Skip to comments.“Abiogenesis is Irrelevant to Evolution” (is it now?)
Posted on 06/06/2013 12:16:27 PM PDT by kimtom
(article photo) The Law of Biogenesis tells us that in nature, life comes only from life of its kind (Miller, 2012). Therefore, abiogenesis (i.e., life arising from non-living materials) is impossible, according to the scientific evidence. How then can atheistic theories like Darwinian evolution be considered acceptable? There is a growing trend among evolutionists today to attempt to sidestep the problem of abiogenesis by contending that evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life, but rather is a theory which starts with life already in existence and explains the origin of all species from that original life form. However, this approach is merely wishful thinkingan effort to avoid the logical import of the Law of Biogenesis.
Historically, evolutionists have recognized that abiogenesis is a fundamental assumption inherent in evolutionary theory, and intuitively must be so. In 1960, British evolutionary physiologist, G.A. Kerkut, listed abiogenesis as the first assumption in a list of non-provable assumptions upon which evolution is founded. The first assumption is ........
(Excerpt) Read more at apologeticspress.org ...
I know how it started. I watched Prometheis. Great special effects but not really all that good a story. A shame because I normally like Ridley Scott’s stuff.
But at least he explained the origin of life on earth. Well, human life, anyway...
Robert M Hazen, “genesis: The Scientific Quest For Life’s Origin”. He also has some interesting lectures on youtube.
BTW, I’m a deep believer in God and The Bible.
Why is it so hard to understand that evolution is a theory on how organisms change and adapt after they already exist. How life came to exist is a separate question entirely. Obviously things like natural selection cannot occur before life begins, just like you cannot tune an engine before an engine exists.
Uhh, actually, this is exactly what Darwin said in Origin of Species.
It is at least a little bit humble, unlike the really stupid guys who claim evolution "disproves" the existence of God.
‘Why is it so hard to understand that evolution is a theory on how organisms change and adapt after they already exist.’
Because, there is a football game being played, and people want to know the name of the kicker who started it. One has a relationship with the other.
Darwin didn't know that either, but neither did Clark.
That 5th dimension probably has a lot to do with genetics.
Darwin said directly that he had no idea how life originated but proposed a theory about how it evolved. If Miller can’t get something so easily verifiable right I’m not inclined to listen to much else he has to say. There are research standards, you know.
"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved." (Bolding added).
Do you know the actual quote from origin of the species? would love to have it handy.
Yes, look in post #9
If, however, a curious bit of evidence were to surface, and someone were to say "Perhaps we need to broaden our view in order to explain this ..." The strict materialist will shut that conversation down -- no broader view is needed. Get a better microscope. Find new techniques. Empirical evidence is all we will ever need. By definition of what "science" is.
On the other hand, if we look at the origin of life and conclude that something "other" had to play a role, then we open the door to further exploration of other aspects of biology and the possibility that something beyond the empirical world could be considered, and might not be inappropriate.
Science is either 100% materialistic, or it's not. The pure evolutionists are counting on it being 100% materialist. The folks with Faith are willing to accept a material solution for much, but not all, that we see around us.
I'm not narrow-minded: I live in a world of both Faith and Science.
Quote is from Darwin's Ghost (page 170) by Steve Jones, a well-done, full of facts, modern update of each and every chapter in Darwin's "Origin"
“There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.”
Last paragraph of Origin of Species, at least in some versions.
Makes a considerably stronger case for a Creator being involved that I remembered.
Turns out I exactly agree with Darwin. Quite a shock to me.
Sorry, didn’t mean to step on your post. Didn’t see it.
Life is fascinating , isn’t it???
long-term evolution experiments do not show major evidence for macroevolutionary change (Behe, 2010). Perhaps the more important point has to do with the types of changes that can be expected. As one geneticist argued in a recent book, mutations cause the decay of the message of the genome rather than the formation of new information (Sanford, 2008). A summary of long-term evolution experiments also suggests that even mutations considered beneficial (for the organism) in these studies generally involved the loss of genetic information (Behe, 2010).
2012 Apologetics Press-Joe Deweese, Ph.D.
Behe, M.J. (2010), Experimental Evolution, Loss-of-Function Mutations, and The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution, The Quarterly Review of Biology,
Sanford, J.C. (2008), Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome (Waterloo, NY: FMS Publications).
How very supercilious of you to assume a lack of understanding on the part of critics.
When the mechanism claimed for natural selection is a function of the extant living system, the nature of that system becomes a seminal question. To ignore it is as facile as "let them eat cake."
“Therefore, abiogenesis (i.e., life arising from non-living materials) is impossible, according to the scientific evidence.”
That’s not true, according to the scientific evidence. While the individual asserting this is a mechanical and biomechanical engineer, his expertise is not in genetics or biology.
Let’s start with the famous Miller-Urey experiment of 1952.
It was was an experiment that simulated the conditions thought at the time to be present on the early Earth, and tested for the occurrence of chemical origins of life.
in 2007, scientists examining sealed vials preserved from the original experiments were able to show that there were actually well over 20 different amino acids produced in Miller’s original experiments. That is considerably more than what Miller originally reported, and more than the 20 that naturally occur in life.
Moreover, some evidence suggests that Earth’s original atmosphere might have had a different composition from the gas used in the MillerUrey experiment.
There is abundant evidence of major volcanic eruptions 4 billion years ago, which would have released carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen (N2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) into the atmosphere.
Experiments using these gases in addition to the ones in the original MillerUrey experiment have produced even more diverse molecules. Meteorites have been found to contain over 90 different amino acids, nineteen of which are found in Earth life.
So how do amino acids become life? By joining together.
When a few amino acids join together, which happens spontaneously, they form peptides. And peptides act as the “glue” that hold chains of amino acids together forming proteins, a class of molecules. And primitive proteins can replicate themselves.
An example of this process today are “prions”, like “Mad Cow disease”, in which a corrupted protein can make other, similar, proteins modify themselves to become corrupt as well. This happens at even a smaller scale than the tiniest viruses.
Eventually, proteins become so complex they become RNA, which encapsulates itself to effectively become a virus. Still questionable if it can be called “alive” yet.
However, this is pretty much the start of evolution. As viruses became more complicated, the eventual result was the three “domains” of life. The simplest of these are the Archaea, which look like bacteria but are much simpler, and have a completely different evolutionary path.
They are so simple that these microbes have no cell nucleus or any other membrane-bound organelles within their cells. An organelle is is a specialized subunit within a cell that has a specific function, and it is usually separately enclosed. Thus Archaea are so simple that they consume “raw materials” like hydrogen gas.
Next up, in a huge leap of complexity, are the bacteria, whose RNA has become complex enough to be DNA, which reproduce by dividing themselves, forming near identical nuclei and organelles, over and over again. But they still retain their individuality as single celled organisms.
Finally, when bacteria started to band together, with groups of them performing specialized functions, the final domain of evolution was created, the eukaryotes, which includes all plants and animals other than bacteria and Archaea.
So if you look at a human, their cells could be described as groups of bacteria that specialized into organs, and whose DNA is the same in all their cells, which assures that they reproduce almost identically to their parents.
The split between the animal and plant kingdom was simple enough. The plants adopted a hard shell for their cells, but animals still use soft cells.
The only reason evolutionists are claiming this today is that they’ve been unsuccessful without massive intervention by intelligent design provided by abiogenesis researchers themselves in the laboratory in demonstrating how a living, self-replicating organisms (such as a cell) could have formed by itself, by means of purely physical forces, plus lots of time.
The two best books on this subject are long out of print but still available if you search for them: “The Mystery of Life’s Origin: Reassessing Current Theories” by Charles Thaxton, et al.; and “The Creation of Life: A Cybernetic Approach to Evolution” by A. E. Wilder Smith. Among other things, they both show that all theories of abiogenesis violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics, as well as violating its statistical-mechanics interpretation (i.e., left to themselves, systems always move from configurations of lower probability to configurations of higher probability; that’s why things decay; that’s why a nice straight wall made of brick and mortar (a low-probability configuration for clay and mortar to take) always, over time, turns into one of many possible piles of rubble (one of many high-probability configurations clay and mortar can take). I’ve never seen any intelligible response from abiogenesis enthusiasts to this objection.
Additionally, there are mathematical coding-theory objections to many abiogenesis scenarios: i.e., since 64 possible codons in DNA/RNA represent, or map to, 20 amino acids that build various proteins, the 64-symbol alphabet must precede the 20-symbol alphabet; i.e., you can map 64 symbols onto 20 symbols (with redundancy), but you cannot map 20 symbols onto 64 symbols (without ambiguity, which is the death of the code system). So a “proteins-first” scenario is mathematically impossible; i.e., DNA would (mathematically) have to have appeared first, followed by protein synthesis. The problem here, however, is the DNA itself requires the environment of a pre-existing cell (with all of its proteins) in order to function. I’ve never heard any intelligible response by abiogenesis enthusiasts to this chicken-egg paradox between DNA and proteins.
