A Naturalistic Fairy Tale-Part VIII

Please pardon this digression in the name of the Almighty Science. Its ways are multitudinous, its adherents are just, ethical, loving, kind, and smarter than you (1). And then did some of the more intelligent beings on the planet, come to believe that life did arise from outer space. Not from E.T. (2) did it arise, or perhaps it did (3). Before we do become confused and think that real scientists could ever believe in space aliens, we must retract our statements (4). Let us not be misunderstood. We were feeling magnanimous to the IDiots that day. Sorry about that…we are no longer feeling that way. Since the ‘warm little pond,’ has been so hard to find, we turned to the cold rock in space. There, some of us did find what we were looking for, the key to the beginning of the life form to which we all owe our existence (praise Science). But as for certain DO we know, life did arise from non-living matter. So, we do not now think in silly little ways like either/or (Earth or Space). We do know that the early conditions of the Earth and Solar System were quite chaotic. The Earth did become bombarded by meteorites containing organic compounds (ahhhh….life-to-be units). The young little Earth did receive more complex molecules from space that we know were well on their way to becoming biology. Not actually biological themselves of course, but to-be-life units. Or perhaps, they could have been biological units, which arose in a more favorable soup such as Mars (already-life units). So, we do admit this is a bit of digression, and we do know it may be just as false as every other idea we’ve had, we also do know, that everyone who does have even half a brain (5), knows that abiogenesis did occur. So, soon, soon indeed, we will tell you how it happened.

(1). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaGgpGLxLQw
(2). http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=did-life-come-from-anothe
(3). http://www.discovery.org/a/4719
(4). http://richarddawkins.net/article,2394,Lying-for-Jesus,Richard-Dawkins
(5). http://www.intelldesign.com/?p=170

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14 Responses

  1. Aw, Shrink, you left out the most recent chapter. The warm pond has morphed to the superheated, anoxic, sulphurous hell of a deep-sea volcanic vent. A place where even today a few simple life forms have chemistries highly unlike any others now on Earth. They are able to live in an environment currently thought to exist at some places on the primordial planet.

    Becuase of these findings, other investigators are actively looking for life forms that might be unrelated to all the known life forms. Because of these findings, they think they know where to look.[1]

    Chemists are investigating abiogenesis from another angle. Since evolution progresses by small stages, they are pursuing two avenues. First, early chemical reactions must be confined from their environment. Several recent papers have demonstrated lipid vesicles that form easily from early chemicals. Surprisingly, they are able to reproduce themselves without any replicator such as DNA or RNA, purely from generated internal pressure. Second, several groups are looking for autocatalytic metabolic reactions that could have occurred on the early Earth. Some such reactions are already known. If these reactions ever got trapped inside a lipid vesicle, then you have a simple life form without proteins and without a replicator such as DNA or RNA.[2]

    Read the footnotes again. [1]: ID has zero content. It explains nothing, provides no guide to ever finding out anything useful about living organisms. [2]: ID is totally disinterested in research, in presenting its ideas to the critical review by which scientific theories are forged and tested. Oh, oh. Here’s the theme song again. ID is not wrong, it is not even wrong. And it has neither the will nor the means to advance understanding of the world in any useful way. If someone comes up with a useful theory for investigating intelligent design, and if someone comes up with some positive evidence for that theory, then I’m on board, along with everyone else I know. But these things are what everyone must bring to the science potluck. You don’t get in the door by political clout and vague notions of complexity.

    Again, I won’t argue with what you believe in the philosophical or religious sense. I would fit into the category that people call “theistic evolution.”[3] Actually, I think you do, too. Otherwise I might not bother to try to convince you.

    =============
    [1] Contrast with design, which has not the slightest idea how to investigate their “theory.” Neil Shubin, who discovered Tiktaalik, did not find it with a random guess. He known where to look and what he was looking for—because it would fit into an evolutionary progression. And then he spent years digging on a windswept frozen sunless island to find it.

    [2] Contrast with intelligent design, which pursues no research, no experiments, no simulations, no hypotheses. At some unknown time, in some unknown place, by some unknown method, some unknown Designer said Let There Be Life.

    [3] Theistic evolution, BTW, is strongly disavowed by the Discovery Institute. According to them, one cannot adhere to both TE and ID. This may seem strange, until you look at ID’s goals in the wedge document. Also, in every belief movement, the extremists reserve their deepest hatred for the moderates of their own faith. As a psychologist, maybe you can tell me why that is.

