‘RNA World’ Paper Retracted

Artwork of laboratory and scientists

Famous—now infamous—paper

The whole concept of how life originated is an insurmountable naturalistic hurdle. Life requires DNA, RNA, and protein in an interdependent triad in which each molecule is wholly dependent on the other two to exist. It’s worse than a chicken and egg scenario. Furthermore, since each type of molecule carries and conveys complex encoded information, an intelligent information provider is the only logical cause of this information source. Code implies a coder.

Shortly after the largely unfruitful origin of life research on amino acids by Miller and Urey in the 1950s, scientist Alex Rich speculated in 1962 that RNA may have been the first biomolecule to spontaneously evolve. That first RNA biomolecule would possibly have both informational and enzymatic properties, thus omitting the original necessity of DNA and proteins. This idea slowly gained traction and eventually became more popular in the 1980s with discoveries that some types of RNA were involved in enzymatic-like reactions in the complex processing of RNA transcribed from genes. One of the main researchers in these discoveries was Scott Gilbert who coined the term “RNA World.”

Since the late 1980s, researchers explored many aspects of the evolutionary possibilities related to RNA being the first biomolecule, but have found nothing but obstacles including no method of spontaneously forming RNA or its nucleotide building blocks. In fact, a secular scientist published a 2012 paper expressing this great frustration titled, “The RNA world hypothesis: the worst theory of the early evolution of life (except for all the others).”

If we grant the evolutionists a lot of slack and assume that RNA molecules with meaningful biological information could somehow magically burst onto the scene in a chemical milieu favorable to RNA stability and life, there are still many other problems…


image credit: Original artwork from photograph