Chemogenesis is consistent with the material view of the world

  • Thread starter FZ+
  • Start date
  • Tags
In summary, the conversation discusses the theory of chemogenesis and its validity in explaining the origin of life. One participant argues that the belief in chemogenesis is based on a materialistic view of the world and that there are other possible explanations for the origin of life. However, the other participant argues that chemogenesis is supported by evidence and is the best theory available based on scientific validity and testability. The conversation also touches on the progress and current research being done on chemogenesis, refuting the claim that it is untestable.
  • #1


From Pragmaticism... in the Philosophy Forum

First, what Fliption said is my main objection. When I see a TV special on evolution begin with the phrase "life most likely began in the chemical soup of Earth's early ocean when the right chemical/physical conditions spontaneously self-organized themselves into the first living system" . . . THAT is where I have a problem. It is the "most likely" which is not justified by the evidence.
Since when did TV specials present philosophical view points? But from the balance of evidence, there is evidence that chemogenesis occured, and no evidence that something else occured. If we have a something else, then it would be lower. Most likely is a comparison of probabilities - there are an infinity of other premises, but these premises have a lower chance of being right, as far as current evidence suggests, than chemogenesis.

Just because you claim it is the best evidence you have doesn't mean you can ignore a critical flaw in a theory; and I don't think it is even accurate to say it’s the best theory, but rather it is the best theory materialists have. In my (humble) opinion it is every bit as hole-ly as creationism in this respect.
How would do define best, as far as theories are concerned? I would say correspond to available evidence. Makes predictions that can be tested. The rationale here is that when we are talking about describing reality, the best theory materialists have is also the best theory - simply because our idea of the trueness of a theory comes solely from comparision with evidence. A theory that does not offer an opportunity for testing, or is not falsifiable cannot be the best theory - chemogenesis has holes, but these holes can be plugged. The holes of creationism exist by definition, as a faith based theory system. But of course, much depends on how you decide "best".

Chemogenesis is based on an a priori assumption that existence is material -- that is what makes someone say the only possible explanation for the life phenomenon must be material. If one doesn't proceed on that assumption, I say one would be more conservative in suggesting chemogenesis than most materialists are.
Incorrect cause and effect chain. Chemogenesis is consistent with the material view of the world, but it's genesis did not come from the assumption. Rather, than assumption is used only to exclude other theories, not to confirm the theory itself. A chemogenesis approach is equally fitting in an universe, where say hidden spirituality exists. Spirituality ex mechina? Chemogenesis is based on the extrapolation of found evidence of chemical life evolution backwards to it's source, and the assumption that this extrapolation cannot be terminated en route by a theoretical barrier. Spirituality and materiality may both present barriers. Hence, while as a theory chemogenesis is based on material evidence, it is not exclusively a material approach - any more than the belief in God is, though that is based (usually) on the material universe around us.

My observation isn’t an ad hominem argument, it is derived from analyzing the evidence supporting the chemogenesis hypothesis and then observing how much scientism advocates express confidence in it. What other reason would explain their exaggerated certainty if not from already assuming only a material explanation is possible for the origin of life?
Note second line. The problem of the ad hominem argument is the displacement of personal feelings onto the argument at hand. This is what there is a danger of doing. I have explain before that science's dependence comes from the theory's scientific validity - it's testability. Materialism doesn't come into it. Rather, the base element of science is one to follow all available routes towards discovering the truth. The only route offered is one that follows evidence, and evidence alone is that which distinguishes belief from knowledge. The study involved in science requires a testable hypothesis - and chemogenesis is the only candidate.
Further, I think you have unneccessarily expanded the advocates of chemogenesis - they being the ones you see on TV shows, to science as a whole. A simple solution may be that those that believe in a non-materialist genesis of life, simply do not study it, as that cannot be studied. Why do most researchers in chemogenesis believe in it? Because if they don't they wouldn't be doing research in chemogenesis, would they? Maybe you are looking at a very restricted data set...

By the way, you don’t know whether you can prove chemogenesis false yet. If it can never be demonstrated, there is still is the possibility the right combination of conditions that causes it just have never been recreated. As of now, it is a theory that is not very testable because no one is making real progress on it. There’s been nothing very significant since the decades-old Urey and Miller demonstration, and even then all that did was show that the potential for life’s chemistry is present on Earth.
It is (relatively) easy to disprove chemogenesis - show the magical factor of life that cannot be present in pure chemistry. As you have attempted to do. If a barrier exists between say... base chemicals, and the first cell, or we find a scientific specialness of life that makes our form of life particular, then we would have a disproof of chemogenesis. If we find geological evidence of early Earth as being far too harsh for life to have been generated, and hence get a recreatable picture of what it was like, and still fail, then chemogenesis is disproved. Such evidence probably does exist - we do find examples of things like these.
You know well enough that lack of progress does not equate to untestability. Just that no one has bothered, or that no one has success. Plenty of progress has occured, any ways... Random links follow:[/URL]

Rumors of chemogenesis research's death has been greatly exaggerated! Not only that, but we do have rival hypotheses within chemogenesis that we can debate.

[QUOTE]You say, “For the time being, the fact it still remain the only theory we can solve, that we can check for problems . . . [and that] makes it one to have confidence in.” Well, you haven’t shown it can be solved, and the biggest problem of all with it scientism proponents seem in denial about, so I cannot see a realistic basis for your confidence.[/QUOTE]
Yes I have... didn't I just post about it?

