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Darth_Racer
2003-Mar-06, 11:15 PM
Recent research indicates that the Moon suffered intense asteroid and meteoroid bombardment impacting its entire surface some 3.9 billion years ago. Because of the Moon’s proximity to Earth and because of Earth’s greater gravity, we can reasonably infer that Earth, too, suffered heavy bombardment at that time— an assault as much as thirty times more intense.

Such bombardment would have wreaked havoc on the planet. It would have reduced Earth’s crust to a molten mass, turning its surface water to vapor. This scenario may explain the lack of marine deposits and rocks dating earlier than 3.9 billion years. Remarkably, this pelting may have played a vital role in preparing Earth for life. Along with the asteroids and meteoroids, comets (which are mostly frozen water) would have rained down in abundance. Once the barrage slowed and surface cooling began, that water would have condensed, contributing to the formation of a huge ocean. (The bombardment may also explain the moisture on Mars about 3.9 billion years ago.)

These findings underscore the miraculous rapidity of life’s origin. We know from the ratios of carbon isotopes that life was abundant on Earth as far back as 3.86 billion years ago.5 Therefore, life must have arisen in the tiny span of 40 million years (3.9 billion minus 3.86 billion = 40 million), probably less. Naturalism offers no explanation for such a rapid appearance of life.

aurorae
2003-Mar-06, 11:35 PM
A few questions:

Please state the source for your information. Others may want to read it, too.

As an aside, those interested in the ages of the Earth and moon can see
http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/geotime/age.html

Second question, please explain how you know that rocks earlier than a certain age are not found on the surface of the earth due to asteroid bombardment (as opposed to plate tectonics)?

Also, please explain why you are certain that abiogenesis could not occur in a certain (say 40 million year) period of time.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: aurorae on 2003-03-06 18:35 ]</font>

dgruss23
2003-Mar-07, 12:07 AM
I don't want to turn this outside of the realm of scientific discussion, but wouldn't it seem logical that if a you're going to invoke a creator for the universe that it might be logical that such a powerful being could set up a universe that would be able to operate without the need for constant tinkering. So that the natural explanation is the way the universe is supposed to work. If you say that a creator could not set up the universe to operate naturally then you would seem to be limiting that creators powers wouldn't you?

g99
2003-Mar-07, 03:47 AM
My current astronomy book and my Astronomy professor both gave the time of Heavy bombardment as 4.6-4.0 bya. With the late Bombardemnt haing lots of icy comets. So it is not just 3.9. but then again that is just one source.

What is your sorce?

Also why is it so hard to believe that life evolved in only 40 b.y.? We have found simple amino acids and other life necessary chemicals on asteroids and comets. So if some of those hit the earth and survived impact, they could of combined.

Just look at how far we have changed sine the last major extinction event. Drastic changes have happened since then.

P.S. Welcome to the board!! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Darth_Racer
2003-Mar-07, 05:01 AM
On 2003-03-06 18:35, aurorae wrote:
A few questions:

Please state the source for your information. Others may want to read it, too.

As an aside, those interested in the ages of the Earth and moon can see
http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/geotime/age.html

Second question, please explain how you know that rocks earlier than a certain age are not found on the surface of the earth due to asteroid bombardment (as opposed to plate tectonics)?

Also, please explain why you are certain that abiogenesis could not occur in a certain (say 40 million year) period of time.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: aurorae on 2003-03-06 18:35 ]</font>


Here are just a few of my sources:

References:
Richard A. Kerr, “Beating Up on a Young Earth, and Possibly Life,” Science 290 (2000), 1677.
B. A. Cohen, T. D. Swindle, and D. A. Kring, “Support for the Lunar Cataclysm Hypothesis from Lunar Meteorite Impact Melt Ages,” Science 290 (2000), 1754-56.
Richard A. Kerr, “A Dripping Wet Early Mars Emerging from New Pictures,” Science 290 (2000), 1879-80.
Michael C. Malin and Kenneth S. Edgett, “Sedimentary Rocks of Early Mars,” Science 290 (2000), 1927-37.
S. J. Mojzsis et al., “Evidence for Life on Earth Before 3,800 Million Years Ago,” Nature 384 (1996), 55-59.
Fazale R. Rana, “Origin-of-Life Predictions Face Off: Evolution vs. Biblical Creation,” Facts for Faith 6 (Q2, 2001), 41-47; Fazale R. Rana, “Early Life Remains Complex,” Facts for Faith 7 (Q4, 2001), 7; Hugh Ross, “New Evidence for Life’s Rapid Origin,” Connections 3, no. 1 (2001),

With regards to asteroid bombardment, the Stanford University and NASA Ames researchers determined that as Earth cooled from the moon-forming impact, its surface temperature persisted within a thermophilic window for only 100,000 to 10,000,000 years—bad news for the thermophilic hypothesis—a time too short for life to emerge through natural processes. And, this timeframe likely overestimates the time available for a thermophilic origin-of-life scenario. The moon-forming impactor stands as only one of a large number of objects striking Earth between 4.5 and 3.9 billion years ago. Each collision returned Earth to high temperatures, melting rock on the surface and subsurface and elevating the surface temperature above the maximum temperature survivable by thermophiles.
If, somehow, thermophilic life did emerge prior to 3.9 billion years ago, it could not have persisted beyond that time. At 3.9 billion years ago, Earth experienced an event astronomers call the Late Heavy Bombardment. Gravitational disturbance in the solar system caused a massive number of comets and asteroids to pelt Earth and inner solar system planets. This bombardment, like previous impact events, would have vaporized any oceans and melted surface rock, sterilizing any life present.
Early Earth’s history simply doesn’t allow sufficient time for a thermophilic beginning to life. Researchers looking to extend the time for a natural process origin of life beyond 3.9 billion years meet with failure.

Now, plate tectonics is interesting. Planetary physicist David Stevenson, of the California Institute of Technology, has shown that plate tectonics, oddly enough an essential for life (though earthquakes may be hard for most people to appreciate), need more than just an energy source. They need a lubricant. This added complication to a life-essential physical process represents added support for divine “engineering” of Earth for life.
Earth’s lubricant is its huge quantity of surface water. As ocean plates sink into the mantle (ocean plates are denser than continental plates), they carry water into the mantle and, in doing so, lower the melting point of that mantle. The result is increased volcanic activity and a softening of the mantle layers on which tectonic plates slide. In other words, Earth’s just-right-for-life level of volcanic and plate tectonic activity depends crucially on its enormous—and notably rare—quantity of liquid surface water.
The connection between life’s survival and volcanic and plate tectonic activity is this: such activity distributes life-essential nutrients relatively evenly across Earth’s surface. Erosion alone would concentrate nutrients in Earth’s basins and deplete them everywhere else.
Support for Stevenson’s analysis comes from studies of the planet Venus. Venus has internal heat sources comparable to Earth’s. Yet Venus lacks any observable plate movement. Apparently, the lack of a lubricant accounts for the lack of tectonic activity. The conclusion: Fine-tuning the energy source behind a planet’s plate tectonics and vulcanism is not enough to guarantee life-sustaining conditions. One must also fine-tune the quantity and the quality of the tectonic lubricant.

Despite the importance of abiogenesis to the evolutionary paradigm, origin-of-life researchers have failed to generate any tangible progress towards a strictly materialistic explanation for life’s inception.
Research advances during the last decade increasingly challenge abiogenesis (life from nonlife). Geochemical evidence places the presence of life on Earth at 3.86 billion years ago. The oldest rocks date to 3.9 billion years ago. Prior to this time, Earth existed largely in a molten state, unsuitable for life. Origin-of-life researchers begrudgingly acknowledge that early conditions were not conducive to the formation of prebiotic molecules and, consistent with this conclusion, the geochemical record yields no evidence for a prebiotic soup. Geochemical and fossil records highlight the chemical complexity of Earth’s first life. Taken together, these observations indicate that as soon as the planet could remotely support life, chemically complex life appears.
Even though there is circumstantial evidence apparently favoring an extremophilic beginning to life, other scientific data challenges that explanation. The much-touted discovery of new extremophiles does not necessarily represent new and mounting evidence for a naturalistic origin of life. Significant hurdles still stand in the way—including barriers to psychrophilic (cold-loving microorganisms) and deep biosphere origin scenarios. For now, the focus rests on the challenges specific to a thermophilic origin of life. The thermophilic (heat-loving organisms) origin-of-life scenario faces daunting difficulty on three fronts: (1) natural history, (2) biochemistry, and (3) chemistry

Darth_Racer
2003-Mar-07, 05:13 AM
On 2003-03-06 19:07, dgruss23 wrote:
I don't want to turn this outside of the realm of scientific discussion, but wouldn't it seem logical that if a you're going to invoke a creator for the universe that it might be logical that such a powerful being could set up a universe that would be able to operate without the need for constant tinkering. So that the natural explanation is the way the universe is supposed to work. If you say that a creator could not set up the universe to operate naturally then you would seem to be limiting that creators powers wouldn't you?




For physical life to be possible in the universe, several characteristics must take on specific values, and these are listed below. In the case of several of these characteristics, and given the intricacy of their interrelationships, in my humble opinion, the indication of divine “fine tuning” seems incontrovertible.

Strong nuclear force constant
Weak nuclear force constant
Gravitational force constant
Electromagnetic force constant
Ratio of electromagnetic force constant to gravitational force constant
Ratio of proton to electron mass
Ratio of number of protons to number of electrons
Expansion rate of the universe
Mass density of the universe
Baryon (proton and neutron) density of the universe
Space energy density of the universe
Entropy level of the universe
Velocity of light
Age of the universe
Uniformity of radiation
Homogeneity of the universe
Average distance between galaxies
Average distance between stars
Average size and distribution of galaxy clusters
Fine structure constant
Decay rate of protons
Ground state energy level for helium-4
Carbon-12 to oxygen-16 nuclear energy level ratio
Decay rate for beryllium-8
Ratio of neutron mass to proton mass
Initial excess of nucleons over antinucleons
Polarity of the water molecule
Epoch for hypernova eruptions
Number and type of hypernova eruptions
Epoch for supernova eruptions
Number and types of supernova eruptions
Epoch for white dwarf binaries
Density of white dwarf binaries
Ratio of exotic matter to ordinary matter
Number of effective dimensions in the early universe
Number of effective dimensions in the present universe
Mass of the neutrino
Decay rates of exotic mass particles
Magnitude of big bang ripples
Size of the relativistic dilation factor
Magnitude of the Heisenberg uncertainty
Quantity of gas deposited into the deep intergalactic medium by the first supernovae
Positive nature of cosmic pressures
Positive nature of cosmic energy densities
Density of quasars
Decay rate of cold dark matter particles
relative abundances of different exotic mass particles

Celestial Mechanic
2003-Mar-07, 05:37 AM
On 2003-03-07 00:13, Darth_Racer wrote:
For physical life to be possible in the universe, several characteristics must take on specific values, and these are listed below. In the case of several of these characteristics, and given the intricacy of their interrelationships, in my humble opinion, the indication of divine “fine tuning” seems incontrovertible.

Strong nuclear force constant
[Snip!]
relative abundances of different exotic mass particles
And what values, pray tell, does the Bible predict for any of these numbers, hmmm?

g99
2003-Mar-07, 05:43 AM
Oy! more handwaving in one posts than i have seen in a while.

I highly suggest going to this site for your answers.
http://www.talkorigins.org

Specifically here:
http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-youngearth.html
and here:
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/chance.html

They can answer it much better than i can.


I would like to say one thing. Water is not rare at all. Especially liquid water here in our part of the solar system.

The earth is in a area of the solar system where it recieves just enougth energy that it can exhist at its triple point.

A triple point is where a certain substance can exhist as a solid, liquid, and gas at the samme time. We see this in water. All water that exhists on the earth is at one of these phases and will switch between the three, albeit at different rates.

So water is not rare at all. It is very prevalent in our part of the solar system. Epsecially as a liquid.

-------------

You still have not answered my point. Even if it was 40 million years between cooling and life, could that not of been enougth for something to evolve?

In my opinion yes. It has taken Humans (HOMO) only a fewe million years to get to what we are today. Why not 40 million for a single cell to develope from primitive Amino acids?

_________________
"Watch out for falling coconuts!".
"It takes Thousands to fight a battle for a mile, Millions to hold an election for a nation, but it only takes One to change the world." - Dan Sandler 2002

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: g99 on 2003-03-07 00:43 ]</font>

g99
2003-Mar-07, 05:54 AM
On 2003-03-07 00:01, Darth_Racer wrote:
[snip.] Researchers looking to extend the time for a natural process origin of life beyond 3.9 billion years meet with failure.

[snip.]Research advances during the last decade increasingly challenge abiogenesis (life from nonlife).

[snip.] Origin-of-life researchers begrudgingly acknowledge that early conditions


Truthfully the language here makes it seem like science is tryg as hard as it can to find anything to make science seem right. This is not true, It is the other way around. This is a common theme for Creationists (sorry I.D.'ers) to use this same argumentative tactic.




Even though there is circumstantial evidence apparently favoring an extremophilic beginning to life, other scientific data challenges that explanation. The much-touted discovery of new extremophiles does not necessarily represent new and mounting evidence for a naturalistic origin of life.


Again, this is major handwaving. You cliam that a major bit of evidence for the posibility of life in other areas of the solar system (and our origin) is not enought for you and your mystical scientists. Well what is?

Darth_Racer
2003-Mar-07, 05:56 AM
On 2003-03-06 22:47, g99 wrote:
My current astronomy book and my Astronomy professor both gave the time of Heavy bombardment as 4.6-4.0 bya. With the late Bombardemnt haing lots of icy comets. So it is not just 3.9. but then again that is just one source.

What is your sorce?

Also why is it so hard to believe that life evolved in only 40 b.y.? We have found simple amino acids and other life necessary chemicals on asteroids and comets. So if some of those hit the earth and survived impact, they could of combined.

Just look at how far we have changed sine the last major extinction event. Drastic changes have happened since then.

P.S. Welcome to the board!! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif



Good heavy bombardment question...4.0-4.6 billion years as opposed to 3.9-4.0 billion years....I'll check additional sources and get back to you on that one.

As far as your other questions are concerned, naturalistic evolution doesn't allow for life to evolve that quickly or easily...life is complex...very complex.
Prebiotic molecules delivered to Earth via comets and meteorites would not have been properly homochiral (as in "right-handed" or "left-handed") – and proper homochirality is an essential condition for life.
New York University’s Robert Shapiro has further taken the life out of meteorites. Using the chemical classes of compounds found in the Murchinson meteorite, Shapiro showed that side reactions would effectively prevent any prebiotic molecules in the meteorite from ever spontaneously forming life molecules.

g99
2003-Mar-07, 06:03 AM
On 2003-03-07 00:56, Darth_Racer wrote:

New York University’s Robert Shapiro has further taken the life out of meteorites. Using the chemical classes of compounds found in the Murchinson meteorite, Shapiro showed that side reactions would effectively prevent any prebiotic molecules in the meteorite from ever spontaneously forming life molecules.




First: I am very glad that you are going to further check up on things. You have gained much, much, much more credit to me just for saying that. Follow throught and you will gain even more. Thnak you from the bottom of my heart.

What is Spontanious? Is it like smnaping a finger? A hour? a day? a week? a year? A million years? Define spontinaity.

Molecules like Amino acids and RNA would not form spontaneously, but in steps most likely.

I am not a evolutionary biologist so i really don't know that much about early life. I am currently taking a origins of life in the universe class in my university right now. So i will get back to you as i learn more.

But i do know alot about geography since that is my minor.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: g99 on 2003-03-07 01:04 ]</font>

Darth_Racer
2003-Mar-07, 06:12 AM
mystical scientists? now...now...be nice...I admit to being what you call, what is it? an I.D.er? An Old Universe creationist? Whatever....we can throw evidence at each other night and day...and it's the same evidence in many cases. How we interpret that evidence is largely based on our world view...our personal paradigm. Basically, I believe the Big Bang is "good news for God".
Anyway, thanks for responding without sounding too condescending. What I find distasteful about many agnostics/atheists is the way they attempt to imediately ridicule anyone with taking the creation side in the debate. Of course, I have trouble with young Earth creationists as much as with die-hard naturalists. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

DStahl
2003-Mar-07, 09:04 AM
Darth-Racer: "With regards to asteroid bombardment, the Stanford University and NASA Ames researchers determined that as Earth cooled from the moon-forming impact, its surface temperature persisted within a thermophilic window for only 100,000 to 10,000,000 years...a time too short for life to emerge through natural processes....Life is complex, very complex."

