Re: cumulative selection/abiogenesis

From: Peter Ruest (
Date: Thu Aug 15 2002 - 00:40:54 EDT

  • Next message: James Mahaffy: "Bio: James Mahaffy"

    Hi Josh,

    thank you for sharing with us (Josh Bembenek, 10 Aug 2002) your
    discussion with Donald C. Lindsay about abiogenesis and evolution of
    novel functionalities! Lindsay apparently isn't listening or isn't ready
    for an honest discussion.

    More than 20 years ago, I reached about the same conclusions as you
    have. And although I have since continually searched the literature,
    presented my views in lectures, published them in a few places (only
    Christian outlets like ASA's PSCF accepted such arguments), and
    discussed them variously on this listserve (with Glenn Morton, Howard
    Van Till, and others), proposing a model estimate of the probability of
    a spontaneous origin of a minimal (non-selected) cytochrome c activity,
    I have not come across any data or arguments which would necessitate a
    change in these conclusions.

    Occasionally, my views have caused confusion. On the one hand, I claim
    that all known evolutionary mechanisms are inadequate for producing
    genuine genetic novelty, and the origin of life is even orders of
    magnitude more difficult. On the other hand, I accept that all life is
    related by common descent. On the theological side, a very plausible
    case can be made for accepting evolution as one of God's creation tools,
    even without making a myth out of the biblical creation account. And on
    the scientific side, with the pseudogene and insertable element
    statistics of the human genome sequence, there seems to be (for the
    first time) compelling, unambiguous evidence for a common descent of
    humans and apes. As a possible way of reconciling the apparent
    discrepancy, I proposed that the Creator has been guiding the
    evolutionary processes in a way undetectable by science, his options
    being hidden in stochastic and quantum uncertainties.

    Obviously, if we remain within the confines of natural science, leaving
    out theology and philosophy, spontaneous self-organization and evolution
    is the only game in town, no matter how improbable the origin of life
    and the production of genetic novelty is. All we can ever say is "we
    don't know how".


    Dr. Peter Ruest, CH-3148 Lanzenhaeusern, Switzerland
    <> - Biochemistry - Creation and evolution
    "..the work which God created to evolve it" (Genesis 2:3)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Thu Aug 15 2002 - 12:09:40 EDT