Alan McDougall

What are the Odds of Life evolving by chance alone?

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http://crl.i8.com/Evolution/Dna.html

 

 

DNA Molecules and the Odds Against Evolution

Within each cell there is an area called the nucleus which contains the all-important chromosomes. Chromosomes are microscopically small, rod-shaped structures which carry the genes. Within the chromosomes is an even smaller structure called DNA. This is one of the most important chemical substances in the human body -- or in any other living thing. Increasing scientific understanding of DNA molecules has revealed enormous problems for materialism.

 

DNA is a super-molecule which stores coded hereditary information. It consists of two long "chains" of chemical "building blocks" paired together. In humans, the strands of DNA are almost 2 yards long, yet less than a trillionth of an inch thick.

 

In function, DNA is somewhat like a computer program on a floppy disk. It stores and transfers encoded information and instructions. It is said that the DNA of a human stores enough information code to fill 1,000 books -- each with 500 pages of very small, closely-printed type. The DNA code produces a product far more sophisticated than that of any computer. Amazingly, this enormous set of instructions fits with ease within a single cell and routinely directs the formation of entire adult humans, starting with just a single fertilized egg. Even the DNA of a bacterium is highly complex, containing at least 3 million units, all aligned in a very precise, meaningful sequence.

 

DNA and the molecules that surround it form a truly superb mechanism -- a miniaturized marvel. the information is so compactly stored that the amount of DNA necessary to code all the people living on our planet might fit into a space no larger than an asprin tablet!

 

Many scientists are convinced that cells containing such a complex code and such intricate chemistry could never have come into being by pure, undirected chemistry. No matter how chemicals are mixed, they do not create DNA spirals or any intelligent code whatsoever. Only DNA reproduces DNA.

 

Two well known scientists calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes. They estimated that there is less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,000power that life could have originated by random trials. 10 to the 40,000power is a 1 with 40,000 zeros after it!

 

- "...life cannot have had a random beginning...The trouble is that there are about two thousand enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in 10 to the 40,000power, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup. If one is not prejudiced either by social beliefs or by a scientific training into the conviction that life originated on the Earth, this simple calculation wipes the idea entirely out of court....The enormous information content of even the simplest living systems...cannot in our view be generated by what are often called "natural" processes...For life to have originated on the Earth it would be necessary that quite explicit instruction should have been provided for its assembly...There is no way in which we can expect to avoid the need for information, no way in which we can simply get by with a bigger and better organic soup, as we ourselves hoped might be possible a year or two ago."

 

Fred Hoyle and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe,

Evolution from Space [Aldine House, 33 Welbeck Street, London W1M 8LX:

J.M. Dent & Sons, 1981), p. 148, 24,150,30,31).

 

How can one gain some conception of the size of such a huge number? According to most Evolutionists, the universe is less than 30 billion years old -- and there are fewer than 10 to the 18th Power seconds in 30 billion years. So, even if nature could somehow have produced trillions of genetic code combinations every second for 30 billion years, the probabilities against producing the simplest one-celled animal by trial and error would still be inconceivably immense! In other words, probabilities greatly favor those that believe an intelligent designer was responsible for originating even the simplest DNA molecules.

 

Chemist Dr. Grebe: "That organic evolution could account for the complex forms of life in the past and the present has long since been abandoned by men who grasp the importance of the DNA genetic code."

 

Researcher and mathematician I.L Cohen: "At that moment, when the DNA/RNA system became understood, the debate between Evolutionists and Creationists should have come to a screeching halt...the implications of the DNA/RNA were obvious and clear....Mathematically speaking, based on probability concepts, there is no possibility that Evolution vs the mechanism that created the approximately 6,000,000 species of plants and animals we recognize today."

 

Evolutionist Michael Denton: "The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle."

 

Famed researcher Sir Fred Hoyle is in agreement with Creationists on this point. He has reportedly said that supposing the first cell originated by chance is like believing "a tornado sweeping through a junk yard might assemble a Boeng 747 from the materials therein."

 

Many, if not most, origin-of-life researchers now agree with Hoyle: Life could not have originated by chance or by any known natural processes. many Evolutionists are now searching for some theoretical force within matter which might push matter toward the assembly of greater complexity. Most Creationists believe this is doomed to failure, since it contradicts the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

 

It is important to note that the information written on DNA molecules is not produced by any known natural interaction of matter. Matter and molecules have no innate intelligence, allowing self organization into codes. There are no know n physical laws which give molecules a natural tendency to arrange themselves into such coded structures.

 

Like a computer disk, DNA has no intelligence. The complex, purposeful codes of this "master program" could have only originated outside itself. In the case of a computer program, the original codes were put there by an intelligent being, a programmer. Likewise, for DNA, it seems clear that intelligence must have come first, before the existence of DNA. Statistically, the odds are enormously in favor of that theory. DNA bears the marks of intelligent manufacture.

