Intelligent Design News Origin Of Life

This season’s science: Life got started without water?

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New Scientist is currently flogging a paywalled theory on creating life without water:

No more primal soup: Creating life without water

Hard and fast evidence of how and where on Earth inanimate matter became animate is hard to come by. Other backdrops for life’s first steps have gained in popularity since Darwin’s time – around submarine hydrothermal vents, in ice or on Earth’s radioactive first beaches, for example. If pressed, though, most of us would still plump for the primordial soup.

In the …

So it’s not in the soup, maybe it’s in the spoon?

By the way, one respectable venue for extraterrestrial origin of life is comets, which have lots of water. There is water at the poles of Mars too, and Mars has been suggested as a source of early bacteria, when Earth and Mars were more similar.

The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (origin of life) offers a short, handy guide to how and why origin of life theories are currently going nowhere.

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16 Replies to “This season’s science: Life got started without water?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    As I pointed out to AVS yesterday, we now have evidence for photosynthetic life suddenly appearing on earth, as soon as water appeared on the earth, in the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth.

    The Sudden Appearance Of Life On Earth – video

    U-rich Archaean sea-floor sediments from Greenland – indications of +3700 Ma oxygenic photosynthesis (2003)

    When Did Life on Earth Begin? Ask a Rock (3.85 bya)

    When did oxygenic photosynthesis evolve? – Roger Buick – 2008
    Excerpt:,, U–Pb data from ca 3.8?Ga metasediments suggest that this metabolism could have arisen by the start of the geological record. Hence, the hypothesis that oxygenic photosynthesis evolved well before the atmosphere became permanently oxygenated seems well supported.

    Moreover, we have no evidence of prebiotic chemistry (a primordial soup) before that time:

    Dr. Hugh Ross – Origin Of Life Paradox (No prebiotic chemical signatures)- video (40:10 minute mark)

    “We get that evidence from looking at carbon 12 to carbon 13 analysis. And it tells us that in Earth’s oldest (sedimentary) rock, which dates at 3.80 billion years ago, we find an abundance for the carbon signature of living systems. Namely, that life prefers carbon 12. And so if you see a higher ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 13 that means that carbon has been processed by life. And it is that kind of evidence that tells us that life has been abundant on earth as far back as 3.80 billion years ago (when water was first present on earth).,,, And that same carbon 12 to carbon 13 analysis tells us that planet earth, over it entire 4.5662 billion year history has never had prebiotics. Prebiotics would have a higher ratio of carbon 13 to carbon 12. All the carbonaceous material, we see in the entire geological record of the earth, has the signature of being post-biotic not pre-biotic. Which means planet earth never had a primordial soup. And the origin of life on earth took place in a geological instant” (as soon as it was possible for life to exist on earth).
    – Hugh Ross – quote as stated in preceding video

    Isotopic Evidence For Life Immediately Following Late Bombardment – Graph

    Life – Its Sudden Origin and Extreme Complexity – Dr. Fazale Rana – video

    We also have other lines of evidence supporting this extremely early (sudden) origin of life on earth:

    When Did Life First Appear on Earth? – Fazale Rana – December 2010
    Excerpt: The primary evidence for 3.8 billion-year-old life consists of carbonaceous deposits, such as graphite, found in rock formations in western Greenland. These deposits display an enrichment of the carbon-12 isotope. Other chemical signatures from these formations that have been interpreted as biological remnants include uranium/thorium fractionation and banded iron formations. Recently, a team from Australia argued that the dolomite in these formations also reflects biological activity, specifically that of sulfate-reducing bacteria.

