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Darwin's warm pond theory tested
BBC News ^ | 13February2006 | Rebecca Morelle

Posted on 02/16/2006 6:00:37 PM PST by jwalsh07

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To: RussP
The "theory" of how the first living cell came to be has always intrigued me.

Would you state the theory or paste a copy or furnish a link where this theory is stated and exists? Not research, the theory itself.

41 posted on 02/16/2006 8:19:20 PM PST by jec41 (Screaming Eagle)
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To: Eastbound
"Wonder what other parts of Darwin's theory will remain unprovable."

The method of science does not prove or disprove anything. Any variation of the term proof is not used in science. The method of science is to explain a material fact.

42 posted on 02/16/2006 8:29:10 PM PST by jec41 (Screaming Eagle)
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To: GSHastings
Maybe arguing logic with liberals and evolutionists is equally pointless.

Maybe making points to creationists about the scientific meaning of the word "proof" is pointless.

Like a joke, I hate to explain it, but science doesn't recognize the word "proof". However unlikely, highly unlikely, it may be, it is always possible that we might find another explanation for what appears to be a "round" earth.

43 posted on 02/16/2006 8:33:27 PM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: GSHastings
[Evolutionary biology, and Darwin's writings about it, deal entirely with how life changes once it's here, not how it started or where it came from.]

That simply doesn't matter.

It does when people mistakenly try to imply, or often outright claim, that evolutionary biology is somehow dependent upon, or inextricably linked to, the validity of various origin-of-life hypotheses.

They both attempt to explain the complexity of life,

No, they most certainly do not. Biogenesis does not attempt to explain the complexity of life. It attempts to explain the origin of replication, period, no matter how simple. Please try to learn something about a topic before you attempt to expound upon it.

either it's origins, or its variations, with a mechanism that has no possibility of producing those results.

Why, because you say so? Because you're unfamiliar with how evolutionary processes produce complexity and functionality?

And that mechanism is the same.

Wrong again. Evolutionary biology deals with evolutionary processes, which involve replication as a necessary ingredient. Biogenesis is pre-replication, and must obviously occur by different mechanisms. Again, please try to learn a subject before you start trying to "lecture" on it.

Chance events, and long periods of time, combine (with the help of another inadequate factor in the case of evolution...selection) to produce the most complex, intricate, and purposeful structures known.

Congratulations, you've left out some of the other necessary conditions for evolutionary processes to occur -- your description is a fallacious analogy, and utterly fails to examine, critique, analyze, or refute the actual properties of those processes. Your post is just a classic "appeal to ignorance" fallacy -- these fallacies have the general form, "because *I* can't conceive how X could take place, then it can't happen!"

Here, start your neglected education then get back to us:


29 Evidences for Macroevolution PDF image
This article directly addresses the scientific evidences in favor of macroevolutionary theory and common descent. It is specifically intended for those who are scientifically minded but, for one reason or another, have come to believe that macroevolutionary theory explains little, makes few or no testable predictions, or cannot be falsified.

Evolution and Philosophy: An Introduction
Critics of evolutionary theory very often misunderstand the philosophical issues of the speciality known as the philosophy of science. This essay seeks to summarise some of the more important recent developments, provide a reading list, and to show that evolution is no worse off philosophically than any other science would be, and that the usual arguments against evolution from a philosophical approach fail.


Transitional Vertebrate Fossils
It is impossible to to debate creationists without hearing them claim that there are no transitional forms in the fossil record. This essay puts the lie to that claim by listing and briefly describing a large number of transitional fossils among the vertebrates.


Genetic Algorithms and Evolutionary Computation
Creationists often argue that evolutionary processes cannot create new information, or that evolution has no practical benefits. This article disproves those claims by describing the explosive growth and widespread applications of genetic algorithms, a computing technique based on principles of biological evolution.

Introduction to Evolutionary Biology
This essay is a must-read for anyone who wants to participate in talk.origins. It lays out the land for evolutionists and creationists alike, presenting the ideas behind and the evidence for biological evolution.

What is Evolution?
All too often creationists spend their time arguing with a straw-man caricature of evolution. This brief essay presents a definition of evolution that is acceptable to evolutionists.

Evolution is a Fact and a Theory
Biologists consider evolution to be a fact in much the same way that physicists do so for gravity. However, the mechanisms of evolution are less well understood, and it is these mechanisms that are described by several theories of evolution.

Genetic Algorithms

The Origins of Order: Self Organization and Selection in Evolution. By Stuart Kauffman, S. A. (1993) Oxford University Press, NY, ISBN: 0195079515.

Compositional genomes: Prebiotic information transfer in mutually catalytic noncovalent assemblies

Eigen M, and Schuster P, The hypercycle. A principle of natural self-organization. Springer-Verlag, isbn 3-540-09293, 1979

The origin of genetic information: viruses as models

Compositional genomes: prebiotic information transfer in mutually catalytic noncovalent assemblies

Stadler PF, Dynamics of autocatalytic reaction networks. IV: Inhomogeneous replicator networks. Biosystems, 26: 1-19, 1991

Lee DH, Severin K, and Ghadri MR. Autocatalytic networks: the transition from molecular self-replication to molecular ecosystems. Curr Opinion Chem Biol, 1, 491-496, 1997

Lee DH, Severin K, Yokobayashi Y, and Ghadiri MR, Emergence of symbiosis in peptide self-replication through a hypercyclic network. Nature, 390: 591-4, 1997

Apolipoprotein AI Mutations and Information

Creationist Claim CB102: Mutations are random noise; they do not add information.

Multiple Duplications of Yeast Hexose Transport Genes in Response to Selection in a Glucose-Limited Environment

Evolution of biological information

Evolution of biological complexity

Evolution and Information: The Nylon Bug

Examples of Beneficial Mutations and Natural Selection

The evolution of trichromatic color vision by opsin gene duplication in New World and Old World primates

Gene duplications in evolution of archaeal family B DNA polymerases

Koch, AL: Evolution of antibiotic resistance gene function. Microbiol Rev 1981, 45:355378.

Selection in the evolution of gene duplications

Velkov, VV: Gene amplification in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems. Genetika 1982, 18:529543.

Romero, D & Palacios, R: Gene amplification and genomic plasticity in prokaryotes. Annu Rev Genet 1997, 31:91111.

Stark, GR & Wahl, GM: Gene amplification. Annu Rev Biochem 1984, 53:447491.

Reinbothe, S, Ortel, B, & Parthier, B: Overproduction by gene amplification of the multifunctional arom protein confers glyphosate tolerance to a plastid-free mutant of Euglena gracilis. Mol Gen Genet 1993, 239:416424.

Gottesman, MM, Hrycyna, CA, Schoenlein, PV, Germann, UA, & Pastan, I: Genetic analysis of the multidrug transporter. Annu Rev Genet 1995, 29:607649.

Schwab, M: Oncogene amplification in solid tumors. Semin Cancer Biol 1999, 9:319325.

Widholm, JM, Chinnala, AR, Ryu, JH, Song, HS, Eggett, T, & Brotherton, JE: Glyphosate selection of gene amplification in suspension cultures of three plant species. Physiol Plant 2001, 112:540545.

Otto, E, Young, JE, & Maroni, G: Structure and expression of a tandem duplication of the Drosophila metallothionein gene. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1986, 83:60256029.

Maroni, G, Wise, J, Young, JE, & Otto, E: Metallothionein gene duplications and metal tolerance in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 1987, 117:739744.

Kondratyeva, TF, Muntyan, LN, & Karvaiko, GI: Zinc-resistant and arsenic-resistant strains of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans have increased copy numbers of chromosomal resistance genes. Microbiology 1995, 141:11571162.

Tohoyama, H, Shiraishi, E, Amano, S, Inouhe, M, Joho, M, & Murayama, T: Amplification of a gene for metallothionein by tandem repeat in a strain of cadmium-resistant yeast cells. FEMS Microbiol Lett 1996, 136:269273.

Sonti, RV & Roth, JR: Role of gene duplications in the adaptation of Salmonella typhimurium to growth on limiting carbon sources. Genetics 1989, 123:1928.

Brown, CJ, Todd, KM, & Rosenzweig, RF: Multiple duplications of yeast hexose transport genes in response to selection in a glucose-limited environment. Mol Biol Evol 1998, 15:931942.

Hastings, PJ, Bull, HJ, Klump, JR, & Rosenberg, SM: Adaptive amplification: an inducible chromosomal instability mechanism. Cell 2000, 103:723731.

Tabashnik, BE: Implications of gene amplification for evolution and management of insecticide resistance. J Econ Entomol 1990, 83:11701176.

Lenormand, T, Guillemaud, T, Bourguet, D, & Raymond, M: Appearance and sweep of a gene duplication: adaptive response and potential for new functions in the mosquito Culex pipiens. Evolution 1998, 52:17051712.

Guillemaud, T, Raymond, M, Tsagkarakou, A, Bernard, C, Rochard, P, & Pasteur, N: Quantitative variation and selection of esterase gene amplification in Culex pipiens. Heredity 1999, 83:8799.

To cover other anti-evolution talking points you think you might have, check out this list of common creationist claims -- each item is linked to a discussion of the weaknesses of that talking point.

If you still have any unresolved questions or require further explanation of why you're talking nonsense, ask me and I'll cover it in more detail.

44 posted on 02/16/2006 8:38:11 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: GSHastings
And that mechanism is the same. Chance events, and long periods of time

You have zero comprehension of what evolution is. Abiogenesis, by definition, cannot evolve because it cannot reproduce. While evolution totally depends on reproduction and genetic changes. These two things are in no way "the same".

45 posted on 02/16/2006 8:39:52 PM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: jec41

"Would you state the theory or paste a copy or furnish a link where this theory is stated and exists? Not research, the theory itself."

Actually, it's a hypothesis rather than a "theory." You got me on that one. But that's semantic quibbling and is beside the main point.

Evolutionists routinely claim that the theory of evolution is separate from the origin of life. That's technically true, but if the origin of life cannot be explained by purely naturalistic means, that more or less blows away the notion that science must be premised on pure naturalism, eh?


46 posted on 02/16/2006 8:47:54 PM PST by RussP
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To: GSHastings
So then, the Earth isn't round, and planets don't go around the Sun, and science never proved it, and is not capable of proving it because science can't prove anything. Is that your position?

No, science never proved the earth round or that the planets go around the sun. Science can never prove anything, the only method of science is to explain a material fact. That does not mean the earth is not round or that it does not revolve around the sun. That is observed by mathematics for things that occur as time, distance, velocity etc. Mathematics and science are two different methods for different observations.

47 posted on 02/16/2006 8:48:55 PM PST by jec41 (Screaming Eagle)
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To: RussP
if the origin of life cannot be explained by purely naturalistic means, that more or less blows away the notion that science must be premised on pure naturalism, eh?

No. All that means is we can't tell you today exactly how life began via naturalistic means. Like we couldn't tell you 100 years ago that the mechanism of inheritance was DNA.

What supernaturalists can't explain is why they believe that any supernatural thing exists at all. Besides the fact that they believe it is so.

48 posted on 02/16/2006 8:59:59 PM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: RussP
[What supernaturalists can't explain is why they believe that any supernatural thing exists at all.]

Let me expand on that.

Natural explanations exist. Water evaporates and then condenses to form rain. Thousands of other natural processes are understood.

By contrast *no* supernatural phenomenon can be documented. None. Not fortune telling. Not ghosts. No Goddess Pele has been measured. Zeus can't bee found. Nothing, nada, zip.

So what makes you believe that any supernatural entity exists at all?

And creationists compare scientists to liberals who believe things for no reason at all ....

49 posted on 02/16/2006 9:07:33 PM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: adorno
It seems prudent to remain calm when examining ideas, especially when dealing with evolution, but a lot of what Darwin said about adaptation, natural selection, and evolution has been proven scientifically...but there are still hollow spots in the theory, which seems fitting, considering that to comprehend all his ideas in totality, if you're not a sci-genius, is overwhelming and most likely impossible.

As far as "Unprovable" goes, the Bible's creation story cannot be proven...albeit, it is an account outside the scientific realm; but just because Darwin's theories haven't been unanimously proven, doesn't rubber stamp the Genesis creation story as the "correct" version of where we came from.
50 posted on 02/16/2006 9:10:21 PM PST by Lochlainnach (If there was no death penalty, I'm pretty sure Jesus would still be alive today.)
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To: muir_redwoods
Nice talking to you.

LOL, projection is your business.

51 posted on 02/16/2006 9:24:41 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: GSHastings; fizziwig; jec41; narby; PatrickHenry
[Maybe if someone would ever start arguing with "evolutionists" based on logic, we'd actually be able to test that hypothesis.]

So then, the Earth isn't round, and planets don't go around the Sun, and science never proved it, and is not capable of proving it because science can't prove anything. Is that your position?

That wasn't actually the point I was making in that post, but since you ask...

No, science does not deal in "proof". Nor does any other epistemology which deals with real-world things. "Proof" is an impossible standard in this real world. Proof is only possible in artificial realms like mathematics, where every rule and premise is exactly known because it is defined by fiat.

In the real world, however, we have to be content with lesser degrees of certainty, and less ironclad means of acquiring knowledge, because there is *always* the possibility of someday discovering something which upsets the earlier conclusions and requires their modification or replacement.

I'm not saying the Earth isn't round or that planets don't go around the Sun. There is abundant and overwhelming evidence sufficient to establish beyond reasonable doubt that it is and they do. But it is an error to mistake this for "proof" or justification for absolute, complete certainty. To use an extreme example, we might be wrong because we're actually being deceived by a Matrix-like simulation, and our real Solar system is actually something different entirely. For a more prosaic example, it might be a mistake to say that the "planets go around the Sun" because either absolute position and/or motion is an illusion and all frames of reference are equally valid (a la Einstein's relativity), or because (as recent quantum investigations may be hinting) position and motion itself is an emergent illusion due to the properties of an underlying holographic reality.

For another example, for a very long time many people would have been tempted to offer Newton's Laws of Motion as something that had been "proven". And yet, it turns out that the reality is actually much more complex, and Einstein's Relativity needs to be added to them in order to avoid serious errors under many conditions. Oops! If anyone thought they had "proof" of the validity of Newton's laws, they were quite wrong. Reality can *always* throw you a curve even after you think you have all the bases covered and have verified something to the exclusion of any error.

This is not to say that anyone who maintains that the Earth is round and/or the planets revolve around the Sun should be chastised or ridiculed -- quite the contrary, I would cheerfully ridicule anyone who tried to deny either proposition. But at the same time, I would correct anyone who maintained that either proposition had been "proven" in the sense of a mathematical proof. They have not, and they can not, be *proven*. What they have been is *established* as quite likely to be true by evidence and by testing and by having survived potential falsification tests. But this is still not *proof*. "Proof" is a different kind of standard, and indeed a different kind of method entirely.

In ordinary conversation it is acceptable to use the word "proven" as a synonym for "demonstrated" or "established beyond reasonable doubt", but in a scientific discussion, the exact nature of a proposition's state of certainty (and how that has been arrived at, and what holes that leaves open for incompleteness or applicability or error) is a big part of the whole point. Science is all *about* what has been learned, how, by what methods, how far this can be trusted, what openings are left for new surprises, what is left unexplained, etc. Cavalierly saying that something has been *proven*, when indeed it has not, is inexcusably sloppy thinking, and wildly simplistic (not to mention wrong).

While to layman it may sometimes appear that every concept in science is either held with a reckless certainty, or just a wild unsupported guess, in reality it's actually a grand mix of every degree of certainty in between (but *never* complete, we-know-we're-not-possibly-wrong certainty). Science never deals in certainties. Anyone honest with themselves will admit they can never be truly *certain* about anything (not counting the dishonest kind of "certainty" arrived at by simply refusing to consider that one might possibly be mistaken), because we're always working from incomplete knowledge and subject to human error. No one is omniscient.

But science arose from methods dealing with how to get by, and how to acquire reliable and usable knowledge, despite the lack of absolute certainty on anything. The short form is that every conclusion is provisional, and comes with mental footnotes attached concerning how complete or how poor the evidence/testing of that conclusion is, and what holes remain to be filled, etc. The flip side, however, is contrary to the layman's impression, the best progress is made *not* by only adopting the conclusions which have been established to, say, 99% confidence levels, but by using even conclusions with better than, say, 20% confidence levels, AS LONG AS one keeps in mind which conclusions are very well established and which are more tentative and one doesn't bet one's life or space probe or whatever on the more shaky ones. BUT, the point is that like an engineer who needs to complete a project with less than 100% of the information necessary, one has to go with the best conclusions one can arrive at based on the less-than-complete picture one has at the moment. ...while always striving to fill in the gaps when possible. Science is all about using the best knowledge available at any given time, even when it's not as good as you'd prefer. As it turns out from long experience, this is a far more productive method than just saying "hell, we don't know for sure" and refusing to proceed until everything is known to 99% confidence levels (or at least *appears* that way, confidence levels themselves are something that might be due to poorer information than one might presume).

So in sum, scientists get pretty picky about how certainty levels are described, because they're trained to always keep an eye on them.

52 posted on 02/16/2006 9:26:09 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Lochlainnach
there are still hollow spots in the theory

And no doubt always will be. There is always "more to learn", about everything. Though on the whole, we know far more about the theory of evolution than we do about the theory of how gravity works. While there is little doubt among those who understand the issues, that evolution and gravity both "work".

Evolution is, so far, the "best" explanation (theory) for how the species came to exist, then often die off, over the eons. What anti-evolutions don't understand is that it is not sufficient to simply poke holes in evolution to "make it go away". Evolution theory must be *replaced* by something else that explains all that evidence better than evolution theory does. So far, they're not even off the starting block, and they don't even recognize how far they have to go.

53 posted on 02/16/2006 9:28:51 PM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: RussP
But that's semantic quibbling

See my prior post. To a scientist, it *isn't* just quibbling, it goes to the heart of science.

54 posted on 02/16/2006 9:29:20 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: narby

"No. All that means is we can't tell you today exactly how life began via naturalistic means. Like we couldn't tell you 100 years ago that the mechanism of inheritance was DNA."

You just don't get it, do you. Not only do we not know today how life began via naturalistic means, but we don't know if we will *ever* know. And not only do we not know "how" it could have happenned, but we really and truly do not know if it actually happened by purely naturalistic mechanisms. You assume that it did, but that is nothing but an assumption.

You claim that we may know someday how it happened, but that's nothing more than a guess and a hope. Get it? Hope has *nothing* to do with science. If you weren't so blinded by your assumptions, that would be obvious to you.



55 posted on 02/16/2006 9:32:54 PM PST by RussP
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To: Ichneumon
Darwin hypothesized that life began in a warm pond. You have on occasion advocated vents and clay as the proving ground for the OOL. This study argues against those hypotheses.

That is the point of the thread. Nothing more, nothing less.

56 posted on 02/16/2006 9:33:05 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: Ichneumon
"Wonder when people will ever bother to learn enough about biology and/or Darwin to snap to the fact that the origin of life is in no way any part of "Darwin's theory"."

That may be, but it became difficult to tell the difference after the Scopes Trial seemingly blended the two in the minds of the public. The prosecution said humans were created and did not evolve from monkeys, or at least that was the basis of the law there concerning Scopes' penalty for teaching 'evolution.'

Ever since, I suspect most folks still believe Darwin included humans as one of the groups that evolved over a period of time, rightly or wrongly. If he did, wouldn't that show that Darwin rejected the idea of 'man' popping up all at once out of the blue, so to speak? Or am I still not undertanding your point?

Thanks for your comment.

57 posted on 02/16/2006 9:43:08 PM PST by Eastbound
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To: jwalsh07

What a "crock"!


58 posted on 02/16/2006 9:44:37 PM PST by G Larry (Only strict constructionists on the Supreme Court!)
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To: jec41

There are no variations of 1 in mathematics. 1 is 1. 1.0999 is 1.0999. 1 does not equal 1.099, et al. 1 is defined as a natural number, 1.0999 is not. And while there are no "simple proofs" that 1+1=2, it can be proved and has been. I leave that as an exercise for you.


59 posted on 02/16/2006 9:50:07 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: G Larry

Which crock Larry?


60 posted on 02/16/2006 9:51:01 PM PST by jwalsh07
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