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Achilles
08-09-2007, 04:04 AM
It is an unfortunately reality that many people consider the scientific theory of evolution to be a life origins topic. The reality is that the theory of evolution makes no claims regarding life origins. The theory states that all life sprung forth from single-celled organisms and over a period of billions of years, evolved into the various flora and fauna that we see around us today.

What it does not do is make definitive statements regarding where those single-celled organisms come from. Some theists that accept the theory of evolution are likely to state that god created them and that evolution is part of his/her/its plan. Others consider abiogenesis to be a promising hypothesis while other who are more honest and less brave simply opt to cast their vote for "I have no idea".

Before we kick things off, I'd like to establish some ground rules for this thread:

1) This is a life origins thread. Discussion regarding the theory of evolution should probably go into one of the evolution threads. This is about how life started, not about whether or not life changed.

2) "god of the gaps" is not allowed. In other words, the christian god will not be declared winner by default just because "science doesn't know". Of course religious figures and themes will be welcome, but "goddunit" is not.

That's it! So, creationism vs abiogenesis - what are your thoughts?

PS: Could a mod please fix the title of this thread? It should be "Life origins" (with 2 "i"s in "origins"). Thanks! Done --Jae

PoiuyWired
08-09-2007, 03:33 PM
Well to "kick it off" I would have to mention a few things.

1) How do you define "Life" for the purpose of this thread. Do you consider simple Amino Acids to be Life's Origin, or Complex ones, or Viruses? Obviously a Single Cell would be considered to be Life, how about Mitocondrea(sp?) that contains its own genetic materials.

As said, the evolution gap between Virus to single cell is not known yet to scientists, so the above question does directle/indirectly affacts the discussion.

2) Topic is about Life's Origin, not "Life on Earth's Origin" So the idea of Bacteria from outter space and such is not a factor here. The topic is about how the said "seeds of lifeform" comes tobe.

OK, now those are out of the way, here is what we know. We know that simple amino acids can be created by recreating the environments of a scientific guess of young Earth. And, conditions of such "young Earth" is not unique, Venus is currently at that stage(soon I guess, need to check) and Mars being a Had Been. We know that Amino Acids are the basic Building block of Lifeforms on this planet.

We know that complex amino acids can be created, via the use of simple ones. Obviously the chance of that happening is possable, and the probability of this naturally occurring is unknown(not sure) But on the other hand, its a long long time on a relatively big environment compare to the size of a molecule of amino acid, chances of that happening is probably definite, its a matter of the number and concentration being enough to "evolve" into something else.


*hops*

On the side note, we have successfully created a viral structure via artificial means, does it mean that we have created "life"?

Achilles
08-09-2007, 03:56 PM
1) How do you define "Life" for the purpose of this thread. Do you consider simple Amino Acids to be Life's Origin, or Complex ones, or Viruses? Obviously a Single Cell would be considered to be Life, how about Mitocondrea(sp?) that contains its own genetic materials. Good question. I imagine that someone will want to bring up Urey-Miller at some point, so I think amino acids will have to be allowed.

2) Topic is about Life's Origin, not "Life on Earth's Origin" So the idea of Bacteria from outter space and such is not a factor here. The topic is about how the said "seeds of lifeform" comes tobe. I don't think we need to nail ourselves down on this one either. Again, trying to anticipate both sides of the debate, I imagine that someone will try to invoke the 2nd law of thermodynamics at some point. A perfectly valid counter argument is that earth is not a closed system via space dust, meteors, etc. Therefore, I think it is a factor.

OK, now those are out of the way, here is what we know. We know that simple amino acids can be created by recreating the environments of a scientific guess of young Earth. And, conditions of such "young Earth" is not unique, Venus is currently at that stage(soon I guess, need to check) and Mars being a Had Been. We know that Amino Acids are the basic Building block of Lifeforms on this planet.

We know that complex amino acids can be created, via the use of simple ones. Obviously the chance of that happening is possable, and the probability of this naturally occurring is unknown(not sure) But on the other hand, its a long long time on a relatively big environment compare to the size of a molecule of amino acid, chances of that happening is probably definite, its a matter of the number and concentration being enough to "evolve" into something else. Right. An examination of the model will show that even with astronomically improbable odds, the sheer scale of time would reduce abiogenesis to a inevitability.

On the side note, we have successfully created a viral structure via artificial means, does it mean that we have created "life"? I don't know if that counts. If you referencing what I think you're referencing, my understanding is that was more of a "franken-virus" than a virus created from scratch. Yes we created a completely new genome, but we did it using existing parts. My understanding could be wrong though.

Thanks for your post.

Quanon
08-09-2007, 04:18 PM
I'll try to do my best to explain ( bit tired and english isn't my first language)
: Not to long ago I saw an interesting documentry of the BBC about one of the moons of Jupiter ( the one with covered with Ice and has an Atmosphere) .

In this atmosphere there was a right combination of gasses , wich can also be found here on earth, sorry I don't know their names any more or what the combination exactly was .

Should look this up , somewhere .

Thing is , when energy ; like lighting , strikes within this mix of gas, you get some building blocks for : amino acids . I think they where proteins ... slap me if I'm wrong .

This might be the "natural" cause of what we see in a way as life . So what if these proteins fall down or get indeed mixed up with water , they can form bonds , creating strings and get more and more complex .

Over sometime you might indeed have : cells

Allthough , I don't consider that there's only one way to create life or there's one form of life .

As humans where limited in observing and knowing of our universe , prisoners of our limited world and mind even.

So for me Earth's life is one of the many possibiltes , the uni ( or multi) verse offers such a wide range it's hard to imagine the odds and changes that we will ever find to anwser to life or even its meaning .

Achilles
08-09-2007, 04:30 PM
The moon is called Europa. :D

ABE: Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_(moon)) is the wiki if you'd like to read more about it.

Also, the process that you're describing (as originally describe in the BBC documentary, I'm assuming) is abiogenesis. ;)

Quanon
08-10-2007, 10:25 AM
The moon is called Europa. :D

ABE: Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_(moon)) is the wiki if you'd like to read more about it.

Also, the process that you're describing (as originally describe in the BBC documentary, I'm assuming) is abiogenesis. ;)

Ah , thanks , it's very interesting subject and thanks for the link .

No idea this theory or way of thinking was called abiogenesis .

Knowledge is great :D

PoiuyWired
08-10-2007, 01:11 PM
Well, but I think Quanon does help us a bit by outlining the process of abiogenesis in a few simple sentences. To note that, in theory the process can exist anywhere within the galaxy given the right type of environment and materials, and enough time.

Obviously for these simple amino acids to go anywhere also requires the right type of enviromnent and enough time. The exact chance of this happening is not known, since we don't have enough demographic from other planets.

Now, being able to create organics is still a bit far from a complex lifeform though, and we have not been able to collect many samples outside of earth so far(lab or outside lab). Well, to be fair other than earth there is only Mars and Venus for us to investigate with, well at least these are places that are close enough for any actual affordable research. But the idea we are talking about is "Creation of life" not "creation of human" so those topics belong to one of the Evolution threads.

now, I would like to hear about the other side of the viewpoint, the ones on Creationism.

Achilles
08-10-2007, 06:17 PM
Obviously for these simple amino acids to go anywhere also requires the right type of enviromnent and enough time. The exact chance of this happening is not known, since we don't have enough demographic from other planets. With the exception of the planets in our solar system, it is very difficult to capture any data on planets at all. All of the specks of light we can see (besides those of our sister planets) belong to stars. We can detect the presence of planets around some stars based on the gravitational pull that those planets have on the star. Needless to say, only big planets (ala Jupiter) can do this, so it's very difficult for us to detect earth-sized planets around distant stars.

This doesn't mean that earth-sized planets don't exist anywhere else, it just means that we don't have sufficient technology to see them. Various cosmological theories predict their existence though, so if/when we do find them, those theories can be either verified or disproved.

I say all this because it (hopefully) puts the prospect of liquid water elsewhere in our solar system in the appropriate (significant) context. We know that liquid water is necessary for life, therefore Mars and Europa give us a chance to test and refine the abiogenesis hypothesis without having to wait hundreds (thousands? tens of thousands?) of years to visit other solar systems.

