Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 80 (9005 total)
44 online now:
Aussie, AZPaul3, dwise1, kjsimons, PaulK (5 members, 39 visitors)
Newest Member: kanthesh
Post Volume: Total: 881,112 Year: 12,860/23,288 Month: 585/1,527 Week: 24/240 Day: 5/19 Hour: 0/2

Announcements: Topic abandonment warning (read and/or suffer the consequences)


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Biogenesis
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 25 of 312 (473067)
06-26-2008 7:03 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by AlphaOmegakid
06-26-2008 4:46 PM


Hello, AOkid. Welcome to EvC!

AlphaOmegakid writes:

I'm afraid the law of biogenesis (which came from science) does say that life cannot come from non-living mater. I'm sorry, but that is scientific.

Actually, it's not scientific: what gives Pasteur (great scientist that he was) the right to say, "because I failed to see it after experimentation, it is therefore categorically impossible"? The best he can actually say is, "I found no support for the hypothesis that life can arise from non-life." He cannot step out and tack on that other clause scientifically. Tacking on that extra clause is decidedly unscientific, because he does not have the data to make a sweeping statement like that.

AOkid writes:

Abiogenesis is the theory that life can come from non-living chemicals. Spontaneous generation is the observation(s) that supported that theory.

Two points:

(1) Spontaneous generation was itself a theory, not an observation.

(2) If spontaneous generation was observed, it would be support for the hypothesis of abiogenesis, but it would not be definitive proof, nor is it the only observation that could possibly support the hypothesis of abiogenesis. For instance, if we somehow managed to find a pre-Cambrian fossil of a complex system of interworking molecules that is clearly not like life today, that could also be support for abiogenesis.

The failure of scientists to find a specific observation that would have supported a hypothesis does not constitute falsification of that hypothesis.

AOkid writes:

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.

Nonsense: "falsified" means "it's false." If our experiments yield no support for a theory, the RESULTS section of the write-up says: "we found no support for Theory X," not "we found no support; therefore, Theory X is false." This is not falsification: it is failure to find evidence.

On the other hand, if you find a bit of evidence that directly contradicts a hypothesis, there is no way that that hypothesis can be true in that form. This requires a reworking (or, possibly, rejecting) of the hypothesis in question. If the theory cannot be reworked (and the contradictory evidence can be confirmed), it is falsified.

Please note that any statement containing the word “cannot” should not be taken as a viable, testable, falsifiable scientific theory in the first place: there is really no way to scientifically prove that something is categorically impossible. The best we can prove is whether or not something does happen.


Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 06-26-2008 4:46 PM AlphaOmegakid has not yet responded

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 34 of 312 (473097)
06-27-2008 12:38 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by AlphaOmegakid
06-26-2008 11:21 PM


Re: I didn't say.....the strawman
AOkid writes:

All scientific laws potentially can be broken or there can be exceptions under certain circumstances.

When an exception to a scientific law is found, that generally means that that scientific law has to be changed in some way to accommodate the new evidence. So, you don't really ever run into a situation where there's an exception to a scientific law (I actually prefer the term "theory" over "law").

AOkid writes:

With biogenesis we have overwhelming evidence and plenty of application for the good of humanity.

All the "overwhelming evidence" says is, "life makes more life." This is not the same as, "non-life cannot make life." We have no overwhelming evidence to support that last statement, other than "we've never seen it." There are a lot of things that we've never seen, but still exist (I know a guy who recently discovered over a dozen never-before-documented species of fly on one tiny island in the South Pacific--guess what will happen when people like him get to study in Malaysia and the Amazon).

AOkid writes:

With abiogenesis we have zero evidence and no application for the good of humanity.

Well, Dr A has already pointed out that this is false: we can't find any evidence of life in rocks 4 billion years old, but we have found evidence of life in rocks 3.8 billion years old. That life had to have come from one of two things:

(1) something
(2) nothing

Side note: I have a lot of bitter feelings toward the "benefit of humanity" arguments. Truth has inherent superiority over humanity's benefit, even where the two are in conflict, despite what religious leaders and politicians will tell us.

Edited by Bluejay, : Rewording


Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 06-26-2008 11:21 PM AlphaOmegakid has not yet responded

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 44 of 312 (473156)
06-27-2008 12:03 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by AlphaOmegakid
06-27-2008 9:44 AM


AOkid writes:

Now, that is called peer review. In fact, this peer reviewer was an ardent evolutionist and abiogenesist. So I hope we can agree at least that there is a law of biogenesis.

The link you provided is a collection of essays written by Huxley. As far as I can tell, this essay was never peer-reviewed, nor was it published by any scientific periodical, nor was it ever tauted as an authoritative treatise on the subject, so I don't see how this proves your point that there is a law of biogenesis.

---

I would like to take a side-trip here and point out that you are treating scientific writings as if scientists regard them as their sacred Bible. There have been millions of scientific studies, papers, posters, essays and books in the history of science, and I would wager that the average scientist today will reject (at least in part) the findings of at least half of all these publications. We are not bound by the semantics (or even the opinions) of our predecessors, because, frankly, they didn't know as much as we know now.

So the mere fact that there was once a scientist (probably multiple scientists, in this case) who espoused a certain view cannot seriously be considered evidence of anything more than that there was once such a scientist (or scientists) who said such a thing.

You have overstepped the bounds of the data and ascribed to it explanatory power that it does not have.


Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 06-27-2008 9:44 AM AlphaOmegakid has not yet responded

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 68 of 312 (473271)
06-28-2008 12:49 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by randman
06-27-2008 6:28 PM


Re: evo debasing science
randman writes:

If evos cannot provide examples of something happening, or mechanisms for it to happen, claiming something happened with the argument that there is no evidence it could not occur (which isn't even true) is deeply fallacious, deceptive and non-scientific.

You've still got this backwards: ever since Popper, science has used a methodology of proving one's theory by disproving the alternatives. You cannot say biogenesis as proposed by AOkid is proven until you disprove the alternative, which is abiogenesis. So, until abiogenesis is falsified, biogenesis is still unproven.


Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by randman, posted 06-27-2008 6:28 PM randman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by randman, posted 06-28-2008 1:03 AM Blue Jay has responded
 Message 74 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 06-28-2008 7:12 AM Blue Jay has responded

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 70 of 312 (473273)
06-28-2008 1:14 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by AlphaOmegakid
06-27-2008 4:21 PM


AOkid, msg 51 writes:

Merely spouting out diatribes that I don't understand what the law of biogenesis says or means is just words.

I can't help but notice, however, that it is, in fact, the only way to actually get you to respond. You haven’t touched a single one of my messages in this thread (#25, #34 and #44), and you ignored Rahvin (#49) and Granny Magda(#48) too: these were all messages full of meat directly relevant to your topic, yet you ignored them.

AOkid, msg 60, writes:

Iasion, msg 58, writes:


At what "point" did you change from a child into an adult?
On exactly what day at what time?

You can't say?
Therefore according to your argument, children never become adults.

Complete nonsense.

Your red herring argument is complete nonsense relative to this discussion.

His argument is not a red herring: it is a skillful and relevant caricature of your argument. The development of one entity into another is the theme of the analogy, and you have stated to CS that there must be a distinct point which clearly divides the first entity from the second. Alasdair’s analogy shows that your insistence upon a distinct transition point is not universally valid, so you cannot fall back on that argument: you must provide further case-specific evidence for your claim. Otherwise, your argument rests on an idea that is “sometimes true.”

Edited by Bluejay, : No reason given.


Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 06-27-2008 4:21 PM AlphaOmegakid has not yet responded

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 71 of 312 (473282)
06-28-2008 1:43 AM
Reply to: Message 69 by randman
06-28-2008 1:03 AM


Re: evo debasing science
randman writes:

So merely presenting an unprovable theory means that theory must be accepted, eh?

First, you know very well that "unprovable" is not the same as "currently without supporting evidence."

Second, I did not say abiogenesis is an accepted theory.

randman writes:

Your argument makes a mockery of evidence-based science by insisting that non-evidence based claims are true without any evidence merely by the fact they have not been wholly disproven...and some other stuff

Did you notice the part where I didn't say "abiogenesis is true?" In fact, I didn't make any statement of value on abiogenesis at all, did I? You are effectively putting these very words into my mouth. Don't do it again.


Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by randman, posted 06-28-2008 1:03 AM randman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by randman, posted 06-28-2008 2:35 AM Blue Jay has responded

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 73 of 312 (473292)
06-28-2008 3:48 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by randman
06-28-2008 2:35 AM


Re: evo debasing science
randman writes:

...are you then saying that even non-theories with no evidence must be falsified first before something else is true?

No, I am not. Abiogenesis is not completely without evidence, randman. There isn't much definitive evidence, but there is just enough from Miller-Urey and Dr. Adequate's observation of the fossil record (for example), that we shouldn't rule it out. And, as it turns out, none of the evidence for biogenesis rules out abiogenesis anyway.

randman writes:

OK, let's say aliens created life and guided and influenced evolution. Now, clearly you cannot say Darwinism is true because, after all, you have not eliminated the alien hypothesis.

Fair enough, as long as you say specifically what the aliens do and how what they do influences evolution (you know, a mechanism, and all that), and provide a logical reason why such an alternative should be considered.


Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by randman, posted 06-28-2008 2:35 AM randman has not yet responded

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 81 of 312 (473385)
06-28-2008 5:28 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by AlphaOmegakid
06-28-2008 7:12 AM


Re: evo debasing science
AOkid writes:

I will be travelling out of the states for a week or so. I will try to get online some, but it may be difficult.

Have fun while you're gone.

AOkid writes:

Big deal, abiogenesis is still falsified. And it will stay that way until such time that there is any evidence that indicates otherwise.

This is just wrong: what you're saying is the exact equivalent of "guilty until proven innocent." Something isn't automatically wrong until you find evidence for it, it's considered a possible hypothesis that shouldn't be ruled out until you find directly contradicting evidence. By this logic, abiogenesis is still a viable alternative.

Note here: I apologize for misleading you a bit with my choice of words. When I contrasted biogenesis with abiogenesis here, I was referring to the two hypotheses as they pertain to origins. You would be correct in saying that biogenesis in the sense Rahvin provided earlier is a verified and accepted theory of science, but you would not be correct in saying that origins biogenesis is a verified and accepted theory of science. I have also been somewhat inconsistent with other terminology in this thread: please forgive that as well. I will try to be more consistent in future usage.

AOkid writes:

Imagination is not evidence. Hypotheses are not facts. Natural laws are.

(1) We're all still waiting for you to show us what "natural laws" origins abiogenesis would violate. So far, you've got "Huxley says biogenesis is a scientific law." And, with that evidence, all you can prove is "Huxley thought biogenesis is a scientific law."

(2) As far as I can tell from your quotes, Huxley was not actively supporting or rejecting either biogenesis or abiogenesis as a mechanism of origins: he, in fact, is rather reserved and non-commital either way, so I don’t see where you’re getting that idea that he has definitively stated on the basis of evidence that biogenesis is a well-established mechanism of origins.

(3) The word "law" in science refers to the exact same thing as the word "theory," and neither refers to the same thing that scientists refer to as “facts” (although there is disagreement on this “facts” terminology as I use it): back a hundred years ago and more, science liked the word "law," but we've now rather gone back on that and decided instead to use the word "theory."

AOkid writes:

Just because an opposing hypothesis comes along, it doesn't unprove well established scientific theories or laws.

You're absolutely right. However, I don't see origins abiogenesis violating any well-established theories of science: I only see it violating a historical scientist's opinion. I can scrawl out a dozen names of scientists whose opinions were that spontaneous generation, Lamarckism, mutationism, orthogenesis, geocentrism, phlogiston and/or other long-discredited theories are "established laws of science": yet, none of these things is considered a scientific law or theory by any scientist today.

---

Time for another analogy. Consider this:

Let's go to a (fictional) primitive tribe of people somewhere in the ancient historical world, among whom lives a young man named Dingi. All of Dingi's tribe (about 50 people) have the same skin color, hair color and eye color. The neighboring tribes with whom his tribe trades every once in a while also have the same skin color, hair color and eye color, because they are all of the same ethnic group. None of these other tribes has ever met a person with different pigmentation, either. Having never seen any reason to believe that other pigmentations exist, does Dingi have enough evidence to say his tribe’s pattern of pigmentation is a law of human pigmentation?

This is not a red herring: you have asserted that our inability to find direct evidence for abiogenesis among life-forms today is evidence that abiogenesis could never occur. This is the same logic that Dingi used to determine that there is only one pigmentation: all evidencehe could find among the set of dat he had available to him say people have this one pigmentation.

