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Round Two: God vs. Darwin


Fishteacher73
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You keep harping on SPECIFIC this and that......
It might be productive if you would actually read what I write before you misinterpret it and launch an attack. I don't expect to respond to you anymore publicly, given the lack of utility. Feel free to communicate by private email. You have not responded to my email I sent you last week.
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If you look at Oparin's experiments (from the '50s as I recall) he tried to set up some hypothetical model of the primodial environment, and then challenge that environment with assaults that might have been extant. As I recall, he took ammonia, methane and water and ran electricity through it for awhile to see what showed up. I frankly can't recall which organic compounds surfaced, but something did (somebody help me here. I haven't read about this since 1973 or 4).

 

Sounds like you are discussing Stanley Miller's work, not Oparin. In late 1952 (published in 1953) Stanely Miller tried to model the prebiotic Earth's atmosphere using a strongly reduced mixture, of ammonia, methane, molecular hydrogen, and water vapor. He then used electric discharges to simulate lightning flashing through the atmosphere. Most of the products were "gook" but something like 10% was amino acids. Both L- and D- amino acids were produced, and more non-biological ones than biological ones.

 

Oparin's theory preexisted Miller's experiment.

 

 

Biochemist: When I first read about this stuff, I was struck by the open issues and non sequiturs (e.g., the environment was increasing hostile to organization, and certainly not heading toward a sustainable life-like environment).

 

Actually, his setup favored life-generating conditions. In general, his strongly reduced atmosphere produces organics more efficiently than do today's models, which tend to be based on a neutral or weakly reduced atmosphere.

 

Biochemist: But what always made me chuckle is that most readers took this as evidence that organics products could organize, wherease I took it as the reverse.

 

Even if Miller never did his experiments, we'd still have great reason to accept that organic compounds - nitrogenous bases, amino acids, etc. - can form abiotically in nature: we've found them in meteorites.

 

Biochemist: We could easily envision a contemporary extension to the old Oparin experiments to demonstrate that destructive products outweigh constructive products in any testable environment, and then builkd a probabilistic case on the results.

 

I agree.

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TeleMad: The person who responded to me did not correct me. I was correct and she was wrong.

 

Biochemist: You are amazing.

 

Stop, you're making me blush....

 

Biochemist: She was absolutely correct.

 

Nope, she was wrong.

 

Biochemist: Incontrovertibly.

 

In your dreams.

 

Biochemist: And you were absolutely wrong.

 

Nope, I was correct.

 

Biochemist: Incontrovertibly.

 

Still dreaming about me?

 

Biochemist: I think with a little more lithiium and a little more haloperidol you might be able to negotiate these conversations.

 

Tsk tsk, more personal jabs from you.

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Gracious, quite a tome Paultrr. Let me see if I understand some of this. Apologies if some of my truncations altered your intent.

 

I agree, take the starting point that evolution uses and make the assumption that if the ID perspective where correct there ought to be evidence out there on a designer and then follow the evidence out and see if one can or cannot find the evidence. Evolutionists, and I am one of them generally ascert that all the evidence thus far says there is not an intelligent designer behind it.
I think it is fairer to say there is no evidence supporting ID, versus that there is evidence against.

 

We are all talking when it comes to the start of life itself about a period in earth's history when there are few if any real preserved evidences from.... Guys like Steven Hawking put it right not every condition we find now may have fully been the same then....

Its also true that if something conspired to allow one of these often considered major events that seem to defy current probability then that in itself makes the rest far more likely to have occured. That's one thing about all this that I notice the ID camp does not bother to realize....When it comes to probability there is such a thing as a snowball effect where once one thing becomes more possible and actually occurs that a lot of other unlikely events tend to take place because of that one event changing the odds. Its almost like a rigged game from that point onward..

As I have said before, I don't think IDers are homogeneous (any more than evolutionists are) and given the nascence of the ID discussion, we would expect a lot of different types of thinking on the core hypothesis. That said, I think some IDers are looking for exactly this kind of target. I think they want to find a discontinuity like the one you described and "call for the question". That is , "Is the discontinuity a naturally explicable phenomenon as we might experience at present, or is it not". If it is not, we would have to either accept the notion of a designer, or acknowledge that laws were different previously, as Hawking implied was possible. This would advance the discussion.

 

Now, even given all this there is actually nothing that actually says that an Intelligent Designer could not have used natural built in process like we have in evolution to achieve his or her's or itss ends.
I think most IDers believe this.

