On Origin of Life, New Long Story Skewers Materialist Doctrine
The cheeky humor and goofy animation of the Long Story Short series conceal a serious point. It’s the takeaway from today’s release — “Challenge to Origin of Life: Replication” — as from previous episodes. Materialist theories of abiogenesis (life from nonlife) are dictated not by science but by a philosophical doctrine. The doctrine holds that in biological origins, no mind or purpose can have played a role. Any interpretation of the evidence must conform to the doctrine. From this imperative, origin-of-life researchers derive their theories of chemical evolution — an “RNA World,” or now an “RNA-Peptide World” — which are the targets of the new Long Story offering.
Life depends on replication and that ability must have come about through unguided means. But to confirm this, OOL research relies on “cheating” and “stealing” (watch the video to see why I use those words). As Long Story puts it,
The truth is whenever you see a paper or a popular article about the origin of life you can pretty well bet that they’re cheating in a number of different ways and that the headlines bear no relationship to reality. Importantly, these aren’t problems merely because we don’t yet know how these various processes work. The very concept of the self-replicating molecule that “chemically evolves” into life contradicts many very well-understood laws and processes of chemistry.
The OOL researchers don’t believe they are cheating or stealing. They’re not dishonest, or stupid. But they are fooling themselves — smart people are really good at that — which makes studying their publications largely a waste of time. Long Story shows that with wit and rigor. Don’t miss the footnotes, by the way, which go by pretty quickly. You can also find them on the Discovery Institute page here.