Life cannot start at an undersea hot vent
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Only enzymes can make proteins. But enzymes are made of proteins. So what made the proteins that made the first enzymes?First published on the 16th of June 2018 — Last updated on the 31st of July 2021
Nick Lane as an Evolutionist explains "The Way life is" in a Video.
It is a disappointing video as he says a number of times, “We do not know” and “We are not sure”.
At the end he says, “These ideas may not be true”.
So if he is so unsure, what am I supposed to believe?
This is the classic example of a long monologue that masks details.
The sun’s rays do not burn unless brought into focus. “We do not know” and “We are not sure” is not evidence of focused thinking.
I will try to concentrate all my thoughts on the key issue, and not be distracted by side issues. So I will zero in on the starting point of evolution first.
He starts by quoting DNA discoverer Francis Crick laying down the basis of molecular evolution in 1955.
But in 1965 Francis Crick said that scientists would make an artificial enzyme in the next five to ten years. More than 50 years have gone past and no scientist today claims that they can make an enzyme from basic chemicals. The enzyme is simply far too complex for us to comprehend. Crick did not realize how complex it was.
This is the key issue. No one can make an enzyme from basic chemicals. And that is what we need to get going because only an enzyme can make a protein. If we cannot make an enzyme we cannot make a protein. Yet evolutionists glibly say that proteins are made. How? They never explain.
Using enzymes and living cells to make an artificial cell is not how life started. That is like scientists claiming that they made a test tube baby. But they used a human egg and sperm, so they were not making life from basic chemicals.
So Nick Lane’s first defect is his acceptance, without any explanation how it happened, that proteins just existed, somehow.
The next critical point has no answer and is just ignored by evolutionists.
Since an enzyme itself is made from proteins, then what made the proteins that made the enzymes? We need at least 55 different proteins to make an enzyme. Then we need an additional 20 different proteins to attach the 20 different amino acids. Claiming that all this complexity happened by chance is simply wishful thinking.
Evolutionists evade this critical point as they have no explanation. But evasion is not good science.
Next critical point. What and where was the first life on earth? There is no evidence offered. Just unsupported guesses which they pretend to be science. And on this point evolutionists differ with each other. Some say life began in a pond, others say it began in clay, others say in the ocean, others at a deep sea hot vent, and others say it began somewhere in space. So their ducks are not in a row.
Around 1990 Francis Crick was claiming that the were searching for the origin of life out in space.
That simply meant that he had given up all hope of finding the origin of life on earth.
If Francis Crick, brilliant enough to win a Nobel Prize, could not find the origin of life on earth, that simply means that the origin if life is far more complex than what people think.
John van Neumann was the cleverest mathematician of the last century. He was an atheist but could not believe that any physical process could create life.
Darwin’s original book was called “On the Origin of the species”. That title was a lie as he never explained what the origin of life was.
So evolutionists basically say that they do not know how life began, but if we will just grant them that miracle, then they will explain to us how life began to change and evolve.
This is as logical as saying that if we just overlook the fact that we cannot make special neutron bricks, then we will show you how to build a special neutron brick building.
Nick Lane now tries to explain, what far cleverer minds than his own failed to explain, by means of a very clumsy analogy that he presents:
Living cells pump protons across a membrane barrier. Nick makes the rather ludicrous claim that the porous solid material of a deep sea hydrothermal vent acts like a membrane. The sea water is more acidic than the material in the vent, so it has more protons. He claims that these protons are being pumped through the vent material to the sea.
The vents are slightly alkaline and thus lack protons. But all the chemicals gush up into the sea through the holes in the porous solid material of the vents. No chemicals get pumped through any solid surface.
Thus there is no activity in a sea vent that duplicates protons being pumped through the material of a membrane. Especially seeing that a cell has a double layer membrane. No sea vent can duplicate that.
Look at what is involved in a cell membrane.
Wikipedia. "All living cells are surrounded by a thin, complicated, flexible, waterproof, sensitive, and self-repairing container that holds the cell together, allows it to grow, feeds it information and stops the contents from escaping. This is the cell membrane".
Nick Lane makes no attempt to explain how the solid porous material of the undersea vent can duplicate these functions.
“self-repairing that stops contents escaping” does not apply as the material in the vent gushes up and escapes into the sea.
“Feeds it information” means that Nick Lane is totally wrong, as there is no information process at work, just underground heat that drives material upwards into the sea, because hot substances expand, become less dense and rise, just like hot air. Sea water descends through cracks in the earth's crust and gets heated by contact with hot lava.
“flexible” does not describe a sea vent as it is hard, tough, and solid.
