RE: The young age of Earth

Pim van Meurs (
Mon, 15 Mar 1999 09:22:00 -0800

David Tyler responding to Pim van Meurs' post of Sat, 13 Mar 1999.

> Tyler: Abiogenesis advocates have two problems to address: the origin of a
> chemical structure that appears irreducibly complex and the origin of
> biological information.

Pim: " I think that the first problem is already solved to you: A
system that _appears_ IC. Since we have seen how irreducibly complex
systems can arise gradually this need not be a problem."

David: For me, systems appear to be IC until unguided mechanisms are
found to demonstrate that the term is a misnomer. To date, this has
not been done. The cell is irreducibly complex IMO. Also the
protein-DNA system.

I showed you data which indicate that IC systems can happen through gradual steps. So
a cell being IC is no evidence against evolution.

Pim: "The second problem needs some clarification. Do you mean to
say with "origin of biological information" the origin of RNA/DNA ?"

NO - because DNA/RNA is the chemical carrier of information. The
analogy has long been made between the paper and the printing on it:
the paper is merely the carrier for information. So also DNA/RNA.

SO this is the same old "information" argument ? Please define information, after all the
proponents of this "information" idea need to show why this is a problem.

I had written:
"I think all are agreed that no one has yet proposed a mechanism
or mechanisms for solving these problems. In the absence of a
mechanism, time is of no value: chemicals settle down to an

Pim: " But that assumes that chemicals are kept at their
equilibrium. It is exactly the far equilibrium processes which make
this topic so interesting."

I happen to agree with you. Can we throw out Darwin's "warm little
pond" as having no relevance to abiogenesis?

Perhaps, perhaps not.