Defending the Christian Worlview, Creationism, and Intelligent Design
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Defending the Christian Worlview, Creationism, and Intelligent Design

This is my personal virtual library, where i collect information, which leads in my view to the Christian faith, creationism, and Intelligent Design as the best explanation of the origin of the physical Universe, life, and biodiversity

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Defending the Christian Worlview, Creationism, and Intelligent Design » Origin of life » Abiogenesis is mathematically impossible

Abiogenesis is mathematically impossible

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31Abiogenesis is mathematically  impossible - Page 2 Empty First Life Sat Oct 17, 2015 12:43 pm


First Life 1

The very first life form on earth. What was it? What did it look like? When did it appear? How did it come to be? These are all very good questions. Questions which are usually answered with more imagination than actual science since we weren’t there to observe of course. But the biggest question has to be the “how.” It is the “how,” that plagues the scientist’s mind when it comes to the first life.
There are only two means by which the first life could have appeared: natural origins or supernatural origins. Natural origins means the life came from non-living chemicals. Supernatural origins means the life came from an Intelligent Designer, a Creator God. Now immediately science throws out supernatural origins because it is of course not natural, and therefore, in the minds of most scientists, not science. Yet science itself cannot seem to yield any satisfying answers to the origin of life on earth. If life came from non-life, this brings with it a wide variety of problems and dead ends.

The Environment Problem
As much as we understand this planet to be hospitable for life, it is only hospitable for life fitted to live on it. For example, oxygen and water are required for life to exist, but are also detrimental to the internal components of an organism.
Let us take oxygen for example: It is a poisonous gas that oxidizes organic material.[1] The only way organisms can tolerate it is because they are already capable of tolerating it, with membranes that protect oxygen from damaging internal components of the cell. Therefore there is no way the organisms could have evolved from non-living material unless protective membranes were already present to protect the vulnerable internal organelles from oxidization. What are the odds that the first life form ever just so happened to have a protective membrane already in place?
Some evolutionists argue that this is not a problem because it assumes oxygen was not present in the early atmosphere of earth, and therefore not a threat. But the evidence does not support this claim. Even earth’s oldest rocks contain evidence of formation in an oxygen rich atmosphere.[2] Atmospheric physicists believe the earth has been fully oxidized for at least 4 billion years.[3] A fairly recent article published on crystals dated to 4.4 billion years ago show heavy evidence of oxidation.[4] Additionally, oxygen is needed for life as protection from harmful UV rays which we have via from the ozone layer, which is made out of oxygen![5] If there was no oxygen UV rays would eradicate all early life forms. Biochemist and molecular biologist Michael Denton writes, “What we have is sort of a ‘Catch 22’ situation. If we have oxygen we have no organic compounds, but if we don’t have oxygen we have none either.”[6]
To get around this concern of oxidization, scientists propose life formulated in the oceans and therefore was not subjected to oxygen initially. But just as with oxygen, water is hazardous to life as well. Organic molecules would be destroyed through the process of hydrolysis (also called “water splitting”) in which water bonds between two molecules causing them to split apart.[7] Any amino acid trying to form a protein would have its bond broken in a short matter of time. The US National Academy of Sciences confirms, “In water, the assembly of nucleosides from component sugars and nucleobases, the assembly of nucleotides from nucleosides and phosphate, and the assembly of oligonucleotides from nucleotides are all thermodynamically uphill in water. Two amino acids do not spontaneously join in water. Rather, the opposite reaction is thermodynamically favored at any plausible concentrations: polypeptide chains spontaneously hydrolyze in water, yielding their constituent amino acids.”[8] Physicist Richard Morris concurs, “… water tends to break chains of amino acids. If any proteins had formed in the ocean 3.5 billion years ago, they would have quickly disintegrated.”[9] Thus, the first life form would have needed a protective membrane already in place to protect it from oxygen and water. Yet, where did this membrane come from?
Additionally, the cytoplasm of living cells contain essential minerals of potassium, zinc, manganese and phosphate ions. If cells manifested naturally, these minerals would need to be present nearby. But marine environments do not have widespread concentrations of these minerals.[10] This has lead researchers to propose that life originated not in oceans, and not in locations exposed to oxygen, but instead in geothermal pools, geysers and mudpools, much like the primordial soup Darwin proposed. Yet all these geothermal features have one thing in common: They are incredibly acidic.[11] They also tend to be very hot, which would destroy many vital amino acids.[12] How did the cell develop protection from this acidity and from this heat? Without such protection initially it could have never come together.
Some speculate that natural selection of non-living chemicals provided such protective features. This is, however, a common error some scientists make in this arena when they propose natural selection occurred for these protective systems to be in place. As Chemist Dr. Jonathan Sarfati points out, “…when it comes to the origin of first life, natural selection cannot be invoked, because natural selection is differential reproduction. That is, if it worked at all, it could only work on a living organism that could produce offspring. By its very definition, it could not work on non-living chemicals. Therefore, chance alone must produce the precise sequences needed, so these simulations do not apply.”[13]
A significant problem with proposing life arose spontaneously via natural means is that in order to do so, the components of the cell would have to be naturally nearby. In other words, the cell’s chemical makeup would have to be harmonious with the environment’s chemical make up. UniversityCollegeof Londonbiochemist Nick Lanepoints out the problem with this, “To suggest that the ionic composition of primordial cells should reflect the composition of the oceans is to suggest that cells are in equilibrium with their medium, which is close to saying that they are not alive. Cells require dynamic disequilibrium — that is what being alive is all about.”[14] This is a tough fact to accept, but undoubtedly true. How could the first life form have naturally manifested via chemical means with a chemical make up so different and unique from the environment it is within?

The Homochirality Problem
Moving forward brings forth a new set of problems when amino acids are discussed. Often amino acids are discovered in locations where it is suggested they are naturally produced (like being found in meteorites). When this happens there is usually a hype of excitement over uncovering the source of the origin of life via natural means. But simply having amino acids around doesn’t solve the origin of life problem. There is an issue of handedness with amino acids. Out of the twenty amino acids used for life, the atoms that build them formulate two different shapes; right handed and left-handed amino acids. Just like a human hand, they’re slightly different. Your thumb is on the left side on one hand, but on the right side on the other. Amino acids are likewise mirror images of each other and are therefore called chiral.
But this creates a problem. Just like hands clasping together, right and left handed amino acids want to bond, canceling each other out. Yet, the amino acids found in proteins are 100% left handed, where as right handed amino acids are never found in proteins![15] Research indicates that right handed amino acids could never form a functioning protein. The fact that only left handed amino acids can create life is called homochirality. Yet any natural process of creating amino acids would create and equal amount of both left handed and right handed amino acids calledracemates.[16]
 Abiogenesis is mathematically  impossible - Page 2 Amino-acid-chirality
One of the most influential chemist/biochemists of the 20th century, Linus Pauling, writes, “This is a very puzzling fact… All the proteins that have been investigated, obtained from animals and from plants from higher organisms and from very simple  organisms- bacteria, molds, even viruses- are found to have been made of L-amino acids.”[17] This is puzzling of course because what natural process only produces one type of amino acid, and not the other amino acid detrimental to life? The late Robert Shapiro, professor emeritus of chemistry at New York University writes, “The reason for this choice [only L-amino acids] is again a mystery, and a subject of continued dispute.”[18] Biochemist and head of the Department of Nuclear Medicine and Director of Clinical Research at the Singapore General Hospital, Dr. Aw Swee-Eng, is more direct on the subject, “The logical conclusion from these considerations is a simple and parsimonious one, that homochirality and life came together. But evolutionary lore forbids such a notion. It claims to explain how life began, but on the profound issue of life’s “handedness” there is no selective mechanism that it can plausibly endorse.”[19]

The Concept of Information
One factor that is sometimes left out in origin of life talks, that is in my opinion, critical, is the concept of information. All living organisms contain within their DNA information, and not just a little, but a lot! Former physics professor and director of information processing at the Instituteof Physicsand Technology in Braunschweig Germany, Dr. Werner Gitt, writes, “The highest known (statistical) information density is obtained in living cells, exceeding by far the best achievements of highly integrated storage densities in computer systems.”[20] This information leads to highly efficient bio-machinery in our cells that complete a vast array of functions. Every biological function that occurs can be traced back to proteins from genes from reading and transcribing RNA that receives the instructions from the information stored in DNA. It doesn’t simply just happen. It is an immensely complex, sophisticated and detailed process occurring non-stop and very rapidly. In fact, the average cell produces a protein through these processes every four minutes.[21]
Any theory or hypothesis to how life originated naturally must take the source of this information into account. Yet, none can be found. Gitt writes, “There is no known law of nature, no known process and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter.”[22] Biologist Dr. Raymond Bohlin writes, “DNA is information code… The overwhelming conclusion is that information does not and cannot arise spontaneously by mechanistic processes. Intelligence is a necessity in the origin of any informational code, including the genetic code, no matter how much time is given.”[23] Philosopher of Science and founder of the Discovery Institute, Dr. Stephen Meyer, writes, “Our uniform experience affirms that specified information-whether inscribed hieroglyphics, written in a book, encoded in a radio signal, or produced in a simulation experiment-always arises from an intelligent source, from a mind and not a strictly material process.”[24]
Thus, we are left with no natural method or process by which non-living chemicals can produce the informational code found in every life form that as ever existed. Biologist, Chemist and Physiologist Dr. Gary Parker writes, “Imagine that you have just finished reading a fabulous novel. Wanting to read another book like it, you exclaim to a friend, ‘Wow! That was quite a book. I wonder where I can get a bottle of that ink?’ Of course not! You wouldn’t give the ink and paper credit for writing the book. You’d praise the author, and look for another book by the same writer. By some twist of logic, though, many who read the fabulous DNA script want to give credit to the ‘ink (DNA base code) and paper (proteins)’ for composing the code.”[25]

Not Enough Time
With all things considered, many scientists try to jettison out the first life dilemma with the “time” argument. The argument being that given enough time anything can happen! Even the impossible…
The late Nobel prize winning scientist George Wald once wrote, “However improbable we regard this event [evolution], or any of the steps which it involves, given enough time it will almost certainly happen at least once… Time is in fact the hero of the plot… Given so much time, the ‘impossible’ becomes possible, the possible probable, the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait; time itself performs the miracles.”[26]
Now let us logically think about this. Given enough time, anything is possible? First, I feel pressed to point out that there is something irrational in saying that because something is possible, it will occur. Or anything that can happen,will happen. It is possible that in flipping a coin every minute for fifty years you will get heads every time and never tails… but that doesn’t mean it will happen if you tried. Regardless, the notion that given enough time anything can happen is hardly scientific in my opinion, because it flies in the face of observational science. For example, the Law of Biogenesis which firmly points out that life has only been observed coming from existing life, never from non-life. There is also cell theory, which states that cells arise from pre-existing cells. Regardless of the amount of time tacked onto the issue, the law cannot change, and the dimension of time has no characteristic capable of changing this law.
Let us take for example a chair placed in a room. The chair remains in the room for one hundred years, then a thousand years, and eventually billions of years. At any point would that chair become organic or “living” in anyway? Of course not. It would remain just a chair forever. Why? Because there is nothing inherent in non-living molecules that drive them to arrange themselves into living structures. If there were, they’d be doing so to this day at an observable rate. Such is not the case. Life comes from life, and non-life remains non-life everyday.
Another flaw in this argument is the amount of time in question. Such statements like Wald’s seem to have at least a small degree of plausibility in perhaps an infinite time scenario, but time is not infinite. It definitely had a starting point. A starting point which conventional scientists place at 12 to 14 billion years ago. That is a major constraint on how long time is allowed to work its magic. Cosmologist Dr. Hugh Ross writes, “When it comes to the origin of life, many biologists (and others) have typically assumed that plenty of time is available for natural processes to perform the necessary assembly. But discoveries about the universe and the solar system have shattered that assumption. What we see now is that life must have originated on earth quickly.”[27]
This constraint worsens though because conventional geology and biology places the first life forming 3.5 billion years ago, and the earth is only supposedly 4.5 billion years old. So from a naturalist’s or uniformitarian’s point of view there was a billion years from the time earth was formed to the first fossil evidence of life, from which life is said to have manifested. A billion years is a significant time constraint.
Yet, the time constraint worsens further. From a conventional scientist’s perspective adhering to the nebular hypothesis of sun and planet formation, time is further restricted. The first millions of years would have been one of intense meteorite bombardment of earth as the solar system was forming. These intense meteorite bombardments would have eradicated any chance of life forming on earth. By the time these impacts are calculated to have ceased and the time of the first life forms appearing in the fossil record we’re left with a 10 million year gap.[28] That is an enormous time constraint. Additionally, some scientists propose this time frame was shorter because of the “faint sun paradox.” Namely, that the sun was 20 to 30% less luminous when it first existed, creating a very cold inhospitable world.[29]This makes it difficult to apply Ward’s philosophy of an abundance of time making the impossible possible because there is, for lack of a better phrase, hardly any time at all…
In fact, Nobel Prize winning cytologist and biochemist Christian de Duve states, “It is now generally agreed that if life arose spontaneously by natural processes—a necessary assumption if we wish to remain within the realm of science—it must have arisen fairly quickly, more in a matter of millennia or centuries, perhaps even less.”[30] So much for having all the time in the world.
Lastly, I do feel it is necessary to point out the entropy dilemma when it comes to time. The more time that elapses the higher the entropy, so if anything more time doesn’t make anything possible, but in fact, decreases the potential of anything to happen. As biochemist Dr. Royal Truman writes, “The claim that, with time, anything is possible, including the creation and perpetuation of life, is not based on any scientific principle. Rather, the opposite is true: complex and improbable structures of any kind tend to disintegrate over time.”[31] Sarfati agrees, “Long time periods do not help the evolutionary theory if biochemicals are destroyed faster than they are formed.”[32]

Panspermia; DNA astronauts
The difficulty with life spontaneously arising via chemical means is such a problematic concept that it lead Nobel Prize winner and DNA founder Francis Crick to instead postulate that life originated someplace else and traveled to earth via meteorite or space craft.[33] He admits, correctly, that this does not solve the origin of life problem, but merely pushes it back to another location, but that is precisely the point. He proposes that another life bearing planet may have had a slightly different environment more hospitable for the natural chemical means for life to originate.[34] This theory relies on the hypothetical existence of other such life bearing planets to which there is no scientific evidence of, period.
Abiogenesis is mathematically  impossible - Page 2 Origin-of-life
There is additionally a whole host of other problems with Panspermia. How do living cells survive an arduously long space flight on a meteorite? Let us not forget how far away the nearest star is much less the nearest hypothetical life bearing planet. Think of how difficult it would be to create and engineer a capsule to keep living cells alive for thousands of years of space flight, yet a random natural meteorite is capable of doing the job? DNA would have succumb to radiation exposure over such a long period of time in space flight. How did the DNA withstand the lethal radiation? So, these same cells that defied death in thousands (if not millions) of years of freezing space exposed to lethal radiation then somehow survived a scorching hot entry into earth’s atmosphere to reproduce on earth’s surface? As chemist Russell Grigg puts it, “All in all, interstellar space travel for living organisms is sheer wishful thinking.”[35]
What about contamination? Many of the meteorites found on earth claimed to have evidence of microbial life could just have easily had been contaminated with microbial life after they landed. Contamination is the number one reason why all these claims have been rejected actually.
To get around these concerns, many scientists instead believe meteorites and comets didn’t have life per se, but had the building blocks of life on them. But this circles back around to the original reason why panspermia was imagined in the first place. The building blocks of life were already present on earth. Adding more to the mix via meteorites doesn’t in anyway increase the likelihood of life arising via chemical means anyways. Ross brings up another good point, “Though comets, meteorites partly composed of carbon, and interplanetary dust particles may carry some prebiotics, they carry far too few to make a difference. In fact, with every helpful molecule they bring, come several more that would get in the way- useless molecules that would substitute for the needed ones.”[36] Life developing from nonliving chemicals is hard enough to prove, but suggesting life was seeded by meteorites from hypothetical life elsewhere in the universe is flat out impossible to prove. Yet, likewise, impossible to disprove… and so many cling to this notion to avoid a supernatural cause.

From Bolts to Boeing 747s
Many scientists additionally fail to properly distinguish the building blocks of life and living organisms themselves. Parker writes, “The pyramids are made of stone, but studying the stone does not even begin to explain how the pyramids were built. Similarly, until evolutionists begin to explain the origin of the ‘orderly mechanism,’ they have not even begun to talk about the origin of life.”[37]Just as there is a huge void between the bolts and small parts of a 747 to them actually all being carefully assembled into a fully functioning 747, likewise, the simple building blocks of life are organized in an immensely complex way in even the most primitive of organisms.
Hoyle writes of this airplane analogy, “What are the chances that a tornado might blow through a junkyard containing all the parts of a 747, accidentally assemble them into a plane, and leave it ready for take off? The possibilities are so small as to be negligible even if a tornado were to blow through enough junkyards t fill the whole universe!”[38]Botanist Alexander Williams states, “There is an unbridgeable abyss below the autopoietic hierarchy, between the dirty, mass-action chemistry of the natural environment and the perfect purity, the single-molecule precision, the structural specificity, and the inversely causal integration, regulation, repair, maintenance and differential reproduction of life.”[39]
According to molecular biophysicist Harold Morowitz If you were to take a living cell, break every chemical bond within it so that all you are left with is the raw molecular ingredients, the odds of them all reassembling back into a cell (under ideal natural conditions) is one chance in 10100,000,000,000.[40] Additionally, Morowitz assumed all amino acids were bioactive when calculating these odds.[41] But only twenty different types of amino acids are bioactive, and of those, only left handed ones can be used for life. This further worsens the odds… And with odds like that, time is completely irrelevant because no amount of time could surpass before such an impossible miracle occurred naturally.
Non-theists counter argue that life was not necessarily as complex in the beginning as it is today. Therefore, the odds of a less complex form of life spontaneously assembling are much more probable. The problem with this counter argument is that the earth 3.5 billion years ago was supposedly hardly different at all (environment and atmosphere-wise) than earth today. Meaning the bare necessities required for life to exist on earth today were the same in the past, which is that of great complexity. Additionally minimum complexity presents its own problems in that minimally complex organisms require other larger organisms to survive and are not capable of surviving individually. Thus the first life and its subsequent offspring would have had to have been able to survive independently which requires sophisticated biological features.
Astronomer Michael Hart calculated the odds of DNA spontaneously generating with 100 specific genes (what he declared to be the minimum possible for life) in the most unrealistic yet optimistic conditions over the course of ten billion years. The odds? One in ten to the negative three thousandth power (10-3,000).[42] The time it would take for 200,000 amino acids to come together by chance to create one human cell would be 293.5 times the estimated age of earth of 4.6 billion years.[43] The Director of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Delaware, Dermott Mullan, calculates that the odds of RNA assembling into a primitive cell over the course of an optimistic 1 billion years is one in 1079.[44] Material scientist Dr. Walter Bradley and Chemist Dr. Charles Thaxton calculated that the probability of amino acids forming just one protein is 4.9 x 10-191.[45] The odds of amino acids coincidentally being in the precise order and folds required to make the all the enzymes required for life is 10-650.[46] These are all horrible odds for a natural origin of life. Then consider that these statistics are independent of each other; the DNA would have to spontaneously generate, amino acids randomly together to form proteins in a cell, RNA assembling into a cell, etc. It is hard to accept with these odds, that anything that can happen did happen.

The Reproduction Puzzle
The late philosopher Anthony Flew, an ex-atheist, spoke of many of the philosophical troubles he had with the natural origins for life. One of which that was of great concern was reproduction. Life evolving from non-life is already such a statistical impossibility, but if it did happen, this first life would have to be able to reproduce and replicate itself. Information encoded DNA capable of driving life derived from non-living chemicals is already an absurd concept, but to contain information for replication and overall reproduction is astounding. This is from a philosophical standpoint, perplexing. It is too perfect and too coincidental that the very first life, already an impossibility, just so happened to also be able to duplicate itself. Such ability has “design” written all over it, not “chance.”

Error Protection
Even the most primitive cells today have multiple checkpoints in place to protect against errors. Cells have DNA checkpoints, where cell function momentarily pauses for special proteins to repair damaged DNA. There is an apoptosis checkpoint right before mitosis begins where specialized proteins called survivins run a “diagnostics” to determine whether the cell will proceed with mitosis or die through apoptosis. A spindle assembly checkpoint ensures chromosomes are properly bound together. Telomeres burn like fuses every time a cell divides. Once a telomere becomes too short, the cell stops dividing, usually maxing out at fifty divides.[47]  This feature controls cell division. Failure for these mentioned checkpoints to operate leads to a whole host of diseases, most notably cancers.[48]
So how did the first cell protect against errors when it reproduced? Such a capability could not have evolved, because such a capability would have been needed right from the very beginning. Without such a feature, all subsequent life would contain error-prone genetics and would not be able to function or reproduce. Mullan, points out, “A cell formed under these conditions [naturally] would truly be subject to serious uncertainties not only during day to day existence but especially during replication. The cell could hardly be considered robust.”[49] In order to maintain healthy function and reproduction, the first cell would have already needed these specialized checkpoints to guard against errors. The cells could not afford to wait thousands or millions of years for them to evolve. If they did, we wouldn’t be here.

Simultaneous Presence
In order to have fully functioning life at even the most basic kind, functioning RNA, DNA and proteins must be present. Remove any one of these from the picture and life can’t function. For example, transcription, translation and DNA replication all require systems already in place to occur. These functions could not simply have evolved because life requires them in place to begin with. As Ross states, “Thus, for life to originate mechanically, all three kinds of molecules [DNA, RNA, and proteins] would need to emerge spontaneously and simultaneously from organic compounds. Even the most optimistic of researchers agree that the chance appearance of these incredibly complex molecules at exactly the same time and place was beyond the realm of natural possibility.”[50]
Though biologists point out that some RNA has been found to act as enzymes or catalysts to perform functions that DNA or a protein would normally do, this has lead many scientists to propose that all one needs is the spontaneous generation of RNA, and it would take care of the rest. Problems with this theory is that the RNA studied to reveal these abilities was very limited, and could not account for the vast functioning seen in DNA and proteins overall. Furthermore, in order for RNA to function this way it would have to contain just as much information as the DNA and protein itself, so the issue of complexity in even the earliest life isn’t solved with RNA either. Molecular Biologist and professor at the Scripps Research Institute, Dr. Gerald F. Joyce writes, “The most reasonable interpretation is that life did not start with RNA … The transition to an RNA world, like the origins of life in general, is fraught with uncertainty and is plagued by a lack of relevant experimental data. Researchers into the origins of life have grown accustomed to the level of frustration in these problems …”[51]

Biologist Jonathan Wells just about sums it up, “So we remain profoundly ignorant of how life originated.”[52] Earth Scientist Casey Luskin writes, “It’s time for a little reality check here: origin-of-life theorists need to explain how a myriad of complex proteins and features arose and self-assembled into a self-replicating life-form by unguided processes, but they are still scraping for mechanisms to explain how an inert primordial soup of organic molecules could have arisen in the first place.”[53] Hoyle writes, “If there were some deep principle that drove organic systems towards living systems, the operation of the principle should easily be demonstratable in a test tube in half a morning. Needless to say, no such demonstration has ever been given. Nothing happens when organic materials are subjected to the usual prescription of showers of electrical sparks or drenched in ultraviolet light, except the eventual production of a tarry sludge,” and “As biochemists discover more and more about the awesome complexity of live, it is apparent that its chances of originating by accident are so minute that they can be completely ruled out. Life cannot have arisen by chance.”[54] Physicist and Information Theorist Dr. Hubet Yockey writes, “The origin of life by chance in a primeval soup is impossible in probability in the same way that a perpetual machine is in probability. The extremely small probabilities calculated… are not discouraging to true believers . . . [however] A practical person must conclude that life didn’t happen by chance.”[55]
Yockey then goes further to add, “The history of science shows that a paradigm, once it has achieved the status of acceptance (and is incorporated in textbooks) and regardless of its failures, is declared invalid only when a new paradigm is available to replace it. Nevertheless, in order to make progress in science, it is necessary to clear the decks, so to speak, of failed paradigms. This must be done even if this leaves the decks entirely clear and no paradigms survive. It is a characteristic of the true believer in religion, philosophy and ideology that he must have a set of beliefs, come what may… Belief in a primeval soup on the grounds that no other paradigm is available is an example of the logical fallacy of the false alternative. In science it is a virtue to acknowledge ignorance. This has been universally the case in the history of science… There is no reason that this should be different in the research on the origin of life.”[56]Biochemist and head of the Department of Nuclear Medicine and Director of Clinical Research at the Singapore General Hospital, Dr. Aw Swee-Eng, concludes, “The available evidence from the field and the laboratory is not amicable to the theory that life began with the accidental assembly of a self-replicating molecule.”[57]

Abiogenesis is mathematically  impossible - Page 2 Origin-of-life

As it has been clearly demonstrated, there are a wide variety of blockades standing in the way of a natural origins answer for the first life, and no definitive solution has been reached nor can be confidently expected to be reached in the future. Yet, the other option, supernatural origins, is not subject to such obstacles. In fact, every problem a natural origin faces can be satisfactorily answered via supernatural origins. Though many scientists will not appeal to super natural intervention on the grounds that it is not science, and merely a “cut and run” for those who are too impatient to wait for future researchers to provide an adequate natural origins argument.
In response to that notion, Denton answers, “The almost irresistible force of the analogy has completely undermined the complacent assumption, prevalent in biological circles over most of the past century, that the design hypothesis can be excluded on the grounds that the notion is fundamentally a metaphysical a priori concept and therefore scientifically unsound. On the contrary, the inference to design is a purely a posteriori induction based on a ruthlessly consistent application of the logic of analogy. The conclusion may have religious implications, but it does not depend on religious presuppositions.”[58] Therefore, adhering to supernatural cause through rational deduction with proper observational science as support cannot be considered unscientific. Additionally, such a conclusion should not be considered a “cut and run” if the problems faced by natural origins can never be solved via natural means. What discovery (or discoveries) could solve the information, reproduction, environment, homochirality problems?
Physicist H. S. Lipson writes, “If living matter is not, then, caused by the interplay of atoms, natural forces, and radiation [i.e., time, chance, and chemistry], how has it come into being? I think, however, that we must go further than this and admit that the only acceptable explanation is creation.”[59] Parker writes, “In a novel, the ink and paper are merely the means the author uses to express his or her thoughts. In the genetic code, the DNA bases and proteins are merely the means God uses to express His thoughts. The real credit for the message in a novel goes to the author, not the ink and paper, and the real credit for the genetic message in DNA goes to the Author of Life, the Creator…”[60]Medical pathologist David Demick, M.D., concludes, “Thousands of experiments, and all of the recently gained knowledge of molecular biology and genetics, have only served to strengthen the most fundamental law of biology, laid down by Virchow over a century ago: ‘omni cellules e cellules’ (all cells come from other cells), also known as the Law of Biogenesis. Life only comes from life. This was the law established by the Author of Life, Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life—Jesus Christ.”[61] Griggs concludes, “Life is bristling with machinery, codes and programs, which are not an inherent property of the material substrate (the information for their construction having been passed on during reproduction). No observation has ever shown such information-bearing structures arising spontaneously. The obvious inference from science, as well as the obvious implications of Scripture, is that the original creation of living things involved the very opposite of chance, namely, the imposition of external intelligence on to matter by an original Designer or Creator.”[62]
So we’re left with a choice. Supernatural or natural? One answers all these problems, the other does not. You can hold out for a natural answer if you wish, but I would rather side with a sure thing. Logically, an Intelligent Designer, a God, is in my opinion, the only rational explanation behind the first life.

