Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bill Martin is coming to town!!!

Contact me by email if you'd like to meet him on Sunday, April 30th.




230 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. No. I'm against recording departmental seminars.

      Delete
  2. I would love to ask Professor Martin a few questions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm envisioning a "Big Daddy?" moment, in which txpiper stumps the stupid liberal atheist professor to the cheers of the audience.

      Delete
    2. And he storms out of the room, all red in the face and sweating, and on the way home reevaluates his life until he eventually throws himself on his knees and gives himself to Jesus. The End.

      Delete
    3. I like this story more(but can't take credit for it):

      A liberal muslim homosexual ACLU lawyer professor and abortion doctor was teaching a class on Karl Marx, known atheist

      ”Before the class begins, you must get on your knees and worship Marx and accept that he was the most highly-evolved being the world has ever known, even greater than Jesus Christ!”

      At this moment, a brave, patriotic, pro-life Navy SEAL champion who had served 1500 tours of duty and understood the necessity of war and fully supported all military decision made by the United States stood up and held up a rock.

      ”How old is this rock, pinhead?”

      The arrogant professor smirked quite Jewishly and smugly replied “4.6 billion years, you stupid Christian”

      ”Wrong. It’s been 5,000 years since God created it. If it was 4.6 billion years old and evolution, as you say, is real… then it should be an animal now”

      The professor was visibly shaken, and dropped his chalk and copy of Origin of the Species. He stormed out of the room crying those liberal crocodile tears. The same tears liberals cry for the “poor” (who today live in such luxury that most own refrigerators) when they jealously try to claw justly earned wealth from the deserving job creators. There is no doubt that at this point our professor, DeShawn Washington, wished he had pulled himself up by his bootstraps and become more than a sophist liberal professor. He wished so much that he had a gun to shoot himself from embarrassment, but he himself had petitioned against them!

      The students applauded and all registered Republican that day and accepted Jesus as their lord and savior. An eagle named “Small Government” flew into the room and perched atop the American Flag and shed a tear on the chalk. The pledge of allegiance was read several times, and God himself showed up and enacted a flat tax rate across the country.

      The professor lost his tenure and was fired the next day. He died of the gay plague AIDS and was tossed into the lake of fire for all eternity.

      Semper Fi.
      p.s. close the borders

      Delete
    4. Nah, nothing particularly dramatic. But since Martin was on the team that determined that the LUCA probably had 355 genes, I'd be interested in hearing about how those genes 'arose'.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/07/25/was-this-ancient-organism-the-first-life-on-earth-or-just-the-luckiest/

      Delete
    5. "A liberal muslim homosexual ACLU lawyer professor and abortion doctor was teaching a class on Karl Marx, known atheist..."

      That's pretty funny, Mikkel. When they were looking for a black handicapped lesbian muslim with a Spanish surname to chair the DNC, this person would have definitely been given serious consideration.

      Delete
    6. Somehow I suspect that a person who confuses the LUCA with the earliest life probably won't be asking the best of all stumpers.

      Delete
    7. If txpiper knew Bill Martin he would be very afraid to challenge him. Even I am intimated by his intellect, size, and personality and I don't scare easily.

      Delete
    8. "a person who confuses the LUCA with the earliest life"

      Oh, you must not have read the article I linked to which mentioned that.

      "Although LUCA was our oldest ancestor and certainly a very early life form, it was not necessarily the first living thing."

      ===

      Larry,

      "If txpiper knew Bill Martin he would be very afraid to challenge him."

      I wouldn't be challenging him about what he knows. But as I've mentioned many times, there appears to be a minimum number of genes necessary for an organism to live and replicate. His team concluded that the LUCA had around 355. I'd just ask Bill about where they came from. Maybe you can ask him about it when you see him.

      Delete
    9. So your confusion is over the distinction between the number of genes possessed by the LUCA, and the minimum number of genes required for a genome to survive and reproduce. Thanks for clarifying the precise nature of your confusion, txpiper. It can be hard to keep track of exactly what is confusing you at any given moment.

      Delete
    10. "I wouldn't be challenging him about what he knows."

      Yeah, that would mean you're willing to risk learning something, and a staunch creationist can never stoop to learning anything.

      Delete
    11. "So your confusion is over the distinction between the number of genes possessed by the LUCA, and the minimum number of genes required for a genome to survive and reproduce."

      Well, the minimal genome, regardless of the source or the organism, seems to be a range of roughly 250-350 genes. Once upon a time, there were no genes at all. So if you can bridge the gap between none and the minimum, then you're definitely less confused (probably just less curious) than I am.

      ===

      "a staunch creationist can never stoop to learning anything"

      Oh, I'm more than happy to learn things. So, if you're enlightened about the origin of genes, I'm happy to listen.

      Delete
    12. So life could only have started with a fully formed organism of 250-350 genes? When are you publishing the groundbreaking evidence for this claim, tx?

      Delete
    13. "So life could only have started with a fully formed organism of 250-350 genes?"

      That is what the evidence says. You might believe otherwise, but it is just a belief on your part.
      -
      "When are you publishing the groundbreaking evidence for this claim, tx?"

      Right after you publish your experimental work that demonstrates prototypical functional genes.

      Delete
    14. txpiper,
      The evidence says that an apparent minimal gene set of a LUCA might have had such number, not that the number of genes were necessary for first life forms. You said that you didn't mistake LUCA for first life forms, but then you go on and confuse them.

      Delete
    15. "That is what the evidence says. You might believe otherwise, but it is just a belief on your part."

      What evidence? You are the only one saying so. I am not going on belief, but rather what we know, based on the evidence. Explain the basis of your claims.

      "Right after you publish your experimental work that demonstrates prototypical functional genes."

      I have made no such claims, so why would I do that?

      You aren't very good at this logic stuff, are you, tx?

      Delete
    16. "What evidence? You are the only one saying so. I am not going on belief, but rather what we know, based on the evidence. Explain the basis of your claims."

      What is known is that cells are the basic unit of life, and cells require a certain number of genes in order to live and replicate. Any ideas about life evolving up to this minimum threshold is just fanciful speculation.

      Delete
    17. "Any ideas about life evolving up to this minimum threshold is just fanciful speculation."

      At least science has some data to support its claims about the evolution of life. You should stop projecting, for you are the one engaging in fanciful speculation.

      You haven't a shred of evidence that life could only have arisen via a cell with modern physiology and replication mechanisms, requiring 250-300 genes. Absent that, you have only fanciful speculation.

      Delete
    18. "At least science has some data to support its claims about the evolution of life."

      No, science does not have data to support such claims. It is just a narrative that is no more respectable than pumpkins turning into carriages. You believe it, not because it is believable, but because you like the story.

      Delete
    19. What is known is that cells are the basic unit of life, and cells require a certain number of genes in order to live and replicate.

      A common creationist misconception. Everyone else here knows why you are wrong, and explaining won't help you to understand. So I'll just point at you and laugh.

      Delete
    20. "No, science does not have data to support such claims."

      Your ignorance of the evidence is not an exclude, tx. I don't believe science has figured out how life evolved. I don't like any of the "stories" because at present we can only conclude "we don't know" for the origins of life. I would rather we knew. But at least science has provided some empirical evidence. Creationism has no evidence whatsoever to support it, even when it bothers to make some coherent claims. Creationists spend the vast majority of their time, as you have, knocking down a straw man version of what science has to say on the subject.

      The best you can say is that science hasn't figured it all out yet. Creationism adds nothing of substance to the issue at all. You beleive in creationism because you like that story and need it believe in your god. Don't project your logical shortcomings on science.

      Delete
    21. No, science does not have data to support such claims. It is just a narrative that is no more respectable than pumpkins turning into carriages.

      So remind me, again, how creationists claim life came about. And then explain why it is any more deserving of serious consideration than a story about pumpkins turning into carriages.

      Delete
    22. What is known is that cells are the basic unit of life, and cells require a certain number of genes in order to live and replicate

      That's one possibility. Another is that the first life was viruses. It's an interesting and exciting topic with a lot of research going on, which, sadly for you, you seem actively engaged in trying to misunderstand.

      Delete
    23. "I don't like any of the "stories" because at present we can only conclude "we don't know" for the origins of life."

      I can't blame you for not liking those. The problems with any or all of them are arguably worse than those the alchemists encountered when they were trying to turn base metals into gold. A lot of misplaced faith and wasted effort went into discovering that some things are just not possible.

      ===

      "That's one possibility.”

      No, that isn’t a possibility. That is a fact.
      -
      ”Another is that the first life was viruses."

      Except for the fact that “all viruses utilize normal cellular ribosomes, tRNAs, and translation factors for synthesis of their proteins”*, so viruses couldn't be the chicken or the egg.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21523/

      Delete
    24. "I can't blame you for not liking those. The problems with any or all of them are arguably worse than those the alchemists encountered when they were trying to turn base metals into gold."

      Wrong again, tx. Alchemy, like creationism, was based on a fanciful idea that had no basis in fact. Scientific hypotheses about the origins of life, however speculative, have at least some underlying basis in empirical facts.

      Name one ID/creationist hypothesis about the origin of life that any empirical evidence to support it. Just one.

      I predict you will avoid this request to instead reply with another trolling, intellectually dishonest post. Let's see what happens.

      Delete
    25. “Alchemy, like creationism, was based on a fanciful idea that had no basis in fact. Scientific hypotheses about the origins of life, however speculative, have at least some underlying basis in empirical facts.”

      No, I’m sorry, but there is no evidence that an organism can live and replicate without a minimum number of genes, and functional, hyper-complex molecular machines. Those are the empirical facts. There is also not a hint of data that even suggests that genes or anything like ribosome could form accidentally. The nonsense you believe makes alchemy look like sophisticated research. You’ve moved from being deceived, to willful, deliberate self-deceit. You left science behind when you started only believing things that you like.
      -
      “Name one ID/creationist hypothesis about the origin of life that any empirical evidence to support it. Just one.”

      That’s easy. Profuse empirical evidence shows bewildering complexity in the simplest living things that could not possibly be the result of time and accidents. It is that simple.

      There are plenty of ways to illustrate the depravity involved in losing the ability to distinquish between possible and impossible, and in your case, normal and abnormal. This is a good one:

      ”two elements that allow the precursors of life to form were almost certainly unavailable on early Earth but were likely present on early Mars.....So the question arises: Did RNA on Mars lead to actual DNA-based life? And did those lifeforms then travel to Earth on rocks kicked up when a meteorite struck Mars?”

      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/09/130905-mars-origin-of-life-earth-panspermia-astrobiology/

      Delete
    26. Hey Tx, the question was:
      "Name one ID/creationist hypothesis about the origin of life that any empirical evidence to support it. Just one."

      and you responded with:
      "That’s easy. Profuse empirical evidence"

      Ok, where is this evidence? Links to papers, please?

      "shows bewildering complexity"

      So this is the ID/creationist hypothesis about the origin of life? Bewildering complexity?

      LOL! And you wonder why people don't take you serious? In my job I'd get fired if I came up with this kind of lame ass 'hypothesis' like yours.

      You continue with the standard 'evolution can't do this, thus goddidit' story. Which, let me remind you this has been mentioned to you many times over, isn't evidence in favor of your 'hypothesis'.


      Anyway, you haven't answered Chris's question, because the question was:
      Name one ID/creationist hypothesis about the origin of life that any empirical evidence to support it. Just one.

      Delete
    27. No, I’m sorry, but there is no evidence that an organism can live and replicate without a minimum number of genes, and functional, hyper-complex molecular machines.

      Hey, that's great, txpiper. You're almost starting to do something that vaguely resembles thinking.

      Now, for your next act: Please summarize all the evidence that exists of immaterial spooks that can think without a body, and which issue commands to stone virgins to death.

      Delete
    28. so viruses couldn't be the chicken or the egg

      That's true of viruses today, yes. Do you know for a fact that they never did otherwise, i.e., that they never utilized "free" chemicals and only later evolved to drop that mode when the biochemical bonanza of cellular life became widely available? I will note a viral origin is not the leading hypothesis, but some non-crackpot scientists are thinking quite seriously about it.

      Sorry if the actual research and process of science is less black and white than your world view permits.

      Delete
    29. Profuse empirical evidence shows bewildering complexity in the simplest living things that could not possibly be the result of time and accidents.

      Thus we know an entity more bewilderingly complex, sophisticated, intelligent, and powerful than any we can conceive must have existed. IOW, amoebas are impossible, but deities are more than possible, they're (or it's) a certainty. Because...? (Just waiting for your stream of irrefutable empirical proof and logic here that totally contradicts everything you've just said about the impossibility of complex entities forming or existing.)

      Delete
    30. So this is the ID/creationist hypothesis about the origin of life? Bewildering complexity?

