This is the second in a short series on science and what we know. Are nearing the end of science? Or just beginning? And, can science answer the questions we assume it can? The last post covered wormholes and faster than light communication.
The Impossible Machine: Life
Science publications and news sites write routinely on abiogenesis, the question of the natural origins of life. Stories typically carry headlines that suggest, finally scientists are nearing the end of the quest for how life began. Somehow, somewhere in the universe or on this planet, bits and pieces of matter got together in just the right way to move from inanimate to animate, from dead to living.
Since the 1950s at least with the famous (or infamous?) Miller-Urey experiment, the natural origin of life has served as a prime example of Popper’s “promissory materialism.” Seventy years and billions and billions of research dollars and we are further away than ever. Some would disagree, but what has made this far more challenging is that the knowledge of life and its complexities has increased exponentially. Yet, with every new insight, the mystery of life itself and especially how it came about has grown.
There are many examples of science articles trying to explain that we have pretty well got it figured out. But, here is a short video from a thoroughly physicalist perspective that admirably explains not only how complex life is, but really, how impossible it is:
Perhaps the promissory notes on the research will someday be paid. I doubt that will happen in my remaining years. Based on the last seventy years, it appears that the deeper we dive into the mystery of life, the darker the depths grow. It may just be that eventually scientists will conclude, as those ancient scientists who found lead could not be turned into gold, that what they are looking for is impossible.