Leslie Orgel: Metabolic Origin of Life “Unlikely”; Complexity Requires “A Skilled Synthetic Chemist” (Part 2)

In Part 1 I discussed the eminent and late origin of life theorist Leslie Orgel’s criticisms of theories that self-sustaining metabolic pathways could spontaneously come into existence on the early earth and evolve into life. Orgel’s was skeptical that this could occur because “the chance of a full set of such catalysts occurring at a single locality on the primitive Earth in the absence of catalysts for disruptive side reactions seems remote in the extreme.” Indeed, according to Orgel, the type of complexity we normally find in the metabolic pathways of life require “a skilled synthetic chemist.” But what if we assume that such pathways could come into existence? Even if such pathways existed, they would still be far from Read More ›

Leslie Orgel: Metabolic Origin of Life “Unlikely”; Complexity Requires “A Skilled Synthetic Chemist” (Part 1) (Updated)

Last year I blogged about Robert Shapiro’s excellent article in Scientific American that gave cogent critiques of many standard models of the chemical origin of life. Shapiro critiqued the view that a primordial soup existed on the early earth that ultimately gave birth to a self-replicating molecule, which eventually evolved into RNA and then DNA. After critiquing this standard model, Shapiro gave his alternative explanation, proposing that life evolved from metabolic pathways that naturally occurred on the early earth. As I wrote at that time, Shapiro “gives scant explanation for how these life-like metabolic networks can come into existence naturally, and he gives no details as to how these thermodynamic states produce real life–life as we know it today.” Now Read More ›

Darwinists’ Obsession with Tiktaalik Linked to Lack of Transitions in the Fossil Record

Media see, media do. And when it comes to the fossil record, the elite Darwinists of late seem unable to see evidence that challenges evolution. With the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and PBS forcefully promoting Tiktaalik to the public as proof of an evolutionary transition from fish to land-walking animals, the media is following closely in their footsteps (no pun intended). A recent article on Canada.com pushes a pro-evolution book titled “Your Inner Fish,” which tries to use Canadian- found fossil Tiktaalik to promote evolution and influence American presidential politics. It’s the Canadian Darwinist’s dream. But this is strange behavior: why are the scientific elite so forcefully pushing this one fossil, especially when it so poorly documents the evolution Read More ›

Lacking a Middle-Ground, the Swiss Devolve into Evolutionary Dogmatism

This past summer I backpacked with some friends through Switzerland, and spent a few days in the beautiful Swiss capital city of Bern. Bern is a city of extremes: extreme beauty (see a photo I took on a bridge over the River Aare at left), extreme night-club partying, and extremely empty museum-like churches. I had a great time in Bern–my favorite event was crashing a party with a Bluegrass band playing at a corporate party along the Aare. But Bern could use some moderation, especially when it comes to the teaching of evolution. According to an article in Swiss Info, Bern school officials are facing a choice between teaching evolution dogmatically or including young earth creationism in the curriculum. Since Read More ›

Nature Fulfilling Its Charter to Defend Evolution at all Costs

In his acclaimed book Evolution: The History of an Idea, the respected historian of evolution Peter J. Bowler explains that the journal Nature was originally founded in the late nineteenth century by T. H. Huxley and others for the express purpose of promoting a “campaign” to support Darwinism: By exploiting their position in this network, Huxley and his friends ensured that Darwinism had come to stay. (Ruse, 1979a). They controlled the scientific journals–the journal Nature was founded in part to promote the campaign–and manipulated academic appointments. Hull (1978) has stressed how important these rhetorical and political skills were in creating a scientific revolution. The Darwinists adopted a flexible approach which deflected opposition, minimized infighting among themselves, and made it easy Read More ›