  2. “Since evolution progresses by small stages”

    Excuse my ignorance, but you can demonstrate this? I wonder what the heck all this debating is about then?

    “…then you have a simple life form without proteins and without a replicator such as DNA or RNA.”

    So you got a bunch of these *hypothetical* buggers swimming around. Now what?

    “ID has zero content. It explains nothing, provides no guide to ever finding out anything useful about living organisms.”

    Well, it provides nothing of use to you, apparently. But you’ve got it all backwards. Most who believe in ID are just far too interested in the Designer.

  3. Mike,

    Your comment states what I’ve been thinking all along! The real issue here is (as you, Shrink and Mynym know), we who believe in ID, or, in reality, a Creator, are coming at this issue from the direct opposite side of those who don’t believe in ID or a creator. And yet, there seems to be a need, on both sides, to continue the discussion. I guess this could be due to the fact that human beings have a need to prove what they believe and to be right in their own eyes, but I don’t think this is why we continue. I believe (I know this will draw some disdain) that we have a need to know what the truth is on these issues (all of us), which goes far beyond our desirous and destructive egos. I believe that there’s a power beyond us that compels us to continue these discussions, no matter how futile they may seem at any given moment. I long, as do others on this site, for unity, and sometimes I want to throw in the towel (not just here, but on my sites also), but for some reason I can’t!

  4. DB, It is certainly obvious that many are given to worship the creation over the Creator. And this can certainly apply to both ID and evolution proponents. Yet, while evolutionists have no choice in the matter (as their faith lies in believing the creation created itself), it’s increasingly frustrating to see them castigating ID proponents who rightfully seek the Creator first. As you’ve pointed out, man desires to know this creator, whether he admits it or not. Evolutionists are doing nothing but trying to know their chosen creator – which is Nature. The only way that they can know their creator is through science.

    Also, it’s amazing to me that modern evolutionists will often attribute all the attributes of God to Natural Selection. Assigning a “Good” purpose to it by redefining it as only positive, life-affirming mutations. Hence, Natural selection is all-powerful (all living matter is under its Law) and all-knowing (every cell is under its direction), and Its power flows through every living being with a Purpose to promote the “GOOD” thing that we call life, and not the “BAD” thing we call death. Natural Selection wants us to have life, and have it abundantly! And we should expect to find it as an omnipresent constant throughout the universe, as an active process everywhere, tending to It’s work!!!

  5. If one bears in mind Aquinas’ point that “creatio non est mutatio — “creation is not change” — then an evolutionist would be someone who thinks there is no creation, only change. This is different from thinking that “the creation created itself” — it is a matter of asserting that the very concept of creation is dispensable.

    My interest in contributing to these discussions, even though I also sometimes find them frustrating, is that I want to bring the culture wars to an end, and the evolution/ID debate is part of that. And as I see it, the way to bring the culture wars to an end is by convincing people on each side of the fundamental rationality and decency of people on the other.

  6. My interest in contributing to these discussions, even though I also sometimes find them frustrating, is that I want to bring the culture wars to an end, and the evolution/ID debate is part of that. And as I see it, the way to bring the culture wars to an end is by convincing people on each side of the fundamental rationality and decency of people on the other.

    I certainly respect your style of discourse, which is very different from the norm of those on the side of naturalistic evolution. I’m not sure what you mean by a culture war. I don’t see the scientific debate of ID/evolution as being limited to matters of culture, but instead to matters of science.

  7. Shrink wrote,

    I’m not sure what you mean by a culture war. I don’t see the scientific debate of ID/evolution as being limited to matters of culture, but instead to matters of science.

    This isn’t a culture war, as the Shrink implies, this is a battle between “material” science and those who will dare question the validity of its theories, or belief systems. The common “rational?” person out there has been indoctrinated into believing, through our one-sided education system, that science is either all there is, or, in a manipulative sense, science may be a way to explain how God did it, even though it will never be stated in this exact manner.

    Carl said,

    And as I see it, the way to bring the culture wars to an end is by convincing people on each side of the fundamental rationality and decency of people on the other.

    Carl, is this really the way you see it: people are “fundamentally rational and decent?” How then do you explain the irrational, at best, moral and “decent” decay we see so prevalent in our society? I guess I’m reading different news items and seeing different day to day occurrences than you.

