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September 23, 2016 6:38 am

Atheists Still Waiting for the Origin-of-Life Messiah

avatar by Moshe Averick

Email a copy of "Atheists Still Waiting for the Origin-of-Life Messiah" to a friend
Far-away galaxies photographed in 2012. Photo: Wikipedia.

Far-away galaxies photographed in 2012. Photo: Wikipedia.

“Despite the widespread view that Darwinian Evolution has been able to explain the emergence of biological complexity that is not the case…Darwinian theory does not deal with the question how [life] was able to come into being. The troublesome question still in search of an answer is: How did a system capable of evolving come about in the first place?…Nature just doesn’t operate like that! Nature doesn’t spontaneously make highly organized…purposeful entities…And here precisely lies the [origin of] life problem…it is not just common sense that tells us that highly organized entities don’t just spontaneously come about. Certain basic laws of physics [coupled with mathematical probability] preach the same sermon – systems tend toward chaos and disorder, not toward order and function… Biology [i.e. a naturalistic origin of life] and physics seem contradictory, quite incompatible”

What is Life: How Chemistry Becomes Biology, Oxford University Press, 2012 – Dr. Addy Pross, professor of chemistry, Ben-Gurion University, Israel.

Dr. Pross echoes the words of distinguished philosopher Thomas Nagel, who wrote the following in 2006, in his review of Richard Dawkins’ atheistic magnum opus, The God Delusion: “The entire apparatus of evolutionary explanation therefore depends on the prior existence of genetic material with these remarkable properties…since [the genetic system] is a precondition of the possibility of evolution, evolutionary theory cannot explain its existence. We are therefore faced with a problem…we have explained the complexity of organic life in terms of something that is itself just as functionally complex as what we originally set out to explain. So the problem is just pushed back a step; how did such a thing come into existence?”

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In other words, despite the prodigious amounts of energy invested by people like Richard Dawkins in spreading propaganda to the contrary, Darwin provided exactly zero evidence to support an atheistic view of biology. Nothing has changed at all; the awe and wonder of the miraculous design and engineering that characterizes every single living creature on earth points as clearly to Divine creation in our day as it did in the period before Charles Darwin published his famous treatise.

In their heart of hearts, non-believers like Richard Dawkins understand that the Origin of Life problem means that their so called “scientific atheism” stands on a foundation of thin air and wishful thinking. That is why they longingly cast their eyes towards the horizon in hope of the imminent arrival of the atheist Origin of Life messiah who will finally explain how life can come from non-life without the involvement of that annoying Creator.

One such “messianic” figure that appeared within the last couple of years is, oddly enough, a young Orthodox Jewish physicist at MIT by the name of Jeremy England. His proposed theory about inanimate systems capturing energy and dissipating it as heat inspired some of the following headlines and statements in the popular press:

  • Has Science Just Disproved God?
  • Is a new discovery the last nail in God’s coffin?
  • Jeremy England, a 31 year-old physicist at MIT, thinks he has found the underlying physics driving the origin and evolution of life
  • Meet the Orthodox Jewish physicist rethinking the origins of life
  • Massachusetts physicist claims he solved mystery of how life emerged from matter
  • Under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life
  • Jeremy England…bold enough to tackle science’s greatest question: How life arose on our planet
  • Jeremy England thinks life is inevitable under certain conditions
  • Jeremy England, The Man Who May One-Up Darwin
  • His name is Jeremy England, and at 33, he’s already being called the next Charles Darwin.
  • Why You Should Care: Because this guy could change the way we think about evolution – and faith

And my personal favorite from Salon: “God is on the ropes: The brilliant new science that has the creationists and the Christian right terrified!”

Headlines like these sort of take your breath away, don’t they? However, a careful reading of the articles themselves quickly restores one’s bronchial equilibrium:

  • “Although his theories are far from proven…”
  • “We’ve made progress, but we have a long way to go”
  • “At this point [his ideas] are extremely speculative, especially as applied to life phenomena.”
  • “Whether or not England’s ideas turn out to be exactly right, thinking more broadly is where many scientific breakthroughs are made.”
  • “Unfortunately, England’s work hasn’t provided any answers, leaving the professor in a kind of speculative state as he doggedly tries to put numbers to it all.”
  • “He hasn’t put enough cards on the table yet, he’ll need to make more testable predictions.”
  • (etc. etc. etc.)

Actually, all of the above, the latest of which is dated October 2015, are nothing more than rehashes of the original Quanta Magazine article about England which appeared on January 22, 2014. There is no new information in any of the articles appearing afterward and in the past year not much has been heard at all about Dr. England. This is not surprising to those like myself who have been carefully following this issue for years; messianic-origin of life figures touted by atheist ideologues invariably flame out quite quickly and are rarely mentioned again in the popular science press. The reason is quite simple: these articles, with their screaming headlines, are not written to actually inform the public about the origin of life field (which has been dead in the water for 160 years), rather they fulfill a profound human need. All believers need hope to sustain their faith; Atheists are no exception.

What does Jeremy England himself – as opposed to articles in the popular press — have to say about the origin of life question?

I actually took the trouble to watch an hour-long lecture by England entitled, “What is Life,” presented on September 9, 2014 at the Karolinska Institute near Stockholm, Sweden. Please watch and judge for yourself if you are so inclined, but if I had not previously seen all the hyped-up articles and headlines it hardly would have crossed my mind that his theories had any bearing at all on the origin of life. It seemed to be mentioned only in passing.

The hype also was missing during an interview of England by Robert Wright on Meaningoflife.tv – January 25, 2016:

Wright: Is it a kind of theory that among other things could explain why life emerged or how life emerged?

England: I try to be pretty cautious about claiming that…we like to think about the physics of how things that don’t seem to behave in life-like ways at all, start to behave in ways that are particularly life like [“life-like” here means being driven by an external force and then as a result, dissipating heat energy into the surrounding environment, not an actual living entity]…I don’t have any horse in the race when it comes to the detailed question of was it on these clays or on these hydrothermal vents or on these asteroids or whatever, I have no idea.

In an interview on Greater Boston (WGBH TV) the host opened the segment with the following:

Host: What is the origin of life? It’s a question scientists, philosophers and theologians have debated for centuries. If you believe one widely accepted scientific theory, life on Earth was one big happy accident, overcoming the astronomical odds against it. But a new notion is rocking the scientific world, claiming that’s not the case at all. Jeremy England is a physics professor at MIT who says that life coming into existence on Earth was rational, predictable, and really almost bound to happen….Jeremy, what has the accepted explanation of the origin of life been in the academy in recent decades?

England: [As to the question of ] how it all got started at the beginning…I wouldn’t say, uh, that we’re at all really even scratching the surface on that yet in my group at MIT.

It is very clear that England himself has made none of the wild hyped-up claims that are attributed to him in the press. As a physicist he is as clueless about how a strictly material process could bridge the gap between non-life and life as his scientific colleagues who are chemists and microbiologists.

The original Quanta Magazine article quoted England as saying the following: “You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant.”

Imagine if they had quoted him as saying: “You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be surprising that you get a smiley face with the slogan, ‘Let’s all be happy campers today.'”

The actual quote attributed is much more absurd and nonsensical than my hypothetical suggestion. The gap between a smiley face with a few words and a living plant in terms of their functional complexity and sophistication, is the roughly the gap between a paper airplane and an F-15 fighter bomber. Shining light on a clump of atoms will not get you a paper airplane either; much less a self-replicating, DNA-based bacterium.

I am willing to bet that England never said such a thing or if he did, it was taken wildly and irresponsibly out of context. Jeremy England is clearly much too intelligent, thoughtful, and careful to say something so ridiculous. So not only is God not on the ropes, he is doing quite well as he has been for eternity. This is not to suggest that those who espouse an atheistic approach to biology are the ones who are “on the ropes;” actually, they are lying flat on their backs on the mat, staring up at the sky trying to remember what day it is…as the referee counts them out.

Rabbi Moshe Averick is the author of  The Confused World of Modern Atheism (Mosaica Press, 2016available on Amazon and in fine bookstores. He was ordained as an Orthodox Rabbi in 1980 and has taught Judaic studies, spirituality, and Jewish theology for over three decades. He may be contacted at: RabbiMosheDavidAverick@gmail.com. If you would like to subscribe to his column, send an email to above address with the word “Subscribe” in the subject line.

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  • goodold_lucifer

    Supernaturalism is “smoke and mirrors” fantasy. Science, on the other hand, is facts and logic realism.

  • goodold_lucifer

    “[L]ife is way too functionally complex to have resulted from an unguided process.”

    That is a circularly nonsensical declaration. Basically, you are saying, “life is too guided to be unguided.” You have defined “functionally complex” as meaning “resulting from a guided process” (“… FUNCTIONALLY COMPLEX, that is to say, complexity that works towards a specific purpose,…“).

    You are simply begging the question: assuming a “guided process/specific purpose” in order to prove a “guided process/specific purpose.” That, of course, is perfectly illogical.

  • goodold_lucifer

    “The big bang is not about the origin of all matter but how the structure of the current universe developed.”

    The notion of “the current universe” is unclear. It is not as if there could be more than one universe, or different universes popping into and out of existence. There is no such thing as “the former universe” or “the new universe.”

    Perhaps you are trying to think in terms of an analogy, like the development of the structure of the city you currently live in. Or the development of the structure of Earth over the last four or five billion years. Or the development of the structure of the Milky Way. Or even the development of the current structure of matter.

    But while it makes sense to me that there was an origin for the Earth, it makes no sense to think in terms of the origin of the universe, i.e., the origin of matter and energy.

    Perhaps Singh doesn’t mean “the origin of the universe,” but rather “the origin of the limited set of known galaxies.”

    “A singularity is not creating something from nothing…. “

    At least I think we can agree on that much, as far as it goes.

  • goodold_lucifer

    I don’t buy any theory of spooky creation, i.e., the creation of the universe, whether propounded by established supernaturalists or established scientists.

    I have not read Singh’s book, but it declares itself to be about “The origin of the universe,” which is just plain nuts. It is impossible for the universe to have had an origin, because nothing comes from nothing.

    The notion of an origin of the universe from some magical realm apart from matter and energy, outside space and time, is fantastic, not sensible.

    • Christopher R Weiss

      You are confusing the great expansion with the “creation of matter.” Really, read the book so you can understand the difference. It is the same reason creationists reject evolution – they can’t get past the unknown of how life originated.

      • goodold_lucifer

        Googling Singh’s book gets this:

        Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe by Simon Singh — Reviews …
        http://www.goodreads.com › Science › Physics
        Rating: 4.1 – ‎11,872 votes
        In this amazingly comprehensible history of the universe, Simon Singh decodes the mystery behind the Big Bang theory,…

        So are you trying to say that the universe is not material — or that matter exists apart from the universe?

        On the face of it, Singh is the confused one. Matter cannot be created: the universe cannot have had an origin. You cannot get something from nothing. Not even a particle physicist can do it.

        Here on Earth, life did originate at some point, somehow. Matter, i.e., the universe, did not originate.

  • goodold_lucifer

    These moderation delays make conversation rather difficult. Maybe it is good practice for deep space travel …

    And then the Rabbi doesn’t pay much attention to differing ideas, anyhow. “God is OTHER” is such an easy evasive maneuver.

  • goodold_lucifer

    How much does one need to study to figure out that you can’t get something from nothing? That nothing happens miraculously? That life could not have been designed because designing is a function of rational life?