 

Dr Wilder-Smith is an honored scientist who is certainly well-informed on modern biology and biochemistry. What is his considered opinion as to the source of the DNA codes found in each wondrous plant and animal? "...an attempt to explain the formation of the genetic code from the chemical components of DNA...is comparable to the assumption that the text of a book originates from the paper molecules on which the sentences appear, and not from any external source of information." " As a scientist, I am convinced that the pure chemistry of a cell is not enough to explain the workings of a cell, although the workings are chemical. The chemical workings of the cell are controlled by information which does not reside in the atoms and molecules of that cell. There is an author which transcends the material and the matter of which these strands are made. The author first of all conceived the information necessary to make a cell, then wrote it down, and then fixed it in a mechanism of reading it and realizing it in practice -- so that the cell builds itself from the information..."

 

One need only look carefully at any living creature to gain some concept of their enormous complexity. If you have a pet, consider the complexities that must be involved -- enabling that "package of matter" to move about, play, remember, show signs of affection, eat, and reproduce!

 

If that is not enough to boggle your mind, imagine being given the task of constructing a similar living pet from carbon, calcium, hydrogen, oxygen, etc. -- the animal's basic constituent parts.

 

If you have ever held a beloved pet in your hands, completely limp and dead, you may have some comprehension of the helplessness of even the most intelligent and sophisticated scientist when it comes to the overwhelming problem of trying to create life.

 

In contrast, the natural world does not have the advantages people bring to the problem. In nature, there are only matter, energy, time, chance and the physical laws -- no guiding force, no purpose, and no goal.

 

Yet, even with all of modern man's accumulated knowledge, advanced tools, and experience, we are still absolutely overwhelmed at the complexities. This is despite the fact that we are certainly not starting from absolute zero in this problem, for there are millions of actual living examples of life to scrutinize.

 

THE INCREDIBLE COMPLEXITY OF MAN

 

All living things are extremely complex, even the tiniest single-celled animals and bacteria. However, none surpasses the overall complexity of the human being. Not only is each person constructed of trillions of molecules and cells, but the human brain alone is filled with billions of cells forming trillions of trillions of connections. The design of the human brain is truly awesome and beyond our understanding. Every cubic inch of the human brain contains at least 100 million nerve cells interconnected by 10 thousand miles of fibers.

 

It has been said that man's 3 pound brain is the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the entire universe! Far more complicated than any computer, the human brain is capable of storing and creatively manipulating seemingly infinite amounts of information. Its capabilities and potential stagger the imagination. The more we use it, the better it becomes.

 

The brain capabilities of even the smallest insects are mind-boggling. The tiny speck of a brain found in a little ant, butterfly or bee enable them not only to see, smell, taste and move, but even to fly with great precision. Butterflies routinely navigate enormous distances. Bees and ants carry on complex social organizations, building projects, and communications. These miniature brains put our computers and avionics to shame, in comparison.

 

The marvels of the bodies of both animals and man are evidently endless. Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith makes this thought-provoking and humbling statement:

 

"When one considers that the entire chemical information to construct a man, elephant, frog or an orchid was compressed into two minuscule reproductive cells (sperm and egg nuclei), one can only be astounded. In addition to this, all the information is available on the genes to repair the body (not only to construct it) when it is injured. If one were to request an engineer to accomplish this feat of information miniaturization, one would be considered fit for the psychiatric clinic."

 

It is certainly true that a machine carefully made by a craftsman reflects the existence of it's creator. It would be foolish to suggest that time and chance could make a typewriter or a microwave oven, or that the individual parts could form themselves into these complex mechanisms due to the physical properties of matter. Yet, life is far, far more complex than any man-made machine.

 

The more scientists study life, the more they become deeply impressed. Nature is full of intricate design and beauty. In contrast to man-made objects, which look increasingly crude in finish and detail the closer they are viewed (i.e., through powerful microscopes), the closer life is examined the more complex and wondrous it appears.

 

Planet Earth is filled with myriad forms of life, each with enormous levels of complexity. Materialists believe life in all its amazing forms consist merely of atoms and molecules. They believe these atoms and molecules formed themselves into millions of intricate animals and plants. This view was born out of an earlier, more naive period in science when the extreme complexity of living systems was not understood. Even if nature could build the necessary proteins and enzymes, it is far from producing life. There is an enormous difference between producing a building block and producing a fully operating and serviced 100-story skyscraper from those building blocks. Buildings require builders; programs require programmers.

 

Today, most scientists are convinced that life could never have come into being without some form of highly intelligent and powerful designer.

 

THE BOTTOM LINE on the origin of life

 

- During all recorded human history, there has never been a substantiated case of a living thing being produced from anything other than another living thing.

 

- As yet, evolutionism has not produced a scientifically credible explanation for the origin of such immense complexities as DNA, the human brain, and many elements of the cosmos.

 

- It is highly premature for materialists to claim that all living things evolved into existence, when science has yet to discover how even one protein molecule could actually have come into existence by natural processes.

 

- there is no scientific proof that life did (or ever could) evolve into existence from non-living matter. Further, there is substantial evidence that spontaneous generation is impossible. Only DNA is known to produce DNA. No chemical interaction of molecules has even come close to producing this ultra-complex code which is so essential to all known life.

