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Old 08-05-2011, 02:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvinist View Post
Have you ever seen life come from non-life? By everything science knows, it's been observed 100% of the time as coming from another living organism. Life simply does not come from non-life. It's never been observed--so we have to go with what we know.

I guess the logical question is how life came to be wherever it started--in space, or on another planet, whatever. Again...science tells us that life comes from other life. I don't understand how you so easily suspend that notion when it comes to the idea of the first living thing.
No, I've never seen life come from non-life. But then again we're talking about slow processes over billions of years in the making. I've never seen planets form either, but observations of other systems show characteristics that have been predicted relative to planetary formation.

Subjects such as how did life originate at all, are among the big questions which are not easy to draw firm conclusions. I can't claim, nor can anyone else, to have an absolute, conclusive answer. It looks to me as though you're visualizing the origin of life as an instantaneous event, and viewing the starting point after life already appeared. The thing is to attempt to study with hopes of finding any kind of answer, even if it isn't 100% conclusive, we have to look farther back in time and dig a lot deeper.

Here's an illustration of what I mean. If that methodology is to be used, then it would be perfectly valid to say that everything we see around us, including ourselves, instantly came into existence in 1956, along with a ready made history of ourselves, our relatives, cities, plants, prehistoric things, the entire universe. Since everything woud've come into existence in 1956, we'd have no idea it happened. We'd assume that we have a history that dates back much farther because we wouldn't know the difference. Can you prove it didn't happen like that? Regardless, I think it's pretty safe to conclude that life goes back a lot earlier than 1956.

To set a starting point at or after life first came into existence, then we'd have to dismiss anything and everything else, including all other processes, forces, etc., that existed before life appeared. In doing that, we'd have to conclude that life is completely unrelated to the universe and suddenly poofed into existence for no apparent reason. That goes against what we do know. One example is that we know our bodies, and all other matter, are made of atoms, the same kind of atoms found around the universe.

Instead of looking at the first existence of life as the starting point, we have to look at very small scales, at molecular scales and atomic scales. In and by themselves, molecules and atoms, or even the neurons in your brain, aren't very smart by themselves, even though it's all remarkable. But when countless trillions of them are grouped together and interact together in a particular way, combined with fundamental forces, they can collectively result in becoming stuff like stars, planets, people, etc. That also includes the formation of stuff like DNA, RNA, proteins, etc., which are part of the building blocks of life. All this stuff, including us as human beings and every other forms of living things, are made entirely of atoms, which are non-living things. The entire universe as we experience it right now has been a long time in the making, and is still in the process of it. The process leading to life was also a very long time in the making, a result of the universe itself. Over long periods of time, atoms and molecules began linking together in different combinations by trial and error, until a particular combination becomes efficient enough to gradually create new combinations that work out in structures ultimately leading to the beginning of life itself.

Just because we don't readily see the process at work that enable living things to arise fro non-living things, is not evidence that it can't happen. we can't see the process of change at work from a combination of reproductive cells to eventally become independent organisms that change over the years with aging. But we know it happens by relating mental snapshots of how our kids or ourselves chage over time. In fact some people have made photographic snapshots in series that clearly show the physical changes. Even at that, it's still limited because the photos are taken at different points in time.



Quote:
We might be getting off into a new tangent now about the origins of the universe. I don't mean to hijack the thread.

Having said that, we need to look at the issues of sufficient and necessary cause.

If I want to move a large rock, and decide I need a lever to do it, I could get a long stick, and a fulcrum to put under it. With those things, I now have sufficient cause. But the rock doesn't move....why? It won't move until there is necessary cause--which is me applying pressure to the other end of the lever.

The same could be said of the universe. We think the things were in place for it to start....but until there was both sufficient cause and the necessary cause (something causing it to happen) it wouldn't begin. If both were always there, it would have started an infinite amount of time--which we know didn't happen because we have passed through a history of time to get to now. Logically speaking, something had to arbitrarily decide to be the necessary cause. I call that a creator.
I agree with your point about moving rocks, but I also have to add to say that's only one way rocks can be moved. Rocks can and more often are moved because of erosion, gravity, earthquakes, ice sheets, meteor impacts, etc., which do not require any involvement of people.

