Theory of Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins

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Theory of Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » Origin of life » The Myth of the Pre-biotic Soup

The Myth of the Pre-biotic Soup

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1 The Myth of the Pre-biotic Soup on Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:37 am

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The primordial soup

Any discussion on the origin is life is not complete without considering the primordial soup. There is no direct evidence of the soup’s existence, and on purely theoretical ground it should not exist. If it did exist, science can say with certainty that it was a very localized existence. That is it may have been a small puddle, near a volcano, right at the entrance of a cave, near an ocean or a river. The primitive ocean was definitely not the primordial soup.

The ocean could not possibly serve as the soup because it would dilute the biological precursors, and it would not protect the precursors from ultraviolet light.


  Many authors have criticized the concept of the soup. Its resilience in biology text books is quite amazing given that so few scientists believe that it ever existed.

"Accordingly, Abelson(1966), Hull(1960), Sillen(1965), and many others have criticized the hypothesis that the primitive ocean, unlike the contemporary ocean, was a "thick soup" containing all of the micromolecules required for the next stage of molecular evolution. The concept of a primitive "thick soup" or "primordial broth" is one of the most persistent ideas at the same time that is most strongly contraindicated by thermodynamic reasoning and by lack of experimental support."


- Sidney Fox, Klaus Dose on page 37 in Molecular Evolution and the Origin of Life.

"the primitive ocean was steadily irradiated with a relatively high dose of solar ultraviolet light . . . A steady irradiation of a rather homogeneous solution results in degradative rather than synthetic reactions" Sidney Fox, Klaus Dose in Molecular Evolution and the Origin of Life.


- Thaxton, Bradley, Olsen on page 66 of The Mystery of Life's Origin.

"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 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 usual 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."




“Contrary to earlier suggestions that essentially all stages of chemical evolution occurred in the open seas, it is now generally accepted that the concentration of the soup was probably too small for efficient synthesis......”- Nissenbaum, Kenyon, Oro, in the “Journal of Molecular Evolution,” 1975.

Furthermore, any organic compounds not destroyed by UV light would react to form an insoluble polymer. This reaction known as the Maillard reaction would remove most of the organic molecules in the soup making them unavailable for chemical evolution.

“ The rapid formation of this insoluble polymeric material would have removed the bulk of the dissolved organic carbon from the primitive oceans and would thus have prevented the formation of the organic soup.” - Nissenbaum, Kenyon, Oro, Journal of Molecular Evolution, 1975.


In summary:

1) It is extremely difficult to create information and knowledge before life exists.
2) Excessive investigator interference is required to make biological subunits polymerize.
3) The prebiotic synthesis of the subunits required for DNA and RNA (especially ribose and cytosine) presents some very serious challenges.
4) It is unlikely that any single chemical can possess the required knowledge to replicate, because it must not only know how to replicate, but it must also know how to use an energy source to drive its own replication.
5) Any favorable environment for chemical evolution would have been highly localized to a small puddle.
6) Because of the localized nature of the soup and the low concentration of biological precursors, any robust self replicating system (i.e. Life) would need the ability to synthesize many of the chemicals required for self replication. Any self replicating system lacking this capability would not be able to survive much less replicate.

Taken together the evidence suggests that the first living thing was not a self replicating molecule, but rather a system of chemicals that contained the knowledge required to replicate, and the ability to couple this replication to an energy source. Furthermore, the scarcity of chemicals like ribose, adenine, and cytosine imply that for this system to survive, it must have been able to synthesize many if not all such chemicals from more abundant chemicals. All of these factors imply that the first living thing was not that much simpler than life as it exists today. It may have even been more complex.


The primordial soup is often envisioned as an evaporating pond next to the ocean. The tides and waves continually bring new chemicals into the pond, the sun evaporates the water concentrating the chemicals, and the chemicals polymerize into things like RNA molecules. Thaxton discussed this myth at length in his out of print book: The Mystery of Life's Origin. The basic problem is that the uv light destroys biological molecules faster than it synthesizes them. And the salt in the ocean once concentrated will prevent the polymerization of organic molcules (salt causes these molecules to precipitate out of solution so that they are no longer available for polymerization), so the picture below is not really the primordial soup. The primordial soup is a myth - it never existed. I took this picture on Salt Cay in the Turks in Caicos.


http://xwalk.ca/origin.html

The Myth of the Pre-biotic Soup

    During the last two decades, the notion of a primordial soup has not fared too well either. Studies of the atmosphere, ultraviolet radiation, and the dilutional effect of a large body of water, have convinced many scientists that the ocean could not have developed into the "hot dilute soup" that was envisioned by Darwin, Oparin, and Haldane.

    Oparin envisioned the production of cellular building blocks in the atmosphere as a result of lightning or ultraviolet radiation. Stanley Miller's experiment attempted to validate this concept. Once produced, these chemicals would theoretically build up in the primordial oceans and combine to form the first living systems. However, since Miller's experiments in 1953, it has been estimated that it would take up to two years for amino acids to fall from the atmosphere into the ocean.18 This is a problem because even small amounts of ultraviolet radiation would destroy the building blocks before they reached the oceans. Furthermore, as we saw earlier, lack of ozone would further expedite this destruction.

"Rocks of great antiquity have been examined over the past two decades and in none of them has any trace of abiotically produced organic compounds been found...Considering the way the pre- biotic soup is referred to in so many discussions of the origin of life as an already established reality, it comes as something of a shock to realize that there is absolutely no positive evidence for its existence."


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, Bradley, and Olsen, 1984, p. 66).

http://scienceandscientist.org/biology/

Polymerization yields water molecules as one of the end products along with polymers. Le Chatelier’s Principle explains that the presence of a product (in present case, water) in the reaction medium will substantially slow the reaction. Darwinists proclaim that first life originated in water over a long span of time by a self-organization of molecules. The equilibrium concentration of biological polymers is sufficiently low and thus they have a propensity to break apart in water, not organize.[46] Consequently, an increase in time will only facilitate water to destroy the polymers. This crisis is one of the biggest headaches for the Darwinists.



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2 Re: The Myth of the Pre-biotic Soup on Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:20 pm

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http://releasingthetruth.wordpress.com/category/evolution-2/

“Every time one component reacts with a second component forming the polymer, the chemical reaction also forms water as a byproduct … There is a rule of chemical reactions … called the Law of Mass Action that says all reactions proceed in a direction from highest to lowest concentration. This means that any reaction that produces water cannot be performed in the presence of water. This Law of Mass Action provides a total hindrance to protein, DNA/RNA, and polysaccharide formation because even if the condensation took place, the water from a supposed primordial soup would immediately hydrolyze them. Thus, if they are formed according to evolutionary theory, the water would have to be removed … which is impossible in a “watery” soup.

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3 Re: The Myth of the Pre-biotic Soup on Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:26 pm

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http://christiananswers.net/q-crs/abiogenesis.html

Based on a geochemical assessment, Thaxton, Bradley, and Olsen (1984 p. 66) concluded that in the atmosphere the "many destructive interactions would have so vastly diminished, if not altogether consumed, essential precursor chemicals, that chemical evolution rates would have been negligible" in the various water basins on the primitive earth. They concluded that the “soup” would have been far too diluted for direct polymerization to occur. Even local ponds where some concentrating of soup ingredients may have occurred 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, Bradley, and Olsen, 1984, p. 66).

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