There are several assumptions being made here, I think: First, that the first self-replicating molecules--life, in its simplest form--were in fact thermophilic; if life arose in other ways (in a mesophilic-range clay matrix, for instance) then the "thermophilic window" is moot. Second, that in fact self-replicating molecules could not appear anywhere on the Earth in 100,000 to 10,000,000 years: that is not proven. It could well be, given what we know of the mathematics of replication, that once self-replicating molecules arose anywhere on Earth they would very quickly spread. Third, it is assumed that the earliest life would be as complex as the organisms we know today. I see no reason that should be the case. Viruses survive today with very little in the way of cellular organelles, and it seems reasonable to speculate that the earliest organisms were even simpler.

(This last assumption, incidentally, implies the Argument from Irreducible Complexity. I have never seen that argument proven except by trivial analogy.)

And as mentioned, the anthropic principle makes the Argument from Design rather ineffective: it is obvious that we humans could never have come to be on any world which was not precisely suited for our genesis, eh? No matter if the odds against the formation of a planet like Earth are 10<sup>10</sup>-to-1, it is a certainty that humans will find themselves living on an Earthlike planet!

One can imagine a cyanide-breathing metallic crayfish making exactly the same argument about its world: surely the universe has a Designer, for it is exceedingly unlikely that a world suitable for metallic crayfish could occur by chance.

I appreciate your thoughtfulness, but this is well-debated ground we're covering.

[Very shortly later] I take that compliment back: I had not realized that the post of yours which I was quoting was taken verbatim from an essay in Reasons to Believe/Connections (http://www.reasons.org/resources/connections/1999v1n4/index.shtml?main), specifically the short essay on plate tectonics by Hugh Ross. You do list Ross's essay as one of your sources, but I was unclear that the full text to which I replied was his and not yours.

[A bit later still] In fact, the post with which you began this topic was taken wholesale from THIS issue of Reasons to Believe/Connections (http://www.reasons.org/resources/connections/2001v3n1/index.shtml?main), specifically the first essay, again by Hugh Ross. You left off the last line of the essay: "Naturalism offers no explanation for such a rapid appearance of life. The Bible, on the other hand, does." (emphasis added) And in your later post, the discussion of chirlality of prebiotic molecules was lifted word-for-word from this reprinted report (http://www.reasons.org/resources/apologetics/issol99fromfff.shtml?main) from "Facts for Faith", once more by Hugh Ross (and a co-author, Fazale Rana). From that essay:

"Yet this hope, too, was soon dashed. Before the end of the conference’s second day, researchers had to agree that extraterrestrial delivery could not have supplied all the needed prebiotic molecules.<sup>6</sup> Moreover, any prebiotic molecules delivered to Earth via comets and meteorites would not have been properly homochiral (as in 'right-handed' or 'left-handed') – and proper homochirality is an essential condition for life.<sup>7</sup>"

Come on, my friend, if you are Hugh Ross, then own up to your authorship. Otherwise, I would suggest you speak in your own voice and use properly attributed quotes to give evidence and support.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DStahl on 2003-03-07 05:21 ]</font>

dgruss23
2003-Mar-07, 12:08 PM
darth racer wrote: For physical life to be possible in the universe, several characteristics must take on specific values, and these are listed below. In the case of several of these characteristics, and given the intricacy of their interrelationships, in my humble opinion, the indication of divine “fine tuning” seems incontrovertible.

We could go through point by point your list and discuss whether or not each particular "constant" must have its measured value for there to be life. The Hubble constant varies over time and thus is not "constant".

Your first point was that life appeared so quickly on the Earth (essentially as soon as possible) that a natural explanation is not possible. So my question for you is this: If you say that requires a creator, then I say "fine" but are you insisting that that creator is constantly tinkering with the universe that has been "created". In other words, why isn't it possible that we live in a "created" universe that was set up with a certain set of rules right from the beginning - rules that allow life to form very quickly after the heavy bombardment period ends on a planet? Are you insisting that the creator you imply started all this has to constantly tinker with events as they unfold?

Kaptain K
2003-Mar-07, 08:41 PM
Darth_Racer,

You set up a big list of "constants" as proof of a "Creator".

I see it as a simple tautology: If these numbers were different, there would be no life in the Universe to ponder the existence of the Universe. Since there is life in the Universe, then the Universe must be such that life can exist.

PS This does not mean that I do not believe that there is a God. It is simply irrelevent to the question.

JS Princeton
2003-Mar-07, 09:40 PM
First of all, there's a distinction to be made between abiogenesis and evolution. That's the first place Darth_Racer shows his ignorance.

Secondly, ID is nothing but hogwash. You can check out why at http://www.talkdesign.org

Darth_Racer
2003-Mar-08, 02:37 AM
On 2003-03-07 16:40, JS Princeton wrote:
First of all, there's a distinction to be made between abiogenesis and evolution. That's the first place Darth_Racer shows his ignorance.

Secondly, ID is nothing but hogwash. You can check out why at http://www.talkdesign.org


very sad comment on your part....I thought we could discuss issues without rancor, but, apparently, I was wrong. I don't know where you got the impression that I don't know the difference between evolution and abiogeneis....that shows ignorance on your behalf.

g99
2003-Mar-08, 02:40 AM
On 2003-03-07 21:37, Darth_Racer wrote:

very sad comment on your part....I thought we could discuss issues without rancor, but, apparently, I was wrong. I don't know where you got the impression that I don't know the difference between evolution and abiogeneis....that shows ignorance on your behalf.


I don't want to be mean, but what do you think they are?

Darth_Racer
2003-Mar-08, 02:49 AM
Very interesting comments......and, no, I am not Hugh Ross. His expertise far...far exceeds mine. Yes...I did use RTB articles, and showed references....but, not on every portion of the articles. You need to go to one of his skeptic forums they hold each week and and ask him questions or just debate him. RTB enjoys skeptics to challenge them....that's one of the reasons RTB exits.
As for your comprehensive, detailed analysis of the articles, you've still have not shown me anything that will reinforce a naturalistic answer for life or the origins of the universe.

DStahl
2003-Mar-08, 03:02 AM
I would expect, Darth_Racer, that JS Princeton got the impression that you do not distinguish between abiogenesis and evolution from your post, which as I noted is not really your own but at least partially plagiarized from Hugh Ross' essays:

"As far as your other questions are concerned, naturalistic evolution doesn't allow for life to evolve that quickly or easily...life is complex...very complex.
Prebiotic molecules delivered to Earth via comets and meteorites would not have been properly homochiral (as in "right-handed" or "left-handed") – and proper homochirality is an essential condition for life.
New York University’s Robert Shapiro has further taken the life out of meteorites. Using the chemical classes of compounds found in the Murchinson meteorite, Shapiro showed that side reactions would effectively prevent any prebiotic molecules in the meteorite from ever spontaneously forming life molecules."

You start out talking about evolution, and then you (or your source) mix it up with abiogenesis. That indicates you don't distinguish clearly between the two concepts.

What I find disturbing, and a bit sad, is your plagiarism. It is very difficult to present a coherent argument relying only on quotes from other people's essays to make your points--if the original essayist, in this case Hugh Ross, did not address a particular point then you are stuck. Not only that, but if you do not understand the essays well enough to rephrase them and support them with evidence of your own, then you risk looking like a mindless parrot.

You're new to this board, so I do not truly know if you have a depth of knowledge that exceeds the essays you've plagiarized. I just dunno! I hope you do decide to enter into the spirit of the board, though, and discuss the issues with as much intellectual honesty as possible. Cheers!

[a bit later] Sorry, you posted while I was banging on my keyboard with all ten thumbs. No, I am not interested in going to a Creationist forum; there are too many more interesting things I want to do.

However...Can you explain why the unwarranted assumptions Ross made about abiogenesis, which I listed, should not be sufficient grounds for dismissing his argument?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DStahl on 2003-03-07 22:10 ]</font>

Darth_Racer
2003-Mar-08, 03:13 AM
On 2003-03-07 00:43, g99 wrote:
I would like to say one thing. Water is not rare at all. Especially liquid water here in our part of the solar system.


Again, this is major handwaving. You cliam that a major bit of evidence for the posibility of life in other areas of the solar system (and our origin) is not enought for you and your mystical scientists. Well what is?

Truthfully the language here makes it seem like science is tryg as hard as it can to find anything to make science seem right. This is not true, It is the other way around. This is a common theme for Creationists (sorry I.D.'ers) to use this same argumentative tactic.



you make good points....

No, water is not rare, but although water is neccessary for life, it does not guarantee life will exist.

The circumstantial evidence that seems to favor an extremophilic beginning to life is just that...circumstantial...as stated in my earlier post, there are challenges to that speculation. Obviously, more research will done.

As as far as using certain language to fit one's assumptions...you are correct. For naturalists, OUCs, and YECs. I've read articles were it seemed that those with an agnostic viewpoint would not even consider the possibility of Intelligent Design no matter what the research was yielding...and to be fair, I have observed the opposite as well. As I've said earlier, a person navigates through life through his particular world view or paradigm. Everyone can look at the same scientific discoveries and what they say about the universe, and come to completely different positions on origins of the universe. So be it.

dgruss23
2003-Mar-08, 03:52 AM
Darth-Racer wrote: I've read articles were it seemed that those with an agnostic viewpoint would not even consider the possibility of Intelligent Design no matter what the research was yielding...and to be fair, I have observed the opposite as well. As I've said earlier, a person navigates through life through his particular world view or paradigm.

My earlier question is genuine. Since you mention world views you're coming close to what I'm asking. I'm not an atheist and have no problem with a person's belief that a creator is responsible for the universe. That falls into the realm of faith and is scientifically untestable. But I've never had a creationist answer this question and perhaps you're ignoring my question because you think its not serious. So can you explain this to me? Since you believe a creator is necessary to explain certain aspects of the universe (quite a list actually from your earlier post), can you explain to my why - in your world view - it is necessary for that creator to constantly be guiding the physical/geological/life events occuring in the universe?

Using your initial example. Yes, life appeared extremely rapidly on Earth. Why must that require intervention? Couldn't it be that the universe was "designed" that way - to develop life quickly on suitable planets?

As an extension of that question - If in your view the development of life on Earth required intervention, then why intervene so soon after the Earth formed and then spend another 4 billion years tinkering around with life before getting around to developing humans?

As I say - I'm trying to understand your world view. It has always mystified me - on intellectual grounds - why a strong belief in a creator requires so many people to deny the discoveries of science.

g99
2003-Mar-08, 04:35 AM
Darth_Racer: I am just wondering. What version of intelligent design do you believe? Are you more on the conservative side and believe in the physical creation of life on earth, or the more scientific angle in the something (nowhere in any I.D. source have i found do they actually mention a creator, so i don't know what you believe) created the rules of the universe and just sat back and watched?

The latter is much harder to question and theorize and it basically just falls into ochamz razor to decide.

The former is easier to debate. We (science) have ample evidence for the evolution of life and the solar system.

-------------------------

For evolution of early life: We did not immediately start out as nucleated cells. The first protocells were nothing more than a mass of primitive RNA (possible DNA. Still debatable) inside a cell wall.

One theory that i believe on how we got a nucleus is that the nucleus of our DNA was a symbiotic organism that eventually formed as part of our cell. Like our mitochondria.

Eventually after a few million years these cells found the benefits of sexual reproduction (the sharing of genes, not actual sex /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif) and multiplied with more mutations than previously possible.

Next in the evolutionary chain we became multi-celled masses. These masses then specialized into organs, and special cells.

It was not a snap judgment that a cell just decided to become living and human.

---------

P.S. I am still patiently waiting for a definition of Spontaneity. And please in your own words, not a quote or pladurization.

JS Princeton
2003-Mar-08, 08:41 AM
The reality is that ID has been well discounted in the website I mentioned. This is not dealt with at all by our dear OPer. Rather, what is said is that since there was a short timeframe of a sterile Earth to an Earth with life that implies design. This is an untenable argument for the following reasons:

1) There is no reason to assume that simple life couldn't form in a short period of time given the right abiotic conditions. We don't know yet what initiated life or have a complete mechanism for abiogenesis. That does not mean that one has to appeal to special or supernatural creation. Such a theory is, in fact, unscientific as it relies not on observational evidence but rather on lack of evidence. It is "God in the gaps". The problem with such theorizing is that as soon as we do end up with evidence one has to either modify the idea or discount the evidence. Modification is no problem in science, but it generally leads to some substantial wringing of hands on the parts of theologians. So invoking "God" as the cause is extremely problematic because science ends up therefore placing limits on theism. Not a pleasant place in which to be.

2) The "complexity" argument is utter baloney. We now have evidence both in simulation and in laboratory data that complexity is an inherent product of random processes given enough starting material. The biosphere gives us the material and our combinatorics is all that is left. While theory isn't at the level of being able to assign priors, we can say that biochemical precursors are really quite common. That's where we are right now and we actually have a coherent abiogenic hypothesis in the form of active RNA that serves as a fairly good model right now for how to explain the dual-nature of nucleic acids. This evidence is not dealt with by any of the so-called "IDers" who instead like to focus their arguments on such ludicrous things as the "mousetrap" or the "eyeball"... both of which are soundly shown to be horribly analyzed by http://www.talkdesign.org .

russ_watters
2003-Mar-08, 04:11 PM
And what values, pray tell, does the Bible predict for any of these numbers, hmmm?
We could go through point by point your list and discuss whether or not each particular "constant" must have its measured value for there to be life. The Hubble constant varies over time and thus is not "constant". The hubble constant is a bad example. In Stephen Hawking's discussion of the strong and weak anthropic principles in ABHOT, he cites the strong and weak nuclear forces (if I remember correctly). If either of those are off by a tiny fraction, there wouldn't be any *ATOMS* in the universe, much less any carbon based life.

There are two possibilities I see here, either we hit the jackpot in a cosmic crapshoot, or "someone" set those boundary conditions up with the goal of life arising. And I don't think either is provable because science can't ask WHY?.

So given two unprovables, I choose to believe the second - that someone (God) set up the rules. Now where you go from there is where specific religious beliefs come in. I don't think the Bible has anything at all to say about this - most religions take their beliefs into the realm of science where they cannot compete. I personally believe God doesn't take an active role and his primary act was setting up the conditions for the big bang. I don't think the specific value of C in any way proves creationism as written in the bible, especially in light of all the scientific evidence to the contrary.

But the boundary conditions issue is an intriguing one to me.

editorial comment: Plagarism is for people who can't think for themselves and is largely self-defeating. I abhor it like no other intellectual crime.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: russ_watters on 2003-03-08 11:24 ]</font>

dgruss23
2003-Mar-08, 04:17 PM
Thank you russ watters! You've expressed my view on the matter quite eloquently. I'm hoping that Darth Racer will take the time to respond to my question and explain why (if this is what Darth believes) the constant intervention is necessary. Nobody that holds that view has ever been able to explain to me why they take that position. I'm genuinely trying to understand the "logic".

russ_watters
2003-Mar-08, 04:27 PM
Thank you. But I wouldn't hold my breath about Darth Racer - he apparently doesn't think for himself.

JS Princeton
2003-Mar-08, 06:36 PM
Well, theism is one solution, but I tend to feel that Ockham's razor favors the infinite universe possibility. We are naturally going to end up in the place where these constants are just right for life. If it wasn't that way, we wouldn't exist. That's not to say that there isn't a place where such things are that way, we just could never observe it. This is a rather cold alternative to a theistic ideal of creation, but it has the advantage of not being reliant on an unobservable. There is more at the http://www.talkreason.org site specifically on the Anthropic Principle.

g99
2003-Mar-08, 07:45 PM
I agree with the infinite universes. If you have a infinite number of universes at least one of them will be perfect for life.

This is my opinion. I do not believe that somethoiing created the rules of the universe. I think they are rules and are defined by the properties of the matter. Light goes the speed of light not because something told it it could, but because the energy output of the particle says it could.

Why do we need a something to make the rules of the universe?

Lets taker a example:

All of the heavier (beyond Iron) elements in the universe come from supernovae and novae. These are very destructive processes that destroy whole solar systems and the life on them. Why do that? Why not have the initial heavy elements creeated in the big bang? It is more cunductive for life that way and allows for greater variety asince species that would be extinct can now live.

---------------
If we were created and designed why do we have so many faults. Short life spans. No real biological defenses, no biological offenses. It takes a horrendous amount of time and energy to raise a human to reproductive age. This is not productive and not beneficial if we were created.

Why are there cancer and other genetic diseases if the universe was perfect from the start?

DStahl
2003-Mar-08, 08:54 PM
Nice comments. It's odd--the anti-evolution and anti-abiogenesis arguments would impress me more if the intelligent-design argument was completely impossible. In other words, if the conditions on earth Earth were completely, obviously unsuitable for life and life is here anyway then I would have to reconsider creationism.

The argument for intelligent design actually weakens the argument for special creation, doesn't it? ID (applied to Earth specifically) requires that terrestrial conditions be Divinely perfect (fine-tuned) for life. If conditions are perfect for life, then by definition conditions are perfect for abiogenesis and evolution--and there is no need to invoke special creation.

By pushing both ID and special creation, apologists like Hugh Ross appear to be shooting the creationism argument in the foot. Er, so to speak.

----

I can imagine a universe in which cohesive, self-replicating magnetic field structures evolve intelligence and ponder the amazing idea that their universe, out of an infinite range of possiblities, just happens to have physical laws which allow magnetic fields to form sentient complexes without the horrible, deadly influence of starlike clumps of matter to disrupt them. Surely the phyisical laws which forbid the clumping of matter must have been designed by a Creator!

But that's just an imaginative exercise on my part. To repeat myself, even if the odds against our particular set of physical laws and constants occurring are 10<sup>10</sup>-to-1, because we do exist it is a certainty that we will observe a universe that suits our existence.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DStahl on 2003-03-08 15:56 ]</font>

beskeptical
2003-Mar-09, 11:00 AM
I haven't read through this thread yet but I can't help adding my usual comments:

Genetic research, the human genome and other genome mapping research has provided irrefutable evidence that life can and did evolve from inorganic run of the mill elements into complex life forms we have today.

Over and over those who don't want to accept evolution bring up these arguments of not enough time, missing links, had to have ID, etc. Unless one takes the time to learn what progress genetic research has made, they'd be arguing from a position of ignorance while the science of biology passes them by.

The progress in genetic research is mind-boggling. The code of life has been broken and the translations are occurring at an ever increasing rate.

Where are we now? Human migration out of Africa has been mapped to a large degree through mitochondrial and Y chromosome DNA. The technology has improved to a point where it has proven to be reliable science no longer in question.

RNA experiments have shown that random mutation of these amino acid molecules can progress to life forms and beyond.

How you get from a fin to a wing or leg is well understood.

Right now what's being focused on is protein folding. When a gene translates into a protein, the DNA coding produces a chain of amino acids that make up the protein. But how that complex protein molecule folds up has a big impact on what the protein's function will be.

Another question is what do the long chains of repeating DNA segments between genes do. It is known that they must do something or they wouldn't be conserved. In other words, random mutation would make them different from organism to organism if they weren't impacting survival and reproduction.

The University of Washington has held lectures on the advances of genetic research that were taped and air repeatedly on their TV channel. Evolution is a given. You can believe in ID if you want to but it isn't necessary. The rate of mutation and the time it would take for life to begin and evolve into what it is today is not inconsistent with the geological nor cosmological evidence.

A good book written in common language that details current knowledge on this subject is "Evolution, the Triumph of an Idea", by Carl Zimmer, 2001. But the important thing is to find out about the progress of genetic research.

Science is no longer considering evolution as one of several possibilities any more than we are considering the Sun may orbit the Earth. The church is just going to have to deal with it the same way they had to change when astronomical observations did not coincide with Biblical interpretations. The Mormons are presently upset that genetic research does not support their belief in how the Americas were populated. But the evidence is what it is.

PB
2003-Mar-09, 04:35 PM
Here's a page for the lunar cataclysm idea: http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/SIC/impact_cratering/lunar_cataclysm/ .

If life had started prior to the cataclysm and the surface/subsurface really was sterilized, maybe previously occurring life was blasted into orbit for some period before returning to Earth as argued in this new article in Icarus: http://tinyurl.com/74zv

DStahl
2003-Mar-09, 10:12 PM
Models of complex systems tend to be unrealistic when they're based on very small sample sizes, I think. Maybe our understanding of life is too narrow because we have examined only one kind of life.

Evolution requires only self-replicating physical systems with the possiblity of inheritable variation. If any particular environment lets an S-R system get started, then evolution will inevitably drive the "organisms" to become better and better suited to that environment. It doesn't matter, I would bet, whether the "organisms" are cyanide-breathing metallic crayfish or sentient magnetic field structures, they will evolve to become closely fit to the environment in which they live.

So conditions on Earth are not fine-tuned for mankind: mankind, and all other contemporary life, have been fine-tuned for conditions on Earth.

-----

Isn't proof of the mechanism of evolution one of mankind's oldest and most successful lab experiments? We've used the tools of evolution--genetic variation and selection of breeding stock--to create such things as dachshunds and hard red winter wheat. Evolution works, and experimental demonstrations of evolution predate Newton and Galileo and Christ. Modern genetics, as beskeptical notes above, has shown the molecular details of the genetic mechanism and those details fit with Mendelian genetics and explain the success of the Inca's demonstration of variation and selection in potatoes.

Religious believers may be offended by this next paragraph. Take it as my personal opinion, or don't bother with it at all, that's my advice.

I tend to think that the principle of evolution is so pervasive that it affects non-physical systems too. It seems to me that the growth of sects and denominations within religions is a good example--in a sense, Mormonism took the "genetic material" of mainstream Christianity and added a considerable mutation to it to create a new religion. This particular mutation proved viable: it survived because it competed successfully for believers, and it continues to adapt to its environment just as most religions continue to adapt.

I don't think the intellectual system called science is immune to this, but I do think that for the most part, and in the longest view, the environment to which science-as-system adapts is the universe itself--the universe as it is revealed through observation and experiment. In the short term this seems naive, because there are certainly theoretical fads and hot topics which come and go. But in the long term experiment and observation will trump fad appeal. 'Praps the fad appeal of a theory is like a breeding display: it boosts the immediate chances that the theory will propagate into the minds of new people, but in the long term the survivability of the theory is not determined by the breeding display but by its adaptation to the environment--the universe of observation and experiment.

I hope you folks aren't too annoyed by my rambling on. I know people like Dawkins and Alan Chalmers and Alan Sokal have written about this stuff much more coherently and insightfully than I, but, well, one tends to run off at the mouth (keyboard) anyway. From Alan Sokal's analysis of his own parody paper (http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/noretta.html):

"Science is a human endeavor, and like any other human endeavor it merits being subjected to rigorous social analysis....At a more subtle level, even the content of scientific debate--what types of theories can be conceived and entertained, what criteria are to be used for deciding between competing theories--is constrained in part by the prevailing attitudes of mind, which in turn arise in part from deep-seated historical factors."

In my view, those "prevailing attitudes of mind" are analogous to an intellectual system, a non-physical "organism", Dawkins' meme; and the historical factors are the meme's genetic history. But that's only an analogy, really; only one way of thinking about scientific thinking. There are other, equally valid, ways to view it.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DStahl on 2003-03-09 17:28 ]</font>

JS Princeton
2003-Mar-09, 10:20 PM
The real test in science for me is the fact that it works on so many levels. There is a way to look at the world scientifically, and that way has produced a techonological revolution akin to no other. Now, one can take the philosophical position that techonology isn't "truly" doing what we think it's doing (maybe God is planting the image of the internet in our mind), but if you can get past the philosophical solipsims, accepting the utility of science is, for me, why I think the inductive endeavor works.

After all, the universe could have been different. We could have a system that was completely random. I don't know how life would have ever been able to cope with a universe whose physical "laws" kept changing, but there's no a priori reason the universe shouldn't be that way. So, it seems to me that science is on the right path toward explaining phenomenon in the universe.

Of course, the middle of my last paragraph could be construed to support theism. However, if one keeps in mind that the life as we know it requires the conditions as we know it, accidentalism certainly is just as viable (if not more "inductively reasonable") an option.

Darth_Racer
2003-Mar-09, 11:09 PM
On 2003-03-07 07:08, dgruss23 wrote:

darth racer wrote: For physical life to be possible in the universe, several characteristics must take on specific values, and these are listed below. In the case of several of these characteristics, and given the intricacy of their interrelationships, in my humble opinion, the indication of divine “fine tuning” seems incontrovertible.

We could go through point by point your list and discuss whether or not each particular "constant" must have its measured value for there to be life. The Hubble constant varies over time and thus is not "constant".

Your first point was that life appeared so quickly on the Earth (essentially as soon as possible) that a natural explanation is not possible. So my question for you is this: If you say that requires a creator, then I say "fine" but are you insisting that that creator is constantly tinkering with the universe that has been "created". In other words, why isn't it possible that we live in a "created" universe that was set up with a certain set of rules right from the beginning - rules that allow life to form very quickly after the heavy bombardment period ends on a planet? Are you insisting that the creator you imply started all this has to constantly tinker with events as they unfold?


you make some very good points.......here's some food for thought......

Table 1: Evidence for the fine-tuning of the universe


strong nuclear force constant
if larger: no hydrogen; nuclei essential for life would be unstable
if smaller: no elements other than hydrogen
weak nuclear force constant
if larger: too much hydrogen converted to helium in big bang, hence too much heavy element material made by star burning; no expulsion of heavy elements from stars
if smaller: too little helium produced from big bang, hence too little heavy element material made by star burning; no expulsion of heavy elements from stars
gravitational force constant
if larger: stars would be too hot and would burn up quickly and unevenly|
if smaller: stars would be so cool that nuclear fusion would not ignite, thus no heavy element production
electromagnetic force constant
if larger: insufficient chemical bonding; elements more massive than boron would be unstable to fission
if smaller: insufficient chemical bonding
ratio of electromagnetic force constant to gravitational force constant
if larger: no stars less than 1.4 solar masses, hence short and uneven stellar burning
if smaller: no stars more than 0.8 solar masses, hence no heavy element production
ratio of electron to proton mass
if larger: insufficient chemical bonding
if smaller: insufficient chemical bonding
ratio of number of protons to number of electrons
if larger: electromagnetism dominates gravity preventing galaxy, star, and planet formation
if smaller: electromagnetism dominates gravity preventing galaxy, star, and planet formation
expansion rate of the universe
if larger: no galaxy formation
if smaller: universe collapses prior to star formation
entropy level of the universe
if larger: no star condensation within the proto-galaxies
if smaller: no proto-galaxy formation
mass density of the universe
if larger: too much deuterium from big bang, hence stars burn too rapidly
if smaller: insufficient helium from big bang, hence too few heavy elements forming
velocity of light
if larger: stars would be too luminous
if smaller: stars would not be luminous enough
age of the universe
if older: no solar-type stars in a stable burning phase in the right part of the galaxy
if younger: solar-type stars in a stable burning phase would not yet have formed
initial uniformity of radiation
if smoother: stars, star clusters, and galaxies would not have formed
if coarser: universe by now would be mostly black holes and empty space
average distance between galaxies
if larger: insufficient gas would be infused into our galaxy to sustain star formation for a long enough time
if smaller: the sun’s orbit would be too radically disturbed,
galaxy cluster type
if too rich: galaxy collisions and mergers would disrupt solar orbit
if too sparse: insufficient infusion of gas to sustain star formation for a long enough time
average distance between stars
if larger: heavy element density too thin for rocky planets to form
if smaller: planetary orbits would become destabilized
fine structure constant (a number used to describe the fine structure splitting of spectral lines)
if larger: no stars more than 0.7 solar masses
if smaller: no stars less than 1.8 solar masses
if larger than 0.06: matter is unstable in large magnetic fields
decay rate of the proton
if greater: life would be exterminated by the release of radiation
if smaller: insufficient matter in the universe for life
12C to 16O nuclear energy level ratio
if larger: insufficient oxygen
if smaller: insufficient carbon
ground state energy level for 4He
if larger: insufficient carbon and oxygen
if smaller: insufficient carbon and oxygen
decay rate of 8Be
if slower: heavy element fusion would generate catastrophic explosions in all the stars
if faster: no element production beyond beryllium and, hence, no life chemistry possible
mass excess of the neutron over the proton
if greater: neutron decay would leave too few neutrons to form the heavy elements essential for life
if smaller: proton decay would cause all stars to rapidly collapse into neutron stars or black holes
initial excess of nucleons over anti-nucleons
if greater: too much radiation for planets to form
if smaller: not enough matter for galaxies or stars to form
polarity of the water molecule
if greater: heat of fusion and vaporization would be too great for life to exist
if smaller: heat of fusion and vaporization would be too small for life; liquid water would be too inferior of solvent for life chemistry to proceed; ice would not float, leading to a runaway freeze-up
supernovae eruptions
if too close: radiation would exterminate life on the planet
if too far: not enough heavy element ashes for the formation of rocky planets
if too infrequent: not enough heavy element ashes for the formation of rocky planets
if too frequent: life on the planet would be exterminated
if too soon: not enough heavy element ashes for the formation of rocky planets
if too late: life on the planet would be exterminated by radiation
white dwarf binaries
if too few: insufficient flourine produced for life chemistry to proceed
if too many: disruption of planetary orbits from stellar density; life on the planet would be exterminated
if too soon: not enough heavy elements made for efficient flourine production
if too late: flourine made too late for incorporation in protoplanet
ratio of the mass of exotic matter to ordinary matter
if smaller: galaxies would not form
if larger: universe would collapse before solar type stars can form
number of effective dimensions in the early universe
if smaller: quantum mechanics, gravity, and relativity could not coexist and life would be impossible
if larger: quantum mechanics, gravity, and relativity could not coexist and life would be impossible
number of effective dimensions in the present universe
if smaller: electron, planet, and star orbits would become unstable
if larger: electron, planet, and star orbits would become unstable
mass of the neutrino
if smaller: galaxy clusters, galaxies, and stars will not form
if larger: galaxy clusters and galaxies will be too dense
big bang ripples
if smaller: galaxies will not form; universe expands too rapidly
if larger: galaxies will be too dense; black holes will dominate; universe collapses too quickly
size of the relativistic dilation factor
if smaller: certain essential life chemistry reactions will not function properly
if larger: certain essential life chemistry reactions will not function properly
uncertainty magnitude in the Heisenberg uncertainty principle
if smaller: oxygen transport to body cells would be too small; certain life-essential elements would be unstable
if larger: oxygen transport to body cells would be too great; certain life-essential elements would be unstable
cosmological constant
if too large: universe will expand too quickly for solar type stars too form

g99
2003-Mar-09, 11:12 PM
Sources?

Darth_Racer
2003-Mar-09, 11:13 PM
On 2003-03-07 16:40, JS Princeton wrote:
First of all, there's a distinction to be made between abiogenesis and evolution. That's the first place Darth_Racer shows his ignorance.

Secondly, ID is nothing but hogwash. You can check out why at http://www.talkdesign.org


here's a response to the "bashing" of Intelligent Design.......

A Critique of Victor Stenger's Paper –
Intelligent Design: The New Stealth Creationism

Intelligent Design is the new buzz word
for what used to be called “creation science.”

- Victor Stenger

With the quote above as his summary statement, Victor Stenger, Professor Emeritus, University of Hawaii, seeks to discard the work of some of today’s great pioneering scientists. From now until the end of the age, there will be disagreements about cosmological and biological origins, and good people can debate the merits of their cases from scientific or other grounds. However, those with deep-seated prejudices are more likely to cloud the discussion with argumentative misconceptions and inaccuracies, either through ignorance or malice. I don’t know Professor Stenger, but his writings lead me to believe the latter.

I will attempt to summarize the problems with Intelligent Design: The New Stealth Creationism . Although there are numerous examples of nastiness in the paper, my comments will be directed towards its factual and logical errors. Intelligent Design can be found at http://spot.colorado.edu/~vstenger.

A fundamental problem with Professor Stenger’s paper is its inability to distinguish between “young-earth creationism”, and legitimate scientific study that supports both the Bible and currently accepted cosmological models. Young-earth creationism seeks to bend science to conform to its theological assumptions, and can be rightly argued against on scientific grounds. Today’s leading Christian scientists who investigate the connections between well-documented scientific findings (i.e., the big bang, age of the universe, complexity of life at the molecular level, etc.) and the Bible’s creation account should be no threat to intellectually honest scientists. The threat, however, is real to those who adhere to the religion of Naturalism above all else. In that case, any tactic is permissible to fight the enemies of Naturalism, and the debate becomes a contest for power and dominance of the intellectual world. Professor Philip Johnson best describes the current battle lines in his book, Reason in the Balance :

“...If ultimate reality consists of elementary particles, and if everything that has happened is in some sense determined by some great law that governed events at the beginning of the big bang, then the search for the final theory is not just a game particle physicists play but a quest of immense importance to humanity....But if God is real and constitutes the true basis of all knowledge, then we call the governing discipline theology. Those who explicate fundamental reality are the rulers of knowledge....if God really exists and has revealed something of his nature to humankind, then the interaction of God and the whole of creation is not just the most complex of subjects but by far the most important...”

A disturbing aspect of the paper is Professor Stenger’s apparent inability to see the big picture. While he attacks in succession four areas of current scientific study that support the Bible’s account of creation, there is no attempt to put the evidence together as a whole. Even if there were some credible arguments in each area, the voluminous scientific evidence for a Creator from astronomy, physics, information theory, molecular biology and geophysics, plus all of the historical and philosophical evidence, is overwhelming. To ignore or dismiss the sum total of evidence as a starting assumption diminishes the credibility of arguments against design.

