Bubble, bubble, Hoyle in trouble
The renowned astronomer Fred Hoyle has proposed that life originated from non-life not on Earth, but rather in the interior of a comet in space. He claims that many comets are great ‘factories’ producing many complex organic compounds. Creationist literature abounds with scientific demonstrations of the impossibility of even the simplest self-replicating system arranging itself in the absence of external ordering mechanisms even once. Transferring the problem to a comet doesn’t overcome these thermodynamic and probability barriers. In fact, there are so many objections to Hoyle’s proposal that we will not bother to give a detailed refutation on the assumption that his idea will not take root even among the most dedicated materialists.
But not only does Hoyle believe that it happened once out there—but that it is continually happening—he believes that in these comet ‘factories’, multitudes of micro-organisms are being formed, and that these are occasionally being showered upon the Earth. He even blames these ‘showers’ for generating the viruses that have caused e.g. major influenza epidemics.
To anyone even vaguely familiar with the informational content (the specificity) required of the simplest virus (see article on viruses this issue), this is a fantastic hypothesis that must surely be put on the shelf next to spontaneous generation of mice from filthy rags, hopeful monster proposals and Von Danikenism.