Living cells are highly organized complex systems that consist of numerous molecular machines. These molecular machines perform any number of functions. They are indispensable to cellular function and maintenance. There are three main types of cells, each type has their unique qualities. Some of them have components the others lack but they all have some components in common.
Contains Chlorophyll that allows them to absorb solar energy
No cell wall making them flexible. Found in animals and people.
Single celled organisms such as bacteria No nucleus. No Mitochondria. Includes the simplest living cells.
Cellular machinery is important to cellular function because they copy, manufacture, and transport. In fact without them cells could not repair themselves or reproduce.
DNA is not self-replicating but copying DNA takes several molecular machines that unwind it, separated it, transcribe it, and rewind it.
Transposing DNA information to RNA involves a molecular machine called RNA polymerase that separates the DNA, transposes it to RNA and then reconnects the DNA
Motor proteins carry proteins to where they are needed in bags called vesicle. The motor proteins carry the vesicle by walking along microtubules.
A Ribosome is a molecular machine that uses the RNA to manufacture proteins on demand. Another molecular machine then folds the protein stand into the exact shape needed for its job.
These molecular machines are just the tip of the cellular molecular machine ice burg. The result is that living cells have a degree of ordered complexity seen no place else except in the Human Mind. Such a degree ordered complexity means that living cells have an extremely low entropy.
Since even the simplest known living cell is far more organized and complex than they're the basic chemical components that make up a cell. As a result, a living cell’s entropy is much much much much much much much lower than that their basic chemical
components. Forming life from nonliving basic chemicals requires a tremendous reduction in entropy. So any theory on the origin of life must be able to account for this tremendous reduction in entropy.
The options boil down to two possibilities. They are Abiogenesis or the creation of an intelligence from outside our universe (a supernatural intelligence) The possibility has been proposed that Life originated on another planet but it does not actually explain the origin of life. All it does is move the problem to another planet. The question is which of the two possibilities best fits with the principles of thermodynamics the totally naturalistic notion of abiogenesis or a supernatural intelligence.
Statistical Entropy is the application of probability theory to the thermodynamic principle of entropy. It shows that entropy is a measure of the amount of disorder in a system. In the formula relating entropy to the number of equivalent microstates or the number of possible ways for a given condition to occur is denoted as W, the entropy is denoted as S and k the Boltzmann Constant.
k= 1.38 X 10-23 JL-1
This shows that entropy is a measure of the disorder of a system. Disordered systems have more equivalent microstates (W) than ordered systems. As a result, the larger W is the more disordered the system and the smaller W is the more ordered the system is. Furthermore, the larger a system’s entropy the more disordered it is and the smaller a system’s entropy the more ordered it is.
Reducing entropy and producing order from disorder requires more than just applying energy to a system but depends on how the energy is applied. When energy is applied to a system in a manner more ordered than that system’s degree of order it increases the system’s order. By contrast when energy is applied to a system in a manner more disordered than that system’s degree of disorder it increases the system’s disorder. The Mathematical relationship is shown by:
Number of equivalent microstates of the applied energy is We
Number of initial equivalent microstates of the system is Ws
The maximum change in entropy is denoted as DSmax.
k is the Boltzmann Constant = 1.38 X 10-23 JL-1
This principle can be reduced to two statements.
This shows the general direction that applying energy to a system will move the entropy of that system. The value DSmax denotes the change in entropy that occurs if the energy is applied to the entire system with 100% efficiency. The actual change in entropy results from the amount of energy actually applied to the system, but the direction of the change (increase or decrease) is the same.
The general application of energy to a system in a manner more random than that system will increase the entropy of that system.
The general application of energy to a system in a manner less random than that system will decrease the entropy of that system.
Now, this principle is not a restatement of the Second Law of Thermodynamics but it is actually a more general principle that explains why the Second Law of Thermodynamics works. The principle describes what happens to entropy in an open system when energy is applied to that system. Furthermore, this principle applies to life and its origin because it applies to all systems being both system and path independent.