 

However what do your scientific minds have to say about the above?

 

 

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Moontanman    1949

http://crl.i8.com/Evolution/Dna.html

 

 

DNA Molecules and the Odds Against Evolution

Within each cell there is an area called the nucleus which contains the all-important chromosomes. Chromosomes are microscopically small, rod-shaped structures which carry the genes. Within the chromosomes is an even smaller structure called DNA. This is one of the most important chemical substances in the human body -- or in any other living thing. Increasing scientific understanding of DNA molecules has revealed enormous problems for materialism.

 

DNA is a super-molecule which stores coded hereditary information. It consists of two long "chains" of chemical "building blocks" paired together. In humans, the strands of DNA are almost 2 yards long, yet less than a trillionth of an inch thick.

 

In function, DNA is somewhat like a computer program on a floppy disk. It stores and transfers encoded information and instructions. It is said that the DNA of a human stores enough information code to fill 1,000 books -- each with 500 pages of very small, closely-printed type. The DNA code produces a product far more sophisticated than that of any computer. Amazingly, this enormous set of instructions fits with ease within a single cell and routinely directs the formation of entire adult humans, starting with just a single fertilized egg. Even the DNA of a bacterium is highly complex, containing at least 3 million units, all aligned in a very precise, meaningful sequence.

 

DNA and the molecules that surround it form a truly superb mechanism -- a miniaturized marvel. the information is so compactly stored that the amount of DNA necessary to code all the people living on our planet might fit into a space no larger than an asprin tablet!

 

Many scientists are convinced that cells containing such a complex code and such intricate chemistry could never have come into being by pure, undirected chemistry. No matter how chemicals are mixed, they do not create DNA spirals or any intelligent code whatsoever. Only DNA reproduces DNA.

 

Two well known scientists calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes. They estimated that there is less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,000power that life could have originated by random trials. 10 to the 40,000power is a 1 with 40,000 zeros after it!

 

- "...life cannot have had a random beginning...The trouble is that there are about two thousand enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in 10 to the 40,000power, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup. If one is not prejudiced either by social beliefs or by a scientific training into the conviction that life originated on the Earth, this simple calculation wipes the idea entirely out of court....The enormous information content of even the simplest living systems...cannot in our view be generated by what are often called "natural" processes...For life to have originated on the Earth it would be necessary that quite explicit instruction should have been provided for its assembly...There is no way in which we can expect to avoid the need for information, no way in which we can simply get by with a bigger and better organic soup, as we ourselves hoped might be possible a year or two ago."

 

Fred Hoyle and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe,

Evolution from Space [Aldine House, 33 Welbeck Street, London W1M 8LX:

J.M. Dent & Sons, 1981), p. 148, 24,150,30,31).

 

How can one gain some conception of the size of such a huge number? According to most Evolutionists, the universe is less than 30 billion years old -- and there are fewer than 10 to the 18th Power seconds in 30 billion years. So, even if nature could somehow have produced trillions of genetic code combinations every second for 30 billion years, the probabilities against producing the simplest one-celled animal by trial and error would still be inconceivably immense! In other words, probabilities greatly favor those that believe an intelligent designer was responsible for originating even the simplest DNA molecules.

 

Chemist Dr. Grebe: "That organic evolution could account for the complex forms of life in the past and the present has long since been abandoned by men who grasp the importance of the DNA genetic code."

 

Researcher and mathematician I.L Cohen: "At that moment, when the DNA/RNA system became understood, the debate between Evolutionists and Creationists should have come to a screeching halt...the implications of the DNA/RNA were obvious and clear....Mathematically speaking, based on probability concepts, there is no possibility that Evolution vs the mechanism that created the approximately 6,000,000 species of plants and animals we recognize today."

 

Evolutionist Michael Denton: "The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle."

 

Famed researcher Sir Fred Hoyle is in agreement with Creationists on this point. He has reportedly said that supposing the first cell originated by chance is like believing "a tornado sweeping through a junk yard might assemble a Boeng 747 from the materials therein."

 

Many, if not most, origin-of-life researchers now agree with Hoyle: Life could not have originated by chance or by any known natural processes. many Evolutionists are now searching for some theoretical force within matter which might push matter toward the assembly of greater complexity. Most Creationists believe this is doomed to failure, since it contradicts the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

 

It is important to note that the information written on DNA molecules is not produced by any known natural interaction of matter. Matter and molecules have no innate intelligence, allowing self organization into codes. There are no know n physical laws which give molecules a natural tendency to arrange themselves into such coded structures.

 

Like a computer disk, DNA has no intelligence. The complex, purposeful codes of this "master program" could have only originated outside itself. In the case of a computer program, the original codes were put there by an intelligent being, a programmer. Likewise, for DNA, it seems clear that intelligence must have come first, before the existence of DNA. Statistically, the odds are enormously in favor of that theory. DNA bears the marks of intelligent manufacture.

 

Dr Wilder-Smith is an honored scientist who is certainly well-informed on modern biology and biochemistry. What is his considered opinion as to the source of the DNA codes found in each wondrous plant and animal? "...an attempt to explain the formation of the genetic code from the chemical components of DNA...is comparable to the assumption that the text of a book originates from the paper molecules on which the sentences appear, and not from any external source of information." " As a scientist, I am convinced that the pure chemistry of a cell is not enough to explain the workings of a cell, although the workings are chemical. The chemical workings of the cell are controlled by information which does not reside in the atoms and molecules of that cell. There is an author which transcends the material and the matter of which these strands are made. The author first of all conceived the information necessary to make a cell, then wrote it down, and then fixed it in a mechanism of reading it and realizing it in practice -- so that the cell builds itself from the information..."

 

One need only look carefully at any living creature to gain some concept of their enormous complexity. If you have a pet, consider the complexities that must be involved -- enabling that "package of matter" to move about, play, remember, show signs of affection, eat, and reproduce!

 

If that is not enough to boggle your mind, imagine being given the task of constructing a similar living pet from carbon, calcium, hydrogen, oxygen, etc. -- the animal's basic constituent parts.

 

If you have ever held a beloved pet in your hands, completely limp and dead, you may have some comprehension of the helplessness of even the most intelligent and sophisticated scientist when it comes to the overwhelming problem of trying to create life.

 

In contrast, the natural world does not have the advantages people bring to the problem. In nature, there are only matter, energy, time, chance and the physical laws -- no guiding force, no purpose, and no goal.

 

Yet, even with all of modern man's accumulated knowledge, advanced tools, and experience, we are still absolutely overwhelmed at the complexities. This is despite the fact that we are certainly not starting from absolute zero in this problem, for there are millions of actual living examples of life to scrutinize.

 

THE INCREDIBLE COMPLEXITY OF MAN

 

All living things are extremely complex, even the tiniest single-celled animals and bacteria. However, none surpasses the overall complexity of the human being. Not only is each person constructed of trillions of molecules and cells, but the human brain alone is filled with billions of cells forming trillions of trillions of connections. The design of the human brain is truly awesome and beyond our understanding. Every cubic inch of the human brain contains at least 100 million nerve cells interconnected by 10 thousand miles of fibers.

 

It has been said that man's 3 pound brain is the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the entire universe! Far more complicated than any computer, the human brain is capable of storing and creatively manipulating seemingly infinite amounts of information. Its capabilities and potential stagger the imagination. The more we use it, the better it becomes.

 

The brain capabilities of even the smallest insects are mind-boggling. The tiny speck of a brain found in a little ant, butterfly or bee enable them not only to see, smell, taste and move, but even to fly with great precision. Butterflies routinely navigate enormous distances. Bees and ants carry on complex social organizations, building projects, and communications. These miniature brains put our computers and avionics to shame, in comparison.

 

The marvels of the bodies of both animals and man are evidently endless. Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith makes this thought-provoking and humbling statement:

 

"When one considers that the entire chemical information to construct a man, elephant, frog or an orchid was compressed into two minuscule reproductive cells (sperm and egg nuclei), one can only be astounded. In addition to this, all the information is available on the genes to repair the body (not only to construct it) when it is injured. If one were to request an engineer to accomplish this feat of information miniaturization, one would be considered fit for the psychiatric clinic."

 

It is certainly true that a machine carefully made by a craftsman reflects the existence of it's creator. It would be foolish to suggest that time and chance could make a typewriter or a microwave oven, or that the individual parts could form themselves into these complex mechanisms due to the physical properties of matter. Yet, life is far, far more complex than any man-made machine.

 

The more scientists study life, the more they become deeply impressed. Nature is full of intricate design and beauty. In contrast to man-made objects, which look increasingly crude in finish and detail the closer they are viewed (i.e., through powerful microscopes), the closer life is examined the more complex and wondrous it appears.

 

Planet Earth is filled with myriad forms of life, each with enormous levels of complexity. Materialists believe life in all its amazing forms consist merely of atoms and molecules. They believe these atoms and molecules formed themselves into millions of intricate animals and plants. This view was born out of an earlier, more naive period in science when the extreme complexity of living systems was not understood. Even if nature could build the necessary proteins and enzymes, it is far from producing life. There is an enormous difference between producing a building block and producing a fully operating and serviced 100-story skyscraper from those building blocks. Buildings require builders; programs require programmers.

 

Today, most scientists are convinced that life could never have come into being without some form of highly intelligent and powerful designer.

 

THE BOTTOM LINE on the origin of life

 

- During all recorded human history, there has never been a substantiated case of a living thing being produced from anything other than another living thing.

 

- As yet, evolutionism has not produced a scientifically credible explanation for the origin of such immense complexities as DNA, the human brain, and many elements of the cosmos.

 

- It is highly premature for materialists to claim that all living things evolved into existence, when science has yet to discover how even one protein molecule could actually have come into existence by natural processes.

