Can discoveries of self-replicating molecules explain how life began on the earth? Can supercomputers calculate the probability?
I do try to keep up as much as possible with the new discoveries in
evolutionary/molecular biology. I am not sure exactly which aspect of
self-replicating molecules you refer to. For example, there are prions,
which are the cause of Kreutzfeld-Jacob (mad cow) disease. These
molecules are self-replicating, but only within a cell which they can
force to replicate themselves. If you can give me a more specific idea of
which research you refer to, I can give a more specific response.
In the mean time, let me give a generic response to what I have seen to be
out there. As far as I know, molecules are not truly self-replicating,
but it will depend on your definition. To be honest, this will not change
my answer all that much. I believe that if you could find some sort of
fairly simple self-replicating molecule, that would not even begin to
solve the problem of the origin of life. I would refer you to several
articles I have written on the subject at the web site, including one
titled “Did life just happen?
There are several more articles at the site on the question of origins of
life. I deal with this question in quite a bit of detail in my book “Is
There a God?” This book will be available in a new edition in a month or
To give a very brief summary, in order for life to come about by a
chemical accident, as atheists and scientists committed to materialist
explanations assume, several things must have happened which simply can
not happen. First of all, a genetic code, capable of storing information
would have had to have been created by accident. Second, molecules
capable of storing that coded information would have had to have been
created by chemical accident. Third, millions of pieces of information,
capable of creating an actual living thing would have to have been
created. Fourth, thousands of protein molecules, capable of building
these molecules and being synthesized by these coded DNA molecules, would
have to have been created at the same time. All these tens of thousands
of molecules would have to have come together inside a non-polar cell
membrane bilayer–all this by accident. This is the extremely brief
version, but perhaps it gives you at least the beginning of the picture of
what would have to happen for life to be created by random accident.
Bottom line, this cannot happen. Life was created. If a biochemist were
to discover some sort of presumably fairly simple self-replicating
molecule, this would do nothing to bridge the gap required for the
spontaneous generation of life.
You mention calculating the probability on a supercomputer. It is not
possible to calculate the probability of an impossible event. Those who
claim that a supercomputer can calculate the probability of a series of
accidental but believeable events producing a living thing are not telling
the truth. Life was created.