Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hell on Earth - The Beginnings of Life?

Life obviously began on earth at some point in the past -- even the Bible clearly states that when it was first formed, it was "void and without life". So somewhere, somehow, life started.

Obviously, the Christians and other religionists will insist that it was the "hand of God" or some other mythical conjecture. They all seem to envision it was done with a peaceful, gentle waving of some magic wand and a sprinkling of pixie dust, and then POOF! Life begins!

Of course, science and reality are never that cute and cuddly. Some bits of life's building blocks take far more "oomph" to get started than just a magical wave -- it takes conditions that exist in Dante's Inferno.

In this recent article in Science News, researchers at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan subjected basic chemical constituents to a brutal test -- encapsulating them in small stainless steel cylinders and firing them at extremely high speeds at a solid wall. This wasn't done just for the satisfaction of watching things moving at high speed go "BOOM!" (although that can be a lot of fun, too), it actually had a valid scientific purpose.

The scientists were trying to replicate the conditions that would be encountered in a meteor strike on the early earth to see what sort of reactions and combinations would be created. Sure enough, they got some novel and very promising results. Glycine, fatty acids, amines, and other organic chemicals were formed from the tremendous heat and pressure of the impacts. Not only that, it is clear from the isotope of carbon (C13) that was used that no contamination occurred from outside the cylinders.

It seems that every day, new information and findings are providing tremendous support for the idea that the precursors of life, far from being rare and statistically improbable in the universe, are actually very common and readily found in just about every place we look -- from the hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the ocean all the way to interstellar space. We've got several potential habitats within our own solar system that could evolve life (not including our own little planet) -- Europa, Titan, and Enceladus all have liquid water oceans under a thick ice crust. At some point in the future, we're going to be able to pull a sample from one of those distant places, and I wouldn't place bets against the possibility of finding some alien critters out there.

By all indications, the starting blocks of life weren't formed in a quiet, peaceful little pond, but in the hellish and violent conditions of interstellar space and high impact collisions.

27 comments:

AdamH said...

"Pixie dust", "magic wands"? Good straw man, Chuck.

Chuck Lunney said...

I notice you didn't actually comment on the substansive subject of the post. Why is that?

And I certainly don't see you providing any other explanation or details in how "Goddunit". Perhaps you could try a little harder next time to be relevant?

iggykc said...

Ouch, Chuck... This hurts. Not fair to question and challenge those less fortunate who read only one book (or 95% of Americans actually have not even read the Bible") or others derived from it.

Those who have no idea of how "magic dust" has sprung into conscious existance in the piece of meat called brain will tell you it's "goddunit and this proves it".

How can you not understand that you are part of that plan :o)

AdamH said...

Well, Well, look what crawled out from under the wood work...

Funny he would show up now, Chuck.

Wonder how he knew I was posting.

GOTCHA!

AdamH said...

The "dust of the earth" is not "magic dust" and in fact insightfully realizes that the same elements that make up the earth make us up in material compostion.

Not "pixie dust" either, by any stretch of the imagination.

But perhaps by the stretch of deliberate distorition.

Chuck Lunney said...

The "dust of the earth" is not "magic dust" and in fact insightfully realizes that the same elements that make up the earth make us up in material compostion.

HOW?

Seriously -- how does this happen? What are the specific interactions, processes, events and combinations that occur in transmuting "dust of the earth" into "life"? You say "God did it" (or at least, the Bible says so), but when cornered, no one can ever provide any actual ideas, hypotheses or evidence for it.

And yet, when I read the scientific literature, there are always references, evidences, data, deductive conclusions and mutually supporting theories to explain and encompass it all.

So, rather than avoiding the question, answer it:

God did it HOW?

Not "pixie dust" either, by any stretch of the imagination.

But perhaps by the stretch of deliberate distorition.


Perhaps a little poetic license -- but not much.

Whether God "spoke" life into existence, waved a magic wand or sprinkled some pixie dust, the problem is the same. There is no actual method, mechanism, evidence or support for any of them.

If you've got something, present it. Otherwise, "pixie dust" is just as good as "God spoke".

iggykc said...

Chuck, the goal is not to explain how, but to "implant" god's know-how :o) Explanations are not needed. It is clear as a bell. Because god hides in the quantum level and we cannot observe it or even measure accurately thogh we can predict with a good degree of accurasy as the Japanese did, this proves that we are living in a fog and the only way to clear it to accept a deity. Even if it lives in an anus of a cow.

iggykc said...

