It’s got to be tough dealing with failure after abject failure to conjure up evidence for life beyond our planet. Some of the most expensive tax-payer funded equipment and space missions have yielded abundant scientific information but nothing regarding extra-terrestrial life. So, life is tough for astrobiologists. But at least they are an optimistic lot.
They even have their own government-funded website. In their article on Jan 15th, they describe all of the reasons they have for hope in someday having their first success.
In a response to this article, the scientists at the Discovery Institute review the rules for astrobiologists, so that they don’t get caught up in too much optimism as to fabricate evidence for life having evolved somewhere in the universe.
- “Nature” to a materialist has no spirit, imagination, or goal.
- Inanimate matter has no “desire” to become animate; vitalism is out.
- “Building blocks of life” have no obligation or desire to assemble into a living thing.
- A lucky accident in one part of the origin-of-life scenario has no obligation or desire to join forces with another lucky accident somewhere else.
- A random chain of building blocks is not “information” in a biological sense, nor is a “pattern” of building blocks, nor are copies of a random chain or a pattern.
- Investigators are not allowed to interfere with natural processes in origin-of-life scenarios, because this sneaks information into the system.
- Wishful thinking is not science. One needs evidence. Putting the evidence into the future, “i.e., further research is needed,” is a cop-out.
- The complex functions of living cells cannot be used to infer origins in inanimate matter without begging the question raised by Rules 2 and 3.
Unfortunately, the writers of the astrobiology article break the rules over and over. Fortunately, the writers at Discovery Institute are there to referee the persistent fouls by the evolutionists:
- “Life’s origins are a mystery, but every year scientists get a little bit closer to understanding what made life possible on Earth, and possibly on other planets or moons.” [Violates Rules 1, 4 and 7]
- “We only have one known case study of life so far, on our own planet, but microbial life is considered possible in many other areas around the Solar System, such as on Mars, Jupiter’s icy Europa, and on Enceladus, a moon of Saturn that erupts water as geysers.” [Violates Rule 7]
- “One large wish of scientists these days is to create artificial cells that closely mimic what biological ones do so that it would be easy to create laboratory conditions to test out how they evolve.” [Violates Rules 2, 6, 7, and 8]
- “Researchers would be happy to create an artificial protocell, but that’s far from easy. Figuring out how inheritance work [sic] — how traits of a parent protocell are passed on to the next generation — is one of the largest problems facing scientists today.” [Violates Rules 6, 7, and 8]
- “The researchers brought in a hypothesis from three decades ago that assumed that any sequence of polymers (chain of small molecules) can encode information, and can becopied from one polymer strand to another using a process called template directed replication.” [Violates Rules 5 and 7]
- “When simulating information strings in the computer simulation, the researchers came up with a surprising discovery. Replication occurred as expected, with information strings duplicating themselves, but the scientists were surprised to see shorter and longer strings being created in strikingly regular patterns.” [Violates Rules 3, 4, 5 and 6]
- “Over time, the simulation showed the information strings were occurring in equal proportions of long and short lengths in predictable patterns. While the scientists can’t say for sure that this was a step along the road to life, they said it bears further investigation as they work to create artificial protocells.” [Violates Rules 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8]
When evolutionists get too excited in their hopes for finding meaning and purpose in evolution or life on other planets, it’s beneficial to reel them back into reality.
The problem for astrobiologists is not their enthusiasm for finding life in the universe. The problem is their starting point…their foundation in naturalism. Naturalism does not have any possibility of being true, but they’ve built an entire belief system on the shaky foundation.