A hypothetical scenario “may have been enough” to solve one of the biggest conundrums in the evolutionary story of origins. Of course, one hardly hears about this problem from evolutionists except when they think they have an answer.
The problem concerns the “chirality” of amino acids, fundamental building blocks of life.
The problem concerns the “chirality” of amino acids, fundamental building blocks of life. Chained together, amino acids form the proteins that keep everything from our bodies to microbes functioning. They can be oriented in one of two mirroring ways, left or right. Yet left- and right-handed amino acids cannot cooperate the way same-handed amino acids can.
Now we come to the problem: virtually all of life on earth (with a few exceptions in several organisms) is based on left-handed amino acids. Yet if amino acids were formed by natural processes, such as was replicated in the Miller–Urey experiment, they would form in equal concentrations of both left-handed and right-handed forms, thus greatly reducing the even nominal chance that a single-handed, functioning, self-replicating code could spontaneously occur. Right-handed amino acids would link up with left-handed ones, rendering the chain useless for the formation of life as we know it.
Presenting at a national meeting of the American Chemical Society, Columbia professor Ronald Breslow propounded his idea for where all the left-handed amino acids came from: outer space.
“These meteorites were bringing in what I call the ‘seeds of chirality,’” Breslow said, claiming the seeds formed in interstellar space, possibly on asteroids. His hypothesis is that as asteroids soar past neutron stars, perhaps “circularly polarized” light rays trigger the destruction of some of the right-handed amino acids, leaving a greater percentage of the left-handed form remaining on the asteroid.
Breslow cites meteorites in Australia and Tennessee as examples of “left-handed excess.”
According to Breslow, previous experiments (not cited in the press release) confirm that circularly polarized light selectively destroys amino acids, leading to five to ten percent more of one type of amino acid relative to the other. Breslow cites meteorites in Australia and Tennessee as examples of “left-handed excess.” Breslow claims his next experiments led to the further amplification and eventual dominance of left-handed amino acids due to evaporation. The report then stated: “Eventually, the amino acid in excess became ubiquitous as it was used selectively by living organisms.” But—since we’re talking alleged prebiotic origins—how, without being used selectively by living organisms (since they didn’t exist yet!), was the left-handed form made ubiquitous supposedly billions of years ago? The details of these further experiments are not yet available in current online documentation. Perhaps when the full documentation is available we’ll have more answers (or questions) in regards to this.
There are other ideas for how left-handed amino acids could have dominated, such as polarized light from distant neutron stars traveling all the way to earth to destroy right-handed amino acids. What’s clear is that all of these scenarios still rely on a great deal of faith—“just-so” stories as in item #1. When it comes to answering the many difficulties of the naturalistic story of the origin of life, evolutionists seem to think that as long as they can generate a possible explanation, that’s enough to cover over a gap in the godless-origin narrative. Never mind the unlikeliness of such stories or the many other remaining gaps. Christians faithfully defend our origins narrative—Genesis—too, but the difference lies in that our narrative was authored by a firsthand witness of the origin of life, and does not rely on man’s fallible, changing ideas.
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