Claim: Complex Self-replicating Systems Evolved from Simple Molecules. During a period of chemical evolution, simple organic molecules condensed to form more complex molecules or combined end-to-end as polymers of repeating units. In a condensation reaction, the elements of water are lost. The rate of condensation of simple compounds to form a stable polymer must therefore be greater than the rate of hydrolysis (splitting by adding the elements of water. In the prebiotic environment, minerals such as clays may have catalyzed polymerization reactions and sequestered the reaction products from water. The size and composition of prebiotic macromolecules would have been limited by the availability of small molecular starting materials, the efficiency with which they could be joined, and their resistance to degradation. 1
Living organisms, which take up nutrients, release waste products, and generate work and heat, are open systems and therefore can never be at equilibrium. They continuously ingest high-enthalpy, low-entropy nutrients, which they convert to low-enthalpy, high-entropy waste products. The free energy released in this process powers the cellular activities that produce the high degree of organization characteristic of life. If this process is interrupted, the system ultimately reaches equilibrium, which for living things is synonymous with death.
Answer: Intelligent design literature has sufficiently explained, that a mind is necessary to produce a language and based on it, complex, specified or instructional information or blueprints, which can be used to make specific purposeful artifacts, or in case of life, a creator had to store the information contained in DNA to make life ( See the excellent books of Werner Gitt, In the beginning, was information, and Signature in the Cell, Stephen C. Meyer )
There is, however, another aspect: In order to produce a system producing information, there must be an energy input to move from a disordered to an ordered state.
Let me explain:
If someone just imagines the sentence
" Please make a cube, the size of 4" x 4" x 5", using teak wood, 0,5" thick "
in his mind and wants to communicate it to someone else in order to make it, the instructional sentence has to be written down, for example on a piece of paper which the counterpart can read and understand. Let's suppose there are just random letters on the floor. The sentence quoted above uses about 50 letters, so these, the right ones, had to be lying around, ready to be picked up. Maybe not all extant alphabetic letters are used, so only the needed ones have to be selected. The right letters, one by one, would have to be chosen, be picked from the floor, and lined up in the right order and sequence. Once done, someone else could read and understand the sentence. But for this to happen, someone has to a) select the letters on the floor, b) pick them up, and c) put them in the right place and the right order. Energy and work is required to perform this action. In the case of humans, the contraction of muscles requires oxygenic respiration in mitochondria and the consumption of energy in the form of ATP on a molecular level of muscle cells.
So establishing the flow of information depends not only on hardware and software, ( an information storage device, and the stored instructional blueprint ), but also on the transfer of energy to perform the exchange from a disordered state ( random letters on the floor ) to a ordered state - an informational sentence ( the ordered sequence of letters, correctly lined up that form the phrase ).
The same occurs in living organisms. Energy input in the form of ATP is required to produce information-rich, organized structures such as proteins and nucleic acids. An essential Origin of Life research problem is not only the availability of the basic building blocks of life on a prebiotic earth but how could they have been brought and concentrated to one construction site, where they would all have been available at the same time, and then put into the right order to create information, according to the secular narrative, first through the formation of RNA polymers, which in sequence, began self replication.
The emergence of concentrated suites of just the right mix thus remains a central puzzle in origin-of-life research.
That is not a trivial task, but science has no compelling hypothesis how that could have occurred. Fred Hoyles Tornado sweeping through a Junkyard, unjustly dismissed by naturalists, is a good analogy. In the engineering lab of Boeing, the formation of a blueprint to make 747's would hardly emerge by random forces of ink and paper or self-forming computer-aided design, but by the precise order of writing down information by the guiding hand of highly skilled, trained and intelligent engineers, that would store the instructional information that is transmitted to the factory to the workers to make the airplanes.
On early earth, the basic chemical elements would have, somehow, to be transformed, non enzymatically, without the aid of molecular machines that would speed up the process, into the essential molecules of life, namely amino acids, sugars, fatty acids, and nucleotides. Biological Cells use highly complex assembly lines to make these essential basic molecules. ( In our analogy, the letters for the informational sentences have to be formed from raw materials ) Life uses ultracomplex metabolic pathways, and a myriad of enzymes, but these pathways were non-existent on early earth. To perform just ONE of seven reactions to make pyrimidines, one of the two types of bases to make RNA and DNA nucleotides, enzyme expert Dr Richard Wolfenden, of the University of North Carolina, showed in 1998 that the reaction performed by OMP decarboxylase enzymes, is ‘“absolutely essential” in creating the building blocks of DNA and RNA, would take 78 million years in water’, but was speeded up 10^18 times by that enzyme. ( it is the fastest enzyme known ) If by some unknown event, prebiotic mechanisms would have produced the intermediate product, Orotidine 5'-monophosphate, until nonenzymatic reactions would have transformed it into uridine monophosphate, the last product in the pathway, after 78mio years, the molecule would have disintegrated long ago by ultraviolet light and other environmental factors.
Synthesis of Pyrimidines
Science cannot explain how the basic essential molecules emerged prebiotically, and the proposals are fantasies at best and range from panspermia to hydrothermal vents, and so on. None of the attempted explanations are compelling, or conclusive.
But let us suppose, even that these essential molecules would be all there, in the right concentration, at one site, ready to be assembled into informational biomolecules. If there were no energy to arrange them together, no deal. The energy would have to be channeled to the right place, but a sweeping tornado would cause only chaos.
Eugene Koonin brings it straight to the point:
" A succession of exceedingly unlikely steps is essential for the origin of life, from the synthesis and accumulation of nucleotides to the origin of translation; through the multiplication of probabilities, these make the final outcome seem almost like a miracle. The difficulties remain formidable. For all the effort, we do not currently have coherent and plausible models for the path from simple organic molecules to the first life forms. Most damningly, the powerful mechanisms of biological evolution were not available for all the stages preceding the emergence of replicator systems. Given all these major difficulties, it appears prudent to seriously consider radical alternatives for the origin of life. Notwithstanding relevant theoretical models and suggestive experimental results, we currently do not have a credible solution to these problems and do not even see with any clarity a path to such a solution. "
and so Bill Faint
" Life in any form is a very serious enigma and conundrum. It does something, whatever the biochemical pathway, machinery, enzymes etc. are involved, that should not and honestly could not ever "get off the ground". It SPONTANEOUSLY recruits Gibbs free energy from its environment so as to reduce its own entropy. That is tantamount to a rock continuously recruiting the wand to roll it up the hill, or a rusty nail "figuring out" how to spontaneously rust and add layers of galvanizing zinc on itself to fight corrosion. Unintelligent simple chemicals can't self-organize into instructions for building solar farms (photosystems 1 and 2), hydroelectric dams (ATP synthase), propulsion (motor proteins) , self repair (p53 tumor suppressor proteins) or self-destruct (caspases) in the event that these instructions become too damaged by the way the universe USUALLY operates. Abiogenesis is not an issue that scientists simply need more time to figure out but a fundamental problem with materialism ".
1. Fundamentals of biochemistry, D.Voet, page 18
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