Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Saga of the Minimal Cell Size Vs. Evolution

The Mystery of the Minimal Cell, Craig Venter’s New Synthetic Life Form
Is it all new? Or is it scissor-clipped from existing life, stitched together using existing life, and put into the membrane shell of existing life... before allowing it to try replicating (which it did successfully)?

Actually, it is hard to tell, even from the media release, which is not a full scientific paper:
"They went through three cycles of designing, building, and testing ensuring that the quasi-essential genes remained, which in the end resulted in a viable, self-replicating minimal synthetic cell that contained just 473 genes, 35 of which are RNA-coding. In addition, the cell contains a unique 16S gene sequence.

The team was able to assign biological function to the majority of the genes with 41% of them responsible for genome expression information, 18% related to cell membrane structure and function, 17% related to cytosolic metabolism, and 7% preservation of genome information. However, a surprising 149 genes could not be assigned a specific biological function despite intensive study."
The fact that they loaded in 149 genes, the function of which they have no idea, suggests that they were clipped from existing life, and stitched together. Which is fine, since they were looking for a minimal size cell which sustains life. But it hardly qualifies as actually "synthetic", as opposed to, say, reduced/rearranged.

Nonetheless, the finding demonstrates "incredible complexity" which is required to sustain life. That finding destroys evolution, according to Cornelius Hunter:
" Mycoplasma mycoides Just Destroyed Evolution
“We’re Showing How Complex Life Is”"

"As J. Craig Venter put it, “We're showing how complex life is, even in the simplest of organisms. These findings are very humbling.”

Yes, humbling, if you are an evolutionist. This is because this result shows how astronomically impossible evolution is in its hypothetical early stages. Simply put, there is no way such an organism is going to randomly evolve.

The origin of life problem can be divided into two broad categories: ground-up and top-down. In the ground-up approach, evolutionists try to figure out how the first life could have arisen spontaneously from an inorganic world. In spite of the evolutionist’s claims to the contrary, the century-long ground-up research program has utterly failed.

That leaves the top-down approach. Here, evolutionists work with simple, unicellular life forms, carefully removing parts one at a time in their search for smaller, simpler life forms. If evolution is true, they should be able to reduce life to a very simple, basic form which could conceivably arise by chance somehow.

This approach has been failing as well, as in recent years all the signs pointed to a minimal life form consisting of at least a few hundred genes—far beyond evolution’s meager resources of random change.

Now, this latest research has upped the ante. It is just getting worse. A minimal organism consisting of 473 genes is many orders of magnitude beyond evolution’s capabilities. Simply put, the science contradicts the theory. What the science is telling us is that evolution is impossible, by any reasonable definition of that term."
This presumes that evolution should include first life evolving from minerals. Many (most?) evolutionary believers reject first life as an issue, despite claiming the necessity of radical Materialism as a premise which is presupposed for evolution. The internal contradiction is not a problem for true believers, however, who accept many contradictions involved in evolution, and require no objective, empirical evidence to support their belief.

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