News Origin Of Life

Hot news: Theory solves origin of life

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The constructor theory (Life without design), here.

Okay, it’s Saturday in much of the world and you were out doing chores; not to worry:

Given that life isn’t the output of an intentional design process, but evolved, how could living things have evolved given these design-free laws of physics? Darwin’s theory addresses this problem, explaining that variation and natural selection bring about the appearance of design. But this in itself doesn’t close the explanatory gap, as we can see especially clearly in the modern version of Darwin’s theory – neo-Darwinism. At its heart are the replicators, or genes – bits of DNA that are transmitted, by replication, to the next generation. Moreover, for replication to be as accurate as it is in living things, accurate self-reproduction of the cell is also required. In short, the theory presupposes the possibility of certain accurate physical transformations, and these are just what no-design laws of physics fail to provide in their starter kit.

Make a note of that, reader, when your local third-rate Darwin blowhard (that guy who didn’t get hired in science and is now “teaching” in a union-run public school) insists that Darwin explained it all.

Gets better:

The early history of evolution is, in constructor-theoretic terms, a lengthy, highly inaccurate, non-purposive construction that eventually produced knowledge-bearing recipes out of elementary things containing none. These elementary things are simple chemicals such as short RNA strands, which can perform only low-fidelity replication, and so do not bear the appearance of design, and are therefore allowed to exist in a pre-biotic environment governed by no-design laws.

Wonder how that’d work out in real life.

Thus the constructor theory of life shows explicitly that natural selection does not need to assume the existence of any initial recipe, containing knowledge, to get started. It shows that, whatever recipes we might find in living things, they do not require ad-hoc, biocentric or mysterious laws of physics in order to come into existence from elementary initial components. They need only the laws of physics to permit the existence of digital information, plus sufficient time and energy, which are non-specific to life.

Okay, so that’s why I have disembodied space brains (Boltzmann brains) popping up in my back yard! (Oh, wait…):

It may seem impossible for a brain to blink into existence, but the laws of physics don’t rule it out entirely. All it requires is a vast amount of time. Eventually, a random chunk of matter and energy will happen to come together in the form of a working mind. It’s the same logic that says a million monkeys working on a million typewriters will replicate the complete works of Shakespeare, if you leave them long enough. More.

Never mind. New Scientist says Darwin will save us from a plague of disembodied space brains.

Friend Jorge Fernandez writes to say,

I was put into a sort of hypnotic trance by this “Constructor Theory” article in the same way as people can’t stop staring at a horrific car wreck with dead bodies. After having read the article, I tried to imagine myself standing in front of a committee while trying to defend this “theory”. My imagination failed me. “Not even wrong” are the only words that come to mind.

No theory will get anywhere with origin of life if it does not deal with information realistically.

See also: A serious and non-magical look at The Science Fictions series at your origin of life research

and

Suzan Mazur’s The Origin of Life Circus

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11 Replies to “Hot news: Theory solves origin of life

  1. 1
    ppolish says:

    “Whatever the laws of physics do not forbid, we can do. Whether or not we will, depends on how much knowledge we create. It is up to us.”

    Laws + Choices = Design + Free Will.

    Or is it

    Laws & Probabilities = Oops a turtle.

    I’m going to go with the former not the latter. My choice.

  2. 2

    The author — Chiara Marletto is a postdoctoral research associate and junior research fellow at Wolfson College at the University of Oxford.

    This third grade dribble illustrates why I have long believed a hard requirement for a PhD in the biological sciences, especially evolutionary biology, is that the PhD candidate spend a lengthy amount of time (6 years perhaps) fully immersed and working as part of a operations and maintenance team in a very complex system; such as a petroleum refinery, chemical plant, a nuclear aircraft carrier, or a large distributed real-time software system. Not designing or building g such a system mind you, but troubleshooting it on a daily basis … learning the design of the system such that he/she can intelligently keep it running smoothly. Perhaps such a real-world dose of living and making a living inside actual design will temper and educate future PhDs.

    Over educated simpletons such as this author and the likes of Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne have been drinking their own bathwater for decades, and it is time the bathwater pollution from these professional Atheists be called up short.

  3. 3
    Dionisio says:

    What else is new?