Now, being able to create organics is still a bit far from a complex lifeform though, and we have not been able to collect many samples outside of earth so far(lab or outside lab). Well, to be fair other than earth there is only Mars and Venus for us to investigate with, well at least these are places that are close enough for any actual affordable research. Kinda sorta true.
Using spectroscopy we can determine the composition of visible stars and nearby planets ("super-earth"-like planets and so on). If spectroscopy can show that the elements necessary for life exist on planets that we can "see" but not visit, we can then refine the hypothesis while we make plans to send unmanned missions there, etc.

In other words, we have more than just Mars and Venus (and Europa) to play with.

now, I would like to hear about the other side of the viewpoint, the ones on Creationism. Taken from the wiki:
Creationism is the belief that humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe were created in their entirety by a deity or deities (typically God), whose existence is presupposed.
Creationism is tricky because it, like so much else in religious doctrine, is open to interpretation. For instance, a deist might say that god created the universe, put the laws of nature into motion and then left.

A more liberal (?) theistic interpretation might say that god created the universe, put the laws of nature into play, and then stuck around to observe and make corrections as needed. Yet another interpretation is that god did the prerequisite stuff and purposely guided the creation of life.

And then there's the conservative version, whereby the account in genesis is the truth: god created everything in 6 days, including humans. In other words, all life magically appeared in current form (the fall, notwithstanding).

So when we talk about "creationism" we are talking about any mix of those things (plus any other major variants that I may have left out).

Because all of those creation hypothesis stem from the existence of a supernatural god, there is no possible scientific test that can be derived to begin supporting or eliminating any of them. In other words, they are all equal so far as their truthiness is concerned. Were we able to scientifically test for god, that god would then lose his/her/its supernatural status and would be trapped like a genie in a bottle in the natural world. Of course, we would then have to begin looking for a supernatural cause for the previously-supernatural-but-now-natural cause.

This is the basis behind the problem of infinite regression. The argument is that something has to kick this whole thing off. There has to be a first cause or a prime mover, i.e. something that does something so that something else happens. It seems ludicrous to think that the universe happened all by itself. SOMETHING had to have caused it to happen. Even if we accept the big bang, SOMETHING had to have created the conditions that made TBB possible.

Theists insist that this SOMETHING has to be their god (not some other god...their god). The problem is that if it is ludicrous to think that the universe could have happened all by itself, then it is equally ludicrous to think that god could have happened all by his/her/its self (technically, it's far more ludicrous, but I won't get into that in this post). And if something created that god, then something created that something, and something else created that, and so on and so forth. Infinite regression (working backwards forever).

Theist have a counter-argument against infinite regression though. Their god exists outside of space and time. He/she/it did not require a cause because they are infinite and therefore not subject to the rules. This introduces a couple of big problems that theists tend to want to ignore.

First, this argument can be summarized as "something that came from nothing". If this sounds familiar, that's because this is frequently used as the big show-stopper in the abiogenesis, big bang, evolution debate. It would seem that whether you are a theist, diest, atheist, or whatever, at some point you have to accept that something really did come from nothing.

Hopefully, every one can see the how this creates the second problem. Just as we had to apply the rules to both sides to saddle the creation argument with infinite regression, it's repeal similarly frees both sides. If we accept that something must have come from nothing, then the argument that that particular something is god (specifically your god) becomes incredibly, incredibly weak.

Therefore, we are left with left with a god that is completely unobservable and offers no verifiable explanations about our universe. Furthermore, any explanation that could be offered can be quickly replaced with observable, verifiable explanations provided by scientific inquiry or with the honest admission that none of us really knows.

Hopefully that helps to provide the creationist viewpoint and some of it's problems. Thanks for reading.

Qui-Gon Glenn
08-15-2007, 04:45 PM
Ah, the infinite regress of Aquinas' unmoved mover.... it really is a bit of a stretch, isn't it?

Yet, as several have noted, you have the options of saying "God did it!" or "It happens like this, but not sure how it started" or "I have no freaking clue!"

Oddly, intuition is our only sure guide, and it's so damned individual. Chicken or egg, god or god-egg?

I have long lived in the hands up in the air camp, although I always have a sneaking suspicion that there is some grander entity, albeit far different than any one conceived by organized religion. That's a matter for a different thread.

Back on topic, I my intuition tells me that a very liberal construction of creationism is the correct answer. Read VERY LIBERAL as I have very serious reservations about what a supreme being/deity figure is, and also feel that such an entity is not concerned with the things our religions attribute to it. According to this liberal interpretation I'm theorizing, abiogenesis would therefore be a part of the big Kahuna's plan.

I also don't cling to hard to this intuition, because I don't really believe it. But it helps me stop thinking about it :)

Achilles
08-15-2007, 07:31 PM
Yet, as several have noted, you have the options of saying "God did it!" or "It happens like this, but not sure how it started" or "I have no freaking clue!" Pretty close. We know what happened (the materials necessary for live formed from non-living matter), we just aren't 100% sure how it happened. Some people say that God made use from dirt and ribs. Others say that it happened naturally with self-replicating strands of chemical compounds. One of these is verifyable and the other is not (that we have insuffient understanding of how to do it now is irrelevant).

Therefore the most honest answer is "we're not really sure how it happened, but we have some pretty good ideas". Creationists will tell you that they already know that god did it, even though they can't tell you how, when, or why. And of course none of it is verifyable.

Oddly, intuition is our only sure guide, and it's so damned individual. Chicken or egg, god or god-egg? I'd say we have significantly more than intuition. The best answer that intuition can give us is an uneducated guess. The patient examination of chemistry gives us a much better idea of what probably happened. We know what to look for just not where to find it.

Back on topic, I my intuition tells me that a very liberal construction of creationism is the correct answer. Ah but then we're inviting the infinite regression argument that I addressed and you bemoaned earlier.

Read VERY LIBERAL as I have very serious reservations about what a supreme being/deity figure is, and also feel that such an entity is not concerned with the things our religions attribute to it. According to this liberal interpretation I'm theorizing, abiogenesis would therefore be a part of the big Kahuna's plan. Sounds like deism perhaps? :)

I also don't cling to hard to this intuition, because I don't really believe it. But it helps me stop thinking about it :) Heh :D

Qui-Gon Glenn
08-17-2007, 04:48 AM
Pretty close. We know what happened (the materials necessary for live formed from non-living matter), we just aren't 100% sure how it happened. Some people say that God made use from dirt and ribs. Others say that it happened naturally with self-replicating strands of chemical compounds. One of these is verifyable and the other is not (that we have insuffient understanding of how to do it now is irrelevant).

I agree with most of this, except for the last part... insufficiency now? Now only? Or ever? I'm perhaps a little pessimistic on our ability to unravel everything.

I'd say we have significantly more than intuition. The best answer that intuition can give us is an uneducated guess. The patient examination of chemistry gives us a much better idea of what probably happened. We know what to look for just not where to find it.

Well, yes and no. I agree with patience, and believe there is still a great deal to be understood in the science of biology. I think the greatest discoveries will be those that were reached on a hunch... (an educated guess still is more than intuition, so I'll have to concede most of this point ;) )

Ah but then we're inviting the infinite regression argument that I addressed and you bemoaned earlier.

I know. Arrgh. I know. Thus the sleeplessness :) I mentioned it because it's one of those God-awful (pardon my punniness) conundrums. Didn't something have to come first? I'm not claiming anything there.... it's a real question, and damned if anyone can give me a great answer on that.

Sounds like deism perhaps? :)

I do like a lot of deistic thought, but I have a particularly pervasive problem with it - I don't think "God" gives a god-damn about anything we do.... s/he's a blissfull observer, a mad scientist, if s/he exists at all, and could care less about our "morality" or "correct" behavior.

My position is more or less based on a philosopher from your neck of the woods, Achilles. Your name's not David Chalmers, is it? :)

I'm more of a substance dualist. (YIKES!!!!!)

That's why I put intuition out there. I think it's real, and does count for something. It comes from my consciousness, which cannot so far be satisfactorily displayed on any machine table or flow chart. Many scientists claim it doesn't exist! To me, that's absurd.

So, I believe in something that is outside of our "scientific reality" (understanding that current science is evolving). That doesn't make it too far a stretch to think that "God" couldn't occupy a similar (non) space.... ?

Achilles
08-17-2007, 05:35 AM
I agree with most of this, except for the last part... insufficiency now? Now only? Or ever? I'm perhaps a little pessimistic on our ability to unravel everything.I would say insufficient now. Maybe never is true, but only time will tell. Geology gives us more information about conditions on ancient earth. Astronomy tells us more about conditions on other bodies far away that may now or in the past harbor simple life. Chemists and biochemists continue to tinker away in laboratories, etc. I would say that it's only a matter of time.

I think the greatest discoveries will be those that were reached on a hunch... Hunches and mistakes. Penicillin, radioactivity, silly putty - all discoveries that came from mistakes :)

Didn't something have to come first? I think that the answer we have to learn to live with is "no". It's painful to wrap our head around, but that's largely because we're a product of the system. It's the same thing as accepting that there was no time before the big bang. Well, what was there 1 second before the big bang? No possible answer because time didn't exist then.

Have you ever tried to teach a pet alegbra? Probably wouldn't work too well. Because some pets aren't intelligent? Nay. Many pets show clear signs of intelligence, but they aren't sufficiently wired to "get it". It's entirely possible that we aren't wired to "get" no time before the big bang or invisible strings of energy that stretched out over infinite distances and create a universe each time they collide.

My position is more or less based on a philosopher from your neck of the woods, Achilles. Your name's not David Chalmers, is it? :) Sounds interesting. I'll have to check out his work.

If you haven't heard of him already, you may appreciate V.S. Ramachandran. He's a neurologist rather than a philosopher, but he specializes in consciousness. If you check him out, let me know what you think.

That doesn't make it too far a stretch to think that "God" couldn't occupy a similar (non) space.... ? Sure. It's possible. No scientist worth his salt will tell you that we can completely rule it out. However until there is some way to disprove the hypothesis, there is absolutely no reason to accept it.

Achilles
08-20-2007, 10:03 AM
Artificial life likely in 3 to 10 years
WASHINGTON - Around the world, a handful of scientists are trying to create life from scratch and they're getting closer.

Experts expect an announcement within three to 10 years from someone in the now little-known field of "wet artificial life." Link (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070820/ap_on_sc/artificial_life)

Ray Jones
08-20-2007, 10:26 AM
It's the same thing as accepting that there was no time before the big bang. Well, what was there 1 second before the big bang? No possible answer because time didn't exist then.Actually you need time to be existent when you say "1 second before". Also, when there is a bunch of events leading to the big bang as a result that only can mean time was also relevant before the big bang. In fact, nothing can happen without time, because you cannot have a change without it.

Achilles
08-20-2007, 10:42 AM
^^^^

Case in point :D

Arcesious
08-20-2007, 10:51 AM
Well, i'm a Chrisitan, and i think that 'Goddunit' as you say.
But why can any other Religions besides Christianity be used in this discussion and not Chrisitianity? That doesn't make sense to me.
But still, i am quite quizzical of how anything but Christianity is right. How did those Amino Acids form together without RNA to guide them, and without RNA, amino Acids and DNA can't be made, and the same way the other way around? so i guess i go for 'goddunit' in this discussion, although saying that may not be allowed.

But still, i will contribute to this dicussion under the rules you have established and attempt to support my beliefs in a discrete manner through scientific facts as well as i can.

Aw, the great questions: How time and space originated.

If there was a big bang, then what created what created the big bang? The only answer now is God to that question. What created God then? that question goes unanswered, but in my beliefs, GOD always existed. it doesn't make sense, but there's nothing to explain how it could be possible, and not enough to fully disprove it yet since the only explanation to the universe's origination is God right now.
One idea i have is this:

Mankind is about to be destroyed along with the universe. Manknd is highly advanced. Mankind has discovered how time and space really works almost, being really close to crackign the great answer.
Mankind then creates some sort of super-expansive device that explodes and creates materials that keep on forming more an d more materials from simple never-ending chemical reaction.
Mankind then fidns a way to send the device throug htime,back before everything ever existed. The universe is detroyed, with the device now existing at he start of time, and the device explodes, and creates the universe over a great period of time. Earth and mankind is again formed, and time repeats itself infinitely, as this same process occurs many times, nothing ever being diffferent.
THat is wild theory, but it's all i have that isn't on God's side. I amy be a Chrisitian, but that's just a wild theory for you guys to think over. Maybe the device created God then? i dunno. I guess i'll just have to see what you guys think of this possible theory of mine.

Jae Onasi
08-20-2007, 11:03 AM
Actually you need time to be existent when you say "1 second before". Also, when there is a bunch of events leading to the big bang as a result that only can mean time was also relevant before the big bang. In fact, nothing can happen without time, because you cannot have a change without it.

Well, Hawkings and Einstein (among other physicists) determined that space and time were formed at the Big Bang. Are you saying they're wrong?

Achilles, I'll be very interested to see if sticking some nucleotides inside a cell membrane will suddenly overcome that giant barrier of making something non-living alive. It's not that hard to make a cell membrane of phospholipids, and it's not hard to make nucleotides and proteins. However, getting them to do something besides sit around in a flask as just another bunch of chemicals is another matter entirely.

Achilles
08-20-2007, 11:27 AM
Jae,

All you need is a few short strands of self-replicating chemicals and evolution takes care of the rest :D

Here (http://youtube.com/watch?v=ozbFerzjkz4) is a short (and fun!) YouTube clip that covers the basics.

Jae Onasi
08-20-2007, 11:40 AM
Jae,

All you need is a few short strands of self-replicating chemicals and evolution takes care of the rest :D

Here (http://youtube.com/watch?v=ozbFerzjkz4) is a short (and fun!) YouTube clip that covers the basics.

If it were that easy, we'd have done it already. ;)

Achilles
08-20-2007, 11:47 AM
Interesting argument. How would you care do defend it?

Ray Jones
08-20-2007, 11:50 AM
Well, Hawkings and Einstein (among other physicists) determined that space and time were formed at the Big Bang. Are you saying they're wrong?Did I? I thought I said that when you describe something as "before" there has to be an "after" after that "before" and another "before" before the "before" after that one. My question was how can we have a process leading to the big bang (and thus space and time) when we need time for that process to exist.

What they might address is that at the point just before the big bang we have all matter of this universe put into a pi-pa-poopy-loopy small form of energy thinger. Energy exists without the need for space and time, as it describes nothing but a state. When we have the whole universe put into energy, we have no space or time existent within that universe. That does not mean time is non-existent outside of that universe.

That said, Hawkings and Einstein would probably agree they might be advertising a flat earth theory here ;

Jae Onasi
08-20-2007, 11:52 AM
We can create RNA, DNA, amino acids, proteins and all the other building blocks. Getting them to self-replicate is the hurdle we haven't overcome yet, and simply putting them into a cell membrane is going to give us cell membranes full of protein and RNA/DNA precursors rather than a working proto-cell.

Ray Jones
08-20-2007, 11:59 AM
We can create RNA, DNA, amino acids, proteins and all the other building blocks. Getting them to self-replicate is the hurdle we haven't overcome yetBut in case we succeed with this one day, wouldn't you still say it's "his" work making all this possible?

Achilles
08-20-2007, 12:15 PM
That does not mean time is non-existent outside of that universe. First, assuming that we did accept this, we would most likely be dealing with time outside of a context that we currently understand. Second, still assuming that we accepted this, something would had to have existed outside of that, and it would have been timeless.

At some point we have to accept that time had a beginning and "before" that there was no time. We can play infinite regression with a model that we don't understand or we can accept the 4-dimensional (3 physical dimensions + time) explanation modeled in relativity until a better explanation is discovered.

We can create RNA, DNA, amino acids, proteins and all the other building blocks. Getting them to self-replicate is the hurdle we haven't overcome yet, and simply putting them into a cell membrane is going to give us cell membranes full of protein and RNA/DNA precursors rather than a working proto-cell. Just so I'm clear, are you arguing that since we don't know how it's done, it isn't possible? That's what the last two posts have sounded like and I just want to be sure I'm understanding you correctly before I respond.

But in case we succeed with this one day, wouldn't you still say it's "his" work making all this possible?
Hi Ray,
I think this is dangerously close to being an example of the "god of the gaps" argument that I asked everyone to avoid in the first post. Since a natural process would negate the need for a supernatural explanation, there is no rational reason to impose one. Furthermore, even if we were to (just for fun) blindly accept that it were the work of a supernatural being, we would not be able to determine whether it was done by a boy-god, a girl-god, a cow-god, or a floating-spaghetti god.

Ray Jones
08-20-2007, 12:50 PM
At some point we have to accept that time had a beginning and "before" that there was no time.I don't agree. Time has no beginning and no end. Time itself is not even a "thing" or has a speed, or size, or direction. Time is nothing more than what's between two different states of the universe, multiverse, whatever you want. Time describes the fact that things change. Whatever there was before the big bang, or before any big bang or the like, it was there until the big bang took place.


