Intelligent Design Exposed

May 14, 2008

Robert Hazen: Origin of Life 101

Filed under: Origin of Life — idexposed @ 3:26 am

Robert Hazen is a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Geophysical Laboratory and Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth Science at George Mason University. Robert Hazen is also author of “Intelligent Design and the College Science Classroom: Should We “Teach the Controversy?”” Hazen, R. M. Intelligent design and the college classroom: Should we “teach the controversy”? Astrobiology 6, 106. (2006)

On the other hand, every student can benefit from an examination of the epistemological arguments that underlie this case. The fundamental distinction between science and religion as ways of knowing was central to the Dover case, and can serve to develop the critical thinking skills of all students. Of special relevance is the exploration of “gaps” in our scientific understanding. ID proponents point to these gaps (leaps of “irreducible complexity”) in their invocation of a designer. Scientists, on the other hand, see such gaps as opportunities for further research and exploration, especially in instances of “emergent complexity,” such as the origin of life.

05-14-2008: Note: During my final editing I switched from to an earlier version of the article and lost many edits. I have attempted to restore the article to its original state.

  • “ID and the College Classroom: Should we ‘teach the controversy’?”. Presented several times during 2006-2007 as the Dover, Pennsylvania intelligent design trial evoked much debate. [PPT]
  • Achieving Scientific Literacy: A Catechism for Science Education Reform”. This is my basic lecture on how to design science courses for undergraduates who are not science majors. [PPT]

There are many excellent resources available online and I recently ran across a conference organized by John C. Avise and Francisco J. Ayala called In the Light of Evolution I: Adaptation and Complex Design

In the presentation that caught my initial interest, Hazen explains the various steps necessary for the origin of life and defines complexity and shows how complexity can increase. I have combined notes on his lecture with additional papers and presentations by Hazen, in order to outline that which many creationists insist, does not exist: a scientific explanation of the origins of life.

I predict that ID creationists will be quick to argue that these are just so stories, and yet, these are stories which present testable hypotheses. And thus I invited ID creationists to present the best explanation as to how ID explains these data?

Seems fair enough.

Supporting slides can be found here. In the presentation he explains the various steps necessary for the origin of life and defines complexity and shows how complexity can increase. The talk has two objectives

  1. Describe life’s origins in terms of a sequence of emergent processes
  2. Propose a predictive, quantitative model of complex systems

Three reasonable assumptions are made about the origin of life

  1. First life forms were carbon based
  2. Life’s origin was a chemical process relying on water, air and rock (raw materials)
  3. The origin of life required a sequence of emergent chemical steps of increasing complexity

From the simplicity of a geochemical world to the complexity of a biochemical world

Emergence

Emergent phenomena arise from the interactions among numerous agents. Their collective behavior is much greater than that of the individual particles. Examples include sand dunes, galaxies (spirals), ant colonies.

Sand dunes and spiral galaxies: Natural emergent phenomena

And for example the slime mold, Dictyostelium which basic response to local chemical gradients results in complexity. Similarly, many individual neurons collectively form consciousness. Emergence happens at all scales: molecules, cells, organisms.

Origin of life in 4 steps

Experimentally the origin of life is a tough problem so break it down

  1. Emergence of biomolecules
  2. Emergence of organized molecular systems
  3. Emergence of self-replicating molecular systems
  4. Emergence of natural selection

Emergence of biomolecules

The first step is pretty easy: use simple molecules to build larger molecules. Start with water (H2O), CO2, volcanic gases… The Miller Urey experiment showed how simple processes can create molecules found in life such as amino-acids, sugars, lipids, nucleic acid bases. There are many ways to make simple organic molecules. Examples in nature include the  “dense molecular clouds”. These clouds are studied in NASA chambers with temperatures as low as 10K while UV radiation is added. The resulting chemicals eventually rain down on early earth. Other examples include black smokers, and the deep mantle. So how do we study the processes that take place in black smokers?

Relevant PT articles

  • Primordial Soup’s On: Scientists Repeat Evolution’s Most Famous Experiment

    Bada discovered that the reactions were producing chemicals called nitrites, which destroy amino acids as quickly as they form. They were also turning the water acidic—which prevents amino acids from forming. Yet primitive Earth would have contained iron and carbonate minerals that neutralized nitrites and acids. So Bada added chemicals to the experiment to duplicate these functions. When he reran it, he still got the same watery liquid as Miller did in 1983, but this time it was chock-full of amino acids. Bada presented his results this week at the American Chemical Society annual meeting in Chicago.

Hazen Powerpoint Lectures:

  • What factors promote the emergence of biocomplexity”. This lecture was delivered at the first Kavli Futures Workshop (“From Nano to Bio”) in Ilulliset, Greenland (June 2007). [PPT]
  • “From Geo to Bio: The emergence of biochemical complexity”. This lecture was delivered as the NSF Biosciences Distinguished Lectureship presentation in June, 2007. [PPT]
  • “Genesis: The scientific quest for life’s origins”. This lecture, based on my book of the same name, is aimed at a general audience and has been presented at many universities and public lecture series. [PPT]

Relevant Articles:

  • H. James Cleaves, John H. Chalmers, Antonio Lazcano, Stanley L. Miller and Jeffrey L. BadaA Reassessment of Prebiotic Organic Synthesis in Neutral Planetary Atmospheres, Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, Volume 38, Number 2, pp. 105-115 April, 2008

Abstract The action of an electric discharge on reduced gas mixtures such as H2O, CH4 and NH3 (or N2) results in the production of several biologically important organic compounds including amino acids. However, it is now generally held that the early Earth’s atmosphere was likely not reducing, but was dominated by N2 and CO2. The synthesis of organic compounds by the action of electric discharges on neutral gas mixtures has been shown to be much less efficient. We show here that contrary to previous reports, significant amounts of amino acids are produced from neutral gas mixtures. The low yields previously reported appear to be the outcome of oxidation of the organic compounds during hydrolytic workup by nitrite and nitrate produced in the reactions. The yield of amino acids is greatly increased when oxidation inhibitors, such as ferrous iron, are added prior to hydrolysis. Organic synthesis from neutral atmospheres may have depended on the oceanic availability of oxidation inhibitors as well as on the nature of the primitive atmosphere itself. The results reported here suggest that endogenous synthesis from neutral atmospheres may be more important than previously thought.

  • Brandes, J.A., R.M. Hazen, H.S. Yoder, Jr., and G.D. Cody (2000) “Early pre- and post-biotic synthesis of alanine: an alternative to the Strecker synthesis.” In Perspectives in Amino Acid and Protein Geochemistry. (G.A. Goodfriend, M.J. Collins, M.L. Fogel, S.A. Macko, and J.F. Wehmiller, eds.). Oxford University Press, NY. pp. 41-59
  • Cody, G.D., R.M. Hazen, J.A. Brandes, H.J. Morowitz, H.S. Yoder, Jr. (2001) “Geochemical roots of autotrophic carbon fixation: Hydrothermal experiments in the system citric acid, H2O-(±FeS)-(±NiS).” Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 65, 3557-3576.
  • Hazen, R.M. (2001) “Life’s rocky start.” Scientific American, 284, #4, 76-85.

Take gold tube reactors, seal ingredients. Add high pressure and temperature and analyze. Especially Carbon Carbon bonds: Small molecules become larger molecules through the addition of CH2 groups (Fisher- Tropsch (FT) synthesis). So let’s take CO2, H2 and H20, iron metal catalyst, 300C, 500 atm, 24 hrs.

FT Synthesis

Relevant Publications Hazen Publications

The results showed an ‘explosion’ of molecules, not just chain molecules but also other products.

A similar process called Hydroformylation (add CO groups) is used to form carboxilic acid (important formetabolism). Now study FT and hydroformylation as function of minerals added. With cobalt and Nickel CO groups arise, FT synthesis happens almost everywhere. An “explosion” of molecules are generated in these vents.

Self assembling amphiphiles

When amphiphiles are exposed to water, they are ‘forced’ to form vesicles. So the question is: How to form such amphiphiles, since they self assemble into bilayer vesicles.

Hazen Powerpoint Lectures:

  • “Hydrothermal production of amphiphilic molecules from pyruvate.” Presented at the American Chemical Society Spring Meeting (San Diego, April, 2001). [PPT]

Relevant Articles:

Hazen, R.M. and D. Deamer (2006) “Hydrothermal reactions of pyruvic acid: synthesis, selection, and self-assembly of amphiphilic molecules.” Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere 37, 143-152.

Abstract Selection and self-assembly of organic compounds in aqueous phases must have
been a primary process leading to emergent molecular complexity and ultimately to the origin of
life. Facile reactions of pyruvic acid under hydrothermal conditions produce a complex mixture
of larger organic molecules, some of which are amphiphiles that readily self-assemble into cell-
sized vesicular structures. Chemical characterization of major components of this mixture
reveals similarities to the suite of organic compounds present in the Murchison carbonaceous
chondrite, some of whose molecules also self-assemble into membranous vesicles. Physical
properties of the products are thus relevant to understanding the prebiotic emergence of
molecular complexity. These results suggest that a robust family of prebiotic reaction pathways
produces similar products over a range of geochemical and astrochemical environments.

Hydrothermal Production of Amphiphilic molecules form pyruvate

Another experiment, this time with pyruvic acid at conditions mimicking hydrothermal environments.

Amphiphiles form which form vesicles

Conclusions

Similarities between our experimental products and Murchison meteorite organics suggest a similar robust polymerization chemistry.

Chirality

Chirality is important but what is chirality? Molecules have a ‘mirror’ image which cannot be formed through rotation of the molecule. These are truly different forms, just like a right and left hand. When amino acids are formed, they typically occur in equal quantities of left and right handed forms and yet life as we know it is almost exclusively left handed.

Relevant PT Articles

  • Chirality of life: Another false positive?
    • Chirality, the molecular version of right- and left-handedness, has intrigued chemists ever since Pasteur found mirror-image tartaric acid crystals. The synthesis of molecules in a single chiral form is usually achieved by using a chiral entity from the outset. But in some reactions the formation of a chiral product seems to be further amplified. Most current explanations implicate autocatalysis as the source of this asymmetry. An alternative mechanism is demonstrated this week. This new approach generates a strong bias towards one chiral form from a small initial imbalance, based on the equilibrium solid–liquid phase behaviour of amino acids. As this takes place in aqueous solution, the process might explain how a prebiotic world, with left- and right-handed molecules present in equal numbers, could turn into a living world where biomolecules favour one chiral form
  • The Left Hand of Darwin
    • One long-standing question in understanding the origin of life is the so-called “chirality problem”. While this is an unresolved question in our understanding of the origin of life, it is used by anti-evolutionists to beat evolutionary theory over the head. As we never tire of telling folk, the origin and subsequent evolution if life are two distinct issues.

Hazen Powerpoints:

  • “Right and Left: Mineral surfaces and the origin of biochemical homochirality”. Explores possible roles of chiral mineral surfaces in the selection and concentration of chiral amino acids and sugars. I’ve given this lecture many times during 2006-2007. [PPT]
  • “A combinatoric approach to the study of mineral-molecule interactions”. This lecture was delivered at the “Frontiers of Mineralogy” meeting in Cambridge England (June 2007) at a session I organized with Dimitri Sverjensky. [PPT]

Relevant Articles:

  • Hazen, R.M. and D.S. Sholl (2003b) “Origins of biomolecular homochirality: selective molecular adsorption on crystalline surfaces.” Astrobiology 2, 598-599.
  • Downs, R.T. and R.M. Hazen (2004) “Chiral indices of crystalline surfaces as a measure of enantioselective potential.” Journal of Molecular Catalysis 216, 273-285.
  • Hazen, R.M. (2004) “Chiral crystal faces of common rock-forming minerals.” In G. Palyi, C. Zucchi and L Cagglioti, Eds. Progress in Biological Chirality. New York: Elsevier, Chapter 11, pp.137-151.
  • Hazen, R.M. (2005) Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life’s Origin. Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press, 339 p.
  • Hazen, R.M. (2005) “Genesis: Rocks, minerals and the geochemical origin of life.” Elements 1, #3 (June, 2005), 135-137.
  • Hazen, R.M., T.R. Filley and G.A. Goodfriend (2001) “Selective adsorption of L- and D-amino acids on calcite: implications for biochemical homochirality.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (US), 98: 5487-5490.
  • Asthagiri, A. and R.M. Hazen (2006) “An ab initio study of adsorption of alanine on the chiral calcite (2131) surface.” Molecular Simulation 33, 343-351
  • Asthagiri, A, and R. M. Hazen (2008) An ab initio study of adsorption of aspartic acid on the chiral calcite (2131) surface. In preparation.

Chirality is important for life and medicine. Chiral impurities in Thalidomide which was used by pregnant women caused birth defects.

So how do we go from a racemic mixture to a homochiral mixture? There are a variety of proposals and Hazen prefers minerals to explain symmetry breaking. Minerals have facets and different facets bind to either left or right-handed molecules

Hazen’s proposal

  1. Examine the occurrence of chiral mineral surfaces in nature (Hazen 2004; Downs & Hazen 2004).
  2. Demonstrate chiral selectivity by mineral surfaces (Hazen et al. 2001; Castro-Puyana et al. 2007).
  3. Deduce mineral-molecule interactions (Asthagiri & Hazen 2006; 2007).
  4. Propose a general experimental research strategy (Hazen, Steele et al. 2005; Hazen 2006).

His work concludes that

  • Chiral mineral surfaces are common.
  • In oxides and silicates, larger chiral indices are often associated with the presence of both terminal cations and anions.
  • Relatively large chiral indices are often associated with stepped and kinked surfaces.
  • Calcite (214) crystal surfaces select D- and L-aspartic acid.
  • They  did not observe selective adsorption of glutamic acid or alanine on calcite.
  • Maximum selective adsorption occurs on terraced crystal faces. This fact suggests that chiral selection may occur along linear features.
  • The alignment of chiral amino acids on calcite may lead to homochiral polymerization.

A combinatoric problem

How do we evaluate interactions among the numerous possible mineral-molecule pairs? We need a combinatoric approach. Automation using microarrays.

Conclusions

Many mineral surfaces have the potential for chiral selection of plausible prebiotic molecules.
Chirality problem – Calcite (lime stone, coral reefs) has wonderful chiral surfaces allowing left and right handed molecules to be separated.

Self replication and natural selection

Self replicating groups of molecules Kauffman or networks of molecules becomes self perpetuating (Kauffman, Packard 1986) or  Morowitz’s TCA cycle (citric acid). DNA world was likely preceeded by an RNA world: first self replicating molecule was a genetic polymer (and catalyst). RNA  construction in prebiotic world is however implausible and requires a preceding stage (PAH world, Lipid world)

Emergence of natural selection

Self replicating system, add mutations, add competition, and selection follows. Transition from non-living to living systems.

Szostak lab. Start with random sequences of RNA, in vitro process, remove non-binding strands, collect bound RNA, PCR amplify with errors, transcribe DNA to new RNA, repeat. Strands evolve to become well adapted. RNA Aptamer work.

Complexity defined

Need for quantitative models of complex systems Universal metric: Complexity is hard to define, depends on context. Complexity at many different scales and dimensionalities. Key to defining complexity is not structure but function. Szostak: Functional information: I as the fraction of configurations of a system [F(E)] that achives a specific degree of function (E)

I(E) = -log(2) [(F(E)]

Multiple functions means multiple values for I depending on functions Apply metric: How to test this? Lots of sequences and define the degree of function of those sequences. Use Avida (artificial life). Random Avido genomes from the set of 26 instructions. A small fraction will have one or more logic functions.

How to increase Complexity

  1. Increase the number of interacting agents.
  2. Increase the diversity of interacting agents.
  3. Increase selective pressures by environmental cycling

Relevant Articles

  • Hazen, R.M., P.L. Griffin, J.M. Carothers and J.W.Szostak (2007) Functional information and the emergence of biocomplexity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 104, 8574-8581.
  • Hazen, R. M. (2007) The emergence of chemical complexity: An Introduction. In L. Zaikowski and J. M. Friedrich [editors], Chemical Evolution I: Chemical Change across Space and Time. American Chemical Society Symposium, pp.2-14.

Quantify complexity using Avida. Use the following ‘phenotypes': Addition, subtraction, NOT, NAND, ORN, OR, ANDN, NOR, XOR and EQU How many of one task exist ? How many of any task? How many different tasks?