There are several cases where scientific evidence for the Creator is dismissed out of hand, almost as an insult. For instance, Michael Behe’s groundbreaking ideas presented in Darwin’s Black Box are not addressed at all, except to say that they have been “convincingly refuted”. But if that is true, why not cite some evidence if any of it is really credible? Behe preempts his critics by stating with authority that:

“...if you search the scientific literature on evolution, and if you focus your search on the question of how molecular machines – the basis of life – developed, you will find an eerie and complete silence. The complexity of life’s foundation has paralyzed science’s attempt to account for it; molecular machines raise an as-yet-impenetrable barrier to Darwinism’s universal reach.”

Behe follows his powerful arguments for design with an analysis of why the established scientific community finds itself in such a dire dilemma. If Professor Stenger could contradict any of Behe’s four reasons for the dilemma (allegiance, history, “the rule”, and fear of religious implications), why aren’t they mentioned? My guess is that Behe’s analysis makes the scientific establishment just too uncomfortable.

Another serious systemic problem with Professor Stenger’s paper is its failure to prove its arguments with any kind of convincing evidence for an atheistic worldview. Its arguments against a theistic worldview are shallow, for instance, a contention that the post-determined specificity of Dembski’s Complex Specified Information is simply “dubious and dangerous”. But unsurprisingly, there is no evidence presented for how complex sequences of information seen in living organisms came about. The best example that can be mustered is “Whenever a drop of water freezes into an ice crystal we observe the creation of order by a “mindless” natural process.” Fine, but how do you explain DNA?

The paper builds a strawman against Hugh Ross’s ongoing work to find the universe’s finely tuned parameters for the existence of life. I saw this same blunder many years ago in my introductory astronomy textbook’s discussion of the Drake equation. It is paraphrased below:

"It can be argued that because of the seeming naturalness of life’s development on earth, life would always begin if given a chance. Let us be optimistic here and agree that the fraction of planets on which life arose, f l, equals 1”

Professor Stenger makes the same unsupportable claim:

“If we properly compute, based on our actual knowledge rather than speculation, the probability for the universe’s existing with human life, the result is unity! We have only one datum, our universe, and it has human life.”

If human life is so easy to make, why can’t we make the simplest life in the lab? Can we build a credible hypothesis for how life developed at the molecular level? Are we to believe that life does not really depend on Ross’s 26 finely tuned parameters for life; that some other form of advanced life would have arisen anyway? Instead of postulating how these 26 parameters may have all been met without a designer, Professor Stenger states that:

“...almost all combinations of physical constants lead to universes, albeit some strange ones, that would live long enough for some type of complexity to likely to form...”

No evidence is provided for how life could develop in any of these 100 random universes.

Finally, Professor Stenger attempts to discredit the concept of a designer by leading the reader down the rabbit hole. He postulates that the universe is eternal, not by invoking a steady state cosmology, but by inventing a cosmology where time proceeds from the big bang in both directions. In his own words,

“... if I can demonstrate that the universe had no beginning, then Ross, Craig, and other theists ... will be hoisted on their own petard and forced to admit that the universe required no cause and so was not necessarily created...”

This ludicrous strategy not only contradicts accepted theories of physical reality, but also demonstrates how far some will go to eliminate the Creator of the universe from their thinking.

Although the paper reviewed here is in many ways flawed, the underlying question is, “What reality is true?” In his brilliant work, Can Man Live Without God , Ravi Zacharias frames for us this eternal question:

“The issue, then, is not whether the belief system you espouse – monotheistic, atheistic, pantheistic, or otherwise – is exclusive. The issue is whether the answers to the four basic questions of life pertaining to origin, meaning, morality, and destiny within the context of each of these world-views meet the tests of truth. Are they logically consistent, are they empirically adequate, and are they experientially relevant?...The answers to life’s four questions must in each instance correspond to reality, and the sum of the answers must cohere as a system.

“It is absolutely imperative to understand that when an antagonist of the Christian faith poses a question of the Christian, he or she must, in turn, be willing first to justify the question within the context of his or her own presuppositions. Second, he or she must also answer the question on the basis of those presuppositions ...An attitude that says, “you can’t answer my question, and therefore I can believe whatever I want to believe,” is intellectual hypocrisy.”

It seems obvious to me that Christianity is the most reasonable belief system because it best answers the four questions of life. The growing scientific evidence for design is rapidly becoming unassailable to open minded people. With solid and verifiable answers to the question of origins, there is hope that more people will find the true answers to the questions of meaning, morality and destiny.

Steve Sarigianis

JS Princeton
2003-Mar-09, 11:28 PM
On 2003-03-09 18:12, g99 wrote:
Sources?


He has no sources, he just copied that from any number of websites that continue to repreint the glurge as if there is something behind it. In reality, it is a rather preposterous list because the "changing" of constants without affecting others is impossible physically. Of course, the list isn't meant for scientists: it's meant for impressionable sheep on the internet. I may take up a debunking of it: it would be rather fun.

JS Princeton
2003-Mar-09, 11:33 PM
Actually, darth, your posting of things without attribution is fairly problematic.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: JS Princeton on 2003-03-09 22:20 ]</font>

dgruss23
2003-Mar-10, 12:03 AM
Darth - I really would love for you to answer the question that follows. Its relevant to the discussion because it would help me understand where you are coming from. So here goes ....

I understand that you believe in a design for the parameters of the universe. I may have more in response to specific items on your list at some later point but --> In your view is the intelligent designer constantly guiding and redirecting the course of events in the universe. Or was the universe designed and now simply unfolding without help?

Just looking for a "yes its being guided" or a "no - its unfolding according to the initial rules it was designed with. No guiding happening."

Which is it? Thanks.

g99
2003-Mar-10, 12:12 AM
dgruss23, That is similar to the question i asked before where i asked if he/she was more creationists or more Pure I.D..

Yours is a little more spacific. I like it better. Thanks




I am still waiting for my answer tought.

ToSeek
2003-Mar-10, 12:26 AM
On 2003-03-09 18:13, Darth_Racer wrote:
There are several cases where scientific evidence for the Creator is dismissed out of hand, almost as an insult. For instance, Michael Behe’s groundbreaking ideas presented in Darwin’s Black Box are not addressed at all, except to say that they have been “convincingly refuted”. But if that is true, why not cite some evidence if any of it is really credible?


Probably because Stenger is an astronomer and physicist and wants to focus on matters he's an expert on, as he explicitly states early on: "I wish to focus on arguments from physics and cosmology rather than biology."

Kaptain K
2003-Mar-10, 01:02 AM
Table 1: Evidence for the fine-tuning of the universe

edited to save BA's bandwidth

I answered this before (or something similar). As I said then: You see it as evidence of "Intelligent Design". I see it as a simple tautology. If the universe did not allow life, then there would be no life to contemplate it. Since there is life to contemplate the universe, then the universe must be structured such that life is allowed. Comprende?

DStahl
2003-Mar-10, 02:59 AM
Darth_Racer, let's look a bit at the argument from Intelligent Design.

First, it is based on an experiment which has only one possible outcome. Such an experiment can never prove anything but a tautology. As I noted twice before, it is a boilerplated certainty that the universe we observe will be one which permits our existence. If there is a God, the results of our observations will be: a universe which allows us to exist. If there is not a God, the results of our observations will be: a universe which allows us to exist. It cannot be otherwise. And, in fact, this same observation would hold true for any possible sentient being in any universe: the only possible result would be that it would observe a universe which allows this being, whatever its form, to exist.

I agree that the physical laws and constants of the universe allow us to exist. It's obvious, a tautology; but it is an observation which by its nature only has one possible outcome. It proves nothing.

As to evolution, isn't it true that some of the most ancient, long-running, and successful lab experiments in human history prove that the factors producing evolution--genetic variability and selection of breeding stock--can in fact produce organisms which are very different from their ancestors? Dachshunds and hard red winter wheat are the tangible, obvious results of artificial evolution. Mankind has proven that the mechanisms of evolution work, and work very splendidly. Such experiments in the artificial evolution of plants and animals began before the birth of Christ, I believe, and have been successful in cultures from the Andes to the Ganges.

What reasons can you give to show that natural selection of breeding stock over millions of years cannot accomplish what feeble, fallible mankind has accomplished using the same tools in a few thousand years?

As beskeptical and others note, we not only know that artificial evolution can work to produce dachshunds and understand how natural evolution can produce Galapagos finches, we now know how genetics works at a molecular level. These are not speculations about the politics of belief, this is simple observation and fact.

[later] Kaptain K, you posted while I was pecking away at my keyboard. You put the point more succinctly than I. Thanks.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DStahl on 2003-03-10 01:14 ]</font>

dgruss23
2003-Mar-10, 03:05 AM
g99 wrote: dgruss23, That is similar to the question i asked before where i asked if he/she was more creationists or more Pure I.D..

Yours is a little more spacific. I like it better. Thanks
I am still waiting for my answer tought.

Thanks g99. I think you asked the question pretty clearly too. Perhaps we'll get an answer. Its a simple enough question.

russ_watters
2003-Mar-10, 03:53 AM
Why argue with a plagarizer? Someone please ban him.

g99
2003-Mar-10, 04:05 AM
I don't think he/she should be banned yet. He/she still does reply to our questions. somewhat. Pladurizing should not be a requirement. Lets see if he/she replies to our questions.

DStahl
2003-Mar-10, 07:46 AM
All: I apologize for repeating myself on the matter of wheat and dachshunds. I forgot I had already posted that argument once.

Darth_Racer, quoting Ravi Zacharias: "'The issue is whether the answers to the four basic questions of life pertaining to origin, meaning, morality, and destiny within the context of each of these world-views meet the tests of truth. Are they logically consistent, are they empirically adequate, and are they experientially relevant?...The answers to life’s four questions must in each instance correspond to reality, and the sum of the answers must cohere as a system....It is absolutely imperative to understand that when an antagonist of the Christian faith poses a question of the Christian, he or she must, in turn, be willing first to justify the question within the context of his or her own presuppositions."

That's intellectual hypocrisy, in my book: it states that any challenge to faith must first justify itself to the faithful. That's not intellectual freedom, it's just a way to exclude uncomfortable questions.

To continue the quote: "Second, he or she must also answer the question on the basis of those presuppositions ...An attitude that says, "you can’t answer my question, and therefore I can believe whatever I want to believe," is intellectual hypocrisy.'"

How so? That, sirrah, needs some careful justification! If one asks a question of a Believer--say, "Why did Moses come back from the mountain after receiving the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' and immediately order the execution of 3000 of his followers"--and the Believer is unable to provide an answer, then surely the questioner must draw his or her own conclusions? What other reasonable course of action is possible? Ravi Zacharias seems to say that the questioner is at fault for having the guts to ask the question!

Ye cats, the idea that a questioner cannot be allowed freedom of thought even if a Believer cannot justify the Belief is utter nonsense! What Ravi Zacharias seems to be saying here is that even if the Belief is not justifiable and cannot provide answers, you had bloody well better accept it...or else Ravi Zacharias will call you an intellectual hypocrite! Again, YE CATS! YE CATS AND LITTLE FISHES! I have never read such self-important, egocentric spiritual fascism.

No, it is a fundamental obligation of human beings to come to an understanding of their place in the universe. That may include a spiritual understanding of which I, personally, wot not; it may include a moral understanding which I, personally, am too dim to perceive. In that regard, I can only hope to better myself. But I believe all people must come freely to their own understanding; the intellectual coercion implied by Ravi Zacharias' writing disgusts me.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DStahl on 2003-03-10 03:07 ]</font>

tvelocity
2003-Mar-10, 08:19 AM
Are the so-called Creation Scientists trying to prove the existence of God? From where I sit, that's what it looks like. The discussion has now gone way over my head, involving everything from quantum mechanics, to biochemistry. But from a philosophical standpoint, it looks like the creationists are trying to reduce the Creator to a mathematical certainty. Is that really what they want? Do they really want a God who is nothing more than a physics equation, to be printed in the scriptures and posted for all of the faithful to read with the declaration "You no longer need your faith - This is what you will worship henceforth. We have established this with 99.9999999% certainty!" We all need our faith, whatever it may be. But science does not, and in many cases is incompatible with it. Keep science and faith separate.

DStahl
2003-Mar-10, 09:09 AM
"Are the so-called Creation Scientists trying to prove the existence of God?"

Well, yes--but they want the God of the Bible and not a God which is a mathematical property of the universe, I think. From what I've read, the God of the Bible is not a simple, mathematically straightforward figure; He is omnipotent and perfectly good, according to some, but He also says that He is the source of evil: "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." (Isiah 47:5) The modern mainstream Christian seems to credit the God of foregiveness and mercy and discount the God that says "And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the LORD that smiteth." (Ezekial 7:9)

The God of the Bible is much more complex and contradictory, I think, than many Christians would like to believe. He certainly is not mathematically simple.

But we stray from astronomy, and court locking of the thread!

The cosmological argument isn't over your head, really. It's pretty simple: the Intelligent Design argument claims that the universe must have been designed specifically in order to be compatible with life as we know it; JS Princeton and I and Kaptain K and the rest argue that because life as we know it exists OF COURSE we will observe a universe which is compatible with our existence. OF COURSE a fish would not find that it has evolved on a planet which has no water and never has had water. OF COURSE a fish will find itself existing in a universe, and on a planet, which is compatible with the existence of water.

All the talk about the relative strengths of the four forces and the masses of particles is the same as the water to a fish: we could not exist unless the cosmic parameters allowed it. The fish could not exist without water. And OF COURSE we cannot find ourselves in a universe in which the cosmic parameters do not allow us to exist, any more than a fish could find itself existing in a universe without water! That's all that's really being said on the question of Intelligent Design, I think.

g99
2003-Mar-10, 09:20 AM
The problem with I.D. is that all a person who believes in it has to do is say "God created the laws of the universe and created the original matter of the big bang."

How do you argue with that? It is very hard to do because it is bascially a "Because i say so" answer. We can prove that the laws of nature say this shows that evolution works, that fire can't exhist in a vacume, and a giant metallic fish will like chocolate covered popcorn for breakfast. But all a I.D.'er has to do is say "Of course all of those work. They work because God made the rules they work by."

So i say again. How do you argue with that?

----------------------

In my oponion it is a game of chance. We got lucky. We live in a universe and our planet formed in the "life zone". Without that we would not be talking today.

One way to me that prooves both creationisms and I.D. wrong is to find life in the universe and see that it is nuthing like life on earth.

Sure some basic molecules will be the same, but other things will be different.

Now lets not gewt into a creationism debate. That is not for this board. Lets at leats try to relate this to astronomy somewhat.

So: Darth_Racer: What in the origin of stars and planets do you see a design? How are the cosmos designed?

beskeptical
2003-Mar-10, 09:30 AM
From Darth_Racer's post

“...if you search the scientific literature on evolution, and if you focus your search on the question of how molecular machines – the basis of life – developed, you will find an eerie and complete silence. The complexity of life’s foundation has paralyzed science’s attempt to account for it; molecular machines raise an as-yet-impenetrable barrier to Darwinism’s universal reach.”

Actually, much work has been done in this area. I posted a while back about Gerald Joyce's work from the Scripps Research Institute. He has done work showing how prebiogenic molecules form RNA strands and then progress to DNA.

I don't have the time to address all your 'science' but I will say if you are trying to convert folks who are familiar with the science of evolution, it ain't gonna happen.

I will say again, anyone still arguing that the science of evolution has holes in it and hasn't passed the point of being irrefutable is arguing from and outdated text book.

DNA can be easily manipulated and studied. This technological breakthrough enabled genetic scientists to pass a huge hurdle akin to discovering the Rosetta Stone. If you aren't reading research published in the last 3-5 years you are probably reading something out of date.

Oh well, as the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water,....

DStahl,

There are social scientists doing research in the area you speculated about evolution of religions. Actually, I haven't read anything about religion per se, but the term memes has come into use as a parallel to genes. We pass memes on via our social interactions. They are transferred and mutate like genes but at a different rate.

Language is a good example. Genetic tracing of human migration matches language migration and language evolution. In a few cases, there are discrepancies that resulted from either a group bringing their language to other people who then adopted it, or, a group migrating to an area and adopting the language that was there.

Like English today. It has moved on its own to new populations without necessarily English speaking populations themselves moving.

Well, best be getting back to astronomy. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

_________________
Evolution is just a theory. Better fasten your seatbelt, so is gravity.
Beskeptigal.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: beskeptical on 2003-03-10 04:36 ]</font>

dgruss23
2003-Mar-10, 11:52 AM
g99 wrote: The problem with I.D. is that all a person who believes in it has to do is say "God created the laws of the universe and created the original matter of the big bang."

How do you argue with that?

You hit the nail on the head with that one g99! That's what the ID/creationists don't understand. Scientists have rules to play by - the laws of nature. ID'ers and creationists have no rules.



G99 wrote: One way to me that prooves both creationisms and I.D. wrong is to find life in the universe and see that it is nuthing like life on earth.

Oh ... if only. Problem is since they don't have rules, there is nothing to stop them. If we find life with different chemistry from life on Earth out there then we'll get to hear about how God likes diversity.

