Epigenetics prove original sin!

Discussion in 'Religion' started by garbonzo, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    No, they are due to the fact that the human reproductive process is not perfect. (BTW far more fetuses just plain die than are born conjoined; it's a very rare reproductive "mistake.")
    How would that possibly help any humans?
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

    They are now. In another ten thousand years they will be as different as jackals and dogs are. In another hundred thousand years they will be as different as hyenas and dogs are.
    If you can accept that small changes occur in a small time, you have to accept that large changes can occur over large times.
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  5. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Do you think I live in Kansas? Pssh. No, conjoined twins are just the result of a bad series of mitoses early in development. The occasional congenic deformity or disability happens because there's not much selection pressure against it. It sort of illustrates that thing about genetics and result.

    But since you mention it, why does God want conjoined twins? Are they an expression of His love?
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  7. garbonzo Registered Senior Member

    To quote someone, “There was A book entitled the ” Encyclopedia of Ignorance “, and what I remember most was the 16 or so pages with the chemical reactions in diagram describing what would be necessary to form Left Handed Amino Acids .It was utterly complex and mind boggling.”

    I’ve seen similar calculations done regarding the same and they involved long strings of zero’s.

    Just to get past the infinitely tall hurdles to collect just a few building blocks necessary for life (all by accident) is incredibly fanciful.

    To revisit a point already made, if godless evolution were a fact the billions of productive ‘accidents’ or ‘mutations’ needed to result in the abundant life on earth would necessitate even more, really innumerable bad mutations, meaning that mutations would be the rule rather than the exception. This is not the case though. Mutations are rare and by far result in a bad outcome for the organism.

    To reiterate – if godless evolution were a fact, mutations and beneficial mutations would be as common as rain. The evidence would be overwhelming and right in front of our eyes. But alas, this is not the case. Species remain static.

    The math simply does not favor evolution much less the formation of even comparatively ‘simple’ Left Handed Amino Acids as scientists have admitted.

    Belief in blind evolution is still on the same level as spontaneous generation. It’s devotees hide their head in the sand ignoring the real math that destroys the entire premise.
  8. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Bad mutations die before they're born.

    Who's hiding their head?
  9. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    I know! That would be like someone winning the lottery twice. Oh yeah, that has already happened, a few times.

    This is known as a strawman. Benificial mutations can be rare and still cause change - it just takes a long time.

    It is 'right in front of our eyes'. Species are not static.
  10. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Euphemistically called "Institute for Creation Research" as I will presently demonstrate:

    Nope. Mutations are very common in primitive species such as viruses, which is why a new flu shot is needed every season. Even creationists get the flu. Mutations are common in bacteria, which is how they acquired anti-microbial drug resistance. Even creationists get MRSA infections. The peanut is an example of a hybrid which is not even a mutation. It's the result of crossbreeding. Even creationists can live on peanuts. It introduces another aspect of evolution, sexual selection. Evolution by artificial selection exploits this. Even creationists own chihuahuas and French poodles, which evolved from wolves through artificial selection.

    Mutations are rare in species which have evolved the automatic genetic error correction mechanisms such as Homo sapiens sapiens. But other animals suffer birth defects!

    Cleft lips and palates are occasionally seen in cattle and dogs, and rarely in sheep, cats, horses, pandas and ferrets.

    God punishes even the pandas and ferrets!

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    -- occasionally even the pets of people who stand in picket lines harassing abortion patients, and those who attack the teaching of

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    Intelligent Design?

    That is usually the case. In rare cases the bad mutations linger, causing inordinate suffering and death. Rarer still, the individual lives long enough to reproduce, passing the torture forward to future generations.

    Let's break "bad mutations" into the following groups and let's consider how creationism builds gaping fallacies around them. And we begin, of course, as they do: that a personal God deliberately created all of these human beings, whose lives are sacred, by breathing "souls" into them at the moment of conception:

    1. Early term spontaneous abortions:
    Around half of all fertilized eggs die and are lost (aborted) spontaneously, usually before the woman knows she is pregnant. . . Most miscarriages occur during the first 7 weeks of pregnancy. NIH.

    God breathes souls into babies and then kills them

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    -- unknown to the parents -- including babies of about half of the people who ever stand in picket lines harassing abortion patients.

    2. Late term spontaneous abortions:

    • Chromosome problems
    • Exposure to environmental toxins
    • Hormone problems
    • Infection
    • Physical problems with the mother's reproductive organs
    • Problem with the body's immune response
    • Serious body-wide (systemic) diseases in the mother . . . such as diabetes Ibid.
    God breathes souls into babies and then kills them late term

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    , leaving the parents to suffer -- including babies of about 1 out of 160 of the people who ever stand in picket lines harassing abortion patients.
    3. Birth defects

    God breathes souls into babies and then gravely injures them, leaving them and their parents to suffer a life of torture and/or a childhood burial

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    -- including babies of about 3 out of 100 of the people who ever stand in picket lines harassing abortion patients.
    4. Recessive defects

    It is expected that both parents of an affected child are entirely normal, even though they both carry the altered gene. Couples who have had a child affected with a recessive disorder (or who are both known to be carriers of a recessive gene by testing) have a 25% chance that any future child will have the disorder, a 25% chance that the child will inherit both normal copies of the gene, and a 50% chance that the child will inherit a normal copy of the gene from one parent, and an abnormal copy of the gene from the other (will be a carrier). Children's Hospital of Chicago.

    God creates babies, then throws the dice to see if they should inherit a recessive birth defect leaving them to a life of torture and/or premature death

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    -- including babies of a random number of people who ever stand in picket lines harassing abortion patients.

    So why does God do that?

    If God were a fact, then nothing would make sense.

    Only in a world that denies natural selection in order to shore up the interpretation of myth as historical narrative. And that's the only reason they are harassing patients at the abortion clinics. That's the only reason they are attacking evolution and one of the main reasons they are attacking climate science.

    It is, but your eyes have to be open to see it. Read any life sciences textbook. There are entire journals dedicated to the subject of mutations, birth defects and topic in evolutionary biology.

    To some extent, until they become extinct because the mutations have not presented a trait that survives some change in the niche.

    Correct. Evolution is rare. But when there are billions of individuals created within a matter of days, such as bacteria, populations will evolve rapidly. Therefore the argument is moot.

    Then let God be the Intelligent Designer who creates innocent life and then maims and slaughters it for his own pleasure. Or just go to school and learn biology. Your choice.

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    Blind Evolution or Intelligent Design?

    The only calculus being used is the one that forces all of science to be incorrect just to allow myth to be interpreted as historical narrative.

    Then there's the math of evolved traits: sickle cell anemia -- to ward off malaria, white pigmentation -- to manufacture Vitamin D from sunlight at high latitudes, and of course that pesky little problem of explaining all the hominin fossils

    But here's where the math gets fun. Compute the probability of correlating the following sequences if humans did not evolve from a common ancestor with the other apes.

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    Evidence of fusion of ape chromosomes IIa and IIb into human chromosome II.

    But let's ignore the evidence.

    That's the calculus of creationism.

    Showing a greater fondness for their own opinions than for truth they sought to deny and disprove the new things which, if they had cared to look for themselves, their own senses would have demonstrated to them. To this end they hurled various charges and published numerous writings filled with vain arguments, and they made the grave mistake of sprinkling these with passages taken from places in the Bible which they had failed to understand properly, and which were ill-suited to their purposes.

    -Galileo, 1615

  11. garbonzo Registered Senior Member

    Hey Aqueous, I've missed you! You never did reply to this comment. If you believe that subject is a lost cause, would you rather focus on evolution instead?

    I'm wondering if we can get the gang back together again and get Geoff in here?
  12. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Well, but speak the Devil's name, and he appears.

    And? Evolution is a long process indeed, and endogenously regulated.

    Not at all. These humble, head-in-the-sand scientists produced amino acids under conditions similar to those of the early Earth in as little as a few weeks. How much better, over a billion years.


    But I thought we were discussing epigenetics?

    Conventionally, a ratio of 1:1000 good:bad mutations is considered a rule of thumb on mutation. Good mutations are rare indeed - though evolution has had an enormously long time in which to operate.

    They certainly do not. Species evolve and change even over short terms (<= 10 generations). You must review the evidence of such that exists. Here are several examples:

    http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/~snuismer/Nuismer_Lab/548_readings_files/Thompson 1998.pdf

    Your broad assertion that species remain static is unsupported.

    But let's attack it in a more fundamental way: you do at least accept that agriculturalists have been able to produce new strains of plants and animals. What is it about nature that is somehow preventing such selective processes from acting? How is nature preventing selection, in your view? Is it nature's innate stability? Perhaps you feel that the sheer constancy of the natural world - neither day nor night, cold nor heat, neither seasons nor cycles, rain nor drought, neither feast nor famine - prevents selection from acting? Surely no natural population has ever been exposed to anything like environmental stress, or to famine, disease, habitat modification - have they?

    Or do you instead feel that in the face of the fact of natural environmental instability - surely a trick of the Devil, like those inconsiderate fossils buried in the dirt for us to find and confuse ourselves with - God is perhaps deliberately and individually preventing selection and consequent descent with modification from acting? Does He feed each little mouth, bury each little seed - on the good ground, of course - and cure every little scrape? Doth the lion and the lamb lie and sup together, eating straw like the ox, and dust the only food of serpents? (In Jerusalem, I suppose, that promised land?) If they do not, then surely the slowest lamb falls to the lion lest God intervene. Is God then protecting your suppositions?

    Perhaps you would be so good as to illustrate these complex maths that cause us to bury our heads in the sand?
  13. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Oh so you're lacking in strident objections to your . . . Messianic Judaism? Well, as Groucho famously said, "Those are my opinions. If you don't like them, I have more."

    I can see right now that we're going to have to be careful about posting links. They are not highlighted and underlined, and they are not imported inside the quote. I just spent literally a few minutes of my precious time trying to figure out what you meant, until it occurred to me that I needed to place my cursor over the "this comment" of the original post. Stand by. I'll massacre that post presently, then you can come back to denial of evolution and the trip to the woodshed will be the full treatment, at no extra charge.

    uhhh . . . how about you just throw the clay pigeons up and I'll nail 'em one by one. Ok I see they are already up in the air. So watch them crumble to dust with a single shot through and through. Tomorrow methinks.

    I see him below responding like Lurch with "you rahahahng". So you really do want to be worked over. Man, what a glutton for punishment.

    No sooner was I about to say "speaking of the devil":
    Glossing over the really juicy things you wrote, so garbanzo can feel the full brunt of your own brow beating him mercilessly to the ground without any diluting of the acid by me:

    I see I have relied too long on the old stock smileys. Time to reach into the cloud for the appropriate expression of emotion, would that any emoticon could.

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  14. garbonzo Registered Senior Member

    What Galileo condemned is exactly what you are doing. You refer to various beliefs as though they are my own while they are not. Do you find that style of argument effective? I know it seems to work for FOX News when they can shout over any response.

    But just to set the record straight, Jehovah breathed life (spirit – ru’ah He…pneuma -Gr) into the body of Adam “and he became a living soul”. He wasn’t given a soul, he became one when the body started to breathe – his soul also died when he did just as ours will. So to imply that every time a conception occurs God is passing out souls is your own belief, not mine nor what the bible really teaches. So where does that leave your long, inflammatory argument? I’d imagine the majority of young-earth creationists probably believe in your version of souls as well as hellfire but that’s not my problem.

    In regard to abortion clinics, those of my faith (Jehovah’s Witnesses) certainly don’t condone the practice but also don’t get involved in the politics of it either. You won’t find us picketing – anywhere. So again you’re arguing with a straw man of your own creation.

    A lot of effort was made to eliminate Constantine-era falsehoods so please don’t assume i share belief in the many fallacies of Christendom.

    **Evidence of fusion of ape chromosomes IIa and IIb into human chromosome II.**

    Fine…as i said before, just as Jehovah borrowed a rib from Adam to make Eve He could have very well used the genetic base of a Neanderthal or whatever to make Adam – and it’d be no surprise to me if you could trace DNA evidence backwards and sideways all the way to apes.

    Give that some thought – it’s looking at the EVIDENCE from a new angle; it doesn’t mean you have to ignore any real evidence.

    When it comes to odds, you freely admit that past a certain point there is built-in resistance to mutations. You fail to see it for what it is: a very large problem for evolutionists. And yet they still infer that even humans are still evolving, even stooping to such notions that the next level of evolution is humans bonding with computers (according to a recent sciam article). I mean, that could happen but it has nothing to do with blind evolution.

    But back up to more simple species such as bacteria or the fruit fly. Even in controlled labs, science still hasn’t observed any of them morphing into a new form despite their documenting millions of generations. Like all evolutionists, you rely on common variations within species as proving evolution because that’s all you got. Variation simply ensures variety and vigor – it doesn’t lead to one taxa morphing into another or one “kind” becoming a different “kind”.

    In reality, your overriding theme of accusing God of deformities and general sadism betrays the underlying motive for the Evolution Religion: deny credit to Jehovah as our Creator, slander Him in the process and thereby influence mankind to shuck any responsibilities they might have towards Him.

    Look in the mirror and you will see as hardcore a religious zealot as you’ll ever find (minus the decapitations…i hope).
  15. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    We have more than just variation. We have the fossil record, DNA, and bone morphology. It's hilarious that you insult the science minded by calling them religious.

    What real math? This is a common creationist trope that is easily debunked. First of all it assumes you know what chemicals it would take to create life. You don't. Primitive life could have been much simpler than we see now, it could have started with some simple self replicating molecules like RNA, which we can observe in the lab going through natural selection. Secondly, this natural selection is a bit of a problem for you, because it is a simple way to reach a complex conclusion through simple steps, each one of which can be of reproductive benefit.

    What does it mean when you say mutations are rare? We know beneficial mutations are rare. But life has had billions of years and trillions of organisms in which to experiment. Even a rare mutation that was beneficial would become more common, and also becomes the fertile ground in which other beneficial mutations could occur. For instance, the hox genes control basic body plans, like a modular system. Mutations in these genes create functional animals with different body plans, effectively leading to new kinds literally overnight.

    The reason you are so defensive about evolution is that it describes a system that has no need of a God. Can't you find something better for him to do? There must be some toast that needs decorating.
  16. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Well, this is the penultimate point: He could have - but we have no evidence to indicate any divine influence over this naturalistic process, and so it remains naturalistic. What you choose to believe is fine and well, and you are welcome to such beliefs. They carry, however, no stock in such a clash of scientific process; they are unfounded scientifically and rationally. They will not be taught in schools as some kind of logical alternative. They do have a place in the scientific process, of course, as the narrowly-inferred initial null hypothesis of the origin of life, which has since been falsified.

    Not to be blunt, but: so why do you ignore real evidence? We've presented scads of it, but it's my deep sense that you have investigated none of it. Instead, you talk around it, demanding we open our minds enough that our brains might fall out, which could then be investigated for tendencies toward leaning (cf: Happeh, Sciforums Encyclopedia), while you skate by the facts. Indeed, you don't have to ignore any real evidence. You. Specifically. So don't. I'm sure there are more eloquent ways to put this, but I've been doing a near overnight and I'm tired.

    And nothing to do with us (evolutionists), and nothing to do with mathematical changes in allele frequency, or descent with modification, or speciation. It is a futurist's wet dream. It has nothing to do with this discussion.

    We have repeatedly cited evidence of rapid evolutionary change in several taxa. Here's another list of observed events:


    You cannot at this point deny that you have seen these citations. If you want to make this claim again, you have to start refuting the cases falsifying your assertion. Good luck with that.

    Oh really? I assume you're talking to Aqueous, but he's hardly bashed God. I'm an agnostic, so I have no interest in forcing society to shuck whatever reasonable religious responsibilities they might have. So how does your presupposition work on me? You are attempting to argue - or were - that epigenetics was a vehicle for original sin, and thereby inject religion into scientific research. Clearly it isn't, but you have chosen to cross the boundaries of NOMA for your own egotistical ends. So who is defaming who? Again, if you want to believe God is responsible for evolution, go ahead: but don't expect to see it in a syllabus.
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  17. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    That's correct. Humanity is just a variation of the fish. We are still fish.
  18. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Some of you, perhaps. I am an amphibian.

    So there.

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  19. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Correct. Following the advice of Galileo, I condemn the misuse of the Bible, particularly as a tool to bury facts and evidence about how the natural world works.

    We'll see. Are you the poster who once approached the readers as someone who was trying to convince his father that religion is absurd?

    Yes, the truth is always eventually effective. Case in point: most of the people I confront end up getting banned.

    I am beginning to understand how the Anabaptist slant of FAUX News might chafe you.

    No, Anunu breathed life into the clay form of Enkidu, and the Hebrews adapted it for Yahweh after being uncertain about which of the gods in the pantheon (Elohim) actually did the creating in Gen 1. "Adam" is a reference to "red earth" (clay). This appears to be a corruption of "Allulium" from the Sumerian King's List.

