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Origin of life

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Postby Springer » Fri Jan 13, 2006 2:30 am

Einstein's quote doesn't make anything true or false, just as Einstein's religion has nothing to do with his calculations. Although I do agree with your second point.


I realize that appeal to authority is a weak argument. However, evolutionists do it all the time, defending it with the argument that "all biologists accept evolution".
I brought up Einstein because I think it's incredibly arrogant and narrow minded for anyone to say there is no evidence of a supreme being. Great thinkers past and present, see the evidence. Einstein stated that his study of science increased his belief in God.




Saying something is obvious doesn't make it true. I could say the sun is obviously circling the earth. And I've already addressed the question of empirical evidence in my previous posts, what do you expect to find?


You have provided no evidence that life could exist in a simpler form than a modern unicellular organism. You have given only conjectures which are completely devoid of experimental verification.


I haven't asked you to come up with a precursor. I've asked you to consider factors which affect the formation of cells which I have already stated.

The only known mechanism of cell formation is from another pre-existing cell. You're asking me to consider vague conjectures. You cannot even give me a starting point... such as what is the minimum size protein that would be required to get things started. Even a protein with one hundred specific amino acids would face incredible improbabilties of forming... and even if it did somehow come together, there's no force that's going to keep it from immediately denaturing.

They don't come together by natural selection, they form with the help of factors involved(see above). But what makes one sequence last can be subject to natural selection(see previous posts).


How can natural selection work on a non-living molecule?... and how can one sequence be favored over another?



Opinion? I think it's hardly my opinion how to calculate the total number of different combinations given 4 bases. 4^x when x represents the length of the sequence. And if your figures aren't truely supported(supported by more than "being generous"), why wouldn't I dismiss them?


O.K., I'm going to concede on this one, and I appreciate you pointing out the error. However, you're using this as an excuse to ignore the vast improbabilities involved in DNA formation. You're attempting to paint me as grossly ignorant and therefore none of my figures and calculations can be trusted.

Want to show me your math skills again? You've said that you're not a mathematician and I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and allow you to make your calculation mistakes, but I will not allow you to use those erroneous results to "prove" anything.


I stand corrected. Now try to explain the corrected probabilities of DNA self-organization. You're still facing insurmountable odds.

You claim there is no evidence for evolution or abiogenesis. Well we've already told you to google for it and indeed there is evidence for it. You can opt to not believe all you want.


Frankly, I have done searches and read articles on abiogenesis. I have found nothing that would cause me to believe that it's possible. THe only people who believe it happened are those already emotionally attached to evolution.

But then you also want us to disbelieve by disproving it and showing it as impossible. As yet, you haven't shown any valid(see previous posts) calculation or study that supports your conclusion
.

You seem to think it's my duty to disprove abiogenesis, when no proof is offered anywhere of its possibility. You imply that evolution is a given and therefore abiogenesis naturally follows, and it is incumbent on the skeptic to prove it wrong. How can I prove it wrong, when evolutionists feel free to invoke laws of chemistry and physics that cannot be verified? They even go so far as to say that "simple" self replicating molecules could gradually increase in complexity through natural selection, when such a concept is entirely devoid of any scientific backing. They presume that a continuity existed between life and non-life, despite the fact that they are completely unable to produce any kind of concrete proposal as to how such intermediates were formed and gradually selected for to ultimately produce complex proteins, DNA, ribosomes, and a cell membrane.

One of the arguments constantly put forth against ID by evolutionists is that ID is not "falsifiable" and therefore not "science". I would submit that abiogenesis, according to evolutionary reasoning, is not falsifiable. They can say it just somehow happened even though we don't fully understand the mechanism, despite the fact that they cannot offer any empiric evidence whatsoever that it occurred or is even possible. The posts you referred me to are conjectures, not evidence. I thought you believed in science, not just biased opinions. Show me some real evidence that a "proto-cell" or a "pre-biont" is possible. So someone demonstrates that certain molecules can self replicate in a laboratory under controlled conditions... what does that prove? It proves that that particular molecule can self replicate under artificial conditions. It proves nothing more. It does not even suggest that a molecule could gradually increase in complexity over time... that is pure speculation, not science.
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Postby alextemplet » Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:25 am

Due to the ban on religion, I've tried to avoid bringing my own religious beliefs into the picture, but perhaps now I can make a good point. My apologies if the following offends anyone.

The interesting thing here is that it appears to be an argument between extremes. One side claims that evolution is false and God created life directly, and the other side claims that evolution is true and God had nothing to do with the origin of life. I again apologize if I'm misinterpreting anyone's beliefs, but that is the message I've been getting.

Perhaps the spontaneous development of life was improbable, although I do not believe that it was as improbably as Springer states (see my above post on the RNA world):
1)First of all, if something's impossible that still doesn't make it impossible. It's improbable that I will win the powerball lottery this week, but someone has to win it and maybe that someone will be me, so it's not impossible. Therefor, if life is just one of many possibilities, it's still possible.
2)Secondly, I remember seeing a documentary on the Discovery Channel about the origin of life. It said that the conditions on the early earth were much different from today, so different that life today could not have existed on earth four billion years ago. So whatever evolved back then was surely forced to evolve (perhaps into cells?) into something very different when the earth's climate changed. Therefor, I wouldn't be surprised if no pre-cellular life survives today, nor would it shock me that it requires a labrotory to study pre-cellular life forms today (such as self-replicating RNA). In fact, that's exactly what I'd expect.