Using 300 command Avida genomes and 10^7 trials, NAND function appears in 1 out of every 1000 genomes. We see gaps, gaps in the same spots. Sometimes random outliers. When we use different length genomes, we observe different gaps and outliers. Why do these gaps exist? Is there a Universal characteristics?

Distribution of the not/and (NAND) function in 300-line Avida genomes in a randomly generated sample of 107 genomes. The degree of function, E, is the number of times NAND is executed by the genome, whereas functional information, I (in bits), is -log2 of the fraction of all sequences that achieves at least that degree of function, F(E). Note the discontinuities, which are a recurrent feature in these experiments.

LEFT The frequency of the ADD function in 100-, 200-, 300-, and 500-line linear Avida genomes in randomly generated samples of 106 genomes. Degree of function, E, is the number of times the ADD function is executed by the genome, whereas functional information, I (in bits), is –log2 of the fraction of all sequences that achieves at least that degree of function, F(E). Note that maximum E increases with genome length.

RIGHT Schematic representation of four discrete functional classes, or “islands,” of solutions that display function. The vertical axis is degree of function, E, whereas the horizontal plane represents a two-dimensional projection in sequence space. The number of sequences with degree of function ≥E corresponds to the area intersected by the horizontal plane at that height along the E axis. Increasing E above the heights of the flat-topped islands A and B will result in discontinuities in the function E versus I, as illustrated in Figs. 1 and 2. Island C is a cone-shaped distribution, and island D represents a discrete solution of the type that might not be discovered in random sampling experiments.

Observation: Sand dunes form at a critical density. Galaxies spiral arms at critical density. Swarm raiding ants require a critical number before they start their raids. Many reactions such as  vesicle formation, condensation reactions all have critical number. The Concentration of agents is important.

Example for Avida

Start with highly functional genome 73 subtractions. Test every point mutation. Impact on functionality. 93% are neutral, tiny fraction lead to higher functionality, larger fraction detrimental.

Proposal

Optimize experiments in origins of life. This means that molecular concentrations are essential. And ‘messy’ experiments may promote emergence (more interacting players) Design experiments that mimic environmental cycles since such cycling environmental conditions (wet/dry, free/thaw, etc)  lead to complexity.

Explore more resources, courtesy of Robert Hazen

About these ads

72 Comments »

  1. In the Light of Evolution I: Adaptation and Complex Design…

    Robert Hazen is a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington 19s Geophysical Laboratory and Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth Science at George Mason University. Robert Hazen is also author of 1CIntelligent Design and the College …

    Trackback by The Panda's Thumb — May 14, 2008 @ 3:29 am | Reply

  2. If you are going along the road and see a trailor without a wheel and a stack of bricks off to the side of the road, you can argue all you wish with as many people as you wish as to whether the bricks which obviously fell off the trailer were stacked by the trailer operator or by chance events. I personally haven’t been in the bush so long, that I need to argue about it.

    If you go on farther and drive through an automatic gate, which opens and then shuts, carry on the argument, by all means. I still haven’t been in the bush long enough to need to decide whether pre-programming and information signalling happened as a step onwards from chance brick stacking.

    Why don’t we explain the bricks, before taking on the most complex of all considerations – living organisms?

    I don’t know about Intelligent Design Theory, or its predictions. I have glanced at the Bible, and the fossil record, and from an amateurish interpretation, I suggest that that team predicts things such as:
    1) Man (as he now is) cannot create life, eternal youth, or indisputable new species.
    2) The first life was simple simple plant-grade, presumably carbon based, and it arose all but co-incident with planetary formation.
    3) Comets (“waters above the firmament”) may well show evidence of some sort of connection with life.
    4) Extremely sophisticated signalling/information technology was implicated.
    5) This (quantum category?) i.t. “organized” chemicals as required, probably with clay acting in some sort of templating capacity, and was facilitated by the unique information-transferring powers of water, H2O, or perhaps other similar fluid(s)?.
    6) The actual vivification event – beyond human technology – was not without a shadow of similarity to a poweful infomation signal, which signalled the newly arranged organic structures into life.
    7) Complex or animal- grade life arose much later, water was overwhelmingly significant in it’s realization, yet it is not inconceivable that it “stepped into” plant-grade cellular structures.

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 14, 2008 @ 5:25 am | Reply

  3. I have no idea what Heywood is talking about.

    Comment by idexposed — May 14, 2008 @ 6:05 am | Reply

  4. But look at how beautifully his hands are waving!

    Comment by DaveH — May 14, 2008 @ 8:36 am | Reply

  5. idexposed says “I have no idea what Heywood is talking about.”

    It seems that he’s trying to fulfill the author’s request for “the best explanation as to how ID explains these data.”

    Curiously I see no sign in that “explanation” of *when* those events might have occurred. Which is rather ominous for creationists/IDers, because they are hopelessly deadlocked in disagreement (and more than ever, cover-up). Same goes for which species, if any, share common ancestors. If they can’t either try to coverge on a common testable scenario, or at least *publicly* debate their differences on such basic questions, then we should not expect that they would even begin to develop a theory around it.

    Whether it’s a religious idea or not, it sure looks like they’re trying hard not to admit what they know – that we’re right.

    Comment by Frank J — May 14, 2008 @ 11:05 am | Reply

  6. To Philip Bruce Heywood:

    In a thread on Panda’s Thumb, you asked how it was possible to form complex organic chemicals from very simple compounds. The article presented here answers, in a broad sense, that question.

    Now you suggest that we should “explain the bricks” first — that’s exactly what this article does! I urge you to work through it step by step.

    Comment by SWT — May 14, 2008 @ 12:13 pm | Reply

  7. That’s a new one, Frank J. – Consensus Science, is it?

    No species share common ancestors. Common conduits via which life was transmitted, yes: genetic ancestors, no. The layout and number of the conduits is being mapped out through the efforts of biologists/geologists, e.g., the Tree of Life Project. Not an easy task.

    In my first post, I neglected to mention that there were two signal and significant creative events relating to life: the creation of Man, and the creation of complex (=animal grade) life. The former has more than purely technical significance, and may largely be put aside for current purposes. The latter incorporates within itself a real contribution to Man’s physical (not spiritual) creation. So for current purposes, the Cambrian DEBUT suffices in a discussion of the major life creative event. The Bible implies that in some less than total sense, Man was created along with all other complex life. This creative event is not specified as being instantaneous, but it was certainly within limited time constraints. The geologic record puts this momentous event in the early Palaeozoic: radiometric dating, roughly 540m.yrs.

    There are two lesser biblical creative events, of much less significance, and by implication necessitating much less sophisticated or powerful I.T.. One was the making of plants; the other, the fitting of (already created) life for living on land. There will be a fundamental, deep-seated difference between plant-grade life and animal grade life, and this will be a reflection of the superlative actions involved in creating animal-grade life.

    The biblical/geologic account necessitates that all living organisms be designed so that life (vivification) can be passed from species to species. The information that defines the species itself, on the other hand, is so stored, transmitted, and actuated, that each species is genetically self-contained, a unique unit in its own right, definable as information. Hence, something analogous to a computer, in every cell.

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 14, 2008 @ 12:47 pm | Reply

  8. As we have seen for decades, there is NO lack of wild stories claiming the origin of life is just a simple task to solve. What’s lacking is the scientific proof for ANY of them. Here are just a few more:

    http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=

    article&sid=2434&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

    http://www.physorg.com/news115988029.html

    http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2007/463.html

    http://www.uga.edu/news/artman/publish/071030_DNA.shtml

    http://www.physorg.com/news100533246.htm

    http://www.hhmi.org/news/szostak4.html

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/originoflife.html

    Using the Scientific Method and the evolutionary definition of ‘naturalistic,’ all these claims are nothing BUT ‘supernatural’ unscientific fairy tales.

    http://www.whoisyourcreator.com/evolution_of_life.html

    While you are free to believe in them, they reflect nothing but your hopeful faith in a world without God.

    Comment by who is your creator — May 14, 2008 @ 1:01 pm | Reply

  9. SWT, I have glanced through the head of this page and I certainly see some bricks, well presented ones, that collaborate with what almost everyone is saying on this topic. The fact that the “bricks” are “stacked” and then vivified to give us the most complex tangible items in the universe, is self evident. It is not science’s task to debate whether the stacking occurred, it is science’s task to show how it occurred. The pathway in physics. The mathematical framework. The thermodynamics. At the risk of being repetitive, leave the ideaology aside, do the maths. It’s got to be quantum category I.T., hasn’t it?

