplicable process. As such, it’s a bad explanation for the growth of knowledge.
You now say you read the article. Yet, you show know comprehension of the following from the authors: “nucleobases have not been identified in IDPs.”
if we live in a bubble of explicability that is surrounded by a sea of inexplicability, the best explanation for anything we could have in that sea is “Zeus rules” there. However, since everting inside that bubble supposedly depends on that sea, then the best explantion for anything here inside our bubble is also “Zeus rules” here, as well.
IOW, the inside of this bubble would only appear explicable if we avoided specific questions. And we’re sweeping things under the rug?
It’s unclear to whom you are responding. But, in general, when an ID-er says ‘OOL is inexplicable’, she means to say that neither necessity (natural law) nor chance can explain it. IOWs it is inexplicable under materialistic assumptions.
However an ID-er holds that there is a third category of causation: intelligent design
Didn’t you know that already? …
Why yes you are. Didn’t you read the post? Materialists are increasingly coming to understand that OOL on materialist premises is utterly hopeless. So they are resorting to disguised “little green men” theories.
I understand this does not bother you, because your faith is extremely strong. But the post was aimed at people who value evidence and logic. Your faith commitments trump both of those, so I can understand why it does not move you.
From the earlier thread…
This is what I mean by an explanation.
As I’ve pointed out, intelligence and will alone is insufficient. Does the medical community not consist of intelligent agents? Do they not want and intend to cure cancer? So, why don’t we have a cure for cancer?
So they don’t help at all? Is that your worthless claim? Some cancers are curable.
To which explanation are you referring when you say:
“our best explanation for how designers actually result in designed things, as opposed to merely what we experience”?
Why is it any concern to ID what the “first designer”, if there is such a thing, looks like?
Insufficient for what? Intelligent design?
Two possibilities: (1) they have not found it yet. (2) the cure does not exist.
Why do you ask? To what is this relevant?
It is? I didn’t get that from the post or the referenced link. We do not think physics or chemistry works differently on earth than it does in space. So, I don’t see where little green men come into play.
Even then, little “green men” would be complex knowledge laden entities, which would also exhibit the appearance of design. That’s why they are not appealed to in the referenced in the link. ID doesn’t actually add to the explanation. It just pushes the problem up a level without improving it.
Not to mention that you seem to be confusing the origin of life on earth, which is indeed difficult to know because it happened in the past under difficult to determine conditions. This is not the same as our theory of the origin of life, in general, which is location independent and would include the entire universe.
That is your opinion and anyone with any investigative experience knows it is wrong.
I know you don’t. Your faith commitments have literally blinded you to what is glaringly obvious to those who don’t share those faith commitments.
I don’t think this works as an argument against ID. If we were to find a clearly designed object, not knowing who or what the designer was would not effect our ability to judge whether the object is designed.
RVB8 & CR,
I repeat from 4 above, which raises a cluster of issues you have studiously failed to face squarely:
Of course you are correct, but don’t waste your time on CR. This has been explained to him dozens of times, and he acts like he has never heard it. Hmmmm. I refer against to the MH quote in comment 23
KF @ 25:
Don’t hold your breath. Again, I call attention to the MH quote at 23. rvb8 and CR are literally blind to your correctives. I nevertheless appreciate your efforts for the lurkers’ sake.
BA @ 23: Well done. Nothing but the truth!
so you are now accepting kairos’s idea of FSCO/I, as one of the pieces of theoretical evidence, in the ID tool kit? Good luck with getting that contraption a hearing beyond here.
Asteroids are indeed places where amino acids and other organic compounds do form. This is well understood, by their composition including water, and the other elements common in our universe. This is not controversial.
But in the article Barry says scientists are looking for other ways life could have originated on earth, and implies that the ‘outer-space’ model is desperate.
There are so many natural forces at work in the universe, and quite a few on this planet. M/U proved that just by bringing together a few, you actually get complexity. (the second law nonsense is defeated by the adition of energy from outside the system; we call it the sun).
You seem to have an argument that is utterly, and entirely negative. Scientists bring up proposition after proposition, propose models, test them (M/U etc), and you say, ‘no, can’t be done’.
Don’t you get tired of the constant negativity? Particularly when all of your opposition is slowly but surely erroded by the facts. Or put another way; ‘fossils are a bitch!’:)
What faith commitments? My rejection of ID on the grounds of being a bad explanation isn’t limited to ID. It also extends to creationism and even inductivism. What each of these ideas share is a fundamental epistimogical problem regarding their explanation for the growth of knowelge in the biosphere.
