Conservative Colloquium

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Origins of Life: Intelligent Design vs. Evolution

Posted by Tony Listi on January 22, 2008

“[Evolutionary theory] is still, as it was in Darwin’s time, a highly speculative hypothesis entirely without direct factual support and very far from the self-evident axiom some of its more aggressive advocates would have us believe.”
-Michael Denton, molecular biologist

“The result of these cumulative efforts to investigate the cell−to investigate life at the molecular level−is a loud, clear, piercing cry of ‘design!’” biochemist Michael Behe of Leigh University said in his groundbreaking critique of Darwinism. He went on to say: ‘The conclusion of intelligent design−not from sacred books or sectarian beliefs…. The reluctance of science to embrace the conclusion of intelligent design…has no justifiable foundation…. Many people including many important and well-respected scientists, just don’t want there to be anything beyond nature.”
-qtd. in The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel

Paucity of fossil evidence: “Even Darwin conceded that the lack of these fossils ‘is perhaps the most obvious and serious objection’ to his theory, although he confidently predicted that future discoveries would vindicate him. Fast forward to 1979. David M. Raup, the curator of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, said: ‘We are now about one hundred and twenty years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species, but the situation hasn’t changed much…. We have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time.’ What the fossil record does show is that in rocks dated back some five hundred and seventy million years, there is the sudden appearance of nearly all the animal phyla, and they appear fully formed, ‘without a trace of the evolutionary ancestors that Darwinists require.’ It’s a phenomenon that points more readily toward a Creator than Darwinism.”
-The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel

“In his book Origin of Species, Darwin also admitted: ‘If it could not be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, then my theory would absolutely break down.’ Taking up that challenge, Behe’s award-winning book Darwin’s Black Box showed how recent biochemical discoveries have found numerous examples of this very kind of ‘irreducible complexity.’”
-The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel

“The most amazing thing to me is existence itself. How is it that inanimate matter can organize itself to contemplate itself?”
-Allan Sandage

“Biological evolution can only take place after there was some sort of living matter that could replicate itself and then grow in complexity through mutation and survival of the fittest.”
-The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel
Is DNA itself the product of evolution? Evolution claims to manipulate DNA into greater and greater complexity, not create it, right?

Stanley Miller’s landmark experiment: He recreated the atmosphere of the primitive earth in a laboratory and shot electricity through it to simulate the effects of lightning. Before long, he found that amino acids−the building blocks of life−had been created.
“But there was a major problem with the experiment that has invalidated its results…. Miller and [Alexander] Oparin didn’t have any real proof that the earth’s early atmosphere was composed of ammonia, methane, and hydrogen, which Miller used in his experiment. They based their theory on physical chemistry. They wanted to get a chemical reaction that would be favorable, and so they proposed that the atmosphere was rich in those gases. Oparin was smart enough to know that if you start with inert gases like nitrogen and carbon dioxide, they won’t react…. From 1980 on, NASA scientists have shown that the primitive earth never had any methane ammonia, or hydrogen to amount to anything. Instead, it was composed of water, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen−and you absolutely cannot get the same experimental results with that mixture. It just doesn’t work. More recent experiments have confirmed this to be the case…. When textbooks present the Miller experiment, they should be honest enough to say it was interesting historically but not terribly relevant to how life actually developed.”
-Dr. Walter L. Bradley, retired from Texas A&M

“Darwin probably didn’t think it would be very difficult to create life from nonlife because the gap between the two didn’t appear very great to him…. In those days they didn’t have any way of seeing the complexity that exists within the membrane of the cell. But the truth is that a one-cell organism is more complicated than anything we’ve been able to recreate through supercomputers…. [E]ven when you try to imagine what the minimal living cell would have been like, it’s still not simple at all…. [complexity of amino acids themselves and in making a protein] The making of DNA and RNA would be an even greater problem than creating protein. These are much more complex, and there are a host of practical problems. For instance, the synthesis of key building blocks for DNA and RNA has never been successfully done except under highly implausible conditions without any resemblance to those of the early earth. Klaus Dose of the Institute for Biochemistry in Mainz, Germany, admitted that the difficulties in synthesizing DNA and RNA ‘are at present beyond our imagination.’ Frankly, the origin of such a sophisticated system that is both rich in information and capable of reproducing itself has absolutely stymied origin-of-life scientists. As the Nobel Prize-winner Sir Francis Crick said, ‘The origin of life appears to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to be satisfied to get it going.”
-Dr. Walter L. Bradley, retired from Texas A&M

“[W]ith the discovery of background radiation in 1965, the Big Bang theory came to dominate in cosmology. The bad news for evolution was that this meant the universe was only about fourteen billion years old. More recent work has verified that the earth is probably less than five billion years old…. Based on the discovery of microfossils, scientists have now estimated that the time gap between the earth reaching the right temperature and the first emergence of life was only about four hundred million years. That is not much time for chemical evolution to take place…. And not only was the time too short, but the mathematical odds of assembling a living organism are so astronomical that nobody still believes that random chance accounts for the origins of life. Even if you optimized the conditions, it wouldn’t work. If you took all the carbon dioxide in the universe and put it on the face of the earth, allowed it to chemically react at the most rapid rate possible, and left it for a billion years, the odds of creating just one functional protein molecule would be one chance in a 10 with 60 zeroes after it…. [other colorful odds examples] In other words, the odds for all practical purposes are zero. That’s why even though some people who aren’t educated in this field still believe life emerged by chance, scientists simply don’t believe it anymore.”
-Dr. Walter L. Bradley, retired from Texas A&M

“I think people who believe that life emerged naturalistically need to have a great deal more faith than people who reasonably infer that there’s an Intelligent Designer…. For the past one hundred and fifty years, scientists have used arguments based on analogies to things we do understand to formulate new hypotheses in emerging areas of scientific work. And that’s what this is all about…. If the only time we see written information−whether it’s a painting on a cave wall or a novel from Amazon.com−is when there’s an intelligence behind it, then wouldn’t that also be true of nature itself? In other words, what is encoded on the DNA inside every cell of every living creature is purely and simply written information…. Now when we see written language, we can infer, based on our experience, that it has an intelligent cause. And we can legitimately use analogical reasoning to conclude that the remarkable information sequences in DNA also had an intelligent cause. Therefore, this means life on earth came from a ‘who’ instead of a ‘what….’ Each cell in the human body contains more information than in all thirty volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica. It’s certainly reasonable to make the inference that this isn’t the random product of unguided nature, but it’s the unmistakable sign of an Intelligent Designer…. [Darwinists have not been able to provide a naturalistic explanation for the origin of life.] Despite all their efforts, they haven’t even come up with a single possibility that even remotely makes sense. And there’s no prospect they will. In fact, everything is pointing the other way−in the unmistakable direction of God. Today it takes a great deal of faith to be an honest scientist who is an atheist.”
-Dr. Walter L. Bradley, retired from Texas A&M

“I stand in awe of God because of what he has done through his creation. Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.”
-James Tour, nanoscientist and professor at Rice University’s Department of Chemistry and Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology

I went to a Catholic school all my life, and from what I was taught, Genesis was most likely meant to be merely allegorical. That doesn’t mean that there are not profound truths contained within the book though.
If God created Time, is not in Time, and is not bound by Time, then what does the six days of Genesis really mean? People measured days by the rising and setting of the sun, heavenly bodies that were created during these “days.” If God creatively chose to use evolution as the vehicle by which he would bring all life and the pinnacle of life, mankind, into this world, does that really lessen God or the Bible? I don’t think so. He is still the driving force in this evolutionary scenario.
Personally, I believe in microevolution, the process of changes in traits within a species. The logic of natural selection seems to make sense at this level. I have not decided about macroevolution, the process of changes that brings about new species or whole new kingdoms/phyla of life. The fossil record supports microevolution more than macro. Most of the charts/pictures in our science books demonstrate this (merely lines connecting totally different kingdoms/phyla, nothing in between to indicate actual evolutionary intermediaries).
There is also the counter-theory of irreducible complexity, which observes that the biology of life forms are highly complex and highly interdependent, making their existence the result of incremental changes over time highly unlikely. A clock (much more simple than animal biology) does not work without each and every cog and wheel instantaneously working together, adding a cog or wheel slowly over time is pointless. However, this counter-theory of irreducible complexity does not completely contradict evolution’s mechanism of natural selection but rather limits the extent and types of changes the mechanism can bring about.

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12 Responses to “Origins of Life: Intelligent Design vs. Evolution”

  1. onein6billion said

    “without direct factual support”

    Riiight. All an evolutionist needs to do is watch the Earth for a few hundred thousand years to observe a few species evolving. Then you would have your “factual” support? You are silly silly silly.

    “reluctance of science to embrace the conclusion of intelligent design has no justifiable foundation”

    He did not lie nearly as well as this when he was a witness at Dover. Was he afraid of “contempt of court”?

    “the mathematical odds of assembling a living organism are so astronomical that nobody still believes that random chance accounts for the origins of life.”

    ROTFLOL There was an article in this week’s Science News. Progress in understanding this little problem continues to be made.

  2. foospro86 said

    Are you denying that actual observation is essential to science? The fact of the matter is that science is built upon faith in testimony of observations and reproducibility. When a scientist says in a published article he observed something, we trust in the testimony of that scientist and of the editors of the publication, who also trust that scientist. Hopefully, another scientist takes the time to try to reproduce the results to verify the claim(s). (Of course, scientists have no incentive to check each other’s results. Money comes to new projects, not merely repetitive ones.)
    So why is it too much (silly) to ask that macro-evolution actually be observed? Evolutionists need to realize that they are doing a particular kind of science: forensic science. They are trying to piece together past events that have already occurred. But unlike CSI on TV which can recreate a crime, scientists have no way of recreating macro-evolution. We may actually come to realize hundreds of years from now that macro-evolution was just as whimsical as alchemy.

    That is Behe’s opinion of the scientific community. It may be untrue, but that doesn’t make it a lie. Lie implies the intention to deceive. You would do better not to make ad hominem attacks.

    “little”? Have you no appreciation for or understanding of the complexity of living tissue?
    I assume you mean: http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20080112/bob9.asp . First of all, this is all experimental. Let me know when it actually happens. But moreover, even if we succeed in creating a synthetic cell, tell me: where were the scientists and laboratories 4 billion years ago? Where were the petri dishes, the pipets, and other scientific equipment? What would it really prove? Seems to me it would prove INTELLIGENT, conscious beings using sophisticated tools of their own making can rationally and intentionally DESIGN a very primitive cell. Where does evolution (i.e. chance, randomness, natural spontaneous generation) come into play?

  3. onein6billion said

    “Evolutionists need to realize that they are doing a particular kind of science: forensic science.”

    Yes, and they keep looking for a god’s fingerprints and so far they have come up empty. So obviously this was “just an accident” and no one will be charged with a crime.

    But they do keep finding things in that fundamental part of life known as DNA and it sure looks like humans are descended from fishes. Google “your inner fish”.

  4. BobC said

    The title of this article should be changed to make it more accurate: “Origins of Life: Magic vs. Evolution”

    No competent biologist invokes god for anything. Intelligent design creationism requires god’s magic so it isn’t science. Biologists (and I mean real biologists) do not debate the basic facts of evolution. Only people who let their religion get in the way of understanding science, invoke the magic man to explain the diversity of life.

    What intelligent design creationists and other creationists don’t understand is evolutionary relationships have been proven beyond any doubt using the same method used for paternity testing in humans.

    Since Darwin was quoted in the article (out of context as usual, this is called quote mining and it’s dishonest), I would like to quote Darwin myself.

    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.” — Charles Darwin

  5. foospro86 said

    It all depends on what you would consider “God’s fingerprints,” assuming he did exist. What exactly would be evidence of God in your opinion? If you can’t answer that question, then it is you who are being dogmatic and begging the question. If there is not even any possible/hypothetical piece of information/observation that would sway your thinking, then your mind is not even open.

    It may seem like the universe or natural world takes care of itself all by itself. But it actually obeys laws, especially laws that can be represented through mathematics. WHY does the universe obey laws? Why is it so intelligible and orderly in this respect? Why THESE laws and not others? Moreover, can one have laws without a Lawgiver?

    Do you believe in the existence of morality, free will, and human reason? But how can such things exist without the existence also of some sort of transcendent reality beyond material determinism? The following quote illustrates this:
    “[S]trict materialism refutes itself for the reason given long ago by Professor Haldane: ‘If my mental processes are determined wholly by the [random] motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose my beliefs are true…and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.’ (Possible Worlds, p.209)”
    -Miracles by C.S. Lewis

    What else could morality, free will, and reason be but “God’s fingerprints” upon us? And surely social science can observe such things to some extent, no?

    Science is very much in favor of the Big Bang theory. Interestingly, the theory is reminiscent of the creation account in Genesis. Let there be light, and Bang, there was light.

    DNA is in all life. There are similarities in DNA code among certain creatures. So what? Similarities of this kind are no evidence of one giving rise to the other. Again, that is something that has to be observed. More than mere comparison is necessary. A donut and a car tire look pretty similar, but of course we have observed where donuts and tires come from and how they come to be. One did not evolve from the other.

  6. foospro86 said

    I don’t expect biologists or any other scientists to “invoke God” in their work. But I do expect them to be fair and honest about what they really know and can know. Much of what Intelligent Design ppl do is critique macro-evolution and the inferences drawn from it. For example, they speak of the fossil record and irreducible complexity (how exactly would natural selection form complex tissues). These critiques are clearly argued on scientific and rational grounds. They do not take the form of “The Bible said so.” Why is it so hard for evolutionists to see that this is the case? Why do they impulsively dismiss critics of their theories as religious fanatics? Doesn’t science benefit from rational skepticism?

    With regard to the paternity analogy, see my comment above on DNA. Basically, the analogy is invalid because we can observe and have observed humans being created from other humans. We have not observed speciation such that life forms give rise to radically different life forms.

    You can’t just say I took the quote out of context and call me dishonest. You have to show what the context was AND show that the context you provide somehow undermines my claims. Is it so hard to believe that Darwin was just being open and honest about the limits and concerns about his own theory? Scientists and philosophers do self-critique sometimes. It happens.

    Yes, ignorance breeds hubris, false confidence. But of course it begs the question: Who exactly is the ignorant one?? Plus Darwin shows his own ignorance: the most dangerous hubris is born of ignorance OF LIMITS. It is not hubris to claim that science will not solve certain problems; it is a philosophical conclusion based on the very nature of science itself.

  7. Dov Henis said

    **EDITED FOR LENGTH** by Foospro86

    Life, Tomorrow’s Comprehension

    Chapter I

    Life, A Real Virtual Affair, Its Drive And Purpose

    A. Life’s Fractal Evolution

    The biggest hindrance of scientific, and even technological, progress in comprehension and exploitation of Biology is the avoidance to accept-regard genes-genomes as organisms. And equally hindering is the lack of a term for genes-genome that explicitly and clearly defines them as organisms, as The Prime Cardinal Earth Life Organisms, distinguished from all cellular secondary stratum organisms.

