Thursday, 1 August 2013

Creationism is running for cover..again

Creationism (intelligent design) is running out of places to hide. I have posted before about the chemical origins of life, but this week some fascinating new evidence (three manuscripts) has been presented for the chemical origins of life.

These papers deal with the Submarine Hydrothermal Alkaline Spring Theory. A similar theory to this theory the Iron-sulfur World Theory was first proposed by Günter Wächtershäuser between 1988 and 1992, so this idea is not new. Interestingly, this is again science refining and showing that some things work and some things don't, but importantly not blind acceptance. So here we have a different theory that bases the formation of life on the harnessing of energy (heat) from deep sea vents. Also it is believed and has been shown in these and other papers that the basic building blocks for life are formed by the chemical reactions that occur between chemicals in the hot vent water and chemicals in the cold water surrounding the vents. These chemicals are then able to form what we would call a type of cell membrane, similar in structure but not in composition.

 (Pic source)

Interestingly in the one paper titled Turnstiles and bifurcators, the authors have done studies which show that the energy reactions occurring in this environment are not been forced to do so. This is important as the reactions taking place are obtaining the energy spontaneously (without outside help) which means this could be the onset of metabolism. Remember metabolism is the use of energy (chemical transformation) in a living organism which keeps the organism alive. Here is what the author says in the abstract
"Here we discuss the thermodynamics of FEC (Free Energy Conversion) and advance proposals regarding the nature and roles of the FEC devices that could, in principle, have arisen spontaneously in the alkaline hydrothermal context and have forced the onset of a protometabolism."

What makes this fascinating is that the scientists who consider this the method by which life evolved are getting closer to recreating the experiment in the lab. So now my question: creationists when this experiment is finally done, will you then say okay we were wrong? Or will you find some other stupid reason to retain your belief in an intelligent designer.

Here is a list of the papers with their links. (These paper may be subscription only depending on your affiliation etc.).
Beating the acetyl coenzyme A-pathway to the origin of life
The inevitable journey to being
Turnstiles and bifurcators: The disequilibrium converting engines that put metabolism on the road