# Probability that life arose by random chance.

cptphilgreen
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Probability that life arose by random chance.

By ruling out that the existence of a creator and thus intelligent design how do atheists reason with the probability that life arose from random chance?

My thoughts on the matter (with careful consideration I have left out of my base question): From everything I've ever read or heard on the subject the probabilities that life arose from random chance are so astronomical that they are hard to overlook. And the impression that I recieve is that if life is simple to create. And given the amount of simplicity people generally associate to life how can they overlook that life does not spontaneously generate. In my mind this analogous to taking all the parts,all the biological makeup, to make an animal, call it a dog, and waiting, given a infinitesmal amount of time and recieving a living dog. Of course with an infinite amount of time the probability that the dog would appear could theoretically happen with the chance being 1 correct assembly of the dog over the number of times that the dog is assembled inncorrectly. So given the probability exemplifyied in the dog we would say that it is more probable that the dog would be in disorder than order (following the 2nd law of thermodynamics). I was wondering how the atheist community reasons with this. Here's a link to a webpage for starters that I found to be unbiased and generally logical. Please feel free to respond as I'm willing to have any rational discussion on the topic.

Or for those who wish to look into an atheist turned theist on the matter Lee Strobel is a good place to start. His novel Case for A Creator is another good starting point if you haven't any.

Tarpan
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I hate to ruin this for

I hate to ruin this for you...but just because we don't know for certain how life started that does imply a need to put God there.  I don't know how life started.  I've heard some ideas but even without them that does not produce a need for a sky daddy, it just means that we are ignorant and do not yet know the answer.

Archeopteryx
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cptphilgreen wrote: By

cptphilgreen wrote:

By ruling out that the existence of a creator and thus intelligent design how do atheists reason with the probability that life arose from random chance?

My thoughts on the matter (with careful consideration I have left out of my base question): From everything I've ever read or heard on the subject the probabilities that life arose from random chance are so astronomical that they are hard to overlook. And the impression that I recieve is that if life is simple to create. And given the amount of simplicity people generally associate to life how can they overlook that life does not spontaneously generate. In my mind this analogous to taking all the parts,all the biological makeup, to make an animal, call it a dog, and waiting, given a infinitesmal amount of time and recieving a living dog. Of course with an infinite amount of time the probability that the dog would appear could theoretically happen with the chance being 1 correct assembly of the dog over the number of times that the dog is assembled inncorrectly. So given the probability exemplifyied in the dog we would say that it is more probable that the dog would be in disorder than order (following the 2nd law of thermodynamics). I was wondering how the atheist community reasons with this. Here's a link to a webpage for starters that I found to be unbiased and generally logical. Please feel free to respond as I'm willing to have any rational discussion on the topic.

Or for those who wish to look into an atheist turned theist on the matter Lee Strobel is a good place to start. His novel Case for A Creator is another good starting point if you haven't any.

First off, just because I've seen this question many times before around here, I'd like to point out to you that there is a difference between evolution and abiogenesis, in case you weren't aware.

Evolution = the emergence of new species from older species by natural shifts in allele frequencies within populations.

Abiogenesis = the formation of life from unliving building blocks.

Now then. Atheists don't believe that life came about by random chance. When you phrase it that way, it DOES sound ridiculous. That would be like asking how likely it would be that we could take all the components of a 747 (excusing for the moment how the components were made) and throw them randomly into a pile and have them form a 747. It's very unlikely.

You can't take all the components of a dog and throw them into a pile and make a dog either. The chances are so unbelievably remote that it's laughable.

Dogs weren't the first creatures to exist on the planet, though. dogs evolved from earlier creatures via a step-by-step process. Dogs are not random amalgams of organic mish-mash.

Richard Dawkins provides the analogy of picking a six-digit combination lock.

What is the probability that you could guess the single six-digit number you needed to open the lock?

The chances would be one out of a million.

Wow... good luck with that!

But what are the chances of picking just the first number correct? Guessing just the first digit has a probability of 1 out of 10. That doesn't seem so bad.

Suppose we had a lock that partially opened with each new digit you guessed correctly.

Arriving at an open lock would not required a single guess with a one in a million chance of getting it right. It would require making one guess, with a 1 in 10 chance, and then another, and then another.

To also use Dawkins's Mt. Improbable metaphor, mountain climbers don't simply leap toward a mountain and land on the peak. They have to climb there, one foothold at a time.

If you want to learn more about what science has to say about the emergence of life, rather than creationism, the word you're looking for is abiogenesis. It's not as solid as evolution, from what I've seen, but there is a lot of compelling work being done there. It's more difficult for me to understand, personally, since I am horribly uneducated when it comes to chemistry, so I'll leave the finer details of that to someone else.

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.

deludedgod
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Quote:

NOTE: MY RESPONSE IS TAKEN FROM NOTES I HAD PREVIOUSLY WRITTEN ON THESE MATTERS. Considering how often I deal with this argument, I do not want my interlocutor to think I just spent all that time typing my response below, but at the same time, that he not delude himself into thinking that I copied and pasted from somebody else.

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By ruling out that the existence of a creator and thus intelligent design how do atheists reason with the probability that life arose from random chance?

I have a better suggestion. Your argument is a strawman.

Many theists argue, fallaciously, for the existence of God based on the idea that existence is too complex and intricate to have formed randomly, and often attempt to make a fallacy of conflation between “not God” and “randomness.

The bifurcation occurs because the argument rests on the false dichotomy that “if not God, then chance”. This is fallacious because there is a third alternative (hence, we have a triconditional premise, which means that bifurcation is fallacious). That third alternative is natural process, which is not random, which is guided by the laws of physics and chemistry and such, but has no conscious will behind it. The bifurcation occurs because the theist makes the unjustified assertion that conscious will (ie a “mind” such as “the mind of God”) is necessary to create the order we see around us because it cannot be random. While it is true it cannot be random, this does not necessarily imply that it must have conscious guidance, because that fallaciously implies that we have a dichotomy between “conscious will” and “randomness”. In reality, we have unconscious, but certainly not random, processes which form the order we see. The process of biological evolution, for example, is blind-guided. But it is most certainly the absolute and precise opposite of randomness. This is true of vast numbers of natural processes which explain why things are the way they are, from star formation and cycles to geological columns . Everything down to the quantum level and up to the macrocosmic scale is governed by sets of physical and chemical laws which have no consciousness behind them, but still produce complex Order. In reality, the natural processes which do produce the order we see around us are extremely complex and anything but random. They are much, much more capable of producing natural order and complexity than we are at producing artificial complexity.

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From everything I've ever read or heard on the subject the probabilities that life arose from random chance are so astronomical that they are hard to overlook.

Indeed they are. Nobody here believes that it was a chance process. Chemical evolution is a well-established principle.

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And the impression that I recieve is that if life is simple to create.