Any theory on the origin of life must raise the prebiotic chemicals' degree of order and complexity to that of the simplest living cell. To do this it must apply energy to the system in a manner, at least has organized and complex as the simplest living cell. There is no attempt here to claim that abiogenesis violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics but rather to apply a more general principle that shows the direction of the change in entropy in an open system when energy is applied to it to test the thermodynamic possibility of abiogenesis.
Put the frog in the blender and tern it on.
To illustrate this lets take a frog and a blender
In a matter of seconds, you will have a blender filled with all the chemical components needed to make a frog in the form of frognog. The frog was converted into frognog and the entropy of is much much greater than the entropy of a frog. Note that can be substituted for your preferred hypothetical prebiotic soup since this is closer to a living cell than any hypothetical prebiotic soup imaginable.
However to get life from non life you have to turn frognog in to a frog
Or at least turn frognog in to a single cell bacterium.
NOTE: No frogs were actually harmed in the making of this example.
However, the entropy of is much much much greater than the entropy of a single cell bacterium. The usual explanation is that cells started out simpler without the cellular machinery. There are several problems with this idea. First of all, no such organism
exists, it is totally ad hoc effort to keep abiogenesis looking viable. Even if it existed, these hypothetical cells would still need to acquire the cellular machinery to become today’s cells and there is no natural way to produce cellular machinery
without cellular machinery. Furthermore, without cellular machinery to repair itself, a cell’s entropy would quickly increase, and it would die.
Another problem with this simplified cell idea is that the order from disorder principle is path independent. In other words, it does not matter how you get from point A to point B the results are the same so adding hypothetical stages does not change the results. What is needed is to evaluate all the phenomena that can add energy to pre-biotic chemicals or hypothetical proto-cells.
Heat is one source of energy available for prebiotic chemicals or proto-cells, so we’ll heat up our frognog. Heat applies energy to a system in a random manner that is more random than the frognog or any other prebiotic soup. The result is cooked frognog.
The entropy increases partly because the heat will tend to break down organic chemicals rather than produce them.
The heat will tend to break down organic chemicals rather than produce them Expose any organism to enough heat, and you will kill it. Some are more resistant than others, but they all have limits. This resistance is due to cellular machinery and so it would not be available before you have a living cell.
Radiation is one source of energy available for pre-biotic chemicals or proto-cells. So lets get take a microwave oven and put our frognog in it. Close the door and turn it on.
However, radiation applies energy to a system in a random manner. It is more random than the frognog or any other possible pre-biotic soup. The result is that you cook the frognog. The frognog’s entropy increases in part because the radiation tends to break down organic chemicals rather than produce them. Expose any organism to enough radiation including roaches, and you will kill it. Some are more resistant than others, but they all have limits.
Electrical energy is one source of energy available for pre-biotic chemicals or proto-cells in the form of lighting. So let's take our frognog put it out in a thunderstorm and let it get struck by lightning. However, while electricity applies energy
to a system in a less random manner than heat and radiation it is still more random than frognog or any other possible prebiotic soup. Most of the energy gets converted to heat with a small amount of the chemical reactions most of which are not in
the direction towards life. The result is that you cook the frognog and break it down further.
The frognog’s entropy increases in part because electrical energy tends to break down organic chemicals rather than produce them. This is supported by the famed Miller-Urey experiment in 1953. The electrical spark tended to destroy amino acids once made. As a result, the experiment required a trap to keep the products from going back through the apparatus to preserve the amino acids that were formed. Also when lightning strikes a living organism often kills the organism.
Solar Energy is one source of energy available for pre-biotic chemicals or proto-cells. In fact, it would have been the most commonly suggested source of energy suggested for the origin of life. If we take our frognog and put it outside with the sun pouring on it. Now without chlorophyll and the accompanying cellular machinery, there is no mechanism to convert solar energy to useful energy and without these mechanisms, solar energy gets applied to the system in a random manner with most of what is absorbed becoming heat. The result is that frognog will decay and eventually stink. This decay will happen even if it is not exposed to bacteria it will just be slower. The frognog’s entropy increases this is in part because without chlorophyll and the accompanying cellular machinery solar energy tends to break down organic chemicals rather than produce them which is particularly true of its ultraviolet light, exposure to which can cause cancer.
