Well I think the hypothesis that Redi proposed that "all living matter has sprung from pre-existing living matter" is a very well known fact. It can be observed very easily, and it is observed all the time.
And yet we know that it cannot be a universal law, because once there wasn't life and now there is.
These facts were considered by the scientific community some years later to have such a universal application that Thomas Huxley declared this theory as an "established law of nature."
Huxley's address was given in 1870.
Being no fool, he wrote:
quote:I must carefully guard myself against the supposition that I intend to suggest that no such thing as Abiogenesis ever has taken place in the past, or ever will take place in the future. With organic chemistry, molecular physics, and physiology yet in their infancy, and every day making prodigious strides, I think it would be the height of presumption for any man to say that the conditions under which matter assumes the properties we call "vital" may not, some day, be artificially brought together. All I feel justified in affirming is, that I see no reason for believing that the feat has been performed yet.
These prodigious strides have been taken. For example, the polio virus has been synthesized from scratch. Vitalism is exploded.
All of the abiogenesis theories today have the same elements that Huxley declared defeated by the law of biogenesis.
As we have seen, he made no such declaration, and said that to deny the possibility of abiogenesis would be "the height of presumption".
For all of you who keep referring to Pasteur's experiments, I have not made a claim about Pasteur's experiments.
They are, however, usually held to be relevant to the subject.
Again, another strawman argument. I certainly said nothing about magic. If you are referring to God, or the supernatural, I personally don't think there is anything "magical" about God. In fact He condemns magic. Magic is about illusions not reality.
Yes, that was another strawman argument.
Now to address your point, Life is not "essentially just self replicating molecules." In any life form, even the smallest known living cells, most of the molecules are not self replicating. If this is indicative of what you have been taught, then you are making my case well.
And that was the Fallacy of Division.
I'm afraid the law of biogenesis (which came from science) ...
An odd, tortured phrase, designed, I presume, to avoid the fact that modern scientists think that it's rubbish.
Yes, it "comes from science". So did the phlogiston theory of combustion. But that should not be taught in schools, 'cos it turned out to be wrong.
I'm sorry, but that is scientific.
I'm not in the least sorry to point out that it is unscientific, which is why scientists, who, unlike you, study science, think that it's unscientific, and why it isn't put into science textbooks, which are meant to be scientific.
That's a nice try, but again a strawman. I have said nothing about spontaneous generation. But since you brought it up, I will. Abiogenesis is the theory that life can come from non-living chemicals. Spontaneous generation is the observation(s) that supported that theory.
Well, that was ... weird.
You don't falsify observations. You falsify theories. Abiogenesis was falsified.
Now falsification doesn't mean that it cannot be true. It means that the theory is falsified based on the observations that we have. It still stands falsified today.
How, please, has abiogenesis been falsified?
That's why it shouldn't even enter the textbooks, because there is no observation to support the theory.
Actually that's not what the law of biogenesis states. But you can rewrite history if you want to. Let's just remove the equivocating language about "modern" and "bacteria" and "mice" and "maggots". All life is made up of cells. A cell is the smallest known form of life. Let's use biological terms, and clarify the law of biogenesis. It states that all cells come from pre-existing cells. And the contrary would be that no cell has arisen from any non-cellular chemical arrangement. I think this would be a more accurate clarification of the theory.
In that case, it is easy to falsify, since the evidence shows that once there were no cells and now there are.
Therefore, we know for certain that some cell must have arisen in some other way.
You are correct that we have learned much since Pasteur's time. But we haven't learned that "life" is nothing but a bunch of complex chemicals. What we have learned is that cellular life is made up of vastly complex molecular machines.
A distinction without a difference.
Actually you are the one mis-interpreting the law of biogenesis. I provided the citation of it's wording, and a complete historical record of it's acceptace as being a well established law of nature.
I must have missed your "complete" historical record. I missed the bit where you brought it up to 2008. In fact, I can't see where you've mentioned any scientific developments after 1870.
Scientists believe that life started on earth about 3.8 billion years ago....
We are not sure how it started, but we have several theories... M/U experiment is discussed. Thermal vents are discussed. Clay and mica sheets may be discussed. RNA replicating molecules may be discussed....
Yes, this is because scientists aren't dogmatic jerks.
In every book there are mystical undefined things mentioned like "primordial life", "the building blocks of life", and "pre-biotic life". None of these terms are defined, but the books are full of them.
If the substance of your complaint is that you don't understand what the terms in biology textbooks mean, then that would be your problem.
Certainly not, but hypotheses that are falsified form the start are based on philosophical faith. Don't you believe that the young earth theory has been falsified? Yet YECers have a philosophical faith that the earth is young. That's why abiogenesis should not be taught in schools!
Abiogenesis shouldn't be taught in schools ... because YECs have a philosophical faith that the earth is young?
With biogenesis we have overwhelming evidence and plenty of application for the good of humanity. With abiogenesis we have zero evidence and no application for the good of humanity. So why the disparity in what is being taught?
Well, the difference between them is:
(1) We know that abiogenesis has taken place.
(2) The "law of biogenesis" is, therefore, falsified, and is known in the light of modern science to be based on false and exploded biological hypotheses.
There is, obviously, no benefit to humanity in teaching children rubbish. I don't see any great benefit to them knowing the truth, I must admit, but I don't think that education should be strictly utilitarian.
Well, I don't wish to argue all these red herrings, but there is substantial evidence statistically showing the impossibility of homochirality forming naturally. Statistically this is impossible.
And yet we know of lots of reactions that cause or increase chirality, follow the link for details of a few. So if your "statistics" tell you that its impossible, then the problem would be that your statistics don't relate to the real world in any way.
In statistical terms, that probability is 0. That means it is impossible.
Again, what I would question is whether these statistics have anything to do with how life actually originated.
It's certainly not how anyone thinks it originated:
The probability of assembling the RNA required for even the most primitive cell by random processes.
That's the biggest heap of straw since the Great Haystack Incident of 1921.
That record is rocks and fossils upon which you apply your interpretive logic. Those rocks and fossils show evidence that life was once not on this earth, and of course now it is ... However, there is NO physical observable evidence of abiogenesis.
But that is physical observable evidence of abiogenesis. Once there wasn't life, now there is.
If you tell me that there's a law of nature that something is impossible, and I know that it happened, then your law is wrong.
This may sound a little narrow-minded of me, but how else can we do science? If a counterexample is not sufficient to overturn a law, then we can have conversations like this:
Creationist: I've come up with a new theory of gravity.
Me: Let's have a look ... oh, I notice one of its trivial corollaries is that it's impossible for planets to travel in ellipses.
Creationist: Yes indeed, quite impossible.
Me: But planets do travel in ellipses.
Creationist: Yes, and I've proved it's impossible.
Me: No, you've proved that your underlying assumptions are wrong. Because their predictions conflict with reality.
Creationist: No, I've proved that God must be guiding the orbits of planets by a continuous series of miracles.
Me: And so we bid a fond adieu to the scientific method ... goodnight, goodnight ...
I think you may misunderstand the term fasify in science.
I am certain that you misunderstand the term "falsify" in science.
I will cite from wiki...
Falsifiability (or refutability or testability) is the logical possibility that an assertion can be shown false by an observation or a physical experiment. That something is "falsifiable" does not mean it is false; rather, that if it is false, then this can be shown by observation or experiment.
Abiogenesis has been falsified by observation and experiment. That doesn't mean that it is false ...
That is exactly what it means.
Falsifiability, as the wiki says, is "the logical possibility that an assertion can be shown false by an observation". To falsify something, therefore, is to show it false by an observation. To say that something has been falsified is to say that it has been shown false, and hence that it is false.
The cell theory states that...
1. All known living things are made up of cells. 2. Some organisms are unicellular, made up of only one cell. 3. The cell is the fundamental unit of structure and function in living things. 4. All cells come from pre-existing cells by division.
... and point 4 is known to be untrue.
Well I've never heard anyone refer to the 1st and 2nd "theories" of thermodynamics. Or the "theory" of conservation of energy. I think it is very common to refer to theories that have shown universal application as "laws".
A theory is a collection of laws and facts, e.g. the theory of thermodynamics consists of the laws of thermodynamics; Newton's theory of gravity consists of his law of gravity and his laws of motion.
Usage in this matter is not entirely consistent, but in general we might say that a theory is a collection of laws large enough to be testable. Note that isolated laws need not be testable. For example, Newton's law of gravity F = m1m2/r2 is not testable unless you also have laws of motion telling you what happens when a force acts on an object. Put these elements together, and we have a theory.
Why would I want to argue a strawman argument. No scientific laws prevent anything. Scientific laws describe how nature works. That's what the law of biogenesis is. It is the reality of where life comes from. It says nothing about whether or not abiogenesis is possible. It only says that since we've been observing life, all life comes from life. That's science.
That's vague. "Life comes from life" would include fleas spontaneously generating on dogs, or an invisible man making animals poof out of thin air by magic, neither of which is ever observed.
Let's try for an accurate statement:
"We observe that every organism today is produced by the reproduction (with some random variation) of a genetically similar organism or organisms. This obviously cannot have been true of the first organism, which must have originated in some other way."
"Biologists are not certain how this happened, but are guided in their research by another consistent observation in biology: that all biological processes have natural causes rather than happening by magic."
Abiogenesis is quite imaginative and is not falsifiable. The envioronment is unknown, the chemical reactions are unknown, and the organization of the chemicals is unknown. It is a philosophical faith.
And san incontrovertible fact. It happened. The only isssue between us is whether it happened by magic (like nothing we observe) or by natural processes (like everything we observe). It does not take "faith" to choose the option consistent with every observation ever made.
Have you ever considered that when a cell dies, at that moment you have everything chemically to create life. You have all 20 amino acids, all the catalysts, all the molecular machines of life, all the DNA, and virtually all the organization for life.
Yeah, and when a car breaks down, virtually all its parts work, but it still doesn't go.
It would therefore be inaccurate to say of it that "you have everything mechanically to produce motion".
What we actually observe is that there is more than chemical reactions to have life.
You're a vitalist now?
And you probably drink or eat pastuerized products every day. But you don't utilize anything from Miller or Urey. Isn't it amazing at how good science works!
Amongst other things, the Nobel Prize winner Harold Urey discovered deuterium. Here are some of its applications. If you will try relying only on science, medicine and technology developed by creationists, I shall watch and laugh. But me, I like living in the twenty-first century.
Pasteur's idea about boiling milk is still good, but his vitalism is as dead as alchemy. Do you want to bring that back in the name of Newton?