A Naturalistic Fairy Tale – Part XXVIII

From time to time, we do like to use computers to look into the distant past. We know how impressed you are by computers. This time, we looked back 4.4 billion years in Earth’s history.(1) We do discover through the use A Tale of an Early Earthof our simulations that life may have survived the massive asteroid bombardment of the Hadean Eon (4.5 billion to 3.9 billion years ago). Although all traces of any such bombardment have been completely wiped away, we do know it happened by looking at the moon and Mars (Praise Science).

Although many of us did previously think that the bombardment would have sterilized the Earth, we now think that microbes could have arisen as early as 500 million years after the formation of the Earth and survived in subterranean environments.

We do now say:

“Even under the most extreme conditions we imposed, Earth would not have been completely sterilized by the bombardment,” Abramov said.

Given the context of this story that we have imagined, we again like the idea of hydrothermal vents giving rise to life. We hope that you will now be convinced that life arose from non-life, because we have given the process even more time to take place (Praise Science).

(1). How life may have outlasted early blasts

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A Naturalistic Fairy Tale-Part XXVI

And then did we, the Most High Scientists, decide that life may have “been forged in a quantum crucible.”(1)  Not to be outdone by our fellow believers in Naturalism, the venerable biologists, we physicists did decide to weigh in on the matter of life’s beginning. 

Erving Schrödinger, the fellow who did imagine a cat being dead and not dead at the same time,(2) did also imagine other things about life.  Some 65 years later, do we weigh in on the issue.

Now, while some silly folk (i.e., creationists) do make wildly erroneous calculations about the probability of abiogenesis, we’ll give you a calculation in order to promote our theory.  We’ll deny it if the creationists do try to use it (Praise Science). 

But we do now focus in on one molecular machine, the ribosome, that protein factory of the cell that is capable of producing even more ribosomes.(3) 

So we did calculate that there could be 4165 possible primitive ribozyme structures based on 165 DNA base pair sequences.  We do know that most of these would not be self-replicators. 

“That’s more than the number of electrons in the universe,” he says. What’s more, life came about relatively soon after the planet formed, he says. “The puzzle is not only how life emerged, but how it emerged so fast.”

We shall now engage in a bit of anthropomorphism, (4) forgive us (Praise Science).  But do realize that it is completely naturalistic, and God is not needed.  Quantum processes did sort through and discard unwanted structures.  We’re certain you’ll have no problem with our use of the terms of “sort” and “unwanted” with regards to nature.  So, we do now think, that multiple mutated configurations did exist simultaneously (just like the cat was dead and un-dead a the same time).  This simultaneous existence of configurations allowed for the testing of a range of possibilities.  We do now know that quantum effects are a bit finicky; however, we do believe that they could act at the bottom of the Ocean (Praise Science). 

Davies also finds the idea promising. “These guys may have found a niche where quantum magic really could be at work,” he says. “But it is conjecture at this stage, just as all ideas for the origin of life are.”

We do also know that you know that when we use the term “magic” we don’t mean anything by it.  We certainly don’t mean “non-material” (Praise Science).  Once the configurations were sorted out and selected, the struture would become fixed, and unavailable to quantum effects. 

 

(1). http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19626332.700-was-life-forged-in-a-quantum-crucible.html

(2). Schrödinger’s Cat

(3). http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/R/ribosome.html

(4). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropomorphism

A Naturalistic Fairy Tale-Part XIX

We must go back a bit, in the name of Science, to enlighten you with our recent stories.  We do now know that the “end-bringers” were the “life-givers” (praise Science).  Between 4.2 and 3.8 Billion Years Ago did asteroids (life-givers), impact the Earth 100,000 times more frequently (we did know you would be impressed).  We do know you are impressed by large numbers (praise Science).

With this heavy onslaught, we do now know that carboxilic acid would have been formed (an essential compound for building protiens and food for early evotures…formerly known as creatures).  We did mimic an asteroid impact in the laboratory (praise Science), and we did find that these complex molecules did form.  We did calculate that 100 Billion metric tons of these pre-life units would have been formed (are you not now convinced by another big number?).

“You can sort of envision prebiotic experiments going on in hundreds of warm, shallow pools, like Darwin imagined.”(1)

We do now know that you can imagine it, and because of that we do now know it’s true (praise Science).  So we do now say that panspermia is false, and this is the way that life did begin–through the “life-bringers.”

(1).  Asteroid impacts gave early spark to life

Does referencing the Creator inhibit science?

Many materialists (atheists and theistic evolutionists most often) argue that materialistic philosophy is key to scientific advancement. If any ideas of Creationists are allowed to even be referenced, then scientific progress will halt and people will die. There will be mass and widespread calamitous events, and we will return to the Dark Ages.

