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Minimal Complexity Relegates Life Origin Models To Fanciful Speculation
UncommonDescent ^ | November 10, 2009 | Robert Deyes

Posted on 11/10/2009 8:11:47 AM PST by GodGunsGuts

Former Nature editor Philip Ball once commented that ‘there is no assembly plant so delicate, versatile and adaptive as the cell” (1). Emeritus Professor Theodore Brown chose to wax metaphorical by likening the cell to a fully-fledged factory, with its own complex functional relationships and interactions akin to what we observe in our own manufacturing facilities (2). In recent years the seemingly intractable problem of explaining how the first cell came into existence through chance events, otherwise known as the ‘Chance Hypothesis’, has become more acute than ever as scientists have begun to realize that a minimum suite of functional components must exist for cells to be operational. Stephen Meyer’s summary of the current state of this so-called ‘minimal complexity’ research is profoundly insightful: ...

(Excerpt) Read more at uncommondescent.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Arkansas; US: Massachusetts; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: abiogenesis; antiscienceevos; biology; catholic; cellbiology; christian; creation; dna; evangelical; evolution; genome; godsgravesglyphs; intelligentdesign; judaism; originoflife; protestant; science

1 posted on 11/10/2009 8:11:48 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: metmom; DaveLoneRanger; editor-surveyor; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; MrB; GourmetDan; Fichori; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 11/10/2009 8:12:42 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

Hey, I thought that the Young Earthers are not bothered by the origin of the first cell, because they believe all organisms were ready-made 6,000 years ago.


3 posted on 11/10/2009 8:24:39 AM PST by Behemoth the Cat
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To: GodGunsGuts
To suppose that even a hypothetical first cell would just come together from a gimish of prebiotic compounds undergoing continuous destructive dilution is to appeal to the miraculous

There is no faith as strong as that of Athiests.

4 posted on 11/10/2009 8:28:40 AM PST by HerrBlucher
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To: Behemoth the Cat

As were the cells that comprise those organisms. Indeed, notice that the very same minimal complexity that relegates materialist origin of life models to fanciful speculation immensely strengthens the argument from Creation/Design. Of course, this really shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the argument from Creation/ID is superior to Darwin’s evo-atheist creation myth in every way.


5 posted on 11/10/2009 8:33:42 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: HerrBlucher

Or as blind.


6 posted on 11/10/2009 8:34:25 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: HerrBlucher
Even if Scientist succeed in “creating” a living cell.
They will only prove that it takes an intelligent effort to make it so.
7 posted on 11/10/2009 8:35:39 AM PST by Falcon4.0
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To: Behemoth the Cat
That's an overly simplistic and somewhat wrong comment. But the point is that the idea that life could arise by chance, a notion that was vaguely credible when we were ignorant of the complexity of life, is no longer even remotely credible.

The attempted course of the last 40 years has been to suppose that since life cannot arise by chance (as was known in scientific circles by the 1960's), the laws of nature must just happen to be structured such that life is actually 'designed' to appear. In other words, instead of assuming a car could form by chance, assume the existence of an automated, robotic car factory. If you just assume that, the spontaneous generation of a car without a designer is easy. This was first promoted by Kenyon and Steinman in Biochemical Predestination, and remains the fundamental approach to abiogenesis today.

So, now they just need to justify their assumption of the spontaneous generation of natural conditions that are essentially a 'factory' that will output a living form. Good luck with that... it's just making the whole problem worse. A.E. Wilder-Smith debunked this whole approach soon after the aforementioned book, and Dr. Kenyon subsequently became a biblical creationist.

8 posted on 11/10/2009 8:37:57 AM PST by Liberty1970 (God: He who honors Me, I will honor.)
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To: GodGunsGuts
From Steve Jones’ “Darwin’s Ghost” page 138.

DNA is surrounded by a priesthood of enzymes anxious to correct its smallest errors. Without them, it would soon fail. If the repair enzymes are biased in their belief about what the correct message should be, then that version of the genetic creed is bound to take over. Other methods of genetic purification can homogenize a DNA sequence. In places with many copies of a particular string of letters, the segments tend to mispair, rather like the teeth of a zipper done up too quickly. One version may as a result have a built in tendency to increase at the expense of the other and to drive it out.

Such behavior hints that genes have an evolutionary agenda of their own. Perhaps, to parts of the DNA, species are no more than a place to live, great continents of animals linked by sex. Different species (such as southern and northern midlwife toads) may look much the same, but for the molecule’s point of view each is an island isolated form its neighbors by a sexual barrier. As a result, each evolves to its own internal rules.

9 posted on 11/10/2009 8:51:04 AM PST by OldNavyVet
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To: GodGunsGuts
This is an excellent summary:

Dean L. Overman:

A Case Against Accident and Self-Organization

10 posted on 11/10/2009 9:07:55 AM PST by Ozone34 ("There are only two philosophies: Thomism and bullshitism!" -Leon Bloy)
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To: Liberty1970
Liberty, no, this was not a simplistic comment. I am merely re-stating the simplistic view often expressed on FR by one, small branch of the 'creation' camp. For some reason, this group, the so-called Young Earth creationists, is quite vocal here.

There are other creationist beliefs, from ones completely in agreement with the current state of knowledge and scientific methodology (e.g. Theistic Evolution), to views which seek God in the gaps in our knowledge (Intelligent Design). But for some reason we have a group of Young Earthers here, and their beliefs are: all species were created 6,000 years ago, in 6 days, and there is no such thing as evolution. Moreover, everything in science that opposes this view is dismissed or disputed (using simplistic argumentation), whenever it is convenient, and this not only affects biology. For example, the rate of radioactive decay 'can change' (this is in order to undermine radioisotope dating), stratigraphy is a scam (to undermine the material evidence of fossils), orogenesis/plate tectonics does not exist (to make the flood as the source of fossils on higher elevations) computer science is invoked selectively to illustrate the complexity involved (but machine learning and probabilistic algorithms are carefully sidestepped). Simply, quackery on the part of the 'creation scientists', and gross ignorance on the part of their audience...

11 posted on 11/10/2009 9:08:29 AM PST by Behemoth the Cat
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To: Behemoth the Cat
Liberty, no, this was not a simplistic comment. I am merely re-stating the simplistic view often expressed on FR by one, small branch of the 'creation' camp. For some reason, this group, the so-called Young Earth creationists, is quite vocal here.

We are vocal here because biblical creation is the bedrock on which conservatism is founded. You are quite wrong in your ignorant comments about biblical creationists believing in fixity of species or that God created all species just as they are; for example, on the Ark there were 'doves' and 'ravens' that today are differentiated into over a hundred species each. Thus simple observation combined with biblical data confirms the reality of speciation.

Since you admit we are 'vocal' you might as well pay some attention so you can at least get elementary points right. It's one thing to sit around in a little cult-group (like I've encountered in academia) telling lies about what other people believe - it's another to tell us to our face that we believe something that we know we don't, and that we have been telling people the opposite now for decades.

12 posted on 11/10/2009 9:14:08 AM PST by Liberty1970 (God: He who honors Me, I will honor.)
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To: HerrBlucher

Amen. The theory of evolution is laughably ridiculous.


13 posted on 11/10/2009 9:18:40 AM PST by rae4palin
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To: Liberty1970
Dr. Kenyon subsequently became a biblical creationist.

I thought he was an ID proponent rather than a biblical creationist.

14 posted on 11/10/2009 9:27:13 AM PST by Donald Rumsfeld Fan (Sarah Palin "the Thrilla from Wasilla")
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To: OldNavyVet
I'm sorry ... I had two typos in the final sentence of post 9. That sentence should read.

Different species (such as southern and northern midlwife toads) may look much the same, but from the molecule’s point of view each is an island isolated from its neighbors by a sexual barrier. As a result, each evolves to its own internal rules.

15 posted on 11/10/2009 9:28:25 AM PST by OldNavyVet
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To: Liberty1970
"You are quite wrong in your ignorant comments about biblical creationists believing in fixity of species or that God created all species just as they are"

Really, am I? Want me to dig out the threads on FR about the only results of mutations being "corruption" and "degeneration"? This directly implies the belief in the fixity of species. The observable fact, however, is that we see this differentiation, and this differentiation serves the purpose of allowing species to thrive in certain specific environments, and it is by no means a manifestation of "degeneration". But this mechanism too much resembles the hated concept of evolution... http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2342888/posts?q=1&;page=1

16 posted on 11/10/2009 9:36:11 AM PST by Behemoth the Cat
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To: Liberty1970
We are vocal here because biblical creation is the bedrock on which conservatism is founded.

Hogwash. Young earth creationism is the bedrock only for Young Earth Creationist Christian Conservatism, if there is such a specific thing (dibs on trademark...YECCC).

One not need to even be a theist to be a "conservative" with respect to governance......but you need it to be that way so you can call all those that don't believe that Man walked the Earth with 100+ species of large meat eating dinosaurs....."liberal." Such a great tactic.....like associating your opponents with Hitler.

17 posted on 11/10/2009 9:36:34 AM PST by ElectricStrawberry (Didja know that Man walked with 100+ species of large meat eating dinos within the last 4,351 years?)
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To: Behemoth the Cat
"We are vocal here because biblical creation is the bedrock on which conservatism is founded. "

The belief in Biblical inerrancy (itself acceptable), additionally evolved (od perhaps devolved) into the concept of inerrancy of the literal interpretation of some cherry-picked passages of the Scriptures(*), is indeed expressed by some Protestant sects. There is conservatism also outside these sects, believe it or not.

