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  1. #521  
    Quote Originally Posted by Musicman247 View Post
    cjvitek,

    Would you accept God as creator if there were no other explanation that made sense?
    I for one would not, the existance of a "god" (as generally defined by religion) goes against all the known laws of nature.

    Quote Originally Posted by Musicman247 View Post
    It's funny seeing all of these comments ( a page back, I think) about how we can predict what will happen based on the (paraphrased) laws of nature, when some of the founders of our current scientific laws all believed there was a creator, and because there was a creator there must be laws set down by such that could be discovered. Sir Isaac Newton was one of those scientists.
    I fail to see your point here, can you please elaborate some more on your thought?
    Have a great one...Doc D.

    Phillips VELO > Palm III > Palm V > Palm 505m > Treo 180 > Treo 300 > Samsung i500 > Treo 700p > HTC 6800 > Treo 800w > Treo Pro > Palm Pre > HTC Evo
  2. #522  
    Musicman247

    Not a trick question, just illustrating a point, can you explain what causes a rainbow?
    Have a great one...Doc D.

    Phillips VELO > Palm III > Palm V > Palm 505m > Treo 180 > Treo 300 > Samsung i500 > Treo 700p > HTC 6800 > Treo 800w > Treo Pro > Palm Pre > HTC Evo
  3. #523  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup View Post
    The formation of the first progenitors of a cell from abiotic (not living) origins is called abiogenesis. As already pointed out by others, abiogenesis has nothing to do with evolution. Evolution is a proven scientific fact, regardless of how the first cell-like structure started.

    I find it slightly amusing how some conservative Christians in the US nowadays find it totally impossible that life started without a creator. In the good old days of religious dogmas, it was commonly accepted that animals come into existence spontaneously from abiotic origins. It was assumed that e.g. mice are formed spontaneously on an every day basis in dirty hay, or frogs in the mud. Only after early modern scientists started dealing with the questions, those myths were debunked, but not without the religious/non-scientific proponents making fun of the idea that life is NOT formed spontaneously on a regular basis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis, specially http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogen...ous_generation
    You mean to tell me that until recently it was an "article of faith" that life routinely arose spontaneously, and that now it is an article of faith that, since it cannot, there must be a god. Now, backbeat, that is funny, that is side-splitting funny. And the theists cannot understand why we distrust the received wisdom.
  4. #524  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup View Post
    The formation of the first progenitors of a cell from abiotic (not living) origins is called abiogenesis. As already pointed out by others, abiogenesis has nothing to do with evolution. Evolution is a proven scientific fact, regardless of how the first cell-like structure started. ...
    Do I understand you to say that if within the field of biology it was determined that the first cell-like structure presumed by Evolution could not have been, that said conclusion would have no effect on the theory of Evolution?

    I thought it was being reported (in prior threads) that the Theory of Evolution represents that all life has a single shared ancestor (a la the "tree" illustration). Perhaps that is where I'm mistaken. Please clarify

    I invite you to evaluate the scientific nature of my question, rather than attempt refuting a theistic agenda.
  5.    #525  
    Quote Originally Posted by TreoNewt View Post
    I for one would not, the existance of a "god" (as generally defined by religion) goes against all the known laws of nature.



    I fail to see your point here, can you please elaborate some more on your thought?
    What I was trying to show is that many of the scientific laws we have today were sought after because the belief was that there is a God who planned everything. If God planned everything, there must be rules or laws that everything follows. Non-theists of the day thought that there was no order to the universe, and so did not try to discover any rules or laws, since accidents rarely have any kind of structure or laws.

    As far as the rainbow is concerned, as I understand it water droplets in the air refract rays of sunlight into the different colors we see.

    You will probably come back and state "In the Bible doesn't it say that God placed the rainbow in the sky as a sign to never detroy the earth by water again". To which I would repond: Since Noah first saw a rainbow after the waters had begun to receed, it could be possible that rain had never fallen from the sky before that time, and so a rainbow could not have been created.
  6. #526  
    Quote Originally Posted by Musicman247 View Post
    What I was trying to show is that many of the scientific laws we have today were sought after because the belief was that there is a God who planned everything. If God planned everything, there must be rules or laws that everything follows. Non-theists of the day thought that there was no order to the universe, and so did not try to discover any rules or laws, since accidents rarely have any kind of structure or laws.
    Interesting, can you let me know where can I read more about this?

    As far as the rainbow is concerned, as I understand it water droplets in the air refract rays of sunlight into the different colors we see.

    You will probably come back and state "In the Bible doesn't it say that God placed the rainbow in the sky as a sign to never detroy the earth by water again". To which I would repond: Since Noah first saw a rainbow after the waters had begun to receed, it could be possible that rain had never fallen from the sky before that time, and so a rainbow could not have been created.
    Actually no, I was trying to point that at first a supernatural explanation was sought for this phenomenon until science "discovered" the process of rainbow formation and "demystified" this phenomenon.