    Iron in Primeval Seas Rusted by Bacteria – Apr. 23, 2013
    Excerpt: The oldest known iron ores were deposited in the Precambrian period and are up to four billion years old (the Earth itself is estimated to be about 4.6 billion years old). ,,,
    This research not only provides the first clear evidence that microorganisms were directly involved in the deposition of Earth’s oldest iron formations; it also indicates that large populations of oxygen-producing cyanobacteria were at work in the shallow areas of the ancient oceans, while deeper water still reached by the light (the photic zone) tended to be populated by anoxyenic or micro-aerophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria which formed the iron deposits.,,,

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Thus we now have fairly conclusive evidence for bacterial life, particularly photosynthetic life, in the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found by scientists on earth. Photosynthesis is extremely complex:

    The Miracle Of Photosynthesis – electron transport – video

    Electron transport and ATP synthesis during photosynthesis – Illustration

    Enzymes and protein complexes needed in photosynthesis – with graphs

    Miniature Molecular Power Plant: ATP Synthase – January 2013 – video

    ATP: The Perfect Energy Currency for the Cell – Jerry Bergman, Ph.D.
    Excerpt: In manufacturing terms, the ATP (Synthase) molecule is a machine with a level of organization on the order of a research microscope or a standard television (Darnell, Lodish, and Baltimore, 1996).

    Your Motor/Generators Are 100% Efficient – October 2011
    Excerpt: ATP synthase astounds again. The molecular machine that generates almost all the ATP (molecular “energy pellets”) for all life was examined by Japanese scientists for its thermodynamic efficiency. By applying and measuring load on the top part that synthesizes ATP, they were able to determine that one cannot do better at getting work out of a motor,,, The article was edited by noted Harvard expert on the bacterial flagellum, Howard Berg.

    The 10 Step Glycolysis Pathway In ATP Production: An Overview – video

    At the 6:00 minute mark of the following video, Chris Ashcraft, PhD – molecular biology, gives us an overview of the Citric Acid Cycle, which is, after the 10 step Glycolysis Pathway, also involved in ATP production:

    Evolution vs ATP Synthase – Chris Ashcraft – video – citric acid cycle at 14:00 minute mark

    The Citric Acid Cycle: An Overview – video

    Glycolysis and the Citric Acid Cycle: The Control of Proteins and Pathways – Cornelius Hunter – July 2011
    – see Darwin’s God

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Of note: anoxygenic (without oxygen) photosynthesis is even more of a complex chemical pathway than oxygenic photosynthesis is:

    “Remarkably, the biosynthetic routes needed to make the key molecular component of anoxygenic photosynthesis are more complex than the pathways that produce the corresponding component required for the oxygenic form.”;
    Early Life Remains Complex By Fazale R. Rana (FACTS for FAITH Issue 7, 2001)

    What is also interesting about finding evidence for complex photosynthetic life, in the oldest sedimentary rocks found on earth, is that photosynthesis was recently shown to require ‘non-local’, beyond, space and time, quantum coherence in order to accomplish photosynthesis:

    Unlocking nature’s quantum engineering for efficient solar energy – January 7, 2013
    Excerpt: Certain biological systems living in low light environments have unique protein structures for photosynthesis that use quantum dynamics to convert 100% of absorbed light into electrical charge,,,
    “Some of the key issues in current solar cell technologies appear to have been elegantly and rigorously solved by the molecular architecture of these PPCs – namely the rapid, lossless transfer of excitons to reaction centres.”,,,
    These biological systems can direct a quantum process, in this case energy transport, in astoundingly subtle and controlled ways – showing remarkable resistance to the aggressive, random background noise of biology and extreme environments. “This new understanding of how to maintain coherence in excitons, and even regenerate it through molecular vibrations, provides a fascinating glimpse into the intricate design solutions – seemingly including quantum engineering – ,,, and which could provide the inspiration for new types of room temperature quantum devices.”

    Quantum Mechanics Explains Efficiency of Photosynthesis – Jan. 9, 2014
    Excerpt: Previous experiments suggest that energy is transferred in a wave-like manner, exploiting quantum phenomena, but crucially, a non-classical explanation could not be conclusively proved as the phenomena identified could equally be described using classical physics.,,,
    Now, a team at UCL have attempted to identify features in these biological systems which can only be predicted by quantum physics, and for which no classical analogues exist.
    ,,,said Alexandra Olaya-Castro (UCL Physics & Astronomy), supervisor and co-author of the research. “We found that the properties of some of the chromophore vibrations that assist energy transfer during photosynthesis can never be described with classical laws, and moreover, this non-classical behaviour enhances the efficiency of the energy transfer.”,,,
    Other biomolecular processes such as the transfer of electrons within macromolecules (like in reaction centres in photosynthetic systems), the structural change of a chromophore upon absorption of photons (like in vision processes) or the recognition of a molecule by another (as in olfaction processes), are influenced by specific vibrational motions. The results of this research therefore suggest that a closer examination of the vibrational dynamics involved in these processes could provide other biological prototypes exploiting truly non-classical phenomena,,

    At the 21:00 minute mark of the following video, Dr Suarez explains why photosynthesis needs a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause in order to explain its effect:

    Nonlocality of Photosynthesis – Antoine Suarez – video – 2012


    Cells Know Their Physics – October 2010
    Excerpt: the Complex I macromolecular complex. This machine employs a railroad-like piston and coupling-rod mechanism,, to create the proton gradient that drives ATP synthesis.“It is remarkable that the most fundamental energy-generating machinery in cells is based on the wave properties of electrons, which allow for an efficient transport of energy-carrying particles along the chain of redox cofactors toward molecular oxygen via quantum tunneling as demonstrated by this study.”

    I don’t know about atheists, but I have a non-local, beyond space and time, cause in order to explain the ‘non-local’ quantum effect found in photosynthesis:

    John 1:3-5
    All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.
    In Him was life, and that life was the Light of men.
    And the Light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.

    Moreover, Visible light is also incredibly fine-tuned for life to exist. Though visible light is only a tiny fraction of the total electromagnetic spectrum coming from the sun, it happens to be the “most permitted” portion of the sun’s spectrum allowed to filter through the our atmosphere. All the other bands of electromagnetic radiation, directly surrounding visible light, happen to be harmful to organic molecules, and are almost completely absorbed by the atmosphere. The tiny amount of harmful UV radiation, which is not visible light, allowed to filter through the atmosphere is needed to keep various populations of single cell bacteria from over-populating the world (Ross; The size of light’s wavelengths and the constraints on the size allowable for the protein molecules of organic life, also seem to be tailor-made for each other. This “tailor-made fit” allows photosynthesis, the miracle of sight, and many other things that are necessary for human life. These specific frequencies of light (that enable plants to manufacture food and astronomers to observe the cosmos) represent less than 1 trillionth of a trillionth (10^-24) of the universe’s entire range of electromagnetic emissions. Like water, visible light also appears to be of optimal biological utility (Denton; Nature’s Destiny).

    Extreme Fine Tuning of Light for Life and Scientific Discovery (10^-24) – video

    Fine Tuning Of Universal Constants, Particularly Light – Walter Bradley – video

    Fine Tuning Of Light to the Atmosphere, to Biological Life, and to Water – graphs

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Michael Denton: Remarkable Coincidences in Photosynthesis – podcast

    Supplemental note, light itself is very interesting to look at. For instance, it is in the ‘thought experiment’ of ‘riding a light beam’ that Einstein gained his breakthrough insight into special relativity:

    Albert Einstein – Special Relativity – Insight Into Eternity – ‘thought experiment’ video

    “I’ve just developed a new theory of eternity.”
    Albert Einstein – The Einstein Factor – Reader’s Digest


    Nicole C. Mullen – My Redeemer Lives – Video

  5. 5
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Why is the lack of agreement over the origin of life evidence for ID? I have been married for 32 years but I would be lying if I said that I understood women. That is not proof that women are not human.

  6. 6
    Barb says:

    Acartia_bogart @ 5:

    Why is the lack of agreement over the origin of life evidence for ID?

    Mainly because something had to happen to get life going. If evolutionary theory offers no real answers, then why not an intelligent designer(s)?

    Every working scientist knows that life only comes from life. There is no real explanation for how life began, or how we got here.

    I have been married for 32 years but I would be lying if I said that I understood women. That is not proof that women are not human.

    I’m a woman and I don’t always understand women.

  7. 7
    Acartia_bogart says:

    “There is no real explanation for how life began, or how we got here”

    Actually, there are numerous explanations. The fact that there is not consensus on one explanation is not an indication of the weakness of science, it is proof of its strength.

    We will probably never come to consensus on this because the timeframe for any meaningfully experiment would be several lifetimes, and humans simply do not have the attention span.

    But resorting to fanciful explanations is just lazy reasoning.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “The fact that there is not consensus on one explanation is not an indication of the weakness of science, it is proof of its strength.”

    too funny!

    The RNA world hypothesis: the worst theory for the early evolution of life (except for all the others) – July 2012
    Excerpt: “The RNA World scenario is bad as a scientific hypothesis” – Eugene Koonin
    “The RNA world hypothesis has been reduced by ritual abuse to something like a creationist mantra” – Charles Kurland
    “I view it as little more than a popular fantasy.” – Charles Carter

    “We have not the slightest chance for the chemical evolutionary origin of even the simplest of cells”.

    Origin Of Life? – Probability Of Protein And The Information Of DNA – Dean Kenyon – video

    The Theist holds the Intellectual High-Ground – March 2011
    Excerpt: To get a range on the enormous challenges involved in bridging the gaping chasm between non-life and life, consider the following: “The difference between a mixture of simple chemicals and a bacterium, is much more profound than the gulf between a bacterium and an elephant.” (Dr. Robert Shapiro, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, NYU)

    Scientists Prove Again that Life is the Result of Intelligent Design – Rabbi Moshe Averick – August 2011
    Excerpt: “To go from bacterium to people is less of a step than to go from a mixture of amino acids to a bacterium.” – Dr. Lynn Margulis

  9. 9
    Acartia_bogart says:

    I noticed that it takes very little to be blocked from commenting on this site. Basically, all it takes are logical and reasonable arguments presented with respect.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Acartia_bogart, exactly how are ‘logical and reasonable arguments’ ever to be presented for atheistic materialism when logic and reason (and truth itself) cannot be grounded in atheistic materialism?

    “Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”
    —C.S. Lewis

    “If you do not assume the law of non-contradiction, you have nothing to argue about. If you do not assume the principles of sound reason, you have nothing to argue with. If you do not assume libertarian free will, you have no one to argue against. If you do not assume morality to be an objective commodity, you have no reason to argue in the first place.”
    – William J Murray

    Comprehensibility of the world – April 4, 2013
    Excerpt: I have to deduce that Einstein hadn’t an understanding of traditional metaphysics. Otherwise he would neither have spoken about the comprehensibility of the universe as “the most incomprehensible thing” or a “miracle”, nor he would have been surprised that math is so “appropriate to the objects of reality”. In fact metaphysics postulates “universal intelligibility”,,,
    ,,,So, for materialism, the Einstein’s question remains unanswered. Logic and math (that is fully based on logic), to be so effective, must be universal truths. If they are only states of the brain of one or more individuals – as materialists maintain – they cannot be universal at all. Universal truths must be objective and absolute, not just subjective and relative. Only in this way can they be shared among all intelligent beings.,,,
    ,,,Bottom line: without an absolute Truth, (there would be) no logic, no mathematics, no beings, no knowledge by beings, no science, no comprehensibility of the world whatsoever.

    Epistemology – Why Should The Human Mind Even Be Able To Comprehend Reality? – Stephen Meyer – video – (Notes in description)

    Scientific Peer Review is in Trouble: From Medical Science to Darwinism – Mike Keas – October 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Survival is all that matters on evolutionary naturalism. Our evolving brains are more likely to give us useful fictions that promote survival rather than the truth about reality. Thus evolutionary naturalism undermines all rationality (including confidence in science itself). Renown philosopher Alvin Plantinga has argued against naturalism in this way (summary of that argument is linked on the site:).
    Or, if your short on time and patience to grasp Plantinga’s nuanced argument, see if you can digest this thought from evolutionary cognitive psychologist Steve Pinker, who baldly states:
    “Our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth; sometimes the truth is adaptive, sometimes it is not.”
    Steven Pinker, evolutionary cognitive psychologist, How the Mind Works (W.W. Norton, 1997), p. 305.

    “But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”
    – Charles Darwin – Letter To William Graham – July 3, 1881

    Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism by Alvin Plantinga – video

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,

    Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? – William Lane Craig – video

    Physicalism and Reason – May 2013
    Summary: So we find ourselves affirming two contradictory propositions:
    1. Everything is governed by cause-and-effect.
    2. Our brains can process and be changed by ground-consequent logical relationships.
    To achieve consistency, we must either deny that everything is governed by cause-and-effect, and open our worldviews to something beyond physicalism, or we must deny that our brains are influenced by ground-consequence reasoning, and abandon the idea that we are rational creatures.
    Ask yourself: are humans like falling dominoes, entirely subject to natural law, or may we stand up and walk in the direction that reason shows us?

    Do the New Atheists Own the Market on Reason? – On the terms of the New Atheists, the very concept of rationality becomes nonsensical – By R. Scott Smith, May 03, 2012
    Excerpt: If atheistic evolution by NS were true, we’d be in a beginningless series of interpretations, without any knowledge. Yet, we do know many things. So, naturalism & atheistic evolution by NS are false — non-physical essences exist. But, what’s their best explanation? Being non-physical, it can’t be evolution by NS. Plus, we use our experiences, form concepts and beliefs, and even modify or reject them. Yet, if we’re just physical beings, how could we interact with and use these non-physical things?,,, In all, it seems likely the best explanation for these non-physical things is that there exists a Creator after all.

    The Atheist’s Guide to Intellectual Suicide – James N. Anderson PhD. – video

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: podcast – Revisionist History in Cosmos
    Casey Luskin talks with Senior Fellow Jay Richards about distortions and outright falsehoods presented in the re-vamped Cosmos TV series. Dr. Richards discusses how Cosmos presents science and religion as enemies by misrepresenting the lives of Giordano Bruno, Isaac Newton, and Mozi.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: 23 GIFs That Will Teach You A Damn Thing For Once In Your Life

    VY Canis Majoris — largest star ever discovered — compared to our Sun and Earth… GIF

  13. 13
    Joe says:


    Why is the lack of agreement over the origin of life evidence for ID?

    That isn’t how it goes. There isn’t any evidence that blind and undirected processes can produce a living organism from matter and energy. And life meets the design criteria. So we infer it was designed.

    Heck no one can even produce a model for blind and undirected processes producing life.

  14. 14
    Barb says:

    AB goes on,

    Actually, there are numerous explanations.

    Which one is most likely to be correct?

  15. 15
    wallstreeter43 says:

    BA , thanks for the hugh Ross video, I’m bookmarking it on my iPad mini to view it over the weekend 🙂

  16. 16
    Eric Anderson says:

    Acartia_bogart @7:

    Actually, there are numerous explanations.


    There are numerous hypotheses, speculations, wild ideas, and downright myths. There are no explanations.

    But resorting to fanciful explanations is just lazy reasoning.


    Presumably you mean fanciful explanations like the idea that a bunch of chemicals bumped into each other and eventually turned into a self-replicating molecule, the idea that information arose in the cell via a series of natural chemical reactions, the idea that complex functional structures came about through a bunch of mutational accidents. Yes, those are fanciful ideas. Preposterous ideas. Laughable ideas.

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