[1] Ward, P. & Brownlee, D., (2000) Rare Earth, Copernicus:New York,NY, pp. 245.
[2] Clemmey, H. & Badham, N., (1982) “Oxygen in the Atmosphere: An Evaluation of the Geological Evidence,”Geology, 10:141.
[3] Thaxton, C.B., Bradley, W.L., & Olsen, R.L., (1984) The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories,Philosophical Library:New York,NY, pp. 69-98.
[4] Trail, D., Watson, B.E., & Tailby, N.D., (December 2011) “The Oxidation State of Hadean Magmas and Implications for Earth’s Early Atmosphere,” Nature, 480: pp. 79-82.
[5] Riddle, M., (2008) “Can Natural Processes Explain the Origin of Life?” as written in Ken Ham’s The New Answers Book 3, Master Books:Green Forest,AR, pp. 66.
[6] Denton, M., (1985) Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, Alder & Alder:Bethesda,MD, pp. 261.
[7] Riddle, M., (2008) “Can Natural Processes Explain the Origin of Life?” as written in Ken Ham’s The New Answers Book 3, Master Books:Green Forest,AR, pp. 66.
[8] As quoted in Casey Luskin’s “More News Sources Admit the ‘Mystery’ of Life’s Origin,” (February 2012)
[9] Morris, R., (2002) The Big Questions, Times Books/Henry Holt:New York,NY, pp. 167.
[10] Switek, B., (February 2012) “Debate Bubbles Over the Origin of Life,”
[11] Switek, B., (February 2012) “Debate Bubbles Over the Origin of Life,”
[12] Sarfati, J., “15 Loopholes in the Evolutionary Theory of the Origin of Life,”
[13] Sarfati, J., (2002) Refuting Evolution 2, Master Books:Green Forest,AR, pp. 157.
[14] As quoted in Brian Switek’s  “Debate Bubbles Over the Origin of Life,” (February 2012)
[15] Riddle, M., (2008) “Can Natural Processes Explain the Origin of Life?” as written in Ken Ham’s The New Answers Book 3, Master Books:Green Forest,AR, pp. 67.
[16] Ashton, J., (2000) In Six Days, Master Books:Green Forest,AR, pp. 82.
[17] Pauling, L., (1970) General Chemistry, 3rd Ed., W.H. Freeman & Co.:San Francisco,CA, pp. 774.
[18] Shapiro, R., (1986) Origins: A Skeptic’s Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth, Summit Books:New York,NY, pp. 86.
[19] Swee-Eng, A., “The Origin of Life; a Critique of Current Scientific Models,”
[20] Gitt, W., “Dazzling Design in Miniture: DNA Information Storage,”
[21] Parker, G., (January 1994) “The Origin of Life: DNA and Protein,”
[22] Gitt, W., (2006) In The Beginning Was Information, Master Books:Green Forest,AR.
[23] Lester, L. & Bohlin, R., (1989) The Natural Limits To Biological Change, Probe Books:Dallas,TX, pp. 157.
[24] Meyer, S., (2009) Signature in the Cell, Harper Collins:New York,NY, pp. 347
[25] Parker, G., (January 1994) “The Origin of Life: DNA and Protein,”
[26] Wald, G., (1954) “The Origin of Life,” Scientific American, 191 no. 2:48.
[27] Ross, H., (1994) The Creator and the Cosmos, Navpress:Colorado Springs,CO, pp. 137.
[28] Ross, H., (1994) The Creator and the Cosmos, Navpress:Colorado Springs,CO, pp. 138.
[29] Mullan, D., “Probabilities of Randomly Assembling a Primitive Cell on Earth,”
[30] Duve, C., (September-October 1995) “The Beginnings of Life on Earth,” American Scientist, pp. 428.
[31] Truman, R., (December 2001) “The Fish in the Bathtub,” Creation
[32] Sarfati, J., “15 Loopholes in the Evolutionary Theory of the Origin of Life,”
[33] Morris, J.D., “How Did Life Originate?”
[34] Crick, F., (October 1981) “The Seeds of Life,” Discover Magazine
[35] Grigg, R., (September 2000) “Did Life Come to Earth From Outerspace?” Creation, 22:(4), pp. 42
[36] Ross, H., (1994) The Creator and the Cosmos, Navpress:Colorado Springs,CO, pp. 138-139.
[37] Parker, G., (January 1994) “The Origin of Life: DNA and Protein,”
[38] As quoted in Paul E. Little’s Know Why You Believe, 4th Ed., InterVarsity Press:Downers Grove,IL, pp. 26.
[39] Williams, A., (August 2007) “Life’s Irreducible Structure- Part 1: Autopoiesis,” Journal of Creation, 21:(2) pp. 115.
[40] Shapiro, R. (1986) Origins: A Skeptic’s Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth, Summit Books:New York,NY, pp. 128.
[41] Ross, H., (1994) The Creator and the Cosmos, Navpress:Colorado Springs,CO, pp. 141.
[42] Hart, M. H. (1990) “Atmospheric Evolution, the Drake Equation, and DNA: Sparse Life in an Infinite Universe,”Physical Cosmology and Philosophy, MacMillan:New York,NY, pp. 264.
[43] Little, P.E., (2000) Know Why You Believe, 4th Ed.,InterVarsity Press:Downers Grove,IL, pp. 26.
[44] Mullan, D., “Probabilities of Randomly Assembling a Primitive Cell on Earth,”
[45] Thaxton, C., Bradley, W., & Olsen, R., (1984) The Mystery of Life’s Origins: Reassessing Current Theories,Philosophical Library:New York,NY, pp. 80.
[46] Sarfati, J., “15 Loopholes in the Evolutionary Theory of the Origin of Life,”
[47] Lewis, R., (2008) Human Genetics; Concepts and Applications, 8th Ed., McGraw Hill:New York,NY, Pp. 30-31.
[48] Lewis, R., (2008) Human Genetics; Concepts and Applications, 8th Ed., McGraw Hill:New York,NY, Pp. 355.
[49] Mullan, D., “Probabilities of Randomly Assembling a Primitive Cell on Earth,”
[50] Ross, H., (1994) The Creator and the Cosmos, Navpress:Colorado Springs,CO, pp. 142.
[51] Joyce, G.F.,  (1989) “RNA Evolution and the Origins of Life,” Nature 338: pp. 222-223
[52] Wells, J., (2000) Icons of Evolution, Regnery Publishing:WashingtonD.C., pp. 24.
[53] Luskin, C., (February 2012) “More News Sources Admit the ‘Mystery’ of Life’s Origin,”
[54] Hoyle, F., (1983) The Intelligent Universe, Michael Joseph:London, pp. 251.
[55] Yockey, H.P., (1992) Information Theory and Molecular Biology, CambridgeUniversity Press:UK, pp. 257.
[56] Yockey, H.P., (1992) Information Theory and Molecular Biology, CambridgeUniversity Press:UK, pp. 336.
[57] Swee-Eng, A., “The Origin of Life; a Critique of Current Scientific Models,”
[58] Denton, M., (1986) Evolution: A Theory in Crisis,3rd Ed., Alder & Alder, pp. 341.
[59] Lipson, H. S., (May 1980) “A Physicist Looks at Evolution,” Physics Bulletin, pp. 138.
[60] Parker, G., (January 1994) “The Origin of Life: DNA and Protein,”
[61] Demick, D., (December 2000) “Life From Non-Life… or Not?” Creation 23:1 pp. 41.
[62] Grigg, R., (December 1990) “Could Monkeys Type the 23rd Psalm?” Creation 13:1 pp. 34



The most complex factory made by humans, and comparison to the most simple living cell

If we consider as the most complex machine ever built by man, and take as parameter :

the number of individual components comprising the machine, the highly specialized materials out of which they are constructed, the minute engineering tolerances involved in their production and assembly, the exquisite precision required in the synchronization of their operation, the physical scale of the assembled machine, the complexity and delicacy of the task the machine is designed to perform,

then the Large Hadron Collider is the most expensive and complex scientific machine ever built. It took  10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries, as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories.

As another example, the Airbus A380. Huge airliners are incredibly complex. The A380 has about 4 million parts, with 2.5 million part numbers  produced by 1,500 companies from 30 countries around the world,  including 800 companies from the United States.

compared to this, the most simple cell is still far far more complex. This lead Michael Denton to write in  Evolution: A Theory In Crisis :

“The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle.”

“To grasp the reality of life as it has been revealed by molecular biology, we must magnify a cell a thousand million times until it is twenty kilometers in diameter and resembles a giant airship large enough to cover a great city like London or New York. What we would then see would be an object of unparalleled complexity and adaptive design. On the surface of the cell we would see millions of openings, like the port holes of a vast space ship, opening and closing to allow a continual stream of materials to flow in and out. If we were to enter one of these openings we would find ourselves in a world of supreme technology and bewildering complexity.”

…veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world (Denton, 1986, p. 250).

Advocates of naturalism often try to sidestep and state either that a) evolution explains the feat, or b) " we don't know yet how life emerged, but one day science will know ", as if natural mechanisms would explain life's origin, no matter what. Thats a classic example of " evolution of the gaps ". We don't know yet, therefore evolution.

Evolution is however not a driving force prior dna replication, upon which it depends.

Heredity is guaranteed by faithful DNA replication whereas evolution depends upon errors accompanying DNA replication.  ( Furusawa, 1998 ) We hypothesize that the origin of life, that is, the origin of the first cell, cannot be explained by natural selection among self-replicating molecules, as is done by the RNA-world hypothesis. ( Vaneechoutte M )
DNA replication had therefore to be previously, before life began, fully setup , working, and fully operating, in order for evolution to act upon the resulting mutations. That means, evolution was not a driving force and acting for the emergence and origin of the first living organisms. The only remaining possible mechanisms are chemical reactions acting upon unregulated, aleatorial events ( luck,chance), or physical necessity ( where chemical reactions are  forced into taking a certain course of action. ) Since nucleotides can be arranged freely into any informational sequence, physical necessity could not be a driving mechanism. If design, or physical necessity is discarded, the only remaining possible mechanism for the origin of life is chance/luck.

Would you also say that it is plausible that a tornado over a junkyard could produce a 747 ?
Would you also say that it is plausible that mindless random chance can write a book ?

The cell is like a factory, that has various computer like hierarchically organized systems of  hardware and software, various language based  informational systems, a translation system, hudge amounts of precise instructional/specified, complex information stored and extract systems to make all parts needed to produce the factory and replicate itself, the scaffold structure, that permits the build of the indispensable protection wall, form and size of its building, walls with  gates that permits  cargo in and out, recognition mechanisms that let only the right cargo in, has specific sites and production lines, "employees", busy and instructed to produce all kind of necessary products, parts and subparts  with the right form and size through the right materials, others which mount the parts together in the right order, on the right place, in the right sequence, at the right time,   which has sophisticated check and error detection mechanisms all along the production process, the hability to compare correctly produced parts to faulty ones and discard the faulty ones, and repeat the process to make the correct ones;  highways and cargo carriers that have tags which recognize where  to drop the cargo where its needed,  cleans up waste and has waste bins and sophisticated recycle  mechanisms, storage departments, produces its energy and shuttles it to where its needed, and last not least, does reproduce itself.

The salient thing is that the individual parts and compartments have no function by their own. They had to emerge ALL AT ONCE, No stepwise manner is possible, all systems are INTERDEPENDENT and IRREDUCIBLE. And it could not be through evolution, since evolution depends on fully working self replicating  cells, in order to function.

How can someone rationally argue that the origin of the most sophisticated factory in the universe would be probable to be based on natural occurence, without involving any guiding intelligence ?

To go from a bacterium to people is less of a step than to go from a mixture of amino acids to a bacterium. — Lynn Margulis

Fighter Planes and Eukaryotic Cells

The F-22 fighter plane is a highly-sophisticated state of the art military aircraft. It is comprised of thousands of complex parts that all work together to enable the plane to perform a multitude of functions. Individually, these parts cannot operate or fly. But collectively they can fly and execute many different functions. Now let’s take a hypothetical situation. Let’s imagine the entire earth is covered in huge piles of mechanical parts, thousands and thousands of miles of nothing but pieces of metal, plastic, rubber, etc. Now let’s imagine there are thousands of tornados and hurricanes all over the earth blowing all these parts around and into each other 24-7. Now with all this in mind, do you think it is possible that over the course of thousands or millions or even billions of years, that one of these storms would blow together an F-22 fighter plane in perfect operational condition? Seems ridiculous right? Given an infinite amount of time, something like this just could not happen…Now let’s look at the typical human eukaryotic cell. It too, just like the F22, is incredibly sophisticated and complex, but at a much smaller microscopic scale. This cell is also comprised of thousands of working parts (called organelles) that all work together to enable the cell to provide a multitude of functions. Individually, these parts are useless, but collectively they’re necessary. Remove anyone of these important parts and the cell will lose functionality and parish. So if it is ridiculous to think that a perfectly operational F-22 fighter plane could come into existence via chance, then it is likewise just as illogical to think that such a sophisticated organism could assemble by chance as well. It gets even more absurd to think that this living cell would also form by chance and have the capability to reproduce. Life cannot come from non-life even if given infinite time and chance. If life could spontaneously generate from non-life than it still should be doing that to this day. However, we’ve never observed it… Hence the Law of Biogenesis: The principle stating that life arises from pre-existing life, not from non-living material. Life is clearly a product of God’s Creation.

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The Origin of Life  and The Suppression of Truth 1

Despite incredible odds, and seemingly insurmountable problems, spontaneous generation is taught as a fact from grammar school to university.
Stanley Miller's Bombshell
     In 1953 a graduate student named Stanley Miller set out to verify the Oparin-Haldane-Urey hypothesis with a simple but elegant experiment.1 The results of this experiment have been taught to every high school and college biology student for nearly four decades.
     Using a system of glass flasks, Miller attempted to simulate the early atmospheric conditions. He passed a mixture of boiling water, ammonia, methane and hydrogen through an electrical spark discharge. At the bottom of the apparatus was a trap to capture any molecules made by the reaction. This trap prevented the newly-formed chemicals from being destroyed by the next spark. Eventually, Miller was able to produce a mixture containing very simple amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.
     Miller drew on decades of knowledge of organic chemistry in setting up his experiment. The proportions of the various gases used, the actual apparatus, the intensity of the spark and the chemical trap, were all carefully adjusted to create maximum yield from the experiment.
     On the first attempt, after a week of electrical discharges in the reaction chamber, the sides of the chamber turned black and the liquid mixture turned a cloudy red. The predominant product was a gummy black substance made up of billions of carbon atoms strung together in what was essentially tar, a common nuisance in organic reactions.2 However, no amino acids used by living systems, or other building blocks of life, were produced on the first attempt.
     After rearranging the apparatus, the experiment produced two amino acids, glycine and alanine, the simplest amino acids found in living systems. If we search the remaining products, we find a number of simple amino acids, but in yields so low that their concentrations would be insignificant in a body of water.

Table 1. The Products of the Miller Experiment
Carboxlic acids not important to life      
Glutamic acid
Aspartic acid

     Regarding the products of the Miller-Urey experiment, evolutionist Robert Shapiro stated:
     "Let us sum up. The experiment performed by Miller yielded tar as its most abundant product....There are about fifty small organic compounds that are called 'building blocks'.....Only two of these fifty occurred among the preferential Miller-Urey products."3
     In the past forty years, many scientists have repeated the work of Miller and Urey. Electrical sparks, heat, ultraviolet radiation, light, shock waves, and high energy chemical catalysts have been used in an attempt to create the building blocks of life.4 In general, when amino acids have been made, they occur in approximately the same proportion, with glucine and alanine predominating, as in the Miller's experiment.
The Case of the Missing Letters
     In the English language convention there are twenty-six letters that are used to write sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and books. These letters are strung together according to hundreds of predetermined rules. Anyone with a knowledge of those rules can understand the information conveyed by the sequence of letters.
     In all living systems there are a special set of four chemical "letters," called nucleotides, which are used to "write" the information stored by the code of life, the Genetic Code. Millions of these nucleotides are strung together, end to end, in long chains, thus forming the DNA molecule (Figure 1). The instructions necessary to produce all the living structures on earth are "written" by the rules of the genetic code and carried by these chains of chemical letters. These chemical letters represent only a tiny part of the "hardware" that must arise by chance in order for spontaneous generation to occur. However, nucleotides are much more complex then the simple amino acids made by Miller and Urey, and would require much more chemical expertise to produce.
     Many claims have been made that nucleotides of DNA have been produced in such "spark and soup" experiments. However, after a careful review of the scientific literature, evolutionist Robert Shapiro stated that the nucleotides of DNA and RNA,
     "....have never been reported in any amount in such sources, yet a mythology has emerged that maintains the opposite....I have seen several statements in scientific sources which claim that proteins and nucleic acids themselves have been prepared...These errors reflect the operation of an entire belief system...The facts do not support his belief...Such thoughts may be comforting, but they run far ahead of any experimental validation."5 (Emphasis added).

Figure 1

Deoxyribonucleic Acid

Abiogenesis is mathematically  impossible - Page 2 Dna1

A= Adenine
T= Thymidine
C= Cytosine
G= Guanine

The DNA molecule is formed by two chains of nucleotides which are bonded together to form the structure of a spiral double helix. Somewhat like a ladder which is twisted from the top down.
     After nearly four decades of trying, with the best equipment and the best minds in chemistry, not even the "letters" of the genetic code have been produced by random chemical processes. If the letters cannot be produced by doctorate-level chemists, how can we logically assume that they arose by chance in a chemical quagmire?
A Troubled Paradigm
     Stanley Miller's experiment was seen by believers as virtual proof that organic chemicals, and ultimately life, could be produced by chance chemistry. It brought a greater measure of scientific respectability to the theory of spontaneous generation and evolutionary thought. Evolution, according to the purists, could now be taught as a virtual certainty. The impact of this experiment on the scientific community is expressed by evolutionist and astronomer Carl Sagan:
     "The Miller-Urey experiment is now recognized as the single most significant step in convincing any scientists that life is likely to be abundant in the cosmos."6
     This opinion, however, is not universally held by evolutionists. With the advantage of three decades of hindsight, and extensive discoveries in molecular biology, evolutionist Robert Shapiro comments on the significance of the Miller-Urey experiments:
     "The very best Miller-Urey chemistry, as we have seen, does not take us very along the path to a living organism. A mixture of simple chemicals, even one enriched in a few amino acids, no more resembles a bacterium than a small pile of real and nonsense words, each written on an individual scrap of paper, resembles the complete works of Shakespeare."7
     After a careful examination of the Miller experiment, Shapiro recognized that the simple chemicals he produced are a far cry from the incredible complexity of a living cell.
     In the last 20 years a number of scientists have spoken out regarding the problems with the Haldane-Oparin paradigm. Most of the assumptions of the primordial atmosphere, even the existence of the "primordial soup," have been seriously questioned by origins researchers. Carl Woese, of the University of Illinois expressed the inadequacy of the Oparin thesis:
     "The Oparin thesis has long ceased to be a productive paradigm: it no longer generates novel approaches to the problem...These symptoms suggest a paradigm whose course is run, one that is no longer a valid model of the true state of affairs."8
Let's look at some of the evidence that has threatened the Oparin-Haldane-Miller thesis.

The Oxygen Problem
     The atmospheric conditions proposed by Oparin, Haldane and Urey were radically different from what presently exists. Because oxygen destroys the chemical building blocks of life, they speculated that the early earth had an oxygen-free atmosphere. However, in the last twenty years, evidence has surfaced that has convinced most atmospheric scientists that the early atmosphere contained abundant oxygen.
     In the 1970's Apollo 16 astronauts discovered that water is broken down into oxygen and hydrogen gas in the upper atmosphere when it is bombarded by ultraviolet radiation. This process, called photo dissociation, is an efficient process which would have resulted in the production of large quantities of oxygen in a relatively short time. Studies by the astronauts revealed that this process is probably a major source of oxygen in our current atmosphere. 2 H2O + uv Radiation -- H2 (hydrogen gas) + O2 (oxygen gas)
     The assumption of an oxygen-free atmosphere has also been rejected on theoretical grounds. The ozone layer around planet earth consists of a thin but critical blanket of oxygen gas in the upper atmosphere. This layer of oxygen gas blocks deadly levels of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.9Without oxygen in the early atmosphere, there could have been no ozone layer over that early earth. Without an ozone layer, all life on the surface of planet earth would face certain death from exposure to intense ultraviolet radiation. Furthermore, the chemical building blocks of proteins, RNA and DNA, would be quickly annihilated because ultraviolet radiation destroys their chemical bonds.10 It doesn't matter if these newly formed building blocks are in the atmosphere, on dry ground, or under water.11,12,13
     So we have a major dilemma. The products of the Miller-Urey experiments would be destroyed if oxygen was present, and they would be destroyed if it wasn't! This "catch 22" has been noted by evolutionist and molecular biologist Michael Denton:
     "What we have then is a sort of 'Catch 22' situation. If we have oxygen we have no organic compounds, but if we don't we have none either."14
     Even if the building blocks of life could survive the effects of intense ultraviolet radiation and form life spontaneously, the survival of any subsequent life forms would be very doubtful in the presence of such heavy ultraviolet light. Ozone must be present to protect any surface life from the deadly effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
     Finally, the assumption that there was no oxygen in the early atmosphere is not borne out by the geologic evidence. Geologists have discovered evidence of abundant oxygen content in the oldest known rocks on earth. Again, Michael Denton:
     "Ominously, for believers in the traditional organic soup scenario, there is no clear geochemical evidence to exclude the possibility that oxygen was present in the Earth's atmosphere soon after the formation of its crust."15
     All of this evidence supports the fact that there was abundant oxygen on the early earth.
Ammonia and Methane Short Lived
     The assumption of an atmosphere consisting mainly of ammonia, methane, and hydrogen, has also been seriously questioned. In the 1970's scientists concluded that ultraviolet radiation from the sun, as well as simple "rainout," would eliminate ammonia and methane from the upper atmosphere in a very short time.16 In 1981, Atmospheric scientists from NASA concluded that:
     "the methane and ammonia-dominated atmosphere would have been very short lived, if it ever existed at all."17
The Myth of the Pre-biotic Soup
     During the last two decades, the notion of a primordial soup has not fared too well either. Studies of the atmosphere, ultraviolet radiation, and the dilutional effect of a large body of water, have convinced many scientists that the ocean could not have developed into the "hot dilute soup" that was envisioned by Darwin, Oparin, and Haldane.
     Oparin envisioned the production of cellular building blocks in the atmosphere as a result of lightning or ultraviolet radiation. Stanley Miller's experiment attempted to validate this concept. Once produced, these chemicals would theoretically build up in the primordial oceans and combine to form the first living systems. However, since Miller's experiments in 1953, it has been estimated that it would take up to two years for amino acids to fall from the atmosphere into the ocean.18 This is a problem because even small amounts of ultraviolet radiation would destroy the building blocks before they reached the oceans. Furthermore, as we saw earlier, lack of ozone would further expedite this destruction.19
Saved By The Trap!
     A problem seldom noted by textbooks is that the chemical reactions that produced the amino acids in Miller's experiments are reversible. That is, the same energy sources that cause the formation of the building blocks of life will also destroy those same building blocks unless they are removed from the environment where they were created. In fact, the building blocks of life are destroyed even more efficiently than they are created. This was foreseen by Miller and Urey, so they included a chemical trap to remove the newly formed chemicals before the next spark. Of course, this luxury would not be available on the early earth.
     These problems have convinced many origins researchers that the idea of a primordial soup is quite unlikely. Michael Denton comments on the lack of evidence for the primordial soup:
     "Rocks of great antiquity have been examined over the past two decades and in none of them has any trace of abiotically produced organic compounds been found...Considering the way the pre- biotic soup is referred to in so many discussions of the origin of life as an already established reality, it comes as something of a shock to realize thatthere is absolutely no positive evidence for its existence."20 (Emphasis added).
The Origin of DNA and Proteins
     Up to this point we've discussed the origin of just the building blocks of living cells. The destructive effect of oxygen, ultraviolet radiation from the sun and the short duration of an optimal atmosphere for their production, makes it unlikely that significant quantities of viable nucleotides and amino acids could ever accumulate in the primitive ocean. However, even if they did accumulate in sufficient quantities, the next step is to explain how they combined to form the self-duplicating DNA molecule and the thousands of proteins found in the simplest living cells. For the materialistic scenario to be taken seriously, it must provide a plausible explanation for the origin of these enormous molecules without the introduction of biochemical know-how.
The Problem of Chirality
     One of the most difficult problems for the materialistic scenario on the origin of life is something called molecular chirality. The building blocks of DNA and proteins are molecules which can exist in both right and left-handed mirror-image forms (Figure 2). This "handedness" is called "chirality."21,22 These mirror-image chemicals are referred to as dextrorotary (dextro-form) and levorotary (levo-form).23

Figure 2
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Levo and Dextro Amino Acids
     In all living systems the building blocks of the DNA and RNA exist exclusively in the right-handed form, while the amino acids in virtually all proteins in living systems, with very rare exception, occur only in the left-handed form.24
     The dilemma for materialists is that all "spark and soup-like" experiments produce a mixture of 50% left (levo) and 50% right-handed (dextro) products.25,26 Such a mixture of dextro and levo amino acids is called a "racemic mixture." Unfortunately, such mixtures are completely useless for the spontaneous generation of life.27
     Complex molecules such as DNA and proteins are built by adding one building block at a time onto an ever-growing chain. In a "primordial soup" made up of equal proportions of right and left-handed building blocks, there is an equal probability at each step of adding either a right or left-handed building block.28,29 Consequently, it is a mathematical absurdity to propose that only right-handed nucleotides would be added time after time without a single left-handed one being added to a growing DNA molecule. Sooner or later an incorrect, left-handed nucleotide will be added. The same goes for proteins. Every time another amino acid is added to the growing chain of amino acids the chances are virtually certain that both right and left-handed amino acids will be added.
     With unguided or undirected chemistry, a primordial ooze consisting of right and left-handed building blocks can only result in the production of DNA and proteins composed of a mixture of right and left-handed building blocks.
     This dilemma has enormous implications for the materialistic scenario.30 For a living cell to function properly, it is absolutely necessary for it to contain the correct three-dimensional structure in its DNA and proteins.
     This correct three-dimensional structure is in turn dependent upon proteins built from a pure mixture of left-handed amino acids and DNA built from right-handed nucleotides. Consequently, if even one nucleotide or amino acid with the incorrect "handedness" is inserted into a DNA or protein molecule, the three-dimensional structure will be annihilated and it will cease to function normally.
Enzymes: The Cell's Miniature Factories
     The importance of the three-dimensional structure of proteins can best be illustrated by the function of enzymes. Virtually all of the complex chemical reactions in living cells involve special proteins called enzymes. Enzymes act to speed up (catalyze) chemical reactions in biological systems. Enzymes are employed in the production of DNA, RNA, proteins, and nearly every chemical reaction in the cell. Digestion, thought, sight, and the function of nerve and muscles all require the use of enzymes. In fact, these activities would be impossible without them.
     Enzymatic reactions occur like "lock and key" mechanisms. An enzyme (the lock) has a highly specific three-dimensional shape which will only allow chemicals with the correct three-dimensional fit (the key) to bind and result in a chemical reaction. (Figure 3).