Chemistry is one source of energy available for pre-biotic chemicals or proto-cells. Unlike the others, chemistry can increase the order of a system, reducing its entropy however it does not necessarily do so but increasing or decreasing entropy depending
on the reaction. Chemistry can also use the other sources of energy to either increase or decrease entropy. There are two main ways that chemistry can reduce entropy. The first way is by reducing the number of free moving particles thus reducing the
number of equivalent configurations. It is effectively reducing the size of the system. The other way is that chemical bonds have a geometric order to how they form, so they can produce a degree of order in the atoms. This geometric order most often
tends to form simple repetitive patterns like those found in crystals. However, carbon chemistry can from some complex molecules even without life. As a result, it’s safe to conclude chemistry can apply energy in a manner more ordered than frognog
or any prebiotic soup.
Thus the frognog’s entropy can decrease; however, it needs to be noted that this is not guaranteed just possible. The larger more complex organic compounds become the more unstable they become in that they tend to break down quickly after being formed. The question is can chemistry produce life? Does chemistry alone have sufficient organization to produce life from non-life? The answer is no because life is more than just chemistry. Even the simplest living cell is a complex assembly of information and molecular machines that manufactures, transports and manipulates large complex molecules as it needs them.The cell’s entropy will increase based only on chemistry.
Mechanical energy is one source of energy available for pre-biotic chemicals or proto-cells. Like chemistry it can increase the order of a system, reducing its entropy however it does not necessarily do so but increasing or decreasing entropy depending
on the application of the mechanical energy. There are two main ways by which mechanical energy can be applied to pre-biotic chemicals or proto-cells, they are pressure and currents.
Currents do possess a degree of order in that all of the molecules of a fluid are generally moving the same direction. This has the potential of aligning molecules into less random patterns affecting the chemistry that can happen.
Mechanical pressure can be both destructive an constructive however in a chemical environment there can be mechanical pressures that actually aid the chemistry of long changes molecules such as DNA and RNA. In such cases, it does increase the order of the chemistry a little bit beyond what would otherwise occur but not beyond what is possible by chemistry alone.
The result is that that the best application of mechanical energy has about the same number equivalent state as can be produced by chemistry However this is this way higher than that of a living cell, so a cell’s entropy will increase based only no mechanical energy.
It is at this point the proponents of abiogenesis pull out their “ultimate weapon” of Natural Selection. Natural Selection is pulled out and waved over the problem like a magic wand that once is invoked magically fixes all problems eventually
being able to turn frognog into a frog. Natural selection is the process by which environmental conditions (nature) determine (select) how well particular traits of organisms can serve survival and reproduction. The result is that those varieties
with traits that best serve survival and reproduction have more kids and their traits spread through the population. It is a form of natural selective breeding. A key point of Natural Selection is that it works only on populations of living organisms.
That means it only works on life, making it no help whatsoever with regards to producing life from non-life.
The response to this is that life started out simpler than it currently is, that is that life started without the current molecular machinery. There are several problems with this notion. First of all, no such life exists and no evidence for it exists. It is a total ad hoc invention and without cellular machinery, there is no way to read DNA or RNA to manufacture needed proteins on demand. No reading mechanism also means that DNA or RNA cannot pass on newly acquired traits to offspring making them totally useless. Without cellular machinery, there is no way for a cell to accurately repair itself so as a result, its entropy will increase and eventually kill it. Assuming that these hypothetical cells did exist getting from there to existing cells still requires a tremendous reduction in entropy. Somehow the hypothetical cells would still have to acquire this cellular machinery without the cellular machinery that produces it.
