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Author Topic:   Converting raw energy into biological energy
Chiroptera
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Posts: 6698
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 13 of 314 (419372)
09-02-2007 1:58 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Rob
09-01-2007 7:23 PM


Hi, Rob.

Are you simply asking for information?

Or is this intended to lead to the sort of argument that goes, "Here is a question; science does not yet have an answer to it; therefore, I am going to assert a definite conclusion about the matter?"


I've done everything the Bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! -- Ned Flanders
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Rob, posted 09-01-2007 7:23 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by Rob, posted 09-02-2007 2:07 PM Chiroptera has responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6698
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 35 of 314 (419394)
09-02-2007 2:33 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Rob
09-02-2007 2:07 PM


Hi, Rob.

They do not have an answer, so they definetely conclude that there is a material answer to the dillemma.

Well, I would say that it's more of a working assumption than a definite conclusion. In either case, it is an assumption (or conclusion) that could be shown to be wrong if there were any evidence to the contrary.

-

My intention is only to point that out and learn as much as I can in the process about your methods of obfuscation.

Alright. If you see any "obfuscation", be sure to point out to me the details of their "methods". Be sure to give the post a descriptive subtitle in case I lose interest in this thread and quit following it regularly.

-

By the way, your posts in this thread are pretty clear and readable. I want to commend your efforts here.


I've done everything the Bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! -- Ned Flanders
This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Rob, posted 09-02-2007 2:07 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by Rob, posted 09-02-2007 2:36 PM Chiroptera has responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6698
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 44 of 314 (419403)
09-02-2007 2:47 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Rob
09-02-2007 2:36 PM


There is... it's called the design inference.

Sure. But how do you test it? When people make proposals for hypotheical natural pathways, people can test these in laboratories and by studying geological formations of the correct age to determine whether they are plausible or not. This is what abiogenesis research is all about -- doing experiments in laboratories to construct, test, refine, and reject plausible natural pathways.

But as far as I know, no one has ever made a testable prediction based on the "design inference". The only claimants I know of are Behe and Dembski, but both of those are really just, "We don't know the answer, so it couldn't have happened", with a bunch of junk math thrown in to hide this fact.

So, until proponents of the "design inference" can come up with a testable hypothesis, there really isn't anything there for scientists to work with.

-

But I am here trying mostly to point to the complete void of explanation for the appearence of the first living cell because of it's predependance upon energy in a biologically useable form.

I doubt that there is a complete void. But the point still stands: even if science does not yet know the answer to the question, how does "it must have been a designer!" become a reasonable conclusion?


I've done everything the Bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! -- Ned Flanders
This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Rob, posted 09-02-2007 2:36 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by Rob, posted 09-02-2007 2:52 PM Chiroptera has responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6698
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 52 of 314 (419411)
09-02-2007 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by Rob
09-02-2007 2:52 PM


Why not consider all the options... both design and material?

Sure. But there are no plausible candidates for a designer. As far as we know, there is no designer, no evidence that there ever was a designer, and no testable ideas concerning any designer. So, not only does science not have anything to work with, there is no option for me to consider here. Before I can consider a designer as a possible explanation for anything, there has to be some reasonable possibility that such a designer ever existed at the right time and the right place. What designer may have existed on the earth 4 1/2 billion years ago? What evidence is there that such an entity did exist? You're trying to put the cart before the horse here: first present evidence that there was some entity that could have done any designing, then we can consider it as a candidate for having done the designing.

As far as "material", we do have historical precedent of phenomena that were once inexplicable (and attributed to the action of gods) but ended up having purely naturalistic explanations, so it is not unreasonable to think that such a thing can occur again. We also have some understanding of the workings of nature (which we call "the laws of nature"), and knowing these "laws" in chemistry and physics allows the construction of possible hypotheses and the means of testing them.

Edited by Chiroptera, : typos


I've done everything the Bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! -- Ned Flanders
This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by Rob, posted 09-02-2007 2:52 PM Rob has not yet responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6698
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 63 of 314 (419431)
09-02-2007 5:30 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by Rob
09-02-2007 5:26 PM


I feel I am in the middle of some great and disastrous fillabuster.

Well, you don't have to respond to each and every post.

And you certainly don't have to respond to each and every post within three minutes after they are posted.


