I love the picture below, the one with a magnet in front of a car. I am told that this idea was actually patented some years ago. Can you guess why it doesn't work? The picture is fun, but it also raises one of man's eternal quests that he has pursued from the beginning of time: for a Perpetual Motion Machine. A Perpetual Motion Machine is one where no additional energy needs to be supplied, and so it's self-sustaining. But no one has ever discovered such a machine. So no matter how strong the magnet is, the force that the magnet exerts upon the car is exactly canceled by the force that the car exerts upon the magnet. There is no extra energy created by putting the magnet in front of the car.
In case my picture doesn't show up in my blog, it can be seen at: http://www.theory-of-evolution.net/chap10/self-replicating-RNA-perpetual-motion-4.php
So what does the Magnet Car have to do with the problem of the origin of life on earth? They both violate the same law – the law of conservation of energy. The theory that science uses in explaining the very first living/self-replicating cell that is believed to have existed some 4 billion years ago is that life arose simply and developed more and more complicated over time. To do this, the theory goes an RNA molecule arose which was both the code for the cell along with a catalyst. The RNA can act like the DNA's code in its instructions to the other components of the cell. It also can act as a catalyst to speed up the cell's chemical reactions. The great advantage of this theory is that it does not have to explain how something as complicated as DNA was created from simple chemicals, water and rock. But there are many problems with the RNA first model, and one of them is that it is essentially a Perpetual Motion machine, like the Magnet Car.
RNA doesn't have a means to allow it to use the sun's energy. I like the way author Stuart Pullen describes the problem for usable energy in the RNA came first theory. The RNA first model looks at the sun and forces like lightning, and suggests that these are the forces that could be used by the first RNA molecule to let it become "alive" (life for a cell I use as meaning that it can divide by itself and grow, or another term is self-replicate.) Author Pullen describes the problem as follows: "Consider a man and his car with no gas in the desert. The man is not concerned. He knows that … he has an unlimited supply of energy in sunlight. He theorizes that after the car absorbs enough sunlight, (the car) will suddenly start and he can drive home. His theory is flawed because his car does not know how to use the energy from the sun to perform useful work, and 5 billion years will not solve his problem." Stuart Pullen, 'Intelligent Design or Evolution', p. 135 (2005).
Thus, science's theory of some sort of a simple living/self-replicating RNA first molecule cannot work unless there is a supply of energy for the molecule, and a way to use and implement this energy. Otherwise, the RNA first molecule will just be a car in a desert trying to absorb sunlight. And so, any living cell must know how to couple to an energy source and also be able to couple its replicating to a powerful energy source. If it is unable to do this, then it is simply another Perpetual Motion Machine, like the Magnet Car picture shown above. Life for an RNA molecule is not that simple. It takes the combination of all three elements of a cell to create life: DNA, RNA, and proteins all working together. Therefore, if the very first living cell is this complicated, and even the best theories in science fall woefully short, don't you agree that this is another example of evidence of design in the world that is around us?