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I need help on forming a counter-argument against a creationist


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You, experienced in biogenesis or biochemistry!:

 

I have this one guy whom opened a conversation (text) like this:

 

"There aren't enough atoms in the universe for life to arise by chance according to science."

 

As a student in his last year in finnish "lukio", I pretty well knew that this wasn't true so I managed to write an answer:

 

"Hey dude you got this one wrong. Life is possible to form "accidentally": There are about 3.0 x 10^23 stars in the observable universe, a big portion of them have planetary systems orbiting them. Lets say about 1/100 of them. Now we have 3 x 10^21 planetary systems out there. It's a fucking big number. Now out of all those planetary systems there are millions of billions planets like ours with a molten spinning core forming a magnetic field and some of those planets have water and some don't. Its actually proven that life doesn't need water or oxygen to form, it can substitute even carbon with silicon. Thus the possibility of planets CAPABLE of forming life increases.

The calculated possibility of the simplest known "life", a self replicating peptide only 32 amino acids long, forming randomly on earth is about 1 in 10^40. I know, it's really big number considering the fact that the known universe should have about 10^80 atoms in it BUT the possibility of life forming and evolving randomly is still possible.

Now to give that a boosting factor: the approx. amount of water in the oceans is about 10^24 litres.

The concentration of amino acids in the prebiotic oceans was about 10^-6M which is dilute, yes. BUT still 10^31 self-replicating peptides would form in under a year, because of these billions of chemical reactions happening simultaneously.

 

The atoms are there, and the conditions for forming life are there. Not by some "intelligent creator" but by chance which our enormous universe has given.

 

Now think about that happening in billions of planets. Do you really believe it's really that impossible? Life in the universe isn't some miracle. It's "de rigueur"."

 

His response came in pretty quickly:

 

"COPIED AND PASTED answer from http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/abioprob.html LOL! (at this point I tought about leaving this unanswered, but I really wanted to bring all those memories from chemistry and biology classes back up)

Your copied and pasted answer doesn’t even bring up the FACT that you need functional amino acid sequences to make a functional peptide or a protein. They come in a ratio of about 1 in 10^77. Furthermore, they don’t even mention that amino acids come in two forms, they’re called optical isomers. D-amino acids are harmful to life, all life on Earth is composed of L-amino acids (left-handed). Also, unnatural non-proteinogenic amino acids won't form bonds. Natural amino acids come in a ratio of 1:3. So you have another obstacle to overcome. So, the probability to find that functional peptide would be 1/(1/2)^32=~4.3*10^10. To get the bonds right, 1/(1/3)^32=~1.86*10^15. So, 1/((10^77)*(4.3*10^10) * (1.86*10^15))=1.25*10^-103. or 1 in 8*10^102 which is IMPOSSIBLE. Following so far?, good because that is high school math for you.

 

"the concentration of amino acids in the prebiotic oceans was about 10^-6M which is dilute, yes. BUT still 10^31 self-replicating peptides would form in under a year”

 

LAUGHABLY WRONG. The website from where you got this nonsense might not be aware that the environment in the Early Earth was mainly composed of nitrogen and oxygen, which would have destroyed any organic material from forming. Try again

 

 

Peer-reviewed: Ratio of functional protein sequenceshttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15321723"

 

(I did not actually copy and paste my answer)

 

This is where I could not give an answer to him. The article he referred to was a bit sketchy considering his argument. My knoweledge about amino acids and biochemistry stops at basic bonding stuff and structural stuff so I'd like to expand my knoweledge on this matter.

 

Help?

Ask your friend how they calculated that probability. It's not clear how one would go about getting an answer for several reasons.

 

A huge reason is that we simply don't know what makes something count as life. It's a fuzzy concept (like most) which means there are going to be problem cases. Even for stuff that evolved on Earth this is a problem. Now image somewhere totally alien in every sense of the word. There's no way to be sure that we would even recognize the kinds of life that form elsewhere as life.

 

Though, a big reason to ask is that it's likely fallacious logic being used to calculate this number. It's called Hoyle's "fallacy" for a reason. They assume that atoms just arrange by random chance (as though that's even a meaningful idea) rather than by defined chemical processes. Given the right starting ingredients and the right conditions, the probability of a certain chemical reaction occurring will be precisely 1, but you could calculate it to be infinitessimal using this junkyard tornado reasoning.

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Does not Mans/our/humans lack of comprehension to "all" the process'es that may or may not take place in promoting human existence makes this argument between evolution and creationism moot.

 

You seem to be saying that because we don't know everything about evolution then we don't know anything. That is just nonsense. We know a lot about evolution, all of it based on evidence.

 

Creationism is just a made up story. Not only is there no evidence for it, it is contradicted by evidence.

 

So about as unmoot as you can get.

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Does not Mans/our/humans lack of comprehension to "all" the process'es that may or may not take place in promoting human existence makes this argument between evolution and creationism moot.

 

No.

 

I've never heard such an argument before in this context.

 

Do you realize you essentially said, "We shouldn't even discuss how traits change over time until we know everything about human life!" Is this seriously your stance in this matter?

 

Please note that I'm not basing any kind of argument on my personal incredulity. I just wanted to see if this truly is your perspective.

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Does not Mans/our/humans lack of comprehension to "all" the process'es that may or may not take place in promoting human existence makes this argument between evolution and creationism moot.

I don't know how to assemble a tumbler lock but I know enough to argue with someone who claims that the locking mechanism is dependent on tiny elves living inside the lock.

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Then where does this debate takes you from having a partial understanding of all the process'es involved. And how did the post i made favor one side or the other?

At the end of the day despite your positions, the questions remain unanswered, thus the discussion is indeed moot.

-

 

MOOT- SUBJECT TO DEBATE, DISCUSSION, DISPUTE, OR UNCERTAIN, AND TYPICALLY NOT ADMITTING A FINAL DECISION

 

So where is the factual evidence (Truth) one way or another?

 

But of course you may indeed spout your view/opinion or partial personal understanding, for forum sake, but to what final end, wait there is no end, therefore moot. In large part nothing is being added to the original debate, all views contained within the post has been expounded beyond recognition, a double moot.

 

Question. How do you go from the vacuum of space, hot gases extreme hostile environment (Big bang) to a single cell organism?

 

Question. What exactly is the causation of the whole series of events that leads to our existence?

 

Feel free to use whatever resource material you may have available, except solid concrete opinions, based on partial comprehensions.

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At the end of the day despite your positions, the questions remain unanswered, thus the discussion is indeed moot.

 

Some questions remain unanswered. But many questions are answered (by science).

 

MOOT- SUBJECT TO DEBATE, DISCUSSION, DISPUTE, OR UNCERTAIN, AND TYPICALLY NOT ADMITTING A FINAL DECISION

 

Yes, yes. We know what the word means. (But kudos for not useing "mute" as many people do.)

 

There is no debate between science and creationism - in the same way there is no debate as to whether it is better to use the police or Batman to fight crime. Only one works in the real world.

 

There is of course much debate, discussion, dispute and uncertainty in science. That is how science works. That doesn't mean we don't know anything tough, as you imply.

 

So where is the factual evidence (Truth) one way or another?

 

There is masses of evidence supporting the theory of evolution. That is why it is a theory.

 

Question. How do you go from the vacuum of space, hot gases extreme hostile environment (Big bang) to a single cell organism?

 

That is not really anything to do with the theory of evolution. But most of the steps in that process are understood. (I am not going to try and summarise the status of half a dozen branches of science here though!)

 

Question. What exactly is the causation of the whole series of events that leads to our existence?

 

In general, energy minimization. In other words, there isn't really a "cause".

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Partial comprehension is the word I used, partial doesn't imply, nothing at all. So the theroy of evolution is partial as far as it being from one to ten, and the gist of the creationist is partial, as it relates to evidence out side of the subjectiveness.

 

Cause is a scientific principle, even when we discuss the Cause of a sought after particle of quantum mechanics, If it does a thing then why does it do it?. A bedrock of science.

 

All of nature has to do with evolution, conditions spurs adaptation , so the first question is evolution. But thank you for not weighing it down with.....

 

"Energy minimization, in other words there is no cause really". Is Speculation, geometric optimization starts with a atom or atoms, how you arrived at the bond angles and the lessing of the attraction between them, having nothing to do with cause, from the already "present" state of the atom is beyond me. I would like to know the cause of the bond in the first place, dont you?

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Partial comprehension is the word I used, partial doesn't imply, nothing at all. So the theroy of evolution is partial as far as it being from one to ten, and the gist of the creationist is partial, as it relates to evidence out side of the subjectiveness.

 

Evolution may be a partial theory (that is true of all science).

 

Creationism is not even partial. It is zero. It is based on nothing.

 

Cause is a scientific principle, even when we discuss the Cause of a sought after particle of quantum mechanics, If it does a thing then why does it do it?. A bedrock of science.

 

Not really. There are events without cause.

 

All of nature has to do with evolution,

 

Not really. We are talking specifically about biological evolution.

 

"Energy minimization, in other words there is no cause really". Is Speculation, geometric optimization starts with a atom or atoms, how you arrived at the bond angles and the lessing of the attraction between them, having nothing to do with cause, from the already "present" state of the atom is beyond me. I would like to know the cause of the bond in the first place, dont you?

 

Energy minimization is not speculation. It is the basis of chemical bonding, atomic decay, water falling down hill, planets orbiting the sun, etc.

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Creationism is lacking even partially, this is true/factual. However I hold that no story, can/have existed with out some basis in a reality or fact. There has never been a story of any caliber, fiction or non fiction, that springs from a source completely unknown to the author (consciousness) of. Now this may not be a proper barometer for validation of creationism, but for me at best, it holds the weight of at least investigation.

 

This may be weak but, whatever put the wheels of what we call life in motion, then that would be our creator, no matter if it turns out to be a by product of quanta or an unknown entity of cosmological order, or beyond our comprehension. lol don't call me to task on the latter, I will be unable to comply, but i can not completely rule it out, due to my partial comprehension of the matter on a whole.

 

In fact there is no difference in the gist of this debate. Your position rest on partial comprehension leaning towards evolution, My position rest on the partial aspects of both sides which thereby supports neither.

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I personally created all life on Earth.

 

Wow, it is written! More evidence it's true!

 

i can not completely rule it out, due to my partial comprehension of the matter on a whole.

 

I've seen this argument a couple of times lately. I don't get it. You're basically saying that, because we don't know everything, we don't know anything.

 

You're also hiding your "partial comprehension" behind a skeptic's stance. If you only have a "partial comprehension", what on Earth are you being skeptical about? Do you do this with any other areas of your life, learn just a bit and then assert that you have doubts? Is that an honest approach to explaining the world around you?

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Lol, Delta Clever but a word play of the issue. Do come up with an original story of any thing, logical or nonsense that would be unconnected to the whole of our existence or consciousness, reality, in any way.

 

@Phil, What i am saying is that we don't know enough about either of the two points to rule out either or fully support one over the other. Therefore debates about it are moot. This is not a skeptic's stance, it's a scientific stance. Had this debate brought substantiated info, towards the end of the pertinent question, then it can be moved to an conclusion, however it merely rehashed the same tired argument that has been through the ringer over and over and over again and is therefore Moot.

 

The legal definition of moot- a subject for academic argument, Presenting no real question.

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@Phil, What i am saying is that we don't know enough about either of the two points to rule out either or fully support one over the other. Therefore debates about it are moot. This is not a skeptic's stance, it's a scientific stance. Had this debate brought substantiated info, towards the end of the pertinent question, then it can be moved to an conclusion, however it merely rehashed the same tired argument that has been through the ringer over and over and over again and is therefore Moot.

 

Wait just a minute. Before, you were assigning a bare minimum of credence to creation stories, just because "no story, can/have existed with out some basis in a reality or fact". You even claimed "This may be weak". Now, despite all the mountains of evidence evolution has in its favor, and that much of that evidence directly refutes most of the major claims of creationism, you decided to claim that "we don't know enough about either of the two points to rule out either or fully support one over the other"?!

 

If this is truly your stance, then you haven't really read any of the literature. That you can even hint that both sides of the argument are equally valid shows me you understand neither side adequately enough to be skeptical about this issue.

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Lol, Delta Clever but a word play of the issue. Do come up with an original story of any thing, logical or nonsense that would be unconnected to the whole of our existence or consciousness, reality, in any way.

 

That is not the point: he created a story which, by your definition, must have some truth in it. Therefore you have to take his claim to have created all life on Earth exactly as seriously as you do Cretinism or Evolution.

 

What i am saying is that we don't know enough about either of the two points to rule out either or fully support one over the other.

 

And what you are ignoring is that one is supported by evidence and the other isn't.

 

Therefore debates about it are moot. This is not a skeptic's stance, it's a scientific stance.

 

Ignoring the evidence is not a scientific stance. It is not even sceptical. It is barely rational.

Edited by Strange
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This is not a skeptic's stance, it's a scientific stance.

 

It follows no accepted methodology. Scientists don't base explanations on degrees of skepticism, they base them on evidence. The preponderance of evidence forms the foundation for predictions which can also be verified, further supporting the explanation. Even one piece of viable evidence against can refute an explanation.

 

You have none of that. You have wavy hands and nothing more. Your stance is misinformed. You aren't skeptical about whether evolution or creationism is a better explanation, you're ignorant about whether evolution or creationism is a better explanation. Big difference.

 

The best part is, there's a simple cure for ignorance. Study up on the things you're criticizing before you criticize them.

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So basically the gist here is that since the one thing has some support of facts, and the other does not, then the one things is all that is.

 

Quite an elite position to take for men of science. but thank you for your opinions.

 

Are you freaking kidding me?! This seems deliberately obtuse, and you've probably decided just to troll for a reaction.

 

How about instead, the gist is (look this up) preponderance of evidence. If one explanation has lots, and the other has none, one is more trustworthy than the other. Both still exist, one thing isn't all there is. One seems much more likely because of all the reality involved.

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Given his history here and elsewhere, I know what the preponderance of evidence would suggest...

 

I can't tell what's exactly what is going on with arguments like Dr Funkenstein's.

 

The uber-religious often justify their stances in bizarre ways, since much of their belief system was arrived at by irrational means. And I think today's media has taught people to look for sides in each issue, and to give equal credence to each side, regardless of the preponderance of evidence. And then there's the crackpot stance, that our knowledge is incomplete, therefore everything we know could be wrong, which automagically puts their arguments on an equal footing with the scientific mainstream.

 

The only thing I know for sure is that there seems to be a correlation between a) how much a person actually knows about a subject, and b) how likely it is for them to realize they're wrong about it. And how much time that will take is inversely proportional.

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So basically the gist here is that since the one thing has some support of facts, and the other does not, then the one things is all that is.

 

Quite an elite position to take for men of science. but thank you for your opinions.

I'll admit, this actually made me laugh.

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So basically the gist here is that since the one thing has some support of facts, and the other does not, then the one things is all that is.

 

No. The one that has support of facts is considered more likely to be correct than the one that has no support (and is contradicted by facts).

 

Quite an elite position to take for men of science. but thank you for your opinions.

 

I think "rational" would be more appropriate than "elite".

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In contemplation of this argument, the best that I can add to it for the side of creationism, is the need, those who have stock in this position require. I suppose for their overall well being in some way. This need may in fact, have no verifiable objectiveness to it through science, and connected to evolution only in opposition of.

 

So to those who support it for the need it fulfills, I then considerer it necessary. perhaps you others find it necessary to beat it down with a stick, sorry I don't.

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"It is no defense of superstition and pseudoscience to say that it brings solace and comfort to people...If solace and comfort are how we judge the worth of something, then consider that tobacco brings solace and comfort to smokers; alcohol brings it to drinkers; drugs of all kinds bring it to addicts; the fall of cards and the run of horses bring it to gamblers; cruelty and violence bring it to sociopaths. Judge by solace and comfort only and there is no behaviour we ought to interfere with."

 

- Isaac Asimov

Edited by iNow
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