Chapter 4


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Question from Chapter 3

Amino acids come in left and right handed forms, but exclusively left handed amino acids are needed to make the proteins of living organisms.  Is there any way of separating the left and right molecule, or producing only left handed forms?

Heads or Tails?

Let us look at a familiar situation where you have two possible opposite outcomes - tossing a coin.  A coin has two distinct sides, usually called heads and tails.  When you throw a coin it can land either head up or tail up.  Each time you throw you have a 50% chance of getting a head and 50% chance of a tail.  Experience shows if you were to throw a coin once every minute for a week, then add up the number of heads and tails the result would be an approximately even number of each, i.e. approximately 50% heads, 50% tails.

We could summarise the results of coin tossing under the influence of Natural Properties (NP) as:

Matter (normal coin) + Energy (throw) + Time  NP® 50/50 Heads & Tails

Can you throw 100% heads?

Yes, but only if you deliberately interfere with the coin.  You could make a two headed coin or weight one side.  The two headed coin will always land heads up.  A coin weighted on one side will tend to land with the other side up.  Such interference (usually called cheating) means you are no longer relying on the Natural Properties of the coin.  You have deliberately manipulated the system and supplied Outside Information that wasn't a Natural Property of the original system.

The results obtained after manipulating the coin can be summarised as:

Matter (altered coin) + Energy (throw)  + Time  OI® 100% Heads

When the Fraud Squad investigates a crooked gambling casino, they know someone is meddling with a gambling game when the results are not those predicted by the Natural Properties of the game.  They are looking for the influence of Outside Information on the gambling games, such as weighted dice.  If they find it, they arrest the person who added it.  

Back to Amino Acids

It takes added Outside Information to ensure 100% heads when the Natural Properties of coins would have given 50/50 results from coin tossing.  Does this apply to amino acids?

Back to Pasteur

As well as demonstrating Spontaneous Generation did not occur in the present world, Pasteur discovered left and right handed organic molecules.  He was studying substances called tartrates in grape juice.  In 1847 he had observed that tartrate crystals had two slightly different shapes.

Pasteur carefully separated the two shapes by painstakingly picking out each crystal with a pair of tweezers.  He then dissolved the two types of crystals in separate solutions and found that one solution twisted polarised light to the right and one twisted it to the left.  For this reason he named such molecules right handed or left handed.  (Also for this reason chiral molecules are sometimes referred to as being "optically active")

Pasteur was deliberately manipulating the tartrate crystals from outside the system, using his ability to observe and separate the two different shaped crystals.  He was an Outside Intelligence applying Outside Information to the system.  We could summarise Pasteur's experiments with left and right handed tartrates as:

Tartrate Mix + Energy + Time OI (Pasteur)® 100% Left + 100% Right Tartrates

Scientists have since developed other methods of separating mixtures of right and left handed organic molecules into solutions of pure right or left handed molecules.  Every method found to date has required manipulation of the system by supplying Outside Information by intelligent scientists.  Therefore, we can make Pasteur's tartrate separation formula more general:

Mixed L & R Matter + Energy + Time  OI® 100% L Matter + 100% R Matter

Pasteur also noticed that his painstaking work was undone if he left his pure solutions to natural processes.  His pure left and right handed solutions underwent racemisation and eventually formed 50/50 mixtures.

A Nobel Prize

Other scientists have worked on methods of setting up chemical reactions that only produced left or right handed molecules.  After 30 years of painstaking experiments Barry Sharpless, Ryoji Noyori and Wiliam Knowles were awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize for chemistry for developing methods for deliberately making one form of a chiral molecule. 

Consider this: If pure right or left handed molecules could come about by natural processes, without any outside intelligence creatively manipulating the system, would making pure left or right handed molecules be worth a Nobel Prize?

Abandoning Amino Acids

To date, the problem of how pure amino acids could be produced for the origin of life has not yet been solved by evolutionists, and many other scientists have looked to other molecules as possible life starters. 

An article about the origin of life in Time magazine October 11, 1994 summarised their opinions:

"And although Miller's famous experiment produced the components of proteins, more and more researchers believe that a genetic master molecule - probably RNA - arose before proteins did."  (p71)...."It was", says planetary scientist and White House Fellow, Christopher Chyba, "a beautiful picture."  "Unfortunately", he adds, "it is probably wrong."  (p73)


What is RNA, and could it have been formed by natural process alone and go on to make living cells?

RNA is the subject of Chapter 5.


In today's world living cells only arise from pre-existing living cells.  Ever since the theory of evolution became accepted scientists have tried to find a natural explanation of how the first living cells came into existence, without being created by God.  Because proteins are the essential molecules of structure and function they looked for ways that proteins might be formed by natural processes.

Since the 1950s numerous scientists have made amino acids, the basic components of proteins, using simple molecules in conditions that simulated an atmosphere of simple molecules energised by lightening or radiation.

But the major difficulty for chemical evolution theories has arisen because to amino acids come in left and right handed forms and both are made in "origin of life" experiments.  However, proteins in living cells are made from exclusively left handed amino acids and all known methods, so far found for separating left and right handed molecules, or generating only left handed molecules, have required deliberate manipulation by a creative intelligence.  Scientists have not solved the left handed amino acid problem, but they have turned their attention to other molecules in the search for the origin of life.

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