Now concerning God. I do believe that there is scientific evidence of God's existence. For example, if just one of the major forces of the universe (gravity, for example) were any stronger or weaker by just a tiny fraction, then the universe, as we know it, could not exist. I understand very much how Einstein must've felt when he said that science makes him believe in God. Things like that and other, more personal, reasons convince me of God's existence. That said, I am also convinced that life has evolved, because it is evolving today and, as far as I can tell, has evolved in the past. Now, putting the two together, I believe that God could have been responsible for the origin of the first life forms, be they full cells or simple RNA strands, from which everything else evolved. I don't know for sure if that's what happened, since I don't know for sure how probable life is in the first place, and certainly no mechanism of science can ever adequately tell us if God is real, but that's my opinion on the matter.

From a strictly scientific standpoint, abiogenesis is possible. But that's not evolution. Evolution, as I understand it, has nothing to do with the origin of life, only with how it developed after it originated. Nor do I feel it necessary to attack evolution in order to justify my belief in God. I see no reason why God would not design a universe that can run on its own. Furthermore, from what we observe in nature, it appears that that's exactly what He did. So perhaps the truth is somewhere in the middle. Maybe life originated from non-living matter, with a little divine help.

Once again, that's only my opinion, which I admit is heavily biased by my faith. I don't know if it makes too solid of a scientific argument, and I apoligize if I have offended anyone.
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Postby mith » Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:59 am

Springer wrote:I realize that appeal to authority is a weak argument. However, evolutionists do it all the time, defending it with the argument that "all biologists accept evolution".
I brought up Einstein because I think it's incredibly arrogant and narrow minded for anyone to say there is no evidence of a supreme being. Great thinkers past and present, see the evidence. Einstein stated that his study of science increased his belief in God.

Most biologists would support evolution other than the people who are in the discovery institute and similar entities.

I'm not quite sure what you're saying here but I feel that you want to see physical presence of transitional forms between non-living and living or abiogenesis to happen in a laboratory. You're probably not going to see that just as you're probably not going to see God/god(I'm not talking about miraculous events or epiphanies, I mean actually having him appearing)

You have provided no evidence that life could exist in a simpler form than a modern unicellular organism. You have given only conjectures which are completely devoid of experimental verification.

The lack of experimental verification isn't that big of a problem.
Quote from wikipedia:

The term theoretical is used in science to describe a result that is predicted by theory but has not yet been observed. For example, until recently, black holes were considered theoretical. It is not uncommon in the history of physics for theory to produce predictions that are later confirmed by experiment; failed predictions, however, also occur, and sometimes work to falsify a theory. Conversely, at any time in the study of physics there can also be confirmed experimental results that are not yet explained by theory.

The only known mechanism of cell formation is from another pre-existing cell. You're asking me to consider vague conjectures. You cannot even give me a starting point... such as what is the minimum size protein that would be required to get things started. Even a protein with one hundred specific amino acids would face incredible improbabilties of forming... and even if it did somehow come together, there's no force that's going to keep it from immediately denaturing.


No I cannot give you an exact number because I don't think anyone knows that.
Here's a very good article interviewing Miller on his experiments.
http://www.accessexcellence.org/WN/NM/miller.html
Note how he mentions the difficulty of forming actual RNA or protein sequences but yet at the same time he says that these are in abundant supply. There's a lot unknowns(this article is from 1996 btw), but that's very different from being impossible.

How can natural selection work on a non-living molecule?... and how can one sequence be favored over another?

Look up some articles on RNA/DNA stability. Too complex to mention here and some are too complex for me to understand but I'm sure there are differences. Note that the sequences also determine the secondary, tertiary and quaternary structures which might all play a part in stability. Imagine how hard it would be for a knotted sequence to attempt to propagate.

O.K., I'm going to concede on this one, and I appreciate you pointing out the error. However, you're using this as an excuse to ignore the vast improbabilities involved in DNA formation. You're attempting to paint me as grossly ignorant and therefore none of my figures and calculations can be trusted....

I stand corrected. Now try to explain the corrected probabilities of DNA self-organization. You're still facing insurmountable odds.

As Patrick said, you haven't ruled out the impossible so it wouldn't be wrong to guess that it is possible. And to rule out the impossible you would have to find proper figures which probably do not exist now but might be available later. Hold on, I will answer falsifiablity soon. So yes, the odds are stacked which is probably why we might be the only life in the universe but not entirely impossible.

Frankly, I have done searches and read articles on abiogenesis. I have found nothing that would cause me to believe that it's possible. THe only people who believe it happened are those already emotionally attached to evolution.


Please don't make a blanket statement on who does and doesn't believe in evolution. There are atheists who don't believe in evolution(They like the idea of UFO's better) and many Christians who believe in Evolution such as Alex and the previous Pope(I don't know about the current policy). There are scientists who feel there are some parts wrong(Evolution as proposed by Darwin is very different from current theories since we have the technology to explain and identify) but as Patrick stated, most will agree with the basic principles. I trust the processes of science and I feel it has adequately explained this phenomenon. Do you feel this is all a conspiracy, Springer? Perhaps you should become a scientist and find out. As for me, I know that scientists are too much of a self-righteous bunch. For every scientists that fakes data and jumps to wrong conclusions, there will be at least 3 waiting to pounce and berate.

