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Physicist Brian Miller: Two Conundrums for Strictly Materialist Views of Biology

David Klinghoffer

In another excellent new video from the Polish En Arche Foundation, physicist Brian Miller briefly describes two conundrums for a strictly materialist approach to biology. Yes, the interview is in English:

Darwinian evolution is premised on the mechanism of random mutations sifted, without purpose or design, by natural selection. This is held, along with a handful of “add-ons” aka “rescue helicopters,” to be a sufficient explanation for the generation of all life’s wonders. One problem has to do with small- versus large-scale mutations. The first is a source of only trivial change; the second is a killer:

All mutations which have been observed which are non-harmful only allow for small-scale change while all mutations which could potentially change the architecture [of an organism] have been shown to be harmful.

And the trivial changes do not add up to wonderful, large-scale novelties. But for life to get to a place where mutations are possible in the first place — where there is anything to mutate — it has to overcome another impossible dilemma, at the very beginning when life is waiting to bootstrap itself into existence:

Nothing in nature will ever simultaneously go to both low entropy and high energy at the same time. It’s a physical impossibility. Yet life had to do that. Life had to take simple chemicals and go to a state of high energy and of low entropy. That’s a physical impossibility.

Watch the rest of the video and enjoy. Dr. Miller has a gift for neatly encapsulating scientific ideas.

For more from our Polish friends at En Arche, see: