December 29, 2005 | David F. Coppedge

Astronomers See Poison Around Star, Think Life

The Spitzer Space Telescope discovered acetylene and hydrogen cyanide, two deadly gases, around a star.  Some astronomers got all excited and thought of the birth of life.  The title of a press release from Jet Propulsion Laboratory read, “Partial ingredients for DNA and protein found around star.”  The two carbon-containing substances were found in the dust disk of star IRS 46 in Ophiucus by the Spitzer infrared instrument.    This was the only one of 100 similar stars that contained the signature of these molecules in its surrounding disk.  The press release explained the significance:

Here on Earth, the molecules are believed to have arrived billions of years ago, possibly via comets or comet dust that rained down from the sky.  Acetylene and hydrogen cyanide link up together in the presence of water to form some of the chemical units of life’s most essential compounds, DNA and protein.  These chemical units are several of the 20 amino acids that make up protein and one of the four chemical bases that make up DNA.
    “If you add hydrogen cyanide, acetylene and water together in a test tube and give them an appropriate surface on which to be concentrated and react, you’ll get a slew of organic compounds including amino acids and a DNA purine base called adenine,” said Dr. Geoffrey Blake of Caltech, a co-author of the paper.  “And now, we can detect these same molecules in the planet zone of a star hundreds of light-years away.”
  (Emphasis added in all quotes.)

The implication is that this star might be in the beginning stages of a chemical evolution process, assumed to be similar to what they believe led to life on earth.  Another team member explained, “This infant system might look a lot like ours did billions of years ago, before life arose on Earth.”

Evolutionists and astrobiologists like to call anyone who questions their views “people of faith.”  You have just seen one of their stories use the words believed, thought to be, possibly and might.  OK students, what are the observations?  100 stars with dust disks, and only one with two poisonous substances in their spectra.  Another observation is that these substances, if mixed on earth in a test tube by intelligent chemists, who have provided an appropriate surface in the presence of water, at the right temperature and concentration, will form some amino acids and one purine that is part of one DNA base.  Does the word life jump out of these observations?  If not, where is your faith?
    Consider the need for water.  That constrains the boundary conditions to a small fraction of possible temperatures and pressures.  Consider the need for a surface.  That constrains the boundary conditions to the crust of a terrestrial planet.  So let’s be really generous and give these evolutionists a watery terrestrial planet.  Let’s say that a few molecules of acetylene and hydrogen cyanide (the simplest nitrile, just HCN) form naturally or survive crash landing from a comet.  So what?
    To begin to even think of imagining of starting to commence to conceive of hoping that something remotely resembling life is in the works, a lot more than two poisons with simple molecular structures is going to be required.  Like ribose.  Like phosphate.  Like a way to link the adenine, phosphate and ribose together to get a nucleotide.  Like a way to get different nucleotides to link together into polynucleotides.  Like a way to isolate amino acids into a mixture all of one hand.  Like a way to get the one-handed amino acids to link up into a polypeptide.  Like a way for the polynucleotides and polypeptides to interact in functional ways.  Like a membrane.  Like metabolism.  Like an information storage and retrieval system.  Like a stable solvent.  Like protection from radiation damage.  These are just the beginnings of gigantic high hurdles that teensy weensy simple molecules need to learn how, without guidance, to overcome.
    It is a shame for scientists to hide this logic and scientific information from uninformed readers of press releases, many of whom don’t even know how to spell DNA.  It is a disgrace to wildly and recklessly extrapolate one’s speculation far beyond what the data permit.  It is a crime to propagandize the public by taking rather dull, mediocre data and making it sexier by throwing in the “L” word life.  Don’t be suckered by the people of frothy faith.  Get real.  Get Creation-Evolution Headlines.

Categories: Dumb Ideas, Origin of Life

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