The process of formation of organic autocatalysis is time consuming. It begins with Piezoelectric systems on crystallien surfaces, which form the progenitors of ribozymes. The first biological molecules on Earth may have been formed by metal based catalysis on the crystalline surface of minerals.

In principle, an elaborate system of molecular synthesis and breakdown called metabolism could have existed as such long before the first cells. Life requires molecules which catalyze reactions hsih lead directly or indirectly to replication of more molecules like themselves. Catalysts with this self promoting propertycan use raw materials to reproduce themselves and therefore divert the same materials from the production of ther substances. In modern cells the most versatile catalysts are polypeptides. However, they cannot propogate self-replication, they do not replicate. There needs to be a molecule which can act as a catalyst and guide its own replication. Such a molecule does exist: RNA

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And given the amount of simplicity people generally associate to life how can they overlook that life does not spontaneously generate

Nonsense. Spontaneous generation is expressly forbidden by the laws of biogenesis. Furthermore, biological progenitors did arise numerous times individually during the RNA world and before the central organization of modern cellular organisms. Life began in the ocean, and water has left a permament stamp on our biology.

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In my mind this analogous to taking all the parts,all the biological makeup, to make an animal, call it a dog, and waiting, given a infinitesmal amount of time and recieving a living dog.

This is a strawman. The process of chemical evolution is well established. It is the opposite of chance. It is the same as biological evolution. Your argument contains a premise which is ridiculous.

The crème de la crud of your whole piece was a link to an article which openly employed the Hoyle fallacy, something that I recognized simply by the link in the first place. You do realize that the Hoyle argument is listed as a fallacy for a reason, surely?

Its easy to calculate the probabilities associated with proteins . Essentially, a protein is a string of amino acids, usually 500-2000 amino acids long. The whole of life depends on proteins. Everything else, save the genes, is a mere passive bystanders in a biological dance of life. When we observe the cell, we are in essence observing proteins. Proteins control movement (motor proteins), the control structure (structural proteins), they control concentration (transmembrane proteins), they control ion gradients (pump proteins), and most importantly, they control every single chemical reaction in the body (enzymes). Proteins don't just control the body, they are the body. All proteins fold up tightly into one highly preferred conformation. There is no limit to the number of tasks they do in the cell. Proteins can be subdivided into two large classes, the globular proteins fold up into irregular ball-like shapes and fibrous proteins. Nearly all globular proteins are allosteric, which means they can adopt two slightly different conformations, this means they have two binding sites, one of which is for a regulatory molecule, and the other is for the substrate. Allosteric control is very complex. Suffice it to say for now that it works on either negative or positive feedback (ie the regulatory molecule increases the protein's affinity for the substrate, and the other way around, or the opposite, the regulatory molecule decreases protein affinity for the substrate, which of course, would be reciprocal. In this way, regulatory molecules can turn the protein on or off, and in negative control, there is a tug of war between the regulatory ligand and substrate which are reciprocally affected by each others concentration in the cell.

A protein is a specific type of biological polymer made up a specific family of chemical subunits called amino acids. There are 20 biological amino acids, and they are distinguished by the fact that they all have a central alpha carbon, which is attached to an amine group (-NH2), a Carboxyl group (-COOH), a hydrogen, and a side chain. It is the side chain that gives each amino acid its properties, and each of the 20 has a different side chain. Proteins can be anything in length. Usually it is 50-2000 amino acids long, and the longest ones can 7000 amino acids long. The interaction between the side chains (which is determined by charge, since three are basic, four are acidic, nine are nonpolar and five are polar but uncharged) determines the shape of the protein. For instance, the nonpolar side chains are all hydrophobic (water hating) which means the protein will fold up in a manner where the nonpolar side chains are facing inwards and not exposed to water (this is the most energetically favorable conformation). This is just one of many different subtle interplays between amino acids that determine a proteins shape. However, nearly all proteins fold spontaneously in a solution, indicating that all the information necessary to fold it is stored in the amino acids.

Proteins have only one or a second highly similar conformation, that is how they work.

Now, for the number of possible combinations of amino acid, such calculations are easy to make. With just two amino acids joined in a row, we have 20^2, or 400 possibilites. With three we have 20^3 or 8000 possibilities, with ten, we have 10240000000000 possibilities, with the average protein having several hundred amino acids up to a thousand, we have vastly more conformations than there have been seconds or atoms in the universe.

However, the Hoyle Fallacy occurs here, in making our calculatiosn in the possibility of stable biological proteins arising, because the calculations, as was pointed out by the TalkOrigins archive:

· They calculate the probability of the formation of a "modern" protein, or even a complete bacterium with all "modern" proteins, by random events. This is not the abiogenesis theory at all.

· They assume that there is a fixed number of proteins, with fixed sequences for each protein, that are required for life.

· They calculate the probability of sequential trials, rather than simultaneous trials.

· They misunderstand what is meant by a probability calculation.

· They seriously underestimate the number of functional enzymes/ribozymes present in a group of random sequences.

Now, proteins do not form in this way. There is an evolutionary advantage to stable conformations forming, and stable conformations, in turn, are the ones which give rise to biological functions. There is an obvious reason for this. In my notes on the matter, I wrote:

All Proteins Bind to Other Molecules

· Properties of proteins depend on their interactions with other molecules

• Eg. Antibodies attach to viruses to mark them for destruction, the enzyme hexokinase binds glucose and ATP to catalyze the reaction between them
• Actin molecules bind to each other to produce actin filaments etc
• All proteins stick or bind to other molecules
• Sometimes tight binding, sometimes weak and short lived
• Binding is always highly specific. Each protein can usually only bind to one type of molecule out of the thousands it encounters
• The substance bound to a protein, be it an ion, a macromolecule, a small molecule etc is referred to as the ligand of that protein
• Region of the protein associating with the ligand is known as the binding site
• Usually a cavity in the protein surface caused by a particular chain of amino acids
• These can belong to different portions of the polypeptide chain brought together when the protein folds
• Separate regions of the protein surface generally provide binding sites for different ligands.

The Details of a Protein’s Conformation Determine It’s Chemistry

· Proteins chemical capability comes in part because neighboring chemical groups on the protein’ surface often interact in ways which enhance the reactivity of amino acid side chains

· Two categories of this: Neighboring parts of the chain may interact in a way that restricts water molecules access to the ligand binding site.

· Because water molecules tend to form hydrogen bonds, they can compete with the ligands for sites often the protein surface

· Therefore, the tightness of the protein-ligand bonding is greatly increased if water molecules are excluded

· Water molecules exist in large hydrogen bonded networks, and inside the folds of a protein a ligand can be kept dry because it is energetically unfavorable for water molecules to break from this network

· Clustering of neighboring polar amino acid side chains together can alter reactivity. If the way the protein folds forces many negative side chains together that would otherwise not associate due to their mutual repulsion, the affinity of this new pocket for a positive ion is greatly increased

· Sometimes, when normally unreactive groups like CH2OH interact with each other because the side chains on which they are on form Hydrogen bonds with each other they can become reactive, allowing them to enter reactions making/breaking covalent bonds

· Therefore the surface of each protein has a unique chemical reactivity that depends on which side chains are exposed and their exact orientation relative to each other.

Sequence Comparisons Between Protein Family Members Highly Crucial Ligand Binding Sights

• Many domains in proteins can be grouped into families showing clear evidence of evolution from a common ancestor
• Genome sequence reveal a large number of proteins with one or more common domains
• 3D structures of members of same domain family remarkably similar
• Even when the amino acids identity match falls to 25% the backbone atoms in two members of the same domain family have the same fold within 0.2nm
• These allow a method called “evolutionary tracing” to determine which sites in the protein domain which are most crucial to the function of said domain
• For this, the most conserved amino acids stretches are mapped onto structural model of the known structure of one family member
• The SH2 domain is a module that functions in protein-protein interactions. It binds the protein containing it to a second protein containing a phosphorylated tyrosine side chain in a specific amino acid context
• The amino acids on this binding site have been slowest to change in the evolutionary history of SH2

We must understand all of this. Biology is highly modular. It is all about the assembly of large structures from smaller ones. Polypeptides are modularly assembled from amino acids hence determining its structure hence its chemistry and binding. Proteins are modularly assembled from polypeptides, and supramolecular structures from polypeptides, therefore, the evolution of proteins will be forced in the direction of stable amino acid conformations not random possibilities associated with amino acids. This becomes evident when we consider proteomic supramolecular structures:

Protein Molecules Ofter Serve as Subunits for the Assembly of Large Structures

· Noncovalent bonding allows proteins to generate supramolecular structures like construction of giant enzyme complexes, ribosomes, proteasomes, protein filaments, and viruses

· These are not made by one giant single covalent molecule, instead by noncolvalent assembly of many giant subunits

· Advantages of this building technique: Large structure built from a few repeating subunits requires little genetic information

· Both assembly and disassembly are easily controlled and reversible

· Errors in structural synthesis are easily avoided as proofreading mechanisms can operating during the course of the assembly

· Some protein subunits assemble into flat sheets, on which the subunits are arranged in a hexagonal pattern

· Slight changes in the subunit geometry can turn the sheet into a tube, or with slightly more changes, into a hollow sphere

· Protein tubes and spheres which bind to RNA form the coats of viruses

· Formation of these closed structures provides additional stability because it increases the number of covalent bonds

· This principle is illustrate by the protein coat or capsid of may viruses

· Capsids are often made of hundreds of identical protein subunits enclosing and protecting the viral nucleic acid code

· The proteins of capsid must have particularly adaptable structure. Not only must it have multiple contact points to make a stable sphere but also must be able to change to let the nucleic acid out to initiate viral replication in a cell. This is shown here by the construction of a capsid from monomer protein subunits, which connect into dimers, then trimers, then into the intact sphere with the addition of more free dimers

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Or for those who wish to look into an atheist turned theist on the matter Lee Strobel is a good place to start. His novel Case for A Creator is another good starting point if you haven't any.

Well, as you may have inferred from my response, I am a trained molecular biologist. Strobel is...well, to be charitable, Strobel is not (to be less charitable: Strobel is an idiot).

Now, allow me to continue:

Polynucleotides Can Both Store Information and Catalyze Chemical Reactions. RNA can propagate itself by means of complementary base pairing. However, this process without catalysis is slow, error prone and inefficient. Today, such processes are catalyzed by a massive battery of complex interactions of RNA and proteins.

In the RNA world, the RNA molecules themselves would have acted as catalysts. A pre-RNA world probably Predates the RNA One. It is unlikely RNA was the first self-replicating propogater. It is difficult to imagine that they could form through nonenzymatic means. The ribonucleotides are hard to form enzymatically, also RNA polymers entail a 5 to 3 chain which must compete with other linkages that are possible including 2 to 5 and 5 to 5. It has been suggested that RNA was anteceteded by molecules with similar properties, but that were similar. Candidates for pre-RNA include p-RNA and PNA (peptide nucleic acid)

The transition from pre-RNA to RNA would have occurred through the synthesis of RNA via these simpler components as template and catalyst. Laboratory experiments demonstrate this as plausible. PNA can act as a template for RNA molecules. Once the first RNA molecules had been produced, they could have outphased their antecedents leading to the RNA world

Single-Stranded RNA molecules can fold into highly elaborate structures Comparisons between many RNA structures reveal conserved motifs, short structural elements used over and over again as part of larger structures. Common motifs include

Single strands, double strands, single nucleotide bulges, triple nucleotide bulges, hairpin loops, symmetric internal loops, asymmetric internall loops, two stem junction, three stem junctions and four stem junctions. RNA molecules can also form common conserved interactions such as psuedoknots and “kissing hairpins” and hairpin-loop bulge contacts.

-Protein catalysts require a surgace of unique countours. RNA molecules with appropriate folds can also served as enzyme. Many of the ribozymes work by positioning metal ions at the catalytic sites. Relatively few catalytic RNA exist in modern day cells, being the polypeptides work much better.

An example of In vitro selection of synthetic ribozymes:

-A large pool of dsDNA each with a randomly generated sequence. Transcription and folding into randomly generated RNA molecules. Addition of ATP derivative containing a sulfer in place of oxygen Only a rare RNA has the ability to phosphorylate itself. This is captured by elution of the phosphorylated material

These experiments and others like them have created RNAs that can catalyze a wide variety of reactions:

Peptide bond formation in protein synthesis, RNA cleavage and DNA ligation, DNA cleaving, RNA splicing, RNA polymerization, RNA and DNA phosphorylation, RNA aminoacylation, RAN alkylation, Amide bond formation, amide bond cleavage, glycosidic bond formation and porphyrin metalation, since, like proteins, ribozymes undero allosteric conformation change

Self-Replication Molecules Undergo Natural Selection

-he 3D structure is what gives the ribozyme chemical properties and abilities. Certain polynucleotides therefore will be especially successful at self-replication. Errors inevitably occur in such processes, and therefore variations will occur over time. Consider an RNA molecule that helps catalyze template polymerization, taking any RNA as a template

-This molecule can replicate. It can also promote the replication of other RNA. If some of the other RNA have catalytic activity that help the RNA to survive in other ways, a set of different typers of RNA may evolve into a complex system of mutual cooperation.

One of the crucial events leading to this must have been the development of compartments. A set of mutually beneficial RNA could replicate themselves only if the specialized others were to remain in proximity

Selelection of a set of RNA molecules according to the quality of replication could not occur efficiently until a compartment evolved to contain them and therefore make them available only to the RNA that had generated them. A crude form of this may have simly been simple absorption on surfaces or particles.

The need for more sophisticated containment fulfilled by chemicals with the simple physiochemical properties of ampipathism. The bilayers they form created closed vesicles to make a plasma membrane. In vitro RNA selection experiments produced RNA molecules that can tightly bind to amino acids. The nucleotide sequence of such RNA contains a disproportionate number of codons corresponding to the amino acid. This is not perfect for all amino acids, but it raises the possibility that a limited genetic code could have arised this way. Any RNA that guided the synthesis of a useful polypeptide would have a great advantage.

Is that enough detail?

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

wavefreak
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Then there is the simple

Then there is the simple answer that any non-zero possibility will happen given enough time. Maybe this is the 2^1000 iteration of this universe. Maybe we're in a giant cosmic testube with 2^1000 other universes and god is writing his thesis on us.  I hope we're not consider biohazardous material.

Hambydammit
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To the original

To the original poster:

Deludedgod is an evolutionary biologist. He is working on one of the most cutting edge processes in the field, and has spent a great deal of his life learning, right down to the atomic level, exactly what goes on as life evolves. He has a great many letters next to his name, which correspond to thousands and thousands of hours of research, lab time, and study.

Have you ever even read an introductory book on molecular biology? Do you know anything at all about it?

This isn't a rhetorical question. I would like for you to answer the question directly. Exactly how much do you know about evolution?

Oh, on an unrelated side note... I gather since you like Lee Strobel that you've never studied basic logic either...

No kidding, Strobel's logic could be used as a textbook for bad argument.  In fact, I've done exactly that when I helped a friend design a basic debate course for his university class.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

deludedgod
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Quote: Deludedgod is an

Quote:

Deludedgod is an evolutionary biologist.

Although I studied evolutionary biology as an obligatory part of the course, and of course have read Douglas Futyama's Evolutionary Biology, I am not, strictly speaking an "evolutionary biologist". For me to be an evolutionary biologist would entail that I have a PhD in that field. I don't.  The correct thing to say is that I have versing in evolutionary biology in supplement to my actual speciality.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Hambydammit
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Whoopsy! Thanks for the

Whoopsy!

Thanks for the clarification.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

wavefreak
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deludedgod wrote:  ... to

deludedgod wrote:

... to my actual speciality.

Don't be shy now. What is your speciality (eviscerating theist's arguments is a hobby so you can't use that)

BobSpence
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cptphilgreen wrote:

cptphilgreen wrote:

By ruling out that the existence of a creator and thus intelligent design how do atheists reason with the probability that life arose from random chance?

My thoughts on the matter (with careful consideration I have left out of my base question): From everything I've ever read or heard on the subject the probabilities that life arose from random chance are so astronomical that they are hard to overlook.

As others have already pointed out, science does not propose that a complex life-form came into existence from spontaneous chance collision of all the component parts in just the right place.

We don't even expect anything much more complex than a hydrogen atom to form this way.

Complex structures typically arise in a long sequence of steps.

Simple structures, say hydrogen and heiium atoms may indees form by fundamental particles coming together. Once we have large quantities of these simple atoms, the existence of gravity will tend to to cause them to clump together. Then the possibility increases for them to interact, under the right conditions, to form more complex atoms, via fusion reactions.

Once we have accumulated enough heavier atoms, we now have the possibility for them to come together into solid particles (dust). which in turn can accumulate into larger solid bodies, and so on.

It would be extremely improbable for a collection of sub-atomic particles corresponding to the atoms in an earth-sized planet to suddenly condense into a structure we would recognize as a planet, with core, mantle, oceans, continental plates and atmosphere,

All these steps rely on a large number of component parts at one level to build up by partly random processes steered by physical laws into higher level structures. Once enough of these higher-level bits accumulate, the probability of the next level of structure to arise somewhere in the 'population' of components increases.

One list of successive levels of 'complexity' could be: sub-atomic particles -> atoms -> molecules -> macro-molecules (proteins, DNA, etc) -> simple cells -> multicellular organisms. This is not necessarily the only way to organize what we observe, but it is one way to break up the complexity of what we see around us into manageable thought-patterns.

Another simple way of making the distinction between the probability of all-at-once and step-by-step change from one state to another is to think of two sorts of combination lock. If there is no feedback at all if an input sequence has some correct settings, then we are forced to explore all possible combinations, eg one million for 6 digits. However, if we had a device which allowed each consecutive digit to be set and 'locked in', we would only require a maximum of 60 tries instead of a million.

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And the impression that I recieve is that if life is simple to create. And given the amount of simplicity people generally associate to life how can they overlook that life does not spontaneously generate.
Again, science does NOT claim that life is simple to create. We just don't think it is so improbable that it is extremely unlikely to arise in a a universe containing the number of star-systems and planets which we now think are likely to exist. It does require a certain set of pre-conditions, which typically includes a minimum amount of the pre-cursor materials, eg amino acids, and the appropriate physical conditions, and quite a lot of time. The smaller the quantity of pre-cursor material, and the smaller the range of local variations and combinations of environmental conditions of temperature, pressure, exposure of certain mineral surfaces which may have catalysed certain chemistry, etc, the less likely are we to reproduce the process lab conditions and time-scales, even if we had a better understanding of the processes.

Just thought I would add my own take on what I saw as the principle errors/miscoceptions in the OP - I had contemplated more, but after seeing DG's post, decided the details had been pretty exhaustively covered .

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology

cptphilgreen
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Thank you and the rest of

Thank you and the rest of the rest of the posters for some excellent responses to my extremely flawed questions and statements, to which I did not realize were canned Hoyle arguement based.  In response to  another poster I hold a bachelors  degree in biomedical chemical engineering that I use as a reference point to chemical patents. I apologize for wasting yours and the other posters time.

daretoknow
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0_0 wtf? I definitely

0_0 wtf? I definitely didn't expect a reply like that. His simple acceptance of the truth was.... refreshing. Good job boys.

And Phil thanks for being reaonable, its nice for a change.

Thats cute.

Girl Dancing In...
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Let's be really fare...

Let's be really fare... Let's say 2 planets per stars, 100 billions stars per galaxy and 100 billions of galaxies in the observable universe.

How ever rare life can be... Do the math.

Si Dieu existe, c'est Son problème !
If God exists, it's His problem !--Graffiti on the walls of the Sorbonne (France), May 1968
romancedlife.blogspot.com

Girl Dancing In...
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And please... No more of 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Whatever happens, the amount of entropy will continue to rise on a cosmological scale. And the universe is the only really closed system we know of (as far as we think we know).

Si Dieu existe, c'est Son problème !
If God exists, it's His problem !--Graffiti on the walls of the Sorbonne (France), May 1968
romancedlife.blogspot.com

Presuppositionalist
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You're ignoring abductive necessity.

Tarpan wrote:
I hate to ruin this for you...but just because we don't know for certain how life started that does imply a need to put God there.  I don't know how life started.  I've heard some ideas but even without them that does not produce a need for a sky daddy, it just means that we are ignorant and do not yet know the answer.

What it provides us is an "abductive necessity". If Q explains P, and no current explanation for P is more viable, it is reasonable to believe Q. It is therefore abductively necessary to invoke Q in all cases where P obtains. Now, since you have admitted that you have no explanation for a given P (the origin of life) and that the theist does have an explanation (the existence of a creating force), it follows that theism is abductively necessary ab vis reliqui.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.

magilum
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

Tarpan wrote:
I hate to ruin this for you...but just because we don't know for certain how life started that does imply a need to put God there.  I don't know how life started.  I've heard some ideas but even without them that does not produce a need for a sky daddy, it just means that we are ignorant and do not yet know the answer.

What it provides us is an "abductive necessity". If Q explains P, and no current explanation for P is more viable, it is reasonable to believe Q. It is therefore abductively necessary to invoke Q in all cases where P obtains. Now, since you have admitted that you have no explanation for a given P (the origin of life) and that the theist does have an explanation (the existence of a creating force), it follows that theism is abductively necessary.

Jargon aside, this remains an argument from ignorance. In the absence of an explanation, an unsubstantiated, unprecedented agency, more complex than the problem itself, doesn't provide the default explanation for this, or any other problem. Applied uniformly, such an approach would resemble paranoid schizophrenia rather than science.

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magilum

magilum wrote:
Presuppositionalist wrote:

What it provides us is an "abductive necessity". If Q explains P, and no current explanation for P is more viable, it is reasonable to believe Q. It is therefore abductively necessary to invoke Q in all cases where P obtains. Now, since you have admitted that you have no explanation for a given P (the origin of life) and that the theist does have an explanation (the existence of a creating force), it follows that theism is abductively necessary.

Jargon aside, this remains an argument from ignorance. In the absence of an explanation, an unsubstantiated, unprecedented agency, more complex than the problem itself, doesn't provide the default explanation for this, or any other problem. Applied uniformly, such an approach would resemble paranoid schizophrenia rather than science.

But we're not in the absence of an explanation. We have an explanation- in fact, under the premises of the person I was responding to, we have but one explanation.

You haven't explained why the creative force would be more complex than the problem, or why such a paradigm would cause behavior resembling schizophrenia. Therefore, I ignore both claims as unsubstantiated for now.

Rebut this, please: at any given time, the most viable explanation for a given Q is to be preferred.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.

Fish
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

What it provides us is an "abductive necessity". If Q explains P, and no current explanation for P is more viable, it is reasonable to believe Q. It is therefore abductively necessary to invoke Q in all cases where P obtains. Now, since you have admitted that you have no explanation for a given P (the origin of life) and that the theist does have an explanation (the existence of a creating force), it follows that theism is abductively necessary ab vis reliqui.

Considering that the vast majority of phenomena originally attributed to the works of God or gods have been subsequently shown to have "natrual" (i.e. non-divine) causes, including lightning, the rise and fall of the sun, the formation of the solar system, the origin of the human species, the causes of disease and illness, earthquakes, the tides, the phases of the moon, and so on, it seems odd that you would suggest that god is a viable explanation for anything at all.

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erm, no.

Fish wrote:
Considering that the vast majority of phenomena originally attributed to the works of God or gods have been subsequently shown to have "natrual" (i.e. non-divine) causes, including lightning, the rise and fall of the sun, the formation of the solar system, the origin of the human species, the causes of disease and illness, earthquakes, the tides, the phases of the moon, and so on, it seems odd that you would suggest that god is a viable explanation for anything at all.

Your premise is "if many ideas of type B have previously been wrong, all ideas of type B are probably wrong". The same logic could be applied to, say, scientific ideas*: "many scientific ideas such as epicycles, phlogiston, and elan vital have been wrong, so all scientific ideas are probably wrong."

* - I do not endorse this argument. I approve of science. I present this only as a reductio.

Interestingly, the same logic leads you to epistemic skepticism. Since you have been wrong many times in the past, you should believe that the ideas you hold now are wrong.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.

thingy
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:
What it provides us is an "abductive necessity". If Q explains P, and no current explanation for P is more viable, it is reasonable to believe Q. It is therefore abductively necessary to invoke Q in all cases where P obtains. Now, since you have admitted that you have no explanation for a given P (the origin of life) and that the theist does have an explanation (the existence of a creating force), it follows that theism is abductively necessary ab vis reliqui.

If P is the origin of life, and Q is god, then Q is only an excuse for P. It doesn't explain anything, nor does it take any steps in leading us to explaining anything.  Typical god of the gaps theory.

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magilum
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:
magilum wrote:
Presuppositionalist wrote:

What it provides us is an "abductive necessity". If Q explains P, and no current explanation for P is more viable, it is reasonable to believe Q. It is therefore abductively necessary to invoke Q in all cases where P obtains. Now, since you have admitted that you have no explanation for a given P (the origin of life) and that the theist does have an explanation (the existence of a creating force), it follows that theism is abductively necessary.

Jargon aside, this remains an argument from ignorance. In the absence of an explanation, an unsubstantiated, unprecedented agency, more complex than the problem itself, doesn't provide the default explanation for this, or any other problem. Applied uniformly, such an approach would resemble paranoid schizophrenia rather than science.

But we're not in the absence of an explanation. We have an explanation- in fact, under the premises of the person I was responding to, we have but one explanation.

Actually, without special pleading, we have an abundance of religious explanations; all of them non-sequiturs.

Presuppositionalist wrote:
You haven't explained why the creative force would be more complex than the problem,

Without proving dualism, consciousness is assumed to emerge from physical existence. The physical existence, and consciousness, necessary to be responsible for a universe is at least as complex as the universe itself in order to "design" it. There are alternative concepts, such as gods that don't consciously design, which could be a way around this, but bear no resemblance to a Judeo-Christian-Islamic deity. All of this, of course, being wholly unsubstantiated, any extrapolation to explain why this is not necessary will be ad hoc.

Presuppositionalist wrote:
or why such a paradigm would cause behavior resembling schizophrenia.

The assumption of an intelligent agency for all unexplained phenomena would resemble this if applied uniformly, rather than arbitrarily limited by scriptural bias. In everyday life, such an approach would leave a person suspicious of intent behind every unresolved question, from missing car keys, to the weather.

Presuppositionalist wrote:
Therefore, I ignore both claims as unsubstantiated for now.

Rebut this, please: at any given time, the most viable explanation for a given Q is to be preferred.

What makes an unsubstantiated, complex agency viable?

magilum
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

Fish wrote:
Considering that the vast majority of phenomena originally attributed to the works of God or gods have been subsequently shown to have "natrual" (i.e. non-divine) causes, including lightning, the rise and fall of the sun, the formation of the solar system, the origin of the human species, the causes of disease and illness, earthquakes, the tides, the phases of the moon, and so on, it seems odd that you would suggest that god is a viable explanation for anything at all.

Your premise is "if many ideas of type B have previously been wrong, all ideas of type B are probably wrong". The same logic could be applied to, say, scientific ideas*: "many scientific ideas such as epicycles, phlogiston, and elan vital have been wrong, so all scientific ideas are probably wrong."

* - I do not endorse this argument. I approve of science. I present this only as a reductio.

Scientific ideas change based on data. What do religious ideas change based on?

Vessel
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

Tarpan wrote:
I hate to ruin this for you...but just because we don't know for certain how life started that does imply a need to put God there. I don't know how life started. I've heard some ideas but even without them that does not produce a need for a sky daddy, it just means that we are ignorant and do not yet know the answer.

What it provides us is an "abductive necessity". If Q explains P, and no current explanation for P is more viable, it is reasonable to believe Q. It is therefore abductively necessary to invoke Q in all cases where P obtains. Now, since you have admitted that you have no explanation for a given P (the origin of life) and that the theist does have an explanation (the existence of a creating force), it follows that theism is abductively necessary ab vis reliqui.

'By a creating force' does not explain how life started anymore than 'through natural processes' explains how life formed.

If you are going to require a more specific answer than 'through natural processes' from the naturalist you will need to provide a more specific answer than 'by a creating force'. Since you can not offer a more specific proposition than 'through natural processes' with your 'by a creating force', and you need to invoke the existence of something that is otherwise unevidenced (whereas natural processes are well evidenced), we are much better justified in crediting, as of yet undetermined as they may be, natural processes.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins

Fish
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

Your premise is "if many ideas of type B have previously been wrong, all ideas of type B are probably wrong". The same logic could be applied to, say, scientific ideas*: "many scientific ideas such as epicycles, phlogiston, and elan vital have been wrong, so all scientific ideas are probably wrong."

* - I do not endorse this argument. I approve of science. I present this only as a reductio.

I'm confused by your presentation of this argument, since you don't support it, admittedly rightly so, as it falls apart on two counts.

The first is that the example of science is not apt, as scientific ideas are backed up by facts, experiments, observations, etc., something your explanation of god is not. This wasn't your initial claim, but it does show that the analogy fails. In addition, scientific ideas are different from each other. In fact, science provides a strong argument against your point, since when an idea is shown to not work, it is abandoned.

Which relates to the second point. As before, when ideas, such as those you mentioned, are demonstrated to be false, they are abandoned. If every claim made so far using god as an explanation has been shown to be false, that doesn't mean that all uses of god as an explanation are necessarily false, but it does suggest that we should be more hesitant to accept it as an explanation.

If we can ever use history to make predicitions about the future, then the case against god explaining anything is one of the strongest I am aware of.

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Quote: Quote: But we're

Quote:
Quote:
But we're not in the absence of an explanation. We have an explanation- in fact, under the premises of the person I was responding to, we have but one explanation.

Actually, without special pleading, we have an abundance of religious explanations; all of them non-sequiturs.

All of them are based on the idea of some creative force, which is all I have posited in this thread.

Quote:
Presuppositionalist wrote:
You haven't explained why the creative force would be more complex than the problem,

Without proving dualism, consciousness is assumed to emerge from physical existence. The physical existence, and consciousness, necessary to be responsible for a universe is at least as complex as the universe itself in order to "design" it.

Who's talking about the whole universe?

Quote:
There are alternative concepts, such as gods that don't consciously design, which could be a way around this, but bear no resemblance to a Judeo-Christian-Islamic deity.

Where have I argued for that deity?

Quote:
All of this, of course, being wholly unsubstantiated, any extrapolation to explain why this is not necessary will be ad hoc.

It is abductively necessary, as I explained.

Quote:
Presuppositionalist wrote:
or why such a paradigm would cause behavior resembling schizophrenia.

The assumption of an intelligent agency for all unexplained phenomena would resemble this if applied uniformly, rather than arbitrarily limited by scriptural bias. In everyday life, such an approach would leave a person suspicious of intent behind every unresolved question, from missing car keys, to the weather.

I've not argued from scripture, though. And I think we have more viable explanations for missing car keys.

Quote:
Presuppositionalist wrote:
Therefore, I ignore both claims as unsubstantiated for now.

Rebut this, please: at any given time, the most viable explanation for a given Q is to be preferred.

What makes an unsubstantiated, complex agency viable?

Since I've responded to the charges of "unsubstantiated-ness" and "complex-ness" above, I'll only ask again that you respond. At any given time, the most viable explanation for a given Q is to be preferred. True or false?

Regards,

~Presuppositionalist

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.

Presuppositionalist
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Fish wrote:I'm confused by

Fish wrote:
I'm confused by your presentation of this argument, since you don't support it, admittedly rightly so, as it falls apart on two counts.

I presented a premise of yours, and showed why I disagree with it. Anything that dismantles science like that has something wrong with it. What additional support do you want?

Quote:
The first is that the example of science is not apt, as scientific ideas are backed up by facts, experiments, observations, etc., something your explanation of god is not. This wasn't your initial claim, but it does show that the analogy fails. In addition, scientific ideas are different from each other. In fact, science provides a strong argument against your point, since when an idea is shown to not work, it is abandoned.

This is not relevant. Your premise was "if many ideas of type B are wrong, all ideas of type B are probably wrong." You have provided nothing to exempt science from that. Many scientific ideas have been wrong, therefore by your logic we should abandon science.

Quote:
Which relates to the second point. As before, when ideas, such as those you mentioned, are demonstrated to be false, they are abandoned. If every claim made so far using god as an explanation has been shown to be false, that doesn't mean that all uses of god as an explanation are necessarily false, but it does suggest that we should be more hesitant to accept it as an explanation.

That was not the tone you began this with. You did not say I should be "hesitant". You came in all brash, "how can you possibly use any creative force as an explanation when XYZ have been wrong etc." You all but called me an idiot for even considering it.

Anyway, this is precisely the point under contention. You are only restating your premise. You should support this rather than asserting it. I have no idea why I'm supposed to accept that as an argument.

Look:

"If every claim made so far using god as an explanation has been shown to be false... we should be more hesitant to accept it as an explanation."

Now, isn't that the same as:

"If many ideas of type B have been false in the past, all ideas of type B are probably false?" (where B=some creative force as an explanation)

Quote:
If we can ever use history to make predicitions about the future, then the case against god explaining anything is one of the strongest I am aware of.

Again, why? By what standard? Show me the rules you're playing by, here.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.

magilum
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

Quote:
Quote:
But we're not in the absence of an explanation. We have an explanation- in fact, under the premises of the person I was responding to, we have but one explanation.

Actually, without special pleading, we have an abundance of religious explanations; all of them non-sequiturs.

All of them are based on the idea of some creative force, which is all I have posited in this thread.

See second half of sentence.

Presuppositionalist wrote:
Quote:
Presuppositionalist wrote:
You haven't explained why the creative force would be more complex than the problem,

Without proving dualism, consciousness is assumed to emerge from physical existence. The physical existence, and consciousness, necessary to be responsible for a universe is at least as complex as the universe itself in order to "design" it.

Who's talking about the whole universe?

I made the presupposition that your version of this argument bore some resemblance to others. If you have an idiosyncratic version, it's not my problem guessing at what it is: so come to the point.

Presuppositionalist wrote:

Quote:
There are alternative concepts, such as gods that don't consciously design, which could be a way around this, but bear no resemblance to a Judeo-Christian-Islamic deity.

Where have I argued for that deity?

Oh, you got me there. I just assumed, based on the name, flying bible avatar, and bible quote sig. Silly me for inferring this.

Presuppositionalist wrote:
Quote:
All of this, of course, being wholly unsubstantiated, any extrapolation to explain why this is not necessary will be ad hoc.

It is abductively necessary, as I explained.

Any explanation could be inserted in its place, because it's not an explanation.

Presuppositionalist wrote:
Quote:
Presuppositionalist wrote:
or why such a paradigm would cause behavior resembling schizophrenia.

The assumption of an intelligent agency for all unexplained phenomena would resemble this if applied uniformly, rather than arbitrarily limited by scriptural bias. In everyday life, such an approach would leave a person suspicious of intent behind every unresolved question, from missing car keys, to the weather.

I've not argued from scripture, though. And I think we have more viable explanations for missing car keys.

And a natural explanation, being the precedented one, will always be more viable than a supernatural agency.

Presuppositionalist wrote:
Quote:
Presuppositionalist wrote:
Therefore, I ignore both claims as unsubstantiated for now.

Rebut this, please: at any given time, the most viable explanation for a given Q is to be preferred.

What makes an unsubstantiated, complex agency viable?

Since I've responded to the charges of "unsubstantiated-ness" and "complex-ness" above, I'll only ask again that you respond. At any given time, the most viable explanation for a given Q is to be preferred. True or false?

Regards,

~Presuppositionalist

I'm not going to indulge you. Get to the point.

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Quote: Scientific ideas

Quote:
Scientific ideas change based on data. What do religious ideas change based on?

Fish had the same response. Please refer to what I said to him.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.

magilum
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We don't have time to dance

We don't have time to dance with you. Please post your intellectually bankrupt premise.

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Quote: We don't have time

Quote:
We don't have time to dance with you.

Yeah, okay mister 1675 posts.

Quote:

My premise to which statement? Maybe you could see my first post in this thread? That's what started this.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.

magilum
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

Quote:
We don't have time to dance with you.

Yeah, okay mister 1675 posts.

Quote:

My premise to which statement? Maybe you could see my first post in this thread? That's what started this.

Then you've been dealt with.

kthxbye.

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Quote: See second half of

Quote:
See second half of sentence.

Saw it. See my first post in this thread.

Quote:
I made the presupposition that your version of this argument bore some resemblance to others. If you have an idiosyncratic version, it's not my problem guessing at what it is: so come to the point.

I already presented it. I just came here to respond to that one guy.

Quote:
Oh, you got me there. I just assumed, based on the name, flying bible avatar, and bible quote sig. Silly me for inferring this.

No problem.

Quote:
Any explanation could be inserted in its place, because it's not an explanation.

And a natural explanation, being the precedented one, will always be more viable than a supernatural agency.

It quite obviously IS an explanation, and under the premises of the guy I was responding to, it is the ONLY explanation. Read my first post in the context of what I was answering.

Quote:
I'm not going to indulge you. Get to the point.

Dodging questions, eh?

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.

Presuppositionalist
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Quote:Then you've been

double post

Presuppositionalist
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Quote:Then you've been

Quote:

Then you've been dealt with.

kthxbye.

That is cowardly. I defy anyone (including mister 1675 posts if he ever dares return) to point to a post by magilum that actually answered my argument.

This is supposed to be the "Rational Response Squad", not the "Vanish At The First Sign Of Substantial Opposition Response Squad". Magilum has yet to present an interesting counter to my argument, and is clearly covering his retreat with some sort of vague reference to a prior rebuttal.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.

magilum
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:
Quote:

Then you've been dealt with.

kthxbye.

I defy anyone (including mister 1675 posts if he ever returns) to point to a post by magilum that actually answered my argument.

Vessel wrote:
Todangst has answerred your objections more than handily. Your refusal to accept the answers has no bearing on their veracity. As for the below portion, what is it exactly that you think you have said?

I don't really expect an argument like this to go anywhere. I, on the other hand, plan to move on to conversations that aren't about rococo rationalizations for uninteresting ideas.

zarathustra
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

What it provides us is an "abductive necessity". If Q explains P, and no current explanation for P is more viable, it is reasonable to believe Q. It is therefore abductively necessary to invoke Q in all cases where P obtains. Now, since you have admitted that you have no explanation for a given P (the origin of life) and that the theist does have an explanation (the existence of a creating force), it follows that theism is abductively necessary ab vis reliqui.

My current explanation: Life started by naturally occurring organic compounds organizing into ordered structures.

Is that explanation "more viable" than goddidit?

There are no theists on operating tables.

 ππ π† π† ††

magilum
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:
Quote:

Then you've been dealt with.

kthxbye.

That is cowardly. I defy anyone (including mister 1675 posts if he ever dares return) to point to a post by magilum that actually answered my argument.

This is supposed to be the "Rational Response Squad", not the "Vanish At The First Sign Of Substantial Opposition Response Squad". Magilum has yet to present an interesting counter to my argument, and is clearly covering his retreat with some sort of vague reference to a prior rebuttal.

Added a couple ad homs, I see. Your argument rests on the assertion of an ad hoc hypothesis about unsubstantiated agencies being the most likely explanation for something. It's neither supported, nor does it explain anything.

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magilum wrote:I respond

magilum wrote:

Vessel wrote:
Todangst has answerred your objections more than handily. Your refusal to accept the answers has no bearing on their veracity. As for the below portion, what is it exactly that you think you have said?

Oh, yeah, that proves a whole lot. "I diagree with something you posted 20 years back, so you must be wrong right now."

Quote:
You know, I have dialogued with many atheists, and I have to say I am sick of the condescending and arrogant attitude you people exhibit.

Quote:
I don't really expect an argument like this to go anywhere. I, on the other hand, plan to move on to conversations that aren't about rococo rationalizations for uninteresting ideas.

Fine. Flee.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.

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zarathustra

zarathustra wrote:
Presuppositionalist wrote:

What it provides us is an "abductive necessity". If Q explains P, and no current explanation for P is more viable, it is reasonable to believe Q. It is therefore abductively necessary to invoke Q in all cases where P obtains. Now, since you have admitted that you have no explanation for a given P (the origin of life) and that the theist does have an explanation (the existence of a creating force), it follows that theism is abductively necessary ab vis reliqui.

My current explanation: Life started by naturally occurring organic compounds organizing into ordered structures.

Is that explanation "more viable" than goddidit?

Read the post I was responding to, THEN read my post. Everybody tries that attack, nobody has yet bothered to read my post in context.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.

zarathustra
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

Read the post I was responding to, THEN read my post. Everybody tries that attack, nobody has yet bothered to read my post in context.

OK.  I read the post you were responding to, THEN I read your post.  NOW, respond to my post.

There are no theists on operating tables.

 ππ π† π† ††

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magilum wrote:

Sorry, Miss Manners.

Quote:
Your argument rests on the assertion of an ad hoc hypothesis about unsubstantiated agencies being the most likely explanation for something. It's neither supported, nor does it explain anything.

It is not ad hoc. If you would actually bother to READ the argument, and COMPREHEND the argument. You might get it.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.

Vessel
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

What it provides us is an "abductive necessity". If Q explains P, and no current explanation for P is more viable, it is reasonable to believe Q. It is therefore abductively necessary to invoke Q in all cases where P obtains. Now, since you have admitted that you have no explanation for a given P (the origin of life) and that the theist does have an explanation (the existence of a creating force), it follows that theism is abductively necessary ab vis reliqui.

I'd also point out that, even though it might be proposed by a theist, the existence of a creating force by no way entails theism. Nature is considered by some to be a creative force. So, it does not follow from what was stated above that theism is abductively necessary even if one were to accept the argument presented (which my previous response dealt with).

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins

Vessel
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

What it provides us is an "abductive necessity". If Q explains P, and no current explanation for P is more viable, it is reasonable to believe Q. It is therefore abductively necessary to invoke Q in all cases where P obtains. Now, since you have admitted that you have no explanation for a given P (the origin of life) and that the theist does have an explanation (the existence of a creating force), it follows that theism is abductively necessary ab vis reliqui.

I'd also point out that, though it may be reasonable to believe Q given no more viable explanation for P, it is in no way necessary to believe Q. It is not necessary to invoke Q in all cases, if you don't believe Q to be true even if one is without another explanation.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins

Vessel
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I think I'm done now.

I think I'm done now.

Presuppositionalist
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Vessel

Hmm. I double-posted, then I deleted one of the doubles, then the mod deleted the other one. That is fantastic.

OK here's a shorter rewrite, in response to Vessel:

Basically, what you're not recognizing is that while it isn't necessary to believe Q in the sense that you'll be hit by a bus, it is true that if ~Q, then contrarius habitus obtains, which cannot be accepted while maintaining any sort of interesting worldview. After all it is, as you admit, reasonable to hold Q.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.

Presuppositionalist
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Vessel

{DOUBLE}

HC Grindon
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

What it provides us is an "abductive necessity". If Q explains P, and no current explanation for P is more viable, it is reasonable to believe Q. It is therefore abductively necessary to invoke Q in all cases where P obtains. Now, since you have admitted that you have no explanation for a given P (the origin of life) and that the theist does have an explanation (the existence of a creating force), it follows that theism is abductively necessary ab vis reliqui.

So, what you are saying is that "I don't know" is not a viable answer because some fucking caveman dreamed up the concept of a "creative force", therefore, said caveman's explanation is more viable and abductively necessary.  Of course this same caveman wipes ass with his hands (if at all), drags his women around by the hair, and eats brontosaurus burgers on his lunch break from the quarry.

Presuppositionalist
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HC Grindon

HC Grindon wrote:
Presuppositionalist wrote:

What it provides us is an "abductive necessity". If Q explains P, and no current explanation for P is more viable, it is reasonable to believe Q. It is therefore abductively necessary to invoke Q in all cases where P obtains. Now, since you have admitted that you have no explanation for a given P (the origin of life) and that the theist does have an explanation (the existence of a creating force), it follows that theism is abductively necessary ab vis reliqui.

So, what you are saying is that "I don't know" is not a viable answer because some fucking caveman dreamed up the concept of a "creative force", therefore, said caveman's explanation is more viable and abductively necessary.  Of course this same caveman wipes ass with his hands (if at all), drags his women around by the hair, and eats brontosaurus burgers on his lunch break from the quarry.

You have no idea what my argument is. I'm not saying "believe this because I thought it up". It is abductively necessary in the pertinent context.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.

HC Grindon
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:
HC Grindon wrote:
Presuppositionalist wrote:

What it provides us is an "abductive necessity". If Q explains P, and no current explanation for P is more viable, it is reasonable to believe Q. It is therefore abductively necessary to invoke Q in all cases where P obtains. Now, since you have admitted that you have no explanation for a given P (the origin of life) and that the theist does have an explanation (the existence of a creating force), it follows that theism is abductively necessary ab vis reliqui.

So, what you are saying is that "I don't know" is not a viable answer because some fucking caveman dreamed up the concept of a "creative force", therefore, said caveman's explanation is more viable and abductively necessary. Of course this same caveman wipes ass with his hands (if at all), drags his women around by the hair, and eats brontosaurus burgers on his lunch break from the quarry.

You have no idea what my argument is. I'm not saying "believe this because I thought it up". It is abductively necessary in the pertinent context.

Sure I do. Well enough, in fact, to refute it with sarcastic caveman/Flintstone snarks. Your Peircian nonsense is nothing but dolled up ad hoc.

Vessel
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

Hmm. I double-posted, then I deleted one of the doubles, then the mod deleted the other one. That is fantastic.

OK here's a shorter rewrite, in response to Vessel:

Basically, what you're not recognizing is that while it isn't necessary to believe Q in the sense that you'll be hit by a bus, it is true that if ~Q, then contrarius habitus obtains, which cannot be accepted while maintaining any sort of interesting worldview. After all it is, as you admit, reasonable to hold Q.

I don't thnk I'm not recognizing anything. It can be reasonable to believe Q and reasonable to believe ~Q both as possible, simultaneously even, but neither as necessary. There is no problem involved with doing so. It would be problematic to hold (Q and ~Q) as reasonable but not to hold (Q) as reasonable and to hold (~Q) as reasonable as well. It is also not necessary that because you hold Q as reasonable you hold Q as true or even as likely to be true.

Further, it may often even be the case that Q might explain P and no current explanation for P is more viable yet it is not reasonable to believe Q because of some unrelated objection to Q. In such a scenario, even though Q may be the only viable explanation for P available, it would be unreasonable to hold Q.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins

HC Grindon
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HC Grindon wrote:

HC Grindon wrote: