How Might a Protein Have Evolved?
“Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?”
A novel and sophisticated variation on the old Miller-Urey experiment has seen the artificial design of a new small protein molecule. The molecule uses just two types of amino acids instead of the 20 usually found in proteins. Each amino acid was used six times, making 12 amino acid links in all. The purpose of the synthesis of this peptide was to see if a simple protein-like molecule could have existed before the actual alleged evolutionary development of life on Earth.
One has to note carefully what the researchers say.
“This peptide has several impressive and important features. It contains only two types of amino acids (rather than the estimated 20 amino acids that synthesize millions of different proteins needed for specific body functions), it is very short and it could have emerged spontaneously on the early Earth in the right conditions.”
This last sentence must not go unnoticed. How could such a molecule have emerged spontaneously? The synthesis of the molecule had to use careful reducing conditions because the slightest oxidation would break the molecule apart. So this is what is meant by the “right conditions”. There is no reason to suppose that an early atmosphere on the Earth would be reducing, except that such an atmosphere would be necessary to achieve the sort of molecules that would be required. Even then, there is no reason to suppose this molecule would “emerge spontaneously”. This is wishful thinking, based on a faulty worldview.
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