I've done everything the Bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! -- Ned Flanders
This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by Rob, posted 09-02-2007 5:26 PM Rob has responded

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 Message 66 by Rob, posted 09-02-2007 6:13 PM Chiroptera has not yet responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6698
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 108 of 314 (419520)
09-03-2007 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 101 by Percy
09-03-2007 2:41 AM


Re: Request for More Info
This thread is mostly comprised of a bunch of tiny exchanges with little specific information.

Oh, yes! I'm at the edge of my seating waiting for someone to give a detailed description of the current state of research so that Rob can finally answer, "Ha! See? There are still questions that science hasn't answered! That's proof, proof I say, that it must have been divine intervention!"

Then we can shut down the thread and move on to other things.

Although I, too, am interested in seeing what people have to say about the current state of research.


I've done everything the Bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! -- Ned Flanders
This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by Percy, posted 09-03-2007 2:41 AM Percy has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 111 by Rob, posted 09-03-2007 12:21 PM Chiroptera has not yet responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6698
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 114 of 314 (419538)
09-03-2007 12:41 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by Rob
09-03-2007 12:26 PM


Re: Leslie Orgel
Isn't it just a mathematical model though?

Does it matter?

What is your point here? What do you want us to say?

(a) There is no possible way this could have occurred.

(b) There is no known way this could have occurred.

(c) There are possibilities, but none with experimental verification.

(d) There are experimentally verified possibilities, but all have problems.

(e) There are good candidates, but no evidence that this actually occurred in the early earth.

(f) There is some evidence of certain mechanisms, but it remains uncertain.

(g) It is known exactly what happened 3 1/2 billion years ago in precise detail.

I mean, if you want to claim

And you guys (like Lewontin) must proceed because materialism is an absolute.

then I think it matters precisely which statement you believe corresponds to what researchers are saying.

Added by edit:

Personally (and I could be wrong), I think that (d) is closer to the current state of knowledge. But that is enough to have some confidence that natural explanations do exist even if we don't know what they are yet, and this makes it insufficient to postulate an intelligent designer without independent evidence that such a designer exists. And so I think that your accusations of assuming materialism as an "absolute" dogma is unwarranted.

Edited by Chiroptera, : No reason given.

Edited by Chiroptera, : No reason given.


I've done everything the Bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! -- Ned Flanders
This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by Rob, posted 09-03-2007 12:26 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 116 by Rob, posted 09-03-2007 1:37 PM Chiroptera has responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6698
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 120 of 314 (419562)
09-03-2007 3:16 PM
Reply to: Message 116 by Rob
09-03-2007 1:37 PM


Hi, Rob.

What we have, are commitments to a particular philosophical view on both sides of this debate.

Well, I certainly see commitments to a particular philosophical view on one side of the debate. I certainly cannot figure out the behavior of creationists and IDists except that they have a commitment to a particular philosophical view point. In fact, they even tend to admit that they have a commitment to a particular philosophical viewpoint.

On the other hand, the people engaged in the biological and geological sciences span far too wide a range of religious, political, and philosophical view points to claim that they are committed to a particular view point. And I find it hard to believe that they can come up with such a remarkably consistent version of history if their work was so biased toward their many, diverse view points, unless their work was somehow accurately describing reality despite their view points. It's possible, I suppose, but someone is going to have to come up with a better demonstration that this is the case besides just complaining that the scientific consensus contradicts their own beliefs.

Having had some experience in the sciences and knowing many people who work in the sciences and about what motivates people to go into the sciences, I find it hard to believe that so many different people with so many different view points and so many different backgrounds and so many different personalities are all so biased that they cannot tell when the data indicate a very different reality than the one in which they believe. Again, I suppose it could be true, but someone is going to have to do more to demonstrate this than just complain when the scientific consensus contradicts their beliefs.

-

The question is really one of the definition of science. Though methodological naturalism does not eliminate a designer by necessity, it does require the designer to be appearent in material terms. What is frustrating for folks like me, is that the designer is by definition a spiritual being. So methodological naturalism does effectively eliminate the designer.

I don't buy this. Some people claim this, but I don't believe it, if for no other reason than I have never come across a definition of "supernatural" or "spiritual" (as opposed to the "natural" or "material") that didn't have some sort of inherent problems. Something either exists or it does not. It either has effects on the portion of the universe that we can observe, or it does not. It's effects either exhibit some sort of regularity or it does not.