Chuck, adamh cannot show up to meet you anywhere. He may not have a car or driver's licence or driving 40-45 miles one for him is not a good option - costs too much with the gas mileage his car may have. So to go and meet you it will be even with today's gas prices at $1.35 or so on MO side about $5-6 for him plus 2 hours of drive both ways. He'd better spend his time trolling on the net and save money for the political campaign when he grows up and then will show everyone that a fundie like him can take on atheists in public :o)

Chuck Lunney said...

I am not specifying any particular individual to come meet with me. If AdamH can't (won't/is too afraid/paranoid/etc), then the invitation is still open to anyone else.

I plan on re-issuing this meeting request on a semi-regular basis (not sure how frequently yet). If AdamH or Andrew or anyone else who's commented here or on Bill's blog shows up, they'll garner a little more respect from me.

Until then, anonymous and irrelevant trolls is all they will remain.

iggykc said...

Chuck, have you posted your invite on Bill Tammeus' blog? You may generate someone interested to come besides our buddy adamh. He has never showed up for any meetups in Kansas City - he claims he has been taking photos and chuckles about it as if it is changing anything. I think in his mind he is "attending" the meetups if and when he claims he or some girl goes around and plays with the cell phone taking photos. I actually think he thinks he attends in his mind even if he doesn't. I think you may get someone else more in tune wiht reality than him show up. For all we know adamh is like one of htose aliens played by Keanu Reeves trapped in a human body in the newly released "The Day the Earth Stood Still". This would explain why he doesn't drive - he just doesn't know how. It also would explain why his logical line of thinking is completely incoherent he just doens't know the earthly ways. He's been in the fog of the deity on his planet. I don't know for sure, but I would not be suprised if the deity residing in the cow anus is what he worships. He clearly doesn't even have any idea of some Jebus guy he says nobody on BT blogs believes in.

iggykc said...

Chuck, cole invited folks from BT blog for a breakfast or any other outing before. Nobody responded, but it's worht trying. It costs you nothing but a couple zillions of electrons.

iggykc said...

adamh,

Sorry to be intrusive, but I am assuming there was a settlement by the doctor's insurance company? I am not trying to pry into your personal matters, but trying to understand specifics and background, so don't feel you have to go there if you don't want to.

Did the medical problem occur because of negligence or incompetence of the doctor or slip of his hand, wrong prescription, etc?

Please, read that again... Did the problem happen because of that?

Apparently, you say the suit happened because the doctor denied the mistake or wrong doing (this is what any doctor will do on advice of their attorney - law 101) or even they can do it on their own - this is why they have liability insurance.

As for arrogance of the doctor holding your beliefs in contempt, I don't know anything about that. Feel free to elaborate. If you wanted the doctor to pray with you before or after the surgery or medical treatment or during, I would refuse personally too and would excuse myself from it. If pressed for why - I would tell you I don't think it's relevant why I don't want to pray with you or respect your religious views and walk away.

If pressed further by you, I'd say that based on the scientific evidence your religious views would not help in this case and I'd excuse myself again even from this case completely and recommended you had another doctor. This would not be inappropriate and the doctor would have not have any problem as he has not done anything prior to surgery or treatment.

I have a feeling the doctors' view and "arrogance" came up after or during or maybe even before the event and your family and he still "proceeded" with it.

And when it happened, then the suit was filed in part because of the hard feelings towards him being an atheist and his arrogance and not just because he made a mistake. Basically for spite.

If it was not filed for spite it would have just been filed for medical negligence and that's it.

This would have been the same as when an atheist and Christian got into a car accident and someone got hurt and when they both got out and got to talk the atheist said "Sh.t, how did that happen?" and you'd say "I have prayed for no accident today and see what happened. Did you pray for no accident" and the answer would have been "I don't pray, this is BS" and you file the law suit for sprite.

I bet you anything your lawsuit was not settled/tried on the merits of "arrogance" "disrespect" for your beliefs but on the issue of "negligence" competence of your doctor.

Don't forget, you also could have walked away before or during the medical treatment from the doctor.

You had free will if you knew about that before or during. You also should question yourself.

It is a two way street. That is why we have car insurance - to have accidents. Well, not really, to prevent financial liability and make life simpler.

It is personal beliefs that make it more difficult. Don't know if the doctor could have been more polite with you. If you did not file the suit against him if he apologized would be impressive.

Also, would have been impressive if you just "turned the other cheeck" as commanded by Jesus and not sued as commanded by him.

Bird's eye view my friend. Bird's eye view.

Let us see now where logic is going to take you.

AdamH said...

How did God do it?

