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Origin of life still part of top ten science mysteries

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Sure, and get this from Science News:

10. How did life originate?

It doesn’t seem like this one should be so hard, but it continues to defy solution. There’s plenty of speculation, often related to RNA’s ability to act both as catalyst and bio-hard drive to store information. And new findings turn up all the time about how life’s basic building blocks could have been generated in primordial conditions or delivered to Earth from space. I think this question will end up having something to do with game theory, as biomolecules interact in competitive ways that could be described as strategies, and the math for calculating optimal strategies is what game theory is all about.

Game theory? Then what is the game? Who are the players?

But once you think game theory is a solution, you concede design in nature.

Really quick summary of the issues here.

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"Origin of life still part of top ten science mysteries" Strange this question is still being asked since I've been told many times by the Darwin faithful that it has been answered. Current theories, those that exclude design, are laughable at best. Especially when design is so apparent and obvious. Scientists literally have to turn off their brains in order to do their work today, is it any wonder then that so much "junk science" and fraud exists in the industry? The suspension of critical thinking and higher brain function is necessary to accept current evolutionary assumptions. It is so mind numbingly imbecilic. Once one recognises that evolutionists actually convert from one religion to another it all starts to make sense. humbled
A. Science hasn't been able to create life in the laboratory, even though: a. it has extremely sophisticated biotechnological tools b. it has a tremendous knowledge of biology, chemistry, etc. to guide the processes c. long time periods can be greatly compressed: multiple reactions that might independently occur very infrequently and far apart in nature can be coordinated together in a laboratory B. People claim that science "just hasn't had enough time" and will eventually figure out how to create life but: a. Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA over 60 years ago b. the longer it takes for science to create life and the more difficult it is, the less likely it could have happened by chance c. when it happens, it will just prove that intelligent design works RalphDavidWestfall
I’m curious why anyone would think the origin of life is not a hard problem.
Because it obviously happened. Mung
as to:
"Because over the centuries many phenomena were assumed to be guided by unseen entities, from weather, to volcanic eruptions, to the occurrence of disease; and it has always proved more productive to assume these events were regular phenomena. It’s not necessarily correct, but it’s the way to bet."
Actually Atheists still assume that events are guided by unseen entities. The unseen entities that atheists appeal to nowadays are called random chance and law (i.e. chance and necessity). And you are right, it is not correct for them to do that.
Evolution and the Illusion of Randomness - Talbott - Fall 2011 Excerpt: The situation calls to mind a widely circulated cartoon by Sidney Harris, which shows two scientists in front of a blackboard on which a body of theory has been traced out with the usual tangle of symbols, arrows, equations, and so on. But there’s a gap in the reasoning at one point, filled by the words, “Then a miracle occurs.” And the one scientist is saying to the other, “I think you should be more explicit here in step two.” In the case of evolution, I picture Dennett and Dawkins filling the blackboard with their vivid descriptions of living, highly regulated, coordinated, integrated, and intensely meaningful biological processes, and then inserting a small, mysterious gap in the middle, along with the words, “Here something random occurs.” This “something random” looks every bit as wishful as the appeal to a miracle. It is the central miracle in a gospel of meaninglessness, a “Randomness of the gaps,” demanding an extraordinarily blind faith. At the very least, we have a right to ask, “Can you be a little more explicit here?” http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/evolution-and-the-illusion-of-randomness
In other words, when people say that something “happened randomly by chance”, usually a mishap, they are in fact assuming an unseen impersonal purposeless determiner of unaccountable happenings which is, in fact, impossible to separate from agent causality. i.e. 'every bit as wishful as the appeal to a miracle'. Robert C. Sproul points out:
“By calling the unknown cause ‘chance’ for so long, people begin to forget that a substitution was made. . . . The assumption that ‘chance equals an unknown cause’ has come to mean for many that ‘chance equals cause.’”
Thus to say something 'happened by chance', as Darwinists do, is to, in reality, appeal to a 'placeholder for ignorance' instead of appealing to a known cause. Thus, when an atheist states that something happened by chance, we have every right to ask him, as Talbott pointed out, “Can you be a little more explicit here?” The same confusion is seen with the Atheists use of 'law':
Can Law Make Worlds? - Joshua Youngkin July 2, 2012 Excerpt: Filippenko apparently wants a first cause of some sort, but not a personal first cause, not a mind, not an agent. So he subtly turns physical law into a mind-independent reality, something that is self-sufficiently "there" at the beginning, something that can thus be filled with world-creating agency and power. But what would you call "law" that lives nowhere in particular yet could of its own accord decide when, where and how to apply itself? In seeking to identify such a strange power, the one name we cannot give it is "law." http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/07/can_law_make_wo061551.html
In other words, law or necessity does not have causal adequacy within itself. i.e. Law is not a ‘mechanism’ that has ever ’caused’ anything to happen in the universe but is merely a description of a law-like regularity within the universe. The early Christian founders of modern science understood this sharp distinction between law and lawgiver quite well,,,
Not the God of the Gaps, But the Whole Show – John Lennox – 2012 Excerpt: God is not a “God of the gaps”, he is God of the whole show.,,, C. S. Lewis put it this way: “Men became scientific because they expected law in nature and they expected law in nature because they believed in a lawgiver.” http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-god-particle-not-the-god-of-the-gaps-but-the-whole-show-80307/
Perhaps the most famous confusion of a mathematical description of a law and the causal agency behind the law is Stephen Hawking’s following statement:
“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.The universe didn’t need a God to begin; it was quite capable of launching its existence on its own,” Stephen Hawking http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2010/09/the-universe-exists-because-of-spontaneous-creation-stephen-hawking.html
Here is an excerpt of an article, (that is well worth reading in full), in which Dr. Gordon exposes Stephen Hawking’s delusion for thinking that mathematical description and agent causality are the same thing.
BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010 Excerpt: ,,,The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy. This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world,,, Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.” Anything else invokes random miracles as an explanatory principle and spells the end of scientific rationality.,,, Universes do not “spontaneously create” on the basis of abstract mathematical descriptions, nor does the fantasy of a limitless multiverse trump the explanatory power of transcendent intelligent design. What Mr. Hawking’s contrary assertions show is that mathematical savants can sometimes be metaphysical simpletons. Caveat emptor. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/oct/1/hawking-irrational-arguments/
To put what I consider the main philosophical arguments for God more simply, (at the risk of irritating more than a few philosophers), atheistic materialists do not have a causal mechanism to appeal to to explain how the universe originated, nor why the universe continues to exist, nor do they have a causal mechanism to explain how the universe operates, nor do they even have a causal mechanism for explaining how anything, any particle within the universe, moves within the universe! Here are a (very) few notes along that line:
The Kalam Cosmological Argument (argument from the beginning of the universe) – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CulBuMCLg0 God Is the Best Explanation For Why Anything At All Exists – William Lane Craig – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjuqBxg_5mA Aquinas’ Third way (argument from existence) – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V030hvnX5a4 Aquinas’ First Way – (The First Mover – Unmoved Mover argument) – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmpw0_w27As “The ‘First Mover’ is necessary for change occurring at each moment.” Michael Egnor – Aquinas’ First Way
Over centuries many phenomena were correctly identified as being the result of intelligent agencies. Stonehenge, a structure made from stones that mother nature produces in abundance, is still an artifact. The origin of life requires the coincidence of matter, energy, information and the elan vital, that essence that only living organisms have. I can't think of any process that wouldn't be guided wrt the OoL. Joe
What specific event was guided? Edit to add: Because over the centuries many phenomena were assumed to be guided by unseen entities, from weather, to volcanic eruptions, to the occurrence of disease; and it has always proved more productive to assume these events were regular phenomena. It's not necessarily correct, but it's the way to bet. Petrushka
I’m curious why anyone would think the origin of life can be obtained via unguided, mindless processes. Joe
I'm curious why anyone would think the origin of life is not a hard problem. Petrushka
Me_think @ 7 - Game theory is well established in evolutionary biology: see my reference above. Or read The Selfish gene. With regards specifically to OOL, one example of its applicability is described here. Bob O'H
That is pretty lazy. Some one has to explain how Game theory relates to evolution. Just saying Game theory may have the answer is not enough. Me_Think
OT: Problem 6: Molecular Biology has Failed to Yield a Grand "Tree of Life" - Casey Luskin - February 2, 2015 Excerpt: When fossils failed to demonstrate that animals evolved from a common ancestor, evolutionary scientists turned to another type of evidence -- DNA sequence data -- to demonstrate a tree of life. ,,, At the end of the day, the dream that DNA sequence data would fit into a nice-neat tree of life has failed, and with it a key prediction of neo-Darwinian theory. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/02/problem_6_molec091151.html bornagain77
mmmm, "biomolecules interact in competitive ways that could be described as strategies,,," Illegitimately invoking agency to material? As the old joke goes 'Get your own dirt'! Don't blame the atheists, they just can't help 'borrowing' agency from Theists. It's just a long family tradition! :) As Stephen Talbott has clearly pointed out, a major problem with Darwinian explanations is that they cannot avoid illegitimately using terminology that invokes agency,,,
The 'Mental Cell': Let’s Loosen Up Biological Thinking! - Stephen L. Talbott - September 9, 2014 Excerpt: Many biologists are content to dismiss the problem with hand-waving: “When we wield the language of agency, we are speaking metaphorically, and we could just as well, if less conveniently, abandon the metaphors”. Yet no scientist or philosopher has shown how this shift of language could be effected. And the fact of the matter is just obvious: the biologist who is not investigating how the organism achieves something in a well-directed way is not yet doing biology, as opposed to physics or chemistry. Is this in turn just hand-waving? Let the reader inclined to think so take up a challenge: pose a single topic for biological research, doing so in language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness1. One reason this cannot be done is clear enough: molecular biology — the discipline that was finally going to reduce life unreservedly to mindless mechanism — is now posing its own severe challenges. In this era of Big Data, the message from every side concerns previously unimagined complexity, incessant cross-talk and intertwining pathways, wildly unexpected genomic performances, dynamic conformational changes involving proteins and their cooperative or antagonistic binding partners, pervasive multifunctionality, intricately directed behavior somehow arising from the interaction of countless players in interpenetrating networks, and opposite effects by the same molecules in slightly different contexts. The picture at the molecular level begins to look as lively and organic — and thoughtful — as life itself. http://natureinstitute.org/txt/st/org/comm/ar/2014/mental_cell_23.htm
This working biologist agrees completely with Talbott:
Life, Purpose, Mind: Where the Machine Metaphor Fails - Ann Gauger - June 2011 Excerpt: I'm a working biologist, on bacterial regulation (transcription and translation and protein stability) through signalling molecules, ,,, I can confirm the following points as realities: we lack adequate conceptual categories for what we are seeing in the biological world; with many additional genomes sequenced annually, we have much more data than we know what to do with (and making sense of it has become the current challenge); cells are staggeringly chock full of sophisticated technologies, which are exquisitely integrated; life is not dominated by a single technology, but rather a composite of many; and yet life is more than the sum of its parts; in our work, we biologists use words that imply intentionality, functionality, strategy, and design in biology--we simply cannot avoid them. Furthermore, I suggest that to maintain that all of biology is solely a product of selection and genetic decay and time requires a metaphysical conviction that isn't troubled by the evidence. Alternatively, it could be the view of someone who is unfamiliar with the evidence, for one reason or another. But for those who will consider the evidence that is so obvious throughout biology, I suggest it's high time we moved on. - Matthew http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/06/life_purpose_mind_where_the_ma046991.html#comment-8858161
But if terminology that invokes agency is unavoidable for the atheist/materialist, then why in blue blazes do atheists presuppose agency is inadequate as a causal explanation?
“to say that a stone falls to earth because it’s obeying a law, makes it a man and even a citizen” - CS Lewis “In the whole history of the universe the laws of nature have never produced, (i.e. caused), a single event.” C.S. Lewis - doodle video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_20yiBQAIlk A Professor's Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist - University of Wyoming - J. Budziszewski Excerpt page12: "There were two great holes in the argument about the irrelevance of God. The first is that in order to attack free will, I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition. If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don't know. "But there is gravity," you say. No, "gravity" is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. "But there are laws of gravity," you say. No, the "laws" are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term "laws"; they prefer "lawlike regularities." To call the equations of gravity "laws" and speak of the apple as "obeying" them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the "laws" of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more. The other hole in my reasoning was cruder. If my imprisonment in a blind causality made my reasoning so unreliable that I couldn't trust my beliefs, then by the same token I shouldn't have trusted my beliefs about imprisonment in a blind causality. But in that case I had no business denying free will in the first place." http://www.undergroundthomist.org/sites/default/files/WhyIAmNotAnAtheist.pdf A Professor's Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist - 2012 talk University of Wyoming J. Budziszewski http://veritas.org/talks/professors-journey-out-nihilism-why-i-am-not-atheist/?view=presenters&speaker_id=2231
Game theory does not explain the origin of complex, functionally specific organisation and associated information out of lucky noise. kairosfocus
One of the many failures of evolutionary biology is that no one knows what makes an organism what it is. Another major failure is the inability to get beyond the starting and given populations of prokaryotes. The GIVEN populations- given because no one has the slightest clue how to get a living organism from matter and energy. Evolutionary biology cannot account for reproduction. It cannot account for transcription and translation. It cannot account for alternative splicing nor overlapping codes. Might as well get rid of the word "evolutionary" and just call it biology. Joe
But once you think game theory is a solution, you concede design in nature.
Why? One of the breakthroughs in evolutionary biology was the realisation that game theory methods don't assume teleology: it's enough that there are different entities with different strategies (i.e. they interact with themselves or the environment differently), and there is a measure of their success (money in economics, fitness in evolutionary biology). If you don't like Dawkin's take on this, John Maynard Smith's Evolution and the Theory of Games gives a more technical introduction to the area. Bob O'H
News: Game theory? Then what is the game? Who are the players? You didn't follow Siegfried's link, did you? http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlepdf/2014/mb/c3mb70601j If you take a look at it, do read beyond the title and the abstract. The formalism of game theory can be applied to situations in which there are no intelligent players.
Cognitive and rational capabilities are no prerequisites of players in game-theoretical models. It is unimportant if the player has chosen the strategy by using cognitive and rational capabilities or if the strategy is an intrinsic property. Molecules with different strategies reproduce to a different extent and, thus, have a different payoff.

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