Finally, there’s another basic coding-theory problem that remains unsolved by abiogenesis: in order for a code to function as a code, both the sender and receiver must have PRIOR knowledge of what the code means, i.e., what the code is supposed to code for, and how it is supposed to be decoded. In the case of the living cell, both the DNA molecule and the ribosome must have “communicated” with each other in the distant past in order for both of them to “understand” the same code, i.e., that 64 possible 3-letter arrangements of nucleotides represent 20 possible amino acids that can be combined into many different polypeptide (proteins). This, too, remains unsolved... and perhaps unsolvable by purely naturalistic, material explanations.
Darwin is not a god. (do not be insulted) The followers of Darwinism do believe in Abiogenesis, (if asked and if they are honest, except theistic evolutionist, who believe in supernatural inference.)
Further in article;
“..The truth is, one cannot logically commence a study of Life Science or Biologystudies which are intimately linked with the theory of evolution by the bulk of the scientific community todaywithout first studying the origin of that life which allegedly evolved from a single-celled organism into the various forms of life on Earth today. Biology and Life Science textbooks today, with almost unanimity, include a discussion of biogenesis, abiogenesis (ironically, discussing the work of Pasteur, Spallanzani, and Redi, who disproved the theory of abiogenesis), and extensive discussions of evolutionary theory. The evolutionists themselves inevitably couple Biology and Life Science with evolution, as though they are one and the same. But a study of lifebiologymust have a starting point....”
-Jeff Miller, Ph.D.
Fixed it for ya!
While the individual asserting this is a mechanical and biomechanical engineer, his expertise is not in genetics or biology.
What? Living systems are made of fairy dust or some other exotic compound that doesn't have to observe the laws of physics?
No one denies that organisms change,
what the argument is is
WHERE DOES THE “NEW” INFORMATION COME FROM?
Two assumptions - it was always there since the organism’s original ancestor was created
or, it appeared through mistakes and random modifications.
On a related but much simpler note, didn’t you ever wonder where “instincts” come from?
Instinctive behavior is software, even if it’s hardcoded into the mechanism. How do you get software without a decision, a concept that is anathema to natural selection?
Evos are backtracking or walking back the more extravagant claims of evolution a little bit. They will still teach it in their Universities in all its improbablity but this once for public consumption they will back off a tad. Then later when faced with a particular absurdity they can say will I said back in June 2013.... That’s covering your ass with your hat.
“Darwinian Evolution” however, has been used by the “mainstream” of science to explain everything back to the Big Bang.
I like the “post turtle” analogy, myself.
We know all we need to know about the nature of both fenceposts and turtles to know that if we find a turtle balanced on a fencepost, someone had to put it there.
Claiming some as yet undiscovered mechanism allowed the turtle to perch on the fencepost through undirected means is intellectually dishonest.
Let's just tear it all down and burn the books.
I study this a lot, having a lifelong interest in biology.
There is right now ZERO DOUBT that mutations can happen in an animal/plants genetic sequences.
There is ZERO DOUBT that that change/mutation can be passed on to its offspring.
That is what evolution means.
But at the same time, there is ZERO DOUBT that a simple theory of evolution can IN ANY WAY explain how it all started, what is exactly The Breath of Life”?
Even for the simplest cells or fungi, there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of cellular “machines”, MILLIONS of different types of proteins, it couldn’t have evolved all at once, and it couldn’t have evolved in a step fashion, because in a step fashion it simply wouldn’t have all the parts it needed to eat and reproduce.
“.. start with the famous Miller-Urey experiment of 1952.
It was was an experiment that simulated the conditions
First note, even if it had been successful in producing “life” it would prove an INTELLIGENT outside agent was required to “create the right environment” to bring it about.
2nd ; The most famous example of trying to create life from nonlife is the 1953 experiment carried out by Miller and Urey. Using a system of glass flasks, these two scientists attempted to simulate early atmospheric conditions. They passed an electrical spark through a mixture containing water, ammonia, methane, and hydrogen. However, their experiment was carried out in the absence of oxygen (something even evolutionists now admit does not reflect the early Earths atmosphere), because they knew that oxygen quickly would oxidize any amino acids that were formedthereby preventing the formation of anything living.
Remember to be honest, we do not know the conditions that existed pre-life.
Considering all the interference by evolutionist to bring it about (the right conditions) have failed to reach their goal.
There is ZERO DOUBT that that change/mutation can be passed on to its offspring.
That is what evolution means.
That is being intellectually dis-honest, None of your statements prove that mutations (loss of information) lead to evolutionary progression to a high more advantageous life-form.
“...Let’s just tear it all down and burn the books.
Nope. I do not think those disciplines require evolution.
If you're singling out just one theory to apply special treatment to, then you do not have any arguable claim of objectivity.
Weak. No one from those fields are trying to build careers on alchemy.
They may have used that term, but all it shows is that they are idiots.
Darwinian Evolution explains (or tries to) exactly what Darwin said, the Origin of Species, not the origin of life. How one organism develops into others.
Evolution, as such, has exactly zero to say about the origin of life, and less than that about physics and the Big Bang.\
I’ve always thought it highly amusing that some use the Big Bang Theory to “prove” the Bible is wrong and God doesn’t exist. Whereas the theory is just a restatement of Genesis 1:1, with a creator added. Suddenly the heavens and the earth came into existence.
You do when one theory observes a completely different set of protocols in practicing its “science.”
Are we here to talk about theories or people?
One way some (less intelligent, IMO) opponents of the idea of having God involved handle this issue is to recreate God, except they call him Aliens, who travel around the universe seeding life onto new worlds.
How exactly moving the start of life off-planet is supposed to address the issue is something I cannot fathom.
1. Functional InformationHow could such a system form randomly, without any intelligence, and totally unguided?
3. Error Correction
What would come first - the encoder, error correction, or the decoder? How and where did the functional information originate? IOW did the hardware create the software - or did the software create the self-replicating hardware?...
Sorry, but this one won't fly. All viruses are parasitic. They can reproduce only by infecting a living cell and "reprogramming" it to produce more viruses. Very much, actually, like a computer virus.
The notion of viruses reproducing independently and gradually evolving towards greater complexity is pretty silly. Much like a computer virus living in the wild of a world without computers or electricity.
I don’t have to prove anything.
All it takes is a belief that one in a thousand (or one in a million or one in a billion just pick a number) mutations give a survival advantage to the organism.
Darwins ideas have to do with survival of the fittest, not evolution as we see it today. Darwins ideas were proposed in the late 1800’s, almost a hundred years before DNA was even discovered.
It is kind of in hindsight that we see how DNA might relate to species variation.
And as I implied in my original post, evolution CAN explain differences between species and even differences between members of the same species.
But what evolution CANNOT explain is how it all got started.
We are here to talk about relevant issues to the subject.
I believe it was you that crossed the subject matter line first, so forgive me if I read a measure of petulance into your reply.
What protocols are they using that render it invalid, and what other disciplines and theories rely on those same protocols?
If you can read and understand my earlier response you’ll see that your response here is a nonsequitur. If you can’t see that, I am incapable of resolving that difficulty. Darwin never discussed the origin of life. Period.
If we're here to talk about people under the guise of talking about theories, then I want none of it, and I'll leave.
Correct re: viruses, they have DNA (or RNA) but lack the transcription factors they need to reproduce.
But there’s the rub:
How could a cell that doesn’t have the transcription factors reproduce and somehow carry on its (non-existent) transcription factors?
How can a cell that REQUIRES a sodium-potassium pump pass on a sodium-potassium pump to it’s offspring if it doesn’t already have it in the DNA?
Life is a very complex process with multiple dependent systems.
Most of those systems could not have evolved independently, because in the absence of life, what we call a system is a mini-molecular machine that, without life, wouldn’t do a single thing of any consequence.
Why do you assume all mutations are loss of information? Mutation means different information.
Evolution has fewer special exceptions than plate tectonics and plate tectonics is currently the generally accepted theory of geology. While many are willing to admit that origins of life is a whopper of an exception, it is the only major one. One of my complaints is that too many on both sides of the crevo wars refuse to accept that "I don't know" or insufficient evidence, is the best answer you can get to some questions (like Is this grad students speculation about the origins of life correct?)
bttt. I will return to this when I finish my work.
Certainly they do, when they are moving. But knowing how a nutcracker works gives you no insight as to how it is made. You can compare it to other devices similar to nutcrackers, and you can explain the physics of how it works, but you have no description of how it is made.
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