NASA Admits Water is a Problem for the Origin of Life

* Dear NASA, Thanks For Taking Our Call: During a prestigious science conference this week in Germany, a Science editor submitted a question from Real Science Radio to a NASA astrobiologist regarding water being an enemy, and not an asset, to the supposed natural origin of life from inanimate matter. RSR hosts Bob Enyart and Fred Williams now air the audio of news editor Tim Appenzeller asking the question, and then they listen to the response from senior “astrobiologist” Dr. Mary Voytek. Turns out, water is quite a problem for materialist origin of life theories.

RSR question submitted to NASA's astriobiologist during 7/17/18 AAAS conference
RSR question asked of NASA during AAAS event in Germany

* DARMSTADT, Germany (RSR) July 17, 2018: During this major AAAS event, at 1:41:50 into this high profile event, the news editor of Science, moderator Tim Appenzeller, presented to NASA senior astrobiologist Dr. Mary Voytek RSR's Water Challenge regarding something NASA has never publicly acknowledged, that water presents a serious problem in trying to get life's compounds to arise naturally because it puts into solution and then ruthlessly hydrolyzes those molecules.

* Transcript of NASA/Science Discussion of Water as an Abiogensis Problem:
Appenzeller: "The question is from Bob, an independent science reporter. 'To Dr. Voytek, rather than an asset, isn’t water the enemy of prebiotic molecules? It’s the universal solvent and outside of a living organism, water dissolves [and far worse, hydrolyzes] life’s building blocks including amino acids, sugars like RNA and DNA, various kinds of carbohydrates, and other polymers. Shouldn’t this chemical challenge be more openly acknowledged in astrobiology?' I guess this assumes it is not [more openly] acknowledged."
Voytek: "I think it's acknowledged."
[RSR: Where? RSR believes this is the first time in NASA's history that this has been acknowledged in any non-technical, public forum. Where has NASA admitted in any of its public education web articles, videos, etc. that water dissolves, and then far worse, hydrolyzes, i.e., effectively destroys, the "prebiotic" moleclues they claim would lead to abiogenesis?]
Voytek: "I'm not exactly, I think that's one of the biggest challenges we have is understanding the evolution from simple compounds that can be made abiotically towards more organized and more highly functional biomolecules that are important for life. I guess I don't understand [the question]? 
Appenzeller: "So water is, water is a challenge, for how these molecules survive?"
Voytek: "Oh, because of water? Sorry, I guess I didn't understand..."
Appenzeller: "I think the question is, it posits that water is a challenge for prebiotic evolution, because it attacks the various molecules involved."
Voytek: "So, in some of the pre-biotic. Thanks. This is something that people think about, hydration and dehydration reactions are really important in prebiotic chemistry. So postulating that life could evolve when there is no opportunity for environmental separation to allow dehydration reactions actually is a problem. And people do address that. And so, and whether it's, you need a continent which some people, life couldn't evolve until we had lands, or there's other ways to separate it, there could be phase separation with ice and water, there could be a variety of other ways that you could get a dehydration reaction. So I think that is very important, and recognized."

* This Transcript on See this transcript as a comment beneath CMI's March 5, 2020 rebuttal to National Geographic's documentary narrated by actor Will Smith, One Strange Rock: Genesis. Smith could have referenced Gen. 2:7, "the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground" when he said, "We’re all made of the same dead dust that built the planet." Smith though, with the help of astronauts, presents a series of just-so absurdities as they struggle to justify their blind-faith based anti-science dogma that life arose materialistically.

* A Main Problem / A Constant Missed Opportunity: For the main reason life cannot arise naturally, the inability of the physical laws to produce a code, see our Dawkins 3-to-1 Challenge, below. And even if an RNA World, which is the materialist's hope for life's natural origin, were fully functional, so what? That merely backs atheists further into a corner because there is no bridge from the RNA World even to the simplistic DNA makes RNA makes protein basis for biological life. (Click on the 3-to-1 link just above for a graphic presenting one of their simplest, yet insurmountable, challenges. And at the "no bridge" link hear RSR interview Ph.D. in organic chemistry Dan Reynolds about the dead end of a proposal called RNA World.) And as for needing just the right chemicals for life to arise, materialists have that in quintillions of dead organisms that litter the globe in every possible state of decomposition. Yet biogenesis. Life only comes from life.

* Dear NASA, Water is the Enemy of Abiogenesis: Beware the ubiquitous bait-and-switch. Wherever water is found, NASA claims that would be a good place to search for evidence that life may have originated there. Yes, water is needed to maintain life. But as the universal solvent, outside of the controlled environment of a living organism, water relentlessly dissolves, and far worse, reacts with, that is, chemically changes, the molecular building blocks of life including:
- proteins
- amino acids (which form proteins)
- sugars (including in the following)
- RNA (ribonucleic acid)
- DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)
- nucleotides
- monosaccharides
- disaccharides
- peptides (of all kinds)
- non-peptide (Ribosome) enzymes
- countless kinds of polymers
- and all kinds of carbohydrates. (Many vitamins too are water soluble including the B vitamins folate, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, and B12, vitamin C, and Vitamin A in its precursor beta-kerotine form, soluble based on temperature.)

The journal that this panel's moderator Tim Appenzeller works for, Science, reported that "water [is] lethal to the survival of DNA." The same goes for RNA and any fantastical RNA World, as even Stanley Miller, of 1952's Miller-Urey infamy, wrote in PNAS, "Sugars are known to be unstable in strong acid or base [and further] ribose [of RNA fame] and other sugars have surprisingly short half-lives for decomposition at neutral pH [water], making it very unlikely that sugars were available as prebiotic reagents." Thus monosaccharides and disaccharides, for example, dissolve rapidly. Scientific examination has always readily seen this evident pattern. In 1955, the first known investigation into original biological material remaining in fossils, conducted by the Carnegie Institute, stated, "Ultimately in the presence of water these peptide bonds are broken", peptides being two or more amino acids linked in a chain. As foundational compounds of all living organisms, peptides are significant throughout every cell and are vital in most biological processes. Peptides comprise all proteins, most enzymes, various hormones (including unicellular ones), they transport nutrients and are cellular building blocks. And water dissolves them. Enzymes perform and vastly speed up the chemical reactions necessary for life yet water destroys both peptide and non-peptide Ribosome enzymes (which are not made from amino acids but from RNA). Thus NASA, the BBC, ESA, Nova, and science educators like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson, ubiquitously use a bait-and-switch to manipulate their audiences. Whereas molecules like DNA and RNA easily dissolve in water (including by deamination and depurination), materialists exploit their audiences' gullibility and ignorance, along with water's known role in sustaining life, to pretend that it is an unquestioned asset for abiogenesis, to form life from the very chemical compounds that it would disassemble. And of course, because life is information-based, even more so than it is carbon-based, abiogenesis is impossible anyway. So, while it helps to maintain existing life, NASA, water is the enemy of "prebiotic" molecules.

* Water is Part of our Rebuttal to the Big Bang Theory: Our argument that water is not a catalyst but a barrier to abiogenesis appears also at Atop that page we embed and sell DVDs and Blu-rays of our full-length video against the big bang theory...

* All of Which, NASA, Brings Us To This: Life is the only thing in the cosmos aware of the cosmos' existence. And because life is a part of the cosmos, any proposed history including the "standard model" of big bang cosmology that cannot account for the origin of life is a failed model. Mainstream astronomy, origin-of-life, and cosmology institutions point to the presence of water, ironically, as a primary factor in the origin of life. However, as with hundreds of other materialist chicken and egg problems, water is essential for life but would prevent the origin of life. So, even if abiogenesis were possible, water would be one of its greatest barriers. What this peculiar situation indicates is that the standard model provides no help in explaining our origins. Thus, as Bob Enyart's presentation in Malibu at Pepperdine University demonstrations, there are no secular theories of origins. God exists. They don't.

* DOA List of Abiogenesis Killers: What you need for life prevents life from arising naturally. That is, the various resources necessary to maintain life are major barriers for the natural origin of life. The materialistic origin of life would be prevented by water, sunlight, oxygen, ions, time, symbolism (i.e., a code). If you have other suggestions for this list please send them to The dead-on-arrival list of abiogenesis killers that, nonetheless, are vital for maintaining life, include...
- Water: The universal solvent enemy of prebiotic molecules (as above).
- Sunlight: Biological molecules lying on a beach will be destroyed within hours of exposure to incoming solar rays which, like oxygen, will burn them up and which, like water, will disassemble them. (And if lightning is need to spark life as in the Miller/Urey experiments, ribose sure isn't going to survive.)
- Oxygen: Oxidizing prebiotic molecules destroys them. Brazilian academy chemist Marcos Eberlin says, "Without a lifeform that can efficiently wrap and transport the devil... O2 becomes life's greatest enemy." So OOL (origin of life) research suggests that life evolved underwater, to get it away from oxygen, but then the prebiotic molecles would be dissolved. Or they appeal to a lack of oxygen in the atmosphere and begin their story with anaerobic bacteria. Then, after hundreds of millions of years, photosynthesis happens and oxygenates the atmosphere. Yet if this were true, without an ozone layer, the Sun's ultraviolet and other rays would themselves destroy any proposed prebiotic molecules. (That wildly complicated process, as recently proposed, may use quantum mechanics. Yet if materialism were true, with no intelligence allowed and no foresight or direction, like everything else in the first life, photsynthesis would have had to arise only by blind mistakes, along with other blind mistakes that simultaneously encoded the instructions for building such a photosynthetic system into a next generation, even though the physical laws have no symbolic logic functions with which to encode instructions and even the possibility of a next generation is itself unknown to the process.)
- Ions: All organisms use ions, apparently including even bacteria, however in uncontrolled chemical reactions, in salt water for example, ions will bind with phosphate preventing the formation of molecules like RNA, DNA, etc.
- Heat Energy: Whether geothermal (from radioactivity or gravity and friction) or from chemical reactions or sunlight, heat, including the process of heating and cooling, readily breaks apart connections between atoms and molecules that would be needed to form prebiotic components of a first living, reproducing cell.
- Time: We'll leave this one as an exercise for the reader. How might time, which is a resource that living organisms utilize, be a barrier for the naturalistic origin of life? Feel free to email your answer to
​​​- Information: Biological information is vital for all living organisms but an impossible hurdle for material origins. Why? Because information is symbolic logic, and the laws of physics and chemistry have no sybolic logic functions. Consider...
Symbolic Logic: Then there’s symbolic logic. (See our Dawkins 3-to-1 Evolution Challenge just below.) It is a category error to think that a scheme (a genetic code, etc.) can arise from the ill-equipped laws of chemistry and physics. Life requires instructions for reproduction (of proteins, cells, organelles, and organisms) yet instructions are information, and information requires a code, which is something that the impoverished tools of matter, energy, and the laws of physics and chemistry are singularly incapable of generating. Functional biological information would have to arise, be encoded, stored, later retrieved, then decoded, and implemented, in order to build the next generation organism (or even the next protein in the same organism). This is like encoding information onto a DVD, then decoding and using that information. But to encode and decode requires symbolism. Therefore, a materialistic origin of life would need to implement symbolic logic. The problem is though, and this is also a fatal problem for OOL (origin of life) research, the classical laws of physics and chemistry have no symbolic logic functions. So there is just no way even to think about the problem. Symbolism is yet another non-starter for abiogenesis, even for the simplest conceivable reproducing biological organism, let alone for the sophisticated genetic information all around us.

