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God and Abiogenesis


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Given proper upbringing, all children ( with a few unfortunate exceptions who can be thought of as "broken" for this discussion anyway) are able to learn to use rational thought.

Those who lost that ability (even if it's just in respect of some facts) are broken.

The norm is to be able to tell fact from fiction.

The norm is to learn that fairies are not real. The norm is to recognise that there are no unicorns.

Believing in a God is a departure from that norm.

 

One problem that I cant seem to understand is why all theists are grouped into one category when there are multiple definitions for "god". What if my deities are the life forms where our DNA molecules originated and were brought to earth on an asteroid. Can't happen? Tell me why?

 

The first self replicating molecules responsible for our existence have not been explained, this is argued between scientists. The furthest evidence we can get our hands on isnt sufficient to give a definite yes or no to any theory. Therefore, there is no right or wrong explanation. Sure, a deity may sound ridiculous to many, but it is also extremely irrational to draw a full conclusion without evidence.

 

You can regard it as highly unlikely, but in order to call someone wrong or broken you must have evidence to the contrary.

 

You cannot create a map of the sea without first exploring it. Arguing over whose fantasy map is prettier is a waste of time.

Edited by Appolinaria
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Well, of course, if you completely redefine words and use them differently than everyone else, you can make practically any point you want. That's a bit silly, though, wouldn't you say?   If you sa

One problem that I cant seem to understand is why all theists are grouped into one category when there are multiple definitions for "god". What if my deities are the life forms where our DNA molecules

Theism doesn't necessarily denote belief in a personal, anthropomorphic god. So to redefine theism as however you want, to pick one definition out of many and exclude the rest, is unfair.       S

One problem that I cant seem to understand is why all theists are grouped into one category when there are multiple definitions for "god". What if my deities are the life forms where our DNA molecules originated and were brought to earth on an asteroid. Can't happen? Tell me why?

Well, of course, if you completely redefine words and use them differently than everyone else, you can make practically any point you want. That's a bit silly, though, wouldn't you say?

 

If you say, "This is a table," but you're pointing to an apple... That doesn't mean that "tables" are nutritious or regularly eaten by lots of people to keep the dentist away. It simply means you're using a completely made-up definition of the word "table" that does not map in any rational way to the manner that this word is used by everyone else with whom you're communicating.

 

Another point is that there is already language used to describe those prebiotic life you mentioned... You used clear and precise terms to describe to all of us what you meant. You used accepted terms with clear meaning like DNA and molecule and asteroid, things we all can agree upon and measure and test... Calling them "god" instead, however, adds no value... It actually decreases the quality of the information you're conveying to others. It makes what you're saying less clear, more confusing, and totally arbitrary... and for what? All so you can make some odd "out in left field" point that certain natural outcomes of physics and chemistry are seen by you as some unique version of a god or deity?

 

God exists because I describe this pillow as god, and the pillow is clearly in front of me, so there? Really? You think that holds any water whatsoever?

 

EDIT: Even if you dismiss all of the points above, you're still using a bit of a "god of the gaps" argument, wherein you suggest that because we cannot explain X, Y, or Z, that's where god exists. You may have noticed, as life continues and as we learn more, those gaps keep getting smaller and harder to find with each passing day (i.e. unnecessary and unneeded).

 

Sure, a deity may sound ridiculous to many, but it is also extremely irrational to draw a full conclusion without evidence.

Isn't this a bit of a hypocritical statement? In the first half you remind us how you yourself have drawn a conclusion without evidence, and in the next half you berate others for drawing conclusions without evidence. If you truly felt conclusions should not be drawn when there is a lack of evidence, then you would not accept the concept of deities as worth your time... Yet you seem to have concluded that there are deities despite the lack of evidence and despite not having an agreed upon definition.

Edited by iNow
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Well, of course, if you completely redefine words and use them differently than everyone else, you can make practically any point you want. That's a bit silly, though, wouldn't you say?

 

If you say, "This is a table," but you're pointing to an apple... That doesn't mean that "tables" are nutritious or regularly eaten by lots of people to keep the dentist away. It simply means you're using a completely made-up definition of the word "table" that does not map in any rational way to the manner that this word is used by everyone else with whom you're communicating.

 

 

 

 

Theism doesn't necessarily denote belief in a personal, anthropomorphic god. So to redefine theism as however you want, to pick one definition out of many and exclude the rest, is unfair.

 

Another point is that there is already language used to describe those prebiotic life you mentioned... You used clear and precise terms to describe to all of us what you meant. You used accepted terms with clear meaning like DNA and molecule and asteroid, things we all can agree upon and measure and test... Calling them "god" instead, however, adds no value... It actually decreases the quality of the information you're conveying to others. It makes what you're saying less clear, more confusing, and totally arbitrary... and for what? All so you can make some odd "out in left field" point that certain natural outcomes of physics and chemistry are seen by you as some unique version of a god or deity?

 

God exists because I describe this pillow as god, and the pillow is clearly in front of me, so there? Really? You think that holds any water whatsoever?

 

 

 

So an asteroid carrying alien molecules that sprouted life as we know it is more feasible? May I ask why? Especially since you have no evidence for aliens existing, or an asteroid carrying the seeds of life? In fact, no evidence beyond a certain point to point us in any direction at all?

 

EDIT: Even if you dismiss all of the points above, you're still using a bit of a "god of the gaps" argument, wherein you suggest that because we cannot explain X, Y, or Z, that's where god exists. You may have noticed, as life continues and as we learn more, those gaps keep getting smaller and harder to find with each passing day (i.e. unnecessary and unneeded).

 

Agreed. Science takes place of the "supernatural".

 

 

Isn't this a bit of a hypocritical statement? In the first half you remind us how you yourself have drawn a conclusion without evidence, and in the next half you berate others for drawing conclusions without evidence. If you truly felt conclusions should not be drawn when there is a lack of evidence, then you would not accept the concept of deities as worth your time... Yet you seem to have concluded that there are deities despite the lack of evidence and despite not having an agreed upon definition.

 

That was precisely my point. Solid conclusions cannot be drawn without evidence. However I define "God" should not make me broken. If I choose not to believe in "God" I am also not broken. I can only speculate about the origin of life as we know it... and accept that what I believe may have to change when the evidence is provided.

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Theism doesn't necessarily denote belief in a personal, anthropomorphic god. So to redefine theism as however you want, to pick one definition out of many and exclude the rest, is unfair.

 

 

 

 

So an asteroid carrying alien molecules that sprouted life as we know it is more feasible? May I ask why? Especially since you have no evidence for aliens existing, or an asteroid carrying the seeds of life? In fact, no evidence beyond a certain point to point us in any direction at all?

 

 

 

Agreed. Science takes place of the "supernatural".

 

 

 

 

That was precisely my point. Solid conclusions cannot be drawn without evidence. However I define "God" should not make me broken. If I choose not to believe in "God" I am also not broken. I can only speculate about the origin of life as we know it... and accept that what I believe may have to change when the evidence is provided.

 

Appolinaria,

 

I can and do accept your argument as "true". But I also, on the basis of it, accept the importance of making the distinction that Inow is making. That while you can formulate any number of "possible" models of reality that you can try and make the evidence fit, its been consistently turning out, that there is a "real" reality from which we all draw, where the evidence already fits together flawlessly, and we need only discover it, and share our knowledge of it, to arrive at a "better" model of it. That on the basis of this collective truth, based on the real evidence, we can discard certain claims of "what is true", if the claims have no place to fit, in the already established, collective understanding of reality that is housed in the libraries and minds of universities and learned people. That the worse possible place to look for common evidence is in places that only you claim access to. And based on THIS fact, we can together discard reasonably, claims of truth, based on faith alone. And in THIS way make the claim that people that believe in God are broken. If the truth of the God believed in, can only be taken on faith, and no actual evidence, pointing to it, can be found.

 

Regards, TAR2

 

(but to our point, also an understanding that highly values faith and tradition and respect of the findings of those around us, and those that came before, and THIS kind of faith is absolutely required and should not accidently be tossed with the bathwater)

(and to my point, that people that believe in God are NOT broken if they can find but ANOTHER reason, other than their own faith, to believe in it)

(and to a general thread point, that faith based beliefs should be learned about in school, but indentified as such, and not be taught in physics and biology and Earth science class nor be entered into the laws of a secular society in an unsupported manner)

Edited by tar
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Appolinaria,

 

Through spectroscopy experiments we have found that outer space is in fact littered with a plethora of organic "pre-biotic" molecules including but not limited to amino acids, primitive lipids, water, and various organo-sulphides.

 

I don't know if pan-spermia is the ultimate answer to the origin of life on Earth but at least it is somewhat falsifiable and does not require a supernatural agent or ant blatant violations of established physics.

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Appolinaria,

 

You seem to be arguing that people who believe in god are not broken by changing the meaning of the word god and then trying to supply evidence of it. While i disagree with Inow's analogy of calling a table an apple is equivalent to the various definitions of god in general, it probably is equivalent to calling god an amino acid carrying asteroid. If you want to use another definition for god, i think it only fair you use a more commonly held one, such as the Hindu concept, or some such (i find it very boring that on science forums the Abraham god is predominantly discussed).

 

I think a more fruitful approach might be take the definition of god as creator of the universe, which thereafter has no input what-so-ever. There is no logical contradiction in believing in this god so long as you do not attempt to give any attributes to such a god - only that it created. Neither is there, nor can be, any evidence in favour or against this god (since by definition we have said this god is outside, and only outside, our universe - and the scientific method can only explore what is in our universe).

 

In case any one's wondering i'm actually an atheist. Reason i don't personally believe in the god i've described above is that the god is essentially empty - we can attribute nothing to this god, other than 'it' caused the big bang. It might have been a big crunch from another universe, or whatever - we can't know.

 

However, not knowing has never stopped humans speculating and if people wish to believe in this god, it does not mean they are broken, any more in my believing that the big bang was caused by a big crunch.

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Appolinaria,

 

Through spectroscopy experiments we have found that outer space is in fact littered with a plethora of organic "pre-biotic" molecules including but not limited to amino acids, primitive lipids, water, and various organo-sulphides.

 

I don't know if pan-spermia is the ultimate answer to the origin of life on Earth but at least it is somewhat falsifiable and does not require a supernatural agent or ant blatant violations of established physics.

 

Discovering pre-biotic molecules is not an answer to anything. How self replication began is still unanswered.

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The reason I lump all the religions together is that there only seems to be one universe.

It can have had no more than one creator.

Whatever name and other features you ascribe to the hypothetical creator doesn't really matter since there's no evidence He exists anyway.

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Discovering pre-biotic molecules is not an answer to anything. How self replication began is still unanswered.

 

I was merely responding to your equivocation of naturalistic explanations of our origins to religious ones.

 

If you want to continue this I would like to but I fear we are straying from the topic (which is not an origin of life thread) PM me and we can discuss or start a thread and I'll jump in.

 

Edit: Looks like Phi for All explained this better than I in the post below as I was typing. I second his question to you.

Edited by mississippichem
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One problem that I cant seem to understand is why all theists are grouped into one category when there are multiple definitions for "god". What if my deities are the life forms where our DNA molecules originated and were brought to earth on an asteroid. Can't happen? Tell me why?

Isn't what you're describing more like deism than theism?

 

I think, for the purposes of using rational thinking as the standard for this thread, all theistic approaches are still based on accepting knowledge that's not supported by any evidence, thus the single categorization. Do you have an example of a theistic concept that's not based on faith in unobservable deities?

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Isn't what you're describing more like deism than theism?

 

 

All deists are theists. And no, doesn't sound particularly like deism.

 

Do you have an example of a theistic concept that's not based on faith in unobservable deities?

 

 

What do you put faith into believing created the spark of life, Phi for All? Surely you don't ignore the question. Where does your faith lie?

 

The reason I lump all the religions together is that there only seems to be one universe.

It can have had no more than one creator.

Whatever name and other features you ascribe to the hypothetical creator doesn't really matter since there's no evidence He exists anyway.

 

 

So a monotheistic religion is better than a polytheistic one? Is that what you're saying?

Edited by Appolinaria
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What do you put faith into believing created the spark of life, Phi for All? Surely you don't ignore the question. Where does your faith lie?

 

That is a stawman. Science requires no faith. That precedent has been established in this very thread and IIRC even acknowledged by at least one non-atheist.

 

 

What do you put faith into believing created the spark of life, Phi for All? Surely you don't ignore the question. Where does your faith lie?

 

That is a stawman. Science requires no faith. That precedent has been established in this very thread and IIRC even acknowledged by at least one non-atheist.

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That is a stawman. Science requires no faith. That precedent has been established in this very thread and IIRC even acknowledged by at least one non-atheist.

 

Before you throw around words like straw-man, please be aware of what I am arguing.

 

Any idea concerning the origin of life is based solely on faith. We have no evidence of other life or how self replication started. Lack of evidence equals faith. So if you believe life is from a spontaneous event, that is still faith until it is observed occurring elsewhere. Sorry.

Edited by Appolinaria
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Before you throw around words like straw-man, please be aware of what is actually going on.

 

Any idea concerning the origin of life is based solely on faith. We have no evidence of other life or how self replication started. Lack of evidence equals faith. So if you believe life is from a spontaneous event, that is still faith until it is observed occurring elsewhere. Sorry.

 

That is another strawman. Show where I claimed to know the mechanism behind abiogenesis.

 

I'm quite confused as to what you are talking about. No sarcasm, this is sincere.

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All deists are theists. And no, doesn't sound particularly like deism.

Really? Higher beings distribute their DNA on asteroids and then leave it to chance that they'll form life elsewhere in the universe without their direct manipulation? Sounds more like deism than theism to me.

 

 

What do you put faith into believing created the spark of life, Phi for All? Surely you don't ignore the question. Where does your faith lie?

As I said earlier, faith to me is complete and unwavering acceptance of a concept that has no supporting evidence, so I don't use faith at all. I trust the explanation that there was time and components enough for a fundamental biochemical reaction to start the "spark of life" here on Earth. Exogenesis is a less attractive explanation to me, mostly because DNA is unlikely to survive the ravages of space during the vast time required for it to be deposited.

 

The question of our origin actually doesn't intrigue me as much as our development since then.

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I'm confused as to why you're confused

 

:[ Sorry

 

It's alright. Welcome to the internet. This is only a small side jousting match. If it's alright with you we can just call it a misunderstanding brought on by bad syntax (on both sides) and press on.

 

I hope you don't think I was picking on you because that was NOT my intent.

 

Agree to disagree on this one point of contention?

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Appolinaria is suggesting that those who have speculations about life's origins are equivalent to those who have faith about god(s). That's where the strawman exists.

 

One is, "Hey, maybe it happened this way, I don't know."

The other is, "Godidit, and I know this because I have faith... I have no evidence, but I know."

 

Not the same at all, from my perspective.

 

 

Ultimately, though... Even Appolinaria suffers from a lack of coherence and evidence for her idea of "god," and it, too, is based on nothing more than wish thinking and personal desire.

Edited by iNow
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Really? Higher beings distribute their DNA on asteroids and then leave it to chance that they'll form life elsewhere in the universe without their direct manipulation? Sounds more like deism than theism to me.

 

 

Sounds more like the plot of a bad sci-fi movie to me.

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Really? Higher beings distribute their DNA on asteroids and then leave it to chance that they'll form life elsewhere in the universe without their direct manipulation? Sounds more like deism than theism to me.

 

 

You can't be a deist and not a theist. If that sounds like deism it is also a theistic idea.

 

As I said earlier, faith to me is complete and unwavering acceptance of a concept that has no supporting evidence, so I don't use faith at all. I trust the explanation that there was time and components enough for a fundamental biochemical reaction to start the "spark of life" here on Earth. Exogenesis is a less attractive explanation to me, mostly because DNA is unlikely to survive the ravages of space during the vast time required for it to be deposited.

 

The question of our origin actually doesn't intrigue me as much as our development since then.

 

 

 

I trust that three purple aliens crafted the first self replicating molecules and sent them to Earth. You have no evidence of biochemical reactions creating life, as I have no evidence for these aliens. Why is your explanation better than mine? Because it uses pretty scientific words?

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I trust that three purple aliens crafted the first self replicating molecules and sent them to Earth. You have no evidence of biochemical reactions creating life, as I have no evidence for these aliens. Why is your explanation better than mine? Because it uses pretty scientific words?

Because it doesn't rely on any made up processes or mechanisms, nothing based on fairy tales and imagination alone, and instead merely extends existing knowledge based on empiricism and consistent experiment in a logical and rational way. It also includes measures of uncertainty and both implicit and explicit conditionality (i.e. it's a hypothesis, not a conclusion).

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It's alright. Welcome to the internet. This is only a small side jousting match. If it's alright with you we can just call it a misunderstanding brought on by bad syntax (on both sides) and press on.

 

I hope you don't think I was picking on you because that was NOT my intent.

 

Agree to disagree on this one point of contention?

 

Absolutely.

 

 

Ultimately, though... Even Appolinaria suffers from a lack of coherence and evidence for her idea of "god," and it, too, is based on nothing more than wish thinking and personal desire.

 

Maybe so. But is it not human character to do so? Can you not exercise tolerance and compassion until I am fully coherent, like you, Inow?

 

Perhaps one day I can be the 100% logical, rational, unbroken being that you are.

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Can you not exercise tolerance and compassion until I am fully coherent, like you, Inow?

 

Perhaps one day I can be the 100% logical, rational, unbroken being that you are.

Comments like these are not helpful in a rational discussion between mature people. If you can't handle blunt criticism of your position, then go away, but don't lash out at me personally, please.

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You can't be a deist and not a theist. If that sounds like deism it is also a theistic idea.

Isn't the distinction between deism and theism that a theistic deity stays involved to rule and a deistic one did the early work and is now off elsewhere, not pulling the strings? If so, I'd say your statement is wrong.

 

I trust that three purple aliens crafted the first self replicating molecules and sent them to Earth. You have no evidence of biochemical reactions creating life, as I have no evidence for these aliens. Why is your explanation better than mine? Because it uses pretty scientific words?

There is much more evidence to support abiogenesis than there is to support your purple alien thesis, so my explanation is more trust-worthy than yours. Its "pretty scientific words" have a great deal of work and rational thought behind them.

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One problem that I cant seem to understand is why all theists are grouped into one category when there are multiple definitions for "god". What if my deities are the life forms where our DNA molecules originated and were brought to earth on an asteroid. Can't happen? Tell me why?

 

The first self replicating molecules responsible for our existence have not been explained, this is argued between scientists. The furthest evidence we can get our hands on isnt sufficient to give a definite yes or no to any theory. Therefore, there is no right or wrong explanation. Sure, a deity may sound ridiculous to many, but it is also extremely irrational to draw a full conclusion without evidence.

 

You can regard it as highly unlikely, but in order to call someone wrong or broken you must have evidence to the contrary.

 

You cannot create a map of the sea without first exploring it. Arguing over whose fantasy map is prettier is a waste of time.

 

 

Theism doesn't necessarily denote belief in a personal, anthropomorphic god. So to redefine theism as however you want, to pick one definition out of many and exclude the rest, is unfair.

 

 

 

 

So an asteroid carrying alien molecules that sprouted life as we know it is more feasible? May I ask why? Especially since you have no evidence for aliens existing, or an asteroid carrying the seeds of life? In fact, no evidence beyond a certain point to point us in any direction at all?

 

 

 

Agreed. Science takes place of the "supernatural".

 

 

 

 

That was precisely my point. Solid conclusions cannot be drawn without evidence. However I define "God" should not make me broken. If I choose not to believe in "God" I am also not broken. I can only speculate about the origin of life as we know it... and accept that what I believe may have to change when the evidence is provided.

 

 

Discovering pre-biotic molecules is not an answer to anything. How self replication began is still unanswered.

 

 

All deists are theists. And no, doesn't sound particularly like deism.

 

 

 

 

What do you put faith into believing created the spark of life, Phi for All? Surely you don't ignore the question. Where does your faith lie?

 

 

 

 

So a monotheistic religion is better than a polytheistic one? Is that what you're saying?

 

 

Before you throw around words like straw-man, please be aware of what I am arguing.

 

Any idea concerning the origin of life is based solely on faith. We have no evidence of other life or how self replication started. Lack of evidence equals faith. So if you believe life is from a spontaneous event, that is still faith until it is observed occurring elsewhere. Sorry.

 

 

You can't be a deist and not a theist. If that sounds like deism it is also a theistic idea.

 

 

 

 

 

I trust that three purple aliens crafted the first self replicating molecules and sent them to Earth. You have no evidence of biochemical reactions creating life, as I have no evidence for these aliens. Why is your explanation better than mine? Because it uses pretty scientific words?

 

 

Appolinaria, you are quite mistaken and i am disappointed in your line of argument here. I've seen you do quite a bit better in these discussions. You seem to be insisting on clinging to things that are simply not true, strawmen at best. And these hypotheses about the origin of life have been discussed in other threads in great detail.

 

First of all there is no spark of life, the idea of some sort of special thing called "spark of life" was discredited centuries ago. There is nothing special about life that cannot be explained by chemistry.

 

50 years ago you could have accurately said that the beginning of life was mysterious but even then we had some pretty good hypothesis. Now we have some very good science that describes what we think the beginning of life was and how it happened. This idea that Science has no idea about the beginning of life is absolutely false. The beginning of life cannot be described as accurately as the diversification of life has been explained but the beginning of life is no longer even close to being a complete mystery.

 

I don't want to throw this thread of topic but saying that the beginning of life is somehow a huge impenetrable mystery is simply not true...

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