Re: Dembski and Nelson at MIT and Tufts

Ami Chopine (
Mon, 5 Apr 1999 13:05:30 -0700

> On the contrary, I appear to understand the nature of life and abiogenesis
> better than you do. But you don't have to take my word for it; if you
> read the scientific literature for a change instead of relying on your own
> ignorance, you would see that we have in fact been able to create life in
> the laboratory. Therefore, the problem is not as difficult as you may
> it is.

Kevin's definition of life is quite broad, if technical. It is simply a
"metabolic system which uses polymeric catalysts to breakdown biomolecules
for energy and raw materials, which it then uses to create new structures
(again using polymeric catalysts), " I have not been convinced that it has
any contribution other than the value of being able to claim that life has
been created (Hrm, by an intellegent agency, I might add using, of course,
natural processes such as self assembly) from simple chemicals. This does
very little, IMO, for the theory of abiogenesis without intellegent

Now, if one wants to use the above definition as that for life processes,
then that is okay. But that definition does nothing to advance the cause of
explaining how we got from simple chemicals to the simplest modern cells
known today. Or,similarly, the most recent common ancestor all life now on
earth shares (which was probably simpler still). This definition of life
does not carry with it the real attributes of life such as reproduction,
information and even evolution.

This is the second time that Kevin has made this claim. He did not validate
it to my satisfaction a couple of weeks ago, either publicly or in the
private exchange which he moved the discussion to.

Ami Chopine