    This myth is an adaptation of the Mesopotamian version, from a religion anathema to yours. The Greek concept of pneuma is even more destructive to your ends, since it derives from another belief anathema to yours, Stoicism. Compare this with the equally destructive logos.

    However, as we know, anoxic life forms not only exist, but they appear to be ancestral to all modern organisms. This the first "breath" was metabolizing, say, sulfates, and probably underwater. And, as we know the "breath of life" is first ascribed not to Yahweh, but to An and Enlil (Sumeria) before the Hebrews imported their myth and adapted it for Yahweh. But fundamentalist primitivism will throw this evidence out along with all of the exegesis, history and critical thinking skills that educated people would tend to apply.

    So to imply that education is not all that is at stake here is your own belief, not mine nor what academia really teaches.

    Chillaxin', as your inflammatory anti-academic rant consumes itself in a dying ember, leaving my posts unscathed in the fireproofed halls of academia.

    Immortality, hell and fire are imports from alien religions -- principally the Persians. That's the only reason for rejecting them, which is the irony of primitivism. Like Anabaptism, it is willfully ignorant of history, exegesis and syncretism.

    If you call it murder then you are at odds with your primitivistic redaction of Christianity, namely, that God did not breathe life into the fertilized ovum.

    I said creationists picket the clinics. Do the Venn diagram and explain how that amounts to blaming primitivists for harassing abortion patients.

    Any such fallacies invalidate your claims, since your principles are founded upon the ones you are attacking. Constantine is the main reason you ever heard of fundamentalist primitivism. Remove him, and all of the Western world falls into worshipping Thor or Sybil or simply adopting Neo-Platonism.

    Nothing could be more bizarre than to conflate Genetics and Genesis. Neanderthals were human, so your problem compounds by mentioning them. They are not a platform for your attack on evolution.

    The high correlation between human and chimpanzee DNA is due to evolution, nothing more. And nothing less. In this case a chromosomal anomaly leads the charge, as opposed to mutation. It's safe to say that any offspring with such a genetic anomaly would jump the clade -- in a heartbeat (literally).

    Any perversion of science in the name of religion is an expression of ignorance of vast amounts of evidence. And it certainly isn't new.
  20. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member


    Playing games with odds will not shore up your fundamentalist primitivism.

    No I don't. You are forcing my words in the direction you choose.

    Wrong. There are protections against coding errors during recombination. Mutagenesis is still spontaneously caused, and still induced by mutagens as well. Both are random. There is no programmer at the celestial keyboard, typing out nucleotide sequences. And even if there were, he should be fired for not testing the code before executing it.

    You fail to see it at all.

    It's a big problem for fundamentalism. In science it's a solution.

    If you vilify educated people by this epithet then you set yourself up for being attacked as a dropout.

    All organisms are forever evolving. An encysted spore buried underground, only to be activated by the heat of a cataclysm - decimating the genera - will revive and reintroduce the organism in conditions of little or no competition. That's evolution, bro - just sitting there and doing nothing. Just preserving the DNA.


    You would stoop to admitting that?

    Forms don't morph. Species evolve. If B evolves from A and C evolves from B, then the distance from A to C is greatest. If that repeats 25 times, you will likely see a huge variation from A to Z while the distance from X to Z becomes insignificant. And your point is . . . ?

    E. coli regenerate in 17 min. But that does not mean E. coli will evolve into a yeast cell in 17E6 min. It's the absurdity of the this, merely as a ploy to shore up fundamentalist primitivism, which invalidates your claims.

    If you call education an ideology, then it leaves you open to being called a dunce.

    No one is trying to prove evolution. That's the established theory. You are trying to attack it, but failing at it.

    Well duh.

    Wrong. Variation ensures that new traits will continually appear in the gene pool, so that, if and when the pressures of the niche change, there is some chance that a new species will emerge, which may gain a foothold.

    Nonsense, easily corrected by a remedial course in biology. Speciation has no boundaries with regard to genus, family, order, class, phylum, kingdom, etc. You (your religion) just made that up. Fundamentalists rely on the word "kind" because it's a cop-out, an escape from the language and principles of science they should have learned in school. The "kind" usually stays "the same" only because most speciation events involve relatively small changes to the phenotype. See "gradualism".

    It's impossible to accuse a mythical character of anything.

    Science is knowledge, not belief.

    We are not created. We evolved. Yahweh was created -- out of older mythology.