You seem to think it's my duty to disprove abiogenesis, when no proof is offered anywhere of its possibility. You imply that evolution is a given and therefore abiogenesis naturally follows, and it is incumbent on the skeptic to prove it wrong. How can I prove it wrong, when evolutionists feel free to invoke laws of chemistry and physics that cannot be verified? They even go so far as to say that "simple" self replicating molecules could gradually increase in complexity through natural selection, when such a concept is entirely devoid of any scientific backing. They presume that a continuity existed between life and non-life, despite the fact that they are completely unable to produce any kind of concrete proposal as to how such intermediates were formed and gradually selected for to ultimately produce complex proteins, DNA, ribosomes, and a cell membrane.

Answer already given above.

One of the arguments constantly put forth against ID by evolutionists is that ID is not "falsifiable" and therefore not "science". I would submit that abiogenesis, according to evolutionary reasoning, is not falsifiable.
They can say it just somehow happened even though we don't fully understand the mechanism, despite the fact that they cannot offer any empiric evidence whatsoever that it occurred or is even possible. The posts you referred me to are conjectures, not evidence. I thought you believed in science, not just biased opinions. Show me some real evidence that a "proto-cell" or a "pre-biont" is possible. So someone demonstrates that certain molecules can self replicate in a laboratory under controlled conditions... what does that prove? It proves that that particular molecule can self replicate under artificial conditions. It proves nothing more. It does not even suggest that a molecule could gradually increase in complexity over time... that is pure speculation, not science.

The question of course is can these laboratory conditions be found in primordial earth? Maybe?

And I am glad you asked about falsifiablity. As I said above, you would need to have actual figures to calcuate and prove that even with all the components described, abiogenesis is still impossible. I am aware that these numbers are not available at the present but that does not mean that they cannot be found and I do believe they will be.
In contrast, to prove the intelligent design theory wrong would basically require proving the that god does not exist or the designer does not exist(I'm agnostic if you're interested). Can anyone even think of a plan of how to get these figures?

The ancient greeks, Leucippus and Democritus suggested atoms. They didn't have any way of proving it nor did they have the tools to do so. In their time, their theory was probably not falsifiable. But now, we do have the tools to test it. But can GOD or this mysterious designer ever be falsified?
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Postby Springer » Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:31 pm

Most biologists would support evolution other than the people who are in the discovery institute and similar entities.

Most scientists in 1500 believed the sun revolved around the earth.

I'm not quite sure what you're saying here but I feel that you want to see physical presence of transitional forms between non-living and living or abiogenesis to happen in a laboratory. You're probably not going to see that just as you're probably not going to see God/god(I'm not talking about miraculous events or epiphanies, I mean actually having him appearing)


Then are you saying that the formation of life was indeed a miracle? If it wasn't, then why shouldn't we expect to see evidence of the same thing happening today? At least, why shouldn't we see evidence of a continuity between life and non-life.


The lack of experimental verification isn't that big of a problem.
Quote from wikipedia:

The term theoretical is used in science to describe a result that is predicted by theory but has not yet been observed. For example, until recently, black holes were considered theoretical. It is not uncommon in the history of physics for theory to produce predictions that are later confirmed by experiment; failed predictions, however, also occur, and sometimes work to falsify a theory. Conversely, at any time in the study of physics there can also be confirmed experimental results that are not yet explained by theory.


Any belief in abiogenesis is reliant on a belief in evolution/materialism. Abiogenesis in and of itself is impossible to defend.


No I cannot give you an exact number because I don't think anyone knows that.


No we're approaching the realm of non-falsifiability. You will not confront probability issues because you don't know what molecule to start with.

Here's a very good article interviewing Miller on his experiments.
http://www.accessexcellence.org/WN/NM/miller.html


What did Miller actually prove? That a racemic mixture of amino acids can be produced in a laboratory. He proved nothing more. Everything else is conjecture and baseless extrapolation.

Note how he mentions the difficulty of forming actual RNA or protein sequences but yet at the same time he says that these are in abundant supply.

Even if there had been an abundant supply (and the very existence of a pre-biotic soup has not been verified), that doesn't shed any light as to how matter could self organize into life.

There's a lot unknowns(this article is from 1996 btw), but that's very different from being impossible.


I think the tables have been turned. It's up to the evolutionists to prove that abiogenesis is possible. They admit that everything is unknown, and argue that therefore it's possible because it's unknown.


Look up some articles on RNA/DNA stability. Too complex to mention here and some are too complex for me to understand but I'm sure there are differences. Note that the sequences also determine the secondary, tertiary and quaternary structures which might all play a part in stability. Imagine how hard it would be for a knotted sequence to attempt to propagate.


Even if DNA or RNA could spontaneously self replicate, there's no explanation offered as to how such a molecule could form (gradually or suddenly) in the first place. That is the big problem.


As Patrick said, you haven't ruled out the impossible so it wouldn't be wrong to guess that it is possible.

