ICR Says NASA Researchers Are Fools

This one requires a bit of introduction. Last month, NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) posted this news: NASA Study Reproduces Origins of Life on Ocean Floor. Their headline is a wee bit misleading. NASA is looking for indicators of life on extra-solar planets, and they need to know what kind of conditions to search for. The article says, with our bold font:

Scientists have reproduced in the lab how the ingredients for life could have formed deep in the ocean 4 billion years ago. The results of the new study offer clues to how life started on Earth and where else in the cosmos we might find it.

Astrobiologist Laurie Barge and her team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, are working to recognize life on other planets by studying the origins of life here on Earth. Their research focuses on how the building blocks of life form in hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor.

To re-create hydrothermal vents in the lab, the team made their own miniature seafloors by filling beakers with mixtures that mimic Earth’s primordial ocean. These lab-based oceans act as nurseries for amino acids, organic compounds that are essential for life as we know it. Like Lego blocks, amino acids build on one another to form proteins, which make up all living things.

[…]

“We’ve shown that in geological conditions similar to early Earth, and maybe to other planets, we can form amino acids and alpha hydroxy acids from a simple reaction under mild conditions that would have existed on the seafloor,” said Barge.

That’s enough. PhysOrg wrote about it — see NASA study reproduces origins of life on ocean floor. That’s another slightly misleading headline, but their opening paragraph sets things straight:

Scientists have reproduced in the lab how the ingredients for life could have formed deep in the ocean 4 billion years ago. The results of the new study offer clues to how life started on Earth and where else in the cosmos we might find it. Astrobiologist Laurie Barge and her team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, are working to recognize life on other planets by studying the origins of life here on Earth. Their research focuses on how the building blocks of life form in hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor.

Okay, that’s the background. Now along comes the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the granddaddy of all creationist outfits, the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. Their title is Another Failure to Recreate Life’s Origins.

Ooooooooooooh! A failure! It was written by Jeffrey P. Tomkins. At the end they say Jeffrey is: “Director of Life Sciences at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in genetics from Clemson University.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

A new study by NASA scientists has just been published where researchers did nothing more than convert a pre-cursor chemical into a single type of amino acid. Despite the simplicity of this experiment and the lack of anything helpful to evolution being found, the popular media exclaimed that the scientists were able to “recreate the ‘origins of life’ and the results are shocking.” In reality, the only thing shocking about this news story is the blatant absurdity of the claim.

Amazing, huh? Then Jeffrey says:

From start to finish, the whole evolutionary story of life is void of empirical support. [Gasp!] And one of evolution’s greatest hurdles is the fundamental problem of how life could have begun.

[…]

Many different types of experiments have been conducted over the past 60 years in attempts to recreate the molecular building blocks of life under so-called primitive conditions. But these experiments have all failed — as I have described at length in previous articles. [Footnotes citing ICR stuff.] And now we have another headline in the news making claims of success in solving the mystery of life’s initial origins. [Huh?] In the story describing the study, the author states, “A new NASA study has recreated the origins of life, building the ocean’s floors from 4 billion years ago as humanity attempts to understand how life started on Earth and where else it might be found.” As we shall see, this extravagant claim is entirely false.

Entirely false! He tells us:

The study in question attempted to create a scenario supposedly mimicking conditions surrounding a hydrothermal vent. Some evolutionists [the fools!] see deep-sea vents as providing conditions conducive to the spontaneous generation of life in a primeval early Earth covered by oceans. In today’s world, only highly specialized and engineered creatures capable of withstanding the extreme conditions are able to live near these vents. No spontaneous formation of life is occurring.

Yeah, forget about those vents. Skipping some babble about biochemistry, Jeffrey finishes with this:

When looking at the details of the research paper itself, the overall value of this effort to advancing the evolutionary agenda is effectively zilch. So much for the hype.

So there you are. Those Darwinists at NASA have been exposed. If you want to know The Truth about the origin of life, ICR has all the answers.

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “ICR Says NASA Researchers Are Fools

  1. News outlets aiming at popularising science tend to use catchy headlines to make the topic more juicy to the public. I am thinking of an article titled “Squeezing blood from stone” written in 1995 for Science News. Creationists latched on that headline to announce that Mary Schweitzer found ‘blood cells’ in tens of million year old fossils. Instead of reading the actual work written up in peer reviewed literature, they troll through superficial news items and ‘pop-science’ magazines for their ‘research’.