 

For a Christian that would seem to discount faith. But so what. All camps on this should be after the truth because even with science that is what we are supposed to be after.
I don't think trust in cause-and-effect discounts faith at all.

 

Forget for the moment the whole odds thing. It really is no more of a real solid answer than any of our best theories on a period in earth's history when there is little hard evidence on. Science is supposed to rely upon observation and experimental evidence.
Yes, but large bodies of science are highly inferential. Certainly a significant fraction of paleontology and cosmology theory are based on inference. I think the core discomfort of the IDers is that they do not infer Naturalism from the scientific record, and others do.

 

When it comes to the period when life first evolved.... there is no real evidence around anymore to observe and fully experiment with. Current modeling has also begun to suggest that the ideas of some simple warm sea of sort are off also.......So lets start there in this kind of quest.

 

Now someone in the ID camp could ask the question in the recorded record we do have is their evidence of interference or say, prebuilt in patterns that seem to be working towards an end. Someone in the evolution camp could try and determine how its possible this prebuilt in patterning or path could be just of natural causes alone.

I concur.
I might add, if I was a smart supporter of the ID position, just to be sure, I'd be trying to determine the type of designer this being would actually be if the evidence is really there......If evolutionists ever discover there was some basic hidden code in creation that seemed to imply some intelligence behind creation we'd sure be wanting to learn who this designer really was..
I do expect that most IDers are Christians, and that they made that decision (about which Creator) based on other evidence or expeiences. I have not met an IDer who is not Christian. Has anyone?

 

I suspect its because deep down they haul their own personal beliefs into the whole research to begin with.
I think almost everyone hauls their personal beliefs into their research. Bias is normal, not an abberrancy.

 

The assumption on our part tends to blind us somewhat to possible hidden details that might or might not be there.
Agreed.

 

One simple example I can think of is ....duplicat(ing) different early conditions and see if we can bring living order out of inanimate materials..... If somehow we discovered in all that that the only way one can get things right is by someone forcing everything to work then that could constitute hard evidence that some designed was involved.
Agreed.

 

I'd also be willing to agree that one had evidence that this designer was personal, was someone or something that desired creating life and someone outside of the known universe at present. He or she or It could be like us and they could be different. Beyond that we'd still have no evidence on anything else except that intelligent designer seems to be the case. I do not know if that example helps any. Its just a suggestion and nothing else. But it would be following scientific methods towards an end to persue something along those lines.
I am not sure I understand this point, but if I do, you are suggesting that the personal nature of the Creator could be inferred by the scientific method. I confess I can't think of a system that would do that. Do you have one in mind?
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paultrr: Now, even given all this there is actually nothing that actually says that an Intelligent Designer could not have used natural built in process like we have in evolution to achieve his or her's or itss ends.

 

Biochemist: I think most IDers believe this.

 

If the claim is that the designer setup nature for evolution and then let it work all on its own, producing all extant life from a single common ancestor, then no, most IDists don’t believe that. Take Behe, for example, who argues about systems he believes evolution couldn’t produce. And Dembski has also done this by trying to validate Behe's IC systems with his own CSI (complex specified information) concept.

 

The people who believe God didn’t directly intervene throughout history to create this and that, but instead used evolution to accomplish his biological goals all by itself, are theistic evolutionists, not IDists.

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The people who believe God didn’t directly intervene throughout history to create this and that, but instead used evolution to accomplish his biological goals all by itself, are theistic evolutionists, not IDists.
I understand the point, but neither group is homogeneous. Nearly all (and perhaps all) IDers belive in reproducibility of the vast majority of extant natural law, because they support the scientific method. This gives them some overlap with theistic evolutionists. IDers look for evidence of design at points other than the inception of the system. IDers also look for design in systems outside biology.
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The people who believe God didn’t directly intervene throughout history to create this and that, but instead used evolution to accomplish his biological goals all by itself, are theistic evolutionists, not IDists.

That makes sense but regardless of what you call it, any belief in a supernatural being is by definition unscientific. You can't have it both ways.

 

Science requires a testable model. That means a theory must abide by the laws of nature, not conjedture. ID is not a theory. And for those who believe in a non-intervening supernatural entity, what would be the point? An absent god is no god.

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And for those who believe in a non-intervening supernatural entity, what would be the point? An absent god is no god.

 

Right. I've tried to nail theistic evolutionists down on their position and they always skirt the issue.

 

1) If their God does NOT intervene, and nature/evolution does it all, then Ockham's razor finds God to be a useless, unneeded assumption; and He should be eliminated.

 

2) If their God does intervene during the course of evolutionary history to create some biological structures/mechanisms that evolution couldn't create on their own, then they are actually IDists (which theistic evolutionists tend to despise).

 

As far as I can tell, the first is their position (though none has every come out and said this). But how consistent is it?

 

And even if they can make it logically sound, the adjective theistic is useless, not only because it is a non-scientific term attached to a scientific one, but also because their view of evolution is exactly the same as regular evolution. It's kind of like calling oneself a democractic evolutionist or a republican evolutionist, as if those terms had any scientific meaning.

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Time to get the facts straight on another issue from this thread.

 

Biochemist: You were corrected earlier on the identical issue by another poster when you suggested that the odds of a specific mix of gasses in the room were 1 in 10^50, and yet the mix is there. But the odds of ANY gas mix existing in the room is 1/1. The odds of MATCHING it again are FAR SMALLER. Did you understand her point?

 

TeleMad: 1) The person who responded to me did not correct me. I was correct and she was wrong. [i thought Biochemist was referring to Lolic's original statement that I challenged, but now I see that Biochemist was referring to lindagarette's reply to me]

 

2) You are wrong here. The odds of ANY gas mix existing in the room is NOT 1/1. For example, what are the odds that the room she was in had 99% CO2 and 1% helium? Are you saying that it was 1:1???????

 

3) Your emphasized word - MATCHING - was MY original point: the lack of a specification. Events of extremely small probability occur all the time. But add a specification and they don't.

 

Another interesting trickster. Take my own point and try to make it look like it counters me! Some of you people are amazing!

 

Now here's the original series of exchanges on this. Unless I missed a reply to my last post that might have been posted much later in the thread, my last point went unchallenged.

 

 

 

Lolic: “Absurd" has a mathematical definition in physics: any probability less than 1 in 10 to the 50th is, by definition, absurd.

 

TeleMad: But the probability that the molecules of N2 and O2 in the room you are in would have the exact arrangement they do right at this moment has a probability smaller than 10^-50 ... yet it occurred.

 

Dont' forget that...

 

1) Demski's has a second condition: that the complexity must be SPECIFIED. Demski's explicitly states that events of extremely small probability occur all the time: his claim is that SPECIFIED events of small probability do not occur by chance.

 

2) Dembski rejects Borel's universal probability bound of 10^-50, using 10^-150 instead.

 

lindagarette: It doesn't make sense to use probability for existing occurrances. The probability that I exist in the universe is 1. The probability that another me exists is absurd.

 

TeleMad: So if someone wins the state lottery 100 times in a row, no one should question that, since the fact that it occured means the probability is 1?????

 

So how exactly was I shown to be wrong Biochemist?

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TeleMad: But the probability that the molecules of N2 and O2 in the room you are in would have the exact arrangement they do right at this moment has a probability smaller than 10^-50 ... yet it occurred.
This is incontrovertibly incorrect. The probablility of the exiting configuration of molecules occuring is 1, becasue it was not specified in advance. The probability that it will occur again is miniscule, and certainly smaller than 1 in 10^50. This was the point of the author, and you sidesteped it..
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....any belief in a supernatural being is by definition unscientific. You can't have it both ways.

 

Science requires a testable model. That means a theory must abide by the laws of nature, not conjedture. ID is not a theory. And for those who believe in a non-intervening supernatural entity, what would be the point? An absent god is no god.

Sorry I didn't notice this post LindaG. Good point.

 

I think you are fundametally correct in the second portion of your assertion. Science does require a testable model. But I am not sure about the first part.

 

There are (at least) two cases where the theistic model is compatible with the scientific method:

 

1) if the Creator intervenes rarely, the discontinuity might be discoverable by the scientific method

2) if the Creator intervenes consistently, the nature of a reproducible event could be characterized as improbable without assistance.

 

The first proof cases could be empirical if you could find "before" snapshots and "after" snapshots and describe the implausibility of the transition. I think examples of the second are purely probablistic and much more complicated. I frankly can't tell which camp Individual ID proponents are in.

 

Good post, LindaG

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Sorry I didn't notice this post LindaG. Good point.

 

There are (at least) two cases where the theistic model is compatible with the scientific method:

 

1) if the Creator intervenes rarely, the discontinuity might be discoverable by the scientific method

2) if the Creator intervenes consistently, the nature of a reproducible event could be characterized as improbable without assistance.

 

The first proof cases could be empirical if you could find "before" snapshots and "after" snapshots and describe the implausibility of the transition. I think examples of the second are purely probablistic and much more complicated. I frankly can't tell which camp Individual ID proponents are in.

 

Good post, LindaG

In the first place, there is no theistic "model," there is only a belief system. Science requires consistency . There is no probability involved in ID since even the belief is that each "miraculous" even occurred only once. If it occurred by whim of the supernatural being, then it cannot be tested. If it occurred by natural means, then it is disproves ID. Again, you can't mix science with supernatural. They cancel each other out.
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TeleMad: But the probability that the molecules of N2 and O2 in the room you are in would have the exact arrangement they do right at this moment has a probability smaller than 10^-50 ... yet it occurred

 

This is incontrovertibly incorrect.

 

Nope, not at all.

 

Biochemist: The probablility of the exiting configuration of molecules occuring is 1,

 

Read what I said again.

 

If I had said, "But the probability that the molecules of N2 and O2 in the room you are in have the exact arrangement they do right at this moment" then yeah, the probability would be 1. But that's not what I said.

 

What I did say was, "But the probability that the molecules of N2 and O2 in the room you are in WOULD HAVE the exact arrangement they do right at this moment" then the probability is not 1: it's smaller than 10^-50.

 

Do you see the difference?

 

1) The probability that something that did occur did occur is 1.

 

2) The probability that something that did occur WOULD HAVE occurred can be any number from 0 to 1 inclusive (except for 0 itself).

 

In case you still don't get it, consider this. Someone thoroughly shuffles a deck of normal playing cards and I select one card: it's the 5 of hearts. So, what is the probability that I did select the 5 of hearts? 1. What is the probability that I WOULD HAVE selected the 5 of hearts? 1 in 52. Very different probabilities.

 

So once again I'm right and you're wrong.

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"In the first place, there is no theistic "model," there is only a belief system. Science requires consistency . There is no probability involved in ID since even the belief is that each "miraculous" even occurred only once. If it occurred by whim of the supernatural being, then it cannot be tested. If it occurred by natural means, then it is disproves ID. Again, you can't mix science with supernatural. They cancel each other out."

 

A theistic model, without any belief would be that there simply might have been an outside first cause(No personality by definition attached here). That does not require one to believe either way. Its simply asking a question and going on from there to try and prove or disprove the situation either way. Any outside first cause would by definition show up somewhere within the evidence that is there. Where and if it showed up would be subject to scientific observation and experiment. The fact that this first cause remains outside of nature if such was found simply translates to our inability to discover more information about that first cause. That does not mean we cannot observe any evidence for a first cause that would be present within nature. Evidence would simply be limited to something left as a mark inside of nature itself in that case.

 

Theistic evolution, when I was growing up was one of the alternatives out there. On a personal level from what I've seen of the ID camp they tend to be a form of such remolded a bit. Theistic evolutionists where never simply all out of one camp to begin with when it came to religious beliefs. Einstein, by all his few remarks about God was simply a Deist. Some of them came out of Christian camps, some Jewish, some other religions. The difference with the ID camp seems to be that a lot of their more vocal supporters all come from Christian backgrounds which does color their presentation a lot. At Einstein's time period most of what we have today as evolution was not the majority view at all. So, around his period if this conversation had been held one might have found a presentation of strick evolutionary views as being discribed as unscientific during that era.

 

Part of the problem here, which was what I was trying to point out is neither dogmatic side is willing to compromise enough for any honest discussion. The ID's cannot abandon their commonly held belief systems enough to venture into a real discussion of any evidence outside of odds. The evolutionists tend to not even be willing to look at anything besides their own perspective themselves. I, perhaps should stress, that personally I've never seen any evidence that favors some outside Creator. If anything I've seen plenty of evidence against such. Yes, and Telemad rather seems to have not noticed some of my own comments here that I do support evolution. I personally do not believe in a Creator at all. But the idea here in these groups is open discussion, not dogmatic presentation, with the hell bent intent of always being right on everything. For a real discussion to take place both sides have to be willing to give and take some which seems beyond some minds in both camps at the present.

 

One thing that should be done away with to start is debate over odds. Trying to pin down odds on events no one was around to witness is foolish on both sides. Odds can be argued either direction and are very subject to initial conditions, some of which we simply do not fully know at present. If we knew everything then our models on say solar system birth and early galaxy formation would not keep showing up as lacking certain aspects as far as predictions go.

 

Basically, untill such time as both camps are willing to bend a little and take an honest together look at the subject I might suggest there can be no real winner in all this because there is no real discussion going on only bickering which serves neither parties cause in the end run and only tends to turn people off.

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The real central reason that debating odds provides no real solution on the whole debate is simple:

 

1.) If there was some natural condition unknow at the present when inanimate chemicals first altered into living, pattern reproducing capability then from that point on the odds are all tipped in favor of evolution as we understand it.

 

2.) If there was some First Cause, call it an intelligent designer, who started that process which tends after a point to follow natural paths, then again the odds are tipped in favor of natural observed processes.

 

In general, the start of life is a period we assume took place by natural process simply because everything after that point points to a natural origin. But we make that assumption upon time periods and conditions we can study. The start of life took place in a period with little evidence at all on. There are known aspects of that time period we do not fully understand and untill we have a complete picture of such our general assumption because of the tipping of odds may or may not be the full correct picture.

 

Guys like Hawking have no problem talking or discussing God. Hawking has done so many times over in his own books and he is an evolutionist. His science does not depend upon weither God does or does not exist. He takes the scientific method as its own supporting evidence and admits at times there could be a God out there. He also does a damn good job at showing that if there is a God out there that God is certainly not the one most religions tend to believe in. What we understands is that one cannot prove or disprove God on a slide rule or over a set of odds. He understands that science is far more than computing odds of some processes taking place. The type of Science Hawking upholds does not fall apart simply because one chooses to believe in a Creator or not. Its also a Science that recognizes that there are open questions on this subject and on the start of life that at the present neither side has an exact solution on. In short, his type of science, one I tend to favor over the dogmatic type, does not depend fully upon assumptions and keeps an open eye.

 

Boil it all down, Telemad you are an athiest. You're athiesm is not or never has been the only viewpoint out there. Boil it all down and most of the ID camp, while trying to follow somewhat scientific methods or ideas, believes there is a God and that God is in most cases within the ID camp the Christian God. Again something that is not the only viewpoint in this world. Atheism at its core is a belief system that there is absolutely no evidence for a God and nothing outside of nature exists. Looking at the recent poll on the subject of God one finds that not everyone even in this forum agrees with that belief or assumption system you hold to. I think its safe to say that not all scientists out there agree totally with you either. On the other hand not everyone agrees with the ID camp either, especially on the type of God they tend to support.

 

We have, at least in my own country freedom to express ones views and beliefs. That also tends to give people the right to state those views weither or not those views or fully correct or not. Its fine to try and show why a certain set of beliefs of views might be wrong. But at the same time bickering debate serves no honest purpose. Basically, you're both arguing apples and oranges when the real cart is full of some undefined at present fruit.

 

Perhaps both of you just love arguing for the sake of trying to be right all the time. Have either of you ever considered the third alternative that niether of you may be fully correct or right? I suspect the answer would be no because you both love to think you are right. Give up the debate. Its a draw at best and neither is ever going to admit defeat.

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atheism

 

 

 

(ā´thē-ĭz´´m) , denial of the existence of God or gods and of any supernatural existence, to be distinguished from agnosticism, which holds that the existence cannot be proved. The term atheism has been used as an accusation against all who attack established orthodoxy, as in the trial of Socrates. There were few avowed atheists from classical times until the 19th cent., when popular belief in a conflict between religion and science brought forth preachers of the gospel of atheism, such as Robert G. Ingersoll. There are today many individuals and groups professing atheism. The 20th cent. has seen many individuals and groups professing atheism, including Bertrand Russell and Madalyn Murry O'Hair.

 

You know, its interesting I grew up in the time period of Madalyn Murry O'Hair and found her own stance on all this to be as dogmatic as the general religious tend to be. The majority of scientists out there would more tend to fall under the agnosticism camp, which holds that the existence cannot be proved. which is rather where most of the people who take part in these forums are at.

 

54% tend to believe in one form of a God or another.

 

45.95 fall into the other camps which includes atheism. We're not the majority here, if anything the ID camp type solution even down to the God of the Gaps as some of us used to term theistic evolution would be.

 

Einstein once said, "I see a pattern, but my imagination cannot picture the maker of that pattern. ... let alone God. There are many noted scientists who believe in God. They believe that by definition even a very high probability does not amount to a proof there is no God. These are all words scientists from time to time have stated in one way or another. Boil it down, the center position of science is not that there is no God. Its that there is no proof of a God. A real scientists would not be shaken if in the end run there ever was discovered evidence of such. Most of us just doub't with all the current evidence out there that such will ever happen. But its not ruled out as a possible solution simply because of some set of odds anymore than some set of odds proves there is a God. Initial conditions tend to dictate odds or at least the odds of outcomes after a point. Untill we know exactly those initial conditions there will always be a debate on this subject and different people will always take different positions on the subject.

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