    This example (as well as many others) suggest the knowledge trend usually goes from supernatural explanations towards scientific ones; is unlikely this will be reversed.

    Would you accept God as creator if there were no other explanation that made sense?
    Have a great one...Doc D.

    Phillips VELO > Palm III > Palm V > Palm 505m > Treo 180 > Treo 300 > Samsung i500 > Treo 700p > HTC 6800 > Treo 800w > Treo Pro > Palm Pre > HTC Evo
  7. #527  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    Do I understand you to say that if within the field of biology it was determined that the first cell-like structure presumed by Evolution could not have been, that said conclusion would have no effect on the theory of Evolution?

    I thought it was being reported (in prior threads) that the Theory of Evolution represents that all life has a single shared ancestor (a la the "tree" illustration). Perhaps that is where I'm mistaken. Please clarify

    I invite you to evaluate the scientific nature of my question, rather than attempt refuting a theistic agenda.
    He did not say, nor does the theory of evolution say, that all life has a single shared ancestor. He said that evolution is independent of how the first cell(s) came to be. However, if at least one cell had not come to be, all else would be moot and we would not be having this discussion. There are cells, and presumably, there was one that came before all others. It is not necessary that any species descended from it. It is far more likely that species can be traced to a population of (similar) cells than to any one. Evolution takes place in populations, not individuals.

    The theory of evolution does not speak to "all life." It speaks to the origin of (and relations between) species. It does not posit that "all life," has a single shared ancestor. Indeed, it does not speak to "all life" at all. It is not obligated to speak to the question of the origin of life; that was not its subject. Darwin himself was undecided on the question, at least until shortly before his death.

    There is a hypothesis that, given cosmological time, life is likely to emerge wherever there is liquid water and an energy source, e.g., sunlight or thermal vents, and that it is unlikely to emerge in the absence of either of these. There are few scientists prepared to assert that life is limited to this planet or that life on other planets would have an origin in common with life on this one.

    As to the "scientific nature of your question," do you deny that you raise the question in the context of a theistic agenda and in the hope he will trap himself. If your question is not asked in the context of an agenda, why do you feel the need to disclaim one? Are discussants here attributing agendas to you that you do not have? Would it surprise you that many atheists have come to expect agendas of inquisitors, evangelicals, and missionaries, if not all theists? Should we not be suspicious that, given your druthers, you would impose your agenda upon us, by force if necessary. Of course, it is a given that you would do so only for our own good but we have come not to trust you to know our good.
  8. #528  
    Quote Originally Posted by TreoNewt View Post
    .........This example (as well as many others) suggest the knowledge trend usually goes from supernatural explanations towards scientific ones; (it) is unlikely this will be reversed.
    lol
  9. #529  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    He did not say, nor does the theory of evolution say, that all life has a single shared ancestor.
    That is the clarification I was seeking. Earlier posts led me to believe differently. Such as the following:
    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    I'll just tackle this one. Animals dont change into other contemporaneous animals. Thats would be like you changing into George Bush. What happens is that animals are descendant from common ancestors, in the same way that you can be related to George Bush 5 generations ago, and still currently by quite distant/different from him. The more different the animal is, the further you will go back. If we look at your relation to Mao we will have to go back much further than 5 generations, and probably 500.



    In that way modern wolves and dogs are closely related, by only a few 100 generations, and modern dogs and cats are also related, by many 1000 generations.



    Evolution is a tree, and we are all twigs on the branches, connected by bigger branches all the way to a common trunk, and at the bottom is the very first life on this earth.

    Surur
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    He said that evolution is independent of how the first cell(s) came to be. However, if at least one cell had not come to be, all else would be moot and we would not be having this discussion. There are cells, and presumably, there was one that came before all others. It is not necessary that any species descended from it.
    It would be necessary that, regardless of the number of predecessors, there was at least one cell which did have descendents. Otherwise, we would see evidence of spontaneous emergence of complex beings, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    It is far more likely that species can be traced to a population of (similar) cells than to any one. Evolution takes place in populations, not individuals.
    I understand the concept, but even within a population, specific lineage could be traced to a single entity, especially if the population consists of single-celled entities.
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post

    The theory of evolution does not speak to "all life."
    Surur, do you agree?
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    It speaks to the origin of (and relations between) species. It does not posit that "all life," has a single shared ancestor. Indeed, it does not speak to "all life" at all. It is not obligated to speak to the question of the origin of life; that was not its subject.
    Understood. I just find it disingeniuous to treat the subject areas as though they are mutually exclusive (especially when we are frequently reminded how interconnected the scientific disciplines are).
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Darwin himself was undecided on the question, at least until shortly before his death.

    There is a hypothesis that, given cosmological time, life is likely to emerge wherever there is liquid water and an energy source, e.g., sunlight or thermal vents, and that it is unlikely to emerge in the absence of either of these. There are few scientists prepared to assert that life is limited to this planet or that life on other planets would have an origin in common with life on this one.

    As to the "scientific nature of your question," do you deny that you raise the question in the context of a theistic agenda and in the hope he will trap himself.
    I raise the question in an effort to undermine the debate tactic of dismissing the influence of the bilogical theory on the evolutionary one
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    If your question is not asked in the context of an agenda, why do you feel the need to disclaim one?
    It is a response to the frequent religious references made in replies to my inquiries. A brief review of recent threads would show that I am rarely the one who brings up my beliefs in these conversations. i recognize that is a departure from my earliers conversations. It is my interactions on this forum in particular that have shown me the value of investigating the subject matter rather than promoting my views
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Are discussants here attributing agendas to you that you do not have?
    Yes
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Would it surprise you that many atheists have come to expect agendas of inquisitors, evangelicals, and missionaries, if not all theists?
    No surprise.
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Should we not be suspicious that, given your druthers, you would impose your agenda upon us, by force if necessary.
    That is an unwarranted suspicion.
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Of course, it is a given that you would do so only for our own good but we have come not to trust you to know our good.
    That is a wise decision. I have had at best mild success in determining what is for my own good, let alone that which is good for others.
  10. #530  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    .......I just find it disingeniuous to treat the subject areas as though they are mutually exclusive (especially when we are frequently reminded how interconnected the scientific disciplines are)........
    Perhaps. I find it disingenuous to criticise an idea for silence on that to which it does not claim, or even pretend, to speak. I find it a poor excuse to use such silence to justify an appeal to the supernatural to explain that which is not even addressed.

    Science does not claim to be able to explain everything. It merely claims that everything has a natural explanation. If one seeks a proof for the existence of God, one may be sure that there will always be things on which science is silent, others on which the explanations of science are weak or unsatisfying. If that is proof, so be it.

    You may be confident that if God exists, she does not need any justification at all, least of all such a weak one.
  11. #531  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    ..............That is an unwarranted suspicion.................
    Perhaps, but not totally without both historical and modern justification.

    [I have been reminded this week that a credentialed spokesman for the religious chose to blame the godless for 9/11 in preference to the other religious who were accepting blame, not to say, claiming credit.]
  12.    #532  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Perhaps. I find it disingenuous to criticise an idea for silence on that to which it does not claim, or even pretend, to speak. I find it a poor excuse to use such silence to justify an appeal to the supernatural to explain that which is not even addressed.

    Science does not claim to be able to explain everything. It merely claims that everything has a natural explanation. If one seeks a proof for the existence of God, one may be sure that there will always be things on which science is silent, others on which the explanations of science are weak or unsatisfying. If that is proof, so be it.

    You may be confident that if God exists, she does not need any justification at all, least of all such a weak one.
    Sorry to **** in, but I had a question concerning your commments which I have put in bold font.

    Has science explained yet the intricacies of a cell? Why there are so many things in a cell, and yet it is irreducibly complex? I am not trying to be belligerent. I recently watched a video put out by creationists, and one of the arguments they put forward was all of the irreducibly complex things within a living being.

    Another example they gave was a bacteria's flagellum. They interviewed a scientist who had studied the flagellum for 10 years, and he stated that the structure was so intricate that if even one part was gone or in the wrong place that the flagellum wouldn't work. He said that in his mind there was no way it could come about by chance.
  13. #533  
    Re Evolution, common ancestry and the origins of life - obviously if life can arise spontaneously the various trees arising from such life would be unrelated.

    It is also likely when such life arose things were much less defined, and various structures shared genetic material much more promiscuously, making a nonsense of specie development for a few million years. Even now many bacterial species can share new genetic innovations such as antibiotic resistance between various seemingly unrelated families with ease.

    Re irreducible complexity - how can the cell be irreducibly complex when we get cells which are less complex already?