The problem is that Natural Selection does not actually produce anything because it can only “select” from traits that already exist. Those traits that are best for survival and reproduction in a given environment. As a result, Natural Selection applies no energy to a system and so it can not reduce entropy. So without any way for the hypothetical simple cells to acquire cellular machinery, Natural Selection has nothing to work on. The only remaining possibility would be if Natural Selection were a sufficiently ordered process that its selections would tend towards decreasing entropy. This would require it to behave like a genetic algorithm. Genetic algorithms are complex computer program routines that use trial an error to work towards a preprogrammed goal, even if the exact outcome is not predetermined. These computer routines have several features that make them work.
1. Random mutation of data sets.
2. A pre-programmed objective that is used to determine survival and copying of a given data set.
3. All possible configurations can survive as long as they are the closest to the goal.
While Natural Selection inspired genetic algorithms, it lacks the properties that give genetic algorithms their power. It does use random mutations of data sets (genes) but that’s where the similarities end. Natural Selection has no preprogrammed objective that is used to determine survival and copying since its only goal is survival and copying. There are also genetic configurations in living cells that are always fatal. The simple fact is that Natural Selection is not a sufficiently ordered process for decreasing entropy. This problem is amplified by the fact that without cellular machinery the hypothetical simple cells cannot read genetic information so offspring cannot get new traits from their parent. The result is that Natural Selection can not overcome the thermodynamic barriers to developing existing cellular machinery.
The question now rises as to what would happen if all the energy sources available to per-biotic matter were to work at the same time after all they are all acting in the same environment. If they worked independently of each other the number of equivalent microstates (Ω) would be multiplied together such that Ωe = Ωheat Ωradiation Ωelectricity Ωsolar Ωchem-min Ω mechanical-min. The result is the number of equivalent microstates of the energy applied to to per-biotic matter would increases since none of the available sources of energy has an Ω >> Ω cell this results in Ωe >>>> Ωcell. This makes the problem even worst for abiogenesis because that it drives up the entropy of the per-biotic matter.
If the energy sources available to per-biotic matter were to work together by working through one of the energy sources then it would tend to bring the number of equivalent microstates of the other energy source towards the one that they are working through. In the case of per-biotic matter chemical energy would be the energy source the others would tend to work through resulting in Ωe = Ωheat. Since chemical energy has an Ωchem-min >> Ωcell this results in Ωe >> Ωcell. This does not solve the problem with abiogenesis because that it can not reduces the number of equivalent microstates of the per-biotic matter to any were near that of a living cell such that a heterogeneous environment is not a help to abiogenesis.
We have examined every way that energy could be applied to non-living matter and even a hypothetical overly simplified cell. They are heat, radiation, electricity (lighting) solar energy and chemistry. Heat, radiation, electrical energy and solar energy
all proved to be more random than any potential prebiotic soup. As such they would increase the entropy of the prebiotic soup and not the enormous decrease that is needed for abiogenesis. While chemistry has a degree of order to it because of the
geometry of chemical bonds and can decrease the entropy of a prebiotic soup. Some forms of mechanical energy that can be applied to prebiotic soup would help this process but not much. The result is that it still falls short of the degree of ordered
complexity of the simplest living cell.
Placing all these sources of energy into a heterogeneous environment is not a help to abiogenesis. It makes it worst if the energy sources work independently. Even if they work together, it only brings them all to the degree of order that can come from chemical energy. However, even simple form of order that still falls short of the degree of ordered complexity of the simplest living cell.
Abiogenesis' last hope of Natural Selection also falls short. Natural Selection can not lead to the origin of life since it only works on life. Proposing simpler cells without cellular machinery does not solve the problem. This is because cells would be killed by rapidly increasing entropy without cellular machinery and Natural Selection is not an organized process that can decrease entropy.
Over the years several experiments have been done to try to replicate parts of the alleged process. The ultimate goal is to create life in the lab. The idea is that doing so would prove no intelligence was needed to start living to begin with. This
notion ignores the fact that inelegant scientists creating life in a lab would only show that inelegant agents can create life.