      Still, at least give txpiper credit for honesty and admitting that the complexity of biology leaves him bewildered. That puts him one up on, say, Michael Behe, who tries to gussy up his bewilderment by instead calling it "irreducible complexity."

      Delete
    31. tx,

      "No, I’m sorry, but there is no evidence that an organism can live and replicate without a minimum number of genes, and functional, hyper-complex molecular machines. Those are the empirical facts."

      No, those aren't empirical facts. They are your assertions. I don't have to disprove every silly assertion you and other ID-creationists dream up. It is you who have to prove your case.

      "There is also not a hint of data that even suggests that genes or anything like ribosome could form accidentally."

      Evolution makes no such claim. That is a straw man argument.

      "The nonsense you believe makes alchemy look like sophisticated research. You’ve moved from being deceived, to willful, deliberate self-deceit. You left science behind when you started only believing things that you like."

      Now you are just projecting again. I'm sorry your religious superstitions have left you with no proof for what you believe, but kindly stop trying to foist your intellectual failings on science.

      "Profuse empirical evidence shows bewildering complexity in the simplest living things that could not possibly be the result of time and accidents. It is that simple."

      Because you think life is too complex to have evolved you want to claim your god did it. That is an argument from personal incredulity and a false dichotomy (why is it that ID-creationists aren't satisfied with making one huge logical fallacy when they make an 'argument'; they have to work in at least two). If I were to defend evolution by saying I have thought about it and came to the conclusion that it looks evolved to me so that has to be what happened, you would never accept such an argument (and rightly so). Your armchair musings do not constitute evidence.

      We have been over this ground together before, tx. Unless you have something new to add, I'm done wasting my time.

      Delete
    32. “Do you know for a fact that they never did otherwise, i.e., that they never utilized "free" chemicals and only later evolved to drop that mode when the biochemical bonanza of cellular life became widely available?”

      Well, I guess I don’t know that for a fact. And perhaps pumpkins really can turn into carriages, and Elvis is doing two shows every night on Saturn. But from what I can glean from everything I’ve read, free chemicals are no substitute for replication enzymes or ribosome.

      ===

      “No, those aren't empirical facts. They are your assertions. I don't have to disprove every silly assertion you and other ID-creationists dream up.”

      No, you don’t. You can excuse yourself.
      -
      There is also not a hint of data that even suggests that genes or anything like ribosome could form accidentally.

      Evolution makes no such claim. That is a straw man argument.”

      Oh. Well then, according to the theory, how did those things originate?

      Delete
    33. I love it when people who believe in the fantastic fable that complex objects can be wished into existence with magical spells and thoughts, complain about gaps in scientific knowledge.

      There is no demonstration in all of history, that anything can be wished into existence. Yet txpiper aka, the hypocrite, believes in this concept with the staunch conviction of a complete sycophant.

      "Oh. Well then, according to the theory, how did those things originate?"

      We don't know. But you're the one who believes they were literally wished into existence with a magical spell.

      You know that classic creationist argument that evolution violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics? Well creationism violates ALL the laws of physics. Literally. The conservation of mass, momentum, charge, all the laws about the transfer and dispersal of heat, energy and so on, the behaviors of particles in gases, solids and fluids. Creationism posits that none of these laws are really true and that exceptions to them have taken place in actual history. On what "observational" evidence? None whatsoever. They believe it because they were told as childre, and thinking about it in church or when they read bible verses "feels good".

      LOL

      Delete
    34. Oh. Well then, according to the theory, how did those things originate?

      Not confirmed yet and may never be, so not a theory. There are a number of hypotheses that have been put out for peer review (i.e., for other scientists to argue with and try to tear down, which they have, heartily - this is part of the interest and fun of science). But of course all these hypotheses are based on the laws of chemistry. We know chemistry can create amino acids in the harsh conditions of space, so amino acid chains being formed into proteins and other chemical reactions taking place in the considerably more active environment of the Earth of 3.7-3.5 billion years ago isn't even surprising, let alone miraculous.

      Delete
    35. “I love it when people who believe in the fantastic fable that complex objects can be wished into existence with magical spells and thoughts, complain about gaps in scientific knowledge.”

      I just recognize, from an ID (which I have little use for) standpoint, that some things are not possible. Life is not about amino acids. It is about proteins, and proteins are not just ‘free’ chemicals. They are synthesized, functioning structures. You can’t overstate that reality. The accidents you are appealing to are countless, ridiculous, top-shelf miracles. This is not about little gaps.

      Lots of people conceivably brighter than you, and none of them Bible thumpers, have recognized the grotesqeness of the obstacles. Perhaps you’ve heard of Antony Flew. He had sense enough to comprehend, after many years, the grotesqueness of the problems that your pissy attitude lets you walk right by:

      “In 2007, in an interview with Benjamin Wiker, Flew said again that his deism was the result of his "growing empathy with the insight of Einstein and other noted scientists that there had to be an Intelligence behind the integrated complexity of the physical Universe" and "my own insight that the integrated complexity of life itself – which is far more complex than the physical Universe – can only be explained in terms of an Intelligent Source.” ”
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antony_Flew

      Some of your big dogs were forced to look elsewhere for answers:

      “Francis Crick (who co-discovered the structure of DNA with James Watson) and Leslie Orgel once proposed that life on Earth was the result of a deliberate infection, designed by aliens who had purposely fled mother nature’s seed to a new home in the sun. Crick repeatedly addressed the question of the origin of life between 1971 and 1988…”
      https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/the-origins-of-directed-panspermia/

      And then there are the Christian creationists, the people who founded most of the disciplines, who would quickly dismiss your pompous conclusions. You may be smart Mikkel, but you're not that smart.

      Delete
    36. Life is not about amino acids. It is about proteins

      And of course amino acids linking together to form proteins is impossible because - uhh, because why, exactly?

      Delete
    37. "And of course amino acids linking together to form proteins is impossible because - uhh, because why, exactly?"

      There are lots several people here who can explain why that doesn't happen.

      Delete
    38. https://www.facebook.com/therealskepticus/videos/618920038310589/

      Delete
    39. "I just recognize, from an ID (which I have little use for) standpoint, that some things are not possible."

      And universes, entire universes, full of galaxies, stars, planets and with life on them, can be wished into existence with magical incantations. You believe that's possible.

      LOL

      Delete
    40. There are lots several people here who can explain why that doesn't happen.

      Because we all know that biochemistry operates on *completely different* rules than regular chemistry, right? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wöhler_synthesis)

      Delete
    41. Txpiper: "There are lots several people here who can explain why that [amino acids linking together] doesn't happen."

      Actually, in some circumstances amino acids can join together without any organism involved. In fact the early experiments on how organic chemicals can form produced not only amino acids but also polypeptides (short amino acid chains; very short proteins). So this is an argument you shouldn't make.

      Delete
    42. bwilson295,

      "So this is an argument you shouldn't make."

      In regards to functional protein synthesis in living things, I would definitely use it, because what I think you're talking about didn't just happen. Miller was the organism involved as he was the one who decided to add cyanamide to his experiment. That's hardly an approximation of either the process or the results of proteins being synthesized.

      Delete
    43. In regards to functional protein synthesis in living things, I would definitely use it

      Does the fact that reactions take place in living things that aren't ordinary in inorganic chemistry surprise you? A billion years or more to evolve the reactions you see in even the most primitive cellular organisms does have some significance. Of course if you remain studiously ignorant of the fact of a 4.5 billion year old Earth, I can see where you would have trouble with that.

      Delete
    44. " Miller was the organism involved as he was the one who decided to add cyanamide to his experiment. That's hardly an approximation of either the process or the results of proteins being synthesized."

      It's definitely not an approximation of how the process of protein biosynthesis takes place in cells, but that would be pretty obvious if we're talking about the very origin of life, rather than life as we know it. And I'm not saying this to advocate for Miller's primordial soup scenario, merely to point out your reasoning is laughably flawed.

      The fact that protein biosynthesis in cells happens due to process X, doesn't mean the very first proteins couldn't have been synthesized by process Y at life's origin.

      In fact, that's what you believe. That first life came to exist by an entirely different process than how living organism now copy themselves. You don't believe the first proteins were biosynthesized by the ribosome, you believe they were wished into existence with literal magic. Which is not at all how the ribosome makes proteins. So once again, the principle you cling to in your rejection of abiogenesis, bites your own creationism in the butt.

      Will you ever acquire the ability to reason, and will you for once use it before you post?

      Delete
    45. Will you ever acquire the ability to reason

      My assumption from Tx's posts is that he was not a young Earth creationist always, but came to that set of beliefs through a conversion process that he feels made him a better person. And in fact he would prefer that we also become better people in a similar way, rather than this "reason" you speak of.

      IOW, the answer to your question, Mikkel, is "not any time soon, if ever." I would assume (Tx will correct me if I am wrong) that he believes his life-after-death depends on it.

      Delete
    46. "Will you ever acquire the ability to reason, and will you for once use it before you post?"

      Since you're dealing with a guy who calls scientific proposals and endeavours "pumpkins turning into carriages," while actually believing that the whole of reality was produced by the incantations of a magical being, I doubt that acquiring the ability to reason, or using it before posting, is among his priorities or desires.

      Delete
    47. "A billion years or more to evolve the reactions…”

      Well first, dead reactions don’t evolve, so throwing time at an impossibility doesn’t help. By your metric, alchemists could still be on the right track.

      But to summarize, cyanamide was delivered to the earth from deep space by meteorites, and wound up in the proximity of racemic amino acids, and they were struck by lightning and formed dipeptides, and these precursors evolved into homochiral, task-specific, synthesized proteins. And logical, neutral, objective science recognizes that things like this happen all the time, so there is no God.

      ===

      “wished into existence with literal magic”

      No, spoken into existence by the same literal Authority that is configuring the alliance between Russia, Iran and several other players in preparation for an invasion of Israel that was described and recorded about 2600 years ago. It’s the kind of information you don’t want to ignore if you’re into facts.

      Delete
    48. “My assumption from Tx's posts is that he was not a young Earth creationist always, but came to that set of beliefs through a conversion process that he feels made him a better person.”

      No, I used to be an old Earth creationist, and just changed my views on account of, among other things, data that was not available until after the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption, and what happened after the 1983 floods that occurred in the Colorado river basin. And, speaking of floods, the ongoing discoveries of bio-material that is supposed to be tens, if not hundreds of millions of years old has reinforced my position.

      As for making me a better person, I think not. I’m just more informed, and more of a dispensational Biblical literalist.

      Delete
    49. "...dispensational Biblical literalist."

      It's remarkable the fancy sounding terms some people devise to describe uninformed imbeciles.

      Delete
    50. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispensationalism

      Delete
    51. Well first, dead reactions don’t evolve

      See, this is the "Groundhog Day" stuff I dislike when dealing with creationists. You act like you never read the Nick Lane stuff, when you've already commented on it here. If you have specific problems with any of the chemistry, let us know. Vague vitalist generalities like "dead reactions don't evolve" don't cut it two centuries after the Wohler synthesis.

      Delete
    52. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispensationalism

      Like I said....

      Delete
    53. “It's remarkable the fancy sounding terms…”

      Dispensationalism is not particularly fancy. It just acknowledges previously announced historical trends and milestones. The Wikipedia article should have mentioned Clarence Larkin.

      ===

      “You act like you never read the Nick Lane stuff, when you've already commented on it here.”

      Yeah, I enjoyed perusing some of the things he’s written. My favorite is about death being a premier evolutionary accomplishment. But, unlike you, I don’t accept what people might write as proven science. There should be ten piles of data gleaned from repeatable experiments accompanying Lane and Michael Le Page’s condensed story about how life evolved, in ten steps:

      https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17987-how-life-evolved-10-steps-to-the-first-cells/

      I particularly like step #6, the only one that mentions self-replication, since that would be critically necessary to the ‘evolution’ to occur.

      ”Fatty molecules coated the iron-sulphur froth and spontaneously formed cell-like bubbles. Some of these bubbles would have enclosed self-replicating sets of molecules – the first organic cells. The earliest protocells may have been elusive entities, though, often dissolving and reforming as they circulated within the vents.”

      And the crowd went crazy. See how easy that is? All it takes is a little imagination.
      -
      “If you have specific problems with any of the chemistry, let us know.”

      Well, since you ask, Lane and Le Page say that:

      ”electrochemical gradient between the alkaline vent fluid and the acidic seawater leads to the spontaneous formation of acetyl phosphate and pyrophospate, which act just like adenosine triphosphate or ATP, the chemical that powers living cells.

      These molecules drove the formation of amino acids – the building blocks of proteins – and nucleotides, the building blocks for RNA and DNA.”