  • goodold_lucifer

    pending

  • goodold_lucifer

    “… the miraculous design and engineering that characterizes every single living creature on earth points as clearly to Divine creation …”

    As nothing.

    The notion of “miraculous design and engineering” is a contradiction. Either design and engineering are real — or they are not. To claim that you see miraculous (i.e., unreal) versions of them, is to claim that you are pointing to something that is not really there.

    “Divine creation” is a fantasy. Life was not designed and engineered — because only rational living beings are capable of design and engineering. You can’t have your cake, and eat it, too.

  • goodold_lucifer

    goodold_lucifer Christopher R Weiss 2 days ago …

    I don’t buy any theory of spooky creation. The notion of an origin of the universe from some magical realm apart from matter and energy, outside space and time, is fantastic, not sensible.

  • goodold_lucifer

    “Moshe David Averick goodold_lucifer • 9 days ago …. FUNCTIONALLY COMPLEX, that is to say, complexity that works towards a specific purpose, like any type of machinery…like…every living organism.”

    People are not machines. No living organism is a machine. There is a big difference between mechanical and biological. You are deliberately confusing them (as part of your on-going project of “The Confused and Illusory World of Theism”), and it really is a high order of nonsense.

    You like to project the confusion onto atheism, but you basically have it backwards. Theism is an extraordinarily wrong-headed view of the world. Atheism is the only realistic option in this regard.

    There is no evidence for God, so there is no sense in believing in God. You seem to take the fact that God is an impossible sort of Being — and twist that into precisely the reason for believing in Him! You like to say, “God is OTHER,” and He certainly is other than real and rationally believable.

  • goodold_lucifer

    “… a digital information processing system … operates in every … living organism.”

    Digital information processing systems were invented by living organisms, viz., humans, and they are not part of those organisms. Your are trying to treat a result as a cause.

  • goodold_lucifer

    By “Origin-of-Life Messiah,” you apparently mean to mischaracterize the scientist(s) who will eventually develop an explanation for the origin of life on Earth.

    Yes, what we are actually waiting for are the “Origin-of-Life Scientists.” Only scientists can solve the problem. Religion is hopeless in that regard; and any supernatural “Messiah” is a fantasy.

  • goodold_lucifer

    Living organisms do function, and they are in many ways complex. So they share those attributes to some degree with at least some machinery. But it is illogical to take that similarity and twist it into the assumption that since machinery is designed and created that, therefore, life itself was designed and created. (The “functionally complex” fallacy.)

    That “chain of reasoning” seems to be rather like this sophistic example: since “functionally complex” machines are made by people, they do not come from non-life — and therefore life, with all its functioning and complexity, could not have come from non-life either: somebody had to design and create it.

    But note well: the absurdity of that notion is plain to see. Believers in “Creation, by God!” observe living beings designing things — and blindly jump to the extraordinary, magical assumption that such designing could mysteriously (unnaturally and miraculously) have happened in the absence of any living beings.

  • Moshe David Averick

    The same goes for that silly cartoon on YouTube claiming that Jack Szostak has figured out how life began. Dr. Szostak is as clueless as the rest of scientists.

    • goodold_lucifer

      But not as clueless as those who believe in supernatural creation.

  • Moshe David Averick

    The fact that so many non-believers actually cite Wikipedia to back up their claims already tells you how difficult a position they are in. James Tour, George Whitesides, Robert Shapiro; some of the greatest chemists in the world admit they haven’t the slightest clue how life could come from non-life- do any of you actually think that if it was as simple as reading a Wikipedia article this would be the state of origin of life research? Do you actually think that if the answers were to be found in a Wikipedia article, Eugene Koonin, a world class microbiologist would write that the Origin of Life field is a failure (2011)? The answer is simple: The Wikipedia article is a piece of garbage propaganda piece written to distract people from the simple truth; namely that the claim that life can come from non-life is one of the most absurd propositions every put forth by a human being.

    • goodold_lucifer

      “… the claim that life can come from non-life is one of the most absurd propositions …”

      Life could not come from life, so it had to come from non-life. “Life originated from life” would be the absurd proposition, i.e., “there was life before there was life.”

      The origin of life necessarily had to be non-life — else there would have been no origin (but merely a continuation, or evolution).

      Remember that even if you claim “God Created Life,” then you are still claiming on your own terms that life came from non-life, since (as you have explained) God is OTHER than alive (and OTHER than real).

  • ricardo

    No one ever gave me any decent explanation how life started. Some weasel tried to tell me that life on Earth came from somewhere else … ok, that’s possible, but then … how did it started somewhere else? Don’t tell me elsewhere, must have started somewhere right? How was that?

    The Russians tried to bs me into believing that they could make some chemical soup, cook it at very high temperature and get electricity thru it and they can get a handful of organic compounds … good … how about life? oh they say you have to wait … and I got old waiting and no life whatsoever came out of those things. Oh, now they say I gotta keep doing that for a billion years … great … another procrastinator ….

    So what else do you got? Bible? Well, a bit controversial, highly unlikely, but at least they are not bsing me into some kind of pseudo-scientific juju … either you believe the stuff, or you don’t.

  • goodold_lucifer

    Think of anything you know that was actually designed. In every case, the designer was alive and conscious in order to accomplish the deed. No exceptions.

    Some designs are even complicated. But does that somehow mean that everything complicated was designed? Of course not. It would be utterly illogical to assume (or argue) that “complex means designed.”

    And the notion of abiogenic design (aka “design of the origin of life”) is super nonsense.

    • Moshe David Averick

      not “complex” lucifer, FUNCTIONALLY COMPLEX, that is to say, complexity that works towards a specific purpose, like any type of machinery…like a digital information processing system, like that one that operates in every living bacterium and every living organism.

      • goodold_lucifer

        “… FUNCTIONALLY COMPLEX,…”

        You seem to think of “life” as a kind of machinery — but you have no sound basis for making that assumption. At best you have an analogy.

        In real life we do observe people designing and creating machinery for specific purposes. Sometimes that machinery can be very complex — in order to help carry out the desired functionality.

        But notice that in real life we do not observe anyone designing and creating life.

        Clearly, living organisms do function, and they are complex. So they share those attributes to some degree with at least some machinery. But it is utterly illogical to take that similarity and twist it into the assumption that since machinery is designed and created that, therefore, life itself was designed and created.

        Your “chain of reasoning” seems to be rather like this fallacious example: since “functionally complex” machines are made by people, they do not come from non-life — and therefore life, with all its functioning and complexity, could not have come from non-life either: somebody had to design and create it.

        The absurdity of that notion is plain to see. You observe living beings designing things — and jump to the goofy assumption that such designing could mysteriously (magically and miraculously) happen in the absence of any living beings.

  • RonB51

    I am not a scientist of any degree, in fact I pretty much did my best to avoid science as best I could while in school. But as an old guy now, I find myself reading and studying both the Old Testament and New Testament routinely. So, I pretty much don’t have a clue about most of what is being discussed here, I do know from personal experience that God is the Creator of all life and we are responsible to Him for our use and contribution to it. I also think I am becoming a fan of Moshe David Averick.

  • Michael Venables

    That rabbi is so long-winded. It’s easier to agree with him and forget about it!

  • goodold_lucifer

    Comparing the building of the Brooklyn Bridge to the origin of life (or of Earth, the Solar system, or such) is a fallacious comparison. The Brooklyn Bridge was made by humans. Nature is not man-made.

    There is a serious confusion in claiming that since the Brooklyn Bridge was designed by somebody that, therefore, life as such had to be designed by Somebody. That is so illogical as to beggar the imagination.

  • Boo-hooray

    Fred Hoyle theorized that earthly life originated with aliens – to which the obvious response would be “So who created the aliens?” They tie themselves in pretzel shape in the effort to squeeze God out of the picture.

    • goodold_lucifer

      God gets “squeezed out of the picture” with the question “Who Created God?”!

      The notion of supernatural creation is a cognitive dead end. It explains exactly nothing. It literally means nothing in particular.

  • Haha. I’m no messiah. But consider the problem solved.

    l i f e f o r m dot n e t / archimedes/Cosmic_Evolution dot p d f

  • Haha. I’m no messiah. But consider the problem solved.

    http://lifeform.net/archimedes/Cosmic_Evolution.pdf

  • So your Theistic Theory is identified with a talking snake

    • Moshe David Averick

      Please forgive me but why would you pose such a foolish question? By the way do you believe that Dolphins “speak” with each other? We are not talking about the truth of Divine Revelation here, but the Creation of life. The subject of Revelation is for another time. Let’s deal with what is in front of us and then go to the next step. A question like yours simply muddies the waters and interferes with a serious pursuit of the truth. I once spoke to the Secular Student Society of Elmhurst College just outside Chicago about the origin of life; the first person in the question and answer session said the following: “Ok Rabbi, maybe life was created but that still doesn’t prove religion is true” My answer was that he is correct, what I presented demonstrates conclusively that life was Created but does not in way prove that this Creator spoke at Mt. Sinai, that is a totally separate issue.

      • goodold_lucifer

        “… what I presented demonstrates conclusively that life was Created …”

        Uh, no, it didn’t.

        You may have demonstrated that you believe that “life was Intelligently Created,”, but you have given zero evidence to support such a belief — and have given no explanation whatsoever for how it happened or how such a thing could even be possible.

      • Snakes do not have vocal cords , Dolphins do and also use nasal folds to make sounds

    • Al Anon

      The creation account in Genesis describes a serpent which spoke to Eve & induced her to eat fruit from the “tree of knowledge of good and bad”.

      He’s later identified at Revelation 12:9 as “the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth.”

      Nothing magical about it. It was simply a powerful spirit creature who used the serpent to mislead Eve by making it appear to talk, much like a ventriloquist can make a puppet appear to talk.

      • goodold_lucifer

        “Nothing magical about it. It was simply a powerful spirit creature …”

        So: nothing magical about it — except that it was fantastically magical, i.e., “a powerful spirit creature”!

        “… who is misleading the entire inhabited earth.”

        Sounds like Trump, Clinton, Obama, and The New York Times..

      • the book of Revelation is hardly a reliable source, This flat earth book has stars falling to the earth knocked out of the sky by a dragon

        • Al Anon

          You speak out of ignorance. No matter how hard you try you cannot disprove the Bible’s accuracy.

        • Al Anon

          Scoffers such as yourself have *never* been able to credibly refute the historical, archeological, and scientific accuracy of the Bible. Like parrots, they only repeat inaccurate assumptions they’ve heard elsewhere.

        • Al Anon

          Though not a science textbook, the Bible is highly accurate when it touches on scientific matters.

          A good example, which at the same time exposes your ignorant view of it as a ‘flat earth book’, is Isaiah 40:22. At a time when most people believed that the earth was flat, that verse spoke of “the circle [or, sphere] of the earth.”

          Another example: Over 3,000 years before the famous scientist Sir Isaac Newton explained that the planets are held in empty space by gravity, the Bible poetically stated that ‘the earth is hanging upon nothing.’ (Job 26:7)

          So the evidence shows that the Bible was not influenced by the erroneous, flat-earth view prevalent when it was written. It was accurate.

  • BRUCERUBIN

    something like Prions

  • Long winded, and laughable.

    • Moshe David Averick

      The only thing laughable is the notion that a bacterium could create itself. In fact, it’s beyond laughable.

      • goodold_lucifer

        No argument there. But how is that supposed to be relevant?

  • I’m no messiah, but I have some of the answers you are (not) looking for.

    lifeform dot net /archimedes/Cosmic_Evolution.pdf

  • I’m no messiah, but I have some of the answers you are (not) looking for.

    http//lifeform.net/archimedes/Cosmic_Evolution.pdf

  • Roger M Pearlman

    The Mantle of science is clearly with ID and YeC.
    All deep time dependent scientific hypotheses have been falsified, those who do not know that yet (most scientists including those who already hold by ID and YeC) are just ignorant of the leading edge science. so nothing to be ashamed about as long as admit I do not know and humbly seek to learn.

    • Brian Westley

      All deep time dependent scientific hypotheses have been falsified

      Citation needed.

  • Christopher R Weiss

    There is a very simple question and answer that completely discredit the argument of this article:

    Q: What is the origin of life?

    A: We don’t know…. yet.

    Having a definitive answer to this question is not the end of the religion vs. atheism debate. What we do know is that no story of creation has any support except for the standard fallacies:

    – Proof by wonderment: “Life is too awesome to be an accident!”
    – Proof by complexity: “Life is too complex to be unguided process!”
    – Proof by gaps: “No materialistic explanation for the origin of life exists, therefore, god!”

    • Karole Du Pont

      Actually studying the law given by God is the best approach to knowing God since God is so great that it is almost Impossible for the human mind to grasp all the truth in the universe at the same time ;otherwise we would not describe truth as one small truth always leads to a bigger one.

      • Christopher R Weiss

        What you have described is a logical fallacy.

        History itself betrays the laws of God, because values and practices have changed substantially over time even among the most devotedly religious. Review the old testament and the practices of today. Will you advocate the killing of those who work on the Sabbath?

        • Moshe David Averick

          It is way beyond the scope here to discuss Judaism in detail but – and I am in no way am being insulting, I can’t blame you because you are limited to a English translation of a text- your understanding of Jewish scripture and Jewish law is even less than simplistic. In my book I compare it to a pilot’s manual for an F-15 fighter bomber. The manual is not written for the lay person to pick up, read, and then attempt to fly an F-15. The manual assumes an extensive background of training, learning, and knowledge before opening the manual. The same is true with Jewish Scripture. Most people haven’t the slightest idea how Jews (remember it is our book, I can’t be responsible for how others choose to use it and understand it) approach the text of the Torah and how Jewish law, values, and a Jewish weltanschauung are formulated. It is a lifetime of training, usually starting at a young age, although not necessarily. But again I cannot blame you for your remark, there is no way I could expect you to understand these things.

          • goodold_lucifer

            “… a Jewish Weltanschauung …”

            I am curious about why you use that phrase. What is the difference in meaning from saying “a Jewish philosophy,” or “a Jewish religious outlook”?

          • Christopher R Weiss

            Exodus clearly says those who work on the Sabbath are to be put to death.

            I have read thousands of pages of nonsense of instilling meaning into the words of a collection of bronze and iron age stories. It amounts to reading chicken entrails. There are contradictions, shifts, mistranslated passages, misinterpretations, etc. How can you tell the difference between literal and interpretative truth when it seems most believers will shift between the two within the same passage?

            Sorry…. your arrogant, “You’re too dumb to understand,” just doesn’t fly. I started studying the bible as a Catholic school boy and I attended Catholic school until I entered college, having read Aquinas, Augustine, Aristotle, and Plato before I was out of high school. Some of my teachers were Jesuits. I majored in philosophy as an undergraduate along with deep study in the sciences. I have spent many hours contemplating the inconsistency of the books of the bible and the absurd conclusions so many people have drawn.

          • Nixak*77*

            The Rabbi said you don’t really understand the Bible from a Jewish / Hebrew perspective, & IMO you’ve just proved his point w this rant, by talking about Your [Roman] CATHOLIC upbringing & referring to a bunch of ancient GREEK or ROMAN Catholic Philosophers!!

            PS: It’s my understanding that Catholic lay-persons are NOT even encouraged to actually read the Bible itself, but I don’t know if that would apply to you too.

        • goodold_lucifer

          “… killing of those who work on the Sabbath”

          The Bible does contain such bits of “wisdom.” Fortunately, modern Western religious tradition tends to ignore those bits. Modern Western religion tends to be both fantastical and heretical.

          • Christopher R Weiss

            Exodus 35:1-3 Moses assembled the whole Israelite community and said to them, “These are the things the LORD has commanded you to do: For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death. Do not light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.”

          • goodold_lucifer

            There are churches that claim to follow the Bible, yet they do a lot of business on the Sabbath. Do they understand the heresy (or hypocrisy) involved?

      • Angela Martin

        Would you agree to the murder of Hebrews committed by Moses? If you agree, you’ve agreed to genocide. If you disagree, you’re morally superior to Moses and his god.

        • Al Anon

          The nation of Israel was well aware of the many laws embodied in the Mosaic law given through Moses, and collectively they agreed to follow those laws. (Exodus 19:8)

          Moses murdered no one. But he at times he did carry out the clear penalties for gross infringement of God’s law, which at times included executions.

          The penalties for gross violations of the Mosaic law are no different than penalties carried about by human governments today, for gross infringement of their laws.

    • Moshe David Averick

      Actually Christopher, life is way too functionally complex to have resulted from an unguided process. It is as absurd to propose life starting by itself as it is to propose that a LEGO set could assemble itself. This is why Origin of Life research has utterly failed; because the proposition itself is absurd. I would pose a simple question to you: Why should anyone believe that such a fantastic notion as an unguided origin of life is true? What evidence do you have that it is true? How do you respond to Dr. Pross’ declaration that natural forces create chaos and disorder, not functional order and functional complexity? In other words, your car falls apart without service, it does not improve.

      • Brian Westley

        Actually Christopher, life is way too functionally complex to have resulted from an unguided process.

        Evidence?

        It is as absurd to propose life starting by itself as it is to propose that a LEGO set could assemble itself.

        Atoms DO self-assemble — many different complex molecules have been detected in space.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_interstellar_and_circumstellar_molecules

        • Moshe David Averick

          Evidence? The evidence is that my theory predicts the utter failure of any attempt to discover a naturalistic origin of life because the proposition is as absurd as suggesting that natural forces could assemble a LEGO model of the Brooklyn Bridge. This prediction has been proven true over the past 160 years. The problem gets further from a solution as time goes on, not closer. The more that is learned about living cells the more daunting is the notion of a unguided origin of life. Wikipedia is not a serious source for understanding the
          current state of origin of life research. I’m not saying that to be insulting, it simply is the truth. The “complex” molecules you are talking about have no relevance as far as a path to a living cell. YOu need to read what the synthetic chemists themselves have to say on the subject. Wikipedia seriously misinforms people about what is really going on. No scientist in the world has even the slightest clue how life could begin.

          • Christopher R Weiss

            As we have already discussed, the chemistry and mechanisms involved in building the Brooklyn Bridge and the primitive building blocks of life are completely different.

            You should research the models for self-replicating molecules that are emerging.

          • Moshe David Averick

            I have researched them. All you have to do is read the strictly followed lab protocols to understand that what is going on has no relationship at all to what would happen in a pre-biotic swamp with no PhD’s in chemistry to ride herd to ensure the results.
            Again I quote Dr. Robert Shapiro: “The flaw is not in the chemistry, the flaw is in the logic” that is to say the comparison to what goes on in the laboratory of a world class chemist to what would happen on the ancient earth. The beauty of the Stanley Miller experiment is that he let nature take its course and you end up with what Sir Fred Hoyle calls “a tarry sludge with a few amino acids” that is as far as it goes.

          • Christopher R Weiss

            Appealing to Shapiro, who is clearly a disputed resource or other scientists who dispute evolution is called a fallacy. The particular fallacy is the false appeal to authority. Just because someone important disputes something doesn’t mean the criticism is true or valid. Shapiro is a radical advocate for epigenetics and refers to genetic self-programming of organisms in response to environmental changes. His claims have been soundly rejected as over-generalizations, and there are very simple counter-examples to his claims.

            I refer you to “Project Steve.” In this there are more scientists with the first name “Steve” that support evolution than all of the other scientists who dispute evolution.

          • goodold_lucifer

            “… my theory predicts the utter failure of any attempt to discover a naturalistic origin of life …”

            You are committing a fallacy by assuming that the question of the origin of life should be susceptible to a solution before anyone figures out just how complicated a problem it is. You have the causality mixed up. Science first needs to figure out the full extent of the problem before having any chance at explaining how it worked.

            It is called “a learning process.”

            Regardless of the lack of understanding of the natural processes in the origin of life, it is impossible that there could have been an intelligent designer of life. Intelligence is an attribute of certain living entities, so it could not have existed before life originated. So when faced with a choice between the impossibility of a Divine Creator and the mystery of abiogenesis, the only reasonable option is the necessarily 100% natural process of abiogenesis.

            The burden of proof about the origin of life is most definitely on science, since religion cannot possibly explain it by reference to supernatural forces. The explanation can only be reached by reference to 100% natural processes. There is no alternate possibility.

          • Brian Westley

            The evidence is that my theory predicts the utter failure of any attempt to discover a naturalistic origin of life because the proposition is as absurd as suggesting that natural forces could assemble a LEGO model of the Brooklyn Bridge.

            Do you have an actual scientific theory? A model that makes predictions and can be falsified?

            You shouldn’t mix scientific uses of the word “theory” with “theory” that apparently means your opinion.

          • goodold_lucifer

            “The problem gets further from a solution as time goes on, not closer. The more that is learned about living cells the more daunting is the notion of a unguided origin of life.”

            You have two big misconceptions there.

            For one thing, of course, the notion of “a guided origin of life” is a contradiction. If there is no life, there is nobody around to guide anything.

            For another thing, you are getting science backwards with your assertion that “the more we know, the further from a solution we are.” It is actually the other way around. Figuring a question out is accomplished precisely by learning more about the nature of the situation.

        • Nixak*77*

          Yeah but they ain’t found any real LIFE-Forms in space!

          IMO to try to compare the function of living organisms to the self-assembly of atoms or molecular crystals [IE: diamonds are carbon crystals], is just a BOGUS analogy!! Scientists know how to make artificial diamonds that rival ‘natural’ diamonds, & even how to fuse & split atoms to make different elemental substances. But according to top molecular chemist Dr James Tour, they have NOT got a real clue how to solve the OOL ‘problem’, using only inert, inorganic materials & random forces in nature alone!!

          • Christopher R Weiss

            Actually, that’s false that scientists have no clue on the OOL problem. It is likely that in a few decades scientists will have a model of self-replicating RNA and primitive proteins that will be a workable structure. It is not a question of if, but when.

          • Nixak*77*

            They’ve been claiming that for at-least the last 63 yrs since Urey-Miller!

            But hey ‘Keep the ‘Faith’ Baby’ & ‘Keep Hope Alive’! ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow…’

          • Christopher R Weiss

            In 63 years, many other advancements have been made. Urey-Miller was just the beginning. Please spend some time google on RNA models. This has not been a static area of research, but it has not gotten as much press.

            Creationists keep disputing different aspects of evolution, and data and/or experiments have shot these criticisms down over and over again. The last barrier is finding an actual model for the emergence of life.

          • Nixak*77*

            Darwinian MACRO-evolution has NOT been proven, it’s been asserted! In fact Haldane’s Dilemma FALSIFIES Darwinian Macro-evolution for most mammals in general & Human & primates in particular!
            – Even the Fossil-record actually works AGAINST Darwinian Macro-evolution, cause according to the late Stephen J.Gould its main features are ‘Sudden-Appearance & Stasis’- meaning there’s a DEARTH of necessary ‘transitional forms’ needed to confirm the Darwinian paradigm- as emphasized by the “Cambrian Explosion’s” fossil record.

            Re: the OOL ‘problem’, Not only has the idea that you can get life from inert, non-living / inorganic substance solely via random interactions of random forces in nature, NOT been proven- NO-One has a real clue how that could have really happened!!

          • Christopher R Weiss

            I am sorry, but you are simply parroting creationist’s web site content. Haldane’s dilemma is only discussed by creationists because his model is wrong. It made some oversimplifying assumptions about populations and the propagation of changes. These assumptions are false and destroy his model when invalidated.

            The Cambrian “explosion” occurred over 50M years. This is hardly an explosion in terms of rapidity. This is misused and misunderstood by creationists. It was a period of rapid evolution, and not justification for creationism. It also ignores the fact that biosphere has been in continual state of change over 4B years.

            Evolution was proved most strongly using modern genetics and observing living species. So good thing we don’t have to worry about gaps in the fossil record ruining the theory. The fallacy you are parroting is the fallacy of factual completeness. Consider astronomy. We know by comparing the age of the sun to other celestial bodies that it is a second or third generation star. It formed relatively late compared to the big bang or great expansion (pick your term). We also know a great deal about astrophysics in general – how stars form, exist, then die. However, we cannot identify what entities came before the sun and many facts in general are missing. Does this invalidate astrophysics? Of course not! A theory is not a fact generating engine – it is an explanatory model. Missing factual statements from evolution do not invalidate evolution – this is a misunderstanding of science by creationists.

            By definition, we are all transitional forms. What creationist’s mean is an animal in transition between “kinds.” If you would like to see current species that are clearly transitional between “kinds,” I will list a few:

            – Monotremes – egg laying mammals whose internal morphology is closer to reptiles or birds than they are to other mammals
            – East African Skinks – at least one species has developed live births using mammalian placental structures and no eggs.
            – Mud skippers – their up turned eyes, strong fore limbs, and abilities to breath air clearly tag them between fish and amphibians

            I can go to plants and other types of animals as well. Even structures like the eye exist on a sliding scale of complexity, destroying the notion that an eye is required to be “created whole.”

            Evolution is clearly true. The model Darwin proposed was only partially correct. I suggest you sit through a community college course on modern evolutionary biology to learn how Darwin’s ideas were corrected and expanded or replaced. He had no notion of genetics, molecular biology, etc. He had only a tiny fraction of the morphological data available today. He also did not recognize that some changes in species were nonselective, meaning they had no impact on fitness but happened anyway. Really…. I would suggest reading an actual science book.

            With respect to OOL, plausible models are being proposed. These are hypotheses that are not contradicted by facts. These are clues to what could be true, but not definitive statements.

          • Nixak*77*

            Well if Haldane’s Dilemma is wrong, since it’s rooted in the basic principles & ideas of population-genetics [which Haldane was a founding-father of, & which attempts to link Darwinian evolution to modern genetics, to form the ‘modern synthesis’], then Just SCRAP the WHOLE FIELD of POPULATION-GENETICS & Start Over from Scratch!!! Which Darwinists like you refuse to do even as you squeak & squeal- “Haldane was wrong about his ‘Dilemma’ “!!!
            – Your Quote: ‘Darwin’s ideas were corrected and expanded or replaced. He had no notion of genetics, molecular biology, etc.’ – Yeah and that’s just what Haldane’s et-al’s development of the field of population-genetics was meant to fix regarding this GLARING deficiency in Darwin’s Theory!! So all you Darwinists are just A-OK w Haldane & his field of population-genetics, till he applied it’s basic principles to get his ‘infamous’ ‘Dilemma’- then you-all declare Haldane was ‘All WRONG’- Humm…. Yet you all still use Haldane’s basic ideas re ‘Population-Genetics’ to fix the deficiencies in Darwin’s original Theory- Humm 2Xs… [cause nixing ‘population-genetics’ would also leave Darwinists w a BIG Dilemma]

            Furthermore the basic conclusions of Haldane’s Dilemma can be derived via routes independent of Haldane’s original work on his ‘Dilemma’:
            } The average number of Human DNA base-pair mutations per generation = 100 to 200 [note the Nature Mag article of Aug 27, 2009 – FYI: the human genome / DNA has 3.2 Billion base-pairs, w the difference between humans’ genome & chimps’ of at-least 30 million base-pairs]. Thus at that rate & assuming 3 human generations per 100 yrs- it would seem to take at-least 5 – 10 Million Yrs to mutate chimp DNA to human via random-mutations- EXCEPT….
            – The % of mutations in humans that’s beneficial = 1% -BUT- only 10% – 20% of that 1% is adaptive [Note from NIH: The impact of beneficial mutations in the process of adaptation depends on the mutation rate and population size [95]. In humans, the most non-synonymous mutations have been shown to be neutral (27% to 29% [33]) or mildly deleterious (30% to 42% [31,33]). In comparison with chimpanzees, just 10% to 20% of these fixations appear to be adaptive [33]. However, beneficial mutations that lead to fixation in recent time have been shown to be rare (1% [96]), so that adaptation from standing variation may be the most important mode of recent adaptation. – See @ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4381672/ ].
            – And also note the average number of generations to FIX a beneficial mutation in the human-population is 10- IE: said beneficial mutation needs to appear in humans over at-least 10 generations to become ‘fixed’.

            So 5 -10 *[10^6] * [10 / .01 = 1000] / [0.1 – 0.2] = 25 – 100 BILLION YRS = 2Xs to 7-8Xs the Estimated Age of the Universe!! Thus despite the hype to the contrary, Haldane’s Dilemma Still Stands!! [Note: None of the above sources I sourced is a so-called ‘Creationist’ web-site.]


            PS: Thanks for the quick biology lesson in rare, uniquely-odd creatures, but they would seem to have little direct real relevance to ‘Haldane’s Dilemma’ NOR the OOL ‘Problem’!
            – Your Quote: ‘Evolution is Clearly True’ – FYI: Few knowledgeable people dispute that MICRO-Evolution indeed occurs, the Big Dispute is re MACRO-Evolution via the Darwinian paradigm [= mindless purposeless random-selection ‘theory’]!

            PS-2: Recent best-estimates for the duration of the Cambrian Explosion is as ‘brief’ as 5 – 10 million yrs- which actually by definition NO-One really knows for sure. In-fact it may have been much shorter, but it would be almost impossible to say just how much shorter!
            – Your Quote: ‘The Cambrian “explosion” is misused and misunderstood by creationists…’ – FYI: Even Darwin himself understood the real challenge the Cambrian Explosion posed for his ‘theory’ due to a dearth of transitional forms, which is a ‘dilemma’ that persists to this very day- 157 yrs after Darwin first acknowledged his ‘Cambrian Dilemma’!!

          • goodold_lucifer

            “Creationists keep disputing … The last barrier …”

            No matter what knowledge is gained about life (evolution, origin, or whatever), the supernaturalists/”Creationists” will never accept or stop disputing the rational approach to dealing with the world. They are not looking for answers and understanding — they are simply fighting for faith (i.e., for believing what they feel like in defiance of facts).

            Their dispute is with reality, and you are never going to remove that barrier.

          • Moshe David Averick

            All of which will have been produced by the worlds greatest synthetic chemists built on research of literally hundreds of other researchers, using state of the art laboratory equipment following rigorously and meticulously followed lab protocols; in other words by intelligent design. Dr. Robert Shapiro already anticipated this years ago: “The media will probably announce it as the demonstration of a crucial step in the origin of life…The concept that the scientists are [actually illustrating] is one of Intelligent Design. No better term can be applied to a quest in which chemists..prepare a living system in the laboratory, using all the ingenuity and technical resources at their disposal.” As he dryly noted elsewhere; “Unfortunately neither chemists nor laboratories were available on the ancient earth to produce RNA”
            Watch James Tour’s lecture at Waterloo University on the Origin of LIfe where he explains in meticulous detail the arduous chemistry work that is necessay to produce these results. He talks about having to “chain graduate students to the lab tables” to accomplish this grunt work.

          • Christopher R Weiss

            Just because the work is hard doesn’t mean it is impossible or isn’t worth doing.

            Please find someone other than Shapiro. He has already been discredited for taking his epigenitc models too far. Please see my previous comment about the false appeal to authority.

      • ajc

        Thanks for the article and counterpoints to objections raised. I find the science of the hypothetical to be treated as absolute fact. So much belief stems from what was previously taught whether right or wrong. A flat world was another one.

      • Christopher R Weiss

        You are using false analogies. If you understood biology, life is self-assembling. A zygote turns into an embryo which usually results in a live organisms. No one is “doing the assembly.” Rather, the process is unguided and results in a very complex product.

        The comparison of a car or a lego set is wrong because it does not reflect the self-assembly we directly observe in life today.

        While scientists are one of the groups most likely to be atheistic, it is biologists who are the most likely among scientists. Once you understand the mechanisms behind life, it is hard to see the need for a creator.

        • Moshe David Averick

          Christopher, You are talking about already existing living cells with complex genetic systems that direct the synthesis of all the necessary molecular machinery to keep the cell alive. That is BIOLOGY, the study of (already) living things. We are talking about ORIGIN OF LIFE; ie. how do you go from a swampy sludge of inorganic chemicals to a fully functioning living bacterial cell with a DNA based digital information processing system that is necessary for life and self replication. I’m not sure if you actually understand that Biology/Evolution are fundamentally and conceptually separate from Origin of LIfe research where the essential scientific discipline is CHEMISTRY.

          • Christopher R Weiss

            Since I actually worked in a molecular genetics lab, I most certainly have a deeper understanding of biology and the chemistry behind it than you.

            My point remains, that chemical processes self-assemble for life. Cells can be frozen and return to full function once defrosted. All components build from simple mechanisms, including replicating proteins, etc.

            If you are willing to concede evolution, and focus just on origins, the discussion is different. As I have already said, the best answer we have is we don’t know how the first self-replicating molecules and structures formed. There are viable models, but nothing definitive since the evidence is billions of years obliterated.

            Absence of evidence for definitive processes for the origins of life in no way supports a supernatural explanation. “I don’t know” is not proof of any god.

          • goodold_lucifer

            “I’m not sure if you actually understand that Biology/Evolution are fundamentally and conceptually separate from Origin of LIfe research where the essential scientific discipline is CHEMISTRY.”

            Your postulation of biology being “fundamentally separate” from chemistry is not sensible or logical. In fact, biological processes involve a great deal of chemistry (to say the least).

            And your extraordinary postulation that life depends on a “digital information processing system” is also illogical and nonsensical. Information processing is something that only conscious beings (most notably humans) do — and they only do it because they are already alive.

        • Nixak*77*

          Once one understands the complexity of even the simplest micro-organisms, IMO it takes a lot of ‘faith’ to believe that happened via the chance actions of random forces in nature acting on inert-nonliving-inorganic substances alone. IMO it actually shows the creative actions of the Mind of the Creator!

          • Christopher R Weiss

            If you can point to a particular structure, and you can prove this only could have come from a supernatural Creator then you have your evidence. A faith based belief and proof by “wonderment” is not proof.

            Life occurs on a sliding scale. Some diseases such as mad cow and chronic wasting are based on prions. These are proteins that restructure other proteins in a process that is similar to replication. Are prions alive? Viruses consist of proteins and DNA/RNA. Are they alive? Scientists have constructed minimalist bacteria completely in a lab using stripped down DNA (473 genes). Is artificially constructed life “alive?”

            It is very likely that scientists will provide an RNA based model of self-replicating molecules that formed the basis of life. It is just a matter of time.

          • Nixak*77*

            Let’s take the human mind in general, & what we’re engaged in right now- human language [both spoken & written] in particular. Every strictly-materialistic attempt to explain it via Darwinian evolution has been an Utter FAILURE for the past 157 yrs! In fact I don’t think Darwin even tried to [seriously] deal w the development of human language via his theory of evolution [also Darwin had little if any knowledge of trait inheritance via genetics- it took JBS.Haldane & others to develop ‘population-genetics’ to try to tie Darwinism to genetics- but in the process Haldane came across his {in}Famous ‘Dilemma’].

            Heck Darwinists can NOT even really explain why humans are 2 legged- Nor why we, unlike our alleged Great-Ape ‘cousins’, are relatively hairless [aka so-called ‘Naked 2-Legged Walking-Talking Apes’]. All their so-called {non}’Explanations’ are lacking, & their attempt to explain the ‘evolution’ of human language by studying chimp grunts is IMO just out-right LAUGHABLE! [Famed MIT Linguist Noam Chomsky says it’s just a waste of time & resources]!

          • goodold_lucifer

            Every attempt to explain human life and human language via religious belief in a Supernatural Creator has been an empty failure, utterly devoid of cognitive content (i.e., a sound basis in reality).

            One significant difference between faith and science is that faith always fails to explain anything and everything, while science actually makes some real progress.

          • Nixak*77*

            Well OK ‘Ole’ Lucifer w your ‘Bad-Self’- Go play ‘Tarzan the Ape-Man’ / ‘King of the Jungle’ for several yrs, & then return & explain how human language could have possibly ‘evolved’ via Ape-Grunts!!

            I agree w Chomsky et-al- Studying ape-grunts as if that’s really going to give anyone a real clue re the development of Human Language- Is a DEAD-End that’s just plain FOOLISHNESS!!!

          • Nixak*77*

            IMO it’s quite ironic that currently Darwinists are hyping the development of drug-resistant disease-causing pathogens & even often deadly cancer(s) as ‘proof’ of Darwinian evolution!! Such so-called ‘evolution’ is a real THREAT to our [& even other higher life-forms’] continued existence & thus should be seen in a DEVOLUTIONARY Context, Not an Evolutionary one!! Plus even on their on terms, the development of drug resistant pathogens are examples of micro-evolution, NOT Darwinian MACRO-Evolution!!

          • Christopher R Weiss

            You are missing the point… mutation and selection are what drug-resistant pathogens demonstrate. They are showing in real time the fundamental mechanisms behind classical evolutionary biology. Just because the end result is harmful in no way diminishes the point being made.

            Look up the Lenski experiments on E. Coli. 12 genetically identical samples have been maintained for over 20 years under identical but separate conditions. The samples have diverged, and one is a now a new species.

            With respect to transition of kinds, which is what creationists attempt to refute, this is just argument from ignorance. There are living species today that clearly represent transitional forms:

            – Monotremes are egg laying mammals whose internal morphology is closer to reptiles than it is to other mammals.

            – At least on species of East African skinks now has a placental birth structure identical to mammals, and this species now does not even form eggs as part of the reproductive process. This mutation developed independently.

            – Mudskippers and similar species clearly represent transitional forms between fish and amphibians.

            I could list several more species that represent transitional forms between kinds. Since life itself is never truly static, we all represent transitional forms.

            Please don’t waste your time arguing about evolution. If you wish to discuss origins, I would recommend narrowing your comments to this topic for which we have no definitive answers.

          • goodold_lucifer

            “… it takes a lot of ‘faith’ to believe that [life] happened via the chance actions of random forces in nature acting on inert-nonliving-inorganic substances alone.”

            Yeah, that takes the same sort of faith as it does to believe in supernatural forces.

            Both “supernatural forces” and “random forces” are fantastic notions without any basis in reality.

            Life happened perfectly naturally. There was no “random,” “inert” process involved. Nature is neither random, nor inert.

        • Al Anon

          Yeah, right.

          Like a puzzle which puts itself together…

          A watch which builds itself from random watch parts…

          A simple computer program which builds itself from random keyboard characters…

          We could go on and on but you get the point…

          And you believe that such randomness resulted in the estimated millions of different species… Laughable!

          • goodold_lucifer

            “… such randomness …”

            That is what we could call a massive red herring, a disinformation fallacy meant to evade logical argumentation.

            Life was neither designed nor random. Both those notions are impossible in nature.

          • Al Anon

            “Life was neither designed nor random. Both those notions are impossible in nature.”

            You are contradicting yourself once again. You haven’t even grasped the basic definition of the process of evolution.

            Efforts to reason with you are obviously futile. You flat out refuse to acknowledge the evidence all around you. But you have that right as a free willed creature.

          • goodold_lucifer

            What in the world are you talking about?

            You may try to live your life randomly, but life isn’t really random. Natural selection isn’t random.

          • Al Anon

            Perfect examples which you refuse to see.

          • Christopher R Weiss

            You are demonstrating a fundamental misunderstanding of life processes – they are self-assembling. Gametes become zygotes. Zygotes become embryos. Embryos become babies. No one nor any external process builds this baby. It builds itself. This is why metaphors such as the computer that programs itself, the legos the fit together, etc., are completely broken.

            Not only this, but epigenetics does impact what genetic characteristics are expressed or at least how they are expressed, so living organisms will partially “re-assemble” in response to their environment.

            Life is a chemical engine. A complex choreography of processes that interact and run in parallel. However, these processes are not orchestrated by some outside entity. There is a reason why one of the highest rates of atheism is found among biologists. One you understand life processes, the need for a creator seems truly unnecessary.

            Life emerged from very simple self-replicating processes. What exactly were those processes are the open question. There was a time when all we had were single celled prokaryotic organisms. These then became eukaryotic cells. Eventually they became multi-cellular organisms, etc. Even the process of becoming a multi-cellular organism has been demonstrated in a lab with yeast.

            Many of the things you think are mysteries have been solved long ago.

          • goodold_lucifer

            “Once you understand life processes, the need for a creator seems truly unnecessary.”

            The “need for a supernatural creator” is always unnecessary (always has been and always will be). The supernatural is pure fantasy, regardless of how much you know or don’t know about anything.

            The notion of “A Supernatural Creator” is a cognitive dead end. It means nothing in particular, and could never explain anything at all. That does not change depending on any particular state of knowledge at any given time.

          • Al Anon

            Nope. They are perfectly clear and logical analogies that illustrate the issue quite well. If you simply refuse to accept it, that’s your problem.

          • Christopher R Weiss

            Well… I can only fix ignorance.

            Please review embryology. You can check out a book from the library. It will illustrate exactly why your analogies are broken.

          • Al Anon

            Fix Thyself, Thou Dedicated Kook-Aid Drinker

          • Al Anon

            Fix Thyself

          • Al Anon

            If you refuse to see the evidence all around you, you’re without hope.

            You’ll remain like the title of this article: Still awaiting for the origin-of-life-messiah.

          • goodold_lucifer

            “If you refuse to see the evidence all around you, you’re without hope.”

            It appears that you may not understand theism. It is basically because people have hope that God exists that they refuse to take seriously the evidence of nature all around them.

            On the other hand, if one is without hope for the supernatural, one can confidently take into account the evidence of the world that is all around us. Theists have to shy away from the evidence, but atheists put no such burden on themselves.

          • Christopher R Weiss

            Again, evolution is not about life origins. Evolutionary biology is an established and supported scientific theory – not a hypothesis. It explains how life changes over time in response to selective pressure. Modern evolutionary biology is a synthesis of what Darwin proposed, which has been corrected and extended to include genetics, etc., and notions such as neutrality in genetic drift, meaning change can occur without affecting fitness.

            Dismissing evolution because it cannot explain how life started is simply wrong.

          • Al Anon

            Dismissing creation because it does explain how life started is simply wrong.

          • goodold_lucifer

            Nature is not random, and it is absurd that you try to pretend that it is.

      • Moshe David Averick , never heard of the Miller Urey experiment?

        • Al Anon

          Yes. It demonstrated that organic compounds could be formed spontaneously by simulating the conditions of Earth’s early atmosphere.

          Two issues with that, however:

          1. Even if a basic building block of life could be generated spontaneously, that’s a far cry from spontaneous generation of even the most basic living thing. Even the simplest living cell is mind-bogglingly complex!

          2. The experiment could much better be used as an example of intelligent design, rather than spontaneous generation of life… It took Miller Urey’s intelligence to design the experiment.

        • mumzieistired

          Though Miller-Urey still appears in many high school biology textbooks, contemporary geoscientists believe that the early atmosphere was very different from that assumed by Miller when he performed his three experiments. (There’s a lot of inertia in the textbook world.)

          Also, the few amino acids that were formed have a “handedness” (molecular orientation) that is the opposite of what appears in living creatures.

          Miller’s work was interesting, though.

          • Some evidence suggests that Earth’s original atmosphere might have contained fewer of the reducing molecules than was thought at the time of the Miller–Urey experiment. There is abundant evidence of major volcanic eruptions 4 billion years ago, which would have released carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) into the atmosphere.[22] Experiments using these gases in addition to the ones in the original Miller–Urey experiment have produced more diverse molecules. The experiment created a mixture that was racemic (containing both L and D enantiomers) and experiments since have shown that “in the lab the two versions are equally likely to appear”;[23] however, in nature, L amino acids dominate. Later experiments have confirmed disproportionate amounts of L or D oriented enantiomers are possible

        • Nixak*77*

          Turns out the much hyped Urey-Miller of 63 yrs ago, used the WRONG atmospheric model, only produced a small handful of the 20 – 22 amino-acids used in biological organisms, made just as many right-handed as left-handed ones [biology just uses the left-handed type only], plus used a cold-trap to keep the amino-acids made by their modeled ‘lightning’ from instantly zapping them out of existence! In other words Urey Miller Did NOT model the ‘real-world’, but even if it did was FAR from actually solving the OOL problem!

          • Al Anon

            I agree…

            Flip a coin into the air. Will it land heads or tails? No human can unerringly predict. Flip the coin ten times. How often will it come up heads? Again, no human can foresee.

            But just suppose that you took time to flip the coin two million times. Then how often will it land heads? About one million. Yes, for reasons that cannot be fully explained by men, the coin, over the long haul, will land half the time heads up.

            Yet, of the 20 amino acids used in producing life’s proteins, ALL are left-handed!

            Certainly solid evidence that an intelligent designer was behind the creation of living things!

          • goodold_lucifer

            “The left-hand of God!” What a silly notion. Astoundingly illogical.

            “… an intelligent designer was behind the creation of living things!”

            Notice that the idea of a “non-living intelligent designer” is a self-contradiction (sort of like “brain-dead design”).

          • Repeats of the experiment using our best guesses still produce the same precursors for life

            Some evidence suggests that Earth’s original atmosphere might have contained fewer of the reducing molecules than was thought at the time of the Miller–Urey experiment. There is abundant evidence of major volcanic eruptions 4 billion years ago, which would have released carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) into the atmosphere.[22] Experiments using these gases in addition to the ones in the original Miller–Urey experiment have produced more diverse molecules. The experiment created a mixture that was racemic (containing both L and D enantiomers) and experiments since have shown that “in the lab the two versions are equally likely to appear”;[23] however, in nature, L amino acids dominate. Later experiments have confirmed disproportionate amounts of L or D oriented enantiomers are possible

        • Moshe David Averick

          Of course I’ve heard of it. I don’t know if you’re aware of this but in scientific circles, that is to say, among chemists and microbiologists who study origin of life, the Miller-Urey experiment is understood to be an interesting experiment that went nowhere. Chemist Gunter Wachtershauser called it a “dead end.” Dr. Robert Shapiro, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at NYU, among many others, pointed out that the most abundant product produced in the experiment was tar. A skilled chemists can pick out some amino acids from this sludge but as he put it: “A mixture of simple chemicals, even one enriched in a few amino acids, no more resembles a bacterium than a small pile of real and nonsense words, each written on an individual scrap of paper, resembles the complete works of Shakespeare.” Dr. Paul Davies, an expert in OOL research from ASU, put it this way regarding the “building blocks” of life produced in the experiment: “It’s a little bit like going for a walk in the countryside, coming across a pile of bricks and assuming that there will be a house around the corner. There is a big difference between a pile of bricks and a house.” You many think I’m trying to pull a fast one on you, but the significance of the Miller experiment has been wildly and irresponsibly exaggerated by the popular press and by atheist propagandists. The problem is that many well intentioned people get their information on this subject from Wikipedia, which is mainly a propaganda piece. YOu probably don’t believe me here, but once you start a seriousl investigation you will discover that I’m telling you the truth. In my book I deal with it quite thoroughly and everything is foot-noted. This is why the propagandists always talk about “the building blocks of life” because besides building blocks they have nothing. I’ll give you all the building blocks you want, try to assemble them into a structure without an intelligent creative force; it’s completely hopeless.

          • goodold_lucifer

            “I’ll give you all the building blocks you want, try to assemble them into a structure without an intelligent creative force; it’s completely hopeless.”

            Trying to argue for the supernatural leads you into some strange twists, like that one.

            You propose to give a person some material for a structure, yet you want to prove a point by telling him that he cannot build any structure without using his intelligence and creativity. Well, duh!

            And the point you wish to make by using this absurd proposal is the necessity of a Supernatural Creator as the source of everything. It is a wonder that you do not see the illogical of trying to argue that, since people cannot do intelligent things without using their intelligence, therefore nothing in nature happens without an unnatural intelligence.

            It just doesn’t compute.

          • Actually it want a long way to showing us how simple chemicals in the earth’s atmosphere can lead to so many organic compounds and precursors for life. These precursors are also present in Comets

      • goodold_lucifer

        “[L]ife is way too functionally complex to have resulted from an unguided process.”

        The complexity of life is irrelevant; you are using it as a red herring, or misdirection.

        Your notion of a non-living guide for the origin of life is rather bizarre. You seem to be conceding the necessity of abiogenesis, yet you keep trying to sneak in the notion of a supernatural Guide/Designer/Creator. You are trying to pretend that fantasy is some sort of actual knowledge (which, of course, is not possible).

        “Why should anyone believe that such a fantastic notion as an unguided origin of life is true?”

        Because it is the only logical and physical possibility.

        The notion of a “guided origin of life” means “there was life (viz., the guide) before there was life.” Unless, of course, you want to say the “guide” was some sort of non-living process — but isn’t that precisely what you are wishing to deny?

      • Angela Martin

        “Actually Christopher, life is way too functionally complex to have resulted from an unguided process.”

        Argument from ignorance and incredulity. Dismissed, as you don’t present evidence for your claim.

      • goodold_lucifer

        “[L]ife is way too functionally complex to have resulted from an unguided process.”

        That is a circularly nonsensical declaration. Basically, you are saying, “life is too guided to be unguided.” You have defined “functionally complex” as meaning “resulting from a guided process” (“… FUNCTIONALLY COMPLEX, that is to say, complexity that works towards a specific purpose,…“).

        You are simply begging the question: assuming a “guided process/specific purpose” in order to prove a “guided process/specific purpose.”

      • goodold_lucifer

        “[L]ife is way too functionally complex to have resulted from an unguided process.”

        In other words, your position boils down to the claim that “life is too guided to be unguided.”

        “Why should anyone believe that such a fantastic notion as an unguided origin of life is true?”

        Because that is the only realistic possibility. There is no sensible alternative to a natural process for the origin of life. A natural unguided process is necessarily the origin of life — since all guided processes are guided by conscious functioning. “Unconscious guidance” is a contradictory notion.

        “How do you respond to Dr. Pross’ declaration that natural forces create chaos and disorder,…”

        Baloney.

        “Chaos and disorder” is something people cause, and/or imagine. It doesn’t exist in nature apart from human action.

        (Think of a tornado. If it blows through a town, it knocks down what people put up, resulting in chaos and disorder. But any tornado that blew through where Kansas is now, but before there were any people anywhere around, did not disrupt anything.)

    • Nixak*77*

      Here’s what top molecular chemist James Tour [builder of nano-cars] says about the OOL Problem [which most Darwinists just take a ‘punt’ on, even though without OOL Darwinian evolution is a NON-Starter]:} NO-One really has a clue how even the simplest living, reproducing organism was formed from just inert, non-living, inorganic substances & random process & forces in nature alone. Dr Tour then said he could take all the top molecular & bio-chemists & biologists, put them in a lab together w everything they needed / wanted & even give them all the left-handed amino-acids, etc- & he said they still wouldn’t know where to begin re how to solve the OOL problem!!! {
      – Now IMO that would seem like an awfully BOLD assertion, but IMO Dr Tour should know! Dr Tour also says many of his fellow molecular & bio-chemists privately ADMIT this is so, but FEW if any of them are as up-front & out-spoken about it as he is- for fear they’d loose they positions in academia!!
      – Dr Tour also points out that when it comes to making long complex organic molecules & substances, quite often TIME [an often Hyped Darwinian ‘magic-wand’] is NOT your friend but rather often your enemy. Cause quite often when forming complex organic molecules & substances you’d have separate out their key constituents &/or combine them w needed enzymes & catalysts within just MINUTES, HOURS or at-most a few days, or else the stuff will begin to degrade & break-down into useless GUNK!! So if you’re on a minute &/or hour time-clock, waiting around for MILLIONS &/or BILLIONS of YRS for Darwinian evolution’s ‘random-selection’ to kick-in & try to sort it out- Is a Path to NO-WHERE!!!

      I read a bunch of hype about Dr J.England finally solving the OOL ‘problem’, but now this article shows it was all just that- HYPE!… Cause Dr England himself apparent NEVER quite made such a bold claim!!! But then Urey-Miller was supposed to be a HUGE LEAP toward solving the OOL ‘problem’ some 63 YRS ago-until it turned out Urey-Miller used the WRONG Atmospheric Model, only produced just a few of the 20 – 22 amino-acids used by biological organisms, & also made just as many right-handed amino-acids as left-handed ones [FYI: bio-organisms uses only the left-handed type]!!
      – Oh, And then there was the HYPE about BICEP2’s 2014 so-called ‘discovery of gravity-waves allegedly from the Big-Bang that supposedly proved cosmic ‘inflation’ & implied the existence of the ‘multiverse’ [which strict-materialist hype as their new ‘fad’ to skirt the Fine-Tuned Universe & OOL ‘problems’] -EXCEPT- It turned out it was nothing but ‘Smoke & Star-Dust on BICEP2’s Telescope’s Mirrors’- IE: It was just a ‘Dust-Bust’!!
      – Thus IMO it may even take MORE ‘Faith’ to continue to be a Darwinian Atheistic Strict-Materialist, than to be an actual ‘Person of Faith’!!

      • Christopher R Weiss

        You are still just making an argument of gaps. An absence of knowledge is proof of nothing except that we do not know.

        We do not know definitively how life started. The evidence is billions of years obliterated. At best we have hypothesis and models. However, we know the literal story of creation within Genesis is false.

        Science explains many many things. The computer you used to post your verbose response is based on physics that 150 years ago would have been considered magic. Our life spans have doubled in 120 years thanks to science. Dying from small things like dental infections is a thing of the past except for those in extreme poverty without access to healthcare.

        With respect to evolution, it most certainly explains how life changes over time. The theory is not based on how life originated – only how it changes. The Big Bang explains how the known universe expanded from a singularity. Like the origins of life, we do not know what initiated the Big Bang. Instead, we can only show that a great expansion did occur.

        If you are curious, I highly recommend the lay book by Singh called “The Big Bang.” It provides a history of astronomy leading up to confirmation of the Big Bang and moving it from hypothesis to full blown theory.

        I have worked in a molecular genetics lab. Mutation and selection are directly observable. Creation has never been observed…. ever.

        What we don’t have is testable reproducible evidence for anything religious. There are only holy books and faith, and neither of which can be used to dispute scientific evidence except by fiat and dogma.

        • Nixak*77*

          When Dr Tour made his presentation re the OOL ‘problem’, the first response / critique someone made was ‘Isn’t that just a God of the Gaps Argument.’ to which Dr Tour responded ‘I have NOT even mentioned God at all in this presentation…’ – which was indeed the case, Dr Tour deliberately left God out it, just to make a point of showing just how hard the OOL problem is despite all the HYPE about a solution being nigh at-hand.

          PS: Without OOL Darwinian evolution is a non-starter, which Darwinian macro-evolution has been FALSIFIED by Haldane’s Dilemma at-least re most mammals & especially re Humans & primates. Now you’ll probably claim that Haldane’s Dilemma’s ‘wrong’, but then why are folks like you still using Haldane’s concepts re population-genetics, when he applied those very same concepts re His ‘Dilemma??! If Haldane’s Dilemma’s ‘wrong’ then just scrap the whole field of population-genetics & start over- which would also be a BIG ‘Dilemma’ for Darwinism!!!

          Your Quote: ‘Absence of knowledge is proof of nothing except that we do not know. We do not know definitively how life started…’
          – Which is really one of Dr Tour’s main points- NO-One really knows, but far too many are giving the FALSE impression that they DO actually know, or are close to solving the OOL Problem- just as was seen in this article. One can accept ‘I don’t know’ as an honest answer, but when atheistic strict-materialists start conjuring up nether-worldly Multiverses, &/or hyping Urey-Miller &/or Dr England’s ideas as THEE answer(s) to the OOL ‘problem’, they’re being DISHONEST!!

        • Moshe David Averick

          I’m not quite sure of your point. Are you saying the jury is still out whether life can start by itself? Does that mean I have to believe it happened? Why is it that if someone suggested the LEGO set of the Brooklyn Bridge could assemble through nothing but natural forces (wind, rain, radiations, heat, etc.) you would assume they’d lost their sanity, yet you expect me to believe that a bacterial cell – that makes your Smartphone look like a plastic childs toy that came out of a cereal box – could assemble through nothing but natural forces? Just because science has had success in one area doesn’t mean it can magically explain everything. The proposition that life can start by itself is simply absurd. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence (like you demand for religious claims), there is not only zero evidence to support such an outrageous claim, but it flies in the face of all our observations about the natural world, common sense and intuition, mathematical probability and the laws of physics. For what possible reason would I believe such a thing? There are only two possible answers here; if a naturalistic origin of life is so astoundingly improbable the obvious answer of Creation is astoundingly probable, and in truth is self apparent if one does not have a prejudice against believing in God. Chandra Wickramasinghe put it this way: “From my earliest training as a scientist i was very strongly brainwashed to believe that science cannot be consistent with any kind of deliberated creation. That notion has had to be very painfully shed. I am quite uncomfortable in the situation, the state of mind I now find myself in. But there is no logical way out of it; it is just not possible that life could start by a chemical accident.”

          • goodold_lucifer

            The religious notion of “Creation, by God!” — aka an “Intelligent Designer of Life” — flies in the face of all our observations about the natural world, common sense and intuition, mathematical probability and the laws of physics. Why should anyone believe in it?

            Believing in God is like turning life and cognition upside down and inside out — giving up knowledge to replace it with faith.

          • goodold_lucifer

            “Just because science has had success in one area doesn’t mean it can magically explain everything.”

            Naturally not. Nothing can “magically explain everything.” Nothing can be explained by magic.

            “The proposition that life can start by itself is simply absurd.”

            True enough. So what?

            Nobody claims that “life can start by itself.” We are not dealing in straw men.

            “… if a naturalistic origin of life is so astoundingly improbable …”

            That’s a wild and crazy “if”.

            In fact, the naturalistic origin of life is not at all improbable, but rather perfectly certain and necessary.

            “… Creation is astoundingly probable, …”

            “Creation, by God!” is absolutely impossible — since it not natural. The supernatural is utterly fantastic.

            “… a prejudice against believing in God.”

            You have that backwards. It is believing in God that is a prejudice — something taken on faith in the absence rational judgment based on real-world experience. On the other hand, not believing in God cannot be a prejudice because there is nothing to pre-judge.

          • goodold_lucifer

            “Are you saying the jury is still out whether life can start by itself?”

            The jury is not out. There is not even a trial. The origin of life was 100% natural; there is no other possibility.

        • Moshe David Averick

          By the way it is worthwhile noting, that we are not talking about a “gap” A gap implies some tolerable opening that we anticipate will be filled in soon. The Origin of LIfe problem is like the wide open plains that run from OHIo to Colorado. If you don’t understand that not only has OOL research been a total failure over the past 160 years but it has moved backwards – because as more is learned about the fantastic complexity of the molecular machinery of the cell and its genetic system – the problem has become bigger not smaller; then you simply are unaware of what is going on in this field. Please don’t read Wikipedia if you want to find out; it is nothing but a propaganda piece. Listen to the researchers themselves. In my book I deal with this comprehensively.

          • goodold_lucifer

            “… not only has OOL research been a total failure over the past 160 years but it has moved backwards – because as more is learned about the fantastic complexity of the molecular machinery of the cell and its genetic system – the problem has become bigger not smaller;”

            You fail to understand that the problem has to get bigger before it can be solved. You cannot solve a problem if you don’t first find out how big it is.

            Have you heard of Fox Butterfield?

            In case you haven’t, I could explain:

            He is the NYT guy famous for the illogical claim that it is a paradox when “prison population increases, while crime is decreasing” (on the doctrine that most people are being put in prison arbitrarily and unnecessarily). The truth of the matter, of course, is that crime in decreasing because a lot of the criminals are in prison.

            You are committing a similar fallacy by assuming that the question of the origin of life should be susceptible to a solution before anyone figures out just how complicated a problem it is. You have the causality mixed up. Science first needs to figure out the full extent of the problem before having any chance at explaining how it worked.

          • Nixak*77*

            NO It’s You who’ve missed the REAL point!! Strict-materialistic biologists claimed 63 YRS Ago that they had all but solved the OOL problem w the much hyped [even in text-books to this day] Urey-Miler experiment! Then this yr they claimed again Dr England’s work had effectively solved the OOL Problem & had ‘Creationists’ ‘quivering in their boots’! And there have been several other claims, in between Urey-Miller & Dr England, about near at-hand materialistic solutions to the OOL ‘problem’.

            But the real-deal is Urey-Miller was an interesting but over-hyped FAILURE, & folks should have asked just why would one expect a theoretical PHYSICIST to even be working on, let alone solve the OOL problem- which would seemingly mainly involve Bio-Chem [along w biological information]??! So now it turns out Dr England NEVER himself over-hyped his work as a ‘final-solution’ to the OOL ‘Problem’, instead Others Did!!

        • goodold_lucifer

          No one has a clue how life originated. Some religious people would like us to believe that they somehow magically know how it happened — even though they do not have a clue about how to explain it. To say “God miraculously did it!” is just one way of saying “I don’t have a clue how it happened!”

          In fact, to attribute the origin of life to supernatural forces is to effectively declare, “I don’t have a clue how life actually originated — and I don’t care to ever find out!”

          • Al Anon

            To attribute the origin of life to evolution is to effectively declare, “I don’t have a clue how life actually originated — I can’t prove it, and I dismiss the possibility of a creator even if all the real evidence points in that direction!”

          • goodold_lucifer

            I don’t have a clue how life originated; it is a mystery to me.

            I dismiss the notion that somehow something supernatural could have miraculously done it. It is not simply that there is no real evidence pointing in that direction, it is that supernatural creation is literally impossible.

            Now you seem to believe that there is “real evidence” for God. But why do you say that, since such evidence is clearly absent?

          • Christopher R Weiss

            Actually to say no one has a clue is to ignore the models being tested, expanded, and hypothesized. Scientists have had viable models, but nothing that could go from hypothesis to theory.

            What scientists have ruled out is just as important as they are keeping under consideration.

            – Evidence for life goes back to prokaryotic single celled organisms.
            – Since scientists have been able to demonstrate in a lab high single celled organisms can be induced to form multi-cellular organisms (done with yeast), we know that the direct appearance of multi-cellular organisms outside of evolution is not necessary.
            – Some structures such as prions demonstrate very primitive replication just at the protein level without any genetic material.

            We have several clues for what we can exclude.

          • goodold_lucifer

            You are correct. There are clues.

            Saying “no one has a clue” is rhetorical hyperbole, and meant as shorthand for “nothing that could go from hypothesis to theory.”

            And we do know with absolute certainty that the processes involved were all 100% natural. There is no other possibility.

          • Nixak*77*

            FYI: ‘Inducing’ [via intelligent actors’ actions] single-celled organisms to form multi-celled organisms, is NOT really relevant to the OOL ‘Problem’- Duhh!!

            And No I have NOT missed the point at-all!! The issue re the OOL ‘Problem, is creating single cell organisms from SCRATCH, using only inert- inorganic-nonliving substances & compounds, & the UNGUIDED Mindless Purposeless random actions of random forces in nature alone -&- What you’ve just described just don’t qualify!!

          • Christopher R Weiss

            Actually, you missed the point….. again. The attacks on OOL have been key steps in development such as going from single cell to multi-celled organisms. The line regarding what is “impossible” through naturalistic means further and further back.

        • goodold_lucifer

          “The Big Bang” is an attempt at secularizing religious creation myths. It is still a myth.

          Whether the postulate is “Creation, by God!” or “Creation, by Singularity” — it is nonsense either way, since you cannot get something from nothing.

          The supernatural is not possible in any way, shape, or form — and that includes “the creation of the universe.”

          • Christopher R Weiss

            The Big Bang is not a myth. It is a scientific theory based on directly observable facts. The only question is what initiated the expansion from the singularity.

            I made there reference earlier in another comment. I suggest you read “The Big Bang” by Singh. It will give the history of astronomy and how the Big Bang went from from a collection of hypotheses to a theory with direct evidence.

          • goodold_lucifer

            The “Big Bang” as the origin of the universe is a myth (just like all the other creation myths). The universe could not have come from nothing.

            A “mathematical singularity” is simply a stand-in for “we-don’t-know.” Infinite density is not a real possibility; it is just another way of positing something supernatural.

          • Christopher R Weiss

            No… not true at all. See a black hole, which is a singularity. I don’t think you know what “singularity” means. Infinite density is misleading. Unknown is a better description, since all known matter in the singularity has collapsed. Some of the stranger descriptions around black holes are based on relativity, which has proven that space, time, and gravity are inseparable. See the special and general theories. When gravity skews to infinity, time ceases to pass as we understand it. This effect is measurable.

            http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2012/11/colossal-black-hole-equal-to-17-billion-suns-discovered-may-overturn-existing-models.html

            What started the big bang or great expansion is unknown. However, the universe does show clear evidence that it expanded from a singularity. This is not something supernatural in the least.

          • goodold_lucifer

            “When gravity skews to infinity,…”

            It never actually does that. Infinity is a mathematical potential, never an actuality. Every particular real thing is finite, period. Couldn’t be anything else.

          • Christopher R Weiss

            I said skews, meaning it become immeasurable. The gravity becomes so massive there is no way to measure it since once anything crosses the event horizon, including light, it becomes sucked into the black hole.

            Black holes are identifiable and indirectly observable, meaning matter can be observed winking out of space as it gets sucked in.

            I find it somewhat ironic that you flatly deny creationism and then argue about established science. These things are not hypotheses.

          • goodold_lucifer

            I don’t buy any theory of spooky creation, i.e., the creation of the universe, whether propounded by established supernaturalists or established scientists.

            I have not read Singh’s book, but it declares itself to be about “The origin of the universe,” which is just plain nuts. It is impossible for the universe to have had an origin, because nothing comes from nothing.

            The notion of an origin of the universe from some magical realm apart from matter and energy, outside space and time, is fantastic, not sensible.

          • goodold_lucifer

            “… sucked into the black hole.”

            Perchance there is fire and brimstone in there — and the theists are on to more than we realize. Someday somebody will have to test out whether atheists are more likely to get sucked in than theists.

            Or maybe God is peeking out, and it’s really paradise in there. So maybe theists are more likely to get sucked in.

            Spooky stuff.

            Establishment spookiness. Brings to mind Hanson’s recent article on the medieval comparison.

          • goodold_lucifer

            “However, the universe does show clear evidence that it expanded from a singularity.”

            No, that is not at all clear. It is rather fatuous speculation (and mathematical fantasizing). The evidence is equally lacking for both “Creation, by God!” and “Creation by Singularity.”

            The universe was not created out of an absence of matter and energy.

          • Christopher R Weiss

            You still don’t get it. The evidence of the great expansion is indisputable. It is not a hypothesis, but a set of facts and observations that prove the theory. The question is not whether it happened but how it happened. Read “The Big Bang” by Singh. It is the best lay book on the topic I have read.

          • goodold_lucifer

            Even if there was (or is) an “expansion” — and that appears doubtful — there could not possibly be anything to it as “the origin of the universe.” It is possible for existing things to expand — but it is not possible to get something from nothing.

            The universe was not created out of an absence of matter and energy. Not even miraculously!

    • goodold_lucifer

      Life was not an accident. It’s origin was unguided. And it was a perfectly material process all the way.

  • Brian Westley

    Meanwhile, religions just make up stories and pretend it’s real knowledge.

    • Moshe David Averick

      Brian, what you wrote is simply avoiding the problem. Because there are religions and ideologues of all stripes that make up stories does not mean that a bacterial cell can create itself. In fact a naturalistic unguided life is atheistic mythology.

      • Brian Westley

        Science has replaced bogus religious stories countless times throughout history, but the reverse never happens. Saying “magic man done it” explains everything, which means it really explains nothing.

        And even your statement “does not mean that a bacterial cell can create itself” is such a typical creationist distortion as to be dishonest. They don’t “create themselves” and no scientists says they did. Your entire article is yet another bizarre, error-filled rant against atheism.

        • Moshe David Averick

          Brian you are mistaken. For a very long time the scientific myth was the steady state theory, until science finally caught up with the concept of “in the beginning”. I am not distorting anything. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence; the claim that a bacterial cell could happen by itself through natural unguided forces is a very extraordinary claim, it goes against everything we observe around us in nature, it goes against common sense, it goes against mathematical probability, and it goes against the laws of physics. Not only do atheist scientists have no extraordinary evidence that such a thing occurred or COULD occur, there is no evidence at all to support such a proposition. The obvious. common sense intuitive conclusion of the unprejudiced observer is that life certainly looks like it was created by a super intelligent being. My point simply was that just because there are foolish claims made by religious people, does not change the fact that the atheist view on the origin of life seems to be equally as foolish.

          • goodold_lucifer

            ‘… until science finally caught up with the concept of “in the beginning”.’

            “Caught up” is a strange way to describe the regression of trying to replace scientific explanation by religious creation fantasy.

          • Brian Westley

            Again, you’re trying to force actual science to fit your religious views, which is ridiculous. Steady-state was one proposal among many — your framing it as “THE scientific myth” is intellectually dishonest.

            By all your past columns against atheism, you are clearly disturbed by our mere existence.

          • goodold_lucifer

            “The obvious. common sense intuitive conclusion of the unprejudiced observer is that life certainly looks like it was created by a super intelligent being.”

            Nonsense. That is like saying, “The obvious. common sense intuitive conclusion of the unprejudiced observer is that black is white, and that effects come before causes.”

            In reality, the possibility that any intelligent being (even a “super intelligent being”) could exist in the absence (or before the origin) of life is absolutely zero. There is literally no such possibility.

            You have never made a case for such a possibility. You like to assert it, but you have never adduced any actual case for it.

            You clearly have faith (and quotes), you simply have no facts, evidence, or logic.

      • goodold_lucifer

        A natural, unguided origin of life is the only possibility. There is no alternative.

        Calling it “atheistic mythology” is a really weak attempt at avoiding the truth. But as weak as it is, you do seem quite satisfied with it. Is that supposed to be persuasive?

      • goodold_lucifer

        “… make up stories does not mean that a bacterial cell can create itself.”

        Do you honestly wish to waste your time arguing against a straw man like that? How do you imagine that any scientist has come up with a theory that “a bacterial cell can create itself”?

        You make it seem like you are trying to argue both for magic and against magic at the same time (which is a complete waste of time). If you are postulating that the options are “Divine Creation” vs. “a cell creating itself”, then all you have is zero vs. zero (a big nothing all around).

    • Al Anon

      Meanwhile, atheists use made-up evidence to support the evolution theory.

  • “Atheists Still Waiting for the Origin-of-Life Messiah”

    No, we’re not. We just don’t feel the need to make up a ridiculous fantasy when we don’t know the answer to a question. Instead, we try to find the real answer. Unlike fantasy, finding the real truth takes time.

    • Al Anon

      Well, the idea that even an amazingly complex one-celled life form came to life by random chance, is quite a very ridiculous fantasy.

      If it were based on fact, you wouldn’t need to keep searching for real proof in support of the evolution theory.

      Yes, THEORY.

      • Brian Westley

        This shows you don’t know what “theory” means.

        • Al Anon

          it’s actually really easy to understand…

          noun the·o·ry ˈthē-ə-rē, ˈthir-ē
          an idea that is suggested or presented as possibly true but that is not known or proven to be true
          http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theory

          …as opposed to the definition of fact:

          fact
          noun
          a thing that is indisputably the case.

          • Moshe David Averick

            Let’s try to be respectful of one another.

          • Al Anon

            Fair enough.

          • Brian Westley

            You don’t know what “theory” means when used in science. Gravity is a theory. The germ theory of disease. Etc.

          • Al Anon

            I do know this: If it were a fact you could legitimately call it that. But it’s not a fact.

          • Al Anon

            If theory is fact, why call it theory at all and just call it fact?

            But regardless of how you define theory, evolution simply isn’t backed up by facts.

            It’s all smoke and mirrors, and you just haven’t yet recognized that *fact*.

        • Al Anon

          Obviously it’s over your head.

      • goodold_lucifer

        “Well, the idea that even an amazingly complex one-celled life form came to life by random chance, is quite a very ridiculous fantasy.”

        That much, at least, is true. The notion of “random chance” is a bogus bit of misdirection. The universe does not operate by “random chance.” It did not do so before humans got busy, and, though humans can be irrational and unpredictable, even we have not changed the way the universe operates. Basically, “random chance” is a fantasy.

        • Al Anon

          If you believe in evolution, you’re contradicting your own beliefs. Its whole foundation is based on random chance.

          • goodold_lucifer

            Not exactly …

      • goodold_lucifer

        “If it were based on fact, you wouldn’t need to keep searching for real proof …”

        In real life (as contrasted to religious fantasy), it is precisely the fact that the theory is based on fact that makes it necessary to seek real proof. It is religious-based (i.e., fantasy-based) ideas that do not need (indeed, cannot have) real proof. Fact-based ideas are totally compatible with real proof; they thrive on it.

        Facts and proof: they go together.

    • Moshe David Averick

      Are you prepared to consider the possibility that life was created and that the obvious answer to the question as to why Origin of LIfe research has been a total failure is because there is no materialistic answer? If not, you aren’t looking for the truth, but rather stubbornly hanging on to your agenda. As Nobel Prize winning biologist George Wald put it: There are only two possibilities for the Origin of LIfe, Divine Creation or spontaneous generation (even if if took place over a long time). There is no third possibility. Nobel Prize winner Christian DeDuve said that as long as there is no materialistic answer to the Origin of LIfe question, Divine Creation cannot objectively be ruled out. Why then do YOU call it a ridiculous fantasy? It happens to be at the very least a reasonable possibility.

      • goodold_lucifer

        “Are you prepared to consider the possibility that life was created and that the obvious answer to the question as to why Origin of LIfe research has been a total failure is because there is no materialistic answer?”

        Nuts.

        Life was created by a materialistic process. There is no other possibility. (An immaterial process wouldn’t have any actual effects. It wouldn’t even be an actual process …)

      • Angela Martin

        Moshe David Averick asked: “Are you prepared to consider the possibility that life was created and that the obvious answer to the question as to why Origin of LIfe research has been a total failure is because there is no materialistic answer?”

        Can you demonstrate where this is revealed in a holy text? Remember in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, G-d, God, and Allah are all creationists, not IDs.

      • goodold_lucifer

        ‘Nobel Prize winner Christian DeDuve said that as long as there is no materialistic answer to the Origin of LIfe question, Divine Creation cannot objectively be ruled out.’

        DeDuve is mistaken on this point. It is in fact objectively necessary to rule out “Divine Creation” as any sort of possible answer. Nothing “Divine,” i.e., other than natural, actually exists anywhere (no in any way, shape, or form). Calling on “Divine Creation” would be like trying to posit magic and miracles as explanatory or causal.

        ‘As Nobel Prize winning biologist George Wald put it: There are only two possibilities for the Origin of LIfe, Divine Creation or spontaneous generation (even if if took place over a long time). There is no third possibility.’

        In fact, there are not even two possibilities. There is only one possibility, viz., the origin of life was a 100% natural process. It was absolutely natural; nothing but natural; there is no alternative to the natural nature of life.

    • Nixak*77*

      Ridiculous Fantasy #1: That a mindless, aimless random-selection process, could realistically ever ‘create’ living complex organisms w hi levels of CSI [complex specified information]- ala the OOL problem.

      Ridiculous Fantasy #2: Some recognized the dilemma of Fantasy #1 re the OOL problem re the infinitesimal odds of that ever happening. So their ‘solution’- Increase the odds by conjuring up the pseudo-‘Science’ Fictional ‘multiverse’, which NO-One could ever prove actually exists.

      • goodold_lucifer

        “… ‘create’ living complex organisms w hi levels of CSI [complex specified information] …”

        You like to assume your conclusion — almost like begging the question!

        If you define life as consisting of “specified information,” then it might feel “logical” to claim that it could only have been created by the “Great Specifier In The Sky,” i.e., God.

        The illogic is ridiculously amazing.

        • Nixak*77*

          No what’s really ridiculous is trying to claim that the formation of atoms & simple inorganic molecular crystals is any way similar to building living reproducing biological organisms!!

          Scientists know how to both split & fuse atoms to make different elementary substances, & they also know how to make diamond crystals from raw carbon / graphite that rival natural diamonds, Yet 63 yrs after Urey-Miller & 157 yrs after Darwin’s ‘Theory’, they still do NOT really have a clue re the OOL Problem!!

          • goodold_lucifer

            “… what’s really ridiculous is trying to claim that the formation of atoms & simple inorganic molecular crystals is any way similar to building living reproducing biological organisms!!”

            If you mean “building” in the sense of “building a house,” then, yes it would be rather ridiculous to claim that is similar to the formation of atoms. The two processes are very different.

            But the origin of life is exactly like the formation of atoms in that both are 100% natural processes — not designed, not guided, not random or otherworldly.

          • Nixak*77*

            Uhm Lucifer… If the OOL problem were anything like forming atoms & inorganic molecular crystals [ala Diamonds], molecular bio-chemist & geneticists would have solved the OOL ‘problem’ well before NOW. Obviously it’s NOT like what you claim, cause obviously, despite much huff-&-bluff to the contrary, they do NOT have a real clue how to build even the simplest micro-organism from inert, inorganic, non-living substances- especially using random forces in nature alone!!!
            – FYI: Via the standard Darwinian paradigm, OOL supposedly ‘theoretically’ would have occurred via some unguided random process!!

          • goodold_lucifer

            All this religious “huff&bluff” about “random forces in nature” is an expression of pure blind faith. There are no “random forces in nature” — just as there is no God to control and override them. (You might as well believe in “black holes” and “infinite density.”)

          • Nixak*77*

            Uhm ‘Ole Lucifer’ Thou {non}’Light-Bringer’ [= extinguisher of light]… Should a lightning-bolt or meteor streak from the sky & strike you upside your head &/or a tornado [or said meteor] just suddenly appear & smash your house to smithereens & scatter the fragments to the ‘4 Winds’- Would you consider those ‘random forces In Nature’, or would they be non-random guided natural forces w a purpose?? And if so by whom or what would they be guided & for what purpose?? [especially if the lightning or meteor struck only you out of a crowd of folks &/or the tornado or meteor only struck your house out of several nearby homes]

            Note This question has nothing to do w whether Black Holes & infinite density actually exist or NOT!!

          • goodold_lucifer

            “… would they be non-random guided natural forces w a purpose??”

            You ignore the actual (non-fantasy) nature of things:

            Natural forces are non-random and non-guided. That’s what characterizes them as natural and forces as distinct from human actions which can be made-up and either purposeful or irrational/random — but not forces of nature.

    • goodold_lucifer

      Time — and a reasonable approach.

      Faith understands nothing. Religion explains nothing.

    • Al Anon

      You’re shutting your eyes to the evidence right in front of you.

      “None so blind as those that will not see.”

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