## Origin of life

**Moderators:** Leonid, amiradm, BioTeam

Springer wrote:If you actually calculate the probability of DNA coming together by chance, then you can only come to one conclusion... that even one strand of DNA could not possibly form by random molecular interactions, even if you allow for trillions of planets over billions of years.

I find it amusing that a theory touted to be a "fact" actually relies on such vast improbabilities to explain the origin of life.

Do you have numbers?

Because what you need in the beginning would be much simpler that what we have today. Any self replicating molecule DNA or RNA would be good. That probably do not take billions of nucleotides.

And remember that we have a proof that it could have happened: we are there to discuss this.

And bythe way I would be interested to know if you have any calculations showing us that the probability of existence of an allmighty force completely different from all the other know and more or less understood forces, but yet never measured could exist?

Patrick

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without

any proof. (Ashley Montague)

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without

any proof. (Ashley Montague)

mithrilhack wrote:Spring, please show us your calculations.

These are my figures that I came up with: I am not a mathematician and would welcome anyone to critique this and point out if I am wrong and why:

Giving abiogenesis every possible benefit of the doubt, I’m making these assumptions:

1. Optimal concentrations of structural components of DNA existed throughout the primordial soup.

2. Conditions existed allowing for one million random trial combinations per second of different nucleotides in every ml of primordial soup.

3. The process took place continuously for 5 billion years.

4. Natural laws existed which allowed for the spontaneous formation of a double helix… in other words, the probability of formation of the double helical structure or any other possible stereoisomer is not factored into this study. It is assumed that the only variables are different nucleotide sequences.

5. A strand of DNA of 100,000 sequences is capable of forming single cell life. This is the simplest conceivable single cell life envisioned by biochemists today. (bacteria require 300,000 sequences)

The earth’s water volume is 1.35 x 10^18 metric tons, or 1.35 x 10^24 ml.

Number of seconds in one billion years= 3.15 x 10^16

Number of seconds in five billion years= 1.575 x 10^17

If there are one million iterations/ml, then 1.35 x 10^18 x 10^6 = 1.35 x 10^24 iterations per second in the entire primordial soup.

In five billion years, that would amount to (1.35 x 10^24) x (1.575 x 10^17) = 2.13 x 10^41 iterations in five billion years.

One strand of DNA with 100,000 sequences…

With 4 possible nucleotides per base pair, that would be 10^400,000 possible specific combinations.

Assume 1,000,000 possible pathways to life:

The probability of achieving one of those would be 10^-399,994 per iteration.

Therefore, the probability of achieving one of 1,000,000 possible specific sequences is

(1 x 10^-399,994) x (2.13 x 10^41 iterations) = 2.13 x 10^-399,953

Summing this up: In five billion years, there is a (2.13 x 10^-399,953) probability of achieving one of one million specific sequences of a simple strand of DNA.

Even if DNA could somehow overcome these odds, it would still not represent life.

Canalon wrote:Springer wrote:Do you have numbers?

Because what you need in the beginning would be much simpler that what we have today. Any self replicating molecule DNA or RNA would be good. That probably do not take billions of nucleotides.

See above post.And remember that we have a proof that it could have happened: we are there to discuss this.

You have no proof. If you do, let's see it.And bythe way I would be interested to know if you have any calculations showing us that the probability of existence of an allmighty force completely different from all the other know and more or less understood forces, but yet never measured could exist?

Disproof of one theory does not require substitution of a "better" theory.

- alextemplet
- King Cobra
**Posts:**5599**Joined:**Fri Dec 23, 2005 4:50 pm**Location:**South Louisiana (aka Cajun Country)-
**Contact:**

Springer:

First of all, your calculations are interesting, but I wonder why you assume that life must be cellular in character. Cells, even very simple ones, are enormously complex, so if that was necessary for life then I would be inclined to agree with you. However, just because life as we know it today is cellular doesn't mean that all life has to be so. For example, we've already discussed theories about an RNA world. RNA has been shown to be capable of replicating itself, so perhaps that was all the first lifeforms needed. The first life, for example, could've been a few RNA strands of just a few dozen bases that later developed into full-fledged cells. Perhaps you should consider revising your calculations to account for this.

A strand of DNA of 100,000 sequences is capable of forming single cell life. This is the simplest conceivable single cell life envisioned by biochemists today. (bacteria require 300,000 sequences)

First of all, your calculations are interesting, but I wonder why you assume that life must be cellular in character. Cells, even very simple ones, are enormously complex, so if that was necessary for life then I would be inclined to agree with you. However, just because life as we know it today is cellular doesn't mean that all life has to be so. For example, we've already discussed theories about an RNA world. RNA has been shown to be capable of replicating itself, so perhaps that was all the first lifeforms needed. The first life, for example, could've been a few RNA strands of just a few dozen bases that later developed into full-fledged cells. Perhaps you should consider revising your calculations to account for this.

