Spontaneous Generation

A century later we know that the overwhelming obstacle facing spontaneous generation is probability, or rather improbability, resulting from life’s enormously complex phenotypes. If even a single protein, a single specific sequence of amino acids, could not have emerged spontaneously, how much less so could a bacterium like E. coli with millions of proteins and other complex molecules? Modern biochemistry allows us to estimate the odds, and they demolish the spontaneous creation of complex organisms.

Looks like IDists aren’t the only ones to appeal to probability arguments. How does Wagner know what the probabilities are, or that spontaneous generation is even within the realm of what is possible?

This does not mean that spontaneous creation did not occur in life’s early history. A natural origin of life even requires it, but in a much humbler form than a modern cell or even a modern protein.

Wagner just told us that not even a single protein could have emerged spontaneously but now he insists spontaneous creation must have occurred because “a natural origin of life requires it.”

That’s known as begging the question. I also love the appeal to spontaneous creation.

The origin of life is a problem for chemists, not biologists.

That’s odd. Is the origin of the chemical elements a problem for physicists, not chemists? Is the origin of organic compounds and organic materials a problem for inorganic chemistry, not organic chemistry?

Quotes are from Arrival of the Fittest by Andreas Wagner.

Does modern biochemistry allow us to estimate the odds of spontaneous generation?

If it cannot happen, why does Wagner insist that it must have happened?

142 thoughts on “Spontaneous Generation”

  1. cubist

    Many human beings are both (a) intelligent, and (b) designers of stuff. Therefore, it is obvious that “intelligent design” is a real thing, and that the actions of “intelligent designers” have been detected.

    Where the ID movement goes off the rails, philosophically speaking, is that it starts with the utterly unexceptional experience we all have of human designers, and it goes on to extrapolate from the products & characteristics of those limited, finite, mundane human designers to… some sort of inchoate, nonspecific, poorly-defined Designer Who, if one can judge from the verbiage various ID-pushers have disgorged, is neither limited, nor finite, nor mundane.

  2. MungMung Post author

    Rumraket: I take this as confirmation that you now realise your error.

    The error I made is in thinking the local peanut gallery here at TSZ gives a hoot for what Elizabeth had in mind for the site. Echo chamber…echo…echo…

  3. FrankieFrankie

    newton: And yet evolution is falsifiable and ID isn’t, strange. While biology has proposed mechanisms which could be falsified, Design has no actual mechanism used by the intelligence .So on the topic of ATP ID is unfalsiable. Therefore ID fails the test of science you proposed.

    ID is falsifiable and we have said exactly what it takes to falsify it. Just because you are unable to falsify it is another story. And to falsify evolutionism one needs to prove a negative- talk about anti-science.

    And design is a mechanism used by intelligence. ID is not about the mechanism, though.

    AS for ATP synthase, the design inference is falsified by demonstrating stochastic processes can produce it. Science 101.

  4. RichardthughesRichardthughes

    Frankie: ID is falsifiable and we have said exactly what it takes to falsify it

    And you were wrong. You’d simply move to another example. What falsifies the concept?

  5. FrankieFrankie

    newton: Of course,I am using something to type that an intelligent designer built, but unless you propose Apple created life, that detection is irrelevant. What is your positive evidence that an unknown intelligence designed something ,somehow? There is nothing to refute until you provide some positive evidence yourself.

    Thank you for your concern

    I have already been over and over that very thing. Both IC and CSI are positive evidence- they are positive evidence because every time we have observed them and knew the cause it was always via some intelligent agency. Your position doesn’t have any positive evidence as no one can test the claim that stochastic processes produced ATP synthase. You don’t even know where to start

  6. FrankieFrankie

    cubist:
    Many human beings are both (a) intelligent, and (b) designers of stuff. Therefore, it is obvious that “intelligent design” is a real thing, and that the actions of “intelligent designers” have been detected.

    Where the ID movement goes off the rails, philosophically speaking, is that it starts with the utterly unexceptional experience we all have of human designers, and it goes on to extrapolate from the products & characteristics of those limited, finite, mundane human designers to… some sort of inchoate, nonspecific, poorly-defined Designer Who, if one can judge from the verbiage various ID-pushers have disgorged, is neither limited, nor finite, nor mundane.

    We go with what we know, cubist. And if your position had something we could test your “complaint” would have some merit.

  7. RichardthughesRichardthughes

    Frankie,

    You don’t understand ID. CSI (the S part) is defined as existing if natural explanations are ruled out.

    So we are left with”we can find design by looking for design”. And No IDist has ever done the requisite math.

  8. FrankieFrankie

    I don’t know what Richie is blathering on about but it is a given that he doesn’t know anything about ID nor science. But do carry on, cupcake. I am sure someone is enjoying your brand of tard

  9. RumraketRumraket

    Mung: The error I made is in thinking the local peanut gallery here at TSZ gives a hoot for what Elizabeth had in mind for the site. Echo chamber…echo…echo…

    I’ll take that as a tacit total concession. Apology accepted Mung.

  10. RumraketRumraket

    Richardthughes: Joe Gallien’s blog is for laughing at him. No one really comments much anymore. Then he gets ronrey.

    I have him on ignore, he has nothing of value or consequence to say. None of the other ID supporters here even agree with or support him, in fact I suspect they too don’t read any of his shit.

  11. RobinRobin

    Rumraket: I have him on ignore, he has nothing of value or consequence to say. None of the other ID supporters here even agree with or support him, in fact I suspect they too don’t read any of his shit.

    Thing is, you put Joe on ignore and you miss hysterically silly comments like:

    Natural selection is an eliminative process and as such is impotent with respect to creating the diversity of life. OTOH artificial selection is a known creative process, And it also includes differential reproduction.

    Also NS requires all change to be happenstance whereas ID does not. Evolution by intelligent design is exemplified by genetic algorithms.

    They’re certainly not worth responding to, but they are incredibly funny to read.

    Plus, if you put him on ignore, you can’t witness his Friday Meltdowns and those, imho, are worth the price of admission alone! 🙂

  12. Allan Miller

    Robin,

    They’re certainly not worth responding to, but they are incredibly funny to read.

    Funny the first half dozen times, maybe …

  13. Allan Miller

    Mung,

    If I put Rumraket on ignore I miss nothing.

    You miss articulate discussion of science. Depends what you’re here for, really.

  14. FrankieFrankie

    Robin: Thing is, you put Joe on ignore and you miss hysterically silly comments like:

    They’re certainly not worth responding to, but they are incredibly funny to read.

    Plus, if you put him on ignore, you can’t witness his Friday Meltdowns and those, imho, are worth the price of admission alone!

    LoL! Baldly proclaiming that comment hysterically silly proves that you don’t know squat about NS or GAs as that comment is all fact.

  15. FrankieFrankie

    Allan Miller:
    Mung,

    You miss articulate discussion of science. Depends what you’re here for, really.

    Evolutionists don’t understand science, Allan. If they did they would realize that evolutionism doesn’t qualify as science because its claims are untestable.

  16. FrankieFrankie

    Natural selection is an eliminative process and as such is impotent with respect to creating the diversity of life. OTOH artificial selection is a known creative process, And it also includes differential reproduction.

    All of that is a fact. The part about NS being impotent is demonstrated by the complete lack of testing for NS actually creating something.

    Also NS requires all change to be happenstance whereas ID does not. Evolution by intelligent design is exemplified by genetic algorithms.

    And that is also a fact. Perhaps evos can deny those facts but they sure as hell cannot refute them. And I am OK with that

  17. Allan Miller

    Frankie,

    Evolutionists don’t understand science, Allan. If they did they would realize that evolutionism doesn’t qualify as science because its claims are untestable.

    Yeah, whatevs.

  18. Adapa

    Frankie: Thank you for admitting that evolutionism is not science

    Since “evolutionism” is an archaic term only used by retarded ID-Creationists who don’t understand actual evolutionary theory, no problem.

  19. FrankieFrankie

    For those who just refuse to grasp reality evolutionism refers to the alleged theory of evolution. Dawkins calls it “blind watchmaker evolution”. It is called evolutionism because its claims are untestable and they rely on faith alone.

    For example no one knows how to test the claim that ATP synthase arose via stochastic processes, ie natural selection, drift and/ or neutral construction.

  20. Allan Miller

    Frankie,

    Thank you for admitting that evolutionism is not science

    Yes, you are indeed The Victoooorrrr (give it a Dr Who alien voice). Now, don’t let us detain you, I’m sure you have other things to be getting on with.

  21. RumraketRumraket

    otangelo:
    Check mate naturalism:

    Abiogenesis is impossible

    http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1279-abiogenesis-is-impossible

    Improbable =/= impossible.

    There is not a single argument or piece of evidence that shows abiogenesis is impossible. At best all you can ever achieve is to make it appear exceedingly unlikely.

    But even then, something that happens one in a trillion trillion quintillion times still happens.

    Otangelo, I recommend you learn some basic logic.

  22. Flint

    Rumraket: Improbable =/= impossible.

    When have you ever heard of a bridge player being dealt an actual bridge hand. The odds against it are so prohibitive the game must be imaginary.

  23. FrankieFrankie

    Allan Miller:
    Frankie,

    Yes, you are indeed The Victoooorrrr (give it a Dr Who alien voice). Now, don’t let us detain you, I’m sure you have other things to be getting on with.

    Nope, I am right at home exposing your nonsense and BS for what it is.

  24. FrankieFrankie

    There is not a single argument or piece of evidence that shows abiogenesis is even remotely possible. People would have an easier time showing tat mother nature can produce Stonehenge cuz after all she can make big stones!

  25. RichardthughesRichardthughes

    Frankie: There is not a single argument or piece of evidence that shows abiogenesis is even remotely possible.

    You’ve look at *all* the evidence?

  26. Flint

    Richardthughes: You’ve look at *all* the evidence?

    Maybe he hasn’t looked at all the scientific evidence, but hey, we have all looked at *all* of the nonscientific evidence. Furthermore, we’ve looked at all the nonscientific evidence there ever will be.

  27. petrushka

    Flint: Maybe he hasn’t looked at all the scientific evidence, but hey, we have all looked at *all* of the nonscientific evidence. Furthermore, we’ve looked at all the nonscientific evidence there ever will be.

    There’s an endless supply of non science.

  28. RumraketRumraket

    Richardthughes: Frankie: There is not a single argument or piece of evidence that shows abiogenesis is even remotely possible.

    You’ve look at *all* the evidence?

    Frankie has never heard of statistical physics and doesn’t know what it says about matter. From the standpoint of physics there’s nothing preventing the spontaneous origin of life, it’s just one among many very unlikely microstates.

    But again, unlikely =/= impossible.

    So the origin of life is in fact known to be possible from physics alone.

  29. petrushka

    It’s remotely possible that all Frankie’s atoms could switch places with the atoms of a toaster.

  30. FrankieFrankie

    Flint: Maybe he hasn’t looked at all the scientific evidence, but hey, we have all looked at *all* of the nonscientific evidence. Furthermore, we’ve looked at all the nonscientific evidence there ever will be.

    LoL! Well you could refute what I said by posting the evidence that shows abiogenesis via stochastic processes is possible. That you choose to attack me instead tells me that I am right and that you have nothing- as usual.

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