Origin of life, neocreationists hypothesis. Dissemination 42th
Collecting and classifying the different hypothesis about the origin of life, neocreationists argue that materialist hypothesis are based in the intervention of random or reactivity between materials selected depending on the ambiental conditions. This leads them to the conclusion that the amount of information included in the genetic code, necessary for the generation of proteins that regulate vital processes, has not possibly been accumulated for material reasons. The main reason for this statement is the lack of time since the Earth formation, due to the great amount of necessary different combinations and the reactive incompatibilities.
During the following 9 quotes we will sum up the neocreationist thinking exposed by Stephen C. Meyer in his assay about DNA and the origin of life: Information, specificity and explanation, published by www.discovery.org.
(1) Many fundamental trouble have emerged in the RNA world pattern. In the first place, to synthesize (and/or to mantain) numerous building blocks of the RNA molecules in realist conditions has been proved difficult or impossible (R. Shapiro, "Prebiotic Cytosine Synthesis: A Critical Analysis and Implications for the Origin of Life," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 96 (1999): 4396-4401; M. M. Waldrop, "Did Life Really Start Out in an RNA World?" Science 246 (1989): 1248-49).
(2) Besides the specificity required to confer the autoreplicative capacity to the first RNA molecule, a second RNA molecule should arise with extremely specific sequence and with essentially the same sequence as the original one.
However, de RNA world theorists do not explain the the origin of the specificity requirement in the original molecule nor in the twin one. Joyce and Orgel have calculated that to have a reasonable possibility to find two identical RNA molecules with a sufficient lenght to realize enzimatic functions, it would be necessary to have an RNA library with 1054 RNA molecules (Joyce and Orgel, "Prospects for Understanding," 1-25, esp. 11)
(3) If the attempts to solve the information problem only move the location of the problem, and if not even random or the physicochemical necessity or the combination of both explain the ultimate origin of the biological specific information, then what does?
Do we know any entity with the causal mightiness to create huge amounts of specific information?
(4) Indeed. As Henry Quastler recognized, “the creation of new information is usually associated to conscient activity” (119 Quastler, Emergence, 16)
This generation –which supports that intelligence is the only cause of information or specified complexity (at least from a non-biological source)- has been supported by the investigation of life origin. During the last forty years, every naturalist model proposed has failed when having to explain the origin of the specific genetical information required to build a living cell.
(K. Dose, "The Origin of Life: More Questions Than Answers," Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 13 (1988): 348-56; Yockey, Information Theory, 259-93; Thaxton et al., Mystery,42-172; Thaxton and Bradley, "Information and the Origin," 193-97; Shapiro,Origins)
(5) So, mind or intelligence, or what philosophers call “causal agent”, is now the only known cause capable of generating large quantities of information starting from an abiotic state. Intelligent design is the best explanation of the origin of the more than 500 bits of specific information required to produce the first minimally complex life system.
As a result, the presence of specific sequences rich in information even in the most simple living systems would imply intelligent design, apparently.
(6) Extraterrestral artificial intelligence search from the NASA (SETI) implies that any information included in the electromagnetical signals coming from the outer space would indicate an intelligent source. However, so far, radioastronomers haven’t found any information in these signals.
But, closer to home, molecular biologists have identified the sequences rich in information and the cell systems that they suggest, with the same logics, an intelligent cause for those effects ( T. R. McDonough, The Search for Extraterrestrial Inteligence: Listening for Life in the Cosmos (New York: Wiley, 1987)
(7) This assay has followed precisely this method to give as the best explanation about the origin of biological information the argument of the intelligent design. It has compared and evaluated the causal efficiency of four big explanation cathegories – random, necessity, the combination of both and the intelligent design- taking into account their capacity to produce big amounts of information or specified complexity.
As we have seen, no scene based on random or necessity (nor those combinig both of them) can explain the origin of specific biological information in a prebiotic context. This result agrees with our uniform human experience. Natural processes do not produce structures rich in information from physical or chemical precursors. Neither matter, randomly or under the strenght of necessity, can arrange itself in sequences rich in information.
(8) The argument of the ADN information design fits to the methodology uniform canons employed in history sciences. The uniformity principle stablishes that “present is the clue about past”. It specifies that our knowledge of the cause-effect relations must rule our assessment about the plausability of the inferences that we do concerning the remote causal past.
However, it is exactly this knowledge of the cause-effect relations that informs the inference of the intelligent design. Because we know that intelligent agents produce large amounts of information, and all known natural processes do not (or cannot), we can deduce design as the best explanation for the cell information origin.
Recent advances in the information sciences (like Dembski’s in the inference of design) help defining and formalizing the knowledge of the cause-effect relations, allowing us to make inferences about the causal stories of many artefacts, entities or events based on complexity and the characteristic theorical information that they show (Dembski, Design Inference, 36-37, esp. 37)
(9) To be a truth seeker, the question to ask oneself about the origin of life is not “what materialistic model is more adequate?” but “what triggered the emergence of life on Earth?” Clearly, a possible answer to this last question could be: “life was designed by an intelligent agent that existed before the advent of humans”
After these 9 quotes of the assay, in Veterinaria Digital we can conclude that this neocreationist hypothesis doesn’t either give a concrete solution to the origin of life, which moves the cause to an intelligent agent previous to the advent of humans.
Some questions are immediately formulated:
(1) Did this intelligent agent synthesize the necessary chemical elements? Or did it assemble them?
(2) If it synthesyzed them, where, how, why and what for?
(3) This intelligent agent was a living organism in the sense that we know life?
(4) If it was a living agent, what had its origin been? And what has its destiny been?
We do not find answers to these questions in the neocreacionist hypothesis because the basic questions are only transfered to another place and time.
It is adequate to consider that being the cause random, the chemical elements reactivity (by their own or through the intervention of an intelligent agent), in the end every biological process needs to have a material holder and it will be successful or not depending on its adaptation to the current environmental conditions.
The life systems that have reached us are the successful ones though we can not insure that all life forms have been successful. Anyway, successful and non successful forms must have had a material base and in their building (intelligent or not) basic rules including natural selection must have been fulfilled.