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Life’ origin explained, no problem!, by natural selection?

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In “More News Sources Admit the ‘Mystery’ of Life’s Origin” (Evolution News & Views, February 28, 2012), Casey Luskin notes the pretense that Darwin’s natural selection acting on random mutation is responsible for the origin of life. For example, from LiveScience,

Just as species are believed to have evolved over time, the individual molecules that form the basis of life also likely developed in response to natural selection, scientists say.

The problem, Luskin says, is,

… natural selection requires replication. But as far as we’re aware, life cannot replicate until many parts are present. Without natural selection, you’re stuck with what David Berlinski calls “sheer dumb luck.” Unless there’s some reason (and none is given in the article) to expect the spontaneous production of all the “stable modules” of the 400-amino-acid receptor, all you can rely on is sheer chance.

The odds of assembling a 400-amino acid receptor by chance are nil, but even if you had that receptor, it still is dramatically insufficient to yield a living, reproducing organism. No wonder biochemist Nick Lane observes that the “soup has no capacity for producing the energy vital for life.”

It’s time for a little reality check here: origin-of-life theorists need to explain how a myriad of complex proteins and features arose and self-assembled into a self-replicating life-form by unguided processes, but they are still scraping for mechanisms to explain how an inert primordial soup of organic molecules could have arisen in the first place.

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Hi Mike- Thanks- Comprehensive write up on GAs- there are plenty on the interweb- and I do provide a summary of front loading via GAs over on my blog. My point (over there) is my "opposition" doesn't know anything about them, and it shows. Well between that and not their not knowing how to handle a new idea, we have what you observe. My idea stems from Dr Spetner's "built-in responses to environmental cues" that he presnted back in 1997. How could a designer make that happen? GAs, GPs, and EAs seemed the obvious choice- that is to a person with a background in computers- hardware and software. Joe
Good job over there, Joe. Can I make one suggestion? I understand you not wanting to cast pearls before that group of swine, but as a newcomer to this whole controversy, I would find it really helpful if you could do a comprehensive write up of Genetic Algorithms over at your blog. Thanks! Mike LaFontaine
Eric, The funny part is that GAs are DESIGNED to solve problems and so when they do that the problems are solved by design. Elizabeth didn't see it that way when she was here and I find that more than strange. Joe
Remind me again why are there still atheist Darwinists?
Personally, I'd like to know why there are any Darwinists at all, atheist or not. If Darwinism came about based on interpreting the evidence through the worldview of naturalism and based on those naturalistic assumptions, why would we just add God to the mix and think we have the right answer? tjguy
Joe: "I was told that a GA, which is a search heuristic, doesn’t look for solutions . . ." This is a very standard rhetorical statement by Elizabeth Liddle and a debating ploy to argue that GA's have solved, in essence, the problem of producing complex specified information. The idea is that the GA is just out there innocently wandering around, with nary a goal and nary a direction in sight, and lo and behold, just happens to stumble on incredible engineering feats -- yep, turns out the ol' needle in a haystack isn't that tough to find after all. We've tried pointing out many times to Elizabeth and friends that with GA's it is inevitably the case that either (i) the so-called solutions are so modest as to be irrelevant to real biological complex specified information, or (ii) the solution is quietly programmed into the algorithm through the back door. Despite these rather cogent points, there continues to be some widespread blind faith in the magical powers of GA's to produce CSI. One can only wonder why people are still regularly trying to come up with new GA's that can actually do something interesting if the existing GA's can already do so much wonderful stuff . . . Eric Anderson
It's getting better- I was told that a GA, which is a search heuristic, doesn't look for solutions. So I asked what this search heiristic that doesn't look for anything would be called- the stevie wonder? Joe
Shogun (rhetorically?) asks, “Remind me again why are there still atheist Darwinists?” LOL, because there is no ‘invisible sky wizard’!
Oh wow! That's it, theism had been defeated!! We should just close down this blog. Thousands of years of faith had been utterly destroyed by some random internet atheist who simply made a one line assertion making a parody of God (as invisible sky wizard) and then claiming that doesn't exist. I mean that's it, religion is dead. It's over. We are just chunks of matter in a world of pitiless indifference. Life just simply came into being without design, it just happened to assemble itself. Even though the odds are enormously against that but we must believe that it just happened that way just because we don't want to upset those who don't like the G-word. Shogun
"....but they are still scraping for mechanisms to explain how an inert primordial soup of organic molecules could have arisen in the first place." Don't be nasty. You mustn't mock the afflicted. Definition of 'afflicted': 'grievously physically or mentally unfit' or 'suffering grievously' from such a condition. Axel
I find it very peculiar that anyone would rather there be no God, indeed fight, curse, belittle, lie, etc.. etc.. to maintain that futile illusion, than joyfully admit what is plainly obvious to the vast majority of the planet's population. What is the point? A completely purposeless existence?
Steven Curtis Chapman - God is God (Original Version) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz94NQ5HRyk
And even Richard Dawkins, who has spent a vast amount of intellectual effort of his adult life trying to deceive himself (and others), trying to find a secure anchor for his militant atheism, cannot seem to rid himself of the last vestiges a what he knows to be true in his heart of hearts;
Richard Dawkins Reveals He Is Agnostic Excerpt: Dawkins revealed that he is in fact not an atheist as he is not 100 percent sure God doesn't exist. http://www.christianpost.com/news/richard-dawkins-reveals-he-is-agnostic-70243/ Richard Dawkins Vs. Ben Stein - The UFO Interview - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4134259/
This nagging uncertainty, that Dawkins honestly admits to, is especially ironic since the Christian can know for 100% certainty that what he believes is true; Though the 'personal witness' of God moving in someone's life is the greatest proof for the Christian, individually, the following ontological argument is a more formal proof. I like the concluding comment about the ontological argument from the following Dr. Plantinga video:
"God then is the Being that couldn't possibly not exit." Ontological Argument – Dr. Plantinga (3:50 minute mark) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCXvVcWFrGQ
Further note:
God Is Not Dead Yet – William Lane Craig – Page 4 The ontological argument. Anselm’s famous argument has been reformulated and defended by Alvin Plantinga, Robert Maydole, Brian Leftow, and others. God, Anselm observes, is by definition the greatest being conceivable. If you could conceive of anything greater than God, then that would be God. Thus, God is the greatest conceivable being, a maximally great being. So what would such a being be like? He would be all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good, and he would exist in every logically possible world. But then we can argue: 1. It is possible that a maximally great being (God) exists. 2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world. 3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world. 4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world. 5. Therefore, a maximally great being exists in the actual world. 6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists. 7. Therefore, God exists. Now it might be a surprise to learn that steps 2–7 of this argument are relatively uncontroversial. Most philosophers would agree that if God’s existence is even possible, then he must exist. So the whole question is: Is God’s existence possible? The atheist has to maintain that it’s impossible that God exists. He has to say that the concept of God is incoherent, like the concept of a married bachelor or a round square. But the problem is that the concept of God just doesn’t appear to be incoherent in that way. The idea of a being which is all-powerful, all knowing, and all-good in every possible world seems perfectly coherent. And so long as God’s existence is even possible, it follows that God must exist. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/july/13.22.html?start=4
As weird as it may sound, this following video refines the Ontological argument for God into a proof that, because of the characteristic of ‘maximally great love’, shows that God must exist in more than one person:
The Ontological Argument for the Triune God - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGVYXog8NUg
Shogun (rhetorically?) asks, "Remind me again why are there still atheist Darwinists?" LOL, because there is no 'invisible sky wizard'! "Or a better question: Why totally reject intelligent design?" See above. The bottom line is that admitting a designer (God, aliens, or whatever) would be admitting that atheist Darwinists aren't totally in control. They would have to acknowledge that there is something out there greater than they are. And, for some, that is something they simply won't admit, no matter how true it might be. Barb
Joe, you are sure giving them heck over there. I am not surprised they closed your thread before things got out of there control. Mike LaFontaine
". . . the individual molecules that form the basis of life also likely developed in response to natural selection . . ." You've got to love OOL hype! What a joke. There is no shortage of interesting work going on in the area, but when I hear these kinds of absurdities it make me wonder about the speaker's competence. BTW, who was it the other day (Moran?) who was all in a tizzy about people using the term "Darwinian" because it's not the only trick in the materialist's bag of tricks? Now we're supposed to believe that Darwin's ever magical "natural selection" applies to inanimate matter. Yes, there is an unwholesome Darwinian veneer applied across the whole of biology. ----- Shogun, I think the answer to #5 is clear . . . Eric Anderson
Or a better question: Why totally reject intelligent design? Shogun
So from the above article we can pretty much summarize: 1) All the replication components must be present at the same time for replication to take place. 2) The odds of assembling the required amino acid receptors by chance are nil, and 3) No real explanation for how a myriad of complex proteins and features arose and self-assembled into a self-replicating life-form by unguided processes Remind me again why are there still atheist Darwinists? Shogun
Joe, :) LOL , you really have a way of cutting to the chase and shining a light on the incoherence of atheists! :) bornagain77
That's OK, over on Elizabeth's blog I am being told that computers run according to the known laws of physics- the programs, ie information, have nothing to do with it. Joe

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