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Author Topic:   Biogenesis
AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1135 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?

Replies to this message:
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 Message 10 by Rahvin, posted 06-26-2008 3:15 PM AlphaOmegakid has responded
 Message 11 by Taz, posted 06-26-2008 3:24 PM AlphaOmegakid has responded
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AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 312 (472853)
06-25-2008 9:00 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by AlphaOmegakid
06-25-2008 8:17 AM


Previous Discussion
This has been discussed at length a number of times.

This thread looks like a good place for you to read over the discussions:
Evolution has been Disproven

The first part of this post really answers your topic.

Message 68

If after reading over some of the existing discussions you think it needs a new thread then I'd like to see your take on those discussions added to this opening post (OP) before we consider starting it up for discussion.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 06-25-2008 8:17 AM AlphaOmegakid has responded

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AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1135 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?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by AdminNosy, posted 06-25-2008 9:00 AM AdminNosy has not yet responded

AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1135 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.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by AdminNosy, posted 06-26-2008 1:36 PM AlphaOmegakid has responded

AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 5 of 312 (473005)
06-26-2008 1:36 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by AlphaOmegakid
06-26-2008 10:08 AM


Take it to an open thread
Since I can't find another open origin of life thread on the topic I'll promote this one for you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 06-26-2008 10:08 AM AlphaOmegakid has responded

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AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 6 of 312 (473008)
06-26-2008 1:36 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1135 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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PaulK
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Posts: 15393
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 8 of 312 (473018)
06-26-2008 2:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by AlphaOmegakid
06-25-2008 8:17 AM


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.

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.

So it seems to me that you need to produce evidence that there is a real problem.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 06-25-2008 8:17 AM AlphaOmegakid has responded

Replies to this message:
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Alasdair
Member (Idle past 4009 days)
Posts: 143
Joined: 05-13-2005


Message 9 of 312 (473022)
06-26-2008 3:06 PM


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

Life doesn't have any magical qualities though - it's essentially just self replicating chemicals. There's nothing in science that says it can't come about naturally. 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.

It has nothing to do with the formation of self-replicating chemicals.


Replies to this message:
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Rahvin
Member
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 10 of 312 (473025)
06-26-2008 3:15 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by AlphaOmegakid
06-25-2008 8:17 AM


Welcome to EvC, AlphaOmegakid.

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.

There are a few problems with this statement.

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.

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.

Finally, I would challenge your assertion that biogenesis is not taught in schools. The way I stated it, with the inclusion of teh words "modern, cellular," is most certainly taught, and you're right - it forms the backbone of creating sterile environments and evolutionary experiments where contamination from "spontaneously appearing life" would ruin the results. It is a principle used daily, so obviously it is being taught.

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.

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?

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."

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

I would hazard to guess that you've read about the "law of biogenesis" and this "controversy" surrounding abiogenesis at some Creationist website. Try reading the entry on Wikipedia on Biogenesis for a less biased discussion.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 06-25-2008 8:17 AM AlphaOmegakid has responded

Replies to this message:
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Taz
Member (Idle past 1551 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 11 of 312 (473029)
06-26-2008 3:24 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by AlphaOmegakid
06-25-2008 8:17 AM


AlphaOmegakid writes:

Why is the law of biogenesis which states that "all life comes from preexisting living matter" not taught in any modern textbook today?


First of all, it's not actually a law, although it's sometimes refered to as a law. But more importantly, IT IS BEING TAUGHT IN SCHOOL, unless of course you don't pay attention in class.

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.

Yeah, and oxygen gas is probably the most widely used compound in the history of man, and yet you won't find it mentioned once in any history book. Why? Because it's a duh kinda thing, unless you're a special kind of idiot.

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?

I don't know what you are smoking, but when I was in high school a kazillion years ago when certain hypotheses of abiogenesis were introduced our teacher kept repeating that they were all educated guesses, nothing more.

Abiogenesis is not "full of faith". We know for a fact that organic compounds form naturally under certain conditions. Scientists have been able to observe pre-cells form naturally under certain conditions. While abiogenesis is still in its infancy, it is definitely not based on faith.

Go ahead and try this some time. Go to any college or university and talk to any biology professor about abiogensis. You're going to get a lot of I-don't-knows and it's-hard-to-says because that's the truth. Unlike religionists who are know-it-alls, people in academia are at least more honest about what they do and don't know.


I'm trying to see things your way, but I can't put my head that far up my ass.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 06-25-2008 8:17 AM AlphaOmegakid has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 06-26-2008 4:00 PM Taz has responded

AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1135 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 1135 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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Taz, posted 06-26-2008 3:24 PM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Alasdair, posted 06-26-2008 4:25 PM AlphaOmegakid has responded
 Message 31 by Taz, posted 06-26-2008 11:24 PM AlphaOmegakid has responded

Alasdair
Member (Idle past 4009 days)
Posts: 143
Joined: 05-13-2005


Message 14 of 312 (473038)
06-26-2008 4:25 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by AlphaOmegakid
06-26-2008 4:00 PM


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.

(although it is being unnecessarily rude)

For the record, all of Taz is saying is correct. I was taught about Pasteur's experiments in 7th grade science class. It has been in every one of my biology textbooks.

Did you miss biology class?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by AlphaOmegakid, posted 06-26-2008 4:00 PM AlphaOmegakid has responded

Replies to this message:
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AlphaOmegakid
Member (Idle past 1135 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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