Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Religion disproving Evolution and proving Creation through Science?

  1. Nov 20, 2003 #1
    Religion disproving Evolution and proving Creation through Science???

    Why must Religous leaders attempt to disprove evolution and prove creationism through science???

    A Biology instructor, I once had, made the comment: "This is science class, in science class we play science and in church we play religion" Much like dribbling a basketball during a football game. It just doesn't make since.

    Science does not prove nor disprove creation or the existance of God nor does it attempt to. A true scientist would not say God does not exist, b/c he can not prove that he does not. We have tons of evidence suggesting that the earth is 4.8 billion years old, but if God could create the earth, he could, also, place the evidence to suggest such an age (to test our faith, I guess???)

    So, why must Religous leaders, try to use science to disprove science, when clearly, they do not know what they are talking about or they are trying to mislead, their followers.

    For example, I was reading some literature, just the other day, and it stated that evolution does NOT exist, b/c entropy is constant and evolution goes against entropy. Which is true of course on a closed system, but what he failed to do was mention the SUN, which provides the external energy needed, at least on this system.

    What really bothered me, was the fact that this indivual, seemed to be very well educated and intelligent. He understood so much about certain things, but conveintly left out the important parts.

    Religion is based on faith, why can it not be left at that. If you truely believe, you do NOT need proof. No matter what science says you should stay true to your beliefs, but, please, don't try to create a theory, which can not be proven.

    Nautica
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2003 #2

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Religious leaders should use science to its full extent. Unfortunately, as you observed with the Entropy case, they rarely do. What they do, is present a biased, skewered view and claim it to be science. They start with their chosen conclusion, and then look for evidence that backs that conclusion up. This is not how science...well, not how it should work.

    I don't agree that religion shoudl stay a matter of faith. If people want to search for the truth, then they should be able to. You should be able to both believe in God, and seek to prove that God exists. I believe America exists...one day I may even prove it to myself and go there.

    As for religious leaders trying to 'disprove' science: You can't disprove science. Science isn't a theory open to scrutinization. It is a method, an idea, a philosophical approach of how to come by truth. Now if religious leaders wish to use that method, then they may do a lot of things, but one thing they may not do, is disprove it. What they are actually trying to disprove, is commonly held scientific theories.

    This pursuit isn't always such a bad idea. Advancement in science is made by criticising the current ideas. The most obvious problem in the criticisms that come from the religious ones though, is that they are criticising the new theory, favouring the old theory. Evolution replaced creationism because evolution explained stuff which creationism just fudged over. Evolution is a theory, creation isn't. Evolution replaced creation because it is better: Going back to the worse model, is not a likely way to move forward. It's not entirely impossible....just incredibly unlikely.

    Even the intelligent design theory suffers from many of the problems that Evolution fixed up in Creation. Int design still doesn't really explain HOW it happens: it just fudges the facts and says "Because god willed it..." Evolution, as we currently hold it, explains everything without any vague references to unknowns.

    But anyway, I am digressing. I am all for people trying to disprove evolution theory. What I am against, is people holding preconcieved ideas, deciding that they are the truth beyond reproach, and then claiming to use 'science' to prove that their irreproachable truth is correct: Ignoring any arguments to the contrary. (it's easy to ignore arguments against something that you believe is irreproachable.)
     
  4. Nov 20, 2003 #3
    Sorry, that was a typo when I said use science to disprove science, what I meant to say was to use science to disprove scientific theories. Not b/c one should not do this, but b/c they do not actually approach it scientifically, but through either ignorance or decietfullness they act like they did.

    I do have to disagree with you about proving there is a GOD. You can someday go to America and you believe it is there, not through your heart but through evidence, much like seeing the sun come up everyday - you know it will rise tommorrow. Once again - GOD is based on faith and if you have faith and believe the bible is literal, you will not search for proof b/c the bible says that we will not and should not try to understand - so they are contracting themselves by trying to prove God exist, either that or they do not really believe and must prove it to themselves.

    And as far as people disproving evo theory, that is great, but if one does not believe b/c of faith, then he should no attempt to disprove it, b/c he will be baised. What he should do is continue his faith and leave the proving and diproving for people who truely seek the truth and not for those who want to make the evidence fit their beliefs.

    Personally, I would feel better, if a Religous Leader came out and said - yes there is plenty of evidence suggesting that evolution explains life as we know it and yes evidence suggest that the earth is over 4 billion years old and not 6000 years old. But, I believe in my heart that this is not true b/c I have faith in the bible.

    Nautica
     
  5. Nov 20, 2003 #4

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Plenty of religious people have said that. They just aren't the most public ones. And besides, no one really cares when they do, because that is just their beliefs...not anything important to the argument.

    This sounds like the argument of someone who already has the belief, and isn't willing to scrutinise that belief :wink:.

    Belief in god is based on faith
    Faith doesn't need to be proven
    Anyone who tries to prove it, doesn't believe.

    And yet you seem happy to accept that I, even though I have never seen it, believe that america exists on account of the fact that I may one day be able to prove it. But using the argument above, if I went to prove it, then that would prove that I didn't actually believe in it.

    That isn't really consistent.

    I believe america exists because of various bits of evidence that I think are convincing.
    Although I don't feel a need to 'prove' the existence of America, one day I might.

    Many people believe God exists because of bits of evidence that they think is convincing.
    Many don't feel a need to 'prove' the existence of God, but some do.




    Hmmm... Hopefully my point is sorta being made. I know that I have one, but I am not convinced that what I have said so far is expressing it the best.

    Putting it more simply: Belief in anything which you ahve been told about: whether it be God, Hippopotamus', the dark side of the moon, Black holes or pluto all have the same degree of faith in them until they are proven to you. Some things are easier to prove than others. This doesn't mean that those things which are difficult to prove (so difficult that they perhaps haven't been proven yet) do not belong in the category of things which can be proven...

    Does that make sense?
     
  6. Nov 20, 2003 #5
    This, of course, is only my opinion; but, it has been reached by years of thought, study and observation.

    Organized christian religion in the U.S., probably all organized religion, is all about thought control, controling the minds, thus the pocket book of it's parishioners, and their loyalty. This may be thought of as saving their souls; and, I am sure that there are some who are sincere in their belief and practice of their religion.

    Their belief or faith is so weak, or they believe that their parishioners faiths is so weak that it can not stand up under any scrutiny. Thus they must believe absolutely in the literal interpretation of the bible without question or their whole belief system and power base will fall apart.

    This is absurd at the outset because the bible, King Jame and American Standard versions at least, contain a number of contradictions, at least two in the first book of Genisis. It contains two different and inconsistent versions of creation in the first two pages. Yet they must profess to believe in it as it is the only proof or basis of their belief in God, Jesus and his teachings.

    They therefore feel that they must counter or disprove any and all theories that contradict the bible and the theory of evolution is the mose basic and vunerable of the lot as it stricks right at the heart of their belief in their own religion. The theory of evolution also has no hard evidence to support it; but, only observation and speculation (We dig up or find bones tens of thousands and millions of years old, we study and observe them and try to relate them to lofe as we know it, then speculate that the bones are from earlier less evolved versions of life as we know it now. Yes the is tons of evidence to support the speculation including DNA, but no proof.)

    Those of stronger faith or conviction, those who have experienced God and/or Jesus personally, those who are not into thought and mind control but believe in voluntary belief and worship have no need or desire to prove or disprove anything. They feel, as I do, that their is no conflict between religion and science. The advancement of science is also an advancement in our ability to know and see the mind and hand of God at work. The bible is a book of stories and wisdom that contains truth and morals, allegory and metaphor as well as parables. It is not necessary to believe literally in every word to benefit from the reading and study of the bible. As such it is to be interpreted, our personel truth gleened from its pages and accepted for what it is, a collection of works written by numerous different people and interpreted from three seperate ancient languages into english. These people may or may not have been devinely inspired; but it doesn't matter. It, the bible, does not have to be literally word for word true to guide, teach and inspire us.
     
  7. Nov 20, 2003 #6
    "This sounds like the argument of someone who already has the belief, and isn't willing to scrutinise that belief"

    Now, your jumping to the conclusion that, I have faith, which is fine, but I never said I did or I did not. I am only using those arguments b/c they are based on religion, much like a religous person using science.

    "And yet you seem happy to accept that I, even though I have never seen it, believe that america exists on account of the fact that I may one day be able to prove it. But using the argument above, if I went to prove it, then that would prove that I didn't actually believe in it.

    That isn't really consistent.

    I believe america exists because of various bits of evidence that I think are convincing.
    Although I don't feel a need to 'prove' the existence of America, one day I might.

    Many people believe God exists because of bits of evidence that they think is convincing.
    Many don't feel a need to 'prove' the existence of God, but some do."

    BUT, if your belief in America told you that it was beyond your comprehension and that in order for you to get there, you must only have faith and believe - NOT prove - b/c really, if it were proven that America existed everybody would believe and it would be a very crowded country. If of course, it is the country you believe it to be.


    "Hmmm... Hopefully my point is sorta being made. I know that I have one, but I am not convinced that what I have said so far is expressing it the best.

    Putting it more simply: Belief in anything which you ahve been told about: whether it be God, Hippopotamus', the dark side of the moon, Black holes or pluto all have the same degree of faith in them until they are proven to you. Some things are easier to prove than others. This doesn't mean that those things which are difficult to prove (so difficult that they perhaps haven't been proven yet) do not belong in the category of things which can be proven...

    Does that make sense?"

    Yes, it makes sense, but I want to point out one last time, the belief in God itself, tell you that you should not prove b/c you can not, so you must have faith and believe - that is your ticket to America (I mean Heaven).

    Nautica
     
  8. Nov 20, 2003 #7

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    that is one particular form of one particular religion which says that you shouldn't try to prove God. You can't put all people into the one religious basket. Most christians even would disagree with the idea that you shouldn't try to prove God.
     
  9. Nov 20, 2003 #8
    I just wanted to point out that neither does science. Evolution only explains how one species evolves into another. It doesn't say(nor does any other theory that I'm aware of) how it is possible for those species to even exists to begin with. Not yet anyway. So these 2 ideas( creationism and evolution) don't attempt to answer the same questions. Science may have a better answer than creationism to some questions but on others it can only shrug.
     
  10. Nov 20, 2003 #9

    FZ+

    User Avatar

    If you mean speciation, then it most certainly does. If you mean abiogenesis, then that is a lot more iffy. But a lot of work has been going into this, especially with mathematical complexity theory, which predicts the natural emergence of self-organising systems.

    Hell, any discussion of creationism makes the UK sound like a paradise... (Which it is not... :wink:)
     
  11. Nov 20, 2003 #10
    Evolution does not attempt to explain the origin of life - only speciation.

    Nautica
     
  12. Nov 21, 2003 #11
    Yes, I meant Biogensis.

    Good, then we should expect to see a demonstration of this in the near future.
     
  13. Nov 21, 2003 #12

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    ahhh...of self-organising organic molecules....maybe not wihtout some coercing. See...scientists can be very determined: But "world wide" x "billions of years" worth of determination doesn't come about easily.

    And test tube x a few years cant be expected to give an equivalent result.
     
  14. Nov 21, 2003 #13

    FZ+

    User Avatar

    Well, not just speciation, but the whole development of life...

    But it all depends on your definitions. Dawkins would maintain that evolution, as ultimately an account of the distribution of persistent patterns, must neccessarily stretch back to the stage of so-called chemical evolution. In which case, life (as we know it) is still an evolved product.

    Well... Just note that a big problem would be to identify if it is actually alive.
     
  15. Nov 22, 2003 #14

    Les Sleeth

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I have never been convinced by the reason you give for the failure to reproduce biogenesis in the laboratory. For one thing, scientists commonly theorize that biogenesis took place almost as soon as the Earth settled down from it's own rugged origination. We have evidence of bacterial life as far back as 3.5 billions years, and evidence that this life was already thriving in temperatures, and in an atmosphere, similar to now.

    Foremost life scientist Lynn Margulis suggests that the temperature and atmosphere which allowed such early bacterial life was actually readied by even more primitive bacteria. She says, “By responding, life seems to have succeeded in cooling the planetary surface to counter, or more than counter, the over-heating sun. Mainly by removing from the atmosphere greenhouse gases (such as methane and carbon dioxide) which trap heat, but also by changing its surface color and form (by retaining water and growing slime), life responded to prolong its own survival.” (“What is Life,” page 27, by Lynn Margulis & Dorion Sagan)

    If Earth originated 4.6 billion years ago as is believed, and it took awhile for it to cool and establish an atmosphere; and assuming the most primitive of bacteria took some millions of years to “tame” that methane and carbon dioxide mix, it seems biogenesis occurred within millions of years, and not the billions you and others say.