(*) Want to discuss about Biblical foundations of geocentrism and the belief in the flat Earth?

18 posted on 11/10/2009 9:46:01 AM PST by Behemoth the Cat
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I want to clarify one thing. I am not attacking here the BELIEF in Young Earth creationism. There is a simple way of reconciling the belief with science: it was completely within God's capabilities to create the Earth 6,000 years ago in 6 days, and for reasons known only to Him, also create the particular isotopic ratios, strata of fossils etc. that suggest a much longer history. Feel free to believe or not.

I am protesting the "creationist science" quackery.

19 posted on 11/10/2009 9:58:23 AM PST by Behemoth the Cat
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To: Liberty1970
But the point is that the idea that life could arise by chance, a notion that was vaguely credible when we were ignorant of the complexity of life, is no longer even remotely credible.

What do you mean by life arising by chance?

20 posted on 11/10/2009 10:41:22 AM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: HerrBlucher
To suppose that even a hypothetical first cell would just come together from a gimish of prebiotic compounds undergoing continuous destructive dilution is to appeal to the miraculous

Isn't that similar to the old "With a million monkeys at typewriters, given enough time, one would end up with "War and Peace"?

21 posted on 11/10/2009 11:05:43 AM PST by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government)
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan
I thought he was an ID proponent rather than a biblical creationist.

I think the correct answer is both (they overlap, in the sense that biblical creationists automatically fall into the umbrella of ID; however the converse is not true). Kenyon was a presenter at the biblical creationist ICC conference I attended in 1994 (I attended his lecture), and wrote the foreword to What is Creation Science? by Drs. Henry Morris and Gary Parker. I've not seen him tightly identify himself with biblical creation, but I think this sufficient to put him in our camp (particularly the ICC participation). Also, he indicated Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith's criticisms of his work as his reason for converting, and Wilder-Smith was an unabashed biblical creationist as well.

22 posted on 11/10/2009 11:31:40 AM PST by Liberty1970 (God: He who honors Me, I will honor.)
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To: Behemoth the Cat
Really, am I? Want me to dig out the threads on FR about the only results of mutations being "corruption" and "degeneration"? This directly implies the belief in the fixity of species.

"Degeneration = fixity" Fascinating. And bizarrely wrong.

Degeneration and fixity are mutually exclusive concepts. If a species is degenerating then it is not fixed. Look, Linneaus discovered species hybridization over 200 years ago and realized that his species concept did not equal biblical 'kinds.' So your caricature of creationists believing in fixity of species has been out of date literally for centuries. I don't doubt that you can find some grandma somewhere who believes in fixity of species, but what would you say if I started depicting Lamarckism as the latest and greatest in evolutionary theorizing?

The real issue is whether life is on an 'upwards' path of increasing functional complexity and organization and functional diversification, or are we degenerating. The overwhelming evidence of empirical evolutionary biology testifies to the latter, as documented in books like Genetic Entropy by Dr. John Sanford and Not A Chance! by Dr. Lee Spetner. Against the caricature of "change vs. stasis" we have the real issue of "degeneration vs. evolution". It's not wonder evolutionists simply refuse to address the evidence on these terms.

23 posted on 11/10/2009 11:41:20 AM PST by Liberty1970 (God: He who honors Me, I will honor.)
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To: ElectricStrawberry
One not need to even be a theist to be a "conservative" with respect to governance

I said biblical creationism is the bedrock foundation of conservatism, not that one has to be a creationist to espouse some/most conservative positions.

Conservatism is objectively based on certain absolutes such as the belief that we have rights and responsibilities; both of these concepts (rights and responsibilites) only have meaning if there is a personal Creator to whom we are accountable and who has a moral order we are under. This is why the founding fathers of this country set their claims of rights in their founding documents within the context of a 'Creator' who granted those rights.

Going further, we need to understand that our concept of a Creator governs what kinds of rights and responsibilities He would have for us. The God of an old earth is a vicious or uncaring demon-god, lord of eons of death, disease and suffering. As many atheists have pointed out, He is not a nice, or loving God. Only the biblical God who created a perfect world and who will restore it from the Curse we've brought upon it is a sound basis for our personal freedoms and responsibilities.

Historically, conservative thinkers have reflected this in the writings I've come across, from Burke and Adam Smith down to M. Stanton Evans, Herb Schlossberg, David Noebel and so forth. The only real deviation I can think of is Thomas Sowell, but by his own assertion he considers himself libertarian, not conservative, and his writings do not present an overarching paradigm such as necessary to ground conservatism. Likewise, where is the evidence that someone like Chris Hitchens is establishing a sound, non-arbitrary foundation for conservatism without biblical Christianity?

24 posted on 11/10/2009 11:51:29 AM PST by Liberty1970 (God: He who honors Me, I will honor.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

What do your and your gang have to comment about scientists at NASA/Ames finding uracil, one of the building blocks of RNA in space like conditions.

Using pyrimidines, known to be present in space wuth low temps, vacuum and high radiation, they showed in the lab that uracil could be formed in ice in space.

Maybe the building blocks of life did come from outer space.


25 posted on 11/10/2009 11:56:16 AM PST by Wacka
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To: ElectricStrawberry
As concerning the belief that man walked with dinosaurs, how about using a search engine to research the Ica Burial stones from Central America. These stones, carved from 500A.D. to about 1500 A.D. show dinosaurs and men together, long before anyone coined the phrase “terrible lizards”.
26 posted on 11/10/2009 12:02:42 PM PST by wbarmy (Hard core, extremist, and right-wing is a little too mild for my tastes.)
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To: Moonman62
What do you mean by life arising by chance?

That's a very good question. I would describe it this way: To speak of something happening by chance, we are saying that it does not require the action of a direct, intelligent agent, nor does it require a particular configuration of operational constraints (natural laws and immediate environmental causes), such that a given outcome becomes inevitable, given probabilistic resources for any chance elements within the scenario in question.

OK, that's a mouthful. Let me try to provide an illustration that is probably more helpful:

We enter a room and notice a variety of marbles of different colors sitting on the floor in an apparently random pattern. We are asked to consider whether the position of the marbles is due to (1) chance, (2) order, or (3) an intelligent agent.

The first thing we notice is the random scattering of all the marbles. There is no need to appeal to anything more than chance in the scattering of these marbles. But then we reflect a moment, and realize the marbles could be randomly scattered at all heights in the room, floating in mid-air. Why aren't they?

The answer, of course, is the law of gravity. Gravity is causing a layer of order in the results, the random scattering on the floor not-withstanding. So there is a mixture of chance and order that needs to be invoked in the overall explanation here.

And then, if we notice that the red marbles alone, of all the colors, spell out a word in English, we would have evidence for a cause not explainable by chance nor by natural laws/order.

I'm not sure I've answered the question, or gone down a rabbit trail. I apologize if the latter...

27 posted on 11/10/2009 12:02:53 PM PST by Liberty1970 (God: He who honors Me, I will honor.)
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To: Liberty1970
"Degeneration = fixity" Fascinating. And bizarrely wrong."

IF mutations ONLY lead to "degeneration" or "corruption" (as the YEC claim), then there is NO viable mechanism for "differentiation". The YEC's claim of "degeneration" implies fixity. It's not my fault that it's nonsense.

28 posted on 11/10/2009 12:05:18 PM PST by Behemoth the Cat
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But if, on the other hand, we accept the claim of “degeneration only”, then why do all these beautifully “differentiated” species exist?


29 posted on 11/10/2009 12:12:22 PM PST by Behemoth the Cat
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To: Liberty1970
The answer, of course, is the law of gravity. Gravity is causing a layer of order in the results, the random scattering on the floor not-withstanding. So there is a mixture of chance and order that needs to be invoked in the overall explanation here.

Doesn't biochemistry and other natural processes such as snowflake formation work the same way, a combination of natural law, and chance?

And then, if we notice that the red marbles alone, of all the colors, spell out a word in English, we would have evidence for a cause not explainable by chance nor by natural laws/order.

What if the marbles are dropped a billion times, and one of those drops out of a billion yields a word in English spelled by the red marbles?

There are difficult computational problems that aren't solvable (or easily solved) by algorithms alone, but are solvable when the algorithms are combined with chance or randomness. Perhaps God is a better problem solver than some people think.

I'm not sure I've answered the question, or gone down a rabbit trail. I apologize if the latter...

Good answer. Good post.

30 posted on 11/10/2009 12:54:42 PM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: Moonman62; Liberty1970
Add the concept of cumulative selection to your discussion about probability. It's quite relevant to biology, and also to such physicochemical phenomena as crystal growth (that goes seemingly against entropy). The concept of cumulative selection is nicely explained in Stryer's Biochemistry, on the occasion of discussing the paradox of protein folding.
31 posted on 11/10/2009 1:32:38 PM PST by Behemoth the Cat
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To: Behemoth the Cat

Still have my copy.


32 posted on 11/10/2009 2:58:03 PM PST by Wacka
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To: GodGunsGuts

Thanks for the ping!


33 posted on 11/10/2009 7:54:22 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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