March 19, 2021 | David F. Coppedge

OOLers Have Abandoned Reason

Why are we here? Stuff happens, origin-of-life researchers agree. It might have been lightning.

They may work with test tubes and bunsen burners, but it’s hard to call origin-of-life researchers “scientists.” The goal of science should be more than playing with lab tinker toys and writing down one’s speculations in scientific papers. It should be about approaching a realistic understanding of the world with rigorous, testable procedures based on observation. This requires logic. It requires debate between alternative hypotheses. It requires humility and integrity. Origin-of-life work has none of these qualities, especially recently. It is off the rails.


Lightning Might Have Sparked Early Life on Earth (The Scientist). OOLers at the University of Leeds needed a building block for their myth: phosphorus. This element is essential for life, but is hard to get on earth. No phosphorus, no DNA or RNA. Earlier speculators thought phosphorus came from meteorites. The U Leeds storytellers now think it came from lightning strikes, which may have synthesized a mineral called schreibersite which contains active phosphorus and is water soluble. Schreibersite is found in trace amounts in fulgurites that form when lightning hits the ground. It would be “nice” if phosphorus got to earth this way, wouldn’t it? No special delivery required!

Although it’s difficult to say if meteorites or lightning supplied phosphorus for life on Earth, the study identifies a potential source of the element for other planets.

“It’s really nice . . . to be able to say there’s more than one path to generating phosphorous that could be available to a planet that might be able to develop life,” Hilairy Hartnett, an astrobiologist at Arizona State University who was not part of the study, tells NPR.

Could… might… Hey, wait, didn’t the headline say that lighting might have sparked the origin of life? Phosphorus is not alive. It’s an inert chemical element. But it “might” have served as a “building block” to support life, just like a pebble might have served as a building block of concrete for a skyscraper emerging by chance out of the ground. This irrational, illogical proposition was immediately echoed around the internet on the Smithsonian, the Times of Israel, CNN, and by millions of gullible webmasters.

Lightning strikes played vital role in origins of life on Earth (University of Leeds). Here was the original press release that started the internet echos. They took advantage of an undergrad, Benjamin Hess, to indoctrinate him into the ways of the wizards. This requires a prior allegiance to King Charles.

Mr Hess, now a PhD student at Yale University, Connecticut, USA, said: “Many have suggested that life on Earth originated in shallow surface waters, following Darwin’s famous “warm little pond” concept….

Dr Jason Harvey, Associate Professor of Geochemistry, and Sandra Piazolo, Professor of Structural Geology and Tectonics, both in the School of Earth and Environment, mentored Mr Hess in the research project.

Hess didn’t know what hit him. He never heard any alternative worldviews. He was indoctrinated into the Stuff Happens Law, and next thing you know, he is measuring phosphorus in fulgurites, dreaming of life emerging from a warm little pond like a good little Darwin cultist. He is well on the way to becoming an expert in the building blocks of lie.

Origin of life: lightning strikes may have provided missing ingredient for Earth’s first organisms (The Conversation). The perpetrators of the myth speak on The Conversation, which is not a conversation but a soap box for materialists. Like magicians, these Leeds performers set the stage for an impossible trick that they intend to solve with the power of imagination.

The origin of life on Earth is one of the most complex puzzles facing scientists. It involves not only identifying the numerous chemical reactions that must take place to create a replicating organism, but also finding realistic sources for the ingredients needed for each of the reactions.

Mr. Hess earns his D-Merit Badge after waving the magic wand of chance to pull off the trick, using the power of emergence.

Based on the best of our knowledge of early Earth, lightning probably provided as much reactive phosphorus as meteorites did around the time of the origin of life, approximately 3.5 billion years ago. Therefore, lightning strikes, along with meteorite impacts, very likely provided the phosphorus needed for the emergence of life on Earth.

Dumb and Dumber

Photosynthesis could be as old as life itself ( One of the most complex processes in all of life—photosynthesis—is relegated to a product of chance in this piece. Follow the reasoning, staying alert for non-sequiturs, Tontological sentence structure, a high perhapsimaybecouldness index and other fallacies, with ample Darwin Flubber thrown in.

Researchers find that the earliest bacteria had the tools to perform a crucial step in photosynthesis, changing how we think life evolved on Earth.

The finding also challenges expectations for how life might have evolved on other planets. The evolution of photosynthesis that produces oxygen is thought to be the key factor in the eventual emergence of complex life. This was thought to take several billion years to evolve, but if in fact the earliest life could do it, then other planets may have evolved complex life much earlier than previously thought.

Death enables complexity in chemical evolution ( Spiegelman’s Monster haunts origin-of-life labs. This monster is the idea that as replicators evolve, they get simpler, not more complex. OOLers need to fight this monster. Here’s a weapon they found on the floor: chance. It might just help natural selection (the Stuff Happens Law) beat the monster.

Simple systems can reproduce faster than complex ones. So, how can the complexity of life have arisen from simple chemical beginnings? Starting with a simple system of self-replicating fibers, chemists at the University of Groningen have discovered that upon introducing a molecule that attacks the replicators, the more complex structures have an advantage. This system shows the way forward in elucidating how life can originate from lifeless matter.

They’re not out of the monster cave yet, but now they know the way forward: introduce a molecule that kills the very replicators they need for their mythoids. Notice one little difficulty: there is no replicator that has “emerged” under plausible early-earth conditions in the lab.

SFU lab one step closer to understanding how life started on Earth (Simon Fraser University). The fOOLs at SFU need to understand that (1) RNA polymerase is a highly complex molecule that works on DNA transcription that is exceedingly improbable to form by chance, and (2) the RNA World hypothesis is dead. The intelligently-designed ribozyme they created in the lab, therefore, has no relevance to their “understanding how life started” on Earth. If you think of a trail of a quintillion steps, one step is not really closer. It will never get you there, especially if the step is backwards. “Laboratory evolution,” as Science calls it, is intelligent design, not chance emergence. So why is commentator Di Jiang not laughing?


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