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Physicist Brian Miller: Nanotech, Origin of Life, and Area 51

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Photo credit: PIERRE ANDRE LECLERCQ, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons.

On a new episode of ID the Future physicist Brian Miller and host Eric Anderson continue their exploration of a recent conversation between origin-of-life investigators Jeremy England and Paul Davies on Justin Brierley’s Unbelievable? show. Miller begins with a quick survey of the many nanotechnologies essential to even to the simplest viable cell. A minimally complex cell is vastly more sophisticated than our best human nanotechnology. What about England’s insistence that real progress has been made in origin-of-life studies since the 1950s? True, Anderson says, but the progress has been principally in better understanding how the simplest cells function, and in figuring out what doesn’t work to blindly evolve life from non-life. That is, the direction of discovery has been to throw cold water on one idea after another for the naturalistic origin of life.

Miller then makes an even bolder statement. All the physics for us to have known this were in place more than a hundred years ago. The origin-of-life community just chose to ignore it, perhaps because they were dogmatically wedded to finding a purely materialistic explanation for the origin of the first life. To show why that’s misguided, Miller offers an illustrative story: Imagine that what looks for all the world like an alien spaceship is discovered in the desert. Two groups of scientists decide on radically different approaches to understanding the workings of this mysterious object. Tune in to hear the rest of the story. Download the podcast or listen to it here.