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RE: [OriginsTalk] Re: The impasse of evolution (cat talk)

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  • Pasha
    Kamran writes:  The public ignorance is further aggravated when such supposedly science-driven organizations like NASA tell the world they are looking for
    Message 1 of 9 , May 1, 2010
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      Kamran writes:  The public ignorance is further aggravated when such supposedly science-driven organizations like NASA tell the world they are looking for signs of life on Mars, as if right here
      on the earth there are enough reasons to assume that life is a “natural”

      offshoot of dead matter!!!!!! !

      Pasha responds:  This highlights the primary problem of intelligent design.  It discourages scientific investigation.

      ========= Genetic Algorithms & Gene Duplication ==============

      Ok, Jim.  I took your paragraph and passed it to a genetic algorithm that began life with the letter "z".  One out of a thousand generations might experience a "gene duplication" event.  I need to review my code, because the gene duplications I introduce are terribly error prone.  They should simply reflect a stutter, not the introduction of completely viral DNA.  Nevertheless, with this error, the algorithm still produced your paragraph:

      All you've done is assert the Darwinian hypothesis; you haven't confirmed it.  Why don't you apply one of your genetic algorithms to the problem?  You could start with the first volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica and see if your algorithm produces the complete set.  Get back to us when you've achieved success (assuming that the universe is still in existence when that occurs).

      in less than 337,000 generations.  Just a second--let me add a clock...

      Well, it varies.  It never exceeds 4 seconds.  There are 40 million words in Encyclopedia Britannica, and 67 words in your paragraph (counting contractions as two words).  Just extending this out gives me 2.4 million seconds, which is 28 days.  Less than one month.  I expect the gene duplication portion of the algorithm would extend that, but then again, if I fixed my copy routine it would shorten it.  This routine is written in an interpreted basic--if I compiled it in C it would be LOTS faster.  As it is, 300,000 generations (sets of string operations) in 4 seconds is just amazing fast.  I remember back in the day when compiled code on an HP3000 wouldn't perform anywhere near that many operations.

      Living DNA consists of just four letters, not 2*26 plus punctuation.  Nor do they have 40 million genes.  Humans have around only 30,000 genes.  A genetic algorithm targeting something we would classify as a human, beginning with an amoeba and cycling 20 years between generations would complete comfortably within 600 million years.  Much less time than that considering the offspring of each generation run as parallel processes.

      The key difference is between a GA targeting humanoids and natural evolution is that the goal of natural evolution is not necessarily specified to be a human being.  It is simply whatever is more optimum than any competitor in a particular environment.  With a strategy like that evolution would proceed in fits and spurts, sometimes backwards, and the outcomes between any two successive runs would not likely match.

      That turns out to be the case with GAs designed to produce electronic circuits.  The solutions vary from one run to the next.  Set a goal as minimizing the number of components, and some runs will end up with fewer parts than others.  Still, the whole idea of computers designing circuits--it is pretty cool.



      In astra lumina, Veritas! --Danus Croskretus














      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jim Goff
      THE IMPASSE OF EVOLUTION Pasha: There are several reasons Jone s ruled ID was religion, not science. One, it is consistent with earlier court rulings on
      Message 2 of 9 , May 1, 2010
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        THE IMPASSE OF EVOLUTION



        Pasha: "There are several reasons Jone's ruled ID was religion, not science. One, it is consistent with earlier court rulings on creationism. Two, the ID proponents were pretty unabashed in their defense of religion, except for the two boys who lied (under oath) about the source of funding for the ID book (their local church). Three, earlier copies of the ID literate examined by the judge simply had 'creationism' replaced with 'intelligent design.'"



        Actually, Jones's ruling that ID is religion was not consistent with the Supreme Court's ruling (Edwards vs. Aguillard) that creationism "embodies the religious belief that a supernatural creator was responsible for the creation of humankind." Jones never showed that "Of Pandas and People" (the book you're referring to) promotes such a view and for a very good reason: it doesn't, in either its unpublished draft versions or its published version. For a look at how Jones misrepresented "Pandas" and how he stacked the deck in favor of the anti-ID participants in the Dover trial (so much for judicial impartiality), go to:



        http://www.discovery.org/a/3135#title3



        Who were "the two boys who lied (under oath) about the source of funding for the ID book"? And what bearing would that have on deciding that ID is religion? If evolutionary biologist Kenneth Miller went on a speaking tour to promote the view of theistic evolutionists that Darwinism and the Christian religion are quite compatible, and if that tour was funded by a church group (say, the U.S. Episcopal Church), would the church support Miller received entail that Darwinism is religion?



        I'm not sure what you mean by "the ID proponents were pretty unabashed in their defense of religion." Could you be more specific?



        Pasha: "...cluttering up intelligent design with attempts to prove the existence of deity through 'irreproducible complexity' is errant nonsense."



        Since intelligent design makes no attempt to "prove the existence of a deity," what's your point? Also, what is "irreproducible complexity"? Whatever it is, it's not an ID concept. Perhaps you meant to write "irreducible complexity," which is a key concept in ID theory.



        Jim in Vermont

        _________________________________________________________________
        The New Busy think 9 to 5 is a cute idea. Combine multiple calendars with Hotmail.
        http://www.windowslive.com/campaign/thenewbusy?tile=multicalendar&ocid=PID28326::T:WLMTAGL:ON:WL:en-US:WM_HMP:042010_5

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Kamran
        From: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com [mailto:OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Pasha Sent: Saturday, May 01, 2010 11:55 AM To: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com
        Message 3 of 9 , May 3, 2010
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          From: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com [mailto:OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Pasha
          Sent: Saturday, May 01, 2010 11:55 AM
          To: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [OriginsTalk] Re: The impasse of evolution (cat talk)





          Kamran writes: The public ignorance is further aggravated when such supposedly science-driven organizations like NASA tell the world they are looking for signs of life on Mars, as if right here on the earth there are enough reasons to assume that life is a “natural” offshoot of dead matter!!!!!! !

          Pasha responds: This highlights the primary problem of intelligent design. It discourages scientific investigation.





          Kamran: So burning over $400 billion to send a manned-mission to Mars and follow a hypothesis that has been shown right here on earth to be less plausible than the Tooth Fairy is tantamount to encouraging scientific investigation? As if the laws of the universe may somehow operate differently on Mars? And if some suggest that such a vast sum of money could do wonders for advancing education and science through more productive programs and priorities right here and within the immediate space around the earth, they should be accused of discouraging scientific investigation? You see, the key problem is that evolutionists misconstrue their ill-founded views as the yardstick for science and the direction it should be taking, when in reality evolutionists are just a pseudo-scientific cult holding science and humanity back from the true direction they should be progressing on. I am not saying that you are an activist member of this cult but always wonder why someone like you does not see the light much sooner.







          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Randy C
          ... Randy C: According to YOUR opinion. I m not sure what your scientific credentials are, but the majority of people with PhDs in sciences like organic
          Message 4 of 9 , May 7, 2010
          • 0 Attachment
            >>> Kamran writes:
            >>> The public ignorance is further aggravated when such
            >>> supposedly science-driven organizations like NASA tell
            >>> the world they are looking for signs of life on Mars,
            >>> as if right here on the earth there are enough reasons
            >>> to assume that life is a "natural" offshoot of dead
            >>> matter!!!!!! !

            >> Pasha responds:
            >> This highlights the primary problem of intelligent design.
            >> It discourages scientific investigation.

            > Kamran:
            > So burning over $400 billion to send a manned-mission to
            > Mars and follow a hypothesis that has been shown right
            > here on earth to be less plausible than the Tooth Fairy
            > is tantamount to encouraging scientific investigation?

            Randy C:
            According to YOUR opinion. I'm not sure what your scientific
            credentials are, but the majority of people with PhDs in
            sciences like organic chemistry would vociferously disagree
            with you. They would say that it is almost a certainty that
            life on Earth came from chemicals.

            > As if the laws of the universe may somehow operate
            > differently on Mars?

            No. Which is why we might expect to find life on Mars!

            > And if some suggest that such a vast sum of money could
            > do wonders for advancing education and science through
            > more productive programs and priorities right here and
            > within the immediate space around the earth, they should
            > be accused of discouraging scientific investigation?

            But that is a completely different issue! Now you are
            talking about evaluating various priorities.

            I think that there is a reasonable - I won't say "good" -
            chance that we will find signs of life on Mars. But there
            are ways to spend the money on Earth that MIGHT benefit
            humans more. For example, if $600 billion would make a
            serious dent in global warming, then we might very well
            be advised to spend it that way rather than on a mission
            to Mars.

            Of course, sometimes the benefits of such missions are
            not immediately available.

            We sent Apollo astronauts to the moon. We learned a few
            things - such as the fact that there is 4.5 billion years
            of dust on the moon. But in terms of direct scientific
            data captured you could say that the missions didn't pay
            for themselves. (That's difficult to say for sure because
            it is impossible to really quantify the value of a
            particular piece of scientific data.) But there were
            other benefits.

            For example, I'm an electrical engineer. I know that the
            development of semiconductors for electronic circuits was
            accelerated because of the space program. Vacuum tubes -
            the alternative to semiconductors - were too heavy and
            used too much energy to effectively be implemented in space.
            Because the technology had been invented, surely it would
            have been used anyway. But we are probably something like
            ten years ahead of where we would be without the space
            program. The world's economy has certainly benefited from
            the 50 years of improved technology we've had.

            Something similar may result from a program to Mars. So
            that should be factored into the decision.

            > You see, the key problem is that evolutionists misconstrue
            > their ill-founded views as the yardstick for science and
            > the direction it should be taking, when in reality
            > evolutionists are just a pseudo-scientific cult holding
            > science and humanity back from the true direction they
            > should be progressing on.

            Long but still stilly and juvenile claim noted.

            ID is NOT science.

            Creationism is NOT science.

            It is incredibly ironic to see someone who believes in those
            things to say that evolution - which is a real science - is
            nothing but a cult.

            > I am not saying that you are an activist member of this
            > cult...

            Especially since it is NOT a cult!

            > ...but always wonder why someone like you does not see
            > the light much sooner.

            Obviously Pasha is a rational person. Therefore he bases his
            beliefs on EVIDENCE.

            There is NO evidence supporting either ID or creationism.
            The ONLY arguments that they make relate to the fallacious
            "God of the Gaps".
          • Kamran
            From: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com [mailto:OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Randy C Sent: Friday, May 07, 2010 9:25 PM To: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com
            Message 5 of 9 , May 9, 2010
            • 0 Attachment
              From: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com [mailto:OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com] On
              Behalf Of Randy C
              Sent: Friday, May 07, 2010 9:25 PM
              To: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [OriginsTalk] Re: The impasse of evolution (scientific
              investigation)





              >>> Kamran writes:
              >>> The public ignorance is further aggravated when such supposedly
              science-driven organizations like NASA tell the world they are looking for
              signs of life on Mars, as if right here on the earth there are enough
              reasons to assume that life is a "natural" offshoot of dead matter!!!!!! !

              >> Pasha responds:

              >>This highlights the primary problem of intelligent design. It discourages
              scientific investigation.

              > Kamran:
              > So burning over $400 billion to send a manned-mission to Mars and follow a
              hypothesis that has been shown right here on earth to be less plausible than
              the Tooth Fairy is tantamount to encouraging scientific investigation?

              Randy C:
              According to YOUR opinion. I'm not sure what your scientific credentials
              are, but the majority of people with PhDs in sciences like organic chemistry
              would vociferously disagree
              with you. They would say that it is almost a certainty that life on Earth
              came from chemicals.



              Kamran: I would be interested in seeing an instrument which makes you a
              spokesman for “the majority of people with PhDs in sciences like organic
              chemistry” but if you don’t have such an instrument, perhaps you can invite
              one of them here to explain the “almost certainty” of how life on earth
              would have come from chemicals without an intelligent/creative intervention
              to actually put those chemicals together to construct life. As a small
              example, none of the 20-odd amino acids used in the synthesis of proteins
              (nano-structures and -machinery) are of the types seen in nature outside the
              machine of life. Without the facility of the machine of life, how were
              these made in the first place and why aren’t any of these amino acids seen
              freely roaming the “nature.”



              ------------------------------



              > K: As if the laws of the universe may somehow operate differently on Mars?


              No. Which is why we might expect to find life on Mars!



              RC: Come again?? So instead of standing in the comfort of our own mother
              ship Earth to produce even the first piece of evidence on how life has
              “naturally originated,” it is justifiable, to spend over $400 billion and
              send a small truck load of equipment and men to Mars to search for the
              evidence?



              ------------------------------




              > K: And if some suggest that such a vast sum of money could do wonders for
              advancing education and science through more productive programs and
              priorities right here and within the immediate space around the earth, they
              should be accused of discouraging scientific investigation?

              RC: But that is a completely different issue! Now you are talking about
              evaluating various priorities.

              I think that there is a reasonable - I won't say "good" - chance that we
              will find signs of life on Mars. But there are ways to spend the money on
              Earth that MIGHT benefit humans more. For example, if $600 billion would
              make a serious dent in global warming, then we might very well be advised to
              spend it that way rather than on a mission to Mars.

              Of course, sometimes the benefits of such missions are not immediately
              available.

              We sent Apollo astronauts to the moon. We learned a few things - such as the
              fact that there is 4.5 billion years of dust on the moon. But in terms of
              direct scientific data captured you could say that the missions didn't pay
              for themselves. (That's difficult to say for sure because it is impossible
              to really quantify the value of a particular piece of scientific data.) But
              there were
              other benefits.

              For example, I'm an electrical engineer. I know that the development of
              semiconductors for electronic circuits was accelerated because of the space
              program. Vacuum tubes -the alternative to semiconductors - were too heavy
              and used too much energy to effectively be implemented in space. Because the
              technology had been invented, surely it would have been used anyway. But we
              are probably something like ten years ahead of where we would be without the
              space program. The world's economy has certainly benefited from the 50 years
              of improved technology we've had.

              Something similar may result from a program to Mars. So that should be
              factored into the decision.





              Kamran: One could argue that that massive expenditures on military hardware
              also had the same positive externality for science and technology but this
              is not the most efficient way of investing in scientific and technological
              progress. It is not rational to justify such massive expenditures on the
              anticipation that “something may result,” when you can actually spend a
              fraction of the same resource on the earth or within the space around it to
              pursue a focused program for scientific and technological advance. I assure
              you the space around Mars is no different than our neighborhood, it’s just a
              bit farther out. As for the moon program, well humanity did not have the
              vision it has now and stepping on a rock somewhere in the outer space had
              its enticements, not the least arising from the context of Cold War and
              initial space program rivalries between the US and the Soviet Union. But we
              live in a different era and have all those experiences behind us and should
              act smarter today.



              ----------------------------

              >K: You see, the key problem is that evolutionists misconstrue their
              ill-founded views as the yardstick for science and the direction it should
              be taking, when in reality evolutionists are just a pseudo-scientific cult
              holding science and humanity back from the true direction they should be
              progressing on.

              RC: Long but still stilly and juvenile claim noted.

              ID is NOT science.

              Creationism is NOT science.

              It is incredibly ironic to see someone who believes in those things to say
              that evolution - which is a real science – is nothing but a cult.





              Kamran: Creation through Intelligent Design is the most rational inference
              of scientific facts. With zero evidence and rational/plausible argument to
              offer, evolutionists can only be recognized as a cult: i.e a group with:
              “Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person,
              principle, or thing.”





              ---------------------------



              >K: I am not saying that you are an activist member of this cult...

              RC: Especially since it is NOT a cult!





              Kamran: It has all the trappings of a cult.



              ----------------------------

              > K: ...but always wonder why someone like you does not see the light much
              sooner.

              RC: Obviously Pasha is a rational person. Therefore he bases his beliefs on
              EVIDENCE.

              There is NO evidence supporting either ID or creationism. The ONLY arguments
              that they make relate to the fallacious "God of the Gaps".





              Kamran: What gaps??? We know the properties of natural forces and we know
              enough about internal software and hardware architecture of the machine of
              life and the unique features of the physical settings hosting it. Nothing
              in quantum physics makes any sense unless it is stated in relation to an
              observer and that Observer is not man. What gap are you talking about? Just
              because you see gaps for being unable to collect and interpret a range of
              interrelated scientific facts, it doesn’t follow that there are any gaps.
              Take it from me, Creationism is not about settling the veracity of Noah’s
              Ark story!!!!!!! You are deliberately misleading yourself; this is a
              symptom of being devoted to a cult.











              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Kamran
              Please note that I have corrected a name designation in the second section from RC to Kamran From: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com
              Message 6 of 9 , May 9, 2010
              • 0 Attachment
                Please note that I have corrected a name designation in the second section
                from RC to Kamran



                From: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com [mailto:OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com] On
                Behalf Of Kamran
                Sent: Sunday, May 09, 2010 3:33 PM
                To: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [OriginsTalk] Re: The impasse of evolution (scientific
                investigation)







                From: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com <mailto:OriginsTalk%40yahoogroups.com>
                [mailto:OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com <mailto:OriginsTalk%40yahoogroups.com> ]
                On
                Behalf Of Randy C
                Sent: Friday, May 07, 2010 9:25 PM
                To: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com <mailto:OriginsTalk%40yahoogroups.com>
                Subject: [OriginsTalk] Re: The impasse of evolution (scientific
                investigation)

                >>> Kamran writes:
                >>> The public ignorance is further aggravated when such supposedly
                science-driven organizations like NASA tell the world they are looking for
                signs of life on Mars, as if right here on the earth there are enough
                reasons to assume that life is a "natural" offshoot of dead matter!!!!!! !

                >> Pasha responds:

                >>This highlights the primary problem of intelligent design. It discourages
                scientific investigation.

                > Kamran:
                > So burning over $400 billion to send a manned-mission to Mars and follow a
                hypothesis that has been shown right here on earth to be less plausible than
                the Tooth Fairy is tantamount to encouraging scientific investigation?

                Randy C:
                According to YOUR opinion. I'm not sure what your scientific credentials
                are, but the majority of people with PhDs in sciences like organic chemistry
                would vociferously disagree
                with you. They would say that it is almost a certainty that life on Earth
                came from chemicals.

                Kamran: I would be interested in seeing an instrument which makes you a
                spokesman for “the majority of people with PhDs in sciences like organic
                chemistry” but if you don’t have such an instrument, perhaps you can invite
                one of them here to explain the “almost certainty” of how life on earth
                would have come from chemicals without an intelligent/creative intervention
                to actually put those chemicals together to construct life. As a small
                example, none of the 20-odd amino acids used in the synthesis of proteins
                (nano-structures and -machinery) are of the types seen in nature outside the
                machine of life. Without the facility of the machine of life, how were
                these made in the first place and why aren’t any of these amino acids seen
                freely roaming the “nature.”

                ------------------------------

                > K: As if the laws of the universe may somehow operate differently on Mars?

                RC: No. Which is why we might expect to find life on Mars!

                Kamran: Come again?? So instead of standing in the comfort of our own mother
                ship Earth to produce even the first piece of evidence on how life has
                “naturally originated,” it is justifiable, to spend over $400 billion and
                send a small truck load of equipment and men to Mars to search for the
                evidence?

                ------------------------------

                > K: And if some suggest that such a vast sum of money could do wonders for
                advancing education and science through more productive programs and
                priorities right here and within the immediate space around the earth, they
                should be accused of discouraging scientific investigation?

                RC: But that is a completely different issue! Now you are talking about
                evaluating various priorities.

                I think that there is a reasonable - I won't say "good" - chance that we
                will find signs of life on Mars. But there are ways to spend the money on
                Earth that MIGHT benefit humans more. For example, if $600 billion would
                make a serious dent in global warming, then we might very well be advised to
                spend it that way rather than on a mission to Mars.

                Of course, sometimes the benefits of such missions are not immediately
                available.

                We sent Apollo astronauts to the moon. We learned a few things - such as the
                fact that there is 4.5 billion years of dust on the moon. But in terms of
                direct scientific data captured you could say that the missions didn't pay
                for themselves. (That's difficult to say for sure because it is impossible
                to really quantify the value of a particular piece of scientific data.) But
                there were
                other benefits.

                For example, I'm an electrical engineer. I know that the development of
                semiconductors for electronic circuits was accelerated because of the space
                program. Vacuum tubes -the alternative to semiconductors - were too heavy
                and used too much energy to effectively be implemented in space. Because the
                technology had been invented, surely it would have been used anyway. But we
                are probably something like ten years ahead of where we would be without the
                space program. The world's economy has certainly benefited from the 50 years
                of improved technology we've had.

                Something similar may result from a program to Mars. So that should be
                factored into the decision.

                Kamran: One could argue that that massive expenditures on military hardware
                also had the same positive externality for science and technology but this
                is not the most efficient way of investing in scientific and technological
                progress. It is not rational to justify such massive expenditures on the
                anticipation that “something may result,” when you can actually spend a
                fraction of the same resource on the earth or within the space around it to
                pursue a focused program for scientific and technological advance. I assure
                you the space around Mars is no different than our neighborhood, it’s just a
                bit farther out. As for the moon program, well humanity did not have the
                vision it has now and stepping on a rock somewhere in the outer space had
                its enticements, not the least arising from the context of Cold War and
                initial space program rivalries between the US and the Soviet Union. But we
                live in a different era and have all those experiences behind us and should
                act smarter today.

                ----------------------------

                >K: You see, the key problem is that evolutionists misconstrue their
                ill-founded views as the yardstick for science and the direction it should
                be taking, when in reality evolutionists are just a pseudo-scientific cult
                holding science and humanity back from the true direction they should be
                progressing on.

                RC: Long but still stilly and juvenile claim noted.

                ID is NOT science.

                Creationism is NOT science.

                It is incredibly ironic to see someone who believes in those things to say
                that evolution - which is a real science – is nothing but a cult.

                Kamran: Creation through Intelligent Design is the most rational inference
                of scientific facts. With zero evidence and rational/plausible argument to
                offer, evolutionists can only be recognized as a cult: i.e a group with:
                “Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person,
                principle, or thing.”

                ---------------------------

                >K: I am not saying that you are an activist member of this cult...

                RC: Especially since it is NOT a cult!

                Kamran: It has all the trappings of a cult.

                ----------------------------

                > K: ...but always wonder why someone like you does not see the light much
                sooner.

                RC: Obviously Pasha is a rational person. Therefore he bases his beliefs on
                EVIDENCE.

                There is NO evidence supporting either ID or creationism. The ONLY arguments
                that they make relate to the fallacious "God of the Gaps".

                Kamran: What gaps??? We know the properties of natural forces and we know
                enough about internal software and hardware architecture of the machine of
                life and the unique features of the physical settings hosting it. Nothing
                in quantum physics makes any sense unless it is stated in relation to an
                observer and that Observer is not man. What gap are you talking about? Just
                because you see gaps for being unable to collect and interpret a range of
                interrelated scientific facts, it doesn’t follow that there are any gaps.
                Take it from me, Creationism is not about settling the veracity of Noah’s
                Ark story!!!!!!! You are deliberately misleading yourself; this is a
                symptom of being devoted to a cult.

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Randy C
                ... Randy C: I must admit that I am not aware of any specific polls showing opinions from scientists about abiogenesis one way or the other, but even
                Message 7 of 9 , May 14, 2010
                • 0 Attachment
                  >>> Kamran:
                  >>> So burning over $400 billion to send a manned-mission to
                  >>> Mars and follow a hypothesis that has been shown right
                  >>> here on earth to be less plausible than the Tooth Fairy
                  >>> is tantamount to encouraging scientific investigation?

                  >> Randy C:
                  >> According to YOUR opinion. I'm not sure what your
                  >> scientific credentials are, but the majority of people
                  >> with PhDs in sciences like organic chemistry would
                  >> vociferously disagree with you. They would say that it
                  >> is almost a certainty that life on Earth came from
                  >> chemicals.

                  > Kamran:
                  > I would be interested in seeing an instrument which makes
                  > you a spokesman for "the majority of people with PhDs in
                  > sciences like organic chemistry"...

                  Randy C:
                  I must admit that I am not aware of any specific polls showing
                  opinions from scientists about abiogenesis one way or the other,
                  but even creationists agree with my claim about the consensus
                  of scientists.

                  The NW Creation institute says at
                  http://www.nwcreation.net/abiogenesis.html :

                  "It is a common belief among today's scientists that life's
                  origin was naturally based, and therefore abiogenesis (life
                  from non-life) must have occurred."

                  Furthermore, the most prestigious US scientific organization,
                  the National Academy of Sciences, confidently asserts (in
                  Science and Creationism, 1999) that "For those who are
                  studying the origin of life, the question is no longer
                  whether life could have originated by chemical processes
                  involving nonbiological components. The question instead
                  has become which of many pathways might have been followed
                  to produce the first cells."

                  It is difficult to imagine an organization like the NAS
                  making such a statement **IF** the liklihood of abiogenesis
                  being true is "less plausible than the Tooth Fairy" as you
                  contend." Moreover it shouldn't be overlooked that the NAS
                  says that there are MANY possible pathways for life to come
                  from chemicals.

                  > ...but if you don't have such an instrument, perhaps you
                  > can invite one of them here to explain the "almost certainty"
                  > of how life on earth would have come from chemicals without
                  > an intelligent/creative intervention to actually put those
                  > chemicals together to construct life.

                  The statement above from the National Academy of Sciences
                  should suffice for that. They specifically state that it
                  is no longer a question.

                  > As a small example, none of the 20-odd amino acids used
                  > in the synthesis of proteins (nano-structures and -machinery)
                  > are of the types seen in nature outside the machine of
                  > life. Without the facility of the machine of life, how
                  > were these made in the first place and why aren't any of
                  > these amino acids seen freely roaming the "nature."

                  Your information is obsolete.

                  One of those 20 amino acids is glycine. In 2008, it was
                  confirmed that the amino acid glycine had been found in
                  the COMET DUST recovered by NASA's Stardust mission.
                  ("Organic Molecule, Amino Acid-Like, Found In Constellation
                  Sagittarius", Science Daily, 27 March 2008) That surely
                  counts as a naturalistic source outside of life itself.

                  They have found many other amino acids that form through
                  natural processes. They may even have found other examples
                  of the 20 amino acids found in living things on Earth. I
                  just stopped looking when I found the first example since
                  YOU had incorrectly said that there are NONE.

                  >>> Kamran:
                  >>> As if the laws of the universe may somehow operate
                  >>> differently on Mars?

                  >> No. Which is why we might expect to find life on Mars!

                  > Come again?? So instead of standing in the comfort of our
                  > own mother ship Earth to produce even the first piece of
                  > evidence on how life has "naturally originated," it is
                  > justifiable, to spend over $400 billion and send a small
                  > truck load of equipment and men to Mars to search for the
                  > evidence?

                  Actually the evidence that we have gathered on Earth makes
                  it no longer a question that life can come about from chemicals
                  (according to the NAS). Therefore it is reasonable to expect
                  that we might find signs of life on Mars.

                  >>> K:
                  >>> And if some suggest that such a vast sum of money could
                  >>> do wonders for advancing education and science through
                  >>> more productive programs and priorities right here and
                  >>> within the immediate space around the earth, they should
                  >>> be accused of discouraging scientific investigation?

                  >> But that is a completely different issue! Now you are talking
                  >> about evaluating various priorities.

                  >> I think that there is a reasonable - I won't say "good" -
                  >> chance that we will find signs of life on Mars. But there
                  >> are ways to spend the money on Earth that MIGHT benefit
                  >> humans more. For example, if $600 billion would make a
                  >> serious dent in global warming, then we might very well
                  >> be advised to spend it that way rather than on a mission
                  >> to Mars.

                  >> Of course, sometimes the benefits of such missions are
                  >> not immediately available.

                  >> We sent Apollo astronauts to the moon. We learned a few
                  >> things - such as the fact that there is 4.5 billion years
                  >> of dust on the moon. But in terms of direct scientific
                  >> data captured you could say that the missions didn't pay
                  >> for themselves. (That's difficult to say for sure because
                  >> it is impossible to really quantify the value of a
                  >> particular piece of scientific data.) But there were
                  >> other benefits.

                  >> For example, I'm an electrical engineer. I know that the
                  >> development of semiconductors for electronic circuits
                  >> was accelerated because of the space program. Vacuum
                  >> tubes - the alternative to semiconductors - were too
                  >> heavy and used too much energy to effectively be implemented
                  >> in space. Because the technology had been invented,
                  >> surely it would have been used anyway. But we are probably
                  >> something like ten years ahead of where we would be
                  >> without the space program. The world's economy has
                  >> certainly benefited from the 50 years of improved technology
                  >> we've had.

                  >> Something similar may result from a program to Mars. So
                  >> that should be factored into the decision.

                  > Kamran:
                  > One could argue that that massive expenditures on military
                  > hardware also had the same positive externality for
                  > science and technology but this is not the most efficient
                  > way of investing in scientific and technological progress.
                  > It is not rational to justify such massive expenditures
                  > on the anticipation that "something may result," when you
                  > can actually spend a fraction of the same resource on the
                  > earth or within the space around it to pursue a focused
                  > program for scientific and technological advance.

                  I didn't say that the mission to Mars would be justified
                  solely on that basis. I simply said that it should be
                  a factor.

                  Apparently you didn't read what I wrote despite copying it
                  into your response.

                  > I assure you the space around Mars is no different than
                  > our neighborhood...

                  In that case, we should expect to find life!

                  > ...it's just a bit farther out. As for the moon program,
                  > well humanity did not have the vision it has now and
                  > stepping on a rock somewhere in the outer space had
                  > its enticements, not the least arising from the context
                  > of Cold War and initial space program rivalries between
                  > the US and the Soviet Union. But we live in a different
                  > era and have all those experiences behind us and should
                  > act smarter today.

                  But that's not an argument against abiogenesis. It's a matter
                  of establishing priorities.

                  You could argue that even if it was a complete certainty that
                  we would find life on Mars, it wouldn't justify spending
                  600 billion dollars. But that's a different argument from
                  the one over whether or not life can come from chemicals.

                  >>>K:
                  >>> You see, the key problem is that evolutionists misconstrue
                  >>> their ill-founded views as the yardstick for science and
                  >>> the direction it should be taking, when in reality
                  >>> evolutionists are just a pseudo-scientific cult holding
                  >>> science and humanity back from the true direction they
                  >>> should be progressing on.

                  >> Long but still stilly and juvenile claim noted.

                  >> ID is NOT science.

                  >> Creationism is NOT science.

                  >> It is incredibly ironic to see someone who believes in
                  >> those things to say that evolution - which is a real
                  >> science – is nothing but a cult.

                  > Kamran:
                  > Creation through Intelligent Design is the most rational
                  > inference of scientific facts.

                  Except that Creation through intelligent design is:

                  1. Not rational.
                  2. NOt scientific.
                  3. Not close to being a fact.
                  4. Supported by ZERO evidence.

                  In contrast, evolution through natural processes is:

                  1. Rational.
                  2. Scientific.
                  3. An undeniable fact.
                  4. Supported by a MOUNTAIN of evidence.

                  > With zero evidence and rational/plausible argument to offer,
                  > evolutionists can only be recognized as a cult: i.e a
                  > group with: "Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to
                  > or veneration for a person, principle, or thing."

                  Silly, juvenile claim repeated.

                  There is a MOUNTAIN of scientific evidence supporting
                  evolution.

                  See, for example, www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

                  There is ZERO scientific evidence supporting creationism.
                  The ONLY arguments that they make are like the ones you
                  make here - YOU personally can't understand how something
                  could have happened through natural processes so YOU
                  consider that to be proof that it couldn't have happened
                  like that. But it is the clear consensus of the scientific
                  community that these things happen.

                  So YOUR opinion is utterly meaningless and irrelevant.

                  Biblical creationism --> childish nonsense.

                  >>> K:
                  >>> I am not saying that you are an activist member of
                  >> this cult...

                  >> RC:
                  >> Especially since it is NOT a cult!

                  > Kamran:
                  > It has all the trappings of a cult.

                  Wow! If that is the case then people who believe in
                  gravity are also members of a cult!

                  Evolution, after all, is as well-established by scientific
                  facts as is gravity.

                  >>> K [to Pasha]:
                  >>> ...but always wonder why someone like you does not see
                  >>> the light much sooner.

                  >> RC:
                  >> Obviously Pasha is a rational person. Therefore he bases
                  >> his beliefs on EVIDENCE.

                  >> There is NO evidence supporting either ID or creationism.
                  >> The ONLY arguments that they make relate to the fallacious
                  >> "God of the Gaps".

                  > Kamran:
                  > What gaps???

                  You used the argument earlier against abiogenesis! Your
                  argument is that because we don't know how life came from
                  chemicals RIGHT NOW, it can't have come from chemicals.

                  > We know the properties of natural forces and we know
                  > enough about internal software and hardware architecture
                  > of the machine of life and the unique features of the
                  > physical settings hosting it.

                  Hmm...a tough choice. Should I believe YOU or the National
                  Academy of Sciences? After all YOU say that abiogenesis is
                  impossible while the NAS says that there is "little question"
                  that it is is the source of life on Earth.

                  The NAS was formed by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Election to
                  membership is one of the highest honors (however, not as high
                  as a Nobel Prize) that can be accorded to a scientist and
                  recognizes scientists who have made distinguished and
                  continuing achievements in original research. Nearly 200
                  members have won a Nobel Prize.

                  Interestingly enough, the Royal Society of Britain, which
                  serves basically the same role in the UK that the NAS does
                  in the US, prints papers about abiogenesis in their scientific
                  journal. For example there is this paper: Martin, W. and
                  Russell M.J. (2002). "On the origins of cells: a hypothesis
                  for the evolutionary transitions from abiotic geochemistry
                  to chemoautotrophic prokaryotes, and from prokaryotes to
                  nucleated cells". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal
                  Society: Biological sciences 358: 59–85. So the Royal
                  Society doesn not consider abiogenesis to be impossible
                  either.

                  Sorry. If I have to choose between you and the most
                  distinguished scientists on Earth, you lose. Frankly, it
                  isn't even close.

                  > Nothing in quantum physics makes any sense unless it is
                  > stated in relation to an observer and that Observer is
                  > not man.

                  What are you talking about?

                  Radioactive decay is an example of a quantum process. It
                  doesn't need an observer. This is from
                  http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/glossary/quantum_tunneling.html

                  "Quantum Tunneling :

                  "The phenomenon of tunneling, which has no counterpart in
                  classical physics, is an important consequence of quantum
                  mechanics....The phenomenon of tunneling has many important
                  applications. For example, it describes a type of radioactive
                  decay in which a nucleus emits an alpha particle (a helium
                  nucleus)."

                  > What gap are you talking about?

                  Your gap in understanding science. It is very significant.

                  > Just because you see gaps for being unable to collect and
                  > interpret a range of interrelated scientific facts, it
                  > doesn't follow that there are any gaps.

                  The National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of
                  Britain are on MY side. You are the one with gaps in your
                  understanding.

                  > Take it from me...

                  Why would I POSSIBLY "take it from you"? You clearly know
                  NOTHING about the state-of-the-art of abiogenesis research.

                  I would rather "take it" from the most distinguished scientists
                  on Earth.

                  > Creationism is not about settling the veracity of Noah's
                  > Ark story!!!!!!!

                  Good! The LACK of veracity of that story is well established.

                  Biblical flood --> Childish nonsense.

                  > You are deliberately misleading yourself; this is a symptom
                  > of being devoted to a cult.

                  YOU are the one devoted to a cult!

                  Like all creationists, the total evidence you provide supporting
                  your claims is:

                  ZERO.

                  ZIPPO.

                  ZILCH.

                  NONE.

                  NADA.

                  Then you expect people to accept your opinion?

                  Why on Earth would ANYONE do that?

                  You are completely and demonstrably WRONG about EVERYTHING!
                  Yet you are arrogant.

                  Being utterly and totally wrong while being arrogant at the
                  same time is a combination of characteristics that I seem
                  able to only find in creationists.

                  To be honest, that's what makes arguing against creationists
                  the most fun.

                  Please keep posting.
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