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Author Topic:   The Miller-Urey experiments
Diomedes01
Junior Member (Idle past 2579 days)
Posts: 3
Joined: 06-01-2009


Message 1 of 26 (510621)
06-01-2009 7:27 PM


Hello everyone.

I've been a big fan of this forum for some time but this is my first post. So please be gentle. :)

I had a question pertaining to the creationist claims that science has not adequately demonstrated how life came to being on this planet.

Now back in high school (and during one semester of university biology), there were discussions pertaining to the Miller-Urey experiments showing how more complex molecules could form from rudimentary material. My question is, what additional key evidence do die hard creatists require? Is it the fact that experiments have not produced self-replicating life yet that is the stickler point?

Also, since this is not my field of expertise, are there currently additional experiments being performed that are looking to bridge the gap between less complex inorganic forms and organic life?


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Message 2 of 26 (510653)
06-02-2009 6:58 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Larni
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Message 3 of 26 (510662)
06-02-2009 8:13 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Diomedes01
06-01-2009 7:27 PM


Welcome aboard!

what additional key evidence do die hard creatists require?

That's the question is'nt it? What you are asking creationsit is what evidence would debunk their faith (that's what you are essentially asking).

Really, nothing will shake the faith of many creationist short of witnessing life begin in the past. That's the evidence some would require.


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Coragyps
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Posts: 5273
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 4 of 26 (510665)
06-02-2009 9:19 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Diomedes01
06-01-2009 7:27 PM


Hi, Diomedes. We're glad you unlurked!

There's been a lot of research on abiotic routes to life over the last half-century, much of it by Miller himself. There's a new paper by Powner, et al., Nature, v 459, pp 239-242 (2009) that shows a fairly plausible route to the ribonucleotides that go into RNA. Some of the paper is pretty heavy chemistry, but I'll be happy to send you a copy of it and of a commentary from that same issue - my email is in my profile.


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Stile
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From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 5 of 26 (510690)
06-02-2009 2:35 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Diomedes01
06-01-2009 7:27 PM


The Wheels in the Creationist Mind Don't Go Round and Round
Diomedes01 writes:

this is my first post

Whoo! Forum virgin! Try not to look around the site too much, unless you have a lot of time. I find this place highly addictive.

So please be gentle.

No, you can't make me :)

My question is, what additional key evidence do die hard creatists require?

There is no additional evidence that a die hard creationist would require to accept reality. They just keep saying "That's not enough! That's not enough!" Regardless of the fact that there's been "enough" for the last 50-100 or maybe even 200 years or so.

That's exactly what makes a creationist "die hard"... the ability to ignore reality so as to force a literal translation of the Bible onto anyone who'll listen. Since they already ignore loads of reality to be in the position they take today, what's one more piece to ignore come tomorrow?

Is it the fact that experiments have not produced self-replicating life yet that is the stickler point?

Some of them very well may say this or point it out as the reason why the theory "isn't complete" or some other nonsense. But even if we did have experiments that produced self-replicating life, it wouldn't change the mind of any die-hard creationist. They'ed simply find another reason to ignore that area of reality.

"But there is no record of a world-wide flood in history."
"That's because things in the past were not recorded as we would expect them today since things long ago worked differently."

"But here's an experiment that produces self-replicating life."
"But things in the past worked differently, so just because you can naturally produce self-replicating life now doesn't mean it was possible long ago."

o_O (That's a cockeyed-wierded-out-raise-the-eyebrow-brain-exploding-smiley-face)

Some people just don't want to accept reality, they'ed rather accept a literal Bible. Or, at least, what they perceive as a literal Bible (there are other threads here for that topic...)

Also, since this is not my field of expertise, are there currently additional experiments being performed that are looking to bridge the gap between less complex inorganic forms and organic life?

It's not my field of expertise either. But I am confident in saying "yes." :)
Science is always filled with those curious to push the boundaries of what we know.


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Diomedes01
Junior Member (Idle past 2579 days)
Posts: 3
Joined: 06-01-2009


Message 6 of 26 (510695)
06-02-2009 3:30 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Stile
06-02-2009 2:35 PM


Re: The Wheels in the Creationist Mind Don't Go Round and Round
Hi everyone.

Thanks for the great replies!

I actually brought forth this discussion based on some dialogue I had with a few creationists on youtube.

Essentially, I was so often barraged with the common question "what would make you believe in god" from creationists and fundamentalists, that I began to respond in kind by asking them what evidence they would require to believe in things like evolution or abiogenesis?

Naturally, like many of you stated, the response was "nothing". Which was ironic since I would always give them a valid response to their question of "what would make you believe in god"? My answer was always: "If he revealed himself to me, producing a genuine spiritual experience that I knew was not the product of some mental disorder or the after effect of some barbituate I had consumed, than I would believe." :-)

But back to the original thread, regarding the Miller-Urey experiments, thank you for the responses. I was always fascinated by that experiment and it makes me chuckle how much fundamentalists have bastardized it to the point that they make it sound like something Mary Shelly wrote.


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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 1537 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 7 of 26 (510735)
06-03-2009 6:58 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Diomedes01
06-02-2009 3:30 PM


Re: The Wheels in the Creationist Mind Don't Go Round and Round
The other, all too often seen, side of this coin is when creationists talk about Pasteur's experiments as some ultimate disproof of abiogenesis in an origins of life context.