Don't know. That is what he gave us brains to figure out.

I have never disputed that we have a lot to learn, what I dispute is that "Science" implies "Atheism, as you constantly pretend.

Or that science can provide us ethical guidance; after all, scientists have provided weapons of mass destruction to anyone who has the means to obtain them.

(And Iggy, as far as the legal action, that involved my mom and that is all the info you are going to get. Suffice it to say, the atheist is sorry now. If that answr is insufficient, tough cookies.)

AdamH said...

And Chuck, I won't show up in the present circumstance and you KNOW WHY.

Your tag teaming with Iggy in these very posts, who has suddenly shows up, demonstrates that my beliefs about YOU were completely correct.

You lose.

AdamH said...

Chuck, Iggy takes photos of people and sends them to other webmasters. He chased the uncle of a friend of mine around an audotorium.

Ask him, even if he won't admit it publicly he will tell you.

Chuck Lunney said...

And Chuck, I won't show up in the present circumstance and you KNOW WHY.

Yes -- you're too terrified that your beliefs will be criticized and challenged, and you don't think your faith is strong enough to deal with it.

In other words, you're a coward who prefers to remain an anonymous troll.

As far as what Iggy does - I don't care. I've asked him to leave this blog, so hopefully he won't be back. He can go torment you over at Bill's blog or other places.

I'm not him -- I don't care what he does to theists. I've asked politely to meet face-to-face with any theist (although there aren't too many people who read my blog, so it's sort of a limited invitation).

I've stated that I won't photo, video or record anything. I've also consistently and continuously used my FULL NAME in all communications on all blogs and comments (unlike some people). It seems that hiding in the shadows, sniping from anonymity and running in fear from actual discussion is your forte.

If you don't show, it'll just demonstrate that I've been correct all along. You can make all the mock protestations you want about a "fear of Iggy" that kept you away, but you'll know in your heart that you are simply a frightened and uncertain child in your faith, and can't bear the possibility that you might actually NOT be right in what you believe.

Your lack of faith is showing.

iggykc said...

Chuck,

It's your blog, you run your own show. I will withdraw from here and will commit NOT to come to any of your meetings that you set up with any theist (not even if asked to come), so there is no concern at all. I will not come and eavesdrop or photograph anyone because if I don't come I cannot do so. I hope you'll be able to meet with adamh one day. Cheers!

AdamH said...

And I am to believe Iggy...why?

As to you Chuck, your schoolyard tauntings are a sign of desperation! Obviously, I have struck a nerve!

If you have an argument that I can't deal with, if you can show that all existence, life, mind, and reason itself are the result of mindless processes, the DO IT HERE!

IN PRINT!

Chuck Lunney said...

And I am to believe Iggy...why?

I don't care if you believe him or not. He's not my concern.

As to you Chuck, your schoolyard tauntings are a sign of desperation! Obviously, I have struck a nerve!

Really? Are you that stupid, or do you just act this way when you're a desperate, anonymous troll?

My "taunting" is to show that you aren't man enough to actually step out of the shadows and meet me face to face.

If you have an argument that I can't deal with, if you can show that all existence, life, mind, and reason itself are the result of mindless processes, the DO IT HERE!

IN PRINT!


Ummm, have you bothered to read any of the posts I've made about scientific discoveries? Have you noticed that I've asked you specifically to provide any mechanism, method, evidence or support beyond "god did it" for your claims?

It certainly seems to me that it is you who can't deal with the actual arguments, and resort to hiding in anonymity to avoid confronting your real issues.

AdamH said...

I don't claim to have all the answers.

You are the one who claims that all existence, life, mind, and reason itself can be explained by mindless processes.

Its just that you can't demonstrate it. And none of the "scientific discoveries" that you blog about have either.

And if it makes you feel like "man" to challenge me, go for it!

But the challenge does not really make sense. Are you claiming you are able to beat me up or something?

Because it sure can't be your arguments that are that superior.

Chuck Lunney said...

I don't claim to have all the answers.

No, but your religion certainly does. I bet you're one of those who thinks the universe is only 6,000 years old, too.

You are the one who claims that all existence, life, mind, and reason itself can be explained by mindless processes.

Ummm, no I don't. If you think so, please quote where I've said it.

Its just that you can't demonstrate it. And none of the "scientific discoveries" that you blog about have either.

I didn't say they explained it all, just that they were facts and evidence in support of reason and rationality - and against idiocy and blind belief.

And if it makes you feel like "man" to challenge me, go for it! But the challenge does not really make sense. Are you claiming you are able to beat me up or something?

Are you 12 years old? Do you really not understand the intent behind a debate challenge? Take any SPECIFIC statement from one of my posts and try to refute it. That's the challenge.

So far, all you've done is ad hominem, insult and smear - the tactics and methods of anonymous trolls across the net.

Because it sure can't be your arguments that are that superior.

Well, since you haven't addressed a single one of my arguments with any actual debate -- I guess they're holding up quite well.

See you tomorrow at Border's (or not, if you're too much of an intellectual coward)

Andrew said...

Chuck, I haven't seen that you have made any actual arguments, unless you are referring to continually citing "science" as an argument of sorts.
And when you call religious people delusional, idiots, blind, etc. I don't see how that is not engaging in ad hominems. But thats OK, Bill Tammeus has let the atheist trash his blog so its fine that you let a few immature theists (if they are theists) trash yours.

Andrew said...

Getting past the kid stuff, adam did say somehting that intrigued me. He said that you claim that all existence, life, mind, etc are the result of mindless processess.
You answer "no I don't". Now that is genuinely interesting, and I would like to understand the atheist perspective. Are you saying, then, that some aspects of the origin of the universe (I assume that is what he is getting at) and of life and mind
ARE the result of not mindless, but intelligent processes? In other words, is intelligence involved in the creation of the universe? (And if you are going to start calling ME delusional, blind, a coward, whatever just save it and don't bother.)

Chuck Lunney said...

Chuck, I haven't seen that you have made any actual arguments, unless you are referring to continually citing "science" as an argument of sorts.

Adam seems to be extrapolating from what is posted on this blog and making assumptions about me based on his own ignorance.

I haven't posted all of my beliefs here, but if you go back through the entire blog (it's not very long), you'll see a fuller view of what I accept. It's not complete, and it doesn't cover everything.

And when you call religious people delusional, idiots, blind, etc. I don't see how that is not engaging in ad hominems.

Either provide a direct citation of me making a blanket statement about "religious people" (and not just directed at single individuals), or retract the statement, Andrew.

But thats OK, Bill Tammeus has let the atheist trash his blog so its fine that you let a few immature theists (if they are theists) trash yours.

I don't know why Bill doesn't reign in the abuse and obnoxiousness there. It's not just the atheists who are rude, arrogant and offensive - and if you think it is, you should go back and read the comments with a far more open mind.

As to this blog -- I think it's humorous that a theist would want to come here and argue/insult me. Anonymous trolls who are too frightened of real discussion don't bother me -- they amuse me.

Chuck Lunney said...

Getting past the kid stuff, adam did say somehting that intrigued me. He said that you claim that all existence, life, mind, etc are the result of mindless processess.

"adam" said a lot of things -- most of them either distortions or blatant lies.

You answer "no I don't". Now that is genuinely interesting, and I would like to understand the atheist perspective.

Fine with me. I'd love to discuss it.

Are you saying, then, that some aspects of the origin of the universe (I assume that is what he is getting at) and of life and mind
ARE the result of not mindless, but intelligent processes?


No.

In other words, is intelligence involved in the creation of the universe?

What I am referring to is that there are huge areas of the universe we currently have NO understanding of. Therefore, it would be an error to claim knowledge of it. I don't know what exists "before" the Big Bang or what currently resides "outside" our universe's event horizon some 13.7 billion light years away. There is currently no way of objectively, empirically finding out, and so a skeptical agnosticism on those issues is the most reasonable, rational view (in my opinion).

I personally don't think there is any "intelligence" involved in the start, function or maintainance of the universe, nor is there any intelligence "guiding" life here on Earth.

All of those things are reasonably explained by natural stochaistic processes and phenomenon.

(And if you are going to start calling ME delusional, blind, a coward, whatever just save it and don't bother.)

Well, unless you start acting like a childish troll (and you haven't yet), I'll continue a calm and rational discussion with you.

I actually prefer honest, open and rational conversations. Please keep asking the questions (and if possible, try to answer some of the ones I've posed)

But baiting and taunting trolls like "adam" can be sort of fun, too. Everyone needs a humor break now and then.

AdamH said...

Thanks for the admission that you simply taunting. I knew it, just didn't think you would admit it.

And at least you say you don't "personally" think any intelligence is involved and don't claim that science has shown us that.

That is, actually, progess.

AdamH said...

YOU do claim all these things can be explained by stochaistic processes and "phenomena" when you refer to the start, function, and maintaining of the universe.

Your claim is undemonstrable and false, and I am pretty sure you know it.

Quite the scientist, aren't you?