According to well-known origin of life researcher Eugene Koonin (2012),
However, the origin of life—or, to be more precise, the origin of the first replicator systems and the origin of translation-remains a huge enigma, and progress in solving these problems has been very modest — in the case of translation, nearly negligible. Some potentially fruitful observations and ideas exist, such as the discovery of plausible hatcheries for life, the networks of inorganic compartments at hydrothermal vents, and the chemical versatility of ribozymes that fuels the RNA World hypothesis. However, these advances remain only preliminaries, even if important ones, because they do not even come close to a coherent scenario for prebiological evolution, from the first organic molecules to the first replicator systems, and from these to bona fide biological entities in which information storage and function are partitioned between distinct classes of molecules (nucleic acids and proteins, respectively).
In my view, all advances notwithstanding, evolutionary biology is and will remain woefully incomplete until there is at least a plausible, even if not compelling, origin of life scenario. The search for such a solution to the ultimate enigma may take us in unexpected (and deeply counterintuitive for biologists) directions, particularly toward a complete reassessment of the relevant concepts of randomness, probability, and the possible contribution of extremely rare events, as exemplified by the cosmological perspective given in Chapter 12. Koonin, Eugene V. (2012). The Logic of Chance: The Nature and Origin of Biological Evolution. , Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as FT Press Science, New Jersey, page 417. [colour emphasis added]
He’ll settle for something “plausible, even if not compelling,” and he can’t even get that.
Koonin has advocated multiverses as a solution. Sure. Export the problem to an infinite number of entities for which there is no evidence and it pretty well disappears. It’s the other losses (reason, logic, respect for evidence) that concern some of us. See also: In a multiverse, Koonin could be both right and wrong any number of times. Also here.
Another fine, productive day in the world of methodological naturalism.
4 Replies to “Origin of life: How are we doing?”
Wouldn’t an infinite number of universes mean that there is also an infinite number of worlds exactly like ours?
As to Koonin’s rather honest comment here:
Well for atheistic biologists, I would say the direction to the answer of the question of where all life ultimately comes is especially ‘unexpected and deeply counterintuitive’.,,, We now have evidence for a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time cause, for the first life on earth from two different lines of evidence.
First and foremost, we now have surprisingly strong 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.
Moreover, to the deep disappointment of atheistic materialists, there is no evidence that prebiotic (i.e. primordial soup) activity ever preceded the origin of photosynthetic life on earth:
Moreover, the ‘miracle’ of the origin of photosynthesis has occurred at least a half of a dozen times:
But where this becomes extremely problematic for atheistic materialists (as if the preceding was not bad enough for them) is that photosynthesis itself (an extremely sophisticated process) is now known to require a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause!
At the 21:00 minute mark of the following video, Dr Suarez explains why photosynthesis needs a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause to explain its effect:
Moreover, this is direct evidence that a non-local, beyond space-time mass-energy, cause must ultimately be responsible for ‘feeding’ all life on earth, since all higher life on earth is eventually completely dependent on this non-local ‘photosynthetic energy’ in which to live their lives on this earth.
There are many other lines of evidence pointing out the extreme fine-tuning of light for life on earth (Gonzalez, Denton, Bradley), but to address the other main piece of ‘quantum’ evidence that we now have that strongly indicates that we must appeal to a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause (i.e. a non-materialistic cause) to explain the origin of life on earth. We now have evidence for ‘non-local’ quantum entanglement in molecular biology on a massive scale (in every DNA and Protein molecule!)
Moreover ‘non-local’ Quantum Entanglement is directly associated with the insurmountable ‘information problem’ that materialists have in dealing with the origin of life (S. Meyer: Signature In The Cell):
In what is an understatement, it is very interesting to note that quantum entanglement, which conclusively demonstrates that ‘information’ in its pure ‘quantum form’ is completely transcendent of any time and space constraints, should be found in molecular biology on such a massive scale, for how can the quantum entanglement ‘effect’ in biology possibly be explained by a material (matter/energy) ’cause’ when the quantum entanglement ‘effect’ falsified material particles as its own ‘causation’ in the first place? (A. Aspect, A. Zeilinger) Appealing to the probability of various configurations of material particles, as Darwinism does, simply will not help since a timeless/spaceless cause must be supplied which is beyond the capacity of the material particles themselves to supply! To give a coherent explanation for an effect that is shown to be completely independent of any time and space constraints one is forced to appeal to a cause that is itself not limited to time and space! i.e. Put more simply, you cannot explain a effect by a cause that has been falsified by the very same effect you are seeking to explain! Improbability arguments of various ‘special’ configurations of material particles, which have been a staple of the arguments against neo-Darwinism, simply do not apply since the cause is not within the material particles in the first place!
Thus we have two line of evidence from quantum mechanics refuting a materialistic origin of life scenario. One, we have to appeal to a ‘non-local’ cause to explain why DNA and protein molecules exist in the first place. And two, we have to appeal to a ‘non-local’ cause to explain what is driving photosynthesis. As a Christian, I have a ‘non-local’ cause to appeal to:
But then again, for Christians, this all should be no surprise at all since the primary teaching of Christianity is that God overcame death through Christ. i.e. In Christ is life!
Semi-OT: Dr. Stephen Meyer has another post up on ENV
Does Lightning-Fast Evolution Solve the Cambrian Enigma? – Stephen C. Meyer October 24, 2013