Thursday, April 08, 2004

Origins of Life...

I've just received the new book by Hugh Ross and Fazale Rana titled, Origins of Life: Biblical and Evolutionary Models Face Off (see sidebar). While the origin of life is not a Darwinian issue I would like to list off the comparisons that Ross and Rana list for the competing models:
Naturalistic Predictions Given the number of possible scenarios under consideration by the scientific community and the complex relationships among these models, developing a consistent set of predictions from them hardly seems possible. The challenge is heightened by the fact that predictions are often closely tied to a model's details. Nevertheless, from the shared features of these evolutionary theories come nine general predictions: 1. Chemical pathways produced life's building blocks. 2. Chemical pathways yielded complex biomolecules. 3. The chemical pathways that yielded life's building blocks and complex molecular constituents operated in early Earth's conditions. 4. Sufficiently placid chemical and physical conditions existed on early Earth for long periods of time. 5. Geochemical evidence for a prebiotic soup exists in Earth's oldest rocks. 6. Life appeared gradually on Earth over a long period of time. 7. The origin of life occurred only once on Earth. 8. Earth's first life was simple. 9. Life in its most minimal form is demonstrably simple. The RTB (Reasons to Believe) Model's Predictions: 1. Life appeared early in Earth's history, while the planet was still in its primordial state. 2. Life originated in and persisted through the hostile conditions of early Earth. 3. Life originated abruptly. 4. Earth's first life displays complexity. 5. Life is complex in its minimal form. 6. Life's chemistry displays hallmark characteristics of design. 7. First life was qualitatively different from life that came into existence on creation days three, five, and six. 8. A purpose can be postulated for life's early appearance on Earth.
From first glance, it looks to be a very interesting read.

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