As we've all noticed on this thread - and is the common problem with these types of discussions - the IDers want to say they are participating in "science" when in fact they are not. They do not offer tests of their model - because there are none. So there is not wayt to refute their "model". As g99 pointed out - anything goes.

All I want to hear from Darth at this point is whether there is continual guidance or not. I suppose there are too many other things for Darth to respond to at this point to get the answer to that simple question.

DStahl
2003-Mar-10, 07:06 PM
JS Princeton: " The real test in science for me is the fact that it works on so many levels. There is a way to look at the world scientifically, and that way has produced a techonological revolution akin to no other....accepting the utility of science is, for me, why I think the inductive endeavor works."

It's very hard to argue with such obvious, effective results, isn't it. In the pragmatic view, memes and fads aside, I agree with you entirely--science works. Philosophy since the time of the Greeks has produced some interesting thought but no cures for smallpox, nor telecommunications breakthroughs.

Donnie B.
2003-Mar-10, 07:59 PM
Two quick thoughts:

To me, ID always seems to boil down to an argument from incredulity. For example: "I just can't imagine how something as complex as a flagellum could have evolved naturally. Therefore, a designer must have done it." That smacks of intellectual laziness. Either figure out how the flagellum evolved, or demonstrate rigorously that it couldn't have. Then we'll talk about other possibilities, including (but not limited to) a designer.

ID proponents love the cosmological-tuning argument, and love to claim that any "twiddling of the knobs" of the universal constants would produce a lifeless cosmos. Setting aside the fact that this is a one-shot experiment, I am not convinced that there are no other "knob settings" that could yield an intelligence-producing, or at least life-supporting, universe. I don't think it's at all clear that "life" has to look exactly like us.

Besides, as far as we know, universes have a 100% chance of producing semi-smart monkeys.

zwi
2003-Mar-10, 08:04 PM
G99 asked " The problem with I.D. is that all a person who believes in it has to do is say "God created the laws of the universe and created the original matter of the big bang."

How do you argue with that?"

Here is an attempt. Pardon the unscientific wordage

If God did that there was little problem with the Uncertainty principle. Since not even he could know exactly both the position and velocity of any particle, how could he fore-ordain anything?

Where was God when he set off the BB? I suppose he was outside the Bang area, (Ground Zero? ) he must still be outside it. So how can he communicate with or interfere with anything inside?

How can your prayer possibly be heard, let alone answered?

This possible counterargument says that if God set up the Laws of Physics, or if you prefer, he is the Laws of Physics, then his own Laws pervent him from doing anything

However, these people are not interested in logic or fact. They are interested in controlling your mind

Zwi

dgruss23
2003-Mar-11, 11:14 AM
Has Darth given up?

g99
2003-Mar-11, 05:52 PM
Don't know, but it gets more and more likely. But if he is college age he could be on spring break. That is happening now. I am leaving in a few hours for it! Be back saturday. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

dgruss23
2003-Mar-11, 05:56 PM
Sounds like fun g99!! We've been below 25 degrees for the last three months where I live. I'm ready for spring.

JS Princeton
2003-Mar-11, 06:07 PM
dgruss really doesn't have an intellectual leg to stand on and has basically been spitting out the stuff he read somewhere else. The moment we debunk it, he finds that he doesn't know how to be engaged at this level of a debate. That's the problem I've had, at least, with most IDers or Creationists... they are simply under-educated in the areas that they "support".

g99
2003-Mar-11, 06:10 PM
JS do you mean Darth or DGruss?

g99
2003-Mar-11, 06:11 PM
On 2003-03-11 12:56, dgruss23 wrote:
Sounds like fun g99!! We've been below 25 degrees for the last three months where I live. I'm ready for spring.


Yah almost 80 deg. F here. I hate it. Way to hot and humid. I'll trade ya weathers. Please!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: g99 on 2003-03-11 13:12 ]</font>

dgruss23
2003-Mar-11, 08:06 PM
JSPrincton wrote: dgruss really doesn't have an intellectual leg to stand on and has basically been spitting out the
stuff he read somewhere else.


g99 wrote: JS do you mean Darth or DGruss?

Pretty sure I'm not a creationist. He's definitely not referring to me unless he thinks I'm BOTH Darth and dgruss. In that case I'm going to have to let myself have it for not answering my own questions to myself about that whole continuous guidance vs. set up the rules and let it fly point.

DStahl
2003-Mar-11, 09:14 PM
I think JS Princeton is right: Darth_Racer has to go back and consult his manual, and probably a mentor, before he can respond. He's working from received wisdom, not his own knowledge and understanding.

Incidentally, although I disagree with his position and much of his method of argument, it's actually quite difficult for many people to post to a board where their opinions are repeatedly thrashed. Unless one genuinely relishes the role of outsider, underdog, and pariah, one's psyche takes a bit of a bashing. So give him that: he did reply, however off-the-mark his material turned out to be.

-----

beskeptical, I have read some about memes and social evolution, but not as much as I'd wish. I be skeptical [ /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif ] about some of the more sweeping claims about the parallels between memes and genetics, but I think the general principle as you outline it is a reasonable one.

beskeptical
2003-Mar-12, 10:05 AM
On 2003-03-11 16:14, DStahl wrote:
Incidentally, although I disagree with his position and much of his method of argument, it's actually quite difficult for many people to post to a board where their opinions are repeatedly thrashed. Unless one genuinely relishes the role of outsider, underdog, and pariah, one's psyche takes a bit of a bashing. So give him that: he did reply, however off-the-mark his material turned out to be.


Yes but bashing and refuting are two different things. I just don't think we have to beat around the bush about non-scientific claims on a BB based on BA though I certainly try to be polite and address the issues not the person.
-----


beskeptical, I have read some about memes and social evolution, but not as much as I'd wish. I be skeptical [ /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif ] about some of the more sweeping claims about the parallels between memes and genetics, but I think the general principle as you outline it is a reasonable one.

I think the term was coined more as a metaphor rather than having an actual physical correlation.

Darth_Racer
2003-Mar-12, 04:53 PM
Here's the conclusion of a cell membrane study by Fazale R. Rana...the link to the complete article is listed below the conclusion. It's a very interesting article...
Here's the conclusion:

The emergence of cell membrane systems represents a necessary stage in life’s origin and the initial step towards forming the first protocells. Like a country or a state border, the cell membrane establishes a boundary—it delineates life from nonlife processes.

Within the evolutionary framework, most origin-of-life researchers suggest that the first protocell membranes readily assembled under the conditions of early Earth. These researchers assume the cell’s boundary formed through natural processes—just as the Piscataqua river formed, providing a natural border between Maine and New Hampshire.

Advances in membrane biophysics, however, challenge natural-process explanations for cell membrane origins. While a wide range of amphiphilic compounds that could serve as lipid components for primitive biological membranes self-assemble into bilayers, this self-assembly process requires “just right” conditions and “just right” molecular components. It is unlikely that such conditions would exist or persist for long time frames on early Earth.

In addition, the self-assembly of phospholipids, the dominant lipid component of contemporary cell membranes, requires specific concentrations, temperatures, and compositions. Deviation from these conditions leads to a loss of the cell membrane’s structural and functional integrity and has been implicated in disease processes.

The exacting conditions needed to self-assemble and maintain biological membranes make the conclusion that these structures could emerge by natural processes improbable. At the same time, the fine-tuning and singularity of conditions needed for cell membrane structure and function stand as hallmark characteristics of Intelligent Design—reasonable expectations if God is responsible for life.


Here's the link to the lengthy article:

http://reasons.org/resources/fff/2002issue10/index.shtml?main#biotic_borders

Monkey Boy
2003-Mar-12, 05:40 PM
On 2003-03-10 15:04, zwi wrote:
G99 asked " The problem with I.D. is that all a person who believes in it has to do is say "God created the laws of the universe and created the original matter of the big bang."

How do you argue with that?"

Here is an attempt. Pardon the unscientific wordage

If God did that there was little problem with the Uncertainty principle. Since not even he could know exactly both the position and velocity of any particle, how could he fore-ordain anything?


There's no uncertainty principle problem because the principle is a human creation and may have no basis to such a being.



Where was God when he set off the BB? I suppose he was outside the Bang area, (Ground Zero? ) he must still be outside it. So how can he communicate with or interfere with anything inside?

How can your prayer possibly be heard, let alone answered?

This possible counterargument says that if God set up the Laws of Physics, or if you prefer, he is the Laws of Physics, then his own Laws pervent him from doing anything


If there is a God and he is capable of setting up the laws of the universe, wouldn't that mean he has control over them.



However, these people are not interested in logic or fact. They are interested in controlling your mind

Zwi


There's really no basis for that, where is the 'mind controlling' going on? I haven't seen anyone here showing any evidence of mind control. It seems to me that there's simply arguments to find the truth here. Some of these arguments are on shaky ground without any evidence to support the claims or assumptions of a conclusion before the evidence is evaluated. But it is still a search for truth.

I agree with g99 that there is no way to argue with a prime mover argument because all one simply needs to say is that we are not capable of imagining such a being. The hard part to argue for any prime mover is that if God started everything knowing that the universe would produce humans, then isn't everything we do predetermined? We are without free-will. Of course this is still a limiting argument to a being that we don't know has any limits. God could have simply created the universe knowing that we (and possibly others) would come to be, and allow us to make our own decisions.

The hardest part about all of this is that it cannot be argued. Faith should not be based on logic or if it is, one cannot limit it to the books of the Bible. The books are a collection of works that humans have determined were devinely inspired. This leaves the obvious problem of human error in the equation and explains the many contradictions in the Bible. But it is a moral, not scientific, guide.

zwi
2003-Mar-12, 06:35 PM
On 2003-03-12 12:40, Monkey Boy wrote:
[quote]
On 2003-03-10 15:04, zwi wrote:
G99 asked " The problem with I.D. is that all a person who believes in it has to do is say "God created the laws of the universe and created the original matter of the big bang."

How do you argue with that?"

Here is an attempt. Pardon the unscientific wordage

If God did that there was little problem with the Uncertainty principle. Since not even he could know exactly both the position and velocity of any particle, how could he fore-ordain anything?


There's no uncertainty principle problem because the principle is a human creation and may have no basis to such a being.

the undertainty principle is an inextricable part of the laws of Physics, It is not a human conceit. In terms of g99's question it is made by, or is part of, God

We assumed God either is or made the laws. Saying that he could change the Laws whenever he cares to is daft. It was part of the Church's argument against Galileo, in that GG was trying to take away God's right to run the Universe by miracle.




Where was God when he set off the BB? I suppose he was outside the Bang area, (Ground Zero? ) he must still be outside it. So how can he communicate with or interfere with anything inside?

How can your prayer possibly be heard, let alone answered?

This possible counterargument says that if God set up the Laws of Physics, or if you prefer, he is the Laws of Physics, then his own Laws pervent him from doing anything


If there is a God and he is capable of setting up the laws of the universe, wouldn't that mean he has control over them.

Your approach has more value in classical mechanics



However, these people are not interested in logic or fact. They are interested in controlling your mind

Zwi


There's really no basis for that, where is the 'mind controlling' going on?

Some form of religious belief is present in every human culture. I suspect that early on some hominids discovered that days would get longer after the winter solstice, and that the Nile would flood soon after Orion had appeared in some particular part of the sky They used this secret and arcane knowledge to control the other members of the tribe and to get a lion's share of the fruit of the hunt without the arduous and dangerous necessity of hunting. This priestly parasite class also took care of ceremonies at the beginning and the end of life, both profound mysteries.

Please note that although certain priests have taken vows of poverty they live high off the hog

A few refined their astronomical knowledge and attempted to control others and earn their daily bread by claiming that the wandering lights controlled the fortunes of men Theu clothed their secrets in more arcane knowledge, terminology and glyphs. They are called astrologers.

Remember these lines

Nature and Nature's Laws lay hid in night
God said "Let Newton be, and all was light"

It could not last. The Devil, howling "Ho!
Let Einstein/Planck be, restored the status quo"

Zwi

Edited for spelling & punctuation
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: zwi on 2003-03-12 13:38 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: zwi on 2003-03-12 13:41 ]</font>

JS Princeton
2003-Mar-12, 08:01 PM
Pretty sure I'm not a creationist. He's definitely not referring to me unless he thinks I'm BOTH Darth and dgruss. In that case I'm going to have to let myself have it for not answering my own questions to myself about that whole continuous guidance vs. set up the rules and let it fly point.




1000 apologies. I must be spacing out on names for some reason.

JS Princeton
2003-Mar-12, 08:06 PM
On 2003-03-12 13:35, zwi wrote:


Nature and Nature's Laws lay hid in night
God said "Let Newton be, and all was light"

It could not last. The Devil, howling "Ho!
Let Einstein/Planck be, restored the status quo"

Zwi



What must be remembered is the theism of Einstein is nothing like the theism of most religious folks. A mechanistic God has real problems if you think that the God can work outside of the laws of physics. Then such a phenomenon should be observed. It is not, so where are we at?

Furthermore, the idea that a "principle" is based on human knowledge is untenable. The principle is based upon human observation. If what we OBSERVE is not reality, then we are up a creek. However, if what we observe does represent reality then God cannot know the position and momentum of a particle. There are no "hidden variables" as was proven by Bell's Theorem.

JS Princeton
2003-Mar-12, 08:11 PM
On 2003-03-12 11:53, Darth_Racer wrote:

While a wide range of amphiphilic compounds that could serve as lipid components for primitive biological membranes self-assemble into bilayers, this self-assembly process requires ?just right? conditions and ?just right? molecular components. It is unlikely that such conditions would exist or persist for long time frames on early Earth.



This is, again, the argument from ignorance. The IDers say, "You don't know, therefore it is God." When really the answer is, "we don't know, further research is required." It's typical of God-in-the-gappers. What happens when they are disproven? Suddenly God has to take a step back again. Better to have your God NOT based on the threshholds of science.

To say that cellular membrane genesis is on the leading edge of biological research is true. To say because we don't have a model for it yet it must have been God is a fallacy.




The exacting conditions needed to self-assemble and maintain biological membranes make the conclusion that these structures could emerge by natural processes improbable.

That's not true, unless you are going to pretend that you can claim to calculate probabilities, in fact, we know that such things DID occur and therefore the probability of them occurring is rather preposterous.


At the same time, the fine-tuning and singularity of conditions needed for cell membrane structure and function stand as hallmark characteristics of Intelligent Design-reasonable expectations if God is responsible for life.

Argument from ignorance par excellance. Thanks for pointing out so succintly, Darth, the plain ignorance of the IDers.

Stuart
2003-Mar-12, 08:47 PM
On 2003-03-12 11:53, Darth_Racer wrote: The exacting conditions needed to self-assemble and maintain biological membranes make the conclusion that these structures could emerge by natural processes improbable.

I love this guy. If he won the Connecticut State lottery he'd turn the US$200 million down on the grounds of the improbability he'd got all the numbers in the right order.

Doodler
2003-Mar-12, 09:09 PM
On 2003-03-12 15:47, Stuart wrote:

On 2003-03-12 11:53, Darth_Racer wrote: The exacting conditions needed to self-assemble and maintain biological membranes make the conclusion that these structures could emerge by natural processes improbable.

I love this guy. If he won the Connecticut State lottery he'd turn the US$200 million down on the grounds of the improbability he'd got all the numbers in the right order.


Or keep it, claiming God's divine will deigned him to have it.

DStahl
2003-Mar-12, 09:22 PM
Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night.
God said, Let Newton be! and all was light.
--Alexander Pope

It did not last: The Devil howling 'Ho!
Let Einstein be! restored the status quo.
--Sir John Collins Squire

But of course both quantum mechanics and general relativity shed more light, in their respective areas of competence, than Newtonian physics--and Einstein illuminated the aspect of gravitation which annoyed Newton so greatly that he refused to speculate on it--Non fingo hypotheses, he said...loosely, "I ain't even gonna guess at that one."

JS Princeton: Yes, the God of the Gaps--there will always be a place for Him.

More fun:

"In Science all there is is Physics. Everything else is stamp collecting."
--Rutherford

"Fifty-five crystal spheres geared to God's crankshaft is my idea of a satisfying universe. I can't think of anything more trivial than quarks, quasars, big bangs and black holes."
—-Tom Stoppard

"God could cause us considerable embarrassment by revealing all the secrets of nature to us: we should not know what to do for sheer apathy and boredom."
--Goethe

"In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time."
--Edward P. Tryon.

Zathras
2003-Mar-12, 09:23 PM
On 2003-03-12 15:06, JS Princeton wrote:
. . .
Furthermore, the idea that a "principle" is based on human knowledge is untenable. The principle is based upon human observation. If what we OBSERVE is not reality, then we are up a creek. However, if what we observe does represent reality then God cannot know the position and momentum of a particle.

