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The following are quotes added to my Unclassified Quotes database in December 2007.
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5/12/2007 "evolution (1) Microevolution: changes in appearance of populations and species over generations. (2) Macroevolution or phyletic evolution: origins and EXTINCTIONS of species and grades (see SPECIATION). Microevolution includes changes in mean and modal phenotype, morph ratios, etc. such as occur within populations from one generation to the next. When statistically significant changes in such variables (or the genes responsible for them) occur with time, a population may be said to evolve. Evidence suggests that African elephant populations subjected to intense poaching are evolving a tusk-less condition, and that intensively fished cod populations are evolving life cycles with earlier breeding. The case of INDUSTRIAL MELANISM in the peppered moth is well documented. Macroevolution includes large-scale phyletic change over geological time (e.g. successive origins of crossopterygian fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals), as well as extinctions of taxa within such groups. It is usually accepted that causes of evolutionary change include NATURAL SELECTION and GENETIC DRIFT, and that macroevolutionary change can be explained by the same factors that bring about microevolution. Evolution by natural selection is often regarded as 'short-sighted': intermediates cannot be explained by arguing that the end result is advantageous, so PREADAPTATION Or COOPTION are often invoked. Debate has recently centred upon the rate of evolutionary change. Some biologists accept that evolution largely occurs by gradual ANAGENESIS; others stress the role of CLADOGENESIS and take the view that species persist unchanged for considerable periods of time, and that relatively rapid speciation events punctuate the fossil record (punctuated equilibrium). Darwin considered both to be possibilities. At the molecular level, controversy centres on the respective influences in evolution of random alternations ID genetic material (the neutralist view) and of selective changes (the selectionist view). See MOLECULAR CLOCK. Opposed to evolutionary explanations of the composition of the Earth's fauna and flora is the group of views termed 'SPECIAL CREATIONISM', which holds that there are no bonds of genetic relationship between species, past or present. See ORIGIN OF LIFE. Although Anaximander (6th. cen. BC), Empedocles (5th. cen. BC) and Aristotle (4th. cen. BC) all held evolutionary views of some kind, they depended more on a priorism than on observation and testable theory. LAMARCK is often considered the most influential evolutionary thi prior to Charles DARWIN and Alfred WALLACE but nt from th eirs. They themselves drew apart on the question of human origins and the role of sexual selection. Evidence for common descent and the fact of evolution comes principally from molecular biology (See DNA HYBRIDIZATION, ELECTROPHORESIS, GENETIC CODE, MOLECULAR CLOCK), comparative biochemistry, comparative morphology (e.g. anatomy and embryology), geographical distributions of organisms and FOSSIL records. The modern theory of evolution (NEO-DARWINISM) derives largely from the kind of genetical knowledge which Darwin lacked, principally the occurrence of Mendelian segregation, which helps explain how variations can be maintained in populations. Evidence for microevolution and Darwinian natural selection (amounting to his 'special theory of evolution') stems largely from population genetics (e.g. See INDUSTRIAL MELANISM), although Darwin himself drew heavily on the analogy of ARTIFICIAL SELECTION. See NATURAL SELECTION." (Thain, M. & Hickman, M., "The Penguin Dictionary of Biology," , Penguin Books: London, Tenth Edition, 2000, pp.228-229. Emphasis original) 5/12/2007 "In 1953, few if any were troubled by the tension between the new insights of Crick and Watson [Watson, J.D. & Crick, F.H., "Molecular structure of Nucleic Acids," Nature, Vol. 171, 1953, pp.737-738] on the one hand and Miller's [Miller, S.L., "A Production of Amino Acids Under Possible Primitive Earth Conditions," Science, Vol. 117, pp.528-529] results on the other. ... In the decades since Miller's and Crick and Watson's reports, however, there have been indications that all is not well in the halls of biology. We have gained a far deeper appreciation of the extremely complex macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids. The enlarged understanding of these complexities has precipitated new suggestions that the DNA mechanism may be more complex and the molecular organization more intricate and information-filled than was previously thought. The impressive complexities of proteins, nucleic acids, and other biological molecules are presently developed in nature only in living things. Unless it is assumed such complexity has always been present in an infinitely old universe, there must have been a time in the past when life appeared de novo out of lifeless, inert matter. How can the mere interaction of simple chemicals in the primordial ocean have produced life as it is presently understood? That is the question. The signs do not bode well for the standard answers given, and some investigators are suggesting that our two approaches will not converge." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.2) 5/12/2007 "The Demise of the Role of Chance By 1966 a major change in scientific thought was underway. In Philadelphia a symposium was held to highlight these changes. [Moorhead, P.S. & Kaplan, M.M., eds., "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution," Wistar Institute: Philadelphia PA, 1967] It was there that signs of an impending crisis first emerged. Symposium participants came together to discuss the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution. One conclusion, expressed in the words of Murray Eden of MIT, was the need "to relegate the notion of randomness to a minor and non-crucial role" [Eden, M., "Heresy in the Halls of Biology," Scientific Research, November 1967, p.59] in our theories of origins. This conclusion was based on probability theory, which shows mathematically the odds against the chance formation of the highly complex molecular structure required for life. With the help of high-speed computers, programs could be run which simulated the billions-of-years' process based on the neo-Darwinian model of evolution. The results showed that the complexity of the biochemical world could not have originated by chance even within a time span of ten billion years. Eden's conclusion was a reasonable if unsettling one." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.2-3. Emphasis original) 5/12/2007 "Other symposium participants voiced similar views about chance or randomness. V.F. Weisskopf noted, `There is some suspicion that an essential point [about our theories of origins] is still missing.' [Weisskopf, V.F., in Moorhead, P.S. & Kaplan, M.M., eds., "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution," Wistar Institute: Philadelphia PA, 1967, p.100.] Eden suggested `new laws' as the missing piece in the puzzle of life's origin. [Eden, M., ibid, p.109.] In his opening remarks as chairman, Nobel Prize-winning biologist Sir Peter Medawar said, `There is a pretty wide spread sense of dissatisfaction about what has come to be thought of as the accepted evolutionary theory in the English-speaking world, the so-called neo-Darwinian theory.' [Medawar, P, ibid, p.xi] It was Marcel Schutzenberger of the University of Paris, however, who intimated the true extent of the developing crisis when he expressed his belief that the problem of origins `cannot be bridged within the current conception of biology'. [ Schutzenberger, M.P., ibid, p.73.] (Emphasis added). These comments reflect the impotence of chance or randomness a a creative mechanism for life's origin. " (Thaxton C.B.*, Bradley W.L.* & Olsen R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories, Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, 1992, p.3) 5/12/2007 "Biochemical Predestination Because of the increasing disillusionment with the role of chance, a shift took place in the late Sixties and the Seventies to the view that life was somehow the inevitable outcome of nature's laws at work over vast spans of time. Terms such as `directed chance' and `biochemical predestination' have entered the scientific literature to mean that life was somehow the result of the inherent properties of matter. The abundant use of these terms marks a shift in thinking. Many feel that bonding properties of atoms had a significant role the origin of the complex molecular structures of life. Others, including M. Polanyi, however, have suggested that if atomic bond properties accounted for the actual structure of DNA, including distribution of bases, `then such a DNA molecule would have no information content. Its codelike character would be effaced an overwhelming redundancy.' [Polanyi, M., "Life's irreducible structure," Science, Vol. 160, 1968, pp.1308-1312] So the mystery behind life's origin continues in spite of the undaunted confidence of some that a solution is near." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.4. Emphasis original) 5/12/2007 "The strength of physical science lies in its ability to explain phenomena as well as make predictions based on observable, repeatable. Science is particularly weak in examining unique, nonrepeatable events. Commenting on this inherent limitation of science, Nature magazine noted: `Those who work on the origin of life must necessarily make bricks without very much straw, which goes a long way to explain why this field of study is so often regarded with deep suspicion. Speculation is bound to be rife, and it has also frequently been wild. Some attempts to account for the origin of life on the Earth, however ingenious, have shared much with imaginative literature and little with theoretical inference of the kind which can be confronted with observational evidence of some kind or another.' ["What Future for Biogenesis?," Nature, Vol. 216, 1967, p.635]" (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.6-7. Emphasis original) 5/12/2007 "The study of chemical evolution is strikingly similar to forensic science. Consistent with the uniformitarian view that life arose through processes still going on, numerous investigators have reported on laboratory observations and experiments which they offer as circumstantial evidence for the naturalistic origin of life. Though the conditions of the early earth are assumed to have been different from today's conditions, the processes are assumed to have been the same. According to this uniformitarian thinking, if we can reproduce in our laboratories today conditions as they were in the remote past, we should expect to obtain the kinds of changes that occurred then. This is the basis of prebiotic simulation experiments reported in chemical evolution literature. `Implicit in this [uniformitarian] assumption is the requirement that no supernatural agency 'entered nature' at the time of the origin, was crucial to it, and then withdrew from history.' [Kenyon, D.H. & Steinman, G., "Biochemical Predestination," McGraw-Hill: New York, 1969, p.30]. (Actually all that is required for this assumption is that no intelligent-purposive-interruption or manipulation of the workings of natural forces ever occurred at the time of life's origin or since.)" (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.7-8. Emphasis original) 5/12/2007 "Furthermore, the source of our initial assumptions is of little import. It is perfectly legitimate to derive our ideas about what conditions might have been like on the early earth from backward inference from present conditions, intuition, or even from a religious holy book. The scientific criterion is whether this speculative scenario fits the data available and is plausible. Here some clarification is in order. In the familiar Popper 22 [Popper, K., "Conjectures and Refutations," Harper: New York, 1963] sense of what science is, a theory is deemed scientific it can be checked or tested by experiment against observable, repeatable phenomena. On this basis, relativity theory, atomic theory, quantum theory, germ theory-all have been judged scientific. Since all these theories of science deal with various facets of the operation of the universe, let us call them operation theories of science. Our point of clarification notes the difference between operation theories and origin theories, such as theories about the origin of life. Although the various speculative origin scenarios may be tested against data collected in laboratory experiments, these models cannot be tested against the actual event in question, i.e., the origin. Such scenarios, then, must ever remain speculation, not knowledge. There is simply no way to know whether the results from these experiments tell anything about the way life itself originated. In a strict sense, these speculative reconstructions are not falsifiable; they may only be judged plausible or implausible. In fact, as with the speculative scenarios used in a courtroom, failure to render a scenario implausible lends support to its plausibility. its credibility, and enhances the possibility that the reconstruction has genuine explanatory value and is true." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.8. Emphasis original) 5/12/2007 "It is our opinion that modern chemical evolution theories of the origin of life are in a state of crisis. The reader will be in a better position to appreciate why we say this after having read the book. But be forewarned! If we are even partially correct, some notable changes are in store for chemical evolution theories. And if we are proven substantially correct, well..." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.8) 6/12/2007 "It was the work of Louis Pasteur, however, which sounded the death knell of the theory of heterogenesis [life's arising from dead organic matter]. He showed that air contains many microorganisms which can collect and multiply in water, giving the illusion of spontaneous generation. In 1864, Pasteur announced his results before the science faculty at the Sorbonne in Paris with the words `Never will the doctrine of spontaneous generation recover from the mortal blow of this simple experiment.' The Emergence of Abiogenesis But the sound of Pasteur's words had not yet stilled before some rcognized that, if taken to its conclusion, Darwin's work required an even more difficult and remarkable form of spontaneous generation-abiogenesis. Even Darwin himself speculated in this regard. In 1871 he wrote in a letter: `It is often said that all the conditions for the first production of a living organism are now present which could ever have been present. But if (and oh! what a big if!) we could conceive in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity, etc. present, that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes, at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed.' [Darwin, C.R., Letter to J.D. Hooker, 1 February, 1871, in Darwin, F., ed., `The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin,' (1898), Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. II, Reprinted, 1959, pp.202-203]." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.12. Emphasis original) 6/12/2007 "The Modern Theory of Chemical Evolution The foundational suggestions of Oparin, Haldane, Bernal, and Urey have since been elaborated into what we shall call the modern theory of chemical evolution. This theory came to predominate the thinking of scientists in the latter half of this century. A well-established central core has become the basis for many variations as the theory has developed. In outline form, the general scheme is quite simple. It envisions that the atmosphere of the early earth contained such gases as hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and nitrogen, but no free oxygen. While this atmosphere would be quite toxic to us, its reducing quality was hospitable to organic molecules. This atmosphere is the first of five stages ... of chemical evolution ... " (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.14-15. Emphasis original) 6/12/2007 "Sometime close to 3.5 billion years ago, the earth's surface had cooled to under 100°C. This allowed for the survival of various organic molecules that would have degraded in higher temperatures. Various forms of energy bathed the primitive earth. These energy sources-lightning, geothermal heat, shock waves, ultraviolet light from the sun, and others-drove reactions in the atmosphere and ocean to form a wide variety of simple organic molecules. In the upper zones of this primitive atmosphere there would have been little, if any, free oxygen with which ultraviolet light could interact to produce an ozone layer such as presently protects all living things from lethal doses of ultraviolet. Instead, ultraviolet would irradiate the reducing atmosphere to form amino acids, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, and many other compounds. At lower altitudes these same organic compounds would result from the energy in electrical storms and thunder shock waves. Synthesis would be occasioned at the earth's surface by wind blowing gases of the reduced atmosphere over hot lava flows near the sea. The simple compounds formed in the atmosphere were washed down by rain into the oceans. Here they gathered with the products of ocean reactions as abundant organic material began to accumulate. Further reactions inevitably took place in this reservoir, and eventually the precursor chemicals reached the consistency of a `hot dilute soup.' This is the second stage ..." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.15-16) 6/12/2007 "Innumerable smaller bodies of water provided a mechanism whereby the soup could be "thickened." In shallow pools, lakes, and shoreline lagoons, alternate flooding by the soup and evaporating of it resulted in a gradual concentration of organic chemicals. Further concentration occurred by adsorption of organic compounds on sinking clay particles in primordial water basins. The catalytic effect of these clays promoted polymerization on a wide scale. Polypeptides and polynucleotides were among the macromolecules produced. This is stage three ..." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.16) 6/12/2007 "The conditions were now right for the development of protocells, stage four .... Protocells were not true cells, but were coherent systems with a retaining membrane and sufficient functional capacity to survive an interim period. Over this period of time, their internal complexity increased. Polypeptides with suitable specificity to become enzymes developed. Additional characteristics of living cells emerged. When the nucleic acids-life's hereditary molecules-became sufficiently developed, they took control of these processes. Finally, life itself gained its critical first foothold, stage five ..." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.16) 6/12/2007 "The theory maintains that natural processes alone operated to form life on this planet. No mysterious, divine, or vital forces had a part. As Cyril Ponnamperuma put it, `...life is only a special and complicated property of matter, and... au fond [basically] there is no difference between a living organism and lifeless matter... ' [Ponnamperuma, C., "Chemical Evolution and the Origin of Life," Nature, Vol. 201, 1964, p.337] " (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.16) 6/12/2007 "The neo-Darwinian view is mechanistic in nature. It has seen extrinsic forces bringing the increasing order as a result of their chance operation upon the chemical compounds involved. The materialistic view, on the other hand, is the view that matter's intrinsic properties are somehow responsible for its own increasing complexity. Life is seen as the inevitable result of the outworking of these intrinsic properties. This new gradually gained ascendancy in the Seventies. Whether called "biochemical predestination" or some other name, it came to enjoy new prestige in the theoretical shift ..." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.16-17. Emphasis original) 6/12/2007 "Various forms of energy bathed the primitive earth. These energy sources-lightning, geothermal heat, shock waves, ultraviolet light from the sun, and others-drove reactions in the atmosphere and ocean to form a wide variety of simple organic molecules. In the upper zones of this primitive atmosphere there would have been little, if any, free oxygen with which ultraviolet light could interact to produce an ozone layer such as presently protects all living things from lethal doses of ultraviolet. Instead, ultraviolet would irradiate the reducing atmosphere to form amino acids, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, and many other compounds. (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.14-15. Emphasis original) 6/12/2007 "The doctrine of uniformitarianism It is universally assumed by everyone working in the field that the details of physical and chemical laws have remained essentially the same from the epoch of origin down to the present day; that is, regularities in the observable behavior of natural phenomena discovered in the last several hundred years are presumed to have been operable throughout the history of the universe, or at least throughout the history of the Earth, and throughout the extent of the universe at any one time. This assumption is necessary if the formulation of the origin of life problem as an essentially historical problem is to have any meaning. If our problem is to find out as much as possible about those physical and chemical processes occurring on the primitive Earth which were directly involved in the origin of life, then we must assume that it is possible to duplicate, at least to some extent, those processes in the laboratory. Implicit in this assumption is the requirement that no supernatural agency "entered nature" at the time of the origin, was crucial to it, and then withdrew from history. Direct evidence bearing on this doctrine is very hard to come by." (Kenyon, D.H. & Steinman, G., "Biochemical Predestination," McGraw-Hill: New York NY, 1969, p.30 Emphasis original) 6/12/2007 "Probable events versus rare events It must be assumed that the origin of life on the primitive Earth involved a series of relatively probable chemical and physical events and did not crucially depend on the chance occurrence of very rare events. Special, very rare, or miraculous events may actually have been crucially involved, but if they were, we cannot hope to reproduce them in the laboratory. The above assumption is required if the problem is to be subject to investigation by the scientific method. It is sometimes argued in speculative papers on the origin of life that highly improbable events (such as the spontaneous formation of a molecule of DNA and a molecule of DNA-polymerase in the same region of space at the same time) become virtually inevitable over the vast stretches of geological time. No serious quantitative arguments, however, are given in support of such conclusions. One of the major themes of this book will be the degree to which nonrandom, highly constrained chemical processes were probably involved in the origin of life. It will be argued that not only is any hypothesis based on the chance occurrence of rare events not subject to experimental test, but also that such hypotheses are contrary to most of the available evidence." (Kenyon, D.H. & Steinman, G., "Biochemical Predestination," McGraw-Hill: New York NY, 1969, p.31. Emphasis original) 6/12/2007 "How to Run a Prebiotic Simulation Experiment For example, we could run our simulation experiment simply trying to reproduce early earth conditions in a huge enclosed vat containing the suspected chemicals. The experiment would be conducted by passing various energy sources through a mixture of simple gases, liquid water, sand, clay, and other minerals, and just letting it go. Then at various times a portion could be withdrawn for analysis and the progress charted. Such a procedure-a `Synthesis in the Whole'-has on occasion been suggested. There are criticisms of this approach, however. First, if it truly simulated early earth conditions and processes, we should not expect any meaningful results within laboratory time. Millions of years of simulation might be required for any detectable progress. Second, this method would obscure the complex chemical interactions sought for observation by allowing literally thousands of different reactions to go on simultaneously. This points out the need for a method of partitioning or isolating the various chemical reactions. Only through such partitioning can we gain clues as to the mechanisms involved in the production of life. So we would predicably learn nothing of consequence from a `Synthesis in the Whole' approach." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.18-19. Emphasis original) 6/12/2007 "What we need is some technique which allows us to single out individual reaction processes in our simulated `prebiotic soup' and thus follow their progress. Such an approach would allow us to say something meaningful about the mechanism that might have been involved in the pathway to life, and also about the validity of the proposed scheme itself. In addition, for a laboratory simulation experiment to be of practical value, some technique must be used to overcome the factor millions of years of time. Somehow we must speed up the process so that, like time-lapse photography, we are able to effectively compress the happenings of a long time span into manageable laboratory time, yet without distortion. In fact it is widely accepted today that a technique is available for simulating the extended time factor and for charting the progress of individual chemical reactions. The technique consists of carefully selecting and purifying chemicals conceived to have been the probable precursors of life and subjecting them in mixture to geologically plausible conditions of heat, light, temperature, concentration, pH, etc. All experiment is said to be geochemically plausible when the conditions used reproduce to a substantial degree the conditions alleged for the primitive earth. These experiments are deemed successful if biologically significant molecules or their precursors are found among the products. [Kenyon, D.H. & Steinman, G., "Biochemical Predestination," McGraw-Hill: New York, p.284]. In this way, an initial experiment can be run to produce amino acids Then after isolating, purifying, and concentrating them, the next stage can be simulated, reacting the amino acids together to form polymers. After a similar process of isolating, purifying, and concentrating these polypeptides, the next stage could be simulated in a third experiment to see what is produced. By following this procedure, products such as polysaccharides, lipids, polynucleotides, and protocells might all conceivably result. In time it is hoped that through the right experimental conditions inappropriate prebiotic simulation techniques, a living entity will be produced. Such an accomplishment, it is widely regarded, would lend a great deal of support to the view that life occurred on this planet by natural means. In this chapter we will give a representative review of the kind of simulation experiments at the monomer stage that have been done, and their results." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.19-20. Emphasis original) 6/12/2007 "According to the original Oparin-Haldane hypothesis from which arose the modern chemical soup theory of origins, ultraviolet light from the sun bathed the prebiotic earth. Together with other sources of energy (e.g., lightning, thunder shock waves, tidal forces, volcanic heat) it would have been sufficient to drive reactions forward. Simple gaseous molecules of the primitive atmosphere would react to form intermediates and biomonomers. This would be accomplished through the direct absorption of energy. Energy is seen as the means by which molecules can be organized into more complex arrangements, according to the theory. But energy alone may not be sufficient to increase the complexity or organization of a system. A bull in a china shop does release a great deal of energy, but the effects are mostly destructive. In fact it can be plausibly argued that the energy effects on the early earth would have been very much like the proverbial bull in a china shop. This predominately destructive feature of unbridled solar energy is the first of the several areas of difficulty for the chemical soup theory of life's origin." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.43) 6/12/2007 "Based on the foregoing geochemical assessment, we conclude that both in the atmosphere and in the various water basins of the primitive earth, many destructive interactions would have so vastly diminished, if not altogether consumed, essential precursor chemicals, that chemical evolution rates would have been negligible. The soup would have been- too dilute for direct polymerization to occur. Even local ponds for concentrating soup ingredients would have met with the same problem. Furthermore, no geological evidence indicates an organic soup, even a small organic pond, ever existed on this planet. It is becoming clear that however life began on earth, the usually conceived notion that life emerged from an oceanic soup of organic chemicals is a most implausible hypothesis. We may therefore with fairness call this scenario `the myth of the prebiotic soup.'" (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.66) 6/12/2007 "Three relevant questions have been considered ... First, we considered the time available for chemical evolution. It was determined on the basis of evidence from molecular fossils and microfossils that the origin of life occurred almost instantaneously (geologically speaking), just after the earth's crust cooled and stabilized about 4.0 billion years ago. This leaves little more than 100 million years (if that) for any chemical evolution to occur. Second the early atmosphere of the earth was examined and found not to be the strongly reducing atmosphere popularized for the past thirty years. Instead, the consensus of scientists about the early atmosphere is shifting. At the time of this writing, there is wide agreement in adopting a more neutral primitive atmosphere consisting of CO2, N2, H2O, and perhaps 1% H2. There is a current controversy concerning whether the early earth and its atmosphere might actually have been oxidizing. Third, we examined the important question of the oxygen content of the early earth. ... The accumulating evidence for an oxygenic early earth and atmosphere heightens the mystery of life's origin. If this type of evidence continues to accumulate, chemical evolution theories may have to appeal to the random occurrence of fluctuating or localized reducing environments on the primitive earth. Such microenvironments could have been present (as shown by reduced minerals), but were they suitable or maintained long enough for the formation of life? The odds of finding such a suitable niche on the primitive earth or a sufficient length of time are extremely small." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.93-94) 6/12/2007 "Traps All prebiotic heat, electrical discharge, and ultraviolet light (including photosensitization) experiments use traps. Traps allow for greater yields of product from equilibrium reactions in which dissolution would otherwise far outweigh synthesis ... Traps function by continually removing the small fraction of product formed by the reactions. As products are removed from the zone of their formation, additional reaction is continuously required to reestablish equilibrium. In this way, reactions can be productively prolonged until one of the reactants is finally consumed. ... Like the practice of concentrating chemical reactants, this technique is a legitimate means of collapsing time to manageable amounts. This removal process also shields the products from subsequent destruction by the energy source which produced them. However, Carl Sagan has aptly commented on this shielding effect in the experiments: `The problem we're discussing is a very general one. We use energy sources to make organic molecules. It is found that the same energy sources can destroy these organic molecules. The organic chemist has an understandable preference for removing the reaction products from the energy source before they are destroyed. But when we talk of the origin of life, I think we should not neglect the fact that degradation occurs as well as synthesis, and that the course of reaction may be different if the products are not preferentially removed. In reconstructing the origin of life, we have to imagine reasonable scenarios which somehow avoid this difficulty. (Emphasis added.)' [Sagan, C., in Fox, S.W., ed., "The Origins of Prebiological Systems and of Their Molecular Matrices," Academic Press: New York, 1965, pp.195-196]" (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.102-103. Emphasis original) 6/12/2007 "The Concerto Effect Laboratory simulation experiments are usually carried out by employing one of various energy sources in isolation. This is a legitimate procedure since what is sought is the relative effect of each energy source. It is true, too, that the total effect is merely the sum of the effects of isolated energy sources. What often gets ignored, however, is that not only are the synthetic effects summed, but the destructive effects also. ... these energy sources act together or in concert in the natural situation, both in synthesis and destruction of organic compounds. One energy source destroys what another source produces. Destruction predominates! Protection from energy sources is not the only concern. Many laboratory experiments use carefully selected, highly purified, and often concentrated reactants in solutions isolated from other constituents of the soup mixture. ... if a chemical reaction occurs slowly in dilute solution (viz., the primitive ocean), it will occur much more rapidly in concentrated solution (viz., the investigator's flask). In this way, investigators seek to compress into manageable laboratory time chemical reactions that normally would have taken millions of years. ... even if natural concentrating mechanisms were not effective on the early earth." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.104. Emphasis original) 6/12/2007 "Isolated Reactants Practically all simulated ocean experiments reported in the scientific literature have been based on the assumption that if two or three chemicals react when isolated from the soup mixture, they will also react in the same way in the presence of diverse chemicals in the soup. ... In spite of the fact that the procedure of isolating reactants is almost universally used and assumed to be valid, for all practical purposes, this assumption is false in the general case. It is false because it overlooks the synergism of multiple reactions, the Concerto Effect. A mixture has a characteristic behavior of its own; it is not the simple sum of its individual components. All components in a mixture have definite affinities for reacting with each other. Consequently, soup mixture reactions do not equal the sum of the individual isolated reactions. ...substance A might react with substance B when isolated from substances C, D, and E. When all these substances are mixed together, however, competing reactions can be envisioned which assure that virtually no product accumulates from the reaction . between A and B. Also, the reaction between A and B may begin as it would in isolation, only to be interrupted at some later step. Simulation experiments have thus produced some products which conceivably would never occur in the primitive soup." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.104-105. Emphasis original) 6/12/2007 "Geochemical plausibility scale for evaluating prebiotic simulation experiments. Experimental techniques (conditions) are arranged according to the degree of investigator interference. At some point along the scale investigator involvement reaches a threshold, beyond which investigator interference is illegitimate. ... Continuing up the scale, we come to spark and shock wave experiments, each used in isolation from other energy sources. We rank these experiments more implausible than those whose success is dependent on higher concentration of chemicals, because no conceivable natural means for isolating energy sources is known. Use of both heat and selected wavelengths of UV light is more implausible still. Not only is there the lack of means for isolating them from other energy sources, but greater doubt arises about their geochemical plausibility. It may be argued that using energy in spark experiments several orders of magnitude greater than could have existed on the early earth merely `speeds up' the process. No comparable argument applies for heat. For example, increasing temperature to 1000°C not only accelerates reaction rates, but destroys organic products. In the case of ultraviolet light, there is no natural filter known that would justify use of selected wavelengths (i.e., < 2000 Å) of light while excluding the longer wavelengths more destructive to some essential organic compounds. Finally, to indicate greatest geochemical implausibility, we put experiments using selected chemicals, isolated from other soup ingredients, at the top of the scale. It is difficult to tell whether use of selected wavelengths of UV is more plausible than the use of isolated chemicals. In any case, we believe both are very implausible conditions." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.106-107) 6/12/2007 "Determining Acceptable Investigator Involvement When does experimenter interference become illegitimate? As basic as this question is to the discussion of simulation experiments, it is very seldom mentioned as a problem. ... Since all experiments are performed by an experimenter, they must involve investigator intervention. Yet experiments must be disqualified as prebiotic simulations when a certain class of investigator influence is crucial to their success. This is seen by analogy to the generally held requirement that no outside or supernatural agency was allowed to enter nature at the time of life's origin, was crucial to it, and then withdrew from history. [Kenyon, D.H. & Steinman, G., "Biochemical Predestination," McGraw-Hill: New York, 1969, p.30] We can apply this principle through a careful extension of the analogy. In the preparation of a prebiotic simulation experiment, the investigator creates the setting, supplies the aqueous medium, the energy, the chemicals, and establishes the boundary conditions. This activity produces the general background conditions for the experiment, and while it is crucial to the success of the experiment, it is quite legitimate because it simulates plausible early earth conditions. The interference of the investigator becomes crucial in an illegitimate sense, however wherever laboratory conditions are not warranted by analogy to reliably plausible features of the early earth itself. Thus the illegitimate intervention of the investigator is directly proportional to the geochemical implausibility of the condition arising from experimental design and/or the investigator's procedure, the illegitimate interference being greatest when such plausibility is missing altogether. With this in mind, it seems reasonable to suggest that permissible interference by the investigator would include developing plausible design features of the experiment, adjusting the initial reaction mixture, beginning the input of free energy to drive the reaction at the outset, and performing whatever minimal disturbance to the system is necessary to withdraw portions of the reaction products at various stages for analysis. Usually, in laboratory experiments, an experimenter employs a host of manipulative interventions in an effort to guide natural processes down specific nonrandom chemical pathways. In other words it is the character of the constraint that determines the result. In some chemical syntheses, for example, it may be necessary to combine reactants in a particular order, or vary the rates of addition in order to control temperature, to adjust pH at a crucial color change, to remove products of reaction after ten minutes instead of twenty minutes, etc., etc. Such manipulations are the hallmark of intelligent, exogenous interference and should not be employed in any prebiotic experiment. The arrangement of experimental techniques (conditions) ... represents a scale or continuum of investigator interference. At some point on the scale, a degree of implausibility is reached where the experiment can no longer be considered acceptable. Beyond that point, there is no analogy between the techniques and reliably plausible prebiotic conditions. The experimenter who deviates from plausible conditions is like an actor who has forgotten his lines and begins to ad-lib. Such techniques constitute illegitimate interference, and cannot be given the same status as those lying within the threshold of acceptability." (Thaxton, C.B., Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.108-109. Emphasis original) 6/12/2007 "Summarizing the above discussion it is our view that for each of the experimental techniques (conditions) listed as being above the line of crucial but acceptable interference, the investigator has played a highly significant but illegitimate role in experimental success. Brooks and Shaw have commented on this after a review of abiotic experiments: `These experiments ...claim abiotic synthesis for what has in fact been produced and designed by highly intelligent and very much biotic man.' [Brooks, J. & Shaw, G., "Origin and Development of Living Systems," Academic Press: New York, 1973, p.212] In other words, for each of the unacceptable experimental techniques, the investigator has established experimental constraints, imposing intelligent influence upon a supposedly `prebiotic earth.' Where this informative intervention of the investigator is ignored, the illusion of prebiotic simulation is fostered. This unfortunate state of affairs will continue until the community of origin-of-life researchers agree on criteria for experiment acceptability. If the techniques representing investigator interference are to be afforded the status of valid simulation, the burden must remain with the investigators to demonstrate their plausibility. This is nothing more than the demand of good science." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.110) 7/12/2007 "Special Creation by a Creator Beyond the Cosmos In agreement with views of abiogenesis, and the foregoing view of Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, Special Creation by a Creator beyond the cosmos holds there was once a time in the past when matter was in a simple arrangement, inert and lifeless. Then at a later time matter was in the state of biological specificity sufficient for bearing and sustaining life. Special Creation (whether from within the cosmos or beyond it) differs from abiogenesis in holding that the source which produced life was intelligent. Throughout history, many writers have attempted to describe the work of the Creator. What they all seem to hold in common is the idea that an intelligent Creator informed inert matter by shaping it as a potter fashions clay. Some representations are quite anthropomorphic, others less so. But there is considerable agreement that somehow an active intellect produced life." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.200) 7/12/2007 "In 1967 J.D. Bernal, a leading developer of the chemical evolution scenario, issued a challenge to divine creationists. He said: `Now that we are embarking on a serious scientific discussion on the origin of life, it is time ...we were furnished with a more precise, complete and self-consistent account of the spiritual or divine origin of life than any that have been produced as an alternative to the mechanistic one. Such an argument, ...should provide us with a clearer path to further scientific advance, even if it does not reach the end [Bernal, J.D., "The Origin of Life," Weidenfeld & Nicholson: London, 1967, p.141] (Emphasis added.)' We do not believe there has been any significant response to Bernal's challenge that would `provide us with a clearer path to further scientific advance.' In fact, what follows should be viewed as only introductory to that end." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.200) 7/12/2007 "(1) Creation involves the supernatural. It is common knowledge that the claim that an active intellect informed nature has been on uneasy terms with the mainstream of science. To anyone trained in, science, the reason is no mystery. It involves the supernatural. The objection is expressed well by the recognized science writer, J.W.N. Sullivan. ... He showed the concern most scientists have in considering a theistic explanation of the origin of life. Sullivan said (in 1933, but still cogent today): `The beginning of the evolutionary process raises a question which is as yet unanswerable. What was the origin of life on this planet? Until fairly recent times there was a pretty general belief in the occurrence of "spontaneous generation." ...But careful experiments, notably those of Pasteur, showed that this conclusion was due to imperfect observation, and it became an accepted doctrine that life never arises except from life. So far as actual evidence goes, this is still the only possible conclusion. But since it is a conclusion that seems to lead back to some supernatural creative act, it is a conclusion that scientific men find very difficult of acceptance. [Sullivan, J.W.N., "The Limitations of Science," , Mentor: New York, Eleventh printing, 1963, p.94] (Emphasis added.)" (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.201) 7/12/2007 "So it is the supernatural that concerns many scientists. But what is it about the supernatural that troubles them? Why is creation difficult to accept? (2) Creation entails discontinuity. A major concern of many scientists is that to allow supernatural involvement is to introduce discontinuity into science. Continuing to quote Sullivan: `It carries with it what are felt to be, in the present mental climate, undesirable philosophic implications, and it is opposed to the scientific desire for continuity. It introduces an unaccountable break in the chain of causation, and therefore cannot be admitted as part of science unless it is quite impossible to reject it. For that reason most scientific men prefer to believe that life arose, in accordance with the laws of physics and chemistry.' [Ibid., p.94.] (Emphasis added.) Here is the vision of nature as a seamless web of causal connections, an idea dominant in science for more than 250 years. As Einstein wrote, `The scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation.' [Einstein, A., in Jastrow, R., "God and the Astronomers," W.W. Norton & Co: New York, 1978, p.113] And, of course, creation would be a discontinuity. Hans Gaffron also expressed this concern in his address to the Darwin Centennial Celebration in 1959. Regarding chemical evolution Gaffron said: `[it] is a nice theory, but no shred of evidence, no single fact whatever, forces us to believe it. What exists is only the scientist's wish not to admit a discontinuity in nature and not to assume a creative act forever beyond comprehension.' [Gaffron, H., in Tax, S., ed., "Evolution After Darwin," University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Vol. 1, 1960, p.45] (Emphasis added.) Notice, however, that in the above quotations of Sullivan, Einstein, and Gaffron there is only a desire, sense, preference, and wish that nature be continuous. This is important to understand because the wish went unfulfilled. The great quantum revolution has banished the notion of continuity as a necessity in science. According to de Broglie, one of the pioneers of the new physics, `on the day when quanta, surreptitiously were introduced the vast and grandiose edifice of classical physics found itself shaken to its very foundation.' [de Broglie, L., "The Revolution in Physics," Noonday Press: New York, 1953, p.14] In addition advances in astronomy, as chronicled by Robert Jastrow, [Jastrow, R., "Jastrow, "God and the Astronomers," W.W. Norton & Co: New York, 1978] have made it clear there was also a discontinuity at the beginning of the world. In fact there seems to be no good reason to suppose an original discontinuity would undermine a scientific understanding of the functioning of the world. For science in this sense is not concerned with the origin but with the operation of the world. It is clear from these developments in science that discontinuity is not the whole reason that creation is difficult for many scientists to accept." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.201-202. Emphasis original) 7/12/2007 "Operation Science and the God Hypothesis It is widely appreciated that from its beginning modern science has been concerned with finding and describing orderly pattern in the recurring events of nature. To do this a well-defined method is used. Data are gathered through observation and experimentation. As data are gathered, theories are proposed to explain the behavior or operation of the phenomena investigated. ... Notice, however, that this approach to testing theories only works if there is some pattern of recurring events against which theories can be checked and falsified if they are false. Through repeated observation attention is focused on a class of events, each of which is similar. The equations describing the behavior of the class would be applicable to any of its individual members. ... Such theories are operation theories. That is, they refer to the ongoing operation of the universe. We shall call the domain of operation theories operation science for these theories are concerned with the recurring phenomena of nature. Examples of operation science include the recurring motion of planets about the sun, the swinging of a pendulum, the parabolic trajectory of a cannonball, a single cell turning by stages into a fully formed organism, the recurrent cubic structure of table salt crystallizing out of water solution and the migration of a Monarch butterfly. These and many other phenomena have been accounted for in the language of operation science. Because of its familiarity and long, successful history, it is surely what most people think of when they think about science." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.203. Emphasis original) 7/12/2007 "Origin Science On the other hand an understanding of the universe includes some singular events, such as origins. Unlike the recurrent operation of the universe, origins cannot be repeated for experimental test. The beginning of life, for example, just won't repeat itself so we can test our theories. In the customary language of science, theories of origins (origin science) cannot be falsified by empirical test if they are false, as can theories of operation science. How then are origins investigated? The method of approach is appropriately modified to deal with unrepeatable singular events. The investigation of origins may be compared to sleuthing an unwitnessed murder ... Such scenarios of reconstruction may be deemed plausible or implausible. Hypotheses of origin science, however, are not empirically testable or falsifiable since the datum needed for experimental test (namely, the origin) is unavailable. In contrast to operation science where the focus is on a class of many events, origin science is concerned with a particular event, i.e., a class of one. ... Pasteur's falsification of spontaneous generation was possible only because it was said to recur in the domain of operation science. Appropriate testing against nature falsified the notion of spontaneous generation. The best we can ever hope to achieve with wrong ideas about origins is to render them implausible. By the nature of the case, true falsification is out of the question." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.204. Emphasis original) 7/12/2007 "In spite of this fundamental difference between origin science and operation science, there is today very little recognition of it, and an almost universal convention of excluding the divine from origin science as well as from operation science. This has occurred without any careful prior analysis of the problem to see if the exclusion is valid in the case of origin science. It seems to have been merely assumed. An example of this exclusion by assumption instead of valid argument comes from this statement by Orgel: `Any "living" system must come into existence either as a consequence of a long evolutionary process or a miracle.... Since, as scientists, we must not postulate miracles we must suppose that the appearance of "life" is necessarily preceded by a period of evolution.' [Orgel, L.E., "The Origins of Life," John Wiley & Sons: New York, 1973, p. 192] We agree with Orgel that miracles must not be posited for operation science. We disagree with Orgel however, and others, when it is merely assumed that the exclusion of the divine from origin science is valid. This has not been demonstrated." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.204-205. Emphasis original) 7/12/2007 "There are significant and far-ranging consequences in the failure to perceive the legitimate distinction between origin science and operation science. Without the distinction we inevitably lump origin and operation questions together as if answers to both are sought in the same manner and can be equally known. Then, following the accepted practice of omitting appeals to divine action in recurrent nature, we extend it to origin questions too. The blurring of these two categories partially explains the widely held view that a divine origin of life must not be admitted into the scientific discussion, lest it undermine the motive to inquire and thus imperil the scientific enterprise. This is what Preston Cloud meant when he noted, `The most serious threat of creationism is that, if successful, it would stifle inquiry.' [Cloud, P., 1978, in Lightner, J.P., ed., in "A Compendium of Information of the Theory of Evolution and the Evolution-Creationism Controversy," National Association of Biology Teachers: Reston VA, p. 83.] One can also see the same concern echoed by Stansfield: `...the creationist can easily explain any phenomenon by simply saying "God did it." This approach, though it may be perfectly correct in an absolute sense, does not foster further inquiry and is therefore intellectually emasculated.' [Stansfield, W., "The Science of Evolution," MacMillan: New York, 1977, p.10]" (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.205) 7/12/2007 "The perception of a threat to scientific inquiry and the possible end of science are legitimate concerns. But we question whether the God-hypothesis in origin science would necessarily have this disastrous effect. Just a little reflection on the history of science brings out the irony in the current state of affairs. For there is a rather impressive reason to doubt that science (i.e., operation science) would suffer much by positing Special Creation by a Creator beyond the cosmos. On the contrary, it turns out that this very idea of creation played a significant role in the origin of modern science. Speaking with one voice on this point are such diverse authors as Alfred N. Whitehead [Whitehead, A.N., "Science and the Modern World," , Free Press: New York, 1967], Melvin Calvin, [Calvin, M., "Chemical Evolution," Oxford University Press: New York, 1969, p. 258], Michael B. Foster, [Foster, M.B, "The Christian Doctrine of Creation and the Rise of Modern Natural Science," Mind, Vol. 43, 1934, pp.446-468], R. Hooykaas,[Hooykaas, R., "Religion and the Rise of Modern Science," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 1972], Loren Eiseley [Eiseley, L.C., "Darwin's Century: Evolution and the Men Who Discovered It," Doubleday Anchor: Garden City: NY, 1961, p.62], C.F. von Weizsacker [von Weizsacker, C.F., "The Relevance of Physics," Harper & Row: New York, 1964, p.163], Stanley Jaki [Jaki, S., "Science and Creation," Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh, 1974], J. Robert Oppenheimer [Oppenheimer, J.R., "On Science and Culture," Encounter, Vol. 19, No. 4, October 1962, pp.3-10] and Langdon Gilkey [ Gilkey, L., "Maker of Heaven and Earth," Doubleday Anchor: Garden City NY, 1959, pp. 9, 125, 129ff]. For example, Eiseley said the birth of modern science was due to. `The sheer act of faith that the universe possessed order and could be interpreted by rational minds.... The philosophy of experimental science...began its discoveries and made use of its method in the faith, not the knowledge, that it was dealing with a rational universe controlled by a Creator who did not act upon whim nor interfere with the forces He had set in operation. The experimental method succeeded beyond man s wildest dreams but the faith that brought it into being owes something to the Christian conception of the nature of God. It is surely one of the curious paradoxes of history that science, which professionally has little to do with faith, owes its origins to an act of faith that the universe can be rationally interpreted, and that science today is sustained by that assumption [Eiseley, L., "Darwin's Century: Evolution and the Men Who Discovered It," Doubleday Anchor: Garden City NY, 1961, p.62] (Emphasis added.). ... It would be quite ironic if the very idea of creation which provided much of the energy and impetus to launch modern natural science (and did so without noticeable lethargy) should lead to the demise of this same science. In our view, as long as one acknowledges and abides by the above distinction between origin science and operation science, there is no necessary reason that Special Creation would have the disastrous effects predicted for it." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.205-206. Emphasis original) 7/12/2007 "Why then is Special Creation so summarily dismissed by nearly all writers, especially since it is typically listed as a theoretical alternative for the origin of life? Our analysis suggests that failure to properly distinguish origin science and operation science has led many to dismiss creation. Also we believe another factor is involved, and is worthy of discussing in some detail. To be sure, the matter of discontinuity, and the possible demise of science discussed above are part of the reason. But we should not ignore our own humanness. and the role of metaphysical thinking in the origin of life question. Hilde Hein, in her book On the Nature and Origin of Life, says that `a metaphysical position...makes a claim about reality which is somehow prior to or more fundamental than our scientific or common-sense observations.' [Hein, H., "On the Nature and Origin of Life", New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971, p.93]. How we happen to come by these metaphysical positions is of no concern to us here. However, as Hein continues, `once it is adopted, it will shape, rather than be shaped by, our scientific and common-sense observations. This is to say that, on the whole our metaphysical commitment has priority over our scientific and commonsense beliefs such that, if challenged, they will yield to it rather than the reverse.' [Ibid., p.93]" (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.206-207) 7/12/2007 "It might appear that if metaphysical views have such control over us, the best approach would be simply to look at reality straight-on without any metaphysical lens at all. This, however, is not an option that is open to us. The grand old days of positivism, when people actually thought this possible, are over. Scientific developments earlier in this century, particularly in the area of relativity and quantum physics, have shown presuppositionless science to be a myth. The powerful writings of Polanyi [Polanyi, M., "Personal Knowledge," Harper & Row: New York, 1958], Popper [Popper, K., "The Logic of Scientific Discovery," Basic Books: New York, 1959 & "Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge," Basic Books: New York, 1962], Kuhn [Kuhn, T.S., "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," University of Chicago Press: Chicago, Second edition, 1970], Toulmin [Toulmin, S., "Foresight and Understanding," Harper Torchbook: New York, 1963], and others have strictly shown that because of the role of the observer (e.g., actually disturbing the object during the act of observing) it is difficult for objective reality to be objectively known." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.206-207) 7/12/2007 "Old myths die hard, however. Although news of these advances in science and philosophy earlier in the century are filtering through society, their effect in some quarters is minimal and there are dangerous consequences as a result. As David Bohm has written: `It seems clear that everybody has got some kind of metaphysics, even if he thinks he hasn't got any. Indeed, the practical "hard-headed" individual who "only goes by what he sees" generally has a very dangerous kind of metaphysics, i.e., the kind of which he is unaware.... Such metaphysics is dangerous because, in it, assumptions and inferences are being mistaken for directly observed facts, with the result that they are effectively riveted in an almost unchangeable way into the structure of thought.' [Bohm, D., "Some Remarks on the Notion of Order," in Waddington, C.H., ed., "Towards a Theoretical Biology," 2, Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh UK, 1969, p.41] Bohm then adds some practical advice: `One of the best ways of a person becoming aware of his own tacit metaphysical assumptions is to be confronted by several other kinds. His first reaction is often of violent disturbance, as views that are very dear are questioned or thrown to the ground. Nevertheless, if he will "stay with it," rather than escape into anger and unjustified rejection of contrary ideas, he will discover that this disturbance is very beneficial. For now he becomes aware of the assumptive character of a great many previously unquestioned features of his own thinking.' [Ibid, p.42]." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.207-208) 7/12/2007 "We believe Bohm is quite right. It is in the interest of science to have the metaphysical assumptions out on the table. Just what are the fundamental metaphysical alternatives in the question of the origin of life? Historically, they have been called theism and naturalism. For simplicity, we will note that theism affirms a fundamental distinction between the Creator and the creature, while naturalism denies this absolute distinction and defines all of reality in terms of what theists see as some aspect of the created world. The origin perspective of metaphysical naturalism is spontaneous generation (abiogenesis), and of theism it is Special Creation. It follows from what Bohm has said that a great deal of practical self-awareness of our individual views would probably emerge if we allowed ourselves to be confronted with both theism and naturalism in the area of origins. Very often the debate between theism and naturalism is cast as a conflict between religion (i.e., the supernatural) and science- However, as Ian Barbour has pointed out this is a mistake. It is `a conflict between two metaphysical interpretations of the nature of reality and the significance of human life.' [Barbour, I.G., in "Science Ponders Religion," Appleton-Century Crofts: New York, p.200]" (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.208) 7/12/2007 "Metaphysical Commitment vs. Unreason If metaphysical positions have such a controlling influence as Hein has indicated, this raises a practical question. In the face of contradictory evidence, when is one to be praised for metaphysical Commitments and chided for unreasonable faith? The answer one gives to this question depends in large measure on the metaphysical stance already adopted. To illustrate, consider George Wald's discussion of how biologists responded after Pasteur's refutation of spontaneous generation. Says Wald: `We tell this story [of Pasteur's experiments] to beginning students of biology as though it represents a triumph of reason over mysticism. In fact it is very nearly the opposite. The reasonable view was to believe in spontaneous generation; the only alternative, to believe in a single, primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third position.' [Wald, G., "The Origin of Life", in Folsome, C.E., ed., "Life: Origin and Evolution," Readings from Scientific American, W.H. Freeman: San Francisco CA, 1979, p.47]. Wald is saying that there are times when it is clearly unreasonable to follow the evidence where it leads. When? Those times when following the evidence would lead one to the supernatural. This is an example of metaphysical commitment to naturalism in the face of contradictory evidence." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.208-209. Emphasis original) 7/12/2007 "Clair E. Folsome [Folsome, C.E., "Introduction," in Folsome, C.E., ed., "Life: Origin and Evolution," Readings from Scientific American, W.H. Freeman: San Francisco CA, 1979, pp.2-4] represents another example of commitment to metaphysical naturalism in spite of contradictory evidence. Folsome critiqued the abiogenesis that Wald had upheld. Folsome pointed out the extreme dilution of the primitive soup, the scarcity of organic nitrogen in the early sediments, and the grave deficiencies in the concentration mechanism proposed for the primitive water basins. He then noted: `Every time we examine the specifics of the theories presented by Oparin and Bernal, current information seems to contradict them.' [Ibid., p.3] Does Folsome then entertain doubt as to the plausibility of the Oparin-Bernal hypothesis? No. This also is apparently a time when it would be unreasonable to follow the evidence where it leads. Instead, Folsome expresses his commitment, `yet, in the main, they were right [in postulating that some sort of chemical evolution had occurred]...their models were wrong, but the central theme they pursued seems even more right now than before.' [Ibid., p.3] (Emphasis added.)" (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.208. Emphasis original) 7/12/2007 "Special Creation and the Evidence Special Creation by a Creator beyond the cosmos envisions a prepared earth with oxidizing conditions, an earth ready to receive life. It is suggestive then that there has been accumulating evidence for an oxidizing early earth and atmosphere. If the early earth were really oxidizing it would not only support creation, it would also be difficult to even imagine chemical evolution. Similarly, the short time interval (< 170 my) between earth's cooling and the earliest evidence of life supports the notion of creation. And, of course, if life were really created it would account for there being so little nitrogen in Precambrian sediments (there never was a prebiotic soup). In addition, Special Creation accords well with the observed boundary between what has been done in the laboratory by abiotic means and what has been done only through interference by the experimenter. If an intelligent Creator produced the first life, then it may well be true that this observed boundary in the laboratory is real, and will persist independent of experimental progress or new discoveries about natural processes. Also an intelligent Creator could conceivably accomplish the quite considerable configurational entropy work necessary to build informational macromolecules and construct true cells. As Fong has said: `the question of the ultimate source of information is not trivial. In fact it is the basic and central philosophical and theoretical problem. The essence of the theory of Divine Creation is that the ultimate source of information has a separate, independent existence beyond and before the material system, this being the main point of the Johannine Prologue.' [Fong, P., in Locker, A., ed., "Biogenesis, Evolution, Homeostasis," Springer-Verlag: New York, 1973, p. 93]" (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.209-210. Emphasis original) 7/12/2007 "It is doubtful that any would deny that an intelligent Creator could conceivably prepare earth with oxidizing conditions and create life. And, of course, the data discussed above are consistent (and compatible} with this view of Special Creation. What we would like to know, of course, is whether an intelligent Creator did create life. The question, unfortunately, is beyond the power of science to answer. Another question which can be answered, however, is whether such a view as Special Creation is plausible." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.210. Emphasis original) 7/12/2007 "Plausibility and Creation On several occasions we have indicated that hypotheses of origin science may be evaluated in terms of their plausibility, but falsification, the language of operation science, will not apply. How then does one determine whether an origin science scenario is plausible? The principles of causality and uniformity are used. Cause means that necessary and sufficient condition that alone can explain the occurrence of a given event. By the principle of uniformity is meant that the kinds of causes we observe producing certain effects today can be counted on to have produced similar effects in the past. We an go back into the past with some measure of plausibility only by assuming the kind of cause needed to produce that kind of effect in the present was also needed to produce it in the past. In other words `the present is a key to the past.' As we saw, this is how scientists have arrived at the reconstructed scenario of a prebiotic earth. What makes views of abiogenesis legitimate as origin science then is the assumed legitimacy of cause-effect reasoning and the principle of uniformity. The dilemma for chemical evolution, however, has been failure to identify any contemporary example of specified complexity (as distinct from order, see Chapter 8) arising by abiotic causes. What is needed is to identify in the present an abiotic cause of specified complexity. This would then provide a basis for extrapolating its use into the past as a conceivable abiotic cause for supplying the configuration entropy work in the synthesis of primitive DNA, protein, and cells. The failure to identify such a contemporary abiotic cause of specified complexity is yet another way to support our conclusion that chemical evolution is an implausible hypothesis." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.210. Emphasis original) 7/12/2007 "But does creation employ cause-effect and the principle of uniformity? Yes. In fact, it appeals to them as the only way we can plausibly reconstruct the past. Consider, for example, the matter of accounting for the informational molecule, DNA. We have observational evidence in the present that intelligent investigators can (and do) build contrivances to channel energy down non random chemical pathways to bring about some complex chemical synthesis, even gene building. May not the principle of uniformity then be used in al broader frame of consideration to suggest that DNA had an intelligent cause at the beginning? Usually the answer given is no. But theoretically, at least, it would seem the answer should be yes in order to avoid the charge that the deck is stacked in favor of naturalism." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.211) 7/12/2007 "We know that in numerous cases certain effects always have intelligent causes, such as dictionaries, sculptures, machines and paintings we reason by analogy that similar effects also have intelligent causes. For example, after looking up to see `BUY FORD' spelled out in smoke across the sky we infer the presence of a skywriter even if we heard or saw no airplane. We would similarly conclude; the presence of intelligent activity were we to come upon an elephant-shaped topiary in a cedar forest. In like manner an intelligible communication via radio signal from some distant galaxy would be widely hailed as evidence of and intelligent source. Why then doesn't the message sequence on them DNA molecule also constitute prima facie evidence for an intelligent source? After all, DNA information is not just analogous to a message sequence such as Morse code, it is such a message sequence. [Yockey, H.P., "Self-organization origin of life scenarios and information theory," Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 91, 1981, pp.13-31] The so- called Shannon information laws apply equally to the genetic code and to the Morse code. True, our knowledge of intelligence has been restricted to biology-based advanced organisms, but it is currently argued by some that intelligence exists in complex non-biological computer circuitry. If our minds are capable of imagining intelligence freed from biology in this sense, then why not in the sense of an intelligent being before biological life existed? [Wilder Smith, A.E., "The Creation of Life," Harold Shaw Publishers: Wheaton IL, 1970, pp.161ff.] We believe that if this question is considered, it will be seen that most often it is answered in the negative simply because it is thought to be inappropriate to bring a Creator into science." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, pp.211-212. Emphasis original) 7/12/2007 "Metaphysical Tolerance: A Discipline for Progress To be sure, there are sensitive issues involved when we begin to explore the metaphysical questions surrounding the origin of life. However. there is no easy way to resolve these issues. The only sure path is difficult. It demands the discipline required to temporarily table out personal tastes and preferences and humble ourselves in order to give serious consideration to how the data can be viewed from the other metaphysical position. We must do so recognizing that the truth of origins surely remains the truth regardless of which metaphysical position we individually adopt. As Melvin Calvin has observed, `The true student will seek evidence to establish fact rather than confirm his own concept of truth, for truth exists whether it is discovered or not.' [Calvin, M., "Chemical Evolution," Oxford University Press: New York, 1969, p.252] The difficulty in pursuing these metaphysical matters is that scientists on the whole have seen so little value in this pursuit. After the birth of modern science in the 17th century it became an accepted procedure by the end of the 19th century to separate science and metaphysics into isolated, thought-tight compartments. This seemed to work well in practice, for after Science got started the practitioners of science could function without even being aware of the metaphysical basis on which they operated. The modern scientific tradition has largely developed within the area we have called operation science, with its emphasis on recurring phenomena and testable hypotheses. Because of the inertia of heritage, the practice of science continued with only a few practicing scientists apparently aware of its metaphysical basis. As a result, now that we need to negotiate metaphysical terrain for proper understanding of origin science, few in science are equipped with the requisite skills. We believe this is a major reason creations the area of origin science is viewed with such deep suspicion by many and simply dismissed." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, Second printing, 1992, p.212. Emphasis original) 7/12/2007 "The fundamental conviction that the universe is ordered is the first and strongest tenet. As I try to discern the origin of that conviction, I seem to find it in a basic notion discovered 2000 or 3000 years ago, and enunciated first in the Western world by the ancient Hebrews: namely, that the universe is governed by a single God, and is not the product of the whims of many gods, each governing his own province according to his own laws. This monotheistic view seems to be the historical foundation for modern science." (Calvin, M., "Chemical Evolution: Molecular Evolution Towards the Origin of Living Systems on the Earth and Elsewhere," Oxford University Press: London, 1969, p.258) 7/12/2007 "A second tenet seems to lie in a fundamental quality of the human mind, which has been built into it by natural selection over the millennia of its evolution, namely, the need to know and understand. How this need to know and understand was evolved is probably traceable to some survival-selection pressure in the primitive being that gave rise to mankind. Be that as it may, it is here today and has been the source of man's greatest achievements in all areas of his activity: religion, the arts, the sciences, and the like." (Calvin, M., "Chemical Evolution: Molecular Evolution Towards the Origin of Living Systems on the Earth and Elsewhere," Oxford University Press: London, 1969, p.252) 7/12/2007 "For man to search for those values that are beyond his own survival he must, of necessity, establish a relationship with the thoughts of other men. There is no sure path for any man, be he scientist, artist, or artisan, but each must know the state of his own art and be the master of his own conscious self, and he must possess a sense of humility that can open his mind to new insights. The true student will seek evidence to establish fact rather than to confirm his own concept of truth, for truth exists, whether it be discovered or not. And the wise student is aware that truth can sometimes wear a different robe in the eye of each beholder. The prospects for a revelation of ultimate truths are nebulous indeed." (Calvin, M., "Chemical Evolution: Molecular Evolution Towards the Origin of Living Systems on the Earth and Elsewhere," Oxford University Press: London, 1969, pp.252-253) 7/12/2007 "A god whom men conceived in man's own image, and whom we confined and imprisoned in our small world, was both the foundation and the star of the Western world for the last 2000 years. This positive image provided an unambiguous guide for man's best activities, whether he were farmer, monk, artist, soldier, or king. For almost 2000 years there was relatively little ambiguity about what the mass of people should choose as the guiding star in their lives. For example, one need only recall the enormous number of men who participated in the Crusades, the chief subject-matter of the medieval and Renaissance artists, the building of cathedrals at the cost of comfort and well-being to all. All these activities had to do with the service and worship of a god. Even the scientist or natural philosopher of that period did his work in the name of his god. Today, no such unambiguous star rides the heavens to direct our steps, either individually or collectively. Man's very concentration upon the need to search for significance, the broad growth of the existentialist philosophy over the last 20 or 30 years, and national and world-wide discontent and anxiety-all these things are evidence for this. The very difficulty of finding an unambiguous guide for our social and national behaviour is evidence of problems of this same kind. We no longer rely with security on the old guides, and at the same time we face new problems, in part brought about by science and technology." (Calvin, M., "Chemical Evolution: Molecular Evolution Towards the Origin of Living Systems on the Earth and Elsewhere," Oxford University Press: London, 1969, p.253) 7/12/2007 "Rarely has the origin-of-life question itself been the subject of a college course. This fascinating and elusive topic inevitably appears during introductory work in astronomy, geology, biology, and other fields of science and philosophy. Our local cosmogony now rests upon a series of postulates, each of which might be a correct representation of reality. But when we combine all the postulates and sum their error factors, we face quite an uncertain picture." (Folsome, C.E., "Introduction," in Folsome, C.E., ed., "Life: Origin and Evolution," Readings from Scientific American, W.H. Freeman & Co: New York NY, 1979, pp.2-4, p.2) 7/12/2007 "A. I. Oparin and J. D. Bernal were among the first contemporary scientists to attempt explanations of life's origins. They did so, of necessity, within the constructs of the sciences of their time. Since then, our ideas of the Universe and of our world have changed drastically. We retain the wondrous heritage of their central ideas, which continue to bear fruit for this field of study. For example, Oparin thought that the primitive Earth had an atmosphere of methane, ammonia, and hydrogen. This view, still held by many today, was based on the then recently discovered cosmic abundances of the elements, which showed clearly that hydrogen was far in excess of all the other elements. Thus the dominant forms of carbon and nitrogen would necessarily have been reduced to methane and ammonia. .... We know now that cosmic abundances of the elements do not apply to the terrestrial planets, which have been stripped almost entirely of the less massive volatile elements because of the high early temperatures of the forming proto-sun." (Folsome, C.E., "Introduction," in Folsome, C.E., ed., "Life: Origin and Evolution," Readings from Scientific American, W.H. Freeman & Co: New York NY, 1979, pp.2-4, p.2) 7/12/2007 "Oparin and his contemporaries conceived of the early terrestrial environment as a Darwinian `warm little pond,' teeming with a multitude of organic molecules formed by successive reactions of methane, ammonia, water, and phosphate. This scenario of the primitive Earth leads one to conceive of pre-life oceans as rich in organic molecules as a gourmet chicken soup. In truth, the primitive oceans contained extraordinarily small amounts of organic compounds. Why the disparity? Because we must consider not only the formation rates of organic compounds, but their rates of destruction as well. Recent calculations by Klaus Dose show that any single amino acid would be present in steady-state amounts of some 10-7 moles-quite dilute indeed, a far cry even from commercial chicken soup. How could life arise in such a dilute environment?" (Folsome, C.E., "Introduction," in Folsome, C.E., ed., "Life: Origin and Evolution," Readings from Scientific American, W.H. Freeman & Co: New York NY, 1979, pp.2-4, p.2) 7/12/2007 "We have already seen that a great deal of information is needed to specify the structure of a complicated nonrandom object. It may be concluded that anything that we would want to call `living' would have a high information content. This apparently simple requirement has far-reaching consequences. It follows immediately that any `living' system must come into existence either as a consequence of a long evolutionary process or a miracle. It can be shown that the probability of a structure arising spontaneously decreases very rapidly as the information content of the structure increases. A chimpanzee sitting at a typewriter might easily compose a word of Shakespeare, but would be unlikely to compose a line; if a chimpanzee wrote a whole play, the event could legitimately be called a miracle. In a similar way, the formation of a structure complex enough to be called `living', in a single event, would be a miracle. Since, as scientists, we must not postulate miracles we must suppose that the appearance of `life' is necessarily preceded by a period of evolution." (Orgel, L.E., "The Origins of Life: Molecules and Natural Selection," Chapman & Hall: London, 1973, p.192) 10/12/2007 "The Oparin hypothesis, based on high concentrations of organic compounds, goes on to assume that polymers form. Proteins, nucleic acids, and polysaccharides become abundant and, as they must, interact to generate random but structured groupings called colloids. As a matter of fact, colloidal particles are simple to make. Mix concentrated solutions of histone (a protein) and gum arabic (a polysaccharide). Adjust the pH. Suddenly the once transparent solution of macromolecules becomes cloudy and turbid. Under the microscope, cell-like and cell-size particles are visible. These colloidal associations of macromolecules can mimic many properties of truly biological cells. From these observations Oparin inferred that early protocells arose by a long evolution from colloidal systems. Continued evolution from protocells to cells such as bacteria completes an explanation for the origin of cellular life. But-and this is the crux of the issue-where did the extremely concentrated macromolecular solution come from in the first place? From a dilute soup it is most difficult to synthesize even small polymers. Those that might be made have a higher probability of being destroyed than of interacting with one another." (Folsome, C.E., "Introduction," in Folsome, C.E., ed., "Life: Origin and Evolution," Readings from Scientific American, W.H. Freeman & Co: New York NY, 1979, pp.2-4, p.3) 10/12/2007 "It is possible to evade the `concentration gap' by calling upon unique and unusual environmental changes that appear likely until examined critically. For instance, let us evaporate most of the water from a shallow lake that contains dilute small organic molecules. As the pond approaches dryness, the concentration of all organic species greatly increases, and their interaction to form a polymer seems inevitable. But this is a wish. Not only do all organic molecules become concentrated in this environment, but inorganic salts-sodium chloride and others-are similarly concentrated. Since the latter far outnumber the former, the chance of a profitable encounter between organic molecules to form polymers is vanishingly small. In addition, as lakes and ponds evaporate, the water depth decreases and solar ultraviolet radiation acts ever more strongly to decompose whatever small organic molecules remain. We are faced with a serious problem. How did local high concentrations of small organic molecules, and their polymers, come to be?" (Folsome, C.E., "Introduction," in Folsome, C.E., ed., "Life: Origin and Evolution," Readings from Scientific American, W.H. Freeman & Co: New York NY, 1979, pp.2-4, p.3) 10/12/2007 "Bernal approached this issue and proposed an alternative concentrative mechanism: clays. Clays are layered lattice silicates that contain sheet upon sheet of siliceous matter ideal for trapping and concentrating small organic compounds. When localized within clays, organic molecules can polymerize; their polymers can similarly be held by the clays. Current knowledge seems to point in directions other than clays, although active research continues. One difficulty with clays is that they form from the weathering and sedimentary processes of stable ocean systems. Microfossils of the oldest cells are of the same age as the oldest sedimentary rocks-formed before clays became a major feature of the evolving terrestrial environment. Another problem is that clays adsorb those organic molecules required for a biology and remove them from phase-bounded (cell-like) systems. Hence clays, even if present, might seem to inhibit rather than promote the origin of life." (Folsome, C.E., "Introduction," in Folsome, C.E., ed., "Life: Origin and Evolution," Readings from Scientific American, W.H. Freeman & Co: New York NY, 1979, pp.2-4, p.3) 10/12/2007 "Every time we examine the specifics of the theories presented by Oparin and Bernal, current information seems to contradict them. Yet, in the main, they were right. How can one be both right and wrong? Easy-we do it all the time. Any explanation of a complex issue invariably has two components: the truth and the details. Oparin and Bernal were deficient in their details because, at that time, astronomy and geology had barely any to supply. But their truth still stands. They visualized life as originating from unorganized matter as a natural outcome of the forces that shape and evolve terrestrial planets. Their models were wrong, but the central theme they pursued seems even more right now than before." (Folsome, C.E., "Introduction," in Folsome, C.E., ed., "Life: Origin and Evolution," Readings from Scientific American, W.H. Freeman & Co: New York NY, 1979, pp.2-4, p.3) 11/12/2007 "There is no difficulty in principle in accounting for the existence of many different kinds of proteins. A chain of 150 amino acid units represents quite a small protein; but with 20 alternative possibilities for each link the total number of different chain