Proteins, Panspermia, Predictions and Pavlov's Scientists
Pavlov and his Scientists
In his famous experiment:
"During the 1890s, Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov was looking at salivation in dogs in response to being fed when he noticed that his dogs would begin to salivate whenever he entered the room, even when he was not bringing them food."
This resulted in the discovery of "classical" or Pavlovian conditioning, the association of a stimulus with an unconditioned response would bring about the unconditioned response by the mere introduction of the associated item. In the case of Pavlov's dogs, the unconditioned response was to salivate at the prospect of eating food. The dogs soon learned that the lab assistant - for which they initially showed no response - regularly brought food. And so the lab assistant became associated with food, and the dogs would salivate when the lab assistant merely entered the room.
In the case of scientists the stimulus is the
discovery of an "exoplanet" (a planet outside our solar system) or an
exomoon (a moon orbiting an exoplanet - or some other non-stellar body)
that has a feature or two similar to earth. Such features would
include water (preferably liquid water - since that is exceedingly rare
in the frozen vastness of space), organic compounds, or other necessary
features such as orbiting in the habitable zone around a star, having a
magnetic field, having a large moon, etc. The unconditioned response is
the increased hope - to nearly tangible levels - of finding life on such
an exobody. That hope is typically based merely on that one or two
items, despite the fact that it's been estimated a planet needs 200 such
conditions just to make it habitable. The unconditioned
response - the greatly raised hope of finding what I'll call "exolife"
or extraterrestrial life is evidenced by the increased number of
articles and references in science journals, magazines and
documentaries. For example, a few evidences of the raised hopes:
"NASA Funds Rutgers Scientists’ Pursuit of the Origins of Life"
The raised hope is apparent there. This next one seems a bit far fetched but I present it to show how high the hopes are, regardless of how meager the possibility of a particular method actually finding exolife:
"We Could Find Aliens by Spotting Their
Science documentaries tend to be even more hopeful, expressing the hope for the most part as a foregone conclusion that one day exolife will be found on an exoplanet:
Notice how finding life on exoplanets really is a foregone conclusion for these next scientists. Upon the contemplation of "...literally an uncountable number of planets where life could have started up" as the ever hopeful Seth Shostak, director of SETI puts it, Natalie Batalha, Research Astrophysicist opines:
Perhaps the clearest statement of the deeply held belief that life evolved on exoplanets is made by NASA's former chief scientist Ellen Stofan:
Notice for NASA's former chief scientist, the question is not whether they will find life on Mars or not, the assumption is, life evolved there and the only question is, is it extinct or alive and under ground?
Origin of life scientists are clearly conditioned to do the equivalent of salivating over the prospect of finding exolife on an exoplanet. But do they have any chance of having those hopes fulfilled?
Proteins and Panspermia
In trying to find exolife, they've gotten creative. Consider the question posed in the NASA Funds Rutger article: "Did 'protein nanomachines' evolve here before life began to catalyze and support the development of living things?" To make sure we fully appreciate how foolish the question of proteins evolving is, let's do a quick review of proteins:
To put it succinctly, proteins are necessary for all life. And what are proteins? They're specially sequenced Amino acids, which once completely sequenced, are folded into special 3 dimensional shapes to perform various cellular processes or act as catalysts to speed up chemical reactions. So how do you make a protein? Where does the sequence come from? The sequence comes from the information library of the cell - the DNA molecule. DNA is a long molecule that stores and replicates coded information. One problem with proteins evolving is that it's impossible to evolve the DNA molecule itself. Furthermore the problem is more complex than just the origin of DNA. As I point out in "Lies My Evolutionist Me"
So it's a three-fold problem. DNA
contains the needed information; RNA transcribes that information out of
DNA by messenger RNA (mRNA). Messenger RNA is then translated or
converted to a protein. So to get a living cell you need proteins, but
to get proteins, you need the information in DNA. But to get the
information out of DNA, you need RNA. You also need RNA to actually
synthesize the protein. So which came first? As cell biologist Nathaneil
Jeanson put it, "...that’s
an unsolvable problem as far as I’m concerned in the evolutionary model."
One big proponent of Panspermia, for example, is astrobiologist Chris McKay. Mckay is on a quest to find methanogens. Methanogens are "microorganisms that produce methane as a metabolic byproduct in anoxic conditions." As Mckay explains them:
"Micro-astronauts on another world" is a dead give away that Mckay is all in on the Panspermia theory. To be more specific, he's hoping to find methanogens floating in the icy plumes of Saturn's moon Enceladus. As the narrator explains:
In passing, notice the plug for panspermia. So Mckay is planning a mission to Saturn to fly through the plumes, collect some of the free floating debris and bring it back to earth in hopes of finding methanogens from space.
Or consider Canadian scientist Barbara Sherwood Lollar from the University of Toronto. She studies rock eating microbes that perform chemosynthesis. Whereas photosynthesis creates energy out of light, chemosynthesis creates energy out of chemicals - like the rocks on Earth. It's expected the Martian rocks are similar. Such microbes exist on earth and she posits they may also exist on Mars, and thus her hopes are hanging on what we can learn from the Martian rocks. Similarly NASA scientist Abigail Allwood, a geoscientist is looking for stromatolite on Mars. Stromatolite are layered mounds of rock and is significant because it is formed by bacteria. Thus its mere existence is proof there was once life. Allwood is hoping the Curiosity robot rover now roving the surface of Mars will find something like stromatolite on Mars. As Allwood puts it,
Clearly, there are many Pavlovian conditioned scientists salivating over the prospect of the discovery of exolife on an exobody. Unfortunately, such scientists are not being very scientific. They may have interesting data from the rover on Mars, but they're refusing to follow the evidence to where it leads.
And so we come to my totally predictable predictions. But they're only predictable because unlike the scientists, I'm following the evidence, not wishful dreaming. I'm drawing my conclusions from the following:
These evidences are conclusive and allow me to confidently conclude that life cannot evolve in the neo-Darwinian sense of chance, mutation, natural selection and vast amounts of time. Thus I can also confidently predict that:
Who said creationists don't make predictions?
Duane Caldwell | June 30, 2018
3. Re: 200 factors or parameters - see:
Science Increasingly Makes the Case for
Funds Rutgers Scientists’ Pursuit of the Origins of Life"
Astrobiology Magazine, June 5, 2018
Nola Taylor Redd, "We Could Find Aliens by Spotting Their Satellites",
Space.com, April 30, 2018
Stofan, ref. from "Space's Deepest Secrets Mars: The Next
Frontier", Science Channel documentary, 2016, Original air date 6/26/2018
14. Methanogens, Wikipedia, accessed 6/27/18,
For more on genetic entropy, see: