From Pragmaticism... in the Philosophy Forum 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. 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". 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. 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... 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: http://www.nature.com/nsu/020114/020114-7.html http://188.8.131.52/search?q=cach...+research+life+beginning+early&hl=en&ie=UTF-8 http://www.resa.net/nasa/origins_life.htm 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. Yes I have... didn't I just post about it? I avoided this argument, because there is better evidence than this tenuous suggestion. 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.