  8. Carl,

    I want to clarify, I am not saying that those who believe, as you do, are irrational or indecent, because I sense rationality and decency in you and many others! I am saying, however, that I don’t believe these traits are “natural” to human beings, they have to be instilled through a source of power (God), whether we’re aware of it or not, that cannot be put in a neat little box, which can then be scientifically explained away by man.

  9. The way I see it, evolution is a faith-based position, (as is intelligent design), and technically should not be taught in public schools.

    Evolution is taken on faith in the religion called Naturalism. Where the great god Nature reveals himself to man through Science. Where the prophets are guys like Darwin and Dawkins. And the people are simply waiting for the Scientist-Messiah to come along and reveal all, and save the world from the evil clutches of those oppressive God-believers.

  10. “I don’t believe these traits are “natural” to human beings”

    I imagine there might be scientists drooling over that possibility though…

    “If we can just isolate the genes that account for rationality and decency, then we can simply breed rational and decent people by genetically manipulating the embryos!”

    Not too far from John Cleese, is it?

  11. Well, perhaps I’m mistaken, but my sense of things, sociologically speaking, is that intelligent design is largely supported by people who are opposed to abortion (except in the most serious cases), opposed to gay marriage, and deeply skeptical of environmentalism. Whereas I tend to think of evolution as largely supported by people who support abortion-on-demand (with perhaps minimal restrictions), who see gay marriage as a civil rights issue, and who are generally supportive of environmentalism. I don’t think there are any deep metaphysical commitments which tie these tendencies together, but they are part of cultural identities.

  12. Just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to put this material onto your site, not only has it been informative but fascinating as well. Personally I feel that ones religion has nothing to do with envioronmentalism, it isnt just the “Science is a religion folks” that are envionmentalists. Matter of fact in times past it seems as if some of those same types are more responsible for quite a bit of the destruction that has been done to this wonderfull garden that was created.I say more in the regard that the more science progresses the greater the potential for its misuse and therefore also more destructive depending upon its application. As for myself, I have always gone an extra mile to help out as far as the enviornment is concerned, extremely involved in animal rescue, wildlife conservation, nature in general. Even at a young age I had a deep appreciation for all that grew, walked, swam or flew on this amazing place. In effect “Gods Garden” and we are the caretakers during our short mortal lives,thats were our free will comes into play. We can choose to appreciate and protect, or reinvent ourselves into our own gods through science and destroy. I select the first choice, appreciate and protect.

    Scientific study does have its place and is good for numerous reasons and applications, however I do not feel as if it is more important than ones faith, as science still has not and I truly feel will never determine two things in particular that go to the core of life. The first topic being , how the universe was created, and the second being the human soul. Reverse engineering works great, however their stopping point will come at the very beginning as there will be no “scientific” explanation on where that first piece of matter came from. Given the fact that god created time itself the creation process may very well have been a few days in Gods time that is. In our time that may just span millions of years. As far as the human soul, that is definately the creation of a supreme power, there just isnt a scientific explanation for its existence.

    Thanks again to the writers and all who have commented on the written material, none of us are perfect and I am definately learning quite a bit from all perspectives.

  13. Joseph G wrote,

    As for myself, I have always gone an extra mile to help out as far as the enviornment is concerned, extremely involved in animal rescue, wildlife conservation, nature in general. Even at a young age I had a deep appreciation for all that grew, walked, swam or flew on this amazing place. In effect “Gods Garden” and we are the caretakers during our short mortal lives,thats were our free will comes into play. We can choose to appreciate and protect, or reinvent ourselves into our own gods through science and destroy. I select the first choice, appreciate and protect.

    I couldn’t agree with you more! We (most of us, including myself) haven’t been the good stewards of this natural gift God has given us. He gave us this planet, as well as all else, to live and flourish in, and we haven’t cherished it, just like most of us haven’t cherished Him! Like you, I believe that God created everything, including the flora and fauna (environment), and for a purpose, which we cannot fully understand at this time.

    “We can choose to appreciate and protect, or reinvent ourselves into our own gods through science and destroy. I select the first choice, appreciate and protect.”

    These are really our only two choices!

  14. You’re welcome Joseph. Thank you for expressing your opinion, and I’m glad you have found it interesting.

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