Hi Ray,
I think this is dangerously close to being an example of the "god of the gaps" argument that I asked everyone to avoid in the first post. Since a natural process would negate the need for a supernatural explanation, there is no rational reason to impose one. Furthermore, even if we were to (just for fun) blindly accept that it were the work of a supernatural being, we would not be able to determine whether it was done by a boy-god, a girl-god, a cow-god, or a floating-spaghetti god.

Well, I am all for a non-divine origin of life. ;) To rephrase my point and question towards Jae (since Jae often states that she doubts life originated on its own and against all odds), in case we ever manage to "create" a living cell, how would you see the origin of that life then?

Arcesious
08-20-2007, 12:58 PM
I see no point in discussing what caused time and space to exist if there isn't an explanation for it greater than 'Goddunit'.
We have no solid theories or proofs of what created tiem space, energy, and everything in the first place, and in the end, we are still left with 'Goddunit'.
The only point of this dicussion seems to be to 'argue' one's beliefs of facts and theories right now. This thread will likely still end with 'Goddunit' anyways.
So i suggest that instead of making threads like these right now, we make them when some solid ideas of how the universe originated besides the concept of 'Goddunit' come up.
still, i'd like to see if anyone can come up with anything better than the 'Goddunit' concept, which i think is unlikely. We'll see.
This discussion is rather interesting though, and i might leanr a few things from it, so i'm not suggesting to close this thread if that's how it came accross when you were reading the start of this post.


As if people would actually listen to your suggestions at this rate. :roleyess:

Please stop trying to play moderator. Who are you to recommend thread closings and tell people to settle down? The staff here at SWK are more than capable of handling those responsibilities, so please leave it to them.

~9

Edit: Okay... i said i wasn't recommending to close it though. i said that i thought i'd learn something from it. But i also was suggesting that i'd like o see soemone come up with a really good, solid theory. I wasn't trying to play moderator at all. Why do all my posts seem to keep coming accross the wrong way towards everyone? I'm not trying to make them sound liek they seem to be coming across to you.

Don't delete posts that have moderator warnings in them. --Jae

Jae Onasi
08-22-2007, 02:09 AM
Just so I'm clear, are you arguing that since we don't know how it's done, it isn't possible? That's what the last two posts have sounded like and I just want to be sure I'm understanding you correctly before I respond.


I'm not saying it _can't_. I'm just saying from with our current understanding of biochemistry and cell biology, it's extraordinarily unlikely. I've never seen a plate of chemicals turn into a functioning cell, and doubt it can happen. If it did, however, I honestly don't know what I would do at that point.

Ray Jones
08-22-2007, 05:58 AM
At that point, Jae, I think we both would be pretty much flabbergasted and forget about Plan E for at least 5 secs. :p It would however not really contradict to your views, as there are certain circumstances necessary to "start" life, no one said that those can't be created artificially. I mean we can make diamods, lead to gold, or pick up single atoms and place them somewhere else and build *small* things that way. We shoot thingers into space to send us pictures from really, really far away. The possibilities for this to happen "naturally" are highly odd, just like the beginning of life.

So i suggest that instead of making threads like these right now, we make them when some solid ideas of how the universe originated besides the concept of 'Goddunit' come up.
Threads like these are made to discuss other possible concepts besides "goddunit". How else would we find out if a concept or theory really is waterproof or holds at least any valuable ideas if we're not going to "test" it theoretically against other ideas or theories. At least it has to be checked if it make any sense at all.

Also even IF we will ever find proof that the existence of the universe and everything around it was initiated by one or more entities, I'd be more than interested in HOW they did it. I mean I don't think that would necessarily qualify as the classical "goddunit" but I think that's some cool supercow powers to have to be able to do something like that.

Achilles
08-22-2007, 06:38 AM
I'm not saying it _can't_. I'm just saying from with our current understanding of biochemistry and cell biology, it's extraordinarily unlikely. But we've had testable hypothesis for nearly 100 years. Just as I've observed in a few other conversations that we've had, it would seem that you think scientists are working under some sort of time constraint. As though once they begin research they only have a short period of time to finalize their theory before everyone should consider their work bunk and happily go back to the default answer: god.

I've never seen a plate of chemicals turn into a functioning cell, and doubt it can happen. Well I suppose that's one possible measure. I think a more realistic one might be seeing chemicals form into amino acids and then into peptides and so on until we have short strands of self-replicating chemical chains. It seems that you want spontaneous generation to be the standard and I think most everyone would agree with you that's impossible.

Also, keep in mind that the natural process is considered to have occurred over billions of years. The chances of any of us seeing it happen in our lifetimes are slim. What scientists can do however is use hypothesis to make predictions, experiment, and then look for geological evidence that confirms or refutes those predictions.

Jae Onasi
08-22-2007, 03:02 PM
But we've had testable hypothesis for nearly 100 years. Just as I've observed in a few other conversations that we've had, it would seem that you think scientists are working under some sort of time constraint.
I never said nor implied a time constraint. It's antitheists with agendas to disprove God who apparently feel the pressure of time (not directed at you, btw).


Well I suppose that's one possible measure. I think a more realistic one might be seeing chemicals form into amino acids and then into peptides and so on until we have short strands of self-replicating chemical chains. It seems that you want spontaneous generation to be the standard and I think most everyone would agree with you that's impossible.

We can currently make amino acids (I did in organic chemistry) and peptide chains with no problem. What we haven't achieved is the self-replicating part, and aren't anywhere close to 'living' and 'reproducing'. I've seen lots of things and people die. I've never seen anything become alive on its own.

Achilles
08-22-2007, 09:28 PM
I never said nor implied a time constraint. It's antitheists with agendas to disprove God who apparently feel the pressure of time (not directed at you, btw). Jae said:
I'm not saying it _can't_. I'm just saying from with our current understanding of biochemistry and cell biology, it's extraordinarily unlikely. *shrugs*
This seemed to imply that we under some sort of time constraint and that since we couldn't do it now, it was unlikely that we ever would.

We can currently make amino acids (I did in organic chemistry) and peptide chains with no problem. What we haven't achieved is the self-replicating part, and aren't anywhere close to 'living' and 'reproducing'. No one is arguing that we know exactly how it happened. If we did, we'd have a theory rather than hypothesis.

What I was hoping to get from this thread is a better understanding of why creationism should be considered a superior explanation for the origins of life.

I've seen lots of things and people die. I've never seen anything become alive on its own. You've probably never seen an electron either, but I doubt you're skeptical about nuclear physics. :)

Jvstice
08-23-2007, 02:00 AM
Jae: So are you advocating using a functional definition of life for the sake of these discussions? I note you are not pointing to the cellular part of traditional biological definitions as a major part of your definition of life.

The trouble comes largely I think that we've never really found any "free living" viruses. All known viruses need a host to reproduce, grow, etc. I haven't even heard about any successful attempts to engineer even a single strand RNA free living virus, so I think that skepticism isn't unwarranted in whether to extend the definitions of life as we currently set the boundaries by and large. And biologists are the main ones that would find their arguements on the origins of life strengthened if they accepted a definition of life that includes viruses, yet are the ones who have by and large insisted on defining viruses as non living matter.

With that ambiguity as to where the life / unlife boundary lies, is it a wonder that there's a question at what point we'd consider life to have started in trying to recreate it?

Achilles: I agree that a lot depends on the definition of creationism applied. Pretty broad when you can have the universe compared to a watch that is wound up and works in a lawful manner, or the universe described as something that only seems reasonable because of constant vigilance from God, both grouped under the name of creationism.

Regarding not seeing something completely inert that had never been living become alive, but believing it can happen being comparable to not seeing an electron but believing in nuclear physics, that's a false analogy.

In nuclear physics, you see the effects of nuclear physics, even if you don't work in nuclear physics, particle physics, quantum physics, or any of the subdisciplines that were spawned at the beginning of the nuclear age. Your home may have electricity powered by a far away power plant, possibly a nuclear power plant. Coal, hydroelectric, solar, and wind are also possibilities. Most literate people have been indundated by articles in the newspaper about troubles the world is running into because of the question of what to do with the nuclear waste. They get very angry to find out that their state governments have let some of it be stored closer to where they live than they think it ought to be, but still want the benefits of living in the nuclear age.

