Posted by: Paul Chiariello | January 31, 2011

The ‘Improbability’ of Life? The Actual Science Behind Abiogenesis

This post is for those that believe abiogenesis – life evolving from non-life – is a matter of probability.

I have taken a number of evolutionary anthropology and biology classes, but  I am not a physical scientist at all, my training is in social science.  So I have put together some really great videos and papers to make some points for me that I feel people in general are completely unaware of concerning the subject.

Whether or not God ‘guided’ evolution in the broad sense (i.e. natural selection, mutation, abiogenesis, stellar evolution, etc) or not doesn’t matter here.  What is important is that if you are going to argue ‘abiogenesis’ did not happen at all, know what abiogenesis even is.

I absolutely have no patience any more when talking to people that say that “the cell could never have come together by chance” or “the probability of DNA coming together is like a plane being put together by a tornado in a junkyard.”  These comments have nothing to do with abiogenesis.  Instead it has to do with chemical, thermal, mechanical and other observable forces that we can test in nature and the lab.

No one, except those arguing against it, believe that DNA or cells or anything like that just popped into existence from a couple dozen random chemicals colliding.

———-

This first video on abiogenesis is the best (in terms of graphics, depth and simplicity of explanations).  You can look at the authors profile on his youtube.com page.  But for those that are a little lazy, he is a peer reviewed professor in the field.  All of the following videos are based on the research of peer reviewed, lab-tested actual science, i.e. not a mathematicians take on the probability of this or that coming together.  If you want to skip ahead, at minute 2:45 he actually gets into the science part after an introduction, though I think the intro is really good myself.

If you are interested you can see his other videos on…….

There are also others in his Origins Series.  But I shall be moving on.

This is another youtube video by another peer reviewed career scientist.  He is a Christian, but shares my distaste for other Christians who criticize evolution without knowing what they are talking about and then simply makes Christians in general look stupid.  He discusses some of the research in the first video above and also goes briefly into clay catalysts.  “Crystals” and abiogenesis were mentioned in passing and then brushed off as silly and superstitious in Ben Stein’s Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed without being explained in any sense (like everything else in the mocumentary).

For those that like to read here is a good comprehensive article on a number of aspects concerning abiogenesis.  It goes briefly into crystal catalysts starting on p23, a theory I am particularly interested in.

Enjoy and I hope everyone learned a little something.  Please make sure to comment below!!

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Responses

  1. I 100% agree with the thrust of your post here. I see this quite often in the Creation vs. Evolution debate . . . one side critisising the other while not really understanding in a basic sense what the other has to offer.

    As a Cristian I try and maintain a completely open mind although as you would probably agree, that is a pretty impossible thing.

    I appreciate the video references, but would much rather have links to written resources as written resources seem more thought out . . . usually.

    • I am unsure what to make of your response as I clearly have a link in the post titled ‘a good comprehensive article’.

      Also, the first video references the research of a Nobel Winning Scientist. His name is in the video’s title.

      Also, I am sorry, but I have personally been a creationist for many more years than not. After taking several college courses in evo bio I have come to the conclusion that my previous beliefs in this ‘scientific theory’ were wrong.

      Creationism, fortunately or unfortunately, has simply nothing to offer – similar to astrology, alchemy and phrenology. This is not a biased ‘truth’. It is possible that it could be simply wrong and it happens to turn out that it is. All ideas are not equal and some have nothing at all to ‘offer’. This has even been proven in a US court of law (look up the Dover Trial).

      I advise using your ‘completely open mind’ to search through the actual science on the matter, friend.


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