 

- there is no scientific proof that life did (or ever could) evolve into existence from non-living matter. Further, there is substantial evidence that spontaneous generation is impossible. Only DNA is known to produce DNA. No chemical interaction of molecules has even come close to producing this ultra-complex code which is so essential to all known life.

 

However what do your scientific minds have to say about the above?

 

 

Worlds Largest collections of strawmen on the interwebs?

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Joatmon    108

I would say that the odds against life evolving by chance is very large. This is evidenced by the fact that so far we haven't found any except here on earth.

However, since we are here the odds against life evolving by chance doesn't seem to be infinitely large.

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swansont    6170

Two well known scientists calculated the odds of life forming by natural processes. They estimated that there is less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,000power that life could have originated by random trials. 10 to the 40,000power is a 1 with 40,000 zeros after it!

 

Codswallop. The outcomes of chemistry are not random, so the calculation is meaningless.

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doG    447

Many scientists are convinced that cells containing such a complex code and such intricate chemistry could never have come into being by pure, undirected chemistry.

Well let's just start with this assertion first. How many of these scientists can you list? Please be specific and provide links. All we care about is the supporting facts so let's see them.

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ewmon    158

Alan McDougall, the 1/1040,000 probability actually refers to the chance of obtaining the required set of enzymes for the simplest living cell. How was this probability derived? We know that amino acids are the building blocks of enzymes, so what part of the probability that you give is the chance of obtaining the required amino acids for those enzymes?

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StringJunky    1489

The researchers probably calculated the odds for a limited set of molecules to combine to the desired configurations. What they fail to take into account is that there are an exponential number of molecules performing exponential random combinations over billions of years...some of which will combine to the desired configuration. Combine those together and the odds shorten to the extent that it obviously becomes a certainty judging by the fact that DNA, enzymes et al are extant.

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D H    1371

I would say that the odds against life evolving by chance is very large. This is evidenced by the fact that so far we haven't found any except here on earth.

I would say we haven't looked and that we don't have many places to look. The only planets in the Sun's habitable zone are Venus, Earth, and Mars. There's a lot more to habitability than merely being in a star's habitable zone. Venus has too thick an atmosphere. Mars, too thin. Neither Venus nor Mars has an active plate tectonics system. Mars might have been habitable long ago, and Mars does show some signs of having borne life long ago. It shows some signs that it still bears life right now. We do see life on the one planet that is habitable, and that life originated very shortly after conditions became hospitable for life. Judging from a sample size of one, maybe two, (which is all we've got), it appears that primitive life is very likely to arise if conditions are right. That said, judging from a small sample size is always an iffy proposition. We need more data.

Edited by D H

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Greg H.    394

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html

 

"The theory of evolution says that life originated, and evolution proceeds, by random chance."

 

There is probably no other statement which is a better indication that the arguer doesn't understand evolution. Chance certainly plays a large part in evolution, but this argument completely ignores the fundamental role of natural selection, and selection is the very opposite of chance. Chance, in the form of mutations, provides genetic variation, which is the raw material that natural selection has to work with. From there, natural selection sorts out certain variations. Those variations which give greater reproductive success to their possessors (and chance ensures that such beneficial mutations will be inevitable) are retained, and less successful variations are weeded out. When the environment changes, or when organisms move to a different environment, different variations are selected, leading eventually to different species. Harmful mutations usually die out quickly, so they don't interfere with the process of beneficial mutations accumulating.

 

Nor is abiogenesis (the origin of the first life) due purely to chance. Atoms and molecules arrange themselves not purely randomly, but according to their chemical properties. In the case of carbon atoms especially, this means complex molecules are sure to form spontaneously, and these complex molecules can influence each other to create even more complex molecules. Once a molecule forms that is approximately self-replicating, natural selection will guide the formation of ever more efficient replicators. The first self-replicating object didn't need to be as complex as a modern cell or even a strand of DNA. Some self-replicating molecules are not really all that complex (as organic molecules go).

 

Some people still argue that it is wildly improbable for a given self-replicating molecule to form at a given point (although they usually don't state the "givens," but leave them implicit in their calculations). This is true, but there were oceans of molecules working on the problem, and no one knows how many possible self-replicating molecules could have served as the first one. A calculation of the odds of abiogenesis is worthless unless it recognizes the immense range of starting materials that the first replicator might have formed from, the probably innumerable different forms that the first replicator might have taken, and the fact that much of the construction of the replicating molecule would have been non-random to start with.

 

(One should also note that the theory of evolution doesn't depend on how the first life began. The truth or falsity of any theory of abiogenesis wouldn't affect evolution in the least.)

 

 

In short, life does not evolve by chance alone, nor does the theory of evolution have anything to do with how life began. That's a completely different theory.

 

 

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The likelihood that you were born faces such vanishingly small odds as to be impossible. Yet, despite these odds you were.

 

 

I wrote this some time ago!

 

 

 

Areyou a fluke"

Well lets us consider that, of the almost infinitely worlds in thisunimaginably vast universe youwere lucky enough to be born on planet earth possibly the only world that canharbour life.

