Would this Origin of life model work?

Introduction

There are three main hypothesizes on the origin of viruses with no clear explanation as to which one is correct: [just ask for reference]

1.the virus-first hypothesis claims that viruses predate or coevolved with their current cellular hosts; 2. The progressive, or escape, hypothesis claims that viruses arose from genetic elements that gained the ability to move between cells; 3.the regressive, or reduction, hypothesis suggests that viruses are remnants of cellular organisms.

Under the common design model, all three hypotheses are combined into one. I go into detail as to why this works at the end of this post. But, for now, I will just showcase the virus-first and progressive hypothesis.

Origin of life model

Before the leftover meteorites, which contain amino acids, were clumped together to form the primitive earth 3.8 billion years ago after the late bombardment event, virus-like RNA molecules were created within the deep-sea hypothermal vents of the earth.[1] Then, these virus-like RNA molecules evolved into different species of unicellular organisms where they would undergo a heavy amount of HGT from those same viruses created within the deep-sea oceans.[2]

For instance, the mineral surfaces of the earth would have contributed centrally to the linked pre-biotic problems of containment and organization by promoting the transition from RNA virus particles that lack important proteins to highly ordered local domains of key bio-molecules of a DNA virus or molecule [3].

Furthermore, viruses in the deep-sea oceanic vents , where the viral production in these deep-sea benthic ecosystems worldwide, is extremely high. In fact, we find that RNA viruses represent the most abundant form of organisms within the world’s oceans compared to any other micro-organism and cover every ecological niche around the globe [4] Lastly, these viruses have been shown to manipulate the life histories and evolution of their hosts in remarkable ways [5].

[1] A 3,800-million-year isotopic record of life from carbon in sedimentary rocks | Nature

[2] Hot crenarchaeal viruses reveal deep evolutionary connections - PubMed (nih.gov)

[3] Mineral Surfaces, Geochemical Complexities, and the Origins of Life (cshlp.org)

[4] Major viral impact on the functioning of benthic deep-sea ecosystems | Nature

[5] Viruses manipulate the marine environment | Nature

Main cause for the Origin of life model

In this section, I am going to be showing why the claim that a divine intelligence created and designed RNA viruses within hypothermal vents is supported by experiments:

Scientists were successfully able to synthesize the RNA molecules of a virus and reconstruct a virus particle from scratch. They accomplished this by creating another virus and used it’s parts, such as specialized proteins (enzymes), to construct an RNA virus in order to solve the problem of an unstable RNA.[1] This is how human designers operate all the time. They use preexisting mechanisms, material parts and digital information to assemble designs in order to solve a problem. This is no different from what we see within origin of life experiments as well.

For instance, whenever unguided chemical processes under atmospheric conditions were left to themselves without any interference, they did not produce the desired results. Rather, the living state would always subside and turn into “useless networks of RNA sequences” as demonstrated by Szostak and Bartel (1993) where more than half of the pool of RNA molecules precipitated when incubated for 90 minutes at 37º C in high concentrations of Mg2+ and monovalent ions and even more rapid at higher temperatures. [just ask for reference]

They were able to solve this problem by tying the molecules onto a substrate to make sure the pool of RNA molecules do not diffuse and form intermolecular reactions, and, thus, safely incubated. This is similar to what we see from observations I mentioned above where the mineral surfaces of the earth would have contributed centrally to the linked pre-biotic problems of containment and organization.

Therefore, we have basis to say that RNA viruses were developed within the pool of self-replicating RNA sequences by an intelligent agent, which can only be identified as a transcendent cause. This is because functional RNA sequences or RNA viruses have not yet been observed in nature or laboratory to self-replicate without the help of other living things or intelligent life. [2] I explained further why this is the case in post 324 of here:
Can God be a useful “scientific” hypothesis? Yes - Peaceful Science

However, the main reason why I believe this agent most likely created and designed the first life to be viruses is because they not only display elements of functionality, but look as if they perform important and overarching purposes in ecosystems that could only be done by an intelligent designer according to PACE experiments.

For instance, PACE utilizes a mutant M13 bacteriophage whose gIII gene is replaced by that for the protein of interest (the mutant phage is called Selection Phage, SP) where successful SP propagation is linked to the activity of the protein of interest . Moreover, “SP carrying a mutant protein with enhanced activity will have a fitness advantage over other SP particles, because the enhanced protein activity allows for increased pIII production, thereby increasing offspring production”. [3]

Now, it is important to note that they did not design or use specialized proteins beforehand, but the experimenter still played a fundamental role in these experiments because they were the ones that chose the protein of interest. Without this targeted protein of interest by the researcher, it would have been an unsuccessful result.

However, to be clear, I am highlighting this experiment in conjunction with previous experiments showing how viruses were created from scratch. Both experiments combined would show how God created and designed viruses to function like the viruses we see in the deep-sea oceans I mentioned above, such as the…

Major viral impact on the functioning of benthic deep-sea ecosystems

Viruses ability to manipulate the life histories and evolution of their hosts in remarkable ways.

[1] Poliovirus Baked From Scratch | Science | AAAS (sciencemag.org)

[2] Prebiotic chemistry and human intervention | Nature Communications

[3] Phage-Assisted Continuous Evolution (PACE): A Guide Focused on Evolving Protein–DNA Interactions (nih.gov)

All in One

In this section, I am going to explain why these three hypotheses on the origin of viruses are indistinguishable from each other. I have already referenced most of the studies that support each hypothesis. Just ask for the ones I did not reference:

A. The scientific data supports the virus-first hypothesis very well. For example, we find that RNA viruses represent the most abundant form of organisms within the world’s oceans compared to any other micro-organism and cover every ecological niche around the globe. In fact, we found viruses in the deep-sea oceanic vents where the viral production in these deep-sea benthic ecosystems worldwide is extremely high (Prangishvili, David.2006; Noble, Rachel et al. 2008) . This is very significant for the virus-first hypothesis because unicellular organisms are known to have originated from the earth’s core. (Schidlowski, M. 1988).

B. According to the progressive hypothesis, “when a virus enters a host cell, a viral enzyme, reverse transcriptase, converts that single-stranded RNA into double-stranded DNA. This viral DNA then migrates to the nucleus of the host cell. Another viral enzyme, integrase, inserts the newly formed viral DNA into the host cell’s genome. Viral genes can then be transcribed and translated. The host cell’s RNA polymerase can produce new copies of the virus’s single-stranded RNA genome. Progeny viruses assemble and exit the cell to begin the process again.
Therefore, there is not much to decipher between the virus-first hypothesis and the progressive hypothesis because viruses are already known to carry information with a single-stranded RNA genome as well as for their ability to infect and reproduce within other organisms.

C. Viruses of one particular group, the nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDVs), best illustrates the regressive hypothesis. " In addition to their large size, the NCLDVs exhibit greater complexity than other viruses have and depend less on their host for replication than do other viruses. Poxvirus particles, for instance, include a large number of viral enzymes and related factors that allow the virus to produce functional messenger RNA within the host cell cytoplasm. Interestingly, the Mimivirus does not differ appreciably from parasitic bacteria, such as Rickettsia prowazekii “(Raoult et al. 2004;Wessner, David R. 2010).

In fact, “Because its lineage is very old and could have emerged prior to cellular organisms,[22][23] Mimivirus has added to the debate over the origins of life. Some genes that code for characteristics unique to Mimivirus, including those coding for the capsid, have been conserved in a variety of viruses which infect organisms from all domains. This has been used to suggest that Mimivirus is related to a type of DNA virus that emerged before cellular organisms and played a key role in the development of all life on Earth.[22] “ (from Wikipedia)

If there are viruses, such as the Mimivirus, then what’s the difference between the virus-first hypothesis and the regressive hypothesis? According to the data supporting the progressive hypothesis, Marine viruses have been observed to affect Bacteria, Archaea and eukaryotic organisms and have the ability to manipulate the life histories and evolution of their hosts in remarkable ways (Thurber, Rebecca V. and Rohwer, Forest 2009).

This is another example that further supports the regressive hypothesis as well especially because it’s been found that the virulence capacity of Yersinia Pestis, the bacterium responsible for the plague, arose from a mutational insertion and mobile plasmids that entered into the organism (Giovanna Morelli et al. 2004). So if viruses can alter the life history of certain viruses and bacteria, then what is the difference between the regressive hypothesis and the progressive hypothesis?

Therefore, Viruses are not only known to lose information overtime individually but infect organisms as well as affect their behavior and has been shown to be more fundamental than other microbes. This means there is not much to decipher between the virus-first, progressive hypothesis and the regressive hypothesis. Unless someone can create a concrete separation between these hypothesizes, it would be far more parsimonious to just unify them into a single hypothesis.

Betteridge’s law applies. The answer is “NO”, and we don’t need to read beyond the thread title1.

1Except for entertainment. For example:

So the common design model is that viruses are the remnants of cellular organisms that developed the ability to infect and move between cells, lost their cellular structure, and then hitched a lift in a passing time machine and go back to before cellular life existed so that they could predate and coevolve with themselves.

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New thread, same arguments. Big facepalm

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This.

Man am I tired of seeing arguments of this form:

We haven’t seen X occur.
We have seen humans create X.
Therefore non-humans created X.

