Abiogenesis and Evolution

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Helen, May 26, 2003.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    "Abiogenesis" means the advent of life from non-life by purely naturalistic means. It involves anything from Darwin's 'warm little pond' to Hoyle's panspermia. It is the denial of the creation of life by a Creator, and specifically by the Creator God of the Bible.

    Theistic evolutionists in particular claim that abiogenesis is not required for evolution to be true -- that God could have started the whole thing, front-loaded it to progress evolutionarily, and then let it go as programmed.

    While I doubt anyone would deny that God could do anything He wanted to do, this idea of God starting everything and then letting it run 'according to plan' not only disagrees with what God has told us in the Bible, but it also disagrees with the primary foundation of evolution: that all things have natural and material causes where life (at least) is concerned. As a result, while theistic evolutionists are used by the evolutionary side, they are also quietly ridiculed by many. Creationists also know that the compromise the theistic evolutionists make is just that: a compromise. Neither hot nor cold, neither one side nor the other.

    When evolution states that all life processes must be the results of natural and material causes, it cannot leave out the beginning of life. Understanding this, there have been repeated (and repeatedly unsuccessful) attempts to create life in labs and test tubes around the world. The fact that abiogenesis would be the 'capstone' of the evolutionary idea, could it be proved, has not escaped these people.

    What these evolutionists are missing altogether is that life is not simply a chemical reaction, or series of chemical reactions. If it were, then any recently dead organism could be easily brought back to life!

    Rather, life is a function which is imposed on chemicals, and not intrinsically a part of what they can do by themselves. This is primary to an understanding of life itself. It is 'from the outside' and is, itself, not something material.

    The theistic evolutionist thus will 'allow' God into the starting gate of the race, but pulls Him out of the running as soon as the race begins. This is not something that agrees with either the Bible or with God's character -- the character of someone who loved the world so much He gave His Son for us. His Word, the Bible, shows that He has been intimately concerned with and involved with the world since its inception.

    The theistic evolutionist not only cannot afford to accept God's Word as true as presented in Genesis, he or she also cannot accept the idea that everything began by purely natural and material means! And so they try to 'rule' God. They rule Him in for the start and then rule Him out for the rest.

    Why? Why not go with one side or the other? What is the logic with trying to combine oil and water in a permanent and stable mix? Abiogenesis is the LOGICAL and NECESSARY beginning for true biological evolution. Accepting Genesis' explanation of a supernatural and God ordained creation ex nihilo is the LOGICAL and NECESSARY beginning for someone who claims to worship and believe in this God.

    The data regarding abiogenesis points repeatedly to the impossibility of it. The data indicates the Bible is presenting things accurately. So why the attempt to separate abiogenesis from evolution? It is the result of a deep desire to be part of the world and accept worldly wisdom and the world's changing points of view while at the same time claim salvation by Christ. It is denying Christ's words but wanting His power concerning the Resurrection nevertheless. Just how much Christ is willing for this to occur is something that is between Him and the individual. I make no judgment on the salvation of any person.

    However the simple fact is that abiogenesis is required by a true acceptance of evolution. From what the data say, the one is no more improbable (or just as improbable) as the other anyway!

    Attempting to separate abiogenesis from biologic evolution is to create a false dichotomy, and to force a split where a split is not possible.
     
  2. Paul of Eugene

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    Abiogenesis is generally considered to be a viable theory among those who examine the origins of life and certainly a lot of scientific work is done to try to figure out how it could have happened.

    It is logically possible to seperate the idea of evolution from the idea of the origin of life, and the evidence comes down for evolution. The origin of life is obviously a more difficult thing for scientists to solve scientifically. Many would say it is impossible to solve scientifically. Maybe somebody will prove that's true someday.

    What if someone creates life in a test tube? Would that mean life could have arisen spontaneously?

    We Christians that accept mainstream science are already committed to viewing Genesis as having value for us more as an allegory than a literal history. In this, we are under the impression we are merely facing facts. Very few of the strictist fundamentalists actually take Genesis completely literally in the creation narrative anyway. A literal interpretation would come down for a flat earth and a firmament for a sky that holds back water above the firmament from falling in on us.

    For some reason the modern literalists are not truly literalists. We might term them, therefore, neo-literalists. Neo-literalists accept the space related findings of science and revise their biblical interpretations accordingly while denying the time related findings of science.

    In so doing, they put a barrier between those who understand the nature of deep time as well as space and the message of salvation through Jesus as revealed in the Bible. This is to be deplored, but Jesus is of course still able to save and redeem even those who unknowingly hinder others coming to Him.
     
  3. Helen

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    No, Paul, it is not viable; it is only desired. Big difference.

    Under the terms of evolution as pertaining to a common ancestor, and as being the result of only material and natural causes, it is impossible to separate abiogenesis from evolution. If you are going to say that this is possible, you will need to show me the definition of terms you are using that makes this possible.

    "could have" -- yes

    And WE Christians know that God has no trouble communicating the truth in straightforward terms in Genesis, so that there is no need to 'allegorize' it via man's limited knowledge and perceptions.

    of the selected variety...

    baloney. You are putting interpretations on the phrases and words again. Believing it does NOT mean necessarily understanding it all! If you require understanding in order to believe, of what use is faith?

    and, please, what 'space related findings' disagree with the Bible?

    What He is ABLE to do and what He is WILLING to do might not be the same. And I can guarantee to you that NO ONE understands your 'deep time'.

    By itself, a fossil is a punctuation mark, an interjection, an explamation, even, but it is not a word, or even a sentence, let alone a whole story. Fossils are the tableaux that are illuminated by the occasional shafts of light that punctuate the corridor of Deep Time. You cannot connect one fossil with any other to form a narrative.
    In Search of Deep Time by Henry Gee, chief science writer at Nature, the Free Press, 1999.
     
  4. WillRain

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    Helen, I come down with you on this one, with respect to Paul.

    This seems like a good plae for me to "poke my nose in the door" on what is obviously a board in which I'll be out of my depth scientificly speaking.

    I am not completely unlearned in the subject, but neither am I anything like an expert.

    The arguments of Ken Ham, Phillip Johnson, Micheal Behe and others seem to me to carry some weight but I cannot defend them from my depth of scientific training, just from logical reasoning.

    conversly, the leading evolutionist arguments (and by extension of course abiogenesis thinking) strikes me as held together with the "bubble gum and bailing wire" of wild assumptions and wishful speculation.

    To just use the tiny example of the panspermia idea - the very concept that otherwise intellegent people would resort to postulating an entirely new planet with another gigantic number of species including at least one of superior intellect to our own as the source of life on Earth without one single credible scrap of evidence for even the existance os said life let alone it's ability to carry out the mission presumed for it - that they could take seriously for one SECOND such a fanciful notion and then in the next breath dismiss any and all notions of creationism out of hand is VERY revealing of their thought processes.
    It's not necessary that all evolutionist accept such a notion to illustrate the point, because they all reach a point in which they run into a road blocak and have to invent something out of whole cloth which would account for it in a naturalistic fasion, no matter how outlandish the supposition might be, it is more to be accepted than a supernatural answer.

    And that brings me to the first of the fundamental rubrics in my thinking on the subject:
    -----------------------------------------------
    Principle #1:
    All Origin Theory is founded on an unproveable assumption.

    Despite scienctist claims to the contrary, BOTH creation and evolution start with an unproved and unproveable assumption, to wit:
    Creation ASSUMES the supernatural is possible and did play a role in the origin and development of life in the universe;
    Evolution ASSUMES the supernatural is impossible and whatever may be found to have happened MUST have, therefore, a naturalistic explaniation. The time or other circumstances necessary for these events to have occured MUST be POSTULATED (i.e. ASSUMED) because the supernatural has been pre-judged to be non-existant or, at best, irrelevant.

    **********
    Principle #2

    The theological principles of Christ's attonment are dependent on the special creation of man.

    Whatever else may be conceded about the pre-existance of the universe or the planet, if Paul and the rest of the NT is trustworthy, Man MUST have been a special direct creation of God.

    **********
    Principle #3
    There is no indication that Christ understood Genesis to be alogorical.

    **********
    Principle #4
    Genesis MUST have been written, under the insperation of God, (and the story conveyed orally before that) in such a manner as to speak to Joshua and Saul, and Daniel, and Matthew, and Origen, and Augustine, and Edwards, and Moody, and ME one just as well as another. Thus it is not a compromise of "literalism" to suggest that more complex truths might have been written in a manner which could have been understood by less "informed" men.

    **********
    Principle #5
    None of the evedince I have seen, with the possible exception of astronomical data, is contradictory to the concept - the quite logical concept - of God's having created a "Mature Creation."

    Note, this does NOT imply intentional deception on the part of God and DOES requires the understanding that evolutionary understandings of some geological data is a product of intentional rationalizations or subconscience self-delusion.

    I assume veterans of this debate are familiar with the "Mature Creation" concept but for those passing through:

    MC, to explain it in a shorthand fasion, would argue that if you got in a time machine and traveled back to the 8th day and encountered Adam, you would not encounter a 2 day old infant but a mature, perhaps fully grown individual who would appear to be 20 years old or more. Any and all scientific tests preformed on him would be utterly unable to ascertain his age as 2 days.

    Likewise, any and all test on the rock upon which he sat or the tree whose shade he enjoyed would demonstrate the tree to be many years - perhaps decades - old; the rock perhaps millions of years.

    Yet both would, IN FACT, be less than a week old.

    I concede that astronomical data in regards to the speed of light and distances do not easily reconcile with this theory, but since there are several hypothesies(sp) out there in regards to the variations in the past in such measurments, I am content to wait for the evidence to gather.

    **********
    Principle #6
    Given that scientific theory, not only by their own admission but as a point of pride, is constantly in flux, there is no reason for Christians to "throw out the baby with the bathwater" regarding origins.

    As Scince establishes something firmly proveable, we intigrate that into our understanding, as long as they are putting forth patched together assumptions and leaps of logic, we wait quietly for them to do better.

    For instance, if one wants to accept that the various breeds of domestic canine, the wolf, the fox, the dingo, the Hyena - all arose from a common ancestor, likewise the various types of feline, no problem. The is scientificly unassailabley possible. It still does not REQUIRE - because it is POSSIBLE - that it happened, but if science thinks it has good evidence for it, fine. No need to stand against it.
    However, when they ask us to believe that organisms developed male and female reproductive organs gradually over countless generations without any use for them - or that they spontaniously mutated mutual compatable genders in the same generation and the same geographic location - we, at a minimum, remain skeptical.

    It's a simply logical thing to do.

    **********
    Principle #7
    The Scriptures claim divine origin for themselves from begining to end. This is theologically undeniable. Thus, the Bible must either be accepted or rejected as a whole. If one presumes that no supernatural explination is available for Creation or the flood, one is constrained, thereby, to reject the supernatural existentials of Christ.
    contrawise, if one conceeds a supernatural conception, life, and resurrection of Christ, then one is constrained to concede the POSSIBILITY of supernatural influance on creation.

    If one concedes the supernatural AT ALL in creation matters, one need not accept wild leaps of supposition employed in evolutionary theory in order to have a naturalistic account.

    In short, it is intellectual thumb twiddling to place ones faith in a supernatural ressurection in order to call oneself a Christian, and then in the next breath suppose that this MUST have been God's only intervention in time and space.

    All that said, why would any Christian rush to accept something which even it's strongest proponents admit is wldly improbable? If even the strongest believers in naturalistic origins admit that we, in effect, defied the most colossal odds imaginable not once but repeatedly in order to be here, that does not, IMO, constitute an irresistable intellectual force which requires someone who has already conceded the existance of the supernatural to get on board.
    -------------------------------------------------

    Finally, may I apologize to Helen for a post which has the potential to hijack her thread. It is not my intention to do so and I hope that others will reply to her train of thought more so than mine.
    I chose to do this here because so many of these threads are so long and involved that there was no natural place. Neither did I want to start yet another thread as that would have implied a "throwing down of the gauntlet" in which I would have appeared to have been willing to engage in longwinded debate on each point.

    I confess that I am not prepared to go to the depths some of these debates go to.
    This is mearly my way of "introducing myself" to this part of the boards so that any comments I make in the future will have a context.

    Thank you Helen (and Paul and the rest) for overlooking this bit of rudeness.

    You may now return to your previously scheduled debate.
    :D
     
  5. The Galatian

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    "Origin theory" is not a scientific term, so I'm not sure what you mean.

    No. All science, evolutionary theory included, is methodologically naturalistic, and looks for natural causes but does not rule out supernatural causes. It is, however, limited to natural causes, and so miracles, if they happen, cannot be addressed by science.

    Actually, we can (and have) find compelling evidence for evolution. The origin of life is not a concern of evolutionary theory, nor does it make any claims about that. Whatever the origin of life, evolutionary theory merely describes how existing life changes.

    The special creation of man is the creation of an immortal soul. We are animals, but that's not all we are. God (as He says in Genesis) made us from the Earth like other creatures, but then He also gave us a soul. And that changed everything.

    True, but most scientists agree with this. This is perfectly consistent with evolution.

    I see no indication that He expressed an opinion one way or the other. His citing allegory does not change it from allegorical to literal.

    Science procedes by steps, modifying theories as the facts indicate. But keep in mind, very little humans do works better than this. It's a highly successful way of understanding the universe.

    Actually, the Hyena is more closely related to cats. If you go back far enough in the fossil record, you will find that cats and dogs are indistinguishable. Hyenas are just a rather primitive kind of cat, with a lot of doglike traits.

    True. What happens is that the farther back you go, the more the categories blur together. There's really no limit to it anywhere.

    And you'd be justified in being skeptical. If evolutionary theory was like that, I'd be skeptical as you are.

    Often, as a teacher, I get to talk to parents who are concerned about evolution. In my state, it is required in 8th grade science.

    After speaking to me, and learning that many of the things they had been told about it are false, they are less worried.

    I'm wondering if you have a verse that says it is inerrent.

    Including the errors? Many of them have been found and corrected, but surely many remain.

    Well, no. The flood, for example, could be completely allegorical, and the Resurrection historical.

    True. But a supernatural creation is consistent with a natural creation of specific things. This is what God says in Genesis.

    Perhaps you've also been misled about the "wild leaps". Could you tell me about them?

    Yep. But that's not what scientists who are Christian think.

    I don't know any strong proponent of evolution who thinks it's "wildly improbable".

    It's not that difficult. The biggest problem is that many people are familiar with a "Cartoon Theory" of evolution, and don't know much about the real one. It's worth your time to go to the library and find a good college text on evolution, and see what it says. It would save you a lot of trouble early on.

    Good luck. I hope to see you taking part soon.
     
  6. Helen

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    Hi WillRain!

    No way are you 'hijacking' a thread. These are started in the fervent hope that people will partake and offer their thoughts! Yours are most welcome (especially since we are on the same side... :D )

    Also, do not think that you are out of your depth scientifically. This is a discussion/debate forum. You are welcome here with your thoughts, your questions, your Bible knowledge, and your logic.

    A couple of notes on your interesting points.

    1. Although creation is uncheckable and unprovable, it might be mentioned that we do have God's Word on the subject, so it is certainly not unverified!

    2. Excellent thought.

    3. Absolutely right. Christ, being the Creator Himself, would certainly have known if Genesis was allegorical, but He kept referring to it as though it were the absolute historical truth! So did all the other Bible writers who made any reference to beginnings. Nowhere in the Bible is there any indication given that Genesis is anything but straightforward eyewitness history.

    4. There is some good evidence that Genesis is actually a true series of eyewitness accounts which were written from the beginning (see Gen. 5:1), given to Moses either as prince of Egypt or leader of the Israelites, and collated and edited by him, thus making Genesis, as a collection, known by his name as much as the four books he wrote.

    5. I agree with you about a mature creation as far as life on earth goes. However, the starlight and time problem is not a problem when you realize that the speed of light was faster in the past. My husband has worked extensively on this for over twenty years now. You can find much of his work here: www.setterfield.org
    If you go into the "Selected Research Papers" the first one you will find, published in 1987, contains the raw data concerning the falling speed of light over the last three hundred years. The other papers and the Discussion area of this site will give many of the continuing questions and answers and papers written. Feel free to email with any questions.

    6. Interesting way to look at it! I've not heard it worded quite that way before... [​IMG]

    7. Amen!

    Finally, please, no apologies necessary! Your post was well-written and presented some new ways of looking at things that I appreciated a lot. I read it again to try to find something that was rude about it and just could not find anything there! So thank you again for your contribution and God bless you!

    In the meantime, Galatian, with his cat-hyenas (I haven't heard you pull THAT one before, Galatian!) is mostly baiting you. Please forgive his rudeness in doing that!
     
