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Is Evolution Science?


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#21 Angelus-Tenebrae

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 11:05 AM

Hi Angelus, nice to have someone new to talk to. While I tend to agree with you, I'd also warn you to not use too wide a brush to paint IDers or Creationists. There are some out there who are quite willing to play the game according to the rules of science. They publish hypotheses, address criticisms and refine their work. Sadly, up until the Dover trial I thought Michael Behe was actually one of these; I believed he is incorrect but ultimately honest. The Dover transcripts prove he is quite willing to lie to support his "science". Anyway, there are people out there on both sides who deserve respect and those on both sides who deserve censure. We just have to try and move the debate past those who are trying to use science to push their own agenda, regardless of the agenda they are pushing.

There is a grain of truth to creationist concerns that evolution proponnents can be selling more than simple science. You'll find people on every side of the issue who have their own agendas to push. Science is supposed to be objective and dispassionate, but we may be looking at a field where we find that scientific methodology cannot overcome observational bias.

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So are those actually valid hypotheses, or has someone actually looked at them and criticized them? I gave it some thought, and I think that calling ID a science would hurt ID more than ID would have to gain from it. Not politically, but what it stands for. ID gives me the impression that it must involve some unexplained creator that does not need to be explained. But if it is to be called a science, and that creator becomes explained, then that destroys the poweful effect that ID once had--it can no longer have an unexplained, unknown creator that people can marvel at. Furthermore, once ID is accepted as a science, it becomes falsifiable. They make it seem like ID can't be falsifiable, and if that was anything that made it powerful before, making it into a science would cause it to lose this kind of power. Of course, I don't really see it this way, but I understand that some people do.

#22 Springer

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 01:20 PM

quote=Angelus-Tenebrae,Nov 28 2005, 11:05 AM

Furthermore, once ID is accepted as a science, it becomes falsifiable.


There is no absolute edict proclaiming what science can or cannot encompass. All “restrictions” are man-made and arbitrary. The notion that goo-to-you evolution is science and ID is not is a ploy to keep evidence hostile to ToE out of the forum of debate.
The contention of this thread is that ID is no less “scientific” than ToE. ToE proponents complain that ID is not “falsifiable”. ToE is not falsifiable because part of the theory is that ID does not exist… that is something that is not falsifiable. Since ID does not exist in the mindset of ToE, every “gap” is explained away as a gap in knowledge, not as a flaw in the theory. It is painfully obvious to anyone who reads evolutionary literature that they’ve made up their minds that ToE is true… thus scientific inquiry has long disappeared.

#23 Angelus-Tenebrae

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 01:50 PM

quote=Angelus-Tenebrae,Nov 28 2005, 11:05 AM
There is no absolute edict proclaiming what science can or cannot encompass.  All “restrictions” are man-made and arbitrary.  The notion that goo-to-you evolution is science and ID is not is a ploy to keep evidence hostile to ToE out of the forum of debate.
The contention of this thread is that ID is no less “scientific” than ToE.  ToE proponents complain that ID is not “falsifiable”.  ToE is not falsifiable because part of the theory is that ID does not exist… that is something that is not falsifiable. Since ID does not exist in the mindset of ToE, every “gap” is explained away as a gap in knowledge, not as a flaw in the theory. It is painfully obvious to anyone who reads evolutionary literature that they’ve made up their minds that ToE is true… thus scientific inquiry has long disappeared.

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Then you are saying science is man-made. It is not a matter of which evidence we "like" or don't "like"; if you or any other ID proponent can't seriously consider any conflicts that ID can and does pose, or deal with the notion that ID proposes that an unknowable and unexplainable creator or designer exists (which means we can't study or observe it, and we can't say anything about it with respect to falsifiability), and you constantly repeat back what we or other scientists have refuted, we must conclude that ID isn't falsifiable. Of course, you can go ahead and complain that it's because we don't "like" it, or that we only hear what we like to see, but that's not a valid argument. Explain to us why you think ID is falsifiable--back up your claims.
The falsifiability of evolution is not dependent of ID. There are conditions where evolution can be falsified, but those conditions have not been met. Now that doesn't mean it won't happen; it's still quite possible for those conditions to happen in the future, but they haven't been observed. If we were to find a fossil of a rabbit in the wrong place, wrong time, then there would be something wrong with evolution, and we would reconsider it. But that hasn't happened yet. Also, there is no justification that ID and evolution have to be complementary to one another. That is, if evolution isn't true, it doesn't mean that ID is automatically true. So ID not being a science does not make evolution unfalsifiable.
Scientific inquiry of evolution has still continued. Fossils will continue to be unearthed, genetics will continue to be studied, genome projects will continue, and new species will be discovered and new cladograms will be proposed. All of this is being done with the basis of evolution, and so far, none of these things that scientists are doing have found problems with evolution.

