On this ID the Future, Brian Miller, research coordinator for the Center for Science & Culture, reports on laboratory research recently presented in Nature Communications and in a University of Tokyo press release— research that supposedly provides dramatic “new insights into the possible origin of life,” and specifically “the molecular evolution of RNA.” The popular press picked up on these claims and ran with them, including in this May 5 Quanta article that breathlessly reported, “When researchers gave a genetic molecule the ability to replicate, it evolved over time into a complex network of ‘hosts’ and ‘parasites’ that both competed and cooperated to survive.” Miller says nothing remotely this dramatic occurred in the experiment. He insists there were no great revelations from this laboratory work, aside perhaps from it further corroborating the view that precisely orchestrated interventions of an intelligent designer (in this case, that of the lab researchers) are required in order to make any headway on the road from non-life to life. But as Miller’s conversation with host Eric Anderson suggests, even that might be to exaggerate what the University of Tokyo experimenters accomplished, since the RNA “evolution” they achieved was actually devolution. Tune in as Miller and Anderson break it down. And for more, check out Miller’s Evolution News article on the subject.
Today’s ID the Future features the next in a YouTube video series by Dr. James Tour on the origin-of-life problem. Here Tour, a distinguished synthetic organic chemist, lists the characteristics of life and describes some features of the early Earth where life first appeared. Then he provides a fast flyover of the many grave problems of blindly evolving the first living cell from prebiotic materials.
Today’s ID the Future provides another peek at A Mousetrap for Darwin: Michael J. Behe Answers His Critics. Here Behe and host Eric Anderson discuss the new book’s section on malaria evolution. Evolutionists say malaria’s ability to evolve resistance to the antimalarial drug chloroquine is powerful evidence of unguided microbe-to-man evolution. Behe discusses how this evolutionary innovation required two coordinated mutations and lies at the outside edge of what blind evolution can manage. But many innovations in the history of life require three or more coordinated mutations, which Behe argues is so improbable as to lie beyond the reach of blind evolution. If so, this would discredit evolutionary theory. Drawing from his new book, Behe discusses various attempts to discredit his argument and explains why he’s convinced that each such attempt collapses under scrutiny.