    This “constructor” idea fails two critical tests:

    (1) “Where’s the beef?” and (2) “Show me the money!” *

    (*)
    (1) 1984 Wendy’s TV ad with actress Clara Peller
    (2) 1996 Hollywood movie “Jerry Maguire” with Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding

  4. 4
    leodp says:

    Right-on, ayearningforpublius. People who’ve spent their life learning and teaching in academic circles desperately need real-world time in design, op’s and maintenance. And students should be taught microbiology before they’re presented with the TOE.

  5. 5
    Dionisio says:

    All they have to do is take two biological systems ‘A’ and ‘B’ that somehow appear to be in close “ancestor-descendant” relation, accurately describe their (individual) detailed developmental mechanisms and then show how they could change the developmental mechanisms (GRN, signaling pathways, epigenetic factors, organogenesis, cell fate specification, determination, cell migration, morphogenesis, asymmetric cell division, and the whole nine yards) in the “ancestor” system (‘A’) in order to get the developmental mechanisms in the “descendant” system (‘B’), indicating all the events that caused (triggered) those precise spatiotemporal changes.

    That’s all.
    Is there any example of that out there?

  6. 6
    Mapou says:

    From the article:

    Chiara Marletto is a postdoctoral research associate and junior research fellow at Wolfson College at the University of Oxford.

    So, some inconsequential young undergraduate is trying to impress his/her peers in order to have ‘PhD’ after his/her name. Peer review has always been synonymous with butt review and always will be.

    It may seem impossible for a brain to blink into existence, but the laws of physics don’t rule it out entirely.

    Of course they rule it out. Completely. Complex order cannot arise out of disorder (chaos) because random destructive forces are many orders of magnitude more plentiful than random constructive forces. This is like saying that, since thermodynamics is probabilistic, that all the atmospheric gases of planet Earth can suddenly bunch together in a corner office at Oxford University. Please.

  7. 7
    George E. says:

    As an explanation for the origin of life, ID has to be considered to be as certain as any scientific thesis can be that cannot be directly observed by the senses. It’s every bit as certain as the theory of gravity (which cannot be observed per se, but only its effects can be). The only reason that it doesn’t strike many normal people as being so certain is because it’s universally gainsaid by those who presumably know what they’re talking about. In fact, in a sane world, anyone who denied ID as the explanation for the origin of life would be considered a dangerous lunatic, and not allowed anywhere near children and their young, impressionable minds. Alas, in the utterly insane (and not getting any saner) world in which we do live the lunatics are everywhere in charge, and parents willingly pay these psychopaths thousands upon thousands of dollars to pervert the minds of their children.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    It may seem impossible for a brain to blink into existence, but the laws of physics don’t rule it out entirely. All it requires is a vast amount of time. Eventually, a random chunk of matter and energy will happen to come together in the form of a working mind. It’s the same logic that says a million monkeys working on a million typewriters will replicate the complete works of Shakespeare, if you leave them long enough.

    He’s got to be kidding right?!?
    He actually appealled to monkeys typing Shakespeare to support his theory???
    It ain’t going to happen, EVER!!!

    Can Monkeys Type Shakespeare? (Doing the math) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkEvzRMEP3s

    The story of the Monkey Shakespeare Simulator Project
    Excerpt: Starting with 100 virtual monkeys typing, and doubling the population every few days, it put together random strings of characters. It then checked them against the archived works of Shakespeare. Before it was scrapped, the site came up with 10^35 number of pages, all typed up. Any matches?
    Not many. It matched two words, “now faire,” and a partial name from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and three words and a comma, “Let fame, that,” from Love’s Labour’s Lost. The record, achieved suitably randomly at the beginning of the site’s run in 2004, was 23 characters long, including breaks and spaces.
    http://io9.com/5809583/the-sto.....or-project

    And of course, as is usual for atheistic speculations, real world empirical testing was even worse yet for our supposed Shakespearean Monkeys:

    Monkey Theory Proven Wrong:
    Excerpt: A group of faculty and students in the university’s media program left a computer in the monkey enclosure at Paignton Zoo in southwest England, home to six Sulawesi crested macaques. Then, they waited. At first, said researcher Mike Phillips, “the lead male got a stone and started bashing the hell out of it. “Another thing they were interested in was in defecating and urinating all over the keyboard,” added Phillips, who runs the university’s Institute of Digital Arts and Technologies. Eventually, monkeys Elmo, Gum, Heather, Holly, Mistletoe and Rowan produced five pages of text, composed primarily of the letter S. Later, the letters A, J, L and M crept in — not quite literature.
    http://www.arn.org/docs2/news/.....051103.htm