  2. “the overall value of this effort to advancing the evolutionary agenda is effectively zilch.”
    As there is no such thing as an evolutionary agenda except in the overheated minds of creationists this is correct.
    I think Jeffrey deserves a song.

  3. 400 C in the water at those ocean vents at the mid ocean spreading centers. The pressure at 10,000′ keeps the water liquid and an entire biosphere of animals adapted to these ultra high pressures and temperatures have evolved and can be found nowhere else on earth. If I had to choose between this setting as having been responsible for the first life in the PreC OR a giant beard man in the sky poofing everything into existence 6000 years ago, including the talking donkeys, I’m going with the oceanic vent.Cheers.

  4. “… including the talking donkeys”

    You left out the talking snake that freed humanity from the chief pro-ignorance magician.

  5. Theodore Lawry

    Origin of Life is a hard problem, but scientists keep chipping away at it. Showing that an amino acid can appear spontaneously in realistic natural conditions is a positive step, something Tompkins covers up by raising the bar far too high. Oh, and it’s “devoid” of empirical support Tompkins.

  6. “From start to finish, the whole evolutionary story of life is void [sic] of empirical support.”

    Yeah, someone — God, maybe — should have told those early, hopeful molecules to quit fooling around; just knock it off. Whatever made them “think” they could just spontaneously form and evolve without His say-so, anyway?

    @FrankB: not ‘Thick as a Brick’ for little Jeffrey T?

  7. @TL: if you raise your bar high enough there will be never any empirical support.

    @ChrisS: Indeed, that applies well to his skull.

  8. christine janis

    ” In today’s world, only highly specialized and engineered creatures capable of withstanding the extreme conditions are able to live near these vents. No spontaneous formation of life is occurring.”

    How do you know that, Tomkins? Were You There? One thing for sure, if any type of new life, or even complex organic molecules, is forming today in hydrothermal vents, it will get eaten by those highly specialized and engineered creatures that are there now (but were not 4 billion years ago).

  9. Two words: Dunning-Kruger………. 🙂

  10. From start to finish, the whole evolutionary story of life is void of empirical support.

    Which no doubt explains why it evolved (heh, heh) from a cautious speculation to an idea accepted by the overwhelming majority of scientists.
    Honestly, how do such people imagine Darwin’s theory of evolution ever survived at all if it has no support whatever? Especially since it was opposed at the beginning by many respected scientists.
    I suspect such people are reduced to blaming it on a vast conspiracy by a global Deep State. (Or international Jewish bankers, or Freemasons, or the Illuminati, or . . . take your pick.)

  11. There were so any other suggestions around in the 19th century. How did the Interational Conspiracy decide on Darwin’s as the one to promote?
    In the 20th century, wouldn’t atheists had been more comfortable with Fred Hoyle’s rejection of a first moment of creation?
    Without any evidece to go on, how did they decide on a time scale? Anything older than a few million years should have been enough.

  12. “wouldn’t atheists had been more comfortable with Fred Hoyle’s rejection of a first moment of creation?”
    Except for Hoyle himself I’m not aware of any atheist who would. Remember: Friedmann and Gamov were also atheists. At the other hand Lemaitre, a catholic priest, maintained that the Big Bang should not be used as a theistic argument.
    Moreover I simply don’t see why the Big Bang (or any other beginning of our natural reality) should make any atheist less comfortable. What atheists reject is the “salto mortale from our concrete world to a divine world”. The question actually says something about believers, not about atheists. Apparently such believers aren’t capable of understandting why unbelievers don’t believe and make little effort to do something about it.
    So let me formulate the point in the form fo simple, short question.
    Why should the First Cause (incorrectly assuming that causal relations are the fundament of our natural reality – feel free to replace Cause with Explanation) be supernatural? Any sensible answer can, mutatis mutandis, be applied to a Natural First Cause. There simply is no reason for discomfort. Worse, without any justification for the abovementioned salto mortale (in this case from a First Natural Cause to a First Supernatural Cause) First Cause Arguments actually favour atheism, exactly because going from methodological naturalism to philosophical naturalism hardly requires any effort.