In the case of creationism, the explanation for the growth of knowledge is supernatural, and therefore inexpclable by definition. Nor is it even clear that there is any growth at all, because creationism is misleadingly named. It denies the only genuine creation that would have taken place. In the case of ID the explantion for that growth is simply absent. And in the case of inductivism, the explanation is irrational.
IOW, when we try to take each of them seriously as an explanation for that growth, they fail spectacularly. And what’s particularly surprising is the refusal for even their own proponents to take their theories seriously, as if doing so is somehow an alien concept that they’ve never considered.
So, if you want to talk about faith commitments that refusal takes the cake, so to speak.
Again, things are not obvious in the sense you’re implying. We cannot extrapolate observations without first putting them into some kind of explantory framework. That always comes first. But, by all means, feel free to explain how that might work, in practice. Having faith that you can without actually trying to take that idea seriously, for the purpose of critism, is just that: a faith commitment.
Not to mention the failure to understand the difference betwen the theory of the history of life on earth, as an historical science, and the theory of the origin of life, as a universal theory about the growth of biological complicity.
The idea that our inability to go back in time to know about the former, makes the latter “utterly hopeless” suggests you hold a rather impoverished and naive view of science. Or, you actually know better, but appeal to that idea because you already know the answer and it’s a shortcut to “truth”.
I could make a list of such ideas that seem to be accepted by ID.
One is that probability is somehow a good way to pick betwen theories. This seems obvious, but attempts to take that idea seriously fail as well.
First, probably doesn’t work unless you know all the possible outcomes and the process in question is actually random. It’s unclear how you can include theories you haven’t conceived of yet and you have to intepret observations inside some existing theory. So, if you stop to think about it, probably simply isn’t valid means to choose between theories. Theories come first, which constrain options. Without a theory, you don’t know what the possible outcomes are, so how can you use probability to choose between them?
Second, we don’t actually use it. Despite the fact that it’s impossible to test that gravity is uniform beyond our local vicinity, it is a fundimental aspect of our understanding in the universe as a whole. Even though we’ve make trillions of observations locally, those are but a drop in the bucket compared to everywhere in the universe. So one could say that it is highly improbable that gravity is uniform. Rather, the uniformity of gravity is the best explantion as a universal theory,
What I’m getting at here is that the idea that things are obvious, and therefore immune to criticism, is a faith commitment. The suposed obviousness that knowledge comes from authoritative sources, which is not subject to criticism, is one such faith commitment.
“This is well understood”
Saying so is not enough.
CR and rvb8, you are correct, scientific theories are more than just saying ether is wrong. A scientific theory is going from ether is wrong to relativity is right.
But, we have to first acknowledge ether is wrong before we get to relativity is right. Can’t you see the utility in showing naturalism is wrong? It opens the doors to new theories, such as:
Instead, what you are doing is posing ever more speculative theories why ether is right.
I say again —
The evidence confirming Intelligent Design is in and it’s massive. There is indeed a “mountain of evidence” and it conclusively confirms a creator, and totally demolishes the nonsense of evolution as the explanation for life on this planet.
How you ask?
It’s all around you and within you … all you have to do is examine the amazing functionality of your own body. It’s really that simple.
Need some “technical” help in grasping this?
Start taking a look at the amazing series from Dr. Howard Glicksman at https://evolutionnews.org/tag/the-designed-body/
rvb8 — have you taken the time to examine any of the 81 points of evidence presented? No — why not?
Dr. Glicksman has an argument that is utterly, and entirely positive. Scientists bring up proposition after proposition, propose models, test them (M/U etc), and Dr. Glicksman says, ‘yes, it has been done and we can see it all around and within us’. I’ll even allow you to use ‘The Science Guy.’
rvb8 — take just one of Glicksman’s 81 points of evidence and give us a point by point evolutionary description of how this might have come into existence. I’ll even allow you to use props, such as a piece of polaroid film, or a Paper Mache mountain.
rvb8 — here’s something that might help you in examining evidence:
CR @ 30:
Can you have a materialistic explanation of the existence of the universe which includes an explanation for all included mechanics and events? Also, how would you separate naturalism from intellectually trendy anthropocentrism?
It isn’t theoretical and it is better than anything you and yours have for your position.
Then it is obvious that you are not paying attention.
That has yet to happen, If it ever does we will pay attention.
For you and yours as you don’t have a mechanism capable of producing the organisms who left those fossils.
It’s limited by your scientific illiteracy.