“sensitive”? How can this word apply in the harsh conditions where empty tube-worms collect hydrocarbon gases like methane and the toughest of bacteria inside the tube-worms digest the methane and excrete it in a form that the tube-worms can feed on. They are about all that can survive down there in the high temperature and high pressure. Notice the symbiosis. The bacteria need the empty tube worms to gather the methane gas for them.
“thin” does not describe a sea vent. They are big structures. Cells are measured in millionths of a metre. Too small to see with the unaided eye.
Wikipedia. "Although the major component of the membrane, and that which gives it many of its properties, is a double layer of phospholipid molecules, the lipid bilayer, almost all the highly specific functions and properties of membranes are the result of actions and properties of proteins".
70 % of a cell membrane is made from proteins.
The key to the membrane is a double layer. There is no such thing as a double-layer membrane in an undersea vent.
J Craig Venter “made” an artificial cell by using ultra pure chemicals of just the right concentration, just the right amino acids only, and a very advanced high speed computer to calculate the correct positions of the amino acids. He had to build it up in stages by cutting the DNA in little strips with the correct enzyme and then splicing them together inside a living cell with other enzymes. Then removing and adding new pieces in just the right sequence and putting them back into a living cell to get spliced. This process was continually repeated as the structure got longer and longer.
That was good science.
Now please compare that process with the mixture of impure chemicals that gushes out of a vent and gets diluted in the sea. There is no way that a sea vent duplicates what Venter did.
And he had to use ultra pure chemicals of the right concentration, advanced computer calculations to get the right order of the amino acids, living cells to act as incubators and just the right existing enzymes to cut DNA in the right place and then splice the DNA. The enzymes had to work in just the right order. Plus the chunks of DNA had to be spliced in the living cell and then removed from the cell to join up with longer strips that were in just the right sequence and then re-introduced into the living cell to get re-spliced as a longer chunk. This process kept on repeating.
That was to explain how one cell was made “artificially”, using existing living cells that are made up of millions of proteins, as the “incubator”.
The E.coli bacteria has more than two million proteins in its single cell. And this cell is too small for the unaided eye to see. So you cannot compare it to a big sea vent. There are about 4200 different types of protein in the E.coli cell. Approximately 1000 different types of protein are used to make up just the membrane of the E.coli cell. This membrane is incredibly complex.
Each of the different proteins needs a different enzyme to make it.
To claim that a sea vent can duplicate this process is just delusional. The idea has no grounds in reality.
The membrane must love water (hydrophilic) on the outside and hate water (hydrophobic) on the inside. This is what makes membranes unique and incredibly complex as they hold two opposing physical quantities together at the same time.
No scientist has yet explained how such a structure could be formed, just by chance.
Remember, we cannot make an enzyme so we cannot make a protein from basic chemicals. Thus we cannot put a 1000 different proteins together to form a membrane. So we certainly cannot put two million proteins, of at least 3000 different types, into the membrane to form a cell. Not unless, like J Craig Venter, we use existing enzymes and living cells to perform the operations.
Thus there is no experimental justification that such a process ever happened at an undersea vent.
Nick Lane glibly mentions the time span of four billion years that one-celled bacteria have been on earth.
How does he get a date of four billion years?
Remember, a volcano in Hawaii exploded in 1801 and its lava was dated about 180 years later and the different lava samples from the volcano were declared to be anything from 160 million years to 3 billion years old. That alone should reveal that there are serious flaws in the method of radioactive dating.
Joan Ahrens in Cape Town painted Bushmen paintings on rocks in 1991. They were stolen from her garden and abandoned in the open country. As the first Bushmen paintings to be found in open country, they were tested by the Oxford University radiocarbon accelerator unit which dated them as being 1200 years old. Oxford was asked to explain. They never replied. So much for radiocarbon dating as an exact science.
A student in America took a living mollusc from the sea shore, incinerated it to turn it into carbon, and gave the sample in to the professor for radioactive dating. After running the test, the professor told him that the sample was 2300 years old.
Radioactive dating has too many assumptions to be regarded as accurate.
Nick Lane then says that all the different bacteria spread out like a spider web from a central common ancestor but admits that the common ancestor at the centre of the web is a “black hole”, about which he knows nothing, and that he does not know where it came from.
Thus there is no scientific evidence of the common ancestor of the bacteria.
40 % of human genes compare with bacteria. But these bacteria are in different groups. So there is no explanation how the genes of different groups of bacteria somehow combined in man. How did we get these genes? He says he does not know.
