A possibly more difficult question than abiogenesis (from an atheist, no less)

WolfgangSenff
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A possibly more difficult question than abiogenesis (from an atheist, no less)

Hey everyone,

My boss always uses two examples to "disprove" atheism. One is the question of abiogenesis as defined in the other thread by Chan (approximately). I didn't see the other question that my boss uses most frequently, so I thought I'd post it and see your thoughts:

How do you explain reproduction with evolution? It seems like it almost can't be done, but I'm super-non-biologist, so I don't know what to say to it.

The best I could think of is that it's possibly an accident of life, not a property, which eventually turned into a property. But it sounds silly. Anyone have any ideas how I could respond? 

 


Vastet
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Just point out that a cell

Just point out that a cell divides without sex, and that we are all made up of cells. It reproduces by splitting in two. The precursers to life are currently suspected to be self replicating molecules. Which is just a slightly more complicated version of this if I understand the science properly.

Deludedgod is an expert on biology however, so he'll be able to quantify arguments to a fine point. I'm sure he'll respond shortly.

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There are biologists here

There are biologists here that can answer the question, but I'll give you my first impression.

Reproduction is so inefficient, that I can't imagine a "designer" thinking it was a good idea.

 

Look at the millions of sperm produced, and the odds of any one of them fertilizing an egg.  Or all of the pollen put into the air, with only a minuscule amount actually pollinating anything.

 

It things were made this way on purpose by a creator, he is a piss poor designer.

 

 

 


ShadowOfMan
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Quote: How do you explain

Quote:

How do you explain reproduction with evolution? It seems like it almost can't be done, but I'm super-non-biologist, so I don't know what to say to it.

I sort of don't understand the question.  Reproduction at all is the definition of life.  Self replicating molecules of amino acids formed into chains called DNA.  The first single celled organisms just cloned themselves.  The only evolution that occurred at this time was direct genetic mutation in the copying process.  That is until sex happened.  It was an evolutionary advantage because it generated a greater diversity of genetic variation.  It sped up the rate of evolution and in some ways the mutation rate.

It is quite possible that the first 'life' couldn't reproduce.  Of course that couldn't really get anywhere.  Replicators would have almost instantly replaced them. 

A daughter of hope and fear, religion explains to Ignorance the nature of the unknowable. -Ambrose Bierce


WolfgangSenff
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ShadowOfMan

ShadowOfMan wrote:
Quote:

How do you explain reproduction with evolution? It seems like it almost can't be done, but I'm super-non-biologist, so I don't know what to say to it.

I sort of don't understand the question. Reproduction at all is the definition of life. Self replicating molecules of amino acids formed into chains called DNA. The first single celled organisms just cloned themselves. The only evolution that occurred at this time was direct genetic mutation in the copying process. That is until sex happened. It was an evolutionary advantage because it generated a greater diversity of genetic variation. It sped up the rate of evolution and in some ways the mutation rate.

It is quite possible that the first 'life' couldn't reproduce. Of course that couldn't really get anywhere. Replicators would have almost instantly replaced them.

 Actually, you answered it fairly well. Smiling To restate the question, I understand that life couldn't reproduce at first, but how did it go from that to reproducing if it could not genetically mutate it to be so? The self-replicating DNA thing answers it for me, though I doubt it will for my boss. No worries though. I didn't know about the self-replication that apparently happened; that makes a lot of sense.

"Jesus -- the other white Moses" - Me.


ShadowOfMan
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Quote: To restate the

Quote:
To restate the question, I understand that life couldn't reproduce at first, but how did it go from that to reproducing if it could not genetically mutate it to be so?

That was actually just a complete speculation.  It's is just as possible that the first "lifeform" could actually reproduce.  This is were our arbitrary definitions can get fuzzy.  Is an amino acid life if it can't replicate on it's own?  What about a chain of amino acids?  What about a virus that jacks a cells reproductive mechanisms?  I think the official arbitrary line on the definition of life puts virus just outside of the life category.  Last I heard anyway.

A daughter of hope and fear, religion explains to Ignorance the nature of the unknowable. -Ambrose Bierce


Vastet
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ShadowOfMan wrote: Quote:

ShadowOfMan wrote:

Quote:
To restate the question, I understand that life couldn't reproduce at first, but how did it go from that to reproducing if it could not genetically mutate it to be so?

That was actually just a complete speculation.  It's is just as possible that the first "lifeform" could actually reproduce.  This is were our arbitrary definitions can get fuzzy.  Is an amino acid life if it can't replicate on it's own?  What about a chain of amino acids?  What about a virus that jacks a cells reproductive mechanisms?  I think the official arbitrary line on the definition of life puts virus just outside of the life category.  Last I heard anyway.

That depends on who you talk to. I personally don't think our species has a fraction of the information it would need to have to properly define life. 5000 odd years on a tiny backwater rock, and only a tiny backwater rock, is not enough infomation. I see a virus as fitting solidly in an open definition of life.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.