Dawkins' 3-to-1 Evolution Challenge from RSR

Many Atheists: Life, Not Life* When Life (actually, acid) was Created in a Lab: When Bob spoke with the curator of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, they had an exhibit (and probably still do) for the 1953 Miller/Urey synthesis of amino acids. It read Life Created in the Lab?

It's been 66 years. Don’t they know yet if they made life or not? Their question mark is insufficient to counterbalance this false report, since amino acids are essential to life, but they are not life, they are acids. Further, these experimenters left out oxygen because as an oxidizer it prevented the acids from forming and they had to immediately remove the compounds they had formulated from their watery solution because otherwise as the universal solvent, the water would immediately dissolve their results. (See above. :) And of course Barack Obama when asked when does life begin, infamously answered, "That's above my pay grade."

Cartoon drawing of Goldilocks upon hearing the 2019 HZCL bad news.* Goldilocks Says Ut-oh on the Just Right Zones: The Astrophysical Journal reports in June 2019 that the habitable zone (HZ) for complex life, or HZCL, is less than half of that long claimed and that the most common stars, red dwarfs, may have no HZCL at all. As NASA put it, ‘Habitable Zone for Complex Life’ is Much More Narrow than Original Estimates. NASA, for the first time ever (see above) publicly admitted that water, as the universal solvent, is a problem for abiogenesis. This admission came when Dr. Mary Voytek responded to a Real Science Radio question. The funding for the project that more than halved the HZCL came from NASA's Astrobiology Program which Voytek directs. Authors of the paper were Edward W. SchwietermanChristopher T. Reinhardand Stephanie L. Olson.

* Rutgers Biology Prof. Keosian Vindicates RSR Assessment: According to John Keosian, former Professor of Biology at Rutgers University, for any materialist believing that abiogenesis happened by "the accidental formation of a highly complex molecule through the random collisions of atoms and inorganic molecules. Such an event, as the basis for the origin of life, is an event of zero probability." Earlier Keosian had been the optimistic naturalist who wrote The Origin of Life but 14 years later he authored, The Crisis in the Problem of the Origin of Life published in the proceedings of the Second International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life. See more at

Enyart comment on Fox News article about the ocean on Saturn's moon Enceladus* A Rude But Important Observation: If you listen to the entire two-hour panel discussion in Germany, discussed above, you will hear brilliant insights by incredibly successful and inspiring scientists, except for everything said about "astrobiology". Everyone in the room was dumber for having heard those comments. So while the left was distracted this week with politics, here at RSR we quietly snuck up to their perimeter and lobbed in a truth bomb. Evolutionists often present their problems as though they were evidence for their theory! Examples? There's sexual reproduction, admitted by evolutionary scientists to be a confounding mystery but presented by popularizes as evidence FOR their theory. And of course there's water, the enemy of abiogenesis, presented as its magical apprentice. Then sometimes, like with the famed anti-creationist Eugenie Scott, evolutionists even forget what the word "problem" means).

Abiogenesis and Left-handed Acids: Consider that, if the big bang theory were true, then the universe would have equal amounts of matter and antimatter, yet it does not. Biology has a parallel to this. For like matter and anti-matter, the amino acid building blocks of proteins exist in right- and left-handed forms. (Of the 20 different protein-building amino acids, only glycine does not have symmetrical forms.) So if the materialist claim of abiogenesis were true, then proteins would be formed of equal amounts of right- and left-handed amino acids, yet they do not. See more at

* And as for the First of RSR's Scientists Doubting Darwin: At of the thousands of scientists who we present by name who doubt Darwin, our first is James Tour, because he said this...