    Surur
  14. #534  
    Quote Originally Posted by Musicman247 View Post
    Another example they gave was a bacteria's flagellum. They interviewed a scientist who had studied the flagellum for 10 years, and he stated that the structure was so intricate that if even one part was gone or in the wrong place that the flagellum wouldn't work. He said that in his mind there was no way it could come about by chance.
    NOBODY who is remotely familiar with the basics of evolution would ever say a bacterial flagellum "came about by chance". Evolution is random mutation on the genetic level PLUS NON-RANDOM SELECTION for those mutations which have a positive effect on the ability of the carrier of the mutation to reproduce itself. Would you please at least acknowledge the most basic principles of evolution before claiming it doesn't work??? The whole "cannot result by chance" argument is just a proof of total, deliberate ignorance or deliberate misrepresentation of evolution. Doesn't make creationists look good.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  15.    #535  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup View Post
    NOBODY who is remotely familiar with the basics of evolution would ever say a bacterial flagellum "came about by chance". Evolution is random mutation on the genetic level PLUS NON-RANDOM SELECTION for those mutations which have a positive effect on the ability of the carrier of the mutation to reproduce itself. Would you please at least acknowledge the most basic principles of evolution before claiming it doesn't work??? The whole "cannot result by chance" argument is just a proof of total, deliberate ignorance or deliberate misrepresentation of evolution. Doesn't make creationists look good.
    Are you speaking of natural selection, or some other kind of selection?
  16. #536  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    He did not say, nor does the theory of evolution say, that all life has a single shared ancestor. He said that evolution is independent of how the first cell(s) came to be. However, if at least one cell had not come to be, all else would be moot and we would not be having this discussion.
    Indeed. Evolution and speciation is a process we can observe and which is documented in the fossil record, confirmed by numerous independent ways of dating the fossils.

    The notion that evolution did not take place, and the claim that earth is only a few thousand years old is baseless because it contradicts scores of very clear, independent, undisputed scientific results. Most of science would have to be totally wrong if earth is really only a few thousand years old.

    The abiotic origin of life (precursors of cells as we know them today) is something which is not unlikely to happen under the conditions prevailing on earth a few billion years ago. It has been shown that the basic ingredients of life, e.g. amino acids or nucleic acids, can form spontaneously under simulated "early earth" conditions.

    However, we haven't been there to document those events taking place and we cannot simulate them because it simply would take too long or too big a lab to reproduce the spontaneous formation of a self-replicating entity. So feel free to claim that extraterrestrials landed on earth and designed the first cells a few billion years ago, or that Krishna or Vishnu or whichever super-potent being you prefer did it (most likely, the one with the highest rating in the culture you happened to be brought up in is it).

    There is no need (let alone any tangible indication) for such an magical or extraterrestrial power doing something on earth, but at least it isn't in contradiction to observable facts.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  17. #537  
    Quote Originally Posted by Musicman247 View Post
    Are you speaking of natural selection, or some other kind of selection?
    Natural selection of course. Meaning those with beneficial mutations having more offspring, leading to beneficial mutation increasing in numbers. Early flagella were very primitive, based on totally basic ways of moving. Think of a protein simply able of opening and closing, thus moving liquid from one side to another, allowing only tiny movements. Gradually, that protein changed over time due to mutations which increased the ability to open and close, thus allowing more movement, thus allowing to get to places with more food, thus allowing the carriers of the mutations for more speed to increase in numbers at the expense of the slower ones. Other proteins, sometimes proteins useful for other purposes within the cells, attached to that protein, in some cases further increasing the ability to move, etc. Over millions and millions of years, meaning trillions of generations of bacteria later, something similar to a flagellum had evolved. It's really not that mysterious, certainly not as mysterious or unlikely as you would like it to be.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  18. #538  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Perhaps. I find it disingenuous to criticise an idea for silence on that to which it does not claim, or even pretend, to speak.
    Any criticism found in a question is placed there by the heaer, not the asker.
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    I find it a poor excuse to use such silence to justify an appeal to the supernatural to explain that which is not even addressed.
    Agreed. Which is why I have not done so.
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post

    Science does not claim to be able to explain everything. It merely claims that everything has a natural explanation.
    Merely? That is a most significant claim. It specifically precludes exisence of deity.
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    If one seeks a proof for the existence of God, one may be sure that there will always be things on which science is silent, others on which the explanations of science are weak or unsatisfying. If that is proof, so be it.
    If one who believes in God seeks understanding of science, is there a way to make inquiry without his question being dismissed?
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post

    You may be confident that if God exists, she does not need any justification at all, least of all such a weak one.
    Granted.
  19. #539  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Perhaps, but not totally without both historical and modern justification.
    An approach that may be of value is to limit responses to the immediate questioner, rather than speak to those who are not participating in the discussion.
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post

    [I have been reminded this week that a credentialed spokesman for the religious chose to blame the godless for 9/11 in preference to the other religious who were accepting blame, not to say, claiming credit.]
  20. #540  
    Now, back to my questions:
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    Doesn't evolution rely on some assumptions about the origin of life, though? Doesn't the theory neccessitate there being a source that has certain characteristics?
    Just so, I'm clear, are the answers 'yes' and 'yes'?

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