Because of the complex nature of the very basis of life, proteins, how is a purely naturalistic approach possible when faced with such overwhelming odds?
I would ask that you respond with reasonable, sensible answers that have scientific merit.
To avoid repetition, please refrain from the self replicating RNA argument; it is non-existent now and if it did exist in the past we would have geological proof in the way of chemical signatures in the Pre-Cambrian layers of rock.
Also, God of the gaps does not apply here because our current knowledge of proteins excludes the atheistic evolutionary model from explaining the beginning of life over 3.5 bya and the further diversity over the last 500+ million years.
I hope to spark a scientific and thoughtful debate, not regurgitated sayings from your favorite websites. So please put things in your own words so we donít have people referring to books or websites to support your arguments. If you canít understand them enough to condense them to a post then they are probably not valid points.
Proteins are essential for life, as they make up most of the structure of the cell and perform the majority of the chemical processes, without them life is impossible. Protein molecules are made of amino acids, there are 20 different types of amino acids that make up proteins.
These amino acids connect to form a chain that varies not only
in sequence, but also at what angle the molecules attach to each other.
As of Sept. 4th 2012 there were 78,110 proteins recorded in the
Protein Data Bank. Of these proteins, PloS One estimates there
are only 4,000 protein to protein interactions. This is a result of the
protein docking that requires a precise shape to interact with
The true figure for proteins is estimated to be in the 200,000 range,
with up to 10,000 protein to protein interactions.
The average protein in a cell is made up of 288 amino acids. Protein Molecule
There are 1e+300 (1 with 300 zeros behind it) different variations to
construct these amino acids because of the order and the degree at which they are connected.
Any variation in degree or sequence will render the amino acids useless or toxic to life. So, we have a very limited chance of getting a protein when we consider there are only 200,000 proteins while there are over 1e+300 possibilities to arrange the amino acids. That gives us 1 in 5e+294 odds of getting a protein by chance.
If we were to convert every atom in the universe(1e+80 atoms) to an amino acid, then try 1 billion different combinations per second, it would take 1.59e+198 years to produce our first protein. That is 1.13e+188 times the age of the universe.
This shows that even if we have a huge planet, with oceans teaming with amino acids, we are still incapapable of producing life as we know it.
The first life form, Cyanobacteria, ďhad a genome size of approx. 4.5 Mbp and 1678 to 3291 protein-coding genesĒ.1 This is a fairly complex life form that used photosynthesis. This all happened within 500 million years from the formation of the earth. We could have 1e+500,000,000 years and never attain this miracle.
Letís back up and assume that there was a simpler start. In an article in Pnas.org it was suggested that life can exist with only 256 proteins. With 1 protein in 1.13e+188 years we will need 255 more that will need to be produced at the same time so they can interact. Not only that, but we have to arrange them in an order so complex that it is impossible to figure the odds.
Because of the use of proteins as a basis for life, and the complexity and precision of the structures necessary to build even the most rudimentary organism, chance is not even a remote possibility to have been the vehicle by which the first life forms came about.
Now we come to the issue of mutations that create new proteins.
The same impossibility that plagues the creation of life destroys any possibility of random mutations being the mechanism for creating differing forms of life.
A protein has to be chemically correct and folded perfectly to work for its specific purpose, just like a key in a lock, when it comes to turning chemical processes on or off, or transporting molecules. That is why we have over 6,000 identified genetic disorders, one mistake in the coding or folding of a protein and it will not work properly.
We will use the number 5e+294 to stand for our probability of producing a protein, even though it is much higher than this due to several factors.
The human mutation rate is 176 mutations per generation. At 20 years per generation and 7 billion people it will take us 8.12e+283 years to get that new protein.
Now letís try to get a protein using all of the bacteria in the world and the mutations they generate. The current estimate by the University of Georgia puts the bacterial number at 5e+30. Using generous assumptions of 30 minutes per generation and 4 billion years, we can say there have been a total of 3.5e+44 bacteria on earth. Now, letís give them an average mutational rate of 1 per generation(which is 5,000 to 10,000 times higher than reality). With these figures we get a total mutational figure of 3.5e+44.
Now we only need to keep this up for 1.62e+253 times the age of the universe in order to get our 1 protein. So again, we have an impossible situation.
Explaining the approximately 200,000 proteins that exist, with a process that cannot even produce 1 protein, shows the intrinsic failure of the system.
I have used simplified equations here for ease of understanding, the reality is much more complex and even more impossible. Even in the simplified form, they clearly show that random mutations can not be the mechanism that drives the diversity or life.
First-ever estimate of total bacteria on earth provided by University of Georgia
http://www.sdearthtimes.com/et0998/et0998s8.html William B. Whitman
Plos one, June 13 2012, How Many Protein-Protein Interactions Exist in Nature?
How Many Proteins in PDB?
0ver 6,000 genetic diseases, US Dept. of Health and Human Services
256 minimum proteins for life
1 - Proteins for Cyanobacteria