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Author Topic:   Biogenesis
AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1502 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 1 of 312 (472846)
06-25-2008 8:17 AM


Why is the law of biogenesis which states that "all life comes from preexisting living matter" not taught in any modern textbook today? It is probably one of the most widely used laws in biology and biological studies, but the law and the history of the law is ignored.

I'm a firm believer in teaching science in schools, and not teaching non-science matters which are religious. How can we justify teaching abiogenetic science which is full of faith and little evidence and not teach biogenesis which is full of science and no faith?


Is the end just the beginning?

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AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1502 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 3 of 312 (472856)
06-25-2008 12:37 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by AdminNosy
06-25-2008 9:00 AM


Re: Previous Discussion
I do not intend for this thread to be in an evolution forum. It belongs in the origin of life forum.

Regarding the claim that there is no law of biogenesis, this is just plain historically and scientifically false. The theory of biogenesis was proclaimed as being a "well established law of nature" by an ardent evolutionist and abiogenesist himself, Thomas Huxley in 1870. This proclamation was declared to the entire scientific community in that day. Since this time, not one violation of this law has been observed.

I have heard these claims numerous times and they are patently false. The Law of biogenesis is observed and used in every medical facility in the world every single day. Abiogenesis doesn't exist but in the imaginations of men.

Some argue that abiogenesis today is quite different from abiogenesis of the 1800's and earlier. I disagree and can support with evidence that chemical abiogenesis was well thought out in the 1800's.

The other important fact that is being missed, is the topic of the OP as to why biogenesis is not being taught and abiogenesis is. One is a well established fact/law of nature, and the other is at best speculation. It is certainly not observable science.

Making bold claims that here is no law of biogenesis should be supported don't you think?


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AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1502 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 4 of 312 (472991)
06-26-2008 10:08 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by AdminNosy
06-25-2008 9:00 AM


Re: Previous Discussion
I would also like to add that most of the abiogenesists in the thread you listed rely on using equivocating definitions of spontaneous generation and abiogenesis. The thread also deteriorated away from the subject of biogenesis very quickly.

I think this is an important matter for science, and it seems to be ignored.


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AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1502 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 7 of 312 (473010)
06-26-2008 2:13 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by AdminNosy
06-26-2008 1:36 PM


Re: Take it to an open thread
Thanks

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AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1502 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 12 of 312 (473034)
06-26-2008 3:38 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by PaulK
06-26-2008 2:48 PM


Paulk writes:

I suspect that biogenesis is taught, just not called a Law, which would give the false impression that it is known to be impossible for life to come from non-life. Since there is no known absolute barrier, that would be speculation rather than fact.

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. 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 can be found Here

Now scientific laws or laws of nature decribe how nature works. Usually these laws do create boundaries. The law of biogenesis certainly establishes a barrier. However, nothing in science is absolute, so I can agree with you there.

Paulk writes:

As has to be said in this sort of discussion, the ideas refuted by the experiments of Pasteur and others are not greatly similar to modern ideas of abiogenesis. They involved the appearance of modern organisms in relatively short timescales to explain where the organisms discovered came from. Modern ideas of abiogenesis involve vastly longer timescales and very different conditions - and the first life is expected to be considerably simpler.


Huxley went to great lengths to define abiogenesis. In fact he said:

and I shall term the contrary doctrine–that living matter may be produced by not living matter–the hypothesis of Abiogenesis.

In fact, even though we have learned much since this time, even Huxley proposed the possibility of "modern day" abiogenetic theories. He said:

And looking back through the prodigious vista of the past, I find no record of the commencement of life, and therefore I am devoid of any means of forming a definite conclusion as to the conditions of its appearance. Belief, in the scientific sense of the word, is a serious matter, and needs strong foundations. To say, therefore, in the admitted absence of evidence, that I have any belief as to the mode in which the existing forms of life have originated, would be using words in a wrong sense. But expectation is permissible where belief is not; and if it were given me to look beyond the abyss of geologically recorded time to the still more remote period when the earth was passing through physical and chemical conditions, which it can no more see again than a man can recall his infancy, I should expect to be a witness of the evolution of living protoplasm from not living matter. I should expect to see it appear under [257] forms of great simplicity, endowed, like existing fungi, with the power of determining the formation of new protoplasm from such matters as ammonium carbonates, oxalates and tartrates, alkaline and earthy phosphates, and water, without the aid of light. That is the expectation to which analogical reasoning leads me; but I beg you once more to recollect that I have no right to call my opinion anything but an act of philosophical faith.

Now clearly Huxley was looking into the far distant past for this event. He was looking for it to be a chemical event. He was looking for some sort of chemical evolutionary pathway. He was looking for a "simple" form of life. But he was honest enough to adreess that this was his reasoning, and not a matter of observation. It was his opinion based on philosophical faith. All of the abiogenesis theories today have the same elements that Huxley declared defeated by the law of biogenesis.


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AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1502 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 13 of 312 (473036)
06-26-2008 4:00 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Taz
06-26-2008 3:24 PM


Taz writes:

unless of course you don't pay attention in class...

Because it's a duh kinda thing, unless you're a special kind of idiot...

I don't know what you are smoking, but when I was in high school a kazillion years ago...

Unlike religionists who are know-it-alls...

Taz,

I will be glad to discuss any subject intellectually with anyone. But from my scientific observations, that is hard to do with someone who is full of logical fallacies (ad hominen attacks). The evidence demonstrates that your thinking is fallacious and illogical.

This is not intended to be an ad hominen attack against you, it is the reality of your argument. I hope I can discuss scientific matters in an intellectual way with respect and dignity.


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AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1502 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 15 of 312 (473040)
06-26-2008 4:46 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Alasdair
06-26-2008 3:06 PM


Alasdair writes:

While in school I learned about Pasteur's experiments on spontaneous generation, so you can hardly claim it's being kept out of schools.

For all of you who keep referring to Pasteur's experiments, I have not made a claim about Pasteur's experiments. This is strawman argument. My claim was about the law of biogenesis being taught in schools.

Alasdair writes:

Life doesn't have any magical qualities though - it's essentially just self replicating chemicals.

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.

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.

Alasdair writes:

There's nothing in science that says it can't come about naturally.

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. You may mean that there is nothing in science that makes any law of science absolute. If that's what you meant, then maybe I'll agree with you. However, the law does exist, and it does stand until further observations refute it.

Alasdair writes:

Spontaneous generation (what you are thinking of) is referring to people who used to think that fully developed life could generate from nowhere, such as flies being born from rotting meat, etc.

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. 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. That's why it shouldn't even enter the textbooks, because there is no observation to support the theory.


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AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1502 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 16 of 312 (473042)
06-26-2008 5:00 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Alasdair
06-26-2008 4:25 PM


Ad hominen attacks
Alasdair writes:

Attaching an insult to an otherwise sound argument doesn't make it an ad hominem. When the insult is a premise of an argument, it is.
For example:

You are a stupid closed minded religious nut. therefore, you are wrong.

That's an ad hominem.

This isn't:

You're wrong for reasons A, B, and C, you stupid closed minded religious nut.

With all due respect, I know what ad hominen attacks are. They can take a myriad of forms. If you want to stand by your argument that's fine. You would fail a logic class with that reasoning though.

Ad hominen

Wiki does a much better job of explaining this than you did. I will stand by my claim.


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AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1502 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 22 of 312 (473060)
06-26-2008 6:06 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Rahvin
06-26-2008 3:15 PM


Rahvin writes:

First, the so-called "law of biogenesis" actually states that "all modern, cellular life comes from pre-existing life." Note the bolded terms. It is true that a living bacterium will never spontaneously form from non-living matter; it is not necessarily true that no life may arise spontaneously.

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. Part of this has made its way into what is called "Cell Theory".