  7. WillRain

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    Few note of clarification re Galtians post:

    1. By "Origin Theory" I mean any and all varieties of theories concernng abiogenesis and common desent evolution. I for one have no problem with diversification of species among the "kinds" created by God, but I have considerable difficulty with common ancestory between man and animal and between different major groupings of animals (i.e I consider it rediculus that a man, a dog, a fish, a bird, a snake, and a grasshopper all descended from a common protazoa or whatever).
    In other words it's a catch-all term for everything from ID to literalism to Hoyle to standard Darwinianism, etc.


    2. The admission that the supernatural is beyond the scope of science has the same practical effect as saying that it rules out the supernatural as a predetermined assumption. Since science, by it's very nature, seeks to answer every question, if it aknowledges that certain "answers" are beyond it's scope, then it is forced to seek answers where it can - even contrived answers if necessary - since it is not scientific to say "We don't know, we suppose it was a miricle"

    3. Again, I have no problem with existing life changing within kinds. Almost all creationist will aknowledge that this creture or that may be different in superficial ways from it's ancestor - a lizard may have a longer tail or a monkey may have larger ears...but they are still lizard and monkey respectivly - but the evidence for more serious evolution is tenious at best and constantly changing. Just recently an article in a major publication (Nature?) called into question the reptile/Bird connection which has become evolutionary gospel in the last few decades. Anything that nebulous MAY be consistant with Darwinism but is not COMPELLING.

    4. I'd be interested in man's special creation being "perfectly consistant with evolution"...I'd never heard that claim made by anyone on either side. Quite the contrary in fact.

    5. I did not mean to imply that Christ expressed an opinion. I do however infer that he would not have left us deluded about something so important.

    6. RE Hyenas. It was inevitable that I would make some such example that would be incorect in such a manner. I do not presume to debate the genetic roots of the species. Merely to indicate that it did not arise from a reptile or a fish or a kangeroo. But your point is taken.

    7. No example about the genders and secual as opposed to asexual reproduction may not be a technically accurate representation of evolutionary thinking, but I presented this discussion to my Masters holding biology teacher and she did not correct my thinking (albeit she to is skeptical of evolution), to wit:
    IF all life arose from single cell protist, then at SOME point, sexual reproduction evolved from asexual reproduction. Now, as I understand the matter, strictly in layman's terms, either the organs had to have devloped previous to their usefullness, which does not fit the evolutionary model, or they must have occured spontaniously which would have required the coincidence of a compatalbe gender at the same time and place.
    What is the third model?

    Another example, out of many that might be given, are animals which have some natural function which is dictated by their enviornemnt which either had to pre-exist the need for it or the race would have died out before it had time to develop it- Mcdowell's example of the Surinam toad for just one instance.

    8. I have no doubt there are a great many falsehoods and misunderstandings circulating in this debate, on both sides. Some of which I may be victim of, but I consider myself ahead of the curve on the matter. AiG is particulary good about pointing out the flaws in creationist more popular canards.

    9. 2 Peter 20-21

    20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. 21For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

    And I hope that you will not argue this refers only to the prophets since the context of the passage is clear that Peter is refering even to the letter he is at the moment writing.

    I think it's a valid assertion that what is inspired by the divine is inspired without error. Others may disagree. There are other Scriptures on the matter but I'm frankly too lazy to beat that horse.

    10. I'm not at all aware of errors in the original manuscrpit. There are of course transmission errors that have been found and corrected. Are you asserting that it's likely that we will an error which places the Genesis account in doubt as to it's authinticity?

    11. The fundamental principles of hermanutics would be seriously violated by reading the flood as allagory. That's not the way Bible interpretation works. Then again, a skeptic would ask you how you knew the resurrection was a historical fact and not an alagorical event "like the flood." How would you answer? There is scarecly more extra-biblical evidence for it - and almost all is circumstantial - than their is for the Noahdic Flood.

    Furthermore, if one ignores proper hermanutics to alagorize the Flood, by what well-established method does one decide what is alagory and what is true?

    12. Wild leaps like Crick's panspermia, like birds from dinos, like every supposition which has ever been paraded to account for an artifact which later turned out to be a fake or a misunderstanding, like the suppositions accepted whole necessary to understand things such as potassium/argon dating. Every significant evolutionary idea I've ever been exposed to EXCEPT change WITHIN kinds has had, at it's foundation, some unproveable, untestable ASSUMPTION.

    13. Quote: " Yep. But that's not what scientists who are Christian think"

    Then that begs the question: Why do thes folks strain so hard to reconcile a theory which might be here today and discredited tomorrow with their faith which, by it's very nature, is immutable?
    IF- IFIFIF - one is a "Christian Evolutionist" and one says "God started it all and left it/directed it to the state we find it in today, then WHAT is the difficulty in accepting the creation of various species "after their kinds"?

    Once you allow the supernatural into the equation at all, then many of science's assumptions are no longer necessary.

    11. Crick, for one, athiest and evolutionist, who's quoted as saying that the possibility that even a single molecule of DNA arrising from undirected reactions is so mathmatically improbable as to be essentially impossible. I don't have a database of quotes, but I've seen dozens in which it's strongly implied that the prevading understanding in th evolutionary leadership is that we, on Earth, "got lucky" on a collasal scale. not just once, but repeatedly.

    12. I am familiar with basic college level evolution. I've read far more than the average layman including purchasing some used texts and studying the matter.
    On another board I masde an assrtion which an aedent athist evolutioist ridiculed as a "rediculus characature of evolution which no evolutionist believed" - then I quoted him chapter and verse from my latest edition college Gen. Biology text and he had to apologize.

    that said, I cannot plumb the depts of those who have higher level degrees and specilizations in the area. I have been caught short in these debates before when an evolutionist made an assertion about an ID position which, though I thought it "smelled funny," I was intellectually unprepared to find the flaw in - assuming there was one of course.

    Thanks for the gracious response.
    --------------------------------------
    Helen:

    Thanks for the kind words, a few notes:

    1. You are right of course, I meant independently of Scripture, naturally.

    4. I think it helps to read those descriptions from a "man's eye view"...

    5. The speed of light research you mentioned is exactly the kind of thing I was thinking of. Again, the higher math sometimes leaves me shaking my head but I am aware that it's an area of ongoing research and I await with giddy anticipation a firm understanding of the matter.
    I'll have to check out the site you linked and see if I can handle it.

    Oh, and by "rude", I simply meant potentially starting a tangent which would detract from your intentions in strating the thread.

    Intresting reading here, but too much for my frazzeled brain I think.
     
  8. Paul of Eugene

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    Hello WillRain! Thanks for jumping in! are we having fun yet?


    The traditional evolutionist rejoinder at this is to invite the you to define what a "kind" is in this context. Cats, including tigers and pussycats? Mammals? Creatures with backbones? What we need is a biological clue so we can tell that, say, lions and housecats are or are not of the same kind.

    How about regarding the creation of man from the dust of the earth being symbolic for the evolutation past of the physical nature of man?

    I think mankind was utterly unprepared to accept most of modern science at the beginning of the first century A.D., and reticence on the part of the Divine is understandable.

    Genetic swapping is such a fantastic advantage to a living species! It is impressive in its ability to facilitate removal of defective genes. It also helps somewhat in spreading successful genes faster through a population. The initial genetic swapping methods arose in single celled bacteria. As multicellular life arose, genetic swapping was maintained. The specialization and development of sex organs was part and parcel of the specialization and development of all the organs. That is to say, multicellular life had to solve that problem one step at a time just like all the others. Which is why evolution absolutely requires millions of years for it to work. Just don't think evolutionists believe the animals all evolved and then afterwards evolved sex. Sex was present from the beginning of multicellular life.

    Transmission errors have been corrected but in many cases the judgement call is that the correction is only probable, not certain. There are enough of these that on probalistic grounds we can be sure some of those calls are in error, no matter who the editor is!

    It's not that the text presents the flood story as an allegory. Its that the geological evidence - such as a hundred thousand plus annual layers of ice in Greenland - proves there was no world wide flood, and therefore it must be re-interpreted.

    In my own mind, the "world wide" nature of the flood is in the mind of those who endured it, the world as they knew it. In somewhat the same fashion as when Caesar ordered that all the world should be taxed.

    Some of what you mentioned is truly a wild leap. Some of it is not. What's wrong with dating by means of analyzing the results of radioactive decay over the years? What kind of "wild" idea does that involve? Perhaps that God would keep the rules of His universe constant over the years? How wild is that?

    The teachings of the church are not immutable. It wasn't so long ago that all the church teachers, Catholic and Protestant, came down against the upstart views of Copernicus, for what they considered valid scriptural reasons. Today the followers of Copernicus (including updates to his basic idea, of course) have won the field. The current dispute between some factions of christianity and evolution is a repeat of that history.

    But when you say this, you are disregarding the evidence for a world older that 10,000 years and the positive evidence that evolution did, in fact, take place.

    Any literalist will reinterpret scripture in spite of the literal statement of scripture when they absolutely KNOW it can't be true. You can watch them do it before your very eyes.

    As an interested layman, would you be kind enough to check out my critique of Setterfield faster than light theory? Jump down to the thread on Setterfield variable light speed theory. The post I want you to check out is on page 5 in the middle of the page, the post with the thought experiment in it. I tried very hard to make a very clear and simple to understand. Did I succeed? Please let me know! By the way, I'm also a layman in the sciences.
     
  9. WillRain

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    Paul:

    1. RE: "Kinds"...I'd have to look it up to be sure I'm on the right level but my top of the head guess is "families" though that could go up order or MAYBE Class, or down to Genus. I'm too much a laymen to be well versed in the distinctions below Phylum.

    2. Actually, what I was wondering was where the scientific distinction between man's physicality and his spirituality arose from. Also, if Adam was the first to have been given some special status, then do we further extrapolate that there was no reproduction between his (fallen) decendents and the non-spiritualized "men"...or is this a means of explaining the Nephelum(sp) contreversy? In any case, one would assume God would disaprove of such interaction and it seems surpassingly odd that these "almost men" were wandering about and Genesis makes absolutly no mention of their interaction with the decendents of Adam.

    3. I agre that the people in Christ's presence would not have understood a refutation of a literal Genesis creation, but there is an implicit acceptance of Genesis in several NT passage whcih a perfect Almighty could have easily avoided without confusing his first century hearers, IMO.

    4. I was not trying to imply that they evolved first then adapted new sexual devices...though I may be revealing a key bit of ignorence by saying so, I understand the GenSwaps are another form of "reproduction" inasmuch as you can learn about it in GenBiology...but I fail to see how it could, would, or should account for the progression from asexual to sexual reproduction.

    Specilization and development of many, many organs are questionable in my mind *the ever present Eye example for instance) but I chose the sexual example because of the compounding of the problem by the "two tracks" necessary for both male and female to develop in a time and place and comatapility to be useful

    5. I agree with you about Transmission corrections. I merely ment that they had been corrected to the current best understanding. But I move the previous question: It is quite a leap from debating the authinticity of the Comma Johnian to indicting the veracity of the Genesis account which, I presume, is the only relevence of transmission errors to this thread.

    6. RE: Greenland.
    NOW, here's a chance for me to learn something!
    I do not ask this to be "smart mouthed" it is a genuine request for information...
    How do the ice layers in Greenland establish that the whole place was not at some point underwater? How is the existance of all those layers of ice inconsistant with all the layers which existed in Noah's day having been submerged? I don't see the connection

    7. As to the local flood concept, I am curious what purpose the story serves if this is so - and why would God have done it that way?
    Why tell him to build a boat when he could have just said "Move to the mountains?
    Why save all those animals when there were plenty of other similar animals in other parts of the world?
    Why use it as an allogory for salvation in Christ when other people in other places would have been SAVED in other ways?
    Why would Christ use it for an illustration if ALL those who were "eating and drinking and getting married" did NOT get chaught unaware and die?
    Furthermore, how is a flood deep enough to put a boat the size of the Ark deep in the Turkish mountains any less of an event than a world wide flood?

    I submit that we try to impose on the Biblical world the physical conditions of our own world in terms of altitude of highest land and sources of water among other things.
    I realize it's problematic in terms of some "accepted" geological thinking, but I lean towards the concept that the "Pangia" (sp) mega-continent was in existance at the begining of the flood and that there was a water canopy in the atmosphere and that both of these were broken up by one or more astoroid strikes which created enough upheavel to achive a world-wide flood.

    I do not pretend to be enough of a geologist to defend that, but it's my version of your "in my own mind" opinion. :D

    8. The "leap" in radioactive dating is primarily that one can know how much of the mother element and how much of the duaghter element were in the original sample and whether or not there has been some outside influance on the total other than decay. There is a good bit of data from the Mt. St. Helens lava flows which indicates that these dating methods have huge flaws. (lots of stuff that calls into question things like fossilization methods and petrified trees and so forth too)

    9. I do not say that the teachings of the church - ESPECIALLY in non-theological matters - is immutable. What I am saying is ones personal comitment to faith in a Christ which rose from the dead is, by definition, immutable. whatever else may be debated, if one is a genuine Christian, one has aknowledged AT LEAST ONE supernatural fact which they are firmly commited to.

    10. I am not so much disregarding evidence of an older universe as I am reserving judgement on a body of thought that is in flux in favor of a matter which is - in my mind - firmly established: that there IS a Supernatural being and he HAS involved himself in time and space.

    Whatever other "facts" come to light, I am REQUIRED by intellectual honesty to evaluate them in light of THAT salient fact.
    Take the debate about the change of light speed for instance.

    It IS a matter which can be debated. One which has some conflicting matters at hand. If you believe it is not, then bare with me and let's assume it does for the sake of this point:

    Let's assume that I accept the traditional constant which has been firmly accepted for most of a century. Having done so, I am forced to concede an ancint earth as at least a possibility if not a requirement. In doing so, I call into question the statements of God's word and "re-evaluate then to make them fit the "facts" concerning light speed.

    THEN, lo and behold, someone comes along and PROVES that c is not infact constant but is slowing. Thie theory catches on and withn a decade or two it's an "everybody knows" fact.

    What of my compromise of Scripture? Turns out I question God's word for nothing.

    Now, Setterfield et al MAY FAIL to make their case, but as long as that and other matters are still subject to change, who am I to throw out God's testimony - or at least my understanding of it - in favor of theory which might or might not change next week?

    I reiterate, that which is beyond dispute, I am forced by intellectual honesty to fit into my concept of Scripture, but VERY little of what falls under the Darwinian rubric is so firmly established, IMO.

    11. RE the Setterfield post...

    I think you made your point clearly (if I understand it correctly of course :D ) but I'm not enough of a mathmatician to know if it follows. My gut reaction is that the properties of radio waves and even planetary orbits cannot be asumed to be unaffected by the difference in c and thus the signal could possibly have been, to use a lay term, compressed in some manner so that as c "stretched" so the signal would have stretched to a year in length.
    But I'd be WAY out of my depth to calculate why that would be.
    I can only presume that honest researchers will give thought to the matters you present and they will either be reconciled, or the theory modified (the scientific way after all). It stands to reason that such a radical new way of thinking would be beset for years with the ancilary concerns (much like the "frying" radiation mentioned in the paper Helen suggested) which would have to be considered and reconciled to the theory.
    I would suggest that it is WAY to early in the process to suggest the matters you mention DISPROVE Setterfield, merely they are matters yet unresolved sufficiantly for the theory to gain acceptance.
    Until these (and no doubt other as yet unpresented concerns) are addressed and said address either does or does not withstand scrutiny, the hypothisis cannot be said to have been either proved OR disproved.
     
  10. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    Hello again, WillRain! With a name like that, you'd fit right in over here in Oregon.

    Does this mean you'd agree with the idea of tigers and pussy cats having a common ancestor? That's a lot of evolution to accept!

    You know, I've always wondered about the Nephelim passage. Does it represent a mingling of the seed of men with their physical equivalents after God made Adam a living soul? I have no idea. The literal interpretation would be that angels had sex with men, which would appear to contradict our Lord's comment that they neither marry nor are given in marriage. But I think we're going to have to wait for heaven to learn the definitive answer.

    Not really. The stories of Adam and Eve would have been passed down through oral tradition over the mellinia and each time it was passed on, only the details understood by the receiving generation would survive. Finally they would have been reduced to written form. In saying this, I am accepting the findings of mainstream science as to the amount of time men have been on the earth. The generations are necessarily truncated - oral tradition can only carry down so much.

    When Christ quoted the Old Testament, He was wanting to lend the authority of scripture to His statements, and this is why he quoted them.
    Well this is the essense of the contribution of Darwin to evolutionary theory. Prior to Darwin's publication, men of science were becoming aware of the antiquity of life and the need for evolution, but were at a loss to explain how it could possibly work. A feeling you can understand, I'm sure! What Darwin came up with was a mechanism that could explain it all.

    a) The arrival of variation (Darwin phrased it that way because the science of genetics was still to come)

    b) the winnowing out of impractical or hermful variation via natural selection and

    c) The adding of new functions in a cumulative fashion, bit by bit, here a little, there a little, over eons of time.