Despite more than half a century of such experiments they are still far from anything even close to the simplest living cells. The results of this study show that chemistry and other sources of energy available to pre-biotic mater are incapable of producing a system as orderly and complex as a living cell. Such systems have an extremely low number of equivalent states and thus extremely low entropy.
The question before us is doing any of the abiogenesis experiments performed to date come any were close to producing life without intelligent input. Do any of them reduce the number of equivalent states to that the simplest living cells reproducing the same ordered and complexity of such a cell?
The Miller–Urey experiment started with three compounds that at the time were believed by evolutionists to make up the Earth's atmosphere and water. These compounds were hydrogen (H2), methane (CH4), ammonia (NH3), and water (H2O). The experiment consisted
of a sealed sterile collection of glass flasks and glass tubes that formed a loop. The first flask was half-filled with liquid water and the second flask containing a pair of electrodes at 60,000 volts. The experiment proceeded by heating liquid water
so as to produce evaporation. Lighting was simulated by sparks being sent between the electrodes. The gasses were then cooled to allow the water condenses and returns to the first flask so as to produce a continuous cycle.
The experiment did produce two main types of amino acids however even Miller commented that "The total yield was small for the energy expended." The experiment produced 1.05% glycine and 0.75% alanine. The next most common amino acid produced by the experiment comprised only 0.026% of the product. For a total amino acid yield of 1.826% of the products of the experiments. The remaining 98% consisted largely of an insoluble toxic carcinogenic mixture called tar. Making a large portion of the products deadly to life.
This experiment produces problems for abiogenesis. Including the fact that this experiment and all similar experiments produced both right and left-handed amino acids while all life on earth using only left-handed amino acids. Furthermore right and left-handed amino acids are incompatible and having both would likely hinder the process. Miller and Urey also had to include a trap in the experiment to keep the products from going back through the experiment. This was because the spark would destroy any amino acids produced if the went back through the experiment. Indeed to be noted that there is no such trap in nature. It also needs to be noted that only a few of the 20 amino acids needed for life were produced and life can not exist without all 20 amino acids. Furthermore, the gasses used in this experiment do not represent what is now thought to have been conditioned on the early Earth. As a result, the experiment is actually a moot point.
While this experiment shows that some amino acids can be produced by chemistry, the amino acids produced are actually quite simple organic compounds. The amino acids produced are mainly hydrogen branching of a small chain of carbon atoms with nitrogen and oxygen included. They fully compatible with being produced only by comical bonding structures and thus well within what thermodynamics indicates, chemistry can produce.
By GYassineMrabetTalk This vector image was created with Inkscape.
The source code of this SVG is valid. (Own work from Image:MUexperiment.png.)
[ GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Difference_DNA_RNA-DE.svg: Sponk (talk)translation: Sponk
[ CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0,
GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0
or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a molecule similar to Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) are similar molecules both are made of 4 component nucleotides each with only one of them being a little difference. For all practical purposes RNA is a single helix version of
DNA. Both can and do encode information in living cells with RNA being used to transport the information. What Lincoln and Joyce did was to get an RNA enzyme that catalyzes the replication of RNA to catalyze the synthesis of another RNA enzyme
which then in turn catalyzes the synthesis of original RNA enzyme. The RNA enzyme which in turn catalyzes the replication of RNA. The result is an exponential growth in the number of RNA molecules.
Based on these results they have the life got started with RNA as the information storage medium since it does not require the complex systems of a cell for replication, this known as RNA world. There are however several problems with this a big one of which is the conversion to DNA. The experiment was carried out in a component rich environment at a constant temperature a situation which would not occur in nature since temperatures are always going up and down.
The clincher and one that results in a thermodynamic barrier is the fact that the nucleotides of this RNA form a random chain of nucleotides. This means that it does not encode any complex specific information (csi) such as is found in the DNA of every living cell. This fully consistent with what thermodynamics says we should expect from chemistry since Wchem-min >> Wcsi. Even if it did there would be no way to read that information and Wchem-min >> Wcsi_reader.