Rahvin writes:

Second, since Louis Pasteur's time (Pasteur being the best-known originator behind biogenesis), we've added a lot to our library of biological knowledge. It is now known that there is nothing fundamentally different between "living" and "non-living" matter - that is, the water you drink is not "alive," and yet becomes part of your living cells. It would be impossible to differentiate between an water molecule in the ocean and a water molecule in your body given no context. It's awfully hard to make statements like "life can only arise from life" when we know that there really isn't anything separating living matter from non-living matter beyond participation in a series of complex chemical reactions.

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. These machines are like the Eveready Rabbit. They keep going and going, and they keep having more and more rabbits. Someday they run down and die (then they are just chemicals). The cell is a factory of molecules, not just a bunch of molecules. And a cell is a factory building factory.

Rahvin writes:

The problem is that you've simply interpreted the actual principle of biogenesis to mean something far broader in scope than what scientists currently agree on. Basically, you've constructed a strawman.

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. You haven't cited anything but your thoughts. If this is what is coming from your education, then that is the subject of my concern.

Rahvin writes:

This is simply an inaccurate statement, AlphaOmegakid. Abiogenesis is not taught as a factual explanation for the origin of life on Earth. When it is taught at all, it is approached as one possibility being explored. Further, there is no faith involved in abiogenesis - rather, the entire field consists of questions, with the evidence so far pointing towards "maybe."

Well I beg to differ on this. Most textbooks say something like this...

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....

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.

You are correct that no claims are presented that life actually arose from chemicals, but is is presented as a "must be" scientific process.

All the while, the truth is that this is all philosophical faith, and there is no mention that all life comes from pre-existing life. Why is that?

Rahvin writes:

Certainly you don't think that any and all hypotheses undergoing rigorous experimentation and testing are based on faith, do you?

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!


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AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1502 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 30 of 312 (473088)
06-26-2008 11:21 PM


I didn't say.....the strawman
Hey everybody,

Since many are arguing that the law of biogenesis does not make abiogenesis impossible, let me clearly state that first that this is a straw man argument. It certainly isn't mine.

No scientific law makes anything impossible. All scientific laws potentially can be broken or there can be exceptions under certain circumstances. A scientific law is a description of how nature works. It always represents our current understanding of nature.

I would like to return to the OP. The law of biogenesis is virtually non existent in modern scientific literature and textbooks. However, modern textbooks have chapters on the origin of life and abiogenesis. 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?


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AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1502 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 35 of 312 (473136)
06-27-2008 9:44 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by Alasdair
06-26-2008 5:03 PM


Alasdair writes:

I was being a bit silly - what I meant is that there is nothing inherently different from a molecule that is part of a living organism and a molecule that is not. There's nothing special.


Yes, I agree with you, but this has nothing to do with the law of biogenesis. Life not only has molecules, it requires a certain organization of those molecules. Have you ever squished a bug? All the molecules are there. Life also requires a metabolic process to sustain the life and within this is the process of respiration.

Alasdair writes:

What? The defining quality of life is self-replication.

No, I think you are referring to reproduction. Replication is just one facet of reproduction. Most of the molecules in the cell do not replicate during reproduction.

Alasdair writes:

I still haven't seen the existence of this law except from your assertion.

I'm going to respond to this so everyone can read it. I have posted the link earlier. Here is the citation of Huxley's address. Please read this and all of you stop arguing from the position of ignorance.

Biogenesis and Abiogenesis

These experiments seem almost childishly simple, and one wonders how it was that no one ever thought of them before. Simple as they are, however, they are worthy of the most careful study, for every piece of experimental work since done, in regard to this subject, has been shaped upon the model furnished by the Italian philosopher. As the results of his experiments were the same, however varied the nature of the materials he used, it is not wonderful that there arose in Redi's mind a presumption, that, in all such cases of the seeming production of life from dead matter, the real explanation was the introduction of living germs from without into that dead matter.4 [236] And thus the hypothesis that living matter always arises by the agency of pre-existing living matter, took definite shape; and had, henceforward, a right to be considered and a claim to be refuted, in each particular case, before the production of living matter in any other way could be admitted by careful reasoners. It will be necessary for me to refer to this hypothesis so frequently, that, to save circumlocution, I shall call it the hypothesis of Biogenesis; and I shall term the contrary doctrine–that living matter may be produced by not living matter–the hypothesis of Abiogenesis.