You haven't proven that man cannot survive on Venus. Despite the fact that the surface temperature is 850 degrees and the atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide, you don't know if conditions are perhaps different there that would somehow change man's physiology so that he could survive there. I could argue that UFO's have been sighted, providing evidence of extraterrestrial life, but that would fly as evidence.
You may think my analogy absurd, but you cannot use flimsy evidence (i.e., evolution) to prove an even more baseless theory (abiogenesis).


I trust the processes of science and I feel it has adequately explained this phenomenon. Do you feel this is all a conspiracy, Springer? Perhaps you should become a scientist and find out. As for me, I know that scientists are too much of a self-righteous bunch. For every scientists that fakes data and jumps to wrong conclusions, there will be at least 3 waiting to pounce and berate.


I do not think there's a conspiracy. Rather, I realize the power of the paradigm. People believe in evolution not because they actually have done all of the research, but because they, as you do, trust science. Do you know that radiometric dating is accurate from personal observation, or are you trusting someone else? This is a major problem with evolution. There are so many disciplines that touch each other... geology, physics, genetics, comparative anatomy, embryology.... no one is an expert in everything. Geology uses evolution to prove it's theories, and evolution uses geology to verify its findings, all within the predrawn conclusion that evolution is a fact.
Actually, I am a scientist... not a biologist, but a pathologist. Every day I make decisions for which I am accountable, unlike a paleontologist. If I tell someone he has cancer when in fact he doesn't, I could lose my license. Thus, I have to be constantly on guard and always willing to admit that I might be wrong. Contrary to popular opinion, pathology is not as black and white as many think. There are many gray areas, and I have seen experts in the field be proven entirely wrong.




And I am glad you asked about falsifiablity. As I said above, you would need to have actual figures to calcuate and prove that even with all the components described, abiogenesis is still impossible. I am aware that these numbers are not available at the present but that does not mean that they cannot be found and I do believe they will be.


So you will agree, then, that for the time being... abiogenesis is not falsifiable.

In contrast, to prove the intelligent design theory wrong would basically require proving the that god does not exist or the designer does not exist(I'm agnostic if you're interested). Can anyone even think of a plan of how to get these figures?


I'm not disputing that ID is not falsifiable. I just think that the way evolution is argued, there is no falsifiability because the assumption is always made beforehand that it occurred... therefore any problems encountered are explained away by the hope that someday evolution will give us the answers. The argument is then put forth that you can't dispr0ve something that's unknown.
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Postby alextemplet » Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:17 pm

Mithrilhack wrote:

"many Christians who believe in Evolution such as Alex and the previous Pope(I don't know about the current policy)."

Yes, the previoue Pope did believe in evolution, and I don't know if the new Pope has publicly stated his belief on the issue. In my opinion, Pope John Paul II was way too popular in the Catholic Church for the new Pope to want to overrule any of his statements, especially on something to which the Church attaches so little importance. (Catholicism's main doctrine is that evolution is a scientific question not in conflict with religious faith, and therefor leaves it up to scientists to resolve while the Church focuses on matters of faith. It's a good idea, if you ask me.)

I think this debate seems to be constantly going around in circles. One side says that abiogenesis is improbable-therefor-impossible, another side says it was possible. I still think it was possible, especially given the possibility of pre-cellular life. And I'm not saying that because I have a pre-conceived evolutionist viewpoint. As I said before, I don't think evolution and abiogenesis have that much to do with each other. I accept that evolution has occurred, and I accept that abiogensis was possible, but that's two different and independent statements. For example, just because I believe in God doesn't mean I refuse to acknowledge that possibility that He doesn't exist. That's a distinct possibility; one I choose not to believe, but possible nonetheless.

If God does not exist, then abiogenesis must have occurred or else we wouldn't be here. If God does exist, then there's two possibilities:
1) God created the first life directly and then allowed it to evolve; aka, abiogenesis did not occur.
2) God allowed life to start and begin evolving on its own, without His direct intervention; aka, abiogenesis did not occur.

God, as stated before, is beyond the realm of science, and any belief that relies on Him is also beyond science. Therefor, from a strictly scientific standpoint, abiogenesis is all we have to explain the origin of life. If we ourselves to be a little religious, then that still doesn't rule abiogenesis, since we can't be sure how God chose to create life in the first place. Science can tell us the evolution played some part in it, and maybe God was directly responsible for the origin of life; however, He could also have used an abiogensis-like process that, to us, would appear to be abiogenesis (Perhaps God caused RNA to arise out of the primordial soup, a process that would appear completely natural to us?)

My point is that we can't say for sure exactly what happened. Abiogenesis doesn't disprove God or prove evolution anymore than Springer's calclulations prove God or disprove evolution. All we can say for right now is what was possible. Maybe one day we will know for sure what happened, but in the meantime this horse is getting beaten to death and I'm getting sidetracked. My apologies for straying off-topic.
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Postby Springer » Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:50 pm

alextemplet wrote:Mithrilhack wrote:


God, as stated before, is beyond the realm of science, and any belief that relies on Him is also beyond science. Therefor, from a strictly scientific standpoint, abiogenesis is all we have to explain the origin of life.

This is precisely what is being done by evolutionists. They have categorically dismissed the possibility of intelligent design because, in their minds, it is beyond the realm of science. In other words, evolution and abiogenesis are true by default.