      So, one question is, has anyone actually produced any or all of the homochiral amino acids using acetyl phosphate and pyrophospate as substitutes for ATP?

      Also, nucleotides “are composed of three subunit molecules: a nitrogenous base, a five-carbon sugar (ribose or deoxyribose), and at least one phosphate group"*, and “In biology, D-ribose must be phosphorylated by the cell before it can be used.”**

      So, is phosphorylated D-ribose found at alkaline vent fluid/acidic seawater gradients at deep-sea vents? Would you suppose they meant nucleobases? In your opinion, does the deep-sea vent stuff compete well with the Miller-Urey’s p-traps and electrical stimulation? Which do you think is more deserving of the “process not well-understood” trophy?

      * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nucleotide
      ** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribose

      Delete
    54. ... aand we're straight back to the argument from ignorance. It's not yet been demonstrated, so we don't know, therefore verbal incantations by an incorporeal and mouthless space-Gandalf made it all appear out of literally nothing. Never mind that that's also never been observed, txpiper will believe it with absolute conviction.

      So he's both reasoning fallaciously (we don't know, so it must be magic), and he's doing it on a double-standard (believes on zero empirical evidence, yet scold us for not being able to demonstrate how life evolved with evidence).

      Delete
    55. “…aand we're straight back to the argument from ignorance. It's not yet been demonstrated, so we don't know….on a double-standard”

      No Mikkel, you’ve come to premature conclusions while your’re still immersed in ignorance. If it hasn’t been demonstrated, then you don’t know, and you have no business drawing any conclusions.

      There is a double standard. Science isn’t supposed to be involved in faith enterprises, so scientists should be furiously washing out things like Lane’s ten point fairy tale as fast as they are published. But you don’t. You just excuse yourself, and believe things that you like.

      Delete
    56. Tell me what I believe, I'm curious. What do you think I believe?

      Delete
    57. But, unlike you, I don’t accept what people might write as proven science.

      You might try responding to what I actually write next time. I've never said the Nick Lane stuff was proven science, just that it was one among several hypotheses that don't require something fundamentally different from chemistry as currently known.

      Regarding experiments and data, does this mean you've made a survey of all Nick Lane's academic publications that might possibly be relevant, including experiments and data from others referenced in those publications? (That's of course what references are for.)

      Delete
    58. Yes. txpiper, like many creationists, is confused about the scientific method. Nike Lane's hypothesis is being actively investigated. And while it has not been refuted, there is also not enough evidence to accept it as true. That's where the science part comes in: Trying to get enough evidence to determine either way. And if txpiper or any of his creationist friends managed to conceive of their belief, that life arose thru a magical incantation from God, in the form of a hypothesis that is based on observed phenomena and which could also be subjected to empirical tests, it would achieve the status of a hypothesis as well, rather than being just a silly myth.

      The other distinction: Nick Lane is not saying "Life arose from hydrothermal vents. Therefore, women who lie about being virgins should be stoned to death." That's just one more thing that distinguishes science from religion.

      Delete
    59. txpiper says:

      "No, spoken into existence by the same literal Authority that is configuring the alliance between Russia, Iran and several other players in preparation for an invasion of Israel that was described and recorded about 2600 years ago."

      As txpiper has argued in this very thread:

      No txpiper, you’ve come to premature conclusions while you’re still immersed in ignorance. If it hasn’t been demonstrated, then you don’t know, and you have no business drawing any conclusions.

      Delete
    60. “That's where the science part comes in: Trying to get enough evidence to determine either way.”

      No, this is where the science goes out, and the necessities of atheism come in. There is plenty of biological data. None of it supports the notion that life (or nucleic acids, or genes, or proteins, or ribosome, or ATP) arose from dead chemistry. The facts are in, and there is mountainous evidence to prove that abiogenesis is not possible in any time frame, or any circumstances.

      ===

      “As txpiper has argued in this very thread:

      No txpiper, you’ve come to premature conclusions while you’re still immersed in ignorance. If it hasn’t been demonstrated…”

      It has been demonstrated many times, and consistently ignored. The example I mentioned is one scene in a panorama.

      Delete
    61. "The facts are in, and there is mountainous evidence to prove that abiogenesis is not possible in any time frame, or any circumstances. "

      No, there isn't.

      Oh cool, argument from mere assertion is easy. I need to do this more often. Just brainlessly claim something and then pretend this settles the matter.

      Delete
    62. "There is plenty of biological data. None of it supports the notion that life (or nucleic acids, or genes, or proteins, or ribosome, or ATP) arose from dead chemistry."

      Life arises from "dead chemistry" all the time. Organisms reproduce in and outside of previously alive stuff. (That's the most sense I could make of that "dead chemistry" terminology.)

      "The facts are in, and there is mountainous evidence to prove that abiogenesis is not possible in any time frame, or any circumstances."

      "This is too complex," or "that has too many genes" is not evidence that abiogenesis is not possible. That's just evidence that something is very complex, or that something has many genes.

      There's life today, and there was no life in the past. Therefore, abiogenesis must be possible. The questions might be, how did it happen, how many ways can it happen. Things like that.

      Delete
    63. tx,

      "“As txpiper has argued in this very thread:

      No txpiper, you’ve come to premature conclusions while you’re still immersed in ignorance. If it hasn’t been demonstrated…”

      It has been demonstrated many times, and consistently ignored. The example I mentioned is one scene in a panorama."

      I thought pointing out your hypocrisy using your own words would make a difference. But apparently your need to believe in fairy tales based on no evidence is stronger than any appeal to reason.

      Delete
    64. It has been demonstrated many times, and consistently ignored. The example I mentioned is one scene in a panorama.

      Funny how there's not one ounce of prediction in all this "demonstrat[ion]." Everyone could point to all the Biblical indications that the Earth orbits the Sun *after* the scientific proof was in. Confirmation bias, anyone?

      Please do show me the predictions in the Bible of the solar and lunar eclipse dates for the next few thousand years.

      Delete
    65. "Please do show me the predictions in the Bible of the solar and lunar eclipse dates for the next few thousand years."

      You'd be better off ruminating about why everyone is preoccupied with Israel, specifically Jerusalem.

      Delete
    66. Gee, I dunno, txpiper. Why are people who are preoccupied with the Bible, which is always going on about Jerusalem, also preoccupied with Jerusalem? Because circular reasoning is circular, perhaps?

      It seems to me, anyway, that more people these days are preoccupied with Pyongyang. What did the Bible have to say about that? Did its authors even give any indication that they were aware of the existence of Asia?

      Delete
    67. "Oh, I'm more than happy to learn things."

      I don't believe you, since you've never demonstrated that has happened at any time in your life.

      Delete
  3. Larry, what are your thoughts on recent back-and-forth between Lynch & Marinov and Lane & Martin regarding the role of mitochondria in the origin of eukaryotic cellular complexity? If I understood correctly, Lynch and Marinov claimed in their paper on the bioenergetic costs of a new gene that mitochondria is not essential for increase in genome complexity seen in eukaryotes, whereas Lane and Martin disagreed with this conclusion.

    Do you plan to maybe cover this in future? Also, other readers are free to chime in.

    By the way, big fan of Sandwalk! Great site!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like an interesting discussion. Georgi Marinov comments here from time to time, so it's possible he would weigh in as well.

      Delete
  4. Having sat on the Council of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution with Bill, I can say that he is one of the last people in the world who would be intimidated by a questioner (particularly one who mistakenly thinks that the LUCA is the first form of life). Timid, he is definitely not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Having sat on the Council of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution with Bill, I can say that he is one of the last people in the world who would be intimidated by a questioner..."

      Well gosh, I hope a renegade like John Southerland never finds himself face to face with a silverback like Bill Martin:

      "But not everyone is convinced that the hydrogen gobbling vent-dweller Martin uncovered is really LUCA. John Sutherland of the University of Cambridge in England, whose research suggests the origins of life began on land and not deep in the ocean, tells Wade that life could have developed elsewhere and then been shoved down into places like hydrothermal vents during global disasters like the Late Heavy Bombardment, a catastrophic period in Earth’s history between 4 billion and 3.8 billion years ago in which the planet was reshaped by a shower of asteroids and comets.

      In fact, he argues that basic chemistry shows life likely originated in pools of water on land, Darwin’s “warm little ponds.” Ultraviolet light from the sun, which does not reach down to hydrothermal vents, he argues, is a key element in that chemistry.”


      http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/behold-luca-last-universal-common-ancestor-life-earth-180959915/

      Now if I was Bill, I'd ask Southerland "how in hell could an asteroid shove a sub-LUCA down to a hydrothermal vent where it could continue to evolve into the real LUCA, you Cambridge punk?"

      But, if it was an Alabama cracker like me, who wouldn't realize that I'm supposed to be intimidated, I’d ask Bill "where did those 355 genes come from?"

      Delete
    2. The "355 genes" question shows txpiper still hasn't realized that there is a difference between LUCA and the first life form. Martin would wipe the floor with him, but, based on performance here, txpiper would remain oblivious.

      Delete
    3. txpiper's source of confusion seems to be somewhat different, though he is confused about such a great many things one can never be sure. It seems he understands the claim that there were a number of simpler organisms (or, earlier, self-reproducing compounds of chemicals) that historically preceded the LUCA. He just does not believe this is possible, because no one has observed an organism with 354 genes or fewer. And therefore, the argument goes, it was moral to stone women to death because they lied about being virgins.

      Delete
    4. “The "355 genes" question shows txpiper still hasn't realized that there is a difference between LUCA and the first life form.”

      I realize what “last universal” means, and the article I linked to states that Bill Martin and his team surmised that number:

      “From six million total genes, they found 355 gene families that were widespread among the microbes, which means they were likely to be genes LUCA passed down.”

      So, there were antecedent sub-life forms that had what? 4 genes? 76? 219? My very reasonable questions are still about how those forms lived and replicated with fewer than recognized minimums, and what was the mechanism they utilized to acquire new genes leading up to the 355 that Bill thinks the LUCA passed along.

      This is not hard to understand, but it is apparently very difficult to contemplate.


      Delete
    5. It's also laughable that Tx thinks Bill Martin would mind the normal scientific process of formulating multiple plausible hypotheses, then testing them. There are many of these that are more or less plausible but still scientific (i.e., based on what we know to be true of chemistry through centuries of research and experiments, not Tx's primitive, thoughtless vitalism).

      Delete
    6. fewer than recognized minimums

      Recognized "minimums" (actually just numbers, not minimums) for *what* is the issue you can't seem to get your head around, because of course you can't allow yourself to think about all this as something that might be true.

      What's the number of genes in a hepatitis D virus?

      Delete
    7. txpiper-
      I don’t know how the first life came into being.
      Since I’m clueless about how life began, maybe you should take these observations with a grain of salt.

      About 50 years ago I was taught that Miller had created life in a lab by making an electric spark in some primordial gas. That seemed very strange to me. I could not imagine that happening.
      About 45 years ago I found out what they had shown is life does not come about the way Miller’s experiment is designed (they have run it many times- no life) and that in fact life comes from life. That made more sense to me. It still does.

      It seems a reasonable position to me-
      Since we know life comes from life and we have no examples of life coming from non-life, then I will believe life comes from non-life when it has been demonstrated, not before.

      It turns out this is an ‘anti-science’ stance. Wanting to see an actual demonstration of the extraordinary claim is taboo in this case. I’m not exactly sure why it is such a taboo.

      What seems an act of faith to me is considered an absolute, unquestionable truth to some.
      So while you might be told that one can’t ‘wish’ things into existence, the person telling you that will ‘assert’ into existence any number of ‘pre-life’ forms, and ‘proto life forms’ and all sorts of entities that have no existence in reality.
      But they ‘assert’ them into existence rather than ‘wish’ because they are not acting on ‘faith’.
      They know.

      You might be used to dealing with people who are proud of their faith. This is an entirely different situation. As if you hadn’t noticed…

      Delete
    8. About 50 years ago I was taught that Miller had created life in a lab by making an electric spark in some primordial gas.

      It's unfortunate that someone lied to you about that. It's not an excuse to remain ignorant of the subject for five decades.

      Since we know life comes from life and we have no examples of life coming from non-life, then I will believe life comes from non-life when it has been demonstrated, not before.

      It turns out this is an ‘anti-science’ stance.


      Not so much an "anti-science" stance, as an "anti-logic" stance. Try follow along:

      We know life exists now, and everything alive today has arisen from an ancestor that was also alive.

      If life can only arise from things that are themselves alive, that means that life has always existed as long as the universe has.

      Is that compatible with what we know about the history of the universe and the conditions under which life can exist?