    Also, the excuse of “how can we expect to replicate biogenesis in a few years what it took nature x numbers of years to achieve” is contested by yet another aspect. In nature, biogenesis depends on utter spontaneous self-generation; but in the laboratory, that biogenesis is being attempted through a conscious, planned, educated, skilled effort, and so not at all like the conditions which are said to originally exist. If we factor in the advantages of conscious assistance, then how many years should that take off how long it should take to replicate biogenesis?

    Take something simple, for example, such as the see-saw dynamic. Put a board, a fulcrum, and two rocks of equal weight in a pit someplace that has constant earthquake or volcanic activity so that the forces of nature regularly give them a tossing about. How long will we have to wait for the board, fulcrum, and two rocks of equal weight to spontaneously bounce into the configuration of a see-saw in that pit?

    Now, let’s say it takes 3000 years. Then let’s predict how long that see-saw arrangement will last. Will it survive the next earthquake? Should we expect the next upheaval to create some new organization on top of the see-saw, or should we expect the see-saw to fall apart?

    Yet with life, self-originating advocates say it began spontaneously. They say it continued self-organizing within an incredibly hostile environment. They say it continued developing over billions of years.

    Okay, but if so, then a dynamic that forms so quickly, and which is so tough it can survive the intensity of Earth’s geophysics for billions of years . . . should it really be THAT hard to reproduce? I say, if you are going to say spontaneous biogenesis is what most likely explains the origin of life, then show us how that is done or admit there is just as likely another unrecognized principle at work in life.
     
  16. Nov 22, 2003 #15

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    OK, I concede It is quite possible that it took millions of years. But seriously, that doesn't change anything.

    I actually did mean efforts that attempt to re-create the early conditions, and let it go for years to see what 'grows', not the consciously driven attempts to create life (because I dunno if that really counts as Abiogenesis.) While that is an interesting and valid pursuit of its own, there is also something quite interesting and meaningful to be said by an experiment which attempts to just let life (of whatever form) self-organise out of basic molecules.

    As for the Lynn quote, I don't think the bacteria stage have anything to do with the formation of life. I mean, in my opinion at least, bacteria are a long way off the formation of life. I could be wrong, but I think it is highly unlikley that something as complicated as bacteria came about for a long time after the formation of simple replicative devices trapped inside lipid bodies.... (or whatever it was)

    As for the see saw thing, thats not even an analogy. Life is not as random as that, even the spontaneous formation of it isn;t like that. The term spontaneous generation isn't meant to be taken literally as 'absoultely nothing, and then spontaneously every component required jumped together'. perhaps a better analogy would be to place a see saw factory next to the hole which keeps dropping various bits and pieces of the seesaw into the pit. Eventually some of the right bits will fall together, or the huge pit full of pieces will be mixed up by the earthquake and it will happen.

    Of course, you will criticise the factory point, but the factory in life's story is only enzymatic action, synthesising parts of a 'living' organism to be...
     
  17. Nov 22, 2003 #16

    FZ+

    User Avatar

    Recent studies show that not only was the early earth more temperate than thought, but that some of the conditions previously thought harmful (eg. uv irradiation) actually help primitive RNA molecules to polymerise.

    If it would self-organise, there is still no reason it will self-organise in the same way it did, creating life as we know it. In many cases, we don't even know what we are looking for. (Eg. in the thing you gave, the claim that life appeared almost immediately has since been disputed, as it appears that rocks previous thought to be extremely old proto-bacteria were simply mineral formations.)
     
  18. Nov 22, 2003 #17

    Les Sleeth

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Well, that was one of my main objections your argument . . . the claim that biogenesis can’t be reproduced now because of the time Earth had to do it.

    Yes, but all experiments have consistently produced exactly the same results. What you can observe is progressive self organization for a few steps, and after that incessant repetitive self-organization of the original pattern. No one has EVER witnessed self-organization take off and develop by creatively adapting to the environment as a living system does.

    That wasn’t my point. My point about evidence of functioning bacteria was to reduce to a far smaller figure the time you gave for the billions of years of waiting for life to develop.

