Darwinian Evolution | Plausible or Not? | Chemistry Edition

In The Beginning:

Did a man that observed adaptation on the Galápagos islands discover the origin of life? Darwin's theory of evolution is now considered a fact to most of the public, which they blindly believe. Even I fell for this theory years ago listening to Richard Dawkins, the famous atheist. I started to lose faith, because if complex life can develop entirely on it's own then that takes God out of the occasion to a certain extent. You start to wonder, if there's a natural way life got here then maybe we aren't special.

Upon becoming fascinated with Darwin's theory, I started to blindly believe that these popularized scientist/biologist had all of the answers. Richard Dawkins, Bill Nye, and others made me believe that there possibly wasn't a God. Then, I actually researched life and discovered it is amazingly complex. Let's discuss why I believe, why I'm sure.. Darwin's theory of evolution is false.

What is Darwinian Evolution?

Darwin's theory of Evolution states that different species of life formed from genetic mutations that were guided by natural selection based on the animals environment. He came to this conclusion from observing adaptation, which caused the appearance of finches to change based on their environment over generations. To be clear, humans did not come from monkeys according to the theory of evolution. Humans and monkeys came from a common ancestor, when this ancestor split into different groups and environments evolution took its place. 

The Complexity of the Cell

Please watch the two short videos below so you get a better understanding of how extremely complex the cell, and the parts that make it up are.

 The next video shows the probability of a single protein forming by chance.

In the 19th century, scientist envisioned the cell to be a simple blob of protoplasm. This left Darwin with a huge head start to the origin of life and species problem as the cell to him was nothing too complex. 

Not too complex? He was wrong. The Bacterial Flagella is a appendage that protrudes from the body of a cell. It's primary functions are locomotion and sensory. It is essentially a rotary motor for the cell that allows it to move in a liquid like substance. The Bacterial Flagella has many parts, made up of over 40 proteins. If any of these proteins are removed, or if they are assembled in the wrong order the flagella will not work to its full potential (meaning it will not function as a flagella). Some say that this is an example of irreducible complexity, and that it couldn't have proven to be a beneficial mutation slowly working it's way up in the correct order. Others say that at each stage of it's evolution it had a purpose and served to be beneficial to the cell as some type of security guard for the membrane. The truth is that no conclusive answer has been found regarding this topic, as there is much debate over the evolution of the flagella. However, the evidence seems to suggest that the flagella came before what some have previously thought to be it's transitional form (type three secretion system). Due to its mutational density being more shallow it means that it is a newer structure. The evidence seems to suggest that Darwin is evolving backwards as the flagella motor was reused instead of evolving before. The flagella motor can reach speeds of up to 50,000-100,000 RPM, and operates at near 100% efficiency of energy conversion from ion transit to motor torque. (source)

  • "Based on patchy taxonomic distribution of the T3SS compared to that of the flagellum, widespread in bacterial phyla, previous phylogenetic analyses proposed that T3SS derived from a flagellar ancestor and spread through lateral gene transfers.” - Sophie S. Abby and Eduardo P.C. Rocha, “An Evolutionary Analysis of the Type III Secretion System” (2012).
  • "One fact in favour of the flagellum-first view is that bacteria would have needed propulsion before they needed T3SSs, which are used to attack cells that evolved later than bacteria. Also, flagella are found in a more diverse range of bacterial species than T3SSs. “The most parsimonious explanation is that the T3SS arose later" - Biochemist Howard Ochman at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
  • "Finding a subsystem of a functional system that performs some other function is hardly an argument for the original system evolving from that other system. One might just as well say that because the motor of a motorcycle can be used as a blender, therefore the [blender] motor evolved into the motorcycle. Perhaps, but not without intelligent design. Indeed, multipart, tightly integrated functional systems almost invariably contain multipart subsystems that serve some different function. At best the TTSS [Type III Secretory System] represents one possible step in the indirect Darwinian evolution of the bacterial flagellum. But that still wouldn’t constitute a solution to the evolution of the bacterial flagellum. What’s needed is a complete evolutionary path and not merely a possible oasis along the way. To claim otherwise is like saying we can travel by foot from Los Angeles to Tokyo because we’ve discovered the Hawaiian Islands. Evolutionary biology needs to do better than that." - William A. Dembski, Rebuttal to Reports by Opposing Expert Witnesses.

We included this just so you can form your own opinion, and understand how amazing chemistry and biology are at the micro level. How can someone look at a rotary motor and say it wasn't designed? Is random nature really smarter than us, or is there something else behind it? Can a rotary motor really come about from Darwinian evolution? If you have a free hour, you can dive into the history of what we just discussed below. The cell is extremely complex, and DNA has actual information, so join us as we dive deeper.

How a Cell Knows What to Become

Cells contain the complete DNA code to generate a living organism. When cells divide they give each other chemical indications of their positioning. From there, they "turn on" or "turn off" specific genes. This allows them to know what type of cell to become. For example, if the "eye tissue" gene is turned on they will form eye tissue in the correct place to form an eye. Furthermore, these "eye cells" will only be able to form other "eye cells". Cells are not all the same, and they become what DNA tells them to in the beginning stages of life. This "chemical communication" process that allows cells to communicate based on their positioning is still not fully understood, as it is very complex. There appears to be multiple cues or "rulers" such as diffusing molecules, motor proteins, bioelectric indicators, and more that help cells know what to become.

What is DNA/RNA made of?

Both DNA and RNA are made of nucleotides (molecules) which are fixed together via a weak hydrogen bond. Nucleotides are organic molecules that contain carbon which has the ability to catenate or in other terms bond atoms in a chain. DNA is basically an ordered chain of the nucleobases A, C, G, and T which stand for adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine. The order of these bases come together to form detailed instructions on how to build protein, and other parts of a cell. This is why carbon based life is thought to be the only form of life that can exist, because DNA could not exist without it. Amino acids form proteins, proteins form cells, cells form tissue, tissue forms organs, and organs come together to form a body. So the foundation of life is based on chemicals right? 

Dr. James Tour

 Meet Dr. James Tour, he is one of the world’s top synthetic organic chemists. His rewards include:

"Tour was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors in 2015. He was named among "The 50 most Influential Scientists in the World Today" by TheBestSchools.org in 2014. Tour was named "Scientist of the Year" by R&D Magazine in 2013. Tour won the ACS Nano Lectureship Award from the American Chemical Society in 2012. Tour was ranked one of the top 10 chemists in the world over the past decade by Thomson Reuters in 2009. That year, he was also made a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Other notable awards won by Tour include the 2008 Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology, the NASA Space Act Award in 2008 for his development of carbon nanotube reinforced elastomers, the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society (ACS) for his achievements in organic chemistry in 2007, the Small Times magazine's Innovator of the Year Award in 2006, the Southern Chemist of the Year Award from ACS in 2005, the Honda Innovation Award for Nanocars in 2005, the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1990, and the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 1989. In 2005, Tour's journal article "Directional Control in Thermally Driven Single-Molecule Nanocars" was ranked the Most Accessed Journal Article by the American Chemical Society. Tour has twice won the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching at Rice University in 2007 and 2012." - Wiki

Impressed? Well, let's spend some time on him. To put his achievements into perspective he has made molecular nanomachines with the purpose of "drilling" into cancer cells to kill them. Read more by clicking..

HERE.

So, what does one of the world's top organic chemist have to say on the issue of evolution? Well Dr. Tour is an organic chemist, and it just so happens that organic molecules (carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids) are needed to start life so he should know more details regarding the origin of life than almost anyone. When talking about the cell, Dr. Tour calls it a factory. He speaks of the lipid bilayer (a thin polar membrane made of two layers of lipid molecules) which is extraordinarily selective to let certain things in and out, and not other things. Furthermore, inside the cell microtubules (small tunnel-like structures made of tubulin protein) are formed to transport material. After, they are deconstructed and formed again in another place to avoid the shape of the cell changing or becoming ridged. He states clearly "...if you have been taught simple forms of life had been made, that is a lie." Regarding the topic of origins of life, he makes it clear that molecules don't care about life.

"Organisms care about life. Chemistry, on the contrary, is utterly indifferent to life. Without a biologically derived entity acting upon them, molecules have never been shown to evolve toward life. Never." -2019 Dallas Science and Faith Conference at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, TX

You have to have an ordered system featuring uncommon assembly of molecules for life. He says "We know from computer science that we have to have non-regular patterns in order to have complexity for living systems." There has never been a natural example showing that molecules have moved towards life on their own according to Dr. Tour. 

 

As you see above (a powerpoint slide from Dr. Tour) he makes fun of Darwin's evolution.. in a pretty true way. In a Inference Review article he describes how even if the world's best had everything needed to synthesise a cell, they couldn't:

(We have added definitions to simplify what he is saying, your welcome.) 