Mphuthumi Ntabeni at The Southern Cross writes:

Newton, Faraday, Maxwell and Copernicus referred to the Creator in their scientific writings. No one accused them of being unscientific because of that. There’s no rule that compels science to have a materialist outlook, it’s just an incident of history. (1)

I have yet to see any evidence that convinces me that scientific progress will be inhibited in any way by referencing notions of a designer or even God. Nor have I seen any evidence that is not just as easily explained from an ID or even a Creationist perspective as compared to a naturalistic evolution perspective. So far, I see Creationism as having the most explanatory power and ID as focusing on narrow range of observations and scientific phenomena. Both ID and Creation Science are scientific disciplines.

I must also say that I have yet to see how the theory of naturalistic evolution, on a macro scale, has ever contributed to applied science. The concept of abiogenesis has not contributed to applied science. The Big Bang Theory has not contributed to applied science. In short, the notion that Godless science leads to progress has no legs to stand on. Perhaps it will evolve those legs in the next several billions of years, but I won’t be holding my breath.

(1). My case for intelligent design, The Southern Cross, Mphuthumi Ntabeni, Nov. 9, 2008

Ocam's Razor Consistently Slices the Wrong Way in Biology

The notion of Ocam’s razor is that,

“All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best.” In other words, when multiple competing theories are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selecting the theory that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities. It is in this sense that Occam’s razor is usually understood. (1)

So, let’s start off with abiogenesis in this post.  We’ll do a little history lesson.

Aristotle explicitly taught this form of abiogenesis, and laid it down as an observed fact that some animals spring from putrid matter, that plant lice arise from the dew which falls on plants, that fleas are developed from putrid matter, that mice come from dirty hay, and so forth. (2)

That’s a pretty simple explanation with very few assumptions is it not?  But completely absurd, ridiculous, and false.  All along the way, Darwinists have presented arguments based on simple mechanisms.  I say simple in that they have always assumed things were more simple and more easy to occur than has subsequently been found.  I’m not saying Ocam’s Razor has no utility, but when it comes to the design of life, it has consistently sliced the wrong way.

(1).  Wikipedia – Ocam’s Razor

(2).  http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Aristotle/Abiogenesis.html

A Naturalistic Fairy Tale-Part XV

We must skip back a bit. Then did we discover that volcanoes were possibly, and therefore compellingly, responsible for life’s origins. When one is faced with a dilemma, that seems unsolvable, we do find it best to take a shotgun approach. We do hope we throw out enough different ideas to establish that we have sufficient imagination, if not, we do have more waiting to be conceived (Praise Science).  We do not suffer from the Creationist lack of imagination.  We do never
make those kinds of arguments unless it does involve God or miracles, which are clearly ridiculous, naturally. From the zapping of the old soup,2 and our modern technology, did we learn that when we injected gas, that comes from volcanoes, into that old soup, did we find 10 amino acids which were not found by our hero. Silly, did we first think that the early atmosphere was composed of methane, hydrogen, and ammonia. As that wrong fact has been corrected as always (only slightly of course), we do now know that the early atmosphere was composed of 3 elements: carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and methane. And we do now know that this did give rise to life (Praise Science).

1 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27284025/
2 http://www.issol.org/miller/miller1953.pdf

On Challenging Assumptions

I think all good science employs a basic concept.  That is challenging the assumptions of other theories.  Intelligent Design challenges the assumption that life could arise solely from natural processes.  Creation science challenges the assumptions of the uniformitarian views of the Earth and the Universe.

The case of Gregor Mendel1 is a case in point.

At first Mendel’s work was rejected, and it was not widely accepted until after he died. The common belief at the time was that Darwin‘s theory of pangenes were responsible for inheritance. The modern synthesis uses Mendelian genetics.

So, here is one example of how challenging evolutionary assumptions advances science in a way that is applicable and beneficial to society.  Mendel’s work was not highly regarded at the time.  The scientific consensus was against him.  But what has history shown?

Einstein also challenged consensus and contemporary notions.2

His paper on the particulate nature of light put forward the idea that certain experimental results, notably the photoelectric effect, could be simply understood from the postulate that light interacts with matter as discrete “packets” (quanta) of energy, an idea that had been introduced by Max Planck in 1900 as a purely mathematical manipulation, and which seemed to contradict contemporary wave theories of light (Einstein 1905a). This was the only work of Einstein’s that he himself called “revolutionary.

Louis Pasteur challenged widely accepted notions of abiogenesis.3

Louis demonstrated that the fermentation process is caused by the growth of microorganisms, and that the growth of microorganisms in nutrient broths is not due to spontaneous generation but rather to biogenesis (Omne vivum ex ovo).

So, for me, the moral of the story is that you must always question the basic assumptions in science. Intelligent Design theory and Creation science do that very well in my opinion.

1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mendel
2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein
3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Pasteur