Thinking About Falsifiability and Abiogenesis

It is not changing the subject. It is material to the question.

Sean Carroll is not publishing papers (WITHIN science) on special creation as an alternative to abiogenesis. He is, in his personal reflections (which are OUTSIDE science), pointing out correctly that MN should not apply. I agree with Carrol on this. OUTSIDE science, MN does not apply, WITHIN it does apply. Notice he uses the word “scientist” not “science” That is a monumental difference, because scientists move back and forth between WITHIN and OUTSIDE science. I read him much differently than you. The enterprise of Science is bound to MN, but ScienTISTS, are not bound to MN in their non-scientific reflection on science.

And you have told me several times that I am a philosophical naturalist. You are calling me an atheist that does not believe in miracles. I want to either hear (1) how a philosophical naturalist affirms the Resurrection OR (2) a a clarification or retraction of the implication that I am a philosophical naturalist.

The same questions applies to @AJRoberts, as she and I hold the same view as Carrol, as I’ve explained it here.

This is completely disingenuous. Carroll was not speaking outside of science. He was talking as a scientist about phenomena which theoretically could be contrary to the laws of physics. This is exactly what we are talking about here. Abiogenesis is an hypothesis that is possibly contrary to the laws of physics.

Carroll is willing to look at the evidence and you are not. That’s the issue. Let me quote Carroll once again:
“There would be no problem for me to be persuaded out of naturalism … I think it’s a matter of what is the model that best fits the data … Some people try to sometimes say that science or naturalists start from an assumption of naturalism so they just simply won’t consider alternatives. I’m very happy to consider alternatives. I think if there were some phenomena in the world which really looked exactly like some religious tradition was saying should happen and was miraculous, was seemingly violating the laws of physics - what would scientists do in that situation? They would not say “Oh, we are not allowed to think about this because we agreed yesterday at faculty tea that the world was a natural world.” I think they would try to come up with the best explanation. If the best explanation is not naturalism, then I would buy that.”

As you can see, Carroll is speaking for himself and for all scientists. Carroll is saying that your point of view is completely out of the mainstream among scientists. The bolded portion is exactly what you are saying.

Or maybe the scientist in this conversation might actually know something about scientific culture. :smile: Have you ever considered that you might be wrong?

No, actually you are misreading him, because you are unaccounted with how scientists think and speak about these things. He is not talking about “science” but about “naturalists” and “scientists.” Just as he says:

They would call it a miracle, and then publish a paper proposing naturalistic ways to explain it away, even though they personally thought it was a miracle. That is now science works. I agree with Carroll’s statement. He is reminding you that scientists are more than “science,” and that even though MN is the rule of science, scienTISTS are not bound to it in their personal reflection. In THAT, he does speak for all (or at least most) scientists.

By the way, I answered your question. Twice. Now answer mine please.

Highly relevant is this recent Veritas Forum on Why We Can’t Test for Miracles. (@rcohlers and @jongarvey , check this out)

@Ronald_Cram, still waiting for you to explain how I am an atheist that affirms the Resurrection. :smile: Seriously, maybe I’m not actually disingenuous or stupid or an atheist unaware. Maybe I actually know something about science that you do not. You know I am actually a scientist, right?

Yes, I have considered it but I have the evidence on my side. Have you considered that you might be wrong?

You propose a nice scenario, but that actually isn’t how it worked when Allan Sandage made a scientific discovery that convinced him that God existed. He did not publish a naturalistic explanation for his observations. But you are correct that he did not try to publish a paper saying that God exists either. What he did was simply report his observations in the paper without discussing the implications of those observations. However, his conclusion did launch him on a two year long spiritual quest and at the end he became a follower of Jesus.

Scientists certainly could publish their conclusions about the existence of God in the philosophy of science journals. And in so doing they would not be acting in a non-scientific way. Science is supposed to be self-correcting. Correcting the rigid, close view of MN is long overdue.

Yes they would. That would be acting in a non-scientific way. As you explained…

That is exactly my point. That quest was NOT his scientific work, it was a non-scientific journey he took as a scientist, launched by a scientific observation. He did that OUTSIDE of science. You, however, arguing for a change in how scientist do science. That cannot be done WITIN science in violation of MN. You are just missing what is happening right in front of you.


Look @Ronald_Cram, you’ve accused me of being disingenuous, and implied I am an atheist. You’ve ignored @AJRoberts’s response to clarify. On this point on MN, there is no indication you understand that with which you are disagreeing. I’ve answered your question. You refuse to answer mine.

I’m glad you are here, but this is not terribly fun. I hope that @jongarvey or @sygarte picks this up with you. At this point, I’m done talking with you about MN and abiogenesis. Instead, let’s talk (on another thread) about some places we might find common ground.

No foolishness.

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None of those articles get us any closer to explaining how life arose by chemical evolution.

The argument against your view of MN is only just getting started. I’ve never seen your view hold up against a rigorous intellectual challenge. Sean Carroll is just one of the scientists who admits that the rigid, closed view doesn’t work.

Silliness. I share Sean Carroll’s view. :smile: Now stop this madness, and let’s talk about something else.

No, you don’t share Sean Carroll’s view. You are talking but you are not listening.

Let me explain it this way. Philosopher of science Arthur Strahler wrote “supernatural forces, if they can be said to exist, cannot be observed, measured, or recorded by the procedures of science—that’s simply what the word ‘supernatural’ means.”

I agreed with Strahler. However, Sean Carroll and I agree that supernatural forces can be inferred. This is where you disagree. I suggest you invite Sean Carroll to come and discuss this. It would be interesting.

Yes it does. Can’t wait for more results that will slowly build a framework on several possibilities how life on Earth could have changed from non-living chemical processes to chemical processes considered living bio-chemical processes. Astrobiology will be a great driver on what could have taken place on Earth.



https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.4161/rna.25977

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.4161/rna.27718

I can do this all day

One more:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19795157/

Showing how life arose from unguided chemical interactions in nature is like trying jump from Newport Beach to Catalina Island, about 26 miles. It’s never going to happen. If you read through the articles you just linked you will see that they are extrapolating from the data they have. They are making unreasonable assumptions regarding changes in temperature and atmospheric pressure, about purification processes and just-in-time delivery of new chemicals at each step in the process. At the end of the day, they are no closer to jumping to Catalina than when they started. There is a intracellular communication system (in complex organisms there is also cell signaling between cells, but I’m not talking about that here). Here I’m talking about communication inside the cell, signals that are sent from one part of the cell to the DNA to begin gene replication. In order to have a communication system like this, you need to have an encoder, the code itself and a decoder. No one can explain how this arose through natural processes. I think it’s obvious that no one ever will. If you think you can, you can put in for an award that goes up to $5 million.

You put up Shapiro’s Scientific American paper from 2007. It is now 2018. If you are being honest, you would go through Shapiro’s 2007 paper and tell us - a) what has held up and b) what has been done in the past 11 years that has not held up and most importantly c) what results of the past 11 years are leading science in completely different directions.

But standing here and saying because you said, science is far from find the origins of life on Earth/Universe, we have to treat this as somehow authoritative.

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Okay. What has held it over the last 11 years is basically all of it. If some small notion of it has been made obsolete from new research, I don’t know what it is.

Shapiro’s main thrust is that if the first life required a large molecule like DNA or RNA, then abtiogenesis is a lost cause. That approach requires a miracle. This is has not changed. There is nothing in the research since 2007 that makes even a smallish DNA molecule more likely that it was when this was written.

In fact, additional research has shown that Shapiro is exactly right. In 2010, Craig Venter and his team created the first synthetic life. They created synthetic DNA of a bacterium and inserted into a living cell and the cell continued to thrive and reproduce. That’s a remarkable achievement. What is even more interesting is that the first time they tried, there was a mistake and the cell died. They looked to see what happened and realized the DNA had 1,000,000 letters (A,C,G, and T) in the molecule, but one of them was wrong. Just one wrong letter out of a million and the cell died. This shows that DNA cannot just be slapped together haphazardly and live.

If you would like to disagree with this, if you believe something has materially changed, I would like to see your evidence.

Is that intentional parody?

Perhaps try reading the several papers that have been posted by @T.j_Runyon and @Patrick. Then you could make a case that extends beyond ignorance and incredulity. You might even improve our understanding.

Yup. Nothing to do with abiogenesis though. Your analysis is in mathematical error too. Did you catch the fallacy yet? Tour did immediately.

Jim Tour and I have had fun discussing synthetic life together. He is a great guy, and fun to talk to about abiogensis. You should pick up some tips from him. He is a real class act.

No, it is not intentional parody. I stated that no new research shows that even a smallish DNA molecule more likely that it was 2007. I believe Shapiro would agree with me. If Shapiro and I are both too ignorant to know what research you are referring to, perhaps you could provide a quote from the paper that makes the claim.

And yes, Jim Tour is a class act. You shouldn’t have treated him the way you did.

What changed?

Why are you rehashing old territory?