Defender's Guide to Science and Creationism

Mark Vuletic

Assertion

Cells are too complex to have come into existence all at once by pure chance.

Analysis

This is true, but irrelevant to origin of life research, since no origin of life researcher supposes that cells came into existence all at once by pure chance. The origin of the first cell is supposed by all researchers to have been a stepwise process, far from the creationist caricature of a sudden organization of loose proteins into a fully functioning prokaryotic cell with all of its complexity. Nor is the origin of the first cell supposed to have been a chance occurrence. As Iris Fry explains, "origin-of-life theories rely on various organizing principles, including selection mechanisms and catalysis, that are supposed to have limited and constrained the wide scope of prebiotic chemical possibilities, thus constructing the scaffolding out of which the living arch eventually emerged" (Fry 2000:196).

References

Fry I. 2000. The Emergence of Life on Earth: A Historical and Scientific Overview. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

Last update: 21 March 2008

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