Now after a long review of the history of experiments in these fields, Huxley concludes his remarks with these statements...

I commenced this Address by asking you to follow me in an attempt to trace the path which has been followed by a scientific idea, in its long and slow progress from the position of a probable hypothesis to that of an established law of nature.

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.

Alasdair writes:

All experiments and observations made have been "fully developed life doesn't just pop out of nowhere" - IE spontaenous generation - never "organic matertial cannot form from non organic material".


I'm not sure what you mean by "fully developed life". It seems like equivocating language to me. Is there any life that is not fully developed? I don't think so. If you do, then please provide some support for your argument.

And in case you don't understand...No life can come from non organic material. There is not one hypothesis which even attempts such a thought. All current hypotheses in the area of abiogenesis require organic molecules. If you are thinking about Miller/Urey, their experiment had nothing to do with life. The experiment was only to see if certain organic molecules could form in a certain environment. They made a racemic mixture of a limited number of amino acids. Big deal. That's light years away from life.

Alasdair writes:

The "law of biogenesis" that you keep on bringing up is referring to spontaenous generation.

No I'm afraid the hypothesis of abiogenesis is referring to spontaneous generation. The observations of spontaneous generation were the evidentiary support for the theory of abiogenesis. The observations were shown to be wrong. The evidence for abiogenesis dissapeared. There still is no evidence for it today. If you have some, I would like to see it.

Alisdair writes:

There is no law in science that says that organic matter can't form from inorganic matter.

This is a nice strawman. Actually it has been shown that organic matter can come from inorganic matter. This has nothing to do with life coming from organic or inorganic matter.

Within all of your arguments, you are demonstrating my OP very well. You have been taught that abiogenesis is possible, and I think you believe that. You haven't been accurately taught that there is no evidence for abiogenesis, but there is enormous evidence for biogenesis. Why is that?


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AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1502 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 36 of 312 (473137)
06-27-2008 9:55 AM
Reply to: Message 31 by Taz
06-26-2008 11:24 PM


Stop before you do too much damage
Taz writes:

By the way, you do realize that what you did was quote-mining, yes?

And like you don't understand ad hominen arguments you also don't understand quote mining.

Quote mining is the practice of purposely compiling frequently misleading quotes from large volumes of literature or speech.[1]

The term is pejorative. "Quote miners" are often accused of contextomy and misquotation, in an attempt to represent the views of the person being quoted inaccurately. For example, if a person being quoted disagrees with some position, a quote miner will present quotes that suggest that instead, this person is supportive of this position. Material that ostensibly bolsters this position is often taken out of context. Exposition that is at odds with the argument being made in the same text is excluded or otherwise obscured. - from wiki

I cited the whole article. I quoted in context. And I did not mislead with Huxley's comments.

I have some shovels for you though. Your hole is getting deeper.


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AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1502 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 37 of 312 (473138)
06-27-2008 10:07 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by Dr Adequate
06-26-2008 11:41 PM


Re: I didn't say.....the strawman
Dr Adequate writes:

Well, the difference between them is:

(1) We know that abiogenesis has taken place.

We know no such thing. Just because the geological record shows evidence of life not existing on earth in some previous eon is not evidence for abiogenesis. This is however, viable evidence for panspermia, and of course there are creation theories which modern day science doesn't allow.

Dr Adequate writes:

(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.

I think most real doctors would fall out of their chairs laughing at such a statement. No modern scientist can demonstrate abiogenesis. Your statements are baseless. Submit some evidence rather than this "rubbish"


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AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1502 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 40 of 312 (473146)
06-27-2008 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by New Cat's Eye
06-27-2008 10:19 AM


The "point" of life
The point is that it is a gradual process. There is no "point" where life comes into play.

