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#21 Walter ReMine

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 08:38 PM

I'm confused Walter, how can data falsify an untestable theory?

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On those occasions where evolutionary theory makes a clear prediction, it is falsified by the data, (my book identifies a number of key examples). For example, the three major predictions of Classical Darwinism are falsified by the fossil record. So, modern evolutionists adapt their their to the data -- like fog adapts to landscape. Macro-evolutionary theory, as practiced by its modern proponents, is structureless, amorphous, flexible, and untestable. Depending on the version of macro-evolutionary theory that you embrace, it is either false, or unfalsifiable -- and either way it is unscientific.

If forced to make a firm categorization, we say evolutionary theory is unfalsifiable, for that is how its modern proponents deploy it.

--Walter ReMine

#22 Arch

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 09:01 PM

On those occasions where evolutionary theory makes a clear prediction, it is falsified by the data, (my book identifies a number of key examples). For example, the three major predictions of Classical Darwinism are falsified by the fossil record. So, modern evolutionists adapt their their to the data -- like fog adapts to landscape. Macro-evolutionary theory, as practiced by its modern proponents, is structureless, amorphous, flexible, and untestable. Depending on the version of macro-evolutionary theory that you embrace, it is either false, or unfalsifiable -- and either way it is unscientific.

If forced to make a firm categorization, we say evolutionary theory is unfalsifiable, for that is how its modern proponents deploy it.

--Walter ReMine

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Hello again Walter ;) I was beginning to wonder whether you were still out there, so thanks for coming back to answer some questions.

I think I'm starting to see where you're coming from, but I just want to be sure. Are you saying that the ToE as it stood in Darwin's day has been falsified, and that the theory has since been updated to be unfalsifiable?

I'm also confused as to why you think a changing theory is a bad thing. Isn't that what a good theory should do? Adapt to fit the data? And if it can't, then it is false?

Can you explain why you think a false theory is unscientific? ("it is either false, or unfalsifiable -- and either way it is unscientific") I would have thought to be able to falsify something, it would need to be scientific.

Regards,

Arch.

#23 Walter ReMine

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 10:29 PM

Are you saying that the ToE as it stood in Darwin's day has been falsified, and that the theory has since been updated to be unfalsifiable?

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Close. I'm saying the three major predictions of Classical Darwinism have been falsified by the fossil record. There are many lines of evidence pointing to that conclusion. One of them is the fall of Darwinian Systematics (replaced by the rise of cladistics). Another is the rise of punctuated equilibrium theory to replace Classical Darwinism. These were attempts to save evolutionary theory from falsification, by making modern evolutionary theory unfalsifiable.

I'm also confused as to why you think a changing theory is a bad thing. Isn't that what a good theory should do? Adapt to fit the data? And if it can't, then it is false?


I didn't say "a changing theory is a bad thing". Please be careful. I said an untestable theory is not scientific, by the same criteria evolutionists used in all their court cases. Modern evolutionary theory adapts to data like fog adapts to landscape -- it no longer has structure; it no longer makes predictions; it is no longer testable.

Astrology can adapt to "fit the data." You wouldn't call that scientific would you?


Can you explain why you think a false theory is unscientific? ("it is either false, or unfalsifiable -- and either way it is unscientific") I would have thought to be able to falsify something, it would need to be scientific.


False theories are no longer scientific. They are false. Duh. Scientific theories are neither false nor unfalsifiable.

-- Walter ReMine

#24 TheJarJam

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 10:32 PM

There's a pretty lengthy review of The Biotic Message here.

#25 Ryyker

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 03:50 AM

When did that happen? do you have any links?

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Rather than me spending the large amount time gathering together all the necessary info showing that abiogenesis has been proven utterly implausible by science why don't you provide the one single link or reference showing my understanding of the plausibility of abiogenesis is false. It would only take one to prove me wrong. If you have it I would be most interested to see it.

Just to be clear, the link or reference must use science to support it's case. Scientist's imagination, stories, ideas and concepts (no matter how brilliant) do not count as science. It must use observation, measurement and repetition as a minimum.