    This avoidance, which is fraught with implications about the nature of life, is also the biggest hindrance of human existential and social progress.

    B. Viruses, Too, Are Bona Fide Organisms

    Evolution is always in the direction of more effective survivability; however, this is not always in the direction of more complexing for coping with changing environments and competition. In a stable nutritious environment, like in Earth’s oceans, coping with vital requirenments, evolution, is in the opposite direction, simplify tooling and means.

    It is plain common sense that viruses, even Viroids and Virusoids, nothing more than single strands of DNA or RNA, sometimes only 200-300 nucleotides long, are organisms as alive as we are, evolved at life genesis era and selected for survival in forms, composition and capabilities by living, and even replicating, off their richer kin. Smart little buggers.

    C. Evolution-Survival Rediscovered

    When when when will “scientists” and “science literature editors” get it through their scientific skulls that the source of our (and others species’) individuals’ uniqueness is the genome’s polymorphisms, which come about from polymorphisms of its member genes.

    It is about time that “scientists” make the Life Evolution mental leap, that they swallow and digest the revelation that a genome is a living complex organism consisting of (by now) interdependent symbiotic living member genes.

    D. Cells Are Not The Base Organisms

    It irritates me again and again when unscientific science editors allow reference to cells as organisms. Cells are the spaceships, the edifices, that house the genomes, THE organisms. Scientifically cells are NOT organisms. The outer cell membrane is an organ. Plain and simple.

    A possible explanation of this scientific ignorance is our still incomplete knowledge of the nature of the constituents of the cells’ contents and of the functions of the outer-cell-membrane , the multifunctional organ of the genome, coupled with misty comprehension of the nature of life.

    Cellular membranes and cells’ contents are evolution products of the in-cell organisms, the genomes. Continued reference to cells as organisms is a gross anachronism that brakes/slows developement of life sciences.

    E. Drive and Purpose of Life

    Cognition = the capability, process or act of thinking, questioning and analysing.
    Cognition is Cultural, is Biological. Cognition derives from culture, which is a biological attribute of ALL organisms regardless of size or complexity.
    Culture = the totality of ways of the organisms’ dealing with (reaction to, manipulation of, exploitation of) its environment.

    The choice and promotion of our purpose in life derives solely from our cognition.

    The differences between the trees of life based on the classical “descriptive” taxonomy or on genetics would be great and of great consequences.

    A genetic-based tree would not only correct several wrong “placings” and throw light on and bring to view yet undiscovered junctions-relationships of genera, but I posit that – most important – the comprehension that ALL LIFE EVOLUTION is the evolution of genes/genes-associations since four billion yrs ago, I posit that this comprehension might have a radical influence on the cognition and culture of humans and on their implications in personal and societal life organizations.

    G. More Re Life’s Drive and Purpose

    1. If one accepts, intuitively and logically, Pasteur’s observation that all life must come from previously existing life, then the answer to “what makes a mono- and poly-cell life-form a Life” is the answer to “what makes some molecular associations in cells LIVES”, and vice versa. It is the “lifehood” of genes that makes us and all other forms of life on Earth living organisms, and evolution has been the route of Life’s ever more complexing progress since the first replication of the first gene.
    Early independent peptides, primordial genes, have entered into symbiotic associations in which eventually each of the ever increasing host of functions/tasks vital for the evolving associations is taken up by the member most efficient at it, leading to gene speciation and to gene specialization.

    The history of life begins with independent genes, cascading fractally from single independent genes to agregate of genes, then to agregate of agregate of genes. Cooperative association is an inherent feature of life throughout all its evolution and at all its levels, in pre-cell and in mono-cell life and in mono-cell communities and in poly-cell life-forms and in communities of poly-cell life forms.

    2. The totality of life in Earth’s biosphere (the outermost part of the planet’s shell — including air, land, surface rocks and water — within which life occurs, and which biotic processes in turn alter or transform. Wikipedia.) is a temporary grand store of energy, and all living organisms are elaborate temporary energy storage containers and all base genetic materials are “Life quanta”, carriers of “Life photons”. Humans are just one of the many types of Earth’s living organisms, regardless of the reason and purpose of their self-inflated high-self-esteem.

    3. Life’s evolution has been and still is and will continue to be the evolution of genes. The total number of defined genes, each with its own unique identity/functional-capability is, of course, the number of organisms’ species multiplied by their number of different genes, which are now dependent-symbiotic members in chromosomes, cooperative-communes of genes. It is the GENES that evolve, and the evolution of the chromosomes and of ‘higher strata’ organisms is simply a consequence of their genes’ evolution. The drive and purpose of evolution of the organisms is to enhance the functionality and survivability of the genes, in order to maintain and enhance Earth’s biosphere energy storage, to maintain it BIO.

    4. This is the plain bare story of the drive and purpose of life. We do not yet comprehend what ENERGY is generically. We are just beginning to comprehend the nature of the raw material called Life and that the purpose of OUR life is ours to choose and develop and follow.

    Again, humans, like every other organism, are just products of evolution of the individual and collective genes of their genome. And humans, like every other organism, repay their genetic formers with feedbacks that serve to further modify their forming genes and to increase their formers’ survivability. The ‘higher-strata’ organisms are only means of survival of THE PURPOSE of life, which is their base genes-genome. However, as far as the ‘higher stratum’ organism is concerned it itself IS the purpose of life; ask any human…

    I. Tree of Life

    1. In Biology Online, 26-28 Nov 2006, AG asks:
    How is the Tree of Life rooted?… What could the last universal common ancestor be?

    (c) The essential early events of the energy-contents-driven “chemicals-to-life” progression comprise single-strand base extensions and ligations. DNA formation occurs most probably very much later.

    All the consecutive steps in the progression are energy-contents-driven. Thus the chemicals-to-life transit is not a single dramatic step/rung of the ladder but consists of multi-small-steps/rungs and, due to variations in circumstances and in-line with the fractal nature of everything in the environments, it is random/stochastic.

    (d) I conjecture life’s genesis much earlier than the celling of genes. Genomes are communal coops of what way back originally were RNA independent genes, these various/different genes being then the first proliferrable life forms. Evolution and survival directed them and their much younger DNA progeny to become united, chromosomes and genomes, simply because cooperation is the most survivable mode, and the further process of evolution included celling for control of environmental parameters plus ever increasing member genes specialization as more capabilities evolve by some individual members of the commune of genes.

    4. AG : I was also leaning toward Woese’s theory.

    Dov : Genesis Of Life

    Carl Woese ( June 9, 1998 ):
    “The ancestor ( of life ) cannot have been a particular organism, a single organismal lineage. It was communal (13, 22), a loosely knit, diverse conglomeration of primitive cells that evolved as a unit, and it eventually developed to a stage where it broke into several distinct communities, which in their turn become the three primary lines of descent”.

    Dov Henis:
    Earth life’s genesis cannot have been cell(s). Cells, liken all (every) objects and processes and natural laws in the universe, are – since singularity – products of evolution and are continuously further evolving. Everything in the cosmos is fractal, rehappens on many scales, and is continuously evolving. Each and every system in the universe continuously evolves within the total universal evolution and all the systems’ evolutions are intertwined. Thus the root of earth’s life cannot have been deus-ex-machina cells. Cells cannot have been but one of the forms of products of evolution of energy-transformation-storage systems, since at the beginning was the energy singularity, at the end will be near zero mass and an infinite dispersion of the beginning energy, and in-between, the universe undergoes continuous evolution consisting of myriad energy-to-energy and energy-to-mass-to-energy transformations. Therefore the roots of earth-life’s genesis must have been much earlier than the celling of genes, in cosmic phenomena of active temporary reservoirs or pockets or bubbles of energy, on Earth in formation of individual RNA replicating genes.

    end chapter I
    ———————————-
    Chapter II

    Natural Selection Is A Two Level Interdependent Affair

    1) Evolution ensues from genome/genes modifications (“mutations”), inherently ever more of them as new functional options arise for the organism.

    2) Modifications of genome’s functional capabilities can be explained by the second-stratum organism’s culture-life-experience feedbacks to its genome, its prime/base organism. The route-modification selection of a replicating gene, when it is at its alternative-splicing-steps junctions, is biased by the feedback gained by the genome, the parent organism, from the culture-life-experience of its progeny big organism. THIS IS HOW EVOLUTION COMES ABOUT.

    3) The challenge now is to figure out the detailed seperate steps involved in introducing and impressing the big organism’s experiences (culture) feedbacks on its founding parents’ genome’s genes, followed by the detailed seperate steps involved in biasing-directing the genes to prefer-select the biased-favored splicing.

    4) I find it astonishing that only very few persons, non-professional as well as professional biologists-evolutionists, have the clear conception that selection for survival occurs on two interdependent levels – (a) during the life of the second-stratum progeny organism in its environment, and (b) during the life of its genome, which is also an organism. Most, if not all, persons think – incorrectly – that evolution is about randomly occurring genes-genome modifications (“mutations”) followed with selection by survival of the progeny organism in its environment. Whereas actually evolution is the interdependent , interactive and interenhencing selection at both the two above levels.

    end chapter II
    ———————————
    Chapter III

    The Cosmic Drive and Purpose
    Behind
    The Drive and Purpose Of Life

    (3) Since the Universe, including its sub-systems, also Life, is a continuously evolving fractal system, ergo energy is the base element of everything and individual genes are the base elements of Life. Cosmic evolution is evolution of energy, and within it Life’s evolution is the evolution of the genes/energy-quanta carriers.

    At the beginning was the energy singularity. At the end will be near zero mass and an infinite dispersion of the beginning energy. In-between, the universe undergoes continuous evolution, consisting of myriad energy-to-energy and energy-to-mass-to-energy transformations. The cosmos evolution process comprises, though, phenomena of forms of temporary energy storage pockets, energy dispersion constraints. Examples of such temporary pockets are black holes of all sizes, and all forms of biospheres if/wherever they are.

    The temporary constrained energy pockets are far-removed versions, up-fractionally evolved, scattered cosmic fragmants of singularity-akin energy sources. Energy stored in the temporary constrained energy pockets resists dispersion; we do not yet comprehend why and how. However, we comprehend that we, all Earth life, are real virtual products formed by Earth’s biosphere energy for maintaining Earth’s biosphere bio as long as possible.

    end chapter III,

    ————————————-
    Chapter IV

    Science-Informed “Theism” (SIT), And Religion

    There is no more competition between science and faith than between science and arts or science and tourism.
    Science is systematized knowledge, whereas faith, arts and tourism and a host of other matters are components of culture, where culture is a ubiquitous biological entity of ALL organisms regardless of size or complexity, selected for survival as the sum total of reactions to and exploitations by the genome of the out-of-cell environments, sensed by the OCM, outer-cell-membrane of the genome, where this OCM is simply and plainly a multi-purpose organ of the in-cell resident communal organism, the genome.

    (1) Science’s “theism”

    – Science’s “theism” is An (therefore not The) unknowable undefined source of the energy that constitutes the unknowable undefined Universe.

    – The unknowability of the source of cosmic energy, which is also life’s matrix, leaves the choice and promotion of our purpose in life to be derived solely from our cognition.

    – A term needs to be drawn for a concept and practice of deriving humanity’s purpose and course of life. The term should not be related to theism or religion because SIT is NOT founded on faith-belief, and SIT’s ethics code is founded on rational commitment and dedication to Life’s inherent characteristic, which is cooperation for survival.

    (2) Religion, Scientifically

    A. Religion, A Human Evolution Definition
    From a posting of mine in an evolution discussion forum, written and meant with complete respectful sincerity, at
    http://forum.physorg.com/index.php?showtopic=19160&st=0&#entry286766
    “A religion is a human artifact for survival of a specific human cultural phenotype, comprising cultural tool-kit and technique ascribed by its adherents to be of higher esteem and benefit than other human cultural survival plans”.

    B. Sincerely thinking so
    Wondering if religious persons who also “accept” science would accept this definition, even with steady unwavering respect and commitment to their religion. IMO such acceptance would contribute respect to religion and to religious persons.

    C. Major Conceptual Hierarchies:
    – Religion is a progeny of culture, culture being a biological entity, like
    – Technology is a progeny of science, like
    – Biology is a progeny of life’s evolution, like
    – Universal Evolution is a progeny of Energy.

    D. Uniqueness Of Science Among Human Artifacts

    During the recent several centuries in the course of human history Science has been evolving at an accelerating rate as a provider of convincing, ever closer approaching, approximate models of the real world.
    We understand that Science is just one of the components of our Culture, our package of capabilities to observe the environment, react to it and exploit it for our satisfaction and survival.
    Yet there is a distinct, even if still small, growing spreading tendency to accept the findings of evolving Science with ever increasing respect and appreciation, especially in the realms of all forms and types of technology and of life disciplines.
    The crucial 21st century question facing humanity is how much further and into which additional disciplines may or should Science be welcome and adopted by society at large, with what hopes and with what expectations.

    end chapter IV,

    and respectfully resting my case,

    Dov Henis
    http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-P81pQcU1dLBbHgtjQjxG_Q–?cq=1
    ==========================
    PS1:
    I also suggest that general comprehension of evolutionary biology is an essential pre-requisite to the study of cultural anthropology.

    – Culture is a basic biological entity. It is a ubiquitous elaboration/extension of genome’s activity beyond its outermost cell membrane and of multicelled organisms’ behaviour. It has been selected for survival of the genome as means of extending its exploitation capabilities of the out-of-cell circumstances, consequent to the earlier evolution and selection of the genome’s organ, its outermost cell membrane, for controlling the inside-of-cell genes’-commune environmental circumstances.

    – Every cultural element is an artifact which involves biological intra-/inter-cell expression and/or process; biological and cultural domains are not ontologically distinct, but instead culture inheres in biology.

    – In the case of human cultures, ethnocentrisms are phenotypic cases of anthropocentrism; biologically both are normal Darwinian biological survival phenomena. Thus ethnocultures are human phenotypic survival tools.

    DH

  8. Billiam said

    Wow. It’s so funny how these IDiots will do ANYTHING (including lie) to protect themselves from the reality that evolution happened.

  9. Dov Henis said

    Culture And Intelligence Of
    Living And Inanimate matter

    Re
    http://www.the-scientist.com/community/posts/list/20/24.page#1199
    What is intelligence?

    A. Over and over again

    “Intelligence, like every “specific” physical property (f.e. specific weight or heat etc.,) is a specific cultural phenotype characteristic. Plain science….

    The core (wordnet.princeton) definition of “intelligence” is “the ability to comprehend, to understand and profit from experience”. These surviving abilities are different for the different phenotypes within a genotype, therefore each phenotype has its own meaning of “intelligence”.

    Intelligence is to culture approximately as essential amino acids are to proteins. Culture evolves in response to circumstances by use of intelligence and to the extent and scope feasible by the extent and scope of intelligence.”

    B. Biological culture is a biological entity.

    It is an elaboration-extension of the cell’s manipulation beyond its outer membrane. It has been selected for survival of genes and genomes by means of manipulating-adjusting the cell’s outer circumstances, in addition to the cell’s outer membrane which was selected much earlier for controlling the inner cell’s circumstances.

    C. And since organic and biological and mineral and all other inanimate matters

    are obviously essentially all cosmic matters, products consisting of energy, culture and intelligence – strange as it sounds but definitely factual – all and each display culture and intelligence, i.e. each displays a unique mode of response to its environment and circumstances (culture) in its unique mode-rate-manner (intelligence).

    How much simpler and clearer can culture and intelligence be comprehended and defined?

    Respectfully,

    Dov Henis

    (A DH Comment From The 22nd Century)
    http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-P81pQcU1dLBbHgtjQjxG_Q–?cq=1

  10. Dov Henis said

    Life’s Manifest

    Recapitulation of some earlier notes on
    Scientific Comprehension Of The Drive, Nature And Purpose Of Life

    http://www.physforum.com/index.php?showtopic=14988&st=195&#entry330517

    A. Uniqueness Of science among human artifacts

    ALL aspects of our culture are, of course, anthropoartifacts, including science. Yet among those artifacts science has a distinct uniqueness for us.

    During the recent several centuries in the course of human history humans have been developing science at an accelerating rate as a provider of convincing, ever closer approaching, approximate models of the real world.

    B. The drive and nature of life

    Life Genesis, formation of the first genes, was a phenomenon of serendipitous occurrence, in a supportive environment, of ‘favourably-coursed’ energy potential between in-coming sun’s radiation and polymerizing-precipitating RNA-related oligomeric configuration.

    The drive of life and of its evolution is to enhance the functionality and survivability of the genes, in order to maintain and enhance Earth-biosphere’s temporary constrained energy storage and to maintain the biosphere BIO as long as possible.

    It is the genes, life’s prime strata organisms, that evolve, and the evolution of genomes, the 2nd stratum of life, and of the 3rd life stratum cellular organisms, is an interenhancing consequence of their genes’ evolution.

    C. The nature of life

    Earth Life: 1. a format of temporarily constrained energy, retained in temporary constrained genetic energy packages in forms of genes, genomes and organisms 2. a real virtual affair that pops in and out of existence in its matrix, which is the energy constrained in Earth’s biosphere.

    Earth organism: a temporary self-replicable constrained-energy genetic system that supports and maintains Earth’s biosphere by maintenance of genes.

    Gene: a primal Earth’s organism. (1st stratum organism)

    Genome: a multigenes organism consisting of a cooperative commune of its member genes. (2nd stratum organism)

    Cellular organisms: mono- or multi-celled earth organisms. (3rd stratum organism)

    D. Update of underlying life sciences conception is thus feasible

    – First were independent individual genes, Earth’s primal organisms.

    – Genes aggregated cooperatively into genomes, multigenes organisms, with genomes’ organs.

    – Simultaneously or consequently genomes evolved protective and functional membranes, organs.

    – Then followed cellular organisms, with a variety of outer-cell membrane shapes and
    functionalities.

    This conception is a scientific, NOT TECHNOLOGICAL, life-science innovation.

    It is tomorrow’s comprehension of life and of its evolution.

    IT IS FRAUGHT WITH INTRIGUING DARWINIAN EVOLUTION IMPLICATIONS.

    IT IS FRAUGHT WITH INTRIGUING TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS POTENTIALS.

    E. The purpose of OUR, human, life

    The purpose of OUR life and its promotion is ours to formulate and set. It derives solely from our cognition.

    Suggesting,

    Dov Henis

    http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-P81pQcU1dLBbHgtjQjxG_Q–?cq=1

  11. Dov Henis said

    Why Life’s Genesis Is Unrepeatable

    QUOTE (HenisDov @ May 18 2007, PhysForum)
    A. If one accepts, intuitively and logically, Pasteur’s observation …. We are just beginning to comprehend the nature of the raw material called Life and that the purpose of OUR life is ours to choose and develop and follow.
    Dov

    I am asked, by TracerTong, two questions:

    A. Shouldn’t it (life’s genesis) be repeatable? Wouldn’t scientists have already been able to repeat it?

    B. What about ‘spiritual’ happenings? Is it logical to assume only ‘natural’ genesis?

    My answers:

    A. Today’s “scientists” are unable to “repeat it” because (1) they do not know how the first “life” arose and (2) they do not and will never know and will not be able to duplicate the environments and circumstances of genesis and (3) they do not and will never know and will never be able to repeat the environments and circumstances of post genesis evolution.

    B. “Spiritual happenings” are virtual reality affairs. They are feasible only for living organisms that have a culture, i.e. that have a pattern of sensings and reactions to the sensings. Genes, and therefore also genomes, are organisms and display virtual reality phenomena, therefore also multicelled organisms, like dogs and humans, display such “spiritual” phenomena.

    Dov Henis
    (Comments From The 22nd Century)
    Life’s Manifest
    http://www.the-scientist.com/community/posts/list/112.page#578
    EVOLUTION Beyond Darwin 200
    http://www.physforum.com/index.php?showtopic=14988&st=405&#entry396201
    http://www.the-scientist.com/community/posts/list/100/122.page#1407

  12. onein6billion said

    “It all depends on what you would consider “God’s fingerprints,” assuming he did exist. What exactly would be evidence of God in your opinion? If you can’t answer that question, then it is you who are being dogmatic and begging the question.”

    But it is a difficult question. Is “god” supernatural? Then how would he appear in the “natural world”? Or, if he appeared in the “natural world”, what could he do? What would he do? Would he decide that Islamic terrorists should be “disappeared”? Auto accidents prevented? Cancer cured?

    Or would we examine DNA and find “God was here” written over and over? In spite of a billion years of evolution?

    How would you answer the question? No need to answer because you have “faith”? The Bible is “self-proving”?

    “It may seem like the universe or natural world takes care of itself all by itself. But it actually obeys laws, especially laws that can be represented through mathematics. WHY does the universe obey laws?”

    Sorry, such “why” questions are philosophical. Might as well ask “why does this universe exist?” “Laws” appear to work yesterday and today. We assume they will work tomorrow. There’s no scientific answer to “why”. Reality just “is”.

    “Moreover, can one have laws without a Lawgiver?”

    Is this a religious question or a philosophical question? In either case, I’m not interested. Science has no answer. So what?

    “Do you believe in the existence of morality, free will, and human reason?”

    Sure. So what?

    “But how can such things exist without the existence also of some sort of transcendent reality beyond material determinism?”

    Morality could have evolved – better to get along instead of always fighting. Free will is a philosophical question. Human reason seems to be a fundamental assumption. What’s your point? Is “god” required for these things?

    “If my mental processes are determined wholly by the [random] motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose my beliefs are true…and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.”

    Why is the word “random” is this sentence? I do not think my mental processes are all that random. And actually electrons, not atoms, are mainly involved in mental processes.

    But science has proven to be the best way to have “true” beliefs. And science has found that the brain is made of atoms. So I am not impressed with that silly statement.

    “What else could morality, free will, and reason be but “God’s fingerprints” upon us?”

    See above – no need for a “god”. I am not impressed with your philosophical argument.

    “And surely social science can observe such things to some extent, no?”

    The word “science” in conjunction with the word “social” is getting philosophical. Morality is observed. So what? It’s a good survival trait. Free will is assumed. So what? Human reason is assumed. It has gotten us this far and that’s pretty far. No requirement for a “god”.

    “Science is very much in favor of the Big Bang theory. Interestingly, the theory is reminiscent of the creation account in Genesis. Let there be light, and Bang, there was light.”

    Irrelevant inappropriate analogy. So what?

    “DNA is in all life. There are similarities in DNA code among certain creatures. So what?”

    The DNA similarities “match” other ways of measuring near or remote “kinship” of species of course. There are no scientific contradictions, just some uncertainties.

    “Similarities of this kind are no evidence of one giving rise to the other.”

    The fossil record show clear evidence of one species evolving into others. Your opinion is noted as contrary to expert opinion and disregarded.

    “Again, that is something that has to be observed.”

    The fossil record is considered to be “observed”. Your opinion is noted as contrary to expert opinion and disregarded.

    “More than mere comparison is necessary. A donut and a car tire look pretty similar, but of course we have observed where donuts and tires come from and how they come to be. One did not evolve from the other.”

    Your statement is silly.

    “I don’t expect biologists or any other scientists to “invoke God” in their work. But I do expect them to be fair and honest about what they really know and can know. Much of what Intelligent Design people do is critique macro-evolution and the inferences drawn from it. For example, they speak of the fossil record and irreducible complexity (how exactly would natural selection form complex tissues). These critiques are clearly argued on scientific and rational grounds.”

    Yes. And their arguments have been refuted.

    “They do not take the form of “The Bible said so.” Why is it so hard for evolutionists to see that this is the case? Why do they impulsively dismiss critics of their theories as religious fanatics?”

    Because the mere fact that the arguments have been refuted does not stop the religious fanatics from repeating them over and over again. And their purpose in trying to disprove evolution is to boost its supposed antithesis – religious creationism or “intelligent design”.

    “Doesn’t science benefit from rational skepticism?”

    Yes. But science does not benefit from incorrect thinking. Bozo really was a clown you know.

    “With regard to the paternity analogy, see my comment above on DNA. Basically, the analogy is invalid because we can observe and have observed humans being created from other humans. We have not observed speciation such that life forms give rise to radically different life forms.”

    The fossil record clearly shows gradual change in life forms. Over time this is old species becoming new species. Your opinion is noted as contrary to the expert opinion and disregarded.

    “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, then my theory would absolutely break down.”

    And since it has not been demonstrated, there is not a problem.

    “Is it so hard to believe that Darwin was just being open and honest about the limits and concerns about his own theory?”

    Of course he was open and honest. He was a scientist.

    “the most dangerous hubris is born of ignorance OF LIMITS.”

    And who is qualified to determine the “limits” of evolution?

    “It is not hubris to claim that science will not solve certain problems; it is a philosophical conclusion based on the very nature of science itself.”

    Be more specific. What “problems” will science not solve? Why? What is your “deadline” for solving such problems? A thousand years? Because the problems are philosophical, not scientific?

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