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 02:03 PM

So are those actually valid hypotheses, or has someone actually looked at them and criticized them? I gave it some thought, and I think that calling ID a science would hurt ID more than ID would have to gain from it. Not politically, but what it stands for. ID gives me the impression that it must involve some unexplained creator that does not need to be explained. But if it is to be called a science, and that creator becomes explained, then that destroys the poweful effect that ID once had--it can no longer have an unexplained, unknown creator that people can marvel at. Furthermore, once ID is accepted as a science, it becomes falsifiable. They make it seem like ID can't be falsifiable, and if that was anything that made it powerful before, making it into a science would cause it to lose this kind of power. Of course, I don't really see it this way, but I understand that some people do.

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Calling ID science is fine in my book if ID is willing to play by the rules of science. But it seems a number of ID proponnents are trying to sell the idea that science has some sort of responsibility to "bend" the rules so ID can get into the club. ID is science, they say, but it is not falsifiable, and we don't actually propose any hypotheses about mechanism or anything other than to say God did it, and our only evidence is argumentative rhetoric about a competing theory...but it should be science because it is an "alternative" and you should teach the "controversy".

The strange thing is that the ID activists aren't petitioning the scientific journals to include their articles, they aren't lecturing to their peers in the life sciences, they aren't making predictions and testing them. They are lobbying lawmakers and voters to try and get their beliefs accepted as science. They want to make non-scientists force the scientists to accept and teach their theories instead of making their case with good science. Good science was originally the first prong of the famous wedge strategy which the Discovery Institute has since abandoned because good science doesn't support ID.

Science is, by definition, a naturalistic method of looking at the universe. It makes observations of nature and makes predictions then tests the predictions. Science requires that the scientist admit at the outset that they may be wrong about everything and this is, I believe, the major sticking point with ID proponnents who rely on religious inspiration. Many Creationists and ID proponents believe that they have at their fingertips an unimpeachable and inerrant work in the Bible. Anything that we observe in the universe which contradicts the Bible can only be caused by our own faulty observation and so the Bible is correct and our observations mistaken.

#25 Springer

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 11:11 AM

quote=wepwawet,Nov 28 2005, 02:03 PM

Science is, by definition, a naturalistic method of looking at the universe.

That is an assumption based on ideology. There is nothing that restricts science to only looking at naturalistic causes. Yes, you have to examine physical evidence, but there's no reason everything has to be interpreted as a result of naturalistic causes.

It makes observations of nature and makes predictions then tests the predictions.

So far evolution has failed in predicting anything.

Science requires that the scientist admit at the outset that they may be wrong about everything and this is, I believe, the major sticking point with ID proponnents who rely on religious inspiration.

Evolutionists have assumed that everything in nature can be reduced to naturalistic explanations. They refuse to consider the possibility of ID.

#26 Springer

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 11:21 AM

quote=Angelus-Tenebrae,Nov 28 2005, 01:50 PM

...that an unknowable and unexplainable creator or designer exists (which means we can't study or observe it, and we can't say anything about it with respect to falsifiability...

\
You're not studying the "creator",... you're studyiing whether or not nature reflects intelligent design. ID also proposes that the falsification of ToE provides evidence of ID, because there is no other alternative.

...must conclude that ID isn't falsifiable.

If ID is not "falsifiable", then why has ToE proclaimed that it does not exist? You will say that there is no such proclamation... obviously, in the attempt to be politically correct, the direct statement is never made... but the implication is always there.

Explain to us why you think ID is falsifiable--back up your claims.


I'm not saying that ID is falsificable. I'm saying that ToE is not falsifiable because it is assumes the absence of intelligent design, which you just asserted is not falsifiable.

There are conditions where evolution can be falsified, but those conditions have not been met.

The impossibility of abiogenesis, for starters, disproves ToE.

That is, if evolution isn't true, it doesn't mean that ID is automatically true.

The theory of evolution states that life came about through naturalistic means. If it is false, then life must have come about through non-naturalistic means, i.e., ID.

Scientific inquiry of evolution has still continued.  Fossils will continue to be unearthed, genetics will continue to be studied, genome projects will continue, and new species will be discovered and new cladograms will be proposed. All of this is being done with the basis of evolution, and so far, none of these things that scientists are doing have found problems with evolution.

Blatantly false statement. If that were true, researchers wouldn't be abandoning evolution like rats jumping off a sinking ship.

