Evolution Icon Evolution
Intelligent Design Icon Intelligent Design

On Origin of Life, New Long Story Skewers Materialist Doctrine

David Klinghoffer
Image source: Discovery Institute.

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

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.



abiogenesisanimationbiological originsbiologycheatingchemical evolutionChemistryDiscovery Instituteevolutionfootnoteshumorintelligent designlifeLong Story Shortorigin of lifereplicationRNA worldRNA-Peptide Worldstealing