I don't really to get into this either because it doesn't really pertain to the subject at hand, namely how living things could come from non-living things. However, I will say to conclude that the universe is the result of intelligent design because of a decision made by a creator, really depends on what you mean. From that standpoint, the universe itself could be regarded as the "creator". What conditions may have existed before the universe came into existence is unknown. So, sure, a creator at work behind the scenes can not be said to be absolutely impossible. However, for the sake of friendly argument, based on what your expressed views seem to be suggesting, what makes you think what I've described could not have taken place just because you can't see it happen? Are you saying that such a creator could not have caused a universe to form that could enable living things to develop from non-living things? That would be putting serious flaws and limitations on such a grand designer.

Anyway, back to the subject. It's not really about WHY the universe began. It's about HOW life could have originated from non-living things. The topic also includes "information". All matter contains information of some kind, right down to the subatomic particles. It's why protons are not the same as neutrons, and why quarks are not the same as bosons. Each have their own characteristics, and it's those characteristics that can be called information.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
No, I've never seen life come from non-life. But then again we're talking about slow processes over billions of years in the making. I've never seen planets form either, but observations of other systems show characteristics that have been predicted relative to planetary formation.
Check back with me when you do observe life coming from non-life. Until then we'll file it under "impossible".
Quote:

I agree with your point about moving rocks, but I also have to add to say that's only one way rocks can be moved. Rocks can and more often are moved because of erosion, gravity, earthquakes, ice sheets, meteor impacts, etc., which do not require any involvement of people.
Then the sufficient and necessary cause would be in the form of erosion, gravity, etc. At some point--something has to trigger the mechanism that makes it happen. If you have an infinite amount of time, it would have happened--an infinite amount of time ago.
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I don't really to get into this either because it doesn't really pertain to the subject at hand, namely how living things could come from non-living things.
Oh...but it does. If it happened because the right chemicals combined, or the Big Bang happened because the right conditions came to exist, it would have happened an infinite amount of time ago--as soon as the conditions existed--thereby preventing us to get to "today", as you can't pass an infinite amount of time.
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However, I will say to conclude that the universe is the result of intelligent design because of a decision made by a creator, really depends on what you mean. From that standpoint, the universe itself could be regarded as the "creator".
How can a creator create itself?

You guys need to get your stuff figured out.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvinist View Post
Check back with me when you do observe life coming from non-life. Until then we'll file it under "impossible".
Huh? So just because you or I can't directly see a particular process unfold before our eyes that it automatically means it's "impossible"? That's a very narrow view. Seems to me it would be better to simply file it under "unknown" or "unproven".

Check back with me when you can provide absolute evidence that abiogenesis is impossible.


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Then the sufficient and necessary cause would be in the form of erosion, gravity, etc. At some point--something has to trigger the mechanism that makes it happen. If you have an infinite amount of time, it would have happened--an infinite amount of time ago.
Evidently you either misunderstood or ignored my point regarding erosion. Of course there's a cause for it. But you don't see the specific examples I cited simply because the time scales involved can be so slow in terms of building up to an end result. What is usually seen are after effects when rocks on mountains become so loose that they finally fall off. Even with sudden catastrophic events (such as earthquakes), while you can observe things breaking and falling, you don't see the first cause. You can only observe aftereffects of the cause. However, what can be done is that we can observe those effects and make certain conclusions based on what is known, sort of like connecting the dots.


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Oh...but it does. If it happened because the right chemicals combined, or the Big Bang happened because the right conditions came to exist, it would have happened an infinite amount of time ago--as soon as the conditions existed--thereby preventing us to get to "today", as you can't pass an infinite amount of time.
Again, I think you've missed the point. If the universe had a beginning, then before that beginning there was no yesterday, no time at all, because the universe did not exist before it began. You can't very well apply infinite time solely to the universe, unless of course the universe itself has always existed and never had a beginning. Finite time (for lack of a better description) is a concept that's applicable as it pertains to the confines of the universe itself and all events that have or will occur within it. That doesn't mean there is no form of time that may be infinite or eternal beyond or prexisting the structure of the universe, but by necessity that would certainly be different from finite time which postulates the marking of the beginning or endng of the universe.

What conditions or anything else that may have prexisted the beginning of the universe are unknown. The best that can be done is to consider various hypotheses that are plausible, and there are many different scenarios. Which one, if any, is correct is unknown. Intelligent design is an alternative scenario that can't be absolutely ruled out as a possible explanation, but then neither can any other reasonable hypothesis. Further, if the universe is indeed a product of intelligent design, then for you to declare that abiogenesis should be filed as impossible is to say it would be impossible for such a designer to create a process such as abiogenesis. Are you really able to say what such an entity of infinite existence can or cannot do?


Quote:
How can a creator create itself?
That's a meaningless question because it begs for equally meaningless answers. One could reply by suggesting maybe a creator could have been created by another creator, and on and on, like an infinite progression of fractals. It has nothing to do with abiogenesis within the universe.


Quote:
You guys need to get your stuff figured out.
That's another senseless comment to make. What would you suggest? Would it be better return to living in ignorance while cowering in mud huts or caves?

No one is saying we have all the answers to everything. There's much to learn, and probably much we'll never have firm conclusions to. That doesn't mean we should abandon attempts to try learn as much as we can based on what is already known. I don't doubt there are many scenarios that will turn out to be incorrect. That's part of learning. All that means is that it's one concept to scratch off the list and start looking for a possible answer in another direction. Abiogenesis is simply one plausible hypothesis among many. That goes for intelligent design as well.

What I think you're failing to understand that what we call "the universe" has a structure to it which includes matter (energy), forces, space and dimensions, all of which work together making the universe as we see it right now. My point of view isn't so much about any ultimate first cause as to WHY the universe and life exist, even though it's an interesting subject. It's a natural characteristic of human beings to be curious about things that still remain unknowable to us.

In my opinion, science isn't about trying to eliminate the concept of an eternal entity, although some people do seem to focus on that. Science is really about trying to better understand the universe and everything around us and the mechanics of HOW it works. While we don't have all the answers to the really big questions, I think it's pretty remarkable that we're actually able to look out and wonder about it at all.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
Huh? So just because you or I can't directly see a particular process unfold before our eyes that it automatically means it's "impossible"? That's a very narrow view. Seems to me it would be better to simply file it under "unknown" or "unproven".
Check back with me when you can provide absolute evidence that abiogenesis is impossible.

Funny...but the atheists I've debated online tell me that it's my obligation to prove that God exists. I'll say the same to you--it's your obligation to prove that which you affirm to be true. Everything we know shows that abiogenesis is not possible. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest it is.
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Evidently you either misunderstood or ignored my point regarding erosion. Of course there's a cause for it. But you don't see the specific examples I cited simply because the time scales involved can be so slow in terms of building up to an end result. What is usually seen are after effects when rocks on mountains become so loose that they finally fall off. Even with sudden catastrophic events (such as earthquakes), while you can observe things breaking and falling, you don't see the first cause. You can only observe aftereffects of the cause. However, what can be done is that we can observe those effects and make certain conclusions based on what is known, sort of like connecting the dots.
Gravity becomes the necessary and sufficient cause in the event of erosion. When the soil underneath a rock erodes, the rock falls.
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Again, I think you've missed the point. If the universe had a beginning, then before that beginning there was no yesterday, no time at all, because the universe did not exist before it began.
Once the necessary and sufficient causes were present (and they always would have been if there was no creator to arbitrarily decide to be the necessary cause), the universe would have been created. This would mean the universe was created an infinite amount of time ago. Since an infinite past is impossible, this could not have happened.
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You can't very well apply infinite time solely to the universe, unless of course the universe itself has always existed and never had a beginning. Finite time (for lack of a better description) is a concept that's applicable as it pertains to the confines of the universe itself and all events that have or will occur within it. That doesn't mean there is no form of time that may be infinite or eternal beyond or prexisting the structure of the universe, but by necessity that would certainly be different from finite time which postulates the marking of the beginning or endng of the universe.

What conditions or anything else that may have prexisted the beginning of the universe are unknown. The best that can be done is to consider various hypotheses that are plausible, and there are many different scenarios. Which one, if any, is correct is unknown. Intelligent design is an alternative scenario that can't be absolutely ruled out as a possible explanation, but then neither can any other reasonable hypothesis. Further, if the universe is indeed a product of intelligent design, then for you to declare that abiogenesis should be filed as impossible is to say it would be impossible for such a designer to create a process such as abiogenesis. Are you really able to say what such an entity of infinite existence can or cannot do?
I'm not sure you really understand what I'm getting at. My argument is that a non-personal cause/creator is impossible. We needed a mind to "decide" when to create the universe--because we know that an infinite past is impossible and the universe has not always existed. If it was something that just "popped into existence" when the right conditions occurred, an infinite past means that it would have happened an infinite time ago. The fact that the universe has a beginning disproves that theory.
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That's a meaningless question because it begs for equally meaningless answers. One could reply by suggesting maybe a creator could have been created by another creator, and on and on, like an infinite progression of fractals. It has nothing to do with abiogenesis within the universe.
You suggested the universe created itself. We know that cannot be true, as something cannot cause itself to come into existence. If it doesn't exist, it can't cause itself to exist.
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That's another senseless comment to make. What would you suggest? Would it be better return to living in ignorance while cowering in mud huts or caves?
I'm saying there is a whole lot of assuming going in science. Most of us agree life doesn't come from non-life...but you suspend that truth rather than believe in a creator. It just doesn't make sense. It's just not logical.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bs13690 View Post
According to Chuck, abiogenesis is crap because new life doesn't spring from a jar of peanut butter. Take that, eggheads.


‪Peanut Butter, The Atheist's Nightmare!‬‏ - YouTube
That's almost as bad as the tornado in a junkyard nonsense.
No wait, it's worse.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Calvinist View Post
Funny...but the atheists I've debated online tell me that it's my obligation to prove that God exists. I'll say the same to you--it's your obligation to prove that which you affirm to be true. Everything we know shows that abiogenesis is not possible. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest it is.
Debates with atheists? It's your obligation to prove that God exists? Hmm, sounds pretty clear that the direction you're veering off with isn't looking at the science, but is aimed at espousing a religious and/or philosophical view. There is another forum to do just that. I've already stated a number of things, but you seem to prefer steering things off track. I've acknowledged (to your credit) that your view of what you previously described as a "creator" is certainly one possibility. I've also said there is no proof of what conditions (or entities) may have preexisted the universe. Regardless, that's a completely different subject. You have every right to believe what you want, but if you can't stick with the science, then I have no further interest in wasting my time responding to such pointlessness.

The subject at hand is about the science of things, in particular, abiogenesis. If I may say so, the science is more about looking at the mechanics of how things work, and in this case how life came into existence. There's no clear cut answer for that at the present time. Obviously mechanisms were necessary for a process like abiogenesis to take place. That said, then is gets down to what was the process? I think I already said this, but the approach of science is like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. A single piece does not provide a complete view of the puzzle. As more pieces are found that fit together, more of the picture is revealed. With regard to the hypothesis of abiogenesis, it isn't a matter of drawing conclusions out of thin air. It's based on putting together bits and pieces of what is already known. Is it the full definitive picture? No. But as evidences are discovered, it's looking like a more plausible explanation.

I'm not going to go into a full explanation in describing the entire history of the hypothesis of abiogenesis. You can do that on your own. But I will provide a link about the recent discovery of meteorites containing the building blocks of DNA. These rocks are from space. Does it answer all the questions about abiogenesis? No, of course not. But it does provide another very strong piece of evidence that makes the process of abiogenesis look much more likely than before. You can draw your own conclusions about it as you wish.
Evidence Found For Space-Created DNA Building Blocks | Space.com


Quote:
Gravity becomes the necessary and sufficient cause in the event of erosion. When the soil underneath a rock erodes, the rock falls.
Sure, gravity plays an important role. I didn't say it doesn't. But again, you missed the real point. There's a lot more that takes place in addition to gravity. Yes, if soil erodes beneath a rock. gravity will make it fall. But you're not taking into account why the soil erodes in the first place. What about solid rocks on mountains that erode and fall without any soil involved? My point was there are many different factors involved.



Quote:
Once the necessary and sufficient causes were present (and they always would have been if there was no creator to arbitrarily decide to be the necessary cause), the universe would have been created. This would mean the universe was created an infinite amount of time ago. Since an infinite past is impossible, this could not have happened.
I'm not sure what you're trying to say here, or what it has to do with my point. It's pretty jumbled. I agree that sufficient causes are necessary, but that's more intuitive than it is conclusive. Regardless, it still doesn't mean the universe has always existed. The structure we call the universe appears to have had a beginning. That beginning is described as the Big Bang. It's reasonable to think that some kind of conditions caused the Big Bang to happen. It's unknown exactly what took place or what the conditions were to initiate the whole thing because whatever happened preexisted the universe. It's also fair to say that if there was no universe before the beginning of the Big Bang, then there was no time relative to the universe itself. As I said, before the universe came into existence, there was no yesterday, and that means there was no time to mark any events of the universe. The beginning of time in the universe is marked at the instant of its beginning. If there is some form of time that preexisted the Big Bang (which we don't know), it could be something very different from anything we perceive. It might be infinite or eternal time, or a lot closer to it than time as perceived within the universe. We don't really understand much about the nature of time within the structure of the universe, much less beyond the universe.


Quote:
I'm not sure you really understand what I'm getting at. My argument is that a non-personal cause/creator is impossible. We needed a mind to "decide" when to create the universe--because we know that an infinite past is impossible and the universe has not always existed. If it was something that just "popped into existence" when the right conditions occurred, an infinite past means that it would have happened an infinite time ago. The fact that the universe has a beginning disproves that theory.
I understand exactly what you're getting at and what your argument is, but you're just not making any sense. Your points are meaningless because you're trying to argue infinite time vs finite time. Again, time relative solely to the universe is finite, at least in terms of its beginning. Once again, whatever happened before the universe began is unknown. However, to assume that a non-personal cause/creator is impossible is just plain wrong. It's just as valid as adding in a personal cause/creator. Both are hypothetical. We can't say one view is possible and the other is impossible because we don't know. If you're going to claim it's impossible, you're going to need a lot more proof than you've stated here.

Further, you've already diminished your own view of a personal creator (God), that is unless you happen to think such a personal creator is also flawed. I notice you avoided responding to that point. I'll repeat the gist of the question. If a personal creator has infinite abilities, then what makes you think such a creator could not have created a universe with abiogenesis as a process to create life? Is it possible? Or impossible?


Quote:
You suggested the universe created itself. We know that cannot be true, as something cannot cause itself to come into existence. If it doesn't exist, it can't cause itself to exist.
LOL! You asked "How can a creator create itself?" I gave an equally meaningless answer as an example of pointing out how meaningless a question like that is. However, once the universe was well on the way with particles bonding, and stars forming, the process was certainly efficient to begin generating new particles from completely different particles. It's known as the Theory of Stellar Nucleosynthesis.
Stellar nucleosynthesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lives and Deaths of Stars

Radiation Notes: Stellar Nucleosynthesis


Quote:
I'm saying there is a whole lot of assuming going in science. Most of us agree life doesn't come from non-life...but you suspend that truth rather than believe in a creator. It just doesn't make sense. It's just not logical.
I agree, science does make a lot of assumptions. But they aren't always just wild assumptions. Sticking with abiogenesis, it's not like it was just pulled out of thin air. It's based on many things that are well known. That doesn't mean abiogenesis is necessarily the right answer as to the origin of life. It's just a possibility, but it certainly looks like it's making a much stronger case. You seem to be looking at abiogenesis as if somehow it's the answer to everything. It's not. It's simply considered to be a process that may possibly describe the mechanics involved in the origin of life. It's just a process. It does not define exactly WHY that process would have occured in the first place when it could just as easily not have occured at all.
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
Debates with atheists? It's your obligation to prove that God exists? Hmm, sounds pretty clear that the direction you're veering off with isn't looking at the science, but is aimed at espousing a religious and/or philosophical view.
I didn't start this thread on abiogenesis...I'm merely pointing out the fallacies of it.
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There is another forum to do just that. I've already stated a number of things, but you seem to prefer steering things off track. I've acknowledged (to your credit) that your view of what you previously described as a "creator" is certainly one possibility. I've also said there is no proof of what conditions (or entities) may have preexisted the universe. Regardless, that's a completely different subject. You have every right to believe what you want, but if you can't stick with the science, then I have no further interest in wasting my time responding to such pointlessness.
Then I guess this thread should be locked? Abiogenesis is simply a fairy tale and should not be in a science forum.
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The subject at hand is about the science of things, in particular, abiogenesis.
lol...oxymoron.
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If I may say so, the science is more about looking at the mechanics of how things work, and in this case how life came into existence.
It's about as scientific as the idea of intelligent design or creationism.
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There's no clear cut answer for that at the present time. Obviously mechanisms were necessary for a process like abiogenesis to take place. That said, then is gets down to what was the process? I think I already said this, but the approach of science is like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. A single piece does not provide a complete view of the puzzle. As more pieces are found that fit together, more of the picture is revealed. With regard to the hypothesis of abiogenesis, it isn't a matter of drawing conclusions out of thin air. It's based on putting together bits and pieces of what is already known. Is it the full definitive picture? No. But as evidences are discovered, it's looking like a more plausible explanation.

I'm not going to go into a full explanation in describing the entire history of the hypothesis of abiogenesis. You can do that on your own. But I will provide a link about the recent discovery of meteorites containing the building blocks of DNA. These rocks are from space. Does it answer all the questions about abiogenesis? No, of course not. But it does provide another very strong piece of evidence that makes the process of abiogenesis look much more likely than before. You can draw your own conclusions about it as you wish.
Evidence Found For Space-Created DNA Building Blocks | Space.com
If you can combine those ingredients and make life, let's talk. If you can tell me how those ingredients came about, let's talk.
Quote:

Sure, gravity plays an important role. I didn't say it doesn't. But again, you missed the real point. There's a lot more that takes place in addition to gravity. Yes, if soil erodes beneath a rock. gravity will make it fall. But you're not taking into account why the soil erodes in the first place. What about solid rocks on mountains that erode and fall without any soil involved? My point was there are many different factors involved.
You've completely missed the point of my explanation of sufficient and necessary cause.
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I'm not sure what you're trying to say here, or what it has to do with my point. It's pretty jumbled. I agree that sufficient causes are necessary, but that's more intuitive than it is conclusive. Regardless, it still doesn't mean the universe has always existed. The structure we call the universe appears to have had a beginning. That beginning is described as the Big Bang. It's reasonable to think that some kind of conditions caused the Big Bang to happen. It's unknown exactly what took place or what the conditions were to initiate the whole thing because whatever happened preexisted the universe.
My point is that those conditions could not come about naturally, without a personal creator to decide to act and make it happen. If they could have, they would have an infinite amount of time ago.
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I agree, science does make a lot of assumptions. But they aren't always just wild assumptions. Sticking with abiogenesis, it's not like it was just pulled out of thin air.
I think it was, actually.
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It's based on many things that are well known. That doesn't mean abiogenesis is necessarily the right answer as to the origin of life. It's just a possibility, but it certainly looks like it's making a much stronger case.
It's been widely accepted as impossible by pretty much every scientist alive. Louis Pasteur proved it a long time ago.
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
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Originally Posted by Calvinist View Post
I didn't start this thread on abiogenesis...I'm merely pointing out the fallacies of it.
That is fundamental to Science, and polar opposite of a belief system.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EinsteinsGhost View Post
That is fundamental to Science, and polar opposite of a belief system.
I'm not sure what exactly you're saying. Do you agree now that abiogenesis is a fairy tale? It isn't science.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
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Originally Posted by Calvinist View Post
I'm not sure what exactly you're saying. Do you agree now that abiogenesis is a fairy tale? It isn't science.
Well, abiogenesis according to Hinduism might be based on a fairy tales (life and living beings churned out of a premordial soup is a part of Hindu belief system). Science doesn't deal with fairy tales. Its strength lies in growth via questioning every detail. What is known today, based on evidence, may be wrong tomorrow. And that isn't quite the premise of fairy tales, is it?
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