Further to Rob Sheldon’s thoughts on origin of life as an information-concentrating event (one of the few approaches that make sense), here is one person’s honest opinion, after half drowning in news about what seem like hundreds of other maybe-it-just-sort-of-happened-like-this guesses:
These guesstimates for origin of life only escape dismissal as pseudoscience because all the nonsense happens to be naturalistic. Okay, so why should naturalism provide such protection? Either naturalism is simply the officially approved nonsense (of which the circus around origin of life is merely one wagonload) or the mere fact that it isn’t woo should not be enough.
Here at Evolution News & Views, I suggest that the only sensible solution is to concentrate on actually trying to create life in the lab:
Could we at least apply what we learn from designing life ourselves to the lost events of deep time? Maybe. But the most reliable methods for producing life in the lab might require the most intervention or feature the conditions we think least likely on early Earth. On the other hand, we could at least test panspermia models. Best results stemming from Mars or asteroid simulations would support panspermia far more strongly than lack of success with Earth-based models (really, panspermia is then just an argument from desperation).
And — some may think this benefit alone worth all the trouble, risk, and expense — we could ignore dozens of sketchy model-of-the-month scenarios based on contested claims about Earth’s history. Either a model creates life or it isn’t ready for prime time. Science journals can then dispense with complex conditional tenses like “might have had,” “could have had,” and “would have had” when writing about the creation of life. In short, the lab approach offers an all-science-and-no-religion way out of the present quagmire, with the likelihood of at least some useful answers. Why not just generally adopt it, or at least work toward it? More.
Why indeed? Because its success might not affirm naturalism? – O’Leary for News
See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (origin of life)
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