Monday, June 19, 2017

If You Are Going To Turn Probability Into An Unintelligent creator god You've Got To Accept The Logical Conclusions That Come With That

First, though I think the idea that all of life on Earth is descended from one, original organism is quite rational and happen to believe it myself, there is no way to know if that is the case.  As an aside, if I wanted to be provocative I might call it the Eve-Adam organism, and I feel like it this morning, so why not?   I don't, however, believe that the Eve-Adam narrative is more than an instructive fable, though there are some details that are tantalizingly provocative, in themselves.

In order to know the actual origin of life on Earth, whether the product of one original organism or more than one, you would have to have direct, physical evidence to base that knowledge on.  You can't go back in time biologically past the point where there is direct physical evidence, in the form of fossils or geological evidence in biology.  Living organisms are not like atoms, subatomic particles, etc. you can't come up with anything like a reliable assertion about an organism without direct physical evidence of what that organism was like.  So there is no way and almost certainly never will be any way for the speculations about that organism to be a scientific description of the actual origin of life on Earth.  To pretend otherwise is to replace science with almost always atheist, ideological propaganda and superstition.  That has not kept scientists held in high repute, Alexander Oparin, Miller and Urey, and many others from making those assertions and successfully peddling that as reliable science about the origin of life on Earth.  Abiogenesis, when it asserts it can discover the origin of life on Earth, is rank pseudo-science.  Compared to that some of the moderate, measured and rational statements of belief in intelligent design are scientifically responsible.

In talking about just one of the incredibly complex structures and the kind of internal chemistry and life actions of such an original organism you are talking about some quite complex things to have just happened to have happened in a very tiny locus (assuming the original organism was tiny).  That includes all of the things which would have made it alive instead of inert.  A containing membrane, metabolism, changes that would lead to its successful reproduction,  That last one is especially difficult.  Just WHY it reproduced instead of just living and maybe dying is a huge question.

The problem of a containing membrane in which such chemical components that made it alive could reach an effective saturation level is something which I can't believe wasn't there because outside of one I doubt the concentration of molecules to power and motivate all of the various, complex functions of life could be present where the organism lived.  Compared to the belief in the necessity of that first organism having to have had a containing membrane to allow the organism to have been alive and to have reproduced, based on life we can see, the belief that there was only one original organism is utter, unevidenced speculation.   The answer of how such a membrane, allowing the passage of molecules, light, whatever, while containing the molecules necessary for the organism to be alive would have formed spontaneously, in a non-living structure so as to allow life to happen as a series of random events is, in nothing I've ever seen, even approached.   Not to mention such banal considerations of all of the various chemicals and internal structural components would have just happened to have washed into each other to, somehow, have been taken in by that surrounding membrane so as to be the creation of life on Earth.  Compared to that improbable event, the reforming of a drop of ink dissolved into a bathtub seems quite probable.  It would be like a bunch of different drops of ink coming together and reforming in one place. And there happening to be a membrane there to envelope it.

When you add the matter of reproduction into that problem, of such a membrane dividing with each half containing an effective concentration of molecules and structures and resealing itself adds an incredibly large problem of probability if you take it to have happened by random chance in that first organism which, even if you want to resort to some unexplained mutation (in just what molecule, I'd like to know) motivating that first act of reproduction in that first organism - it was entirely unprecedented, couldn't have been a result of some trial and error event with the unsuccessful form dying - there being only one organism at that point - so it had to work, perfectly the first time.

If you deny that is a reasonable hurdle for the random chance - materialist model to have to jump over I would like to know what the mechanism of reproduction you propose that original organism accomplished. An original organism from which all present life is descended, which I believe was the origin of life on Earth - though I admit that's a belief based on absolutely no evidence of what life was like at that point more than three billion years ago.

Which form of life now reproduces outside of a containing membrane?  How would you define an organism unless it was contained in one?   If you're going to mention viruses, don't they require being inside a cell in order to function and reproduce?  I recall one biology text which denied they were actually alive unless they were inside an organism.  I believe in that debate I posted a month or so back, Lynn Margulis denied they were living organisms in any meaningful sense.  As to them providing you with your model of the first organism that spontaneously arose from life, there are lots of problems with that idea, starting with their complex structure of components which almost certainly began within cells and their needing a host cell to reproduce.  I doubt that DNA or RNA evolved outside of living organisms.  I can see no reason to believe they formed as a spontaneous expression of random, chance events.  But that, like the nature of that first organism, is based in speculation, not evidence.  There is no way for a scientist to demonstrate that those could have formed in that way because every experiment that could be done to prop up a materialist fabulistic narrative of that would be the result of intelligent design.  You can't disprove intelligent design through conducting intelligently designed experiments.

As an aside, I remember my high school biology teacher pointing out that if you had one bacterium and it reproduced, you couldn't say which one was "the original" and which the "offspring" and that you could say the same right down the generations of organisms.  As soon as that happened, there was no "original organism" there were two organisms, neither of which can be identified as the first. Which is fun to think about but a diversion.  If I wanted to be provocative, I'd note that even in the conventional, materialist version of this creation fable, the second organism was built out of the body of the first one.  While I certainly don't think the Adam's rib account of the creation of the first woman from the body of the first man is biologically accurate or anything like history.... well, I was just trying to be provocative.

In thinking about this during the same period I have been looking at eugenics, the claims of atheism, what I have come to conclude is the utter incompatibility of materialism with traditional American liberalism, egalitarian democracy, human rights and a decent, peaceful life,  I have come to the conclusion that a belief, based on the science, in intelligent design is more reasonable than the idea that all of that stuff, from the fine tuning of our one and only known universe and the incredibly complex formation of life on Earth arose as a matter of random chance.   The more you consider was involved in all of it, the more improbable that it could have happened by random chance seems. Which isn't a scientific statement, it is a reasoned conclusion based on science.  Like most of what science gets used for.

The assertion that intelligent design is compatible with conventional scientific biology has a number of eminent scientific supporters,  Theodosius Dobzhansk famously said, "I am a creationist and an evolutionist. Evolution is God's, or Nature's method of creation. Creation is not an event that happened in 4004 BC; it is a process that began some 10 billion years ago and is still under way."   I don't think his line of descendants in biology, atheists such as Richard Lewontin, his student, Jerry Coyne and in the next generation H. Allen Orr (I don't know if he's an atheist or not) would deny he was a legitimate and important scientist.   He would be given the cooties by his own scientific grandson and the rest of the neo-atheist hit squad.  Though I think Coyne might not want to make the hit, leaving it to someone without his line of academic descent.

If, someday, the fetish of playing probabilities leads science into considering that design by an intelligent agent is a more reasonable explanation than the one based, solely, on materialist-atheist ideology, the one which rules now - I can't imagine it will start without a huge dustup.  But stranger things have happened to get accepted as legitimate science.  Like inventing universes that we cause to pop into existence when we hit a computer key.  Like, every time we do, other schemes of creating jillions of universes, Boltzmann Brains, saying that the first containing membrane of an organism formed like driftwood piling up on a sea shore, containing, nothing, by the way, reproducing, not at all.

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