Figure 3
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In this illustration the enzyme breaks the bond that holds two sugar molecules together releasing two unbonded sugars.


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The three-dimensional structure of these protein enzymes (which is determined by the sequence of pure l-amino acids) must be preserved within a narrow range or these "lock and key" chemical reactions cannot occur. Consequently, a primordial soup consisting of equal portions of left and right-handed amino acids, which will only result in proteins containing equal portions of left and right-handed amino acids, is incapable of forming enzymes with the correct three-dimensional shapes and precise "lock and key" mechanisms. Therefore, a primordial soup of left and right-handed building blocks is completely incapable of forming life.
     Since all spark and soup experiments produce a 50/50 mix of right and left-handed amino acids, chemists have tried to decipher how only left-handed amino acids became integrated into the proteins of living systems. For decades chemists have attempted to separate out a pure mixture of left-handed amino acids from a racemic mix by chance chemistry alone. Chance, or un-directed chemistry has, however, consistently proven to be an inadequate mechanism for the separation of the right and left-handed amino acid forms.31 So, how did it happen? Mathematically, random-chance would never select such an unlikely pure molecule out of a racemic primordial soup.
     The solution is simple, yet it has profound implications. To separate the two amino acid forms requires the introduction of biochemical expertise or know-how, which is the very antithesis of chance! However, biochemical expertise or know-how comes only from a mind. Without such know-how or intelligent guidance, the right and left-handed building blocks of life will never separate. Consequently, enzymes, with their lock and key mechanisms, and ultimately, life, are impossible!32
     However, the existence of a mind or a Creator involved in the creation of life is anathema to the atheist's scenario. But the volume of biochemical knowledge supports this fact: To produce pure mixtures of left-handed amino acids and right-handed nucleotides, requires intelligent guidance. And since no human chemists were around before the origin of life on earth, the source of this intelligent guidance must have been extraterrestrial!
Toxic Waste Wipes Out Spontaneous Generation
     The major products made in Miller's experiment were a mixture of tar and thousands of organic acids. This "chemical junk," which comprised 98% of the material produced by Miller, is very similar to the chemical waste that the U.S. government is spending billions of dollars to remove from neighborhoods all around the country. Why are they removing these chemicals? Because they are toxic to humans.
     Organic acids, such as those produced by Miller, can damage DNA, causing cancer and other diseases. They also poison our enzymes by irreversibly binding to them.33 Any primordial soup would be filled with these toxic products and would quickly and efficiently prevent the functioning of DNA, RNA, and proteins. The result: death! In fact, it is unlikely that any currently living cell on earth could survive in the chemical environment produced by Miller's experiment.34 Considering the toxicity of the primordial soup, it is perhaps the last place on earth that life might arise.35
H2O "Washes Up" Spontaneous Generation
     We noted previously that DNA and proteins are built by adding one building block at a time onto an ever-lengthening chain. With the addition of each amino acid or nucleotide, a molecule of water is released. This is called a condensation reaction and is fully reversible, i.e., it can proceed in either direction as indicated by the arrows in figure 4.

Figure 4
Abiogenesis is mathematically  impossible - Page 2 Dna4
     In previous sections we have seen that neither air nor land are safe havens for the newly formed building blocks of life because of their certain destruction by oxygen or intense UV radiation. So believers in spontaneous generation have concluded that the first life forms may have arisen near a deep sea volcanic vent, safe from oxygen and UV radiation. Although a water environment may seem like safe place for the formation of life, it is the release of a water molecule in the above reaction that creates one of the most difficult problems for the theory of spontaneous generation.
     Every first-year chemistry student is taught that reversible chemical reactions will never proceed in a direction that produces a product that is already present in excess amounts in the reaction vessel.36 The production of DNA and proteins from their building blocks results in the production of a large number of water molecules. A problem for the oceanic vent theory (or any water based primordial soup theory) is that there is already an abundance of water. Consequently, the reaction above will never proceed in a direction which produces more water. In fact, the laws of chemistry and thermodynamics demand that the reaction go in the opposite direction! Therefore, in a watery solution containing the building blocks of life, the overwhelming majority of these building blocks would be unbonded. As a result, a watery environment is perhaps the last place that long chains of amino acids or nucleotides would form.37
Equilibrium - The Villain of the Plot
     There is one final hurdle that must be successfully cleared if the materialist's scenario on the origin of life is to have credibility. This is the problem of chemical equilibrium. The notion of equilibrium is one with which you are all familiar, even if you've never taken a chemistry course. In any broth or solution we notice that there is the tendency for the materials to become evenly distributed with time. This tendency is called the development of equilibrium.38
     A simple example will help us to understand. If a drop of red dye is put into a container of water the dye particles gradually disperse throughout the solution until the entire solution turns a dilute red color. The larger the volume of the solvent (i.e., the water in our dye experiment), the more dilute will be the solution once the dye particles have become evenly distributed. This dilutional effect is irreversibly tied to the arrow of time. As time advances, as predicted by the Second Law, the dye particles become evenly distributed until the solution reaches a state of chemical equilibrium.39
     As we saw previously, the chemical reactions leading to the formation of DNA and proteins are reversible. This means that the building blocks of DNA and proteins are broken off of the chain just as easily as they are added. Consequently, the building blocks of life, if they survived the effects of oxygen and UV radiation, would constantly be combining and coming apart in the primordial soup. This combining and coming apart of chemical building blocks proceeds until a state of equilibrium is reached. In the case of amino acids and nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA and proteins will be predominantly unbonded when the solution is at equilibrium.40,41
     Since the natural tendency for the building blocks of life is to disperse and remain un-bonded, the question materialists must answer is how did the building blocks of life become bonded and stay bonded in a primordial soup which is steadily progressing towards equilibrium?
     In living systems enzymes are "programmed" to accomplish this feat by extracting and utilizing energy from the environment to synthesize and preserve DNA and proteins.42 Consequently, in this capacity enzymes fulfill the definition of a machine or an engine, as defined by Nobel Laureate Jaques Monod - a purposeful (teleonomic) aggregate of matter that uses energy to perform work.
     In the absence of such molecular machinery (i.e., enzymes), the reversibility of these chemical reactions ensures that any building blocks which may have become bonded will rapidly become unbonded in a watery environment unless they are removed from the solution in equilibrium.43,44However, removing the building blocks from equilibrium requires a mechanism or a metabolic machine (which do not arise by chance).
     Harold Blum dealt with this very dilemma. He recognized that the production of proteins or DNA from a solution of unbonded building blocks required a "mechanism" or metabolic "motor" that can capture free energy from the environment, then use it to remove the building blocks from equilibrium, i.e. keep them bonded:
     "...If proteins were reproduced as they must have been, if living systems were to evolve - free energy has to be supplied. The source of this free energy is a fundamental problem we must eventually face...the fact remains that no appreciable amounts of polypeptides [proteins] would form unless there were some factor which altered the equilibrium greatly in their favor."45
     By altering "the equilibrium greatly in their favor," Blum means allowing them to stay bonded. However, inanimate matter contains no "mechanism," "machines," or "biochemical knowhow" that can extract free energy from the environment and store or preserve the bonded building blocks before they break down again.
     Therefore, the dilemma for the materialist is explaining the origin of the first such metabolic "machine" by chance. In practice and in theory, machines are never the result of chance. They are the result of design.46,47 This fact is not only intuitive, but it has been verified by the overwhelming body of experimental science.
     A.E. Wilder-Smith addresses this problem of the origin of the first metabolic motor:
     "What Dr. Blum is saying is: how was the motor to extract the energy from the environment built before life processes had arisen to build it? Once a motor (enzyme metabolic system) is present, it can easily supply the free energy necessary to build more and more motors, that is, to reproduce. But the basic problem is: How do we account for the building of the first complex enzymatic protein metabolic motor to supply energy for reproduction and other cell needs....The Creationist believes that God synthesized non-living matter into living organisms and thus provided the motors which were then capable of immediately extracting energy from their environment to build more motors for reproduction. This view is thus perfectly sound scientifically and avoids the hopeless impasse of the materialistic. Darwinists in trying to account for the design and building of the first necessarily highly complex metabolic motors by random processes. Once the motor has been designed, fabricated, and is running, the life processes work perfectly well on the principles of the known laws of thermodynamics...."48
     So the net of this dilemma is that intelligent guidance is required to create a metabolic motor which will synthesize and preserve the chains of DNA and proteins. Such guidance comes only from a mind, and not from inanimate inorganic matter!
Time: The Unlikely Villain
     When confronted with the problem of equilibrium, most scientific materialists will appeal to the magic ingredient of time. In chapter one we saw this appeal by Nobel Laureate, George Wald:
     "Time is in fact the hero of the plot. Given so much time the impossible becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait: Time itself performs the miracles."49
     However, Dr. Blum, who is a materialist, points out that Wald's faith in the miraculous ingredient of time is mere wishful thinking. Prolonged time periods, he asserts, actually worsen the dilemma:
     "I think if I were rewriting this chapter [on the origin of life] completely, I should want to change the emphasis somewhat. I should want to play down still more the importance of the great amount of time available for highly improbable events to occur. One may take the view that the greater the time elapsed the greater should be the approach to equilibrium, the most probable state, and it seems that this ought to take precedence in our thinking over the idea that time provides the possibility for the occurrence of the highly improbable."50 (Emphasis added)
     According to Dr. Blum, the magic bullet of time does not increase the likelihood that chains of DNA or proteins will form by chance chemistry. In fact, according to Dr. Blum, increasing the time factor actually ensures that any primordial soup would consist of predominantly unbonded amino acids and nucleotides!
The Chicken or the Egg?
     Any discussion of the origin of life would not be complete without a look at the greatest paradox of all: What came first, DNA or the proteins essential for the production of DNA?
Since the structure of DNA was deciphered in 1953, biologists have discovered that the process of duplicating DNA requires as many as twenty specific protein enzymes. These enzymes function to unwind, un-zip, copy, and rewind the DNA molecule. There are even enzymes that screen and correct for copying errors!
     The instructions for the production of all proteins, including these enzymes, are in turn stored on the DNA molecule. So which came first: The DNA molecule or the proteins necessary to make DNA? You can't make DNA without highly specific proteins. But you can't make proteins unless you have a system in place to code for and build those proteins in the first place. And that means DNA.
     Harold Blum recognized this catch 22 when he stated:
     "...The riddle seems to be: How, when no life existed, did substances come into being which, today, are absolutely essential to living systems, yet which can only be formed by those systems?...A number of major properties are essential to living systems as we see them today, the origin of any of which from a 'random' system is difficult enough to conceive, let alone the simultaneous origin of all."51
     Robert Shapiro also commented on this dilemma:
     "Genes and enzymes are linked together in a living cell - two interlocked systems, each supporting the other. It is difficult to see how either could manage alone. Yet if we are to avoid invoking either a Creator or a very large improbability, we must accept that one occurred before the other in the origin of life. But which one was it? We are left with the ancient riddle: Which one came first, the chicken or the egg?"52
     The simultaneous origin of DNA, RNA, and the proteins necessary to produce them is, according to Blum and Shapiro, very difficult to conceive. In fact, as we will see next, it is a mathematical impossibility.
The Odds
During the last several decades a number of prestigious scientists have attempted to calculate the mathematical probability of the random-chance origin of life. The results of their calculations reveal the enormity of the dilemma faced by materialists.
     In the 1950's Harold Blum estimated the probability of just a single protein arising spontaneously from a primordial soup. Equilibrium and the reversibility of biochemical reactions eventually led Blum to state:
     "The spontaneous formation of a polypeptide of the size of the smallest known proteins seems beyond all probability. This calculation alone presents serious objection to the idea that all living matter and systems are descended from a single protein molecule which was formed as a 'chance' act."53
     In the 1970's British astronomer Sir Frederick Hoyle set out to calculate the mathematical probability of the spontaneous origin of life from a primordial soup environment. Applying the laws of chemistry, mathematical probability and thermodynamics, he calculated the odds of the spontaneous generation of the simplest known free-living life form on earth - a bacterium.
     Hoyle and his associates knew that the smallest conceivable free-living life form needed at least 2,000 independent functional proteins in order to accomplish cellular metabolism and reproduction. Starting with the hypothetical primordial soup he calculated the probability of the spontaneous generation of just the proteins of a single amoebae.54 He determined that the probability of such an event is one chance in ten to the 40 thousandth power, i.e., 1 in 1040,000. Prior to this project, Hoyle was a believer in the spontaneous generation of life. This project, however, apparently changed his opinion 180 degrees.
     Mathematicians tell us that if an event has a probability which is less likely than one chance in 1050, then that event is mathematically impossible. Such an event, if it were to occur, would be considered a miracle.
     Consider this. To win a state lottery you have about 1 chance in ten million (10/7). The odds of winning the state lottery every single week of your life from age 18 to age 99 is 1 chance in 4.6 x 1029,120. Therefore, the odds of winning the state lottery every week consecutively for eighty years is more likely than the spontaneous generation of just the proteins of an amoebae!
     In his calculations Hoyle assumed that the primordial soup consisted only of left-handed amino acids. As we noted before, spark and soup-type experiments always yield a 50/50 mix of left and right-handed building blocks. Hoyle knew that if the soup consisted of equal portions of right and left-handed amino acids then mathematical probability of the origin of pure left-handed proteins would be exactly zero!
     After completing his research, Hoyle stated that the probability of the spontaneous generation of a single bacteria, "is about the same as the probability that a tornado sweeping through a junk yard could assemble a 747 from the contents therein.55
     Hoyle also stated:
"The likelihood of the formation of life from inanimate matter is one to a number with 40 thousand naughts [zeros] after it. It is enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of evolution. There was no primeval soup, neither on this planet nor on any other, and if the beginnings of life were not random they must therefore have been the product of purposeful intelligence."56 (Emphasis added)
     Hoyle's calculations may seem impressive, but they don't even begin to approximate the difficulty of the task. He only calculated the probability of the spontaneous generation of the proteins in the cell. He did not calculate the chance formation of the DNA, RNA, nor the cell wall that holds the contents of the cell together.
     A more realistic estimate for spontaneous generation has been made by Harold Morowitz, a Yale University physicist.57 Morowitz imagined a broth of living bacteria that were super-heated so that all the complex chemicals were broken down into their basic building blocks. After cooling the mixture, he concluded that the odds of a single bacterium re-assembling by chance is one in 10100,000,000,000. This number is so large that it would require several thousand blank books just to write it out. To put this number into perspective, it is more likely that you and your entire extended family would win the state lottery every week for a million years than for a bacterium to form by chance!
     In his book, Origins-A Skeptics Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth, Robert Shapiro gives a very realistic illustration of how one might estimate the odds of the spontaneous generation of life. Shapiro begins by allowing one billion years (5 x 1014 minutes) for spontaneous biogenesis. Next he notes that a simple bacterium can make a copy of itself in twenty minutes, but he assumes that the first life was much simpler. So he allows each trial assembly to last one minute, thus providing 5 x 1014 trial assemblies in 1 billion years to make a living bacterium. Next he allows the entire ocean to be used as the reaction chamber. If the entire ocean volume on planet earth were divided into reaction flasks the size of a bacterium we would have 10/36 separate reaction flasks. He allows each reaction flask to be filled with all the necessary building blocks of life. Finally, each reaction chamber is allowed to proceed through one-minute trial assemblies for one billion years. The result is that there would be 1051 tries available in 1 billion years. According to Morowitz we need 10100,000,000,000 trial assemblies!
     Regarding the probabilities calculated by Morowitz, Robert Shapiro wrote:
     "The improbability involved in generating even one bacterium is so large that it reduces all considerations of time and space to nothingness. Given such odds, the time until the black holes evaporate and the space to the ends of the universe would make no difference at all. If we were to wait, we would truly be waiting for a miracle."58
     Regarding the origin of life Francis Crick, winner of the Nobel Prize in biology, stated in 1982:
     "An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going."59
     Regarding the probability of spontaneous generation, Harvard University biochemist and Nobel Laureate, George Wald stated in 1954:
     "One has to only contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet we are here-as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation."60
     In this incredible statement by Wald we see that his adherence to the materialist's paradigm is independent of the evidence. Wald's belief in the "impossible" can only be explained by faith: "...the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."61
     Despite these incredible odds, and the seemingly insurmountable problems we have discussed, spontaneous generation is taught as a fact from grammar school to university. In fact, NASA scientists reported to the press in 1991 their opinion that life arose spontaneously not once, but multiple times, because previous attempts were wiped out by cosmic catastrophes!
     The reason for this fanatical adherence to spontaneous generation is eloquently pointed out by George Wald:
     "When it comes to the origin of life there are only two possibilities: 

Creation or spontaneous generation. There is not third way.

Spontaneous generation was disproved one hundred years ago, but that leads us to only one other conclusion, that of supernatural creation. We cannot accept that on philosophical grounds; therefore, we choose to believe the impossible: That life arose spontaneously by chance!"62 (Emphasis added)

     According to Wald, it's not a matter of the evidence, it's a matter of philosophy! Like George Wald, many people do not like, and cannot accept the alternative: that all life on earth was created by a transcendent Creator. So, as Wald said, they are willing to "believe the impossible," in order to cling to their belief that the universe is a closed system. A system that has no room for such a Creator.
Man A Machine!! Paley Vindicated
     When William Paley put forth his watchmaker argument in 1818, the force of his argument was weakened by David Hume's assertion that the "machine" analogy was only superficial. Hume argued that the analogy between machines and living systems could not be shown to extend to the "deepest" (molecular) level. Therefore, according to Hume, the analogy was invalid and there was no need for a designer for biological systems.
     During the time of Darwin and Hume, the living cell was viewed as a mere blob of amorphous unorganized protoplasm. Consequently, Hume's assertion that the cell was not "machine-like" seemed reasonable. For nearly 150 years Paley's watchmaker argument was felt to be fatally weakened by the reasoning of Hume.
     However, the astonishing discoveries in molecular biology during the last 40 years have finally and unequivocally demonstrated that living systems are, in fact, machines - even to the deepest, molecular level! From the tiniest enzyme to the most complex organ systems found in man, Paley's machine analogy is confirmed.
     At the enzymatic level we see an eerie resemblance to the design and operation of chemical factories. At the organ level we find "hardware" of an unimaginable complexity and ingenuity. In our five senses we find sensory receivers made of multiple components, each machine-like, the operation of which is absolutely necessary for each sense (taste, sight, smell, hearing, touch) to function properly. In the function of the human heart we see an incredibly efficient and durable hydraulic pump, the likes of which no engineer has imagined. Finally, in the structure of the human brain we find a computer 1000 times faster than a Cray supercomputer with more connections than all the computers, phone systems and electronic appliances on planet earth!
     In each of these systems, at every level, we find machine-like structures which are truly "teleonomic" (purposeful) aggregates of matter, each executing its role in a pre-programmed manner.
     In 1985 evolutionist Michael Denton made this astonishing admission regarding Paley's machine analogy:
     "It has only been over the past twenty years with the molecular biological revolution and with the advance in cybernetic and computer technology that Hume's criticism has been finally invalidated and the analogy between organisms and machines has at last become convincing...In every direction the biochemist gazes, as he journeys through this weird molecular labyrinth, he sees devices and appliances reminiscent of our own twentieth-century world of advanced technology. We have seen a world as artificial as our own and as familiar as if we had held up a mirror to own machines...Paley was not only right in asserting the existence of an analogy between life and machines, but was also remarkably prophetic in guessing that the technological ingenuity realized in living systems is vastly in excess of anything yet accomplished by man."63 (Emphasis added)
     The implication of vindicating Paley's machine analogy were also noted by Denton:
     "If we are to assume that living things are machines for the purpose of description, research and analysis, and for the purposes of rational and objective debate, as argued by Michael Polyani and Monod among many others, there can be nothing logically inconsistent, as Paley would have argued, in extending the usefulness of the analogy to include an explanation for their origin."64
     Since machines need a designer and since living systems possess "appliances reminiscent of our own twentieth-century world of advanced technology" it is "logically" consistent to assert that such appliances (the mechanisms in living systems) must, according to Denton, require a designer as well!
     Consequently, according to Denton:
     "The conclusion may have religious implication."65
     Finally, consider this provocative statement by Hoyle and Wickramasinghe:
     "The speculations of The Origin of Species turned out to be wrong...It is ironic that the scientific facts throw Darwin out, but leave William Paley, a figure of fun to the scientific world for more than a century, still in the tournament with a chance of being the ultimate winner."66
If the most knowledgeable chemists using the most up to date equipment cannot create machines as complex as a single amoebae, is it credible to assert that chance, which is the antithesis of intelligence or know-how could do so? I think not.
The Emperor is naked-and many in the scientific establishment are beginning to suspect!

Chuck Missler's Organization
1. Stanley Miller, Science, Vol 117,(1953).pp. 528-529.
2. The remaining 15% of the reaction products consisted of thirteen organic chemicals in concentrations ranging from .25% to 4%. All of the thirteen products were in a class of chemicals known as carboxylic acids. Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins are one type of carboxylic acid. There are an unlimited number of carboxylic acids that could be made. The smallest carboxylic acid possible is formic acid, with only one carbon atom, and in fact, was the most prominent carboxylic acid made with a yield of 4%. This acid is unimportant in most life forms, a although it is found in ant venom! Three other carboxylic acids, with three carbon atoms, but unimportant to life, were made with a yield of 2.7%.
3. Robert Shapiro, Origins-A Skeptics Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth,(1986),pg. 105.
4. This body of work is detailed in the book The Mystery of Life's Origin. C. Thaxton, W. Bradley, R. Olsen, Chapter 3.
5. Shapiro, op. cit., 108-109.
6. Shapiro, op. cit., 99.
7. Shapiro, op. cit., 116.
8. Shapiro, op. cit., 114.
9. Ozone, which consists of three oxygen atoms bonded together, is made when oxygen in the atmosphere interacts with ultraviolet radiation from the sun. O2 + Ultraviolet Light = Ozone (O3).
10. Eventually, exposure to ultraviolet radiation will break down amino acids down into tar, water, methane, and ammonia.
11. Ultraviolet radiation of this intensity would wipe out all newly formed building blocks even to a depth of ten meters under the water.
12. It has been estimated that in order to form an effective ozone layer, the atmospheric oxygen content would need to be at least 10% of the amount in our current atmosphere. However, this same concentration of oxygen is also enough to quickly and effectively wipe out those same building blocks. Ultraviolet light breaks the chemical bonds of complex molecules such as amino acids and nucleotides, making them useless for the spontaneous generation of life.
13. C. Thaxton, W. Bradley, R. Olsen, The Mystery of Life's Origin; Chapter 3.
14. Denton, op. cit., 262.
15. Denton, op. cit., 261.
16. Rainout means the effect that simple rain would have on the concentrations of atmospheric methane and ammonia. In a very short time, rain alone would eliminate most of these substances from the early atmosphere.
17. Joel Levine, and Tommy Augustson, The Pre biological Paleoatmosphere: Stability and Composition. Presented at the 6th College Park Colloquium, October 1981. See Origins of Life, Volume 12 (1982), pp. 245-259.
18. Organic building blocks would be destroyed even if it only took a few minutes for them to fall from the atmosphere to the ocean. Once in the ocean, the intense ultraviolet radiation would destroy them up to a depth of ten meters.
19. Upon reaching the water, chemicals produced in the atmosphere would need to combine to form DNA, RNA and proteins. To form the first cell, these chemicals would need to be concentrated and then covered by the protective covering called the cell wall. A serious problem for such a scenario is the normal dilutional effect of water. Chemicals tend to disperse, causing watery solutions to become very diluted with the progression of time. The rate of destruction of unprotected building blocks, combined with this dilutional effect, would greatly decrease the concentration of the "soup" envisioned by Oparin and Haldane.
20. Denton, op. cit., pg. 261.
21. Molecular chirality results when a carbon atom is attached to four different chemical groups or substituents. The result is molecules that are mirror images of one another, just as our two hands are mirror images of one another.
22. The amino acids made by Miller's experiment were among the simplest in nature, containing only one asymmetric carbon. More complex molecules, such as nucleotides, may contain more than one asymmetric carbon. With the addition of each asymmetric carbon the number of possible molecules (called isomers) doubles.
23. The terms dextrorotory and levorotary refer to the direction these chemicals rotate the plane of polarized light. A solution of dextrorotory amino acids rotates the plane of polarized light to the r right while levorotary solutions to the left.
24. The Penicillin fungus makes d-amino acids to poison potential bacterial invaders. Strychnine, an obvious poison, is also a d-amino acid and is toxic to cellular enzymes.
25. For 80 years chemists have been trying to synthesize optically pure mixtures of amino acids in the lab using stochastic chemical processes. However, this has never been accomplished. According to physical chemists, it is impossible because the two isomers have identical entropy states.
26. Miller and Urey acknowledged that the chemical makeup of their experiment consisted of equal portions of left-handed and right-handed amino acids.
27. Racemates are not optically active and in the laboratory always result in proteins which contain a 50/50 mix of levo and dextro amino acids or nucleotides.
28. In practice, laboratory experiments have shown that right-handed building blocks have a slighter greater affinity, or attraction, for other right-handed building blocks. Therefore, at each step in the addition of another building block, there is a 3/7 chance that the next one added will be the same optical isomer as the one previously added.
29. The smallest known free living life forms, bacteria, have about 12,000,000 nucleotides in their DNA. If we were to calculate the odds of adding twelve million successive right-handed nucleotides to the growing chain, without a single left-handed one being added, it would be .5 raised to the 12 millionth power, (.5/12,000,000)!
30. The materialist is left with a limited number of options. Either the first life forms had a mix of right and left-handed building blocks in their DNA and proteins, or a racemic primordial soup (which always results from Miller-Urey type experiments), somehow defied the laws of mathematics and gave rise to pure mixtures of left-handed amino acids and right-handed nucleotides. The first option (racemic life) is impossible because of a three-dimensional structure of enzymes and proper functioning is not possible with a mix of dextro and levo amino acids. The second option is a mathematical absurdity.
31. Some have suggested that certain clay or crystal surfaces might "select" one isomer over another and therefore, purify a mixture of like handed (optically pure) molecules. However, this argument ignores that fact that the entropy states of the two isomers are identical and are very difficult to separate. Secondly, experimental chemistry shows that it is impossible to get pure mixtures of one or the other isomer this way. Irregularities in the structure of the clay or crystal surfaces would result in the accumulation of both isomers, i.e., contaminants. Since this is so, if even one incorrect isomer gets integrated into a protein or nucleic acid, its 3-D structure would be destroyed.
32. A minority of chemists have suggested that perhaps life started out with racemic proteins and later only the levo amino acids were selected out. However, there is no known mechanism whereby chance chemistry can accomplish such a "selection" process. Furthermore, the structure of proteins is so tightly coupled to function that the intermediates between the racemic proteins and the optically pure proteins (consisting of only levo amino acids) would not be functional. In fact, the removal of even one amino acid often destroys the structure and function of a protein. To change from a racemic protein to an optically pure one would mean the substitution of 50% of the amino acid residues.
33. Most chemicals that are poisonous to plants, animals or humans kill their victims by binding specifically and irreversibly to the active site of metabolic enzymes.
34. Another devastating fact regarding the "toxic waste" produced by "spark and soup" experiments is that these chemicals, composed mainly of carboxylic acids, bind to amino acids far more readily than amino acids bind to each other! Therefore, it is incredulous to conclude that pure, uncontaminated mixtures of amino acids or nucleotides could combine, or be selected out by chance, from such a mixture of "chemical junk."
35. Anyone that has worked in a biochemistry lab knows that the smallest amount of impurity in the reaction vessels will halt the activity and efficiency of enzymes. In fact, the presence of common ocean water is "dirty" enough to halt the function of free enzymes in such an experiment. Therefore, even the ocean is an unlikely place for enzymes and life to evolve.
36. This is called the law of mass action.
37. Recognizing the dilemma that these reversible condensation reactions pose, some have proposed that the origin of life occurred near super hot oceanic volcanic vents. Next to such vents the temperatures can reach thousands of degrees, thus causing a relative decrease in the amount of water. This would theoretically drive the condensation reaction toward the production of "post-cursors" or proteins. The flaw in this argument is that heat (110 degrees Fahrenheit or greater) quickly and efficiently breaks down (denatures) proteins rendering them structurally and functionally incompetent.
38. A solution is said to be at equilibrium when it reaches a state of greatest entropy and lowest energy state.
39. In a solution that is in equilibrium there will always be local areas where the dissolved particles may, for a transient period, not be evenly distributed. That is, there will be areas of decreased entropy (increased order). These exceptions are transient since they are in equilibrium with the surrounding particles.
40. The Second Law, coupled with the fact that these condensation reactions are reversible, drives the solution in the net direction of a mixture containing predominantly unbonded building blocks. According to thermodynamic calculations by Harold Blum (Time's Arrow and Evolution), in a watery solution about 1% of amino acids will exist as dipeptides (two bonded amino acids), .001% as tripeptides and less than one in 10/20 will exist in a chain of ten amino acids. Those that do bond will be quickly unbonded when a collision with water occurs unless these unlikely, reduced entropy molecules are stored and kept away from the solution in equilibrium. 41. In a primordial soup, random molecular movement would cause the building blocks of life to diffuse away from their site of origin. Just as concentrated red dye will disperse when dropped into water, the building blocks of DNA and protein will also diffuse until equilibrium is reached. At this point there would be billions of water molecules for every unbonded building block. This process, along with the rapid breakdown of nucleotides and amino acids by oxygen and UV radiation, makes it almost impossible to imagine how, in a watery environment, biochemical precursors could combine, stay combined and continue to build upon each other in the fact of the concept of chemical equilibrium.
42. Enzymes are able to function as metabolic machines which extract free energy from the environment (e.g. photosynthesis) and use this energy to overcome the effect of equilibrium in the synthesis and preservation of DNA and proteins. During the synthesis of proteins, enzymes first "activate" or energize amino acids (using ATP) and allow them to bond and stay bonded. This enormously complex process requires a specific transfer RNA molecule for the activation and bonding of each of the twenty amino acids used in living systems. This energy is then used to overcome the effect of equilibrium in the preservation of DNA and proteins in a state of increased order. In effect, enzymes capture the building blocks, bind them together, essentially removing them from the solution, and then preserve them in their bonded state. However, these cellular machines or mechanisms (enzymes) are designed to store and maintain these deviations from equilibrium. The problem for the materialist is to explain how such deviations from equilibrium were stored in the absence of any mechanism or system capable of doing this. Inorganic matter possesses neither the know-how nor the mechanism to store the decreased entropy found in the chains of DNA and proteins.
43. To overcome the effect of equilibrium, many scientists will unwittingly assert that the addition of enough energy into a thermodynamically open system (such as the earth) will cause the system to stray from equilibrium and allow the accumulation of storage of "corners" of increased order (or negative entropy). It is true that the introduction of more energy causes an increase in the number of chemical collisions and a corresponding increase in the number of unlikely polymers (consisting of two, three, four or more bonded building blocks). However, in order for DNA or protein synthesis to occur, these deviations from equilibrium must be stored or preserved. If they (the polymers) are not stored, then collisions with water, which are constantly occurring, will just as easily break down the randomly-formed polymers. Furthermore, the addition of long time periods simply acts to drive even localized "corners" of decreased entropy to a state of equilibrium, i.e. predominantly unbonded building blocks.
44. Crystals are often presented as examples of structures that display reduced entropy, and yet are at equilibrium. However, the order that we see in a crystal is a secondary order which is dependent upon the order already present in the atoms.
45. Harold F. Blum,. Time's arrow and Evolution.(2d ed., Princeton, N.J. Princeton University Press, 1955).
46. Machines result when information (know-how) is intelligently and deliberately combined with the natural law in matter for the purpose of creating a purposeful mechanism.
47. For a detailed discussion on the origin of machines see The Scientific Alternative to Neo-Darwinian Evolutionary Theory: Information Sources and Structures. A.E. Wilder-Smith, The Word for Today Publishers, Costa Mesa, Ca. 92628 (Phone 1-800-282-WORD).
48. A.E. Wilder-Smith, Man's Origin Man's Destiny, (1993 English ed.) The Word for Today Publishers, (Phone 1-800-282-WORD).pp. 45-46.
49. George Wald, "The Origin of Life", Scientific American 191:48 (May 1954).
50. Blum, op. cit., 178a.
51. Blum, op. cit., 17.
52. Shapiro, op. cit., 135.
53. Harold F. Blum, Time's Arrow and Evolution (2d ed., Princeton, N.J. Princeton University Press, 1955).
54. In Hoyle's experiment he assumed a primordial soup that contained all of the twenty essential amino acids.
55. Nature, vol. 294:105, November 12, 1981.
56. Nature, vol. 294:105, November 12, 1981.
57. Harold Morowitz, Energy Flow in Biology (New York; Academic Press, 1968).
58. Shapiro, op. cit., 128.
59. Francis Crick, Life Itself-Its Origin and Nature, Futura, London, (1982).
60. George Wald, "The Origin of Life", Scientific American 191:48 (May 1954).
61. See the New Testament, Hebrews 11:1.
62. George Wald, "The Origin of Life", Scientific American (May 1954).
63. Denton, op. cit., pg. 340.
64. Ibid., 341.
65. Ibid., 341.
66. Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space: A Theory of Cosmic Creationism (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1981), pp. 96-97.



