ID the Future Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Podcast
Topic

RNA

Incredibly blue pool Blahver at Hveravellir is actually a hot geothermal spring in the heart of Iceland. Photo taken around midnight sunset
Image licensed from Adobe Stock

Top Ten Cheats in “Monumental” Origin of Life Research

A Washington Post headline recently declared that a "monumental experiment suggests how life on earth may have started." The reality, however, is far more sobering. In this episode of ID the Future, host Eric Anderson sits down with accomplished medical engineer and origin of life author, Robert Stadler, to discuss what this new research actually shows and the relevance to abiogenesis. More episodes and show notes at idthefuture.com. Read More ›
biotechnology-bioinformatics-concept-of-dna-and-protein-letter-background-dna-and-protein-sequence-3d-render-stockpack-adobe-stock
Biotechnology bioinformatics concept of DNA and protein letter background, DNA and protein sequence 3d render
Image licensed from Adobe Stock

Casey Luskin On Junk DNA’s ‘Kuhnian Paradigm Shift’

Prevailing scientific assumptions often die hard, especially when they fit so neatly into an evolutionary view of the development of life on earth. On this episode of ID The Future, Dr. Casey Luskin gives host Andrew McDiarmid an update on the paradigm shift around the concept of "junk DNA." Year after year for over a decade, new evidence has emerged revealing important functions for non-protein coding DNA, vindicating intelligent design scientists who have long predicted such function. Luskin summarizes the evidence and suggests a new way to look at these genomic treasures. Read More ›
single-helix-rna-epigenetics-concept-stockpack-adobe-stock
Single helix RNA, Epigenetics concept
Single helix RNA, Epigenetics concept

Minimal Replication Fidelity: Another Problem for the RNA World Hypothesis

The RNA world is proposed by some to explain how early life began before DNA. But is RNA capable of maintaining a life-friendly self-replication rate? On this ID The Future, host Andrew McDiarmid welcomes back Dr. Jonathan McLatchie to discuss another headache for the RNA world scenario. Before a trial and error process like natural selection can even get started, self-replicating molecules must have a minimal accuracy rate to copy genetic material effectively. The required fidelity rate is estimated to be 2%. Any error rate higher than that results in error catastrophe for organisms. The average error rate in RNA copying is estimated to be around 17%, vastly higher than the estimated maximum error threshold for survival. McLatchie explains the implications of this for chemical evolutionary theories like the RNA world hypothesis. He also explains how a Bayesian approach to this evidence can provide us with the likeliest explanation for the origin of biological life. "The sorts of features that we observe in life are not particularly surprising if we suppose that a mind is involved," says McLatchie. But things like minimal self-replication fidelity are wildly surprising on a naturalistic hypothesis. Read More ›
football goal posts
american football field goal post
american football field goal post Photo by phonlamaiphoto on Adobe Stock

James Tour: The Goalposts are Racing Away from the Origin-of-Life Community

On today’s ID the Future distinguished nanoscientist James Tour explains to host Eric Metaxas why the origin-of-life community is further than ever from solving the mystery of life’s origin, and how the public has gotten the false impression that scientists can synthesize life in the lab. Tour explains that origin-of-life scientists aren’t even close to intelligently synthesizing life from non-life in the lab. The problem, Tour says, is that some leading origin-of-life researchers give the impression they are right on the cusp of solving the problem. Not so, Tour says. He offers the analogy of someone claiming, in the year 1500, that he has the know-how to build a ship to travel to the moon, when no one yet knows Read More ›

University of Tokyo
Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan - The University of Tokyo is a public research university located in Bunkyo, Tokyo. Photo by vacant on Adobe Stock

Origin-of-Life Mystery at the University of Tokyo, Pt. 2

Today’s ID the Future is Part 2 of physicist Brian Miller exploring a recent report from the University of Tokyo claiming a big breakthrough in origin-of-life research. As Miller and host Eric Anderson make clear, the university’s laboratory work on RNA, detailed in a recent Nature Communications article, involved the intelligent interference of the lab scientists and, despite this intelligent interference, the devolution of RNA rather than the evolution of increasing RNA sophistication. Miller says that it’s ironic that Steven Novella, a scientist committed to puncturing science hype, seems to have fallen for the hype surrounding this laboratory work. Miller and Anderson go on to discuss critiques of origin-of-life tall-tale claims, critiques coming Robert Shapiro, James Tour, and others. Life, Read More ›

RNA
Single strand ribonucleic acid, RNA research and therapy
Single strand ribonucleic acid, RNA research and therapy Photo by nobeastsofierce on Adobe Stock

Did U of Tokyo Just Solve the Mystery of Life’s Origin?

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 Read More ›

shift blame
The student is sitting at the table and is looking for excuses for not being ready for the lesson. Photo by Dmitriy on Adobe Stock
Photo licensed via Adobe Stock

How Universal Common Descent Survives Failed Predictions

On today’s ID the Future, philosopher of biology Paul Nelson discusses his chapter in a recent Harvest House anthology edited by host Casey Luskin, The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith. Nelson says the theory of universal common descent, a key component of modern evolutionary theory, has generated multiple predictions that have failed. The prediction he discusses here is that there would turn out to be a single universal genetic code, since that’s what we should expect if all life on earth is descended from the last universal common ancestor (LUCA). Findings over the past three decades have  proven that prediction spectacularly wrong. How does the theory of universal common descent shrug off this contrary empirical finding? The trick for Read More ›

Rocky Ocean Beach Sea Shore Photo by vlorzor on Adobe Stock

New Animated Video Dismantles Origin-of-Life Hype

Today’s ID the Future spotlights a new origin-of-life video showing that researchers aren’t anywhere close to creating life from non-life, despite the fact most Americans seem to believe otherwise. In the episode, host Eric Anderson interviews Stairway to Life co-author Rob Stadler, who helped create the new Long Story Short animated video. Stadler and Anderson explore how origin-of-life papers and popular media reports have misled the public, evidenced by a survey underscored by Rice University synthetic organic chemist James Tour. Then they discuss several daunting origin-of-life hurdles beyond the synthesis of key chemical building blocks. These are hurdles significant enough that each alone may doom the idea of life having once emerged from non-life spontaneously. Indeed, it is now a Read More ›

lovers lost argument.jpg
Couple standing on the beach at sunset are having problems with each other
Couple standing on the beach at sunset are having problems with each other Photo by Kittiphan on Adobe Stock

Brian Miller Talks Star-Crossed RNA Strands and the Origin of Life

On today’s ID the Future, physicist Brian Miller continues his conversation with host Eric Anderson. Here they explore more problems facing the idea that life began as strings of RNA. In their discussion of the RNA World Hypothesis and the origin of life generally, they touch on ideas advanced by Jeremy England, Jack Shostak, Nick Lane, Helen Hansma, and others. One of several big problems with the RNA-first hypothesis underscored by Miller and Anderson: For it to have even a slender chance of working, you need prebiotic Earth to generate not one but two information-rich RNA strands, and they somehow need to find each other before falling apart, and do so despite the fact that they aren’t looking for each Read More ›

Rocky Ocean Beach Sea Shore Photo by vlorzor on Adobe Stock

James Tour–A Flyover of the Challenges Facing Abiogenesis

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.