Some would claim that it contains information about the environment. In reality it is just the optimization of the RNA to the chemical environment in which it exists. Even if you call it information this is not complex specific information since it does not encode anything. This can be proven to be the case because there is no code to encode anything. Producing such an orderly and complex system would require a higher degree of control of the molecules than can be achieved just through chemistry. Living cells use specially create and programmed molecular machines to precisely transport place molecules with the needed ordered and complexity to create life. Thermodynamics shows that the only hope these scientists have of producing life in a lab is to intelligently design, and make molecular machines to precisely transport place molecules with the needed ordered and complexity to create life.
Living organisms have both the internally stored information and cellular machinery needed to produce other life. Individual cells have the internally stored information and cellular machinery needed to produce other cells of the same kind. Multi-cellular
organisms have the internally stored information and cellular machinery needed to produce other multi-cellular organisms of the same kind. Each type of organism has the ability to apply energy to the raw materials of life with the degree of ordered
complexity need to produce more life of the same kind.
The fact is that the only observed way of producing life is for it to be produced by life. So life can produce life from non-life. However, life cannot be the original origin of life. We have seen that life can create new life, and it is the only observed source of life but the ultimate origin of biological life cannot be biological life since no cell can make itself.
This means that the only known phenomenon that could have originated biological life is intelligence. But can intelligence exist without biological life? There is evidence that suggests that the answer is yes! According to every major religion in the
world except atheism, there is a human soul that survives the death of the body. In addition to Judaism, Christianity and Islam believe in God without a physical body. Most religions have intelligent spirit beings of one form or another that exist
without physical bodies. The near-universal nature of these beliefs suggests that they are more than flights of fantasy.
More direct evidence comes in the form of near-death experiences in which the person reports things they could not have known about that are confirmed to be real. There are also sighting and photographs of ghosts some of which suggest intelligence. Granted these do not qualify as hard scientific evidence but it is still more evidence than exists for abiogenesis, which is absolutely nothing.
There is scientific evidence suggesting that intelligence can exist apart from biological life and that the human mind in fact does so. A paper published in the journal NeuroQuantology called Synaptic Quantum Tunnelling in Brain Activityhas shown that synaptic function requires quantum tunneling on demand. This quantum tunneling on demand requires the mind to control the process. As a result the mind can not be purely a product of the brain because the brain could not function if the mind were depended on the quantum tunneling it needs to control. There has to be a degree of separation between the mind and the brain, thus the intelligence that is the human mind must exist independent of the biological life that houses it.
Intelligence also fits the Sherlock Holmes Axiom: “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Because having shown abiogenesis to be impossible intelligence is all that remains and so it must be
Furthermore since our universe had a beginning, this intelligence would have to be from outside our universe and an intelligence from outside the universe would exist outside of time and thus could be eternal. This intelligence would by definition be supernatural and it would by definition be the being we call God.
There is really only one reason for dismissing this answer, and that is a prior commitment to the philosophy of naturalism. Naturalism discounts all but totally naturalistic explanations for all phenomenon as a starting assumption. Someone with a prior commitment to naturalism can not accept any intelligent explanation for the origin of life.
Given its thermodynamic problems, there is really only one reason to believe in abiogenesis. That is a prior commitment to the philosophy of naturalism. Naturalism discounts all but totally naturalistic explanations for all phenomenon as a starting assumption. Someone with a prior commitment to naturalism must accept abiogenesis regardless of the evidence. This because naturalism allows no other possibility because some form of abiogenesis is the only real naturalistic option. So if you hold to naturalism, you have to believe in abiogenesis even if it requires violating every known law of science.
Having demonstrated that abiogenesis is a thermodynamic impossibility it can no longer be considered a rational scientific theory of the origin of life. Since the only possibility that fits with thermodynamical principles is from outside the space-time of our universe, this means that the real rational scientific theory on the origin of life is by a supernatural intelligence.
How DNA Copies Itself
The Molecular Machinery of Life
Journey Inside The Cell
Entropy and Applied Energy
A reprint of the original paper on the affect on entropy of the application of energy to a system.