Thursday, 31 December 2009
Super-intelligent molecules or old speculations of the origin of life?
Michelangelo: The Creation of Adam. Image courtesy of Wikipedia. In the Darwinian scenario, there is no need of the Creator since super-intelligent molecules are assumed to be capable of creating life.
”Four billion years ago, a number of molecules organised themselves in water, the true cradle of life. Here they formed chemical groups capable of generating true copies of themselves (self-reproduction). As a result of minor errors of assembly, more effective groups appeared and became dominant species (evolution).”
This is how Andre Brack, who is a biophysicist, outlines the origin of life in Unesco’s newsletter A World of Science. The scenario is neither credible nor possible but it is nonetheless a typical example of Darwinian storytelling.
Charles Darwin assumed that life began in a warm little pond. Brack repeats an old tradition that fails to take into account the complexity of the cell.
By using the ”just add water” strategy one might be able to make chicken noodle soup, provided one has all the necessary ingredients but producing a living cell is a much more complicated achievement. Brack’s super-intelligent molecules would easily become honorary members of Mensa.
Michael Behe, Professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University, has a much more realistic view of the cell as Brack: The cell is full of molecular machines and it could not have come about by Darwinian mechanisms.
Brack, Andre. 2009. Are we alone? A World of Science 7 (1), 4.