Science can tell us the evolution played some part in it, and maybe God was directly responsible for the origin of life; however, He could also have used an abiogensis-like process that, to us, would appear to be abiogenesis (Perhaps God caused RNA to arise out of the primordial soup, a process that would appear completely natural to us?)


If abiogenesis is impossible, then the entire theory of evolution is demolished. Why? Because everything in the theory of evolution is built around the presumption of naturalism... that intelligent design is not necessary. Disproof of the possibility of abiogenesis proves that intelligent design is operative. It is frankly illogical to concede that intelligent design exists in one aspect of creation but has nothing to do with other aspects, particularly in view of the fact that evolution is at a loss to explain innumerable complexities of nature.
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Postby alextemplet » Fri Jan 13, 2006 8:43 pm

Springer wrote:

If abiogenesis is impossible, then the entire theory of evolution is demolished. Why? Because everything in the theory of evolution is built around the presumption of naturalism... that intelligent design is not necessary.


Abiogenesis has nothing to do with evolution. Abiogenesis theorizes how life could arise from non-life; evolution describes how life reacts to a changing environment. Abiogenesis, at least at this moment, is not observable; evolution, however, is. As a pathologist, Springer, I'd expect you to know more about that than anyone. How do you watch bacteria and viruses evolve immunity to medications and not call it evolution? Evolution has also been observed in macro-organisms and documented in the fossil record. It has been solidly proven by every conceivable test, and yet it still only describes how life developed after its origin. It says nothing about how life originated nor does it deny that God might have been responsible for the first lifeforms. Therefor, once again, it is pointless to attack abiogenesis and claim it as disproof of evolution.

Disproof of the possibility of abiogenesis proves that intelligent design is operative.


Yes, if abiogenesis could be completely disproven, then that would verify the need for an intelligent designer to create the first life, from which everything else evolved. However, even though I personally believe that God was responsible for the first life, I must admit that abiogenesis has never been proven to be impossible. Improbable, maybe, but that's still a long way away from being impossible.

It is frankly illogical to concede that intelligent design exists in one aspect of creation but has nothing to do with other aspects


Why? Explain to me why God had to create all life directly in its present form. Why couldn't God have used evolutionary processes? Isn't that just a logical, perhaps even more logical given the evidence for evolution? You see, since God lies outside of science, it is impossible for us to dictate how He has to operate. You seem to believe that God would never have anything to do with evolution, but the simple fact is that you just don't know that. I suppose, if God exists, that it would've been possible for Him to directly create all life in its present form, but then it is also possible for Him to create just one simple microbe and allow all other life to evolve from there. Given the evidence, I am inclined to side with the latter scenario. It is not any less logical; in fact, given the evidence, it is more so.
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Postby mith » Sat Jan 14, 2006 6:04 am

Springer wrote:Most scientists in 1500 believed the sun revolved around the earth.

I realize that majorities don't always mean right but that doesn't mean that we should never look to the majority especially if they are experts. No one said science is perfect. But it is self-correcting and I believe it is the best process that we have.

Then are you saying that the formation of life was indeed a miracle? If it wasn't, then why shouldn't we expect to see evidence of the same thing happening today? At least, why shouldn't we see evidence of a continuity between life and non-life.

I didn't say it was a miracle and I already explained why you wouldnt see it in previous postings.

Any belief in abiogenesis is reliant on a belief in evolution/materialism. Abiogenesis in and of itself is impossible to defend.

Again this is your point of view. As I have said before, the majority feels there is enough evidence.

No we're approaching the realm of non-falsifiability. You will not confront probability issues because you don't know what molecule to start with.

Do you suggest I confront it while not knowing the starting molecule? Of course not. Using random figures is meaningless. But does that mean that a theory can't be proposed? Of course not! Look at all the theoretical constructs in physics such as "n-dimensional space" and string theory. Those probably have less links to the real world than anything in biology. But can we argue that these are meaningless, useless?

Here's an article describing some of the errors creationists make in trying to calculate the probablity(some which you might have made). I did not write the article and if you have an issue with the numbers presented, you're more than welcome to contact him.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/abioprob.html

What did Miller actually prove? That a racemic mixture of amino acids can be produced in a laboratory. He proved nothing more. Everything else is conjecture and baseless extrapolation.

Extrapolation, yes. Baseless no. Also note that purines and pyramidines were also produced. Read the article on the link I provided above.

Even if there had been an abundant supply (and the very existence of a pre-biotic soup has not been verified), that doesn't shed any light as to how matter could self organize into life.

If we knew, would we be having this debate? Again, see above link.

I think the tables have been turned. It's up to the evolutionists to prove that abiogenesis is possible. They admit that everything is unknown, and argue that therefore it's possible because it's unknown.

Are they not trying to? It's a generally accepted theory but do they not keep on trying to find more evidence? If you google, you'll find the current research and if you're not satisfied, tell your researchers and tell them what you want to see lol.

Even if DNA or RNA could spontaneously self replicate, there's no explanation offered as to how such a molecule could form (gradually or suddenly) in the first place. That is the big problem.

See above


You haven't proven that man cannot survive on Venus. Despite the fact that the surface temperature is 850 degrees and the atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide, you don't know if conditions are perhaps different there that would somehow change man's physiology so that he could survive there. I could argue that UFO's have been sighted, providing evidence of extraterrestrial life, but that would fly as evidence.
You may think my analogy absurd, but you cannot use flimsy evidence (i.e., evolution) to prove an even more baseless theory (abiogenesis).

No I don't see the analogy and you're ending it with something already answered before.



I do not think there's a conspiracy. Rather, I realize the power of the paradigm. People believe in evolution not because they actually have done all of the research, but because they, as you do, trust science. Do you know that radiometric dating is accurate from personal observation, or are you trusting someone else? This is a major problem with evolution. There are so many disciplines that touch each other... geology, physics, genetics, comparative anatomy, embryology.... no one is an expert in everything. Geology uses evolution to prove it's theories, and evolution uses geology to verify its findings, all within the predrawn conclusion that evolution is a fact.

I don't think there are geologists who use evolution to prove their theories...where did you hear that? A member, Excalibur, was in here a couple of weeks ago discussing some issues with geology, some which were misunderstood or faulty and some that we here are not adequately staffed to address. Whether you call it a conspiracy or not, it seems you're suggesting the whole of science is corrupted by fear of scientists who don't want to go against the paradigm...sounds irrational to me.

Actually, I am a scientist... not a biologist, but a pathologist. Every day I make decisions for which I am accountable, unlike a paleontologist. If I tell someone he has cancer when in fact he doesn't, I could lose my license. Thus, I have to be constantly on guard and always willing to admit that I might be wrong. Contrary to popular opinion, pathology is not as black and white as many think. There are many gray areas, and I have seen experts in the field be proven entirely wrong.

Good for you, I'm a high school student :D.

So you will agree, then, that for the time being... abiogenesis is not falsifiable.

quote:
Conclusions of science (inferences, for example) must be falsifiable. However, abiogenesis is not falsifiable, and need not be since it is not a conclusion of science.
The generation of life is definitely an area that scientists investigate, and any inferences or conclusions they come up with must be falsifiable. Until such conclusions exist, however, falsifiability is not applicable.

http://www.carm.org/evolution_archive/t ... s_lack.htm

I'm not disputing that ID is not falsifiable. I just think that the way evolution is argued, there is no falsifiability because the assumption is always made beforehand that it occurred... therefore any problems encountered are explained away by the hope that someday evolution will give us the answers. The argument is then put forth that you can't dispr0ve something that's unknown.

http://wiki.cotch.net/index.php/Evoluti ... _falsified

ID may be true or it may be false, but if it's not falsifiable, it's not science. Evolution may have many aspects unexplained but that doesn't mean we need to accept or consider ID. It is not a scientific alternative.
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Postby Springer » Sat Jan 14, 2006 5:11 pm

I realize that majorities don't always mean right but that doesn't mean that we should never look to the majority especially if they are experts. No one said science is perfect. But it is self-correcting and I believe it is the best process that we have


Again, your argument is, "that many 'scientists' couldn't be wrong"...

Any belief in abiogenesis is reliant on a belief in evolution/materialism. Abiogenesis in and of itself is impossible to defend.
Again this is your point of view. As I have said before, the majority feels there is enough evidence.


You don't think it appears "miraculous", yet no one has any clue how it could be possible. You're again arguing that thousands of "scientists" couldn't be wrong. The have been, numerous times in the past... and there's no reason to think they couldn't be today.


Do you suggest I confront it while not knowing the starting molecule? Of course not. Using random figures is meaningless. But does that mean that a theory can't be proposed? Of course not! Look at all the theoretical constructs in physics such as "n-dimensional space" and string theory. Those probably have less links to the real world than anything in biology. But can we argue that these are meaningless, useless?



Your analogy is false, because there is no reason to believe that abiogenesis is possible. You're arguing its possibility based on your belief in the general theory of evolution, which is unsupported. So far, the only evidence I've heard to support evolution is its general acceptance by the masses. You cannot use one flimsy theory as support for an even more questionable one.

Here's an article describing some of the errors creationists make in trying to calculate the probablity(some which you might have made). I did not write the article and if you have an issue with the numbers presented, you're more than welcome to contact him.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/abioprob.html


The link you provided is very revealing. If you read the section on probability, you'll not that the author plays with numbers on the order of 10^-40, and states that, in actuality, this is only an average and that you could get the correct sequence on the first try, despite those odds. In other words, he is DISREGARDING probability... he thinks it doesn't apply to evolution.

Extrapolation, yes. Baseless no. Also note that purines and pyramidines were also produced.



Proof that amino acides and nucleotides can be formed does not prove in any way that a cell can self-organize. That is junk science... in fact, that is not science, it is irrational thinking.

Are they not trying to? It's a generally accepted theory but do they not keep on trying to find more evidence? If you google, you'll find the current research and if you're not satisfied, tell your researchers and tell them what you want to see lol.


Proponents of ANY false theory can point out evidence in its favor. Did you know that smoking is healthful? There is a reduced incidence of obesity in smokers, which has been linked to heart disease and hypertension. Smoking reduces stress and stress-related illness, and it has been statistically shown that smokers are less likely to develop Parkinson's disease. Regardless of how much "positive" evidence you think you have, you must WEIGH the evidence.... and evolutionists will not do this.

Conclusions of science (inferences, for example) must be falsifiable. However, abiogenesis is not falsifiable, and need not be since it is not a conclusion of science.

ID is not a conclusion of science. Why is abiogenesis considered science and ID not?

ID may be true or it may be false, but if it's not falsifiable, it's not science. Evolution may have many aspects unexplained but that doesn't mean we need to accept or consider ID. It is not a scientific alternative.



THere's no edict that proclaims what science can or cannot investigate. You have concluded that the only theories that should be considered are what fit into your predetermined definition of science. Therefore, evolution is true by default, because you have categorically dismissed ID under the pretext that it's not "science", leaving only one other alternative. Thus, you've "decided" evolution is true...
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Postby mith » Sat Jan 14, 2006 6:23 pm

Springer wrote:
Again, your argument is, "that many 'scientists' couldn't be wrong"...

Can we trust our senses? Optical illusions and such proved that our senses are not always reliable. Can we fully trust logic or reason? Read Kant on his critique of pure reason. What can we trust? This has nothing to do with biology, it's philosophy. You're trying to argue a moot point.

You don't think it appears "miraculous", yet no one has any clue how it could be possible. You're again arguing that thousands of "scientists" couldn't be wrong. The have been, numerous times in the past... and there's no reason to think they couldn't be today.

See above.

Your analogy is false, because there is no reason to believe that abiogenesis is possible. You're arguing its possibility based on your belief in the general theory of evolution, which is unsupported. So far, the only evidence I've heard to support evolution is its general acceptance by the masses. You cannot use one flimsy theory as support for an even more questionable one.

It's not general acceptance by the masses. It's scientists, experts in their field. I'm sure they wouldn't appreciate being called masses. And they aren't just agreeing because they "think" it's right, they're agreeing and thinking it's right because of the evidence they found and interpreted. You can reject it all you want, but in the end, who's opinion carries more weight? And if you ask why should their opinion carry more weight, or why we should accept their opinion, then you're back to discussing philosophical issues.

The link you provided is very revealing. If you read the section on probability, you'll not that the author plays with numbers on the order of 10^-40, and states that, in actuality, this is only an average and that you could get the correct sequence on the first try, despite those odds. In other words, he is DISREGARDING probability... he thinks it doesn't apply to evolution.

I don't understand what you're saying and I can't speak for the author. Perhaps you should contact him.

Proof that amino acides and nucleotides can be formed does not prove in any way that a cell can self-organize. That is junk science... in fact, that is not science, it is irrational thinking.


Are they not trying to? It's a generally accepted theory but do they not keep on trying to find more evidence? If you google, you'll find the current research and if you're not satisfied, tell your researchers and tell them what you want to see lol.


Proponents of ANY false theory can point out evidence in its favor. Did you know that smoking is healthful? There is a reduced incidence of obesity in smokers, which has been linked to heart disease and hypertension. Smoking reduces stress and stress-related illness, and it has been statistically shown that smokers are less likely to develop Parkinson's disease. Regardless of how much "positive" evidence you think you have, you must WEIGH the evidence.... and evolutionists will not do this.

Again same issue as above.

ID is not a conclusion of science. Why is abiogenesis considered science and ID not?

Theories of science have the possiblity of falsification. Possiblity that theories of religion can be falsified... nil. The keyword is "can" not when.
THere's no edict that proclaims what science can or cannot investigate. You have concluded that the only theories that should be considered are what fit into your predetermined definition of science. Therefore, evolution is true by default, because you have categorically dismissed ID under the pretext that it's not "science", leaving only one other alternative. Thus, you've "decided" evolution is true...

quote:

Science (from Latin scientia - knowledge) refers to a system of acquiring knowledge – based on empiricism, experimentation, and methodological naturalism – aimed at finding out the truth. The basic unit of knowledge is the theory, which is a hypothesis that is predictive. The term science also refers to the organized body of knowledge humans have gained by such research.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science


Yes, there are limits, empiricism, experimentation and methodological naturalism.
Evolution came before ID so it's not as if Evolution was proved true because ID was false.
And what is wrong with predetermined definitions?

Now you're not even talking about the biological issue, you're just attacking science. Why don't we all just give up science and become religious luddites? Or better yet, why don't you lead a crusade to reform science?
All my answers so far have been from the assumption that science is true and reliable. Not absolutely true, but good enough for me to trust my life to it(i.e. I take the medicine that my doctor prescribes without a second thought, and I dare to drive past a nuclear powerplant). Asking for epistemological certainty is a moot point that philosophy/theology students should discuss.
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Enjoying one moment at a time;
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Postby Springer » Sat Jan 14, 2006 6:28 pm

alextemplet wrote:Springer wrote:



Abiogenesis has nothing to do with evolution. Abiogenesis theorizes how life could arise from non-life; evolution describes how life reacts to a changing environment.


For decades abiogenesis was included in textbooks as part of evolution. Only recently has it become fashionable for evolutionists to divorce themselves from abiogenesis.... The reason is because it is untenable.

Abiogenesis, at least at this moment, is not observable; evolution, however, is. As a pathologist, Springer, I'd expect you to know more about that than anyone. How do you watch bacteria and viruses evolve immunity to medications and not call it evolution?

You are clouding the issue by equating antimicrobial resistance (microevolution), with molecules-to-man (macroevolution). You cannot extrapolate one to the other.

Evolution has also been observed in macro-organisms and documented in the fossil record.

Macroevolution has never been observed. This fact is freely admitted by all evolutionary authorities. Evolution has not been "observed" in the fossil record. It is a conjecture based on a very biased view of the "evidence".

It has been solidly proven by every conceivable test, and yet it still only describes how life developed after its origin.


Macroevolution has never been demonstrated to be biologically possible, let alone proven to have occurred.

It says nothing about how life originated nor does it deny that God might have been responsible for the first lifeforms. Therefor, once again, it is pointless to attack abiogenesis and claim it as disproof of evolution.


Your separation of abiogenesis from evolution is arbitrary.

Yes, if abiogenesis could be completely disproven, then that would verify the need for an intelligent designer to create the first life, from which everything else evolved.


We agree.

However, even though I personally believe that God was responsible for the first life, I must admit that abiogenesis has never been proven to be impossible. Improbable, maybe, but that's still a long way away from being impossible.


If the improbability is sufficiently great, it is impossible.



Explain to me why God had to create all life directly in its present form. Why couldn't God have used evolutionary processes?


I have no preconceived ideas as to how God would have conducted the creative process. The evolutionists are the ones who put restraints on how God should act. The argue that perceived imperfections of nature prove that there was no intelligent design. This is a religious/philosophical argument, that has no place in a scientific discussion.


Isn't that just a logical, perhaps even more logical given the evidence for evolution? You see, since God lies outside of science, it is impossible for us to dictate how He has to operate. You seem to believe that God would never have anything to do with evolution, but the simple fact is that you just don't know that. I suppose, if God exists, that it would've been possible for Him to directly create all life in its present form, but then it is also possible for Him to create just one simple microbe and allow all other life to evolve from there.


I agree with you. I don't deny that God couldn't have used evolution in the creative process. I would come to that conclusion if there was evidence of it, which there is not. Life is not a continuum, but is discontinuous and not bridged by intermediates. If you look at the proposed evolutionary tree of life, everything is linked by a hypothetical common ancestor... with no direct linkages from one species to another. This does not make sense in light of evolution and is far more consistent with creation.
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Postby Springer » Sat Jan 14, 2006 9:21 pm

mithrilhack wrote:
Springer wrote:
Can we trust our senses? Optical illusions and such proved that our senses are not always reliable. Can we fully trust logic or reason? Read Kant on his critique of pure reason. What can we trust? This has nothing to do with biology, it's philosophy. You're trying to argue a moot point.


Please clarify...I have no idea what you're talking about.


It's not general acceptance by the masses. It's scientists, experts in their field. I'm sure they wouldn't appreciate being called masses. And they aren't just agreeing because they "think" it's right, they're agreeing and thinking it's right because of the evidence they found and interpreted. You can reject it all you want, but in the end, who's opinion carries more weight? And if you ask why should their opinion carry more weight, or why we should accept their opinion, then you're back to discussing philosophical issues.

You are mistaken if you think that there is a consensus. There are thousands of well-credentialed scientists who have looked at the same data as evolutionists and have concluded that evolution is false.

I don't understand what you're saying and I can't speak for the author. Perhaps you should contact him.

If you read the part on probability, you will see that he disregards probability and think there's no difficulty in overcoming odds of 10^-40.

Are they not trying to? It's a generally accepted theory but do they not keep on trying to find more evidence? If you google, you'll find the current research and if you're not satisfied, tell your researchers and tell them what you want to see lol.


I have read a number of recent articles on abiogenesis, and there is nothing that even remotely shows that it is possible.


Theories of science have the possiblity of falsification. Possiblity that theories of religion can be falsified... nil. The keyword is "can" not when.


Evolution, including abiogenesis cannot be falsified, the way it is argued. It has been proclaimed as fact, any now all science has to do is find the mechanisms.


Science (from Latin scientia - knowledge) refers to a system of acquiring knowledge – based on empiricism, experimentation, and methodological naturalism – aimed at finding out the truth. The basic unit of knowledge is the theory, which is a hypothesis that is predictive. The term science also refers to the organized body of knowledge humans have gained by such research.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science


Evolutionary research is the antithesis of empiricism. It is nothing but assumptions and baseless extrapolations based on the preconceived philosophy of materialism/naturalism.

Evolution came before ID so it's not as if Evolution was proved true because ID was false.

The idea of evolution was not invented by Darwin. Many of the founders of modern biology, .e.g, Louis Pasteur, Gregor Mendel, considered evolution prior to Darwin but believed it was impossible. Before evolution became dogma, almost all scientists, including Sir Isaac Newton, believed in ID. What do you mean by "Evolution came before ID".

Now you're not even talking about the biological issue, you're just attacking science. Why don't we all just give up science and become religious luddites? Or better yet, why don't you lead a crusade to reform science?


I suggest we start practicing science and not the religion of evolution.

All my answers so far have been from the assumption that science is true and reliable. Not absolutely true, but good enough for me to trust my life to it(i.e. I take the medicine that my doctor prescribes without a second thought, and I dare to drive past a nuclear powerplant). Asking for epistemological certainty is a moot point that philosophy/theology students should discuss.


You are taking a very naive position, considering that "science" has been dead wrong many times in the past. I repeat, "Science" does not proclaim evolution to be true. The majority of liberal biologists who are mired down in the paradigm of Darwinism do, but that does not extend to many other fields of science.
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