Thursday, 6 March 2014
Bad News for the RNA World: It Doesn’t Produce Life from Non-Life
A recent article in The Scientist discusses the difficulty of getting life from non-life:
“Scientists believe that ribonucleic acid played a key role in the origin of life on Earth, but the versatile molecule isn’t the whole story.”
The problem is that life does not magically emerge from lifeless matter:
“ ‘The odds of suddenly having a self-replicating RNA pop out of a prebiotic soup are vanishingly low,’ says evolutionary biochemist Niles Lehman of Portland State University in Oregon.”
While the RNA world is an attractive hypothesis, “a long-standing weakness of the RNA-world hypothesis has been the inability to spontaneously generate the molecule’s component nucleotides from the basic ingredients presumed to be available on the prebiotic Earth.”
That’s precisely the problem. Life needs intelligence and lifeless matter is not intelligent. Life requires an intelligent source. Blind Darwinian mechanisms are unable to give rise to living beings.
Akst, Jef. 2014. RNA World 2.0. The Scientist (March 1).