All creationist blather about the origin of life take this form.

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Let me bring some context before I address your objection

The rationale behind the approach is based upon a principle regarding causation from past events, which was popularized by Charles Lyell who also influenced Charles Darwin and Stephen Meyer, of course. “Lyell argued that when scientists seek to explain events in the past, they should cite causes that are known from our uniform experience to have the power to produce the effect in question. Historical scientists should cite ‘causes now in operation’ or presently acting causes, which would be humans in this case.

This is because experiments and observations in quantum physics have shown that only the conscious observer has the ability to choose which aspect of nature his knowledge will probe. More importantly, they show that minds are non-local, which is another way in saying spaceless timeless immaterial personal cause. For more on this, watch these videos or read the article:

Quantum Biology: Irreducible Mind (Part 4) - YouTube
The Measurement Problem - YouTube
The finer scale of consciousness: quantum theory (nih.gov)

However, I would agree with you that inserting a human observer into the experiment is not enough to establish that a Divine intelligence was the cause because we are contingent beings. This is why another experiment showing an unguided process , in accordance with the second experiment that shows a guided process , is required, which is what we see in origin of life experiments.

If the unguided experiment produces negative results, it would show that there could not be any conscious life before simple life emerged and support the “necessary” attribute of this intelligent designer or conscious agent. This is because “necessity” is an intrinsic attribute of God’s nature, which means showing that God is not necessary in explaining and showing how a particular feature in nature is the same thing as falsifying the God hypothesis. Atheist Physicist ,Sean Carroll, would agree with me and I encourage everybody to watch this video from 3:00 to 20:00 for more:

God is not a Good Theory (Sean Carroll) - YouTube

However, it is important to note that we cannot apply the same reasoning to present day events because humans exist and, thus, could have been responsible for the results equally as well. This is why I will propose other ways to test whether God is still guiding evolution in the present.

So, in sum:

(1) You didn’t understand what Rumraket was saying;
(2) You still don’t understand how mingling your philosophical meanderings with the notion of scientific experiments is incoherent;
(3) You don’t understand what philosophers and theologians mean when they speak of a god being a “necessary” being; and
(4) You don’t understand what Sean Carroll has to say.

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“…metaphysical necessity entails physical necessity, but not vice versa…”

“A proposition is said to be necessary if it could not have failed to be the case.”

Metaphysical necessity - Wikipedia

My proposition: If the unguided experiment produces negative results, it would show that there could not be any conscious life before simple life emerged and support the “necessary” attribute of this intelligent designer or conscious agent.

While your illustration of my point is kind, it is surely unnecessary.

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What’s your positive control? Without a positive control, I don’t see a speck of value in negative results.

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My proposition: take this proposition of yours, whatever it is, to your favourites at RTB or the DI. We are tired of your recycled junk.

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I see that the title has changed from a question for discussion to a foregone conclusion. What point in any reply when the answer is already set?

The positive control would the experimenter inserting himself into the experiment to produce positive results within the same natural condition.

…and now it’s been changed back.

Betteridge is unbeatable!

Wouldn’t that make it inherently unreliable by IDcreationist standards?

How many different conditions are you going to test in the “unguided” experiment? Which ones, and why? How long are you going to let it run? I can go fry sugars on my frying pan for a few days and not produce anything other than complex and tarry black substance, but is that supposed to somehow prove some fundamental limitation to organic chemistry?

Why are creationistic conceptions of experiments in prebiotic chemistry all so incredibly simplistic, and the conclusions they try to extract from them so grandiose and extreme?

All creationist arguments about abiogenesis ever:
Try simple and specific thing X → see it doesn’t work → conclude nothing else will ever work and that invisible hands are required to put wished-into-existence molecules together in the right way. But never test the invisible hands and wishing conclusion.

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Far more fundamental question: how do you determine if it is guided or unguided without appealing to an ID argument?

There does not seem to be a way to determine this apart from ID arguments. Consequently the whole activity is circular. Whatever experiment is run, if there is evidence of IC complexity, it will be declared (for this reason alone) to be a guided experiment. Which makes the whole project an absurd theatre designed to create the false impression of testing an untestable idea.

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“You made a decision to use certain chemicals, and bought them pure from a store”. “I saw you put a flask on a Bunsen burner, where did you get Bunsen burners on the prebiotic Earth?”

With arguments like this I fear the overall structure of my face will start to invaginate soon.

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Yes that is the problem here.

As much as I wish this was parody, it isn’t. That’s actually where leaders in ID have gone…

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@Rumraket @swamidass, so we need a time machine!

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Even if we had one, how would we know in real time that God was designing a cell in a puddle somewhere?

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