Science merely recognizes that the world operates with some degree of regularity, and uses this regularity to come to some conclusions as to how the world works. Science operates on the hypothesis-prediction-observation model. One makes a hypothesis, then makes predictions of what she will observe if the hypothesis is true, and then makes the necessarily observations to see whether the predictions are borne out.

And this is just common sense, this is just how people act in real life. People are constantly (and sometimes unconsciously) changing their ideas and beliefs based on what they see and experience (even if some of it is second-hand); when those experiences are contrary to what they expect, they naturally analyze those experiences to see whether their beliefs and assumptions need to be adjusted.

I mean, how else can we come to any conclusions about the world around us? Divine revelation? Even Gideon required further testing to be able to distinguish true revelation from madness.

"Methodological naturalism" does not exclude a designer -- the hypothesis of intelligent (but material) alien beings artificially creating earth-based life and seeding the earth is well within the purview of "methodological naturalism".

Science does not exclude a "supernatural" designer. If the "supernatural" (whatever that is) does exist, then it presumably has an effect on the "natural" universe, and these effects can be studied, and conclusions may be drawn from them.

The reason these hypotheses are not considered by scientists is that they aren't really hypotheses -- there is no hypothesis of any kind of intelligent designer that makes predictions of definite, distinct phenomena that can then be tested.

-

We infer design because the existence of certain systems are explainable in terms of analogous systems created by human intelligence elsewhere.

Sure. Just as Thor's thunderbolts and earthquakes were inferred by analogies with known human actions and reactions. The question isn't whether one can make up an analogy, the question is whether there are distinct, observable phenomena that are predicted from the hypothesis. Without being able to test the hypothesis, we are just making stuff up.

-

Why is that not a legitimate inference even without the exact material causes, when methodological naturalism is assuned to be valid without the material causes?

It's not a scientific inference. And, in my opinion, without being grounded in observation, it it just making stuff up; it is irrational to insist on its truth so strongly without having any real, objective evidence to back it up.

Researchers in abiogenesis are doing research right now, right this minute. Do you think that they are just watching soap operas all day? They are performing experiments to actually test which of their ideas are viable and which are not and to come up with new ideas. Do you think that they just dump random chemical in test tubes and heat them up? They design their experiments based on actual theories about various stages in the formation of life. Where do you think they get their money? Their grant proposals have to explain the theories they are investigating and how their experiments will refine their understanding of the underlying processes.

I know that you believe that scientists are all biased to some sort of world view, and this bias somehow prevents them from recognizing simple reality; I also know that there is nothing I or anyone can say that is going to change your opinion on this. But I simply do not believe this (and you can chalk this up to my biases, I suppose). There are too many people working in these fields, and they come into these fields from too many different social and cultural backgrounds, and with too many different philosophical and religious beliefs for me to believe that they can all be so thoroughly biased to force some sort of common "materialistic dogma" onto the data, and to come up with such a consistent yet false picture of the world. I believe that if abiogenesis was such an unviable possibility we would have heard all about it by now from the very people in the field, not just from those with an axe to grind.


I've done everything the Bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! -- Ned Flanders
This message is a reply to:
 Message 116 by Rob, posted 09-03-2007 1:37 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 122 by Rob, posted 09-03-2007 3:40 PM Chiroptera has responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6698
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 125 of 314 (419571)
09-03-2007 4:01 PM
Reply to: Message 122 by Rob
09-03-2007 3:40 PM


As for bias chiroptera, we all have one.

Sure, depending on what you mean by "bias". If you mean that we all have presumptions about the way the world is, then I agree. But if by "bias" you mean that everyone has unshakeable convictions that no amount of evidence will change, then, no, I don't buy it. Some people do, some don't. Some exhibit this in some areas in their lives, but not in others.

In particular, it has yet to be demonstrated that the vast majority of people working in the biological and geological sciences are so biased toward some sort of "materialistic worldview" that they cannot or will not admit that the data with which they work speak against their materialistic assumptions.

The people who are working research biologists and geologists, including those doing abiogenesis research, come from a variety of different social and cultural backgrounds, have a variety of different religious and philosophical beliefs, and work for a variety of independent institutions and organizations. I have a hard time believing that the reason they all find a natural explanation for the origin of life on earth plausible and likely is because they are so biased that they cannot be swayed by clear evidence otherwise.