    I admit it’s not the best analogy . . . Earth’s chemistry holds far more potential for a variety of spontaneous formations. Yet at some point, chemistry always hits a self-organizing dead end and then becomes subject to the same kind of randomness of accidental self-organization that the see-saw analogy falls victim to.

    I don’t think spontaneous generation means absolutely nothing jumps together. I think it means the chemistry and conditions necessary to form life processes are present, and that, if possible, from those conditions and processes life will spontaneously organize.

    You are indulging in pure speculation. But if you say you are not, then please demonstrate chemistry that “keeps dropping various bits and pieces,” as you say, which just so happens to be useful in building a life form. AND THEN, show those bits and pieces spontaneously organizing themselves into life. No one is even close to showing chemistry is capable of the first part, much less the second part.

    I can’t help but wonder if those who say such things feel any need to demonstrate it’s possible. You know, it’s not like string theory where so much of what’s predicted is unavailable for observation. In life, every single bit of it is right before us. We know just about all the chemistry involved in life, and we have the actual blueprint of how it’s put together.

    So when you say chemistry can spontaneously form “factories” that generate enzymatic and synthesizing parts for living organisms . . . then you should, given all the living guidance we have to help us, be able to actually produce this and prove it is possible. As of now, it’s all talk.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2003
  19. Nov 22, 2003 #18

    Les Sleeth

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Well, no matter what excuses you make, the fact is that no one can demonstrate chemistry spontaneouly self organizing in such manner that it will lead to life . . . forget about actually getting to a living system. Just show me the sort of self-organization that will eventually get to life and I will be satisfied with claims that auto-chemogenesis is most likely the cause of life. As far as I can see, people who believe in auto-chemogenesis have no more evidential support for their opinion than people who believe the universe was created supernaturally by God. All of it is propaganda of philosophies believers hope are true, but who lack evidence to make an objectively convincing case and so hype up what evidence they do have.
     
  20. Nov 22, 2003 #19

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Enzymes, in living systems are ubiquitous. Life is basically a collection of refined enzymes.

    What u learn from studying Molecular Biology though, is that there is nothing special about these enzymes, they just happen to take on a particular shape, which happens to have little areas on it that just catalyse reactions. Its really quite impressive in the end, because proteins just need to serve a function. It doesn't matter how that function is served, as long as it gets done. It turns out that often it can done any number of ways, and often does. Sometimes there seems to be only one way, but more often than not, numerous AA in any given protein can be changed, and the product is basically the same.

    Its hard to really just make broad sweeping statements about this stuff, but when u learn more about the chemistry behind the biology, you quickly realise that there is no magic involved....its all just a bunch of simple things working together to make comlex stuff act complex. Enzymes are everywhere...I have no doubt that they came about long before life forms started to mass produce them too.
     
  21. Nov 22, 2003 #20

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    While it may be true that there is no evidential support for the chemogenesis of lilfe (directly), the difference between the two claims is that we observe chemicals carrying out everything required for life everyday. We even seperate these reactions from their normal environments and watch it happen in isolation. Life is just chemistry, and so we have a good reason to believe that chemistry started it, as a matter of consequence of time.

    The God hypothesis has no backing at all except the claims of millions of people.



    Curious: DO you know how PCR works?
     
  22. Nov 22, 2003 #21
    I knew you would say that. It's the only comment I've ever gotten on this topic. LWSleeth has pretty much said what I think on that. It only takes man 3 months to build a building. It would take nature billions of years to do that as well.

    Also AG, you and I have discussed this before in PF2 but I have never been given a good reason why the process of biogenesis (complexity,chance etc etc according to FZ) and natural selection are necessarily restricted to the carbon based entities we are familiar with. I have suggested before that if chance is as powerful as some claim it is and complexity theory applies to all things, then all we need is a selection process and we have it! Why can't these principles of self organization be demonstrated in other areas? Like computers? A computer program could insert random changes into it's code (mutations) and then copy itself(selection process). How many thousands of times a day could a computer do this? It would far surpass the speed of natural selection I'm sure. The speed at which the resulting product would evolve is limited only by the processing speed of the computer. But I suspect that if we had a program that did this, it would soon fall prey to the very thing that LWSleeth is talking about. If these principles actually work, then we should have AI in a matter of years if not less. Yet we have nothing yet.

    Even if such a thing is much more complex and involved then what I've described, we should be able to demonstrate "something", right?
     
  23. Nov 23, 2003 #22

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    We do. there are plenty of programs out there that simulate these effects. There are evolutionary simulation programs, and there are actual programs which use selective techniques to design things...I've forgotten what they are called..genetic algorithms or something.

    http://dmoz.org/Computers/Artificial_Life/Artificial_Worlds/
    Genetic Algorithm FAQ

    This stuff works...but this isn't really related to the origins. The only basis I have for my claims onthe origins, is my knowledge of molecular biology, and the belief in my mind that it is reasonable to accept that this stuff can happen by itself. (as it is still doing in effect...)

    What alternative is there that makes more sense?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  24. Nov 23, 2003 #23
    Hi Nautica,

    I think it is because of two main reasons:

    1) The fear of astronomic space/time sizes.

    2) The fear of not to be cared by "blind" laws of nature.

    Both fears give many of us the motivation to seek for a supreme being,
    which is the source of all creation, that concern about us and gives us
    orders how to live in its creation.

    Through a design point of view of our DNA, we find that our universe is some kind
    of many huge experiments that works simultaneously on huge range of scales, which sometimes connected and sometimes disconnected to each other.

    Our first goal as complex systems is to survive in this universe(s) as complex systems .

    If there is no communication we become closed systems, and closed systems find their death by entropy.

    Please let me show you some interesting insight through Hebrew language (my language).

    Hebrew belongs to a family of languages that are built on 'roots'.

    It means that any word is built on some combination of letters, which is not a specific word.

    For example: in Hebrew the words ELEM(=MUTENESS) and ALIMOOT(=VIOLENCE) are built on the same root, which is Aleph.Lamed.Mem .

    Through this common root we get the insight that the one how can't express himself (=MUTE=ILEM) through communication, becomes VIOLENT(=ALIM).

    And VIOLENCE is a form of using energy to destroy complex systems indiscriminately, or in another words, to increase their entropy.

    Please be aware to the difference between COMPLEX to COMPLICATED.

    Complex systems are based on simple principles that give them the ability to become energy savers.

    And being an energy saver means: maximum results out of minimum energy, which implies minimum entropy.

    So through this point of view, the model of INFINITY is:

    Nor-begining-never-ending zero-entropy that aware to itself.

    We can call this state of infinity GOD and we can invent a lot of ways of thinking that use God’s name, but I think simplicity and our creative ways to communicate through it and bring it to live in infinitely many gentle and unexpected ways, this maybe our endless story…




    Organic
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2003
  25. Nov 23, 2003 #24

    Les Sleeth

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    But you see, you have completely sidestepped my objection to biogenesis. In all my debates with those who believe chemistry and physical processes can spontaneously generate life, not once has anyone answered my objection right on target.

    I completely agree with you that there is nothing magical about the chemistry involved in life, even it does achieve some pretty amazing things. I have studied biology more than most, and so I know that without enzyme action life couldn't be - - the body's chemistry would function far too slowly for anything to get done. No insult intended FZ, but I really don't need to be explained what chemistry can do, I am fairly well informed in this area.

    I say that because when I object to the chemogenesis model, usually I get science lectures as though people think the only reason I would object is if I am uninformed. But it is quite possible that I object to the chemogenesis model precisely because I am informed.

    My objection, once again, is not that chemistry is capable of most all the stuff that we see in biology. My objection (one of them anyway . . . I have another which doesn’t apply here), is that you cannot get chemistry to do the particular sort of organization that is going on in life. So I have tried to get my fellow thinkers to separate the two concepts for a bit so each can be considered better. The two concepts are: chemistry and organization. As you said, and I agree, nothing magical is happening on the chemistry end of it. However, on the organization end, that is a different story altogether.

    It’s the organizational dynamic associated with life which makes me not accept at this time, with the evidence we have, that chemistry and Earth’s physics alone are causing that kind of organization. No one, not ever, has reproduced an organizational process that perpetually develops adaptive systems, one built on top of another, and with each new system supporting the survivability of the overall system - - what I call progressive organization. I would be content to see chemistry do just that much, and forget about achieving reproduction and metabolism.

    Chemogenesis devotees say we should have faith in their model because of the spontaneous organizing behavior of crystals, polymers, or autocatalytic reactions. But all purely physical (i.e., outside of life) spontaneous organization just goes on for a few steps in repetitive patterns, while life’s progressive organization has been essentially perpetual. Some researchers see as more significant the spontaneous formation of organic molecules, such as amino acids or the development of proteinoid microspheres. This fails to take into account however that chemical complexity is an essential part of life, and that biology developed out of Earth’s chemistry, so we should expect elementary bio-stuff to result in the right conditions. Yet the potential for spontaneously forming organic molecules is not the issue. The issue is full chemogenesis or, at the very least, a demonstration of perpetual progressive organization.

    Returning to the reasoning strategy of separating chemistry and organization, if chemistry cannot be shown to be capable of progressive organization, then we are justified, even obligated, to look for and/or consider other explanations for the organizational aspect. One might hypothesize, for instance, that there exists as part of reality, a distinct progressive organizing force/principle, comparable to gravity or any other recognized universal principle. This principle may require certain conditions to kick into gear, such as those which became available here on planet Earth.

    To me, that is a more objective stance to take than either those who insist chemistry can do it when they can’t show how, or that it was done supernaturally when supernaturalism can’t be demonstrated either. That is why I say, from my standpoint, chemogenesis advocates seem to depend on blind faith just as much as many of the religious do.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2003
  26. Nov 23, 2003 #25

    Les Sleeth

    User Avatar
    Gold Member


    Life is just chemistry? You say that as though it is established fact. Ok, then reproduce it with chemistry. If you or anyone can’t do it, then don’t you think it’s a bit premature to be giving credit to materialist philosophy, which is exactly what that claim is doing, and the reason for my objection.

    Materialist philosophers are biting at the bit wanting to put life on their list. Yet by claiming it, they violate the very standards of proof they say they live by. If you read my response to FZ, you will see what part of the chemogenesis theory I don’t buy. But if it is chemistry alone which has achieved life, then I would be perfectly happy to accept that. But prove it first. My objection is that materialist/scientism devotees are not being objective; they are biased by their desire to prove their beliefs are correct, yet they claim they exemplify objectivity and the objective method! That denial of their bias is exactly what prevents them from noticing that the progressive organization associated with life is utterly beyond anything chemistry ever achieves on its own.

    I assume you are citing PCR as an example of chemical self organization. Really, however, it is highly manipulated by human consciousness as they denature the synthesized polynucleotide, control the temperature changes carefully, repeat it about 20 times, etc. True, you get it to replicate millions of times, but you are starting with the programming already in place (DNA), and through processes that were established by life in the first place. So this is a far cry from anything chemistry is capable of when left to its own devices.

    Are you sure of your statement, “The God hypothesis has no backing at all except the claims of millions of people. . . .”? I followed that quote (above) with something you said earlier in this thread because I think you are doing exactly what you accuse creationists of doing.

    First of all, you are assuming that only sense observation produces proof. For example, what if there are things which can only be proven to oneself, does that necessarily make them any less valuable or true? Can I prove to you I love my wife, especially when I am not in her presence? That proof cannot be externally demonstrated to others, but I know inside beyond doubt. Further, I don’t care whether you or anyone else knows or not . . . I am content with knowing it myself and so I would never undertake some sort of “objective” proof. And if I did know God, I would feel exactly the same way about it.

    Are you so sure sense experience is the only reliable avenue to knowledge? It seems to me it is you who assumes that all truth that can be revealed will only be revealed through the objective, sense experience-dependent methods of empiricism. If so, then for you it will be “. . . easy to ignore arguments against something that you believe is irreproachable.”

    In the past I’ve challenged people here to study a certain class of subjective investigators . . . those known to have attained “enlightenment,” such as the Buddha or Jesus (i.e., I mean study the nature of the original experience, as opposed to relying on the utterances of the religious millennia later). There are thousands of such individuals who actually achieved something through turning inward. Now, if you choose not to develop your expertise about this consciousness potential, and then you say “The God hypothesis has no backing at all . . . ,” have you truly and objectively studied all the evidence before stating out of hand there’s nothing to it?
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2003
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook