An Example of the Logic of "Chance" The Complex Structure and Systems in the Cell
The Problem of the Origin of Proteins Left-handed Proteins The Indispensability of the Peptide Link Zero Probability Is There a Trial-and-Error Mechanism in Nature?
The Evolutionary Argument about the Origin of Life Miller's Experiment












 The Invalidity of the RNA World

The discovery in the 1970s that the gases originally existing in the primitive atmosphere of the earth would have rendered amino acid synthesis impossible was a serious blow to the theory of molecular evolution. Evolutionists then had to face the fact that the "primitive atmosphere experiments" by Stanley Miller, Sydney Fox, Cyril Ponnamperuma and others were invalid. For this reason, in the 1980s the evolutionists tried again. As a result, the "RNA World" hypothesis was advanced. This scenario proposed that, not proteins, but rather the RNA molecules that contained the information for proteins, were formed first.

According to this scenario, advanced by Harvard chemist Walter Gilbert in 1986, inspired by the discovery about "ribozymes" by Thomas Cech, billions of years ago an RNA molecule capable of replicating itself formed somehow by accident. Then this RNA molecule started to produce proteins, having been activated by external influences. Thereafter, it became necessary to store this information in a second molecule, and somehow the DNA molecule emerged to do that.

Made up as it is of a chain of impossibilities in each and every stage, this scarcely credible scenario, far from providing any explanation of the origin of life, only magnified the problem, and raised many unanswerable questions:

1. Since it is impossible to accept the coincidental formation of even one of the nucleotides making up RNA, how can it be possible for these imaginary nucleotides to form RNA by coming together in a particular sequence? Evolutionist John Horgan admits the impossibility of the chance formation of RNA;

As researchers continue to examine the RNA-World concept closely, more problems emerge. How did RNA initially arise? RNA and its components are difficult to synthesize in a laboratory under the best of conditions, much less under really plausible ones.274

2. Even if we suppose that it formed by chance, how could this RNA, consisting of just a nucleotide chain, have "decided" to self-replicate, and with what kind of mechanism could it have carried out this self-replicating process? Where did it find the nucleotides it used while self-replicating? Even evolutionist microbiologists Gerald Joyce and Leslie Orgel express the desperate nature of the situtation in their book In the RNA World:

This discussion… has, in a sense, focused on a straw man: the myth of a self-replicating RNA molecule that arose de novo from a soup of random polynucleotides. Not only is such a notion unrealistic in light of our current understanding of prebiotic chemistry, but it would strain the credulity of even an optimist's view of RNA's catalytic potential.275

3. Even if we suppose that there was self-replicating RNA in the primordial world, that numerous amino acids of every type ready to be used by RNA were available, and that all of these impossibilities somehow took place, the situation still does not lead to the formation of even one single protein. For RNA only includes information concerning the structure of proteins. Amino acids, on the other hand, are raw materials. Nevertheless, there is no mechanism for the production of proteins. To consider the existence of RNA sufficient for protein production is as nonsensical as expecting a car to assemble itself by simply throwing the blueprint onto a heap of parts piled up on top of each other. A blueprint cannot produce a car all by itself without a factory and workers to assemble the parts according to the instructions contained in the blueprint; in the same way, the blueprint contained in RNA cannot produce proteins by itself without the cooperation of other cellular components which follow the instructions contained in the RNA.

Proteins are produced in the ribosome factory with the help of many enzymes, and as a result of extremely complex processes within the cell. The ribosome is a complex cell organelle made up of proteins. This leads, therefore, to another unreasonable supposition-that ribosomes, too, should have come into existence by chance at the same time. Even Nobel Prize winner Jacques Monod, who was one of the most fanatical defenders of evolution-and atheism-explained that protein synthesis can by no means be considered to depend merely on the information in the nucleic acids:

The code is meaningless unless translated. The modern cell's translating machinery consists of at least 50 macromolecular components, which are themselves coded in DNA: the code cannot be translated otherwise than by products of translation themselves. It is the modern expression of omne vivum ex ovo. When and how did this circle become closed? It is exceedingly difficult to imagine.276

How could an RNA chain in the primordial world have taken such a decision, and what methods could it have employed to make protein production happen by doing the work of 50 specialized particles on its own? Evolutionists have no answer to these questions. One article in the preeminent scientific journal Nature makes it clear that the concept of "self-replicating RNA" is a complete product of fantasy, and that actually this kind of RNA has not been produced in any experiment:

DNA replication is so error-prone that it needs the prior existence of protein enzymes to improve the copying fidelity of a gene-size piece of DNA. "Catch-22" say Maynard Smith and Szathmary. So, wheel on RNA with its now recognized properties of carrying both informational and enzymatic activity, leading the authors to state: "In essence, the first RNA molecules did not need a protein polymerase to replicate them; they replicated themselves." Is this a fact or a hope? I would have thought it relevant to point out for 'biologists in general' that not one self-replicating RNA has emerged to date from quadrillions (1024) of artificially synthesized, random RNA sequences.277

Dr. Leslie Orgel, one of the associates of Stanley Miller and Francis Crick from the University of California at San Diego, uses the term "scenario" for the possibility of "the origination of life through the RNA World." Orgel described what kind of features this RNA would have had to have and how impossible these would have been in his article "The Origin of Life," published in Scientific American in October 1994:

This scenario could have occurred, we noted, if prebiotic RNA had two properties not evident today: A capacity to replicate without the help of proteins and an ability to catalyze every step of protein synthesis.278

As should by now be clear, to expect these two complex and extremely essential processes from a molecule such as RNA is againt scientific thought. Concrete scientific facts, on the other hand, makes it explicit that the RNA World hypothesis, which is a new model proposed for the chance formation of life, is an equally implausible fable.

John Horgan, in his book The End of Science, reports that Stanley Miller viewed the theories subsequently put forward regarding the origin of life as quite meaningless (It will be recalled that Miller was the originator of the famous Miller Experiment, which was later revealed to be invalid.):

In fact, almost 40 years after his original experiment, Miller told me that solving the riddle of the origin of life had turned out to be more difficult than he or anyone else had envisioned… Miller seemed unimpressed with any of the current proposals on the origin of life, referring to them as "nonsense" or "paper chemistry." He was so contemptuous of some hypotheses that, when I asked his opinion of them, he merely shook his head, sighed deeply, and snickered-as if overcome by the folly of humanity. Stuart Kauffman's theory of autocatalysis fell into this category. "Running equations through a computer does not constitute an experiment," Miller sniffed. Miller acknowledged that scientists may never know precisely where and when life emerged.279

This statement, by a pioneer of the struggle to find an evolutionary explanation for the origin of life, clearly reflects the despair felt by evolutionist scientists over the cul-de-sac they find themselves in.

274 John Horgan, "In the Beginning," Scientific American, vol. 264, February 1991, p. 119.
275 G. F. Joyce, L. E. Orgel, "Prospects for Understanding the Origin of the RNA World," In the RNA World, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, New York, 1993, p. 13.
276 Jacques Monod, Chance and Necessity, New York, 1971, p. 143. (emphasis added)
277 Dover, Gabby L., "Looping the Evolutionary loop, review of the origin of life from the birth of life to the origin of language," Nature, 1999, vol. 399, p. 218. (emphasis added)
278 Leslie E. Orgel, "The Origin of Life on the Earth," Scientific American, October 1994, vol. 271, p. 78.
279 Horgan, John, The End of Science, MA Addison-Wesley, 1996, p. 139.