Theory of Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins

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Theory of Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » Various issues » Answers at Sam Harris forum

Answers at Sam Harris forum

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1 Answers at Sam Harris forum on Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:56 pm



For one thing I repeatedly noted the difference in how life is constituted now from how it was likely constituted early on.  While today all life that I know of is cellular, it was my explicit suggestion that the earliest life could have been non-cellular

That is speculation based on NO evidence whatsoever. If life not based on cells would be possible, and existed, we should find some kind of evidence in the fossil record, and eventually such kind of life would still exist today.

Are you saying it’s categorically impossible that proto-membranes might have formed early on?

I say the cell had to arise all at once. No step-wise evolutionary manner was possible.

Cell Membranes, origins through natural mechanisms, or design ?

According to this website : The Interdependency of Lipid Membranes and Membrane Proteins
The cell membrane contains various types of proteins, including ion channel proteins, proton pumps, G proteins, and enzymes. These membrane proteins function cooperatively to allow ions to penetrate the lipid bilayer. The interdependency of lipid membranes and membrane proteins suggests that lipid bilayers and membrane proteins co-evolved together with membrane bioenergetics.

The nonsense of this assertion is evident. How could the membrane proteins co-evolve, if they had to be manufactured by the machinery , protected by the cell membrane ?

The cell membrane contains various types of proteins, including ion channel proteins, proton pumps, G proteins, and enzymes. These membrane proteins function cooperatively to allow ions to penetrate the lipid bilayer.

The ER and Golgi apparatus together constitute the endomembrane compartment in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells. The endomembrane compartment is a major site of lipid synthesis, and the ER is where not only lipids are synthesized, but membrane-bound proteins and secretory proteins are also made.

So in order to make cell membranes, the Endoplasmic Recticulum is required. But also the Golgi Apparatus, the peroxysome, and the mitochondria. But these only function, if protected and encapsulated in the cell membrane.  What came first, the cell membrane, or the endoplasmic recticulum ? This is one of many other catch22 situations in the cell, which indicate that the cell could not emerge in a stepwise gradual manner, as proponents of natural mechanisms want to make us believe.

Not only is the cell membrane intricate and complex (and certainly not random), but it has tuning parameters such as the degree to which the phospholipid tails are saturated. It is another example of a sophisticated biological design about which evolutionists can only speculate. Random mutations must have luckily assembled molecular mechanisms which sense environmental challenges and respond to them by altering the phospholipid population in the membrane in just the right way. Such designs are tremendously helpful so of course they would have been preserved by natural selection. It is yet another example of how silly evolutionary theory is in light of scientific facts.

Because we know that the atoms that make up the planet now were mostly the same as then.  We know that non-living processes will form compounds that are components of living organisms.

Paul Davies reinforced the point that obtaining the building blocks would not explain their arrangement:

‘… just as bricks alone don’t make a house, so it takes more than a random collection of amino acids to make life. Like house bricks, the building blocks of life have to be assembled in a very specific and exceedingly elaborate way before they have the desired function.’63

An analogy is written language. Natural objects in forms resembling the English alphabet (circles, straight lines, etc.) abound in nature, but this fact does not help to understand the origin of information (such as that in Shakespeare’s plays). The reason is that this task requires intelligence both to create the information (the play) and then to design and build the machinery required to translate that information into symbols (the written text). What must be explained is the source of the information in the text (the words and ideas), not the existence of circles and straight lines. Likewise, it is not enough to explain the origin of the amino acids, which correspond to the letters. Rather, even if they were produced readily, the source of the information that directs the assembly of the amino acids contained in the genome must be explained.

I’m not committed to the early predecessors of cellular life being structured in the same way that modern DNA or RNA is.  All that’s necessary are naturalistic mechanisms that are able to store and reproduce information, which could plausibly have changed incrementally until at some time we see the existence of cells and DNA.

More baseless guesswork and speculation.

Origin and evolution of the genetic code: the universal enigma

In our opinion, despite extensive and, in many cases, elaborate attempts to model code optimization, ingenious theorizing along the lines of the coevolution theory, and considerable experimentation, very little definitive progress has been made.

Summarizing the state of the art in the study of the code evolution, we cannot escape considerable skepticism. It seems that the two-pronged fundamental question: “why is the genetic code the way it is and how did it come to be?”, that was asked over 50 years ago, at the dawn of molecular biology, might remain pertinent even in another 50 years. Our consolation is that we cannot think of a more fundamental problem in biology.

You seem to, for understandable reasons, want to assume that any life has to look like modern life.  That makes it much less likely that all of the complexity that exists could have come from raw materials.  But of course, there are other possibilities.  You act as if the current inability to give a full explanation of abiogenesis ipso facto proves the falsity of abiogenesis.  You have evaluated one abiogenesis hypothesis, and a straw man at that, and therefore concluded that the only theory in competition with theism must be wrong.

The last universal common ancestor represents the primordial cellular organism from which diversified life was derived. This urancestor accumulated genetic information before the rise of organismal lineages and is considered to be either a simple 'progenote' organism with a rudimentary translational apparatus or a more complex 'cenancestor' with almost all essential biological processes. Recent comparative genomic studies support the latter model and propose that the urancestor was similar to modern organisms in terms of gene content.

How were ribonucleotides first formed on the primitive earth? This is a very difficult problem.
I look forward to investigations into it and any progress we might make.  Do you?

Why should i ? I have a formed opinion, which i told you already.

Again. How do you possibley know ??

I have all along asserted our mutual lack of knowledge in this field.  You assert that you know.  I’m skeptical of your assertion.

Feel free to keep your skepticism and wilful ignorance, if that position pleases you.

But by all means if your proof is conclusive, do publish and let’s see the consequent scientific consensus that will follow.  Please.  I eagerly await the breakthrough and paradigm shift in modern science.

If a certain line of reasoning  is not persuasive or convincing, then why do atheists not change their mind because of it? The more evolution papers are published, the less likely the scenario becomes. Some assertions have even been falsified. We should consider the fact that modern biology may have reached its limits on several  subjects of biology. All discussions on principal theories and experiments in the field either end in vague suppositions and guesswork, statements of blind faith, made up scenarios,  or in a confession of ignorance.  Fact is  there remains a huge gulf in our understanding… This lack of understanding is not just ignorance about some technical details; it is a big conceptual gap.  The reach of the end of the road is evident in the matter of almost all major questions. The major questions of macro change and abiogenesis  are very far from being clearly formulated, even understood,  and nowhere near being solved, and for most, there is no solution at all at sight. But proponents of evolution firmly believe, one day a solution will be on sight. Isn't that a prima facie of a " evolution of the gap" argument ? We don't know yet, therefore evolution and abiogenesis ? That way, the God hypothesis remains out of the equation in the beginning, and out at the end, and never receives a serious and honest consideration. If the scientific evidence does not provide satisfactory explanations through naturalism, why should we not change your minds and look somewhere else ?

That’s an unsophisticated distortion of my argument.  I’m not appealing in any way from evolutionary processes.  I’m not merely appealing to vast amounts of time, but also of the existence of natural processes that we know would have given rise to components of life.

Which are ??

 How those components then formed more complex components, and then those more complex components could have again assembled into something more complex until we reach a point where life emerges—we don’t know.  But it’s not impossible, and it’s the best hypothesis on the scientific market.

Ahm , we don't know, therefore naturalism. Nice naturalism of the gaps argument, LOL.....

Or you can try to enumerate every possible hypothesis (those currently proposed by scientists and those people haven’t even thought of yet) and disprove each.  So far you’ve disproved only the weakest version of abiogenesis.

We have enough reasons to reject abiogenesis as a viable option.

CLAIM: Advocates of this view argue that naturalistic science will eventually explain all mysteries in scientific knowledge. If we allow God to fill in these gaps, eventually he will be displaced, when science explains how life originated naturally.

RESPONSE: I have dealt with the “God of the gaps” argument in an earlier article. However, in addition to that material, we should consider the fact that modern biology may have reached its limits on this subject. For instance, biochemist Klaus Dose 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 stalemate or in a confession of ignorance.

In his 1999 book The Fifth Miracle, agnostic Paul Davies writes :

  When I set out to write this book, I was convinced that science was close to wrapping up the mystery of life’s origin… Having spent a year or two researching the field, I am now of the opinion that there remains a huge gulf in our understanding… This gulf in understanding is not merely ignorance about certain technical details; it is a major conceptual lacuna.

More recently in 2010, Davies explains,

“All that can be said at this time is that the problem of life’s origin is very far from being clearly formulated, and nowhere near being solved.”

Agnostic microbiologist Franklin Harold writes,

  Of all the unsolved mysteries remaining in science, the most consequential may be the origin of life… The origin of life is also a stubborn problem, with no solution in sight.

We might also point out that the scientific evidence for the origin of life persuaded one of the world’s leading atheists, Antony Flew, to begin to believe in God. In his 2007 book There is a God, Flew explains,

“The only satisfactory explanation for the origin of such ‘end-directed, self-replicating’ life as we see on earth is an infinitely intelligent Mind.”

I don’t know everything in Chemistry, although I am currently working to figure some of it out (unfortunately I’m also busy studying Modal Logic, Electricity and Magnetism, and ancient history—shall I suggest to you that because these subjects lack evidence of a god and you don’t know about them, that therefore you’re just stubborn if you don’t accept my authority in the matter?).  Are you suggesting that I can’t believe anything, just because I don’t know everything?  Only tenured Chemistry professors with the most advanced modern knowledge of the subject are allowed to hold any belief about abiogenesis?  It’s not enough that I know the basic ideas and I know that the subject is a wide-open question in modern science (even though, ironically, evolution is a completely closed matter in the field of Biology, where all of the experts agree—and yet you give hints that you don’t believe in it)?

they agree on what exactly ?? and why ??

No, we all go on the best information that we have at any given time.  Do I believe in evolution like a religion?  No, it has a probability of truth.  A probability that is many times greater than theism, sure

No kidding. How do you possibly know ? You admitted you are not a expert in the field.......

Thats another unsubstantiated claim….....
Again, I’m not attempting to substantiate it.  That’s the work of scientists.  I’m pointing out that naturalism isn’t without any possible answer to abiogensis.

And i am poiting out that abiogenesis is a utterly failed hypothesis. Its simply IMPOSSIBLE.

Abiogenesis is impossible

A number of researchers have concluded that the spontaneous origin of life cannot be explained by known laws of physics and chemistry. Many seek “new” laws which can account for life’s origin. Why are so many unwilling to simply accept what the evidence points to: that the theory of evolution itself is fundamentally implausible? Dean Kenyon answers, “Perhaps these scientists fear that acceptance of this conclusion would leave open the possibility (or the necessity) of a supernatural origin of life” (p.viii).

The origin of the first cell, cannot be explained by natural selection

The cell is irreducible complex, and hosts a hudge amount of codified, complex, specified information. The probability of useful DNA, RNA, or proteins occurring by chance is extremely small. Calculations vary somewhat but all are extremely small (highly improbable). If one is to assume a hypothetical prebiotic soup to start there are at least three combinational hurdles (requirements) to overcome. Each of these requirements decreases the chance of forming a workable protein. First, all amino acids must form a chemical bond (peptide bond) when joining with other amino acids in the protein chain. Assuming, for example a short protein molecule of 150 amino acids, the probability of building a 150 amino acids chain in which all linkages are peptide linkages would be roughly 1 chance in 10^45. The second requirement is that functioning proteins tolerate only left-handed amino acids, yet in abiotic amino acid production the right-handed and left-handed isomers are produced in nearly the same frequency. The probability of building a 150-amino-acid chain at random in which all bonds are peptide bonds and all amino acids are L-form is roughly 1 chance in 10^90. The third requirement for functioning proteins is that the amino acids must link up like letters in a meaningful sentence, i.e. in a functionally specified sequential arrangement. The chance for this happening at random for a 150 amino acid chain is approximately 1 chance in 10^195. It would appear impossible for chance to build even one functional protein considering how small the likelihood is. By way of comparison to get a feeling of just how low this probability is consider that there are only 10^65 atoms in our galaxy.

 I would love for us to learn what happened and how, but currently nobody knows.  Does that mean a god must have done it?  No, it means that possibly it was one of the various theories of naturalistic abiogenesis that we have not *yet* been able to substantiate, or if all else fails, I guess the insanity of theism is all that’s left.

Again. Nice naturalism of the gaps argument... LOL....

Nice evolution of the gaps argument.
Thing is, the gaps keep closing in our favor and against yours.

Nope. Exactly the oposit is the case.

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