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Thread: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scientists

  1. #1 Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scientists 
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    Humpty Dumpty was alive with it all
    'till Humpty Dumpty broke his cell wall
    All of the world's scientists and all of the world's men
    Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again

    assigned to public domain
    copy and distribute at will

    While this may be a puerile new nursery rhyme for
    Humpty Dumpty as a living cell, the point has been
    made continually for the past couple years by Jonathan
    Wells of the Discovery Institute that if we take a living
    cell and place it in a solution (that is the right temperature)
    with all the right salts and alkalinity that is conducive to
    cytoplasm and we poke a whole in the cell and allow
    the organelles to leak out of it, we can 'never' put the
    living cell back together again so why would we consider
    abiogenesis a viable explanation for the first precursor
    in universal common descent?

    (on a separate note)
    The Law of Biogenesis orthose who propose it make
    the claim that it is indeed falsifiable by observing a living
    cell arise from any set of natural conditions. If this find
    ever takes place, then the Law of Biogenesis has been
    falsified.

    ~Michael


     

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  3. #2 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    if we take a living
    cell and place it in a solution (that is the right temperature)
    with all the right salts and alkalinity that is conducive to
    cytoplasm and we poke a whole in the cell and allow
    the organelles to leak out of it, we can 'never' put the
    living cell back together again so why would we consider
    abiogenesis a viable explanation for the first precursor
    in universal common descent?
    A modern cell is several billion years of evolution worth different from the very first protocells. The comparison is invalid.

    On the other hand, if you take the basic lipids that make up cell membranes and shake em up in water, they tend to come together and form little lipid bubbles. This is much more similar to what we predict to have occurred in the process of abiogenesis. Not a completely modern cell in one fell swoop.

    (on a separate note)
    The Law of Biogenesis orthose who propose it make
    the claim that it is indeed falsifiable by observing a living
    cell arise from any set of natural conditions. If this find
    ever takes place, then the Law of Biogenesis has been
    falsified.
    I believe you mean abiogenesis, and I have never heard such a claim. From what I understand the whole point is that life arose from the environment.


    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  4. #3 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    if we take a living
    cell and place it in a solution (that is the right temperature)
    with all the right salts and alkalinity that is conducive to
    cytoplasm and we poke a whole in the cell and allow
    the organelles to leak out of it, we can 'never' put the
    living cell back together again so why would we consider
    abiogenesis a viable explanation for the first precursor
    in universal common descent?

    A modern cell is several billion years of evolution worth different from the very first protocells. The comparison is invalid.
    How do you know this? You are "assuming" protocells with no repeated
    experiment to back up such claim. You have no justification to even
    assume protocells until you can OBSERVE such phenomenon. Plus this
    skirts the whole premise of what is currently observable: That you "can't"
    put a living cell back together.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    On the other hand, if you take the basic lipids that make up cell membranes and shake em up in water, they tend to come together and form little lipid bubbles. This is much more similar to what we predict to have occurred in the process of abiogenesis. Not a completely modern cell in one fell swoop.
    Forming lipid bi-layers is light years away from a living reproducing cell.
    So was Sydney Fox's work or Szostak's current work. Pre-RNA polymers
    to form RNA and DNA is pure science fiction. It only requires a small amount
    of common sense to see the difference in complexity.

    We are talking about a nano factory here which has an assembly line to
    encode and form amino acids. You are talking about building an empty barn
    with your above lipid bi-layers. (bubbles)


    (on a separate note)
    The Law of Biogenesis or those who propose it make
    the claim that it is indeed falsifiable by observing a living
    cell arise from any set of natural conditions. If this find
    ever takes place, then the Law of Biogenesis has been
    falsified.
    I believe you mean abiogenesis, and I have never heard such a claim. From what I understand the whole point is that life arose from the environment.
    Cells always come from other cells. Life comes from other life. Repeatedly
    observed and testable. It is indeed "biogenesis." You can falsify it when you
    prove abiogenesis is actually somehow "possible" and not science fiction.

    Factories don't build themselves. Lightning doesn't fix machines by putting
    parts together. The whole concept is completely absurd.

    ~Michael
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Yes, lipid bubbles are lightyears away from modern living cells. Because abiogenesis began with chemical reactions that are that simple. And after billions of years you get modern cells.

    You are right, at least as far as my knowledge goes, that there has been no repeatable experiment to document abiogenesis. Firstly, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The exact mechanisms of how abiogenesis occurred on this planet (or on an asteroid which came to this planet, as some suggest) are unknown at this point. Such is the situation with much of science. There is no reason to assume it is impossible, despite your arguments of incredulity. Secondly, if you accept at all that life has changed over time then you simply cannot use experiments on modern organisms as the be-all end-all models of what may or may not have happened at some point far in the past.

    What starts as a single cell can become an incredibly complex organism like a human. Of the many, many complex processes involved in the development of a human body, the vast majority are not anywhere near understood. The vast majority have never been repeated experimentally in isolation from a human body. And if you take a living human and you pull it apart piece by piece, it will not suddenly repeat the growth process and pull back together again. The only difference is that we have the luxury of being around to watch this process happen.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  6. #5 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    Factories don't build themselves. Lightning doesn't fix machines by putting
    parts together. The whole concept is completely absurd.

    ~Michael
    Channelling the spirit of Paley are we?

    Forgive us if to us it all sounds sooo early 19th century....
     

  7. #6 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
    Time Lord
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    Humpty Dumpty was alive with it all
    'till Humpty Dumpty broke his cell wall
    All of the world's scientists and all of the world's men
    Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again
    Can't agree, but the rhyme is so delightfully oldschool I wish it the well.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
     

  8. #7 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    Humpty Dumpty was alive with it all
    'till Humpty Dumpty broke his cell wall
    All of the world's scientists and all of the world's men
    Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again

    assigned to public domain
    copy and distribute at will

    While this may be a puerile new nursery rhyme for
    Humpty Dumpty as a living cell, the point has been
    made continually for the past couple years by Jonathan
    Wells of the Discovery Institute that if we take a living
    cell and place it in a solution (that is the right temperature)
    with all the right salts and alkalinity that is conducive to
    cytoplasm and we poke a whole in the cell and allow
    the organelles to leak out of it, we can 'never' put the
    living cell back together again so why would we consider
    abiogenesis a viable explanation for the first precursor
    in universal common descent?

    (on a separate note)
    The Law of Biogenesis orthose who propose it make
    the claim that it is indeed falsifiable by observing a living
    cell arise from any set of natural conditions. If this find
    ever takes place, then the Law of Biogenesis has been
    falsified.

    ~Michael
    A poem is not evidence. Mind you, poems and other such propaganda make up the bulk of ID and creationism spending. They seem to do no primary research. Just a lot of selective literature reviewing, scriptural analyses and speculations.

    Tell you what, why don't you give us some data that demonstrates how some given abiogenesis hypotheses are implausible (there are no "laws" or theories on the matter at this time).

    And, yes factories and other complex structures such as these do not self-assemble, but then there are no physical or chemical laws that could allow this to happen. Not so the steps towards abiogenesis, which aside from happening trillions of times per second in countless locations in parallel on the early Earth, also had several hundred million years of time in which to happen by sheer chance.

    The analogy, and others like it (jet engines and whirlwinds?) are completely inapplicable.
     

  9. #8 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    if we take a living
    cell and place it in a solution (that is the right temperature)
    with all the right salts and alkalinity that is conducive to
    cytoplasm and we poke a whole in the cell and allow
    the organelles to leak out of it, we can 'never' put the
    living cell back together again ...
    The experiment has not been done, tho completely artificial microbes are being developed by Ventner ... in other words your statement is untrue so the following doesn't follow:

    so why would we consider
    abiogenesis a viable explanation for the first precursor
    in universal common descent?
    but putting aside that the second bit doesn't follow, and assuming for the moment that it did, one answer is:

    Because it is a testable hypothesis, unlike creationism or ID. In other words, it is scientific. Unlike creationism.

    (and it doesn't require the sort of mechanics you imply in the first bit in any event; you have set up a strawman. )
     

  10. #9 Abiogenesis as science fiction, not real science 
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Because abiogenesis began with chemical reactions that are that simple. And after billions of years you get modern cells..
    Not only is there no evidence for this, you are assuming something took place
    which you can not provide a mechanism to even postulate that it "could" take
    place. Repeated experiments fully demonstrate the complexity of ribonucleic
    acid and the inability to form them from any set of natural conditions. If you
    can do this, you will falsify the claim that "information needs a source" (and
    you will be world renown as a scientist).

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    You are right, at least as far as my knowledge goes, that there has been no repeatable experiment to document abiogenesis. Firstly, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
    A repeated pseudo claim. Why? Because this is clearly NOT the absence of
    evidence. What we have here is the absence of common sense to identify
    evidence that is clearly evidence. Current positive data (such as information
    theory) fully demonstrates that abiogenesis is completely unrealistic.


    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    The exact mechanisms of how abiogenesis occurred on this planet (or on an asteroid which came to this planet, as some suggest) are unknown at this point. Such is the situation with much of science.
    You are "assuming" that it occurred when you have no evidence that it occurred,
    and yet you have evidence that it indeed did not occur. The repeated inability
    to falsify the Law of Biogenesis is not the absence of evidence. The repeated
    observation that complex "information" does not arise randomly, but clearly
    has an intelligent source can not be skirted and claimed "absence of evidence."
    This is ignoring evidence and refusing to acknowledge observations that are
    INDEED falsifiable. If you can observe information to arise from disorder, then
    you will have falsified the claim.

    I am not the least worried. I stay with current scientific observation.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    There is no reason to assume it is impossible, despite your arguments of incredulity.
    This is called projection. When a person accuses opposing arguments of
    incredulity when they are actually guilty of it themselves, (disbelieving and
    being skeptical of what is true and repeatedly proven) and they make attempts
    to evade the current evidence and observation instead of dealing with alleged
    evidence by refuting it and acknowledging that it exists.
    IOW, my argument is not in disbelieving what is objectively factual, it is
    actually your argument that is doing this in the face of what we DO observe.


    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Secondly, if you accept at all that life has changed over time then you simply cannot use experiments on modern organisms as the be-all end-all models of what may or may not have happened at some point far in the past.
    The wise thing is NOT to make any "assumptions" at all that are not observable.
    Instead, DO use experiments on modern organisms and apply what you "don't"
    see with a certain degree of common sense and do NOT inductively extrapolate
    what you do NOT observe.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    What starts as a single cell can become an incredibly complex organism like a human.
    Observation. You always "start" with an already living cell. This is testable
    and repeatedly observed.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Of the many, many complex processes involved in the development of a human body, the vast majority are not anywhere near understood. The vast majority have never been repeated experimentally in isolation from a human body. And if you take a living human and you pull it apart piece by piece, it will not suddenly repeat the growth process and pull back together again.
    The first part is an appeal to ignorance. In the third sentence you prove the point. Neither will any living organism including single-celled.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    The only difference is that we have the luxury of being around to watch this process happen.
    Which is clearly why you should NOT "assume" anything to the contrary!
    Stay with current observation that is testable and repeatedly observed.
    ~Michael
     

  11. #10 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    Factories don't build themselves. Lightning doesn't fix machines by putting
    parts together. The whole concept is completely absurd.

