Dr. David Snoke Talks about the Impossibility of Life Coming about by Chance
- Is chance capable of bringing life into existence?
The question people have debated for two hundred years and more is "could life comeabout by processes like that? If you just have atoms bouncing off of each other, and nothing special being rigged by God, could it lead to the existence of life?"What’s really, I would say, the trend over the last couple of hundreds of years has been to see that the origin of life, the chances of that happening just by random processes, are incredibly small that the more we learn, the more fine-tuned we see everything in life being. There has been a project in physics again for the last 200 years to basically say "that's just because we don't know about the processes, but maybe there is some new laws of physics that would lead to life appearing by chance."In that case, they would say that it wasn't really by chance, it was because of this unknown law of physics.
In that case, they are not going on the basis of the data, they’re going on the basis of what they want, which is they want to explain everything with just physical laws. I’ve talked to many people who are saying, in physics at least, who will say "we absolutely have no idea about the origin of life, but we’ll hold out for some new law of physics that no one has ever discovered yet, because that’s more appealing to me to think about that than to think about it just being a miraculous intervention by God". But at this point in time I would say, the idea of just thermodynamic processes leading to life as we know it is almost impossible. There is a long project of people trying to argue that it could come about. And so you may hear the phrases ‘emergent phenomena’, ‘pattern formation’, ‘spontaneous pattern formation’, and these were attempts by people to say that just with known laws of physics, you could get the formation of life and so on. And for decades, people pursued these things but I would say that field is pretty much dead as an explanation of the origin of life. They found a lot of interesting things such as the appearance of snowflakes or the appearance of ridges in the clouds, things like this, but nothing near what you need to get the origin of life. As we’ve studied life more and more, we find that there are so many details that you just cannot get from spontaneous pattern formation. That project has just been pretty much considered to not work.