      If you believe it is, please elaborate on how you arrived at this conclusion, and describe the life forms you believe existed one second after the Big Bang.

      If you do not believe that is true, however, then the only alternative conclusion I can see that is compatible with current scientific knowledge is that life arose thru a series of physical processes, the earlier of which would not involve entities we would necessarily consider to be "alive" today.

      Is there an alternative scientific explanation? I can't think of one, but I'd be interested to hear of any I might have failed to consider. Reminder: "God did it, with magic", is not a scientific explanation.

      TIA.

      Delete
    9. I've often heard the creationist syllogism
      Life comes from life.
      God is living.
      Therefore life comes from God.

      Of course that's not properly formed, as can be easily be shown by substituting "a frog" or "a petunia" for "God". The actual syllogism ought to be
      Life comes from life.
      God is living.
      Therefore God comes from life.

      But no creationist would like that. Still, it shows that God is not a solution to infinite regress.

      Delete
    10. "the only alternative conclusion I can see that is compatible with current scientific knowledge is that life arose thru a series of physical processes"

      The problem is that those unidentifiable physical processes are completely incompatible with scientific knowledge. It was not so long ago that people had sense enough to draw a hard line between origin of life and evolution. Now, it is all just one hopeful, atheism-driven wad that has nothing whatever to do with science.

      Delete
    11. Well, perhaps you can try answer the question I put to Jack, txpiper. I'm sure he won't mind.

      Delete
    12. Wanting to see an actual demonstration of the extraordinary claim is taboo in this case. I’m not exactly sure why it is such a taboo.

      It's not taboo at all. It's just that something which possibly took a billion years or so originally is quite unlikely to happen while u wait. :-)

      Delete
    13. The problem is that those unidentifiable physical processes are completely incompatible with scientific knowledge.

      Excellent, one untrue and one dubious statement in a single sentence!

      Untrue: "...completely incompatible with scientific knowledge." Not if you include the last couple of centuries, during which we've moved on from primitive vitalism. Current scientific hypotheses are compatible with scientific knowledge down to as many decimal places as quantum mechanics has been experimentally confirmed to. (That's a lot of decimal places.)

      Dubious: "unidentifiable" - Yep, we don't have time machines. But the candidate processes are being continuously winnowed. Perhaps experiments to confirm that the most promising candidate steps could have occurred will be taking place in our lifetimes.

      Delete
    14. To clarify: The so-called "extraordinary claim" in this case is: "Life arose thru physical and chemical processes, the precise details of which remain unknown." I don't really see what is so "extraordinary" about this claim.

      What would be extraordinary is someone saying, "Life arose thru a process that did not involve physics or chemistry." I think we'd need an example of such a process before assuming that it could occur.

      Delete
    15. "The problem is that those unidentifiable physical processes are completely incompatible with scientific knowledge"

      If those physical processes are unidentifiable, then you cannot know if they're incompatible with scientific knowledge.

      Delete
    16. Pshaw! You and your logic. txpiper don't need no stinking logic.

      Delete
    17. lutesuite-
      Your argument appears to be an argument based on personal incredulity.
      You seem to be operating from a false dilemma.
      We can observe how life begins, it comes from life. We know that without life we get no life (see Pasteur). You claim it happened differently than that ‘once upon a time’. That’s an extraordinary claim.
      It appears you are claiming to know how the thing that has never been observed happened because you can’t imagine any other scenario. Extraordinary!


      John Harshman-
      Your syllogism would work better with ‘a frog’ than with ‘god’ because life does come from frogs for sure whereas anything to do with god is speculation at best.

      The ’solution’ to the ‘infinite regress’ is to recognize god isn’t like what you know (you know nature you think logically, god is supernatural and created logic, so god doesn’t need to be bound by either).
      Haven’t you figured that out yet?

      judmarc-
      I note that life arises all over the earth all the time. In the time it takes me to type this I estimate there will be trillions of new life forms come into existence in my garden soil alone.
      Why would it take billions of years for a chemical reaction to occur that would produce life?

      Delete
    18. Your syllogism would work better with ‘a frog’ than with ‘god’ because life does come from frogs for sure whereas anything to do with god is speculation at best.

      You misunderstand the statement. "Life" in the syllogism refers to all life, not just frogs. To clarify: All life comes from prior life. A frog is prior life. Therefore all life comes from a frog. Better for you?

      The ’solution’ to the ‘infinite regress’ is to recognize god isn’t like what you know (you know nature you think logically, god is supernatural and created logic, so god doesn’t need to be bound by either).
      Haven’t you figured that out yet?


      I have figured out that just declaring God to be incomprehensible and free of infinite regress doesn't make it true, nor does it make God actually exist. And since you don't know anything about such a hypothetical entity, you are free to make up whatever features you find convenient. But making up stuff isn't a solution to anything.

      Delete
    19. lutesuite-
      Your argument appears to be an argument based on personal incredulity.


      Really? How do you figure that? I'm not sure you understand what the term means. I can hardly be incredulous about a proposed explanation that you have not even provided.

      You seem to be operating from a false dilemma.

      Again, what false dilemma? If life did not exist forever, then it must have started to exist at some point. Is there another possible option? And since the only possible choice of the two is that life began to exist, then life must have arisen from physical and chemical processes. What else is there? You're being very coy about what other possibility there could be.

      We know that without life we get no life (see Pasteur).

      No, that is not what Pasteur demonstrated. He showed that complex, modern life forms do not arise as such from non-living material. He did not demonstrate that that must also apply to the earliest forms of life. Creationists often like to misrepresent that finding. I thought you were supposed to be smarter than them.

      It appears you are claiming to know how the thing that has never been observed happened because you can’t imagine any other scenario.

      Yes,that is correct. And neither can anyone else, other than the one where God did it thru magic, which is obviously a scientifically untenable position. That's why I asked you what other scenario you are proposing. Is there a reason you won't disclose this?

      Delete
    20. The ’solution’ to the ‘infinite regress’ is to recognize god isn’t like what you know (you know nature you think logically, god is supernatural and created logic, so god doesn’t need to be bound by either).

      God is not bound by logic? Well, that is certainly a novel position. I'm quite certain most theologians would disagree with you. They could hardly consider the practice of theology viable otherwise, could they?

      Well, enjoy trying to use logic to prove the existence of this being who is beyond logic. After that, maybe you can calculate the diameter of a few triangles.

      Delete
    21. judmarc-
      I note that life arises all over the earth all the time. In the time it takes me to type this I estimate there will be trillions of new life forms come into existence in my garden soil alone.
      Why would it take billions of years for a chemical reaction to occur that would produce life?


      Are you really this stupid? Or are you just auditioning for txpiper's job after he gets banned?

      Delete
    22. Jack,

      "We can observe how life begins, it comes from life. We know that without life we get no life (see Pasteur)."

      We take into account what Pasteur demonstrated. This is why no scientist proposes that a frog was the first life form, or a human. This is why the proposals start with very simple potential first life.

      "You claim it happened differently than that ‘once upon a time’. That’s an extraordinary claim."

      If you care to understand what I just explained, you'll notice that there's nothing extraordinary about the proposals about the origin of life.

      "It appears you are claiming to know how the thing that has never been observed happened because you can’t imagine any other scenario."

      This is not what anybody has claimed. We don't know how it happened. We just know it must have happened. Since there was no life in the past, and we're here today, there must have been an origin of life. Simple.

      "Extraordinary!"

      What's extraordinary is your unwillingness to keep yourself honest about what people try and explain to you.

      "I note that life arises all over the earth all the time. In the time it takes me to type this I estimate there will be trillions of new life forms come into existence in my garden soil alone."

      With all this knowledge about life happening all the time, no magic involved, you still insist that the first time life arose it must have been magic.

      "Why would it take billions of years for a chemical reaction to occur that would produce life?"

      Today existing life forms have lots of catalysts that help accelerate those reactions giving rise to new life forms. The catalysts must have been very different back then, since the current ones weren't available. It doesn't make sense for life to have arisen back then identically to the way it arises today, does it?

      Delete
    23. The precursors of life might also be arising all the time, today. Only, now that there are lots actual living things around, those chemicals don't go on to become living things themselves. They just become food.

      Delete
    24. "are you just auditioning for txpiper's job after he gets banned?"

      Well, I'm not particularly mean or vulgar, so I guess it would be for blasphemy.

      Delete
    25. Why would it take billions of years for a chemical reaction to occur that would produce life?

      Gabriel gave what I thought were excellent answers. Some further thoughts:

      What happens now is reproduction. That wasn't the process the first time or times.

      Second, favorable conditions very likely weren't prevalent on Earth the first billion or so years. When favorable conditions for the candidate chemical reactions prevailed widely enough, that made the chemistry that gave rise to the first reproducing molecules and eventually the first life more likely to occur. Time, chemistry, favorable conditions. Pretty prosaic stuff. Just like prosaic everyday stuff like gravity, light, etc., gave rise to the wonders of the universe you see around you.


      Delete
    26. But making up stuff isn't a solution to anything.

      It does appear to have worked for a lot of people, as long as they can convince others.

      Delete
    27. Well, I'm not particularly mean or vulgar, so I guess it would be for blasphemy.

      No such thing outside of religion. Science at large welcomes *informed* dissent and even revolution, though of course individual scientists are human and can engage in heated argument.

      It seems to me you're subject to a preexisting mindset that science is like religion (as bad as religion?) in this regard. But the wonderful thing about science is that consistent questioning *on the basis of information* is welcomed.

      Mere argument by assertion, on the other hand, doesn't really make for a very interesting discussion. We have had ID/creationists here who were far more knowledgeable and interesting than you've become.

      Delete
    28. John Harshman-
      I understand what you are saying about the syllogism.
      I agree with everything you say about god after that except— “But making up stuff isn’t a solution to anything.”

      I’m imagining our lives have been somewhat different in that regard. I have had to make up new products and new sales pitches and new businesses and new stories to tell the employees to get them excited to work and on and on. ‘Making stuff up’ was pretty close to my last job description.
      What a great partnership that was. Got so good the partners all wanted to sell out. So we did.
      Now nobody pays me to make stuff up. And I do it anyway! I’ll be writing some music after I write this.

      I think our different experiences with making stuff up might explain a great deal of the differences in how we view things in general.

      lutesuite-
      I’m the one who doesn’t know how life began, you are the one claiming to know how life began.
      When I ask how, I get an argument. Your argument is that it must be a certain way because you can’t imagine anything else.
      How would I differentiate that argument from an argument from personal incredulity?
      If I ask you to demonstrate your claim you attack viciously.
      What I experience is a communication that mirrors exactly the kind of communication I get when I attack a person’s religion.
      Is that how you intend it to come across?

      Gabriel
      Thank you for the reply.
      I do not know how life first arose.
      I don’t know if the RNA first hypothesis or the metabolism first hypothesis make any sense. Maybe life came from a volcanic vent. Or from outer space. What idea would be acceptable to you?

      Obviously I’m a hopeless moron, I’m so stupid I think a demonstration of the claim is important.

      My original post on this thread was to txpiper. It seems he is frustrated about something he might be better off accepting.

      Delete
    29. judmarc
      What you say makes sense from one perspective.

      From another perspective it sounds like you are explaining one implausible thing by claiming a long string of implausible things.


      Delete
    30. I think our different experiences with making stuff up might explain a great deal of the differences in how we view things in general.

      Actually, I think the current disagreement has more to do with your inability to retain context.

      Delete
    31. lutesuite-
      I’m the one who doesn’t know how life began, you are the one claiming to know how life began.


      When have I done that? For the record: I do not know how life began. Clear now?

      When I ask how, I get an argument. Your argument is that it must be a certain way because you can’t imagine anything else.

      How would I differentiate that argument from an argument from personal incredulity?


      Simple: By providing a specific claim, and then seeing if I reject it for the mere reason that I do not understand it.

      Everything that exists in the known universe has arisen as the result of physical and chemical processes. Living things exist in the known universe. Until you, or someone else, present a convincing argument as to how something can arise thru processes that do not involve physics and chemistry, that remains the only viable explanation. This really isn't that complicated, is it?

      If I ask you to demonstrate your claim you attack viciously.
      What I experience is a communication that mirrors exactly the kind of communication I get when I attack a person’s religion.


      If you consider patient explanations of why your arguments are fallacious to be vicious attacks, then I guess I'm guilty as charged.

      OTOH, when I ask you to demonstrate your claim, all I get are evasion and obfuscation. I leave it to you to answer what kind of person responds in that fashion.

      Delete
    32. From another perspective it sounds like you are explaining one implausible thing by claiming a long string of implausible things.

      Since absolutely none of it violates a single law of chemistry, if you consider it implausible that's either a lack of understanding, a bias, insufficiently examined personal incredulity, or some combination.