    ~Michael
    Channelling the spirit of Paley are we?

    Forgive us if to us it all sounds sooo early 19th century....
    Some things don't change, no matter how many centuries go by.
    Life comes from life. This will echo through the next millennium.

    As will logic and common sense.

    ~Michael
     

  12. #11 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    A poem is not evidence.
    This is evasive to content. It is the living cell that is clearly given as evidence.


    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Mind you, poems and other such propaganda make up the bulk of ID and creationism spending.
    Education on facts may be labeled as propaganda, but it is also evasive to specifics. These are specific facts that are observable and testable.


    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    They seem to do no primary research. Just a lot of selective literature reviewing, scriptural analyses and speculations.
    You are lumping ID with religious assumptions in YEC. Also evasive to specifics.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Tell you what, why don't you give us some data that demonstrates how some given abiogenesis hypotheses are implausible.
    <<Tell you what>> I will start with two! The first one I will call "The
    Law of Information" and the second one I will call "The Law of Biogenesis."
    I fully challenge you to falsify them. I will define them clearly if need be.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    (there are no "laws" or theories on the matter at this time).
    I just gave you two. I am happy to defend them on their premises.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    And, yes factories and other complex structures such as these do not self-assemble,
    How do you know this?


    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    but then there are no physical or chemical laws that could allow this to happen.
    What "laws" are there to allow abiogenesis to happen?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Not so the steps towards abiogenesis, which aside from happening trillions of times per second in countless locations in parallel on the early Earth, also had several hundred million years of time in which to happen by sheer chance.
    I object. Where is the "evidence" for this? Please be specific.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    The analogy, and others like it (jet engines and whirlwinds?) are completely inapplicable.
    Yet you acknowledge that factories and complex structures do NOT self-assemble.
    Yet when it comes to a nano organic factory you do not apply the same principle,
    but instead "assume" it somehow happened by chance!

    This requires too much "faith" for me to "believe."
    ~Michael
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Science is built up of many building blocks. Lots of theories require massive data gathering before the initial hypothesis can be formed, then tested, before becoming a plausible theory. Even the principle that everything is made of atoms took a long time to develop, and a lot of research work. It is now such a strong model of reality that it is exceedingly unlikely ever to be discarded.

    Abiogenesis is simply at an earlier stage of research. Scientists are doing wonderful work which is creating the building blocks that will eventually become a testable theory.

    For example : We now know that the molecules making up the primeval Earth's atmosphere can be converted to a wide range of organic molecules by simply applying energy. Methane, nitrogen, CO2, water vapour, and ammonia mixtures subject to Ultra violet, meteorite friction energy, or lightning, makes amino acids, purines and a wide range of other organic molecules, required for life. These would accumulate in ponds, puddles, lakes, or seas in the early pre-biotic world.

    We also know that certain minerals, such as montmorillonite, and calcite, when placed in contact with a water solution of the organic molecules made as above, will line them up so that they can polymerise and form simple polymers, such as peptide chains. Crystals of these minerals would have been present in the organic solutions mentioned above, leading to inevitable polymer formation.

    We also know that various compounds similar to phospholipids, as Paralith stated, shaken in water, will form enclosed bubbles of membrane similar to a bacteria cell membrane. It would be easy to postulate such materials shaken up by moving water forming 'cells' of lipid materials surrounding a solution of organic molecules, including simple polymers.

    Such a material might have been the first protolife. We do not know, but we are well on the way to a simplified understanding of how abiogenesis occurred.
     

  14. #13 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    While this may be a puerile new nursery rhyme for
    Humpty Dumpty as a living cell, the point has been
    made continually for the past couple years by Jonathan
    Wells of the Discovery Institute that if we take a living
    cell and place it in a solution (that is the right temperature)
    with all the right salts and alkalinity that is conducive to
    cytoplasm and we poke a whole in the cell and allow
    the organelles to leak out of it, we can 'never' put the
    living cell back together again so why would we consider
    abiogenesis a viable explanation for the first precursor
    in universal common descent?
    Hello Michael.

    Firstly can we assume that since you are quoting the discovery institute firstly that you do side with YEC/ID or some anti-evolution movement (and i'm not suggesting evolution and abiogenesis to be the same thing, they are very different theories in what they explain)

    You have made repeated statements about experimentation being the subject of your belief. You need to know that experiment design is what is being criticised by scientists here, not the results. "Rubbish in, rubbish out". This experiment is wrong because it began with components of a highly evolved cell and expected the precusors of life to form from it and replicate. This is not what current abiogenic theories hypothesise so the experiment is incorrect from the outset.

    Furthermore the discovery institute is not a scientific organisation, it is a political movement, so to be scientific, you should not follow its propaganda but instead look critically (as you would any scientific proposal) at its claims; this has always been shown to be sufficient to refute it.
     

  15. #14 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
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    [quote="free radical"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    if we take a living
    cell and place it in a solution (that is the right temperature)
    with all the right salts and alkalinity that is conducive to
    cytoplasm and we poke a whole in the cell and allow
    the organelles to leak out of it, we can 'never' put the
    living cell back together again ...
    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    The experiment has not been done,
    Please tell me you are not claiming that it has not been attempted. If
    you are, then you were clearly not around in the 80's. Either way it
    was not my claim, it was Wells'. The point you are missing is that even
    if it were done it would still be an intelligent act of repairing a cell.


    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    tho completely artificial microbes are being developed by Ventner ...
    Still Micoplasma Laboratorium is derived from a pre-existing bacterium.
    The fact that we are artificially synthesizing a genome is still an intelligent
    act of synthetic biology. Look also at how many years this is taking even
    with intelligent cause. It is not occuring by random chance.

    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    in other words your statement is untrue so the following doesn't follow:
    'never' is highlighted because this was J. Wells' claim, that we "could never
    put Humpty Dumpty back together again." His point is based on present
    technology (as is the nursery rhyme). Either way, if we could put a living
    cell back together we are still doing an intelligent act of moving organelles
    and repairing a membrane.

    so why would we consider
    abiogenesis a viable explanation for the first precursor
    in universal common descent?
    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    but putting aside that the second bit doesn't follow, and assuming for the moment that it did, one answer is:

    Because it is a testable hypothesis


    And it has been repeatedly demonstrated to be false. You can not ignore
    uniform and repeated experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    , unlike creationism or ID.
    Clearly ID proponents make the claim that it is INDEED falsifiable.
    Behe uses the idea of growing a bacterial flagellum without the gene
    and others would point to enzymes such rise of ATP Synthase. Where
    is the observation for the natural "evolution" of these two? Random?


    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    In other words, it is scientific. Unlike creationism.
    You are confusing what is observed from what is "implied" from such
    observation. What is observed is science plain and simple without religious
    assumptions. What is "implied" or concluded by those observations is the
    result of "interpreting" the scientific data based on our uniform and repeated experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    (and it doesn't require the sort of mechanics you imply in the first bit in any event; you have set up a strawman. )
    What does abiogenesis require? Please be specific. You accuse me of setting
    up a strawman but you do not provide any mechanism(s) for abiogenesis to actually somehow occur.
     

  16. #15 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
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    [quote="free radical"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    if we take a living
    cell and place it in a solution (that is the right temperature)
    with all the right salts and alkalinity that is conducive to
    cytoplasm and we poke a whole in the cell and allow
    the organelles to leak out of it, we can 'never' put the
    living cell back together again ...
    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    The experiment has not been done,
    Please tell me you are not claiming that it has not been attempted. If
    you are, then you were clearly not around in the 80's. Either way it
    was not my claim, it was Wells'. The point you are missing is that even
    if it were done it would still be an intelligent act of repairing a cell.


    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    tho completely artificial microbes are being developed by Ventner ...
    Still Micoplasma Laboratorium is derived from a pre-existing bacterium.
    The fact that we are artificially synthesizing a genome is still an intelligent
    act of synthetic biology. Look also at how many years this is taking even
    with intelligent cause. It is not occuring by random chance.

    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    in other words your statement is untrue so the following doesn't follow:
    'never' is highlighted because this was J. Wells' claim, that we "could never
    put Humpty Dumpty back together again." His point is based on present
    technology (as is the nursery rhyme). Either way, if we could put a living
    cell back together we are still doing an intelligent act of moving organelles
    and repairing a membrane.

    so why would we consider
    abiogenesis a viable explanation for the first precursor
    in universal common descent?
    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    but putting aside that the second bit doesn't follow, and assuming for the moment that it did, one answer is:

    Because it is a testable hypothesis


    And it has been repeatedly demonstrated to be false. You can not ignore
    uniform and repeated experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    , unlike creationism or ID.
    Clearly ID proponents make the claim that it is INDEED falsifiable.
    Behe uses the idea of growing a bacterial flagellum without the gene
    and others would point to enzymes such rise of ATP Synthase. Where
    is the observation for the natural "evolution" of these two? Random?


    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    In other words, it is scientific. Unlike creationism.
    You are confusing what is observed from what is "implied" from such
    observation. What is observed is science plain and simple without religious
    assumptions. What is "implied" or concluded by those observations is the
    result of "interpreting" the scientific data based on our uniform and repeated experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    (and it doesn't require the sort of mechanics you imply in the first bit in any event; you have set up a strawman. )
    What does abiogenesis require? Please be specific. You accuse me of setting
    up a strawman but you do not provide any mechanism(s) for abiogenesis to actually somehow occur.
     

  17. #16 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    Jonathan Wells of the Discovery Institute notes that if we take a living cell and place it in a solution (that is the right temperature) with all the right salts and alkalinity that is conducive to cytoplasm and we poke a whole in the cell and allow the organelles to leak out of it, we can 'never' put the living cell back together again so why would we consider abiogenesis a viable explanation for the first precursor in universal common descent?
    If I take a stone out of a stone arch it is likely the arch will collapse. We do not see stone arches reassemble themselves. The framework used in their constrcution has long since been taken down. Surely it requires a peculiar perspective on the world to expect a damaged, compromised cell to re-assemble itself.

    Also, no one in the field makes the claim - as far as I am aware - that there was not a great deal of 'evolution' going on in biochemistry before the first funtioning cell emerged. Autocatalytic cycles, replicating vesicles, primitive metabolisms, were all potent aspects of the prebiotic realm.

    This 'objection' to abiogenesis seems weak and ill-conceived. I am puzzled as to why one would think that a structure/organism could reconstruct itself after it has been subject to deliberate damage. I can understand that one might wish to test this possiblity - and if it transpired that the organism could self repair in this situation it would be of great interest, but how exactly is its inability to repair evidence that its (very) remote ancestor did not arise abiogenically?

    There just seems to be a total disconnect in logic here. Could you explain this Breckmin? What makes this a viable argument against abiogenesis? I acknowledge fully that we have not defined in any meaningful detail exactly how life first arose from non-life, but this attack based on the mutilation of an organism just seems bizarre. An equivalent would be to say 'if I am unable to regrow my leg after it is amputated this proves that I could not have developed that leg as a fetus'. Perhaps you can help me understand the argument better.
     

  18. #17 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    if we take a living
    cell and place it in a solution (that is the right temperature)
    with all the right salts and alkalinity that is conducive to
    cytoplasm and we poke a whole in the cell and allow
    the organelles to leak out of it, we can 'never' put the
    living cell back together again ...
    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    The experiment has not been done,
    Please tell me you are not claiming that it has not been attempted.
    You have entirely missed the point.

    You have stated that the cell can "never" be put back together.

    "The eighties" hardly constitute the length of time you posit.

    Put more simply, as you appear a bit daft, you are engaging in hyperbole. In order to conculude that the cell can "never" be put together, one would need an eternity, ergo the experiment has not been done.

    Adding hyberbole to strawman, I count two strikes against your position. If you wish to discuss science, then use proper language and construct your arguments within a proper debate framework.

    Otherwise I shall taunt you again.

    Now go away you silly american.
     

  19. #18  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Wells' experiment is garbage. It does not falsify abiogenesis, because it does not vaguely resemble any of the plausible hypotheses. Behe's work is rubbish. He'd be a mediocre biologist if he'd stuck to the scientific community. Irreducible complexity is a concept that is easy to refute and I've done that elsewhere already. For every example of irreducible complexity that I've heard of, I've been able to imagine a plausible means by which it could have arisen by evolution. In most cases, examples of transitional forms that illustrate said evolution were already known at the time of Darwin's Black Box. Behe just hadn't done his homework.

    You're not bringing anything to the table that hasn't been refuted already, but by all means keep up the rambling text. I'm going to exit this debate early, as I'm already embroiled in a similar debate elsewhere and it takes up more time than I really have already.
     

  20. #19 The building blocks of science also demonstrate intelligence 
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Science is built up of many building blocks.
    But these building blocks to not assemble themselves into massive
    factories or institutions of thought without intelligent cause. This is
    our uniform and repeated experience.


    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Lots of theories require massive data gathering before the initial hypothesis can be formed, then tested, before becoming a plausible theory. Even the principle that everything is made of atoms took a long time to develop, and a lot of research work. It is now such a strong model of reality that it is exceedingly unlikely ever to be discarded.
    But clearly what is in place is NOT what is in dispute. If you were to claim that
    quarks or gluons will somehow cause protons, neutrons (and "electrons") to naturally form atoms (or disorder will naturally arise to such order) THEN we would indeed be in dispute.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Abiogenesis is simply at an earlier stage of research. Scientists are doing wonderful work which is creating the building blocks that will eventually become a testable theory.
    But "this" is clearly an appeal to ignorance of what "could" take place at some
    point in the future. Current data based on uniform and repeated experience
    clearly demonstrates that complexity of this magnitude does not arise as a
    result being exposed to electricity.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    For example : We now know that the molecules making up the primeval Earth's atmosphere can be converted to a wide range of organic molecules by simply applying energy. Methane, nitrogen, CO2, water vapour, and ammonia mixtures subject to Ultra violet, meteorite friction energy, or lightning, makes amino acids, purines and a wide range of other organic molecules, required for life. These would accumulate in ponds, puddles, lakes, or seas in the early pre-biotic world.
    But clearly there is no mechanism to appeal to that can explain how they would
    form into such complexity with intelligent cause. You can not appeal to "we don't
    know" when we clearly DO know. We know clearly that it didn't happen because
    of our uniform and repeated experience with these organic substances that they
    do NOT naturally form into the factories of living cells, even if you provide all of
    the (unexplainable) parts of the living cell (it will not form naturally under any
    circumstances).

    Nor is it LOGICAL for them to form. The only way you could "possibly" claim
    such arise from disorder to order is logical is if you ASSUME it had to, or that
    it "did" occur this way.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    We also know that certain minerals, such as montmorillonite, and calcite, when placed in contact with a water solution of the organic molecules made as above, will line them up so that they can polymerise and form simple polymers, such as peptide chains. Crystals of these minerals would have been present in the organic solutions mentioned above, leading to inevitable polymer formation.

    We also know that various compounds similar to phospholipids, as Paralith stated, shaken in water, will form enclosed bubbles of membrane similar to a bacteria cell membrane. It would be easy to postulate such materials shaken up by moving water forming 'cells' of lipid materials surrounding a solution of organic molecules, including simple polymers.
    Just because it is easy to postulate something we see in science fiction, does not
    make it a viable theory. The reality is putting simple polymers inside of phospholipid bi-layers is not going to give you a living factory that can reproduce
    itself. This is not only "wanted" thinking, it is completely irrational.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Such a material might have been the first protolife.
    How much "thought" have you given to the fact that it was NOT the first protolife?

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    We do not know, but we are well on the way to a simplified understanding of how abiogenesis occurred.
    Your flawed assumption that abiogenesis actually somehow occurred stands in denial of current
    uniform and repeated experience, that parts of living cells clearly do NOT assemble
    themselves into living cells capable of reproduction, let alone "living cells" of any
    kind. The appeal to ignorance does not falsify current repeated observation.
     

  21. #20 Re: The building blocks of science also demonstrate intellig 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    Nor is it LOGICAL for them to form. The only way you could "possibly" claim
    such arise from disorder to order is logical is if you ASSUME it had to, or that
    it "did" occur this way.
    The entropy argument? Please. Refuted neatly on TalkOrigins and elsewhere. You'll find few chemists or physicists supporting that notion. And what, can I ask, does logic have to do with the laws of physics and chemistry? We use logic to formulate our hypotheses and theories, our models of reality. Logic is not a force of nature.

    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    Your flawed assumption that abiogenesis actually somehow occurred stands in denial of current uniform and repeated experience, that parts of living cells clearly do NOT assemble themselves into living cells capable of reproduction, let alone "living cells" of any kind.
    Only true if skeptic defines abiogenesis as "parts of living cells clearly assembling themselves into living cells capable of reproduction". He's saying oranges may exist and you're telling him that it's impossible because you've been looking for apples and can't find any.
     

  22. #21 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    Firstly can we assume that since you are quoting the discovery institute firstly that you do side with YEC/ID or some anti-evolution movement

    Not "anti-evolution" but rather "anti-naturalistic" or "anti-materialistic" philosophy
    which should be imposed in scientific interpretation. Further more, "evolution" is
    not the problem because the term as you probably often use it is observable.

    Rather "anti-universal common descent" would be more accurate but I would
    consider it somewhat off topic in this thread (which is addressing biogenesis
    and biochemistry).

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    (and i'm not suggesting evolution and abiogenesis to be the same thing, they are very different theories in what they explain)
    Universal common descent as a naturalistic explanation can clearly NOT be
    explained without the first precursor. Anyone who claims that science can only
    give naturalistic explanation can not dodge the bullet of abiogenesis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    You have made repeated statements about experimentation being the subject of your belief. You need to know that experiment design is what is being criticised by scientists here, not the results.
    The issue is the implications of the results rather than the actually observations
    which opposing arguments are attempting to deny credibility. I understand the
    difference between abiogenesis and reconstructing a living cell. But if you can
    not do the latter, why would you consider the first to occur randomly (from
    inorganic material which puts up even more barriers)?


    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    "Rubbish in, rubbish out". This experiment is wrong because it began with components of a highly evolved cell and expected the precusors of life to form from it and replicate. This is not what current abiogenic theories hypothesise so the experiment is incorrect from the outset..
    Clearly in the first post I separated the Law of Biogenesis and the impossibility of
    abiogenesis from the act of repairing a cell. The point J. Wells makes is that we
    can not even put a living cell back together (one topic - intelligent repair) so why
    would be believe in abiogenesis, even if we had all of the organic components (second topic). Perhaps in dissecting this last sentence you will prove my point.
    No one is countering the claim that abiogenesis must start with inorganic compounds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    Furthermore the discovery institute is not a scientific organisation, it is a political movement,
    Completely irrelevant to the observation that is made regarding the living
    cell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    so to be scientific, you should not follow its propaganda but instead look critically (as you would any scientific proposal) at its claims; this has always been shown to be sufficient to refute it.
    So far I haven't seen any refutation of anything. Instead I see appeals to "we
    don't know yet how it happened" which is truly an appeal to ignorance rather
    than employing the common sense principles of our uniform and continued
    experiences that such complexity requires intelligent causation.

    True science will not bias itself.

    ~Michael
     

  23. #22 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    The issue is the implications of the results rather than the actually observations
    which opposing arguments are attempting to deny credibility. I understand the
    difference between abiogenesis and reconstructing a living cell. But if you can
    not do the latter, why would you consider the first to occur randomly (from
    inorganic material which puts up even more barriers)?
    You assume...

    Shatter a snowflake and it will be difficult to reconstruct the crystal from the broken pieces. Melt the pieces and in the right conditions, a new snowflake will form. Complexity from randomness and simple chemical laws, albeit complexity many orders of magnitude less complex than a protocell. We struggle to actively reconstruct, yet another process allows this to happen randomly. And in mere moments. A simplistic analogy, and not at all comparable to abiogenesis. But it shows up your assumption and that experiment for what they are. Simplistic.

    The implications of an experiment can hardly be relevant if they are not investigating the question being asked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    Clearly in the first post I separated the Law of Biogenesis and the impossibility of
    abiogenesis from the act of repairing a cell. The point J. Wells makes is that we
    can not even put a living cell back together (one topic - intelligent repair) so why
    would be believe in abiogenesis, even if we had all of the organic components (second topic). Perhaps in dissecting this last sentence you will prove my point.
    No one is countering the claim that abiogenesis must start with inorganic compounds.
    The starting components are organic compounds. Nucleotides and lipids are organic compounds. Non-living, but organic.
     

  24. #23  
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    Much of Breckmin's illogic stems from a belief that the first life is somehow like a modern cell. Totally wrong, which makes argument centred around the nature of modern cells quite irrelevent.

    A modern cell, even from a bacterium or archaen, is the result of 3 to 4 billion years of evolution. This makes even these 'primitive' cells sophisticated beyond human hope to understand - at least not yet.

    The first cells - the protolife - would be so different that they would be more different from a modern bacterium than an ameba is from a giant sequoia. You simply cannot argue relating a modern cell to the protocell. That is like saying that, because I cannot, by myself, make a Boeing 747, I cannot carve a crude wheel out of a slice of tree.

    The protocell would have been very, very simple compared to modern cells. It would be required to survive in a chemical broth - made by non biological processes such as I have already described. There would be no enzymes. No proteins. No cell inclusions. Just a few chemicals inside a lipid membrane. The only essential ingredient is that it had to be able to replicate, and mutate.

    We have to postulate a replicating molecule at the centre of this protocell. It might be a simple form of RNA, or something else entirely. However, for life to begin, there are only a few essentials. In fact, the first 'life' might be simply a molecule able to divide within the chemical broth in the puddle, lake, or sea where it began.

    The first self replicating molecule then undergoes changes due to mutation - damage to the structure of the molecule. Changes that are harmful are weeded out by natural selection. Changes that enhance survival are retained. Evolution leading to complex life had begun.
     

  25. #24 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    Jonathan Wells of the Discovery Institute notes that if we take a living cell and place it in a solution (that is the right temperature) with all the right salts and alkalinity that is conducive to cytoplasm and we poke a whole in the cell and allow the organelles to leak out of it, we can 'never' put the living cell back together again so why would we consider abiogenesis a viable explanation for the first precursor in universal common descent?
    If I take a stone out of a stone arch it is likely the arch will collapse. We do not see stone arches reassemble themselves.
    What if you wait a billion years?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    The framework used in their constrcution has long since been taken down. Surely it requires a peculiar perspective on the world to expect a damaged, compromised cell to re-assemble itself.
    Surely it requires a peculiar perspective on the world to believe that a factory
    can form from independent parts interacting, especially when we do not observe
    such. Furthermore, there is no evidence for any such framework to have
    allowed such a nano factory to form even if you had the primitive metabolisms
    that are asserted below.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Also, no one in the field makes the claim - as far as I am aware - that there was not a great deal of 'evolution' going on in biochemistry before the first funtioning cell emerged. Autocatalytic cycles, replicating vesicles, primitive metabolisms, were all potent aspects of the prebiotic realm.
    Evidence? All I see is assuming here that these even existed.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    This 'objection' to abiogenesis seems weak and ill-conceived. I am puzzled as to why one would think that a structure/organism could reconstruct itself after it has been subject to deliberate damage.
    The issue is material. Organic material in this case, which is needed to form the
    first living cell. The argument that once a cell has been damaged, it could reconstruct itself is absent from the exchange here. The single issue is whether
    we can reconstruct it and repair it with all materials present. Surely this requires
    help from the cell to continue to live, so I see your point, but it is still evasive to
    the requirements that are needed for abiogenesis to take place or to actually
    observe it to occur. It is not a viable explanation because it defies our uniform
    and repeated experience with complex mechanical systems that do not form without intelligent causation.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    I can understand that one might wish to test this possiblity - and if it transpired that the organism could self repair in this situation it would be of great interest, but how exactly is its inability to repair evidence that its (very) remote ancestor did not arise abiogenically?
    Clearly this is about providing an observed mechanism which makes the
    hypothesis even possible. It is not about self repair, but much more about
    the availability of organic components necessity to form a cell and falsify
    the observed law of biogenesis.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    There just seems to be a total disconnect in logic here. Could you explain this Breckmin?
    Agreed. But this is because your focus is on self-repair rather than providing
    materials necessary to simulate the absolute ridiculous claim of abiogenesis.


    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    What makes this a viable argument against abiogenesis?
    Step by step, to arrive at cellular life from inorganic compounds, "abiogenesis"
    has plenty of viable arguments against it. The issue was not about repair, the
    issue is only about necessary components in his (J Wells') example.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    I acknowledge fully that we have not defined in any meaningful detail exactly how life first arose from non-life, but this attack based on the mutilation of an organism just seems bizarre.
    Your focus on mutilation rather than on materials necessary to simulate abiogenesis misses the point about what we clearly observe not taking place with organic components of living cells, and that we can not even cause them to form living cells. I see your point about present cells being damaged.
    But the issue is not about damaging cells the issue is about forming life from the
    material that the damaged cell would provide. We see a uniform biological
    existence at the biochemical level for all life. There is no reason to assume
    otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    An equivalent would be to say 'if I am unable to regrow my leg after it is amputated this proves that I could not have developed that leg as a fetus'. Perhaps you can help me understand the argument better.
    The difference is no one is postulating that the human body once formed by
    shaking up a bunch of living organs and limbs. Perhaps this is blunt to the point of
    being ridiculous, but the human body in your example started with gametes
    (where fertilization took place) and a zygote actually "grew into" a human body.
    No one is claiming that the human body started without already present complex life (already replicating).

    When we postulate the first living cell by natural means, we should be able to
    demonstrate such by natural means. The complexity of ribonucleic acids is
    enough to convince the rational mind that the Law of Biogenesis is axiomatic.
    We are talking about "first" life, so appeals to already existing biological
    systems are clearly incongruous.

    ~Michael
     

  26. #25 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    You have entirely missed the point.

    You have stated that the cell can "never" be put back together.
    My understanding of Wells' statement is that it is in context with current
    technology.

    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Put more simply, as you appear a bit daft, you are engaging in hyperbole. In order to conculude that the cell can "never" be put together, one would need an eternity, ergo the experiment has not been done.
    Does one need an eternity to know that rasberry jello will never turn into lead???

    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Adding hyberbole to strawman, I count two strikes against your position. If you wish to discuss science, then use proper language and construct your arguments within a proper debate framework.
    Let's assume I am a seven year old boy sitting here typing. Let's assume that
    I do not know what I am doing with the English language. I have no problem in
    granting such. The reality is that polemics flow effortlessly for ID and creation
    because of solid foundations and assumptions based on current observation.

    We can start with two such observations. Information and biogenesis. Since
    they are in and of themselves axiomatic I do not foresee any problem with
    allowing an honest person who understands logic and reason to take over
    since I am clearly an IDiot. But the real question is not my construction of an
    argument. The real question is whether or not you yourself have aligned
    yourself with objective truth that is independent of my personal existence.

    That objective truth is either factual or in error. So whether or not it is a fact
    that information needs an intelligent source or whether all life comes from
    other life is clearly not an issue of my presentation.

    It is a question of yours.

    Question everything. It just might lead you in the "right" direction....

    ~Michael
     

  27. #26  
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    Breckmin,
    thank you for your reply. I shall respond to some of the points you raised after I have formulated a concise and hopefully pertinent answer. In the meantime could you define what you mean by the term the law of biogenesis. It is not a term I have encountered before. My apologies if you have already presented this in an earlier post, in which case just refer me to the post number.
    John
     

  28. #27 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    Not "anti-evolution" but rather "anti-naturalistic" or "anti-materialistic" philosophy
    which should be imposed in scientific interpretation. Further more, "evolution" is
    not the problem because the term as you probably often use it is observable.
    you're contradicting yourself : science is per definition naturalistic and materialistic
    the reason is that science is a practical enterprise, and the most useful path for its endeavours turned out to be the ones where the supernatural was excluded, and everything was taken at its materialistic face value

    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    Rather "anti-universal common descent" would be more accurate but I would consider it somewhat off topic in this thread (which is addressing biogenesis and biochemistry)
    again a "contradictio in terminis" : it is now known for about 150 years that the similarities of life are a reflection of common descent, and this has been born out by subsequent investigations
    you fail to accept common descent and you fail to accept one of the most solid pieces of evolutionary science
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
     

  29. #28  
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    I notice Breckmin chose to ignore my point that discussing a modern cell is totally irrelevent, when abiogenesis resulted in a very simple cell - as different from a modern cell as a crude wooden wheel is from a Boeing 747.

    If Breckmin wants to attack abiogenesis, he needs to discuss that which is appropriate. Not something totally irrelevent.

    From his comment about waiting a billion years for an arch to reassemble, which seems to be a dig at evolution, I assume that Breckmin is also anti-evolution. Such feelings always arise from religious conviction. And to such people, science is irrelevent, much though they may pretend otherwise.

    It is a bit like the guy who coughed up all his life savings to buy the Brooklyn Bridge, because a con man told him it was for sale. The victim believes an untruth because he chooses to believe. No other reason. Breckmin has been told by sources he considers sound (parents, clergy, bible) that certain matters are true, and he has chosen to believe it by act of faith.

    Faith is not a scientific process, and carries as much truth as choosing to believe the words of a con artist. However, it is impossible to argue against, since the person with faith is not open to rational argument.
     

  30. #29 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin

    Not "anti-evolution" but rather "anti-naturalistic" or "anti-materialistic" philosophy
    which should be imposed in scientific interpretation. Further more, "evolution" is
    not the problem because the term as you probably often use it is observable.

    Rather "anti-universal common descent" would be more accurate but I would
    consider it somewhat off topic in this thread (which is addressing biogenesis
    and biochemistry).
    If you are against naturalism that means believing in supernaturalism. Science itself is naturalistic in that it only explains what can be measured and observed and tested. So you are agreeing to be non scientific to call yourself that.
    Secondly, it is science we are talking about here, not philosophy, if it is philosophy it should not be in this section.

    Clearly in the first post I separated the Law of Biogenesis and the impossibility of
    abiogenesis from the act of repairing a cell. The point J. Wells makes is that we
    can not even put a living cell back together (one topic - intelligent repair) so why
    would be believe in abiogenesis, even if we had all of the organic components (second topic). Perhaps in dissecting this last sentence you will prove my point.
    No one is countering the claim that abiogenesis must start with inorganic compounds.
    I explained to you already that the problem with that experiment was its design. It was not representative of what we would have considered to have happened by abiogenic theories. One experiment is not enough to overthrow it when it is not representative.
    I believe others have since elegantly explained why your point about Wells is wrong/inappropriate.

    So far I haven't seen any refutation of anything. Instead I see appeals to "we
    don't know yet how it happened" which is truly an appeal to ignorance rather
    than employing the common sense principles of our uniform and continued
    experiences that such complexity requires intelligent causation.
    Wrong, there are plenty of things we dont know in science. We have no evidence for an intelligent causation so why would we suspect one? We have theories being worked on which may explain how life arose. Even panspermia theories are more likely than intelligent causation as you mean it.
    Common sense:everything we know today has been followed naturalistic rules, therefore we can suspect a naturalist answer.

    May I suggest you watch this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8nYTJf62sE
     

  31. #30 My Apologies to Jonathon Wells for the misquote 
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    Clarification:

    J Wells never used the word "never" based on what I have recently read
    so this tangent about "never" being able to put Humpty Dumpty back together
    again is the result of - my poor choice of words.

    He simply said "can't" in the present tense as in "you can't put Humpty
    Dumpty back together again" (and the analogy is based on the fact that
    early conditions had the same chemistry, the same biomolecules, the
    same metabolic pathways, and the same components for genetic
    information).

    ( ) = my understanding of why Wells would use the analogy of a modern
    day eukaryotic cell {not his reasons given}.

    My apologies to Dr. Wells and I will refrain from quoting him or Behe or
    anyone else in ID.

    ~Michael
     

  32. #31 Re: My Apologies to Jonathon Wells for the misquote 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    He simply said "can't" in the present tense as in "you can't put Humpty
    Dumpty back together again" (and the analogy is based on the fact that
    early conditions had the same chemistry, the same biomolecules, the
    same metabolic pathways, and the same components for genetic
    information).
    But that's still not even true. There are far more complicated molecules and pathways now than would initially have existed carrying out far more complicated, elegant and complex functions than would have been necessary or possible to start with, this is why the experiment is so wrong.
    Abiogenesis is trying to deduce the steps whereby simple organic compounds complicated themselves into self-replicating structures which became cell-like... the beginning of life, not life as it is today in one giant step.
     