    Of related interest:

    Unanswered Mathematical and Computational Challenges facing Neo-Darwinism as a Theory of Origins
    Excerpt: Consider the makeup of our universe:
    • Approximately 10^17 seconds have elapsed since the big bang.
    • Quantum physics limits the maximum number of states an atom can go through to 10^43 per second (the inverse of Planck time, i.e. the smallest physically meaningful unit of time)
    • The visible universe contains about 10^80 atoms.
    It seems reasonable to conclude that no more than 10^140 chemical reactions have occurred in the visible universe since the big bang (i.e. 10^17+43+80)
    Following from this evolution needs to be theoretically demonstrable within 10^140 molecular state transitions.
    (For comparative purposes see Seth Lloyd’s “Computational Capacity of the Universe” [r62], reviewed by the Economist [r70]. Lloyd comes up with a value of 10^120). ,,
    In particular, 10^140 / 10^1,477 suggests that since the start of the universe all stochastic models would have been able to explore a maximum of just 1 in 10^-1337 of the solution space in search of the correct configuration for a 2,000 atom Ribosome.
    http://www.darwinsmaths.com/

    Also of note: given materialistic/atheistic premises, people, (and/or monkeys as in this case), don’t really ever write books, the laws of physics write books and then inform the ‘illusion of the person’, (or the illusion of a monkey), of the fact afterwards:

    Written by Chance?
    Excerpt: “You might think that someone wrote this article. But of course, you would be mistaken. Articles are not written by people. They are the result of chance. Every intelligent person knows it. There might be some people who want you to think that articles are written by people. But this view is totally unscientific. After all, we cannot see the person who allegedly wrote the article. We cannot detect him or her in any way. The claim that this article has an author cannot be empirically verified, and therefore it must be rejected. All we have is the article itself, and we must find a scientific explanation for its origin. ,,,”
    http://www.youroriginsmatter.c.....chance/142

    Who wrote Richard Dawkins’s new book? – October 28, 2006
    Excerpt: Dawkins: What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don’t feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do.,,,
    Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views?
    Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02783.html

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson – September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: “Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism (MN). If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.
    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact.
    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?
    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,
    You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.,,,
    some feature of “intelligence” must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for.”,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90071.html

    And although Dr. Nelson alluded to writing an e-mail, (i.e. creating information), to tie his ‘personal agent’ argument into intelligent design, Dr. Nelson’s ‘personal agent’ argument can easily be amended to any action that ‘you’, as a personal agent, choose to take:

    “You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”

    “You didn’t open the door. Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”

    “You didn’t raise your hand. Physics did, and informed the illusion you of that event after the fact.”

    “You didn’t etc.. etc.. etc… Physics did, and informed the illusion of you of that event after the fact.”

    Dr. Craig Hazen, in the following video at the 12:26 minute mark, relates how he performed, for an audience full of academics at a college, a ‘miracle’ simply by raising his arm,,

    The Intersection of Science and Religion – Craig Hazen, PhD – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....qlE#t=746s

    What should be needless to say, if raising your arm is enough to refute your supposedly ‘scientific’ worldview of atheistic materialism, then perhaps it is time for you to seriously consider getting a new scientific worldview?

    Verse and Music:

    Acts 3:15
    You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.

    Laura Story – What A Savior
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wG_710JTagU

  9. 9
    cantor says:

    6 MapouJuly 18, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    From the article:

    Chiara Marletto is a postdoctoral research associate and junior research fellow at Wolfson College at the University of Oxford.

    So, some inconsequential young undergraduate is trying to impress his/her peers in order to have ‘PhD’ after his/her name.

    postdoctoral means they already have a PhD

    ~

  10. 10
    Mapou says:

    cantor @9,

    My mistake. Too much weed works wonders with one’s reading comprehension . 😀

    PS. The constructor theory of the origin of life is even worse than I thought.

  11. 11
    tjguy says:

    They call this a scientific theory?

    lol. Shows how hard up they are for answers.

    Complex order cannot arise out of disorder (chaos) because random destructive forces are many orders of magnitude more plentiful than random constructive forces.

    Of course, we know that is true and they know that is true, but when they need a miracle, they are always willing to believe – as long as it has nothing to do with purpose and intelligence!

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