Unselfish Molecules May Have Helped Give Birth to the Genetic Material of Life

Our hypothesis is that before there were protein enzymes to make DNA and RNA, there were small molecules present on the pre-biotic Earth that helped make these polymers by promoting molecular self-assembly,” said Nicholas V. Hud, professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “We’ve found that the molecule ethidium can assist short oligonucleotides in forming long polymers and can also select the structure of the base pairs that hold together two strands of DNA.”

Personification of molecules?! Well, it’s not the strangest thing I’ve heard. :rotfl:

Yup, the story telling is getting better everyday. They have no choice. The odds get longer everyday. The modern synthesis is being abandoned replaced by the EES, that of self assembly. Just poof - self assembly.

And once I get rid of the selfish molecules… What?

So far, the spontaneous generation of life is unproven. It’s like saying, “Life is just something that creates itself.” Anything to remove that God guy from the picture.

And by the way, scientists are free to make all the comments they like, but they can’t do this in the lab.

God bless,

I don’t think this removes God from the picture. It merely suggests one way that God could have created life on Earth.

It is very clear from most posts here that deal with this subject that there is a strong desire to create a Secular Creation Story. In the secular version, God does nothing. It’s all natural chemistry that naturally leads to life… except, if this were true, they should be able to do it in the lab. The desire is to create a One Size Fits All Creation Story so secularists can walk around in the firm belief that they are just “matter in motion,” walking, talking chemicals. Nothing more.


I can see what you are saying but you haven’t addressed the comment. To paraphrase it, we have nothing to fear from (say) natural chemistry itself. This is simply a certain modality for discovering certain aspects of God’s Truth.

Those who would try to demonstrate something is not divine by coming up with an explanation for it are simply being circular. They’ve simply defined divinity to be just that which is unexplained, without allowing for the possibility that it can be explained, at least to a certain extent. I for one have no fear that being able to describe something in deterministic terms (in the case of the ‘midwife’ molecules, by solution thermodynamics) removes in any way any divine mystery about it. I know the Trinity is three Persons. Not two, not four, not 6.02x10^23 persons. But that does not make it any less divine!

It is only such illogic itself, sometimes brought to bear in contexts like this, that need to be combatted. But in ‘midwifing’ molecules, prions, enzymology, nuclear fusion, you name it, God is glorified.

God is no concern of science, or to those who want to believe they come from nothing and will die to nothing.

“unselfish molecules” is a ridiculous concept and I’m surprised that scientists can assign an emotional or causal description to something they cannot demonstrate is true.

God bless,

I have lost the train of your thought here. Your first sentence is an obvious truism, but one that is quite unrelated to my post. Your second is based on simple misunderstanding. Scientists personify the entities they work with all the time. It is totally innocuous, made to facilitate communication in a high-level, metaphorical way. It is more ubiquitous than meets the eye: to wit, science doesn’t have “concerns”;). But note I knew what you meant with that statement, at least in and of itself. It is not a big deal, unless it is taken literally. But to that I suggest, don’t:).

Well, it’s certainly no make whacky than some of their other recent dillies, like “Life grew on the backs of crystals”, or “Life was seeded here by extraterrestrials”.

Crystals and aliens. Yeah, great science, there. :rolleyes: They had more credibility when they were still going with the “Life was created when a bolt of lightning hit a mud puddle” fable.

All this really proves is that the whole silly house of cards is about to collapse in upon itself…whenever you’re teetering on the brink of a massive paradigm shift, the staunch proponents of the dying system tend to get really defensive, and then downright weird, in their determination to uphold the defunct theory in the face of the new evidence.

(shrug) You can’t blame them, really; a lot of tenured careers are riding on the upholding of the current mythology.

Focus. Focus. Focus. Scientists use that language all the time as a simple communication shortcut.

There are some very profound and serious threats from some in the scientific establishment compounded by tendencies of some, in particular in journalism, to be susceptible to arguments-from-authority fallacies. But this type of faux indignation is wolf-crying at best. There are bigger battles, and we are going to need all the credibility we can muster. Please let’s not waste it on such trivialities, or encourage others to do so, so to have less when it really counts.

OK, I’ll bite. What house of cards? What mythology? And whose careers are you referring to here? I am not trolling, I really have absolutely no idea what you are talking about in the context of the original piece.

Can they demonstrate this in the lab? Yes or no.


I am not sure whether I am just not being clear, or you are being unnecessarily cryptic. Let’s pray for the former:o. I’ll answer your question below (to the best which I can) but again it does not pertain to my comment.

Demonstrate what?

That ethidium can catalyze selective pairing of the aromatic bases found in DNA? Well that is the whole point of the article. So here comes: “Yes”. It seems they can, indeed did demonstrate it.

Three questions. Zero answers. I can wait.


Maybe the talkorigins site crashed. :smiley:

It’s just getting sad now…Who knows…maybe they’ll say molecules have emotions next…

You can blame them, but their noses keep growing with each new fancy lie.

Hey, they don’t even sound intelligent or like something that someone could consider seriously. They are becoming more and more humorous.

Sadly, some people buy into this garbage, which shows the dumbing down of our culture.

I’d love to know what an organic chemist or a biochemist would have to say about this. I could just see them shaking their heads at the thought of it.

You have to admit that whether their claims are accurate or not, the term “unselfish molecule” is a terrible characterization and does little to help their claims with virtually any audience.

Exactly. God created unselfish molecules and they were good. Later, due to free will, they became selfish because of their pride. :smiley:

Ah, that might explain lack of bonding and free radicals… abandoning their duty to commit. :hmmm:

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