#27 Angelus-Tenebrae

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 03:28 PM

quote=Angelus-Tenebrae,Nov 28 2005, 01:50 PM

\
You're not studying the "creator",... you're studyiing whether or not nature reflects intelligent design.  ID also proposes that the falsification of ToE provides evidence of ID, because there is no other alternative.
If ID is not "falsifiable", then why has ToE proclaimed that it does not exist?  You will say that there is no such proclamation... obviously, in the attempt to be politically correct, the direct statement is never made... but the implication is always there.
I'm not saying that ID is falsificable.  I'm saying that ToE is not falsifiable because it is assumes the absence of intelligent design, which you just asserted is not falsifiable.
The impossibility of abiogenesis, for starters, disproves ToE.


But the creator or designer is part of your theory. So you still have to explain it. You can "explain" that an intelligent designer creates the species we see today, and you may make the conclusion that life forms are too complicated to have formed, and so you think that a designer must have existed, but now you have to move onto the designer and explain it. You can't simply stop at the existence of the designer because to do so and stop all attempts to understand a mechanism or what causes it is unscientific.
ID is not falsifiable in the sense that we cannot say that it is right or wrong--we can't say anything about it, either because you're saying it's the only choice that's correct, or because it's not scientifically observable--therefore, we can't say anything about it. As I've said before, evolution does not require a complementary theory. If evolution were falsified, then scientists would either modify it or build a hypothesis and make new theories. Otherwise, I'm not sure what you're getting at when you say evolution is not falsifiable because it lacks ID.
How does abiogenesis disprove evolution? As stated in another thread, evolution is independent of abiogenesis.

#28 Springer

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 07:47 PM

quote=Angelus-Tenebrae,Nov 29 2005, 03:28 PM

But the creator or designer is part of your theory. So you still have to explain it.

The only theory is that intelligent design exists. How that intelligence is characterized is, I agree, beyond the reach of experimental science. There are lots of things in science that we recognize exist but can't explain them further. No one knows why gravity is proportional to mass... we just know that it is.

You can't simply stop at the existence of the designer because to do so and stop all attempts to understand a mechanism or what causes it is unscientific.

I might just turn the tables on evolutionists and ask why do they divorce themselves from abiogenesis and say it's irrelevant where the first life comes from. They seem content to remain in ignorance. The exclusion of ID from science is, in itself, unscientific. Science should be interested in truth and should maintain a callous indifference to what is deemed politically or religiously charged.

ID is not falsifiable in the sense that we cannot say that it is right or wrong--we can't say anything about it, either because you're saying it's the only choice that's correct, or because it's not scientifically observable--therefore, we can't say anything about it.

But evolutionists do say something about it... they say that it doesn't exist. They try to say they're neutral, but they refuse to consider that ID might be operational in nature. Thus, they've assumed it's false.

As I've said before, evolution does not require a complementary theory. If evolution were falsified, then scientists would either modify it or build a hypothesis and make new theories.


In other words, evolution can't be falsified. As you stated, if it were falsified, the theory would be modified to fit the facts of nature. This is precisely what has been happening for the past 150 years. This is because, as I keep insisting, they assume that ID is non-existant, so there are no other alternatives other than some modification of ToE.

Otherwise, I'm not sure what you're getting at when you say evolution is not falsifiable because it lacks ID.


Evolution assumes that ID does not exist, and that is not falsifiable.

How does abiogenesis disprove evolution?


Disproof of abiogenesis is proof of intelligent design in nature. That fact demolishes the whole theory of evolution by natural selection, because ToE states that ID is non-existent.

#29 Angelus-Tenebrae

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 09:27 PM

quote=Angelus-Tenebrae,Nov 29 2005, 03:28 PM

The only theory is that intelligent design exists.  How that intelligence is characterized is, I agree, beyond the reach of experimental science.  There are lots of things in science that we recognize exist but can't explain them further.  No one knows why gravity is proportional to mass... we just know that it is.


If you agree that the designer is beyond the scope of science, why are you intending to call ID a science then? What does your theory mean without the designer?
We measure force as being proportional to acceleration and mass, and the gravitational pull is related to that of the planet. That is what has been observed, and conclusions were based off of measurable observations and experiments. The designer has not been observed.

I might just turn the tables on evolutionists and ask why do they divorce themselves from abiogenesis and say it's irrelevant where the first life comes from.  They seem content to remain in ignorance.  The exclusion of ID from science is, in itself, unscientific.  Science should be interested in truth and should maintain a callous indifference to what is deemed politically or religiously charged.


As I've said, evolution does not explain the origin of life. It's like asking gravity to explain the origin of the universe. If a creator created all lifeforms, evolution could still be true. The history and diversity of lifeforms is independent of its origin.
And science is not interested in just about any kind of truth. Science does not involve itself in absolute truths; only provisional ones. Otherwise we could ask for an answer key, which is clearly not what science needs.

But evolutionists do say something about it... they say that it doesn't exist.  They try to say they're neutral, but they refuse to consider that ID might be operational in nature.  Thus, they've assumed it's false.

It doesn't exist in evolution because we don't make the mistake of mixing the two theories. And it's not whether ID is true or not; that is not a criteria for calling it science. There are Christian scientists who believe in God, but they know that just because they believe God to be true, they do not blatantly make others think that God has to have anything to do with science because they know that they cannot use observations or experiments to show that God exists.

In other words, evolution can't be falsified.  As you stated, if it were falsified, the theory would be modified to fit the facts of nature.  This is precisely what has been happening for the past 150 years.  This is because, as I keep insisting, they assume that ID is non-existant, so there are no other alternatives other than some modification of ToE.


You're using the one or the other argument, which as I've said before, does not work. You're limiting it to only two options, but by saying that evolution is falsifiable because if it's wrong, we look to different theories or make new ones (which is the point you missed), we have a lot more than two options. It is unscientific to limit the scope on the history and diversity of life to only two theories if we are undecided on them. But so far, evolution is the only theory to surpass numerous peer reviews and criticisms from scientists. The fact that ID proponents are pushing the matter even further has only lead to more detailed peer reviews of evolution. But no one who did a peer review could find anything to refute evolution.

Disproof of abiogenesis is proof of intelligent design in nature.  That fact demolishes the whole theory of evolution by natural selection, because ToE states that ID is non-existent.

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You're using the one or the other argument again. If abiogenesis is incorrect, there may be a variable number of other theories that we may consider.

#30 Electric_Sceptic

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 12:12 AM

Disproof of abiogenesis is proof of intelligent design in nature.  That fact demolishes the whole theory of evolution by natural selection, because ToE states that ID is non-existent.

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Disproof of abiogenesis (were such a thing possible, which, of course, it's not) would not affect evolutionary theory in the slightest. Abiogenesis - its possibility, its actuality - is completely irrelevant to evolutionary theory.

And the theory of evolution does NOT say that ID is non-existent. It says nothing whatsoever about ID.

#31 Springer

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 08:31 AM

quote=Electric_Sceptic,Nov 30 2005, 12:12 AM

Disproof of abiogenesis (were such a thing possible, which, of course, it's not) would not affect evolutionary theory in the slightest.

You've just stated the abiogenesis is not falsifiable. Thus, according to evolutionists' arguments, abiogenesis is excluded from "science".

Abiogenesis - its possibility, its actuality - is completely irrelevant to evolutionary theory.

It's "irrelevant" only because ToE proponents have decided to distance themselves from it because they can't explain it. The exclusion of abiogenesis from ToE is arbitrary and illogical.

And the theory of evolution does NOT say that ID is non-existent. It says nothing whatsoever about ID.

Atheism is always implied in evolutionary theory. It is not explicitly stated but is nevertheless implicit. Every attempt is made to explain observations as long as that explanation does not include ID.

#32 Angelus-Tenebrae

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 07:13 PM

quote=Electric_Sceptic,Nov 30 2005, 12:12 AM

You've just stated the abiogenesis is not falsifiable.  Thus, according to evolutionists' arguments, abiogenesis is excluded from "science".


Compatibility with evolution does not imply falsifiability. Abiogenesis can be falsified on the results of experiments, but it is neither made more true or false by its compatibility with evolution. There have been hypotheses and experiments done on abiogenesis, and it has been peer reviewed. Even if it were to be disproved, its methods are scientific.

It's "irrelevant" only because ToE proponents have decided to distance themselves from it because they can't explain it.  The exclusion of abiogenesis from ToE is arbitrary and illogical.


It's true that the origin of life can't necessarily be explained by evolution, which is why proposing and testing another theory to explain origin of life is adequate. You will find that in scientific literature, the first or most primitive life forms have been described, but explanation of their mechanisms or how they function, and natural selection do not depend on the origin of life. The only thing natural selection needs is to act on living organisms and variation. Since life is observable, it is reasonable to make the assumption that life exists, which is all that evolution needs.

Atheism is always implied in evolutionary theory.  It is not explicitly stated but is nevertheless implicit.  Every attempt is made to explain observations as long as that explanation does not include ID.

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I'm sure you've heard the term, "theistic evolutionist", and I myself am not atheist, yet I'm defending evolution. Furthermore, evolution says nothing about the existence of God. A god or creator could have created life, and that would not affect the probability of evolution. No field of science would make any claim about the existence of God. Just because we don't talk about it doesn't mean we assume it doesn't exist. Science and evolution are actually closer to agnosticism because like agnostics, they cannot say anything about the existence of God. If you studied evolution or science, you can only conclude that you do not know that God exists.

#33 Springer

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 07:58 AM

quote=Angelus-Tenebrae,Nov 30 2005, 07:13 PM

I'm sure you've heard the term, "theistic evolutionist", and I myself am not atheist, yet I'm defending evolution. Furthermore, evolution says nothing about the existence of God. A god or creator could have created life, and that would not affect the probability of evolution. No field of science would make any claim about the existence of God. Just because we don't talk about it doesn't mean we assume it doesn't exist. Science and evolution are actually closer to agnosticism because like agnostics, they cannot say anything about the existence of God. If you studied evolution or science, you can only conclude that you do not know that God exists.

A simple disclaimer that evolution is neutral in matters of religion does not change the fact that implicit in all evolutionary discussions is assumption of the non-existence of intellligent design. To quote GG Simpson in his book, The Meaning of Evolution,

"Man is the result of a purposeless and materialistic process that did not have him in mind. He was not planned. He is a state of matter, a form of life, a sort of animal, and a species of the Order Primates, akin nearly or remotely to all of life and indeed to all that is material."

This is not a statement of religious neutrality... it is an ideologic anti-God belief. This is not an isolated example... this line of thinking is everywhere in the evolutionary literature.

The best example I can think of to drive this point home is the discussions of abiogenesis. Despite the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever that it is possible for matter to self-organize to form life, evolutionists continue to rigidly believe that the very existence of life is evidence of abiogenesis. This conclusion comes not from observational evidence, but from a pre-conceived anti-creation religious belief.

#34 Angelus-Tenebrae

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 08:22 AM

quote=Angelus-Tenebrae,Nov 30 2005, 07:13 PM
A simple disclaimer that evolution is neutral in matters of religion does not change the fact that implicit in all evolutionary discussions is assumption of the non-existence of intellligent design. To quote GG Simpson in his book, The Meaning of Evolution,

"Man is the result of a purposeless and materialistic process that did not have him in mind. He was not planned. He is a state of matter, a form of life, a sort of animal, and a species of the Order Primates, akin nearly or remotely to all of life and indeed to all that is material."

This is not a statement of religious neutrality... it is an ideologic anti-God belief. This is not an isolated example... this line of thinking is everywhere in the evolutionary literature. 

That man is "not planned"? Well of course, because looking at an evolutionary point of view, nature does not have a "plan" for how speciation and diversity occurs. Just some mechanisms and chemistry to work with, but it's not actually striving towards anything. We see things the way they are now because things were either at the right place at the right time, or because others were at the wrong place, wrong time. We can limit the probability for what nature may, or may not do, by predicting it, but we cannot say for sure. If we knew, and if there was only one way for events to happen, then perhaps nature did have a plan.

If you mean to pick on the word, "purposeless", it's another one of those ambiguous things. You can use "purposeless" to imply a moral purpose. That is, nature does not have a moral purpose for life to exist, the same way God has a moral purpose for us to exist. But evolutionary processes can be considered "purposeless" in that they do not require a moral purpose to work as they do. But if you look at purpose in another way, you can also say that natural selection has a purpose in ensuring that those who survive, survive, and those who do not, do not. But in scientific literature, the author will only be using one of those meanings for "purposeless", and scientists know which one Simpson is talking about--it's the moral one.

The best example I can think of to drive this point home is the discussions of abiogenesis.  Despite the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever that it is possible  for matter to self-organize to form life, evolutionists continue to rigidly believe that the very existence of life is evidence of abiogenesis.  This conclusion comes not from observational evidence, but from a pre-conceived anti-creation religious belief.

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That is not what evolution says. It does not say anything about the existence of life. If you were referring to evolutionists who believe or accept abiogenesis, perhaps it's because abiogenesis is the only scientific explanation on the origin of life that has not been significantly disproven. This may be a little bit off topic, since I'm moving on to abiogenesis, but it's not impossible for matter to self-organize to form life. You, (or was it someone else?) suggested that DNA and RNA are not living, but these two helical structures are examples of self-organizing, self-replicating matter. They have been observed replicating, trascribing and translating, and we have seen their activities during the mitotical and meiotical division of cells. All of these things that we interpret and learn are from experiments. There are many, many experimental methods that can be performed and are documented in scientific literature. But none of the above experiments or conclusions came from religion. No one was thinking about whether religion agrees or not when they did these experiments, and neither does anyone have to.

