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Featured A positive argument against abiogenesis

Discussion in 'Evolution Vs. Creationism' started by leroy, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    We have abiogenesis research, looking for a natural process by which life could credibly form from non-life. (It's a work in progress, as you know.)

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but you appear to imply that life didn't have a natural start, and I'm proceeding on that basis.

    The only alternative to a natural start is a supernatural start.

    I don't know of any objective test that can distinguish the supernatural / spiritual / immaterial from the imaginary.

    But you apparently do. Grateful if you could tell me what that test is.

    So what supernatural process do you say brought life into existence, and how, exactly, did it do so?


    In other words, unless you have clear and demonstrable answers to those questions, a very strong argument for abiogenesis is that there's no credible alternative.
     
    #21 blü 2, Jan 11, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
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  2. viole

    viole Metaphysical Naturalist
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    Let's assume that the two premises are correct (I don't think the second is).

    You should add a third one:

    Premise 3: There is only one Universe and it is sufficiently small.

    The reason is obvious: the two premises you mention are not sufficient to exclude abiogenesis based on the occurrence of an extremely unlikely event. Like " high complexity" to pop up randomly. If the attempt space is infinite, as long as the probability is arbitrarily small but bigger than zero, then any event will occur. Ergo, an infinite Universe, or a sufficient amount of them, would make extremely unlikely events (your Jumbo Jet thing) happen somewhere sometimes with arbitrarily high probability.

    I don't believe life on earth was due to high complexity popping out at once randomly, but as long as you cannot falsify premise 3, you cannot exclude it a-priori.

    Ciao

    - viole
     
    #22 viole, Jan 12, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
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  3. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    That is a well thought out argument, good job.
    I don't share the opinion of some of the other posters that it is easily refutable. Most of it is logical and I have primarily one objection best reflected by a later post of yours:
    We do know that things were widely different in the past. See Great Oxidation Event - Wikipedia

    This killed of whole branches of life which, according to you, should have survived, at least in small niches. They didn't.

    The other thing is an unsupported assumption:
    Let's not. We see times of stability and times of change in the fossil record. And in the times of stability the "ceiling" was pretty much impermeable. I.e. the transition probability from e.g. 3 to 4 was 0 in the pre-Cambrian. (As is the transition probability from 10 to 11 today.)
    So the assumption of equally distributed transition probabilities is not supported by the evidence, neither is the assumption that the transition probabilities stay constant over time.
    This is also consistent with the finding that today there seems to be no favoured direction of transition. The difference over all transitions can still be 0 when the transition probability for 10 to 11 is 0 and the transition probability from 3 to 2 is 0.
     
  4. night912

    night912 Well-Known Member

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    Your argument is neither valid nor sound. I'll start with the easy part. It's not a sound argument because the premises are only assertions with no evidence to support the "truthfulness" of either one.

    Now that I think about it, the next part is also easy. The reason why it's not being a valid argument is because the conclusion does not follow p2. And p2 does not follow p1.

    Structure wise, you have your conclusion, follow by a premise, follow by the exact conclusion that you started with.




    The comically illogical argument is apparent of the deceitful camouflage has been wiped off.

    Here look at more closely.

    Life was always complex because complex life couldn't have formed in a primordial soup. :D
     
  5. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    I note that both premise 1 and 2 are negative statements that you can not ever demonstrate.
     
  6. firedragon

    firedragon Well-Known Member

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    Abiogenesis does not have definite evidences.

    But, lack of evidence does not mean it is impossible.
     
  7. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    Erm, they are. The evolutionary process you described is exactly what is believed to have happened; some species did develop more complex structures (as they proved beneficial to them surviving and thriving) while others remained as simple single-celled organisms, some of which still even live in the kinds of environments it is believed life could have first developed.
     
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  8. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Stromatolites come to mind
     
  9. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    You know what I don't get?

    Why cdesign proponentsists such as yourself think they can figure things of nature out simply by building these "arguments".

    Before Einstein, such "arguments" "demonstrated" that time isn't relative and instead a constant and the same everywhere always for everybody.



    Mere words is not how one figures out nature.

    It's always about these "arguments" with your lot. How about some evidence for a change? Some real lab work? Some data to underpin conclusions, instead of these formal "premise, premise, conclusion" bits.

    I mean, do you honestly and sincerely believe that this 3-line "argument" you constructed is a valid objection to an entire field of scientific inquiry?
     
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  10. wellwisher

    wellwisher Active Member

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    The current approaches to abiogenesis, by science, are not panning out. However, there is an new approach than can address your concerns. This has to do with natural selection at the chemical nanoscale. Although we normally think in terms of life being natural selected, the chemical selection process by water, helped to turn basic chemicals into the precursors of life, and then these into early life.

    This chemical selection process can be explained by looking at the system of water and oil. If we mix water and oil these two chemicals will separate to form two layers; oil floating on water. This system spontaneously goes from the chaotic randomness of an emulsion, into two very uniform layers. It goes from chaos to order in a way that is repeatable. Shake vinegar and olive oil at home and see if the phase separation is repeatable and not governed by chance.

    Water and oil do the same thing that is normally attributed to statistics; assembly things. This difference is water does this in a repeatable way using free energy considerations. Statistics is not reliable for abiogenesis, since it is not casual, however, the water and oil affect is.

    The reason this affect occurs is liquid water is very stable due to the large number of hydrogen bonds that bind water together. Each water molecule can hydrogen bond up to four hydrogen bonds with other water molecules. The addition of oil molecules disrupts the hydrogen bonding of water and creates surface tension. These induced potentials are lowered by expelling the oil and allowing the water to better self bind through hydrogen bonding. This creates order and was the driving potential for abiogenesis.

    Any organic compound in water will disrupt the hydrogen bonding of water to some degree and create a potential. In the cases of soluble organic materials like alcohols in water, this will not cause phase separation, but will still induce a lingering potential. Something has to change to lower the residual potential. Water is already a terminal product of high energy combustion and is very stable. As such, the total burden is on the organic materials; modification of organics to lower the potential.

    It is not coincidence that the DNA double helix is the most hydrated molecule in the cell, due to its water friendly composition and its huge size. This was the goal of the water environment from day one, since this molecular goal leads to minimal potential in the water. There is some residual potential on the DNA which is used to catalyze synthesis on the DNA. Separating of the double helix exposes the base pairs which have an oil affect that become applied with exposure. Reforming the double helix lowers this.

    The problem this topic address, appears to be connected to the use, by science, of the god of dice and cards, to fill in the steps of assembly, without any mention of a natural water-oil potential that can lead to the same end goals via natural potentials. This new approach is more consistent with a conscious God who plans in advance, rather than a God of the moment who depend on a whirlwind in a junk yard for each step.

    If you look act a modern cell, its inner nature is separated into compartments and/or organelles. These are similar to the water-oil affect and help to bind similar organics so as to lower the surface tension of the water. Cells contain lots of membrane materials, which are like oils, to help water compartmentalize. These various compartments have different residual or lingering potentials. This, in part, is how the cells knows where to place each organelle; forms a gradient of organelle and compartments from the low end DNA to the high end membrane, based on the degree of linger potential. The cell's organization is induce by the water environment; natural selection at the nanoscale.
     
  11. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    While natural selection does not necessarily aim at complexity, it is a mechanism that can create complex systems out of initially simpler ones if the complex systems have greater fitness. Early life was a case where more complex systems were significantly fitter than the initial simpler forms. Hence these later complex forms arose and were selected for by natural selection.
     
  12. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    By my thinking, once there were a great number of "2s" or "3s", and considering that "1s" may have absolutely no way to defend themselves and might not even be motile, then it would stand to reason that "1s" could realistically all be eaten. And in a self-contained "primordial soup" type of situation, I would think it likely that they would be. Like a pen of sheep grazing a limited plot of grass. The grass has absolutely no chance. And an evolution from "2" to "1" would just create more "grass" for the "sheep" to feed on when they were done with all the other grass. Only when you can actually get away, or your predator eats his fill would you be relatively "safe" for some duration.

    In any event, I wasn't presenting what I think is "true" in any way. Only possibilities that cast doubt on the accuracy of your initial assertions. This is enough doubt that the jury simply needs to remain out until better/more evidence can be found to substantiate claims made.
     
  13. leroy

    leroy Well-Known Member

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    I am not arguing that life needs* to be complex, I am arguing that if simple life (1s 2s 3s etc ) ever existed we should still have simple life today.




    I don’t grant that claim (in red) at least in some environments being simple is ok and in some cases being simple is even better than being complex.

    So at least in some environments simple life should have survived.
     
  14. leroy

    leroy Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that we are talking about millions of populations living in different environments, statistically speaking it is likely that at least in some environments simple life was ok or even better adapted than complex life
     
  15. leroy

    leroy Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that 2s evolved millions of years after 1s formed in the primordial soup, these 1s evolved horizontality (without becoming much more complex) and populated millions of niches ……. By the time 2s evolved there where already millions of 1s living in different environments, so to say that 2s killed all 1s all over the world seems unlikely……….atleast in some enviroemnts 1s would be ok and in others they would have outperformed 2s




    Well following your analogy, sure sheep can eat the all the grass in some environments, but in other environments (say an environment fool of wolves) being a grass is better than being a sheep………so at least in some environments grass would flourish even if sheep exists-

    Well juries can only accuse someone if they are sure beyond reasonable doubt. In my opinion you are raising the bar too high…….. I think my argument successfully justifies skepticism towards abiogenesis…..
     
  16. leroy

    leroy Well-Known Member

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    Yes but extinction events don’t have a tendency to kill simple life over complex life, (if anything the opposite is true, usually complex organism die due to extinction events and simpler organisms survive)

    So you still need to explain why is it that simple life (1s 2s etc.) didn’t survive



    Why would the probability of transition from 2 to 1 be zero? We are talking about millions of different organisms in divergent environments, it seems obvious that at least in some environments 1 would be better than 2. (or at least equally good)



    Btw I appreciate you honest approach in addressing this arguemnt
     
    #36 leroy, Jan 12, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  17. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    I see. And yes, I agree that abiogenesis has not yet met its burden of proof. There are things being worked on, and until we know, we don't know.

    Unfortunately, I feel that even in the event that someone is able to witness life arise from base materials under particular conditions, the goal post would then just be moved by anyone still desiring to reject this type of beginning to life. Just as in the case of evolution - when the weight of evidence became too great, some of its staunch deniers simply switched to saying that "God invented evolution" (paraphrasing here). The same sort of thing could be said of abiogenesis. That is: "God set it all up so that such a thing could happen." It's a never ending battle, in other words. The difference in the sides doing the "fighting," of course, is that one is actively looking for evidence to try and find out how these things actually work, and the other is content to just keep assuming that God does it all without having any physically-present evidence (besides written words not distinctly tied to physical realities) to back them up - and barely any of them sincerely looking for any. Hence the reason you have a lot of people only trying to "poke holes" in what the scientific community puts forward, rather than these hole-pokers putting forward cogent examples of the evidence they have found that legitimately points to "God." (or any alternative explanation, for that matter)
     
    #37 A Vestigial Mote, Jan 12, 2021
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  18. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    That is not given at all since it's very likely that first life arose in very specific environments (maybe a single hot spring type environment) where the abiogenetic reactions progressed upto the point where proto cells with genetic reproductions could occur. Life likely became robust only AFTER natural selection created more complex and adaptive cells.
     
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  19. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    The Great Oxidation is special in extinction events as Earth never returned to the prior state. There is no niche in which anaerobe 1s could have survived. (We have anaerobe environments now but they haven't been stable for 2 billion years and they are still not the same as those before the GOE.)
    If a certain level of complexity is needed to survive in an aerobe environment, the transition probability from 2 to 1 becomes 0.
    For the possibility to lose a function and still survive, the function must be superfluous, i.e. the function must be provided by the environment.
    The science of abiogenesis works from both ends. Iirc it was Craig Venter who built a microbe with a minimal genome of a few hundred base pairs. That might be a way to reconstruct a lost 1 and see in which environment it is able to survive.
     
    #39 Heyo, Jan 12, 2021
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  20. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    All material objects appear to change over time, and all organisms are material objects. If they hadn't changed, that would be the biggest surprise.
     
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