I've done everything the Bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! -- Ned Flanders
This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by Rob, posted 09-03-2007 3:40 PM Rob has not yet responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6698
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 129 of 314 (419579)
09-03-2007 5:21 PM
Reply to: Message 128 by Percy
09-03-2007 5:13 PM


Re: There's been work done since 2004
So when a scientific paper says that something "could" have occurred in such-and-such a way, it only means that it is a possibility as opposed to a definite fact....
What you require in order to keep open the possibility of divine intervention is for scientists to never discover any natural pathways for the formation of ATP. Unfortunately for you, scientists have already uncovered such pathways.

Which is what I already tried to say. We seem to be getting confused whether we are trying to conclude that a process cannot happen, or to conclude that we process could very well happen, even if we don't yet know all the details.

The coulds demonstrate that the processes, um, could have happened. So if the desired conclusion is that there is no possibility of natural explanations, these quotes undermine that.

If the desired conclusion is that we don't know all the answers yet, then, um, okay, so what? No one claims to have all the answers.


I've done everything the Bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! -- Ned Flanders
This message is a reply to:
 Message 128 by Percy, posted 09-03-2007 5:13 PM Percy has not yet responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6698
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 137 of 314 (419591)
09-03-2007 6:15 PM


Did I call it or what?


I've done everything the Bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! -- Ned Flanders
Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6698
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 139 of 314 (419593)
09-03-2007 6:22 PM
Reply to: Message 135 by Rob
09-03-2007 5:58 PM


Re: You just couldn't wait to drag in the Second Law, could you?
What you're doing is burying the public in masses of details that don't even begin to touch the survface of these problems.

What you're doing is burying the public in exclamations of incredulity and assertians of insurmountable problems.

What molbiogirl is doing is showing that abiogenesis is quite credible and that so far the problems don't seem all that insurmountable.

Added by edit:

Rob, if the problem is as immense as you make it out to be, wouldn't you expect it to take a lot of time and effort before it's figured out? And the bigger the problem, the longer (and more effort) it'll take to solve it?

Edited by Chiroptera, : No reason given.


I've done everything the Bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! -- Ned Flanders
This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by Rob, posted 09-03-2007 5:58 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 142 by Rob, posted 09-03-2007 7:44 PM Chiroptera has responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6698
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 146 of 314 (419607)
09-03-2007 8:00 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by Rob
09-03-2007 7:44 PM


Re: You just couldn't wait to drag in the Second Law, could you?
As I said in the OP some of you have moved well beyond the evidence.

In what way? Refusing to just throw up our hands and agree that you have a special path to the truth just because there are some unanswered questions? That's not moving "beyond the evidence" -- in fact, "moving beyond the evidence" would be jumping to the conclusion that "God must have done it!" despite the utter lack of evidence for such a conclusion.

-

My own kids have books for preschoolers that talk constantly of evolution.

Damn those secular humanists for exposing your kids to information that goes against your most cherished myths! You oughta sue.


I've done everything the Bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! -- Ned Flanders
This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by Rob, posted 09-03-2007 7:44 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 148 by Rob, posted 09-03-2007 8:09 PM Chiroptera has responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6698
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 149 of 314 (419611)
09-03-2007 8:12 PM
Reply to: Message 148 by Rob
09-03-2007 8:09 PM


Re: You just couldn't wait to drag in the Second Law, could you?
You guys keep ignoring the power of this argument.

Because it is a dumb argument.

DNA is not a code in the same sense that language is, nor is it a language. The whole argument now falls flat.


I've done everything the Bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! -- Ned Flanders
This message is a reply to:
 Message 148 by Rob, posted 09-03-2007 8:09 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 150 by Rob, posted 09-03-2007 8:19 PM Chiroptera has responded
 Message 151 by Rob, posted 09-03-2007 8:25 PM Chiroptera has responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6698
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 152 of 314 (419615)
09-03-2007 8:27 PM
Reply to: Message 150 by Rob
09-03-2007 8:19 PM


Explain the difference for us dummies...

I'll do better than that. I'll assume your premises true for the sake of argument, and allow you to explain the logic in your syllogism. Or to state the premises more clearly.

DNA is like a language.
Humans use language.
Therefore, DNA was created by God.


I've done everything the Bible says, even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff! -- Ned Flanders
This message is a reply to:
 Message 150 by Rob, posted 09-03-2007 8:19 PM Rob has responded

Replies to this message:
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