All we have to work with in science is a single set of data: the organisms that live today. We also have fragmentary data about organisms of the past. There is vast evidence that today’s organisms arise from other organisms of their own kind, and the organisms of the past didn’t seem all that much different from organisms today. This could easily have led Pasteur and his peers to believe that this was a law of nature, just as John Dalton thought that his inability to break open an atom meant that atoms were unbreakable.

What would happen if Dingi heard a story about people with darker skin or blue eyes? Would that call into question his belief that his pigmentation is a “law” of nature? Certainly, it doesn’t falsify it, but it does cast a reasonable doubt, right? If Dingi got to see a lock of different-colored hair, this would be even more reason to doubt his pigmentation theory.

That’s exactly what we’ve got in science today: geologists have discovered that the very old rocks on Earth show signs of vastly different atmospheric and oceanic chemistry around the time when life first arose. Since you know about Miller-Urey, I’ll assume you knew this, too. In fact, the kind of atmospheric and oceanic chemistry evidenced by these rocks seems likely to favor the processes required to create the molecules of life and keep them intact long enough to interact reticulately with each other. In light of that evidence, why shouldn’t we take back our former conviction that it couldn’t happen? We don’t actually know enough about the ancient atmosphere to know exactly what it was capable of, so any statement that rules out any even tentatively possible idea is not verified or acceptable as a scientific theory.


Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 06-28-2008 7:12 AM AlphaOmegakid has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 07-10-2008 11:22 PM Blue Jay has not yet responded

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 135 of 312 (476998)
07-29-2008 11:28 AM
Reply to: Message 134 by Dr Jack
07-29-2008 11:06 AM


Re: More than chemical reactions
Hi, Mr Jack.

Mr Jack writes:

There is a translation step that takes DNA and turns it into meaningful chemistry, with tRNA, mRNA and the other various bits of pieces involved in turning DNA into proteins, it's inert.

I somewhat agree with you. You could make a case for the genetic code constituting information, and I wouldn't complain too much, but the overall analogy falls apart for the reasons Rahvin gives.

In my own words, Rahvin's argument goes like this:

A computer can be built with all its hardware in place, then you can program all kinds of software onto it, and the software provides a "code" that dictates what the hardware does. One can also change, add or remove software without changing, adding or removing hardware.

In contrast, the cell can be built with all its "hardware" in place, but you cannot then progam all kinds of "software" onto it, because what information-theory-IDists call "software" arises directly from the "hardware." So, the software cannot be changed, added or removed without changing, adding or removing hardware.

So, in the cell, the "hardware" is in control, and the "software" is just an effect that arises from the "hardware," whereas, in the computer, the "hardware" is the active agent of the "software."


Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by Dr Jack, posted 07-29-2008 11:06 AM Dr Jack has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 137 by Dr Jack, posted 07-29-2008 11:47 AM Blue Jay has not yet responded

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 168 of 312 (477128)
07-30-2008 1:08 PM
Reply to: Message 162 by AlphaOmegakid
07-30-2008 11:22 AM


Re: Everyone's right but AlphaOmegakid!
AlphaOmegakid writes:

There is no phenomenon observed that suggests that life came from chemicals.

Except the damn fossil record and all of cosmology.

AlphaOmegakid writes:

To argue that life is and once was not is evidence for abiogenesis is nothing more than the fallacious use of argumentum ad ignoratium.

Why is this a bad argument? How else would you explain it?

AlphaOmegakid writes:

But that may be appropriate for you.

Probably goes for me too. That's why I prefer to stick to reason and the evidence and not throw my ignorant opinions around.

AlphaOmegakid writes:

And then somehow you have the audacity to claim that the scope of LoB is limited.

Rahvin (nor anyone else on this thread) is not the one who claimed that LoB is limited: it's actually the very nature of science that claims this. TalkOrigins has a good article about the history of biogenesis and spontaneous generation, and how it relates to the evolution/creation debate. It has several citations for you, too.

Let's pretend there's a scientist who studies millipedes in a forest in northeastern Queensland. One of his experiments finds a certain pattern in the millipedes' ecology, and he writes a paper about it. How does he write his conclusion? He doesn't say, "I have found that millipedes behave in this particular fashion," he is forced by his academic honesty to say, "I have found that millipedes in this forest in this part of Australia behave in this particular fashion over this time period."

All scientific findings are restricted in scope until the scope is sufficiently wide to merit generalization. Remember that there is massive evidence for hundreds of millions of years of life on this planet, spanning broad variations in climate and even chemistry. That no organism was spontaneously born from inorganic matter since 1860 is not sufficient evidence to merit generalization to all time periods, climates and chemistries.

