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Theories - Origin of Life

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby scottie » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:20 pm

Gavin
Thanks for the very considered and obviously very honest post.
Your philosophical approach to this matter serves only to re enforce my contention that macro evolutionary theory is essential a philosophical explanation for the origin of species. It is a pity that others who have presented their views, and in many cases so belligerently, cannot appreciate that this naturalistic approach is a philosophical one.
Origin of species is by nature a historical science, and since none of us were there at it’s inception all evidence must be defined as circumstantial.

The question therefore is not to do with the evidence itself, but to what origin that evidence is actually pointing.

My argument is simply that the evidence points away from a naturalistic origin and towards design by an outside agency.

The proof of concept of this view has been adequately demonstrated by Craig Venter and his team.

Their minds were directing an intentional design and manufacture. The product being a new species. So I do have verifiable data on my side.

My contention therefore is not based on a preconceived philosophy, but on pretty solid science.

The only question that remains is whether the mind(s) involved reside in a physical brain or in some other non-material dimension.
This would not take such a leap of imagination (or faith) as you perhaps suggest.
Theoretical physicists have been developing theories around 10 and 11 dimensions for some time now. String and M theory are perhaps the more prominent ones.

Sometimes I think that you just like pulling our chains.


If I have been, I can assure you it was not intentional, although I accept it may have come over that way. :)
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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby scottie » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:13 pm

Nick7
Very interesting thoughts.

Let me move forward on your comment
And this thing – who designed the designer? According to my observations, this one is always used as a final Ace up one’s sleeve when the conversation hits the roadblock


In the past I have deliberately refrained from dealing with this “Ace up ones’s sleeve” other than simply dismissing it as a desperate attempt to gain some credibility.

However you have understandably given it some credence so I will deal with it.

The who “designed the designer” argument centers on the concept of spacetime.
This is the 4th dimension our universe exists in and therefore clearly and logically a designer and creator of this universe must by any reasoning exist outside time and space.
So questions about who or what came before the designer simply lacks any scientific weight or credibility and stems from a lack of understanding of the nature of the natural world.
If time along with the other dimensions are products of design, then by simple logic they cannot govern the designer.

This logic is carried through in General Relativity. It is meaningless to talk about space and time outside the limits of the universe. ( Stephen Hawkins “ A brief History of time Chapter 3)

Scientifically the question therefore is simply invalid and as I understand it, you have perhaps alluded to this yourself.

The question of who or what the designer may or may not be is not one that can be answered by science. Additional supporting evidence is required.
Only some form of evidence based historical documentation can begin to answer this question.
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Postby JackBean » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:33 pm

so you have problem to believe in evolution, because you lack evidence for it, but you have no problem to believe in god (and yes, your creator as you described it now, is nothing else than god of any religion), although you have no evidence for its existence?
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby Nick7 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:39 pm

JackBean, the physical evidence for the creator’s existence is although circumstantial, but it goes beyond the realm of Biology, and it’s substantial enough to be just dismissed (the anthropic coincidences, for instance, and attempts to get out of them with “multiverse” ideas etc..)

Scottie, thank you for your reply. One point… Stuff like that M-theory "mambo jumbo" led me to conclusion that the line between what we call “naturalistic” and “supernatural” is quite illusive. When a professor of physics seriously talks about possible communication with residents of other dimensions with a help of “gravitons” …. well what is natural and what is supernatural then? Supernatural, the way I see it, might as well be absolutely natural, just sitting on the other end of the abyss of still unknown. A flying piece of aluminum would be considered absolutely supernatural thing many centuries ago simply because a gap between cave level of knowledge and Bernoulli's principle was too big back then.
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Postby aptitude » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:24 am

scottie,

The 4th dimension, as described by Einstein, is time, not another space dimension. Also, you can not simply say that "X is possible", physical evidence rather than theoretical derivation is required to say that "X must be true" when dealing with subjects as extraneous as this.
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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby canalon » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:03 am

scottie wrote:
Let me move forward on your comment
And this thing – who designed the designer? According to my observations, this one is always used as a final Ace up one’s sleeve when the conversation hits the roadblock


In the past I have deliberately refrained from dealing with this “Ace up ones’s sleeve” other than simply dismissing it as a desperate attempt to gain some credibility.