Uhm... You have reached a logical dilemma. If there is no "point" where life comes into play, then there is no abiogenesis.

This is all just a bunch of silly equivocation on the definitions of life. It's all a logical fallacy. The same applies to the undefined phrase "fully developed".


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AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1502 days)
Posts: 564
From: The city of God
Joined: 06-25-2008


Message 46 of 312 (473160)
06-27-2008 12:12 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Granny Magda
06-27-2008 11:40 AM


Re: Your Own Source Disagrees withYou
granny writes:

Most strikingly, the very source you cite disagrees with you as to the all-encompassing remit of the LoB. You say that it means "all life comes from preexisting living matter", but in your cited article, Huxley says;

quote:
But though I cannot express this conviction of mine too strongly, I must carefully guard myself against the supposition that I intend to suggest that no such thing as Abiogenesis ever has taken [256] 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.

And looking back through the prodigious vista of the past, I find no record of the commencement of life, and therefore I am devoid of any means of forming a definite conclusion as to the conditions of its appearance. Belief, in the scientific sense of the word, is a serious matter, and needs strong foundations. To say, therefore, in the admitted absence of evidence, that I have any belief as to the mode in which the existing forms of life have originated, would be using words in a wrong sense. But expectation is permissible where belief is not; and if it were given me to look beyond the abyss of geologically recorded time to the still more remote period when the earth was passing through physical and chemical conditions, which it can no more see again than a man can recall his infancy, I should expect to be a witness of the evolution of living protoplasm from not living matter.


This has already been pointed out to you by other members, so I am somewhat perplexed as to why you are continuing with this line of argument. It has been refuted. The article makes clear over and over again that the LoB as Huxley understands it is referring to spontaneous generation, not the first origins of life as a whole, which he regards as an open question, one to which he judges that the likely answer is abiogenesis, in the modern sense.

The reason you are so perplexed is probably, because your not doing a very good job of reading my posts or Huxley's address. I quoted this entire passage in post #12. However interestingly you chose to ignore what Huxley actually said, and you quoted him out of context to mislead the readers of this forum.

I hope Taz reads this, because this is a perfect example of quotemining. I will repeat Huxley's agument in its entirety....

quote:
And looking back through the prodigious vista of the past, I find no record of the commencement of life, and therefore I am devoid of any means of forming a definite conclusion as to the conditions of its appearance. Belief, in the scientific sense of the word, is a serious matter, and needs strong foundations. To say, therefore, in the admitted absence of evidence, that I have any belief as to the mode in which the existing forms of life have originated, would be using words in a wrong sense. But expectation is permissible where belief is not; and if it were given me to look beyond the abyss of geologically recorded time to the still more remote period when the earth was passing through physical and chemical conditions, which it can no more see again than a man can recall his infancy, I should expect to be a witness of the evolution of living protoplasm from not living matter. I should expect to see it appear under [257] forms of great simplicity, endowed, like existing fungi, with the power of determining the formation of new protoplasm from such matters as ammonium carbonates, oxalates and tartrates, alkaline and earthy phosphates, and water, without the aid of light. That is the expectation to which analogical reasoning leads me; but I beg you once more to recollect that I have no right to call my opinion anything but an act of philosophical faith.

Do you see those words in yellow? They contradict your entire argument. But you chose to exclude them on purpose. Why is that? Again, I think I am gathering more evidence as to why the law of biogenesis is not taught and abiogenesis is.

Abiogenesis today is the same gradual process that Huxley imagined. But he had no evidence to support it. We still don't. At least Huxley was intellectually honest enough to admit his philosophical faith.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Granny Magda, posted 06-27-2008 11:40 AM Granny Magda has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-27-2008 12:27 PM AlphaOmegakid has responded
 Message 48 by Granny Magda, posted 06-27-2008 12:56 PM AlphaOmegakid has not yet responded

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