"THE WORLD’S BEST synthetic chemists, biochemists, and evolutionary biologists have combined forces to form a team—a dream team in two quite distinct senses of the word. Money is no object. They have at their disposal the most advanced analytical facilities, the complete scientific literature, synthetic and natural coupling (reactions where two fragments are joined together with the aid of a metal catalyst - a catalyst is a substance that speeds up a chemical reaction, but is not consumed by the reaction agents) and all the reagents (a substance or mixture for use in chemical analysis or other reactions) their hearts might desire. Carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, and nucleic acids are stored in their laboratories in a state of 100% enantiomeric (one of the two molecules that are mirror images of each other and are non-superposable) purity.
Would the dream team—please—assemble a living system?
Take your time, folks, take a few billion years.
Nothing? Well, well, well.
Let us assume that all the building blocks of life (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids), and not just their precursors, have been made to a high degrees of purity, including homochirality (the property of a group of molecules that possess the same chirality - meaning they fit like a right handed glove fits on your right hand) where applicable—the carbohydrates, the amino acids, the nucleic acids, and the lipids. They are stored in cool caves, away from sunlight, and away from oxygen. These molecules are indifferent to environmental degradation (degrading).
And let us further assume that they are all stored in one comfortable corner of the earth, not separated by thousands of kilometers or on different planets.
And that they all exist not just in the same square kilometer, but in neighboring pools where they can conveniently and somehow selectively mix with each other as needed.
Now what? How does the dream team assemble them without enzymes (a substance produced by a living organism which acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction) ?
Very well. Give the dream team polymerized forms (polymerization is a process of reacting monomer molecules together in a chemical reaction to form polymer chains or three-dimensional networks): polypeptides (a linear organic polymer consisting of a large number of amino-acid residues bonded together in a chain, forming part of (or the whole of) a protein molecule), all the enzymes they desire, the polysaccharides (polymeric carbohydrate molecules composed of long chains of monosaccharide units bound together by glycosidic linkages), DNA and RNA in any sequence, cleanly assembled.
Ready now?
Apparently not.
We teach our students that when a mechanism does not support their observations, the mechanism must either be revised to support the facts or entirely discounted. They are not required to provide an alternative.
We are such stuff as dreams are made on. It has a ring among prebiotic chemists.
The Current State:
THOSE WHO THINK scientists understand the issues of prebiotic chemistry are wholly misinformed. Nobody understands them. Maybe one day we will. But that day is far from today. It would be far more helpful (and hopeful) to expose students to the massive gaps in our understanding. They may find a firmer—and possibly a radically different—scientific theory.
The basis upon which we as scientists are relying is so shaky that we must openly state the situation for what it is: it is a mystery."
 Synthesising organic molecules is hard. If one little step is off, most of the time you have to restart from the beginning. As said before, chemistry doesn't care about life. In the lab, chemist are able to stop a chemical reaction once they achieve a planned result. In nature, how does inanimate matter know when to stop these reactions? 
As seen above chemical reactions that occur while synthesising aren't just hard, they are planned. Multiple times the substance must be cooled to specific temperatures then it must be mixed, and dried (heated) for certain amounts of time. Time, thought to be evolutions greatest friend is actually it's enemy. For example, if a chemist wanted to get a carbohydrate (a kinetic product, more unstable than thermodynamic products) they would need to stop the reaction at the time they get it. If they do not, they won't stay simple carbohydrates and may begin to decompose at a rate based on the temperature and other factors. Purification is also very important. Purification in a chemical context is the physical separation of a chemical substance of interest from foreign or contaminating substances. If this is not done, the byproducts will build up in the system (while wasting the starting material) and start inhibiting the reactions that you want. It is very hard for a inanimate and unconscious reaction to purify itself. For example, H2O (water) is purified naturally via evaporation.  In conclusion, chemical reaction success can rely on factors such as order, time, temperature, purity, pressure, light, no light, or gases. These conditions have to be carefully controlled to build complex molecular structures.  
Tour boldly states that just because organic chemist can form a nucleotide in a lab, that doesn't mean they have DNA. DNA is a helix of nucleotides, which all need to stick together. The problem? Enzymes configure the nucleotides in order so that they actually produce real genetic information, how does nature do this? It actually never has been shown that it can. There are also interactomes which are the whole set of molecular interactions in a particular cell. Tour states that nobody knows how a viable cell can emerge from the massive combinatorial (relating to the selection of a given number of elements from a larger number without regard to their arrangement) complexity of its molecular components, plus no one has ever synthetically mimicked it. He goes further and says, if one merely considers all protein-protein interactome combinations in just a single yeast cell, the result is estimated 1079,000,000,000 combinations. Just to show you how big that number is, compare it with 1090 which is the estimated amount of elemental particles in the universe. Also, did I mention that amino acids haven't been shown to naturally stick together? ("We can always go to the lab and manufacture synthetic peptides, but it speeds things up if first we can identify a natural mechanism [that] is the result of millions of years of evolution." -molecular biologist Maxwell Hincke of the University of Ottawa) Well in our body they link together by peptide bonds. This is when an enzyme (ribosome) and energy are used, without an enzyme mere energy will actually break any existing bonds more times than it will simply bond. Mother nature has a big challenge, it has to put 60-100 amino acids together without a ribosome (the right sides have to connect as well) and they have to be in the right order to fold. A ribosome links amino acids together in order by reading RNA  to form a polypeptide chain. After, it then folds the protein in a three-dimensional shape so it can become useful. Even if mother nature could get a protein what would it do with it? It would most likely break apart and become useless before finding a cell membrane, etc. "The peptide bonds of proteins are metastable (stable provided it is subjected to no more than small disturbances) , and will break spontaneously in a slow process." -Lumen Learning
(Wait, I thought evolution was a slow process?)
DNA is so complex, here's a quick fact about how long it is:
"This allows the 3 billion base pairs in each cell to fit into a space just 6 microns across. If you stretched the DNA in one cell all the way out, it would be about 2 meters long and all the DNA in all your cells put together would be about twice the diameter of the Solar System." -BBC Science Focus Magazine
James Tour is just one of over a thousand PhD scientist that have signed "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism" that reads "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged."

On his website (jmtour.com) he further states: 

"Therefore, I do not understand the mechanisms needed to change body plans or the mechanisms along the descent pathway between the australopithecine brain and modern human brains if we were indeed commonly descended as predicted by the theory of universal common descent. Nobody else understands the mechanisms either. Nobody. But I am saying it publicly, hence the arousal of some toward my open comments of skepticism. Recall, evolution is both about the mechanism by which change occurs over time, and the theory of universal common descent. But the mechanisms are unknown and the theory of universal common descent is confronted by issues of uncommonness through ENCODE and orphan gene (orphan genes are  genes that are present in only one species, or a group of closely related species) research. And each year the evidence for uncommonness is escalating."

This is very interesting, because it's true. Mutations do occur, yes. They account for evolution or adaptation in the way of small or micro(evolution) changes. Mutations have limits based on their types which can include point mutations, frame-shift mutations, non-sense mutations, missense mutations, etc. Please review the types that Wiki shows:

DNA mutations:

When DNA is copied mistakes are sometimes made – these are called mutations. There are four main types of mutations:

  • Deletion, where one or more DNA bases are left out.
  • Insertion, where one or more extra base is put in.
  • Substitution, where one or more bases are changed for another base in the sequence.
  • Duplication, where whole genes are copied.

Chromosome mutations:

  • Deletion: a piece of chromosome is lost, together with any genes which may be on it.
  • Duplication: part of a chromosome is repeated
  • Inversion: part of a chromosome is reversed end to end
  • Insertion: a smaller chromosome is added into a longer chromosome
  • Translocation: part of a chromosome gets moved onto another chromosome.

Do you see a type that can add new genetic information? No, because mutations can't. By "new" we mean the body plans for complex wings or arms when a fish was evolving. We understand it's supposed to happen slowly, but what advantage would a fish have with little shoulder bones sticking out for millions of years until it could form the elbow, then finally a hand? Mutations have to work with what the genetic information gives them. Yes, bases can get mixed up, DNA can get copied and put in a wrong section, etc. This does not mean that new genetic information is being added to eventually form a new species. Chromosome mutations usually have very small "body-plan" benefits such as a change in eye color, or resistance to malaria. While the disadvantages can be linked to disorders like down syndrome. Take the average dog for example (yes dogs and wolves are the same kind as they can interbreed) , humans have been breeding this species for a long time (some estimates are at 15,000 years) and we still have dogs (which should honestly look more like wolves). If anything has been shown, it is that the dogs have lost genetic information instead of gaining any. Take the pug for example, our cross breeding led to numerous ailments in the dog, including high blood pressure, heart problems, low oxygenation, difficulty breathing, overheating, dentition problems and skin fold dermatitis. And its curled tail is actually a genetic defect that can likely cause paralysis. This is just one type of dog, we have messed up many others. Genetic mutations have never, and I mean never have been shown to produce a new species or "kind" as the bible puts it. The amount of difficulties (or impossibilities) evolution would have to surpass would be insane. Complex cells would have to evolve into complex tissue, and organs, and creatures. These creatures would need to generate body plans so they can sexually reproduce biologically (which sexual (two gender) reproduction is incredibly complex on it's own - asexual (one gender) reproduction is much more simple why not just stay with that?), digest food, grow limbs, a brain that pairs with the entire body, lungs that take in oxygen, generate veins to support blood flow, a heart that is reliable to pump, liver, etc. We are more complex than you can imagine, I have a very hard time believing that evolution can explain the issue of "new information" forming multiple times for different species to evolve. Think of it this way.. with a computer program if you go into the code and replace a string of code in a random spot the mathematical probability of you messing up the program is much more probable than you making it better. So, how could genetic mutations do so to produce complex organs? They can't.

 

In 1997, in an interview Richard Dawkins was asked to "give an example of a genetic mutation or an evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the information in the genome". He then paused in silence for about 11 seconds before asking the filmmakers to turn off the camera. He later stated that he did so not because he didn't know the answer but because he was mad at the fact that he was tricked into doing an interview with a creationist. In a article he typed he wrote:

"The answer in practice is complicated and controversial, all bound up with a vigorous debate over whether evolution is, in general, progressive. I am one of those associated with a limited form of yes answer. My colleague Stephen Jay Gould tends towards a no answer. I don’t think anybody would deny that, by any method of measuring – whether bodily information content, total information capacity of genome, capacity of genome actually used, or true (“Stuffit compressed”) information content of genome – there has been a broad overall trend towards increased information content during the course of human evolution from our remote bacterial ancestors. People might disagree, however, over two important questions: first, whether such a trend is to be found in all, or a majority of evolutionary lineages (for example parasite evolution often shows a trend towards decreasing bodily complexity, because parasites are better off being simple); second, whether, even in lineages where there is a clear overall trend over the very long term, it is bucked by so many reversals and re-reversals in the shorter term as to undermine the very idea of progress. This is not the place to resolve this interesting controversy. There are distinguished biologists with good arguments on both sides."

The argument he tries to make is flawed. He dodges the real question of how new genetic information that can form countless body plans can come about from mutations. In his paper he speaks heavily about duplications, which does not and cannot transform one species to another. He speaks of "total memory storage" saying there can be an increase of the total amount of information in a system. This also ignores the real question as insertion mutations can occur (total amount of information does increase), causing the production of a non-functional protein. Just because the genetic information in a system increases, does not imply that the information is useful or beneficial in any way. Even in an extremely rare case that a miracle happens and it is beneficial, the species will not change. For example in the famous scientific journal "Nature" here is a quote by Suzanne Clancy (Ph.D.)

"Although the haploid human genome consists of 3 billion nucleotides, changes in even a single base pair can result in dramatic physiological malfunctions. For example, sickle-cell anemia is a disease caused by the smallest of genetic changes. Here, the alteration of a single nucleotide in the gene for the beta chain of the hemoglobin protein (the oxygen-carrying protein that makes blood red) is all it takes to turn a normal hemoglobin gene into a sickle-cell hemoglobin gene. This single nucleotide change alters only one amino acid in the protein chain, but the results are devastating." Furthermore stating: "Molecules of sickle-cell hemoglobin stick to one another, forming rigid rods. These rods cause a person's red blood cells to take on a deformed, sickle-like shape, thus giving the disease its name. The rigid, misshapen blood cells do not carry oxygen well, and they also tend to clog capillaries, causing an affected person's blood supply to be cut off to various tissues, including the brain and the heart. Therefore, when an afflicted individual exerts himself or herself even slightly, he or she often experiences terrible pain, and he or she might even undergo heart attack or stroke—all because of a single nucleotide mutation."

Still think mutations can produce new body plans?