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 14, 2008 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

  10. So “plant-grade” life is “simple simple?”
    And “animal-grade” life is “complex?”
    Where does this nonsense biology come from?
    And where does the “we” in “Why don’t we explain the bricks…” come from? Surely the “we” is disingenuous as the poster seems to really mean “Why don’t YOU explain to my satisfaction…” Clearly no such satisfaction can be achieved.
    The predictions generated by glancing at the Bible and the fossil record are indeed, amateurish.

    Comment by Jim51 — May 14, 2008 @ 1:13 pm | Reply

  11. Yes, well, the Bible was written for amateurs, fools, and hopeless cases. That’s the only way one ever gets to understand it.

    What’s most likely to be able to do calculus: a venus fly trap, or a gorilla? I’ve heard of comparisons between bullocks and bureaucrats (not meaning public servants – a more roving term) but I draw the line at suggesting bullocks are more stupid than grass. Sheep, perhaps…. . I own to being mystified.

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 14, 2008 @ 1:36 pm | Reply

  12. There is NO lack of hypothetical scenarios that life could have self-assembled by chance. What is lacking is ANY scientific evidence that it did. Here are just a couple more equally unscientific tales:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040401081143.htm

    http://www.physorg.com/news115988029.html

    http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2007/463.html

    http://www.uga.edu/news/artman/publish/071030_DNA.shtml

    http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=2434&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

    http://www.physorg.com/news100533246.html

    http://www.hhmi.org/news/szostak4.html

    ALL evolutionary scenarios suffer from the persistent problem of addressing where the components ( i.e.‘bricks’) came from. See http://www.whoisyourcreator.com/how_does_evolution_work.html

    By evolution’s own standards using the Scientific Method and the definition of ‘naturalistic,’ all of these hypotheses are ‘supernatural’ and should be referred to as such.

    http://www.whoisyourcreator.com/evolution_of_life.html

    But, because most evolutionists hold on to the hope of a world without God, they turn a blind eye to their own folly and trust in their own religion of Humanism. (Note that the first Humanist Manifesto was bold in acknowledging their belief as a ‘religion.’)

    http://www.americanhumanist.org/about/manifesto1.html

    As said repeatedly to us (creationists), don’t push your religion on us. If you have empirical evidence, it’s science. If not, it’s just your religion.

    Comment by who is your creator — May 14, 2008 @ 2:10 pm | Reply

  13. The biblical/geologic account necessitates that all living organisms be designed so that life (vivification) can be passed from species to species. The information that defines the species itself, on the other hand, is so stored, transmitted, and actuated, that each species is genetically self-contained, a unique unit in its own right, definable as information. Hence, something analogous to a computer, in every cell.

    The Biblical account does not require a special creation for kinds and in fact that mud (minerals) was involved makes the abiogenesis account I provided quite interesting from a CHristian perspective. I am not sure what you mean by “each species is genetically self contained” or that this is definable as information.

    Nothing much of this makes sense. But if I understand Heywood correctly he is trying to match the scientific details to biblical themes. A bit of handwaving seems to be involved but that’s ok.

    Does Heywood accept the scientific pathways proposed?

    Comment by idexposed — May 14, 2008 @ 3:40 pm | Reply

  14. ALL evolutionary scenarios suffer from the persistent problem of addressing where the components ( i.e.‘bricks’) came from

    That is incorrect, as I have shown in my article. Perhaps “who is your creator” can clarify his ‘spam’?

    But, because most evolutionists hold on to the hope of a world without God, they turn a blind eye to their own folly and trust in their own religion of Humanism. (Note that the first Humanist Manifesto was bold in acknowledging their belief as a ‘religion.’)

    As a Christian I have to point out the foolishness in these comments.

    Ironically, Who is your Creator states

    As said repeatedly to us (creationists), don’t push your religion on us. If you have empirical evidence, it’s science. If not, it’s just your religion.

    No science and yet he seems to make an issue of religious faith when in fact it is an issue of science, or lack thereof when it comes to how ID Creationists explain the origin of life.

    Poof…

    Comment by idexposed — May 14, 2008 @ 5:35 pm | Reply

  15. An excellent resource. Thanks!
    bookmarking…

    Comment by CJO — May 14, 2008 @ 8:49 pm | Reply

  16. Mr. Hazen, bending over backwards in the article, says “I predict that ID creationists will be quick to argue that these are just so stories”–which they may. But he charitably does not point out that the ID camp are reluctant even to reach the stage of telling just so stories. What ID has is some notes that point to the just so story that they studiously avoid actually telling because if they did, they’d have to admit that what they’re doing is religion rather than science.

    “No, no, we’re not saying God did it (except when the scientists’ backs are turned)! Mercy me, no, this is Science! So we draw no conclusions at all about what or who God . . . um, the Intelligent Designer . . . is, nor how God . . . um, the Intelligent Designer . . . introduced these design features. Because drawing no conclusions at all is what Science is all about–forget all those nasty testable predictions you’re so obsessed with.”

    Comment by Purple Library Guy — May 15, 2008 @ 2:35 am | Reply

  17. Mr. Hazen, bending over backwards in the article, says “I predict that ID creationists will be quick to argue that these are just so stories”–which they may. But he charitably does not point out that the ID camp are reluctant even to reach the stage of telling just so stories. What ID has is some notes that point to the just so story that they studiously avoid actually telling because if they did, they’d have to admit that what they’re doing is religion rather than science.

    Actually that was not Dr Hazen who said this but me.

    Comment by idexposed — May 15, 2008 @ 3:53 am | Reply

  18. PBH:

    “That’s a new one, Frank J. – Consensus Science, is it? No species share common ancestors.”

    Scientists do not arrive at conclusions by vote if that’s what you mean.

    What separates your “kind” from real science is that, when real scientists disagree, as you and other fellow IDers do on common descent, they debate each other fiercely and openly.

    Real biologists would love to debate each other on something as basic as common descent, but the evidence won’t let them. Heck, I’m “just a chemist” but I have read all the arguments against CD in hopes of finding something to trip up mainstream biology (& IDers who concede CD). Unfortunately, ain’t none there. Even the anti-CD arguments themselves rarely address it, let alone any potential alternative, directly these days, preferring to use weasel words like “common design.”

    Comment by Frank J — May 15, 2008 @ 11:44 am | Reply

  19. Frank J,
    You are quite right when you say “when real scientists disagree…they debate each other fiercely and openly.”
    I would only add that these “debates” are not the sort of thing that creationists like to have, ie. a political style debate. These debates involve evidence, observation sets, experiments, publications and participation in scientific colloquia. These truly scientific debates are measured in time scales of months and years, not seconds and minutes like creationist political style “debates.”
    Jim51

    Comment by Jim51 — May 15, 2008 @ 1:55 pm | Reply

  20. Jim51

    Good point. All pseudoscience, not just creationism, loves the political style debate format, where the best sound bites usually win even if they’re wrong (or in the case of ID, “not even wrong”).

    But at least in the old days YECs and OECs would occasionally debate their differences, instead of covering them up and only looking for “Darwinists” to debate, usually on their own terms, and “turf.”

    Comment by Frank J — May 15, 2008 @ 4:12 pm | Reply

  21. As a layman, I learned several interesting things from this post. The most interesting to me was that certain organic molecules are known to self-assemble into structures similar to cell walls. That makes the process of how the first living cells came into existence less mysterious to me. There still are, and always will be, questions to which I can only answer, “I don’t know.” However, proposing an unknown intelligent designer using unknown processes has never seemed a better answer, to me.

    Thanks for putting this together. I can see that it was a lot of work, and was well-done.

    Comment by JimV — May 15, 2008 @ 8:09 pm | Reply

  22. Idexposed: Having been mystified by the assertion that it is nonsensical to divide the living realm (which excludes viruses) into Plant-grade and Animal-grade (Man being more than just the latter), I am farther mystified by something about mud, kinds, and the Bible not requiring special creation of kinds. Mystified. I do own a Bible. I hope I can read. And I endeavour to get to the original, pre-translational meaning. But, pray, clarify these matters, by all means.