      Delete
    33. I have had to make up new products and new sales pitches and new businesses and new stories to tell the employees to get them excited to work and on and on.

      Except if there was a complete lack of objective evidence for the stuff you made up in that context - if there were no actual new products or new businesses, for example, or if the stories had no relation to reality - then you'd be in jail.

      So it's a pretty good idea, generally, to realize the difference between making stuff up, and stuff for which there's objective evidence.

      Delete
    34. John Harshman-
      I have expanded the context because I thought I might have some insight into how we view things differently.
      I would say “the ability to ‘make stuff up’ is the most valuable ability humans have.”
      Did I have an insight into a difference between us?

      lutesuite-
      You claim to know how life began 6 lines after you say you have not claimed to know how life began.

      My claim is that I don’t know how life began. I will demonstrate that claim—
      I have no idea how life began. QED

      judmarc-
      My bias is I would like to see a demonstration of the claim. I think that makes me an ‘experimentalist’.
      I like theory, but I like fantasy too.
      I trust experiment.

      I’m certain my employees knew that the stuff I made up was not objectively true.
      So did my customers. “You do the impossible,” they would say.
      Business is dealing with people and people have all sorts of things they believe and respond to. ‘Objective reality’ would be what the accountants deal with.

      An aside- I have studied general relativity to a point where I see gravity as an inevitable consequence given a couple of premises about the physical universe.
      That I find profoundly beautiful.

      Delete
    35. lutesuite-
      You claim to know how life began 6 lines after you say you have not claimed to know how life began.


      You think saying that life arose thru unknown chemical and physical processes amounts to knowing how life began? Seriously? If I submitted that to a scientific journal, do you think they would publish it?

      I ask you again: If life did not arise thru physical and chemical processes, what other option is there, in terms of a scientific hypothesis? Obviously, no serious person thinks "God did it, with magic" qualifies, right? Otherwise, we would be considering that as an option for any unanswered question. e.g. "What causes cancer?" "God does it, with magic."

      Delete
    36. Jack,

      "I have expanded the context ..."

      No, no, no, no. What John is saying is that you forget the context. I would put it differently: you ignore the answers given to you, and you fail to honestly consider what people explain to you. Will you read it this time?

      "lutesuite-
      You claim to know how life began 6 lines after you say you have not claimed to know how life began."

      You seem a bit confused. lutesuite is not claiming to know how life began. He's only claiming that, given what is known, physical and chemical processes must have ben involved. that's not a how. It's a reasonable expectation, but not a how. That doesn't tell me how life started, only what kinds of processes I can expect to have been involved. Again, you lack honest consideration to what's explained to you. (I don't even know why I'm answering, as if suddenly you'll start considering my explanation with honesty, when you ignored most of what I said before.)

      There's nothing wrong asking for a demonstration of a claim. But what's that claim? If we don't know how, we have nothing to demonstrate. Again, consider with honesty. Actually read what's explained to you for understanding. How else do you expect a conversation to progress?

      Delete
    37. Did I have an insight into a difference between us?

      No.

      Delete
    38. “Obviously, no serious person thinks "God did it, with magic" qualifies, right?”

      Well, not in your peculiar faith.

      But lots of very serious and dedicated, and exquisitely bright people like Grosseteste, Bacon, da Vinci, Bacon, Kepler, Galileo, Harvey, Pascal, Boyle, Newton, Leeuwenhoek, Linnaeus, W. and J. Herschel, Morse, Faraday, Babbage, Joule, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Mendel, Pasteur, Lister, Henrietta Leavitt, Carver and von Braun were not capable of thinking like obedient materialists. Their wisdom remained intact so that they were never, as the Bible ungently puts it, given over “to a reprobate mind”.

      Delete
    39. My bias is I would like to see a demonstration of the claim. I think that makes me an ‘experimentalist’.

      No, wanting to see a demonstration in your lifetime of processes that may have taken hundreds of millions of years originally makes you either insincere or a fool.

      And what would you say if someone removed these time constraints by demonstrating each step in one of these hypothetical processes? "You don't know that's how it actually happened!" No s**t, Sherlock.

      Delete
    40. “Obviously, no serious person thinks "God did it, with magic" qualifies, right?”

      Well, not in your peculiar faith.

      But lots of very serious and dedicated, and exquisitely bright people like Grosseteste, Bacon, da Vinci, Bacon, Kepler, Galileo, Harvey, Pascal, Boyle, Newton, Leeuwenhoek, Linnaeus, W. and J. Herschel, Morse, Faraday, Babbage, Joule, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Mendel, Pasteur, Lister, Henrietta Leavitt, Carver and von Braun were not capable of thinking like obedient materialists.


      So why don't you quote some of the scientific writings of these great men where they proposed "Goddidit" as the scientific solution to a problem. I'll be here waiting.....

      Delete
    41. Yes, von Braun is certainly a fine example of someone who was far too moral to think like a mere materialist.

      Delete
    42. tx says:

      "...were not capable of thinking like obedient materialists. Their wisdom remained intact so that they were never, as the Bible ungently puts it, given over “to a reprobate mind”."

      Actually, it was only when they thought like materialists that they succeeded in scientific discovery. When they let notions of a supernatural being contaminate their rational thought, they failed.

      For example, Newton formalized integral calculus, mathematically described the laws of motion and gravitation, and resolved how two celestial bodies can achieve a stable orbit (or not). He did all of this without resorting to invisible space superpowers or omnipotent beings obsessed with human sexual behavior. Newton was stumped by the mathematical system describing three or more bodies. He couldn't solve it and declared only the intervention of god could make it happen. Thus the science ended.

      Within 50 years of Newton's death, other scientists solved the 3+ body puzzle, without once inserting a supernatural being.

      Delete
    43. "He couldn't solve it and declared only the intervention of god could make it happen."

      Do you have a citation for this part?

      Delete
    44. "Do you have a citation for this part?"

      Looking for a citation for "I cannot solve it, therefore god-did-it" from Newton himself?

      That must make it right even though Chris also mentioned that

      "Within 50 years of Newton's death, other scientists solved the 3+ body puzzle, without once inserting a supernatural being."

      tx might be a "missing the point" professional.

      Delete
    45. No, Gabriel, tx is not missing the point; he is avoiding it.

      tx,
      I did look through some relevant sections of Newton's writing. He said:
      From Opticks:
      "Now by the help of these principles, all material things seem to have been composed of the hard and solid particles above¬mentioned, variously associated in the first creation by the counsel of an intelligent agent. For it became him who created them to set them in order. And if he did so, it's unphilosophical to seek for any other origin of the world, or to pretend that it might arise out of a chaos by the mere laws of nature; though being once formed, it may continue by those laws for many ages. For while comets move in very eccentric orbs in all manner of positions, blind fate could never make all the planets move one and the same way in orbs concentric, some inconsiderable irregularities excepted, which may have risen from the mutual actions of comets and planets upon one another, and which will be apt to increase, till this System wants a reformation."

      From General Scholium:

      "This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent being. And if the fixed Stars are the centers of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must all be subject to the dominion of One."

      I will concede that these quotes do not explicitly demonstrate that Newton had given up on materialistic science and indulged in a true god of the gaps argument as ID/creationists do with the life origins problem today. He continued to work on this problem, as far as I know, and without any incorporation of an omnipotent supernatural being into his equations. So I withdraw my statement as written.

      You claim:
      "But lots of very serious and dedicated, and exquisitely bright people like ... were not capable of thinking like obedient materialists."

      Do you have a citation for this part?

      In the several answers to your claim here, you left out what all of us have explicitly asked you:

      In that remarkable list of brilliant scientists, name one discovery or advance they contributed to science that did not rest entirely on materialist, empirical investigation? What of their achievements incorporated the necessary intervention of a supernatural being, or was derived from some revelation from the bible? Anything?

      Delete
    46. “I will concede…So I withdraw my statement”

      Fair enough. I was really just curious. That didn’t make sense to me.
      -
      “ "But lots of very serious and dedicated, and exquisitely bright people like ... were not capable of thinking like obedient materialists."

      Do you have a citation for this part?”

      I don’t need a citation. The people I listed were Christians.
      -
      “In that remarkable list of brilliant scientists, name one discovery or advance they contributed to science that did not rest entirely on materialist, empirical investigation?”

      Materialism is a doctrinal precondition, not a method.

      Delete
    47. " That didn’t make sense to me. "

      Why didn't it make sense to you? Newton was alive in 17th-early 18th century England. Everyone was a Christian and steeped in Christian mythology and superstition. God was the answer to pretty much everything they didn't know. Newton spent more time writing about biblical matter and alchemy than he did about physics and astronomy.

      "I don’t need a citation. The people I listed were Christians."

      Again, you are avoiding the point, though you have been redirected to it several times, despite your attempts to obfuscate. Everybody in the time period those scientists came from in Europe and Russia was Christian. Despite that they made some remarkable discoveries, all using the scientific method. You have yet to name one single discovery or advance they contributed to science that did not rest entirely on materialist, empirical investigation. Are you ever going to answer this challenge, or just keep avoiding it?

      "Materialism is a doctrinal precondition, not a method. "
      Materialism is a philosophical concept holding that existence and reality, and phenomena, are the result of matter/energy interactions.

      Delete
    48. It is not necessary to adhere to the metaphysical position of materialism in order to practice the scientific method properly, which means assuming materialism as a methodological technique. The scientists that txpiper mentioned, who happened to be Christians, are examples of this. Not to mention many scientists living today such as Francis Collins and Kenneth Miller. I wonder where txpiper sees them fitting in his categorization of Christians who reject materialism.

      Delete
    49. I don’t need a citation. The people I listed were Christians.

      Cool! You won't mind if I respond "I don't need a citation; the people I listed were scientists" to your future requests for references, will you?

      Delete
    50. I don’t need a citation. The people I listed were Christians.

      For some reason this answer doesn't surprise me. It's in the line with:
      'We don't need an investigation into child abuse in the church. These people are all christians.'

      It doesn't answer the question which has been repeatedly asked, and I highlighted it below:
      "Despite that they made some remarkable discoveries, all using the scientific method. You have yet to name one single discovery or advance they contributed to science that did not rest entirely on materialist, empirical investigation. Are you ever going to answer this challenge, or just keep avoiding it?"

      Good luck!

      Delete
    51. “Why didn't it make sense to you?”

      Because of the way you stated it. Newton wrote “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants”. It would be out of character for him to default to “the intervention of god” and assume that if he couldn’t solve something, neither could anyone else.
      -
      “Newton spent more time writing about biblical matter[s] and alchemy than he did about physics and astronomy.”

      True enough. Chemistry, as a discipline, was just getting off the ground, so he was driven by natural inquisitiveness in his alchemist pursuits. But his interest in the Bible, specifically the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, was not just about curiosity. Newton’s views as a futurist was about his awareness of the past. And, for his time, he was exceptionally perceptive.
      -
      “You have yet to name one single discovery or advance they contributed to science that did not rest entirely on materialist, empirical investigation.”

      Empirical investigation is a necessity. Materialism is not. While I would leave room for different levels of devotion to it, materialism, as described by Lewontin, requires the commitment be more important than the evidence. You see that here all the time.

      Delete
    52. You still haven't named a single discovery made by these non-materialists that could only have been made if they rejected materialism. I'm beginning to suspect that is because you know you can't do so, since there is no such discovery. What a surprise, txpiper was just talking bullshit again.

      Delete
    53. "You still haven't named a single discovery made by these non-materialists that could only have been made if they rejected materialism."

      So, what? I never made any claim about their discoveries. I only pointed out that they were Christians, they they did not think like materialists, and that materialism is a doctrine that is not related to "empirical investigation".

      Delete
    54. More obfuscation from tx.

      "It would be out of character for him to default to “the intervention of god” and assume that if he couldn’t solve something, neither could anyone else."

      The Newton example has nothing to do with whether or not someone else could solve problems he could not. You Newton quote is irrelevant. He also wrote:

      "There are as many orbits of a planet as it has revolutions, as in the motion of the Moon, and the orbit of any one planet depends on the combined motion of all the planets, not to mention the action of all these on each other. But to consider simultaneously all these causes of motion and to define these motions by exact laws admitting of easy calculation exceeds, if I am not mistaken, the force of any human mind."

      "Newton’s views as a futurist was about his awareness of the past. And, for his time, he was exceptionally perceptive."
      Newton spent a lot of time looking for hidden codes in the bible, to no avail. What did Newton contribute to human civilization, and what will he always be known for?

      "Materialism is not. While I would leave room for different levels of devotion to it, materialism, as described by Lewontin, requires the commitment be more important than the evidence. You see that here all the time."

      Nonsense. You have yet to name one single discovery or advance the scientists you listed contributed to science that did not rest entirely on materialist, empirical investigation. And that goes for all scientists that happen to be religious. Not one of them has ever produced a scientific advance or discovery based on their religion, or theology, or revelation from the bible, or prayer to a supernatural entity in the sky. They tend to leave all that useless baggage at the threshold to the laboratory. Or do you have an example otherwise?

      Delete
    55. Oh, look at that. txpiper is lying thru his teeth, yet again. This is my statement that led to this exchange (Directed at Jack Johnson):

      I ask you again: If life did not arise thru physical and chemical processes, what other option is there, in terms of a scientific hypothesis? Obviously, no serious person thinks "God did it, with magic" qualifies, right?

      Your typically idiotic response:

      Well, not in your peculiar faith.

      But lots of very serious and dedicated, and exquisitely bright people like Grosseteste, Bacon, da Vinci, Bacon, Kepler, Galileo, Harvey, Pascal, Boyle, Newton, Leeuwenhoek, Linnaeus, W. and J. Herschel, Morse, Faraday, Babbage, Joule, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Mendel, Pasteur, Lister, Henrietta Leavitt, Carver and von Braun were not capable of thinking like obedient materialists.


      The clear implication is that these people, as non-adherents to my "peculiar faith" did consider "God did it, with magic" to be a viable scientific hypothesis.

      So now you are saying you no longer claim that. I appreciate your admission of defeat.

      BTW, I do not consider myself to be a "materialist". Adherence to any metaphysical position is pointless, IMHO, since metaphysics has not developed an effective method to distinguish true and false claims within its own field, beyond ruling out statements that are obviously illogical.



      Delete
    56. tx says,
      " they they did not think like materialists, and that materialism is a doctrine that is not related to "empirical investigation"."

      All of those Christians had a materialist outlook in their empirical investigations.
      Do you know what materialism is? If so, name one scientific discovery by one of those Christians that was not predicated on the idea that observed phenomena are the result of matter/energy interactions, and not supernatural influences. Just one.

      Delete
    57. “He also wrote:

      “…But to consider simultaneously all these causes of motion and to define these motions by exact laws admitting of easy calculation exceeds, if I am not mistaken, the force of any human mind.”

      So, what? He was talking about mathematical expression of laws of motion, and thought it could be beyond human capability. You seem to think that the “easy calculations” were all in order 50 years after his death. But they were not. If they were, people would not still be puzzling over it:

      http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2013/03/physicists-discover-whopping-13-new-solutions-three-body-problem
      -
      “Newton spent a lot of time looking for hidden codes in the bible, to no avail. What did Newton contribute to human civilization, and what will he always be known for?”

      The importance of what he did depends on who you are. Physicists will appreciate his scientific work, and Bible thumpers will recognize his literalist approach:

      “ "Newton believed in prophecy. He thought God controls all of reality, time, and history," he said. "He believed in prophecies in the Old Testament that talked about the Jews' return to Israel… thinking the return would happen past the 17-18 th centuries.
       
      Many Christians thought Jews would all convert to Christianity and that Jerusalem would rebuilt spiritually. Newton has more respect for the Jews, and thought they would return physically," Snobelen added.
       
      The numerous documents produced by Newton on display included Hebrew writing complete with vowel markings. "Newton learned some Hebrew. He would be thrilled to know that his work has been translated into Hebrew and on display in Jerusalem," Snobelen said.
       
      Newton thought the rebuilding of Jerusalem would take place in the late 19th century, and that the Temple would be rebuilt in the 20th or 21st century, Snobelen added. "History has kind of caught up with his predictions," Snobelen said, adding: "If Newton discussed how to put satellites in space and a man on the moon, why should he be wrong about this?"
       
      Newton's radical Protestant theology and belief that a Jewish return to Israel was linked with the return of the Christian deity, Jesus, made him one of the first ever Christian Evangelical-style figures in history, Snobelen said.”

      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3416287,00.html

      “In another document, Newton interpreted biblical prophecies to mean that the Jews would return to the Holy Land before the world ends. The end of days will see "the ruin of the wicked nations, the end of weeping and of all troubles, the return of the Jews captivity and their setting up a flourishing and everlasting Kingdom," he posited.”
      http://www.foxnews.com/story/2007/06/20/manuscript-shows-isaac-newton-calculated-date-apocalypse.html

      Though it took about another 250 years, two world wars and a holocaust to reestablish Israel as a nation, Newton was right.
      -
      “You have yet to name one single discovery or advance the scientists you listed contributed to science that did not rest entirely on materialist, empirical investigation.”

      Good grief. If you rephrase this to say “You have yet to name one single discovery or advance the scientists you listed contributed to science that did not rest entirely on empirical investigation”, I will say that there are none.

      Now, do you want to tell me about the empirical discoveries that lead you to believe that nucleic acids, genes, proteins and nanomachines all arose by accidental chemistry?
      -
      “All of those Christians had a materialist outlook in their empirical investigations.
      Do you know what materialism is?”

      No, they did not, and yes, I do. Here it is, right out of the dictionary:

      ”the doctrine that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications”

      All those Christians, because they were Christians, would think that this is a false doctrine.

      Delete
    58. If you rephrase this to say “You have yet to name one single discovery or advance the scientists you listed contributed to science that did not rest entirely on empirical investigation”, I will say that there are none.

      Cool. And the conclusions they came to (the scientific laws, the equations, the results) - do we see an empirical requirement or role for God in any of these?

      Delete
    59. "...(the scientific laws, the equations, the results) - do we see an empirical requirement or role for God in any of these?"

      Newton did. I expect that he would argue that the laws are established...that things like a right angle being automatic in a triangle with sides of 3, 4 & 5 units are not accidental.

      Whether he believes it or not, Hawking does a good job of summarizing the perspective:

      "The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. We cannot, at the moment at least, predict the values of these numbers from theory - we have to find them by observation. It may be that one day we shall discover a complete unified theory that predicts them all, but it is also possible that some or all of them vary from universe to universe or within a single universe. The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life. For example, if the electric charge of the electron had been only slightly different, stars either would have been unable to burn hydrogen and helium, or else they would not have exploded. Of course, there might be other forms of intelligent life, not dreamed of even by writers of science fiction, that did not require the light of a star like the sun or the heavier chemical elements that are made in stars and are flung back into space when the stars explode. Nevertheless, it seems clear that there are relatively few ranges of values for the numbers that would allow the development of any form of intelligent life. Most sets of values would give rise to universes that, although they might be very beautiful, would contain no one able to wonder at that beauty. One can take this either as evidence of a divine purpose in Creation and the choice of the laws of science or as support for the strong anthropic principle."

      Delete
    60. That's called "putting the cart before the horse." Natural "laws" are descriptions of natural phenomena, not "rules" that the natural phenomena obey. The "laws" "obey" the observations, not the other way around. Unfortunately, forgetting the priority of the observations is a common mistake, even among the most brilliant scientists.

      Delete
    61. Another mistake is to think that because somebody believed that there was a role or a requirement for God in such and such, is not the same as objectively seeing such a requirement or role.

      However, I doubt that pointing this out to tx will have any effect. tx is here to lecture, not to listen.

      Delete
    62. tx says,

      "”the doctrine that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications”

      All those Christians, because they were Christians, would think that this is a false doctrine."

      They may or may not believe that, but every time any one of them steps into the lab, they leave non-materialistic nonsense behind. No scientific advance, formula, or theoretical concept the scientists you mentioned ever incorporated a concept outside of the interactions of matter and energy. Am I mistaken here? If so, name just one.

      Delete
    63. “No scientific advance, formula, or theoretical concept the scientists you mentioned ever incorporated a concept outside of the interactions of matter and energy. Am I mistaken here?”

      Well no, but you can’t fluff that up and into a claim that there is nothing else except interactions of matter and energy.

      If you insist on doing that, why in hell would you care about scientific advances and theoretical concepts? If materialism is bedrock reality, then there is no grand registry where rightness and wrongness are evaluated for accuracy, or cruelty and kindness are measured for goodness. Go have a good time till you drift into the cosmos.

      Delete
    64. then there is no grand registry where rightness and wrongness are evaluated for accuracy, or cruelty and kindness are measured for goodness

      There is, it's called a brain. Use it.

      Delete
    65. Tx, that Hawking quote presents three options:

      - A unified theory that explains where the fundamental values come from;

      - A divine purpose;

      - The "strong anthropic principle," essentially that it is inevitable that intelligent life arise in the/this universe. ("The/this" allows for the possibility of multiverses.)

      So you've got a 1 out of 3 shot, according to Hawking. :-)

      Delete
    66. "Well no, but you can’t fluff that up and into a claim that there is nothing else except interactions of matter and energy."

      I never made that claim. You are the one fluffing things up here. You claim a 3, 4, 5 right triangle is somehow proof that there is a god. That's as fluffy as you get.

      "If you insist on doing that, why in hell would you care about scientific advances and theoretical concepts?"

      Why wouldn't I care? Your statement here makes no sense.

      "If materialism is bedrock reality, then there is no grand registry where rightness and wrongness are evaluated for accuracy, or cruelty and kindness are measured for goodness."

      It doesn't mean that at all. And for the record, believing in fairy tales doesn't bring us rightness and wrongness or the difference between goodness and cruelty either. We have already been down that road with you before, tx, in this thread, and you were unable to even articulate your position. Do you want to try again to tell us about how the blood thirsty, capricious god of the bible is the source of all our objective morality? Have a good time drifting into the cosmos with that.

      Delete
    67. "“No scientific advance, formula, or theoretical concept the scientists you mentioned ever incorporated a concept outside of the interactions of matter and energy. Am I mistaken here?”

      Well no,"

      Finally, a straight answer to our question. Was it really that hard?

      Delete
    68. “Finally, a straight answer to our question…”

      Well, I’m not really quite sure how the discovery/invention of calculus works with interactions of matter and energy. But the scientists I noted were not materialists. They did not do their work believing that the movement and modification of matter is the only reality. Newton recognized the written forecasts about past and future movement and modification of Israelites that naturalism/materialism don’t allow you to notice.

      Delete
    69. "Well, I’m not really quite sure how the discovery/invention of calculus works with interactions of matter and energy"

      First news I have that planetary orbits have nothing to do with interactions of matter.

      What's the point of teaching so much about something that has nothing to do with matter and energy to an engineer or a scientist?

      Delete
    70. But the scientists I noted were not materialists. They did not do their work believing that the movement and modification of matter is the only reality.

      They may not have believed it, but they did their work as if that was the case. You still haven't provided a single instance of their work that involved the existence of anything other than matter and energy. That's because there is no such instance.

      Delete
  5. Think I will have to attend this tomorrow morning!

    ReplyDelete
  6. lutesuite-
    I don’t know what a science journal would publish.
    I don’t know what other scientific hypothesis one might come up with.
    I have no idea about what god did or did not do. I don’t even know if such an entity exists.

    You claim life first arose through some chemical process.
    I ask you to demonstrate your claim. You have not. That’s the simplicity of the situation.


    Gabriel-
    You say you have a reasonable expectation that life first arose through some chemical/physical process.
    I think that’s reasonable expectation and I would suggest if you want to study the origins of life that would be an excellent place to start.
    But if you say that is the only hypothesis and we know that it is true because we have no other option and I must believe this is true despite the lack of demonstration, in fact I’m some sort of fool for even asking… well…

    Do you suppose a conversation is possible?

    John Harshman-
    Are you now accepting of others’ religions because you see they are a testament to mankind’s greatest attribute?

    txpiper-
    You seem to know life did not come about through some chemical process.
    I’m not sure how you came to falsify the claim, “someday we will find a chemical process that produces life’, it seems quite unfalsifiable.
    But you really haven’t falsified the claim, have you?

    judmarc-
    I said I must be a hopeless moron for thinking a demonstration of the claim matters.
    You don’t need a demonstration because you already know how life began, right?
    Would you say you have a religious type conviction about this proposition?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. txpiper claims to know not only that it didn't come about by a chemical process, he claims to know it was magically created in an instant. And that he knows who did it.

      Delete
    2. lutesuite-
      I don’t know what a science journal would publish.
      I don’t know what other scientific hypothesis one might come up with.


      Exactly. And neither does anyone else. The same goes for any other unanswered question anywhere in science. Physics and chemistry is all there is, as far as we know, and there is no good reason to suspect there is anything else.

      For some reason you think this one question should be set aside apart from everything else in science and we should consider some mysterious non-physical, non-chemical process, that you cannot even imagine, as a putative mechanism. I ask you to justify this, you reply with nothing.