Paul Nelson

We can call the lysed bacterium thought experiment “the Humpty Dumpty (HD) experiment.” The HD experiment has been described many times in the scientific literature, although to my knowledge it has never actually been performed, because everyone (except perhaps OOL researcher Jan Spitzer) knows what would happen. Nothing, except the irreversible chemical degradation of the cellular contents.

Here’s a 2011 description of the HD experiment, from OOL researcher William Martin:

“The proposal that life arose through the self-organisation of preformed constituents in a pond or an ice-pore containing some kind of preformed prebiotic broth can be rejected with a simple thought experiment: If we were to take a living organism and homogenize it so as to destroy the cellular structure but leave the molecules intact, then put that perfect organic soup into a container and wait for any amount of time, would any form of life ever arise from it de novo? The answer is no…”

(William Martin 2011, pdf here:

From this – i.e., STARTING with the HD thought experiment – Martin draws important lessons. The origin of the living state isn’t simply a matter of pulling together the right molecules, into the same microenvironment, because the HD experiment shows that even having all the right molecules, cheek by jowl, will yield nothing.

Rather, Martin concludes that:

1. Life cannot begin without compartments, required for energy gradients.
2. Life cannot emerge against the laws of thermodynamics, which means “harnessable chemical energy” must be “available naturally, all the time.”

Martin thinks that submarine alkaline vents provide a promising setting to give (1) and (2). Okay – but is that the only lesson of the HD experiment?

Of course not. In real cells, what maintains the configurational specificity of proteins, a function known to be required for viability? Satisfying energetic demands (1) and (2) doesn’t solve that problem, nor does it solve the information storage and replication requirements known to be necessary for the living state. And so on.

The HD experiment focuses one’s attention on the jointly necessary conditions required for the living state, and how the loss of any one of them – in this case, cell wall or cell membrane integrity – instantly compromises ALL of the others.

To be sure, dynamiting a suspension bridge is not the reverse process of building the same bridge. But bridges are constructed, painstakingly, by engineers, with the distant target carefully in sight, precisely because that target state is very hard to hit, and easy to lose. To paraphrase Dawkins, there are infinitely many more ways for iron, asphalt, wire, piping, and concrete NOT to be a suspension bridge than vice versa.

The parallel to the origin of life, and the relevance of the HD experiment, I leave to you, Larry, as a homework assignment.


Abiogenesis :

•Think of DNA as the cell’s library, and RNA as a book that can be checked out of the library. A kind of RNA checks out information from the DNA to line up left handed amino acids in the exact order required for each individual protein.
•Next the correctly ordered left-handed amino acids are linked together by a “molecular machine.” This machine is made up of another kind of RNA working together with several specialized proteins. The machine links the properly ordered left-handed amino acids one to another to make proteins.
The molecular machines that make proteins are a good example of the cell’s many complex machines. Because no machine exists that did not have an intelligent inventor, each of the cell’s machines is another evidence for an intelligent Creator.
After having taught for 40 or 50 years that amino acids first concentrated, then linked together to form proteins, atheists are abandoning this claim. Why?
•Amino acids do not concentrate in the ocean; they disperse and break down.
•Amino acids will not link together in nature to form proteins; not even when scientists help them by buying all left-handed amino acids from a chemical supply house to make the perfect “organic soup.”
•If proteins could form, they could not get together with DNA because DNA does not form outside of living cells either. Scientists can’t even make DNA in the laboratory.

“… proteins fold into a highly complex, three-dimensional shape that determines their function. Any change in shape dramatically alters the function of a protein, andeven the slightest change in the folding process can turn a desirable protein into a disease.” {}

After scientists had uncovered this layer of brilliant design and turned the spotlight on it, they found – another layer of brilliant design! Specialized proteins called chaperones or chaperonins, help newly made proteins fold correctly while they accompany them to the places in the cell where they must fit perfectly to work with the surrounding proteins. The chaperones then help fit them precisely with the proteins around them to which they must attach.{Evelyn Strauss, Science News, 09/06/97, p. 155} How do the chaperones themselves fold correctly? They too have chaperones!

Many atheists understand, but purposely side step the really difficult question which is, “Where does the information in cells come from?” They substitute made up stories about where one of the materials that caries information might have come from. But there is no way that chance, clay, “organic soup,” or natural selection could invent the chemical code of a first cell, and use it to write information instructing the cell to make just the right proteins, fold them properly, and send each one to the only place in the cell where it will fi

Professor Werner Gitt, who works in the field of information science writes: “There is no known natural law through which matter can give rise to information, neither is there any physical process or material phenomenon known that can do this.”{Werner Gitt, In the Beginning Was Information, 1997, p. 79} This statement, if true, destroys the whole basis of the idea that no intelligent mind was involved in the formation of the first life. Is his statement true? All languages, alphabets, and codes that we know of, as well as the information spoken or written in them, originated in minds. The blind faith of the atheist that the first life was an exception is contrary to all known evidence.

De Duve, a Nobel Prize winning scientist writes:

“{In all modern organisms, DNA contains in encrypted form the instructions for the manufacture of proteins. More specifically, encoded within DNA is the exact order in which amino acids, selected at each step from 20 distinct varieties should be strung together to form all of the organism’s proteins.”{Christian de Duve, “The Beginning of Life on Earth,” American Scientist, Vol. 83, Sept-Oct. 1995, p. 430} Information never happens apart from intelligence, yet cells contain huge amounts of information. I believe this is the most important single evidence that life came from the mind of an intelligent Creator rather than from dumb chemicals.


The Mystery of Life's Origin:

Specifying How Work Is To Be Done

In Chapter 7 we saw that the work necessary to polymerize DNA and protein molecules from simple biomonomers could potentially be accomplished by energy flow through the system. Still, we know that such energy flow is a necessary but not sufficient condition for polymerization of the macromolecules of life. Arranging a pile of bricks into the configuration of a house requires work. One would hardly expect to accomplish this work with dynamite, however. Not only must energy flow through the system, it must be coupled in some specific way to the work to be done. This being so, we devoted Chapter 8 to identifying various components of work in typical polymerization reactions. In reviewing those individual work components, one thing became clear. The coupling of energy flow to the specific work requirements in the formation of DNA and protein is particularly important since the required configurational entropy work of coding is substantial.
Theoretical Models for the Origin of DNA and Protein

A mere appeal to open system thermodynamics does little good. What must be done is to advance a workable theoretical model of how the available energy can be coupled to do the required work. In this chapter various theoretical models for the origin of DNA and protein will be evaluated. Specifically, we will discuss how each proposes to couple the available energy to the required work, particularly the configurational entropy work of coding.


Before the specified complexity of living systems began to be appreciated, it was thought that, given enough time, "chance" would explain the origin of living systems. In fact, most textbooks state that chance is the basic explanation for the origin of life. For example, Lehninger in his classic textbook Biochemistry states,
We now come to the critical moment in evolution in which the first semblance of "life" appeared, through the chance association of a number of abiotically formed macromolecular components, to yield a unique system of greatly enhanced survival value.1
More recently the viability of "chance" as a mechanism for the origin of life has been severely challenged.2

We are now ready to analyze the "chance" origin of life using the approach developed in the last chapter. This view usually assumes that energy flow through the system is capable of doing the chemical and the thermal entropy work, while the configurational entropy work of both selecting and coding is the fortuitous product of chance.

To illustrate, assume that we are trying to synthesize a protein containing 101 amino acids. In eq. 8-14 we estimated that the total free energy increase (G) or work required to make a random polypeptide from previously selected amino acids was 300 kcal/mole. An additional 159 kcal/mole is needed to code the polypeptide into a protein. Since the "chance" model assumes no coupling between energy flow and sequencing, the fraction of the polypeptide that has the correct sequence may be calculated (eq. 8-16) using equilibrium thermodynamics, i.e.,

[protein concentration] / [polypeptide concentration] = exp ( - G / RT), eq. (9-1)

= exp (-159,000) / 1.9872 x 298)

or approximately 1 x 10-117
This ratio gives the fraction of polypeptides that have the right sequence to be a protein.

[NOTE: This is essentially the inverse of the estimate for the number of ways one can arrange 101 amino acids in a sequence (i.e., I / c in eq. 8-7)].
Eigen3 has estimated the number of polypeptides of molecular weight 10 4 (the same weight used in our earlier calculations) that would be found in a layer 1 meter thick covering the surface of the entire earth. He found it to be 1041. If these polypeptides reformed with new sequences at the maximum rate at which chemical reactions may occur, namely 1014/s, for 5 x 109 years [1.6 x 1017 s], the total number of polypeptides that would be formed during the assumed history of the earth would be

1041 x 1014/s x 1.6 x 1017s = 1072  (9-2)
Combining the results of eq. 9-1 and 9-2, we find the probability of producing one protein of 101 amino acids in five billion years is only 1/ 1045. Using somewhat different illustrations, Steinman4 and Cairns-Smith5 also come to the conclusion that chance is insufficient.

It is apparent that "chance" should be abandoned as an acceptable model for coding of the macromolecules essential in living systems. In fact, it has been, except in introductory texts and popularizations.

Neo-Darwinian Natural Selection

The widespread recognition of the severe improbability that self-replicating organisms could have formed from purely random interactions has led to a great deal of speculation---speculation that some organizing principle must have been involved. In the company of many others, Crick6 has considered that the neo-Darwinian mechanism of natural selection might provide the answer. An entity capable of self-replication is necessary, however, before natural selection can operate. Only then could changes result via mutations and environmental pressures which might in turn bring about the dominance of entities with the greatest probabilities of survival and reproduction.

The weakest point in this explanation of life's origin is the great complexity of the initial entity which must form, apparently by random fluctuations, before natural selection can take over. In essence this theory postulates the chance formation of the "metabolic motor" which will subsequently be capable of channeling energy flow through the system. Thus harnessed by coupling through the metabolic motor, the energy flow is imagined to supply not only chemical and thermal entropy work, but also the configurational entropy work of selecting the appropriate chemicals and then coding the resultant polymer into an aperiodic, specified, biofunctioning polymer. As a minimum, this system must carry in its structure the information for its own synthesis, and control the machinery which will fabricate any desired copy. It is widely agreed that such a system requires both protein and nucleic acid.7 This view is not unanimous, however. A few have suggested that a short peptide would be sufficient.8

One way out of the problem would be to extend the concept of natural selection to the pre-living world of molecules. A number of authors have entertained this possibility, although no reasonable explanation has made the suggestion plausible. Natural selection is a recognized principle of differential reproduction which presupposes the existence of at least two distinct types of self-replicating molecules. Dobzhansky appealed to those doing origin-of-life research not to tamper with the definition of natural selection when he said:

I would like to plead with you, simply, please realize you cannot use the words "natural selection" loosely. Prebiological natural selection is a contradiction in terms.9
Bertalanffy made the point even more cogently:
Selection, i.e., favored survival of "better" precursors of life, already presupposes self-maintaining, complex, open systems which may compete; therefore selection cannot account for the origin of such systems.10
Inherent Self-Ordering Tendencies in Matter

How could energy flow through the system be sufficiently coupled to do the chemical and thermal entropy work to form a nontrivial yield of polypeptides (as previously assumed in the "chance" model)? One answer has been the suggestion that configurational entropy work, especially the coding work, could occur as a consequence of the self-ordering tendencies in matter. The experimental work of Steinman and Cole11 in the late Sixties is still widely cited in support of this model.12 The polymerization of protein is hypothesized to be a nonrandom process, the coding of the protein resulting from differences in the chemical bonding forces. For example, if amino acids A and B react chemically with one another more readily than with amino acids C, D, and E, we should expect to see a greater frequency of AB peptide bonds in protein than AC, AD, AE, or BC, BD, BE bonds.

Together with our colleague Randall Kok, we have recently analyzed the ten proteins originally analyzed by Steinman and Cole,13 as well as fifteen additional proteins whose structures (except for hemoglobin) have been determined since their work was first published in 1967. Our expectation in this study was that one would only get agreement between the dipeptide bond frequencies from Steinman and Cole's work and those observed in actual proteins if one considered a large number of proteins averaged together. The distinctive structures of individual proteins would cause them to vary greatly from Steinman and Cole's data, so only when these distinctives are averaged out could one expect to approach Steinman and Cole's dipeptide bond frequency results. The reduced data presented in table 9-1 shows that Steinman and Cole's dipeptide bond frequencies do not correlate well with the observed peptide bond frequencies for one, ten, or twenty-five proteins. It is a simple matter to make such calculations on an electronic digital computer. We surmise that additional assumptions not stated in their paper were used to achieve the better agreements.

Furthermore, the peptide bond frequencies for the twenty-five proteins approach a distribution predicted by random statistics rather than the dipeptide bond frequency measured by Steinman and Cole. This observation means that bonding preferences between various amino acids play no significant role in coding protein. Finally, if chemical bonding forces were influential in amino acid sequencing, one would expect to get a single sequence (as in ice crystals) or no more than a few sequences, instead of the large variety we observe in living systems. Yockey, with a different analysis, comes to essentially the same conclusion.14

A similar conclusion may be drawn for DNA synthesis. No one to date has published data indicating that bonding preferences could have had any role in coding the DNA molecules. Chemical bonding forces apparently have minimal effect on the sequence of nucleotides in a polynucleotide.

Table 9-1.

Comparison of Steinman and Cole's experimentally determined dipeptide bond frequencies, and frequencies calculated by Steinman and Cole, and by Kok and Bradley from known protein sequences.

Values (relative to Gly-Gly)

S / C+ K / B #
exp & cal cal-wa cal-woa
Gly-Gly 1.0 1.0 1.0 (1.0) [1.0] 1.0 (1.0) [1.0]
Gly-Ala 0.8 0.7 1.1 (1.1) [2.0] 2.0 (1.2) [1.0]
Ala-Gly 0.8 0.6 1.0 (1.1) [2.2] 1.5 (1.2) [0.0]
Ala-Ala 0.7 0.6 1.3 (1.5) [4.4] 2.8 (1.5) [0.0]
Gly-Val 0.5 0.2 0.2 (0.3) [0.4] 1.5 (1.2) [1.0]
Val-Gly 0.5 0.3 0.3 (0.3) [0.6] 0.8 (0.6) [0.0]
Gly-Leu 0.5 0.3 0.3 (0.3) [0.2] 1.3 (0.7) [1.0]
Leu-Gly 0.5 0.2 0.3 (0.3) [0. ] 1.3 (1.0) [1.0]
Gly-Ile 0.3 0.1 0.1 (0.2) [0.6] 1.0 (0.) [0.0]
Ile-Gly 0.3 0.1 0.1 (0.2) [0.2] 0.0 (0.4) [0.0]
Gly-Phe 0.1 0.1 0.1 (0.2) [0.4] 0.5 (0.5) [0.0]
Phe-Gly 0.1 0.1 0.1 (0.1) [0.6] 1.0 (0.5) [1.0]
(Adapted after G. Steinman and M.V. Cole, 1967. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S. 58,735).

* The dipeptides are listed in terms of increasing volume of the side chains of the constituent residues. Gly = glycine, Ala = alanine, Val = valine, Leu = leucine, Ile = isoleucine and Phe = phenylalanine. Example: Gly-Ala = glycylalanine.

+ Steinman and Cole's (S/C) experimentally determined dipeptide bond frequencies were normalized and compared to the calculated frequencies obtained by counting actual peptide bond frequencies in ten proteins, assuming all seryl and threonyl residues are counted as glycine and all aspartyl and glutamyl residues are counted as alanine. The ten proteins used were: egg lysozyme, ribonuclease, sheep insulin, whale myoglobin, yeast cytochrome c, tobacco mosaic virus, beta-corticotropin, glucagon, melanocyte-stimulating hormone, and chymotrypsinogen. Because of ambiguity regarding sequences used by S/C, all sequences are those shown in Atlas of Protein Sequence and Structure, 1972. Vol. V (ed. by M.O. Dayhoff). National Biomedical Research Foundation, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C.

& The experimentally determined dipeptide frequencies were obtained with aqueous solutions containing 0.01 M each amino acid, 0.125 N HCl, 0.1 M sodium dicyanamide.

#Kok and Bradley's (K/Bcalculated dipeptide frequencies were obtained by counting S?Cassumptions. The numbers in brackets are for one protein, enterotoxin B, with actual peptide bond frequencies for the same ten proteins with (wa) and without (woa) S/C assumptions. The numbers in parentheses are for twenty-five proteins with (wa) and without (woa) S/C assumptions. The twenty-five proteins are the ten used S/C and alpha S1 Casein (bovine); azurin (bordetella bronchisetica); carboxypeptidase A (bovine); cytochrome b5 (bovine); enterotoxin B; elastase (pig); glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (lobster); human growth hormone; human hemoglobin beta chain; histone 11B2 (bovine); immunoglobulin gamma-chain 1, V-I (human EU); penicillinase (bacillus licheniformis 749/c); sheep prolactin; subtilisin (bacillus amyloliquefaciens); and tryptophan synthetase alpha chain (E-coh K-i 2). Sequences are those shown in Atlas of Protein Sequence and Structure, 1972. Vol. V (ed. by M.O. Dayhoff). Note disagreement S/C K/B calculated results. Also S/C calculated results are at variance with S/C experimental values for one, ten or twenty-five proteins, with (wa) or without (woa) S/C assumptions.

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Mineral Catalysis

Mineral catalysis is often suggested as being significant in prebiotic evolution. In the experimental investigations reported in the early 1970's15 mineral catalysis in polymerization reactions was found to operate by adsorption of biomonomers on the surface or between layers of clay. Monomers were effectively concentrated and protected from rehydration so that condensation polymerization could occur. There does not appear to be any additional effect. In considering this catalytic effect of clay, Hulett has advised, "It must be remembered that the surface cannot change the free energy relationships between reactants and products, but only the speed with which equilibrium is reached."16

Is mineral catalysis capable of doing the chemical work and/or thermal entropy work? The answer is a qualified no. While it should assist in doing the thermal entropy work, it is incapable of doing the chemical work since clays do not supply energy. This is why successful mineral catalysis experiments invariably use energy-rich precursors such as aminoacyl adenylates rather than amino acids.17

Is there a real prospect that mineral catalysis may somehow accomplish the configurational entropy work, particularly the coding of polypeptides or polynucleotides? Here the answer is clearly no. In all experimental work to date, only random polymers have been condensed from solutions of selected ingredients. Furthermore, there is no theoretical basis for the notion that mineral catalysis could impart any significant degree of information content to polypeptides or polynucleotides. As has been noted by Wilder-Smith,18 there is really no reason to expect the low-grade order resident on minerals to impart any high degree of coding to polymers that condense while adsorbed on the mineral's surface. To put it another way, one cannot get a complex, aperiodic-sequenced polymer using a very periodic (or crystalline) template.

In summary, mineral catalysis must be rejected as a mechanism for doing either the chemical or configurational entropy work required to polymerize the macromolecules of life. It can only assist in polymerizing short, random chains of polymers from selected high-energy biomonomers by assisting in doing the thermal entropy work.

Nonlinear, Nonequilibrium Processes
1. Ilya Prigogine

Prigogine has developed a more general formulation of the laws of thermodynamics which includes nonlinear, irreversible processes such as autocatalytic activity. In his book Self Organization in Nonequilibrium Systems (1977)19 co-authored with Nicolis, he summarized this work and its application to the organization and maintenance of highly complex structures in living things. The basic thesis in the book is that there are some systems which obey non-linear laws---laws that produce two distinct kinds of behavior. In the neighborhood of thermodynamic equilibrium, destruction of order prevails (entropy achieves a maximum value consistent with the system constraints). If these same systems are driven sufficiently far from equilibrium, however, ordering may appear spontaneously.

Heat flow by convection is an example of this type of behavior. Heat conduction in gases normally occurs by the random collision of gas molecules. Under certain conditions, however, heat conduction may occur by a heat-convection current---the coordinated movement of many gas molecules. In a similar way, water flow out of a bathtub may occur by random movement of the water molecules under the influence of gravity. Under certain conditions, however, this random movement of water down the drain is replaced by the familiar soapy swirl---the highly coordinated flow of the vortex. In each case random movements of molecules in a fluid are spontaneously replaced by a highly ordered behavior. Prigogine et al.,20 Eigen,21 and others have suggested that a similar sort of self-organization may be intrinsic in organic chemistry and can potentially account for the highly complex macromolecules essential for living systems.

But such analogies have scant relevance to the origin-of-life question. A major reason is that they fail to distinguish between order and complexity. The highly ordered movement of energy through a system as in convection or vortices suffers from the same shortcoming as the analogies to the static, periodic order of crystals. Regularity or order cannot serve to store the large amount of information required by living systems. A highly irregular, but specified, structure is required rather than an ordered structure. This is a serious flaw in the analogy offered. There is no apparent connection between the kind of spontaneous ordering that occurs from energy flow through such systems and the work required to build aperiodic information-intensive macromolecules like DNA and protein. Prigogine, et al.22 suggest that the energy flow through the system decreases the system entropy, leading potentially to the highly organized structure of DNA and protein. Yet they offer no suggestion as to how the decrease in thermal entropy from energy flow through the system could be coupled to do the configurational entropy work required.

A second reason for skepticism about the relevance of the models developed by Prigogine, et al.23 and others is that ordering produced within the system arises through constraints imposed in an implicit way at the system boundary. Thus, the system order, and more importantly the system complexity, cannot exceed that of the environment.

Walton24 illustrates this concept in the following way. A container of gas placed in contact with a heat source on one side and a heat sink on the opposite side is an open system. The flow of energy through the system from the heat source to the heat sink forms a concentration relative to the gas in the cooler region. The order in this system is established by the structure: source-intermediate systems-sink. If this structure is removed, allowing the heat source to come into contact with the heat sink, the system decays back to equilibrium. We should note that the information induced in an open system doesn't exceed the amount of information built into the structural environment, which is its source.

Condensation of nucleotides to give polynucleotides or nucleic acids can be brought about with the appropriate apparatus (i.e., structure) and supplies of energy and matter. Just as in Walton's illustration, however, Mora25has shown that the amount of order (not to mention specified complexity) in the final product is no greater than the amount of information introduced in the physical structure of the experiment or chemical structure of the reactants. Non-equilibrium thermodynamics does not account for this structure, but assumes it and then shows the kind of organization which it produces. The origin and maintenance of the structure are not explained, and as Harrison26 correctly notes this question leads back to the origin of structure in the universe. Science offers us no satisfactory answer to this problem at present.

Nicolis and Prigogine27 offer their trimolecular model as an example of a chemical system with the required nonlinearity to produce self ordering. They are able to demonstrate mathematically that within a system that was initially homogeneous, one may subsequently have a periodic, spatial variation of concentration. To achieve this low degree of ordering, however, they must require boundary conditions that could only be met at cell walls (i.e., at membranes), relative reaction rates that are atypical of those observed in condensation reactions, a rapid removal of reaction flow products, and a trimolecular reaction (the highly unlikely simultaneous collision of three atoms). Furthermore the trimolecular model requires chemical reactions that are essentially irreversible. But condensation reactions for polypeptides or polynucleotides are highly reversible unless all water is removed from the system.

They speculate that the low degree of spatial ordering achieved in the simple trimolecular model could potentially be orders of magnitude greater for the more complex reactions one might observe leading up to a fully replicating cell. The list of boundary constraints, relative reaction rates, etc. would, however, also be orders of magnitude larger. As a matter of fact, one is left with so constraining the system at the boundaries that ordering is inevitable from the structuring of the environment by the chemist. The fortuitous satisfaction of all of these boundary constraints simultaneously would be a its miracle in its own right.

It is possible at present to synthesize a few proteins such as insulin in the laboratory. The chemist supplies not only energy to do the chemical and thermal entropy work, however, but also the necessary chemical manipulations to accomplish the configurational entropy work. Without this, the selection of the proper composition and the coding for the right sequence of amino acids would not occur. The success of the experiment is fundamentally dependent on the chemist.

Finally, Nicolis and Prigogine have postulated that a system of chemical reactions which explicitly shows autocatalytic activity may ultimately be able to circumvent the problems now associated with synthesis of prebiotic DNA and protein. It remains to be demonstrated experimentally, however, that these models have any real correspondence to prebiotic condensation reactions. At best, these models predict higher yields without any mechanism to control sequencing. Accordingly, no experimental evidence has been reported to show how such models could have produced any significant degree of coding. No, the models of Prigogine et al., based on non-equilibrium thermodynamics, do not at present offer an explanation as to how the configurational entropy work is accomplished under prebiotic conditions. The problem of how to couple energy flow through the system to do the required configurational entropy work remains.
2. Manfred Eigen

In his comprehensive application of nonequilibrium thermodynamics to the evolution of biological systems, Eigen28 has shown that selection could produce no evolutionary development in an open system unless the system were maintained far from equilibrium. The reaction must be autocatalytic but capable of self-replication. He develops an argument to show that in order to produce a truly self-replicating system the complementary base-pairing instruction potential of nucleic acids must be combined with the catalytic coupling function of proteins. Kaplan29 has suggested a minimum of 20-40 functional proteins of 70-100 amino acids each, and a similar number of nucleic acids would be required by such a system. Yet as has previously been noted, the chance origin of even one protein of 100 amino acids is essentially zero.

The shortcoming of this model is the same as for those previously discussed; namely, no way is presented to couple the energy flow through the system to achieve the configurational entropy work required to create a system capable of replicating itself.

Periodically we see reversions (perhaps inadvertent ones) to chance in the theoretical models advanced to solve the problem. Eigen's model illustrates this well. The model he sets forth must necessarily arise from chance events and is nearly as incredible as the chance origin of life itself. The fact that generally chance has to be invoked many times in the abiotic sequence has been called by Brooks and Shaw "a major weakness in the whole chemical evolutionary theory."30
Experimental Results in Synthesis of Protein and DNA

Thus far we have reviewed the various theoretical models proposed to explain how energy flow through a system might accomplish the work of synthesizing protein and DNA macromolecules, but found them wanting. Nevertheless, it is conceivable that experimental Support for a spontaneous origin of life can be found in advance of the theoretical explanation for how this occurs. What then can be said of the experimental efforts to synthesize protein and DNA macromolecules? Experimental efforts to this end have been enthusiastically pursued for the past thirty years. In this section, we will review efforts toward the prebiotic syntheses of both protein and DNA, considering the three forms of energy flow most commonly thought to have been available on the early earth. These are thermal energy (volcanoes), radiant energy (sun), and chemical energy in the form of either condensing agents or energy-rich precursors. (Electrical energy is excluded at this stage of evolution as being too "violent," destroying rather than joining the biomonomers.)

Thermal Synthesis

Sidney Fox31 has pioneered the thermal synthesis of polypeptides, naming the products of his synthesis proteinoids. Beginning with either an aqueous solution of amino acids or dry ones, he heats his material at 2000oC for 6-7 hours.
[NOTE: Fox has modified this picture in recent years by developing "low temperature" syntheses, i.e., 90-120oC. See S. Fox, 1976. J Mol Evol 8, 301; and D. Rohlfing, 1976. Science 193, 68].
All initial solvent water, plus water produced during Polymerization, is effectively eliminated through vaporization. This elimination of the water makes possible a small but significant yield of polypeptides, some with as many as 200 amino acid units. Heat is introduced into the system by conduction and convection and leaves in the form of steam. The reason for the success of the polypeptide formation is readily seen by examining again equations 8-15 and 8-16. Note that increasing the temperature would increase the product yield through increasing the value of exp (- G / RT. But more importantly, eliminating the water makes the reaction irreversible, giving an enormous increase in yield over that observed under equilibrium conditions by the application of the law of mass action.


Thermal syntheses of polypeptides fail, however, for at least four reasons. First, studies using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) have shown that thermal proteinoids "have scarce resemblance to natural peptidic material because beta, gamma, and epsilon peptide bonds largely predominate over alpha-peptide bonds."32
[NOTE: This quotation refers to peptide links involving the beta-carboxyl group of aspartic acid, the gamma-carboxyl group of glutamic acid, and the epsilon-amino group of lysine which are never found in natural proteins. Natural proteins use alpha-peptide bonds exclusively].
Second, thermal proteinoids are composed of approximately equal numbers of L- and D-amino acids in contrast to viable proteins with all L-amino acids. Third, there is no evidence that proteinoids differ significantly from a random sequence of amino acids, with little or no catalytic activity. [It is noted, however, that Fox has long disputed this.] Miller and Orgel have made the following observation with regard to Fox's claim that proteinoids resemble proteins:
The degree of nonrandomness in thermal polypeptides so far demonstrated is minute compared to nonrandomness of proteins. It is deceptive, then, to suggest that thermal polypeptides are similar to proteins in their nonrandomness.33
Fourth, the geological conditions indicated are too unreasonable to be taken seriously. As Folsome has commented, "The central question [concerning Fox's proteinoids] is where did all those pure, dry, concentrated, and optically active amino acids come from in the real, abiological world?"34

There is no question that thermal energy flow through the system including the removal of water is accomplishing the thermal entropy and chemical work required to form a polypeptide (300 kcal/mole in our earlier example). The fact that polypeptides are formed is evidence of the work done. It is equally clear that the additional configurational entropy work required to convert an aperiodic unspecified polypeptide into a specified, aperiodic polypeptide which is a functional protein has not been done (159 kcal/mole in our earlier example).

It should be remembered that this 159 kcal/mole of configurational entropy work was calculated assuming the sequencing of the amino acids was the only additional work to be done. Yet the experimental results of Temussi et al.,35 indicate that obtaining all Lamino acids from a racemic mixture and getting alpha-linking between the amino acids are quite difficult. This requirement further increases the configurational entropy work needed over that estimated to do the coding work (159 kcal/mole). We may estimate the magnitude of this increase in the configurational entropy work term by returning to our original calculations (eq. 8-7 and 8-Cool.

In our original calculation for a hypothetical protein of 100 amino acid units, we assumed the amino acids were equally divided among the twenty types. We calculated the number of possible amino acid sequences as follows:

cr = 100! / 5! 5! 5!....5! = 100! / (5!)20 = 1.28 x 10115 (9-3)
If we note that at each site the probability of having an L-amino acid is 50%, and make the generous assumption that there is a 50% probability that a given link will be of the alpha-type observed in true proteins, then the number of ways the system can be arranged in a random chemical reaction is given by

cr = 1.28 x 10115 x 2100 x 299 = 10175 (9-4)
where 2100 refers to the number of additional arrangements possible, given that each site could contain an L- or D-amino acid, and 299 assumes the 99 links between the 100 amino acids in general are equally divided between the natural alpha-links and the unnatural beta-, gamma-, or epsilon-links.

[NOTE Some studies indicate less than 50% alpha-links in peptides formed by reacting random mixtures of amino acids. (P.A. Temussi, L. Paolillo, F.E. Benedetti, and S. Andini, 1976. J. Mol. Evol. 7, 105.)].
The requirements for a biologically functional protein molecule are: (1) all L-amino acids, (2) all alpha-links, and (3) a specified sequence. This being so, the calculation of the configurational entropy of the protein molecule using equation 8-8 is unchanged except that the number of ways the system can be arranged, (cr), is increased from 1.28 x 10115 to 1.0 x 10175 as shown in equations 9-3 and 9-4. We may use the relationships of equations 8-7 and 8-8 but with the number of permutations modified as shown here to find a total configurational entropy work. When we do, we get a total configurational entropy work of 195 kcal/mole, of which 159 kcal/mole is for sequencing and 36 kcal/mole to attain all L-amino acids and all alpha-links. Finally, it should be recognized that Fox and others who use his approach avoid a much larger configurational entropy work term by beginning with only amino acids, i.e., excluding other organic chemicals and thereby eliminating the "selecting work" which is not accounted for in the 195 kcal/mole calculated above.

In summary, undirected thermal energy is only able to do the chemical and thermal entropy work in polypeptide synthesis, but not the coding (or sequencing) portion of the configurational entropy work. Protenoids are just globs of random polymers. That a polymer composed exclusively of amino acids (but without exclusively peptide bonds) was formed is a result of the fact that only amino acids were used in the experiment. Thus, the portion of the configurational entropy work that was done---the selecting work---was accomplished not by natural forces but by illegitimate investigator interference. It is difficult to imagine how one could ever couple random thermal energy flow through the system to do the required configurational entropy work of selecting and sequencing. Finally, this approach is of very questionable geological significance, given the many fortuitous events that are required, as others have noted.

Solar Energy

Direct photochemical (UV) polymerization reactions to form polypeptides and polynucleotides have occasionally been discussed in the literature. The idea is to drive forward the otherwise thermodynamically unfavorable polymerization reaction by allowing solar energy to flow through the aqueous system to do the necessary work. It is worth noting that minor yields of small peptides can be expected to form spontaneously, even though the reaction is unfavorable (see eq. 8-16), but that greater yields of larger peptides can be expected only if energy is somehow coupled to the reaction. Fox and Dose have examined the peptide results of Bahadur and Ranganayaki36 and concluded that UV irradiation did not couple with the reaction. They comment, "The authors do not show that they have done more than accelerate an approach to an unfavorable equilibrium. They may merely have reaffirmed the second law of thermodynamics."37 Other attempts to form polymers directly under the influence of UV light have not been encouraging because of this lack of coupling. Neither the chemical nor the thermal entropy work, and definitely not any configurational entropy work, has been accomplished using solar energy.

Chemical Energy (Energy-Rich Condensing Agents)

Through the use of condensing agents, the energetically unfavorable dipeptide reaction (G1 = + 3000 cal/mole) is made energetically favorable (G3 < 0) by coupling it with a second reaction which is sufficiently favorable energetically (G2 < 0), to offset the energy requirement of the dipeptide reaction:

dipeptide reaction

A - OH + H - B A - B + H20 G1 > 0 (9-5)
condensing agent reaction

C + H20 D G2 < 0 (9-6)
coupled reaction

A - OH + H - B + C A - B + D G3 < 0 (9-7)
As in thermal proteinoid formation, the free water is removed. However, in this case, it is removed by chemical reaction with a suitable poly- condensing agent-one which has a sufficient decrease in Gibbs free energy to drive the reaction forward (i.e., G2 0 and | G2 | |G1 | so that G1 + G2 = G3 0.

Unfortunately, it has proved difficult to find condensing agents work. for these macromolecule syntheses that could have originated on the primitive earth and functioned properly under mild conditions in an aqueous environment.38 Meanwhile, other condensing agents which are not prebiotically significant (e.g., polymetaphosphates) are used in experiments. The plausible cyanide derivative candidates for condensing agents on the early earth hydrolyze readily in aqueous solutions (see Chapter 4). In the process, they do not couple preferentially with the H20 from the condensation-dehydration reaction. Condensing agents observed in living systems today are produced only by living systems, and thus are not prebiotically significant. Moreover, enzyme activity in living systems first activates amino acids and then brings about condensation of these activated species, thus avoiding the problem of indiscriminate reaction with water.

Notice that if we could solve the very significant problems associated with the prebiotic synthesis of polypeptides by using condensing agents, we would still succeed only in polymerizing random polypeptides. Only the chemical and thermal entropy work would be accomplished by an appropriate coupling of the condensing agent to the condensation reaction. There is no reason to believe that condensing agents could have any effect on the selecting or sequencing of the amino acids. Thus, condensing agents are eliminated as a possible means of doing the configurational entropy work of coding a protein or DNA.

Chemical Energy (Energy-Rich Precursors)

Because the formation of even random polypeptides from amino acids is so energetically unfavorable (G = 300 kcal/mole for 100 amino acids), some investigators have attempted to begin with energy-rich precursors such as HCN and form polypeptides directly, a scheme which is "downhill" energetically, i.e., G < 0. There are advantages to such an approach; namely, there is no chemical work to be done since the bonding energy actually decreases as the energy-rich precursors react to form more complex molecules. This decrease in bonding energy will drive the reaction forward, effectively doing the thermal entropy work as well. The fly in the ointment, however, is that the configurational entropy work is enormous in going from simple molecules (e.g., HCN) directly to complex polymers in a single step (without forming intermediate biomonomers).

The stepwise scheme of experiments is to react gases such as methane, ammonia, and carbon dioxide to form amino acids and other compounds and then to react these to form polymers in a subsequent experiment. In these experiments the very considerable selecting-work component of the configurational entropy work is essentially done by the investigator who separates, purifies, and concentrates the amino acids before attempting to polymerize them. Matthews39 and co-workers, however, have undertaken experiments where this intermediate step is missing and the investigator has no opportunity to contribute even obliquely to the success of the experiment by assisting in doing the selecting part of the configurational entropy work. In such experiments-undoubtedly more plausible as true prebiotic simulations-the probability of success is, however, further reduced from the already small probabilities previously mentioned. Using HCN as an energy-rich precursor, and ammonia as a catalyst, Matthews and Moser40 have claimed direct synthesis of a large variety of chemicals under anhydrous conditions. After treating the polymer with water, even peptides are said to be among the products obtained. But as Ferris et al.,41 have shown, the HCN polymer does not release amino acids upon treatment with proteolytic (protein splitting) enzymes; nor does it give a positive biuret reaction (color test for peptides). In short, it is very hard to reconcile these results with a peptidic structure.

Ferris42 and Matthews43 have agreed that direct synthesis of polypeptides has not yet been demonstrated. While some peptide bonds may form directly, it would be quite surprising to find them in significant numbers. Since HCN gives rise to other organic compounds, and various kinds of links are possible, the formation of polypeptides with exclusively alpha-links is most unlikely. Furthermore, no sequencing would be expected from this reaction, which is driven forward and "guided" only by chemical energy.

While we do not believe Matthews or others will be successful in demonstrating a single step synthesis of polypeptides from HCN, this approach does involve the least investigator interference, and thus, represents a very plausible prebiotic simulation experiment. The approach of Fox and others, which involves reacting gases to form many organic compounds, separating out amino acids, purifying, and finally polymerizing them, is more successful because it involves a greater measure of investigator interference. The selecting portion of the configurational entropy work is being supplied by the scientist. Matthew's lack of demonstrable success in producing polypeptides is a predictable indication of the enormity of the problem of prebiotic synthesis when it is not overcome by illegitimate investigator interference.

Mineral Catalysis

A novel synthesis of polypeptides has been reported44 which employs mineral catalysis. An aqueous solution of energy-rich aminoacyl adenylates (rather than amino acids) is used in the presence of certain layered clays such as those known as montmorillonites. Large amounts of the energy-rich reactants are adsorbed both on the surface and between the layers of clay. The catalytic effect of the clay may result primarily from the removal of reactants from the solution by adsorption between the layers of clay. This technique has resulted in polypeptides of up to 50 units or more. Although polymerization definitely occurs in these reactions, the energy-rich aminoacyl adenylate (fig. 9-1) is of very doubtful prebiotic significance per the discussion of competing reactions in Chapter 4. Furthermore, the use of clay with free amino acids will not give a successful synthesis of polypeptides. The energy-rich aminoacyl adenylates lower their chemical or bonding energy as they polymerize, driving the reaction forward, and effectively doing the thermal entropy work as well. The role of the clay is to concentrate the reactants and possibly to catalyze the reactions. Once again, we are left with no apparent means to couple the energy flow, in this case in the form of prebiotically questionable energy-rich precursors, to the configurational entropy work of selecting and sequencing required in the formation of specified aperiodic polypeptides, or proteins.

Figure 9-1.
Aminoacyl adenylate.
Summary of Experimental Results on Prebiotic Synthesis of protein

In summary, we have seen that it is possible to do the thermal entropy work and chemical work necessary to form random polypeptides, e.g., Fox's proteinoids. In no case, though, has anyone been successful in doing the additional configurational entropy work of coding necessary to convert random polypeptides into proteins. Virtually no mechanism with any promise for coupling the random flow of energy through the system to do this very specific work has come to light. The prebiotic plausibility of the successful synthesis of polypeptides must be questioned because of the considerable configurational entropy work of selecting done by the investigator prior to the polymer synthesis. Surely no suggestion is forthcoming that the right composition of just the subset of amino acids found in living things was "selected" by natural means, or that this subset consists only of L-a-amino acids. This is precisely why a large measure of the credit in forming proteinoids must go to Fox and others rather than nature.

Summary of Experimental Results on Prebiotic Synthesis of DNA

The prebiotic synthesis of DNA has proved to be even more difficult than that of protein. The problems that beset protein synthesis apply with greater force to DNA synthesis. Energy flow through the system may cause the nucleotides to chemically react and form a polymer chain, but it is very difficult to get them to attach themselves together in a specified way. For example, 3' - 5' links on the sugar are necessary for the DNA to form a helical structure (see fig. 9-2). Yet 2'-5' links predominate in most prebiotic simulation experiments.45 The sequencing of the bases in DNA is also crucial, as is the amino acid sequence in proteins. Both of these requirements are problems in doing the configurational entropy work. It is one thing to get molecules to chemically react; it is quite another to get them to link up in the right arrangement. To date, researchers have only succeeded in making oligonucleotides, or relatively short chains of nucleotides, with neither consistent 3'-5' links nor specific base sequencing.

Figure 9-2.
A section from a DNA chain showing the sequence AGCT.
Miller and Orgel summarized their chapter on prebiotic condensation reactions by saying:

This chapter has probably been confusing to the reader. We believe that is because of the limited progress that has been made in the study of prebiotic condensation. Many interesting scraps of information are available, but no correct pathways have yet been discovered.46
The situation is much the same today.

Summary Discussion of Experimental Results

There is an impressive contrast between the considerable success in synthesizing amino acids and the consistent failure to synthesize protein and DNA. We believe the reason is the large difference in the magnitude of the configurational entropy work required. Amino acids are quite simple compared to protein, and one might reasonably expect to get some yield of amino acids, even where the chemical reactions that occur do so in a rather random fashion. The same approach will obviously be far less successful in reproducing complex protein and DNA molecules where the configurational entropy work term is a nontrivial portion of the whole. Coupling the energy flow through the system to do the chemical and thermal entropy work is much easier than doing the configurational entropy work. The uniform failure in literally thousands of experimental attempts to synthesize protein or DNA under even questionable prebiotic conditions is a monument to the difficulty in achieving a high degree of information content, or specified complexity from the undirected flow of energy through a system.

We must not forget that the total work to create a living system goes far beyond the work to create DNA and protein discussed in this chapter. As we stated before, a minimum of 20-40 proteins as well as DNA and RNA are required to make even a simple replicating system. The lack of known energy-coupling means to do the configurational entropy work required to make DNA and protein is many times more crucial in making a living system. As a result, appeals to chance for this most difficult problem still appear in the literature in spite of the fact that calculations give staggeringly low probabilities, even on the scale of 5 billion years. Either the work---especially the organizational work---was coupled to the flow of energy in some way not yet understood, or else it truly was a miracle.
Summary of Thermodynamics Discussion

Throughout Chapters 7-9 we have analyzed the problems of complexity and the origin of life from a thermodynamic point of view. Our reason for doing this is the common notion in the scientific literature today on the origin of life that an open system with energy and mass flow is a priori a sufficient explanation for the complexity of life. We have examined the validity of such an open and constrained system. We found it to be a reasonable explanation for doing the chemical and thermal entropy work, but clearly inadequate to account for the configurational entropy work of coding (not to mention the sorting and selecting work). We have noted the need for some sort of coupling mechanism. Without it, there is no way to convert the negative entropy associated with energy flow into negative entropy associated with configurational entropy and the corresponding information. Is it reasonable to believe such a "hidden" coupling mechanism will be found in the future that can play this crucial role of a template, metabolic motor, etc., directing the flow of energy in such a way as to create new information?


A number of researchers have concluded that the spontaneous origin of life cannot be explained by known laws of physics and chemistry. Many seek “new” laws which can account for life’s origin. Why are so many unwilling to simply accept what the evidence points to: that the theory of evolution itself is fundamentally implausible? Dean Kenyon answers, “Perhaps these scientists fear that acceptance of this conclusion would leave open the possibility (or the necessity) of a supernatural origin of life” (p.viii).

The origin of the first cell, cannot be explained by natural selection

The cell is irreducible complex, and hosts a hudge amount of codified, complex, specified information. The probability of useful DNA, RNA, or proteins occurring by chance is extremely small. Calculations vary somewhat but all are extremely small (highly improbable). If one is to assume a hypothetical prebiotic soup to start there are at least three combinational hurdles (requirements) to overcome. Each of these requirements decreases the chance of forming a workable protein. First, all amino acids must form a chemical bond (peptide bond) when joining with other amino acids in the protein chain. Assuming, for example a short protein molecule of 150 amino acids, the probability of building a 150 amino acids chain in which all linkages are peptide linkages would be roughly 1 chance in 10^45. The second requirement is that functioning proteins tolerate only left-handed amino acids, yet in abiotic amino acid production the right-handed and left-handed isomers are produced in nearly the same frequency. The probability of building a 150-amino-acid chain at random in which all bonds are peptide bonds and all amino acids are L-form is roughly 1 chance in 10^90. The third requirement for functioning proteins is that the amino acids must link up like letters in a meaningful sentence, i.e. in a functionally specified sequential arrangement. The chance for this happening at random for a 150 amino acid chain is approximately 1 chance in 10^195. It would appear impossible for chance to build even one functional protein considering how small the likelihood is. By way of comparison to get a feeling of just how low this probability is consider that there are only 10^65 atoms in our galaxy.

Of course the classic argument is given in response is that one shouldn't be surprised to find this extremely unlikely event on earth because otherwise, we wouldn't exist. Therefore, the fact that we exist means that it should only be expected by the mere fact of our own existence - not at all surprising.

However, this argument is like a situation where a man is standing before a firing squad of 1000 men with rifles who take aim and fire - - but they all miss him. According the the above logic, this man should not be at all surprised to still be alive because, if they hadn't missed him, he wouldn't be alive.

The nonsense of this line of reasoning is obvious. Surprise at the extreme odds of the genetic code and irreducible system of the cell, given the hypothesis of a mindless origin, is only to be expected - in the extreme.

To go from a bacterium to people is less of a step than to go from a mixture of amino acids to a bacterium. — Lynn Margulis

The total lack of any kind of experimental evidence leading even to re-creation of life; not to mention spontaneous emergence of life… is the most humiliating embracement to the evolutionists and the whole so-called “scientific establishment” around it…

Why is the Emergence of Life an Unlikely Event

This is best explained by trying to list some of the most important problems which life needed to
overcome (with some base of explanation):
The self replicating RNA paradox: How to copy the active center?
– Maybe there were multiple RNAs replicating each other in a cycle, or an RNA forming a
Where to get the mono nucleotides from initially?
The membrane paradox: How to live without a membrane which prevents intermediate
metabolic molecules to diffuse away? But how to live with a membrane which prevents
energy rich molecules to enter the cell?
– The first membranes might only consist of fatty acids [57] and not of glycerol esters or
ethers. Those membranes still let pass hydrophilic molecules and even species with a single
electric charge. But they do not let pass energy rich polyphosphates or RNA, allowing for a
multi-molecule replicating cycle and keeping catalytic RNAs close to their genome [57].
However, the high Mg2+ concentrations needed for RNA polymerization lead to crystallization
of the fatty acid magnesium salt [57]. So there must be something else than Mg2+
The ribosome paradox: How can it be that the most ancient system of life is the most
complex one?
– Maybe because big multi macromolecule complexes simply evolve slower than individual
– Maybe it is a rest of an ancient feature of life without membranes.
Spontaneous formation of RNA
RNA based RNA polymerization
Synthesis of all 20 amino acids. This requires about 60 different enzymes in the organisms
living today (without the enzymes of the basic metabolism shared with carbohydrates)
Synthesis of the nucleotides. This requires about 20 enzymes in the organisms living today
(not counting the enzymes to create ribose or the amino acids used).
Synthesis of the most basic membranes. This requires about 9 enzymes in Archaea and at
least 4 enzymes in Bacteria (without synthesis of the polar head groups and glycerol)
A basic metabolism to obtain energy
The author does not claim that there is no way to overcome those obstacles and expect that
research will resolve those issues. But one should keep in mind that spontaneous emergence of
life is not obvious at all.

In preparation for a 2014 conference in Japan (called “Open Questions on the Origin of Life”), research biologist P. L. Luisi writes:

The scientific question about the origin of life is still unanswered: it is still one of the great mysteries that science is facing… Which conceptual progress have we made…? It is too much to say that we didn’t really make any, if we look at data under really and honest prebiotic conditions? Adding that this situation is not due to shortage of means and finances in the field—but to a real lack of difficulty to conceive conceptually how this nonliving-living passage really took place?[1]

Life cannot come from non-life.
The cell contains literally, not allegorically, coded information.
The cell is like a computer, it contains hardware ( the cell nucleus, ribozymes, nucleotides etc. which are the hardware ) and coded information, through the special arrangement of the nucleotides, which code for proteins.
Codified , complex, specified information, as stored in DNA, can only come from a mind. There are not known any natural mechanisms, upon which coded information can arise.
Based on this premise, we can deduce logically and securely, the coded information in DNA comes from a mind. Minds can exist outside of physical body, as many NDE scientific experiments have shown. Therefore we have very strong evidence, that a supermind exists, which made all that exists.

1.  In Miller’s experiment he was careful to make sure there was no oxygen present. If oxygen was present, then the amino acids would not form. However, if oxygen was absent from the earth, then there would be no ozone layer, and if there was no ozone layer the ultraviolet radiation would penetrate the atmosphere and would destroy the amino acids as soon as they were formed. So the dilemma can be summed up this way: amino acids would not form in an atmosphere with oxygen and amino acids would be destroyed in an atmosphere without oxygen.

2. The next problem concerns the so-called handedness of the amino acids. Because of the way that carbon atoms join up with other atoms, amino acids exist in two forms—the right-handed form and the left-handed form. Just as your right hand and left hand are identical in all respects except for their handedness, so the two forms of amino acids are identical except for their handedness. In all living systems only left-handed amino acids are found. Yet Miller’s experiment produced a mixture of right-handed and left-handed amino acids in identical proportions. As only the left-handed ones are used in living systems, this mixture is useless for the evolution of living systems.

3. Another major problem for the chemical evolutionist is the origin of the information that is found in living systems. There are various claims about the amount of information that is found in the human genome, but it can be conservatively estimated as being equivalent to a few thousand books, each several hundred pages long. Where did this information come from?

4. If the many instructions that direct an animal’s or plant’s immune system had not been preprogrammed in the organism’s genetic system when it first appeared on earth, the first of thousands of potential infections would have killed the organism. This would have nullified any rare genetic improvements that might have accumulated. In other words, the large amount of genetic information governing the immune system could not have accumulated in a slow, evolutionary sense.a Obviously, for each organism to have survived, all this information must have been there from the beginning.  

5.The sugar found in the backbone of both DNA and RNA, ribose, has been particularly problematic, as the most prebiotically plausible chemical reaction schemes have typically yielded only a small amount of ribose mixed with a diverse assortment of other sugar molecules.

6. all the peptide links to form a proptein must be alpha-peptide bonds, not some mix of alpha and epsilon,beta, and gamma bonds

"The first paradox is the tendency of organic matter to devolve and to give tar.  If you can avoid that, you can start to try to assemble things that are not tarry, but then you encounter the water problem, which is related to the fact that every interesting bond that you want to make is unstable, thermodynamically, with respect to water.  If you can solve that problem, you have the problem of entropy, that any of the building blocks are going to be present in a low concentration; therefore, to assemble a large number of those building blocks, you get a gene-like RNA -- 100 nucleotides long -- that fights entropy.  And the fourth problem is that even if you can solve the entropy problem, you have a paradox that RNA enzymes, which are maybe catalytically active, are more likely to be active in the sense that destroys RNA rather than creates RNA."

7.amino acids and sugars combine and destroy each other. In lab experiments the component chemicals are neatly separated from one another. How is this possible in a primitive ocean?

8. Synthesis vs destruction - For chemical bonds to form there needs to be an external source of energy. Unfortunately, the same energy that creates the bonds is much more likely to destroy them. In the famous Miller experiment (1953) that synthesized amino acids, a cold trap is used to selectively isolate the reaction products. Without this, the would be no products. This poses a challenge to simplistic early earth schemes where lightning simply strikes a primitive ocean. Where is the "trap" in such an ocean? Also, the creation of amino acids by a chemist in a laboratory is still much different from forming self-replicating life.

Random chance, or design ?

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the molecule that stores genetic information. It is found in almost every cell of every living thing on the planet. As you read the following information about dna ask yourself this question: could randomness and time produce this?

Incredible storage capacity

The information storage capacity of DNA is vast; a microgram (one millionth of a gram) of DNA theoretically could store as much information as 1 million compact discs. And all that storage is packed into a cell nucleus, whose volume is only a few millionths of a cubic metre!

Is it feasible that a storage mechanism better than anything man has made can come about by purely naturalistic means?


For a cell to divide it must first replicate it’s dna.

Watch this amazing simulation of dna replication:

Incredible right?

All cells must replicate for an organism to survive. How did the replication machinery come into existence?

How does the machinery know how to unwind the dna?

How does the machinery know that one of the strands is backwards? and that it has to copy it in loops?

DNA repair

Unfortunately the dna in cells gets damaged everyday by such things as uv light and radiation. Fortunately, we have special machines that can repair our dna. So far, 130 repair mechanisms have been identified.

With 3 billion letters in the dna strand there is a lot of checking to be done. Amazingly, unbroken DNA will conduct electricity, while an error will block the current. One pair of enzymes lock onto different parts of a DNA strand. One of them sends an electron down the strand. If the DNA is unbroken, the electron reaches the other enzyme, and causes it to detach. I.e. this process scans the region of DNA between them, and if it’s clean, there is no need for repairs.

But if there is a break, the electron doesn’t reach the second enzyme. This enzyme then moves along the strand until it reaches the error, and fixes it. This mechanism of repair seems to be present in all living things, from bacteria to man.

How did a repair mechanism evolve to check the electrical conductivity of the dna?

DNA is being damaged all the time therefore dna and dna repair had to evolve at the same time?

DNA is code

DNA is made up of 4 chemicals: Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine and Guanine. These 4 chemicals are the letters (A,T,C and G) of the dna code language. The human dna code is 3 billion letters long.

Although DNA code is remarkably complex,it’s the information translation system connected to that code that really baffles evolutionists. Like any language, letters and words mean nothing outside the language convention used to give those letters and words meaning. For example, you can read the information on this page because there is a common understanding or agreement of what the words mean. However, this page will be gibberish to anyone who does not know how to read english. It’s the same with dna and proteins. The instructions for how to build proteins are built into the dna. The machine that builds the proteins has to read the instructions but it can only do that if it understands the meaning of the instructions…

Protein sysnthesis

Cells need to make proteins for pretty much everything they do. The DNA contains the instructions for how to build proteins. Watch this amazing simulation:

Isn’t that astounding? Just some questions that should be asked:

How did the instructions to make the required protein get into the dna?

How does the ‘rna polymerase’ know where in the dna to find the instructions to make the required protein?

How does the ‘rna polymerase’ know how to unwind the dna?

How does the ‘rna polymerase’ know to make a copy of the instructions?

How does the ‘rna polymerase’ know what a ‘stop code’ means?

How does the ribosome understand the instructions on the ‘messenger rna’?

If accurate folding of the protein is essential then how did the Chaperonin know the right way to fold the protein?

DNA is required to make proteins… but proteins are required to build proteins from the dna instructions. So, which came first?

Based on these scientific facts, i infere, DNA is designed.

Common objections :

Is intelligent design merely an "argument from ignorance?"

No. Some critics have misunderstood intelligent design and claimed that it is merely claims that because we can't figure out how some biological structures could have arisen, therefore they were probably designed. The argument for design is not like this. In reality, the argument notes that intelligent design theory is a sufficient causal explanation for the origin of specified (or irreducibly) complex information, and thus argues from positive predictions of design. The lack of detailed step-by-step evolutionary explanations for the origin of irreducible complexity is the result of the fact that irreducible complexity is fundamentally not evolvable by Darwinian evolution.

Argument from incredulity:

"Incredulous" basically means "I don't believe it". Well, there's a big difference between "not believing" that an actual animal, plant, phenomenon etc. *exists*, versus believing a certain "just so" story about HOW it came to exist.

That is the THING that we are incredulous about - a *certain scenario* (Neo-Darwinism) that's only *imagined* about how various amazing abilities of animals and plants happened all by themselves, defying known and reasonable principles of the limited range of mutations and Natural Selection.
The atheist is "incredulous" that God could exist, beyond and behind our entire space-time continuum, who is our Creator. But there is nothing ridiculous about that - especially if you can't personally examine reality to that depth - how do you know nature is all that exists ?

What IS ridiculous (IMO) is trying to imagine a *naturalistic origin* of these things. ORIGIN is not the same as OPERATION. To study how biology works today, is entirely different from giving a *plausible* account of how it came about to be in the first place.

If someone is giving you an *implausible* story of how something could have happened, you have every right to be "incredulous" about the story, until its shown how it's plausible.
There is a big difference between 'not believing' something that can be demonstrated every day, and 'not believing' something that has NEVER been demonstrated - ever - such as Abiogenesis or macro change .

THE proponents of naturalism are the ones who have the explaining to do, after they have removed (for purely philosophical reasons) all the abilities of Intelligent Agency (God) out of their toolkit. They are just left with primordial gases, and lots of time for things to bump around.

They are the ones who need explain all we see today, on the basis of that empty toolkit. Its not wrong to ask that from them.

You are "assuming" that it occurred when you have no evidence that it occurred,
and yet you have evidence that it indeed did not occur. The repeated inability
to falsify the Law of Biogenesis is not the absence of evidence. The repeated
observation that complex "information" does not arise randomly, but clearly
has an intelligent source can not be skirted and claimed "absence of evidence."
This is ignoring evidence and refusing to acknowledge observations that are
INDEED falsifiable. If you can observe information to arise from disorder, then
you will have falsified the claim.

But clearly there is no mechanism to appeal to that can explain how they would
form into such complexity with intelligent cause. You can not appeal to "we don't
know" when we clearly DO know. We know clearly that it didn't happen because
of our uniform and repeated experience with these organic substances that they
do NOT naturally form into the factories of living cells, even if you provide all of
the (unexplainable) parts of the living cell (it will not form naturally under any

Nor is it LOGICAL for them to form. The only way you could "possibly" claim
such arise from disorder to order is logical is if you ASSUME it had to, or that
it "did" occur this way.

Your flawed assumption that abiogenesis actually somehow occurred stands in denial of current
uniform and repeated experience, that parts of living cells clearly do NOT assemble
themselves into living cells capable of reproduction, let alone "living cells" of any
kind. The appeal to ignorance does not falsify current repeated observation.

So far I haven't seen any refutation of anything. Instead I see appeals to "we
don't know yet how it happened" which is truly an appeal to ignorance rather
than employing the common sense principles of our uniform and continued
experiences that such complexity requires intelligent causation.

it requires a peculiar perspective on the world to believe that a factory
can form from independent parts interacting, especially when we do not observe
such. Furthermore, there is no evidence for any such framework to have
allowed such a nano factory to form even if you had the primitive metabolisms

Let's assume I am a seven year old boy sitting here typing. Let's assume that
I do not know what I am doing with the English language. I have no problem in
granting such. The reality is that polemics flow effortlessly for ID and creation
because of solid foundations and assumptions based on current observation.

We can start with two such observations. Information and biogenesis. Since
they are in and of themselves axiomatic I do not foresee any problem with
allowing an honest person who understands logic and reason to take over
since I am clearly an IDiot. But the real question is not my construction of an
argument. The real question is whether or not you yourself have aligned
yourself with objective truth that is independent of my personal existence.

That objective truth is either factual or in error. So whether or not it is a fact
that information needs an intelligent source or whether all life comes from
other life is clearly not an issue of my presentation.

The Law of Biogenesis is very simple. It is the testable observation that
all cells come from cells or that all life comes from prior life. The Law
of Biogenesis is falsifiable with abiogenesis which is observed and asserted
to clearly be impossible. The synthesis of microbes does not falsify the
Law of Biogenesis because it is not abiogenesis. Variations of the Law
of Biogenesis have been asserted through the years, starting with Francesco
Redi, and then later Louis Pasteur. Certainly their understanding of cells
and bacterium is not what ours is today but surprisingly Pasteur was
correct in the total form of what he believed, though he may not have
been perfect in his understanding of specifics.

Believe it or not, you are asserting the philosophy of naturalism and materialism
whether you understand this or not. The issue is not the scientific method nor
the data or evidence, the issue is the implications of the evidence which can
lead to supernatural conclusions such as an Intelligent Designer. Or you could
apply scientific observations to a cancer patient who is miraculously healed.
The science itself is still science. It is the implications of the scientific observations
which can lead to non naturalistic/materialistic conclusions. It is quite simple.

Information needs a source or an Informant. The code needs a Code Maker.
Messages need an Author. This is based on our uniform and repeated experience
that intelligent complex information clearly needs a source so "why" would be
impose a "bias" against that Intelligent Source?

[justify]1. Symbols are defined as: something which represents something else.
2. Symbols carry thoughts (or messages) from a personal, intelligent, mind. No exceptions.
3. Scientific inquiry has discovered that DNA carries encoded symbolic instructions.

Therefore DNA ultimately came from a mind, who had to make decisions, and be extraordinarily intelligent.

1. The pattern in DNA is a code.
2. All codes we know the origin of com from a intelligent mind
3. Therefore we have 100% inference that DNA comes from a intelligent mind,  and 0% inference that it is not.

Provide one, just ONE example of coded information, that has non-intelligent origin, and you top my proof. Just ONE.

in the same way as the paper and the ink of a book is not the source and origin of the information contained within, DNA is not the sourse of the genetic code.

Wiki : A code is a rule for converting a piece of information (for example, a letter, word, phrase, or gesture) into another - usually shortened or covert - form or representation (one sign into another sign), not necessarily of the same type.

Thats exactly what the genetic code is. Its a coded representation of YOU, for example.

Literature from those who posture in favor of creation abounds with examples of the tremendous odds against chance producing a meaningful code. For instance, the estimated number of elementary particles in the universe is 10^80. The most rapid events occur at an amazing 10^45 per second. Thirty billion years contains only 10^18 seconds. By totaling those, we find that the maximum elementary particle events in 30 billion years could only be 10^143. Yet, the simplest known free-living organism, Mycoplasma genitalium, has 470 genes that code for 470 proteins that average 347 amino acids in length. The odds against just one specified protein of that length are 1:10^451.

The leading philosopher of science, Karl Popper (1902–1994), expressed the huge problem:

‘What makes the origin of life and of the genetic code a disturbing riddle is this: the genetic code is without any biological function unless it is translated; that is, unless it leads to the synthesis of the proteins whose structure is laid down by the code. But … the machinery by which the cell (at least the non-primitive cell, which is the only one we know) translates the code consists of at least fifty macromolecular components which are themselves coded in the DNA. Thus the code can not be translated except by using certain products of its translation. This constitutes a baffling circle; a really vicious circle, it seems, for any attempt to form a model or theory of the genesis of the genetic code.

An interview with Steven A. Benner, Ph.D. Chemistry, Harvard, prominent origin-of-life researcher and creator of the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution, was posted on Huffington Post on December 6, 2013.  In it he said, "We have failed in any continuous way to provide a recipe that gets from the simple molecules that we know were present on early Earth to RNA."  "The first paradox is the tendency of organic matter to devolve and to give tar.  If you can avoid that, you can start to try to assemble things that are not tarry, but then you encounter the water problem, which is related to the fact that every interesting bond that you want to make is unstable, thermodynamically, with respect to water.  If you can solve that problem, you have the problem of entropy, that any of the building blocks are going to be present in a low concentration; therefore, to assemble a large number of those building blocks, you get a gene-like RNA -- 100 nucleotides long -- that fights entropy.  And the fourth problem is that even if you can solve the entropy problem, you have a paradox that RNA enzymes, which are maybe catalytically active, are more likely to be active in the sense that destroys RNA rather than creates RNA."

the kind of papers which are supposed not to exist -- have increasingly been slipping through the net and finding their way into the peer-reviewed literature. One such paper, "Is gene duplication a viable explanation for the origination of biological information and complexity?," authored by Joseph Esfandier Hannon Bozorgmeh and published online last week in the journal, Complexity, challenges the standard gene duplication/divergence model regarding the origin of evolutionary novelty.

although the process of gene duplication and subsequent random mutation has certainly contributed to the size and diversity of the genome, it is alone insufficient in explaining the origination of the highly complex information pertinent to the essential functioning of living organisms.

Protocell Research: on the Verge of. . . a Dead End


British philosopher, Dr. Antony Flew, was a leading spokesperson for militant atheism. However, scientific discoveries within the last 30 years brought him to a conclusion he could not avoid. In a video interview in December 2004 he stated, "Super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature." Prominent in his conclusion were the discoveries of DNA. Here's why. DNA in our cells is very similar to an intricate computer program. In the photo on the left, you see that a computer program is made up of a series of ones and zeros (called binary code). The sequencing and ordering of these ones and zeros is what makes the computer program work properly. In the same way, DNA is made up of four chemicals, abbreviated as letters A, T, G, and C. Much like the ones and zeros, these letters are arranged in the human cell like this: CGTGTGACTCGCTCCTGAT and so on. The order in which they are arranged instructs the cell's actions. What is amazing is that within the tiny space in every cell in your body, this code is three billion letters long!! To grasp the amount of DNA information in one cell, "a live reading of that code at a rate of three letters per second would take thirty-one years, even if reading continued day and night." Wait, there's more. It has been determined that 99.9% of your
DNA is similar to everyone's genetic makeup. What is uniquely you comes in the fractional difference in how those three billion letters are sequenced in your cells. The U.S. government is able to identify everyone in our country by the arrangement of a nine-digit social security number. Yet, inside every cell in you is a three-billion-lettered DNA structure that belongs only to you. This code identifies you and continually instructs your cells' behaviour.

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project (that mapped the human DNA structure) and founder of The BioLogos Foundation, said that one can "think of DNA as an instructional script, a software program, sitting in the nucleus of the cell." Perry Marshall, an information specialist, comments on the implications of this. "There has never existed a computer program that wasn't designed...[whether it is] a code, or a program, or a message given through a language, there is always an intelligent mind behind it." Just as former militant atheist Dr. Antony Flew questioned, it is legitimate to ask oneself regarding this three billion letter code instructing the cell...who wrote this script? Who placed this working code, inside the cell? It's like walking along the beach and you see in the sand, "Mike loves Michelle." You know the waves rolling up on the beach didn't form that--a person wrote that. It is a precise message. It is clear communication. In the same way, the DNA structure is a complex, three-billion-lettered script, informing and directing the cell's process.
How can one explain this sophisticated messaging, coding, residing in our cells? On June 26, 2000, President Clinton congratulated those who completed the human genome sequencing. President Clinton said, "Today we are learning the language in which God created life. We are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, the beauty, the wonder of God's most divine and sacred gift." Dr. Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project, followed Clinton to the podium stating, "It is humbling for me and awe inspiring to realize that we have caught the first glimpse of our own instruction book, previously known only to God." When looking at the DNA structure within the human body, we cannot escape the presence of purposeful design. According to the Holy Bible, God is not only the Author of our existence, but He is the Relationship that makes our existence meaningful. All the intangibles in life that we crave...enough strength for any situation, joy, wisdom, and knowing we are loved...God alone gives these to us as we listen to Him and trust Him. He is our greatest, reliable guide in life. Just as He has engineered DNA to instruct the cell, He offers to instruct us to make our lives function well, for His glory and for our sake, because He loves us.

John Lennox

We have only to see a few letters of the alphabet spelling our name in the sand to recognize at once the work of an intelligent agent. How much more likely, then is the existence of an intelligent Creator behind human DNA, the colossal biological database that contains no fewer than 3.5 billion "letters" - the longest "word" yet discovered?

Scientists not only have been unable to find a single undisputed link that clearly connects two of the hundreds of major family groups, but they have not even been able to produce a plausible starting point for their hypothetical evolutionary chain (Shapiro, 1986). The first links—actually the first hundreds of thousands or more links that are required to produce life—still are missing (Behe, 1996, pp. 154-156)!

The major links in the molecules-to-man theory that must be bridged include:

Evolution of simple molecules into complex molecules,
Evolution of complex molecules into simple organic molecules,
Evolution of simple organic molecules into complex organic molecules,
eventual Evolution of complex organic molecules into DNA or similar information storage molecules, and
eventually Evolution into the first cells.

This process requires multimillions of links, all which either are missing or controversial. Scientists even lack plausible just-so stories for most of Evolution.

The logical order in which life developed is hypothesized to include the following basic major stages:

Stage 1
Certain simple molecules underwent spontaneous, random chemical reactions until after about half-a-billion years complex organic molecules were produced.

Stage 2
Molecules that could replicate eventually were formed (the most common guess is nucleic acid molecules), along with enzymes and nutrient molecules that were surrounded by membraned cells.

Stage 3
Cells eventually somehow “learned” how to reproduce by copying a DNA molecule (which contains a complete set of instructions for building a next generation of cells). During the reproduction process, the mutations changed the DNA code and produced cells that differed from the originals.

Stage 4
The variety of cells generated by this process eventually developed the machinery required to do all that was necessary to survive, reproduce, and create the next generation of cells in their likeness. Those cells that were better able to survive became more numerous in the population

The living cell is the most complex system of its size known to mankind. Its host of specialized molecules, many found nowhere else but within living material, are themselves already enormously complex. They execute a dance of exquisite fidelity, orchestrated with breathtaking precision. Vastly more elaborate than the most complicated ballet, the dance of life encompasses countless molecular performers in synergetic coordination. Yet this is a dance with no sign of a choreographer. No intelligent supervisor, no mystic force, no conscious controlling agency swings the molecules into place at the right time, chooses the appropriate players, closes the links, uncouples the partners, moves them on. The dance of life is spontaneous, self-sustaining, and self-creating.

How did something so immensely complicated, so finessed, so exquisitely clever, come into being all on its own? How can mindless molecules, capable only of pushing and pulling their immediate neighbors, cooperate to form and sustain something as ingenious as a living organism?

(Newman, 1967, p. 662).

Before the explosive growth of our knowledge of the cell during the last 30 years, it was known that "the simplest bacteria are extremely complex, and the chances of their arising directly from inorganic materials, with no steps in between, are too remote to consider seriously."

(Alberts, 1992, pp. xii, xiv).

A typical eukaryote cell consists of an estimated 40,000 different protein molecules and is so complex that to acknowledge that the "cells exist at all is a marvel… even the simplest of the living cells is far more fascinating than any human- made object"

Life cannot evolve with oxygen.
Life cannot evolve without oxygen.
The many experiments to try to make life in the last fifty-five years have all ended in failure. Science is nowhere close to creating life.
All experiments demonstrate that we are even further from creating life than imagined.
Evidence shows that the earth has always had oxygen, even more than today.

Even evolution's most ardent advocate, Richard Dawkins, admitted in 2009 that

"the most profound unsolved problem in biology is the origin of life itself."

Microbiologist James Shapiro of the University of Chicago wrote in National Review that

“There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations” (Shapiro 1996).

1. The pattern in DNA is a code.

2. All codes we know the origin of are designed.

3. Therefore we have 100% inference that DNA is designed and 0% inference that it is not.

The destructive effect of oxygen, ultraviolet radiation from the sun and the short duration of an optimal atmosphere for their production, makes it unlikely that significant quantities of viable nucleotides and amino acids could ever accumulate in the primitive ocean.

—I.L. Cohen

At that moment, when the RNA/DNA system became understood, the debate between Evolutionists and Creationists should have come to a screeching halt.

as we are at origins of life, the favourite resort, to the astonishing claimed powers of “natural selection” is off the table. Why? Because there is no code based genetic reproduction to have differential reproductive success that rewards superior genetic varieties.  Second, this is the root of the Darwinist tree of life, and no roots, no trunk, no shoots and no branches.

   what selective advantage would be gained for non-thinking atoms and molecules to form a living thing?  They really gain nothing from this process so why would a mindless non-directed Nature select to bring life into existence?  Natural selection really isn't a valid force at this point in time since there really is no conceivable advantage for mindless molecules to interact as parts of a living thing verses parts of an amorphous rock or a collection of sludge.  Even if a lot of fully formed proteins and strings of fully formed DNA molecules were to come together at the same time, what are the odds that all the hundreds and thousands of uniquely specified proteins needed to decode both the DNA and mRNA, (not to mention the needed ATP molecules and the host of other unlisted "parts"), would all simultaneously fuse together in such a highly functional way?  Not only has this phenomenon never been reproduced by any scientist in any laboratory on earth, but a reasonable mechanism by which such a  phenomenon might even occur has never been proposed - outside of intelligent design that is.

A law of nature could not alone explain how life began, because no conceivable law would compel a legion of atoms to follow precisely a prescribed sequence of assemblage.

Evolutionist George Wald reflected on this dilemma and wrote

"The reasonable view [during the two centuries before Louis Pasteur] was to believe in spontaneous generation; the only alternative, to believe in a single, primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third position. One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible.

If naturalistic molecules-to-human-life evolution were true, multibillions of links are required to bridge modern humans with the chemicals that once existed in the hypothetical “primitive soup”.  This putative soup, assumed by many scientists to have given birth to life over 3.5 billion years ago, was located in the ocean or mud puddles.  Others argue that the origin of life could not have been in the sea but rather must have occurred in clay on dry land.  Still others conclude that abiogenesis was more likely to have occurred in hot vents.  It is widely recognized that major scientific problems exist with all naturalistic origin of life scenarios.  This is made clear in the conclusions of many leading origin-of-life researchers.  A major aspect of the abiogenesis question is “What is the minimum number of parts necessary for an autotrophic free living organism to live, and could these parts assemble by naturalistic means?”  Research shows that at the lowest level this number is in the multimillions, producing an irreducible level of complexity that cannot be bridged by any known natural means.

The whole notion of abiogenesis is a construction built by evolutionists so that they can dismiss the whole notion of God from the generation of life. Rather than a supernatural being creating the life found on this earth through His own Wisdom, evolutionists seek to find an entirely naturalistic means by which to explain the existence of life on this planet. Yet, as seen above, the whole notion of abiogenesis rests upon an exceedingly weak foundation which is actually contrary to much of the scientific knowledge which we actually have obtained through extensive experimentation. Abiogenesis, in fact, violates several basic principles of chemistry and biochemistry which are so universally held as to be axiomatic. To get around these difficulties, evolutionary scientists have turned to various means of modifying their basic abiogenetic theory so as to resolve one or another of the problems presented. Yet, while pointing to directing clays, undersea thermal vents, interstellar amino acid generation, or several of the other more esoteric and generally dismissed theories, evolutionists manage to resolve (or often, just give the illusion of resolving, in the popular image framed by the media) one problem, while yet failing to address the other difficulties.Thus, abiogenesis, as far as can be seen from the actual experimental work and knowledge (apart from any concern for philosophical arguments or pure theory), is not supportable from true science. While debunking  abiogenesis does not necessarily imply the truth of special Creation, it does help to eliminate one of the foundations of the false construct of evolution which humanistic scientists hope to erect in opposition to Creation. As such, there is no reason for the rational person to accept evolutionist assertions about the "truth" of abiogenesis, nor to consider the various abiogenetic theories as a reason to disbelieve in the creation of life by God's hand.

Abiogenesis is the god of the gaps to evolutionists. There is no scientific evidence for it. It only exists in theory because the “natural only” premise of evolution demands it. It's not science. It's not even close

Joseph Mastropaolo, Ph.D.

According to the most generous mathematical criteria for evolution, abiogenesis and monogenesis are impossible to unimaginable extremes.