    Frank J., I remain mystified, indeed, befogged. We should be looking for fierce argument? Did someone just make a documentary, fuelling an argument about Origins, which said documentary is making big money? But argument should be going on amongst creationists? Have a look at the Internet. There wouldn’t be incompatibility between YEC and mainstream, non-common descent science, would there? People like myself vs. AIG, would there? But let’s look at some historic cases of argument. Newton was so rubbished over his discoveries re. light, he declined thereafter to publish anything more of his work. William Harvey, pioneer of blood circulation before the era of microscopes, was bitterly ridiculed. Versalius, before him, was hounded out of France. Marconi’s groundbreaking inventions in wireless were scoffed at by leading scientists and administrators. We could continue, almost inexhaustively ….. . Ah, now explain the common descent of one fish species to another, large, mobile fish, in the same ocean, in the same locality – so as to meet the observations of the fossil record – and have these species as distinct, identifiable units – again, to meet the observations – and have the new species, as per the fossils, appearing suddenly, fully developed as a species, with full genetic diversity, ‘up front’. When you have made history by explaining how Common Descent does this, we will have some facts to actually discuss.
    The correct theory isn’t the most popular theory that claims factuality: it is the one that explains the observations. Until information arrives, enabling a decision about Origins (which, incidentally, it has, and the argument is now obsolete) – why argue?

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 16, 2008 @ 12:07 pm | Reply

  23. I am astonished that someone can possibly claim that the living world divides into “plant-grade” and “animal-grade” forms. It sounds like this poster has not reviewed any taxonomy in the last 50 years. Fungi are not plant and they are not animal. Archea are not plant and not animal. Eubacteria are not plant and they are not animal. Some Protists have characteristics of both. Infact some Protists spend part of their life essentially as heterotrophs, and another phase of their life as autotrophs. Is that plant or animal?
    Plants and animals are both eukaryotes. Most of the organisms (at least numerically) on this particular planet are prokaryotes.
    It is not possible to have an intellectually honest discussion of biological topics with someone who has, at best, a 9th grade understanding of the field acquired in high school over 40 years ago.
    The idea that all life is either plant or animal is nonsense. It ignores the vast majority of living organisms and betrays an ignorance of modern biology.

    Comment by Jim51 — May 16, 2008 @ 1:28 pm | Reply

  24. Yes, well, perhaps you should get a job with Bible commentators, who might wish to go into this detail, in footnotes. If you wish to discover what I implied by ‘plant grade’ and ‘animal grade’, you will require at least an authorized version of the Bible, a very accurate dictionary, and possibly some commentaries, by linguistic experts. It may assist to insert the notion that no ‘animal grade’ life pre-existed a certain level in the geologic column, probably at or near the Pre-Cambrian- Cambrian boundary. The Bible wasn’t written, just for nuclear physicists.

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 16, 2008 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

  25. And again Heywood makes no sense.

    Comment by idexposed — May 16, 2008 @ 3:38 pm | Reply

  26. PBH:

    I’m not sure what points you’re trying to make, but you seem to notice that new ideas in mainstream science have a hard time getting accepted before the evidence piles on. Like most real scientists I have personal experience “expelling” myself when the data were not supporting my hypothesis. Has any anti-evolution activist ever done that, let alone given the necessary hard time to anti-evolution activists with different conclusions?

    We have an explanation based on (Pope John Paul II’s words) “convergence, neither sought nor fabricated.” Anti-evolutionists are strongly encouraged to do the same, but they repeatedly refuse, perferring to whine about mainstream science, and only mainstream science. The YEC-OEC quibbles that you vaguely refer to are mostly drowned out these days by IDers with their “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

    As for common descent, before it became politically incorrect, even anti-evolutionists (ID variety) started conceding that it was the simpler of the formal alternates. Where’s your evidence of independent abiogenesis of any 2 fish “kinds”? Sorry, your personal incredulity of the simpler explanation doesn’t count. Do you think that the ID movement should cease and desist given that it’s impeding a shot at a convergence to an alternate explanation?

    Comment by Frank J — May 18, 2008 @ 12:59 pm | Reply

  27. Remarkably, Larry provides an explanation and then rejects it a priori

    One scenario in which the evolution of buzz pollination might occur is that some flowers with regular exposed pollen developed tube-contained pollen while retaining the exposed pollen and that the exposed pollen feature then disappeared after buzz-pollinating insects appeared. But this is a very complicated evolutionary pathway for unguided evolution.

    Note that other than hand waving, Larry has provided no data. Although the scenario is a good attempt at understanding evolution. Too bad that the biases are too strong to pursue the scenario any further.

    Comment by idexposed — May 18, 2008 @ 5:20 pm | Reply

  28. Is Larry familiar with Reuven Dukas and Amots Dafni Buzz-pollination in three nectariferous Boraginaceae and possible evolution of buzz-pollinated flowers Plant Systematics and Evolution Volume 169, Numbers 1-2, March, 1990

    Comment by idexposed — May 18, 2008 @ 5:38 pm | Reply

  29. Frank J. I have outlined to yourself on another occasion the essentials of what I term, Signalled Evolution, or Tree of Life Species Revelation. You also have my site, which goes into detail. As I wrote on that other occasion – practical people tend to catch on, very quickly. If you wish to discuss Common Descent and the alternative I propose, look it up and we can discuss it after you have become acquainted with it.

    Signalled Evolution is Richard Owen’s “Law of Progression”, updated. It pre-dates “The Origin of the Species”. Therefore, the assertion that Evolution = Common Descent/Darwinism, is itself a denial of the facts and of due process.

    When people wishing to be mainstream scientists, get so lost as to deny history and due process, and then start saying that it is ‘scientific’ to assert that Great, Great, ….. Grandfather was of a non-human ape-like species that became the human species by merely having babies — yet all men are equally human — these science people attract wide-ranging opposition, mostly from non-scientists, whose obvious first task is to howl until common sense returns. Then mainstream science can quietly go on about its business, having ceased walking about on the ceiling.

    As I have pointed out to you before: anyone who puts a rational Creator in the gaps in our knowledge, is no threat to rational thinking. Those who steamroll pagan deities or quasi-religious subterfuge into the gaps, are attacking enlightened religion, science, and society.

    As I have also pointed out before: YEC is no threat to anyone, if people can see that mainstream science is making sense. It has a very small following. If you go to my publications, you will see that I dismiss YEC with some Bible quotes and a dash of elementary observation. YEC, the personal outlook, not enforced educationally, is harmless. Some people find it personally helpfull. Long may they live. Argument,in that arena, could be counterproductive. This hullabaloo is science’s problem, not religion’s problem. Start by following due process. Clear the whiteboard, write down the facts.

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 19, 2008 @ 5:22 am | Reply

  30. When people wishing to be mainstream scientists, get so lost as to deny history and due process, and then start saying that it is ’scientific’ to assert that Great, Great, ….. Grandfather was of a non-human ape-like species that became the human species by merely having babies — yet all men are equally human — these science people attract wide-ranging opposition, mostly from non-scientists, whose obvious first task is to howl until common sense returns.
    Frankly, this stinks; it is exactly this sort of ‘not all men are equally human’ garbage pseudoscience that gets trumpeted loudly by racist zealots who would dearly love to commit genocide. To end by advocating unreasoning obstruction of science (until it says what you want it to) does not improve things.

    As I have pointed out to you before: anyone who puts a rational Creator in the gaps in our knowledge, is no threat to rational thinking. Those who steamroll pagan deities or quasi-religious subterfuge into the gaps, are attacking enlightened religion, science, and society.
    And as usual, you stance is non-sensical; science progresses only by asking and answering questions about the workings of the natural world. The best (indeed, only) source of these questions is gaps in our (humanity’s) knowledge; filling the ‘gaps’ with untestable supernatural twaddle does only and exactly one thing: It stops progress. Advocating this course is not rational, and is tremendously harmful.

    This hullabaloo is science’s problem, not religion’s problem. Start by following due process. Clear the whiteboard, write down the facts.
    The current opposition to the teaching of mainstream science in the US can trace it’s roots directly to the origin (towards the beginning of the 20th century) of christian fundamentalism, which promoted a toxic brew of biblical literalism and inerrancy. This current ‘hullabaloo’ is of demonstratably religious origins; no amount of scientific research or reasoning can ever end the ‘controversy’ — instead, the religious camp must clean it’s own house. Until this recent backsliding represented by the fundamentalist movement, religion had started making it’s peace with scientific explanations of the natural world. Pope Pius XII said “One Galileo in two thousand years is enough”; the fundamentalists who embrace literalism and inerrancy obviously disagree… but that is their problem, not the problem of science.

    P.S. I very much wish there were a way to preview comments before posting. My apologies for any spelling, formatting, or grammar errors.

    Comment by J. L. Brown — May 19, 2008 @ 5:58 am | Reply

  31. Your spelling and grammar are better than mine, J.L.. I had hoped you may have wished to talk up facts, but facts seem to be the last thing on your agenda. Your religious views are your own business.

    Newton and Maxwell I can name as young earth creationists, without even googling to find all the others. Newton and Maxwell sure held back mainstream science, didn’t they? But viewers can read and think, and the idea of people such as AIG having any clout without idealogically motivated “evolutionists” handing it to them on a platter, doesn’t ring true. YEC’s popularity is a reaction against the publication of ideaology as science. Or are you now going to tell us how Common Descent works, or at least come clean and own up that existing technology is not able to explain it, if it did happen? Start writing on that whiteboard.

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 19, 2008 @ 11:54 am | Reply

  32. PBH:

    Have you discussed your “theory” in detail with the DI? Do they embrace it, criticize it, or just “distance themselves” because it is neither their caricature of “Darwinism” or sufficiently “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

    Comment by Frank J — May 19, 2008 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

  33. I have gone to considerable lengths to contact various people/organizations, electronic and surface mail. Now I have not been exhaustive in this and I may have overlooked a few things, myself. I have personally offered all my work, free of charge, to Ken Ham and John Mackay. I sent materials to one Phillip Johnson, “Darwin on Trial”, with no reply. The D.I. do not answer my e-mails. I have been unable to get any of them to criticize, evaluate, or utilize the materials offered. Young Earth Organizations ignore the papers analyzing their position. The closest I ever got to a reply from a creationist organization that I can remember – I may be overlooking/misrepresenting someone here – was Hugh Ross’s secretary writing back with the statement that Mr. Ross only looks at peer reviewed stuff. Then there’s the mainstream side, which is just as locked up, PANDA’S THUMB excepted. And the Internet classifiers aren’t all asleep.

    Most churchmen know that merely raising the topic is likely to offend someone, so they don’t. I suspect it’s something the same story, with most people. People expect the scientists to work it out, themselves. I also suspect that many people understand that the creationist publishers are either a sectarian rump or a necessary counter to the queer ramblings in the science camp.

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 19, 2008 @ 2:50 pm | Reply

  34. Newton and Maxwell sure held back mainstream science, didn’t they?

    Newton in some way did by arguing that since he could not explain the stability of orbits of planets, he assumed that God must somehow be correcting the orbits. It took until Laplace to figure out the mathematics involved.

    Comment by idexposed — May 19, 2008 @ 8:31 pm | Reply

  35. UH-HUH. And God was doing it in accordance with mathematics in a way that Laplace could figure out. There is nothing mystical in attributing unknowns to a rational Creator.

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 19, 2008 @ 10:54 pm | Reply

  36. UH-HUH. And God was doing it in accordance with mathematics in a way that Laplace could figure out. There is nothing mystical in attributing unknowns to a rational Creator.

    That’s not what Newton believe. Attributing unknowns to a mystical Creator is just poor science and poor theology. God may have created the laws which guide the planets’ orbits but just because we do not understand it and feel it necessary to attribute the orbits to a continued intervention by a God is just poor science.

    Comment by idexposed — May 20, 2008 @ 3:49 am | Reply

  37. PBH wrote:

    “I sent materials to one Phillip Johnson, “Darwin on Trial”, with no reply. The D.I. do not answer my e-mails. I have been unable to get any of them to criticize, evaluate, or utilize the materials offered. Young Earth Organizations ignore the papers analyzing their position. The closest I ever got to a reply from a creationist organization that I can remember – I may be overlooking/misrepresenting someone here – was Hugh Ross’s secretary writing back with the statement that Mr. Ross only looks at peer reviewed stuff.”

    The obvious question: Did “Expelled” tell the world how *you* were “expelled” by *anti-evolution* organizations? Or, like Ken Miller’s story, would yours just “complicate” their propaganda?

    Comment by Frank J — May 20, 2008 @ 10:07 am | Reply

  38. Anti-evolution organizations wouldn’t have enough following to figuratively stage a backyard opera, if the public conception of science wasn’t of a movement seriously off the rails.

    What are all these militant atheists, with whom Einstein wouldn’t have any truck, doing, hanging around places like PANDA’S THUMB? What attracts them?

    Today, the news in Australia is that they have activated a gene from the extinct TASMANIAN TIGER (marsupial dog) by grafting it into a mouse. In theory, this species could be revived. Personally I doubt it, but I’m all for trying. So is Prof. Archer. He wouldn’t be, if there wasn’t a ghost of a chance.
    Note, no-one is even dreaming along the lines of getting Common Descent Evolution to artificially speed up, to get us new marsupials. The practicality of revived or new species lies in cloning – genetic engineering procedures. That’s Signalled Evolution. The genetic engineering ETC. was via quantum-category info. technology.

    The science behind Common Descent Evolution doesn’t exist. It’s all aeries and faeries, pie in the sky, no practical explanation, no grip in the real world of real speciation. I wouldn’t be looking at churches, or movie attendances, I’d be cleaning that white board and getting down to basics.

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 20, 2008 @ 11:25 am | Reply

  39. Idexposed,

    Whatever Newton believed is something of a mystery to me and I suspect it’s a mystery to historians. He was young earth. You may have noticed that Mr. Perakh, on a newer thread than this, has just shown how impossible, if not dishonourable, it is, to put beliefs into the mouths of other scientists, especially Einstein. When you can prove to the world that Newton asserted things that stultified or stymied technologic progress, go ahead. Right now, I can prove to the world that fanatical adherence to Common Descent Evolution stultifies progress in some areas of science and education, and I’ll wager that 90% of people out there would agree, in some measure.

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 20, 2008 @ 11:41 am | Reply

  40. PBH:

    “The science behind Common Descent Evolution doesn’t exist.”

    Chez Watt aside, the “science” behind independent abiogenesis of “kinds” that are either defined too vaguely to mean anything, or are mutually contradictory, not only doesn’t exist, anti-evoluion activists are no longer even pretending to develop it.

    BTW, I’m all for students thinking about what a formal alternative to common descent might be. And without weasel words like “common design.” They should also think about saltation and front loading and how they would contradict the Darwinian explanation but not common descent.

    Too bad the DI has no interest in advocating a critical analysis of those conceptual alternatives. Even though that would not require the cherry picking of evidence, baiting and switching of definitions and concepts, and quote mining required to “critically analyze” evolution to their satisfaction.

    Comment by Frank J — May 20, 2008 @ 3:04 pm | Reply

  41. Whatever Newton believed is something of a mystery to me and I suspect it’s a mystery to historians.

    Not really since he stated it explicitly.

    Right now, I can prove to the world that fanatical adherence to Common Descent Evolution stultifies progress in some areas of science and education, and I’ll wager that 90% of people out there would agree, in some measure.

    Common descent is an observable fact, so how can it stultify progress? Sigh…

    Comment by idexposed — May 20, 2008 @ 4:13 pm | Reply

  42. Too bad the DI has no interest in advocating a critical analysis of those conceptual alternatives.

    Indeed, the DI’s interests are not in proposing alternative explanations. Luckily, religious people have come to realize that when creationism is taught in schools as if it were science both education and religion lose.
    Not to mention that it is prohibited by the constitution.

    Comment by idexposed — May 20, 2008 @ 4:21 pm | Reply

  43. Common Descent is as observable as was dust giving rise to lice. Then someone got a lens. Common Descent isn’t observable until you get indisputable species A, get it to give birth to indisputable species B, and show the steps in terms of hard physical chemistry. But the steps are now beginning to come into view – hence, the real possibility of re-activating the TASMANIAN TIGER – and these are steps that can be taken not only by genetic engineering in a laboratory, but, in theory, by quantum category information technology, in the wild, on planet Earth.

    Common Descent appeals intuitively to various nature religions, some churches having absorbed a fair proportion of same (transubstantiation, efficacy of relics, a man being elevated to divine status of infallibility, by human authority, what have you)- and atheism jumps on the car as a foregone conclusion.

    Idexposed: Any idea or theory can be ‘observed’, and ‘proved’, very easily. Dust to lice. Damp air in valleys causes fevers. Rotten meat produces maggots. On and on. It all depends how you define things. You can think.

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 20, 2008 @ 11:31 pm | Reply

  44. Philip Bruce Heywood:
    Common Descent is as observable as was dust giving rise to lice. Then someone got a lens. Common Descent isn’t observable until you get indisputable species A, get it to give birth to indisputable species B, and show the steps in terms of hard physical chemistry.

    Speciation events have been observed. There are a couple of articles on the talkorigins.org site that describe these and give you references to the relevant literature reports.

    There is also a large body of evidence corroborating common descent. Again on the talkorigins.org site, you can find the “29+ Evidences for Macroevolution”:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

    This article also contains a very nice discussion of how scientific theories are tested.

    Comment by SWT — May 21, 2008 @ 5:40 am | Reply

  45. Note to lurkers: Implicit in PBH’s incredulity is that the formal alternative to common descent is “I don’t know.” It’s a common trick in any pseudoscience. As a fallback, “I don’t know” can never lose. The thing to remember is that, after almost 50 years as a pretense of “scientific” creationism (or ID), if there were even the slightest promise as science, we’d be hearing more about their alternative, not less.

    Anti-evolutionists don’t even support “I don’t know” in any meaningful way. At the least they could have attempted to satisfy some of the 29+ potential falsifiers in the article that SWT linked above. But they know not to go near them, except to take words and facts out of context to feed common misconceptions.

    Comment by Frank J — May 21, 2008 @ 10:52 am | Reply

  46. I

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 21, 2008 @ 12:03 pm | Reply

  47. I’d rather not have the last word. SWT raises an interesting point. (As for Frank warning “lurkers” about mainstream people such as myself who publish real alternatives – we shall leave that to the lurkers. I put faith in people.)

    SWT writes, “Speciation events have been observed”.

    We always had wheat; and we always had rye. Within my lifetime, we were introduced to triticale. I’ve grown wheat and triticale. I asked many questions and wondered about this. Wheat stays as wheat. Rye stays as rye. And triticale stays as triticale – at least, they do so, in my time – and location – limited world. I was advized that triticale is something like half way between wheat and rye. Strictly, under my definition of species (reproductive self-containment) those three are possibly different species. I rather suspect they are the same species, but I’m not into splitting hairs. I haven’t researched it, but it’s intriguing. I do know that I didn’t witness speciation, capital s. What I witnessed was something remarkable about plants.

    When we start to look into animals, such as bovines and buffalo – and hear of hybrids that at least temporarily have fertility – again, there is the difficulty with absolute definition. The fact remains, in the wild, we have beef type cattle, and we have buffalo, and they do give the impression of being different species. The question of speciation through hybridization is far from clear, and hybridization is not regarded as a significant engine of speciation. We shall return to plants, or to ‘plant-grade’ life, because it is here, to my knowledge, that the best chances of observable speciation are thought to exist.
    As the biblical text implies, plant-grade life, which I assume compasses organisms in broad terms no more complex than something approximately near the sponges — plant grade life is profoundly simpler than animal grade life. Therefore, simple organisms could have differences in terms of taxonomy, they could show differences in the way varieties develop within the species, and they will go very close to being able to be created from scratch, by Man. They will be wide open to human engineering, because they are simple.

    The speciation that has been claimed to have been observed, and the evidences of macroevolution, are real enough. They have meaning within the parameters that govern the behaviour which is possible, for organisms in the biosphere. Wheat, rye, and triticale, for example. Seedless bananas. Bizarre morphings amongst various organisms, including simple animals. What have you. I’m not a zoologist.

    It is self evident that we arrived here in a world of species, some much more obvious than others. It is also self evident that no serious researcher is making big steps along the road of making obvious new species, via natural selection and survival of the fittest. If they were, our biodiversity loss could be redressed. I dare to suggest that this observed speciation isn’t much of a bigger drama than wheat, tye, and triticale. It was built into the definition of the “kinds”, when they were put here. As for gradual change from one clear species to another – the fossils preclude it. The fossils are the final authority, because they give the big picture – they record the whole story of the species, over time. Biologists see a “snap shot”. I think it is also rather self-evident that a person who never questions Common Descent, is more likely to witness “speciation”, than is the skeptic.

    The point raised is worthy of investigation.

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 21, 2008 @ 1:24 pm | Reply

  48. 46 must be the shortest comment on record. How did it get there?

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 21, 2008 @ 1:26 pm | Reply

  49. Philip Bruce Heywood

    It is also self evident that no serious researcher is making big steps along the road of making obvious new species, via natural selection and survival of the fittest.

    If you’ll work your way through some of the references I cited in the TalkOrigins site, you’ll see that speciation events have been observed where there there was no intent on the part of the researcher to make a new species. It just happens.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

    Comment by SWT — May 21, 2008 @ 3:18 pm | Reply

  50. PBH wrote: “I think it is also rather self-evident that a person who never questions Common Descent, is more likely to witness “speciation”, than is the skeptic.”

    Biologists may not articulate it well (indeed, IMO they’re among the biggest foot-shooters), but they question CD constantly. Specifically, they’re always on the lookout for those potential falsifiers that I mentioned.

    In contrast, classic creationists rarely question it (specifically their negative conclusion), except for an occasional quibble over the definition of “kind,” and IDers generally do what is necessary to avoid drawing any attention to it.

    Comment by Frank J — May 21, 2008 @ 4:15 pm | Reply

  51. Common Descent isn’t observable until you get indisputable species A, get it to give birth to indisputable species B, and show the steps in terms of hard physical chemistry.

    And yet such data exist and yet PBH seems to either ignore it or be unfamiliar with it. That’s too bad but it does not affect the fact of common descent.
    Why PBH insists on denying God’s creation seems puzzling to me.

    Comment by idexposed — May 22, 2008 @ 12:19 am | Reply

  52. SWT: The references you cite are straightforward, anyone who wishes can quickly get to the nub of the matter, the nub of the matter is that all the evidence for macroevolution from biology is flatly contradicted by the lack of evidence from geology, a contradiction which does not even enter that author’s field of vision. Where in the geologic record does one clear species gradually change to another, as one would expect in the case of “blood lineage”? The fossil record speaks of Signalled Evolution, it contadicts Common Descent Evolution. The record is there: bio-freaks need to do some basic stratigraphy. I never cease to be amazed by this assumption of a non-fact, and put it down to failure of geologists, who simply followed the crowd, which was following (it assumed) the geologists! Dog chase tail? Prof. Dorothy Hill wasn’t of that category.

    The Observed Instances of Speciation reference makes good reading, especially as it confirms what I posted just above here. People around here can read – I need add no more. The points you raise are worthwhile.

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 22, 2008 @ 12:34 am | Reply

  53. Where in the geologic record does one clear species gradually change to another, as one would expect in the case of “blood lineage”? The fossil record speaks of Signalled Evolution, it contadicts Common Descent Evolution.

    The fossil record has both punctuated and gradually changes so there is little doubt that species evolve. In addition to fossil data we have genetic data which helps fill in the gaps. None of these speak of ‘signalled evolution’ and certainly does not contradict common descent that is just a foolish statement.

    Comment by PvM — May 22, 2008 @ 2:24 am | Reply

  54. Give an indisputable example. I’ll be here, waiting. Keep in mind, though, that palaeontologists utilize the fossil record of the biosphere to accurately chart time surfaces in rock strata, and some of the “markers” are sudden appearances of a particular new species. (Disappearances, and abrupt changes in abundance, are more commonly employed as time markers.)
    Then we could talk about the horses, a lineage so beautiful, of clearly distinct organisms, which appeared without hesitation, in full variety. Thence to the dinosaurs, the picture-book proof that fossil species were always species in their own right, including the feathered ones and the early birds …. on and on, a topic that fires the blood: the flowering plants, with only the scantiest bridging conduit forms preceding them, to the point that it was long debated that no bridging “ancestors” left any fossil remains at all! — flooding into the Upper Cretaceous with full-blown vigour and variety so abruptly, no space at all can be detected in a drill core between where they are and where they aren’t. We haven’t even started. The fossil record is music. Don’t get confused between the pure unadulterated biosphere of creation, and the “death-o-sphere” of viruses, harmful bacteria, modern venomous snakes, and such like. I’m happy to expound on the geologic record, any time. If Darwin and a few others hadn’t been in such a hurry, they might have saved themselves a lot of embarrasment, by looking closely at it, themselves. But even if we assume, along with Darwin, that a great many potential fossils were lost – blood descent evolution is inexplicable. Tell us the chain of events, by which species A changed to species B, under blood descent. Then I will show how it happened, through conduits combined with information technology. I will break no law of biology.

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 22, 2008 @ 12:53 pm | Reply

  55. PBH’s repeats a common creationist myth

    Give an indisputable example. I’ll be here, waiting. Keep in mind, though, that palaeontologists utilize the fossil record of the biosphere to accurately chart time surfaces in rock strata, and some of the “markers” are sudden appearances of a particular new species. (Disappearances, and abrupt changes in abundance, are more commonly employed as time markers.)

    There are excellent reasons why the fossil record is expected to be incomplete in some cases, however, despite the expected incompleteness, science has been able to uncover both fossil and genetic data that show that these ‘sudden’ appearances took place over millions of years or more, linking back to another common ancestor.
    Even the oft touted Cambrian explosion can be quite well explained by simple Darwinian principles, as Valentine has argued in his book “the Origin of Phyla”. And yet, creationists still quote Valentine to support their foolish view of the Cambrian.

    As the excellent resource at Talkorigins points out

    The fossil evidence that contributed to that consensus is summarized in the rest of this FAQ. What they’re arguing about is how often it occurs gradually. You can make up your own mind about that. (As a starting point, check out Gingerich, 1980, who found 24 gradual speciations and 14 sudden appearances in early Eocene mammals; MacFadden, 1985, who found 5 cases of gradual anagenesis, 5 cases of probable cladogenesis, and 6 sudden appearances in fossil horses; and the numerous papers in Chaline, 1983. Most studies that I’ve read find between 1/4-2/3 of the speciations occurring fairly gradually.)

    Source: Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ Part 1A by Kathleen Hunt

    blood descent evolution is inexplicable. Tell us the chain of events, by which species A changed to species B, under blood descent.

    What do you mean by ‘blood descent’ evolution. Speciation however is observed, where two species diverge due to a variety of possible causes.

    See Observed Instances of Speciation by Joseph Boxhorn and Some More Observed Speciation Events by Chris Stassen

    Contrary to PBH’s empty claims, evolutionary theory is quite able to explain the fact of common descent.

    Comment by idexposed — May 22, 2008 @ 4:28 pm | Reply

  56. Then we could talk about the horses, a lineage so beautiful, of clearly distinct organisms, which appeared without hesitation, in full variety.

    We of course could talk about this the way PBH describes but we would be fooling ourselves and others.

    Or we could look at the in a more scientific manner Horse Evolution
    by Kathleen Hunt

    Comment by idexposed — May 22, 2008 @ 4:30 pm | Reply

  57. PBH’s non response has been deleted. Unless PBH decides to make an argument, he will have to suffer a similar fate.

    Comment by idexposed — May 23, 2008 @ 3:52 am | Reply

  58. There you go, folks – VIVA la Inquisition, EXUANT la science. Mind you, I don’t pay for the site, I’m only a guest. Regards.

    Comment by Philip Bruce Heywood — May 23, 2008 @ 4:30 am | Reply

  59. There you go, folks – VIVA la Inquisition, EXUANT la science. Mind you, I don’t pay for the site, I’m only a guest. Regards.

    So far, your contribution to science has been minimal at best. Your deleted posting was just content-less. I have limits to my patience my dear Christian friend.

    In Christ.

    Comment by idexposed — May 23, 2008 @ 4:33 am | Reply

  60. hi mr hazean
    im really intrested to find the text of your lecture whichi sabout the scientific method track 2 if you send the its text to me it can be so helpfull for me becuse iam not a native speaker so i couldent understand the whole your lecture but im really intrested know more about this specific scientific method .
    thank you very much for your excelet lectures i look forward your answer
    sincerly ,
    neda

    Comment by neda — October 10, 2008 @ 6:42 am | Reply

  61. Greater men than Mr. Hazen have been intellectually dismantled at their attempts to prove a “scientific” basis for reality. Both Newton and Einstein are now converts to Creationismas…. Alas, too late for their benefit.

    Expecting the creation to explain the Creator is folly.

    2 Corinthians 4:3,4

    Comment by Keith Farnham — November 17, 2008 @ 1:11 am | Reply

  62. ok for it’s knowaldge

    Comment by mayank tripathi — October 12, 2009 @ 5:38 am | Reply

  63. Could Dahw/Tahw dissolve problems of Plate Tectonics?
    Asadiyan, M.H. (1, 2), Zamani, A (1)
    (1) Dept. of Earth sciences, Shiraz University, Iran (zamani_1127@yahoo.com), (2) Geology Group, Payam-e Noor
    University, Ahwaz – Iran (asadiyan@pnu.ac.ir / Fax: +987112284572 / Phone:
    +987112284572)

    Abstract
    How does geodynamic drive? It isn’t fully clarified in Plate Tectonic hypothesis. The aim of this paper is propose an alternative theory to Plate Tectonics. Here by using the concepts which Dahw(rolling) and Tahw(spreading) are carried out, we try to constrain the Plate Tectonics within fractal geometric model. Dahw/Tahw is a universal phenomena that can interpret different geological process in a self consistent model. They are induced due to stepwise revolving of Earth’s glob in the interplanetary gravitational field. Orogens rise and orogens set occur periodically due to tuning and detuning of revolver’s cycloids during Earth’s orbit around the Galaxy. Oceans are detuned environment or Tahw region which dissolves continents gradually, ancient continental pieces along Mid Atlantic Ridge (MAR) is remnant of fine order tuned cycloids which abandon in the Tahw-ed regions during the Earth Dahwing. Symmetry in the magnetic strip of Atlantic Ocean produces due to interference of westerly revolver’s cycloids and easterly revolver’s cycloids which meet each other in the MAR. Source of these cycloids are gravitation and rotation. In the global scale materials flow from Tahw cycloid-0 and accumulate in the Dahw cycloid-0, these half cycloids have maximum gravitation gradient and where they meet each other, deepest trench (Mariana) is built. Cycloids are unit cells of the Earth.

    Comment by Hassan Asadiyan — April 7, 2010 @ 6:27 am | Reply

  64. [url=http://dptservices.net]Buy Generic Zanaflex Online with no rx Now[url]

    Comment by MedaNeahSauch — June 2, 2010 @ 8:30 pm | Reply

  65. Have read a couple of of the articles on your web site now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorites blog website list and will be checking back soon ::;;

    Comment by turk liseli — April 3, 2011 @ 3:11 pm | Reply

  66. Hi steve. I think i forgot to upload soft copy for the logo. Now you can download minor update for this theme.

    Comment by sikiş — September 23, 2011 @ 9:28 pm | Reply

  67. Excellent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff
    previous to and you are just extremely excellent. I really like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it wise. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is actually a wonderful site.

    Comment by Analisa — February 21, 2013 @ 8:38 am | Reply

  68. It’s awesome for me to have a website, which is beneficial in favor of my knowledge. thanks admin

    Comment by video blogs — April 10, 2013 @ 3:44 am | Reply

  69. Don’t use commercially prepared, dry, or pelleted foods. In the wild, the iguana must survive so they are usually very fast. These lizards can weigh 11 pounds on average and can grow up to roughly 6.

    Comment by best iguana proper care guidebook — April 15, 2013 @ 6:12 pm | Reply

  70. Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very
    good gains. If you know of any please share. Cheers!

    Comment by interior design — July 17, 2013 @ 10:49 pm | Reply

  71. But, before we talk computer repair marietta ga about.
    They also increase the radiation that astronauts and anyone in an aircraft near
    the poles might experience.

    Comment by http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNRAVq_2VVQ — January 11, 2014 @ 9:02 am | Reply

  72. Whɑt’s up, eνery timke i used to cjeck website posts Һere eɑrly
    in thе morning, ɑs i enjoy to find օut more and more.

    Comment by homeowners insurance Vs Landlord insurance — August 15, 2014 @ 10:55 am | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Rubric Theme. Blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: