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Origin of life: Deadly fuzzwords attack in force

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Further to “We know too many ways life could have got started,”:

I am shortly starting a Science Fictions series. To give readers some idea where a fully materialistic approach has gotten us, I went through the article noted above and summarized the current state of origin of life theory.

I took out all notes, obligate copy (title, authors’ names, note numbers), etc., to arrive at a body text that is simply the authors’ considered opinion in their own editorially permitted words. Then I focused only on phrases that express possibility without assurance. The results were informative:

The article totalled 1003 wds of which 125 are express vague possibility and uncertainty of various types, such as:

… at least some metabolites … templates of whatever sort … could have begun … can be imagined … should evolve … distinct lack … may have afforded … may also be … lends credence to the idea …

I’d be happy to print all 125 fuzz words, but don’t want to be accused of unfair use of a paywalled article. Anyway, about 12 percent and more of the article is … just fuzz. The rest  doesn’t amount to much either.

You can buy the article and draw your own conclusions with a felt pen.

Nonetheless, the article concludes that “a problem once thought intractable is now yielding to broader scientific inquiry.” ‘Nuff said.

Do I think progress can be made? Maybe. But there is one thing we have to do first: Stop kidding ourselves. – O’Leary for News

7 Replies to “Origin of life: Deadly fuzzwords attack in force

  1. 1
    jstanley01 says:

    Well, I’m no lawyer nor do I play one on the Internet.

    But I imagine that citing only the 12.4626121635094715855244267198405%’s-worth that makes up the article’s fuzz words, to prove, for purposes of a critical review, said article’s overwhelming “fuzziness,” surely that would fall within Fair Use. No?

    (“Come on!” “Please?” “Pretty please???”… 😀 )

  2. 2
    News says:

    Hey jstanley01, all that would happen is that someone might make copyright violation trouble for me (arcane cause, yes, but … ) and local fuzzers would get into a set-to about what constitutes fuzz.

    I only thought of this because – as a long-time editor – I found that something in the article didn’t sound right to my “ear for print.” Then I realized, just how many verbs and other parts of speech were intended to express uncertainty and imprecision. Not what you usually get in a science journal.

    Also, this article is not unusual, just instructive. I just happened to have a copy I picked up somewhere on hand. Provides an implicit sense of where we are.

  3. 3
    niwrad says:

    Off topic message for vjtorley: sorry, I cannot post comments on your last thread. I don’t know why.

  4. 4
    gpuccio says:

    Denise:

    On one thing they are right: the “scientific inquiry” is certainly becoming “broader”. And still broader it will become, if they insist. When nothing works, you have to try ever new “solutions”. 🙂

    But I am not so sure that the problem will ever “yield” to that approach.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    And of course let’s not forget the ultimate ‘fuzzwords/phrase’ of Darwinists,, ‘It happened RANDOMLY!’

    Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Wolfgang Pauli on the Empirical Problems with Neo-Darwinism – Casey Luskin – February 27, 2012
    Excerpt: “In discussions with biologists I met large difficulties when they apply the concept of ‘natural selection’ in a rather wide field, without being able to estimate the probability of the occurrence in a empirically given time of just those events, which have been important for the biological evolution. Treating the empirical time scale of the evolution theoretically as infinity they have then an easy game, apparently to avoid the concept of purposesiveness. While they pretend to stay in this way completely ‘scientific’ and ‘rational,’ they become actually very irrational, particularly because they use the word ‘chance’, not any longer combined with estimations of a mathematically defined probability, in its application to very rare single events more or less synonymous with the old word ‘miracle.’” Wolfgang Pauli (pp. 27-28) –
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....56771.html

    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/.....randomness

    “It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.”
    Murray Eden, “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, June 1967, p. 109.

    i.e. assigning causal power to ‘random chance’ undermines the ability to formulate a rigid mathematical foundation in which to ‘scientifically’ test Darwinian claims. Thus Darwinists are forever stuck with in the ‘fuzzword’ world of, ‘could have, might have, may have, lends credence to,,, etc.. etc.. etc..

    Before you can ask ‘Is Darwinian theory correct or not?’, You have to ask the preliminary question ‘Is it clear enough so that it could be correct?’. That’s a very different question. One of my prevailing doctrines about Darwinian theory is ‘Man, that thing is just a mess. It’s like looking into a room full of smoke.’ Nothing in the theory is precisely, clearly, carefully defined or delineated. It lacks all of the rigor one expects from mathematical physics, and mathematical physics lacks all the rigor one expects from mathematics. So we’re talking about a gradual descent down the level of intelligibility until we reach evolutionary biology.’
    David Berlinski

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    (Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003)

  6. 6
    Mark Frank says:

    Uhm – not sure exactly what counts a fuzzword or whether you just include the word or the surrounding context but I did a similar analysis on the classic paper by Crick and Watson proposing a structure for DNA. Often cited as one of the best examples of a scientific paper. I counted 40 fuzzwords in an article of 941 words. Given that this is a paper about hard science – chemistry – it shows that even the most objective of scientific subjects includes much conjecture.It is the nature of scientific research. It is about what is not yet known – that is why it is called research. Here are some examples to give you the flavour:

    We wish to suggest

    been proposed

    We believe that

    appear to be

    also been suggested

    does not appear to

    It is probably impossible

    So far as we can tell

    roughly compatible with

    must be regarded as unproved

    we have postulated

    suggests

  7. 7
    Joe says:

    One thing is for sure, the Watson/ Crick paper didn’t have anything to do with evolutionism nor materialism.

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