Friday, 26 June 2015

RNA World Theory Is Wrong, New Research Suggests

Image courtesy of staff. Blausen gallery 2014. Wikiversity Journal of Medicine, Creative Commons.

Joel Kontinen

Naturalistic theories of the origin and early evolution of life share a common feature: they don’t work.

A recent article in New Scientist acknowledges:

Life has a chicken-and-egg problem: enzymes are needed to make nucleic acids – the genetic material – but to build them you need the genetic information contained in nucleic acids. So most researchers assume that the earliest life, long before the evolution of cells, consisted of RNA molecules. These contain genetic information but can also fold into complex shapes, so could serve as enzymes to help make more RNA in their own image – enabling Darwinian evolution on a molecular level.”

This does not address the mystery (in the naturalistic /materialistic view) of the origin of genetic information. As we know, information always requires a sender. And intelligent information requires an intelligent sender.

Evolution has never been good at predicting the past, and when it comes to the RNA world, it fares no better. Loren Williams, a biochemist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, thinks that it involves a scenario that does not work.

New Scientist sums up the replacement view:

“It was thought that life originated solely with self-replicating RNA – the ‘RNA world’. But new evidence suggests RNA co-evolved with proteins from the very beginning.”

Almost correct, but it’s a bit more complicated and one would need to weed out the surviving Darwinese. There’s no evidence that RNA or proteins evolved. They were part and parcel of the original living entity.


Holmes, Bob. 2015. Why 'RNA world' theory on origin of life may be wrong after all. New Scientist 3027, 10. (24 June) (accessing the article requires registration/subscription).