sequences that are possible is 20150, i.e. 10195-far more than `the number of electrons in the universe'-and most proteins are far longer than 150 units. But the central problem remains: how can diversity of sequence give rise to such a rich diversity of function? Why is it, for example, that the sequence cdkqaqnodcducmbscqbrebauaoredetdfskugqldqsfrtfsudslqbqhsbkqrdssuaclcdlbdabedsss- auuqbqdsgdbokublsusegesmdqfekqbeeucduktugapfabrboabhpsbdqdftsrebbsnsqdamoa ... corresponds to a molecule that can store oxygen, while qlbbbsfqtqlkkpuhkbbkkkpmjpohhsktpdlsrtjsqcplfcuqkdbrcobcjkospcb- jspalpojmokmklhkelrjtqklaksmgpbjmsllpbosueecbjqapgmcgcufrbkc, although quite incompetent as a one- molecule oxygen cylinder, is very good at breaking up RNA molecules by splitting just one kind of bond in the main chain in just one way? Then again, how is it that scfatjqdbbbhstuadrpmtamkdapmcjbbsfqkpfploblptp- lraklrmaedoepktnnjrpatlgaktpdjpegj kbddkkrelbkcpjbsseckrarahpbmcbntptjsalrcobnetajtd lacks any appetite for RNA but has a neat way of destroying bacteria by unstitching their overcoats? How can specific complex functions be carried out by such molecular cryptograms? The broad answer seems to be this: the 'cryptogram'- the primary structure-determines in detail the way in which the chain will collapse on itself, its tertiary structure. The `cryptogram' may thus determine accurately the form of a piece of machinery about a millionth of a centimetre across." (Cairns-Smith, A.G., "The Life Puzzle: On Crystals and Organisms and on the Possibility of a Crystal as an Ancestor," University of Toronto Press: Toronto ON, Canada, 1971, pp.34-35) 11/12/2007 "Now, how would you go about making a machine which could reproduce itself? By analogy with the carpenter, you might start to think that the machine would have to incorporate suitable sensing equipment so that it could look at itself to discover its own plan. But self-reproduction does not require such self- consciousness. The sensing equipment would be unnecessary. You could build in the plans at the start as part of the `machine'. The mathematician, von Neumann, demonstrated in the 1940s that a self-reproducing machine was in principle quite possible-and he outlined a general design (Taub, 1963; Moore, 1964). Von Neumann imagined some kind of stockroom containing fairly simple mechanical parts-such as screws, metal plates, wire, and so on. The problem was to invent a machine that could move about such a stockroom selecting the pieces required to make another machine like itself, and then proceed to do so. The centre of von Neumann's design was a set of instructions written, say, on magnetic tape or punched cards, giving an account of how to make the rest of the machine-where to find the parts and how to put them together. The machine would include a manufacturing unit which could follow the instructions and act on them. There is a special point about the instructions themselves, however; they could not be remade by following instructions that were different from themselves. For example, a part of the machine might consist of an instruction card with 86 holes punched in it which caused the manufacturing unit to tighten a screw in the chassis at some point in the manufacture, i.e. the holes produce an effect which in no literal way resembles them. But when it comes to remaking the card itself, if you need another different card to explain to the manufacturing unit where to make the 86 holes, then this different card would also have to be remade involving yet another card and so on. At some point it must be the cards themselves that instruct their own formation, i.e. the cards must be replicated. Only in this way can an infinite regression be avoided. So in addition to a manufacturing unit that can make all kinds of things by following instructions, there must be another unit with the more limited task of copying them. ... Von Neumann's machine solves the problem of 'self-reproduction' in much the same way as it is solved in organisms: by separating the system formally into two parts. One part is completely coded in the form of replicable plans for its construction held in the other part. The machine has a phenotype and a genetic material (which may be cardboard) holding a genotype. If the ability of organisms to reproduce seems to be particularly mysterious, then this arises because in organisms the genes are microscopic: what we see when an organism breeds is a succession of phenotypes. .... Indeed, the strangeness of living processes generally arises from the minuteness of the machinery on which they depend-and because we continually underrate how elaborate such machinery can be. (Cairns- Smith, A.G., "The Life Puzzle: On Crystals and Organisms and on the Possibility of a Crystal as an Ancestor," University of Toronto Press: Toronto ON, Canada, 1971, pp.52-53,55) 11/12/2007 "But these processes do not occur in vacuo. DNA, RNA, and protein are made out of units which must either be provided by the environment or synthesised by the cell from molecules which are provided. In the latter case whole teams of enzymes may be required. But even if the units are already available in the general environment, the replication of DNA still needs at least one protein, the synthesis of RNA another, and the synthesis of protein needs yet another polymerising enzyme, together with at least a couple of dozen more proteins in the enzymes which prime the transfer RNAs. To make one protein the cell already has to have dozens of proteins. There is nothing immediately illogical in this situation: a factory for making nuts and bolts can be made with the help of nuts and bolts, but it does mean that a cell must inherit more than a book of instructions from its parent. It must inherit also enough pre-formed equipment to read the book. It must inherit a `minimum phenotype'. A reproducing cell, then, must consist of at least a minimum phenotype together with the instructions required to reproduce it-a minimum genotype. Morowitz (1966) has estimated that for a minimum cell consistent with the current viewpoint of molecular biology one would need at least 45 proteins. ... It is still a gross oversimplification since, among other things, it ignores reactions required to provide energy for the various processes, as well as essential mechanical structures such as cell membranes. The problem of the origin of life is simply that any conceivable such minimum unit would seem to be necessarily far too complex to have arisen by chance-to have `nucleated' spontaneously-under any reasonable circumstances. `Life can only come from life' is no longer a dogma as it was in the immediate post-Pasteur era: but it nevertheless seems that life in fact always does arise this way, and that in nature it must-for any form built on the modern DNA -> protein design." (Cairns-Smith, A.G., "The Life Puzzle: On Crystals and Organisms and on the Possibility of a Crystal as an Ancestor," University of Toronto Press: Toronto ON, Canada, 1971, pp.60-61) 11/12/2007 "Surely there was a radically simpler plan to begin with. What was it like? Von Neumann's 'self-reproducing' machines seem to indicate that quite a complex phenotype, together with a corresponding genotype is essential for any reproducing system. Is there a way out? There must be if life really did originate spontaneously as a reasonably probable physico-chemical event during the history of the Earth." (Cairns-Smith, A.G., "The Life Puzzle: On Crystals and Organisms and on the Possibility of a Crystal as an Ancestor," University of Toronto Press: Toronto ON, Canada, 1971, pp.61-62. Emphasis original) 11/12/2007 "The virus perhaps gives us a clue to the solution of this problem. Some viruses have a phenotype consisting of only one kind of protein which subcrystallises into a box for holding the genetic nucleic acid ... . Yet it can reproduce and evolve. It can do this by living in an environment, the phenotype of another organism, which provides for almost all of its needs; in particular, the complete protein synthesising machinery. All this would be too much to hope for on the primitive Earth, but the example of the virus helps by illustrating that an evolvable organism does not need to have much in the way of a phenotype if its environment is sufficiently obliging. A complex minimum phenotype arises from a kind of mismatching between a genetic material on the one hand and an environment on the other. The origin of life is a problem because DNA seems to be so badly matched to our present environment, and also to any plausible primitive environment that one can think of. The only environment to which DNA seems to be well matched is the inside of a cell. The system works very well (who are we to criticise?) but it does not look like a self-starter. As we will think of it in the final two chapters, the problem of the origin of life is primarily the problem of matching a genetic material-which need not have been anything like DNA-to a plausible primitive environment. We shall try to invent an organism for which the genetic material-environment match is so close that the resulting minimum phenotype is approximately zero. We would suggest that the von Neumann machine, like modern organisms, misleads us into thinking that there is a high minimum complexity for all organisms by presenting us with a particular genetic material-environment pair (e.g. punched cards- stockroom) which is hopelessly mismatched." (Cairns-Smith, A.G., "The Life Puzzle: On Crystals and Organisms and on the Possibility of a Crystal as an Ancestor," University of Toronto Press: Toronto ON, Canada, 1971, p.62. Emphasis original) 11/12/2007 "It is often supposed that scientific explanations are, or should be, strictly mechanistic. A good scientist, so the story goes, should be concerned with relating conditions and events at a particular time to previous conditions and events. There should be no hint of teleology, or if there is it must be exposed and apologised for. A teleological explanation is an account in terms of some future state, some `goal', to which a system is `striving'. This kind of explanation is regarded as dangerously unscientific; presumably because words like `goal' and `striving' contain a strong note of animism. They seem to imply that atoms and molecules are purposeful in the kind of way that we imagine ourselves to be: that they `see where they are going' and `decide what to do' and so on. Certainly the words `goal' and `striving' are unfortunate: so are words like `attraction' and 'repulsion'-yet we manage to use these without implied animism. It is doubtful if even Aristotle, whose science was fundamentally teleological, always thought of processes which he explained teleologically in animistic terms (compare Toulmin and Goodfield, 1965, p. 92). In any case, modern. In any case, modern science frequently resorts to a nonanimistic teleology-even if she usually keeps quiet about it. Curiously, in physical science, it is in that most respectable branch-classical thermodynamics-that teleological thinking is most rife." (Cairns-Smith, A.G., "The Life Puzzle: On Crystals and Organisms and on the Possibility of a Crystal as an Ancestor," University of Toronto Press: Toronto ON, Canada, 1971, p.65. Emphasis original) 11/12/2007 "It seems to me that the idea of coupling agents putting together polypeptides on a lifeless Earth adds another dimension of unreality to an already unreal line of thought. Remember that primordial simulations generally give only low yields of amino acids. Remember that the products are tars and that suggestions for prevital work-up procedures are usually absent. Remember the difficulties anyway in building up concentrations of solutions of amino acids or of the cyanide or phosphate to make a coupling agent. Remember that even from laboratory bottles the agents in question do not work very well. Remembering all that, now add the thought that coupling agents are rather unspecific. If a well chosen coupling agent under well chosen laboratory conditions can effectively join the acyl group A to the nucleophile B that is because among the choices exercised by the experimenter was the crucial one of only putting A and B into a flask for the coupling agent to couple. Compared with such carefully arranged marriages the affairs of a primordial soup would have been grossly promiscuous." (Cairns-Smith, A.G., "Genetic Takeover and the Mineral Origins of Life," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, Reprinted, 1987, pp.52-53) 11/12/2007 "One can get an impression of what is needed in practice for the synthesis of peptides by considering the machinery that is used in automated procedures. One such piece of equipment is shown in figure 1.11. Merrifield, Stewart & Jernberg (1966) describe its construction and operation in nine close pages of diagrams and descriptions. I quote (more or less at random) from the middle of their paper: `... the rear disk contains a center port and one circumferential port which are joined by a 1.5 mm hole within the disk. As this disk is turned it connects one at a time the 12 inlet ports to the central outlet port. A leak-free seal between the two teflon disks of the valve ...' And that is one of the less terse passages. Not shown in figure 1.11 is a programmer, like a musical box drum, that puts appropriate operations (mixings, rinsings, shakings, etc.) in sequence. There have to be many pegs on the drum because one cycle of the automatic synthetic procedure that extends the peptide chain by one unit requires nearly 90 steps. Now I am not saying that for peptide synthesis without human intervention there has to be something physically like Merrifield's machine. There does not have to be that particular piece of engineering. But I think there has to be engineering. Another example of automatic peptide synthesis is the synthesis by the ribosome in the modern cell. ... There are no tubes or valves or metering pumps here: but in the design of the ribosome, the adaptor RNA molecules and their activating enzymes; in the whole system, with its message tapes and its code, there is surely at least as much engineering as in Merrifield's machine. ... Perhaps there is some other way of making peptides with more or less specified amino acid sequences; and perhaps this way does not need detailed control. Perhaps it could then have operated before there was life on Earth, before that engineer, natural selection, appeared on the scene. But it is difficult to see how this could have been so. I think we would know by now if there was some much easier way." (Cairns-Smith, A.G., "Genetic Takeover and the Mineral Origins of Life," , Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, Reprinted, 1987, pp.53,55) 20/12/2007 "The British Association for the Advancement of Science, with which I have worked, is one of the few organisations, perhaps the only organisation which, over the years, which has provided coordinated presentations of major developments in science. What I have learned at the B.A. and from my own research in the field of molecular, cell and developmental biology, is that modern science objectively interpreted, provides an inspiring and wonderful picture of the Divine Creation, on a scale both in magnitude and complexity far exceeding anything visualised by earlier generations." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, p.xi) 20/12/2007 "Modern astronomy has provided striking evidence that our entire Universe was generated from a minute speck of gigantic energy. But this minute object had vast potential: as it expanded and unfolded, it was capable of generating the various building units which later formed atoms and molecules, also the forces which hold the building units together. The sizes of the units and the forces between them provided the unique conditions which have made possible the existence of our Universe. Had they been otherwise, stars, galaxies and planets could not have come into existence. But it was not only the properties of the elementary particles which led to the development of our Cosmos. As the original speck of energy expanded, Cosmologists have identified a series of critical stages where additional `fine tuning' was required to make it possible for our water planet to come into existence." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, p.xiii) 20/12/2007 "If such conditions have controlled the emergence of the Cosmos, we should surely expect to find evidence for a similar progressive building up of order in the biological world. The purpose of this book is to provide this bridge between the physical and the biological worlds, a subject at present almost totally neglected by many biologists. The first chapters provide a general summary of cosmology. Subsequent chapters give an account of the unique features of our planet which have made it a cradle for life, also the origin of life, of higher organisms and the origin of the species. In the concluding chapters, the present evidence for design and order both in the cosmos and the living world as found on our planet is shown to give us a glimpse into the wonder of the Divine Work of Creation." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, p.xiii) 20/12/2007 "The beginning If we imagine an expanding Universe, reversed in time, we see it getting smaller and smaller. Finally, as seen in strictly geometrical terms, it should become a point. A `point' as we know describes position but has no dimension. This the mathematicians call a singularity. What we can be sure about is that as we approach these extreme conditions of energy and density, we enter unknown regions which it would never be possible to simulate on earth. If we could do so we could generate a Universe! So we must accept a mystery. ... In spite of this some mathematicians are prepared to speculate about this initial event. This is not strictly scientific, because as already mentioned it does not offer possibilities for experimental verification. Stephen Hawking has made extensive studies relating to combining relativity with quantum theory with reference to the origin of the Universe but in a recent article he has recognised boldly, `The beginning of the Universe was the work of God'. [Hawking, S.W., "The Direction of Time," New Scientist, 1987, pp.46-49] This implies that the entire Universe was created by God out of nothing. Only God can create out of nothing." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, pp.11-12. Emphasis original) 20/12/2007 "Galaxies The enormous volume of hydrogen and helium gas which had been generated by 700,000 years was not uniformly distributed. The best way to picture what took place may perhaps be to think in terms of a cluster of soap bubbles, in which the soap solution lies entirely within the thin film of the bubbles. Something like this seems to have emerged, as minute seeds not affecting the overall uniformity of the Universe, during the so called `inflation period' of the initial expansion or even during the quantum gravity phase earlier. If this had not happened the entire Universe would have expanded like a cloud of smoke, never producing any structures, just becoming ever more and more dispersed as a gas cloud. Because of the `sheets' of matter or possibly strings, the force of gravity was able to operate where there were slight increases of density. The gas cloud gradually condensed to form a sphere; as it condensed further under gravity it became denser and hotter drawing more and more matter to itself like a snowball. Finally it began to shine as a star." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, p.17. Emphasis original) 20/12/2007 "Examples of Fine Tuning The tuning of the radio detector circuit can be likened to tuning of a violin string by tension or an organ pipe where length determines the wave length of the sound wave which will fit the pipe. Something rather similar to the fine tuning described above has been recognised in recent years to exist within the Cosmos. One way of studying this aspect of the Cosmos is to consider what would be the effect of a minute alteration in the magnitude of the various sizes of building units, the strength of the glues which hold them together, the rate of expansion, etc. The extraordinary conclusion is that the minutest deviation from the fine tuning as it exists would have meant either that no Universe could have existed for more than a brief time or that the Universe would have had a constitution which would have made it impossible for planets and certainly for life to exist." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, p.27. Emphasis original) 20/12/2007 "Initial density and rate of expansion of the Universe At 10-43 seconds after the initial event which created it, the Universe is believed to have had the prodigious density of 5x10-9 kg per cubic centimetre. If the density had been appreciably less than this the Universe would have expanded as a gas, becoming ever more and more attenuated; no region could subsequently have achieved sufficient density to draw other matter to itself by the snowball effect due to the force of gravity. On the contrary, if the initial density had been slightly greater, expansion could only have continued for a relatively short period; the force of gravity would have overcome the expanding pressure and within a comparatively short time the Universe would have been sucked back again almost like a backfire so returning into a singularity (a point) or a fluctuation." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, p.28. Emphasis original) 20/12/2007 "The exactness of the fine tuning of the expansion of the Universe was in the first moments of Creation regulated to within 1 part in 1060. To give some conception of the precision of this control, it can be likened to firing a bullet across the greatest distance in the Universe in the range of 20,000 million light years; 1 light year being 6x1012 miles the distance could be at least 6x1012 x 2 x 1010 = 12 x 1022 miles. Travelling this distance the bullet would be aimed at a target 1 inch in diameter and hit it! Paul Davies has used this example to illustrate the level of fine tuning. He recognises that this level of tuning is one of the great mysteries of the Cosmos." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, p.28) 20/12/2007 "The Uniformity of the Universe There was need for control of the initial expansion also in various directions. The importance of light (radiation) being able to traverse the entire Universe at the early moments before some parts had passed beyond the `event horizon' never to communicate again has already been emphasised ... The precision with which this was controlled can actually be measured. The background radiation, originally studied by Penzias and Wilson [Penzias, A.A. & Wilson, R.W., Astrophysics. J., 142, 1965, p.419], has now been plotted extremely accurately throughout the heavens. It does not vary beyond 1 part in 10,000 anywhere. To have achieved this regularity the original expansion in various directions must have been `fine tuned' to 1 part in 1040. One simple model for the expanding Universe, would be to think in 2 dimensions instead of 3. If it was a sheet, one side expanding faster than the other, it could assume peculiar curved forms. Only in special cases could it be flat or nearly flat. As mentioned ... our Universe is an almost flat Universe. Only in a Universe in which this level of uniformity is expressed in three dimensions is it possible for us to exist." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, pp.28-29. Emphasis original) 20/12/2007 "This precision is dependent in part on what are called the fundamental laws of physics, and also on the mass and dimensions of the building bricks of the Universe. ... All of these have been measured with great accuracy in the physics laboratory and are invariable. They form as it were the framework upon which the Universe has been built. There is nothing that the mathematician can do to change the magnitude of these constants; they have to be accepted as given. And in large measure the precise relationships between these quantities has determined the uniformity of expansion of the Universe. Alan Guth has proposed that the process of inflation mentioned earlier, has played a major part. But John Polkinghorne [Polkinghorne, J.C., "One World," SPCK: London, 1986, p.67]; a leading theoretical physicist, has pointed out that it is the fundamental laws of physics which really provide the key." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, pp.29-30) 20/12/2007 "The preponderance of matter over antimatter The way in which it came about that for every 1,000,000,000 particles of antimatter there are 1,000,000,001 particles of matter is possibly due to the unsymmetrical decay of the corresponding heavy particles called baryons already mentioned. This represents a fantastic level of fine tuning, leading to quite unexpected asymmetry of the Universe. There is something extremely special about this process of matter predominance, without which the Universe could not have existed at all." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, p.30. Emphasis original) 20/12/2007 "The amount of radiation in the Universe Out of the imbalance between matter and antimatter there emerged 1,000,000,000 photons, the parcels of light energy for every proton of matter generated. The photons which bathe the Universe are a measure of the level of disorder in the Universe. They are like an ocean of disorder pervading all space. They are now seen as the background radiation corresponding to a temperature of only 30 above absolute zero. During the initial events which generated the Universe, the level of disorder generated could have been vastly greater. If this had been the case the entire Universe would have been hot. The temperature would certainly have been too great for any form of life to exist and possibly too high even for planets to exist. This restriction of the level of disorder to a minimum as it is today can only be looked upon as arising from fine tuning." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, p.30. Emphasis original) 20/12/2007 "The seeding of the stars and galaxies As described ... there arose at an early stage of the expansion `lumps in the porridge' which later provided the gravitational pull which drew in the gas clouds by a snowball effect to produce stars and galaxies. Whether due to the inflation process or for other reasons this also played a key role in enabling the Universe to exist in the form of stars, galaxies and planets." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, pp.30-31. Emphasis original) 20/12/2007 "Hydrogen the nuclear fuel of the Universe Without the nuclear fuel, hydrogen, which causes the stars to shine, the Universe would be `dead' with everything near to absolute zero. The processes which, in the early stages of the expansion, produced 74% of hydrogen out of a total of all matter in the early gas clouds involved extremely precise `tuning'. There was a continuous conversion of protons into neutrons and vice versa in the early stages of expansion of the Universe until the temperature had fallen to 1010°K; after that the proportion of protons to neutrons and hence the amount of hydrogen formed from protons was `frozen'. Two factors which were precisely tuned to provide the necessary amount of hydrogen were the strength of the weak nuclear force and the temperature at which the necessary reaction occurred. A neutron plus a neutrino can produce a proton plus an electron because the difference in mass between the neutron and proton is only slightly greater than the mass of an electron; this relationship between the masses of these particles provides the necessary fine tuning; the reverse reaction involves antimatter which is eventually annihilated. Even so, a few per cent increase in the strength of the nuclear force would later cause protons to stick together in pairs, leading to all the hydrogen being converted into helium. On the delicate balance between all the above factors has depended the existence of the nuclear fuel to feed the stars." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, p.31. Emphasis original) 20/12/2007 "The nuclear furnace in the stars In the stars it is the nuclei, the protons of the hydrogen atoms, which provide energy. In this reaction two protons react together to generate a nucleus of deuterium consisting of 1 proton + 1 neutron. If the strong nuclear force were 5% weaker deuterium could not exist while if the force were 2% stronger two protons would form a diproton; this would lead to an explosive reaction and no stable stars could exist. Deuterium acts as a brake on the nuclear reaction so leading to a steady conversion of protons into helium nuclei. Matter is steadily converted into energy during this conversion so that the process can last for thousands of millions of years and enables the stars to continue to shine." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, pp.31-32. Emphasis original) 20/12/2007 "The `ballast' of dark matter Because the Universe contains dark matter, constituting 94% of the whole Universe, this is sufficient to enable the Universe to expand to what we may call a `flat Universe', one in which it is possible for life to exist. During the early history of the Cosmos 1000 million neutrinos (the uncharged particles) were produced for every proton so the entire Universe is bathed with these particles. It is possible that they may have sufficient mass to provide the `ballast' that keeps the Universe stable but other particles have been invoked ... Axions, Photinos, etc. The important point is that however it has been produced, the dark matter provides the necessary stability to enable our Universe to exist in its present state without `flying off to infinity'." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, pp.31-32. Emphasis original) 20/12/2007 "The formation of Carbon, the key element for life During the burning of the nuclear furnaces, hydrogen protons are converted into the nuclei of the gas helium. In older stars, where the temperature has fallen, two helium nuclei He + He are able to fuse together; they then collect a third He nucleus to produce a carbon nucleus. Hoyle has pointed out that a simultaneous collision between three helium nuclei would be an extremely rare event and it would be expected that carbon would be an extremely rare element in the Universe, but in fact it is one of the most common heavier elements. Imagine two golf balls falling on the green from the approach shots of two players. A collision between two balls is a rare event. But suppose that a third player's ball also arrives at the same moment and collides with the other two: we should never expect to see such an event. Yet in the star this type of event takes place. When the two helium nuclei collide they form a nucleus which is an isotope of the chemical element beryllium Be8. Each of the orbits of atoms has a frequency like a violin string or an organ pipe. It is called the resonance frequency. It was found by Hoyle that the frequency of the dihelium or beryllium nucleus was similar to the frequency of a single helium nucleus. This was like tuning the radio set to the frequency of the carrier wave ... . This harmony of `tuning in' makes it possible for carbon to be formed readily within the stars. But even so, the carbon nucleus need not be long lived; it could in turn be `burnt up' as nuclear fuel in another reaction. It could collide with another helium nucleus to form oxygen. But in this case the tuning or resonance frequency of oxygen is safely below that of carbon. Oxygen is therefore produced in the nuclear reactions only slowly from carbon. About equal amounts of carbon and oxygen, key elements for life, are produced in the stellar synthesis. Hoyle [Hoyle, F., "The Universe, Some Past and Present Reflections," Cardiff University Press: Cardiff UK, 1982, p.16] has stated in characteristic style, `A common sense interpretation of the facts suggest that a superintendent has monkeyed with the laws of physics as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature'. Hoyle was a pioneer in elucidating the origin of the chemical elements within the stars." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, pp.32-33. Emphasis original) 23/12/2007 "The Underlying Principle of Fine Tuning The examples given above represent some of the main cases of fine tuning now recognised in the Cosmos. There are others; more and more examples are being discovered by cosmologists. The reality of fine tuning in the Universe is now accepted by leading cosmologists. This picture is very different from that of the 19th Century interpretation which formed the foundation of modern materialism. A materialist is a person who believes that nothing exists outside the world of atoms and molecules and that all reality is ultimately accessible to observation and measurement by scientific methods. It was this view, spreading as an undercurrent amongst intellectuals, which generated the mid-Victorian gloom. It was believed at that time that the Universe was unchanging, being of infinite extent both in space and time." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, pp.33-34. Emphasis original) 23/12/2007 "Given an infinite time, it was concluded that anything could happen. We are all familiar with the monkey which continues to tap on the keys of a typewriter until all the plays of Shakespeare are produced by chance; so in spite of its extreme improbability it was believed by the materialists that given an infinite time the Universe, as we find it, together with the planets our earth and life could have arisen by chance. ... the general conclusions of late 20th Century cosmology are that the Universe had a beginning. This presents immense problems for the materialistic interpretation as most have fully recognised." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, p.34) 23/12/2007 "One way in which the materialists have approached their difficulty has been to assume that the Universe which arose from a `point' expanded to an enormous volume; the mass was sufficient for the force of gravity to draw it back again; it was steadily drawn towards a point or singularity. This would be drawing the matter back to a gigantic `black hole' through the power of gravity. Once again it could expand. This cycling process would once again provide a possibility for infinite permanence of the Universe in terms of cycles. John D. Barrow and Joseph Silk have pointed out that the point, singularity or `black hole' as it may be called; is a region of no return [Barrow, J.D. & Silk, J., "The Left Hand of Creation," Heineman: London, 1984, p.256] . It would be necessary that the cycling would be due to an overspill of matter which did not enter the singularity, turned aside from it as it were. More important still the generation of disorder is not reversible. This is a basic law of physics; the second law of thermodynamics has a major experimental foundation. The background radiation would simply build up in each cycle. The Universe would become hotter and hotter. The fact that there is so little disorder in our Universe, the background reaching only 3° above absolute zero, shows that we must be in a first expansion from the beginning of the Universe." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, pp.34-35) 23/12/2007 "Prior to the time of Copernicus, it was believed that the earth was the centre of the Universe. Since the time of Copernicus there has been a succession of Astronomical discoveries revealing not only that our earth is a planet circulating round the sun, but that our sun is one of thousands of million of stars in our galaxy, that our galaxy is itself one amongst hundreds of millions at least. The immensity of the Universe disclosed by 20th Century science has led some materialists to question whether there can really be. any significance to the lives of inhabitants of a minute assembly of cosmic dust. To anyone who thinks deeply it is obvious that the key to understanding what the Universe is about is complexity, not size. The Universe itself was generated from a speck of energy far smaller than the smallest atom. It had to be its present size in order that it could be an almost flat Universe of the sort in which planets could be generated. Above all it had to continue to expand for 15,000 million years or more to reach its present size in order to allow the various chemical elements which form planets to be generated and for them to be suitably disposed in cosmic dust clouds." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, p.35. Emphasis original) 23/12/2007 "Once the fine tuning of the Universe was recognised, cosmologists began a return to the concept of an earth-centred Universe once more. This was expressed by Brandon Carter, a leading cosmologist in ... the Anthropic Principle. The weak Anthropic Principle states that we have to observe a Universe finely tuned, because no Universe which was not finely tuned could contain any observers. The Strong Anthropic Principle goes further. It states that there is a compulsion in the Universe to generate intelligent beings, this being the reason for fine tuning. There are two ways of accounting for this Strong Principle: (a) That the Universe is the work of a Creator; clearly the most straight forward explanation. (b) We the observers influence the observed world; this is the case in a limited sense, according to quantum theory; time also is now known to have unexpected properties. But the Universe originated 15,000 million years before we came into existence as intelligent beings. ... the tine tuning of the Universe, which forms the basis of the Anthropic Principle, took place in the main within a matter of minutes after the initial event which generated the cosmos. To believe that intelligent observers can have influenced events so far in the distant past is philosophically unacceptable. We note that even the weak Anthropic Principle represents a departure from the older materialistic interpretation of origins based on chance." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, p.36. Typo corrected) 23/12/2007 "An obvious conclusion from the Strong Anthropic Principle would be that the Creator has made the Universe the way it is in order that the earth could be formed as suitable for the emergence of life and for our existence also. It is sad that reference to the Creator has become unfashionable amongst most modern scientific popularisers, particularly when the evidence is now so strong that there is much design and fine tuning in the Universe. Most modern scientists accept this; in the past the greatest physicists had no hesitation, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday and many others." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, pp.36-37) 23/12/2007 "The word information has become familiar to us since computers have become so widely used. ... The concept of information stems from the work of mathematicians who were seeking to find how many messages could be passed most economically through a transatlantic cable. If a large group of electrical impulses similar to the dot and dash of the Morse code were passed in an uncoordinated way we should simply hear `noise' at the other end of the cable, like the noise on a television receiver when the station is not operating and many random signals are coming from the atmosphere; they provide no information, no messages. Messages can be sent by various arrangements of dots and dashes to provide the letters of the alphabet in the Morse Code but the method has since been simplified in the computer. There are only two signals: a positive (+) electrical signal or no signal (-). Successively this binary alphabet is recorded on magnetic tape or other recording system in the recorder. ... Each signal + or 0 is called a bit of information.. ... The simplest way to think of information is in terms of the minimum number of bits which must be used to record a message. But it is not sufficient that the computer memory should be stored away. To be of use it must be able to control things that happen in the world. The way to do this was first worked out in 1937 by Claude E. Shannon [Shannon, C.E., "A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits," Transactions of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, 57, 1938, pp.713-722.] at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, pp.42-43. Emphasis original. Typo "O" corrected) 23/12/2007 "How can we apply these principles to the problem of order in the physical and biological worlds? We first consider the case of gas molecules. Molecules are formed when two or more atoms are joined together by sharing their planetary electrons (or orbits). The hydrogen molecule has two hydrogen atoms (H2) nitrogen two atoms (N2) oxygen two atoms (O2). Air consists of four parts of nitrogen molecules to one part of oxygen molecules. Suppose that we fill a bicycle pump with air molecules by drawing up the piston. We now place a thumb over the inlet hole at the base of the pump and push down the piston; we do work by compressing the air inside the pump. If we release the pump it springs back doing work, itself able to do work in its turn. Compressed air can be used most effectively to work pneumatic drills. The effect of the compression is to bring the molecules of the gas closer together. They are in constant motion bombarding each other and the walls of the tube. When compressed there is increased density of bombardment of the molecules. Could we obtain work from the air without compressing it? Imagine that a plate is fitted halfway along the bicycle pump, and that it has a minute hole in the middle, also that this hole has a shutter covering it. In the 19th Century the great Scottish physicist Clerk Maxwell imagined that a demon could operate the shutter. Each time the demon saw a gas molecule reach the shutter from below, the demon opened the shutter. If a molecule came from above he kept the shutter closed. In this way he was able gradually to get all the molecules from below trapped above, rather like spectators passing through a turnstile at a football match. We finish up with a doubling of the number of gas molecules originally present in the upper part of the pump. This is similar to compressing air and could do work in making the piston of the bicycle pump jump up if released. Perpetual motion has been discovered! No more need for expensive fossil fuels or. nuclear energy. Limitless supplies of energy are available by exploiting gas molecules. Unfortunately it is first necessary to find and make use of the demon, which does not exist." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, pp.43-44. Emphasis original) 23/12/2007 "But great advances have now been made since Clerk Maxwell's time; frictionless shutters balanced on magnetic fields could be utilised and systems worked at molecular levels might be devised .... But not so; in order to `see' the molecule which comes to the shutter it would be necessary to send forth a parcel (a quantum or photon) of light energy to be transmitted back by the approaching molecule, so that the system would `know' when to operate the shutter. Physicists realise that as much or more energy would be required to supply the light parcel, as would be gained by allowing the molecule to pass the shutter. In other words perpetual motion is not possible. In this account we begin to see a relationship between energy needs and information. ... Randomness, disorder corresponds to low information, high information implies a system which can produce work if required. In physics, randomness is called high entropy S. Order is called the opposite, high information I. ... engineers know that ... no machine however efficient can operate without wasting part of the energy that comes from the source. Living organisms have reduced this waste almost to the theoretical limit: they are far more efficient at using energy than any machine so far designed. So we begin to see that a relationship exists between order and energy. We cannot generate order without supplying energy; in addition to maintain that state of order we must separate molecules and reduce their freedom to mix with each other." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, pp.45-46. Emphasis original) 23/12/2007 "Let us return to our example of the bricks packed in piles and those dropped at random on the ground. Can we now say whether one is more ordered than the other? We should immediately conclude that the stacked bricks were more ordered. The stacked bricks are on average closer together and therefore in a more stable state than the random pile. This is like the cooling of a molten salt or metal. At the higher temperature in the molten state the molecules move at random and are far apart due to heat energy. The crystal forms as the one stable way in which the molecules can pack close together in the absence of the heat energy to drive them apart. But when we speak of order in the Cosmos and in living organisms we are speaking of a special arrangement which has been selected out of a large number of possible arrangements of equal energy: To establish these special arrangements we find that we have to provide the system with new information. In our further discussions of order, we shall find that it is the cases where we have conditions of specific pressure and temperature making it possible for molecules to take up many positions and arrangements, but where they have been restrained due to input of new information, that order has, as here defined, been truly generated. We shall discover later, something of the fantastic levels of order and high information content that are continuously maintained in living organisms. We shall discover that these fantastic levels of order and their corresponding levels of information content are maintained continuously in living organisms, although the environment is tending to drive them towards a multitude of disordered states." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, p.46. Emphasis original) 23/12/2007 "So we move from the gigantic perspective provided by the Cosmos to the living world on our planet. If we accept the Anthropic Principle of the Astronomers, it would indeed be surprising if the same principle could not be extended to the formation of our earth and the establishment of the living world. But we now encounter a change of emphasis; we think less in terms of fine tuning and more in terms of the generation of order ... and the need to account for the vast input of new information involved to account for both the origin of life and the building up progressively of high and higher levels of complexity in the living world. At the molecular level, we encounter the great discovery that life has an alphabet and a language. Written in that language is the nature of each species of organism on the face of the earth. We find that a beautiful harmony exists, a symphony written in the language of life is expressed in the perfectly controlled development of an organism from a single cell, first as an embryo, then an adult and functioning plant or animal. A striking feature of the living world is its diversity; hundreds of thousands of species of both plants and animals are found in various regions of the planet. Nevertheless, the basic building plan, based on information, as expressed in language, governs the development of every one of these species of plant and animal." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, p.49) 23/12/2007 "Water has an extremely high specific heat. We all know how long it takes to boil a kettle even when strongly heated. The large heat content of water helps to stabilise the temperature of the earth, which is basically a water planet, as is clearly seen in photographs of the earth from space. The temperature range at which life can exist is covered by the temperature range at which liquid water can exist. If other molecules existed in the Universe with the properties of water molecules and were present in large numbers, it would have been conceivable that they also might have formed the basis for life. This is not the case. In addition water molecules contain within themselves the capacity to form stable gossamer like bonds. These bonds are responsible for the decrease in density of water on freezing, a property not shown by other liquids of common occurrence. For this reason ice floats on water. If this did not happen lakes and rivers would remain frozen solid in winter and all life in the waters would be destroyed. Water is a unique solvent; it can dissolve more substances than any other known solvent. Not only does it dissolve many carbon compounds, it also dissolves salts which can carry electrical charge. The electrical phenomena that are the key to life processes are dependent on this power of water to dissolve salts. Above all, water has the capacity to dissolve gases in limited amounts, oxygen without which respiration could not occur, and carbon dioxide the source of the carbon molecules which play a key role in all living structures. So water and carbon are essential for life. The unique feature of the carbon molecule is connected with the `tuning' of the orbits in which the outer four electrons lie. This enables carbon to form long chains and rings all essential for life; also to combine with oxygen, and nitrogen, within the temperature range of liquid water. The orbits of the four planetary electrons of carbon are so arranged that they can form bonds lying at the four corners of a tetrahedron. Not only does this enable many compounds to be formed with the other light elements, but many carbon atoms can be joined together in strings, forming the long chains of fat molecules, also essential for life." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, pp.52-53) 23/12/2007 "However suitable the four elements hydrogen, carbon, oxygen and nitrogen may be for generating the molecules that form living organisms, it is evident that these alone could not provide the environment for life. No gaseous star however much it cooled could do so. There was a need for a solid surface upon which water molecules could condense. This has come from the magic dust generated by supernova explosions. ... the giant stars, which exploded to release the heavier chemical elements, had a layered structure ... The supernova explosion, which is now believed to have generated most of the elements described ... is thought to have occurred about 200 million years before the solar system was formed. .... But a second supernova explosion occurred shortly before the solar system was formed. During this explosion the important element aluminium which forms a large part of the earth's crust was generated. In fact this second supernova explosion may have provided the shock wave which initiated the formation of the solar system." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, pp.53-55) 26/12/2007 "From the foregoing evidence it is clear that the steps which gave rise to our solar system, the planets and our earth were complex. Although there is now some evidence from infrared studies that a cosmic dust cloud surrounds the star Vega, it is by no means certain that this cloud could generate a planet like our earth. We cannot exclude the possibility that our planet is unique." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, 1990, p.55) 26/12/2007 "Magnetic effects probably stimulated the aggregation of iron and nickel particles and from this centre the various layers of the earth's structure were built up. As the snowball effect continued, gravity became stronger with increasing mass of aggregated dust being added to the core of iron and nickel. The enormous pressure, due to gravity, increased the internal temperature and the inner metal core became liquid. It is believed that motions of the inner core generate the magnetic field of the earth which has an important role. The core became covered with a thick layer of silicate, the magma and finally a solid crust. The primeval gas cloud from which the solar system was formed was composed mainly of hydrogen, methane, ammonia and water vapour. It is believed that the primitive earth retained an atmosphere of this type attracted by the force of gravity. The early speculators about the origin of life on earth believed that life arose in such an atmosphere. But there is more to the story. Space explorations of the moon and the planets have revealed that there was a period of intense heating after the solar system had been formed. This may have been due to an episode of high activity in the sun. The rocks of the entire surface of the moon have been melted. The effect of this was to evaporate the primitive atmosphere of the earth. The magic dust again provided the answer. Due partly to heating from radioactive decay of some elements and to volcanic effects, the outer crust was broken down. The chondrites or grainy meteorites which are rich in carbon, also contain minerals such as `serpentine' which are rich in water, so carbon dioxide and water vapour were released by heating to form the main atmosphere of the young earth." (Ambrose, E.J.*, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Num