    The whole theory of evolution is there in a nutshell. There is the grand declaration that it is actually possible to bring about the full complexity of the eye, the sexual organs, the liver, the whole complex, one mutation at a time.

    Once one sees a thing to be clearly true - or thinks one has, which to one's self is the same thing - one must interpret accordingly! We just aren't left with any other choice! And that's my state with regard to evolution. I see it to be true so clearly - the evidence seems so complete and definitive . . .

    Well, think about it. What would six months of being underwater do to the ice? If it didn't make it all break loose and float away, it would erode the top part, and leave a very dirty, very thick layer in the ice.

    Now it is possible in the ice layers to detect the transition between summer and winter. Counting these layers down has been done past 100,000 years in a reliable, steady fashion. This shows no flood touched the Greenland ice fields for the past one hundred thousand years. It also shows the Greenland ice fields date back that far, which disproves all interpretations of the age of the universe that go back only 6 to 10 thousand years.

    Maybe to preserve primarily the domestic, clean animals for the use of men post flood? Maybe to facilitate the local ecology replenishment?

    Perhaps the traditional location is incorrect.

    As the premier method of dating ancient material, the use of radioactive decay elements has been extensively analyzed and refined. Daughter elements differ from natural elements by having differing isotopes. In addition, it is possible to take a given sample and compare several different chains and by simultaneously solving for the various equations each suggests, come up with the one age that gives a consistent result for them all; this allows one to compensate for an unknown number of contaminates.

    Critics of the process generally push the boundaries and stress the methods and examples known to be indeterminate anyway. These things have been calibrated, for example by checking carbon 14 dating against tree ring counts going back 20000 years more or less . . . enough to prove YEC theories wrong.

    This idea that science is always changing anyway is an idea that has come up in several posts recently. It is true that there are areas of science that are in the forefront of development, and we see news releases about them. There are also areas, however, that are much more firmly settled. I would be flabbergasted if scientific progress ever made obsolete the notion that water is composed of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. In my mind, that just can't happen! It is a matter of ongoing investigation how to fine tune the hominid evolutionary tree. The fact of common descent for all life is, in the judgment of most students of science, firmly established.

    Well, there we differ, apparantly. Perhaps we can discuss that along the way.

    Well, Setterfield theory explicitly states that when the speed of light slows, the wave lengths - and hence the length of an entire single year's information stream - does not change.

    Should Setterfield alter his theory and suggest that, instead, light altered the wave length, then the fact that light arrives at identical wave lengths today implies it was generated at much longer wave lengths in the days of living men. These much longer wave lengths would be impossible to focus by the small lens within the human eye and all the people alive during that time would be blind, only able to tell light from dark. Setterfield doesn't go that route, I merely point out this problem if he did.

    In addition, Setterfield theory requires that energy conservation be abandoned, that Einstein's theory of Relativity cannot apply, and besides he hasn't reconciled gravity with it yet anyway. The energy conservation abandonment alone is enough to cause horror among physicists. The conservation of energy is one of the foundations of modern physics.

    You're not going to have to worry about any theory stating the speed of light has changed withing the past 10 billion years. Astronomical observations just flat rule them out!

    Certainly God intervenes to cause miracles. But one expects the miracles to afterwards leave a discernable trace. A healed man, grave clothes left in an empty tomb, for example. Twelve baskets of food fragments when before there was so little food.

    Where are the flood traces in the geological arena? They certainly aren't in the Greenland ice core data.
     
  11. Helen

    Helen
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    Paul, most of this is so that WillRain will know what you have already been told innumerable times before...

    Does this mean you'd agree with the idea of tigers and pussy cats having a common ancestor? That's a lot of evolution to accept!

    Something along the lines of chihuahua and great Dane?

    You know, I've always wondered about the Nephelim passage. Does it represent a mingling of the seed of men with their physical equivalents after God made Adam a living soul? I have no idea. The literal interpretation would be that angels had sex with men, which would appear to contradict our Lord's comment that they neither marry nor are given in marriage. But I think we're going to have to wait for heaven to learn the definitive answer.

    Or you can look to the Bible to explain Bible. "Sons of God" is a common reference to those who are believers. The reference in Genesis 6, then would be to believers marrying non-believers, something to be avoided in both the old and new Testaments.

    The stories of Adam and Eve would have been passed down through oral tradition over the mellinia and each time it was passed on, only the details understood by the receiving generation would survive. Finally they would have been reduced to written form.

    Then why does Genesis 5:1 indicate it was in written form from the beginning? And if Gen. 5:1 is correct, then so are the details of Genesis 1:1 on...

    When Christ quoted the Old Testament, He was wanting to lend the authority of scripture to His statements, and this is why he quoted them.

    One does not quote allegories or fables in order to give oneself credibility or authority!


    What Darwin came up with was a mechanism that could explain it all.

    Except that it doesn't.
    a) variation was built into the genetic structure of each kind and is lost through time via natural selection.

    b)if natural selection winnowed out impractical or harmful variations, then 1)there would be no such thing as a genetic load in species; 2)the common complaint that 'God would not have done it this way' regarding 'impractical' variations should more rightly be turned on evolution; 3) we would see elimination of genetic problems with time.

    So I guess natural selection doesn't 'winnow' out deleterious mutations to the extent claimed after all!

    c) The idea of new functions being added 'in a cumulative fashion, bit by bit, here a little, there a little, over eons of time' is pure imagination. There is NO extant evidence to back up this claim.

    Once one sees a thing to be clearly true - or thinks one has, which to one's self is the same thing - one must interpret accordingly! We just aren't left with any other choice!

    Depending on one's own mind and understanding is a chancy way to go. God is the Creator. He told us clearly what happened. Even if we do not understand, that is only reason to doubt ourselves, not God.

    Regarding the Geenland ice cores: the ice age came AFTER the Flood! Read Job. Why should they show any signs of the Flood at all? Instead, they are record of the turbulence of the weather patterns for some time after.

    Paul's idea of a local Flood falls flat on its face given his 'reasons' for Noah having to build the ark in that scenario!


    Regarding radiometric dating -- it falls flat on its face in terms of accurately describing orbital time if there have been changes in the atomic constants such as Planck's 'constant' or the speed of light. And these changes have been measured. Radio decay rates were much faster in the past.

    Using dendrochronology to check C14 dates is also inaccurate past just a few thousand years:
    http://www.setterfield.org/RadiometricDating.htm#dendro

    This idea that science is always changing anyway is an idea that has come up in several posts recently. It is true that there are areas of science that are in the forefront of development, and we see news releases about them.

    And a great deal of them have to do with things like atomic constants, the state of the universe, 'common ancestry' and the like! This has nothing to do with the chemical composition of water, which can be tested. To confuse man's interpretation of data with chemical analysis is not something which should be done by anyone.

    Regarding c again: since its speed is a result of the existence of the number of virtual particles in any given volume of space, one would have to show that these particles, or some other result of an increasing zero point energy, would impact other sorts of waves or gravity in the same way in order to establish a connection.

    In Genesis 1:14, God gave us orbital time to keep our clocks by, as this is stable regardless of changes on the atomic level.

    Setterfield theory explicitly states that when the speed of light slows, the wave lengths - and hence the length of an entire single year's information stream - does not change.

    The speed of the messenger and the message are two different things.

    In addition, Setterfield theory requires that energy conservation be abandoned, that Einstein's theory of Relativity cannot apply, and besides he hasn't reconciled gravity with it yet anyway.

    The conservation of energy is primary to Barry's material; Einstein's work is upheld on the atomic level; he is working on the gravity and mass paper right now. Please, Paul, do not make untrue statements about his work.

    conservation of energy:
    http://www.setterfield.org/quantumredshift.htm#twotypesintro
    http://www.setterfield.org/report/report.html#t24
    http://www.setterfield.org/AstronomicalDiscussion.htm#1987A (check under the second 'comment')

    regarding Einstein's material:
    http://www.setterfield.org/MassandEnergy.htm#anchor16006681
    http://www.setterfield.org/quantumredshift.htm#atomvacprop

    IN fact, feel free to use the search engine at the bottom of Barry's front page (www.setterfield.org) and type in the word "Einstein", or "conservation of energy", etc. Then please read. Then comment about what he does or does not say, OK?
     
  12. BobRyan

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    This is a good point Helen.

    It is JUST as "unnacceptable" to the atheist evoltionist to say that God came down and CREATED living cells supernaturally - as to say that God came down - formed man out of the dust of the earth and breathed into him the breath of life "And man BECAME a living Soul". BOTH are "unnacceptable" to our atheist evolutionist friends.

    But what is "more apparent" is that the mythologies proposed by evolutionism are "far LESS effecient" than making mankind on day 6 - after 5 "Evening and Morning" cycles of light and dark.

    So it is indeed a "compromise" to claim that God supernaturally MADE life - but then had it evolve in the MOST blood-thirsty carnage-centric starvation-and-extinction-prone innefficient system that could be imagined by our evolutionist friends.

    And yet some Christians choose that compromise in spite of the damage it does to the Gospel of Jesus Christ "Maker of Heaven and Earth".

    Bob
     
  13. BobRyan

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    There are none so blind as those who will not see.

    "World Wide evidence that all land was under water and teaming with sea life - SURE but where is the evidence of a world wide flood?"

    "World Wide evidence of catastrophic world wide extinction event - SURE but where is the evidence of a world wide flood"?

    "WHEN they maintain this it ESCAPES their notice that by THE WORD of the Lord the heavens EXISTED long ago and the earth was FORMED out of water and BY water, through which the World AT THAT TIME was DESTROYED, being flooded with water. But the PRESENT heavens and earth by His Word are being reserved for FIRE".
    2Peter 3:5-6.

    So even though our evolutionist friends suffer the indignity of not being able to show "abiogenesis" let alone major information injection via minor mutations within "a kind" leading to a "new kind" - yet still "the Bible is wrong" while "guesswork is to prevail" among those who cling to the atheist's trump card - the mythologies of evolutionism.

    Bob
     
  14. Paul of Eugene

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    Hi Bob! Let me assure you, this particular evolutionist has no concerns or fears about the "danger" of discovering God created life. If it someday is proven life could not start on its own, then we know the creator gave it that start. If it is someday proven that life can be started by natural means, then we know it is at least plausible that the Creator allowed life to begin by natural means. I eagerly await more information along that line but however it turns out, that issue will not shake my faith in God.
     
  15. Paul of Eugene

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    Greetings, Helen! May God continue to help you with the health issues you've mentioned and give you every blessing.

    WillRain, I trust you'll understand why I'm addressing this reply to my reply to Helen primarily just for the sake of constructing the reply, but feel free to jump in any time. That goes for Bob and everybody else, of course.

    Helen, are you under the impression that the great cats - Lions, Tigers, Cheetahs, Leapords, Mountain lions, Wildcats, Housecats . . . . are all as interchangeable as our current breeds of dogs? ( )yes ( )no

    Oh, you mean look for verses referring to Sons of God? Try these:

    The interpretation that the "sons of God" represent angelic beings goes way back to the book of Enoch and is still found today.

    I am looking for the part where it says "written form from the beginning". All I see is "written form at the present time". Please be careful not to add things to God's word that are not there, and to distinguish between your interpretations and what it really says.

    Aesop might disagree with you there. Go ahead, tell us the works of Aesop are without value because they are fables. But Scripture allegories are more than fables, even if we know they are not literally true. Jesus quoted the scriptures because those to whom he spoke revered the scriptures, tho they misused them. If they are allegories, they are God's chosen allegories.

    OK Your prediction is that genetic variation was greator in the past and is less now. Evolution predicts that genetic variation is normally increasing (except when major extinctions occur).
    This looks like a possible test between your views and the views of evolutionists. Are you willing to agree that evidence for increasing genetic variation with time would be a valid test between evolution and your views? ( ) yes ( ) no

    LOL! That's like saying if a bilge pump keeps water out of the boat then the bottom of the boat must ipso facto be perfectly dry. The pump can't even function until there's water to pump and genetic selection can't weed out genetic problems until there are some genetic problems to work with. This is such a no brainer I'm surprised you try to make your point that way. At any one time, there will be a steady state of genetic defects in a population, some being input by mutation, while natural selection aided by genetic exhange (sex) takes them out.

    I think you're referring here to the conundrum for special creation that there are oddities in the design that no creator would have intelligently put there. Such things as the little toes on our feet, for example, or a coccyx moving muscle attached to an unmoveable coccyx, or ear wiggling muscles that most of us can't even use (tho some can). Now that you mention it, that is evidence for evolution, but I don't see your point about turning it on evolution . . .

    Did I specify an extent? I only maintain natural selection is able to KEEP UP with genetic problems.

    The evidence is all around you.

    One must depend on one's own mind to decide to do that. You're not making any sense. One must depend on one's own mind to decide what one thinks is a statment from God. Besides, He told me differently:

    I brought these two quotes together to point out to all a very interesting problem for Helen's geological history.

    Note that she claims that in Greenland the additional layers of ice that fools all the scientists in the field into thinking there are a hundred thousand annual layers of ice are really due to multiple storms of a world wide nature that caused the exact same appearance as annual layers to come about on the ice fields.

    Note that she further claims that in the forests of the world, all of them without exception wherever we are able to investigate, multiple heat and cold cycles caused trees to put out additional annual layers of wood that exactly simulate real years. Not thinner layers, mind you, whole complete new annual layers of wood, suitable for fooling the scientists in the field.

    I ask all and sundry: Is it reasonable to expect all that extra tree growth under such conditions or wouldn't the trees be stress out and shut down or even die? Shall we subject a test tree to a few extra ice age storms and expect more wood as a result? Some of us think Helen's solutions to the dating results achieved in the field are unreasonable.

    There was more to Helen's post that had to do with Setterfield's Variable Light Speed theory which I will respond to under that thread.
     
  16. Peter101

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    &gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;Radio decay rates were much faster in the past.&lt;&lt;&lt;

    But there is not the slightest evidence of that.


    &gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;Using dendrochronology to check C14 dates is also inaccurate past just a few thousand years&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;

    You seem to be admitting that it is accurate up to a few thousand years. But if Setterfield's ideas are correct, it should be highly inaccurate even at 4 to 6,000 years, something you don't seem to be claiming - or are you?
     
  17. Peter101

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    Helen often provides a link in her posts to a discussion of C-14 dating on Setterfield's web site. I quote here a portion of the text from that web site, which is a quote from an article by Trevor Major. The article is referred to approvingly by Helen and Barry. Here is the quote, which is apparently accepted by Helen and Barry:

    "Radiocarbon dating assumes that the carbon-12/carbon-14 ratio has stayed the same for at least the last hundred thousand years or so. However, the difference between production and decay rates, and the systematic discrepancy between radiocarbon and tree-ring dates, refute this assumption."

    The problem with the above claim is that it is simply not true. Mainstream science has not assumed the the C-12 to C-14 ratio is constant, at least it has not been assumed in dating of samples during the last 40 years. It was discovered, I think in the 1960s, that the ratio was not constant back in time. All dating that is done now, and for the past 30 years or so, makes corrections for that potential problem. I can only wonder why the Setterfields continue to propagate that myth? What about it Helen, don't you think you need to update your site, to discuss what really is done in C-14 dating?
     
  18. Paul of Eugene

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    On the other hand, Peter, it needs to be pointed out that when we speak of correcting the carbon 14 age scale today, we are not talking about making a great big change. Its more like a minor adjustment.
     
  19. Helen

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    I'm bringing this up in reference to the original subject and want to add this information from an email (I'm cleaning stuff out this evening!). I think it is well-referenced and does show the impossibility of abiogenesis:

    =================


    As with so much of evolution, the misinformation on the topics related thereto have been so often repeated instead of being deleted, especially in school curriculums and textbooks, not to mention sites like these, that science fiction has been masquerading as science.

    An important pioneer in scientific research on abiogenesis is Alexander I. Oparin. In 1924, he determined what chemicals must be in the earth atmosphere for amino acids to be formed (e.g. methane, hydrogen, and
    ammonia) and what chemicals ought not to be there that will prohibit the formation of amino acids (e.g. Oxygen). Scientists like A.I. Oparin and J.B.S. Haldane proposed a sequence for life's origins in the 1920's, from complicated molecules in an oily liquid he called coacervate droplets, to the first protocell, to enzymes, to finally genes.

    Miller prepared an experiment to observe what complicated molecules' might be produced under Oparin-Haldane's proposed ideal pre-biotic atmosphere. Sure enough, in an assumed atmosphere that was DESIGNED to produce amino acids, it was not at all surprising that amino acids formed:

    The Products of the Miller Experiment: Tar 85%
    Carboxylic acids not important to life 13.0%
    Glycine 1.05%
    Alanine 0.85%
    Glutamic acid trace
    Aspartic acid trace
    Valine trace
    Leucine trace
    Serine trace
    Proline trace
    Treonine trace

    Note: Glycine and Alanine are the two simplest amino acids of the twenty proteinous amino acids found in living creatures.

    Miller's results were well received and widely reported by the mass media to be a major confirmation of evolution and of life arising spontaneously without a Creator. It became a valuable weapon in the evolutionists' propaganda arsenal for brain washing and brow beating the public and more so, unwary students, into accepting the legitimacy of Evolution.

    The Miller-Urey experiment that produced amino acids under laboratory controlled conditions has been misrepresented in much High school, college and other text books. It is often presented that this experiment demonstrates that amino acids, necessary for life, form naturally in a primitive atmosphere. It is usually further asserted or implied that this experiment demonstrates that abiogenesis is highly probable and that this further demonstrates that evolution (Darwinian) is indeed a fact. Of course such textbooks are nonsense; this experiment demonstrates nothing of the kind. In fact, the Miller-Urey experiment demonstrates the opposite, it revealed the overwhelming difficulties that exist with the view that life can form naturally from non-living chemicals.

    The key word above is 'controlled'. Intelligent control is what gets one the outcome they are looking for.

    Using a system of glass flasks, Steven Miller attempted to simulate Alexander Oparin's ideal atmospheric conditions. He passed a mixture of H2O, ammonia, methane and hydrogen through an electrical spark discharge. At the bottom of the apparatus was a trap to capture any molecules made by the reaction. This trap prevented whatever chemicals formed from being destroyed by the energy source used to create them. Eventually, Miller was able to produce the above described mixture, containing the amino acids described above, and the building blocks of proteins.

    This was as good as the science ever got for the evolutionists and their hopes for abiogenesis. From now on things get much worse for the Evolutionists. What the public and students have not been told about what science knows concerning the 'origin of life'.

    To achieve his results, Miller had to use something that material evolutionists 'KNOW' did not exist in the pre-biotic earth: intelligence and mental "know-how". He drew on decades of knowledge of organic chemistry in setting up his experiment. The proportions of the various gases used, the actual apparatus, the position of the electrodes, the intensity of the spark, and the chemical trap, were all carefully adjusted to create maximum yield from the experiment.

    Many attempts by Stanley Miller failed to produce any amino acids or other building blocks of life.

    In an effort to make his Oparin atmosphere to mimic actual atmospheric conditions, Miller arranged fro his electrical discharge to simulate lightning. After a week of these lightning type electrical discharges in the reaction chamber, the sides of the chamber turned black and the liquid mixture turned a cloudy red. The predominant product was a gummy black substance made up of billions of carbon atoms strung together in what was essentially tar, a common nuisance in organic reactions.

    However, no amino acids used by living systems or other building blocks of life, were produced on these first attempts. In his own words, Miller stated "An attempt was made to simulate lightning discharge by building up a large quantity of charge on a condenser until the spark jumped the gap between the electrodes. ... Very few organic compounds were produced and this discharge was not investigated further." from Robert Shapiro: "Origins, A Skeptics Guide ..." P. 103. 1986.

    Only by constantly readjusting and fine tuning his apparatus and using a continuous electrical charge that Miller eventually obtained the amino acids indicated it above. Even when using the same gas mixture and a continuous electrical discharge, Miller did not obtain any positive results until placing the apparatus in a different order. Shapiro, Ph.D. Chemistry, noted that with respect to the use of "Intelligence" and "Know How:" on the part of the experimenters to achieve the results they desire in "Origin of Life" type experiments:

    (P. 102-103)

    "another significant factor also influences the products being formed in an experiment of this type, but is less recognized, selection by the experimenter."

    "One clear message should emerge from this discussion. A variety of results may be possible from the same general type of experiment. The experimenter, by manipulating apparently unimportant variables, can affect the outcome profoundly. The data that he reports may be valid, but if only these results are communicated, a false impression may arise concerning the universality of the process. This situation was noticed by Creationist writer, Martin Lubenow, who commented: "I am convinced that in every origin of life experiment devised by evolutionists, the intelligence of the experimenter is involved in such a way as to prejudice the experiment.""

    Now it gets much worse for Abiogenesis.

    The tar tends to fix the amino acids so that they are not that free to Bond. Bonding between amino acids must happen if theses amino acids are to form any kind of molecular structures leading to a replicating life form.

    Now it gets fatally worse for abiogenesis. Miller's amino acids are useless as a basis for abiogenesis.

    The amino acids formed were racemates. That is, each amino acid was produced in equal quantities of Dextrorotary (Right handed Molecules) and Laevorotary (Left handed) molecules. Furthermore, both right and left handed amino acids bond to each other equally well. However, all of life's proteins are made from left-handed amino acid chains. If just a single right handed amino acid molecule binds to a forming three dimensional chain of left handed amino acids, that right handed amino acid is lethal to the formation of the three dimensional chain. "Without exception, all of Miller's amino acids are completely unsuitable for any type of spontaneous generation of life. And the same applies to all and any randomly formed substances and amino acids that form racemates. This statement is categorical and absolute and cannot be affected by special conditions. This is scientific fact." (1)

    You can never even "naturally" achieve an RNA world because of this scientific fact.

    All amino acids that form by natural causes alone are racemized. Even those found on comets are racemized.

    Though the above is fatal to any scenario for abiogenesis, things continued to get worse for the evolutionists conception of origins.

    Oparin's ideal atmosphere of Methane, Ammonia, Hydrogen, and without Oxygen never existed! We've known for at least the past thirty years that the pre-biotic atmosphere had oxygen that is lethal to the formation of life's building blocks, and it had at best, traces of methane, ammonia, and hydrogen. Ultra-violet let would have destroyed amino acids formed in the atmosphere, and the chemicals of the ocean would have destroyed life's building blocks that ended up there.

    Along the lines of beating a dead horse, the evolutionists hope for abiogenesis gets even more bad news from science:

    When amino acids bond together in pre-biotic experiments, they do so in several different ways using several types of links as the molecular bonds. Only the type of link known as alpha link is used in all proteins from known life. In origin of life experiments, the alpha link is greatly outnumbered by the other types of links. Even if we greatly favor the evolutionist's possibilities by allowing for every link in a forming 100 unit polypeptide chain to have a 50-50 chance of being an alpha type link, the probability of getting a 100 unit amino acid chain using only alpha links is 10 to the 30th power to one.

    And it still gets worse for the evolutionists:

    There are 20 amino acids needed for life. These are called proteinous amino acids. There are hundreds of amino acids that are not proteinous. Stephen Gould once asked, "Why only a few amino acids in organisms when the [primordial] soup must have contained at least ten times as many." Amino acid molecules can link-up (polymerize) to form polypeptide chains. Those with certain structure and characteristics are called functional proteins. Functional proteins will consist of chains of 90 to 1000 amino acids. In a soup containing proteinous amino acids and 10 times the number of non-proteinous amino acids (which Gould says must have been there) then the probability of getting a functional protein consisting of 100 proteinous amino acids is 10 to the 100th power to one. It is not going to happen.

    There are other scientific facts that drive more nails into the coffin of the concept abiogenesis.

    To make life, we need amino acids, sugars, bases, and phosphates. This gives us other catch 22's. You need formaldehyde to make sugars, but formaldehyde fixes amino acids so that they do not react. Methane polymerizes formaldehyde, but must be present to make amino acids. Amino acids plus bases destroys formaldehyde. Calcium and magnesium in our oceans destroy phosphates; you can't get phosphates in oceans. Energy needed to make amino acids also destroys the amino acids.

    R. Shapiro, Ph.D. Chemistry, "The Improbability of Pre-biotic Nucleic Acid Synthesis" 14 Origin of Life 565, 1984, relates how experiments like Miller-Urey have very limited significance because of the implausible conditions under which they are conducted:

    "Many accounts of the origin of life assume the spontaneous synthesis of a self replicating nucleic acid could take place readily. However, these procedures use pure starting materials, afford poor yields, and are run under conditions that are not compatible with one another. Any nucleic acid components that were formed in the primitive earth would tend to hydrolyze by a number of pathways. Their polarization would be inhibited by the presence of vast numbers of related substances which would react preferentially with them."

    The above is much more than enough to convince all reasonable people that abiogenesis is scientifically unfeasible. Louis Pasteur is correct when he gave us the biogenetic law that states that life only comes from life. It takes intelligence and 'know how' to create life. Non-thoughtful processes can not create life because those processes are controlled by the Laws of Physics and Chemistry and they can not place the necessary boundary conditions on the laws of physics and chemistry to form a living being.

    I could go on and on, but the point is made. What the laws of chemistry and physics tell us is that the most profound statement ever written on origin of life is: "In the beginning, G-d Created...".

    (1) Arthur Ernest Wilder-Smith: "The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution", p. 17, (1981, TWFT Publishers).

    Post 2

    I have just posted a very powerful scientific refutation of abiogenesis. These science facts have been known in scientific circles, but scientists still published, or permit to be published, misinformation and untruths about the significance of the Miller-Urey type experiments, misleading both the public and, even worse, vulnerable students. Indoctrinating them into believing falsehoods, again as witnessed by many postings on these type forums. They were most likely influenced by many sources of misinformation such as:

    Carl Sagan appearing on a Nova episode about two decades ago declared how the Earth once had an atmosphere consisting mostly of Methane for hundreds of millions of years, 'a methane world' he called it, a world in which living things breathed methane. Then he spoke of how life as we know it had begun under this reduced atmosphere, and he speculated how life that lived off methane was destroyed by a new poisonous gas that entered the atmosphere caused by this "new life", and replaced the methane: that gas being Oxygen! And his BS was all based on the Oparin model and he spoke to the public as if it was scientifically established fact.

    Here is another example from the third (1984) edition of a College textbook `Elements of Biology' which still declares, like many others text books, that the Miller-Urey 1953 experiment provides `important support for his [Alexander Oparin] theory' that `living things chemically evolved from inorganic gases ... in the primitive earth atmosphere'. As if this lie was not enough this textbook goes on to state as follows:

    "The relative ease with which the amino acids were formed is of great significance. ... In many other experiments that have followed Miller's breakthrough effort, other forms of energy have been successfully used in the laboratory to create not only amino acids but also other critical biological molecules. Thus it appears that no special obstacles would have interfered with the construction of the essential building blocks of life on the primitive Earth, given the amount of time now believed to have passed since the formation of the Earth (see fig 219)[ fig. 219 shows the sun as energy input shining on Earth during `chemical evolution' during Earth's 1st 800 million years, `1st self-replicating molecule or protogene over next 300 million years, `Life' 3.5 billion years ago]. ... these experiments have led many biologists to accept the idea that once air and ground conditions on Earth were suitable for life [Oparin Model], LIFE WAS INEVITABLE." [Emphasis mine]

    Here is a more recent example:

    Barron's Review Course Series "Let's Review: Biology", Barron's Educational Series, 1995.

    "... the [pre-biotic earth over hundreds of millions of years] "filled with inorganic and organic substances such as water (H2O), ammonia (NH3), methane (NH3), hydrogen gas (H2), and various mineral salts. These substances mixed together in a primitive atmosphere and oceans to form a thin hot soup, in which random chemical reactions could occur at a rapid rate. Gaseous oxygen and carbon dioxide are thought NOT to be present in this early stage." P. 246-7.

    Barron's "Let's Review: Biology" continues: Scientist Stanley Miller "set up a controlled environment that simulated [THE Pre-biotic Atmosphere described above]... After several days of continuous electrical input, Millers experimental flasks contained the precursors (beginning
    forms) for several simple organic substances, including amino acids, simple sugars, and nucleotides. In later experiments, Sidney Fox, and other scientists demonstrated Miller's precursor's could be joined together into complex molecular arrangements and grouped to form cell-like structures. ... Increasing structural complexity of cellular aggregates, including the formation of complex proteins and nucleic acids, is thought to have led to the ability to reproduce new cellular aggregates. The ability to reproduce is considered to have represented the last critical step leading to a living condition, marking the difference between mere chemical aggregates and true living cells." P 247-248.

    These lies are an outrage, scientists knew decades before the 1995 publication of Barron's widely read High School Science Book that this whole scenario from beginning to end was false. Science had established that the pre-biotic atmosphere lacked methane and free hydrogen, and had ample oxygen to destroy amino acids and other building blocks needed for life, and that the thin hot soup never existed. That ultra-violet light, oxygen, and the chemicals of the ocean would rapidly destroy any biological building blocks that might form. That the amino acids formed in these experiments were always racemized and thus prevented any formation of proteins.

    These public school textbook statements on the Miller-Urey type experiments are a BIG LIE, these type experiments did just the opposite as my prior post demonstrates. They demonstrated just how extremely implausible abiogenesis is. I will now reveal to you what many scientists have known going back 50 years.

    Abiogenesis, An evolutionist's article of faith!

    The evidence for abiogenesis was never good, but it was widely accepted by scientists promoting Evolutionism because it conformed to the philosophy of naturalism.

    Nobel Prize laureate Harold C. Urey once stated:
    "All of us who study the origin of life find that the more we look into it, the more we feel it is too complex to have evolved anywhere. We all believe as an article of faith that life evolved from dead matter on this planet. It is just that its complexity is so great, it is hard for us to imagine that it did."

    F. Dyson, 'Origins of Life' (1985, Cambridge University Press, p. 31): "The Oparin picture was generally accepted by biologists for half a century. It was popular not because there was any evidence to support it, but rather because it seemed to be the only alternative to biblical creationism."

    Yet Dyson admits, and many other evolutionary scientists were fully aware, even in the 1950's and 1960's, that these experiments were not solutions to abiogenesis but rather magnified the problems with any notion of abiogenesis.

    Evolutionist A. Cairns-Smith, "Genetic Takeover and the Mineral Origins of Life" 1986. Points out that experiments like Miller-Urey demonstrate that critical prevital nucleic acids are highly implausible:

    "But so powerful has been the effect of Miller's experiment on the scientific imagination that to read some of the literature on the origin of life (including many elementary texts) you might think that it had been well demonstrated that nucleotides were probable constituents of a primordial soup and hence the prevital nucleic acid replication was a plausible speculation based on the results of the experiments. There have indeed been many interesting and detailed experiments in this area. But the importance of this work lies, in my mind, not in demonstrating how nucleotides could have formed on the primitive Earth, but in PRECISELY THE OPPOSITE: these experiments allow us to see, in much greater detail than would otherwise been possible, just why prevital nucleic acids are highly implausible." [emphasis mine].

    R. Shapiro, Ph.D. Chemistry, "The Improbability of Pre-biotic Nucleic Acid Synthesis" 14 Origin of Life 565, 1984, relates how experiments like Miller-Urey have very limited significance because of the implausible conditions under which they are conducted: "Many accounts of the origin of life assume the spontaneous synthesis of a self replicating nucleic acid could take place readily. However, these procedures use pure starting materials, afford poor yields, and are run under conditions that are not compatible with one another. Any nucleic acid components that were formed in the primitive earth would tend to hydrolyze by a number of pathways. Their polarization would be inhibited by the presence of vast numbers of related substances which would react preferentially with them."

    Speaking as an evolutionist, and therefore, a an apriority believer in abiogenesis, Klaus Dose, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 1988, 13(4) 348.
    writes:

    "More than 30 years of experimentation on the origin of life in the fields of chemical and molecular evolution have led to a better perception of the immensity of the problem of the origin of life on Earth rather than to its solution. At present all discussions on principal theories and experiments in the field either end in a stalemate or in a confession of ignorance."

    "Considerable disagreements between scientists have arisen about detailed evolutionary steps. The problem is that the principal evolutionary processes from pre-biotic molecules to pregenotes have not been proven by experimentation and the environmental conditions under which these processes occurred are not known. Moreover, we do not actually know where the genetic information of all living cells actually originates, how the first replicable polynucleotides (nucleic acids) evolved, or how the extremely complex structure function relationships in modern cells came into existence."

    Leslie Orgel "The Origin of Life on Earth" Scientific American 271, October 1994. P 77-83.

    "It is extremely improbable that proteins and nucleic acids, both of which are structurally complex, arose spontaneously in the same place at the same time. Yet it seems impossible to have one without the other. And so, at first glance, one might have to conclude that life never could in fact have originated by chemical means."

    "We proposed that RNA might well have come first and established what is called the RNA world. ... This scenario could have occurred we noted, if pre-biotic RNA had two properties not evident today; a capacity to replicate without the help of proteins, and an ability to catalyze every step of protein synthesis. ..."

    "The precise events giving rise to an RNA world remain unclear. As we have seen, investigators have proposed many hypotheses, but evidence in favor of each of them is fragmentary at best. ..."
     
  20. The Galatian

    The Galatian
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    Miller-Urey was merely a demonstration that abiogenesis was possible. However, the Murchison meteorite was a much more convincing example.

    Not only does it have amino acids inside, there is an excess of L-forms, the sort used by living organisms on Earth.

    While it remains true that abiogenesis is not required by evolutionary theory, we do see increasing evidence for abiogenesis as a theory of its own.
     

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