Abiogenic Origin of Life: A Theory in Crisis
Ó 2005 Arthur V. Chadwick, Ph.D.
Professor of Geology and Biology

To give you an idea of how incomprehensible, I use the following illustration. An ameba starts out at one side of the universe and begins walking towards the other side, say, 100 trillion light years away. He travels at the rate of one meter per billion years. He carries one atom with him. When he reaches the other side, he puts the atom down and starts back. In 10^186 years, the ameba will have transported the entire mass of the universe from one side to the other and back a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion times. That is my definition of impossible. And what resulted from success, if it did occur would not be a living cell or even a promising combination. Spontaneous origin of life on a prebiological earth is IMPOSSIBLE!

•Think of DNA as the cell’s library, and RNA as a book that can be checked out of the library. A kind of RNA checks out information from the DNA to line up left handed amino acids in the exact order required for each individual protein.
•Next the correctly ordered left-handed amino acids are linked together by a “molecular machine.” This machine is made up of another kind of RNA working together with several specialized proteins. The machine links the properly ordered left-handed amino acids one to another to make proteins.
The molecular machines that make proteins are a good example of the cell’s many complex machines. Because no machine exists that did not have an intelligent inventor, each of the cell’s machines is another evidence for an intelligent Creator.
After having taught for 40 or 50 years that amino acids first concentrated, then linked together to form proteins, atheists are abandoning this claim. Why?
•Amino acids do not concentrate in the ocean; they disperse and break down.
•Amino acids will not link together in nature to form proteins; not even when scientists help them by buying all left-handed amino acids from a chemical supply house to make the perfect “organic soup.”
•If proteins could form, they could not get together with DNA because DNA does not form outside of living cells either. Scientists can’t even make DNA in the laboratory.

“… proteins fold into a highly complex, three-dimensional shape that determines their function. Any change in shape dramatically alters the function of a protein, andeven the slightest change in the folding process can turn a desirable protein into a disease.” {}

Mondore, The Code Word
What is the probability of complex biochemicals like proteins and DNA arising by chance alone?
The chance that amino acids would line up randomly to create the first hemoglobin protein is 1 in 10^850. The chance that the DNA code to produce that hemoglobin protein would have randomly reached the required specificity is 1 in 10^78,000.  

― Stephen C. Meyer, Darwinism, Design and Public Education
“The information contained in an English sentence or computer software does not derive from the chemistry of the ink or the physics of magnetism, but from a source extrinsic to physics and chemistry altogether. Indeed, in both cases, the message transcends the properties of the medium. The information in DNA also transcends the properties of its material medium.”

― Jonathan Wells, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism And Intelligent Design
“The secret of DNA's success is that it carries information like that of a computer program, but far more advanced. Since experience shows that intelligence is the only presently acting cause of information, we can infer that intelligence is the best explanation for the information in DNA.”

Kuhn, J. A. 2012. Dissecting Darwinism. Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings. 25 (1): 41-47.
Based on an awareness of the inexplicable coded information in DNA, the inconceivable self-formation of DNA, and the inability to account for the billions of specifically organized nucleotides in every single cell, it is reasonable to conclude that there are severe weaknesses in the theory of gradual improvement through natural selection (Darwinism) to explain the chemical origin of life. Furthermore, Darwinian evolution and natural selection could not have been causes of the origin of life, because they require replication to operate, and there was no replication prior to the origin of life.


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Origin of Life Made Easy 1

As anyone knows who has been given directions and told “you can’t miss it,” sounding easy and being easy can be entirely different things.  Reporters sometimes make the most difficult step in evolution – the origin of life – look like a cinch through the use of suggestive metaphors, like the commonly-invoked phrase, “building blocks of life.”  The directions in their articles usually lead to dead ends at worst, or, at best, baby steps on a long march, most of the route , a (three letter acronym) meaning “to be determined.”

Tool kit:  This metaphor was presented by PhysOrg in an article entitled, “Meteorites: Tool kits for creating life on Earth.”  The main idea was that nucleobases could have been formed in meteorites and come to earth special delivery.  (Science Daily and New Scientist identified these nucleobases as adenine and guanine.)  “The earliest forms of life on Earth may have been assembled from materials delivered to Earth by meteorites,” PhysOrg said.  Jim Cleaves (Carnegie Geophysical Laboratory) added, “This shows us that meteorites may have been molecular tool kits, which provided the essential building blocks for life on Earth.”

Plausible precursor:  This metaphor was offered by Science Daily, “Study Builds On Plausible Scenario for Origin of Life On Earth.”  The study, conducted at Scripps, attempted to find precursors to .  The article repeatedly spoke of precursors, not itself, which depends on the difficult-to-synthesize sugar ribose (“Did borax evolve into 20-mule teams?”, 01/09/2004).  What these precursors are was not identified, but the very word precursor uses the power of suggestion to invoke images of progress.

Evolutionary force driving simple to complex:  “Is this how simple life got complicated?” an article PhysOrg teased.  Within the article, Andrew Murray invoked the image of an “evolutionary force” that led single cells to leap to multicellular life forms.  But what he studied was how living yeast cells seem to do better in clumps than individually.  Yeast cells already have the cellular machinery that challenges theories of the origin of life.

These analogies vastly oversimplify what goes on in living cells.  For instance, this article on Science Daily used the word machine and machinery 16 times, describing how is acted on by protein machines that provide quality control during cell division.  Without cell division, evolution cannot act, because it needs to naturally select copies, or offspring.

Dr. Robert Shapiro knows that a living cell is anything but simple.  He has said that the leap from simple molecules to a cell is greater than the distance between a bacterium and an elephant (cited on  In Nature last week (August 4),1 he reviewed David Deamer’s new book First Life: Discovering the Connections between Stars, Cells, and How Life Began (University of California Press, 2011).  Shapiro criticized Deamer’s hypothesis that life began in droplets surrounded by fatty acids.  In fact, all simplistic scenarios overlook the complexity of life as we know it:

Today, the simplest living cells depend on molecules that are far more intricate than those that have been isolated from sources unrelated to life (abiotic), such as meteorites. The most noteworthy chemical substances in life are functioning polymers — large molecules made of smaller units called monomers, connected in a specific order. The nucleic acids and , carriers of genetic information and heredity, are made of connected nucleotide monomers. Similarly, proteins are vital polymer catalysts that are made by combining monomer amino acids. Such modern biological constructions were unlikely to have been present on the early Earth.

As an example, Shapiro noted that the World hypothesis, while elegantly simple, is “staggeringly improbable.”  It is doubtful he would be impressed by the presence of nucleobases in a meteorite:

Nucleotides, for example, are not encountered in nature beyond organisms or laboratory synthesis. To construct , high concentrations of four select nucleotides would be needed in the same location, with others being excluded. If this is the prerequisite for life, then it is an unusual phenomenon, rare in the Universe.

Deamer’s dream of a fatty vesicle as a container for the world, Shapiro continued, fails for the same reason: “Unfortunately, his theory retains the improbable generation of self-replicating polymers such as .”  In fact, Shapiro added, “Deamer’s insight deflates the synthetic proofs put forward in numerous papers supporting the world.”  Using that unfortunate word Unfortunately once again, though, he undermined Deamer’s “insight” into spontaneous vesicle formation as essentially useless:

Unfortunately, the chemicals that he suggests for inclusion are drawn from modern biology, not from ancient geochemistry. We should let nature inform us, rather than pasting our ideas onto her.

Incidentally, Nature News said that the scientific community has largely dismissed last year’s claim that arsenic-based life was possible (see “Arsenic and Old Lake,” 12/02/2010).  Rosie Redfield (U of British Columbia) is trying to replicate the experiment by Felisa Wolfe-Simon, even though it is almost “guaranteed to fail,” according to Erika Check Hayden.  Her article, though, focused more on how blog reporting of attempts to replicate controversial experiments is changing the face of peer review.  Said Jonathan Eisen (U of California), “This is a great case study for open science, because it raises issues about peer review, it raises issues about sharing data and materials, and it raises issues about engaging the public and press more actively in science.”  The Facebook-Twitter age is opening doors of science labs, where both good and bad can be seen in near real time.

1. Robert Shapiro, “Astrobiology: Life’s beginnings,” Nature 476 (04 August 2011), pages 30–31, doi:10.1038/476030a.

David Klinghoffer has a better metaphor for these origin-of-life stories.  Saying that molecular “building blocks of life” can form naturally is like explaining Bach’s music by saying natural sources for the ink are readily available (see Evolution News).

One of the best recent collections of quotes on how “staggeringly improbable” the origin of life is, as understood by workers in the field, can be found in Rabbi Moshe Averick’s book Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused and Illusory World of the Atheist (Tradition and Reason Press, 2010).  In Part , Averick quotes Shapiro and many other leaders in origin-of-life studies, making it abundantly clear from their own writings that evolutionists are completely clueless about how life started.  For instance, on pages 94–95, he quotes five leading astrobiologists admitting that the origin of life seems like a miracle.

Those quotes should be kept at hand when reading science news articles with their glittering generalities making it sound like the origin of life is easy as apple pie.  Evolutionists need to make apple pie without first assuming apples.  In fact, as Carl Sagan said in Cosmos, to really make an apple pie from scratch, you must begin by inventing the universe.  Good luck—when all you have to start with is nothing (08/09/2011).




Abiogenic Origin of Life: A Theory in Crisis

Chance and necessity do not explain the origin of life,%20Abel,%20Chance%20and%20necessity%20do%20not%20explain%20the%20origin%20of%20life.pdf

The Origin of Life: What We Do and Don’t Know


The Top Ten Scientific Problems with Biological and Chemical Evolution by Casey Luskin. No Viable Mechanism to Generate a Primordial Soup ... Unguided Chemical Processes Cannot Explain the Origin of the Genetic Code ... Random Mutations Cannot Generate the Genetic Information Required for Irreducibly Complex Structures ... Natural Selection Struggles to Fix Advantageous Traits into Populations ... Abrupt Appearance of Species in the Fossil Record Does Not Support Darwinian Evolution ... Molecular Biology has Failed to Yield a Grand "Tree of Life" ... Convergent Evolution Challenges Darwinism and Destroys the Logic Behind Common Ancestry ... Neo-Darwinism Struggles to Explain the Biogeographical Distribution of many Species ... Neo-Darwinism has a Long History of Inaccurate Darwinian Predictions about Vestigial Organs and "Junk DNA" ... Bonus Problem: Humans Display Many Behavioral and Cognitive Abilities that Offer No Apparent Survival Advantage
Problems with the Natural Chemical "Origin of Life" (updated). There is no location where life could plausibly have originated naturally, not in deep sea thermal vents, tide pools, the ocean, volcanic ridges, clay surfaces or extraterrestrial locations. There is no good candidate for the first self-replicating molecule, not RNA, DNA, or protein.
Information Theory: Chance and natural law cannot explain the origin of life.
Video: Life could not have formed by natural means. Biomolecules naturally react to form tar.
Life did not Arise Through the Unguided Action of Natural Laws. The genetic code is finely tuned for efficiency (it is not random) and it is unlikely this efficiency could have arisen through evolution because any change in the code would affect every protein in the cell which would be catastrophically fatal.
Materialism Cannot Explain the Origin of the Genetic Code.
Top Five Problems with Current Origin-of-Life Theories by Casey Luskin: 1) No Viable Mechanism to Generate a Primordial Soup. 2) Forming Polymers Requires Dehydration Synthesis. Dehydration synthesis does not occur spontaneously in water. 3) RNA World Hypothesis Lacks Confirming Evidence. 4) Unguided Chemical Processes Cannot Explain the Origin of the Genetic Code. 5) No Workable Model for the Origin of Life


A Production Of Amino Acids Under Possible Primitive Earth Conditions by Stanley L. Miller, Science117: 528-529 (15th May 1953)

A Rigorous Attempt To Verify Interstellar Glycine by I. E. Snyder, F. J. Lovas, J. M. Hollis, D. N. Friedel, P. R. Jewell, A. Remijan, V. V. Ilyushin, E. A. Alekseev and S. F. Dyubko, The Astrophysical Journal619(2): 914-930 (1st February 2005) {Also available at]

A Self-Replicating Ligase Ribozyme by Natasha Paul & Gerald F. Joyce, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA.99(20): 12733-12740 (1st October 2002)

A Self-Replicating System by T. Tjivuka, P. Ballester and J. Rebek Jr, Journal of the American Chemical Society112:1249-1250 (1990)

Activated Acetic Acid By Carbon Fixation On (Fe,Ni)S Under Primordial Conditions by Claudia Huber and Günter Wächetershäuser, Science276: 245-247 (11th April 1997)

An Asymmetric Underlying Rule In The Assignment Of Codons: Possible Clue To A Quick Early Evolution Of The Genetic Code Via Successive Binary Choices by Marc Delarue, The RNA Journal13(2): 161-169 (12th December 2006)

Attempted Prebiotic Synthesis Of Pseudouridine by Jason P. Dworkin, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere27:345-355 (1997)

Carbonyl Sulphide-Mediated Prebiotic Formation Of Peptides by Luke Leman, Leslie Orgel and M. Reza Ghadiri, Science,306: 283-286 (8th October 2004)

Catalysis In Prebiotic Chemistry: Application To The Synthesis Of RNA Oligomers by James P. Ferris, Prakash C. Joshi, K-J Wang, S. Miyakawa and W. Huang, Advances in Space Research33: 100-105 (2004)

Cations As Mediators Of The Adsorption Of Nucleic Acids On Clay Surfaces In Prebiotic Environments by Marco Franchi, James P. Ferris and Enzo Gallori, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere33: 1-16 (2003)

Chemistry for the Synthesis of Nucleobase-Modified Peptide Nucleic Acid by R. H. E. Hudson, R. D. Viirre, Y. H. Liu, F. Wojciechowski and A. K. Dambenieks, Pure Appl. Chem.76(7-Cool: 1591-1598, 2004

Computational Models For The Formation Of Protocell Structures by Linglan Edwards, Yun Peng and James A. Reggia,Artificial Life4(1): 61-77 (1998)

Conditions For The Emergence Of Life On The Early Earth: Summary And Reflections by Joshua Jortner, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B361: 1877-1891 (11th September 2006)

Darwinian Evolution On A Chip by Brian M. Paegel and Gerald F. Joyce, Public Library of Science Biology6(4): e85 (April 2008)

Early Anaerobic Metabolisms by Don E Canfield, Minik T Rosing and Christian Bjerrum, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B361: 1819-1836 (11th September 2006)

Emergence Of A Replicating Species From An In Vitro RNA Evolution Reaction by Ronald R. Breaker and Gerald F. Joyce,Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA91: 6093-6097 (June 1994)

Evolution Of Amino Acid Frequencies In Proteins Over Deep Time: Inferred Order Of Introduction Of Amino Acids Into The Genetic Code by Dawn J. Brooks, Jacques R. Fresco, Arthur M. Lesk and Mona Singh, Molecular and Biological Evolution,19(10): 1645-1655 (2002)

Formation Of Bimolecular Membranes From Lipid Monolayers And A Study Of Their Electrical Properties by M. Montal and P. Mueller, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA69(12): 3561-3566 (December 1972)

Homochiral Selection In The Montmorillonite-Catalysed And Uncatalysed Prebiotic Synthesis Of RNA by Prakash C. Joshi, Stefan Pitsch and James P. Ferris, Chemical Communications (Royal Society of Chemistry), 2497-2498 (2000) [DOI: 10.1039/b007444f]

Hyperthermophiles In The History Of Life by Karl O. Stetter, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B361:1837-1843 (11th September 2006)

Implications Of A 3.472-3.333?GYr-Old Subaerial Microbal Mat From The Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa, For The UV Environmental Conditions Of The Early Earth by Frances Westall, Cornel E.J de Ronde, Gordon Southam, Nathalie Grassineau, Maggy Colas, Charles Cockell and Helmut Lammer, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B361:1857-1876 (11th September 2006)

Information Transfer From Peptide Nucleic Acids To RNA By Template-Directed Syntheses by Jürgen G. Schmidt, Peter E. Nielsen and Leslie E. Orgel, Nucleic Acids Research25(23): 4794-4802 (1997)

Interstellar Glycine by Yi-Jehng Kuan, Steven B. Charnley, Hui-Chun Huang, Wei-Ling Tseng, and Zbigniew Kisiel, The Astrophysical Journal593: 848-867 (20th August 2003)

Kin Selection And Virulence In The Evolution Of Protocells And Parasites by Steven A. Frank, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Part B258: 153-161 (1994)

Ligation Of The Hairpin Ribozyme In cis Induced By Freezing And Dehydration by Sergei A. Kazakov, Svetlana V. Balatskaya and Brian H. Johnston, The RNA Journal12: 446-456 (2006)

Lipid Bilayer Fibres From Diastereomeric And Enantiomeric N-Octylaldonamides by Jürgen-Hinrich Fuhrhop, Peter Schneider, Egbert Boekema and Wolfgang Helfrich, Journal of the American Chemical Society110: 2861-2867 (1988)

"Living" Under The Challenge Of Information Decay: The Stochastic Corrector Model Versus Hypercycles by Elias Zintzaras, Mauro Santos and Eörs Szathmáry, Journal of Theoretical Biology217: 167-181 (2002)

Mineral Catalysis And Prebiotic Synthesis: Montmorillonite-Catalysed Formation Of RNA by James P. Ferris, Elements1:145-149 (June 2005)

Molecular Asymmetry In Extraterrestrial Chemistry: Insights From A Pristine Meteorite by Sandra Pizzarello, Yongsong Huang and Marcelo R. Alexandre, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA105(10): 3700-3704 (11th March 2008)

Molecular Dynamics Simulation Of The Formation, Structure, And Dynamics Of Small Phospholipid Vesicles by Siewert J. Marrink and Alan E. Mark, Journal of the American Chemical Society125: 15233-15242 (2003)

Montmorillonite Catalysis Of 30-50 Mer Oligonucleotides: Laboratory Demonstration Of Potential Steps In The Origin Of The RNA World by James P. Ferris, Origins of Life and Evolution Of The Biosphere32: 311-332 (2002)

Montmorillonite Catalysis Of RNA Oligomer Formation In Aqueous Solution: A Model For The Prebiotic Formation Of RNAby James P. Ferris and Gözen Ertem, Journal of the American Chemical Society115: 12270-12275 (1993)

Nucelotide Synthetase Ribozymes May Have Emerged First In The RNA World by Wentao Ma, Chunwu Yu, Wentao Zhang and Jiming Hu, The RNA Journal13: 2012-2019, 18th September 2007

Nutrient Uptake By Protocells: A Liposome Model System by Pierre-Alain Monnard and David W. Deamer, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere31: 147-155 (2001)

Organic Compounds In Carbonaceous Meteorites by Mark A. Sephton, Natural Products Reports (Royal Society of Chemistry)19: 292-311 (2002)

Peptide Nucleic Acids Rather Than RNA May Have Been The First Genetic Molecule by Kevin E. Nelson, Matthew Levy and Stanley L. Miller, Proc. Natl, Acad. Sci. USA.97(Cool: 3868-3871, 11th April 2000

Peptides By Activation Of Amino Acids With CO On (Ni,Fe)S Surfaces: Implications For The Origin Of Life by Claudia Huber and Günter Wächtershäuser, Science281: 670-672 (31st July 1998)

Prebiotic Amino Acids As Asymmetric Catalysts by Sandra Pizzarello and Arthur L. Weber, Science303: 1151 (20 February 2004)

Prebiotic Chemistry And The Origin Of The RNA World by Leslie E. Orgel, Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology39: 99-123 (2004)

Prebiotic Materials From On And Off The Early Earth by Max Bernstein, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B361: 1689-1702 (11th September 2006)

Prebiotic Synthesis On Minerals: Bridging The Prebiotic And RNA Worlds by James P. Ferris, Biological Bulletin196: 311-314 (June 1999)

Racemic Amino Acids From The Ultraviolet Photolysis Of Interstellar Ice Analogues by Max P. Bernstein, Jason P. Dworkin, Scott A. Sandford, George W. Cooper and Louis J. Allamandola, Nature416: 401-403

Replicating Vesicles As Models Of Primitive Cell Growth And Division by Martin M. Hanczyc and Jack W. Szostak, Current Opinion In Chemical Biology8: 660-664 (22nd October 2004)

Ribozymes: Building The RNA World by Gerald F. Joyce, Current Biology6(Cool: 965-967, 1996

RNA Catalysis In Model Protocell Vesicles by Irene A Chen, Kourosh Salehi-Ashtiani and Jack W Szostak, Journal of the American Chemical Society127: 13213-13219 (2005)

RNA-Catalysed Nucleotide Synthesis by Peter J. Unrau and David P. Bartel, Nature395: 260-263 (17th September 1998)

RNA-Catalyzed RNA Polymerization: Accurate and General RNA-Templated Primer Extension by Wendy K. Johnston, Peter J. Unrau, Michael S. Lawrence, Margaret E. Glasner and David P. Bartel, Science292: 1319-1325, 18th May 2001

RNA-Directed Amino Acid Homochirality by J. Martyn Bailey[/i], FASEB Journal (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology), 12: 503-507 (1998)

RNA Evolution And The Origin Of Life by Gerald F. Joyce, Nature338: 217-224 (16th March 1989)

Self Replicating Systems by Volker Patzke and Günter von Kiedrowski, ARKIVOC 5: 293-310, 2007

Self-Assembling Amphiphilic Molecules Synthesis In Simulated Interstellar/Precometary Ices by Jason P. Dworkin, David W. Deamer, Scott A. Sandford and Louis J. Allamandola, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA98(3):815-819 (30th January 2001)

Self-Assembly Of Surfactant-Like Peptides With Variable Glycine Tails To Form Nanotubes And Nanovesicles by Steve Santoso, Wonmuk Hwang, Hyman Hartman and Shuguang Zhang, Nano Letters2(7): 687-691 (2002)

Self-Assembly Processes In The Prebiotic Environment by David Deamer, Sara Singaram, Sudha Rajamani, Vladimir Kompanichenko and Stephen Guggenheim, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B361: 1689-1702 (11th September 2006)

Self-Organising Biochemical Cycles by Leslie E. Orgel, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA,97(23): 12503-12507 (7th November 2000)

Self-Sustained Replication Of An RNA Enzyme by Tracey A. Lincoln and Gerald F. Joyce[/i], ScienceExpress, DOI: 10.1126/science.1167856 (8th January 2009)

Sequence- And Regio-Selectivity In The Montmorillonite-Catalysed Synthesis Of RNA by Gözen Ertem and James P. Ferris,Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere30: 411-422 (2000)

Simulation Of The Spontaneous Aggregation Of Phospholipids Into Bilayers by Siewert J. Marrink, Eric Lindahl, Olle Edholm and Alan E. Mark, Journal of the American Chemical Society123: 8638-8639 (2001)

Synthesis Of 35-40 Mers Of RNA Oligomers From Unblocked Monomers. A Simple Approach To The RNA World by Wenhua Huang and James P. Ferris, Chemical Communications of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 1458-1459 (2003)

Synthesis Of Long Prebiotic Oligomers On Mineral Surfaces by James P. Ferris, Aubrey R. Hill Jr, Rihe Liu and Leslie E. Orgel, Nature381: 59-61 (2nd May 1996)

Synthesising Life by Jack W. Szostak, David P. Bartel and P. Luigi Luisi, Nature409: 387-390 (18th January 2001)

Template-Directed Synthesis Of A Genetic Polymer In A Model Protocell by Sheref S. Mansy, Jason P. Schrum, Mathangi Krisnamurthy, Sylvia Tobé, Douglas A. Treco and Jack W. Szostak, Nature454: 122-125 (4th June 2008)

The Antiquity Of RNA-Based Evolution by Gerald F. Joyce, Nature, [/b]418:[/b] 214-221, 11th July 2002

The Case For An Ancestral Genetic System Involving Simple Analogues Of The Nucleotides by Gerald F. Joyce, Alan W. Schwartz, Stanley L. Miller and Leslie E. Orgel, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA84: 4398-4402 (July 1987)

The Descent of Polymerisation by Matthew Levy and Andrew D. Ellington, Nature Structural Biology8(7): 580-582, July 2001

The Emergence Of Competition Between Model Protocells by Irene A Chen, Richard W. Roberts and Jack W. Szostak,Science305: 1474-1476 (3rd September 2004)

The Generality Of DNA-Templated Synthesis As A Basis For Evolving Non-Natural Small Molecules by Zev J. Gartner and David R. Liu, Journal of the American Chemical Society123: 6961-6963 (2001)

The Lifetimes Of Nitriles (CN) And Acids (COOH) During Ultraviolet Photolysis And Their Survival In Space by Max P. Bernstein, Samantha F. M. Ashbourne, Scott A. Sandford and Louis J. Allamandola, The Astrophysical Journal601:3650270 (20th January 2004)

The Lipid World by Daniel Segré, Dafna Ben-Eli, David W. Deamer and Doron Lancet, Origins of Life And Evolution of the Biosphere31: 119-145, 2001

The Miller Volcanic Spark Discharge Experiment by Adam P. Johnson, H. James Cleaves., Jason D. Dworkin, Daniel P. Glavin, Antonio Lazcano and Jeffrey L. Bada, Science322: 404 (17th October 2008)

The Origin And Early Evolution Of Life: Prebiotic Chemistry, The Pre-RNA World, And Time by Antonio Laczano and Stanley R. Miller, Cell85: 793-798 (14th June 1996)

The Origin Of Replicators And Reproducers by Eörs Szathmáry, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B361:1689-1702 (11th September 2006)

The Prebiotic Molecules Observed In The Interstellar Gas by P. Thaddeus, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B361: 1689-1702 (7th September 2006)

The Roads To And From The RNA World by Jason P. Dworkin, Antonio Lazcano and Stanley L. Miller, Journal of Theoretical Biology222: 127-134 (2003)

Thermostability Of Model Protocell Membranes by Sheref S. Mansy and Jack W. Szostak, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA105(36): 13351-13355 (9th September 2008)

Toward Synthesis Of A Minimal Cell by Anthony C. Forster and George M. Church, Molecular Systems Biology (2006) doi:10.1038/msb4100090

Transcription And Translation In An RNA World by William R. Taylor, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B361: 1689-1702 (11th September 2006)

Two Step Potentially Prebiotic Synthesis Of α-D-Cystidine-5'-Phosphate From D-Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate by Carole Anastasi, Michael A. Crowe and John D. Sutherland, Journal of the American Chemical Society (Communications)129: 24-24 (2007)


1) A Combined Experimental And Theoretical Study On The Formation Of The Amino Acid Glycine And Its Isomer In Extraterrestrial Ices by Philip D. Holtom, Chris J. Bennett, Yoshihiro Osamura, Nigel J Mason and Ralf. I Kaiser, The Astrophysical Journal, 626: 940-952 (20th June 2005)

[ltr] ... 7d30dfdde0[/ltr]

2) A Production Of Amino Acids Under Possible Primitive Earth Conditions by Stanley L. Miller, Science, 117: 528-529 (15th May 1953) (Full text requires a password)

[ltr] ... 7/3046/528[/ltr]

3) A Rigorous Attempt To Verify Interstellar Glycine by I. E. Snyder, F. J. Lovas, J. M. Hollis, D. N. Friedel, P. R. Jewell, A. Remijan, V. V. Ilyushin, E. A. Alekseev and S. F. Dyubko, The Astrophysical Journal, 619(2): 914-930 (1st February 2005) {Also available at]

[ltr] ... 32e381ebda[/ltr]

4) A Self-Replicating Ligase Ribozyme by Natasha Paul & Gerald F. Joyce, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 99(20): 12733-12740 (1st October 2002)


6) Activated Acetic Acid By Carbon Fixation On (Fe,Ni)S Under Primordial Conditions by Claudia Huber and Günter Wächetershäuser, Science, 276: 245-247 (11th April 1997) (Full text requires a password)

[ltr] ... 6/5310/245[/ltr]

7) An Asymmetric Underlying Rule In The Assignment Of Codons: Possible Clue To A Quick Early Evolution Of The Genetic Code Via Successive Binary Choices by Marc Delarue, The RNA Journal, 13(2): 161-169 (12th December 2006)

[ltr] ... l.pdf+html[/ltr]
 (Pretty Pictures!)

8  Attempted Prebiotic Synthesis Of Pseudouridine by Jason P. Dworkin, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere, 27: 345-355 (1997) (Full text requires a password)


9) Carbonyl Sulphide-Mediated Prebiotic Formation Of Peptides by Luke Leman, Leslie Orgel and M. Reza Ghadiri, Science, 306: 283-286 (8th October 2004) (Full text requires a password)

[ltr] ... 6/5694/283[/ltr]

10) Catalysis In Prebiotic Chemistry: Application To The Synthesis Of RNA Oligomers by James P. Ferris, Prakash C. Joshi, K-J Wang, S. Miyakawa and W. Huang, Advances in Space Research, 33: 100-105 (2004)
[url= Adv.Space Res..pdf][/url]
[ltr] ... 20Res..pdf[/ltr]
[url= Adv.Space Res..pdf][/url]

11) Cations As Mediators Of The Adsorption Of Nucleic Acids On Clay Surfaces In Prebiotic Environments by Marco Franchi, James P. Ferris and Enzo Gallori, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere, 33: 1-16 (2003) (Full text requires a password)


12) Chemistry for the Synthesis of Nucleobase-Modified Peptide Nucleic Acid by R. H. E. Hudson, R. D. Viirre, Y. H. Liu, F. Wojciechowski and A. K. Dambenieks, Pure Appl. Chem., 76(7-Cool 1591-1598, 2004

[ltr] ... 7x1591.pdf[/ltr]

13) Coevolution Of Compositional Protocells And Their Environment by Barak Shenhav, Aia Oz and Doron Lancet, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 362: 1813-1819 (9th May 2007)

 (Pretty Pictures!)

14) Computational Models For The Formation Of Protocell Structures by Linglan Edwards, Yun Peng and James A. Reggia, Artificial Life, 4(1): 61-77 (1998) (Full text requires a password)

[ltr] ... 4698568440[/ltr]

15) Conditions For The Emergence Of Life On The Early Earth: Summary And Reflections by Joshua Jortner, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 361: 1877-1891 (11th September 2006)

 (Pretty Pictures!)

16) Coupled Growth And Division Of Model Protocell Membranes by Ting F. Zhu and Jack W. Szostak, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 131: 5705-5713 (2009)

 (Pretty Pictures!)

17) Darwinian Evolution On A Chip by Brian M. Paegel and Gerald F. Joyce, Public Library of Science Biology, 6(4): e85 (April 2008)

[ltr] ... io.0060085[/ltr]
 (Pretty Pictures!)

18) Early Anaerobic Metabolisms by Don E Canfield, Minik T Rosing and Christian Bjerrum, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Part B, 361: 1819-1836 (11th September 2006)

 (Super cool equations!) (Fun Graphs/Charts!)

19) Emergence Of A Replicating Species From An In Vitro RNA Evolution Reaction by Ronald R. Breaker and Gerald F. Joyce, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 91: 6093-6097 (June 1994)


20) Evolution And Self-Assembly Of Protocells by Ricard V. Solé, The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, 41: 274-284 (2009) (Full text requires a password)

[ltr] ... 13157fac8d[/ltr]


The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems

Prevolutionary dynamics and the origin of evolution  1

Life is that which replicates and evolves. The origin of life is also the origin of evolution. A fundamental question is when do chemical kinetics become evolutionary dynamics? Here, we formulate a general mathematical theory for the origin of evolution. All known life on earth is based on biological polymers, which act as information carriers and catalysts. Therefore, any theory for the origin of life must address the emergence of such a system. We describe prelife as an alphabet of active monomers that form random polymers. Prelife is a generative system that can produce information. Prevolutionary dynamics have selection and mutation, but no replication. Life marches in with the ability of replication: Polymers act as templates for their own reproduction. Prelife is a scaffold that builds life. Yet, there is competition between life and prelife. There is a phase transition: If the effective replication rate exceeds a critical value, then life outcompetes prelife. Replication is not a prerequisite for selection, but instead, there can be selection for replication. Mutation leads to an error threshold between life and prelife.

"Evolutionary dynamics are a universal principle. They can operate with whatever is at hand," said Nowak. 2

The origin of life (OOL) problem remains one of the more challenging scientific questions of all time. 3 

A lot of assumptions, but no evidence to back up their claims.....




the process of evolution that proceeded from initial autocatalytic hypercycles to full organisms was a Darwinian process of selection of favourable variants.

really ?


It was an atheist Sir Frederick Hoyle and his atheist friend Chandra Wickramasinghe who did independent calculations of the probability of life happening by time chance and the inherent properties of matter. They BOTH came to the conclusion that it was not possible. Sir Francis crick, another atheist has also come to the same conclusion as to the probabilities of life occuring on this planet due to the complexity of the DNA molecule alone and chose to find relief from his conclusion by speculation panspermia. Sos stop pontificating that it does not count and claiming what you did not prove and admit that your blathering claims are just the mindless babble of a stooge.
" cannot have had a random beginning...The trouble is that there are about two thousand enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in 10 to the 40,000power, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup. If one is not prejudiced either by social beliefs or by a scientific training into the conviction that life originated on the Earth, this simple calculation wipes the idea entirely out of court....The enormous information content of even the simplest living systems...cannot in our view be generated by what are often called "natural" processes...For life to have originated on the Earth it would be necessary that quite explicit instruction should have been provided for its assembly...There is no way in which we can expect to avoid the need for information, no way in which we can simply get by with a bigger and better organic soup, as we ourselves hoped might be possible a year or two ago."

Fred Hoyle and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe,
Evolution from Space [Aldine House, 33 Welbeck Street, London W1M 8LX:
J.M. Dent & Sons, 1981), p. 148, 24,150,30,31)


DNA Molecules and the Odds Against Evolution
Within each cell there is an area called the nucleus which contains the all-important chromosomes. Chromosomes are microscopically small, rod-shaped structures which carry the genes. Within the chromosomes is an even smaller structure called DNA. This is one of the most important chemical substances in the human body -- or in any other living thing. Increasing scientific understanding of DNA molecules has revealed enormous problems for materialism.

DNA is a super-molecule which stores coded hereditary information. It consists of two long "chains" of chemical "building blocks" paired together. In humans, the strands of DNA are almost 2 yards long, yet less than a trillionth of an inch thick.

In function, DNA is somewhat like a computer program on a floppy disk. It stores and transfers encoded information and instructions. It is said that the DNA of a human stores enough information code to fill 1,000 books -- each with 500 pages of very small, closely-printed type. The DNA code produces a product far more sophisticated than that of any computer. Amazingly, this enormous set of instructions fits with ease within a single cell and routinely directs the formation of entire adult humans, starting with just a single fertilized egg. Even the DNA of a bacterium is highly complex, containing at least 3 million units, all aligned in a very precise, meaningful sequence.

DNA and the molecules that surround it form a truly superb mechanism -- a miniaturized marvel. the information is so compactly stored that the amount of DNA necessary to code all the people living on our planet might fit into a space no larger than an asprin tablet!

Many scientists are convinced that cells containing such a complex code and such intricate chemistry could never have come into being by pure, undirected chemistry. No matter how chemicals are mixed, they do not create DNA spirals or any intelligent code whatsoever. Only DNA reproduces DNA.

Two well known scientists calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes. They estimated that there is less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,000power that life could have originated by random trials. 10 to the 40,000power is a 1 with 40,000 zeros after it!

- " cannot have had a random beginning...The trouble is that there are about two thousand enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in 10 to the 40,000power, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup. If one is not prejudiced either by social beliefs or by a scientific training into the conviction that life originated on the Earth, this simple calculation wipes the idea entirely out of court....The enormous information content of even the simplest living systems...cannot in our view be generated by what are often called "natural" processes...For life to have originated on the Earth it would be necessary that quite explicit instruction should have been provided for its assembly...There is no way in which we can expect to avoid the need for information, no way in which we can simply get by with a bigger and better organic soup, as we ourselves hoped might be possible a year or two ago."

Fred Hoyle and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe,
Evolution from Space [Aldine House, 33 Welbeck Street, London W1M 8LX:
J.M. Dent & Sons, 1981), p. 148, 24,150,30,31).

How can one gain some conception of the size of such a huge number? According to most Evolutionists, the universe is less than 30 billion years old -- and there are fewer than 10 to the 18th Power seconds in 30 billion years. So, even if nature could somehow have produced trillions of genetic code combinations every second for 30 billion years, the probabilities against producing the simplest one-celled animal by trial and error would still be inconceivably immense! In other words, probabilities greatly favor those that believe an intelligent designer was responsible for originating even the simplest DNA molecules.

Chemist Dr. Grebe: "That organic evolution could account for the complex forms of life in the past and the present has long since been abandoned by men who grasp the importance of the DNA genetic code."

Researcher and mathematician I.L Cohen: "At that moment, when the DNA/RNA system became understood, the debate between Evolutionists and Creationists should have come to a screeching halt...the implications of the DNA/RNA were obvious and clear....Mathematically speaking, based on probability concepts, there is no possibility that Evolution vs the mechanism that created the approximately 6,000,000 species of plants and animals we recognize today."

Evolutionist Michael Denton: "The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle."

Famed researcher Sir Fred Hoyle is in agreement with Creationists on this point. He has reportedly said that supposing the first cell originated by chance is like believing "a tornado sweeping through a junk yard might assemble a Boeng 747 from the materials therein."

Many, if not most, origin-of-life researchers now agree with Hoyle: Life could not have originated by chance or by any known natural processes. many Evolutionists are now searching for some theoretical force within matter which might push matter toward the assembly of greater complexity. Most Creationists believe this is doomed to failure, since it contradicts the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

It is important to note that the information written on DNA molecules is not produced by any known natural interaction of matter. Matter and molecules have no innate intelligence, allowing self organization into codes. There are no know n physical laws which give molecules a natural tendency to arrange themselves into such coded structures.

Like a computer disk, DNA has no intelligence. The complex, purposeful codes of this "master program" could have only originated outside itself. In the case of a computer program, the original codes were put there by an intelligent being, a programmer. Likewise, for DNA, it seems clear that intelligence must have come first, before the existence of DNA. Statistically, the odds are enormously in favor of that theory. DNA bears the marks of intelligent manufacture.

Dr Wilder-Smith is an honored scientist who is certainly well-informed on modern biology and biochemistry. What is his considered opinion as to the source of the DNA codes found in each wondrous plant and animal? " attempt to explain the formation of the genetic code from the chemical components of comparable to the assumption that the text of a book originates from the paper molecules on which the sentences appear, and not from any external source of information." " As a scientist, I am convinced that the pure chemistry of a cell is not enough to explain the workings of a cell, although the workings are chemical. The chemical workings of the cell are controlled by information which does not reside in the atoms and molecules of that cell. There is an author which transcends the material and the matter of which these strands are made. The author first of all conceived the information necessary to make a cell, then wrote it down, and then fixed it in a mechanism of reading it and realizing it in practice -- so that the cell builds itself from the information..."

One need only look carefully at any living creature to gain some concept of their enormous complexity. If you have a pet, consider the complexities that must be involved -- enabling that "package of matter" to move about, play, remember, show signs of affection, eat, and reproduce!

If that is not enough to boggle your mind, imagine being given the task of constructing a similar living pet from carbon, calcium, hydrogen, oxygen, etc. -- the animal's basic constituent parts.

If you have ever held a beloved pet in your hands, completely limp and dead, you may have some comprehension of the helplessness of even the most intelligent and sophisticated scientist when it comes to the overwhelming problem of trying to create life.

In contrast, the natural world does not have the advantages people bring to the problem. In nature, there are only matter, energy, time, chance and the physical laws -- no guiding force, no purpose, and no goal.

Yet, even with all of modern man's accumulated knowledge, advanced tools, and experience, we are still absolutely overwhelmed at the complexities. This is despite the fact that we are certainly not starting from absolute zero in this problem, for there are millions of actual living examples of life to scrutinize.



Rational Wiki's Objection: creationists simply present an example of a situation where adding energy to a system does not give rise to complexity. And: Arguing that abiogenesis is akin to jumbo jets appearing in a storm-stricken junkyard is a straw man, oversimplifying a complex theory.
Answer: The analogy points towards the fact that unguided random events are the only alternative to intelligent design, and fall short of constituting a potent, capable cause
to explain the coded Information which is complex and instructional/specified found in epigenetic systems and genes, and irreducible , interdependent molecular machines and biosynthetic and metabolic pathways in biological systems, which point to a intelligent agent as best explanation of their setup and origins.

Evolution is not a driving force prior dna replication :

Heredity is guaranteed by faithful DNA replication whereas evolution depends upon errors accompanying DNA replication. ( Furusawa, 1998 ) We hypothesize that the origin of life, that is, the origin of the first cell, cannot be explained by natural selection among self-replicating molecules, as is done by the RNA-world hypothesis. ( Vaneechoutte M )
DNA replication had therefore to be previously, before life began, fully setup , working, and fully operating, in order for evolution to act upon the resulting mutations. That means, evolution was not a driving force and acting for the emergence and origin of the first living organisms. The only remaining possible mechanisms are chemical reactions acting upon unregulated, aleatorial events ( luck,chance), or physical necessity ( where chemical reactions are forced into taking a certain course of action. ) Since nucleotides can be arranged freely into any informational sequence, physical necessity could not be a driving mechanism. If design, or physical necessity is discarded, the only remaining possible mechanism for the origin of life is chance/luck.

all life is dependent on replication and translation systems. These systems are fiendishly complex. 1 As Koonin puts it:

"The origin of the translation system is, arguably, the central and the hardest problem in the study of the origin of life, and one of the hardest in all evolutionary biology. The problem has a clear catch-22 aspect: high translation fidelity hardly can be achieved without a complex, highly evolved set of RNAs and proteins but an elaborate protein machinery could not evolve without an accurate translation system."

Dr. Koonin claims that the emergence of even a basic replication-translation system on the primordial Earth is such an astronomically unlikely event that we would need to postulate a vast number of universes, in which all possible scenarios are played out, in order to make its emergence likely.



The Origin of Life

Scientists today will still admit that they really don’t know how life began on our planet. Laboratory work is tricky, and nobody was present to witness events at first hand on the primitive Earth. Researchers in abiogenesis can only invent some reasonable story about how life arose, and then maximize its plausibility by theoretical and experimental investigations.20

The second central theme of xenobiology, to which we shall return in later chapters, is the likelihood that life, once having emerged in a planetary environment, will constitute a form of biota more or less similar to that found on Earth. The laws of biochemistry demand that molecules combine only in certain specific ways, and usually only in a very few most probable ways. In other words, what are the physical and biochemical limits of the possible?


Abiogenesis is mathematically  impossible - Page 2 Prebio10

Abiogenesis is mathematically  impossible - Page 2 Prebio11

Abiogenesis is mathematically  impossible - Page 2 Prebio10

Abiogenesis is mathematically  impossible - Page 2 Prebio12


There is a pdf of the book available on the internet with full color illustrations!

Yuri I Wolf and Eugene V Koonin (2007) On the origin of the translation system and the genetic code in the RNA world by means of natural selection, exaptation, and subfunctionalization, Biol Direct. 2007; 2: 14. Free access. Here the authors show that what I call ‘the Koonin threshold’ is based on the Eigen threshold. There is no mentioning of the 1,800 threshold, but there is a qualitative statement: “Indeed, we are unaware of translation being possible without the involvement of ribosomes, the complete sets of tRNA and aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRS), and (at least, for translation to occur at a reasonable rate and accuracy) several translation factors”. They also discuss ID, irreducible complexity.

Eugene V Koonin (2007) The cosmological model of eternal inflation and the transition from chance to biological evolution in the history of life, Biol Direct. 2007; 2: 15. (This is essentially Appendix B of the book.)

“The origin of life is one of the hardest problems in all of science, but it is also one of the most important. Origin-of-life research has evolved into a lively, interdisciplinary field, but other scientists often view it with skepticism and even derision. This attitude is understandable and, in a sense, perhaps justified, given the “dirty,” rarely mentioned secret: Despite many interesting results to its credit, when judged by the straightforward criterion of reaching (or even approaching) the ultimate goal, the origin of life field is a failure – we still do not have even a plausible coherent model, let alone a validated scenario, for the emergence of life on Earth.” (Koonin, p. 391). 
This text has been quoted by the uncommon descent intelligent design blog (Nov 13, 2011). The fact that the ID community is happy quoting Koonin without specifying a detailed ID alternative, demonstrates they are not interested in science, but only in attacking and ridiculing science. Why don’t IDists want to know how the designer did it?

All this is not to suggest that OORT [origins of replication and translation] is a problem of “irreducible complexity” and that the systems of replication and translation could not emerge by means of biological evolution. It remains possible that a compelling evolutionary scenario is eventually developed and, perhaps, validated experimentally. However, it is clear that OORT is not just the hardest problem in all of evolutionary biology but one that is qualitatively distinct from the rest. For all other problems, the basis of biological evolution, genome replication, is in place but, in the case of OORT, the emergence of this mechanism itself is the explanandum. Thus, it is of interest to consider radically different scenarios for OORT…
The MWO [“many worlds in one” – VJT] version of the cosmological model of eternal inflation could suggest a way out of this conundrum because, in an infinite multiverse with a finite number of distinct macroscopic histories (each repeated an infinite number of times), emergence of even highly complex systems by chance is not just possible but inevitable.


Abiogenesis is impossible

Evolution Impossible Dr. John F. Ashton, PhD page 41
For the first life to start from nonliving matter, thousands of specialized large complex molecules must somehow be synthesized in very large numbers from simple small inorganic molecules. These molecules then have to come together randomly over and over again until somehow the structure of the cell is formed. This remarkable and complex structure would still, however, not be alive. To become alive, hundreds of metabolic reactions would have to be initiated, with the metabolic intermediates already in place at just the right concentrations so that the reactions went the right way. Common sense tells us that these sorts of reactions just don’t happen by chance — in fact, we cannot even make them happen. To make the complex cell machine start up, we  have to change the concentration of hundreds of the metabolic intermediates back to just the right concentrations simultaneously. That is, we have to reinstate steady state nonequilibrium where the rate at which metabolites are formed is balanced perfectly with the rate they are required to be used by the next process. We know what to do, but even with our best technology we cannot achieve this — it is impossible. Once even a simple organism is dead it cannot be made alive again. This is a straightforward scientific observation. Evolution, however, requires not only the equivalent of a dead organism being made alive, but that the organism and its complex components and information systems must form in the first place by random processes. Then it must quickly be made alive before it has a chance to decompose or be damaged by other chemicals. Thus, the proponents of chemical evolution have to show that under the conditions that supposedly existed in a hypothetical primordial earth:

1. biomonomers (basic building block molecules) could form
2. biopolymers could form from these biomonomers
3. connected metabolic pathways could form
4. a live cell forms where chemical reactions are taking place in steady state ( i.e., perfectly balanced) nonequilibrium

To date, scientists have been able to replicate in the laboratory most of the reactions required for step 1. However, scientists have run into major problems trying to perform step 2. Small biopolymers only a fraction of the size required have been produced under ideal conditions using chemically reactive versions of nucleotides. These small, random molecules are a long, long way from the giant information encoded molecules required for life . The genetic information problem also has not been addressed in these experiments. Step 2 requires not only formation of biopolymers but also information to be encoded into these molecules to prepare for step 3. The evolutionary model requires this encoded information to occur as a result of nondirected random processes.

Dembski has shown mathematically that chance can be eliminated as a plausible explanation for a specified system when it exceeds the available probabilistic resources.  For the known universe, this is calculated
to be one chance in ten to the power 150, i.e., 10^150. The latter number is a 1 followed by 150 zeros. (Note 1 billion is 10^9, i.e., 1 followed by 9 zeros or 1,000,000,000.)

Consider the probability of a short, specifically coded protein molecule 100 amino acids in length arising by chance from its amino acid building blocks. To make the protein chain, all the amino acids must form a specific type of chemical bond known as a peptide bond with each other. However, other non-peptide bonds are possible and occur with approximately equal probability. This means that at any given site along the growing chain, the probability of having a peptide bond is one in two or ½. Therefore, the probability of having four peptide bonds in a four-link chain is ½ x ½ x ½ x ½ = (½)4 = 1/16 or 1 chance in 16. The probability of building a 100 amino acid chain with only peptide bonds is (½)99, which calculates to be around 1 chance in 10^30.

the chance of getting 100 L-amino acids forming a chain with only peptide bonds is now roughly one chance in 10^60 attempts

The probability of getting the right amino acid in the right site is 1 chance out of 20 possibilities. Therefore, the probability of forming a particular protein 100 amino acids long by chance would be (1/20)100, which is around 1 chance in 10^130.

A typical biological protein consists of about 300 amino acid units, and some are much longer. Biochemists at Cambridge University and MIT have published more detailed calculations of the probability of a functional sequence of amino acids arising by chance, and have come up with probabilities equivalent to finding a particular single atom in the universe!

From studies of single-celled organisms, scientists have estimated that the simplest possible living organism would require a genome containing a minimum of 250 to 400 genes. Thus, the improbability of life occurring in the simplest cells with the corresponding molecular complexity vastly exceeds 1 chance in 10^150. In other words, abiogenesis is absolutely impossible. That is, a living organism cannot arise by chance from nonliving matter.

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plausible prebiotic synthesis

55Abiogenesis is mathematically  impossible - Page 2 Empty What can we know about how life began ? Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:20 pm


What can we know about how life began ?

Nobody knows for sure. When it comes to historical sciences, nobody was there in the past to see what happened. But upon abductive reasoning, and the growing evidence and knowledge of chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, evolutionary biology, genetics, epigenetics, and developmental biology, amount of knowledge about how life works, how it have might began and diversified,  is growing. That permits us more than ever before to make informed inferences. My take on abiogenesis is that we can make safe inferences based on what we DO  know.  Douglas Futuyma admits as much:

“Organisms either appeared on the earth fully developed or they did not. If they did not, they must have developed from preexisting species by some process of modification. If they did appear in a fully developed state, they must indeed have been created by some omnipotent intelligence” (Futuyma, 1983, p. 197).

In fact, Futuyma’s words underline a very important truth. He writes that when we look at life on Earth, if we see that life emerges all of a sudden, in its complete and perfect forms, then we have to admit that life was created, and is not a result of chance. As soon as naturalistic explanations are proven to be invalid, then creation is the only explanation left.

chemist Wilhelm Huck, professor at Radboud University Nijmegen
A working cell is more than the sum of its parts. "A functioning cell must be entirely correct at once, in all its complexity

To go from a bacterium to people is less of a step than to go from a mixture of amino acids to a bacterium. — Lynn Margulis. 

Mainstream scientific papers confirm indirectly that cells are irreducibly complex and interdependent. At the paper :

How Many Genes Can Make a Cell: The Minimal-Gene-Set Concept, the author writes :
Several theoretical and experimental studies have endeavored to derive the minimal set of genes that are necessary and sufficient to sustain a functioning cell under ideal conditions, that is, in the presence of unlimited amounts of all essential nutrients and in the absence of any adverse factors, including competition. A comparison of the first two completed bacterial genomes, those of the parasites Haemophilus influenzae and Mycoplasma genitalium, produced a version of the minimal gene set consisting of ~250 genes. 

That means, a minimal number of genes, proteins, and metabolic network is essential to be there to give life a first go, as to turn the car's engine on. In the same manner, as if you are sitting in a car, and try to turn it on if the pistons in the car are missing, or even if a tiny electric cable is broken and you turn the car key, nothing goes. But life did not have a helping hand to fix the problem, check what part was missing, and pluck a broken cable in. For self-replication to start, a minimal set of proteins was absolutely essential to start self-replication:

So if only one protein, as helicase, for example, is missing, nothing goes. But why would a prebiotic soup produce a helicase protein by a lucky accident? Helicase by its own has no function, only when inserted and finely adjusted to do its job in the DNA replication mechanism.  Intelligent agents have foresight. Such agents can determine or select functional goals before they are physically instantiated. That's a huge problem for natural mechanisms, where no intelligence is in place. 

A minimal metabolic set was also required:

a proeminent proposal, the so often mentioned RNA world, has also unbridgeable flaws, and cannot explain the origin of life adequately:

The software/hardware in the cell, that is DNA, mRNA, RNA polymerase, tRNA's, the ribosome, tRNA Synthetases, protein chaperones etc, AND the software, that is the genetic code and translation mechanism,  had to emerge fully setup and TOGETHER, since one would have had no use without the other. That's a classic catch22 problem:

amongst many other catch22 situations that plague OOL researchers:

Furthermore, you need homeostasis and a functional signaling network right from the start:

the ability of uptake of nutrients and its availability was also essential. That illustrates the tremendous difficulties that abiogenesis research faces. As for example: where did glucose come from?

Then you need a set of proteins that use in their action centers metal clusters. To make them is an enormous feat and requires whole production lines and irreducible multistep biosynthesis processes:

Another huge task is to create various cell codes, amongst them prominently the genetic code. The task is to create the code system itself, the director that plays the genetic piano, that is the gene expression network which determines which genes to turn on and off and express, find them in the genome, and express them at the right time, then encoding, transmission, and decoding of the information, and a translation system, where the genetic information is used to get useful proteins, the workhorses in the cell. The genetic code is more robust than one in a million:

Furthermore, you need error check and repair systems all along the production line: DNA replication errors are reduced times !! 

5ʹ => 3ʹ polymerization 1 in 100.000
3ʹ => 5ʹ exonucleolytic proofreading 1 in 100
Strand-directed mismatch repair 1 in 1000
Combined 1 in

Maintaining the genetic stability that an organism needs for its survival requires not only an extremely accurate mechanism for replicating DNA but also mechanisms for repairing the many accidental lesions that occur continually in DNA.

the cell membrane could not have emerged as a simple vesicle, as Szostak et al try to popularize. Cell membranes are ENORMOUSLY COMPLEX, and membrane proteins for various functions are essential right from the start. Membranes and membrane proteins are interdependent and had to emerge together. I have various topics on the issue:

Abiogenesis is a huge topic. There are essentially two possibilities. Either life was created, or it was not. If it was not created, all that is left, are random, unguided, lucky events that brought to the most complex self-replicating factory in the universe, full of molecular machines and production lines. 

Would you say that it is plausible that a tornado over a junkyard could produce a self-replicating machine, like John von Neumann's Universal Constructor?
Would you say that it is plausible that mindless random chance can write a book like a random letter generator using a computer pseudo-random number generator? if you see a message on a sand dune, like " John loves Sandy ". Would you intuitively and immediately recognize that someone past there a short time ago, and wrote the message on the sand dune? Or would you consider that rain and wind wrote the message randomly on the dune? The cell is far more complex than the most complex machine made by man, and the simplest cell stores as much information as contained in a CD. 

There are numerous other topics on the issue, which cannot be mentioned here. But this small resume gives a picture..... 

Sorry, I have not enough faith to be an atheist and believe, all this arose from a lucky accident. 

Abiogenesis is impossible

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