It is important to note that there are some programed "good" mutations such as apoptosis (the death of cells which occurs as a normal and controlled part of an organism's growth or development). These are not random though, the genetic information for this to happen exist. In fact, there are at least one million molecular lesions per cell per day that have to be corrected by nucleotide excision repair. This is the process in which enzymes remove incorrect bases with the aid of DNA polymerase (enzyme) and the DNA template. That is correct, during replication the original DNA strand serves as a template for enzymes to make sure the replication was successful. These mutations (if not corrected) can become highly dangerous. DNA repair is vital for living organisms to survive. 

"DNA damage repair and protection does influence the rate of accumulation of irreparable, advantageous, code expanding, inheritable mutations, and slows down the evolutionary mechanism for expansion of the genome of organisms with new functionalities. The tension between evolvability and mutation repair and protection needs further investigation." - Wiki

What the above statement is saying is that mutations are supposed to be evolutions best friend, but not many mutations can get past our body's natural repair mechanism. Thus, evolution needs more time as the process is very, very slow. When there is a mutation in the mutation repair system (xeroderma pigmentosum), is it not good.

"Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) is a genetic disorder (autosomal recessive) in which there is a decreased ability to repair DNA damage such as that caused by ultraviolet (UV) light. Symptoms may include a severe sunburn after only a few minutes in the sun, freckling in sun exposed areas, dry skin, and changes in skin pigmentation" -Wiki

We would show you pictures, but it is not pretty at all. So, was this amazing repair process with all living life from the beginning or did it evolve after all living organisms got xeroderma pigmentosum or worse? This repair system is vital. Even the light that's hitting your skin right now is causing mutations that are being repaired as you read this.