    Yahweh cannot be slandered no more than Ea and Enlil, or Goldilocks or the Tooth Fairy. They are all imaginary. But back to you: have you not slandered the Elohim? After all they are the pantheon of Ugarit. But they are also the pantheon of Gen 1. So remember to remove that plank from your eye, so that you may see, to remove this mote from ours.

    It's impossible to owe responsibilities to a symbol. You might as well owe baskets of fruit to the Volcano God.

    Nope. I see the anti-Zealot, girding his loins for another tooth and nail attack on evolution, by the next Sock Puppet Army of Zealots (SPAZ) attack.
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  21. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Nice! Have you redefined the acronym? Copyright it. Hell, trademark it! Charge the socks!

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  22. garbonzo Registered Senior Member

    Your ‘talkorigins’ examples of observed modern evolution only show variation within a kind…the mice are still mice and the cichlids are still cichlids and the other results were from forced lab-play with the organisms, one resulting in a sterile hybrid. Again, that’s Intelligent Design – a creator was necessary, in this case lab technicians.

    Again i’ll repeat, epigenetics simply give an example of how a parent’s actions (diet, lifestyle, environment) can affect their children genetically. Besides the sensationalist title, I didn’t say dogmatically that is how sin affected mankind (but it’s food for thought).

    I have no objections (nor does my ‘religion’) to the teaching of evolution in schools. If ‘Caesar’ demanded schools teach in-depth courses on Lord Of The Rings, we’d likewise encourage our kids to study hard to pass the tests. We’re not afraid of knowledge and don’t shy away from proposed ‘evidence’ just as i always read the references you give and give them more than passing thought.

    As for “talking around the evidence”, who is kidding who? On the one hand you admit the extreme improbability of life occurring by chance and yet you absolve yourselves with the blanket excuse: “with billions of years anything can happen”.

    To illustrate; to have all the necessary items in place for a single-celled organism to suddenly pop into existence is beyond the pale of common sense. Let’s compare it to the seemingly simple task of having a deck of cards stacked in a precise order. Actually the odds against shuffling a deck of cards (a true random shuffle) into that exact same order twice is greater than there are stars in the universe (8×10 to the 67th power vs stars- 10 to the 23rd power). You asked for some math in a previous comment, well there you go. In fact, if you had shuffled every hour since the beginning of the universe, you would still not come anywhere close to the amount of times necessary. But i thought “billions of years” made anything happen?

    I would think (to the extent my simple layman’s brain will allow me) that the items needed for life to begin would amount to more than 52 with the obvious requisite to be in a particular order. I don’t think a simple recipe for organic soup (a term you guys seem to love) will suffice, simply dumping them together and adding a spark. And yet, in your controlled labs you tease yourselves with results coming from specific conditions in carefully controlled environments. Sure, i can take the deck of cards and put them in any order i wish…but i’m afraid that’s cheating.

    Evolution’s only ally is blind chance and it’s a very poor ally indeed.
  23. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    That's an ignorant statement. Evolution is the opposite of blind chance. That is the extraordinary strength of this elegantly simple theory.

    You need to read this:

    But you won't. Because your beliefs come first and facts second. Which is also the opposite of science.

    An origin of life, anywhere, consists of the chance arising of a self-replicating entity. Nowadays, the replicator that matters on Earth is the DNA molecule, but the original replicator probably was not DNA. We don't know what it was. Unlike DNA, the original replicating molecules cannot have relied upon complicated machinery to duplicate them. Although, in some sense, they must have been equivalent to ‘Duplicate me’ instructions, the language’ in which the instructions were written was not a highly formalized language. such that only a complicated machine could obey them. The original replicator cannot have needed elaborate decoding, as DNA instructions and computer viruses do today. Self-duplication was an inherent property of the entity's structure just as, say, hardness is an inherent property of a diamond, something that does not have to be ‘decoded’ and ‘obeyed’. We can be sure that the original replicators, unlike their later successors the DNA molecules, did not have complicated decoding and instruction-obeying machinery, because complicated machinery is the kind of thing that arises in the world only after many generations of evolution. And evolution does not get started until there are replicators. In the teeth of the so-called ‘Catch-22 of the origin of life’ (see below), the original self-duplicating entities must have been simple enough to arise by the spontaneous accidents of chemistry.

    Richard Dawkins, Climbing Mount Improbable
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014

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