June 6, 2020 | David F. Coppedge

Paid Liars: Origin of Life Researchers

What else do you call pseudo-scientists who know what they try to do is impossible, but tell the public they’re getting warmer?

OK, guys, clear out. Time’s up. Stop the nonsense. Pack up and go home. Get a real job.

Mazur interviews all the leading lights in the materialist origin-of-life field.

This is what people should say. This is what the public should tell the clowns who pretend they are figuring out how life evolved by chance. This is the polite way they should say it. More fitting would be to call them paid liars and deceivers. More effective would be to tell the governments and foundations who pay the clowns to stop wasting money on pseudoscience, because we are not going to stand for it any longer. Stop pretending this is about science. We’re onto you; this is a charade performed on a scientific facade, set up for the purpose of preaching materialist philosophy.

Too harsh? No; too mild! What makes it so egregious is that Big Science has outlawed debate on the subject, and mandated that only the Origin-of-Life Circus can be seen by impressionable students. The public should be outraged. No matter how contrary to known laws of science, no matter how mystical to the uninitiated, no matter how many more decades of failure must take place, the Big Charade is the only legal game in town. The powers behind Big Science have forbidden any discussion of how life originated except for those that appeal to natural causes. This arbitrary rule, called “methodological naturalism,” is really a sneaky form of philosophical materialism, because it rules out intelligence. Every complex system that exists, for which we know its origin, has been caused by intelligence. But science Big Science (B.S.) doesn’t think intelligence is a ‘natural’ cause, and so they forbid it being discussed.

This arbitrary setup is doomed to failure, because everyone knows that the simplest conceivable living cell or “replicator” is beyond the reach of chance – and chance is the only thing in the materialists’ toolkit. They know they cannot cheat by inserting natural selection before replication. But it wouldn’t matter anyway, because natural selection is chance—the Stuff Happens Law—with a fancy name. Materialistic origin-of-life (OOL) research is chance all the way down.

If the Shoe Fits

“Paid liars” is a strong accusation. It must be shown with strong evidence. Well, here are two lines of evidence: (1) The OOL clowns in white lab coats know the laws of chemistry and the laws of thermodynamics from their PhD training. They are most certainly aware of the laws of probability. Unless they grew up in a sound-proof booth, they also know the criticisms of origin-of-life theories based on probability. In honest moments they will even admit it. So ignorance is no excuse; they know that there is not a chance in multiple universes of succeeding in their work, but they do it anyway. Honest scientists would quit a hopeless venture before starting. (2) Their ‘scientific papers’ score exceedingly high on the perhapsimaybecouldness index, way beyond the red line of pseudoscience.

So OOL work is pseudoscience masquerading as science. Oh, but the practitioners know so much chemistry! They can explain chemical reactions! They work in science laboratories! That’s all irrelevant fluff intended to deceive people into thinking they are too smart to be criticized. Don’t fall for the bluffing. Anything that happens contrary to chance is due to investigator interference, which is intelligent design. If they really obeyed the rule of methodological naturalism, they would take their hands off the lab apparatus, stop controlling the conditions, stop using purified ingredients, and just watch passively while nature takes its course. Anything they do to try to “speed up” reactions, or set the initial conditions, or concentrate products artificially toward a desired narrative, is cheating.

When a group of people take money to say that impossible things “could” happen, what are they? Paid liars. Now, let’s watch their tactics of deception.

Liars in Action

Did life emerge in the ‘primordial soup’ via DNA or RNA? Maybe both (Phys.org). The question in the headline teases with the power of suggestion and the either-or fallacy. The rest is all imagineering: “life could have begun with both” and “DNA and RNA could have spontaneously formed” and “these nucleic acids could have been first used to make to proteins” and “These underpinning discoveries in the life sciences could enable exciting future strategies” (emphasis added).

It is the first demonstration that reasonable amounts of a genetic alphabet made up of four building blocks, two for RNA and two for DNA—potentially sufficient to have encoded early life, which was far less complex than life today—may have been available on the primordial Earth.

This is complete balderdash, and John Sutherland, one of the pretty boys in the OOL circus, knows it. He also knows that the RNA World hypothesis is horribly fraught with improbabilities, and knows that his eminent OOL rival Steve Benner calls it a “baseless fantasy.” He knows that “encoded” information requires intelligence, because if it’s chance, it’s not a code! He gets paid to lie.

Professor John Sutherland from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, who led the work, says: “The RNA world hypothesis suggests that life began with RNA, before a genetic takeover occurred involving primitive biosynthetic machinery and natural selection to result in DNA.”

Benner is aghast at the idea of a “genetic takeover” – how is that supposed to happen? Sutherland makes it sound like DNA wants to take over a job on purpose. Chemically, that is absurd. Sutherland’s paper in Nature is not about facts but “notions” – where “notion” is defined as “a vague or imperfect conception or idea of something… a fanciful or foolish idea; whim.” Notions belong in fabric stores, not science labs.

The nature of the first genetic polymer is the subject of major debate. Although the ‘RNA world’ theory suggests that RNA was the first replicable information carrier of the prebiotic era—that is, prior to the dawn of life—other evidence implies that life may have started with a heterogeneous nucleic acid genetic system that included both RNA and DNA…. These results support the notion that purine deoxyribonucleosides and pyrimidine ribonucleosides may have coexisted before the emergence of life.

This is all fluff using “could” words, the power of suggestion, and myths like “genetic takeover.” That’s just not going to happen. Sutherland knows better, but takes the cash anyway. Paid lies. The atheist media, like New Scientist, regurgitates the lies uncritically for public consumption: “First life on Earth may actually have been built from both RNA and DNA.” Actually, NOT!

Study Reveals Continuous Pathway to Building Blocks of Life (Institute for Advanced Study). When you have a choice between sense and folly, and you rule out sense, what are you left with? Methodological naturalism. Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, the decades-long haunt of master notion-builder Freeman Dyson, who despite his high intelligence, imagined things like black plants growing on airless moons and “Dyson Spheres” around alien planets built (by design) by intelligent aliens, now supports more OOL lies.

While many of the mechanisms that propagate life are well understood, the transition from a prebiotic Earth to the era of biology remains shrouded in mystery. Previous experiments have demonstrated that simple organic compounds can be produced from the reactions of chemicals understood to exist in the primitive Earth environment. However, many of these experiments relied on coordinated experimenter interventions. This study goes further by employing a model that is minimally manipulated to most accurately simulate a natural environment.

(That mystical word “prebiotic” – hypnotizing the unwary with the power of suggestion – is like calling a stone “pre-architectural.”) The critical audience is hopeful that the snake-oil presenter is really going to get rid of investigator interference. They will be disappointed.

To conduct this work, the team exposed a mixture of very simple small molecules—common table salt, ammonia, phosphate, and hydrogen cyanide—to a high energy gamma radiation source. These conditions simulate radioactive environments made possible by naturally occurring radioactive minerals, which were likely much more prevalent on early Earth. The team also allowed the reactions to intermittently dry out, simulating evaporation in shallow puddles and beaches. These experiments returned a variety of compounds that may have been important for the origins of life, including precursors to amino acids and other small compounds known to be useful for producing RNA.

There is investigator interference at every stage in this “continuous reaction network.” The ingredients were chosen by the experimenter. The radiation source and its energy level were chosen. The wetting and drying was simulated by design (and notice; by restricting the scene to “shallow puddles and beaches,” they vastly reduce the probabilistic resources for chance to succeed). They get some “precursor” molecules that “may have been important” for OOL – no amino acids, no nucleotides, no RNA. It’s light-years from life. It’s just imaginary notions, all held together by faith in the power of luck. Totally bogus. They invoke the notion of “precursor molecules” as their building blocks of lie.

Their paper in PNAS uses the word “may” 20 times, “possible” 10 times, “potential” 5 times, “could” 4 times, “likely” 3 times, with other guess-words tossed in throughout. These words depend heavily on worldview: how does one know that something “may” happen, without actually watching it happen without help? Do they actually calculate the probability of anything in their scenario actually occurring? No. They only say it “may” happen because it had to happen in materialistic philosophy. But what if materialistic philosophy is false?

Did they get anywhere near a living cell by chance? Far, far from it! They got “small compounds” that were a bit less “simple” than salt (NaCl), Ammonia (NH3), phosphate (PO4), and poisonous hydrogen cyanide (HCN). How close to life is that? The Japanese got sucked into funding these lies.

OOL thrives on Hope, Hype, and DOPE.

Folks, it’s time to get angry at these charlatans. Ever since Darwin’s notion of a ‘warm little pond’ 150 years ago, these OOL Fools have been on a wild goose chase looking for ways that life “may have” evolved by chance. They are much farther away now than they were then, because biochemistry and molecular biology have enormously amplified the complexity of the simplest living cells. The liars know better. OOL media is propaganda for materialist philosophy, because as Richard Lewontin famously admitted, “We cannot allow a Divine foot in the door.”

Exercise: Now that you have seen how to dismantle the bluffing claims in OOL papers, try it yourself on these articles. Don’t be intimidated. It’s easy. Start by counting the “could” words like may, might, perhaps, suggests, could, possibly, conceivably, potentially, and others. Look for imaginary ‘notions’ that depend on prior belief in materialism. Look for storytelling without demonstration. Look for teasers, the power of suggestion, and other propaganda tactics that slip assumptions of naturalism into the mind subliminally.

When rocks lay the groundwork for the origin of life (University of Strasbourg, via Phys.org).

Origin of life: A Darwinian machine for non-living objects (Phys.org).

Is life a gamble? Scientist models universe to find out (Live Science).

Dynamics and stability in prebiotic information integration: an RNA World model from first principles (Scientific Reports).

Recommended Resources:

Origin: Documentary by Illustra Media

First Life: free video clip by Illustra Media

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