 

Of the six five billion people you are the offspring of only two uniquepersons, namely your mom and dad. Of your mom's some twenty thousand eggs, youarose from just one of them. Out of your dads half billion or so sperm cells,only one reached that specific egg to create the unique being that you are. Noone else has or will ever have your exact DNA code.

 

There has never been someone exactly like you in all creation going backfifteen or so billion years namely, the estimated age of the universe. In alleternities going into the infinite future there will never be another exactlylike you.

 

Lastly, you were lucky enough to come into existence in a universe beautifullybalanced to harbour human and other life.

 

So the question begs, are you a fluke? on the other hand, the work of a mind ofunimaginable omniscience?

 

http://www.talkorigi...onceptions.html

 

 

 

In short, life does not evolve by chance alone, nor does the theory of evolution have anything to do with how life began. That's a completely different theory.

 

 

 

Then please tell me exactly how life came to be?

 

The researchers probably calculated the odds for a limited set of molecules to combine to the desired configurations. What they fail to take into account is that there are an exponential number of molecules performing exponential random combinations over billions of years...some of which will combine to the desired configuration. Combine those together and the odds shorten to the extent that it obviously becomes a certainty judging by the fact that DNA, enzymes et al are extant.

 

 

Rocks to living things in such a relatively short time, how?

 

Codswallop. The outcomes of chemistry are not random, so the calculation is meaningless.

 

If they are not random, what is organising them?

Edited by Alan McDougall
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D H    1371
Then please tell me exactly how life came to be?

Randomness does play a role, but it is not pure chance as is badly portrayed by young earth creationists. That portrayal is a straw man. Nobody says that abiogenesis and evolution happen purely by chance.

 

 

Rocks to living things in such a relatively short time, how?

That's a good question. There are lots of candidates, but finding evidence to test them is hard. Such evidence would require seeing signs of very small organisms preserved for about four billion years.

 

If they are not random, what is organising them?

Nobody has said randomness is not involved. However, nobody but those foolish young earth creationists are saying that it was pure randomness.

 

What is organizing "them" is chemistry.

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The researchers probably calculated the odds for a limited set of molecules to combine to the desired configurations. What they fail to take into account is that there are an exponential number of molecules performing exponential random combinations over billions of years...some of which will combine to the desired configuration. Combine those together and the odds shorten to the extent that it obviously becomes a certainty judging by the fact that DNA, enzymes et al are extant.

 

II know it is easy to lie with statistics, but to be truthful this is a factor on both sides of the debate, about how life came into existence.

 

You are right, however, the enigma of rock to life remains and as of yet we dont realy know exactly what life is!

 

How can anyone claim to know how life evolved when no one really knows what life exactly is , my comment Alan?

 

"http://b.scorecardresearch.com/b?c1=2&c2=6035753&c3=6035753&c4=http://www.livescience.com/&c5=Technology- News&c6=&c15=C67BD3C1&cv=1.3&cj=1"style="display:none" width="0" height="0"alt="" />

 

 

 

In the wake of controversy over thepossible discovery of arsenic-eating life last week — a finding that couldexpand the bounds of what scientists think life is capable of — a basicquestion perhaps deserves revisiting:

 

 

Just what, exactly, is life?

 

"We don't have a very good definitionof life," said researcher Christopher Voigt of the University ofCalifornia, San Francisco, who works on syntheticbiology. "It's a very abstract thing, what we call life, and at whatpoint we say something doesn't have the necessary components versus it does, itjust becomes way too murky."

 

The question of what constitutes life has dogged scientists since the early days.

 

Working toward a definition

 

Aristotle was the first to attempt todefine life, and his proposal boils down to life being something that grows andmaintains itself (he called this "nutrition"), and reproduces.

 

 

In 1944, Austrian physicist Erwin

Schrödinger defined life as that which resists decaying to disorder and

equilibrium. This definition relates to the second law of thermodynamics, which

states that closed systems will naturally gain entropy, or disorder, over time.

 

 

Essentially, like a teenager's room, without any help from mom, it will

inevitably get messier. But by taking in nutrients and metabolizing them,

living things can work against this trend.

 

 

However, this definition would mean that

crystals, which take in energy and create order when they form elaborate

lattices of particles, count as life.

 

 

This is the problem with most proposed

definitions of life: They tend of have loopholes.

 

 

For example, some have proposed that life

is that which can reproduce itself. However, that definition would exclude

mules, which are born sterile, and would include nonliving things like fire.

 

 

Others have suggested that life is

something that can metabolize — that is, take in energy to move or grow, and

release waste — but many nonliving things, like cars, can do that.

 

"Life, because it is such a complex

system of things with so many interacting parts, each of which is essential, it'sreally tough to make a definition," said biochemist David Deamer of theUniversity of California, Santa Cruz.

 

 

Despite the difficulty of pinning down

life, some scientists aren't content to give up, saying a working definition of

life is necessary if we are to identify living things beyond Earth. In that

case, the adage, "You'll know it when you see it" just doesn't cut

it.

 

Some Nobel prize winners who believe in some sort of intelligent underpinning reality. Like me they are mostly theists or deists and rational at that!

 

Other Nobel Prize Winners on Intelligent Design and Fine Tuned Universe

 

 

 

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Nobel Laureate in Physics (he believed in a God like Spinoza did, but a God who design echoed throughout the universe)

MAX PLANCK, Nobel Laureate in Physics

WERNER HEISENBERG, Nobel Laureate in Physics

ERWIN SCHRÖDINGER, Nobel Laureate in Physics

ROBERT MILLIKAN, Nobel Laureate in Physics:

CHARLES TOWNES, Nobel Laureate in Physics

ARTHUR SCHAWLOW, Nobel Laureate in Physics

WILLIAM PHILLIPS, Nobel Laureate in Physics

SIR WILLIAM H. BRAGG, Nobel Laureate in Physics

GUGLIELMO MARCONI, Nobel Laureate in Physics

ARTHUR COMPTON, Nobel Laureate in Physics

ARNO PENZIAS, Nobel Laureate in Physics

ALEXIS CARREL, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology

SIR JOHN ECCLES, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology

JOSEPH MURRAY, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology

SIR ERNST CHAIN, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology

GEORGE WALD, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology (note: he has quotes which defend atheism & deism)

SIR DEREK BARTON, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

CHRISTIAN ANFINSEN, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

WALTER KOHN, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

 

 

 

 

Edited by Alan McDougall

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ewmon    158

Alan McDougall, in relpying to your question of What are the Odds of Life evolving by chance alone?, how was the 1/1040,000 probability derived?

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doG    447

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Nobel Laureate in Physics (he believed in a God like Spinoza did, but a God who design echoed throughout the universe)

MAX PLANCK, Nobel Laureate in Physics

WERNER HEISENBERG, Nobel Laureate in Physics

ERWIN SCHRÖDINGER, Nobel Laureate in Physics

ROBERT MILLIKAN, Nobel Laureate in Physics:

CHARLES TOWNES, Nobel Laureate in Physics

ARTHUR SCHAWLOW, Nobel Laureate in Physics

WILLIAM PHILLIPS, Nobel Laureate in Physics

SIR WILLIAM H. BRAGG, Nobel Laureate in Physics

GUGLIELMO MARCONI, Nobel Laureate in Physics

ARTHUR COMPTON, Nobel Laureate in Physics

ARNO PENZIAS, Nobel Laureate in Physics

ALEXIS CARREL, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology

SIR JOHN ECCLES, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology

JOSEPH MURRAY, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology

SIR ERNST CHAIN, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology

GEORGE WALD, Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology (note: he has quotes which defend atheism & deism)

SIR DEREK BARTON, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

CHRISTIAN ANFINSEN, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

WALTER KOHN, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry[/indent]

 

If you're going to copy and paste from someone else's material you could at least credit the source. You could also get your material from a source that doesn't trace back to an agenda driven anti-atheist site. Such agenda driven mouthpieces are seldom objective. It makes your whole post questionable.

 

P.S. In regards to your question, "What are the Odds of Life evolving by chance alone?"; what does it matter? Even tremendous odds on the timescale involved woiuld not be evidence for or against.

Edited by doG

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Greg H.    394

Then please tell me exactly how life came to be?

 

DH already answered this, but I figured I would weigh in to, since it was ultimately addressed to me. The short answer is, we're not entirely sure (at least based on my readings on the subject) but there are a couple of good theories. The Abiogenesis article at Wikipedia covers most of the history and general information on the topic.

 

The important thing to remember is that life would not have risen entirely randomly, as DH pointed out. Chemistry has laws, just like every other science, and those govern the combinations of atoms into molecules and molecules into proteins, etc. And as someone else pointed out, it would not have needed a long span of time (geologically speaking) to find a combination that worked since there would have been billions of molecules trying to combine in billions of different ways constantly. All it took was one to get it right, and start the process of self-replication. After that, evolution would have taken over.

 

 

 

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If you're going to copy and paste from someone else's material you could at least credit the source. You could also get your material from a source that doesn't trace back to an agenda driven anti-atheist site. Such agenda driven mouthpieces are seldom objective. It makes your whole post questionable.

 

P.S. In regards to your question, "What are the Odds of Life evolving by chance alone?"; what does it matter? Even tremendous odds on the timescale involved woiuld not be evidence for or against.

 

Nevertheless it is an interesting question, asked by many highly intellectual people

 

It was a wordpress article justoverlooked putting link, nothing sinister :)

 

http://compassioninpolitics.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/nobel-prize-winners-who-believe-in-intelligent-design/

 

This is what the authors personal view on intellent Design is!

 

My Reflections on the Intelligent Design Debate

 

I believe in evolution. I believe in intelligent design. I’m not sure what my opinion is of macro-evolution and I’m pretty sure I’m not a young-earther in the traditional sense, but there are certainly others who share my opinion on both of these issues (See peer reviewed article links & the dissent from darwin as well as the article by Stephen Meyer, which is an incredible article). I believe that textbooks should at least teach the controversy for greater public awareness of the issue. Does intelligent it belong in a science textbook? Does intelligent design belong in the science classroom? I’m not entirely sure. Perhaps its more of a civics, government, or history issue rather than a science one. However, it seems that science looses even more if its not included in a scientific context (i.e. they have to re-clarify and re-explain their approach or position on intelligent design at a later date). The current policy seems to be one of avoidance of conflict and controversy….but thats just an elephant in the room.

 

 

DH already answered this, but I figured I would weigh in to, since it was ultimately addressed to me. The short answer is, we're not entirely sure (at least based on my readings on the subject) but there are a couple of good theories. The Abiogenesis article at Wikipedia covers most of the history and general information on the topic.

 

The important thing to remember is that life would not have risen entirely randomly, as DH pointed out. Chemistry has laws, just like every other science, and those govern the combinations of atoms into molecules and molecules into proteins, etc. And as someone else pointed out, it would not have needed a long span of time (geologically speaking) to find a combination that worked since there would have been billions of molecules trying to combine in billions of different ways constantly. All it took was one to get it right, and start the process of self-replication. After that, evolution would have taken over.

 

Lawsusually need a thinker behind them don't they? DH did not answer the questionbecause he does not know what life is or how to definite Life with any exactitude

 

Edited by Alan McDougall
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Greg H.    394

 

Lawsusually need a thinker behind them don't they?

 

Legal systems require someone to invent them. Natural laws do not, which is what I was discussing, as you well know. Strawman fallacies will not push your arguments very far, but feel free to keep trying.

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doG    447

It was a wordpress article.....

ROFLMAO!!! You do realize wordpress is just a piece of software for personal blogging. It's not some publishing house. And shrugging off plagiarism with "I forgot the link" does not negate the fact that it is plagiarism!

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swansont    6170

If they are not random, what is organising them?

 

That's a loaded question. Why must a "what" be organizing them? Atoms and molecules react according to the laws of nature.

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immortal    64

The problem of origin of life is unsolvable by the positivism of science and hence the origin of life should be accepted as an axiom. Science doesn't know and cannot know how life originated through natural processes with its scientific methods.

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Joatmon    108

I would say we haven't looked and that we don't have many places to look. The only planets in the Sun's habitable zone are Venus, Earth, and Mars. There's a lot more to habitability than merely being in a star's habitable zone. Venus has too thick an atmosphere. Mars, too thin. Neither Venus nor Mars has an active plate tectonics system. Mars might have been habitable long ago, and Mars does show some signs of having borne life long ago. It shows some signs that it still bears life right now. We do see life on the one planet that is habitable, and that life originated very shortly after conditions became hospitable for life. Judging from a sample size of one, maybe two, (which is all we've got), it appears that primitive life is very likely to arise if conditions are right. That said, judging from a small sample size is always an iffy proposition. We need more data.

I agree your facts, to go further means opinion and even speculation. So here are some of my thoughts (for what they are worth smile.gif). It seems to me that once primitive life starts then at some stage we can expect evolution to kick in with a vengeance. Once a life form makes it way forward by intelligence then in evolutionary terms the ability to communicate and record rapidly will soon follow. Under this scenario if life exists throughout the universe it should become intelligent life and there is no reason to think we would be the most advanced or the most inquisitive. In other words some of "them" may have been looking for us for light years and as I understand it we have been looking for signals for a long time without result.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_for_extraterrestrial_intelligence

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The problem of origin of life is unsolvable by the positivism of science and hence the origin of life should be accepted as an axiom. Science doesn't know and cannot know how life originated through natural processes with its scientific methods.

 

Agreed!

 

That's a loaded question. Why must a "what" be organizing them? Atoms and molecules react according to the laws of nature.

 

Again a mindless lawgiver!

 

ROFLMAO!!! You do realize wordpress is just a piece of software for personal blogging. It's not some publishing house. And shrugging off plagiarism with "I forgot the link" does not negate the fact that it is plagiarism!

 

 

Damnation man!! it was not plagiarism , how the heck would I suck that out of my memory, I just overlooked the link and dont like being called a liar by little spiteful men like you!! :angry:

 

 

Please try to be friendly instead of showing off your supposed huge knowledge by putting other people down!

Edited by Alan McDougall
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Greg H.    394

The problem of origin of life is unsolvable by the positivism of science and hence the origin of life should be accepted as an axiom. Science doesn't know and cannot know how life originated through natural processes with its scientific methods.

 

Really? Why can't science figure it out? That's a rather large assumption, deciding a priori that science will never figure out by what mechanism life could have arisen naturally.

Again a mindless lawgiver!

 

I addressed this in post 18 of this thread. Natural laws are not a legal system of jurisprudence - and I do not for a moment believe you are naive enough to think otherwise. Please drop the strawman.

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