According to this site and after my conversions, the volume of the earths water should be 1.35X10e28ml not 10e24...Maybe I converted wrong.

http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2001/SyedQadri.shtml

I think there are actually 4^100,000 different combinations...

For a strand of 1 there are 4 choices 4^1.

For a strand of 2, there are 16 choices 4^2.

Of course you might want to change how many possible solutions if you change how many possible cases.

I'm not entirely sure about the other assumptions either but I have not the correct knowlege to dispute it.

http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2001/SyedQadri.shtml

I think there are actually 4^100,000 different combinations...

For a strand of 1 there are 4 choices 4^1.

For a strand of 2, there are 16 choices 4^2.

Of course you might want to change how many possible solutions if you change how many possible cases.

I'm not entirely sure about the other assumptions either but I have not the correct knowlege to dispute it.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

~Niebuhr

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

~Niebuhr

alextemplet wrote:Springer:A strand of DNA of 100,000 sequences is capable of forming single cell life. This is the simplest conceivable single cell life envisioned by biochemists today. (bacteria require 300,000 sequences)

First of all, your calculations are interesting, but I wonder why you assume that life must be cellular in character. Cells, even very simple ones, are enormously complex, so if that was necessary for life then I would be inclined to agree with you. However, just because life as we know it today is cellular doesn't mean that all life has to be so. For example, we've already discussed theories about an RNA world. RNA has been shown to be capable of replicating itself, so perhaps that was all the first lifeforms needed. The first life, for example, could've been a few RNA strands of just a few dozen bases that later developed into full-fledged cells. Perhaps you should consider revising your calculations to account for this.

Single cell life is, I agree, enormously complex. I assume that the first life was cellular because of what I observe in nature. Self-replicating life cannot be reduced to anything simpler than this. This is a statement of empiric observation. THe problem with "pre-bionts' and "proto-cells" is that they are non-existent in nature and are, furthermore, conceptually impossible. If you're going to introduce such concepts in defense of a scientific theory, the theory becomes unfalsifiable... something that evolutionists are alway accusing creationists of. You can always defend a false theory if you can fabricate unknown conditions and yet-to-be-discovered laws of physics and chemistry that run counter to what we observe. Self-assembly of life, based on what we know, is literally impossible.

RNA cannot self replicate outside the confines of a cell and without appropriate enzymes. Even if the primordial soup was a perfect environment for RNA replication, you are still left with the problem of how the first RNA self-assembled.

If you suppose that the first "pre-RNA" was substantially simpler than what I've suggested, which is already one third the length of the DNA of the simplest bacterium, you're still dealing with astronomical improbabilities.

mithrilhack wrote:According to this site and after my conversions, the volume of the earths water should be 1.35X10e28ml not 10e24...Maybe I converted wrong.

http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2001/SyedQadri.shtml

I think there are actually 4^100,000 different combinations...

For a strand of 1 there are 4 choices 4^1.

For a strand of 2, there are 16 choices 4^2.

Of course you might want to change how many possible solutions if you change how many possible cases.

I'm not entirely sure about the other assumptions either but I have not the correct knowlege to dispute it.

Regardless of how you adjust the numbers, the improbabilities remain hopeless for the spontaneous formation of life.

4^10 vs 10^4 =

1,048,576 vs 10,000

I'd say that's a pretty big difference, and the differences can only be larger when considering higher powers (4^100,000 vs 10^400,000).

As for the ocean volume, 10e24 vs 10e28 is like the difference between 1 gallon of water vs 10,000 gallons. One you can drink, the other you can drown in.

There is no reason to accept your conclusions especially when you show this type of sloppiness in calculation. Who knows what errors you might be making in assumptions.

And it appears to me(from your previous post), you are more interested in having the numbers support your (invalid)conclusion than actually working out an accurate solution.

1,048,576 vs 10,000

I'd say that's a pretty big difference, and the differences can only be larger when considering higher powers (4^100,000 vs 10^400,000).

As for the ocean volume, 10e24 vs 10e28 is like the difference between 1 gallon of water vs 10,000 gallons. One you can drink, the other you can drown in.

There is no reason to accept your conclusions especially when you show this type of sloppiness in calculation. Who knows what errors you might be making in assumptions.

And it appears to me(from your previous post), you are more interested in having the numbers support your (invalid)conclusion than actually working out an accurate solution.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

~Niebuhr

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

~Niebuhr

mithrilhack wrote:4^10 vs 10^4 =

1,048,576 vs 10,000

I'd say that's a pretty big difference, and the differences can only be larger when considering higher powers (4^100,000 vs 10^400,000).

As for the ocean volume, 10e24 vs 10e28 is like the difference between 1 gallon of water vs 10,000 gallons. One you can drink, the other you can drown in.

There is no reason to accept your conclusions especially when you show this type of sloppiness in calculation. Who knows what errors you might be making in assumptions.

And it appears to me(from your previous post), you are more interested in having the numbers support your (invalid)conclusion than actually working out an accurate solution.

You haven't shown that my calculations are incorrect... you've only suggested it. The difference you point out is in fact trivial. If I assume that you are correct in the ocean volume, then you've increased the odds from 2.13 x 10^-399,953 to 2.13 x 10^-399,949.

You suggest I'm making errors in assumptions... I've given abiogenesis every conceivable benefit of the doubt, which evolutionists always seize anyway. Make all the assumptions you like... it's still impossible anyway you spin the numbers.

I have shown your calculations as inaccurate. I believe I mentioned 2 inaccuracies in my previous posts and you have only opted to address one.

There are numerous other factors which I have not addressed but since you pressed the point, I will bring them up.

Where are the justification for the numbers such as 1million iterations per second or what the shortest length of DNA needed for life? As alex suggested, are you even sure that we are dealing with DNA? Most people would agree, that RNA world came first.

What form of life would require 100,000 bases? Are we really looking for a cellular life form or simply a self-replicating entity?

You make it seem there are only 2 options, a correct string of base pairs and an incorrect string. What if the strings were RNA and one of the strings had enzymatic properties? Wouldn't the rates of formation change? Studies have already shown some RNA as having these properties. Google it.

Along with the previous point, there are also numerous "almost right" strings such as those with 99,999 base pairs correct and 1 wrong. What are the chances that these could mutate favorably?

You claim to give abiogenesis every benefit of the doubt but you actually haven't. Your numbers are derived from who know what. Your calculations are sloppy and you fail to see the difference in magnitude between 4^100,000 and 10^400,000. And you fail to grasp the complexity of biology and think everything can be modelled with classical probabilities.

Springer, do some research.

There are numerous other factors which I have not addressed but since you pressed the point, I will bring them up.

Where are the justification for the numbers such as 1million iterations per second or what the shortest length of DNA needed for life? As alex suggested, are you even sure that we are dealing with DNA? Most people would agree, that RNA world came first.

What form of life would require 100,000 bases? Are we really looking for a cellular life form or simply a self-replicating entity?

You make it seem there are only 2 options, a correct string of base pairs and an incorrect string. What if the strings were RNA and one of the strings had enzymatic properties? Wouldn't the rates of formation change? Studies have already shown some RNA as having these properties. Google it.

Along with the previous point, there are also numerous "almost right" strings such as those with 99,999 base pairs correct and 1 wrong. What are the chances that these could mutate favorably?

You claim to give abiogenesis every benefit of the doubt but you actually haven't. Your numbers are derived from who know what. Your calculations are sloppy and you fail to see the difference in magnitude between 4^100,000 and 10^400,000. And you fail to grasp the complexity of biology and think everything can be modelled with classical probabilities.

Springer, do some research.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

~Niebuhr

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

~Niebuhr

mithrilhack wrote:I have shown your calculations as inaccurate. I believe I mentioned 2 inaccuracies in my previous posts and you have only opted to address one.

There are numerous other factors which I have not addressed but since you pressed the point, I will bring them up.Where are the justification for the numbers such as 1million iterations per second or what the shortest length of DNA needed for life?

If you think that more iterations than that could have occurred in every ml of ocean continually for five billion years, you're welcome to insert your figures. I felt that was a generous concession... the figures still would be impossible if it were one quadrillion iterations per second.

As far as the length of DNA... current biochemical thinking puts 100,000 base pairs as the minimum requirement for life. This is referenced in Denton's book "Evolution, A Theory in Crisis".As alex suggested, are you even sure that we are dealing with DNA? Most people would agree, that RNA world came first.

Your speculation is based on the assumption of evolution. My suggestion of 100,000 base pairs is based on what we actually observe. Again, I'm giving evolution a huge benefit of the doubt. Actually, the simplest form of life has ~300,000 base pairs.What form of life would require 100,000 bases? Are we really looking for a cellular life form or simply a self-replicating entity?

Single cell life cannot be reduced to anything simpler. You think it can... where's the evidence?You make it seem there are only 2 options, a correct string of base pairs and an incorrect string. What if the strings were RNA and one of the strings had enzymatic properties? Wouldn't the rates of formation change? Studies have already shown some RNA as having these properties. Google it.

I don't understand your point?Along with the previous point, there are also numerous "almost right" strings such as those with 99,999 base pairs correct and 1 wrong. What are the chances that these could mutate favorably

You cannot invoke natural selection in the formation of the simplest life, because there's no way it could be operational. We're talking about random molecular interactions.You claim to give abiogenesis every benefit of the doubt but you actually haven't. Your numbers are derived from who know what. Your calculations are sloppy and you fail to see the difference in magnitude between 4^100,000 and 10^400,000. And you fail to grasp the complexity of biology and think everything can be modelled with classical probabilities.

Springer, do some research.

You can attempt to insult me, but you can't offer any model of abiogenesis that has any chance of conforming to known laws of probability. You can only guess that some form of pre-life somehow existed, despite the fact that none exists today or can even be conceptualized. This is because you've decided that abiogenesis occurred and refuse to consider that life cannot form without intelligent input. This is not scientific inquiry... it is ideology masquerading as science.

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