[QUOTE]You've avoided addressing the real flaw in the chemogenesis theory with the sort of argument chemogenesis proponents use all the time. The argument is one where you move on into life processes, show how extensively life is embedded in materiality, and then conclude it is strong evidence that life is materially generated. [/QUOTE]
I avoided this argument, because there is better evidence than this tenuous suggestion.

[QUOTE]<snipped because I went over the maximum article length>[/QUOTE]
Now that is unreasonable. You see, you have asserted "a potential far different from normal matter, but did not really justify it. I am saying that basic life, without external influence, is as you say it, more or less the same as crystal growth - the realignment of scrambled and non-align matter into different patterned distributions is the same, generally as bacterial growth. You want to see crystal evolve? Ok, introduce flaws into the crystals, a displaced atom here and there, or may change the ambient temperature. You can turn one kind of crystal of sulphur, for example into a completely different type of crystal. You can introduce flaws and complexities into the crystal as it is growing which can be very unpredictable and non-repetitive. Each crystal of diamond, for example is different from another - if you look at it from one perspective, that IS evolution, the adaptation of the crystal to a changing environment, until it has reached a local high in adaption. If you constantly change the environment, to model the normal world, then you can grow crystals in any shape you like, and this crystal can be said to have "evolved" to fit the environment. Within the crystal/lifeform, you have the monotony of the crystal growth/cell mitosis, but if you apply a subjective viewpoint, you can call it "development".
It's even easier if you put in the actual mechanism of evolution - you select the crystal based on how you (in this case the rather atypical external environment) wants. Other than methodogy (using different solutions instead of different amounts of food etc), you can call this evolution if you like. Only the crystals that fit in most which what the external environment finds survivable survives. Viola, crystal evolution! If you have billions of years to spare, you may even growth sentient crystals (ie. computers) that way. If you introduce random flaws, you produce an unique crystal that is the eptiome of what that environment finds survivable. It will look nothing like our life, since the conditions and base materials are rather different. But it is, in a way, evolution.
I think your distinction here between flawed crystals and evolution is rather artificial. Unless I'm missing something.
Last edited by a moderator:
Biology news on
  • #2
Either way, it is not justified, based on current evidence, to dispute the POSSIBILITY of chemogenesis.
  • #3
Originally posted by FZ+
Either way, it is not justified, based on current evidence, to dispute the POSSIBILITY of chemogenesis.

With that, I can agree.
  • #4
  • #5
Originally posted by FZ+


I do believe chemogenesis... as in a chemical origin of life... is the place to look for a cause of the origin of life.

I don't nasty salary believe that chemogeneses had to take place on this planet... considering the probability that previously composed and compounded chemicals that have resulted in the phenomenon of life are perfectly capable of surviving long bouts of space travel.

These migrants may also be the precursors to life as we know it. This would indicate an extraterrestrial Virogenesis or Bactogenesis.

Even the word "genesis" has its root in the word gene... which an ET virus could well have added to our "soup" here on earth. The result being... of course... VRNA recombinants that expressed the first double helix and all its implications.

Could be.
  • #6
Update: Who said no work was being done on chemogenesis?:smile:

Ultra-violet light, long thought to be an impediment to the early formation of long organic molecules, may in fact hold the key to the origin of life, according to a new study.

Intense UV rays from a young Sun bombarded the early Earth and were thought likely to destroy any exposed organic molecules. But a new mathematical model implies the radiation actually helped select out the molecular seeds of life.

Certain components of RNA absorb UV light and act as "protectors", thereby giving it a survival advantage over other molecules, says Armen Mulkidjanian. Mulkidjanian, a biophysicist at Osnabrück University in Germany, led the team that developed the theoretical model.

The nucleotides that make up RNA have three components - a sugar, a phosphate and nitrogen-containing base. "And these bases have very peculiar properties of being extremely efficient at quenching UV light," says Mulkidjanian, protecting the sugar and phosphate components which form the spine of the chain.

The UV light could even encourage polymerisation, adds Mulkidjanian. There is a small probability that RNA bases hit by UV light may be energised for a split second to a state where they can chemically react with another molecule to form another link in the chain, he says.

Yarus told New Scientist that, although the study was theoretical, it might provide a "fantastic service" in stimulating experimental work to explore how RNA polymers might have formed in a young, UV-illuminated world.

What is chemogenesis?

Chemogenesis is the theory that chemical processes and reactions are responsible for the formation and evolution of our universe and all living things, rather than a divine or spiritual force.

What is the material view of the world?

The material view of the world is the perspective that all phenomena can be explained through physical and natural processes, rather than supernatural or metaphysical forces.

How is chemogenesis consistent with the material view of the world?

Chemogenesis aligns with the material view of the world because it proposes that the emergence of life and the universe can be explained through chemical reactions and processes, rather than relying on supernatural or spiritual explanations.

What evidence supports chemogenesis?

There is a significant amount of scientific evidence that supports chemogenesis, including the understanding of chemical processes and reactions, the discovery of organic compounds in space, and the successful replication of the building blocks of life in laboratory experiments.

Is chemogenesis widely accepted in the scientific community?

While there is still ongoing research and debate in the scientific community, chemogenesis is generally accepted as a valid theory that is consistent with our current understanding of the natural world.

Suggested for: Chemogenesis is consistent with the material view of the world