TNRTB Archive - Retained for reference information
Astronomers have uncovered a new constraint on a naturalistic explanation for life’s origin. That naturalistic explanation requires as a first step the orienting of all the building block molecules (amino acids and sugars) into all left- or right-handed configurations. The only possible naturalistic mechanism for achieving such “homochirality” is circularly polarized UV light. The astronomers found the highest yet detected circular polarization for a radio jet emanating from the center of a galaxy, namely 3 percent. However, just like with the only other astrophysical source of circular polarized light, that from neutron stars and black holes, the polarization level is too low and too broadband to solve the homochirality problem for a naturalistic origin of life.
D. C. Homan and J. F. C. Wardle, High Levels of Circularly Polarized Emission from the Radio Jet in NGC 1275 (3C 84),” Astrophysical Journal Letters, 602 (2004), pp. L13-L16.
RTB video: Journey Toward Creation, 2nd edition
RTB book: Origins of Life