      The burden on you to support your highly extraordinary claim that there are processes independent of physics and chemistry that might be at work in the universe. You won't even try to support it. And then you accuse me of making unsubstantiated claims. That's a bit rich, don't you think?

      Delete
    3. Are you now accepting of others’ religions because you see they are a testament to mankind’s greatest attribute?

      No. I don't accept religions, I don't see they're a testament to mankind's greatest attribute, and I don't see "making up stuff" as mankind's greatest attribute. I object especially to your expansion of "making up stuff" far outside the contextual meaning.

      Delete
    4. You don’t need a demonstration because you already know how life began, right?

      As has been explained to you many times by me and others, none of us is claiming to know how life began. You, however, persist in ignoring us in favor of some inane straw man argument you want to make. You are becoming boring.

      Here, very simple: If I bounce a ball off the floor, I don't suppose a magic spook did it, I figure it's just physics. This is because, in centuries of intensive research, no magic spooks have been found, and we've learned more and more explanations based on physics.

      If I'm evaluating **hypotheses** regarding the origin of life on Earth, "a magic spook did it" doesn't occur to me as a viable explanation, and I'm inclined to look at chemistry. This is because in centuries of intensive research no magic spooks have been found, and we've learned more and more explanations based on chemistry.

      There, I dare you to screw around with that one until you somehow have me claiming to know how life on earth originated.

      Delete
    5. "Do you suppose a conversation is possible?"

      After that demonstration of your inability to read with the honest aim of understanding? Of course not.

      Delete
    6. MRRasmussen
      I missed the part where txpiper claims to know how life came to be.
      Magically created in an instant?
      I’m guessing that doesn’t involve a demonstration either.

      lutesuite
      I don’t know that everything boils down to physics and/or chemistry. I’m pretty sure that how they are currently formulated leaves questions unanswered and phenomena unaccounted for.
      I don’t know what the future discoveries will involve.

      What I do know is that you claimed you don’t know how life first began and six lines later you told me how life first began.
      It seems you are telling me I have to know a bunch of stuff I can't possibly know and that I’m supposed to ignore the thing staring me in the face.

      John Harshman-
      I did take you out of context, I wanted to know your attitude toward ‘making stuff up’.
      I’m pretty sure a great deal of our disagreements would actually stem from our attitudes about that specific thing.
      I was just trying to understand you better. My methods are clumsy. Sorry about that.

      judmarc-
      One reason i think I have violated a taboo is that you prattle on about ‘magic spooks’ (a topic i have never brought up) and you fail to acknowledge my comment about general relativity.

      Delete
    7. Jack,

      "What I do know is that you claimed you don’t know how life first began and six lines later you told me how life first began"

      Come on. How many times do we have to explain this to you? Explaining why physical and chemical processes must have been involved in the origin of life is not the same as claiming to know how life started.

      We went further trying to get you to understand this, but no explanations seem to reach you. As I said. No conversation is possible. You have no interest in understanding explanations. You seem to be just trolling.

      Delete
    8. "I have no idea about what god did or did not do. I don’t even know if such an entity exists."

      "... ‘magic spooks’ (a topic i have never brought up)"

      Really? Then who wrote this?:

      "The ’solution’ to the ‘infinite regress’ is to recognize god isn’t like what you know (you know nature you think logically, god is supernatural and created logic, so god doesn’t need to be bound by either)."

      Also, you insist that "physical and chemical processes" is a claim about how life started. Given your own standards, your claim that you don't know how life started is contradicted by the same text I just quoted.

      As I said, you seem to be just trolling.

      Delete
    9. What I do know is that you claimed you don’t know how life first began and six lines later you told me how life first began.

      Really? I can't recall every writing that, and furthermore it seems quite improbable that I would since I do not know how life began. So either I am suffering serious memory lapses, or you do not understand the things you are reading here, or you are just a liar. So why don't you quote exactly where you believe I claimed to know how life arose, and we can rule out at least one of these options.

      Delete
    10. As I said, you seem to be just trolling.

      Nah, I just think Jack is not quite as clever as he thinks he is. And we're not as stupid as he thinks, either.

      Delete
    11. you fail to acknowledge my comment about general relativity

      Which particular one of your blathers about relativity did I happen to miss? :-) I thought I did a fairly extensive job of showing your position (that teaching young kids and interested laypersons about general relativity necessarily required advanced post-graduate mathematics) was silly. And why do you think general relativity is relevant to this particular origin-of-life discussion?

      Delete
    12. Explaining why physical and chemical processes must have been involved in the origin of life

      Or simply making the factual observation that they are, on the basis of all accumulated cross-confirming centuries of scientific knowledge, infinitely more likely than the "magic spook" non-theory.

      Delete
    13. I missed the part where txpiper claims to know how life came to be.

      Then you will just have to read Genesis. He has acknowledged that he is a young Earth creationist and a dispensationalist.

      Delete
  7. Gabriel-
    I gave you the solution to the infinite regress.
    You have confused my explanation for my belief.

    I don’t know there is a god, I don’t know there isn’t.
    I don’t know the universe boils down to physics and chemistry, I don’t know it doesn’t.
    I don’t know life began through a chemical process, I don’t know it didn’t.
    I question what I don’t know.

    I don’t know life first began through some chemical process. You say it did. That is a claim that you know how life first began. The fact you have difficulty seeing that indicates to me the level to which you have begged the question.

    I don’t want to be a troll. I’m trying to be argumentative (ie. characterized by systematic thinking), but I fear I slip into cantankerous, contrary, perhaps a bit quarrelsome. I KNOW THAT. I fear it is congenital, certainly inveterate.


    lutesuite-
    Here is the quote where you claim to know how life first arose— (From May 2)

    “Everything that exists in the known universe has arisen as the result of physical and chemical processes. Living things exist in the known universe. Until you, or someone else, present a convincing argument as to how something can arise thru processes that do not involve physics and chemistry, that remains the only viable explanation. This really isn't that complicated, is it?”

    This is how that reads-
    1) a claim of knowing how life (and everything else) came into being.
    2) an argument from ignorance (I can’t offer you another explanation, therefore yours is right)…

    Why are you attempting to instruct me on how life first began if you don’t know?

    I’m not as clever as I think I am (agreed), but I don’t think you are stupid. Quite to the contrary actually.

    judmarc-
    What i said about general relativity-
    An aside- I have studied general relativity to a point where I see gravity as an inevitable consequence given a couple of premises about the physical universe.
    That I find profoundly beautiful.

    Is it OK with you if just this one time I take your word for something and not read Genesis?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, so we've ruled out the possibility that I'm having memory lapses. The only remaining question is whether Jack Jackson is a liar, or just stupid.

      Delete
    2. lutesuite-
      I’m surprised at your response. I think we agree about this almost completely. Allow me to explain-

      What I get from the experiments is that living things come from living things. In fact, Pasteur’s experiments go a bit farther and show that even though all the chemicals associated with living things are in the mix you will not get any living things unless you start with one (actually the experiment is on going and we can say we are yet to get one).

      That’s my understanding of the actual experimental evidence about how life begins. Living things come from living things.

      Now you claim that life came from something other than life (abiogenesis) - and that it came through some chemical process.

      I request a demonstration of this claim as it goes against what i know the actual experimental evidence is.

      You can’t come up with a demonstration, but you tell me a story about how everything must be.
      I haven’t really questioned the story because i know it and why you think it is correct well enough to know I don’t know what’s wrong (if anything) with it. But something is wrong somewhere, because the story doesn’t jibe with the experiment. Maybe the experiment is incomplete or the story is wrong in some detail— I don’t know.

      Here is what I think we agree about-
      The experiments show biogenesis. But your story about how everything must be indicates abiogenesis must be true. Neither of us knows anything is really wrong with your story. You don’t need a demonstration of abiogenesis to know it is true.

      Here is where we disagree-
      I said I was a moron to need such a demonstration, but you said I was stupid to think you claimed abiogenesis.

      But you did claim abiogenesis and I must be a moron to think a demonstration matters.

      Are we in agreement about all that now?

      Delete
    3. If live only comes from life, then life must be infinitely old and have always existed. That directly follows. So either that is the case, or it has to be false that life always comes from life. So if it's false, first life must have come about by another process than cell division.

      So, which one is it, Jack? An eternity of cell divisions, or something else?

      Delete
    4. Jack, if you dissolve a rock in acid, it won't spontaneously reassemble itself. Yet we know rocks form through simple physicalæ and chemical processes. Under the right conditions, rocks form due to physical and chemical processes.

      It's not enough just to have the atoms and molecules in aqueous solution, some physical process has to happen to them for rocks to form (evaporation, condensation, heat, pressure). That's the same thing with Pasteur's (and Miller-Urey's soup) experiments. It would obviously be the same with first life.

      We haven't identified the mechanism (yet?), but merely pointing to the fact that a dilution of molecules and atoms doesn't produce living cells is silly when the same is true of rocks. And rocks can still form in other ways.

      Besides, there actually is evidence that the origin of life was the product of a physical and chemical process. Evidence in the scientific sense of the term. Evidence which is better explained, and predicted, by the hypothesis that life is the product of a chemical and physical process, rather than some sort of top-down design.

      The distribution of used amino acids in the oldest inferred protein folds significantly correlates with the distribution of amino acids you get from all identified nonbiological chemical processes known to be able to produce them. As in those would have been the amino acids available in the environment for an emerging protein synthesizing system to use to make proteins with, and to incorporate in the genetic code and translation system.

      See for example: Amino acid biogenesis, evolution of the genetic code and aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases.
      and
      A thermodynamic basis for prebiotic amino acid synthesis and the nature of the first genetic code.
      and
      Evolution of amino acid frequencies in proteins over deep time: inferred order of introduction of amino acids into the genetic code.

      This collection of facts is more probable on the hypothesis that life itself came about through an initially nonbiological physical and chemical process, than through some sort of top-down intelligent design. Because a designer with an unconstrained control over matter (or a high level of biochemical technology) could design life with ANY desired distribution of amino acids. Yet the distribution we see used, as we go further and further back in time, increasingly matches the distribution we get from nonbiological chemistry (which is also predicted by chemical thermodynamics).

      So there is in fact evidence for abiogenesis. But zero evidence for a magical instantaneous creation by a divine spellcaster with infinite mana and cheatcodes to the server.

      Delete
    5. Is it OK with you if just this one time I take your word for something and not read Genesis?

      Sure. You were saying you missed where txpiper claimed to know how life came to be, and I was just informing you that the answer is the Biblical version.

      Delete
    6. That’s my understanding of the actual experimental evidence about how life begins.

      So you figure boiled meat broth sitting a few weeks is dispositive of the first billion years of Earth's history, eh? Good logical thinking!

      Delete
    7. @ Jack Jackson,

      That’s my understanding of the actual experimental evidence about how life begins. Living things come from living things.

      Your understanding, true to form, is incorrect.

      What those experiments show is that complex organisms, such as those that inhabit the earth today, do not spring fully formed from non-living substances, but rather arise thru reproduction from ancestors of the same species as themselves. So all this tells us is that the earliest forms of life were not paramecia or frogs or orangutans or anything like that. You must be very proud for having finally figured that out.

      It tells us little else about the early physical and chemical processes that gave rise to life. It certainly does not suggest that anything other than physical and chemical processes were involved.

      So with that misunderstanding cleared up, hopefully you now understand why your entire argument is misguided.

      Here is where we disagree-
      I said I was a moron to need such a demonstration, but you said I was stupid to think you claimed abiogenesis.


      I'm quite content to leave the question open as to whether you are a moron or stupid. The evidence for both options abounds.

      Delete
    8. MRR-
      You ask- So, which one is it, Jack? An eternity of cell divisions, or something else?
      I answer- I don’t know. I think there might be a false dilemma in there, but I don’t know that either.
      I’m still trying to figure out how to describe what the electron did— did it go through one slit, both slits, neither slit? Nature did not ask my permission to be the way it is.

      You gave me three links. The first I didn’t get at all, too technical. The second and third links I could understand better what they are about. Interesting stuff. Thanks.

      judmarc-
      I don’t think I over stated the results of the experiment.
      I do think you pooh-poohed them.

      lutesuite-
      You seem to be claiming the solution to the infinite regress is to recognize the first one isn’t like the subsequent ones. Where did you get an idea like that?
      So now you will tell me how the first one was different and I will ask you to demonstrate that claim.
      Ain’t life grand?

      Look, way back when I suggested I must be a moron to think a demonstration matters in this case.
      Why not just agree and move on?

      Delete
    9. You seem to be claiming the solution to the infinite regress is to recognize the first one isn’t like the subsequent ones. Where did you get an idea like that?

      It is self-evident, to anyone who knows how to think properly. Are you excluding yourself from that group?