Where are the sciences of necromancy and creating artificial life though? From every account I've seen of bringing the dead to life in the Bible, it wasn't a replicable process that depended on natural laws that scientists could take advantage of and thus raise the standard of living for everybody. And while games simulations are coming closer to artificial intelligence or artificial life, digital replications of living beings it have not been successfully done. We don't know for sure that it can be done until we see digital replicas of living beings carrying out the functions of living beings. Perhaps it can be, and perhaps it will be, but for right now I'd say that not seeing life created being comparable to not seeing an electron isn't really comparable based on knowledge we have today.

Achilles
08-23-2007, 02:25 AM
Achilles: I agree that a lot depends on the definition of creationism applied. Pretty broad when you can have the universe compared to a watch that is wound up and works in a lawful manner, or the universe described as something that only seems reasonable because of constant vigilance from God, both grouped under the name of creationism.Main Entry: cre·a·tion·ism
Pronunciation: -sh&-"ni-z&m
Function: noun
: a doctrine or theory holding that matter, the various forms of life, and the world were created by God out of nothing and usually in the way described in Genesis

Regarding not seeing something completely inert that had never been living become alive, but believing it can happen being comparable to not seeing an electron but believing in nuclear physics, that's a false analogy. Scientists do not need to see something happen in order to determine that it has happened. We do not require to see dinosaurs alive in order to accept that they once lived. Neither do we demand to see an electron before we believe that they exist. By the same token, we only need to find evidence of abiogenesis in order to conclude that it happened. So I guess I'm not seeing how that was a false analogy.

Where are the sciences of necromancy and creating artificial life though? From every account I've seen of bringing the dead to life in the Bible, it wasn't a replicable process that depended on natural laws that scientists could take advantage of and thus raise the standard of living for everybody. Not sure where necromancy came from. I believe I provided a link on artificial life earlier in this thread.

Perhaps it can be, and perhaps it will be, but for right now I'd say that not seeing life created being comparable to not seeing an electron isn't really comparable based on knowledge we have today.
The point is that we don't have to see something in order to have evidence of it. In regards to the context in which it was intended, it is completely comparable.

Thanks for your post.

Jvstice
08-23-2007, 02:52 AM
Achilles: We have seen so much evidence of one that it has spawned several subdisciplines of how to apply the discoveries.

The record of evidence in regard to the other is so sparse that it requires multiple disciplines to even check to rule out the possibilities one by one.

Overwhelming evidence that a process exists vs a pretty large vacuum of knowledge. I'd think the point was pretty obvious.

Achilles
08-23-2007, 04:18 AM
Overwhelming evidence that a process exists vs a pretty large vacuum of knowledge. I'd think the point was pretty obvious.Indeed your point is quite obvious, however it seems that you are still missing mine.

You seem to want to argue the specific example that I provided, while I am pointing out that the example itself is irrelevant. I could have just as easily substituted it with evolution or any other theory which is commonly accepted based on deduced evidence rather than eye-witness or reproduction in a lab.

You do not have to see something in order to determine whether or not it exists. Jae's statement was that she's never seen a group of chemical form into a cell before her eyes. My statement none of us will live long enough to see abiogenesis naturally occur, beginning-to-end in a lab (as the process is hypothesized to have taken billions of years). Therefore all we need is hypothetical model that makes predictions based on facts that we can gather and then find evidence that confirms or refutes those predictions.

You obsession with the amount of evidence for nuclear physics compared to abiogenesis is a non sequitur with relation to the point that I am trying to make. Please let me know if that is still sufficiently unclear. Thanks.

Achilles
08-27-2007, 11:48 PM
Ancient bacteria could point to life on Mars
LONDON (Reuters) - Ancient bacteria are able to survive nearly half a million years in harsh, frozen conditions, researchers said on Monday in a study that adds to arguments that permafrost environments on Mars could harbor life.Link (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070827/ts_nm/longevity_bacteria_dc)

I will be interested to see what confirmed life in an extraterrestrial system will do to theological arguments for creation.

Totenkopf
08-28-2007, 01:04 AM
Probably only force the NECs to embrace the OEC line of thinking.

John Galt
08-28-2007, 01:25 AM
I will be interested to see what confirmed life in an extraterrestrial system will do to theological arguments for creation.

Absolutely nothing, if you ask me. Of course, there'd be the more rational christians who would accept it as scientific fact and say that god made that life too, others would call it a "test of faith," and the most fundamentalist of the fundies would of course deny it and blame the devil.

jonathan7
08-28-2007, 09:21 AM
Ancient bacteria could point to life on Mars
Link (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070827/ts_nm/longevity_bacteria_dc)

I will be interested to see what confirmed life in an extraterrestrial system will do to theological arguments for creation.

Please, untill they actually find life on an other planet I will not contemplate hypothesis based on what certain people think... Aristotle one of the worlds greatest ever thinkers thought Aphids arose from abiogenesis.

With reguards extraterrestrial bacteria being discovered/proven wouldn't change my faith, as the Bible doesn't say if bacteria exsist outside of earth anyway ;) If they were found, I would believe there work and that ET bacteria exsist on Mars and/or elsewhere. But personally I don't think it is as groundbreaking a find as some would think. (My greatest fear would be the muppets at NASA wanting to bring the bacteria back to earth to examine it and something like Michael Crichton's Andromeda strain occuring).

Probably only force the NECs to embrace the OEC line of thinking.

Nah, trust me, I don't think Jesus himself appearing to all the NEC's and telling them the world was 6 billion years old would change their minds.


With reguards the topic abiogenesis is too pervasive a hypothesis to my mind currently to either proove or disproove scientifically - we should always seek to try and answer, but I'm unsure if we will ever be able to fully investigate it. Although from a pure mathmatics perspective I personally consider the odds too long for it to have occured (though it is not an impossibility that it happened just unlikely).

Achilles
08-28-2007, 10:01 AM
Please, untill they actually find life on an other planet I will not contemplate hypothesis based on what certain people think......say the people that accept god and creation without a shred of evidence :)

Nah, trust me, I don't think Jesus himself appearing to all the NEC's and telling them the world was 6 billion years old would change their minds. NECs? Do you mean YECs (Young Earth Creationists)?

abiogenesis is too pervasive a hypothesis to my mind currently to either proove or disproove scientifically <snip> but I'm unsure if we will ever be able to fully investigate it. Why is that?
Assume that you're right and we can never "fully investigate it". Would it be intellectually rigorous of us to accept creationism when we can't "fully investigate it" either?

Although from a pure mathmatics perspective I personally consider the odds too long for it to have occured (though it is not an impossibility that it happened just unlikely). Do you even know what the odds are? What if the odds were such that life appearing on planets with the necessary conditions were so generous as to be considered inevitable? Would you still feel the same way?

Ray Jones
08-28-2007, 10:41 AM
I consider the possibility that "someone" decides to create life on one out of uncountable planets in this universe pretty much unlikely. Not impossible, but regarding that we have so many random processes, it'd not be my first choice.

jonathan7
08-28-2007, 11:04 AM
...say the people that accept god and creation without a shred of evidence :)

No evidence I would argue is a matter of conjecture, I would respond with this; disprove God exsists. (Which reminds me, I will at some point today start a thread where we have to argue from the alternate point of view of God exsisting (nor not) that we had discussed previously.

Well that depends on what you mean by evidence, have you heard of Dr Hugh Ross and Lee Strobel?

I believe that Jesus is God for a variety of reasons (which will eventually be given to you in the long awaited 'Why I believe in Jesus' essay for you - Its currently 2 word pages long, however writing of my book tends to get precident over the essay to you (sorry) so progress has been sporadic). But that is off topic, and probably belongs in a different thread.

...NECs? Do you mean YECs (Young Earth Creationists)?

Yeh essentially it means the same thing; NEC = New Earth Crationists

...Why is that?

So far in the past, any evidence would be lost due to single cellular organism or to go right to the basics of modern abiogenesis theory the even more simple primordial protoplasmic globule will not be recorded in the fossil records. Assuming abiogenesis is the correct hypothesis can we even work out what the chemicals the first primordial protoplasmic globule would have come to being in were? To give just a few reasons, of my current understanding, but I am not a molecular biologist so I could be mistake...

Assume that you're right and we can never "fully investigate it". Would it be intellectually rigorous of us to accept creationism when we can't "fully investigate it" either?

Currently creationism is an equally valid means to explain life origins even though I know you won't think that; I would pose a counter question is it intellectually rigious to reject creationism given the difficulty involved with abiogenesis theory? Ultimatly I feel it is the decision of each man to decide what they think is most likely.

I pose a simple quote (which works both ways in reguards this discussion); "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?" Sherlock Holmes; aka Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Do you even know what the odds are? What if the odds were such that life appearing on planets with the necessary conditions were so generous as to be considered inevitable? Would you still feel the same way?

Firstly I am unsure how I would feel, but given that is no the considered inevitablity currently I don't need to worry about that :p

You also do me a diservice bro, have you ever known me not to thorughly examine a subject? The odds are very different depending on who you here them from; all of whom have vested interests; I would give the quote attributed to Disreali; "lies, damned lies, and statistics".

For example some Christians claim that thehe odds of even a single simple protein molecule forming by chance are 1 in 10113. However we both know this doesn't take into account the real theory of abiogenesis. Also from out beloved 'scientific' web resources ;)http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v23/i1/life.asp

Some scientists (who also 'incidentally') are athiests claim that abiogenesis is inevitable, but have yet (and I would presume you would agree with me) to show why that is so.

With reguards the odds I believe in I am currently searching my hard drive to find, and am embarrased to say that I can't find them, so will have to get back to you on them...

Edit; I apologise for the spelling mistakes and typos; spelling and grammer is down to my dyslexia; typo's I'm just too lazy to correct ;)

Achilles
08-28-2007, 12:21 PM
No evidence I would argue is a matter of conjecture, I would respond with this; disprove God exsists. No sir, the burden of proof is yours. Furthermore, this is not an argument. If you have evidence for the existence of god (specifically your christian god and not some old world pagan god or the flying spaghetti monster), you need to present it. Since my comment is being dismissed as "conjecture", I'll expect to see your examples in your next response.

(Which reminds me, I will at some point today start a thread where we have to argue from the alternate point of view of God exsisting (nor not) that we had discussed previously. Looking forward to it, my friend. :)

Well that depends on what you mean by evidence, Something that furnishes proof.

have you heard of Dr Hugh Ross and Lee Strobel? Ross, no. Strobel, yes. These gentlemen have funished proof of god's existence (again, the christian god and not another)?

I believe that Jesus is God for a variety of reasons I know from our conversations that you do, but having a personal belief in jesus and having good reasons for having that belief are two different things. And the topic (abiogenesis) is something else entirely :D

The point is that you accept things without evidence. Therefore your deservedly high expectations regarding a scientific explanation is undeniably a double-standard. I'm not attempting to call you out or belittle you, but I do think it's important that you at least acknowledge that and work from there.

Yeh essentially it means the same thing; NEC = New Earth Crationists Pretty sure someone made that up ;)
"new earth" puts "old earth" in the context of being a different earth. The true debate is over the age of the earth, thus the "young earth"/"old earth" dichotomy.

Not really important though.

So far in the past, any evidence would be lost due to single cellular organism or to go right to the basics of modern abiogenesis theory the even more simple primordial protoplasmic globule will not be recorded in the fossil records. Similar to Jae's argument, I think you're setting the bar much higher than it needs to be in order to establish a legitimate scientific theory. That doesn't mean that scientists will ever throw in the towel, but as I pointed out with the dog poop example, you don't have to see events in order to have evidence they they occured.

Assuming abiogenesis is the correct hypothesis can we even work out what the chemicals the first primordial protoplasmic globule would have come to being in were? To give just a few reasons, of my current understanding, but I am not a molecular biologist so I could be mistake... I'd recommend taking a look at the link in post #18.

Currently creationism is an equally valid means to explain life origins even though I know you won't think that; I'm afraid you're simply wrong here.

Creationism is not a testable hypothesis. It has not been observed. It makes no testable predictions. It cannot be emperically measured.

It is certainly a hypothesis and arguably even a valid one (since it cannot be ruled out), however that does not put it on equal footing with current scientific research.

I would pose a counter question is it intellectually rigious to reject creationism given the difficulty involved with abiogenesis theory? It is absolutely intellectually rigorous to not accept a hypothesis that cannot be tested. What your response does not answer for me is the question that I posed and you did not answer:

Would it be intellectually rigorous of us to accept creationism when we can't "fully investigate it" either?

I'm afraid that I'm not going to turn a blind eye to this double-standard.

I pose a simple quote (which works both ways in reguards this discussion); "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?" Sherlock Holmes; aka Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I'm not sure what bearing this quote has our discussion. How do you rule out Zeus? Odin? The flying spaghetti monster? Until you have eliminated them, you have to consider them possible explanations. Until you have eliminated them (plus any other possible alternative explanation, scientific or otherwise), your god doesn't get to be "what remains".

Firstly I am unsure how I would feel, but given that is no the considered inevitablity currently I don't need to worry about that :p Are you guessing or do you know?

You also do me a diservice bro, have you ever known me not to thorughly examine a subject? Err...right now :D
My intention is not to offer you a disservice though. I'm merely pointing out that you are jumping to conclusions but only to those that support the worldview you've already deemed "correct".

The odds are very different depending on who you here them from; all of whom have vested interests; I would give the quote attributed to Disreali; "lies, damned lies, and statistics". So you don't know what they are? But you feel comfortable assuming that they're impossible? Am I following your argument correctly?

For example some Christians claim that thehe odds of even a single simple protein molecule forming by chance are 1 in 10113. So then a simple protein molecule forming by chance is orders of magnitude more likely than winning the lottery, yet multiple people win every year. I'm sure that detractors have cooked up worse odd than that.

However we both know this doesn't take into account the real theory of abiogenesis. Also from out beloved 'scientific' web resources ;)http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v23/i1/life.asp Ugh...ok, which part did you want me to refute? And if you're going to say "all of it", at least make the effort to plagarize it and pass it off as your own post. Also realize that I'm going to resent you just a little bit for regurgitating someone else's argument rather than forming your own when you and I both know that you're just going to ignore what I post in response anyways :xp:

Some scientists (who also 'incidentally') are athiests claim that abiogenesis is inevitable, but have yet (and I would presume you would agree with me) to show why that is so. First we know that it did happen because we're here, so half the battle is over right there. Also, there may have been millions of places on primordial earth were abiogenesis could have first happened and millions of chances for it to happen everyday and hundreds of billions of days on which it may have occurred...you start to get the idea. In other words, considering that it's nearly inconceivable to imagine all the times it could have happened and that we know it did happen (we're here), it odds against it happening are almost trivial.

Plus, as we find evidence of life outside of earth, the argument that it's impossible will become increasingly more ridiculous - not less.

With reguards the odds I believe in I am currently searching my hard drive to find, and am embarrased to say that I can't find them, so will have to get back to you on them... I will wait.

Take care, man. :)

jonathan7
08-28-2007, 01:59 PM
No sir, the burden of proof is yours. Furthermore, this is not an argument. If you have evidence for the existence of god (specifically your christian god and not some old world pagan god or the flying spaghetti monster), you need to present it. Since my comment is being dismissed as "conjecture", I'll expect to see your examples in your next response.

Its not on topic proof though ;) (I will send you a PM outlining it). Also why is the burden of proof mine? Surley the burden of proof to prove the other wrong has to be equal?

Something that furnishes proof.

Indeed, but it won't be of the scientific kind that you will want though.

Ross, no. Strobel, yes. These gentlemen have funished proof of god's existence (again, the christian god and not another)?

Dr Hugh Ross; http://www.reasons.org/about/staff/ross.shtml

He was an athiest astro-physcist, but from what observerd from astrology he believed there had to be a creator; from that he investigated the world's religions and from theat became a Christian as felt that best described the phenomoenon he had observed.

With reguards Strobel, I would reccomend that you read; 'The Case for Christ' - it is a good book and will ask many of the questions you may have; I know at this point you don't believe Jesus exsisted; but it should proove to you that he did (in one of his books he mentions there is more evidence for example that Jesus exsisted that Julio Cesar). Anyways my one criticism of the book is that he doesn't interview any of the qualified skeptics, but I'm sure you are already accquainted with their arguments.

I know from our conversations that you do, but having a personal belief in jesus and having good reasons for having that belief are two different things. And the topic (abiogenesis) is something else entirely :D

Do miraculous healings count? (I have several of these stories from personal expierance) Only a month ago, I left hospital leaving the doctors, nurses and surgeons very bemused. My dad (who is a GP) admited me with suspected appendecitus; this was then confirmed by the Casualty (ER for you) Doctor and I was scheduled for my appendix to be removed (at this point I would like to thank God for morphine!). Prayer requests went round for me, and by morning I was healed, leaving the surgeon somewhat bemused to quote him; "It should be impossible to recover from appendecitus without an operation". As said I can provide for you several examples of me witnessing the miraculous. I would hope as my friend you would know that I wouldn't lie or manipulate things.

The point is that you accept things without evidence. Therefore your deservedly high expectations regarding a scientific explanation is undeniably a double-standard. I'm not attempting to call you out or belittle you, but I do think it's important that you at least acknowledge that and work from there.

Surley science should provide an explanation of miracles I have encoutered before I start bringing down this 'double standard'. I have my beliefs for a reason, and untill then the burden of proof to proove Jesus isn't God for me remains with you :p Would you not concede that I am an intelligent person so I do have me beliefs for a reason.

Pretty sure someone made that up ;)
"new earth" puts "old earth" in the context of being a different earth. The true debate is over the age of the earth, thus the "young earth"/"old earth" dichotomy.

Haha, probably.

Similar to Jae's argument, I think you're setting the bar much higher than it needs to be in order to establish a legitimate scientific theory. That doesn't mean that scientists will ever throw in the towel, but as I pointed out with the dog poop example, you don't have to see events in order to have evidence they they occured.

But this swings both way as personal belief does come into it, for Jae and me, we believe in Jesus, have expierenced him in many ways and it would require 'spectacular' proof for us to change our minds. The same is also true of you; you are an Athiest and it would need 'spectacular' proof from Jae, me or Jesus for you to change your mind.

I'd recommend taking a look at the link in post #18.

I must confess I have only skim read alot of the thread.

I'm afraid you're simply wrong here.

Creationism is not a testable hypothesis. It has not been observed. It makes no testable predictions. It cannot be emperically measured.

It is certainly a hypothesis and arguably even a valid one (since it cannot be ruled out), however that does not put it on equal footing with current scientific research.

First of are an origin of life hypothesis observable?

Indeed it can't be emperically messured as if God exsists he is supernatural ergo science can't observe him, hence the many difficulties we have in this realm. This however means we can't 'test' for God as such moves the hypothesis beyond just being scientific and into philosophy. I would argue that our mere exsistance is proof that the hypothesis is true. And if you refute that you will have to refute one of your own arguments;

First we know that it did happen because we're here, so half the battle is over right there.

:p

It is absolutely intellectually rigorous to not accept a hypothesis that cannot be tested. What your response does not answer for me is the question that I posed and you did not answer:

Would it be intellectually rigorous of us to accept creationism when we can't "fully investigate it" either?

I'm afraid that I'm not going to turn a blind eye to this double-standard.

That comes down to the fact you want it to be a scientific test. Is it intellectually rigorous? Well, I think you already know the answer to that. I was mereley asking the question back.

I'm not sure what bearing this quote has our discussion. How do you rule out Zeus? Odin? The flying spaghetti monster? Until you have eliminated them, you have to consider them possible explanations. Until you have eliminated them (plus any other possible alternative explanation, scientific or otherwise), your god doesn't get to be "what remains".

Well, lets throw out these arguments here; if there is a God would he still not be believed in today if he really were around? As if there is a God with heaven/hell would it be fair for him to send anyone their if he had allowed himself to no longer be believed in? To refute Dawkins spaghetti monster example consider part of the definition of religion "2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion."


Are you guessing or do you know?

Know is an interesting term; as far as the evidence shows us so far I 'know' that. But as so often happens our understanding of the world changes.

Err...right now :D
My intention is not to offer you a disservice though. I'm merely pointing out that you are jumping to conclusions but only to those that support the worldview you've already deemed "correct".

We all do that my friend, psychologically speaking it is why it is hard to get people to change their opinions.

So you don't know what they are? But you feel comfortable assuming that they're impossible? Am I following your argument correctly?

Haha, hang on, I think you mis-understood a point I was getting at let me quote myself and you, and explain what I meant, I think I hadn't sufficiently articulated myself.


Originally Posted by jonathan7
The odds are very different depending on who you here them from; all of whom have vested interests; I would give the quote attributed to Disreali; "lies, damned lies, and statistics".

So you don't know what they are? But you feel comfortable assuming that they're impossible? Am I following your argument correctly?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan7
For example some Christians claim that thehe odds of even a single simple protein molecule forming by chance are 1 in 10113.

So then a simple protein molecule forming by chance is orders of magnitude more likely than winning the lottery, yet multiple people win every year. I'm sure that detractors have cooked up worse odd than that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan7
However we both know this doesn't take into account the real theory of abiogenesis. Also from out beloved 'scientific' web resources http://www.answersingenesis.org/cre...v23/i1/life.asp

Ugh...ok, which part did you want me to refute? And if you're going to say "all of it", at least make the effort to plagarize it and pass it off as your own post. Also realize that I'm going to resent you just a little bit for regurgitating someone else's argument rather than forming your own when you and I both know that you're just going to ignore what I post in response anyways


Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan7
Some scientists (who also 'incidentally') are athiests claim that abiogenesis is inevitable, but have yet (and I would presume you would agree with me) to show why that is so.

I don't want you to refute any of the above :P nor was I attmepting to plagerise things, I was only trying to give a quick indication of how some people invent psuedo science or use only calculations which back them up not taking into account a full theory.

The point I was trying to make was there are so many places where we can get statistics from, and that most people will manipulate the statistcs they have to back up their argument. Yes I know what I think the odds are, and they are added to a great many different variables such as the Big Bang, Gravity being correct for planet formation etc.

First we know that it did happen because we're here, so half the battle is over right there.

I think I have already shown why that line of argument is invalid as we can both use it, and I am suprised you used it :P

Also, there may have been millions of places on primordial earth

How do you know that?

were abiogenesis could have first happened and millions of chances for it to happen everyday and hundreds of billions of days on which it may have occurred...you start to get the idea.

How do you know that?

In other words, considering that it's nearly inconceivable to imagine all the times it could have happened and that we know it did happen (we're here), it odds against it happening are almost trivial.

Given I can't produce my odds I'm not going to ask for yours untill I do find mine ;)

Plus, as we find evidence of life outside of earth, the argument that it's impossible will become increasingly more ridiculous - not less.

I will wait.

Take care, man. :)

You of course presume we will find life on other planets :P

Meh, on the odds thing I have given up my search, its the one problem I have with my aversion to using websites; all the quotes I have from books it is hard to locate the one I want. Ah well.

You take care as well, I really must get back to writing my book!

Achilles
08-28-2007, 03:38 PM
Its not on topic proof though ;) You introduced it when you invited me to disprove the existence of god.

Also why is the burden of proof mine? Surley the burden of proof to prove the other wrong has to be equal? The burden of proof is always on the one making the claim. In this scenario the claim is (a) that god exists and (b) is the creator of life on earth.

More on the burden of proof (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burden_of_proof#Science_and_other_uses).

Indeed, but it won't be of the scientific kind that you will want though. Evidence is evidence. You either have it or you do not. :D

Dr Hugh Ross; http://www.reasons.org/about/staff/ross.shtml

He was an athiest astro-physcist, but from what observerd from astrology he believed there had to be a creator; from that he investigated the world's religions and from theat became a Christian as felt that best described the phenomoenon he had observed. So anyone can become an astrophysicist/astronomer (I'm assuming that you didn't really mean astrologer. Please correct me if my assumption is erroneous) and that will cause them to find god? It doesn't sound very empirical to me. I'd say the whole thing sound rather subjective. This isn't evidence of the christian god's existence; it's the testimonial of one guy with some questionable critical thinking skills.

With reguards Strobel, I would reccomend that you read; 'The Case for Christ' - it is a good book and will ask many of the questions you may have; I know at this point you don't believe Jesus exsisted; but it should proove to you that he did (in one of his books he mentions there is more evidence for example that Jesus exsisted that Julio Cesar). Careful here. Most apologist are refering to a "nose count" of documents when making this claim. 200,000 christian papyrus fragments are evidence of christianity's pervasiveness, not of jesus's actual existence. By way of comparison a few dozen historical accounts written by contemporaries and some archeological artifacts are far more indicative of a historical figures actual existence. Watch out for those apologists - they're crafty. ;)

Anyways my one criticism of the book is that he doesn't interview any of the qualified skeptics, but I'm sure you are already accquainted with their arguments. Indeed, just as I can probably predict most of Mr. Strobel's arguments as well. :)
Perhaps you can offer a summary in my jesus thread?