It's only natural (and logical, too) that a hypothesis such as abiogenesis should be put forward and tested in the laboratory. And, the results, starting with Urey-Miller and going on from there) are quite promising. In fact, there isn't an alternative hypothesis, so there is nothing to put in textbooks except abiogenesis.

AlphaOmegakid writes:

...that suggests that the word "all" in "all life" is limited in scope.

Are you really that married to the Pasteur's choice of words? Did you forget about the part in Atomic Theory where Dalton claimed that atoms are unbreakable? What makes you think Pasteur (or any other scientist) has the right to dictate with his choice of words what the rest of the scientific community has to accept as fact? Shame on him for thinking that his results applied across the board when the only thing he tested was a microbe community in water. And shame on you and everyone else who believes like you do for being so short-sighted as to think a 150-year-old phrase has the power to silence the workings of science in our time.


Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 162 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 07-30-2008 11:22 AM AlphaOmegakid has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 183 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 07-31-2008 4:44 PM Blue Jay has responded

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 173 of 312 (477163)
07-30-2008 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 170 by AlphaOmegakid
07-30-2008 1:59 PM


Re: The only reasonable natural explanation!
Hi, AlphaOmegakid.

AOkid writes:

For clarification, the LoB does not only concern extant organisms. Upon what basis do you claim this other than your imagination? The law states "all life". That includes extant, extinct, and future.

I have two complaints with this statement:


  1. Wording is not evidence, nor can it be considered binding when it oversteps the bounds of the explanatory power of the data obtained in experimentation.

  2. You keep claiming that there is evidence for the application of the law of biogenesis to organisms that are not alive today, yet, curiously enough, neither Pasteur, Redi nor Spallanzani, or any of their successors, ever tested extinct organisms. How are you going to support this without resorting to an interpretation of the evidence in the fossil record?


Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 170 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 07-30-2008 1:59 PM AlphaOmegakid has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 174 by bluegenes, posted 07-30-2008 5:18 PM Blue Jay has not yet responded

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 180 of 312 (477251)
07-31-2008 3:09 PM
Reply to: Message 178 by AlphaOmegakid
07-31-2008 2:23 PM


Re: There's no evidence for the existence of the non-natural
Hi, AlphaOmegakid.

AOkid writes:

I have been begging for evidence that life can come from non-living matter. Not one of you have shown any evidence.

We have shown lots of evidence, none of which you are willing to accept.

While Bluegenes does frequently lace his posts with ad hominems, he has also presented a good logical quandary for your model: the only alternative to abiogenesis is eternal biogenesis. Name a third alternative, if you can.

The universe has been dated with reasonable precision based on well-supported mathematical models, and the earth has been dated with similar techniques, as well as geological and geochemical evidence. If you want life to be older than Earth, it is possible, though the likelihood is, at present, unknown. If you want life to be older than the universe, it cannot happen.

So, in order to disprove abiogenesis, you must also show how Big Bang cosmology is wrong. Since all indications are that Big Bang cosmology and theories of earth's formation are correct, the only reasonable option for origins is abiogenesis. Any other explanation requires a massive violation of teraquads of well-supported science. While parsimony is not perfect, or even always reliable, it is scientific, so abiogenesis is science.

-----

Also, I'd like to go back to a previous point I made.:

Bluejay, message #173 writes:

You keep claiming that there is evidence for the application of the law of biogenesis to organisms that are not alive today, yet, curiously enough, neither Pasteur, Redi nor Spallanzani, or any of their successors, ever tested extinct organisms. How are you going to support this without resorting to an interpretation of the evidence in the fossil record?

All applications of the Law of Biogenesis are restricted to modern organisms, unless you want to admit the validity of interpreting the fossil record in terms of observations from our time. For example, you may point out that dinosaur eggs have been found in the fossil record, and that this is proof that the Law of Biogenesis was also in effect in the time of the dinosaurs. Of course, the problem comes in when you consider that the observation of maggots in the fossil record does not rule out spontaneous generation, so how could dinosaur eggs in the fossil record rule it out? The presence of dinosaur eggs in the fossil record could just as easily indicate that dinosaur eggs spontaneously generated from the dust.

