Saturday, September 28, 2019

Do We Have An Adequate Understanding Of The Origin Of The First Life? No! (Part 1)

            ‘Origins of Life’ (OOL) research is a precursor to the theme of evolution. Any discussion on evolution is moot when OOL scientists are clueless as to the origin of the very first life.

            A USD 10 million prize is up for grabs! Anyone who can answer the question ‘Where did life come from?’ and ‘Where did the genetic code come from?’ can receive the prize money from Evolution 2.0.1

            What do our naturalist friends offer (from the atheistic or the scientific materialistic bandwagon) as answers to the question, how did the very first [self-replicating] life originate?

            Acclaimed atheist and evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins is clueless. In response to a question, ‘What areas excite you in terms of future breakthroughs in evolutionary theory?’ Dawkins replied, “The origin of life. The origin of the first self-replicating information is key to the whole process. It's a somewhat baffling question and is a problem of chemistry rather than the biology I am used to. I would like to see that solved – perhaps it won't be with total certainty, but I would hope to see a theory so beautifully plausible that it kind of has to be true. One would hope for a chemical model that makes us say "yes!". That would be wonderful.”2

            American astrophysicist and science communicator, Neil deGrasse Tyson is also clueless, “However, Tyson is quick to point out that we don’t understand the most vital component of evolution — the beginning. “We still don’t know how we go from organic molecules to self-replicating life,” Tyson said, and he noted how unfortunate this is because “that is basically the origin of life as we know it.” The process is called abiogenesis. In non-scientific jargon, it deals with how life arises from nonliving matter. Although we have a number of hypotheses related to this process, we don’t have a comprehensive understanding or any evidence to support one.”3

            A cursory glance at the Abiogenesis page4 of Wikipedia will send any layman into a tailspin. From outer space to earth, OOL scientists postulate an extremely wide variety of theories/models!

            Christian apologist J. Warner Wallace has abbreviated these models for the consumption of a lay man:5

In my…book, God’s Crime Scene: A Homicide Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe, I make a comprehensive case for the existence of God from eight pieces of evidence in the universe. In Chapter Three (The Origin of Life: Does the Text Require an Author?), I describe the futility scientists have experienced when trying to identify the location in the universe where life might have originated without the intercession and involvement of an Intelligent Designer. The origin of life requires the emergence of pre-biotic molecules (amino acids and nucleotide bases). Where could this have happened? Could life have originated from “inside the room” of the natural universe? If so, where, and is there a better explanation for the origin of life “outside the room” of the universe?
… Here is a very brief summary of the failed attempts to locate a reasonable naturalistic point of origin:
Could Life Have Started in the Atmosphere?
You may remember the famous 1952 Miller-Urey experiment from your high school or undergraduate biology class. Stanley Miller and Harold Urey mixed ammonia, methane, water vapor, and hydrogen and passed an electric charge through the circulating gases. Within a week, they found several types of amino acids had been created. This experiment later became the “poster child” for a naturalistic explanation of the basic building blocks of life. Many believed it proved amino acids could be formed naturally in the atmosphere of the early earth. But with the evidence we now have about the conditions of the early atmosphere, we know the gases used by Miller and Urey were not present in the quantity or proportion they used. While this experiment may have some historical significance, it does not prove life could originate in the atmosphere. In fact, scientists now believe the early atmosphere simply could not produce amino acids at any significant or necessary level.
Could It Have Started in Water?
Like the Miller-Urey experiment, the concept of an ancient “primordial soup” is an iconic fixture in most entry-level biology textbooks. Soviet biologist Alexander Oparin first proposed the idea in 1924, arguing “chemical evolution” took place in the Earth’s early waters, resulting in the formation of amino acids, then primitive proteins. But aside from the fact we have no physical evidence to support the existence of a “primordial soup,” we now know the “chicken and egg” relationship between proteins and polymer chains (DNA) makes their simultaneous appearance in water extremely unlikely (to put it mildly). In addition, the absence of significant sources of phosphate for the early formation of DNA, RNA or ATP is prohibitive in this environment. Worse yet, there would be no way to limit the proportion of left and right “handed” amino acids, nucleotides and sugars in the “primordial soup”, making the formation of DNA and RNA molecules exceedingly difficult.
Could It Have Started On Land?
Some researchers have proposed a scenario in which local terrestrial conditions, such as those occurring in clay, might capture water on occasion, allowing the necessary molecules to form and interact. But when trying to recreate these conditions in the laboratory, scientists have come to realize the impossibility of stabilizing the environment to allow for the formation of the necessary cellular components.
Could It Have Started In the Earth?
Some scientists have proposed an underground location for the origin of life where molecular formation would be protected from water and atmospheric interference. But the underground locations available in the early earth would have been incredibly hostile to the formation of bio-chemical precursors, proteins and RNA. Just as problematic would be imagining a scenario in which these primitive forms of life could then transition from their underground origin to their eventual homes above ground.
Could It Have Started In Space?
Some scientists, frustrated with the lack of progress locating a reasonable earthly source for pre-biotic molecules, have turned their attention to outer space. But even if the basic building blocks for life, amino acids, were delivered to earth in a meteorite, this would still fail to explain how the simple molecules formed into the more complex proteins and nucleic acids necessary for life, given the “chicken and egg” problem (refer to Chapter Three of God’s Crime Scene). And if these more complex organic elements came to us from space, how did they originate there and how could they survive the entry into earth’s atmosphere?
…There’s a reason why scientists are so divided over the location of life’s origin: None of the proposed environments offer a viable, reasonable explanation. Arizona State Cosmologist Paul Davies agrees: “Origin-of-life researchers cannot identify any location on primordial Earth suitable for production of pre-biotic molecules.” Every effort to stay “inside the room” of the natural universe to explain the origin of life simply fails…
            So on one hand, the spokespersons for naturalism are clueless about the origins of life. But on the other hand, there are many models for origins of life and moreover, the media continues to announce that there has been a breakthrough discovery here and there that could possibly explain the origins of life.

            Are the OOL scientists close to understanding the Origins of Life conundrum?

            More to follow…







Websites last accessed on 28th September 2019.                   

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