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On the Origin of Life, Science Uprising Helps Break a Poisonous Spell

origin of life

If you follow the news, you’ve seen countless headlines like this: “Amazing Discovery May Hold Key to Origins of Life,” “Found: The Origin of Life,” “Scientists May Have Found the Chemical Compound That Started Life,” and on and on. Michael Egnor wrote about just such a story here yesterday.

The origin of life is the deepest mystery imaginable and it sounds like scientists have it all figured out. Or just about. The new episode of Science Uprising, “Origin of Life: Intelligence Required,” firebombs that persistent and influential myth, advanced by scientists themselves and their media helpers. It does so in just seven devastating minutes.

“We See the Human Soul”

It’s crucial to materialism to believe that blind, natural processes alone could have blundered about and generated life from dumb chemical predecessors. Whether it happened on our planet or another, all the wonders of the first living cell must have come into existence with no need for intelligent design. Any hint to the contrary threatens to topple a whole of way of thinking about human beings and about all life, that denies any reality beyond the material. “We are not materialists,” says the masked narrator of Episode 5, “We see the human soul”:

The expert witnesses here are synthetic organic chemist James Tour, protein chemist Douglas Axe, and philosopher of science Stephen Meyer. Professor Tour is a personality to be reckoned with, pouring steely scorn on his colleagues who study, and mislead, about the origin of life. 

Fallacious, Ridiculous

“All of these little pictures of molecules coming together to form the first cell are fallacious, are ridiculous,” says Tour. “The origin of life community has not been honest.” Claims by Craig Venter and others are little more than hype. What about claims that material processes at the dawn of life had time on their side? No, the opposite is true. Claims by researchers of having created “proto-cells” are like saying you’ve created a “proto-turkey” by warming some cold cuts, broth, and a few feathers.

Dr. Axe and Dr. Meyer clarify both the complexity of the object needing to be explained — the first cell — and the delusion of imagining that the “functional, digital information” in DNA could have been authored with no intelligence having played any part in it.

There is some tough cricism here, notably of researchers in the origin of life community. They seem to be fooling themselves, and us along with them. Humans are good at that. Together we’re under a poisonous spell, scientists and the lay public alike. You can help break that spell by sharing this episode of Science Uprising widely!

Photo: James Tour, Rice University, in a scene from Episode 5 of Science Uprising.