Even in popular scientific journals such as Nature, people are beginning to understand that human interaction is far too interactive when speaking of OOL. Clemens Richert, a German organic chemist points towards human interaction and the purity of chemicals as unrealistic. The complex notes, tools, and knowledge these scientist use were not available to inanimate matter.
Nature did not have a finished product to use, and try to reverse engineer it. Yet, we do and we still can't with 21st century technology. 
Chemistry of Early Earth
For OOL, the chemistry of the early Earth is a big deal as it describes the environment evolution would have had to take place in. I wanted to include a paragraph from astronomer Hugh Ross's book Creator & The Cosmos to capture the significance of this perfectly:
"All that Wallace and Darwin offered to explain how life originated without the need for a benevolent Creator was a hypothesis of a warm Pond filled with life's building block molecules that spontaneously self-assembled into a simple life form from which we all evolved. Much later Carl Sagan acknowledged that Darwin and Wallace's Pond must be expanded to at least the size of All Earth's oceans and that a minimum of a billion years would be needed for any self-assembly to be possible. Later still, origin of Life researchers recognized more requirements. Earth's oceans must be packed with a dense concentration of all the required building block molecules, these molecules must be homochiral (all the ribose sugars right handed in their configuration and all the amino acids left handed), and Earth's oceans must be kept at optimal chemical and physical conditions for a very long time. Over the past seven decades origin of Life researchers have discovered that none of these requirements for a naturalistic explanation of life's origin on Earth were met. Many necessary building block molecules were missing for example, alanine, arginine and tryptophan (the amino acids essential for making life critical proteins) are missing outside of living organisms and the decay products of these organisms not only on Earth but everywhere astronomers have looked in the universe. Similarly (ribose the five carbon sugar essential for linking nucleobases to make DNA and RNA) is missing. While lab experiments demonstrate that these molecules that are the fundamental building blocks of life molecules can be produced under conditions present in comets and interstellar molecular clouds, the calculated production minus destruction rates yield abundances well below the present detection limits of several parts per billion. Abundances that low make naturalistic explanations for the origin of life impossible. Outside of living organisms and their decay products there are no natural sources of homochiral amino acids and ribose sugars. The only example beyond a trivial excess of left-handed amino acids compared to right-handed ones was in the Tagish Lake meteorite, where an excess of about 43 to 59% aspartic acid was found. However, in the same sample alanine was found to be racemic (possessing equal amounts of left and right-handed molecules). Assembly of these amino acids into proteins requires that all of them be 100% left handed. Life's origin on Earth or on any other conceivably habitable planet faces the oxygen ultraviolet paradox. Even the tiniest amount of oxygen in the environment shuts down prebiotic chemistry. However, no oxygen in the environment means that there would be no shield to prevent the penetration of Life destroying ultraviolet radiation emanating from the host star. In the case of Earth, oxygen was present at a level to prevent a naturalistic origin of life. Life's origin on Earth was not a process drawn out over a billion plus years it occurred in a geologic instant. The time interval between the first appearance of stable liquid water on Earth and the first appearance of stable life measures less than 10 million years. Furthermore this origin occurred under hostile not benign environmental conditions. No building block molecules, no homochirality, the presence of oxygen, and little or no time not only rules out viable hypotheses for a naturalistic origin life, it also rules out even the possibility of developing a scenario for a naturalistic origin of life." - Pages 135-137 of Creator & The Cosmos by Hugh Ross
Enzymes Needed For Life
In 1998, Dr. Richard Wolfenden demonstrated that a chemical reaction that was essential for life (as it created the building blocks for DNA/RNA) would take 78 million years in water. So, what's the catch? An Enzyme quickened the process by a factor of 1018 . The reaction is called orotidine 5′-monophosphate decarboxylase, which is responsible for de novo synthesis of uridine 5′-phosphate, an essential precursor of RNA and DNA, by decarboxylating orotidine 5′-monophosphate (OMP). To help explain what this means exactly:
"orotidylate decarboxylase is an enzyme involved in pyrimidine biosynthesis. It catalyzes the decarboxylation of orotidine monophosphate (OMP) to form uridine monophosphate (UMP). The function of this enzyme is essential to the de novo biosynthesis of the pyrimidine nucleotides uridine triphosphate, cytidine triphosphate, and thymidine triphosphate. OMP decarboxylase has been a frequent target for scientific investigation because of its demonstrated extreme catalytic efficiency and its usefulness as a selection marker for yeast strain engineering." - Wiki
Dr. Richard Wolfenden, (who is now known for his contributions to the understanding of catalytic rate enhancements) made multiple other huge discoveries. In 2003, he discovered that a phosphatase (a type of enzyme) that had the obligation to catalyse the hydrolysis (the chemical breakdown of a compound due to reaction with water) of phosphate dianions, magnified the reaction rate by thousands of times more than the previous enzyme by a factor of 1021 times. To put this into perspective.. are you ready for this? The phosphatase allows reactions critical for cell signalling and regulation to occur in a hundredth of a second. Without the enzyme, this essential reaction would take a trillion years.
He has to be done right? Nope. In 2008 he co-published a paper in UNC School of Medicine, Biochemistry and Biophysics which describes how another enzyme speeds up a reaction that would take over 2 billion years. View his quote below.
“Now we’ve found a reaction that – again, in the absence of an enzyme – is almost 30 times slower than that,” Wolfenden said. “Its half-life – the time it takes for half the substance to be consumed – is 2.3 billion years, about half the age of the Earth. Enzymes can make that reaction happen in milliseconds.” - Dr. Richard Wolfenden (Alumni Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics, and member of the National Academy of Sciences). It is worth leaving this last quote from Dr. Richard for you to read:
"Without catalysts, there would be no life at all, from microbes to humans. It makes you wonder how natural selection operated in such a way as to produce a protein that got off the ground as a primitive catalyst for such an extraordinarily slow reaction." - Dr. Richard W.
Conclusion:
Life is hard.
Life makes life.
Non-life makes non-life.
The end.
(If you scrolled to the bottom without reading the full article, the conclusion sadly is not descriptive enough. Sorry!)
If you did read this complete article we hope you enjoyed the 2nd edition in our Evidence For God blog series. Check back next week for new evidence! We will be covering biological evolution, so called transitional fossils, and more in the future. Please feel free to view the videos below to dive deeper in this topic.
James Tour - Flaws of Evolution:
 Dr. David Menton - Vestigial organs? Not so fast.
Ben Shapiro & Stephen Meyer Talk:Assembly of Bacteria Flagella:

1 comment

Cynthia Alvarez

Praise Jesus! He is so good…I can’t comprehend His goodness sometimes. I just recently took a pre-med biology class and felt shame about starting to doubt my faith with everything that my professor was teaching..I felt confused in my faith, but even through that confusion and “weak” point of my faith I still called out to God and asked Him to reveal more of himself to me, and to grant me wisdom and discernment during this season of my life. Of course God responded! I am so thankful. I randomly found this website and it has proven to be a great blessing for me. I am thankful that I can now support my faith through a scientific point of view as well. What a great resource and blessing this has been. God is so good. Keep doing what you are doing, and God-Speed. <3

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