Such a dualistic notion of "either it's reality or it's not" does not match what happens in science. Are the measurements of Hubble's constant "not reality" because we don't have an exact number? It is better to say that what we observe are approximations to reality.

To take the Heisenberg example you mention above, one possible interpretation is to say that it is impossible to know the position and momentum of a particle. I think it is more accurate to state that a particle cannot have a definite position and momentum simultaneously. This shows that this lack of definiteness of position and velocity as failsafe descriptions of reality is only approximate.


There are no "hidden variables" as was proven by Bell's Theorem.

Actually, this is not quite true. There is the theory of hidden variables and then there are "hidden variables." Bell's theorem only contradicts a subset of possible hidden variable theories. Specifically, Bell's theorem says nothing about hidden variable theories which are nonlocal. Bohm's theory, which has not been disproven by Bell's theorem, can be interpreted as such a nonlocal theory of hidden variables.

tracer
2003-Mar-12, 09:58 PM
You know, the dog I had when I was growing up was named "Racer." He wasn't a Darth, though, I don't think.

tracer
2003-Mar-12, 10:03 PM
On 2003-03-12 11:53, Darth_Racer wrote:
While a wide range of amphiphilic compounds that could serve as lipid components for primitive biological membranes self-assemble into bilayers, this self-assembly process requires “just right” conditions and “just right” molecular components. It is unlikely that such conditions would exist or persist for long time frames on early Earth.
Proteinoid microspheres (http://www.siu.edu/~protocell/) will form out of just about any proteinoids, in plain salt water, so long as there's enough heat.

Proteinoids, in turn, will form out of plain old amino acids if you expose them to enough ultraviolet light (plentiful on Earth before the ozone layers formed).

And as the Miller/Urey experiment established, amino acids can form out of plan old methane, ammonia, hydrogen, and water vapor, if you expose them to electrical discharges.

dgruss23
2003-Mar-12, 10:53 PM
JS Princeton Posted: 2003-03-12 15:01
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quote:
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Pretty sure I'm not a creationist. He's definitely not referring to me unless he thinks I'm BOTH Darth and dgruss. In that case I'm going to have to let myself have it for not answering my own questions to myself about that whole continuous guidance vs. set up the rules and let it fly point.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



1000 apologies. I must be spacing out on names for some reason.

I always like a good pun ... "Spacing out". No need to apologize JS. I knew who you were referring to. Just having a little fun with it. Did you notice that Darth still hasn't answered the simple question? No matter. I can pretty much guess his view. Actually I'm feeling guided toward that understanding ... but not sure from where. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Darth_Racer
2003-Mar-12, 11:57 PM
One of the hang-ups in the debate over the Naturalistic vs. Intelligent Design for the universe is questions that skeptics ask "if God made the universe, then who made God?" A fair question. The following is an answer from Hugh Ross on that question. The full article is located at: http://reasons.org/resources/books/beyondthecosmos/btc7.shtml?main

If God created us, who created God? Skeptical scholars sometimes ask without listening for an answer. They raise the question as an impossible stumper, as justification for their agnostic stance.

For anyone willing to stretch his or her mind a little, an answer is available, one that represents both the truth of Scripture and the facts of nature. Both sources affirm that the universe, with everything it contains, is confined to a single time line (or dimension) and is further confined to moving in one direction along that line. Even if we were to experience the stretching, or dilation, of time by moving at velocities approaching the speed of light, we could neither stop nor reverse time’s arrow. The question of God’s beginning reflects our understanding of these principles: Whatever exists has a starting point along the line of time and was caused by something or someone with an earlier starting point. In other words, any entity confined to a single line of time, in which time cannot be stopped or reversed, must have a moment of beginning or creation.

An uncaused effect, a beginningless anything or anyone, contradicts our experiential knowledge of reality—but not reality itself. For both the Bible and scientific investigation present us with the reality of a Being who has the capacity to create our time dimension and fix its direction, a Being who possesses apparently unlimited time capacities.

For our limited imagination’s sake, however, we can consider what is possible for Him in a two-dimensional time frame, which would constitute a time plane. Just how many time dimensions, or their equivalent, God accesses we do not know, but we do have theoretical, observational, and theological proofs for these two dimensions. A plane of time offers the possibility of an infinite number of time lines running in an infinite number of directions. God has the capacity, thus, to move and operate backwards and forwards along an infinitely long time line, or along as many time lines, infinite or otherwise, as He chooses. He can operate, if He desires, on a time line parallel to our time line or on one intersecting our time line, but He is not compelled to do either. Thus, God has the capacity to cause effects for infinite time on innumerable time lines that never intersect or touch our time line. As such, we could point to no beginning and no end for Him. Since beginnings only make sense where time in some way is linear, God must be a beginningless Being. He has always existed and will always remain. He never had a creation event.

This is how how the words of John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16-17 can be true. Just this one extra time dimension releases Him from the necessity of a beginning—and an ending, for that matter. As these verses declare, He and He alone was not created.

Among the world’s "holy" books, these statements are unique to the Bible. They could only be true of a Being with access to the equivalent of two or more time dimensions. They could only be inspired by a Being whose experience is not limited to a single dimension of time.

Darth_Racer
2003-Mar-13, 12:06 AM
Here is an article by Hugh Ross on the Oscillating Universe Model with references listed.


Reining in Weird Cosmic Models
By Hugh Ross, Ph.D.

The supposed rebirth of the oscillating universe model made Internet headlines in recent months1 and the lead slot in Science.2 This model posits that the universe oscillates between successive expansions and contractions, each contraction followed by a new big bang. Readers of The Fingerprint of God and The Creator and the Cosmos may recall that science has declared the oscillating universe model (and thus the cosmological underpinnings of Hinduism, Buddhism, and many new age philosophies) as a dead issue.3 Astrophysicists recognize that the laws of thermodynamics and the specific entropy of the universe (a measure of how efficiently the universe radiates) do not permit any kind of cosmic “bounce” or “rebound.” So, how do we explain the recent reemergence, or “reincarnation” of the oscillating universe model?

The new bouncing model is founded on the equivalent of anti-thermodynamics or negative thermodynamics. Authors Paul Steinhardt (Princeton) and Neil Turok (Cambridge) hypothesize the existence of a time-varying energy component for the universe, with negative pressure causing the current acceleration in the rate of cosmic expansion. This hypothesized energy component changes its value and its sign (positive to negative or negative to positive) at just the right rates and at just the right times so that the universe alternates between expansion and contraction. As the authors acknowledge in their paper, their model “entails tuning” to “the same degree of tuning required in any cosmological model.”4 Thus, it offers no escape from the extreme fine-tuning in cosmic parameters that clearly points to the biblical Creator.5

Counter to what the Bible declares, Steinhardt and Turok claim that the universe may not possess a singular beginning of matter, energy, space, and time. But negative pressure and negative energy, though hypothetically appealing, offer more trouble than help. Essentially, they violate well-established physical laws. Such violations of known laws would render stable physics impossible. Stephen Hawking and George Ellis drove this point home in a famous theorem they derived nearly thirty years ago called the vacuum conservation theorem.6 The result derived from this theorem is that in any system described by forces and fields (like the universe) something cannot be created from nothing. To be more precise, the vacuum must be stable against spontaneous generation of matter.

British cosmologist Brandon Carter goes on to explain that the hypothesized negative pressure and negative energy lead to one of two consequences: 1) a lateral or wiggle instability in the cosmic space surface (best visualized by what happens when a person stands a paper straw upright on a table and then presses down very hard with a fist on the top end of the straw), or 2) the conclusion that the cosmic mass density is negative. If it were, the result would be a cosmic runaway creation of negative and positive mass particles out of the vacuum.7

Cosmic models that call for the operation of fundamental forces along higher spatial dimensional surfaces, in which pressure, energy, or matter “become negative” might make for some entertaining mathematics, but such models do not pertain to physical reality. Therefore, they pose no threat to the biblical doctrine of a transcendent creation event for matter, energy, space, and time.

References:
Deborah Zabarenko, “Out with the Big Bang, and in with the Cosmic Crunch,” Yahoo!News at yahoo.com, April 26, 2002. Similar stories were published on the Web by Reuters, Associated Press, and space.com.
Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok, “A Cyclic Model of the Universe,” Science 296 (2002): 1436-39. A similar model was published November 2001 by Hongya Liu and Paul S. Wesson, “Universe Models With a Variable Cosmological ‘Constant’ and a ‘Big Bounce,’” Astrophysical Journal 562 (2001): 1-6.
Hugh Ross, The Fingerprint of God, 2d ed. (Orange, CA: Promise Publishing, 1991), 97-105; Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, 3d ed. (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2001), 87-98.
Steinhardt and Turok, 1437.
Lawrence M. Krauss, “The End of the Age Problem and the Case for a Cosmological Constant Revisited,” Astrophysical Journal 501 (1998): 461; Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, 45, 53-56.
Stephen W. Hawking and George F. R. Ellis, The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1973).
Brandon Carter, “Energy Dominance and the Hawking Ellis Vacuum Conservation Theorem,” a contribution to Stephen Hawking’s 60th birthday workshop on the Future of Theoretical Physics and Cosmology, Cambridge, UK, January 2002, arXiv:gr-qc/0205010v1, May 2, 2002.
[For more on this subject, see Dr. Ross’ article, “Cosmic Brane Scans,” in Facts for Faith 10 (Q2, 2002).]

dgruss23
2003-Mar-13, 12:11 AM
Darth racer wrote: For anyone willing to stretch his or her mind a little, an answer is available, one that represents both the truth of Scripture and the facts of nature.

Darth, I think your missing one point about the discourse on this board. If you want people to debate and "stretch" their minds you need to be willing to help pull them along so to speak. Don't ask me why I'm fixated on this question, but I am. I asked it this way a while back on this thread:


dgruss wrote: Darth - I really would love for you to answer the question that follows. Its relevant to the discussion because it would help me understand where you are coming from. So here goes ....

I understand that you believe in a design for the parameters of the universe. I may have more in response to specific items on your list at some later point but --> In your view is the intelligent designer constantly guiding and redirecting the course of events in the universe. Or was the universe designed and now simply unfolding without help?

Just looking for a "yes its being guided" or a "no - its unfolding according to the initial rules it was designed with. No guiding happening."

Which is it? Thanks.


This is a simple question and I know you can answer it.

DStahl
2003-Mar-13, 01:23 AM
Actually, several of us have asked questions and refuted your other points, Darth_Racer; so far you haven't really addressed any of them well at all. We've shown that--

--the argument from Intelligent Design cannot prove or disprove the existence of God. You have not responded to our refutation.

--Hugh Ross's argument on the timeframe for the genesis of life contains so many unwarranted assumptions that the argument is worthless. No refutation from you.

--despite your claims to the contrary, science has made immense strides toward understanding how abiogenesis may have occurred. The posts even reference specific chemistry and researchers. You haven't addressed the material we've shown on that subject.

--you presented the writing of Ravi Zecharias, calling it a "brilliant work", and did not respond to the charge that Zecharias' writing amounts to spiritual fascism (only the elect dictate what questions may and may not be asked, according to Zecharias; under political fascism, only the state can dictate what freedoms the people can and cannot have, according to Benito Mussolini).

degruss23 asked, "I understand that you believe in a design for the parameters of the universe. I may have more in response to specific items on your list at some later point but --> In your view is the intelligent designer constantly guiding and redirecting the course of events in the universe. Or was the universe designed and now simply unfolding without help?" You haven't answered that either.

On your part, this seems less a debate than an excuse to post your favorite creationist quotations. How come you don't respond to any of our points?

Not that it matters too much--one can only assume that you have no counter-arguments.

Kaptain K
2003-Mar-13, 02:29 AM
One of the hang-ups in the debate over the Naturalistic vs. Intelligent Design for the universe is questions that skeptics ask "if God made the universe, then who made God?"
This is a straw man. It is immaterial to the point in question and seems to be thrown out as a diversion from the current discussion.

Really, Who cares?

russ_watters
2003-Mar-13, 02:53 AM
Actually, several of us have asked questions and refuted your other points, Darth_Racer; so far you haven't really addressed any of them well at all. Thats because darth isn't here to debate. He's here to preach - or to be more correct, he's here to regirgitate OTHER PEOPLE'S teachings. His unwillingness to form his own arguements shows he doesn't own his own opinion. There is simply no point in trying to argue with someone who has no thoughts of his own.

JS Princeton
2003-Mar-13, 03:32 AM
Hugh Ross is, excuse the French, talking out of his rear.


As the authors acknowledge in their paper, their model ?entails tuning? to ?the same degree of tuning required in any cosmological model.?4 Thus, it offers no escape from the extreme fine-tuning in cosmic parameters that clearly points to the biblical Creator.5


But that's not a problem because it's threshhold science. Here come the creationists: "if you don't know, then it must be God." We didn't know what caused lightning at one time. Must have been God. Only now we understand the basic mechanisms. Where did God go? This is the problem with ID, it fails once we get smart enough.



Counter to what the Bible declares, Steinhardt and Turok claim that the universe may not possess a singular beginning of matter, energy, space, and time.

Uh oh. Contradicting that great scientific document the Bible. No good can come from this, I tell you.




Absolutely, unequivocally untrue. Check out the Casimir Effect if you don't believe me and also check out quantum tunneling while you're at it.

[quote] Such violations of known laws would render stable physics impossible.

Untrue. Violations have to occur in such a way that the observable universe is possible, but that doesn't mean that no violations can occur. In fact we observe violations, so we have constraints on how violations behave.


Stephen Hawking and George Ellis drove this point home in a famous theorem they derived nearly thirty years ago called the vacuum conservation theorem.

Yes, and you can still get "violations" as long as you make up for it. That's all that Steinhardt is doing.


The result derived from this theorem is that in any system described by forces and fields (like the universe) something cannot be created from nothing.

What, praytell, do you think Hawking Radiation to be but a "something from nothing"? The solution is a violation, actually, of the basic black hole solution, but is a consequence of thermodynamics and IS consistent.


To be more precise, the vacuum must be stable against spontaneous generation of matter.

Unless you have conditions where it isn't. For example, near an event horizion.

Such a load of hooey I have not heard. It is a shame that they are wasting their time (and causing us to do the same).

Monkey Boy
2003-Mar-13, 02:58 PM
There's no uncertainty principle problem because the principle is a human creation and may have no basis to such a being.

the undertainty principle is an inextricable part of the laws of Physics, It is not a human conceit. In terms of g99's question it is made by, or is part of, God

We assumed God either is or made the laws. Saying that he could change the Laws whenever he cares to is daft. It was part of the Church's argument against Galileo, in that GG was trying to take away God's right to run the Universe by miracle.


Why is saying that God could change the Laws daft? What is your logical basis?
Who is to say that God only is the laws of physics or He created them? Why are we limited to only 2 possibilities?
Yes, the uncertainty principle is based on observation, but that observation is limited to humans' capabilities. My meaning that it's a human creation is that we have drawn such conclusions from our observations, which do have meaning to us. But would they have the same meaning to an omnipotent being?
Yes, the church has made many mistakes and mislead people in the past and present. But it is led by imperfect people who may be wrong about God, if He even exists.



Where was God when he set off the BB? I suppose he was outside the Bang area, (Ground Zero? ) he must still be outside it. So how can he communicate with or interfere with anything inside?

How can your prayer possibly be heard, let alone answered?

This possible counterargument says that if God set up the Laws of Physics, or if you prefer, he is the Laws of Physics, then his own Laws pervent him from doing anything



If there is a God and he is capable of setting up the laws of the universe, wouldn't that mean he has control over them.

Your approach has more value in classical mechanics


Ok, if He set things up and started the BB, maybe he exists in an alternate universe or another dimension. The fact that we cannot find evidence of Him being there, does not mean He wasn't.

One can also argue that God does not interfer with the universe and therefore prayer is useless. This still does not proof that there is no God, just shows that religion's interpretation is flawed.



However, these people are not interested in logic or fact. They are interested in controlling your mind

Zwi


There's really no basis for that, where is the 'mind controlling' going on?

Some form of religious belief is present in every human culture. I suspect that early on some hominids discovered that days would get longer after the winter solstice, and that the Nile would flood soon after Orion had appeared in some particular part of the sky They used this secret and arcane knowledge to control the other members of the tribe and to get a lion's share of the fruit of the hunt without the arduous and dangerous necessity of hunting. This priestly parasite class also took care of ceremonies at the beginning and the end of life, both profound mysteries.

Please note that although certain priests have taken vows of poverty they live high off the hog

A few refined their astronomical knowledge and attempted to control others and earn their daily bread by claiming that the wandering lights controlled the fortunes of men Theu clothed their secrets in more arcane knowledge, terminology and glyphs. They are called astrologers.


Ok, your theory may be true, but where is your evidence? People taking advantage of religious beliefs is an old concept -- eg TV evalgilists. But this corruption of religion is not an argument that there is no God, it is more an argument against organized religion, which has many flaws.

