Solving the Origin-of-Life Problem
|September 21, 2013||Posted by johnnyb under Intelligent Design, Irreducible Complexity, Origin Of Life|
There are three main approaches to current origin-of-life studies – metabolism-first, replication-first, and membrane-first. The problem with each of these approaches is that they ignore the reality of irreducible complexity in self-replicating system.
Our own InVivoVeritas has put together a nice blog post illustrating the problem. The functions of enclosure, construction-planning, power, fabrication, gateway, and transport are all required for a minimal functioning cell. As InVivoVeritas shows, the other proposals not only don’t work, they suffer from theoretical problems that prevent them from being able to be precursors of the larger system.
Naturalists always insist that they are just “following the evidence”. But, especially here, it seems to me that they are dictating the evidence. The assumption is that everything must start from smaller units and build up. Why must that be true? Why is it not that it starts from a larger unit first? The only evidence of cells that we have anywhere are fully-functional cells (and, in fact, the earliest cells highly resemble modern ones). The theoretical evidence is that all of the components are necessary. Therefore, every bit of evidence we have points to InVivoVeritas’ point – that only full-replication-first systems are likely to work.
This doesn’t meant that people with other ideas shouldn’t pursue their research. It just means that people should stop pretending that the evidence is in their favor.
One other thing is to keep in mind that, despite claims to the contrary, evolutionary theory is not separable from the origin of life.
Anyway, I would be interested in hearing everyone’s reactions to InVivoVeritas’s arguments from his post.