At ENST: Stadler and Anderson explore how origin-of-life papers and popular media reports have misled the public, evidenced by a survey underscored by Rice University synthetic organic chemist James Tour.
Royal Truman: “The hype which accompanied the publication in 2010 of what they dubbed Synthia overlooked how nothing of relevance to support evolution was accomplished. In a nutshell, the DNA sequence of a living bacterium was duplicated synthetically, and then transferred into a living cell. This would be comparable to copying a program from one computer to a different one, and then giving the impression the entire system, including hardware and operating system, could have originated on its own.”
Stadler and Tan: Hundreds of millions of years of “deep time” is frequently cited as the saving feature for the profound improbability of each step of the Stairway [to Life]. Yet time is only an ally of a slow constructive process if degradation is ignored.
Well adapted to the believability of mainstream claims. The thing to see here is that origin of life is history, not science. That point is often missed. Science is about how laws act in nature; history is about the details of what actually happened. If you want to know how life originated, you want to know history. It may or may not be accessible. We might never know how life originated for the same reasons as we may never know whether Neanderthal man had a religion. Anything anyone says on the subject is conjecture or ideology, not evidence.
Rob Stadler: Abiogenesis [random origin of life] advocates claim that life started with “protocells” because extant life is far too complex to have started by natural processes. But, all of our efforts to simplify extant life to produce a “protocell” have shown us that extant life is about as simple as it can be.
Remember, these same authors wrote a scathing review of Darwin Devolves in the journal Evolution. Now, somehow, they must hold their position of opposing Darwin Devolves, while presenting compelling evidence to support Darwin Devolves. Quite a conundrum!
Rob Stadler:Origin-of-life chemists have the nasty habit of including only a few pure reagents in their solutions, then claiming victory when they produce something biotic. I’d like to see them place 36603 types of interfering molecules in their flask along with 82 desired biotic molecules, and then hope that the reaction produces something closer to life!
Rob Stadler: (puncturing the balloon) The fact that it is recognized as a meaningful contribution is a testimony to the desperation to show progress—it stands out only because no meaningful progress can be made in any direction that is actually relevant to life.
Rob Stadler: By studying the simplest forms of life and laboratory efforts to synthesize life, we know that the simplest living organisms are extraordinarily complex. Al life contains highly interdependent subsystems and hierarchical layers of information that flows between the subsystems.
Rob Stadler: When high-confidence evidence is appropriately prioritized over low-confidence evidence, the result is a profound new view of evolution – one that they did not teach you in biology.