New Article: Origins of Life


(James Stump) #1

An update on the latest research on a scientific explanation for the origins of life: https://biologos.org/articles/origins-of-life-the-questions-are-big-and-the-answers-complex


(Matthew Pevarnik) #2

Thank you for the article. A brief summary of the article for my own reference (and any others):

Beginning with Chemistry:

  • OoL research originally was dominated by chemistry
  • Miller-Urey was a good start but happened around the same time as we began discovering DNA and the complexity of living things
  • The problem can be boiled down to the number of ways that matter and energy can combine to produce small organic molecules and only a few are used by biology
  • The OoL problem is how to find a “useful” sequence we know as proteins - once this exists, natural selection does the job nicely from there
  • A brief summary of the RNA world hypothesis and why RNA became the preferred focus but still doesn’t solve this problem of a useful sequence
  • Freeland is skeptical that we’ve solved the reaction pathway yet (do some claim to have figured this part out yet?)

Interdiscipinary work

  • Geology and planetary science taught us live seems to have arise quickly
  • Nuclear physics tells us the four most abundant elements that can form covalent bonds are C, H, O, and N
  • Molecular biology and biochemistry tells us these four elements are sufficient to produce simple cell membranes, sugars and 18 of 20 amino acids
  • Microbiology has (what is ‘quick start’ where it says ‘microbiology… has been telling us that these components and quick start were sufficient for a system that can adapt…’)?
  • This led into the field of astrobiology - we are closer than ever to finding earth-like planets orbiting sun-like stars

Christian reflections

  • “I do believe in God the universe maker. So as a Christian I believe that the God I work to know built information into the universe, and life reflects this act of creation through evolution.”
  • And more thoughts

How does this compare to other Christian writing on the OoL:

Reasons to Believe and the OoL:

Reasons to Believe has a model (summarized by this NSCE review here) and routinely writes or teaches on the OoL. Here is a sample article with a brief summary:

  • Hugh Ross and Fazale Rana attended the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life conference in 2017
  • All four panelists (who were top OoL researchers) answered ‘no’ to the question ‘64 years after Miller Experiment, Can the Formation of Building Blocks of Life be Considered as Solved?’
  • (the conference results) rule out all naturalistic or materialistic origin-of-life models. It establishes that the origin of life on Earth must have been achieved by a super-intelligent, supernatural Being.’

In other words, all of the research that any OoL researcher will ever do has already been falsified. Any attempts to explain the OoL are ‘materialistic’ or ‘naturalistic’ explanations anyways.

Answers in Genesis on the OoL:

  • Its either God or Natural Processes (though here they argue that ‘natural processes’ are fine-tuned by God)
  • There is no mechanism to explain the ‘spark of life’
  • Time and chance don’t help evolutionists
  • While we know that many organic molecules are formed in space, we know that had nothing to do with how life began because we know God spontaneously created life fully formed into ‘kinds’
  • Also the law of Biogenesis has falsified all OoL research forever

The response by Freeland is definitely different than how most Christians view the OoL, thanks again @jstump for letting us know its up!