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An Interview with Dr. Charles Thaxton (selected questions)

4. What is the primary argument of your book, The Mystery of Life's Origin?

5. Have scientists come close to developing a plausible naturalistic explanation to the origin of life or do you still consider the origin of life to be a mystery?

8. What are the major problems with origin of life simulation experiments?

10. How close is the development of amino acids to the threshold of life?

11. What are the steps involved in producing proteins from amino acids?

12. Why are amino acids isolated during this process?

20. What additional steps beyond creating amino acids would be required to develop life?

21. What is so difficult about making proteins or nucleic acids?

23. Are DNA sequences analogous to a written language?

28. Could you summarize the reasons why you believe intelligence was involved in the origin of life?


1. How did you first get interested in the origin of life?

2. How did you come to write The Mystery of Life's Origin with Walter Bradley and Roger Olsen?

3. Was there an advantage to having the three of you collaborate on the project?

6. Do you see a particular irony in the timing of Stanley Miller's experiments and the discovery of DNA by Watson and Crick?

7. How does the emergence of modern genetics tie in with the Darwinian scenario of life going from simple to complex?

9. Isn't it rather impressive that amino acids were produced in the Miller experiments?

13. How can the investigator affect the outcome of a simulation experiment?

14. How did you evaluate the different chemical evolution experiments?

15. Are the initial conditions in the simulation experiments plausible?

16. What did the earth's early atmosphere contain?

17. Will the simulation experiments work with this atmosphere?

18. There seems to be an underlying assumption that the origin of life resulted without any intelligent input whatsoever yet the simulation experiments appear to rely upon intelligent guidance. Could you comment on this irony?

19. Are there any natural processes that would have filtered out destructive ultraviolet light?

22. In addition to the energy problem in protein synthesis isn't there a sequencing problem?

24. Has Hubert Yockey made similar claims?

25. In The Mystery of Life's Origin you refer to order, randomness, and specified complexity. Could you give us an overview of these concepts?

26. What do you think the presence of specified complexity in a living system indicates about its origin?

27. In inferring the necessity of intelligence to produce life haven't you ventured from the realm of science to religion?

29. What are the major objections to your current point of view?

30. How was The Mystery of Life's Origin received by the scientific community?

31. What was Dean Kenyon's response to your critiques of his book, Biochemical Predestination?

32. What was Dean Kenyon's response to The Mystery of Life's Origin?

33. Were you a bit apprehensive about meeting Kenyon after writing a book which was quite critical of his views in Biochemical Predestination?

34. Are self-organizational theories plausible?

35. Would you comment on the work done by Prigogine and Eigen?

36. What is your assessment of RNA scenarios?

37. What other problems do you see with an RNA world?