My whole point here is not to say that there is a God or that there is proof for one. Actually I'm just trying to show you cannot proof there isn't a God.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Monkey Boy on 2003-03-13 09:59 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Monkey Boy on 2003-03-13 10:01 ]</font>

Stuart
2003-Mar-13, 04:32 PM
On 2003-03-13 09:58, Monkey Boy wrote:
My whole point here is not to say that there is a God or that there is proof for one. Actually I'm just trying to show you cannot proof there isn't a God.

But the burden of proof doesn't lie with anybody to prove a negative; the burden lies with those who assert there is a God to prove their case.

(passing thought - Incidently, shouldn't this topic be transferred to the conspiracies section).

On a more general note "Intelligent Design" is a fraud. Its Bible-Literalist Creationism dressed up in a new suit of clothes. As far as I can see, the existance of ID is predicated by the prohibition on teaching religious dogma of any particular sect or creed in US schools. The Biblical-Creationists have been trying to get around that, to ban the teaching of evolution and replace it with Christian dogma, for decades. "Creation Science" was an initial effort; when that collapsed, it was replaced by "Intelligent Design".

What scares me is the damage that the supporters of these theories could do to our education system. Heaven knows, science teaching in schools is poor enough as it is. If the "Creation Science"/"Intelligent Design" fanatics get their way, scientific education will be gutted. It will become impossible to teach astronomy, physics, biology or geology (not to mention a whole load of other ologies). The net result will be the replacement of our existing secular education system with one that substitutes religious dogma for science.

Its interesting to note that the "Creation Scientists" and "Intelligent Design" people have exactly identical objective, the elimination of modern science in favor of uncritical acceptance of a holy book, as the hate-filled screaming Imans of the Madrassas. There is a friend of mine, a Colonel in the Royal Thai Army who has very strong opinions on such things. Some of the soldiers under her command were killed guarding secular schools and teachers from attacks by religious fundamentalists.

Has anybody ever looked to see if there is a membership correlation between Apollo Hoax Believers and "Creation Scientists" or "Intelligent Design" supporters? My guess would be that there is a substantial overlap.

My apologies to the BA is this post oversteps the rules in any way; if it does I promise not to do so again.

Monkey Boy
2003-Mar-13, 06:56 PM
On 2003-03-13 11:32, Stuart wrote:
[quote]On 2003-03-13 09:58, Monkey Boy wrote:
My whole point here is not to say that there is a God or that there is proof for one. Actually I'm just trying to show you cannot proof there isn't a God.


But the burden of proof doesn't lie with anybody to prove a negative; the burden lies with those who assert there is a God to prove their case.


True enough. In order to argue ID as a science, one must prove it to be true. I was arguing against Zwi's attempts to prove a negative.



What scares me is the damage that the supporters of these theories could do to our education system. Heaven knows, science teaching in schools is poor enough as it is. If the "Creation Science"/"Intelligent Design" fanatics get their way, scientific education will be gutted. It will become impossible to teach astronomy, physics, biology or geology (not to mention a whole load of other ologies). The net result will be the replacement of our existing secular education system with one that substitutes religious dogma for science.


Excellent points. ID has no place in a science classroom! All of the arguments about proof of the existence of God I've read start with the assumption and work backward to fit observations into that framework. Definitely not the scientific process!

Religion needs to stay out of public schools and out of the science classroom. As I've said before, the Bible is a moral guide, not scientific. The works were written during times of very little scientific knowledge, and they show that. This makes it a historical text to see how people viewed the world at the time a particular book was written.

Using the Bible or religious beliefs in a scientific setting only weakens religion. Religion is based in faith and thereby cannot hold up to the scrutiny of science. If it could, then no faith would be required to believe.

Kaptain K
2003-Mar-13, 07:04 PM
What scares me is the damage that the supporters of these theories could do to our education system. Heaven knows, science teaching in schools is poor enough as it is. If the "Creation Science"/"Intelligent Design" fanatics get their way, scientific education will be gutted. It will become impossible to teach astronomy, physics, biology or geology (not to mention a whole load of other ologies). The net result will be the replacement of our existing secular education system with one that substitutes religious dogma for science.

George W. is, if not a "creationist", then at least an "anti-evolutionist". Be afraid, be very afraid! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif

Stuart
2003-Mar-13, 07:37 PM
George W. is, if not a "creationist", then at least an "anti-evolutionist". Be afraid, be very afraid!

Actually, the same applies to Al Gore. Their statements at the time and under the circumstances were almost identical. The whole affair dates from the electtion campaign in Kansas where a school board attempted to force the teaching of "creation science" in schools. A New York Times piece by Nicholas Kristof reported about Bush "Characteristically, he does not believe in evolution--he says the jury is still out--but he does not actively disbelieve in it either; as a friend puts it, "he doesn't really care about that kind of thing."

However, the key to the situation was that the Kansas decision had made local vs state control of schools a very hot issue in the area. On that question of policy, Bush told The Associated Press "I'd make it a goal to make sure that local folks got to make the decision as to whether or not they said creationism has been a part of our history and whether or not people ought to be exposed to different theories as to how the world was formed."

His own preference, Bush said around the same time, was that "children ought to be exposed to different theories about how the world started." This echoed a similar statement Ronald Reagan made on the stump in 1980.

At the same time Al Gore said that he favored teaching evolution in the public schools, that the decision should be made at the local level, and that "localities should be free to teach creationism as well."

At a later date (after both had been reminded that the 1987 Supreme Court decision Edwards v. Aguillard prohibited teaching creationism because it constituted religious belief, the candidates "clarified" their position to say that creationism could be taught only in religion classes.

In other words politicians politiking. We can always tell when they're lying; their lips move.

The good news is that "Creation Science" and "Intelligent Design" also proved a loser for the Kansas Board of Education when voters ousted the creationists.

There's an important astronomy-based lesson in this; its necessary for those who understand an issue to confront the conspiracist-activists. Bush and Gore both acted the way they did in Kansas because that is what they both believed those particular voters wanted to hear. So its necessary for those who value Good Science and Good Astronomy to make sure that the facts of reality are made very clear.

zwi
2003-Mar-13, 10:54 PM
From Monkey Boys post




I was arguing against Zwi's attempts to prove a negative.

Zwi was trying to give g99 an argument to use against a creationist. Now you are giving him the counterarguments, and I hope he appreciates it.

As for me, as someone once said, Sire I have no need for such an hypothesis




Excellent points. ID has no place in a science classroom!


So what can we teach instead of creation and ID? I suggest either Lamarckian biology or astrologic sky gazing

Neither has any religious content or scientific validity, but they sure can lead to discussions

JOKE

Zwi



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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: zwi on 2003-03-13 17:57 ]</font>

beskeptical
2003-Mar-14, 10:08 AM
...shakes head in resigned frustration....

Old stuff, it's all old stuff. Genetic research has sooo surpassed these arguements.

Many people with religious convictions would like to believe science will support their religious models. And, for many of those persons they are genuine in their desire to accept the facts that appear supportive, and reject those that aren't. But the Universe is what it is and no amount of faith is going to change it. One can either seek to understand the Universe or seek to fit the Universe into their world.

At some point the evidence becomes sufficient to move the human mind along. Only a few hundred years ago, there was just as much resistence to seeing the Earth in its place in the solar system, in the MWG, and in the Universe. Not too many people are still trying to find scientific evidence that the Bible's description of 'the heaven's above' exists.

You can look all you want at the evidence for evolution and think you are seeing flaws in the theory until you get to genetic research. The box is open and we can see how it works down to the last detail.

Time frame within geologic limits: yes
Necessary components available: yes
Mechanism for life to form: yes
Mechanism for life to evolve: yes
Family tree traceable back to the first life forms: yes
All the branches traceable back to the first life forms: yes

It's a new world. There is no longer any doubt about evolution. No matter how much faith you have, the world is what it is.

Zathras
2003-Mar-14, 12:14 PM
On 2003-03-14 05:08, beskeptical wrote:
. . .
You can look all you want at the evidence for evolution and think you are seeing flaws in the theory until you get to genetic research. The box is open and we can see how it works down to the last detail.

Time frame within geologic limits: yes
Necessary components available: yes
Mechanism for life to form: yes
Mechanism for life to evolve: yes
Family tree traceable back to the first life forms: yes
All the branches traceable back to the first life forms: yes
. . .

Hey, I am definitely for evolution and against the various forms of creationism, but I don't think it helps the case for evolution if you oversell what we know. Truth be told, we really don't know the specifics of many of these issues "down to the last detail." If we did, there would be no point to the research in evolution, paleontology, etc. that is currently going on and will likely go on for a long time. To say we know all of this is finally and fully established will not win anybody over.

dgruss23
2003-Mar-14, 12:23 PM
zathras wrote: Hey, I am definitely for evolution and against the various forms of creationism, but I don't think it helps the case for evolution if you oversell what we know. Truth be told, we really don't know the specifics of many of these issues "down to the last detail." If we did, there would be no point to the research in evolution, paleontology, etc. that is currently going on and will likely go on for a long time. To say we know all of this is finally and fully established will not win anybody over.

That is a an excellent point Zathras. One problem is that for the creationists "uncertaintity" is taken as falsification. Meanwhile, they question the ability of selection to make changes as they pet their beagle on the left, their great dane on the right, and take their 5th dose of antibiotics to try to handle the superstrain of bacteria brewing in their system.

Autarch
2003-Mar-14, 07:21 PM
On 2003-03-07 00:13, Darth_Racer wrote:
For physical life to be possible in the universe, several characteristics must take on specific values, and these are listed below. In the case of several of these characteristics, and given the intricacy of their interrelationships, in my humble opinion, the indication of divine “fine tuning” seems incontrovertible.


Ah, the Strong Anthropic Principle is being cited. I'd just like to point out that if the universe wasn't capable of supporting life, the question would never get asked in the first place - so the question can only be asked in a universe in which life already exists. Thus the question can only be "why does the universe support life", as it's only asked in the universes which support life!

Autarch
2003-Mar-14, 07:35 PM
On 2003-03-09 18:13, Darth_Racer quoted an essay by Steve Sarigianis :
Professor Stenger makes the same unsupportable claim:

“If we properly compute, based on our actual knowledge rather than speculation, the probability for the universe’s existing with human life, the result is unity! We have only one datum, our universe, and it has human life.”

If human life is so easy to make, why can’t we make the simplest life in the lab?


Firstly, that's not what Stenger said - he said the probability of the universe existing with human life is 1 because it has ALREADY happened.

Here's an analogy:
I am male - it was determined oh so many years ago when my parents' genes combined.
The probability of being me being male is 1 because it's already happened.

That does not mean that it is easy to make a man (or woman for that matter).

beskeptical
2003-Mar-14, 11:43 PM
On 2003-03-14 07:14, Zathras wrote:
Hey, I am definitely for evolution and against the various forms of creationism, but I don't think it helps the case for evolution if you oversell what we know. Truth be told, we really don't know the specifics of many of these issues "down to the last detail." If we did, there would be no point to the research in evolution, paleontology, etc. that is currently going on and will likely go on for a long time. To say we know all of this is finally and fully established will not win anybody over.


I am not overstating it. I don't think many people, except those in the genetic research field, understand what kind of break throughs have been made. That's one reason I keep going on and on about it.

In the next decade you will see more and more results of genetic research. The advances in genetic science are going to change the whole field of medicine, and probably a lot of other biological fields as well.

The biggest breakthrough came when the technology was developed that could isolate and manipulate tiny fragments of DNA. From there the genetic code was literally broken and decoding has begun.

That doesn't mean there is no more research to accomplish. Every discovery leads to more research, not less. But when you can trace the development from molecules to advanced life forms step by step, gene by gene, chromosome by chromosome, and that is the theory of evolution, there's not much left to prove.

How do you tell people there's a new open door when they don't believe it because they haven't had the chance to see it? Is there something specific you don't think has been discovered? Maybe I can find a resource for it.

_________________
Evolution is just a theory. Better fasten your seatbelt, so is gravity.
Beskeptigal.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: beskeptical on 2003-03-14 18:44 ]</font>

Zathras
2003-Mar-15, 12:23 AM
On 2003-03-14 18:43, beskeptical wrote:


On 2003-03-14 07:14, Zathras wrote:
Hey, I am definitely for evolution and against the various forms of creationism, but I don't think it helps the case for evolution if you oversell what we know. Truth be told, we really don't know the specifics of many of these issues "down to the last detail." If we did, there would be no point to the research in evolution, paleontology, etc. that is currently going on and will likely go on for a long time. To say we know all of this is finally and fully established will not win anybody over.


I am not overstating it. I don't think many people, except those in the genetic research field, understand what kind of break throughs have been made. That's one reason I keep going on and on about it.

In the next decade you will see more and more results of genetic research. The advances in genetic science are going to change the whole field of medicine, and probably a lot of other biological fields as well.

The biggest breakthrough came when the technology was developed that could isolate and manipulate tiny fragments of DNA. From there the genetic code was literally broken and decoding has begun.
. . .
How do you tell people there's a new open door when they don't believe it because they haven't had the chance to see it? Is there something specific you don't think has been discovered? Maybe I can find a resource for it.
. . .


Just because the genetic code has been broken does not mean that we understand the steps of evolution "to the last detail." As you state, we are just starting to look at the details of the genetic code. Completing this is necessary to understanding evolution to the last detail, although it is not sufficient.

For a lot of evolutionary theory, there are still a lot of questions to be answered, and frankly genetics cannot answer all of them on their own. Evolution is more than genetics alone; it is the interaction of genetics and the environment. Therefore, any imperfections in our understanding of the environment in the past is going to influence our understanding of evolution. Also, any misunderstandings in this interaction in general is going to affect our understanding of evolution (e.g. the debate over punctuated equilibrium).

This interaction between genetics and the environment gives rise to many unanswered questions. With respect to the origin of life, there are many unanswered fundamental questions about how the various cellular parts cam into being. There are several strong theories, but I think it is a bit of a reach to say we know for sure how every bit of the puzzle was put together. There is also the attempt to give evolutionary reasons for the psychological makeup of people, but these attempts seem to me to be speculative at best and are rejected by most psychologists.

One question I have on my own, and perhaps you can point to a reference for me on (since we're on the subject), is something on how probable it is that a mutation will be (a) viable and (b) helpful (I know that these might be linked, in that a mutation might only become helpful later and might be in the interim useless but harmless.) Just curious. In addition, perhaps you can also give a comprehensive reference whic ties together the recent findings in genetics to evolutionary theory.

JS Princeton
2003-Mar-15, 12:34 AM
How detailed do you want, Zathras?

There were two great sessions on Astrobiology at the last AAS Conference in Seattle that dealt with evolution and molecular biology from a wonderful perspective. Here (http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/alllife/threedomains.html) is a basic tutorial around the genetic seeds of evolution from an overall genetic picture (though it's not as detailed as I'd like to see). Nowadays, evolution on the largest scales can be tracked through tRNA base-pair mapping. It's really quite interesting.

Here's (http://www.biology.wustl.edu/~lososlab/schulte/Anguids99MPE.pdf) a paper on the topic of Molecular Phylogenetics and tRNA Evolution.

Zathras
2003-Mar-15, 01:19 AM
On 2003-03-14 19:34, JS Princeton wrote:
How detailed do you want, Zathras?

Why, as detailed as I can get, of course! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif


There were two great sessions on Astrobiology at the last AAS Conference in Seattle that dealt with evolution and molecular biology from a wonderful perspective. Here (http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/alllife/threedomains.html) is a basic tutorial around the genetic seeds of evolution from an overall genetic picture (though it's not as detailed as I'd like to see). Nowadays, evolution on the largest scales can be tracked through tRNA base-pair mapping. It's really quite interesting.

Here's (http://www.biology.wustl.edu/~lososlab/schulte/Anguids99MPE.pdf) a paper on the topic of Molecular Phylogenetics and tRNA Evolution.


Again, I only see genetics. Evolution is the interaction of genetics and the environment. The genetics described is is certainly important, but only descriptive, and not explanative. I am looking for a cause/effect relationship--how did x in the environment cause gene y to be favored? Or, in terms of the beginnings of life, how x in the environment facilitated y in the makeup of the beginnings of life? What is the probability that a change in one's genetic code is (a) viable(i.e., can the organism survive with the change?); (b) helpful(i.e. that it gives a competitive advantage over others); and (c) able to be passed on to progeny (i.e. does it render the specimen sterile with respect to others)

On a side note, why is this called "astro"biology?

JS Princeton
2003-Mar-15, 06:47 AM
Well, I think there are basically two sides to your coin. There's the long term and then there's the short term. I was trying to give you the tie between the "recent findings in genetics to evolutionary theory". This is seen through the second paper I cited in particular. In effect, evolution is best tracked through the base pairs of tRNA on a large scale (the tree of life).

Genetic mutations can be tracked long term through basic nucleic acids with particular functions (like tRNA or mitochondrial DNA). Mutations in nucleic acids can also be seen on a short term through random mispairings and radiation damage, for example. Evolutionaty changes can be tracked only over a period of generations, though variation can obviously also be seen on a short term. One of the problems is that the vast majority of mutations are not beneficial at all. Environment does tend to drive evolution, but the genetic changes are rather random as far as we can see. Natural selection keeps the beneficial ones, but environment drives completely which ones are beneficial and which ones are detrimental. Extremophiles, for example, have genes that allow them to survive and thrive in environments most life finds hostile. However, in non-extreme environments, these mutations are harmful. So, saying whether a particular mutation is harmful or not is nebulous at best.

There is an additional problem that the mechanism of gene mutation is not as straightforward as simple molecular biology. In particular, pseudogenes tend to dominate most of the genome. These are just throwaway sections of genetic code that are tracers of evolutionary history but not active. In some ways, pseudogenes are vital to our survival. Without them, we'd find ourselves running a much higher risk of genetic defects in offspring. Evolution occurs over the long term because we're well insured in case of damages (the majority of the code can be fooled with to no effect). Since there are huge numbers of gamete base-pairs that get thrashed around over the short range, there is a basic dice game that occurs passing from one mutation to another. Winning and losing then is based on the environment. It's a delicate balance, that's for sure.

Does environment influence the genes that are passed? You bet. That's natural selection seen in most basic biology texts. The weak part of the chain is how exactly the genetic traits relate to the base-pairs. In between these you have issues of how traits are related to genes and genes are related to the DNA itself. This is not a solved problem by any means. Some traits are straightforwardly linked to genes (like Mendel's peas). Other traits are not so simple (like human skin color). Evolutionary mutations, then, are nearly impossible at this point to see on a gene-by-gene basis. What we can look at is phenomenological evolution and genetic evolution. The relationship between the two, however, is not easy to come by for lack of completely understanding the way genetics relates to the macroscopic being.

We may have the human genome mapped, but we still can't genetically engineer a blue-haired baby. That's the basic story.

Kaptain K
2003-Mar-15, 07:46 AM
Nice post JS. One small nit-pick. You classified mutations as harmful or beneficial. There are also (apparently or currently) benign mutations. These are mutations that, under the conditions when thay occur, are neither beneficial nor benign, but can be either if the conditions change. For example, greater or lesser tolerance of cold is neither harmful nor helpful as long as the temperature remains moderate. When an ice age comes along, then one becomes beneficial ane the other becomes harmful.

JS Princeton
2003-Mar-15, 02:35 PM
Excellent point, Kap K.

By the way, the reason this is characterized as "astro"biology is because it has direct impact on our understanding of what to expect if we were to look for life outside of Earth. It has turned out that everywhere we have looked on Earth, life has found a way to live there. Over 99% of all life on Earth hasn't even been identified yet. Any attempt for us to look for life on another planet is necessarily going to be reliant on our search for life on our own (and the understanding of the mechanisms of its development).

beskeptical
2003-Mar-16, 08:25 AM
Thank you JS. I was just saying on the netequette thread how nice it is to have multiple poster responding to questions.

I only want to add a couple of things, she said when she began.....


Z. Just because the genetic code has been broken does not mean that we understand the steps of evolution "to the last detail."

This may just be a matter of semantics between us. What I mean by the last detail is the theory is complete. What it sounds like you are saying is 'last detail' means every single gene function and every detail of how a cell first arose has been determined.

We know all those biotech companies are racing to ID all those genes so they can be first to the patent office. And as to how cells formed from duplicating molecules, there's some progress looking at lipid chains that are believed to have formed the first cell membranes.

When I say to the last detail, I mean that there is no more uncertainty about evolution. No, none!

Molecules formed from their particular affinity to form bonds with certain other molecules. This led to RNA molecules with a double helix structure forming. RNA molecules had a particular ability to divide and replicate. Some of those divided molecules formed DNA instead of RNA. There is just one amino acid base pair difference between RNA and DNA. And so it went.


Z. For a lot of evolutionary theory, there are still a lot of questions to be answered, and frankly genetics cannot answer all of them on their own. Evolution is more than genetics alone; it is the interaction of genetics and the environment. Therefore, any imperfections in our understanding of the environment in the past is going to influence our understanding of evolution. Also, any misunderstandings in this interaction in general is going to affect our understanding of evolution (e.g. the debate over punctuated equilibrium).

It's appropriate to ask the very questions you are asking. But much of what you are asking does have some fairly solid reseach answering the questions.

Natural selection has a tendency to be oversimplified. There are many selection 'pressures' that act on random mutations. Disease, climate, preference by mates, and so on. Variation itself has a survival benefit.

An incredible amount of research has been done on selection pressures. It's not as mysterious as you seem to think.

As far as punctuated equilbrium, the answers are there as well. Some species remain relatively unchanged from millions of years ago. Others have come and gone.

Isolation can lead to a rapid change, especially when there is a severe challenge to survival. Take a small band of primates, have them move out of a territory due to population pressures, add a drought or ice age and you may get rapid (by human standards that's a couple thousand years) change to a new species. In the mean time the primates left behind change also but more gradually. In the end the two groups have common ancestors but neither are the same species. Look how fast dog species have changed with human induced selection pressures and you can see how quickly it can feasably occur. One asteroid probably induced incredible genetic diversification by creating small bands of survivors.

During human evolution, genetic evidence shows the human population was once large but was reduced to as few as a thousand members then repopulated the planet.

Migrations have been traced. We started in Africa. The first wave migrated to Australia along the coast of India. They left a genetic trail of offspring. Subsequent migrations went to Asia and then to Europe from Asia. We don't need to know the environment to follow the genetic trail.


Z. There is also the attempt to give evolutionary reasons for the psychological makeup of people, but these attempts seem to me to be speculative at best and are rejected by most psychologists.

Such as?

Why do female peacocks chose males with big tail feathers when smaller ones might indicate better survivability? There's a gene that likes bright colors. Why wasn't that gene overridden by the gene that preferred a better equipped male? I presume there were no predators eating up the slower fancier males so that trait didn't have much impact on the species. Whereas the gene that like pretty boys may have been coupled to another gene that made the females more agressive or more fertile.

You don't have to know all the selection pressures to understand the process.

Cultural evolution is actually a bit faster than genetic evolution. An aboriginal group living in Austraila for 60,000 years evolved dark skin for protection from ultraviolet rays. A European migrating there would wear a hat for that protection.

Now if you're refering to that moral stuff religious people seem to think only comes from god, well that's another thread. Look at meercats. They're pretty nice to eachother. Chimpanzies murder and go to war as well as take care of eachother according to Jane Goodall's wonderful work. Female kangaroos can and do abort their fetuses if necessary when threatened.


Z. One question I have on my own, and perhaps you can point to a reference for me on (since we're on the subject), is something on how probable it is that a mutation will be (a) viable and (b) helpful (I know that these might be linked, in that a mutation might only become helpful later and might be in the interim useless but harmless.) Just curious. In addition, perhaps you can also give a comprehensive reference whic ties together the recent findings in genetics to evolutionary theory.

Re the last question: Genetics is evolution. It is the language or more closely it's the code. I type on my keyboard and get words on the screen. The computer operates on a digital code to make that page appear. So is the computer the keyboard and hardware or is it the digital OS? Well it's both but you can't explain the computer without understanding the code. Genetics is the code of life.

The book I like which is comprehensive yet readable is "Evolution, the Triumph of an Idea", by Carl Zimmer, 2001.

Re the first part of your question, mutations occur at a fairly steady rate. On the other hand, some molecules and parts of molecules mutate much more readily than others.

The flu virus is a good example. Parts of it mutate readily thus outwitting your immune system frequently. Other parts of the virus are actually much more stable and don't change much from year to year.

The other part of this is that there is more than just mutation. There is gene mixing with each new offspring with sexual reproduction. Some viruses and bacteria can exchange DNA. Viruses and other mechanisms can add or delete DNA within cells. These can be permanent changes that are transferred to offspring. And genes can be turned on or off by various mechanisms which can have big impacts.

So part of the problem in explaining why evolution can result in such a variety of life forms in such a short period of time (3.5Byrs) is in discovering that it is a very complicated process with lots of variables as you have said. But progress in genetic research truely has reached the point where it is all understood.



JS P:In particular, pseudogenes tend to dominate most of the genome. These are just throwaway sections of genetic code that are tracers of evolutionary history but not active. In some ways, pseudogenes are vital to our survival. Without them, we'd find ourselves running a much higher risk of genetic defects in offspring. Evolution occurs over the long term because we're well insured in case of damages (the majority of the code can be fooled with to no effect).

Thought you might be interested, they have recently found the long repetitive chains between genes have been conserved from waaay back on the family tree. The conclusion? They must have some function or they wouldn't have lasted so long. Fascinating.

_________________
Evolution is just a theory. Better fasten your seatbelt, so is gravity.
Beskeptigal.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: beskeptical on 2003-03-16 03:51 ]</font>

Kaptain K
2003-Mar-16, 10:42 AM
Excellent post, Beskeptigal!

Couple of minor nitpicks:

There is just one amino acid base pair difference between RNA and DNA.
The difference between RNA and DNA is not in the amino acid base pairs, but in the "backbone of the molecule". The "R" in RNA stands for "Ribose", a five carbon sugar. The "D" in DNA is for deoxyribose, another five carbon sugar that differs from ribose in that it has one less oxygen atom per molecule (DUH!).

Look how fast dog species have changed with human induced selection pressures and you can see how quickly it can feasably occur.
All dogs, from toy chihuahuas to St. Bernards are the same species.

_________________
"There's a whole lotta things I've never done, but I ain't never had too much fun."
Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Kaptain K on 2003-03-16 05:44 ]</font>

JS Princeton
2003-Mar-16, 05:20 PM
Kap K---

A minor nitpick to your nitpick... while you're right that they are different nucleic acids, RNA does use the uracil base instead of DNA's thymine.

beskeptical
2003-Mar-17, 08:17 AM
On 2003-03-16 05:42, Kaptain K wrote:
Excellent post, Beskeptigal!

Couple of minor nitpicks:

There is just one amino acid base pair difference between RNA and DNA.
The difference between RNA and DNA is not in the amino acid base pairs, but in the "backbone of the molecule". The "R" in RNA stands for "Ribose", a five carbon sugar. The "D" in DNA is for deoxyribose, another five carbon sugar that differs from ribose in that it has one less oxygen atom per molecule (DUH!).


Look how fast dog species have changed with human induced selection pressures and you can see how quickly it can feasably occur.
All dogs, from toy chihuahuas to St. Bernards are the same species.


I was referring to the amino acids rather than the molecular structure but thanks for the additional info. And thank you again JS for your help.

As far as the dogs being one species, you are correct in that they can still reproduce together though I'm not sure all breeds have been tested with all other breeds. I appreciate your nit-pik so I shall revise my statement.

Look how fast dog breeds have changed with human induced selection pressures and you can see how quickly it can feasably occur. While they may not be different species yet, there is a tremendous difference between a dingo and a collie. Add a few more thousand years and you will get another species.

How's that? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

g99
2003-Mar-27, 04:09 AM
I think it is fairly safe to say that this person did not enter this debate because he/she was interested in learning. To bad. I had hoped that we would of encountered a ID'er who actually believed in a scientific discussion (without the whole pladurizing thing) . Well, i'm still looking than.

nebularain
2003-Mar-27, 04:24 AM
Well, since this topic was brought back up - if I may ask without getting into trouble or starting a flame war :-? - there has been evidence of a species changing to another species. Is there any evidence of species currently changing, or evolving, into a new phylum or a new order?

:o

(I love this charicature :o - he's so funny looking!)

g99
2003-Mar-27, 04:46 AM
I will have to check, and Beskeptical and JS Princeton would be the people with much more knowlege about this, but i think that they have grown the Fruit Fly into a new species.

JS Princeton
2003-Mar-27, 01:56 PM
Neb--

Phyla and orders are simply classifications that don't really have much of a rigorous evolutionary basis to them other than roughly separating out related species. In fact, as "mammals" are in the same order and our similarity evolutionarily is nearly identical to all other mammals in terms of the "big picture", these designations give a false sense of any sort of quantification of evolution. Qualitatively, though, it is true that things that are of the same "order" tend to be "more related" to each other than things of the same "class". Some orders, though, are not as evolutionarily distinct from each other as other orders and so changes within the constituent species tend to be more important. In terms of watching evolution in "real time" the best shot we've got is with microbes and other short life-cycle organisms that we can watch generations through. Even then, it takes a while for evolutionary changes to begin the processes of speciation. Speciation has been observed to occur in more than a few cases directly by scientists, but it requires a painstakingly long time if you are going to observe it directly. If you want to see changes on the larger scale (order to order, class to class, or phylum to phylum) you have to start looking in the past. This is why we use the fossil record and genetic data. They serve as roadmaps as to what life looked like in days of yore.

On the other hand, if you look at bacteria we have been tracking over the years, there has been some strange developments. Is it on the level of "phylum?"... well it's hard to say. Bacteria don't fall as cleanly into the categorical designations as macroscopic animals. Certainly attempts have been made to do this and microbiologists designate between different kinds of bacteria families, but strict categorical designation isn't as clean in that arena. What we have seen is a whole family of bacteria that, for example, lives in nuclear reactors capable of withstanding tremendous radiation. Whether these bacteria evolved that way over the last 60 years or so or whether they are descended from a naturally radiation-resistant bacteria I don't know the answer to. However, if you are going to see more than just tweaks to the evolutionary game, you're going to want to look at microorganisms since their time-scales for evolution are much more accessible to humans than most macroscopic animals.

tracer
2003-Mar-27, 04:18 PM
In other words, any entity confined to a single line of time, in which time cannot be stopped or reversed, must have a moment of beginning or creation.
Sorry, but this is patently untrue. There is nothing inherent in the arrow of time that requires it to have a starting point. An infinitely old universe was, in fact, one of the popular cosmological models before evidence of a "starting point" started to be discovered.

tracer
2003-Mar-27, 04:21 PM
In fact, as "mammals" are in the same order
Just a nitpick:

Mammals are a class, not an order.

aurorae
2003-Mar-27, 05:25 PM
Well, since this topic was brought back up - if I may ask without getting into trouble or starting a flame war :-? - there has been evidence of a species changing to another species.


Examples of one species to another:
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

and more examples:
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html

8)

JS Princeton
2003-Mar-27, 08:40 PM
In fact, as "mammals" are in the same order
Just a nitpick:

Mammals are a class, not an order.

Quite right. Those placentals vs. marsupials get me every time! :D

beskeptical
2003-Mar-28, 11:15 PM
There's no uncertainty principle problem because the principle is a human Ok, if He set things up and started the BB, maybe he exists in an alternate universe or another dimension. The fact that we cannot find evidence of Him being there, does not mean He wasn't.

One can also argue that God does not interfer with the universe and therefore prayer is useless. This still does not proof that there is no God, just shows that religion's interpretation is flawed.


Ok, your theory may be true, but where is your evidence? People taking advantage of religious beliefs is an old concept -- eg TV evalgilists. But this corruption of religion is not an argument that there is no God, it is more an argument against organized religion, which has many flaws.

My whole point here is not to say that there is a God or that there is proof for one. Actually I'm just trying to show you cannot proof there isn't a God.



Let me see if I have this right.

There is no evidence god exists within the realm of the BB. There is no evidence god interferes in the Universe. There is evidence of human exploitation of the concept of gods.

But, gods could exist in an alternate Universe. Lack of interference in the Universe does not disprove potential interference. And, an alternate explanation for belief in gods, (humans using said beliefs to take advantage of other humans), for which there is evidence, does not disprove the existence of gods.

OK, I'll buy that.

Dickenmeyer
2003-Mar-30, 09:07 PM
In fact, as "mammals" are in the same order
Just a nitpick:

Mammals are a class, not an order.

Quite right. Those placentals vs. marsupials get me every time! :D
Don't forget the monotremes! You do not want the Platypus Defence Foundation to send you an angry letter!

JS Princeton
2003-Mar-30, 10:24 PM
What about the Ekidna Defense Foundation? Won't someone think of the ekidnas? :lol:

g99
2003-Mar-30, 10:30 PM
I'm sticking up for the Muties. They have to have a defense fund. Otherwise who will protect them? Mutations are living too!.

Dickenmeyer
2003-Mar-31, 03:53 AM
What about the Ekidna Defense Foundation? Won't someone think of the ekidnas? :lol:
They're such a prickly lot , I didn't mean to duck the issue of the other monotremes. Now I must have egg on my face.

Donnie B.
2003-Mar-31, 02:33 PM
What about the Ekidna Defense Foundation? Won't someone think of the ekidnas? :lol:
They're such a prickly lot , I didn't mean to duck the issue of the other monotremes. Now I must have egg on my face.
I've had it with all these venomous remarks from you males!