He admits that lateral gene transfer in bacteria is hard to prove but that vertical gene transfer or inheritance is an unproven mess. He says that we do not know how things are related to each other. In other words there is microevolution where limited changes can occur within a species by lateral gene transfer. But vertical gene transfer is an unproven mess. This is the gene transfer that is supposed to allow one species to evolve into another species.
He claims that some cells then got inside other cells but admits that we have no idea how the cells got in there. He goes on to admit that none of this may in fact be true. He stresses that he is not saying it is true.
At this point the whole video just becomes an exercise in futility.
He guesses about processes that cannot be confirmed experimentally. One can only believe in processes that have not been seen if you have faith.
So the bottom line is that evolutionists have faith in all the unseen steps of their theory.
Then they must not criticize people who have faith in the unseen Author of the Bible.
Because simple organic compounds that contain carbon can occur naturally, Nick Lane says that is how life started.
The missing steps, like making a protein to make an enzyme so that the enzyme can make a protein, are simply not solvable. In addition, you have to make at least 55 different proteins to make an enzyme.
The "common ancestor" of the bacteria, if it ever existed, cannot be found. Thus there is no scientific proof of a common bacteria ancestor. You have to believe by faith in the Science theory that it once existed. If you cannot see it, then you can only believe in the unseen by faith.
Faith means believing in what you cannot see. If you can see something, you do not need faith to tell you that it is there.
The first life on earth will never be found. So that is another problem that cannot be solved. Evolutionists speak of the original "proto-cell" but have no physical evidence of it. Thus it is simply another example of faith in an unseen part of a Science theory. But Science is not supposed to be built on faith.
Even if, for example, a scientist somehow managed to make life from some rock, that would not be proof that the first life was made from that kind of rock.
Life is not measured by physical science and its laws. Life is outside the boundaries of science. Awareness, emotions, conscience. We have no idea how such attributes came into being. We have no idea what they are.
Life is a spirit. Thus we do not know what life is. We cannot separate life from a living creature and thus measure the life. So life is simply outside the scope of physical science. Biologists do a great job of examining the cells that life lives in. They don't do such a great job of examining fossils because there is no life in a fossil and we do not even know how fossils form. Whenever scientists try to fossilize a creature, the agents of decay destroy it. Having never seen a fossil form, we cannot scientifically claim to know how they did form.
Dating rocks has yielded conflicting results.
In the museum of Dr Carl Baugh, Glen Rose, Texas is a chunk of Ordovician rock (the layer above Cambrian) with characteristic pelecipod fossils (shellfish). It was found near the town of London in Texas. Embedded in the rock is an iron hammer with a partially coalified wooden spruce handle. Wood should only have formed millions of years later, according to the theory of evolution. A photograph of this piece of Ordovician rock (the second oldest rock layer in the geologic column) shows a small piece of partly coalified spruce wood sticking out of it.
When the rock was turned over to see the other side, the wood turned out to be the handle of a man-made metal hammer.
So man was around in the Ordovician age which is obviously not as old as it is claimed to be.
Similarly, a photograph of a fossilized sandal footprint with a trilobite embedded in the heel. Trilobites are taken to mean that it is Cambrian rock, the very first and oldest layer. The trilobite has been magnified on the right hand side to show what it looks like.
William J Meister discovered this in 1968 about 43 miles northwest of Delta, Utah.
So man was around in the Cambrian layer which is obviously not as old as it is claimed to be.
The world is old but not life on the world.
GENESIS 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
The Bible allocates no time to these events.
They could have taken billions of years, the time taken for distant starlight to reach the earth.
Create means to make out of nothing. So God created deep space with its stars and the sun and the earth from nothing. But this original earth, covered in water, could not sustain human life.
Then from this created material, God began to make the earth and the heavens into a place that was suitable for man to dwell in.
The stars would act as the first calendar. Different constellations of stars appear in the night sky at different times of the year.
So when God began to make heaven and earth suitable for mankind, that is when God began to allocate time. There were no humans around so He did not have to use human days. A day with God is as a thousand years.
II PETER 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
God only made the atmosphere to be exactly correct for life on the second day. So our atmosphere as we know it is not that old.
In a physics experiment, if you did not observe what went in and how the experiment happened, then you are guessing. So no one can prove how life started as there is no evidence. None of us were back there in time either to observe events.
We cannot prove God by any physical evidence. There is no physical evidence of God.
There is no physical evidence of the first bacteria, or the first protein, or the first cell. So science cannot prove the origin of life either.
Missing evidence has to be believed by faith. Science says that seeing is believing. You do not have faith in what you can see. Faith believes what is not seen.
So both sides of the argument, Bible believers and evolutionists, rely on faith to fill in the gaps of the missing evidence.
I have no problem with an old earth (from Genesis 1:1) but there is evidence that the atmosphere is not very old.
Professor Libby, who invented radiocarbon dating, calculated that it would take 30000 years for C-14 (carbon-14 atoms), that are made when cosmic rays smash into the atmosphere from outer space, to fill up the atmosphere until they decay at the same rate as they formed. He based his carbon dating technique on the assumption that the C-14 in the atmosphere was full up or in equilibrium because the earth was millions of years old. He claimed that C-14 was forming at the same rate that it disappeared from the atmosphere. This was an assumption. When he did measurements he found that C-14 was filling up the atmosphere 25 % faster than it was decaying. That means the reservoir of C-14 was not full, which meant the atmosphere was less than 30000 years old. He dismissed these results as experimental error. That was not good science. Who says the atmosphere is as old as the earth? That is a guess. Professor Melvin Cook at Utah University did more accurate readings and got the filling-up rate to be more like 38 % more than the decay rate. That meant that C-14 has only been filling up the atmosphere for about 10000 years. That is definite evidence of a young atmosphere.
Then consider uranium dating that claims the earth is 4,5 billion years old. But the end product of uranium decay is helium gas. The amount of helium in the atmosphere is then found to be 99,96 % too little. Thus the atmosphere would only be about 175000 years old according to the calculations that produce that amount of helium gas. So, to get an older atmosphere, we need more helium and it was claimed that helium, like hydrogen, is a light gas that floated off the earth into space. Sounds good, but no-one ever observed this happening. In Physics every step must be tested and measured. So a British Scientist James Lovelock, a strong evolutionist, (of Gaia fame) did measurements high up at the edge of the atmosphere. To his surprise, he found that the sun's atmosphere where it shoots out hydrogen and helium in what is called the solar wind, extends up to and beyond the earth's orbit. Thus the earth orbits in an atmosphere of hydrogen and helium and actually gains these gases from space rather than losing these gases to an "empty" space. Thus the atmosphere appears to be less than 175000 years old since the earth is gaining helium from the sun.
Some people claim that helium gas ionizes and then spirals out of the earth's atmosphere along one of the earth's magnetic field lines from, say, the north pole. That is true, but they forget that the magnetic field line that moves out from the north pole moves through space and then re-enters the atmosphere at the south pole. So the ionized helium atom that leaves the atmosphere, then ends up re-entering the atmosphere again at the opposite pole.
The early atmosphere has produced these comments:
Philip Morrison, "Earth's Earliest Atmosphere", Scientific American, Vol 250, April 1984, pp. 30-31
A recent and authoritative study, using evolutionary dating techniques, concluded that the early biosphere contained oxygen 300 million years before the earliest known fossils (bacteria) were formed. Iron oxides were formed that imply a source of oxygen enough to convert into insoluble ferric material the ferrous solutions that must have first formed the flat, continuous horizontal layers that can in some sites be traced over hundreds of kilometers.
A lot of oxygen was in the early atmosphere. This is bad news for evolution because oxygen would kill the first cells as they evolved.
Erich Dimroth and Michael M Kimberley, "PreCambrian Atmospheric Oxygen: Evidence in the Sedimentary Distributions of Carbon, Sulfur, Uranium, and Iron", Canadian Journal Of Earth Sciences, Vol 13, No. 9, September 1976, p. 1161.
In general, we find no evidence in the sedimentary distribution of carbon, sulfur, uranium, or iron, that an oxygen-free atmosphere has existed at any time during the span of geological history recorded in well preserved sedimentary rocks.
Scientists need an oxygen-free environment for the first cells to form and survive. But there is no such evidence in the early rocks.
Philip H Abelson, "Chemical Events on the Primitive Earth", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 55, June 1966, p. 1365.
What is the evidence for a primitive methane-ammonia atmosphere on earth? The answer is that there is NO evidence for it, but much against it.
For life to evolve and form amino acids, nitrogen was essential. So scientists claimed that there was an early atmosphere of methane (to provide the carbon) and ammonia (to provide the nitrogen).
But no such evidence had been found in the early rocks. So that guess was completely wrong.
The problem with oxygen is that it destroys cells. Have you seen how quickly a banana turns brown when it is sliced up. That is the oxygen in the air reacting with and destroying the banana cells.
So the last thing that evolutionists want is oxygen in the early atmosphere. Yet there is oxygen in the early rocks, so there must have been oxygen in the early atmosphere.
D E Hull, "Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Spontaneous Generation", Nature Vol. 186, 28 May 1960, p.694.
The conclusion from these arguments presents the most serious obstacle, if indeed it is not fatal, to the theory of spontaneous genration. First, thermodynamic calculations predict vanishingly small concentrations of of even the simplest organic compounds [the compounds that are actually found in living cells]. Secondly, the reactions that are invoked to synthesize such compounds are seen to be much more effective in decomposing them.
Organic compounds are delicate, and easily break down. The same conditions that form them will also decompose them.
Many germs, once they are outside the human body, are usually killed by the oxygen in the air within about 15 minutes.
So the end result is that both sides, Bible believers or atheists, rely on faith.
The one side believes by faith that an unseen God created life because we cannot duplicate the process.
The other side has gaps in the theory of spontaneous life and evolving life, but believes by faith that the scientists will one day find evidence to explain the gaps. That then will basically get rid of the need for God. So in advance of this proof, atheists have already got rid of God in their minds.
My problem is that I am close to dying. So who do I meet when I die? To me that is a real problem.
Evolutionists say no-one. The Bible says God.
If evolutionists are right, then there is no harm in believing in God even though in the end it turns out to be a waste of time, since when I die they claim that I cease to exist.
But if there is a God, then the only sensible way is to believe in Him., because in the end I must stand before Him and answer for my life.
So each of us gambles on his future. There is a 50:50 chance of there being a God and thus a 50:50 chance of there being no God. But the believer in God has a gamble that is less risky. If evolutionists are right then when I die, I cease to exist, so who cares what I believed.
But if there is a God, then I am prepared by accepting Jesus as my personal Saviour now. But sometime in the future when the evolutionists die then they will be in trouble.
MATTHEW 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
It is always better to be safer.
So the recommended path is :
ACTS 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
A final note on how an enzyme works as a catalyst to speed up the process of making proteins.
No one has yet made a protein without using enzymes.
Some evolutionists try to say that we do not need enzymes to make proteins because DNA and a ribosome can make proteins .
To evade the step of making an enzyme they require the vastly more complex structure of a DNA and the incredibly complex ribosome which make enzymes. But these very intricate structures do not appear out of nowhere. It is impossible to make a DNA molecule without enzymes.
So to evade the complexity of making an enzyme from proteins, when we need proteins to make enzymes, people now just assume that a DNA and ribosome exist. This argument lacks any point because they now assume an even more complex DNA has to exist to make the first enzyme. The DNA is so complex that we do not even know how to fold it up because it occupies such a small volume in the cell.
An enzyme is a catalyst, that is its function. How does it speed up the protein-making function? By selecting and splicing the correct amino acids into their place, to make the proteins which then make the DNA. By selecting the right amino acid in the right order, the protein is made faster. Obviously. If all the amino acids had to randomly try to bond in any order, the protein would never form in real time.
People who try to bypass using an enzyme as a catalyst to make a protein, actually do not know how catalysts work. They are just throwing the word around because they found it on some site and it makes them sound clever.
They are just grabbing the bits of info that suit their idea, but do not really know what they are talking about when they say you can make a protein without an enzyme.
There are over 90 amino acids, as was discovered in a meteorite that landed in Australia. You can only use 20 of them to make living cells and they have to be left handed amino acids (if you are familiar with that term. Your right hand can't replace your left hand as it will be upside down). So to make your first protein you have to only choose the left handed 20 amino acids, not the right handed ones. You then have to explain how all these 20 amino acids happen to be in very close proximity as a protein is measured in millionths of a metre. And the amino acids form both right and left handed varieties roughly 50:50 when they form. So you have to have a selection mechanism that is very refined. The difference between right handed and left handed is very little. In addition you have to ignore the other 70 amino acids that are around. If they say that this can be done without an enzyme, then they must suggest an alternative selection method, because no scientist has found one as yet. That is why J Craig Venter had to select just the right chemicals and have them super pure and just the right concentration. This does not happen in nature. To get the right order for the amino acids, he used a high speed computer to determine the exact order, and then had to use just the right enzymes to select the amino acids. Each enzyme can only select one kind of amino acid. Then he put these chunks back into a living cell in order to splice them together as he slowly built up the proteins in pre-calculated steps. If you feel that this can just happen in the sea near a turbulent up-welling vent, then you have a theory which is exceedingly shallow. It does not even begin to match what happened in the laboratory. Laboratory work takes precedence over theories. You may be impressed with the "it just happened" idea but your huge problem is one of selecting just the right order of amino acids. Proteins consist of hundreds or thousands of amino acids. They have to be in just the right order or they will not work.
There is no alternative method for the selection and bonding of amino acids that can replace enzymes.
And there is no natural way for enzymes to form from dead chemicals.