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To: RussP; narby; jec41
The "theory" of how the first living cell came to be has always intrigued me.

There is no "theory of how the first living cell came to be". There are a lot of potential hypotheses, though.

No matter what anyone calculates as the odds against it, naturalists will always reply that, "given enough time and space, anything can happen."

No, actually, they won't. Not only do they not "always" reply that way, but to be quite frank I can't recall *EVER* seeing any naturalist give such a vapid answer as what you have described. I have on the other hand seen their real responses *misrepresented/misunderstood* that way.

What they *will* usually respond are one or more of: a) demonstrations that when "anyone calculates the odds against it" their mathematical models are laughably naive and incomplete, so their "disproofs" are dishonest hand-waving, b) the problem needs more research, c) so many other things have eventually been found to have naturalistic causes despite earlier presumptions of "goddidit" -- and so few (zero) things have been found to have a supernatural origin -- that the former is the most prudent result to bet on (e.g. narby's response), and/or d) while a huge number of open questions remain on the issue of the origin of life, to date there's a lot of evidence pointing in that general direction (i.e., the history of life and various features of it look like what you'd expect if life arose biochemically), so even though there are bound to be a lot of surprises as more research is done, the sparse but available information leads a lot of folks to reasonably albeit tentatively conclude that life arose from humble beginnings rather than being designed de novo by a lab somewhere.

So how could this "theory" possibly be disproven? It can't be disproven.

Because no such theory even exists yet. When the state of knowledge on this topic rises to the point where a theory or five actually are constructed and put forth for review, they will indeed be falsifiable.

But, as evolutionists constantly claim, that means it is unscientific!

Yes, as-yet nonexistent theories are indeed unscientific. Only theories which actually exist are scientific. Very good.

Remember, a theory must be "falsifiable" to be scientific.

Correct.

The idea that science will someday be able to explain the first living cell by purely naturalistic means (with no intelligent design) is really just a hope and a dream (or an assumption) of evolutionists.

I'll agree with you on the general point, and most scientists probably would as well, although I (and others) would quibble with you on your apparent implication that there are *no* grounds whatsoever to lean towards that proposition (that this is a question which will be able to be answered someday). Because there are some decent reasons to think that this would be the way to bet, if one had to put money on it.

The problem is that they have a very bad habit of confusing those hopes and dreams (and assumptions) with science.

No, I really don't think they do confuse the two. I think that instead many non-scientists misconstrue various comments and incorrectly conclude what you have stated here.

71 posted on 02/16/2006 10:27:07 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon

I wrote:

The idea that science will someday be able to explain the first living cell by purely naturalistic means (with no intelligent design) is really just a hope and a dream (or an assumption) of evolutionists.

You replied:

I'll agree with you on the general point, and most scientists probably would as well, although I (and others) would quibble with you on your apparent implication that there are *no* grounds whatsoever to lean towards that proposition (that this is a question which will be able to be answered someday). Because there are some decent reasons to think that this would be the way to bet, if one had to put money on it.

Hey, we finally agree on something!

So you admit that we currently have no purely naturalistic explanation of the origin of the first living cell. But then you go on to express optimism and hope that such an explanation will eventually be discovered.

Has it occurred to you that such a hope is tantamount to a bias? If you "hope" to find something, that means you are biased in favor of the idea that it actually exists. How can you be objective about the existence or non-existence of something if you are "hoping" to discover it? I don't think you can.

The proper objective scientific position is to withhold judgment on a purely naturalistic origin of life until we actually find "reasonable" evidence for it. We are far from that point.


74 posted on 02/16/2006 10:44:05 PM PST by RussP
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