The Origin of Life

Shapiro Criticism


Robert Shapiro has written a number of papers on the origin of life over a period of time.

Some of these are reasonably level-headed - e.g. in:

...he offers some just criticism of the (ridiculous) "RNA first" hypothesis.

However, he then seems to have become disillusioned with the whole idea of template replication - and wrote some papers criticising the entire concept:

Unfortunately, these papers are dogmatic and illogical.

They use a variant of the argument from personal incredulity - along the lines of 'I can't imagine how an early replicator could have easily formed - therefore the event must have been very improbable'.

Shapiro seems to be unaware that others report having no difficulty in imagining how early naked replicators could form - without any remotely miraculous event being involved. If he is aware of it, he certainly fails to offer any criticism of their work.

My council is to ignore the conclusions of these papers. They seem to be works of ignorance.

Tim Tyler | Contact |