In a post on his blog Why Evolution is True, Dr. Jerry Coyne took some potshots at Rabbi Adam Jacobs and myself about an article by Jacobs on the Huffington Post “A reasonable argument for God’s existence”When all was said and done, Dr. Coyne summed up his “slam dunk” case for a naturalistic origin of life:
“Nope, we don’t yet understand how life originated on Earth, but we have good leads, and abiogenesis is a thriving field. And we may never understand how life originated on Earth, because the traces of early life have vanished. We know it happened at least once (and that all species descend from only one origin), but not how. I’m pretty confident that within, say, 50 years we’ll be able to create life in a laboratory under the conditions of primitive Earth, but that, too, won’t tell us exactly how it did happen—only that it could. ” -Jerry Coyne
Can you imagine going before a judge and arguing you KNOW that the defendant is guilty, but the court will have to wait 50 years for the evidence?”
Yes, I can imagine it, and I can already hear “Case dismissed!”
Which is where origin of life studies really are, and remember, Coyne said it himself. I’ve said the same thing a dozen times – that OOL is a futile pursuit because the answer is probably unavailable. Guess they don’t need me to point it out any more if one of our moral and intellectual superiors has said it.
The mere fact that a bunch of people are putting out papers in the field only shows … what? That it’s a winner?
The Reb invites anyone who is young enough and assumes they will around in 50 years to meet in Hyde Park at Jerry Coyne’s house near the U. of Chicago in March of 2061, and he will serve lunch and show us the results of his research.
Mark the month, youths and maidens, and wait for details.