      Delete
    10. On the subject of people inability to think properly:

      You ask- So, which one is it, Jack? An eternity of cell divisions, or something else?
      I answer- I don’t know.


      Seriously. So, to be clear, you believe an "eternity of cell divisions" is one of the viable options that is on the table. Could you explain which cells you think may have been dividing one second after the Big Bang?

      Delete
    11. I’m still trying to figure out how to describe what the electron did— did it go through one slit, both slits, neither slit?

      There is a very precisely determined probability regarding the path of each electron, a probability determined by wave functions. The interference pattern created by the experiment is the interference pattern of these wave functions.

      Delete
    12. "Could you explain which cells you think may have been dividing one second after the Big Bang?"

      Why not just bundle ideas, and hypothesize that the first cell formed, as a result of processes not well-understood, shortly after the big bang? It would save a lot of complications. Lane's 10 steps each require one or more miracles, so why not just take a theory of everything approach, and get rid of the increments?

      Delete
    13. There is a very precisely determined probability regarding the path of each electron, a probability determined by wave functions. The interference pattern created by the experiment is the interference pattern of these wave functions.

      Jack would have us believe that the extreme specificity and precision of the Schrodinger equation is equaled by the vague pablum of his invocation of "the supernatural" as the cause of life.

      He also seems to share with Deepak Chopra the belief that invoking quantum mechanics gives one license to spew whatever bafflegab one wishes, and have it be taken seriously.

      Delete
  8. lutesuite-
    I agree- anyone who is thinking properly can come up with the solution to the infinite regress.

    No you know why I laugh so hard at the question— “Who designed the designer?”

    Makes it pretty clear the designer has to be supernatural— doesn’t it?
    Funny how so many think it is proof of atheism.

    You asked “which cells…’ and I would suggest that is a good reason to think there is a false dilemma in the construct of the question.
    I likened it to the double slit experiment where the question “Which slit” is best answered by realizing the question is ill posed in the first place.

    Perhaps I should have fleshed that out further. Do you get it now?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I don't get it. But I don't think that's my fault. It's because your argument is incoherent, so there's nothing to "get."

      Are the results of the double slit experiment "supernatural"?

      Delete
    2. Ok Jack, it's really simple. But apparently I'll need to explain it. You used that silly trope "life only comes from life" up above. That sounds good on the face of it, but what does that really mean? Actually it's a particular fallacy called the fallacy of understated evidence (in violates the inductive principle of total evidence).

      Instead, what you SHOULD be saying is that cells come from cell division. THAT is the correct observation. But as we also know, that can not have always been the case. As far as we know, everything in the physical universe was once a hot dense plasma in which nothing more complex than subatomic particles could exist. So it CANNOT be true that cell-divisions trace back an eternity into the past. There HAD to be a first cell.

      How did it come about? We don't know. But there isn't evidence it was by magic. And there IS some small evidence that it was by a process governed by the laws of physics and chemistry as we know them (I cited some of that).

      So that's it. That's your "life only comes from life"-argument completely out the window. It was based on a fallacy, and once the fallacy is corrected (instead of just calling it "life", we know it's actually cells dividing) the conclusion you seek is known to be false (it cannot be the case, that all cells that ever existed originated by cell divisin).

      That's it, case closed. You cannot point to the fact that all known living cells came from cell division, as somehow being indicative that the first cell must have.. done what, come from another cell division? Obviously it didn't, or it wouldn't have been the first. So it had to originate in some other way than cell division. So how did it do that? Magic, Jack?

      You seem to be saying you know it didn't happen by some unknown set of physical and chemical processes. How do you know that?

      Delete
    3. Makes it pretty clear the designer has to be supernatural— doesn’t it?

      Isn't this the same guy taking offense to my mention of the "magic spook" explanation?

      Delete
    4. I likened it to the double slit experiment where the question “Which slit” is best answered by realizing the question is ill posed in the first place.

      Why is it ill posed?

      Delete
    5. Isn't this the same guy taking offense to my mention of the "magic spook" explanation?

      I'm sure Jack will be able to explain why saying "magic spook" is silly, while invoking the "supernatural" is a rigorous and serious scientific hypothesis. Right, Jack?

      Delete
    6. "Makes it pretty clear the designer has to be supernatural— doesn’t it?"

      No, it doesn't. A supernatural designer could be one of many other supernatural designers made by a supersupernatural designer, one of many made by a supersupersupernatural designer ad nauseum. Since it's just about imagining things, why stop at one supernatural designer at all?

      "Funny how so many think it is proof of atheism."

      Funnier that you mistake an objection to the "a designer did it" argument, for a proof of atheism.

      Delete
    7. lutesuite-
      The double slit supernatural?
      Have you taken any hallucinogenics recently?

      MRR-
      I like that- cells come from cell division. That is more precise than how I was stating it, I’ll use that.

      You say you don’t know how certain things happened.
      Neither do I.
      You seem to think that in the case of abiogenesis I must be a moron to need a demonstration of the claim. That’s what I’ve been saying.

      Do you think we have some disagreement?

      judmarc-
      The question about the double slit experiment is ill posed because it assumes an electron is ‘real’ between measurements. The solution to the problem is to recognize it is not.

      Gabriel-
      Of course one could ask who designed the designer’s designer’s designer’s designer?
      But we know that to be Calvin Klein.

      Delete
    8. lutesuite-
      The double slit supernatural?
      Have you taken any hallucinogenics recently?


      Am I to take that response as a "No, the results of the double-slit experiment are not 'supernatural'"? If so, then it seems you are now renouncing your own argument. Either that, or you didn't even understand your own argument to begin with.

      Delete
    9. I like that- cells come from cell division. That is more precise than how I was stating it, I’ll use that.

      You say you don’t know how certain things happened.
      Neither do I.
      You seem to think that in the case of abiogenesis I must be a moron to need a demonstration of the claim. That’s what I’ve been saying.


      It seems we need to again go back to raw basics:

      Have cell divisions been going on for an infinite period of time? You seem to agree that they have not been. Good for you.

      So, then, what preceded the first instance of cell division? Chemical and physical processes of some sort? Or are we obliged to take some hallucinogenics so we can then answer "the supernatural"?

      Delete
    10. The question about the double slit experiment is ill posed because it assumes an electron is ‘real’ between measurements. The solution to the problem is to recognize it is not.

      You flunk.

      Delete
    11. Tut tut, Jack. Shouldn't take your physics test high on hallucinogenics.

      Delete
    12. lutesuite-
      When did I argue that the double slit had something to do with the supernatural?
      You have most certainly misunderstood what I said.

      I don’t think we have any actual disagreement here.

      I don’t know how life first began.
      You do.
      You give me two choices as to how life first came into being.
      I think you are giving me a false dilemma. I want you to demonstrate your claim about how life first began.
      You can’t demonstrate your claim but continue to present what I think is a false dilemma.

      I don’t know how life first began, and you do.

      Do we have any disagreements about any of that?

      judmarc-
      Huh?
      You understand why I think I’m dealing with a taboo-
      You haven’t acknowledged my comment about general relativity and now you can’t acknowledge a simple standard answer to a question about quantum mechanics.

      That’s the type of behavior I expect when someone has determined I am ‘the other’.

      Have you determined I am ‘the other’?

      Delete
    13. lutesuite-
      When did I argue that the double slit had something to do with the supernatural?
      You have most certainly misunderstood what I said.


      No, the problem is you do not understand your own arguments. You stated that, because you do not understand how the creator of the first cell could have come to be, then to you it is "pretty clear" that it must be supernatural. By the same "logic", because you cannot understand the results of the double slit experiment, these must also be "supernatural."

      In any event, your problems with the double slit experiment run deeper than that. If you really insist that a "simple standard" explanation is that the electron is not "real" between measurments, then you simply do not know that much about quantum mechanics. I won't bother asking you the difference between something being "not real" and "supernatural."

      I don’t know how life first began.
      You do.


      Do you think if you repeat a lie often enough,it will become true? I do no know how life first began, and have never written anything to suggest I do. I do believe the evidence is clear that it did first begin, but you agree with that.

      Our disagreement arises from your claim that physical and chemical entities (which include living things, as well as everything else in the known universe) can arise thru things other than physics and chemistry. This may be what you refer to as the "supernatural". You keep insisting that you want a demonstration of a claim before you accept it So please describe when physical and chemical entities coming into existence thru supernatural processes has been demonstrated.

      Delete
    14. you can’t acknowledge a simple standard answer to a question about quantum mechanics

      It's not a correct answer. It's one way scientists tried to explain the experimental outcome in English to a lay audience, leading to misinterpretations like yours. lutesuite understands what the double slit experiment actually shows, as indicated by his response.

      Didn't I ask you about and then "acknowledge" your comment about general relativity previously? Or did you never respond when I asked you what comment about general relativity you were referring to? Or did I get an answer from you and not respond? Just wondering, since you seem to be upset.

      I have no idea why you keep on claiming lutesuite is posing a "false dilemma" when you have in fact already answered which side of that "dilemma" you're on. He said either the first cell developed by natural means or supernatural, and you explicitly picked supernatural. So I don't know why you'd be complaining, other than perhaps being embarrassed to admit your choice.

      Delete
    15. He said either the first cell developed by natural means or supernatural, and you explicitly picked supernatural.

      To be more accurate, my position is that the only scientifically viable claim is that the "first cell" arose thru natural means i.e. physics and chemistry. Jack's "dilemma" only arises because he seems to consider the supernatural to also be a viable scientific explanation. As to why he be believes there is scientific evidence to suggest "the supernatural" is a reasonable explanation for any unexplained phenomena, I cannot say.

      Delete
  9. "Funny how so many think it is proof of atheism."

    There is no definitive proof of atheism, since you can't prove a negative with absolute certainty. Atheism is the provisional conclusion there are no supernatural gods, there being no definitive proof in favor of the idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. “Atheism is the provisional conclusion there are no supernatural gods, there being no definitive proof in favor of the idea.”

      No definitive proof, unless a person has the courage and common sense to confront and evaluate what could easily amount to definitive proof. There is no place to hide from the fact that numerous specific events were forecast several, if not many, centuries before they occurred. The data is there, and it only lends itself to a few interpretive conclusions.

      But, it is not fun. Spinning ridiculous yarns and calling it science is fun. Imagining absurd chemical interactions that nobody can even conceptualize, much less demonstrate? That's really fun. Imagining things like that happening repeatedly till self-replicating molecules showed up? Well, that's the kind of fun that leads up to carnivals where genes and molecular machines just popped up for no reason, and a mythical living cell of some sort appeared. Then DNA replication errors start building amusement parks, and the first thing you know old Jed’s a millionaire, giraffes are roaming the Serengeti, and PhD’s are pimping spontaneous generation in a new wrapper. It’s all fun, but it isn’t funny, and it doesn’t belong in textbooks.

      Delete
    2. the first thing you know old Jed’s a millionaire

      Love that song. Liked the show way back when, too.

      Delete
    3. "Love that song."

      Earl Scruggs was in a class by himself. My runner-up favorite 5-stringer is Jim Mills.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wejj8G9ZoXY

      Delete
    4. "No definitive proof, unless a person has the courage and common sense to confront and evaluate what could easily amount to definitive proof."

      Really? Like what?

      "There is no place to hide from the fact that numerous specific events were forecast several, if not many, centuries before they occurred. The data is there, and it only lends itself to a few interpretive conclusions."

      Prediction from the bible? Let's hear one.

      The rest of your post is gibberish, and irrelevant to the evidence for a god. What courageous, common sense proof do you have for the existence of the omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent god of the bible?

      Delete
    5. Prediction from the bible? Let's hear one

      Would you settle for 236 predictions?

      http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/proph/long.html

      Delete
    6. “Prediction from the bible? Let's hear one.”

      First, prediction and prophecy are not the same thing.

      I thought about showing extremely impressive prophetic details concerning the first advent of Christ. But the most glaring contemporary example is Israel.

      I’ve mentioned the restoration of national Israel many times. Briefly, the expulsion of the Jews from their land, and their subsequent return to that land, has happened twice in history. The first time was the Babylonian captivity which began in 586 BC and ended 70 years later.

      The second began in 70 AD when Roman legions wasted Jerusalem and the dispersal of the Jews began again. Jesus Christ told His disciples that this was going to happen, but indicated that it would be for a finite period of time:

      “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Luke 21:24

      The end of those ‘times’ began to occur in the late 1800’s and culminated in the reformation of national Israel in 1948. Jerusalem was reclaimed in 1967 in the Six Day War.

      Some 700 years before those words were spoken, Isaiah 11:11-12 was written:

      “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”

      This is just a sampling. Israel is the centerpiece, and there is much, much more to it.

      Delete