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Origin of Life: Another Great Challenge to Darwinism


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You said a lot here. Especially considering that I never invoked natural selection as the natural law at work. You seemed to fixate on that, and it doesn't seem like anything else occurred to you. Just so you know, there are many natural laws. All of them are at work at the same time. Life doesn't require natural selection to exist in the first place. It seems that this is another obviously logically flawed premise that you've simply assumed. Stop making unsupported assumptions.

I asked you which of the natural laws facilitated the critical events in the emergence of life and then simply eliminated natural selection as a possible vehicle unless you could explain DNA evolution, which of course you could not.    This by no means precluded the presence of the other natural laws, as if evolutionary scientists hadn't already taken those laws into consideration. ::)

Even then the point is - what is the relevance of these laws?  What was their impact on the critical events that led to the emergence of life?  How did they form cell membranes?  How did this aid in the proper sequencing of polypeptide chains?  How did these laws influence the left-handed composition of proteins? How did this promote self-replicating models?  Well, you get the picture.  So, try taking another stab at it.

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Some of you take great delight in debasing and ridiculing the concept of Intelligent Design, equating it with, among other things, superstitious belief in magicians and magic wands.
For goodness sake, think before you post.

For goodness sake, read before you post.

As I have already posted this is not a denial from myself of design. Now if an alien or God used his magic wand to form life on earth we have to leave scientific research to find out. For me, and from what I have read in Genesis*, it seems more logical that the almighty God who created the universe does not need to intervene in his works (mixing molecules) to create life on Earth or any other planet. The universe was designed that way.

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I believe that the point of the articles that you linked is that amino acids will only link up with left-handed enantiomers to form proteins, a point that I had already established earlier in this discussion.  However, you failed to grasp the gist of my point
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Last time, I made the mistake of affording your post more respect than it deserved. That won't happen again.

Your use of the term "biochemical predestination" is very telling of the utter worthlessness of your objection on that subject: a wiki search of the term yields only a reference to your vaunted Dr. Kenyon, an obviously-biased creationist scholar who apparently coined the term solely to discredit it. Your objection on these grounds lack merit.

Furthermore, your continued intellectual dishonesty on this subject is as repugnant as it is ignorant. This is fully the second time, not counting my countless references to it, that you have utterly ignored this glaring objection to intelligent design:

***"If an intelligent designer is a physical entity, then who designed it? And again, if an intelligent designer is a metaphysical entity, which does not need to have been designed or to have evolved in the first place, then how can you prove--or even hope to suggest--the means by which it might interact with the world?"***

You assert that the formation of life vis-a-vis natural laws is impossible. Therefore, you must either account for the formation of an "intelligent designer" that was not itself intelligently designed (since that would make your argument, by definition, circular) or a means by which a metaphysical intelligent designer might interact with the physical world. You have neglected to do this. In fact, you have never even acknowledged this point when it was made weeks ago: frankly, I think it is because you realize that it is impossible to respond to this, and that intelligent design theory--on its logical merits--is incoherent. Unless you either attempt to answer this or concede, this will be the last time that you and I communicate on this subject. I refuse to engage you in discussion that follows from your failure to address this point, since then it would not matter that modern science may not be able perfectly to catalogue the history of the formation of life: it would be, by default, a more plausible theory than intelligent design purely on its logical merits. If you do not understand this point, that's OK--let me know, and I will explain it in ball-numbing detail.

Also:

I asked you which of the natural laws facilitated the critical events in the emergence of life and then simply eliminated natural selection as a possible vehicle unless you could explain DNA evolution, which of course you could not.

This sentence is virtually incomprehensible, and since you once praised me for my eloquence, I am extremely disappointed to be unable to return the favor now. Please, use shorter sentences. But, if I get the gist of it, it seems that you feel that this discussion (on intelligent design) hinges on modern science's ability to explain DNA evolution via natural means. Obviously, there are many scientific theories that purport to explain DNA's evolution and the mechanisms by which it occurred. I am not a scientist, so I can't comment on the relative validity, but logically, I can comment on why DNA evolution is not necessary, but merely sufficient, for the natural law side of the table to win: as long as a mechanism is proposed, eventually it can be tested. You/intelligent design have failed, consistently, to propose any mechanism by which your side of the table can explain the origin of life. You have not indicated how, when, or by what means chemicals were manipulated to create the necessary conditions for life to exist.

Obviously, I am now repeating what I said earlier, but until you do so, there is no reason for this debate to continue. I am usually very serious, but I am highlighting the following to tell you how extra-serious I've become: you have burned a lot of patience and credibility with me. Your next post better contain an answer to the objections (see asterisks) we've pointed out, otherwise, I honestly do not think that there will be any way for us to communicate earnestly again in the future. I cannot tell you what an insult it is for you to start this topic, knowing it was controversial, and having been given multiple, frequent, fair notice of the critical objections to your view, simply to talk past them and parrot, seemingly-unconsciously, a mirror image of those objections when the reality of the debate is otherwise. It is honestly one of the more offensive things I've seen on this forum. My hat is off to you, in a way, usually it takes profanity and severe personal attacks for people to behave as profane.

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Contrary to the claims that to believe in an intelligent cause is to ignore or disdain science, many persons have either come to believe in an intelligent cause (or increased their already existing faith) as a result of intensive study of science.  When I name devout men of faith like Sir Isaac Newton, it is with the express purpose of dispelling the myth that belief in design is anti-intelligent or a position of ignorance.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Likewise, Albert Einstein, another iconic figure who clearly embraced and advanced the cause of science, obviously believed that there was an intelligent agent behind the design of the universe and the author of the physical laws under which it operates. (Of course there are several other great men of science who have faith in an intelligent cause, but the iconic nature of Newton and Einstein firmly establish the credibility of my argument on this point.)

This is an Argument from authority, nothing more.  Science doesn't care who does science, even the crackpots who believe in ID are allowed to submit scientific research, it doesn't matter who they are.  But if their claims are not backed up by evidence and are not reproducible, they will be discarded.  Just because Newton or Einstein believed in a god does not mean that the Theory of Evolution is discredited.  If however, they had submitted scientific papers with evidence that was observable, reproducible and explained previous observations, then the existence of a god, or ID, whatever you where driving at in this post, would have been accepted years ago.  Of course, science done by those with Ph.D.s and such are usually more credible since they know the science behind what they're talking about.

Apparently then, anyone who engages in making the unjustified claim that belief in an intelligent cause is anti-scientific or ignorant is himself guilty of ignorance and anti-intellectual thinking and is obviously lacking in some very basic knowledge.  For goodness sake, think before you post.

ID by itself is not anti-science.  It is an idea that with work, could be made into a valid hypothesis, and if any evidence can be found for it, into a proper scentific theory.  However, the numerous issues with ID, such as the origins of a intelligent designer must be cleared up before it is accepted.  It is the people who try to "teach the controversy" in schools or teach ID as solid fact while it is still just a hypothesis who are anti-science, as they are promoting something with no current scientific merit as actual science.  It is dogmatic faith that masquerades as a valid scientific idea.

Lastly, intelligent design is a science concerned with the recognition of intelligence in design of the natural world.  
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This is an Argument from authority, nothing more.  Science doesn't care who does science, even the crackpots who believe in ID are allowed to submit scientific research, it doesn't matter who they are.  But if their claims are not backed up by evidence and are not reproducible, they will be discarded.  Just because Newton or Einstein believed in a god does not mean that the Theory of Evolution is discredited.  If however, they had submitted scientific papers with evidence that was observable, reproducible and explained previous observations, then the existence of a god, or ID, whatever you where driving at in this post, would have been accepted years ago.  Of course, science done by those with Ph.D.s and such are usually more credible since they know the science behind what they're talking about.

That seems a bit inappropriate to refer to ID proponents as crackpots when they have formed rigorous scientific arguments to support their hypothesis.  It seems all the more inappropriate when one considers the caliber of PhDs and scientists in this group.  To call ID a fringe idea is also inaccurate since many reputable scientists hold that there is evident design in nature.  Design is so prevalent in nature that prominent evolutionists like  Francis Crick have felt compelled to make such statements as,  

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Hwi, small question, do you even consider replying to responses you don't have an inmediate anwer to? All I'm seeing is that you selectively respond to people solely on the base of whether you have a counter for that..

if it's too hard, you simply ignore the man and continue on to the next unfortunate.

then again, I'm probably talking to a brick wall, seeing after months of discussion back and forth you still try to convince the same people of the same version of your truth.

