Why isn't abiogenesis part of MODERN ...
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Gillette

Fairfield, IA

#41 Apr 24, 2014
Old Guy wrote:
If a student, in the typical science class, asks a question regarding the scientific theory which explains the origin of life or the origin of the universe, is this an appropriate question for the typical science class?
If yes, then what is the appropriate scientific response?
If no, then are questions about origins not relevant to science?
If such questions are not relevant or appropriate to science, then what academic discipline is the appropriate discipline?
Is this hypothetical student a fundamentalist Christian working a religious agenda who won't really LISTEN to the answer that the science faculty gives him or her?
The Dude

Wallasey, UK

#42 Apr 24, 2014
Old Guy wrote:
If a student, in the typical science class, asks a question regarding the scientific theory which explains the origin of life or the origin of the universe, is this an appropriate question for the typical science class?
Sure it is.
Old Guy wrote:
If yes, then what is the appropriate scientific response?
The response is that the origin of the universe and the origin of life are separate theories. In fact the origin of life is only in the hypothesis stage at the moment, since no-one on Earth has enough information about that area in order to come up with an actual theory. As for the universe, Polymath257 is our resident physicist and is explaining the concept to another fundie as we speak:

http://www.topix.com/forum/news/evolution/T9Q...

Of course still, neither of these concepts have any bearing on the validity of evolution.
Old Guy wrote:
If no, then are questions about origins not relevant to science?
Sure they are. No-one ever said they weren't. What is NOT relevant to science is apologetics, anti-science, or anyone's religious or philosophical beliefs.

So for example, if a student thinks that evolutionary biology is wrong because his or her deity did it differently, deities aren't amenable to the scientific method. Therefore they are plain wrong. If the student claims that evolution is a failed theory because it doesn't address abiogenesis, they are plain wrong. If the student feels that the philosophical-theological concept of "Intelligent Design" Creationism is a valid alternative to science, the fact is it's not a scientific concept as no theory, or even testable hypothesis has ever been proposed. Therefore they are plain wrong.

At which point the teachers can go back to teaching the K-12 curriculum, just as they should do. For keep in mind that if the students don't learn what they're supposed to in class, they will fail. Same as with any other class.

In other words you can understand the importance of not wasting too much time on discussions about non-scientific or anti-scientific concepts.
Old Guy wrote:
If such questions are not relevant or appropriate to science, then what academic discipline is the appropriate discipline?
Science.

However be aware, that science is not a democracy. You can't preach Flat Earth theory and claim it to be as valid as the idea that the Earth is an oblate spheroid. Also students themselves do not get to decide what the correct answers are in class. Just like any other class. They do not get to decide on the validity of science. SCIENTISTS do that. So if students want that same privilege, they need to LEARN the science, become scientists themselves, and THEN do the research and the legwork to validate or invalidate scientific concepts.
The Dude

Wallasey, UK

#43 Apr 24, 2014
Gillette wrote:
<quoted text>
Is this hypothetical student a fundamentalist Christian working a religious agenda who won't really LISTEN to the answer that the science faculty gives him or her?
In which case said student still has a number of options, as their religious freedom is guaranteed by the First Amendment.

1 - They can learn what they're supposed to and learn to apply critical thinking, which they can also apply to their religious or philosophical beliefs if they desire.

2 - They can learn what they're supposed to then choose to be ignorant and disregard it after they've passed the exam.

3 - They can get their parents to take them out of science class therefore they don't have to learn about realities which offend them. They will of course fail said class for not doing the work the rest of the students are.

4 - They can go to a private fundie religious school that preaches the idea that the Flinstones is a science documentary.

5 - They can be homes-chooled by a private teacher or their parents and be told that The Flinstones is a science documentary.

6 - And at any stage in their life they are free to go to any church they like and buy (literally as well as figuratively) any book on religious apologetics they like, such as those published by AIG, ICR, and the DI. Or even the Raellians.
Old Guy

Napa, CA

#44 Apr 26, 2014
Dude, thank you for your help. Previous posts gave me the mistaken impression that questions about origins were not appropriate scientific questions. Thank you also for the reference to information on the origin of the universe. I think I have a fair understanding of the scientific view of how the universe came into existence but will check the link when time permits.

If I am correct in my understanding of your input and the input of others, evolutionary theory offers only an explanation of how life changed over time. Evolutionary theory does not offer an explanation of the origin of life because there is not enough information to form a hypothesis. Is it fair to say then, that noted evolutionary biologists offering opinions about how life may have begun are only offering personal opinions that do not yet have a scientific foundation?

Picking through the helpful input I find one term used that seems out of place. You note that apologetics in not science and by that I take it to mean that a science class in not the appropriate place to practice apologetics. With that I would agree and add that apologetics is not appropriate in any class if by the term apologetics you actually mean “proselytize”. Apologetics is giving a reasoned defense of what one believes and since we all believe something, whatever we may say in defense of what we believe is practicing apologetics.

Thanks again and someday you’ll have to tell me what you mean by “fundie”…..it seems to be a very broad and indiscriminate label.

Level 9

Since: Sep 08

Everett, WA

#45 Apr 26, 2014
Old Guy wrote:
Dude, thank you for your help. Previous posts gave me the mistaken impression that questions about origins were not appropriate scientific questions. Thank you also for the reference to information on the origin of the universe. I think I have a fair understanding of the scientific view of how the universe came into existence but will check the link when time permits.
If I am correct in my understanding of your input and the input of others, evolutionary theory offers only an explanation of how life changed over time. Evolutionary theory does not offer an explanation of the origin of life because there is not enough information to form a hypothesis. Is it fair to say then, that noted evolutionary biologists offering opinions about how life may have begun are only offering personal opinions that do not yet have a scientific foundation?
Picking through the helpful input I find one term used that seems out of place. You note that apologetics in not science and by that I take it to mean that a science class in not the appropriate place to practice apologetics. With that I would agree and add that apologetics is not appropriate in any class if by the term apologetics you actually mean “proselytize”. Apologetics is giving a reasoned defense of what one believes and since we all believe something, whatever we may say in defense of what we believe is practicing apologetics.
Thanks again and someday you’ll have to tell me what you mean by “fundie”…..it seems to be a very broad and indiscriminate label.
What they offer is a bit more than "personal opinions". Many of the steps necessary for life to form on its own have been tested, but not all of them. For example creationists used to claim that even amino acids could not form on their own. That was found to be false both in the laboratory and in nature itself.

It is quite difficult to reproduce in the laboratory an event that may have taken hundreds of thousands of years. So have some patience. The reason that it is accepted by most scientists that life arose on its own is that all other events that have been tested have been shown to be due to natural causes. For example gravity, electromagnetism, the weak and strong nuclear forces all occur without an invisible friend.

You may believe that life had to be started by God, I don't mind that too terribly much, of course you have to realize that there is no supporting evidence for that belief and you may need to change it someday. I don't know why creationists seem to think there is any victory by moving the goalposts all the way back to abiogenesis, even if God did that one event we still know that all life evolved from that point.
The Dude

Wallasey, UK

#46 Apr 26, 2014
Old Guy wrote:
Dude, thank you for your help. Previous posts gave me the mistaken impression that questions about origins were not appropriate scientific questions. Thank you also for the reference to information on the origin of the universe. I think I have a fair understanding of the scientific view of how the universe came into existence but will check the link when time permits.
If I am correct in my understanding of your input and the input of others, evolutionary theory offers only an explanation of how life changed over time. Evolutionary theory does not offer an explanation of the origin of life because there is not enough information to form a hypothesis. Is it fair to say then, that noted evolutionary biologists offering opinions about how life may have begun are only offering personal opinions that do not yet have a scientific foundation?
No, because there is enough information to form hypotheses, of which there are a couple. And why there are numerous organisations around the world, such as Harvard, actually engaged in research of abiogenesis as we speak. In general evolutionary biologists don't need to worry much about abiogenesis and leave that to the appropriate specialists such as biochemists.
Old Guy wrote:
Picking through the helpful input I find one term used that seems out of place. You note that apologetics in not science and by that I take it to mean that a science class in not the appropriate place to practice apologetics. With that I would agree and add that apologetics is not appropriate in any class if by the term apologetics you actually mean “proselytize”. Apologetics is giving a reasoned defense of what one believes and since we all believe something, whatever we may say in defense of what we believe is practicing apologetics.
Apologetics is a defense of beliefs, but it is not always reasoned. It is designed to sound reasonable for those who wish to justify their beliefs, but the problem with it is that it is not always reasoned as promoters of apologetics may claim. For instance, one apologetics argument for YEC's (Young Earth Creationists) is that although evidence shows the Earth to be old God only made it LOOK old, as it's perfectly within his power to do whatever he likes. But the problem with apologetics is that it can never be demonstrated. So ultimately at its' core, apologetics is about rationalizing, and not necessarily being rational.
Old Guy wrote:
Thanks again and someday you’ll have to tell me what you mean by “fundie”…..it seems to be a very broad and indiscriminate label.
Fundie is short for fundamentalist. Generally reserved for religious people who disallow any other religious interpretation other than their own. Other religious opinions, or even scientific facts are discarded in favour of religious dogma.

Level 6

Since: Mar 12

Location hidden

#47 Apr 27, 2014
Old Guy wrote:
'Evolutionary theory does not offer an explanation of the origin of life because there is not enough information to form a hypothesis.
No, that is not quite it. Biological evolution cannot apply to the origin of life because evolution is a PROCESS that can only operate on a self replicating units with heredity. So you need the self replicator, no matter how simple, to exist before evolution can "start".

Just as you need mass to exist before you can talk about gravity. Gravity cannot explain the origin of mass, just as evolution cannot explain the origin of life.

Now, OTHER hypotheses have been proposed to explain both the origin of mass and the origin of life. In the case of life, there are hypotheses about the conditions that could naturally lead to the development of the first self replicator but none of these hypotheses are confirmed. There is a lot of research going on, but we cannot in advance claim that its going to work (or why do the research???)

But even if they find a way that works, they are not then going to call that evolution. It will be a different process based on chemical interactions under specific physical conditions and the laws of organic chemistry, not the laws of evolution, that will apply.

Of course, as there are only hypothesis and none of them confirmed, you may freely adopt the alternative hypothesis that God started life, if you wish. For the meantime. But its very clear that once life exists, no intervention by God has been shown to be necessary at any point in evolution, which unlike abiogenesis is well established science and in scientific circles is not even controversial.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#48 Apr 29, 2014
Old Guy wrote:
If a student, in the typical science class, asks a question regarding the scientific theory which explains the origin of life or the origin of the universe, is this an appropriate question for the typical science class?
That depends on the class. Is it covering the question of origins? If it is, then it is an appropriate question. If not, then it is probably off topic.

So, for example, asking about the origin of life in a physics class is definitely off topic. Even asking it in a biology class is probably off topic except during the time when that topic is being discussed.

Asking about the origin of the universe is going to be off topic in a biology class. It will be off topic in most physics classes. However, if the course is discussing cosmology, it is probably an appropriate question.
If yes, then what is the appropriate scientific response?
That depends a lot on the level of the class. For the question of the origin of the universe, the basic question can have an answer ranging from 'we don't know' to a discussion of the thermodynamics in the context of general relativity and how various theories of particle physics affect the analysis.
If no, then are questions about origins not relevant to science?
They can be, but typically the amount of science required to understand the answers is significant. For example, the question of the origin of the universe can take several forms. We can ask about how the universe has changed over time as a way to investigate the very early universe for evidence of origins. We can look at a wide variety of proposed theories of gravity and particle physics that might be relevant to the question of the origin of the universe. We may investigate the assumption that the universe *has* an origin by looking at the detailed descriptions given by our current models, etc.

If you are asking about the origin of life, the first questions will be simply defining what you mean by the term 'life'. This turns out to be much trickier than many think. Then you can look at both organic chemistry and biochemistry to understand exactly what is required for a collection of chemicals to be alive and what the possible origins of those chemicals would be. Then we can look at the conditions of the early Earth and ask how the chemistry changes in that environment and what relevance that has to origins.

To understand even the basics of the answers may require a LOT of physics (for the origin of the universe), or biology and chemistry (for the origin of life). There are many things that we do not yet know and are actively studying.
If such questions are not relevant or appropriate to science, then what academic discipline is the appropriate discipline?
For a long time, such questions were the providence of philosophy. But many of the questions have become testable and now are being actively investigated scientifically. One problem is that the issues are very technical and are not so easily discussed in detail except by those who have studied the background fields: like quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, and general relativity (for the origins of the universe) and biology, biochemistry, organic chemistry, and geology (for the origins of life).

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#49 Apr 29, 2014
Old Guy wrote:
If I am correct in my understanding of your input and the input of others, evolutionary theory offers only an explanation of how life changed over time. Evolutionary theory does not offer an explanation of the origin of life because there is not enough information to form a hypothesis. Is it fair to say then, that noted evolutionary biologists offering opinions about how life may have begun are only offering personal opinions that do not yet have a scientific foundation?
No. Evolution is the study of how living species change over time. The area of abiogenesis is concerned with questions of how life began. An evolutionary biologist may well mention the ideas of abiogenesis (which have scientific backing) without those issues being in their domain of specialty. They could also discuss chemistry and/or physics with scientific justification without them being part of evolutionary biology directly.
Picking through the helpful input I find one term used that seems out of place. You note that apologetics in not science and by that I take it to mean that a science class in not the appropriate place to practice apologetics. With that I would agree and add that apologetics is not appropriate in any class if by the term apologetics you actually mean “proselytize”. Apologetics is giving a reasoned defense of what one believes and since we all believe something, whatever we may say in defense of what we believe is practicing apologetics.
Thanks again and someday you’ll have to tell me what you mean by “fundie”…..it seems to be a very broad and indiscriminate label.
Classrooms are typically NOT the place to have discussions of the details of research projects. Unless, of course, you are in a seminar concerned with such discussion. Making a reasoned defense of your position can be done in the research journals, letters to the editors, conferences, etc. Defending an alternative explanation of the data is generally NOT done in the lower level courses: anything below the graduate level. it would simply be off-topic. Once you are in a discussion seminar concerned with such questions, and you have the background knowledge to reasonably discuss the issue,*then* you can defend your position with as much vehemence as you wish.

“I am Sisyphus”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#50 Apr 30, 2014
drjoel14 wrote:
<quoted text>
Mutation + natural selection also cannot increase the genome of a creature or living thing. Information must be added to change scales into feathers, fins into feet, etc.- where does that information come from?

If, as you claim, you have taken classes covering evolution then you know the answer to this quesition.

If not you have lied.

Get your story straight and try again.

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