  33. #32  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Wells' experiment is garbage. It does not falsify abiogenesis, because it does not vaguely resemble any of the plausible hypotheses.
    General and doesn't deal with anything specific. Furthmore, I am not
    aware that Wells' performed the experiment, nor am I aware that the
    claim was made that it falsified abiogenesis. For the record, "how do
    you falsify abiogenesis?" Please be specific.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Behe's work is rubbish.
    Also general and doesn't identify which specific assertion is somehow
    "rubbish" or provide point for point specific rebuttal. IOW, I read your
    article and I believe it is incomplete on several issues. Specifically,
    systematic theology which would explain your objections about the
    Creator and also examples Behe gave which are more simplistic
    in demonstrating irreducible complexity such as the mouse trap
    and how it relates to bacterial flagellum.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    He'd be a mediocre biologist if he'd stuck to the scientific community.
    Omniscient on his alternative path in life should he have chosen it? Perhaps
    what you don't see is that an "ounce" of honesty is worth a "ton" of respect
    in the world of foundational absolutes, even for the theistic evolutionalist.
    Besides, he is a very nice guy.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Irreducible complexity is a concept that is easy to refute and I've done that elsewhere already. For every example of irreducible complexity that I've heard of, I've been able to imagine a plausible means by which it could have arisen by evolution.
    O.k. Let's start with bacterial flagellum since I didn't see it when I skimmed
    the article. Imagination, however, is not a viable explanation unless you can
    demonstrate a naturalistic mechanism by which such complexity can somehow
    arise.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    In most cases, examples of transitional forms that illustrate said evolution were already known at the time of Darwin's Black Box. Behe just hadn't done his homework.
    Examples? Are these falsifiable? What is the exact "evidence" for such
    examples again? And how do we know the exact external morphology of these
    transitional forms? Please be specific.

    ~Michael
     

  34. #33  
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    Oh for God's sake this is getting ridiculous.

    There are very elegant explanations for the bacterial flagellum in which secretory systems are used, then mutated under different functions gradually.
    Im not going to explain it, here is Ken Miller, a very interesting and eminant biologist explaining how, with scientific references.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hW7ddJOWko

    Again for transitional fossils, there are... THOUSANDS of almost every animal you can think of. You know their morphology matches as you would hypothesise that from the outset then also the ages from dating match.
    Here's more of Miller, gives great examples.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9a-lFn4hqY

    Fine, behe's a nice guy; no problems there!

    Tbh I respect him in so far as I believe he was acting out of integrity at the start; and it takes guts to speak out against mainstream views. However, his ideas and models have been EXHAUSTINGLY disproven, discredited and it would no longer be scientific to consider his views even potentially valid.
    The mousetrap is not a valid analogy, it is just an over simplification for people who don't really understand what is being argued.

    As for abiogenesis, it is not itself a theory as evolution is. It's more a word encompassing theories people have about the development of life from non-life. It is those theories you can discuss disproving; not the word abiogenesis; we know life began at some point, its how that we're discussing here.
     

  35. #34 Postulating fiction without viable explanation 
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Much of Breckmin's illogic stems from a belief that the first life is somehow like a modern cell. Totally wrong, which makes argument centred around the nature of modern cells quite irrelevent.
    O.k. Before we go into the laws of chemistry and discuss molecular components
    themselves (not to mention already discussed metabolic pathways, and genetic
    information) please explain the "difference" between a so called 'primitive' cell
    and a 'modern' cell. Please be specific.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    A modern cell, even from a bacterium or archaen, is the result of 3 to 4 billion years of evolution. This makes even these 'primitive' cells sophisticated beyond human hope to understand - at least not yet.
    In what ways are they more sophisticated? Please be specific.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    The first cells - the protolife - would be so different that they would be more different from a modern bacterium than an ameba is from a giant sequoia.
    So what type of chemical reactions are conducted within the primitive cell, and
    what types of metabolic pathways exist within it??

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    You simply cannot argue relating a modern cell to the protocell.
    There are still some basic metabolic requirements for the primitive cell that
    needs to be explained. Provide a reasonable hypothesis for such a primitive
    cell and for its prototype or precursor.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    That is like saying that, because I cannot, by myself, make a Boeing 747, I cannot carve a crude wheel out of a slice of tree.
    Neither one of these replicate, and they both display design and are the
    result of INTELLIGENT action. (or directed motion). They are not the result of
    random process.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    The protocell would have been very, very simple compared to modern cells. It would be required to survive in a chemical broth - made by non biological processes such as I have already described. There would be no enzymes. No proteins. No cell inclusions. Just a few chemicals inside a lipid membrane. The only essential ingredient is that it had to be able to replicate, and mutate.
    Perhaps I should have read ahead....Please explain how you can have replication
    without enzymes and proteins. This is why creationists refer to abiogenesis as
    science fiction and not real science. Please be specific and provide a reasonable
    hypothesis.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    We have to postulate a replicating molecule at the centre of this protocell. It might be a simple form of RNA, or something else entirely. However, for life to begin, there are only a few essentials. In fact, the first 'life' might be simply a molecule able to divide within the chemical broth in the puddle, lake, or sea where it began.
    Example?

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    The first self replicating molecule then undergoes changes due to mutation - damage to the structure of the molecule. Changes that are harmful are weeded out by natural selection. Changes that enhance survival are retained. Evolution leading to complex life had begun.
    The only thing you are doing here is convincing creationists that those who
    believe in abiogenesis "assume" it before they try to prove it is even possible.
     

  36. #35 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
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    [quote="TheBiologista"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    The issue is the implications of the results rather than the actually observations
    which opposing arguments are attempting to deny credibility. I understand the
    difference between abiogenesis and reconstructing a living cell. But if you can
    not do the latter, why would you consider the first to occur randomly (from
    inorganic material which puts up even more barriers)?
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    You assume...

    Shatter a snowflake and it will be difficult to reconstruct the crystal from the broken pieces. Melt the pieces and in the right conditions, a new snowflake will form. Complexity from randomness and simple chemical laws, albeit complexity many orders of magnitude less complex than a protocell.
    But "where" exactly do we see the complex order in the snowflake? In its
    result of randomness? Or in its molecular state? Complexity which was already
    present before the so called random interaction.


    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    We struggle to actively reconstruct, yet another process allows this to happen randomly. And in mere moments. A simplistic analogy, and not at all comparable to abiogenesis. But it shows up your assumption and that experiment for what they are. Simplistic.
    Or perhaps we need to define complex order and complexity as we are using it.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    The implications of an experiment can hardly be relevant if they are not investigating the question being asked.
    The implications of design and chicken and egg scenarios are the conclusion, NOT
    the assumption. This is REAL science, not biased science which denies the obvious.
    If you say, science can only give naturalistic explanation... I totally and whole-heartedly disagree with such conventional assertion. Even when I was a theistic
    evolutionist I disagreed with this assertion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    Clearly in the first post I separated the Law of Biogenesis and the impossibility of
    abiogenesis from the act of repairing a cell. The point J. Wells makes is that we
    can not even put a living cell back together (one topic - intelligent repair) so why
    would be believe in abiogenesis, even if we had all of the organic components (second topic). Perhaps in dissecting this last sentence you will prove my point.
    No one is countering the claim that abiogenesis must start with inorganic compounds.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    The starting components are organic compounds. Nucleotides and lipids are organic compounds. Non-living, but organic.
    Abiogenesis is seen as a long process. It is defined as the study of
    how life began from inanimate organic and inorganic molecules. I should
    have said inorganic molecules.
    ~Michael
     

  37. #36 The Law of Biogenesis 
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Breckmin,
    thank you for your reply. I shall respond to some of the points you raised after I have formulated a concise and hopefully pertinent answer. In the meantime could you define what you mean by the term the law of biogenesis. It is not a term I have encountered before. My apologies if you have already presented this in an earlier post, in which case just refer me to the post number.
    John
    First let me say that you have been a gentlemen and I apologize if I have
    not behaved myself as I would normally do. I was not expecting to debate
    here when I first posted Humpty Dumpty. It was probably the result of my
    own recklessness in the way in which I worded what followed it that drew
    me into this exchange.

    The Law of Biogenesis is very simple. It is the testable observation that
    all cells come from cells or that all life comes from prior life. The Law
    of Biogenesis is falsifiable with abiogenesis which is observed and asserted
    to clearly be impossible. The synthesis of microbes does not falsify the
    Law of Biogenesis because it is not abiogenesis. Variations of the Law
    of Biogenesis have been asserted through the years, starting with Francesco
    Redi, and then later Louis Pasteur. Certainly their understanding of cells
    and bacterium is not what ours is today but surprisingly Pasteur was
    correct in the total form of what he believed, though he may not have
    been perfect in his understanding of specifics.

    ~Michael
     

  38. #37  
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    To Breckmin
    First, let me explain some terminology, since you seem to use these words incorrectly.

    Biogenesis is the technical word used to describe the now discredited theory of spontaneous generation of life. That is : the theory that if you leave a mess of organic goo, such as rotten plants, life will form spontaneously from it. We now know that the observed life forms in that goo came from spores, eggs, seeds etc. So biogenesis is literally (pun intended) a load of garbage.

    Abiogenesis is the modern term to describe the original formation of life, which occurred 3 to 4 billion years ago (unless the theory of panspermia is correct). Abiogenesis is the formation of life from inorganic material. As I pointed out, the original atmosphere of the Earth was methane, nitrogen, ammonia, CO2 and water vapour. If you expose this mix to high energies, such as lightning, ultra violet etc., you get the formation of organic molecules such as amino acids etc. This is simple chemistry but carries enormous implications for the possible origin of life.

    Sadly, the earliest life left no fossils. After all, it was not much more than a brew of chemicals. There are traces of hydrocarbons in 3.8 billion year old rocks in Canada, and some scientists think this was the oldest trace of early life. The oldest clear cut fossils are stromatolites (photosynthetic bacteria) in Western Australia dated at 3.6 billion years. I have seen and handled some of these fossils. Very impressive.

    So we try to find out all we can about abiogenesis in chemistry labs. We have discovered the points I have already mentioned. The formation of organic compounds from energy and the early atmosphere. Polymers forming on mineral crystals. Lipids forming structures similar to cell membranes. This work continues, with researchers expanding our knowledge of what can happen under the conditions of early Earth that would lead to primitive life.

    There are simple RNA molecules that have been found that both replicate, and act as catalysts for other reactions. It is possible that such a simple RNA was, in effect, the first life form. It would need to have formed in the original chemical broth, and it would need to be able to replicate in that chemical environment, using the chemical materials around it as 'food'.

    As I said before, that is the major step. Once the first self replicating molecule existed, evolution would become inevitable, as errors in the molecule's structure led to it 'dying' or becoming more successful.

    The next step in researching abiogeneis is to discover such a self replicating molecule. Once that is achieved, there is no real reason to doubt that abiogenesis happened, and no creator was required. Of course, I expect you to use the fact that researchers are still working on that problem as a rationalisation for saying abiogenesis is impossible. I wonder what you will say when such a molecule is found?

    These arguments boil down to the old "God of the gaps' fallacy. Anything that is not yet discovered is a gap and can only be explained by invoking a deity. It was used to explain why there were no intermediate fossils between Archaeopteryx and modern birds. After the wonderful fossil fields in China were opened up and a dozen intermediate fossils discovered, this argument came to seem rather pale.

    Modern science has a habit of destroying 'God of the gaps' arguments by finding something to fill the gaps.
     

  39. #38 I was very busy, sorry. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    I notice Breckmin chose to ignore my point that discussing a modern cell is totally irrelevent,
    I have four children(two teenagers), so I have many responsibilities that makes
    it difficult to respond very quickly. I did respond and asked you to explain
    replication without enzymes and proteins.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    when abiogenesis resulted in a very simple cell - as different from a modern cell as a crude wooden wheel is from a Boeing 747.
    Explain metabolic function of the simple cell.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    If Breckmin wants to attack abiogenesis, he needs to discuss that which is appropriate. Not something totally irrelevent.
    In order to have a viable hypothesis you need to provide a reasonable
    explanation for replication and where this ability first came from. The
    physiology and metabolism of this primitive cell must also make some
    sort of sense. How did it form and how did it survive?

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    From his comment about waiting a billion years for an arch to reassemble, which seems to be a dig at evolution, I assume that Breckmin is also anti-evolution.
    I am irrelevent here. The issue is abiogenesis and whether it is true science
    or science fiction with no reasonable hypothesis.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Such feelings always arise from religious conviction. And to such people, science is irrelevent, much though they may pretend otherwise.
    Feelings are irrelevent. Observation and sound assumptions for "any" individual
    are the place to form conclusions.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    It is a bit like the guy who coughed up all his life savings to buy the Brooklyn Bridge, because a con man told him it was for sale. The victim believes an untruth because he chooses to believe. No other reason.
    nothing to do with abiogenesis being a reasonable hypothesis.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Breckmin has been told by sources he considers sound (parents, clergy, bible) that certain matters are true, and he has chosen to believe it by act of faith.
    An attempt to draw attention to the individual and his or her background rather
    than dealing with observation and data or the interpretation of such.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Faith is not a scientific process, and carries as much truth as choosing to believe the words of a con artist. However, it is impossible to argue against, since the person with faith is not open to rational argument.
    Argumentum ad hominem

    Has nothing to do with scientific evidences.

    To get back to science, how do you explain the fact that the code operates
    like digital machine language much like algorithms written by programers?? An
    example of this is the regulation of the lactose operon: IF lactose is present and
    IF glucose is absent THEN synthesize beta-galactosidase and permease.

    How did this algorithm evolve? Please be specific.
    ~Michael
     

  40. #39  
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    Breckmin
    Again you are trying to suggest that the earliest life must be like later life, with your queries about replication without enzymes and proteins etc.

    The early life was different, and very very simple.

    I suspect that the first life was simply something like an RNA molecule that was able to replicate in the chemical environment of the early organic soups arising from energy discharge through the original Earth atmosphere.

    Researchers have discovered RNA molecules that can do this, but in a slightly more specialised environment. They have not yet found one that could replicate in the equivalent of the original brew, but that does not mean such a molecule cannot exist.

    Abiogenesis occurred some time within a period 3 to 4 billion years ago. That is : during a period of 1 billion years. That is a long time for random molecule formation to occur and quadrillions of different organic molecules would have come into being, and been destroyed during that time. All that is needed to start the process of evolution towards life as we know it, is one single molecule able to replicate in the original organic soup.

    The most likely candidate for that original molecule is RNA, but it might have been something quite different. Researchers have found that some simple proteins can replicate under certain conditions. Perhaps the original molecule was a protein able to do so in those original chemical environments. Perhaps the original replicating molecule was something else again, that we have not yet discovered.

    Once one molecule is replicating, there will be changes, since the actions (chemical and radiological) that mutate current nucleic acids existed back then also. Some changes will be advantageous and survive. Others will be harmful and die out. This is evolution. Over millions of years, the original molecule will evolve into something far more complex.
     

  41. #40 Re: Living Cell:Humpty Dumpty will continue to baffle scient 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    If you are against naturalism that means believing in supernaturalism. Science itself is naturalistic in that it only explains what can be measured and observed and tested.
    You need to differentiate between scientific method and implications that are
    derived from the scientific method AND basic scientific observations about the
    way thing ARE. Based on the reasoning of the above, you would have to make
    the assertion that if you believe in supernaturalism, then you can not be a
    scientist. You would also have to claim that all science is atheistic. This is
    not the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    So you are agreeing to be non scientific to call yourself that.
    I make no claims regarding myself personally. "I" am irrelevent. The sole
    issue is the evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    Secondly, it is science we are talking about here, not philosophy, if it is philosophy it should not be in this section.
    Believe it or not, you are asserting the philosophy of naturalism and materialism
    whether you understand this or not. The issue is not the scientific method nor
    the data or evidence, the issue is the implications of the evidence which can
    lead to supernatural conclusions such as an Intelligent Designer. Or you could
    apply scientific observations to a cancer patient who is miraculously healed.
    The science itself is still science. It is the implications of the scientific observations
    which can lead to non naturalistic/materialistic conclusions. It is quite simple.

    So far I haven't seen any refutation of anything. Instead I see appeals to "we
    don't know yet how it happened" which is truly an appeal to ignorance rather
    than employing the common sense principles of our uniform and continued
    experiences that such complexity requires intelligent causation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    Wrong, there are plenty of things we dont know in science. We have no evidence for an intelligent causation so why would we suspect one?
    Information needs a source or an Informant. The code needs a Code Maker.
    Messages need an Author. This is based on our uniform and repeated experience
    that intelligent complex information clearly needs a source so "why" would be
    impose a "bias" against that Intelligent Source?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    We have theories being worked on which may explain how life arose. Even panspermia theories are more likely than intelligent causation as you mean it.
    Yes. Seeded by aliens. Yet there is no viable explanation for their origin. It may
    indeed be more "logical" than abiogenesis, BUT you are still looking at ID even
    though it is completely ridiculous and only begs the question of "how did the
    aliens originate?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    Common sense:everything we know today has been followed naturalistic rules, therefore we can suspect a naturalist answer.
    So therefore everyone must be an atheist. I disagree. I see that based on
    our uniform experience we are aware of what intelligent causation results
    in. We do not need to wait until we are dead before we meet this Intelligent
    Creator.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    May I suggest you watch this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8nYTJf62sE
    The first flaw in the video is in the beginning and has to do with replication.
    Can you guess what I will first argue? The second is of course the "strawman"
    of a finite deity in a cloud. Such a deity would not be capable of creation because
    it is finite and not infinite. And then we have this comical gigantic leap from
    just Adenine with no realistic hypothesis for ribose to nucleotides. What about
    guanine? How do you get from Adenine to nucleotides??? This "Once nucleotides
    formed" is pretty hilarious with no explanation for triphosphates. Then we jump
    to polynucleotides replicating with even less explanation or hypothesis. To add
    insult to injury we then jump ahead to lipid bi-layers forming and they just happen
    to encompass the so called replicating RNA.

    Not only do I feel as though I have watch science fiction, it's not even good
    science fiction.

    ~Michael
     

  42. #41 Re: My Apologies to Jonathon Wells for the misquote 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    He simply said "can't" in the present tense as in "you can't put Humpty
    Dumpty back together again" (and the analogy is based on the fact that
    early conditions had the same chemistry, the same biomolecules, the
    same metabolic pathways, and the same components for genetic
    information).
    But that's still not even true. There are far more complicated molecules and pathways now than would initially have existed carrying out far more complicated, elegant and complex functions than would have been necessary or possible to start with, this is why the experiment is so wrong.
    How were the metabolic pathways different? Why wouldn't complex functions
    be necessary to start with? Let's say I grant that the experiment is not
    tantamount to primordial conditions, how can a cell replicate without
    complex functions and how did the original RNA sequence itself??

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    Abiogenesis is trying to deduce the steps whereby simple organic compounds complicated themselves into self-replicating structures which became cell-like... the beginning of life, not life as it is today in one giant step.
    How did simple organic compounds complicate themselves into self-replicating
    structures which became cell-like??? What evidence do we have that this can
    happen? What mechanism can we point to that is observable?
    ~Michael
     

  43. #42 Ken Miller was already refutted ad nauseum 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    Oh for God's sake this is getting ridiculous.

    There are very elegant explanations for the bacterial flagellum in which secretory systems are used, then mutated under different functions gradually.
    Im not going to explain it, here is Ken Miller, a very interesting and eminant biologist explaining how, with scientific references.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hW7ddJOWko
    Although Dembski already showed the incongruous response of Miller:

    http://www.rationalvedanta.net/node/147

    I also liked Casey Luskin's article:

    http://www.discovery.org/scripts/vie...=CSC+Responses

    There are many many more links if you request them. The fact is Behe's
    argument still stands (although he may need to polish up the wording),
    and Dembski makes the "elagant" point that when it comes to scientific
    observation, this is a question of global disciplinary failure on the part of
    biology. I am not going to misquote him here so I will give my perspective
    and that is that NO scientific observation can be made of the Type III
    secretory system evolving into a bacterial flagellum. You can not conclude
    evolutionary precursor based on commonalities. If you do, you are "assuming"
    and using induction rather than observing such mutation take place. This same
    problem exists in endosymbiotic theory. No evidence, just commonalities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    Fine, behe's a nice guy; no problems there!

    Tbh I respect him in so far as I believe he was acting out of integrity at the start; and it takes guts to speak out against mainstream views. However, his ideas and models have been EXHAUSTINGLY disproven, discredited and it would no longer be scientific to consider his views even potentially valid.
    The mousetrap is not a valid analogy, it is just an over simplification for people who don't really understand what is being argued.
    It functions as a mouse trap NOT a tie clip or a sling shot. The rebuttals were
    incongruous to performing a particular function.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    As for abiogenesis, it is not itself a theory as evolution is. It's more a word encompassing theories people have about the development of life from non-life. It is those theories you can discuss disproving; not the word abiogenesis; we know life began at some point, its how that we're discussing here.
    But clearly based on our uniform and repeated experience life would not begin
    from random chance. This is complete foolishness which is evasive to current
    observations in biochemistry.

    ~Michael
     

  44. #43  
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    Breckmin,
    Despite the many posts given in reply to you thus far, you are asking some of the same questions over and over again.

    Some of your questions are about the exact nature of the first protocells compared to the exact nature of modern cells. As we are far from completely understanding the nature of modern cells, which we have available to us for direct observation and testing, we of course do not completely understand the exact nature of protocells either. What we have are hypotheses about various aspects of protocells, which are being tested by analyzing the biochemical reactions that are entailed in these hypotheses and by analyzing and comparing modern cells to find the common thread between all of them (and thus may have been present in their last common ancestor) and to understand the ways in which cells have evolved over time.

    Some of your questions are about how replication could possibly have begun. Skeptic already described research being done on RNA molecules that can self replicate as well as catalyze other reactions. Prior to that he described research done on how organic molecules such as those RNA molecules could have arisen in the environment of primordial earth.

    All of the above are based on empirical, observational, replicable research.

    You have challenged us to explain how abiogenesis is falsifiable. Abiogenesis is a process that, given the right conditions, occurs naturally due to the basic laws of chemical reactions. How can you falsify the existence/possibility of a process? By falsifying the mechanisms by which that process would occur, by finding a result that would be impossible if the process did in fact occur the way we think it does. That is what the above mentioned research is doing - testing and searching for the mechanisms of the process, testing and analyzing the results of the process. This is exactly how evolution has been tested, as evolution is the process where the gene frequencies of a population of organisms change over time.

    How do you falsify biogensis, that all life comes from previous life (going by your stated definition)? By finding life that did not come from previous life. How can you be sure you've found that life if the original life existed such a long time ago and in such different conditions than what exists today? The more support that you find for abiogensis, the less likely it is that biogenesis is true.

    The only real scientific route to testing biogenesis is to test abiogenesis. What other way is there? If all life always comes from previous life then you're stating that life has ALWAYS existed as long as the universe has existed and there is no real accompanying mechanism for how life actually began, and therefore nothing to test, unless you want to start digging into the the origin of the universe.

    If you want to continue to debate and discuss the research about abiogenesis and its mechanisms, then please do so. That is an ongoing field of research with lots of things in it to discuss. However, if you wish to do nothing else than insist that abiogenesis is impossible though that has most certainly not been proven or to delve into the philosophy of science, then this forum is not the place for this thread. If your real wish is to rehash ID arguments, than this forum is not the place for this thread. In fact, even discussions purely about abiogenesis probably fit better in the chemistry section, but as life is the direct result of this process I'll leave it here unless most of the members desire otherwise.

    If I have not made myself clear enough, any further posts related to those topics which I have described above as not belonging here, I will move.
    /moderator mode
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  45. #44 ScientificReasons abiogenesis is not viable will be removed? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    However, if you wish to do nothing else than insist that abiogenesis is impossible though that has most certainly not been proven or to delve into the philosophy of science, then this forum is not the place for this thread.
    I find this difficult to respond to, since I believe the discussion was directed
    by other responses, other than focusing on one individual demonstrating
    the non viable postulation of the assembly and viability of replicating
    protocells.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    If your real wish is to rehash ID arguments, than this forum is not the place for this thread.
    I do not wish to rehash anything, but logic would dictate that if something
    is incorrectly understood about ID and asserted by another poster that I should
    be able to correct them

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    In fact, even discussions purely about abiogenesis probably fit better in the chemistry section, but as life is the direct result of this process I'll leave it here unless most of the members desire otherwise.
    So I will be voted off??

    If I have not made myself clear enough, any further posts related to those topics which I have described above as not belonging here, I will move.
    /moderator mode
    [/quote]

    The subject, as I saw it, was biochemistry. I believed I was just getting started
    on the details as to why abiogenesis is not viable.

    Now I am somewhat uncertain as to what I am allowed to say.

    Michael
     

  46. #45 This was written earlier but didn't post due to computer pro 
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Biogenesis is the technical word used to describe the now discredited theory of spontaneous generation of life. That is : the theory that if you leave a mess of organic goo, such as rotten plants, life will form spontaneously from it.
    This is incorrect. Biogenesis means life comes from life. It is the fact that
    cells come from other cells. You are confusing it with abiogenesis.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    We now know that the observed life forms in that goo came from spores, eggs, seeds etc. So biogenesis is literally (pun intended) a load of garbage.
    You are confusing this with early abiogenesis in the 17th Century at the time of
    Brown and Ross (opposed to each other).

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Abiogenesis is the modern term to describe the original formation of life, which occurred 3 to 4 billion years ago (unless the theory of panspermia is correct). Abiogenesis is the formation of life from inorganic material.
    I agree, but there are those posting here who appear to believe the starting
    point is organic.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    As I pointed out, the original atmosphere of the Earth was methane, nitrogen, ammonia, CO2 and water vapour. If you expose this mix to high energies, such as lightning, ultra violet etc., you get the formation of organic molecules such as amino acids etc. This is simple chemistry but carries enormous implications for the possible origin of life.
    How so? How is this a viable origin for actual "life?" Connect the dots with
    something that actually makes sense. Nucleic acids are rapidly decomposed
    by UV. Polynucleotides and proteins are thermodynamically unstable. What
    you don't realize is that the very conditions that you are claiming would make
    life would actually destroy life. This is really a no brainer.


    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    There are simple RNA molecules that have been found that both replicate, and act as catalysts for other reactions. It is possible that such a simple RNA was, in effect, the first life form.
    How did the sequence form? Please be specific. How did all the codons form?
    Please be specific.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    It would need to have formed in the original chemical broth, and it would need to be able to replicate in that chemical environment, using the chemical materials around it as 'food'.
    Ribose? Where did the first ribose come from? Just happened to form in the
    same part of the universe...

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    As I said before, that is the major step. Once the first self replicating molecule existed, evolution would become inevitable, as errors in the molecule's structure led to it 'dying' or becoming more successful.
    Where is the evidence of a self replicating molecule that can even survive
    under those conditions and continue to replicate, let alone actually somehow
    form such a complicated sequence under natural conditions. This is absurdity.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    The next step in researching abiogeneis is to discover such a self replicating molecule. Once that is achieved, there is no real reason to doubt that abiogenesis happened, and no creator was required. Of course, I expect you to use the fact that researchers are still working on that problem as a rationalisation for saying abiogenesis is impossible. I wonder what you will say when such a molecule is found?
    Not saying it will be, but I would still expect "you" to actually question how it
    became part of a living cell.

    Written earlier but didn't post due to my own computer problems

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    These arguments boil down to the old "God of the gaps' fallacy. Anything that is not yet discovered is a gap and can only be explained by invoking a deity.
    Your faulty assumption is in assuming that it has not yet been discovered.
    Based on our repeated experience, a common sense approach demonstrates
    it is clearly a fairy tale. A miracle without a deity even there to perform it.

    Modern science has a habit of destroying 'God of the gaps' arguments by finding something to fill the gaps.[/quote]

    You are confusing modern science with modern "scientists" who continue to
    deceive themselves with a whole system based on thousands and thousands
    of inductions, with no valid mechanism to observe such conclusion.

    Sorry, but I can not have that much "faith" as to "believe" in the miracle of
    abiogenesis when it violates all uniform and repeated experience in science.

    ~Michael
     

  47. #46  
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    Breckmin,

    Scientific research is based on induction. As I have said to you several times now if you want to argue the philosophical basis of the scientific process please do so in the philosophy forum. This and the other science subforums hold to that process in the discussions.

    The mix of molecules and elements that existed on primordial earth include carbon, and as the biochemical definition of organic is that the molecule includes carbon, then some of the chemical precursors to life may in fact be considered organic so long as they included carbon in their structure.

    If you want detailed explanations of the research that skeptic has summarized, either search the primary literature for the information or wait until one of us has taken the time to provide some sources for you. Similarly, if you do in fact have information that falsifies abiogenesis, summarize it for us and provide sources for us. If that is where you really want this discussion to go then take it there.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  48. #47  
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    Breckmin
    Responding to your comments.

    First - names.
    Biogenesis does not mean life from life. Literally, it means beginning (genesis) of life (bio). The original meaning was used for the first theory of how life began - the discredited theory of spontaneous generation. Thus, the name got corrupted.
    In fact, we should be using the word 'biogenesis' to describe the modern view of life beginning 3 to 4 billion years ago, but the corruption of history has stopped that.

    Abiogenesis is used instead, and is a wrong use, since the prefix 'a' means without. Abiogenesis does NOT mean without the origin of life as its literal translation would indicate. Useage has meant it means the origin of life.

    I think it is time that biologists reclaimed the word 'biogenesis' to mean the modern idea of the beginning of life.

    The other place we use the prefix 'a' is in the words atheist (without God) and Agnostic (without belief). You talked of science being atheistic. In fact, it should be agnostic. Scientists should approach matters with no preconceptions (agnostic).

    Second : You suggested that early conditions woud destabilise nucleic acids due to ultra violet. Two reasons why this comment is likely to be incorrect. We do not know that the first life was nucleic acid based, and the earliest life would have existed in the 'primordial soup' where it would be screened from UV.

    Third. You asked where the sequence of codons in the first 'living molecule' came from. The answer is that the first sequences would have been totally random. However, that first molecule had hundreds of millions of years to come into existence, and there must have been quadrillions of potential 'life molecules' produced over that time, with the vast majority being destroyed rather quickly. Only a tiny, tiny proportion would have had the structure to survive and replicate, but that tiny fraction would be enough.

    Fourth : Where did the first ribose come from. I do not personally know the answer, but I can suggest several ways. One is that the first life was not nucleic acid based, and the question is irrelevent. Second is that another molecule substituted for ribose sugar for the first few million years. Third is that ribose may have come along as a consequence of random chemical interactions. Or it is possible that life began twice. The first life was not nucleic acid based, but modified the environment so that later life could be. This is speculation and I hope researchers will nail it down better later.

    Fifth : How did the first living molecule become a living cell. Again I do not know and can only speculate. However, the presense of lipids can lead to enclosed vesicles that are similar to the membrane of a bacterium. If by chance, some of the early molecules ended up inside such a vesicle (which is 100% certain with enough molecules present), and that increased survivability, then over time, more and more would end up that way. From there, it is just evolution leading to the first protobacterium etc.

    As I said before, a big part of your problem with abiogenesis appears to be your insistence that the first life have the complexity of modern life. That is a total fallacy. The first life would be very simple, without enzymes, or proteins, or inclusions, or ATP etc. Just a replicating molecule floating in the primordial soup. However, once that has formed, it will evolve. And the changes will lead to greater complexity. Remember that life is 3 to 4 billion years old, and would have been very simple for the first billion years.
     

  49. #48 Re: My Apologies to Jonathon Wells for the misquote 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie
    There are far more complicated molecules and pathways now than would initially have existed carrying out far more complicated, elegant and complex functions than would have been necessary or possible to start with, this is why the experiment is so wrong.
    Can you give me one testable and repeatable example of where <<far more
    complicated, elegant and complex functions>> have been observed as the
    result of mutation?

    Can you give an example where more "information" was added to a genome
    that occurred under natural conditions that are observable?

    ~Michael
     

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    Complexity itself is a misnomer but what I meant by that was there would not be the level of regulation within cells that now exists. (or indeed the numbers of chemical pathways that exist today or their regulatory "complexity" or number of steps/regulatory stages.)

    For example there would not be the level of gene expression regulation or metabolic regulation by hormones etc that exist in cells today.

    An example however, that I like is the development of resistance to vancomycin by MRSA (or GISA/VISA if people want to get technical here) which evolved in recent years sure to its excess use. This system only emerged in recent years when vancomycin use became extensive to treat patients. Normally this system does not exist in bacterial cells.

    2 genes VanR and VanS detect vancomycin within cells.
    These activate 3 genes to produce 3/4 main proteins inferring resistance to vancomycin.
    VanH - converts pyruvate to lactate
    VanA/B - produces D-Ala-lactate instead of D-Ala-D-Alanine (which is normally used in the formation of the peptidoglycan wall characteristic of Gram positive bacteria)
    VanX - hydrolyses D-Ala-D-alanine (so as it is no longer used in cell wall synthesis which would infer susceptibility)

    This is clearly a more complex genetic system (as you may argue it) as:
    (i) it is only in the presence of vancomycin that this system activates; therefore there is a greater level of gene regulation in the cell
    (ii) it involves more genes therefore there is greater complexity.
    (ii) it only exists from recent years so would not have been a part of early life; it would have been disadvantageous at the time so could have selected out such organisms.

    Similar examples sticking with microbiology could be the genetic regulation of drug efflux pumps e.g. why some malaria (esp. plasmodium falciparum) is resistant to chloroquine; the drug enters the cell, activates genes to produce efflux pumps lowering intracellular levels of he drug rendering it ineffective.
    Again this is a well described evolution which only occured due to the widespread use of the drug leading to a more complex intracellular system of regulation and pathways. Such efflux pumps did not exist in their present form before this and nor did the genetic regulatory mechanisms for them.

    I hope this answers your question!

    With reference to "information" as you used it below. What do you mean by that so that I dont give you a wrong answer. Its a vague term scientifically in this context as we're just talking genes, proteins and pathways. Where does information come in there?
     

  51. #50 humble response 
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Breckmin,
    Despite the many posts given in reply to you thus far, you are asking some of the same questions over and over again.
    Well, despite my requests for specific pathways and basic metabolic requirements
    for so called "primitive cells" I also asked for an alternative hypothesis in order to
    have the "assertion" of replication without enzymes and proteins.

    I also asked a basic question regarding gene regulation in E coli and the two part
    control mechanism for producing beta-galactosidase, galactose permease and
    transacetylase ONLY when needed. It drew no response. How did such an IF-THEN
    algorithm evolve so nicely in the code? We see segments of DNA act as though
    they are programmed algorithms in lac operon.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Some of your questions are about the exact nature of the first protocells compared to the exact nature of modern cells.
    Since we have the same chemistry I would expect similarities.


    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    As we are far from completely understanding the nature of modern cells, which we have available to us for direct observation and testing, we of course do not completely understand the exact nature of protocells either. What we have are hypotheses about various aspects of protocells, which are being tested by analyzing the biochemical reactions that are entailed in these hypotheses and by analyzing and comparing modern cells to find the common thread between all of them (and thus may have been present in their last common ancestor) and to understand the ways in which cells have evolved over time.
    But certainly it is not repeatable in a laboratory. Also, IMHO, it appears that it
    is almost impossible to test an alternative physiology and metabolism that does
    not have proteins and enzymes and yet still somehow replicates.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Some of your questions are about how replication could possibly have begun. Skeptic already described research being done on RNA molecules that can self replicate as well as catalyze other reactions. Prior to that he described research done on how organic molecules such as those RNA molecules could have arisen in the environment of primordial earth.
    IMHO, this seems somewhat didactical that I should accept assertions which are
    not testable from Skeptic.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    All of the above are based on empirical, observational, replicable research.
    IMHO, I have not seen the replicable research that excludes proteins and enzymes.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    You have challenged us to explain how abiogenesis is falsifiable.[

    A current observation that is repeatable which demonstrates that it is possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Abiogenesis is a process that, given the right conditions, occurs naturally due to the basic laws of chemical reactions. How can you falsify the existence/possibility of a process?
    IMHO, it would be based on observations that DO occur naturally with respect
    to such chemical reactions. From my perspective, if this was not such a huge
    gigantic leap of "faith," then panspermia theory would never be postulated by
    reputable scientists.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    By falsifying the mechanisms by which that process would occur, by finding a result that would be impossible if the process did in fact occur the way we think it does.
    IMHO, it is impossible to falsify a system of life not based observed chemical
    processes and reactions. It IS however possible to falsify a system based
    on what we DO observe, and that is cells from other cells.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    That is what the above mentioned research is doing - testing and searching for the mechanisms of the process, testing and analyzing the results of the process. This is exactly how evolution has been tested, as evolution is the process where the gene frequencies of a population of organisms change over time.
    I am not sure if I able to reply to this in this thread, but do these changes that we
    actually "observe" constitute such a change that we could observe any mutations
    that would demonstrate changes in morphology to form another genus? Or are
    these just changes in species and subspecies that are within genera? Perhaps
    this biological observation could be interpreteted with more than one conclusion,
    in my humble opinion.


    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    How do you falsify biogensis, that all life comes from previous life (going by your stated definition)? By finding life that did not come from previous life. How can you be sure you've found that life if the original life existed such a long time ago and in such different conditions than what exists today?
    Well, biogenesis is an observation just like micro evolution. The Law of Biogenesis
    could be falsified if you could show that any other life forms, (such as non-protein
    based?) could have arisen somehow naturally, OR could have evolved into the
    life structure we have all throughout "nature" now.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    The more support that you find for abiogensis, the less likely it is that biogenesis is true.
    From my perspective, I still haven't seen support for abiogenesis that is based
    on any reasonable hypothesis. Even an alternative pathway has not been
    explained so how can I test something that is not even defined?

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    The only real scientific route to testing biogenesis is to test abiogenesis. What other way is there? If all life always comes from previous life then you're stating that life has ALWAYS existed as long as the universe has existed and there is no real accompanying mechanism for how life actually began, and therefore nothing to test, unless you want to start digging into the the origin of the universe.
    Clearly, I would not make the assertion that life has always existed and I do
    not believe that it has to be either abiogenesis or infinite regress. Perhaps I
    would be allowed to explain fully in another thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    If you want to continue to debate and discuss the research about abiogenesis and its mechanisms, then please do so.
    I appreciate that this is science based, and I would request that others be held
    to the same standard of assertion that is based on testable and observed science
    and not rebuttal that is clearly a red herring.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    That is an ongoing field of research with lots of things in it to discuss. However, if you wish to do nothing else than insist that abiogenesis is impossible though that has most certainly not been proven or to delve into the philosophy of science, then this forum is not the place for this thread.
    Am I allowed to discuss mathematical probabilities as well as scientific observation? Certainly mathematical probabilities that require more time
    for random process would not be prohibited from the scientific study of such.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    If your real wish is to rehash ID arguments, than this forum is not the place for this thread.
    Am I allowed to respond to others who make false scientific claims about intelligent
    design or misrepresent a particular argument by building a strawman? Or will only
    arguments against biological design be allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    In fact, even discussions purely about abiogenesis probably fit better in the chemistry section, but as life is the direct result of this process I'll leave it here unless most of the members desire otherwise.
    IMHO, it would appear that the scientific observation and testable observations
    in biology which may or may not have implications regarding the origin of all
    biological structures would be relevant to our understanding of the complexity
    of these systems and/or biological information.

    ~Michael
     

  52. #51 Abiogenesis as the evolved topic of this thread as well as i 
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Similarly, if you do in fact have information that falsifies abiogenesis, summarize it for us and provide sources for us. If that is where you really want this discussion to go then take it there.
    Part of understanding how abiogenesis is already falsified by the law of biogenesis
    is an understanding of information and how complex information, specifically
    information that is schematic in nature (like a blue print in code without drawing),
    can not be randomly reproduced. This also is testable. Even with high speed
    computer random selection, the results will always be gibberish.

    This is very important to scientific observation as well as mathematical improbability which demonstrates how unlikely abiogenesis clearly is.

    This discussion, I believe, is a true scientific discussion in biology (based on
    what is repeatable and observable).

    ~Michael
     

  53. #52  
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    Breckmin IMO you are going around in circles and your arguments are a bit of a false dichotomy.

    You are saying that only what is repeatable in the lab may count as an explanation for phenomena around us; yet your proposals (or indeed the Discovery Institutes) have not tested or demonstrated ANYTHING in the lab which may advocate their hypothesis.
    We do not have to "re-evolve" the lac operon in the lab to demonstrate it evolved, just as we dont have to recreate blackholes or stars to explain them; that's not the correct method for experimenting here.
    Even if we did recreate a lac operon from scratch you probably would argue this was not under "natural" conditions so could not have occurred millions of years ago.

    Furthermore, if we dont currently have an evolutionary explanation for its evolution, & you were a scientist, you would be excited & apply for funding to research how it evolved. It is a gap in knowledge (to assume momentarily there isn't an explanation, I havent checked if there is) it does not disprove evolution than missing an island in a map of the world disproves that the earth is round.

    paralith wrote:
    Some of your questions are about the exact nature of the first protocells compared to the exact nature of modern cells.


    Since we have the same chemistry I would expect similarities.

    and as for this for the last time...
    You are wrong
    wrong
    wrong
    wrong
    wrong
    wrong.

    Firstly because we dont yet know what the first protocells were like (I've explained gaps in knowledge above) and secondly because the first protocells would have been prokaryotic not like modern cells at all.
    The only similarities we can expect is that it would have DNA & RNA & amino acids but that does not make them similar no more than to say a lake and the sea are similar as they both have water; the differences are vast.

    This really is going round in circles at this stage if you refuse to take on board what has been said by other members on this thread.
     

  54. #53 Re: Abiogenesis as the evolved topic of this thread as well  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Similarly, if you do in fact have information that falsifies abiogenesis, summarize it for us and provide sources for us. If that is where you really want this discussion to go then take it there.
    Part of understanding how abiogenesis is already falsified by the law of biogenesis
    is an understanding of information and how complex information, specifically
    information that is schematic in nature (like a blue print in code without drawing),
    can not be randomly reproduced. This also is testable. Even with high speed
    computer random selection, the results will always be gibberish.

    This is very important to scientific observation as well as mathematical improbability which demonstrates how unlikely abiogenesis clearly is.

    This discussion, I believe, is a true scientific discussion in biology (based on
    what is repeatable and observable).

    ~Michael
    Great you said abiogenesis is unlikely. I agree, most scientists agree. That is why we value life so much and appreciate existence as a rare event etc. It also explains why it is so difficult to reproduce; it is a rare event. But it is possible and our existence demonstrates it did happen.

    As for your complex information nature schematic sentence. Those terms are none specific and not relevant. Please use biological or genetic terms. Otherwise we will misinterpret you or you us and accuse us of changing the subject. (I also think the sentence doesnt make sense anyway.

    High speed computers: rubbish in rubbish out.
    If we did produce a model which demonstrated this ID supporters would tell us that the settings were unrealistic. Similarly any one which disproves it they will advocate.
    Scientists acknowledge that it is difficult to develop a realistic model for either side so the area is generally kept away from. (anyone in this area who disagrees please tell me).

    This is not a "true scientific discussion in biology" go read nature magazine if you want something worth discussing. This area has been put to rest long ago. ID lost; its wrong and scientifically flawed; that's why scientists don't research it.

    Nature magazine: (a suggestion)
    http://www.nature.com/evoeco/index.html
     

  55. #54 Re: Abiogenesis as the evolved topic of this thread as well 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breckmin
    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Similarly, if you do in fact have information that falsifies abiogenesis, summarize it for us and provide sources for us. If that is where you really want this discussion to go then take it there.
    Part of understanding how abiogenesis is already falsified by the law of biogenesis
    is an understanding of information and how complex information, specifically
    information that is schematic in nature (like a blue print in code without drawing),
    can not be randomly reproduced. This also is testable. Even with high speed
    computer random selection, the results will always be gibberish.

    This is very important to scientific observation as well as mathematical improbability which demonstrates how unlikely abiogenesis clearly is.

    This discussion, I believe, is a true scientific discussion in biology (based on
    what is repeatable and observable).

    ~Michael
    So, your "evidence" that falsifies abiogenesis is simply a fall-back to the ID argument of improbability. This has long been disproved, and as there appears to be no further interest in this thread, it will be locked unless someone requests to continue a conversation in this vein based on evidence.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

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