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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:

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.

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biologybootstrapBrian MillerchemicalsDarwinian evolutionEn Arche FoundationEnergyEnglishentropylifematerialismmutationsnatural selectionnoveltiesorganismorigin of lifePolishrescue helicopter