So, all you have is an interpretation of the fossil record based on what you see today. Basically, you’ve assumed uniformity in the laws that govern natural functions. Interestingly, the assumption of uniformity lends credence to evolutionary models of natural history, which include common ancestry, and to cosmological models of universal history, which precludes the only real alternative to abiogenesis (i.e. eternal biogenesis).

This is a quandary that you must resolve before you can claim that biogenesis is a viable alternative to abiogenesis. Since nobody has yet been able to answer this quandary, the burden of proof is on whoever thinks they can, and the word “science” belongs to the only still viable alternative.


Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 178 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 07-31-2008 2:23 PM AlphaOmegakid has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 187 by bluegenes, posted 07-31-2008 6:02 PM Blue Jay has responded

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 185 of 312 (477263)
07-31-2008 6:01 PM
Reply to: Message 183 by AlphaOmegakid
07-31-2008 4:44 PM


Re: Everyone's right but AlphaOmegakid!
Hi, AlphaOmegakid.

AlphaOmegakid writes:

Well I hope you are not an atheist.

I'm not an atheist. I'm a creationist who likes to pretend he’s an evolutionist on internet forums because creationists’ reactions are much funnier than evolutionists’. ;)

One of the preceding sentences is false.

AlphaOmegakid writes:

You see, the ToE relies on LoB from the first cell, to all extinct organisms in the fossil record, to all the extant organisms.

What is it, exactly, that you think the ToE says? Does the ToE require common ancestry? Does it demand that nothing new can be introduced into the system by extraneous means? It doesn't. Would ToE suddenly stop working if we found that monotremes were actually transplanted to Earth from some distant planet? No, not at all.

ToE does not require all animals to have come from a single source, nor does it have the power to dictate where things cannot come from: it only has the power to predict what will happen to their population(s) if they reproduce. It does not have the capacity to rule out spontaneous generation, let alone abiogenesis.

You're confused, so I'll explain it, as I have for many other creationists, college students and at least once before to you, too. ToE is the model that explains how life diversifies. Natural history is the extrapolation of this model into the fossil record, a description of how ToE has influenced the development of organisms in Earth's past. ToE does not require natural history to be in any specific order, nor does it require all organisms to have come from other organisms on this planet in order to function. We know of several times in Earth’s past where evolution was advanced by invasions of one place by animals from another place. So, if an animal drops in from Mars, or is made in a laboratory, or happens to spontaneously generate from a rotting slab of venison, it will still evolve as long as it reproduces.

So, if it were shown that an occasional animal popped out of the dust, or from the rotting corpse of a water buffalo, ToE would not suffer a whole lot, wheras LoB (in the form you espouse) would be completely thrashed. All that ToE requires is that animals reproduce, not that they don't occasionally pop out of rotten meat. ToE can stand without LoB so long as, once the animals appear, they reproduce.

AlphaOmegakid writes:

The individual hypotheses that are being tested in this field though are not the hypothesis of abiogenesis.

Of course not: you can’t test abiogenesis until you’ve found whether or not the steps leading up to it are plausible, can you? That’s why abiogenesis scientists are working on the formation of DNA, amino acids, lipid bilayers, etc. The spontaneous formation of all these things under early Earth conditions have been shown to be possible, and all that remains is to show how they came together. Cavediver provided one possibility for that.

AlphaOmegakid writes:

But to teach hypotheses???? That's generally not done until the hypotheses have been confirmed to a broader level of theory.

On the contrary: I believe that hypotheses should be taught just as much as theories. You see, if you just teach to students things that are shown to be true, they miss out on seeing how the truths are found, and many of them just assume that science is just a collection of concepts, a theology, if you will (incidentally, I think this is one of the major reasons why American kids don’t understand science these days). Teaching hypotheses shows students that science is an active learning process that is in constant progression, and even invites them to begin working on the process themselves. But, if we followed your logic, we’d get a nation of science-illiterate morons (wait, isn’t that what we have already?).

AlphaOmegakid writes:

Therefore why not put it (biogenesis) back into the textbooks and leave abiogenesis totally out?

I learned about, and have taught, Pasteur and Redi and Spallanzani. I assure you that this stuff is not being left out of textbooks. Although, admittedly, it’s been awhile since I’ve looked at a highschool text, so I can’t vouch for that. Biogenesis and origins are not my area of expertise, but I am quite familiar with them, as would be any working biologist these days.