Look, if you and yours had a methodology to test your claims, tested them and confirmed them, then you would have something. But you don’t even have a testable methodology for your claims. Focus on your own position because flailing away at ID isn’t going to help you.
That one question sums it all up. That you have faith commitments is beyond question. Everyone does. That you are completely ignorant of your own is tragic.
RVB8, it seems that you refuse to believe the evidence of your lying eyes etc. Functionally specific complex organisation and associated information is obvious and readily observable all around us; starting with the text of your own comments. That’s right, you have had to exemplify what you would belittle in order to try to brush it aside, an inadvertent indicator of how strong the observation is. Where BTW, more or less equivalent phrasings are to be found starting with Orgel and Wicken in the 1970’s, i.e. your attempt to assign to obscurity fails also. As to quantification, I think you would be better advised to have a talk with say Leslie Orgel’s ghost, on description string lengths, or any number of others. And yes, AutoCAD files etc are an index of just such FSCO/I for non textual cases. So, when objectors refuse to acknowledge the reality of the readily exemplified, where we are surrounded by trillions of cases in point, that begins to tell us just how strong the force of the point that such FSCO/I is always observed to come from intelligently directed configuration is. KF
PS: Orgel and Wicken:
BA @ 38: “That one question sums it all up. That you have faith commitments is beyond question. Everyone does. That you are completely ignorant of your own is tragic.”
Indeed it is tragic. Well said.
I’m asked you to explicitly connect the dots between what “faith commitments” I suppposedly have and “little green men”. Apparently, you thought it was obvious, so you shouldn’t have any problem presenting them.
Second, I explained my objections in detail. One of which is that we cannot extrapolate observations without first putting them into some kind of explantory framework. Call those frameworks “faith commitments” if you like, but it’s unclear how I’m unaware of the fact that theories always come first.
Again, what specifc faith commitments are you referring to and how do they end up with “little green men”, or the lack there of?
This is why I keep asking you how you’ve managed to infallibly identity and infallibly interpret an objective source of morality. Theory always comes first.
I’m referring to how you know some source is the infallible source of moral duties and values and how you know you have correctly interpreted when those duties and values are actuall applicable.
In the absence of such an ability, you guess and criticize those guesses. So, it’s unclear how you’re in any better situation. Moral knowelge grows by guessing and then testing our guesses, just like everything else.
God is like X, and source Z reflects the Xness of God, so Z must be said infallible source. But that hinges on your idea that God is like X and it’s unclear how you know God actually is like X, should he even exist.
Having pointed this out and asked this question of you directly dozens of times, it’s unclear how I’m completely ignorant about this.
First, Barry points out that we “run into the wall of reality”. Second, he says we all have “faith commitments”.
Yet another “own goal”!
critical rationalist @41:
“I’m asked you to explicitly connect the dots … ”
I realize that I am perhaps quoting you a bit out of context here, but what you ask is very reasonable — “connect the dots.”
So let me return the favor and ask you and rvb8 to connect the 81 dots that Dr. Howard Glicksman provides at https://evolutionnews.org/tag/the-designed-body/
And I might venture to say that within each of those 81 dots, we probably would find many more dots that could be connected to flesh out a very compelling case for the Intelligent Design of the human body – mine as well as yours.
So get out your colored pencils and start this little exercise of connecting the dots. Are you up to it?
Oh and by the way … this little experiment is open to all curious truth seekers.
Further to my last, after you complete the rather beautiful dot-to-dot painting, step back and take a good look at it.
I’ve written an article at https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/the-not-so-intelligent-designer/ that may help in taking this painting to a higher level of the varied and amazing functional things this painting is capable of.
Do take a look yourself.
That you believe there is a necessary conflict between those two statements speaks volumes about your confusion. Would you like me to hold you by the hand as we step through the logic, or do you want to take a while and reflect on why those two statements do not conflict.
Your first own goal was pointing out how we “run into the wall of reality”, as it represents a form of criticism which doesn’t require concious attempt to apply it.
Now you have argued that we all have “faith commitments”. Gee, that sounds familiar.
The idea that knowege comes from authorative sources is a “faith commitment”. The idea that there are basic beliefs that are immune from criticism is a “faith commitment”. They are epistemological views about the growth of knowege. I’ve been saying this all along. We cannot extrapolate observations without first putting them into an explantory framework. Yet, another own goal!
However, I don’t consider the above a point of “faith” as that implies immunity to criticism, which isn’t my position. Currently lacking good criticism is not the same as being immune to criticism. Saying I dont know isn’t faith.
That you believe my comment implied conflict between the two “speaks volumes about your confusion”.