#35 Springer

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 08:38 AM

quote=Angelus-Tenebrae,Dec 1 2005, 08:22 AM

That man is "not planned"? Well of course, because looking at an evolutionary point of view, nature does not have a "plan" for how speciation and diversity occurs. Just some mechanisms and chemistry to work with, but it's not actually striving towards anything. We see things the way they are now because things were either at the right place at the right time, or because others were at the wrong place, wrong time. We can limit the probability for what nature may, or may not do, by predicting it, but we cannot say for sure. If we knew, and if there was only one way for events to happen, then perhaps nature did have a plan.

If you mean to pick on the word, "purposeless", it's another one of those ambiguous things. You can use "purposeless" to imply a moral purpose. That is, nature does not have a moral purpose for life to exist, the same way God has a moral purpose for us to exist. But evolutionary processes can be considered "purposeless" in that they do not require a moral purpose to work as they do. But if you look at purpose in another way, you can also say that natural selection has a purpose in ensuring that those who survive, survive, and those who do not, do not. But in scientific literature, the author will only be using one of those meanings for "purposeless", and scientists know which one Simpson is talking about--it's the moral one.


You've just made an ideological statement of how you perceive nature, and you have excluded the possibility of God.

perhaps it's because abiogenesis is the only scientific explanation on the origin of life that has not been significantly disproven.


There is no known law of science that permits self-organization of matter into life. It's up to evolutionists to refute that. They can propose hypothetical proto-cells and prebionts, but such are only theoretical and lack any scientific substantiation.
Until abiogenesis can be demonstrated to be possible, it deserves no serious scientific consideration.

...it's not impossible for matter to self-organize to form life. You, (or was it someone else?) suggested that DNA and RNA are not living, but these two helical structures are examples of self-organizing, self-replicating matter. They have been observed replicating, trascribing and translating, and we have seen their activities during the mitotical and meiotical division of cells. All of these things that we interpret and learn are from experiments.


DNA and RNA are not self-replicating in the sense that they cannot replicate on their own. They can only replicate within the confines of a living cell. For abiogenesis to occur, DNA would have to form prior to a cell being created, because a cell cannot function without DNA. Even a conceptually simple form of DNA could not possibly form by chance molecular interactions. Even is it could organize on its own, it would rapidly denature outside the protection of a cellular environment.

There are many, many experimental methods that can be performed and are documented in scientific literature. But none of the above experiments or conclusions came from religion. No one was thinking about whether religion agrees or not when they did these experiments, and neither does anyone have to.


There are no experiments that have provided evidence that abiogenesis is possible, and there is overwhelming evidence that it's impossible. Thus, the conclusion that is is possible is derived from religious belief, not science.

#36 Angelus-Tenebrae

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 01:09 PM

quote=Angelus-Tenebrae,Dec 1 2005, 08:22 AM
You've just made an ideological statement of how you perceive nature, and you have excluded the possibility of God. 

The history and diversity of life is independent of God. That is, we cannot determine if there was a moral purpose to life by looking only at the history and diversity of life; natural selection does not make that implication. Perhaps there can be more that will be said from the origin of life, but that has nothing to do with evolution, and it does not dismiss all other religions, like Deism.

There is no known law of science that permits self-organization of matter into life.  It's up to evolutionists to refute that.  They can propose hypothetical proto-cells and prebionts, but such are only theoretical and lack any scientific substantiation.
Until abiogenesis can be demonstrated to be possible, it deserves no serious scientific consideration.

Abiogenesis has been demonstrated as being possible. The Urey-Miller experiment must have been repeated a dozen or more times. I might even be underestimating that number. If you are suggesting that it doesn't work because of the conditions, know that the Urey-Miller experiment emulated the environment of prebiotic Earth.
Please explain why you believe the laws of science would contradict self-organization of matter into life.

DNA and RNA are not self-replicating in the sense that they cannot replicate on their own.  They can only replicate within the confines of a living cell.  For abiogenesis to occur, DNA would have to form prior to a cell being created, because a cell cannot function without DNA.  Even a conceptually simple form of DNA could not possibly form by chance molecular interactions.  Even is it could organize on its own, it would rapidly denature outside the protection of a cellular environment.