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It seems you're right about that, Xaroth. The worst part is, pretty much everyone here has acknowledged that there are weaknesses with their own view of DNA evolution--not critical ones--but certainly there are areas that have yet to be explained. On the other hand, when there are glaring and critical problems with intelligent design, she ignores them as if they don't exist. This is all the worse because they're problems that are so fundamentally damning that it doesn't matter how unsatisfying other theories of DNA evolution are, intelligent design is simply a logically untenable philosophy. This is why it's so goddamn offensive for her to ignore it: it's in the same class of wrongs as bet-welching, cheating, and lying. Even more so since she started the conversation with the attitude of "I bet I'm right." (Yeah, that's what I think "Another Great Challenge to Darwinism" means.) In the old days, gentlemen who engaged in intelligent discourse would never dare to show their counterparts this kind of discourtesy. Instead, they would opt for the far more forgivable and entertaining diversions of personal attacks or duels.

Gentlemen of old would also keep their promises. I'm done participating in this farce of intellectual discourse, but, I'm not saying you all should do the same: since it would be unbelievably spiteful and rude to do something like... declare victory and lock the topic. I wish you all the best of luck.

(EDIT: I wanted to post a distilled version of the inherent logical flaw of ID so you all could more easily grok its wrongness, obviously, it's not a response to her, since she's clearly obsessed with this topic and checks back regularly, but it's for the rest of you newcomers:

Assume for a moment that intelligent design is correct, the formation of complex life via natural means is impossible, and that a being intervened and created life on Earth. If the being is a physical being that exists in our universe, then either it was intelligently designed by another being, and so on, or it formed via natural means. Obviously, it cannot be the former: since ID would therefore be completely circular. If it's the latter, then obviously the original premise that "the formation of complex life via natural means is impossible" is incorrect, and it is possible for DNA, or a sufficiently equivalent substance such that a nigh-omnipotent being might exist, to evolve without the intervention of any agency. ID, in this case, simply becomes an intermediary between our existence and the formation (or evolution) of complex life via natural means. If the being is a metaphysical one, then there are also two problems: how does a metaphysical being interact with a physical universe? Are these interactions even possible? Even if they are, does this not mean that ID's core premise is inherently unproveable? (In philosophy, anything that is metaphysical cannot, by definition, be proved or tested by the scientific method. A. J. Ayer further asserts that all discussions of the metaphysical are therefore pointless because they cannot, as a result, progress beyond the stage of competing, but equally valid/invalid assumptions.) Even if ID could describe the means by which a metaphysical being interacts with the physical world (probably impossible to do, but which it must in order to be a satisfactory explanation) it would still be unfit to stand as a scientific, or otherwise empirically-valid theory since its core premise relies on the existence of something that, by definition, is unproveable. QED.)

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Now Hwi Noree I am still waiting for that list... (not that you will provide one).

Of course, there are a number of different definitions for species and the scientific community has difficulty arriving at a consensus on the term.  But for the purpose of this discussion, I believe that it would be appropriate to use the Biological / Isolation species  and Genetic species definitions.

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That seems a bit inappropriate to refer to ID proponents as crackpots when they have formed rigorous scientific arguments to support their hypothesis.  It seems all the more inappropriate when one considers the caliber of PhDs and scientists in this group.  To call ID a fringe idea is also inaccurate since many reputable scientists hold that there is evident design in nature.

Hmm, I guess calling them "crackpots" was a little harsh, I apologise.

Design is so prevalent in nature that prominent evolutionists like  Francis Crick have felt compelled to make such statements as,  
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what theoretical organism would you propose?

I am not the one to propose as I am not a biologist. Yet a Google search shows that there are proposed models.

Of course, there are a number of different definitions for species and the scientific community has difficulty arriving at a consensus on the term.  But for the purpose of this discussion, I believe that it would be appropriate to use the Biological / Isolation species  and Genetic species definitions.

Much more like creationists you are an opportunist. I didn't ask you for the various definitions of 'species'. But this way it keeps creationists (or IDs) on the safe. They never define what God created as a separate species to avoid future fossil findings disprove their stupidities.

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We should not teach hypothesises when there are stronger theories that explain the observations better.  If we had to teach every hypothesis in science classes, we'd have to be teaching flat-earth theory, or geocentricism in physics classes, even though there is more proof supporting sperical planets and a heliocentric solar system.  Science classes should teach the accepted science of the day, i.e.  The current scientific theories.

I suppose that is one of the points being argued

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Just a few quick arguments, since I am long overdue for some sort of post on this topic:

First of all, Hwi, Intelligent Design is not even a hypothesis. It's an anti-hypothesis. It makes no testable positive claims; it merely critiques the claims of others. Even if your arguments about flaws in the theory of natural selection were correct, one could always answer: So what? Do you have a better explanation for the diversity of life? Do you have any sort of competing hypothesis at all, beyond "evolution didn't happen"?

Furthermore, when you request that critiques of natural selection should be taught in schools because natural selection is controversial, you seem to ignore the fact that the typical school curriculum teaches many controversial theories as facts - especially in the social sciences. For instance, neoclassical economics is controversial, yet there is no teaching of institutionalist or Marxist theories in US schools. So I'll make you a deal: I'll support the teaching of Intelligent Design in biology classes when you start supporting the teaching of Marxism in economics classes. Ok?

Not all economists support market economies! Teach the controversy!

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Ok, Edric, it's a deal!

I'd gladly support an open critique of capitalism and dicussion of Marxism in economics classes in exchange for your support of ID discussions in biology classes.  I think that would be a great idea! :)

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I'd gladly support an open critique of capitalism and dicussion of Marxism in economics classes in exchange for your support of ID discussions in biology classes.  I think that would be a great idea! :)

I think you should start a petition-signing campaign, bribe a couple of Senators to support you and finally push a law that obliges all schools to teach Marxism through the Congress, and then, maybe, Edric O will denounce his claims that ID is an anti-hypothesis and side with you ;)

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MrFlibble, clearly, those were not the terms stipulated in Edric's deal. :)  While I support the open discussion of competing economic and political theories in the classrooms, I have neither the time nor the inclination to crusade for a cause in which I feel no passion.

Edric - regarding the questions/arguments that you have raised, I feel that they have already been addressed during the extensive course of this discussion. Nonetheless, to help facilitate further discourse, I will re-post those  answers and even elaborate upon them.

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MrFlibble, clearly, those were not the terms stipulated in Edric's deal. :)  While I support the open discussion of competing economic and political theories in the classrooms, I have neither the time nor the inclination to crusade for a cause in which I feel no passion.

Somehow I've got that feeling this attitude isn't going to win Edric's support for you... ;)

Something must be posted before it can be re-posted.

Please, no more lengthy posts! Regardless of the position expressed in them, they only make the entire discussion difficult to follow. Excessive details are not a good thing in this case.

I would rather prefer a more serious path of discussion, say, how about bringing up the demarcation problem. More theory and philosophy of science, please!

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I think you misunderstand me there, Flibble: besides, that was meant for someone in particular. Even if it was meant for the general public, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to refuse your request. I'll do whatever I think is necessary to get my point across. Besides, it isn't like you've never written a big post?

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Ok, Edric, it's a deal!

I'd gladly support an open critique of capitalism and dicussion of Marxism in economics classes in exchange for your support of ID discussions in biology classes.  I think that would be a great idea! :)

I imagine any deal looks good after you've already sold your intellectual honesty and personal integrity, huh?

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Even if it was meant for the general public, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to refuse your request. I'll do whatever I think is necessary to get my point across.

Oh, I actually meant those huge posts by Hwi where one can get lost so easily (no offense!)

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First of all, Hwi, Intelligent Design is not even a hypothesis. It's an anti-hypothesis.

ID is not an anti-hypothesis that merely critiques the claims of others.  ID makes its own testable claims.  Before delving into the answers, let

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I would rather prefer a more serious path of discussion, say, how about bringing up the demarcation problem. More theory and philosophy of science, please!

Sounds like a good topic for a new thread. :)

Oh, I actually meant those huge posts by Hwi where one can get lost so easily (no offense!)

Oops, I did it again

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