Do miraculous healings count? Only if you can rule out any other possible explanation (i.e. placebo effect, etc). Also helpful is if you can show how such results are repeatable. I'll forego all skepticism and concede the point entirely if you can provide well-documented evidence of miraculous limb regeneration (in humans of course :))

Prayer requests went round for me, and by morning I was healed, leaving the surgeon somewhat bemused to quote him; "It should be impossible to recover from appendecitus without an operation". With all respect, there have been several prayer studies carried out over the years and none of them have been able to show that prayer has any significant impact on health (the few that claim to have questionable methodologies).

As said I can provide for you several examples of me witnessing the miraculous. I would hope as my friend you would know that I wouldn't lie or manipulate things. I would not presume that you were lying. I think you may want to keep an open mind as to the cause of your recovery, but I don't think you're making the story up.

Surley science should provide an explanation of miracles I have encoutered before I start bringing down this 'double standard'. Science cannot offer explanations for things that cannot be repeated or tested.

The double-standard is that that you're willing to accept the god hypothesis without any sort of empirical evidence, yet demand that science offer a counter explanation that is beyond any possible reproach. Therefore you carry one standard or set of standards for religious "proof" and a completely different standard or set of standards for science "proof". A.K.A a double standard.

FWIW, I recommend sticking with one set and going with the much more demanding science standard.

I have my beliefs for a reason, and untill then the burden of proof to proove Jesus isn't God for me remains with you :p You can do whatever you'd like but that's not the way it works in the real world. What you've done is manipulate your beliefs in such a way so that they can never be exposed to scrutiny. Via a logical fallacy, you've artifically abdicted the burden of proof to someone that doesn't have it and can't possibly provide the evidence that you're asking for (no one can prove that something doesn't exist). Your faith gets a sweet deal but your intellect will probably suffer. Which is a shame because you seem like a smart guy.

Would you not concede that I am an intelligent person so I do have me beliefs for a reason. I don't question your aptitude, I question your application.

But this swings both way as personal belief does come into it I think you're missing the point. Jae stated that she would need to see a cell form in a petri dish (I'm paraphrasing) before she would accept abiogenesis. The point is that (a) that will never happen and (b) that's not abiogenesis - it's spontaneous generation and (c) the actual threshold for abiogenesis is actually much lower (self-replicating chemical chains).

for Jae and me, we believe in Jesus, have expierenced him in many ways and it would require 'spectacular' proof for us to change our minds. The problem again is in the application. That requirement for spectacular proof should be applied to all spectacular claims, not just those that contradict our current positions. In other words, we should be skeptical about everything until we have sufficient evidence to sway our opinions one way or the other.

And for what it's worth, we all have (profound) spritual experiences. That isn't evidence for the christian god any more than it's evidence for the muslim god, the jewish god, the flying spaghetti monster, or invisible pink unicorns. The only thing is proves is that there is a spiritual aspect to our existence (another youtube (http://youtube.com/watch?v=qIiIsDIkDtg) clip for your inspection. There's a link to part 2 in the sidebar).

The same is also true of you; you are an Athiest and it would need 'spectacular' proof from Jae, me or Jesus for you to change your mind. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" - Carl Sagan

I must confess I have only skim read alot of the thread. It's a short youtube clip, which explains the science better than I can.

First of are an origin of life hypothesis observable? Good question. I don't know for sure and you don't know for sure. One of us pretends to know anyway :D

Indeed it can't be emperically messured as if God exsists he is supernatural ergo science can't observe him, hence the many difficulties we have in this realm. This however means we can't 'test' for God as such moves the hypothesis beyond just being scientific and into philosophy. I would argue that our mere exsistance is proof that the hypothesis is true. And if you refute that you will have to refute one of your own arguments; Hmmm, you argued against scientific measure, then for it, then against it again, and then for it again.

If god is not testable, then the hypothesis doesn't belong in science. If you want to put him in philosophy that's fine, but without some way to actually prove or refute its existence, it only exists as a thought experiment. And in the mean time, as science continues to discover explanations for our universe that can be tested, measured, verified, etc the need for the philosophical god will become increasingly diminished. I think most atheists and scientists would be ok with this arrangement, however god doesn't confine itself to philosophy and instead seeks to encroach on science. This is how religion itself has a double-standard (religion can impose on science, however science should not impose on religion).

That comes down to the fact you want it to be a scientific test. Is it intellectually rigorous? Well, I think you already know the answer to that. I was mereley asking the question back. Then it seems that we both have our answers :)

Well, lets throw out these arguments here; if there is a God would he still not be believed in today if he really were around? As if there is a God with heaven/hell would it be fair for him to send anyone their if he had allowed himself to no longer be believed in? I'm not sure I follow (got up around 1am to watch the eclipse and haven't been back to bed, so if I'm a little dumber than normal this morning, please forgive me).

To refute Dawkins spaghetti monster example consider part of the definition of religion "2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (http://www.venganza.org/) :)

Also, The Church of Reality (http://www.churchofreality.org/wisdom/welcome_home/).

The point stands that you would need to disprove the existence of every other possible god (which you can't do, remember?) in order for the christian god to win out against the Sherlock Holmes saw.

Know is an interesting term; as far as the evidence shows us so far I 'know' that. But as so often happens our understanding of the world changes. Indeed, so you don't really. It's ok, neither do I (nor does anyone for that matter) ;)

We all do that my friend, psychologically speaking it is why it is hard to get people to change their opinions. Some institutions are better at it than others :)

Haha, hang on, I think you mis-understood a point I was getting at let me quote myself and you, and explain what I meant, I think I hadn't sufficiently articulated myself. Sorry, I'm not sure that helped.

I don't want you to refute any of the above :P nor was I attmepting to plagerise things, I was only trying to give a quick indication of how some people invent psuedo science or use only calculations which back them up not taking into account a full theory. Hence why we must be cautious before we blindly accept things. Your point was well made.

The point I was trying to make was there are so many places where we can get statistics from, and that most people will manipulate the statistcs they have to back up their argument. Yes I know what I think the odds are, and they are added to a great many different variables such as the Big Bang, Gravity being correct for planet formation etc.*confused* wha???
Abiogenesis has absolutely nothing to do with the big bang of the formation of our planet. It only has to concern itself with chemicals becoming self-replicating chemical chains.

I think I have already shown why that line of argument is invalid as we can both use it, and I am suprised you used it :P Well, we could both use it but one of us would be using it to support an untestable supernatural explanation and the other wouldn't. ;)

How do you know that? Well the mass of the earth hasn't changed much since the moon was formed, so the planet has been roughly the same size of 4.5 billion years. If I wanted to hide your mouse from you and could put it anywhere on the earth, wouldn't you say that would be at least a few million places I could hide it? I'm willing to bet that there would be more than a few million, but as per usual, I was trying to be conservative.

If we counted each square inch of primordial earth as one "place" how many "places" do you think there would have been? Millions?

How do you know that? Well, there are 84,600 seconds in a day. If each of the aforementioned "places" had one chance each second for abiogenesis to take place, how many chances would that be per day. Again, I was being conservative with my numbers, but we can attempt to be more specific if you would like.

Given I can't produce my odds I'm not going to ask for yours untill I do find mine ;) Well you already have the basis for my numbers.

Just keep in mind that whatever "places" times "seconds" turns out to be, we then get to multiply that number by approximately 365 (days in a year) and then multiply that number by approximately 300 million (conservative estimated time in years between appearance of liquid water on earth and evidence of Prokaryotic cell organisms development. Liberal estimate is approximately 1 billion years).

You of course presume we will find life on other planets :P:lol: Yes, considering the sheer number of planets that exist in the universe, I find it extremely silly to assume that it's only present here.

Meh, on the odds thing I have given up my search, its the one problem I have with my aversion to using websites; all the quotes I have from books it is hard to locate the one I want. Ah well. I'm not going to lie to you: I was secretly hoping that you would reference Hoyle :D

You take care as well, I really must get back to writing my book! Well, I hope that doesn't mean that you're abandoning the discussion, but best of luck either way.

Totenkopf
08-28-2007, 11:26 PM
NECs? Do you mean YECs (Young Earth Creationists)?


Yeah, was thinking N(ew) rather than Y(oung).