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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why Abiogenesis aka Chemical Evolution aka Spontaneous Generation is a myth, not science!

"...we do know of a cause -- a type of cause -- that has demonstrated the power to produce functionally specified information from physical or chemical constituents. That cause is intelligence, or mind, or conscious activity. As information theorist Henry Quastler observed, "The creation of information is habitually associated with conscious activity."12 Indeed, whenever we find specified information--whether embedded in a radio signal, carved in a stone monument, etched on a magnetic disc, or produced by a genetic algorithm or ribozyme engineering experiment--and we trace it back to its source, invariably we come to a mind, not merely a material process. And, as origin-of-life research itself has helped to demonstrate, we know of no other cause capable of producing functional specified information starting, again, from a purely physical or chemical state. Thus, the discovery of functionally specified, digitally encoded information in the DNA of even the simplest living cells provides compelling positive evidence for the activity of a prior designing intelligence at the point of the origin of the first life."  - Stephen C. Meyer, Of Molecules and (Straw) Men: Stephen Meyer Responds to Dennis Venema's Review of Signature in the Cell - October 9, 2011.
  


If we could just get scientists to respect the Laws of Thermodynamics and the Law of Biogenesis, much of the wasted time and resources spent trying to prove the impossible for the sake of the naturalistic materialistic religion of Darwinism would be directed towards real science.   In this post, we will continue to focus on the veracity of Biogenesis and the wasted futility of the efforts of the "Abiogenesis" aka "Chemical Evolution" aka "Spontaneous Generation" crowd. 

First, a quick review of the establishment of the Law of Biogenesis:


Can Life Arise from Non Life?

People believed for thousands of years that live maggots could be spawned from dead
meat. In 1665, Francesco Redi (1626–1697) put meat in three jars, one open, one closed with
gauze and the third closed with paper. Flies laid their eggs on the meat in the open jar. The eggs
hatched to maggots, then young flies. Unable to reach the meat, flies laid their eggs on the gauze
of the second jar and the maggots hatched on the gauze, not on the meat. No eggs were laid on the
paper or the meat of the third jar, so it remained free of maggots. With this repeatable experiment,
Redi proved scientifically that life, the maggots, comes from life, the flies, and not from non life,
the dead meat. This proved that vitalism and evolution, which depend on vitalism, were
superstitions. However, the vitalists would not give up. They maintained that the
microorganisms that grow in a culture broth or that ferment beers or wines were spawned from
nothing alive.

Figure 1. Redi’s experiment proved that life, maggots, from non life, meat, was superstition.

In 1864 the archetype scientist, Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), proved that the
microorganisms causing fermentation were airborne, not spontaneously generated as the evolution
vitalists insisted. Pasteur also provided reproducible evidence that the airborne distribution of
microorganisms is not uniform. Besides these undisputed experiments, Pasteur successfully
applied these findings to his work on vaccines for chicken cholera, anthrax and rabies. Yet in spite
of all this reproducible scientific evidence, and without one experiment to the contrary, the
evolution vitalists like Charles Darwin, as well as modern biology textbook authors, persisted in
propagandizing the ancient Greek spontaneous generation superstitions of 2,300 years earlier.

Figure 2. Pasteur’s experiments proved that microorganisms come from life, not non life.

Unlike Darwin and other evolutionists, true scientists like Dr. Joseph Lister
(1827–1912) did not dishonor Pasteur’s new scientific knowledge but rather applied it to medical
practice in 1865. For surgeries, Lister sterilized for atmospheric germs with carbolic acid thereby
preventing infection and saving many lives. Like Pasteur and Lister, scientists replace
superstition with repeatable experiments and apply the new knowledge to the relief of human
suffering and the saving of lives. Antiscientists like Darwin regressed to lethal superstitions that
supported slavery and genocide wars at a cost of many millions of lives and great suffering.
                     
Figure 3. Applying Pasteur’s new knowledge, Lister sterilized for germs and saved many lives.