Scottie, you have problem understanding why this question is asked to you. It has absolutely nothing to do with Einstein or relativity and everything to do with logic and standard used for you to judge the acceptability of an hypothesis, i.e. to demonstrate a case of double standards.
You are basically refuting the theory of probability because you deem improbable that self-organisation can lead to complexity. Yet you accept that the probability that something that can create the complexity we are observing (and hence according to your own explanation must be more complex than us, and I would agree with you on that: we sure cannot create artificial life yet, Venter still needed a cell to kickstart his artificial genome) is on the other hand completely within acceptable limits. And I must say that it is not a very credible argument.
So unless you can give a better explanation on how an improbably complex and undetectable entity is more likely and acceptable than the current theory of evolution, you will just appear as a self deluded man who cannot make a self coherent argument to save the life of his discussion....
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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby Nick7 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:22 am

Canalon, I think you have a problem understanding that you are asking a gigantic cosmological question, while preferring to stay within the relative safety of the pixel of Darwinian evolution theory (and all its assumptions). Life has not started with evolution; life has started 13.ish billion years ago with a Big Bang (so, apparently, Einstein is as relevant to the issue as Darwin). What we have now is “Boeing 747”; what we had at the beginning was ….. no, not even scraps, but the hydrogen molecules and the “hurricane going through them”. We’re not the result of the order and complexity, which arose by chance alone from the pre-evolution chaos and simplicity, but we are the consequence of the preexisting order and complexity imbedded in the laws of physics and chemistry, which appeared in the very beginning of it all on universal scale.
Every character in this game takes the rules it’s based on as given, even though, in reality, NOBODY knows the number of possible messy outcomes the Big Bang could’ve produced, which would’ve resulted in different laws of physics, little (or no) number of stars, different (or no) periodic table and NO alive characters present and observing that mess of any kind. What I’m trying to say is that the fact that we’re around, thinking, appreciating harmony and beauty, splitting atoms and writing poetry and it all started with a bunch of hydrogen molecules and the materialized-out-of-the-blue laws of nature is truly amazing (and I believe that every planet with earthlike conditions has the same development going on). No chance alone can be held responsible for it that lightly. You can dance around the roulette table as much as you want, but you will never become a rich man out of it – there is no way to avoid this statistical fact, simply because the preset rules of this “game of chance” favor a casino, not you. Only if you tilt the roulette table (even by 1 mm), the pattern you can bet on will eventually emerge. And as far as biological life goes, that tilt was quite substantial. And again… from the very beginning of our universe.
To make a long story short…. Without seeing beyond our universe in time and space, how can you objectively conclude that the post-Big Bang rules, thanks to which you exist, are the result of the “s*&t happens” or of the intelligent effort? As a character limited by this event horizon, how can you even objectively quantify which of these 2 causes of it all has a higher probability of happening without applying your pre-event horizon subjective logic to it? Don’t you agree that simplicity first, complexity second is your subjective point of view, not more not less?
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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby scottie » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:08 pm

Sorry I have been away for a few days and only now just catching up.

I will respond this evening.
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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby canalon » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:16 pm

Nick7 wrote:To make a long story short…. Without seeing beyond our universe in time and space, how can you objectively conclude that the post-Big Bang rules, thanks to which you exist, are the result of the “s*&t happens” or of the intelligent effort? As a character limited by this event horizon, how can you even objectively quantify which of these 2 causes of it all has a higher probability of happening without applying your pre-event horizon subjective logic to it? Don’t you agree that simplicity first, complexity second is your subjective point of view, not more not less?

Sure but beyond the long words you have to admit that if you want to exclude evolution based on probabilities, you cannot accept an intelligent effort which is similarly improbable. So you have to provide positive evidence of an intelligence beyond life, which for the moment I have failed to see. All we have been presented with are along the line of "evolution is improbable, hence there must be a creator".
So my problem is not one of inscrutable cosmology, it is one of establishing a single standard of acceptability for a theory that could explain life as we know it. One standard that would be equally applicable to creation and evolution. One standard that requires positive evidence for something, rather than if it is not A, it must be B without any other support for B.
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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby scottie » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:18 pm

Aptitude

The 4th dimension, as described by Einstein, is time, not another space dimension.


With respect your comment suggests you don’t appear to have a grasp of General Relativity, and how it is different from Newtonian physics. - a common confusion.

GR provides a framework under which the laws of physics look the same for everyone at every moment, regardless of how they are moving. Einstein, in his theory achieved this by making gravity a property of the universe, rather than of individual bodies, as does Newtonian Physics.

In other words in GR gravity is not what one body does directly to another, but what a body's mass does to the surrounding universe

So General relativity describes gravity as geometry.
The fabric of the universe is described as the four dimensions of space and time.(spacetime) This fabric which includes time, is full of lumps and bumps that is created by the presence of mass and energy.

The warping of this fabric is unavoidable whenever anything, be it you, me, a piece of space dust or a planet or even a photon of light tries to travel through the universe in a straight line, it actually follows a trajectory that is curved by any mass and energy in the vicinity. The result of this curvature is what we think of as gravity.

So when we refer to time, we are referring to a co-ordinate of this fabric, as are the other coordinates of length, breath and thickness. They don’t exist separately.

That is why any question about time is meaningless if applied to any reality beyond this universe.
A common misconception is to think of GR in terms of Newtonian physics.

I don’t wish to sound patronising but I will be happy to explain the difference in Newtonian gravity and GR gravity. The principles in Einstein’s field equations are not too difficult to understand.
For the sake of clarity I will be happy do it in a separate post.

Also, you can not simply say that "X is possible", physical evidence rather than theoretical derivation is required to say that "X must be true" when dealing with subjects as extraneous as this.


My whole argument is centered around the lack of physical evidence for macro evolution. As I understand it, you appear to support “evolutionary theory in whatever form” despite the lack of evidence that I have repeatedly pointed out in all the peer reviewed papers I have referred to.
So you now appear to be contradicting yourself.

If one (me) accepts the posit that an external agency designed and created the universe, then spacetime is by logic and theory a product of that design.

Therefore to posit an argument against this view by asking a question relating to time is, as I have stated, meaningless. Again this is not just my view but that of others much more informed than you or I.

You will therefore need to find another line of refutation.

Nick7
I think we are on the same page. String and M theory are simply speculative theories that eminent scientists who cannot comes to terms with the fact that science does not have an answer to life/universe origins, have to somehow delve into the world of make believe science.

I refer to these theories to demonstrate the inconsistency of philosophical arguments parading as science. It is noticeable that the science I put forward is not refuted.
Why not?
Because it is a philosophy that is being promoted here not science.
That is why there has been so much heat.
Question the religion/philosophy of any fundamentalist idea and heat is what you get, as I keep finding out to my cost.

Evolutionary theory is a philosophy that even Ernst Mayr, one of the foundling fathers of the modern synthesis himself proudly acknowledged.

Canalon

When you ask a question that has at it’s root the dimension of time you have moved into the area of science that Einstein and many others have tried to address as legitimate lines of scientific research and theory. Please refer to my post to Aptitude above.

I understand only too well the demarcation lines between science and philosophy/religion, lines that you are desperately trying to blur.

The simple question is this.
Is macro evolutionary theory actually supported by evidence or is it simply your belief that it is.
Gavin was honest enough to acknowledge his philosophical approach.
Why are you finding it so hard to do the same?
After all science is not going to be the loser if you do, will it?
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Postby JackBean » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:59 pm

scottie, you are not that much on one page with Nick7, he's saying, that evolution is not related to the origin of species, while you're still arguing it is ;)

The simple question is this.
Is intelligent design actually supported by evidence or is it simply your belief that it is.
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Postby Nick7 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:14 am

JackBean, I think I was misunderstood a bit. I was not saying that evolution was not relevant to the origin of species. I was saying that any design-vs-randomness discussion about appearance of life will be impaired if it’s focused on Biology / Genetics / Paleontology only. Complex life requires complex and orderly laws of nature as a prerequisite. Appearance of this order and complexity in the universe out of a pea size singularity is as peculiar (and relevant to the discussion) as abiogenesis, for instance. Abiogenesis (as puzzling as it is) requires a rich periodic table, periodic table requires thermonuclear fusion inside the stars (with very unique and rare events of its own, like triple-alpha process), stars formation requires sufficient amount of gravity …..going all the way to the very beginning, which also has a puzzling example of order (the cosmological “flatness problem”). So the way I see it, it’s a legit possibility that the order and complexity observed in our world (biology, physics, cosmology, etc.) may denote intelligence.

Canalon, thank you for reply! About standard of acceptability (and to complete a thought in the reply to JackBean) … Digging up a prehistoric skeleton and using it to prove a hypothesis is fine, but pre-big-bang cosmological skeletons as well as the reasons behind the laws of nature hidden in the bizarre subquantum world are not immediately available. That’s why I wouldn’t expect Scottie to present a full-scale sufficient hypothesis in a classical understanding of this word at the moment, but I don’t see a problem with occasional sophisticated poking of the current orthodoxy with a stick.

Scottie, about you getting the heat… I’m sure this section of the forum has seen its share of visitors telling stories about Adam and Eve prancing around together with brontosauruses. So the local old-timers have developed a powerful immune system killing on the spot anything that even moves into any suspicious directions. … I might be wrong, but I think your case is a collateral damage of that immune system. :)
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