TTFN,

WK


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bluegenes
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Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 8 of 26 (510746)
06-03-2009 8:39 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Wounded King
06-03-2009 6:58 AM


Pasteur's law
Wounded King writes:

The other, all too often seen, side of this coin is when creationists talk about Pasteur's experiments as some ultimate disproof of abiogenesis in an origins of life context.

Oh yes! Even in peer reviewed papers.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2662469

You've probably come across David Abel. About a third of the way down the introduction here, you can read:

quote:

If Pasteur and Virchow’s First Law of Biology (“All life must come from previously existing life”) is to be empirically falsified, direct observation of spontaneous generation is needed.

This paper was being discussed recently on William Dembski's blog, Uncommon Descent. So I chimed in at one point and pointed out that Pasteur's law, if taken to mean that "all life always came from previously existing life", would imply that life is eternal, and that that is falsified by cosmology.

I don't know who peer reviewed this paper, but it's really metaphysics, not "molecular science". It's wordy creationist crap.


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Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3500
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 9 of 26 (510751)
06-03-2009 9:07 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by bluegenes
06-03-2009 8:39 AM


Re: Pasteur's law
Curious about this paper, purporting to be funded by the "The Origin of Life Science Foundation" I did a spot of googling about them and found this curious webpage, which includes the lines:

quote:
The Origin-of-Life Science Foundation should not be confused with "creation science"or "intelligent design" groups.

quote:
The Foundation believes that advisors' personal metaphysical persuasions are none of our business.

Strange disclaimers for a genuine science based foundation.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 15645
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 10 of 26 (510754)
06-03-2009 9:22 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by bluegenes
06-03-2009 8:39 AM


Re: Pasteur's law
bluegenes writes:

Oh yes! Even in peer reviewed papers.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2662469

This was published at the Gene Emergence Project as part of the Origin of Life Prize. If you read through the link about the Gene Emergence Project you'll see lots of disclaimers about how they really are too interested in real science. It looks like a typically dishonest creationist attempt to appear to be doing science. They proclaim they're really seeking scientific answers to origin of life questions, but all they're really doing is providing yet another outlet for ID nonsense that couldn't be published in legitimate journals.

About the paper itself, the abstract reads like typical ID nonsense, especially the brief "non physical" mention he sneaks in there. If there was any peer review then it was by peers of David Abel and not by any scientists actually qualified in the field.

--Percy


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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 1537 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 11 of 26 (510756)
06-03-2009 9:29 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Dr Jack
06-03-2009 9:07 AM


Re: Pasteur's law
I'm surprised you didn't turn up our previous discussion on the Author and the OOLF, Recent paper with an ID spin? Abel and Trevors (2005).

TTFN,

WK


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bluegenes
Member
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 12 of 26 (510759)
06-03-2009 9:59 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Percy
06-03-2009 9:22 AM


Re: Pasteur's law
It was published here, apparently. I linked to the actual paper above.

http://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijms/

The Wiki entry says:

quote:

The Journal aims at rapid publication of high quality research results while maintaining rigorous peer review process.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Journal_of_Molecular_Sciences

:laugh:

Rigorous enough to have peer reviewers who think that Pasteur's law claims that life is eternal, apparently.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 15645
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 13 of 26 (510793)
06-03-2009 1:41 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by bluegenes
06-03-2009 9:59 AM


Re: Pasteur's law
Anyone interested in trying to cobble together a paper we could submit to this "journal", just to see how rigorous their standards and peer review are? Sort of along the lines of Alan Sokal?

--Percy


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Diomedes01
Junior Member (Idle past 2579 days)
Posts: 3
Joined: 06-01-2009


Message 14 of 26 (510804)
06-03-2009 3:15 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Percy
06-03-2009 1:41 PM


Re: Pasteur's law
The other, all too often seen, side of this coin is when creationists talk about Pasteur's experiments as some ultimate disproof of abiogenesis in an origins of life context

Yes, I had to come across that assertion several times. And if I remember my biology classes from a bygone era, Pasteur was actually trying to demonstrate the validity of the spontaneous generation theory of the era. i.e. fully formed life appearing from dead forms. Which if I recall was due to the mis-understanding of how things like maggots formed on dead or decaying tissue. (It wasn't understood until later that these were fly larvae) Needless to say, it is hard conveying the fact that abiogenesis and spontaneous generation have nothing in common.

At least the above is not as often thrown at me as Pascal's wager is; that one drives me nuts.

Edited by Diomedes01, : No reason given.


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Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3500
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 15 of 26 (510808)
06-03-2009 4:01 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Percy
06-03-2009 1:41 PM


Re: Pasteur's law
Anyone interested in trying to cobble together a paper we could submit to this "journal", just to see how rigorous their standards and peer review are? Sort of along the lines of Alan Sokal?

I don't think the IJMS deserves the scare quotes on that. Look through the other articles published in their Origin of Life issue and I think you'll see most of them (at least to my casual glance) are sound enough. It may not have the highest impact factor in the world; but I think it's a fairly legitimate journal that published a bad article perhaps because they wanted a more philosophical piece to take a broader and less positive overview to the other articles.

Edited by Mr Jack, : No reason given.


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