In 1877, the physicist, John Tyndall (1820–1893), with an ingenious apparatus and
protocol proved most rigorously that life cannot arise from non life. His apparatus demonstrated
that light was invisible in a clean chamber and visible when dust with its invisible cargo of
bacteria was introduced. His protocol provided for the cycling of sterilizing heat which killed the
bacterial spores that hatched and became vulnerable after the first thermal stress. This settled the
issue for all time. Scientifically, vitalism and all of its evolution elaborations to “the many
different kinds of organisms living today, including you,” were disproven and relegated to the
dustbin of superstitions. These reproducible experiments have never been overturned and they
refute forever the superstitions of life coming from non life and endlessly evolving.
                  
Figure 4. Tyndall’s apparatus for proving that bacteria cannot spawn or evolve spontaneously.

Summary. Like non living machines, living organisms must be engineered. That means
planned, organized, coordinated, commanded and controlled. Living organisms are the most
complicated objects in the universe so the requirement is mega-engineering, not the sub-idiot,
headless, phantom, superstitious, engineering in the hallucinations of evolutionists.

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Yes, the summary is a bit tough on Darwinists, but in fairness the author had been recently sparring with P.Z. Myers online, an activity likely to fire a Creationist up.   Louis Pasteur did say that anyone who thought life could come from non-life was believing a "chimera" which would be translated loosely as a nightmare or horrifying dream in the French vernacular of the 1800's.   Here is an excerpt from the NNDB page on Pasteur:  

"...Pasteur one day visited a brewery containing both sound and unsound beer. He examined the yeasts under the microscope, and at once saw that the globules from the sound beer were nearly spherical, while those from the sour beer were elongated; and this led him to a discovery, the consequences of which have revolutionized chemical as well as biological science, inasmuch as it was the beginning of that wonderful series of experimental researches in which he proved conclusively that the notion of spontaneous generation is a chimera. Up to this time the phenomenon of fermentation was considered strange and obscure. Explanations had indeed been put forward by men as eminent as Berzelius and Justus Liebig, but they lacked experimental foundation. This was given in the most complete degree by Pasteur. For he proved that the various changes occurring in the several processes of fermentation -- as, for example, in the vinous, where alcohol is the chief product; in the acetous, where vinegar appears; and in the lactic, where milk turns sour -- are invariably due to the presence and growth of minute organisms called ferments. Exclude every trace of these organisms, and no change occurs. Brewers' wort remains unchanged for years, milk keeps permanently sweet, and these and other complex liquids remain unaltered when freely exposed to air from which all these minute organisms are removed. "The chemical act of fermentation", writes Pasteur, "is essentially a correlative phenomenon of a vital act beginning and ending with it."

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Definition of CHIMERA

1
a capitalized : a fire-breathing she-monster in Greek mythology having a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail b : an imaginary monster compounded of incongruous parts
2
: an illusion or fabrication of the mind; especially : an unrealizable dream chimera in my brain, troubles me in my prayer — John Donne>

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Such ideas have been imagined for thousands of years, superstitious ideas of mud becoming men.   In Europe this theme was borrowed by Mary Shelley when she wrote her book, "Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus" in 1818.  Prometheus was the mythological Greek god who molded men from clay, an obvious warped version of the Genesis account of Adam being formed from the ground.   Among Eastern European Jews the Golem was a teaching that morphed into the legend of a mud man coming to life, The Golem, based on teaching from the Talmud carried well beyond what is in the Bible.  Golem comes from the Hebrew word for the unshaped form.   Psalms 139:16 -

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.



Unformed substance = A word that would be pronounced Golemi or Galemi in Hebrew =   גָּלְמִ֤י ׀

Now this article authored by Stephen C. Meyer concerning his book Signature In The Cell is worth reading in it's entirety, as you may by following the link.  The whole article is truly brilliant.  But for blogging purposes I will include the most pertinent excerpt concerning the topic of Spontaneous Generation/Abiogenesis/Chemical Evolution/*poof* or whatever you choose to call it:


"...From the Horse's Mouth: The Argument of Signature in the Cell
 
Signature in the Cell addresses what I call the "DNA Enigma," the mystery of the information necessary to produce the first life. The book begins by describing this enigma and how it emerged from the revolutionary developments in molecular biology during the 1950s and 1960s. When Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA in 1953, they also discovered that DNA stores information in the form of a four-character alphabetic code. Strings of precisely sequenced chemicals called nucleotide bases store and transmit the assembly instructions -- the information -- for building the crucial protein molecules and protein machines the cell needs to survive. Crick later developed this idea with his famous "sequence hypothesis," according to which the nucleotide bases in DNA function like letters in a written language or symbols in a computer code. Just as letters in an English sentence or digital characters in a computer program may convey information depending on their arrangement, so too do certain sequences of chemical bases along the spine of the DNA molecule convey precise instructions for building proteins.

Further, since life depends upon the presence of genetic information, any theory of the origin of the first life must provide an account of the origin of this information. As origin-of-life researcher Bernd-Olaf Küppers has explained, "The problem of the origin-of-life is clearly basically equivalent to the problem of the origin of biological information."2

The book then draws an important distinction between the mathematical theory of information developed by Claude Shannon at MIT during the late 1940s and what has been called "functional information,"3 "specified information," or "specified complexity."4 According to Shannon, the amount of information conveyed in a series of symbols or characters is inversely proportional to the probability of a particular event, symbol, or character occurring. Functional or specified information, by contrast, is present in sequences in which the specific arrangement of the symbols or characters is crucial to the ability of the string to perform a function or convey meaning. For example, consider two sequences of characters:

Four score and seven years ago

nenen ytawoi jll sn mekhdx nnx 

Both of these sequences have an equal number of characters. Since both are composed of the same 26-letter English alphabet, the probability of producing each of those two sequences at random is identical. Therefore, both sequences have an equal amount of information as measured by Shannon's theory. Nevertheless, the first of these sequences performs a communication function, while the second does not.

When discussing information in a biological context, we must distinguish sequences of characters that are (a) merely improbable from (b) sequences that are improbable and also specifically arranged so as to perform a function. Following Francis Crick himself, I show that DNA-base sequences do not just possess "information" in the strictly mathematical sense of Shannon's theory. Instead, DNA contains information in the richer and more ordinary sense of "alternative sequences or arrangements of characters that produce a specific effect." DNA-base sequences convey assembly instructions. They perform functions in virtue of their specific arrangements. Thus, they do not possess mere "Shannon information," but instead "specified" or "functional information." Indeed, like the precisely arranged zeros and ones in a computer program, the chemical bases in DNA convey instructions in virtue of their "specificity."

Having defined the kind of information that needs to be explained in any theory of the origin of the first life, the book then does two things.

First, it shows that historical scientists typically use a method of multiple competing hypotheses.5 Contemporary philosophers of science such as Peter Lipton have called this the method of "inference to the best explanation." 6 That is, when trying to explain the origin of an event, feature, or structure in the remote past, scientists typically compare various hypotheses to see which would, if true, best explain it. 7 They then provisionally affirm the hypothesis that best explains the data as the one that is most likely to be true. But that raises a question: what makes an explanation best?

Historical scientists have developed criteria for deciding which cause, among a group of competing possible causes, provides the best explanation for some event in the remote past. The most important of these criteria is called "causal adequacy." This criterion requires that historical scientists identify causes that are known to have the power to produce the kind of effect, feature, or event that requires explanation. In making these determinations, historical scientists evaluate hypotheses against their present knowledge of cause and effect. Causes that are known to produce the effect in question are judged to be better candidates than those that do not. For instance, a volcanic eruption provides a better explanation for an ash layer in the earth than an earthquake because eruptions have been observed to produce ash layers, whereas earthquakes have not.

One of the first scientists to develop this principle was the geologist Charles Lyell who also influenced Charles Darwin. Darwin read Lyell's The Principles of Geology while onboard the Beagle and employed its principles of reasoning in The Origin of Species. The subtitle of Lyell's Principles summarized the geologist's central methodological principle: Being an Attempt to Explain the Former Changes of the Earth's Surface, by Reference to Causes Now in Operation (emphasis in title added).8 Lyell argued that when scientists seek to explain events in the past, they should not invoke unknown or exotic causes, the effects of which we do not know. Instead, they should cite causes that are known from our uniform experience to have the power to produce the effect in question. Historical scientists should cite "causes now in operation" or presently acting causes. This was the idea behind his uniformitarian principle and the dictum, "The present is the key to the past." According to Lyell, our present experience of cause and effect should guide our reasoning about the causes of past events. Darwin himself adopted this methodological principle as he sought to demonstrate that natural selection qualified as a vera causa, that is, a true, known, or actual cause of significant biological change.9 He sought to show that natural selection was "causally adequate" to produce the effects he was trying to explain.

Both philosophers of science and leading historical scientists have emphasized causal adequacy as the key criterion by which competing hypotheses are adjudicated. But philosophers of science also have noted that assessments of explanatory power lead to conclusive inferences only when it can be shown that there is only one known cause for the effect or evidence in question.10 When scientists can infer a uniquely plausible cause, they avoid the logical fallacy of affirming the consequent (or ignoring other possible causes with the power to produce the same effect).11

Secondly, after establishing parameters for evaluating competing explanations of the origin of the information necessary to produce the first life, I consciously employ the method of multiple competing hypotheses to make a positive case for intelligent design based upon the presence of functionally specified information in the cell. My book argues that intelligent design provides the best -- "most causally adequate" -- explanation of the origin of the functional or specified information necessary to produce life in the first place.

To do so, Signature in the Cell argues, first, that no purely undirected physical or chemical process -- whether those based upon chance, law-like necessity, or the combination of the two -- has provided an adequate causal explanation for the ultimate origin of the functionally specified biological information. In making that claim, I specifically stipulate that I am talking about undirected physical or chemical processes, not processes (such as random genetic mutation and natural selection) that commence only once life has begun. (Clearly, material processes that only commence once life has begun cannot be invoked to explain the origin of the information necessary to produce life in the first place). Nevertheless, I do examine the leading naturalistic attempts to account for the ultimate origin of biological information, including chance-based theories, self-organizational theories, theories of prebiotic natural selection, including the RNA world hypothesis and DNA-first, protein-first, and metabolism-first theories. As a result of this analysis, I show that attempts to account for the origin of specified biological information starting "from purely physical or chemical antecedents" have repeatedly failed.

On the other hand, I further argue, based upon our uniform and repeated experience, we do know of a cause -- a type of cause -- that has demonstrated the power to produce functionally specified information from physical or chemical constituents. That cause is intelligence, or mind, or conscious activity. As information theorist Henry Quastler observed, "The creation of information is habitually associated with conscious activity."12 Indeed, whenever we find specified information--whether embedded in a radio signal, carved in a stone monument, etched on a magnetic disc, or produced by a genetic algorithm or ribozyme engineering experiment--and we trace it back to its source, invariably we come to a mind, not merely a material process. And, as origin-of-life research itself has helped to demonstrate, we know of no other cause capable of producing functional specified information starting, again, from a purely physical or chemical state. Thus, the discovery of functionally specified, digitally encoded information in the DNA of even the simplest living cells provides compelling positive evidence for the activity of a prior designing intelligence at the point of the origin of the first life."

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The entire article has all the references and goes further into why Abiogenesis or whatever you want to call it is truly a chimera.  Real science says life is designed, period.  Go and see for yourself. So if you want to believe in the Evolution Fairy sprinking Darwin Dust on mud and life coming forth with a "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" then you just go on ahead.   But please do not insult science any longer by pretending that such a belief has anything at all to do with science.  Nonsense.  A Chimera. 

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