For the alternative theorists:

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by paddoboy, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    But we keep getting closer.

    As the 19th was the Century of Chemistry and the 20th was the Century of Physics, based upon the first decade and a half, the 21st is widely predicted to be the Century of Biology.

    Our younger members may live to see the mystery of abiogenesis cracked.

    That's a lot more likely than anyone cracking the mystery of Divine Creation. Especially considering that if God indeed did all these amazing things, then he is certainly alive. And nobody has any idea where he came from.

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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    I think one needs to distinguish between an animal with opinions on art, an animal that seems to be conscious but has no language (and thus can't think in abstractions) and a blue-green alga. Lumping them together and then throwing your hands up to say it's all impossible does not strike me as a productive line of attack for somebody scientific. Normally we break problems down in order to solve them. It seems to me (and, I suspect, to most others) that once you have (a) life and (b) a driving force for life to become more complex, it is not unreasonable to think that eventually you may get creatures with language and, in due time, with opinions on art.

    In any event, such creatures manifestly DO exist, whereas at the time the Earth is thought to have condensed from the protoplanetary disc, no life based on today's biochemistry could have existed. Ergo, if the theory of planetary origin is right, life must have arisen from non-life.

    You say this theory is "unproven" and of course that's true. No theory in science ever is proven - that's basic philosophy of science. Science works by building models of reality that are successful (i.e. explain and predict observations) and bolting them together, across different fields of research. We stop and revisit things when incompatibilities are thrown up by the process, but if they fit well then our confidence in the models increases. (Evolution is an excellent example of this, by the way: for example, recent genetic comparisons from biochemistry corroborate the traditional fossil record from palaeontology - and new fossils continue to plug gaps in the jigsaw every month. So we are very confident of evolution.)

    So the working model is life arose from non-life, at some point when the planetary conditions permitted long-ish chain molecules to persist. The question of how exactly is the one we have to address. Nobody sensible would argue with you that science does not know the answer to this yet. We have some hypotheses and we continue to make progress, in fits and starts, on possible elements of the mechanisms.

    Thank you for your view on the role, if any, of a God in abiogenesis. To paraphrase you, just to check I understand correctly, you seem to eschew any attachment to a supernatural god as such, but think there may have had to be influence of a "will" behind it all, in some yet to be defined way. Is that fair? (For what it's worth I think educated religious believers tend to conceive of God as the creator of the order we see in nature, rather than somebody who tinkers with it as it goes along. Not so very different, perhaps.)

    P.S. re the cliche about life not being seen to come from non-life, you ask what I mean by calling it "creationist". What I mean by "creationist" is that body of religiously motivated pseudo-science that peddles specious and dishonest arguments against selected theories of science, mainly because they are seen as threatening to extreme Protestant Christian doctrine, especially that of the Fall, but in some cases also including the biblical accounts of creation. Sometimes, for example in the case of "Intelligent Design" creationism, there is a second motive, which is to introduce religion into science (thereby destroying one of the cornerstones of the scientific method). The theories disparaged are evolution (always) and (sometimes) geology, geophysics and cosmology. In the ID case, evolution only is targeted, by attempts to undermine parts of it through bogus concepts such as "irreducible complexity" and pseudo-mathematical claims about entropy and information.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
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  5. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    But those options are worse it seems to me!

    So one option the universe has always existed and life has always existed. In which case the earth is inhabitited by 'alien' life and then we have to deal with the idea that the universe has existed infinitely long which certainly goes against what we can observe.

    The other option is that life did not arise from nonalive materials it instead arose from nothing.


    How would that help? That would mean that the force helped create life from nonlife.
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  7. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

    exchemist, first off, let me state that I appreciate your Posts. They seem to indicate that you make an actual attempt to fully read, understand and consider the Posts of other Members that you respond to, prior to important "first step" that is obviously not implemented by every Member of SciForums.
    As you seem to realize, exchemist, it is a very important primary aspect of all of the various disciplines of real science.

