Life in a testube

Massie (
Tue, 06 Apr 1999 16:06:32 -0700

>Civility can be a pathway to greatness.

You might tell that to the creationists on the Calvin evolution
including the person I was responding to.

>I read the scientific literature and the Good Book every day.

Apparently, however, you do the latter more vigorously than the former.

>I know many die-hard evolutionist who do not believe that life has been
>generated in the laboratory from inaminate materials. I recently read
>an excellent book written by a very staunch anti-creationist on the
>geological and life history of the earth. The book is not handy but to
>paraphrase he said that "The origin of life is a great and frustrating
>mystery." I will see if I can lay my hands on it tonight and post it.

Such people are unfamiliar with the literature; all they need do is use
good journal database and they will find all they need.

>Now you owe us a backup to your assertions. Perhaps instead of
>appealing to claims that we are uninformed and illiterate you could give
>us citations to the technical literature where carbon and a host of
>other compounds were sealed in a sterile chamber and out came a living
>reproducing entity of some sort.

If you don't know this yourself you are uninformed, despite what you say
about reading the sientific literature. You are also asking me the
equivolent of providing citations that show enzymes are catalysts. I
couldn't do that either, even though it's true, because the research is
expansive and the conclusion is a consensus based on that evidence. I
cannot give you a handful of citations that that will declare in
headlines, "LIFE CREATED IN A LAB!!!", because the conclusion that life
created in the lab is a concensus reached by studying all the research;
wasn't decided on the basis of a single critical experiment. This
was reached as early as 1970, when biochemists like Lehninger recognized
Since then new research has only reinforced that concensus. You can
this concensus in textbooks, and reference books written by abiotic
researchers (not popularizations like the one you mention above), and in
scientific literature. Go look it up.

Kevin L. O'Brien


My response from Bert Massie:

The creation on enzymes is not the creation of life.

Don't tell me whether I am informed or not. I could be a total flake or
a genius and you have no baises for such inflamed and derogatory
How about we stick to the issues and not attach each other.

Again, I repeat that many strident evolutionist believe that there is a
basis for theorizing about the origin of life but not a very exact
description and certainly no laboratory demonstration of life as a
functional reproducing entity. My challenge remains:

"Show me literature where in a sterile laboratory elements like carbon
entered and even under the guidence of the best of the best emerged from
the laboratory was an entity that could reproduce."