#26 CTD

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 10:02 AM

It is rather difficult to falsify vaporware.. If anyone can find where a proper scientific hypothesis on the alleged process of evolution has been committed to writing, I've been waiting to see it for some time now.

All anyone knows about Darwin's or anyone else's "theory of evolution" is derived indirectly from statements about the "theory". I can tell you all sorts of things about non-existent stuff.

And Ryyker, when you say things like

Just to be clear, the link or reference must use science to support it's case. Scientist's imagination, stories, ideas and concepts (no matter how brilliant) do not count as science. It must use observation, measurement and repetition as a minimum.

you pretty much rule out all the "evidence" supporting any and all parts of evolutionism - not just abiogenesis. I'm sure they don't consider it very sporting. Real scientific procedures never are very sporting about supporting blind faith.

#27 Arch

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 06:11 PM

Rather than me spending the large amount time gathering together all the necessary info showing that abiogenesis has been proven utterly implausible by science why don't you provide the one single link or reference showing my understanding of the plausibility of abiogenesis is false.

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Yeah, probably doable. But I have a better idea. Why don't you back up your extreme claims first? I'll be happy to do some extra leg work when I can see you're willing to do the same.

Remember, you were the one making the absolute claim here. You need to back up your statement first.

Regards,

Arch.

#28 Bruce V.

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 09:03 PM

Yeah, probably doable. But I have a better idea. Why don't you back up your extreme claims first? I'll be happy to do some extra leg work when I can see you're willing to do the same.

Remember, you were the one making the absolute claim here. You need to back up your statement first.

Regards,

Arch.

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Hi Arch,

I am doing well physically. So pardon the cut and pasting, my writing skills and the long read.

It is difficult to explain how Ribose occurred in any origin of life scenario. For instance, it reacts almost instantaneously with amino acids. So the make RNA you have to make the amino acids and ribose separately and later combine them to make RNA. Having them created in the same time in same place creates problems. I also found this interview I found interesting.

Interview with origin of life scientist

At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Nov. 5, a world-renowned origin-of-life researcher spoke to a packed auditorium on the status of his field, chemical evolution and the origin of life.  Dr. Steven Benner (U. of Florida) trains graduate students in the subject, knows all the big names in the field personally, and has published and worked on this subject for over 20 years.  His outline dealt with 4 approaches to probing the black box of life’s origin: (1) working forward in time from stars and planets, (2) working backward in time from existing life to its ancestors, (3) experimenting with synthetic life, and (4) searching suitable habitats in space.

    More interesting, though, were his candid admissions about the problems facing anyone in this field, and his joking references a couple of times that if these problems remain unsolveable, he might have to become a creationist.  He didn’t mean it, of course.  These were chuckle-garnering hyperboles to express the frustration he has felt for decades over problems that are still far from a solution.  For instance:

1. DNA: as good as it gets?  Benner spent some time discussing how perfect DNA and RNA are for information storage.  The upshot: don’t expect to find non-DNA-based life elsewhere.  Alien life might have more than 4 base pairs in its genetic code, but the physical chemistry of DNA and RNA are hard to beat.  Part of the reason is that the electrochemical charges on the backbone keep the molecule rigid so it doesn’t fold up on itself, and keep the base pairs facing each other.  The entire molecule maximizes the potential for hydrogen bonding, which is counter-intuitive, since it would seem to a chemist that the worst environment to exploit hydrogen bonding would be in water.  Yet DNA twists into its double helix in water just fine, keeping its base pairs optimized for hydrogen bonds, because of the particular structures of its sugars, phosphates and nucleotides.  The oft-touted substitute named PNA falls apart with more than 20 bases.  Other proposed alternatives have their own serious failings.

2. Sugar substitute:  Ribose sugar is the molecule of choice for nucleic acids, yet because it is difficult to imagine forming under plausible prebiotic conditions and has a short lifetime, origin-of-life researchers have searched diligently for alternatives, like glycerol, that might have served as scaffolding for prebiotic chemicals prior to the emergence of DNA.  Unfortunately, they don’t work.  He was emphatic: over 280 alternative molecules have been tested, and they just do not work at all; those that might be better than ribose are implausible under prebiotic conditions.  “Ribose is actually quite good – uniquely good,” he said.  Deal with it: one’s chemical evolution model is going to have to include ribose.  That means figuring out how it can form, how it can avoid destruction in water, and how it can avoid clumping into useless globs of tar.  (RNA, the main player in the leading “RNA World” scenario for the origin of life, uses ribose; DNA uses a closely-related sugar, deoxyribose.)

  3. Genetic takeovers:  Benner chided those whose models invoke genetic takeovers: i.e., starting with another sugar then switching to ribose, starting with another informational macromolecule then switching to DNA, etc.  For instance, some flippantly suggest to get DNA’s sugar, “just add an OH to ribose....”  The professor got animated.  That adds a charge to the molecule, he exclaimed, and what is more important to the behavior of a molecule than its electrostatic charge?  You can’t just add a charge to a molecule and expect it to keep behaving like it did before.

4. Adding Ad Hoc:  When a researcher keeps having to multiply ad hoc scenarios to keep his model together, it quickly becomes a target of criticism.  The professor spoke of Robert Shapiro, a long time critic of this bad habit among his colleagues.  He said one of his requirements for graduate students is to endure Shapiro’s critique.  He spoke as if this is a common, well-known fault in the origin of life community – invoking a meteor strike here, a clay mineral there, a volcano over yonder, a deep sea vent somewhere else – all needing to be present at the right time and place to get the scheme to work.  He also spoke as if his own model was not immune from that criticism.

The ribose problem appeared so severe to him early in his studies, he felt certain at the time that researchers simply had to find an alternate sugar for chemical evolution.  Stanley Miller was similarly emphatic in his writings, stating that ribose sugars were not components of the earliest life.  His colleagues (researchers in this field tend to be a sociological society, he quipped) have gone back and forth on this issue for years, but the 280 molecules they have tested are worse than ribose; they don’t work.

    This intractable problem has led him to a novel solution: life didn’t form in the water, but in a desert.  Serendipitously, he found that a mineral – borate – can stabilize ribose long enough to make it a contender (see 01/09/2004 headline).  Like ribose, borate also decomposes in water and needs a dry environment.  If borate is found on Mars, he speculated, maybe ribose will also be found there, he announced to the planetary scientists and engineers in the room.  But then, how can the other necessary molecules associate with ribose if it is in a desert?  And how would it be shielded from ultraviolet radiation, as a questioner asked about Mars (to which he answered that much more research needs to be done on the effect of sunlight on ribose).  And how could ribose on a desert continent survive the impact record on the early earth?  Worse, the fact that borate and ribose seem made for each other raises the old specter of the Anthropic Principle: why should two independent substances that are not common in the universe be found together in the same place and time?  He admitted this gave him a shrinking feeling; “it was almost a creationist argument,” he confessed half seriously.
    This reporter had the opportunity to ask follow-up questions to the professor during the Q&A period, and in person after the meeting was adjourned:

5. Information:  What is information, and how much would be needed to get a prebiotic chemical to the point of being accessible to “Darwinian evolution”?  (assuming, for the moment, that Darwinian evolution would be effective after that point).  When he bluffed about ambiguities over the meaning of “information,” I pointed to functional information; i.e., the need for replication and metabolism (see 06/12/2003 headline).  He estimated that 1000 nucleotides might be sufficient, maybe as low as 200 or 300– yet he admitted readily that 200 is still an enormous sequence: 4200 permutations, which translates into something like 10120.  He shrugged off any consideration of how improbable that was, instead making the problem far worse by intimating that 10,000 nucleotides might be necessary to contain enough information for Darwinian evolution (see online book).