    - (highlights added by dmoe) :
    The concepts : "seems to be" ; "thought to have" ; "if the right", should be fully understood by all participants in any truly objective discussion of any serious consequence...especially scientific discussions.
    Again, I express my appreciation, exchemist, those concepts should be Grok'd, prior to participating in such serious discussions.

    Yes!!! Models(representations ; constructs ; abstractions) of reality that should not be confused with actual reality!


    Though I cannot and will not presume to speak for leopold, I gathered that his use of the word "will" had to do with the concept of the force of "willing" something into existence. I.E., Some "Deity" or "Creator" thinking or stating "Let there be Light...etc.", and said phenomena immediately becoming manifest in reality.
    Not completely unlike some of the Members of SciForums that operate under the assumption that if they repeat the same inane assertions, then simply by the force of their own "will", all the other Members of SciForums will accept said inane assertions as a fact of reality.

    exchemist, there are many quite intelligent people, Scientists and Laymen alike, that can see a clear similarity between "the Big Bang Theory" and the first words of Genesis : "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...".

    exchemist, you have touched upon some very important aspects of real science. I would recommend that you possibly start some Threads relating to those aspects. I would enjoy participating in open, earnest and honest discussions on those aspects of real Science.
  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Dmoe, I gather from this that you are opposed to what you see as unduly dogmatic statements about scientific theories. I sympathise to some extent, as my philosophical position is that, strictly speaking, all we have are imperfect models of physical reality that are continually being refined and, just occasionally, overturned or heavily revised. My mental picture is is of models that successively approach reality asymptotically.

    In day to day usage however, there are many theories in which we have enough confidence to treat them almost as fact, at any rate within their normal bounds of application. Certainly one does not preface every textbook or research paper with a caveat to stress that all that follows relies on models of reality that could in principle be defective. It is just tacitly understood. It tends, I think, to be at the cutting edge of theories that researchers and readers need to maintain a degree of reserve, as it is usually these bits, close to the edges of the scientific structure, that can be flimsy.

    I think it is also worth bearing in mind that in many fields we happily use models that work for a particular purpose but are acknowledged to have a questionable foundation. In my own field, oxidation numbers, or the "arrow-pushing" we use in organic chemistry might be examples. In some ways these are more techniques than representations of reality, but they work so we use them. Newtonian mechanics would be an example from physics - works for a lot of purposes but, courtesy of Einstein, Heisenberg, Schroedinger et al we know it contains both approximations and unsound concepts.

    I will however decline your invitation to start threads on this, as I have no desire to be recruited into any of the vendettas that afflict this forum.
  9. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

    exchemist, I hope that you do not mind that I did not "quote" your Post in it's entirety.
    Needless to say, I completely concurred with your entire Post!
    Of particular note, it should be "just tacitly understood" that there is a clear difference between actual Reality and the often incomplete or limited "Models" used to represent said actual Reality.

    exchemist, I was not "trying", in any way, shape or form, to "recruit" you into any "vendetta".
    You seem to Know and Fully Understand - as I do , myself - that anything even resembling a "vendetta" is NOT a part of any of the various True or Actual Scientific Methods.

    At any rate, I hope that you continue to Post on SciForums in the same seemingly Honest manner that you have been.
    Science advances through such discussions.
    Any "vendettas" or Subjective arguing advances nothing of any True Value, whether in relation to Science or not.

    Again, exchemist, thank you, your Posts are appreciated.
  10. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Yep, nice stuff....the same headlines were splattered everywhere with the Pioneer anomaly, and the Rotational curves of galaxies anomaly.
    Similar headline seeking and tongue in cheek remarks by Hawking re BH's of late also.
    Really, you need to stop nit picking, and read between the lines to sort out those sensationalistic headline seeking publishers and authors.
  11. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    Magic in the truest sense of the word!

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    Bingo!!! In a similar vane, if the BB is correct, then so also is Abiogenesis.
    And of course we have no viable alternative to the BB, based on the observational evidence available to us.

    It actually makes me want to puke, when I hear our usual anti anti brigade and their closet supporters using that infamous line.
    Likewise those that are too dumb to recognise that scientific theories do become more set in stone, the more successful predictions they make, and the more they align with observation.
    The five theories I mention constantly all fill that niche.
  12. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    Hiya dmoe.
    I see no mention of abstractions or constructs in exchemists excellent post.....
    He did say the following though....
    " Science works by building models of reality that are successful"
    You seem to be confusing reality dmoe.

    I can speak and have literal proof!

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    The rest of your post and subjective assumptions re leopold are actually close to the mark.
    He has consistently argued against fact and misinterpreted quotes, in trying to force his will on people.

    It would obviously be far more logical and sensible to just adhere to the tried and true scientific methodology and peer review, based on the evidence available, and the near certainty of some theories, particularly Abiogenesis and Evolution.
    I mean to argue against them in this day and age, one would need to have rocks in his head.

    Except of course God is not a scientific explanation, as it cannot be falsified or otherwise.
    You need to clear your mind of these creationists possibilities dmoe, if you are interested in science, and take note of some of the real scientists we have on board here.
  13. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    The problem with creationists is they don't understand that science is not like religious doctrine. It is pragmatic, empirical and scientists are perfectly relaxed about living, all the time, with the provisional nature of scientific truth.

    I always think the best approach with these people is simply to explain this. Yes, of course "evolution is only a theory". Yes of course it could be disproved some time. But, as of today, the evidence in its favour is very powerful, it comes from several independent fields of study, and it makes successful predictions. So that is why it prevails in science. Until someone has a better idea with observational evidence to back it up, AND which makes better predictions. (Creationism, needless to say, achieves fuck-all on these fronts.)
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Question: Why do some people believe a "motivated" entity (god) is a necessary causality in the formation and observed evolution of the universe?

    A word I seldom hear, even in scientific discussions, is "inevitability".

    When a near infinite dynamic potential field exists for a near infinitely long time, it seems to me that it is "inevitable" that something will happen. What or how this actually happens is not important. Once a causal string has begun, it is that way.

    In view of the known causal properties of the universe, it must have been inevitable that something would happen, somewhere, sometime, somehow.
  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    In the past on this forum, I have compared the debating styles of Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins.
    Carl uses the approach you suggest, while Dawkins has a more "abrasive"style.
    While having respect for both men, I find Sagan's method far more credible, but then again, we are all different, and I would imagine, it's a case of horses for courses.
    When one is confronted by delusional creationists continually, one may get rather short and become abrasive as is Dawkins.
    My own take as I mentioned yesterday I think, is I have nothing at all against religious people or even creationists, and they are entitled to believe what they damn well like, as stupid and as delusional, as those beliefs maybe.
    But when they purposely come to a science forum, and attempt to ridicule and deride science and the top echelon of science theories, I tend to get my back up.....
    Although I'm no scientist, I do see the logic, sensibility, and benefits of the many disciplines, and accept humbly that if it were not for science, we may not even be here today.
  16. leopold Valued Senior Member

    what "independent" field of study?
    ALL life is interdependent.
    ALL life has DNA.
    i'm highly skeptical of statistical inferences.
    actually evolution doesn't "prevail" as much as you would like to think.
    there is a reason why an overwhelming majority of HS biology teachers are reluctant to teach it.
    there is a reason why LAWS ARE NECESSARY for evolution.
    what's up with all of that exchemist?
    and coupled with this ayala crap, . . . i dunno man, something ain't right here.
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Paleontology, geology, genetics, molecular biology, embryology etc etc.
    They're not.
  18. leopold Valued Senior Member

    geology is the only "independent" field of study you mentioned.
    all the rest deal with the interdependence of life.
    i posted a link with valid data that says they are.
  19. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Evolution, certainly does overwhelmingly prevail in general.

    Not real sure I can accept that, considering your past record in misleading people.
    In any respect, it does not apply in my country, and if it does apply in your country, it would be around that bible belt region I would suggest.

    No, the laws are necessary due to the insidious nature and overall dishonesty of God botherer creationists and others of the anti science brigades, in there efforts to sneak it into our schools.

    I see it as par for the course in actual fact, since these types of forums are the only outlets that creationistic God botherers and others of the anti science ilk have to "do there thing"
    That's the least of my worries anyway, and as long as they cannot indoctrinate our children with their myths, then, great.
  20. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

    Any properly educated Scientist, or even properly educated Layman, fully understands the use of "Models" in Science.
    If you would deign to do some actual research you would find that these "Models" can take the form(Layman's Term) of representations, constructs, and especially in the Theoretical Sciences, abstractions.
    Possibly you could check with your oft referenced wikipedia to validate my statements?

    I offer no response to "ad hominems", paddoboy.

    paddoboy, would you deign to Literally Provide any of this asserted "literal proof"?

    paddoboy, you appear to have inadvertanly "somehow missed" the FACT that what you termed "The rest of your post and subjective assumptions re leopold", were clearly prefaced with my words : Not completely unlike some of the Members of SciForums.
    paddoboy, the rest of the paragraph was not referencing leopold.
    I was actually referencing the Members of SciForums that operate under the assumption that if they repeat the same inane assertions, then simply by the force of their own "will", all the other Members of SciForums will accept said inane assertions as a fact of reality.
    Surely, paddoboy, with your Excellent Objective Observational Skills you should have no problem with fully understanding such a simple, upfront, open, honest and clearly worded statement such as that.

    paddoboy, I never stated that it was a "scientific explanation".
    paddoboy, I clearly stated : many quite intelligent people, Scientists and Laymen alike, that can see a clear similarity between the two.
    If you, paddoboy, cannot see a clear similarity...well...

    paddoboy, the only response that I will proffer to the ^^above quoted^^ "ad hominem" and personal insult to my Academic and Professional status is the following:
    There are Members of SciForums that operate under the assumption that if they constantly and incessantly repeat the same inane assertions, then simply by the force of their own "will", all the other Members of SciForums will accept said inane assertions as a fact of reality.
  21. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Possibly you could check with what exchemist did say.....
    " Science works by building models of reality that are successful"
    He did not mention, abstractions constructs etc, that you like to apply to reality.
    Just as is space, time, spacetime gravity, matter energy.
    All exist in reality, and all depend on one another for their existence
    [see Sten Odenwald at the Einstein GP-B page]

    Ad hominems??? You mean the comment "You seem to be confusing reality dmoe."
    Going on your past records of wilfully misinterpreting posts, I will reinforce that statement for what it actually meant.

    You seem to be confusing reality dmoe.

    It's been provided, reluctantly, in the first instant on my part, but after mod assurances it would be OK, it was subsequently provided.

    :shrug: I was inferring him, as well as other God botherer supporters, open and closet like.

    Surely dmoe, with your observational skills [whatever they are] you would have no problem understanding what many people are thinking of your usual pedant grudge fueled confrontations with me, as noted by a few forumites now.

    You never mentioned it was a non scientific explanation either, and in actual fact, you have never mentioned the non scientific nature of that choice at all, ever, in any thread....rather you chose to recognise it as a choice.
    I don't.
    The religious people that do accept the BB, quite obviously and naturally then use the BB limitations of the model, to invoke their deity of choice.
    Most cosmologists though, without that baggage/agenda, keep researching, probing, and attempting to formulate an observationally verified QGT.

    My objective opinion on your learning and posting content, is based on what I have seen you post on this forum.
    Simple as that.

    Now dmoe, you need to listen carefully.
    If you want to discuss the rock solid aspect of our cosmological theories, I will oblige and discuss to the best of my ability.
    I will not reply anymore though to your usual misinterpreted accusations and passive aggressive style to get me riled.
    I'm here to discuss science and cosmology, not your peculiarities or mine for that matter.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014
  22. humbleteleskop Banned Banned

    Depends on the definition. Define "subjective opinion".

    Are you familiar with this research: do you not find it convincing?
  23. leopold Valued Senior Member

    yes, that would be the proper context.
    what intrigues me is that a new 5th force might be looming on the horizon.

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