Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Primordial soup fallout

It's been interesting watching the reaction to the "primordial soup" paper I mentioned last week. Nick Lane (one of the paper's authors) appeared on NPR's All Things Considered. Nothing terribly new there. Same stuff as in the press release. There were some quite predictable blog reactions (at UD and Darwin's God), but the one at PT spawned more than 260 comments. They start out decrying the overhyped press release, then they seem to get derailed debating a couple ID supporters. No surprises there, either.

Then there was this opinion column in the Ottawa Citizen:
Back to the Beginning

That one really made me laugh. The author, David Warren, spends most of the column describing a typical antievolution version of the history of evolutionary theory: Darwin was a story-teller, evolution isn't science, it's atheistic, etc. etc. When he finally gets to the BioEssays paper that inspired his diatribe, he's got only a few hundred words left, and his discussion of it is brief. He relished the refutation of the "primordial soup" concept, but he seemed oddly sympathetic to their alternative theory (origin of life at hydrothermal vents):
I wish this hypothesis well, if only because it has long seemed to me, from observing the way nature works, that the seeds of biological life will be found in the earth's interior, rather than on its surface. God would more likely work that way: out of a womb, as it were.
I don't think that even requires comment, except that he makes me feel very normal. So thanks for that!