  6. Chirality:  The professor readily admitted that getting a polymer of all one hand was enormously improbable (see 06/21/2004 headline and online book).  He suggested some experiments that showed an excess of one hand, but agreed, when reminded, that even one base of the wrong hand destroys the molecule.  It has to be 100% single-handed, he conceded, to be useful for life.  How could that come about?  He dodged the question, saying he prefers to stay focused on his own research and leave that problem to others.

7. Science or Myth?  I saved the hardest question for last: How can chemical evolution theory be distinguished from just-so storytelling?  He jovially shrugged the question without getting offended.  “Well,” he replied, “I think we have made progress,” and mentioned one or two things that have been learned in the last 20 years or so.  But since there was little to show for it, and in a real sense the problems are worse now, since we have learned so much more about the complexity of life than was known in the Miller Experiment days, how can it be claimed all the activity is not mere oscillation rather than progress?  He smiled as if stumped, but was out of time; his escorts had to take him to the airport.

Besides the problems, another thing stood out from his presentation: the exquisite perfection of DNA, RNA and ribose for the jobs they have to do.  Maybe this would be a good time to follow the path of former chemical evolution researcher, Dean Kenyon: become a creationist.



#29 Arch

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 10:59 PM

It is difficult to explain how Ribose occurred in any origin of life scenario.  For instance, it reacts almost instantaneously with amino acids.  So the make RNA you have to make the amino acids and ribose separately and later combine them to make RNA.  Having them created in the same time in same place creates problems.

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Hey Bruce, good to hear you're doing well :lol:

I don't think anyone is trying to say creating life is easy :P If it was, I'm sure it would have been achieved by now. What I don't agree with is statements like this:

What happened when science revealed that abiogenesis was utterly implausible.


If it were 'utterly implausible' it's unlikely the professor in your quote would even be searching for answers.

Although difficult, and a very slow process, I think this quote sums up the study of abiogenesis at present:

“Well,” he replied, “I think we have made progress,” and mentioned one or two things that have been learned in the last 20 years or so.


Although your articles was a great read, what I'd like to see Ryyker produce is an article that concludes abiogenesis is completely implausible and a waste of time, rather than something that is terribly difficult.

Regards,

Arch.

#30 Adam Nagy

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 01:45 AM

Although your articles was a great read, what I'd like to see Ryyker produce is an article that concludes abiogenesis is completely implausible and a waste of time, rather than something that is terribly difficult.

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No. What you want is someone who believes abiogenesis is likely to say it's implausible. :P Anybody who Ryyker produces to say that abiogenesis is implausible must be one of those dirty creationists. :lol:

#31 Arch

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 02:15 AM

No. What you want is someone who believes abiogenesis is likely to say it's implausible.

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Well that would be completely contradictory :D But someone who once believed it was possible and now says (with evidence) that's it's impossible would be pretty okay too.

Anybody who Ryyker produces to say that abiogenesis is implausible must be one of those dirty creationists. :lol:

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*shrug* As long as they back it up without just saying "Uh, I don't know. Must be impossible" it would be fine with me. I try my best to be impartial :P

Regards,

Arch.

#32 Ron

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 02:26 AM

No. What you want is someone who believes abiogenesis is likely to say it's implausible. :D  Anybody who Ryyker produces to say that abiogenesis is implausible must be one of those dirty creationists. :P

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Setting aside the fact that is logically impossible, you never get someone so bent on denial to admit it regardless of then evidence :lol:

#33 Ryyker

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 04:12 AM

If I made my comment before science had revealed some of what is really going on in each creature then my comment would have been without merit. But science has revealed that all known life requires a level of complexity beyond a happenstance arraignment of molecules. Science has revealed that life requires the same specified complexity that has only ever been to known to come from intelligence. Do you really expect me to provide a reference to every single study confirming this!?

If I had made my comment before science had tried to reproduce this level of complexity without intelligent input my comment again would have been without merit. But science has revealed it can't happen. The current science says that life is too complex for any known natural process to overcome the specified complexity that science has revealed exists in all known life.

This is why I asked falcone to provide just the one reference to the science that has shown a naturalistic process can produce it. It only takes one naturalistic process actually doing it that is observable and observed, measurable and measured, repeatable and repeated to counter the current science. (I would love to see this. I find the idea of life forming through natural processes fascinating. I sometimes imagine what it would be like to witness such an event.)

The only way to believe that life could ever have come into being without the design process requires disbelieving the current science. This is not following the evidence it is clinging to a belief despite the evidence. If some scientists think it is worth researching more, fine, but the current science must be accepted. If one does not follow the evidence one can only follow what they they wish were true; a sure path to ignorance.

Some kind deceleration that abiogenesis is utterly implausible is not needed. A scientific revelation to counter our current scientific revelations is.

#34 Adam Nagy

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 09:05 AM

Well that would be completely contradictory :lol: But someone who once believed it was possible and now says (with evidence) that's it's impossible would be pretty okay too.

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Dean Kenyon would be your guy. He wrote one of the most complete theories on abiogenesis in his work 'Biochemical Predestination'. He totally rejects it now.

#35 Ron

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 11:44 AM

The only way to believe that life could ever have come into being without the design process requires disbelieving the current science. This is not following the evidence it is clinging to a belief despite the evidence. If some scientists think it is worth researching more, fine, but the current science must be accepted. If one does not follow the evidence one can only follow what they they wish were true; a sure path to ignorance.

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And that takes quite a lot of faith, a faith of religious proportions.

#36 urbanguru

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 09:27 AM

Is it possible to buy this book in digital format (.pdf or something similar)?

Thanks

#37 Ryyker

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 02:22 AM

And Ryyker, when you say things like


Just to be clear, the link or reference must use science to support it's case. Scientist's imagination, stories, ideas and concepts (no matter how brilliant) do not count as science. It must use observation, measurement and repetition as a minimum.

you pretty much rule out all the "evidence" supporting any and all parts of evolutionism - not just abiogenesis. I'm sure they don't consider it very sporting. Real scientific procedures never are very sporting about supporting blind faith.

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I'm sure they don't consider threads like How Does One Falsify Vaporware?, Theory? What theory? sporting at all.:huh: Thanks very much for that thread btw.

#38 Ryyker

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 02:49 AM

Okay, ignore for the moment that I disagree with the above statement. Either way, you've found data that can prove or disprove evolution. Which completely goes against this statement:


macro-evolutionary theory is not [a testable science]

A lack of transitional fossils would definitely be data against evolution, thus making it possible to disprove, thus making it a valid theory. The logic just doesn't work.


Walter ReMine has answered this.

Also, is there any chance you could go over the wording in your quote in post #15? It's just not making a lot of sense to me :huh:

Regards,

Arch.

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Arch, do you consider Astrology scientific? If you do not, ask your self why. Then ask yourself if you would consider the statement in the second quote box valid reason to accept Astrology as testable.

Again, you should read the book, your local library may have a copy of it. I would really like to hear your thoughts on it and Walter ReMine explains things far better than I could.

#39 Arch

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 06:19 AM

Arch, do you consider Astrology scientific? If you do not, ask your self why. Then ask yourself if you would consider the statement in the second quote box valid reason to accept Astrology as testable.

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Yes, I consider astrology at one point in history to have been scientific. Why? Because people tested it! Yes, it was found wanting and has since been stricken from the textbooks. But the methods of testing it were scientific. Same goes for evolution. The theory can be tested. If it can't be tested, it can't be found false (like God). So make a choice, either it's testable or not. If it's not testable, it can't be falsified. If it's testable, it can be falsified. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Again, you should read the book, your local library may have a copy of it. I would really like to hear your thoughts on it and Walter ReMine explains things far better than I could.

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I very well may, but so far it's falling apart on logic and I haven't even opened the book yet :huh:

Regards,

Arch.

#40 Adam Nagy

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 06:30 AM

I very well may, but so far it's falling apart on logic and I haven't even opened the book yet :huh:

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All I've seen is this:

Evolution might be possible and any argument against it, must be 'Goddidit' :huh:




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