The reason abiogenesis is not left out is because it’s the only logical conclusion from the predictions of several well-supported scientific theories, as Bluegenes and I have have explained in recent posts, and CS and RAZD and Dr A have explained prior to that. Life had to have come from somewhere, and there is ample evidence that it could not have existed during the early parts of Earth’s existence or during the early parts of the universe’s existence. So, the amount of time it is given in which to exist is finite. Even if you want to say it predated the earth, or even our known universe, you’re still only pushing the question back. The possibilities are:


  1. Wherever it first appeared, it arose gradually and naturally, just like planets, stars, galaxies, molecules, atoms and even subatomic particles.
  2. Wherever if first appeared, it was “poofed” into existence in a decidedly non-gradual and non-natural way.

I cannot think of another alternative. If you can, I would be happy to hear it. Otherwise, only one of the two above jives well with the facts. But, come to think of it, I don’t care either way.

AlphaOmegakid writes:

Now this paragragh demonstrates how little understanding of this subject you really have.

Followed by a bunch of semantic arguments that really have nothing to do with the central theme of the topic anyway. But, if wording is all you can argue, stick to what you do best, man. Your evidence consists of Pasteur, plus some high praise from Huxley. Meanwhile, you still can’t explain how else life came to be, if not by abiogenesis.

-----

I hope you appreciate the fact that you’re debating with real scientists on this forum, including myself. How many times do you think I have been taught, and have taught, this very subject? I’ll admit that this statement really stung my pride, and I’m having a hard time resisting the urge to use all the dirty words I can think of right now to get back at you. But, I realize that part of this is my fault: I haven’t been the most civil debater in the world, and I’ve been really rough on you and your ideas. Nobody takes strong disagreement very well, myself included.

But, I hope you realize, 46-year-old president of a small company, that you are debating with actual scientists working in the relevant fields, who have reviewed, handled and even discovered the evidence that backs up the claims we’re making on this forum. I should think that would count for something, at least for enough to give us the benefit of the doubt.

But, like most creationist, you know better, of course.


Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 183 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 07-31-2008 4:44 PM AlphaOmegakid has not yet responded

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 196 of 312 (477359)
08-01-2008 12:59 PM
Reply to: Message 187 by bluegenes
07-31-2008 6:02 PM


Re: Side note
Hi, Bluegenes.

bluegenes writes:

Careful. There wasn't one in the post that AOkid is referring to...

You're right. I didn't mean to impune your honor: I wasn't in a very good mood while writing that post, and I was incautious towards the innocent bystanders. Most people can tell that your ad hominems (when they occur), are just jokes.

bluegenes writes:

An ad hominem is not just a personal comment or attack, but has to have the object of diverting attention from the real argument.

Yeah, like my creationist comment at the end of my message: "His argument is dumb because he's a creationist."


Darwin loves you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 187 by bluegenes, posted 07-31-2008 6:02 PM bluegenes has not yet responded

Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1323 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 197 of 312 (477363)
08-01-2008 1:50 PM


The Debate So Far
After reading this message, I am officially confused about what AlphaOmegakid is actually arguing in this thread. I'll try my best to review his claims:

-----

He claims that a scientific law represents our current state of knowledge, but is not absolute.

He claims that positive evidence makes a principle into a law, even if potential contradictions arise elsewhere.

He claims that Biogenesis is a scientific law, and that Abiogenesis is unscientific because it violates Biogenesis.

He is opposed to the teaching of Abiogenesis in science classes, and wants to know why it is being taught and Biogenesis is not.

He has been told that Biogenesis, in fact, is being taught in science classes.

He has been told why scientists consider Abiogenesis scientific and believe it should be taught in science classes.

He continues to argue that it should not be taught, because it violates a known law.

He claims that scientific laws do not render conflicting laws impossible.

-----

This is what confuses me: the Kid wants Abiogenesis not taught, on the grounds that it violates a known scientific law, which is not absolute and doesn't refute Abiogenesis.

AlphaOmegakid, is it your argument that science classes should only teach things that are "proven and verified to a high degree of accuracy" (to quote a great friend of everybody, who shall remain nameless)? You do not feel that it is appropriate to teach students about science that is currently in the works today, and you're just using Abiogenesis as an example? Or, is it just this one hypothesis that you have a problem with?

Edited by Bluejay, : I said "...render other laws impossible." I changed it to "...render conflicting laws impossible."


Darwin loves you.

Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2020