Why The RNA World Hypothesis Fails As Explanation On Life’s Origin (Stephen Meyer)

There are a number of problems with the RNA world and I’m happy to speak about them all in the question and answer time. I have an extensive chapter about this in the book. It’s interesting to note that people who are very much in the forefront of the origin of life studies are now saying that the we now need a pre-RNA world because the RNA world is so fraught with difficulty. But for the purposes of my talk, I want to just highlight one of those difficulties and it is again an information problem. The RNA world envisions an RNA molecule capable of copying itself. Ribozyme engineers, scientists are working very hard to try to get RNA to do the things that we hope it would do if the RNA world hypothesis were to be true. They have found that in the best of cases, they’ve been able to get an RNA molecule that can copy about a tenth of the bases but even to get that limited replicase capacity requires a huge amount of information in the form of very precisely sequenced bases that have been sequenced by an intelligent agent namely the ribozyme engineer. What exactly does that simulate? Some might say it simulates the role of intelligent design but setting that point aside, it certainly shows that the RNA world does not account for the origin of information. It too presupposes information just to get that primitive molecular replicator going. So this whole approach of relying on natural selection whether with simple organisms or simpler molecules has run into a very imposing obstacle.