A living cell contains DNA helicase, primers, polymerase, telomerases, topoisomerases, and various other proteins that are necessary for the replication, transcription and translation processes. The only requirement for such processes to occur is the presence of those proteins, but not necessarily a membrane bound compartment. It's even easier for RNA, since it has OH on the 2' group of the five carbon ring, and so it's more reactive. DNA is a stable molecule, and has stabilized ionic, hydrogen and Van der Waals interactions, so formation of DNA is not impossible. Furthermore, 330g of DNA is already a mole, which is 6.02x10^23 molecules. Given that there are so many DNA molecules, many interactions could occur. Even if formation of DNA were unlikely, it is not impossible. You could still end up with at least a few strands of DNA.
DNA only denatures in unfavorable pH ranges, high temperatures, or radiation. A cell membrane cannot protect against these things. Furthermore, when conditions change, DNA can be renatured.

There are no experiments that have provided evidence that abiogenesis is possible, and there is overwhelming evidence that it's impossible.  Thus, the conclusion that is is possible is derived from religious belief, not science.

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The Urey-Miller experiment supports abiogenesis. This experiment has also been repeated with variations. It has also been peer reviewed, and rather successfully.

#37 Springer

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 03:41 PM

quote=Angelus-Tenebrae,Dec 1 2005, 01:09 PM

Abiogenesis has been demonstrated as being possible. The Urey-Miller experiment must have been repeated a dozen or more times. I might even be underestimating that number. If you are suggesting that it doesn't work because of the conditions, know that the Urey-Miller experiment emulated the environment of prebiotic Earth.

The production of a racemic mixture of amino acids in no way proves that abiogenesis is possible. It proves nothing.

Please explain why you believe the laws of science would contradict self-organization of matter into life.

No life is possible without DNA. DNA is far too complex to self organize. It's never been observed to happen, and laws of probability absolutely prohibit it from happening.

A living cell contains DNA helicase, primers, polymerase, telomerases, topoisomerases, and various other proteins that are necessary for the replication, transcription and translation processes. The only requirement for such processes to occur is the presence of those proteins, but not necessarily a membrane bound compartment.

All of those biochemicals are useless outside the confines of a living cell.

Furthermore, 330g of DNA is already a mole, which is 6.02x10^23 molecules. Given that there are so many DNA molecules, many interactions could occur. Even if formation of DNA were unlikely, it is not impossible.

How many base pairs are in a DNA molecule? The number of possible combinations is unfathomable.

You could still end up with at least a few strands of DNA.

The likelihood of a simplest conceivable DNA molecule self assembling under optimal conditions has been calculated to be ~10^-40,000

DNA only denatures in unfavorable pH ranges, high temperatures, or radiation. A cell membrane cannot protect against these things.

DNA cannot survive outside of a cell. If you disagree, please so state.

Furthermore, when conditions change, DNA can be renatured.

Please explain.

The Urey-Miller experiment supports abiogenesis. This experiment has also been repeated with variations.  It has also been peer reviewed, and rather successfully.

Peer review exposed the experiment to be fraudulent. Even if all its claims were true, it still would prove nothing. You can't assume that because amino acids can self organize, that a cell can self organize. That is completely illogical. It's another reckless extrapolation of evolution.

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 07:24 PM

But the creator or designer is part of your theory. So you still have to explain it. You can "explain" that an intelligent designer creates the species we see today, and you may make the conclusion that life forms are too complicated to have formed, and so you think that a designer must have existed, but now you have to move onto the designer and explain it. You can't simply stop at the existence of the designer because to do so and stop all attempts to understand a mechanism or what causes it is unscientific.


Origins science are essentially a forensic study of our environment.

There are 2 alternatives in view in this discussion.

1) Natural causes are responsible for our environment
2) A person created our environment, and is partially/totally responsible for what we see.

Trying to determine between them does not require any knowledge about the person involved in 2, only the characteristics of one verses the other.

E.g. if we consider the piltdown man hoax for example, we do not need to know anything about the person who created the fake fossil, only that it was not the result of natural causes, and was "man-made".

So, using scientific evidence to deduce if something was "man-made", or created by natural causes is not an unreasonable application of scientific principles, and its not required to know anything about the person involved.

The problem with materialism as a scientific dogma, is that it does not permit the investigation of a valid question: "Was an intelligent being involved in creation of life".

If you claim that science cannot investigate this question, then you are testifiying against science as a means of understanding the universe.

Terry

#39 Angelus-Tenebrae

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 07:46 PM

quote=Angelus-Tenebrae,Dec 1 2005, 01:09 PM
The production of a racemic mixture of amino acids in no way proves that abiogenesis is possible.  It proves nothing. 

It doesn't have to prove anything. Science does not require proof; only evidences and disproving. Now, I'm not saying that abiogenesis is true, since I know even less about its probability than I do about evolution, but it is the only existing theory in science to explain the origin of life.

No life is possible without DNA.  DNA is far too complex to self organize.  It's never been observed to happen, and laws of probability absolutely prohibit it from happening.


Complex in what sense? That it's composed of too many carbon substituents? That it's "too long"? Favorable chemical interactions between molecules is indepent of whether the product contains a lot or few carbon centers. You may be thinking of an unfavorable reaction where all the carbon centers get together all at once, and you would be correct to say that such a reaction would be highly unlikely. But chemical reactions rarely work that way; they work in small steps, that are more favorable, and possibly faster. Even if you don't agree about DNA, there is still the possibility of catalysts, protein enzymes or RNA ribozymes.

All of those biochemicals are useless outside the confines of a living cell.

They are not. They have been observed to be replicating outside of the cell, as is done very often in techniques used in microbiology. As an example, PCR involves using the self-replicating mechanism of DNA to reproduce extra copies of DNA so that they can be studied, yet the DNA is replicated outside of the cell, but with presence of the required proteins. The only difference is that
PCR uses denaturation to emulate the effect of the DNA helicase, but the presence of the cell is not required for DNA helicase to function. Many other techniques involving DNA probes like Southern, northern and western blotting are also done in vitro.

How many base pairs are in a DNA molecule?  The number of possible combinations is unfathomable.


Are you assuming that only one of those combinations is correct? That would not be true because many combinations can allow for a functional cell. Given that there are more than a few measly moles of DNA, and any process leading to formation of DNA can happen simultaneously, and not sequentially, there will be some DNA strands adequate for life.

The likelihood of a simplest conceivable DNA molecule self assembling under optimal conditions has been calculated to be ~10^-40,000


If the DNA is formed sequentially, or simultaneously? Even if we are picking on DNA, that wasn't the only primitive self-replicator I've mentioned.

DNA cannot survive outside of a cell.  If you disagree, please so state.
Please explain.


I seem to recall that some creationist, you or someone else claimed that DNA does not live. As I've explained before, DNA does replicate both inside and outside of the cell. The only criteria that should be considered is the presence of the necessary proteins and conditions. Whether or not DNA functions is independent of whether it's inside or outside of the cell. The cell membrane is simply a phospholipid bilayer that is selectively permeable to substances inside and outside of the cell, but that doesn't necessarily say anything about the proteins inside or outside the cell.

Peer review exposed the experiment to be fraudulent.  Even if all its claims were true, it still would prove nothing.  You can't assume that because amino acids can self organize, that a cell can self organize.  That is completely illogical.  It's another reckless extrapolation of evolution.

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Urey-Miller experiment is actually well accepted. If it were fraudulent, then scientists wouldn't continue to make further experiments similar to those of Urey-Miller. We did not make the conclusion that cells self organize because amino acids can. Amino acids or catalysts can self organize and affect other reactions or processes that will allow a cell to form. As long as amino acids and catalysts can catalyze and make processes favorable for all the other necessary components for a cell, as well as the formation of the cell, then it is possible. It would be unscientific to stop at amino acids and catalysts being self-organizing. The significance of the self-organization of amino acids and catalysts can be researched.

#40 Angelus-Tenebrae

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 08:13 PM

Origins science are essentially a forensic study of our environment.

There are 2 alternatives in view in this discussion.

1) Natural causes are responsible for our environment
2) A person created our environment, and is partially/totally responsible for what we see.

Trying to determine between them does not require any knowledge about the person involved in 2, only the characteristics of one verses the other.

E.g. if we consider the piltdown man hoax for example, we do not need to know anything about the person who created the fake fossil, only that it was not the result of natural causes, and was "man-made".

So, using scientific evidence to deduce if something was "man-made", or created by natural causes is not an unreasonable application of scientific principles, and its not required to know anything about the person involved. 

The problem with materialism as a scientific dogma, is that it does not permit the investigation of a valid question: "Was an intelligent being involved in creation of life".

If you claim that science cannot investigate this question, then you are testifiying against science as a means of understanding the universe.

Terry

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But how did the scientists know that piltdown man was a hoax? They had to investigate it, look at the age of the fossil, and the composition of the fossil to know that. By looking at the composition of the fossil, scientists can determine how a person could have made such a fossil. We didn't have to know who created it, but we can learn how they made it. In comparison, ID proponents suggest that life is too complex and unlikely to form by natural processes, so a designer must have created it. To admit that a process is too complex or unlikely and stop further investigations is unscientific. In the case of the fake fossil, nobody was admitting that the fossil was too complex or unlikely.
"Was an intelligent being involved in creation of life?" is not a valid question to be asked in science because the "intelligent being" is considered supernatural. Science does not deal with the supernatural, and not dealing with the supernatural does not make it a disadvantage. Otherwise, it is similar to asking mathematics to explain metaphors in literary analysis.




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