To: John Musselwhite
From: Arthur Biele
JM> On 05 Jun 94 15:37:35, Jesse Hornbacher penned the following to John Musselwhite In reference to Evolution (of course) <<<
JM> JH> I am disputing the possibility that a cell should evolve from inorganic building blocks. That would make it impossible. Science says that if it happened it was a result of randomness, since they cannot reproduce it. <<<
JM> You don't have much of a handle on what "science" says about anything it seems... Rather than paraphrase, perhaps a quote from a well-respected scientist might help... The following is courtesy of Dr. Martin Leipzig, and was written to an Evangelical Christian creationist named Ron Stringfellow, a man after your own heart.<<<
JM> Life is merely the product, derived from inorganic (non-life, as you so pejoratively put it) components, over the span of geologic time, of a step-by-step process, governed by the natural laws of chemistry, with no particular amino acid sequence required. The same holds true for nucleic acids. It did not have to be comprised of any particular nucleotide sequence, but only had to be SOME sequence, whose probability of arising over a period of millions of years is unity.<<<
Mathematicians consider anything with a probability as low as 10 to the 50th power to one to have zero chance of ever occurring.
There are 20 amino acids needed for life. These are called proteinous amino acids. There are thousands of amino acids which are not proteinous. Stephen Gould once asked, "Why only a few amino acids in in organisms when the [primordial] soup must have contained at least ten times as many." Amino acid molecules can link-up (polymerize) to form polypeptide chains. Those with certain structure and characteristics are called functional proteins. Functional proteins will consist of 100 to 1000 amino acids. In a soup containing proteinous amino acids and 10 times the number of non-proteinous amino acids (which Gould says must have been there) then the probability of getting a functional protein consisting of 100 proteinous amino acids is 10 to the 100th power to one. It is not going to happen.
The amino acid molecules formed in prebiotic experiments are formed in equal quantities of left handed and right handed types. They are racimized. Both types are just as likely to become part of any polypeptide chain that may be forming. If just one right handed amino acid gets into the polypeptide chain, you will not get a functional protein (with couple rare but thus far irrelevant exceptions). The probability of getting 100 left handed amino acids to randomly form a small unit polypeptide is 10 to the 30th power.
When amino acids bond together in prebiotic experiments, they do so in several different ways using several types of links as the molecular bonds. Only the type of link known as alpha link is used in all proteins from known life. In origin of life experiments, the alpha link is greatly outnumbered by the other types of links. Even if we greatly favor the evolutionists possibilities by allowing for every link in a forming 100 unit polypeptide chain to have a 50-50 chance of being an alpha type link, the probability of getting a 100 unit amino acid chain using only alpha links is 10 to the 30th power to one.
The above calculations is for forming just one useful polypeptide. If x polypeptides are required for forming life, then the probability for forming the one polypeptide, raised to the x power = the probability for getting the x number of proteins needed for life.
I've only touched on the surface of the probability arguments against life arising from non-living matter. From what I've written, it is clear that Dr. Leipzig's probability of 1 for life arising over a few million years via natural law and chance is absurdly wrong. The probability for the existence of life is indeed 1, since life does exist, but the scientific evidence shows that bio-chemical evolution is extremely implausible. The correct answer, there is a Creator who created life.
JM> There is a question of the mode of this assembly (believe it or else, Ronzo, science doesn't profess to have all the answers.... yet.)<<<
JM> Theories include those built on protobiogenesis experiments carried out by Sid Fox at the U of Florida (proteinoid microspheres...want a few references to check this out?), Graham Cairns-Smith argues for clay mineralogy providing the template for self-replicating forms (want some references?), B. McKean argues that abiogenesis may have occurred near deep sea vents (want some...oh, never mind). Tom Cech and Sid Altman note that RNA (ribonucleic acid) can act as an enzyme, and as such was probably the link between prebiotic synthesis and the first living cells.<<<
There are also the bubble theory and the life from out of space theory. The fact that there are so many diverse theories being pursued to explain biochemical evolution tells us that no one is even close to telling us how life could have evolved from non-living chemicals.
JM> All the evidence supports the view that the precursors of life arose quite naturally (no god or gods necessary), and that life's emergence, given millions of years and the whole Earth as a laboratory was a probable, if not inevitable, event." <<<<
Well Dr. Leipzig, so dogmatic, so wrong.
JM> JH> how it did? So you answer me: evolution is a fact, so the unlikelihood of it happening is irrelevant. How do you know that it is a fact? I ask. You answer me, as if it was the only explanation .<<<<
Jesse is more accurate on this matter than Dr. Leipzig was, and Dr. Leipzig is a scientist? - how sad.
I'll close with a summary from a scientist who is an acknowledged authority on evolution and the origin of life:
"More than 30 years of experimentation on the origin of life in the fields of chemical and molecular evolution have led to a better perception of the immensity of the problem of the origin of life on Earth rather than to it's solution. At present all discussions on principal theories and experiments in the field either end in a stalemate or in a confession of ignorance." Klaus Dose, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 1988, 13(4) 348.
There is a way that seemeth right unto man... !
There is small choice in rotten apples. W.S.
Origin: The Promised Land BBS Hayes V.FC FidoNet