Evolution: Is There Any Good Reason To Reject The Abiogenesis Hypothesis?

  1. God made a natural order that acts according to it’s own nature

  2. From the time of the big bang up until the present we see the natural formation of different kinds of physical natures and elements which eventually lead to the formations of planets.

  3. Our planet was fortunate enough to form in the Goldilocks zone, allowing for chemistry to ensue and the formation of water which is needed for life.

  4. All these processes happened naturally, and most Christians when faced with the question of science versus genesis will say that genesis is not an historical representation of how the universe was formed over time, but rather it is a theological representation of God’s sovereignty over the universe. Hardly anybody argues with this point.

The Picture i get from science is that, apart from the theory of evolution, there has been a kind of cosmic evolution. It appears as if the universe is a system that manifests according to the intrinsic principles put there by the Creator and is not something that is tinkered with. It’s a universe that creates new forms through it’s internal interactions.

Given the four premises above is there any good reason to think that God didn’t allow complex life to form naturally from chemical interactions? More importantly is there any good reason to think that there is any logical contradiction in thinking that single celled organisms were the result of a chemical soup, and in fact this same process might have occurred elsewhere?

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I’m all good with that. Although you may get the Usual Suspects contradicting your comment that ‘Hardly anybody argues with this point’. Especially as The Thread That Wouldn’t Die has now been closed.

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In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Then God created life.
I don’t know the details of how God created life.
Maybe God used the chemical soup as a source for the first micro-organisms.
Maybe He did not.
Let the scientists have their fun working out what happened. :slight_smile: They’ve discovered a lot that proved useful and fascinating to us.

To me the important thing is:

In the beginning God.

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I didn’t realize we were voting on Scripture interpretation these days… :wink: :thinking:

Classic Deism. That’s not what the Catholic Church teaches…

Yes: please identify how you distinguish between “natural process” and “God’s interaction with creation”. If you cannot, then you can’t claim “…and therefore, ‘natural’, not ‘supernatural’, process.” The best you’d be able to claim is “some unidentified and unidentifiable process.”

Two distinct questions there! I’ll address only the second: As a logical possibility? No. Of course, if you put everything in the denominator that needs to be there (“Goldilocks zone”, etc, etc), then you see that the probability is very, very low. Logically possible… but hardly ‘likely.’

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The only good reason to reject a scientific hypothesis is lack of evidence or inability to reproduce the phenomena. If you can’t e.g. create life in a laboratory under the same presumed conditions, then I think you don’t have a scientific explanation, you have a metaphysical or theological explanation (God designed the universe to work in a certain way, so it must have happened).

And then there’s Fermi’s Paradox…

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There’s a very, very low probability of me winning the lotto. But if we make the draw just once a year over a period of billions of years and even if we only have a Milky Way Lotto, then the chances of me winning are not ‘likely’ but a cast iron certainty.

Now have a draw once a year in each of the 100 billion galaxies (and that’s just in the observable universe), then it becomes logically impossible for me not to win.

If you want to use odds as a means to deny something happening in the universe, knowing that it has already happened once, then suggesting that the probability is ‘very, very low’ doesn’t mean what you think it means.

We can’t reproduce the phenomena of planet accretion either. Should we abandon all hypotheses associated with that?

We have evidence that the planet was barren. We have evidence that it is not now. But there is a gap in our knowledge as to how we went from one to the other. But mike has an answer. Let’s put in a metaphysical or theological explanation!

Now that you say we have the answer, I guess there’s no need to look any further for other explanations. Should we stop now?

You’ve just moved the goalposts, though. You’re presuming that there’s an equal chance of success throughout the universe. There isn’t; and this is what the denominator takes care of.

You’re right, but only in the situation in which each trial has an equal chance of producing a ‘winner’. That’s not the case in the physical universe.

I understand statistics. I think you’re trying to use the ‘law of large numbers’ invalidly, though… :man_shrugging:

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That all depends on HOW the thing that happened once happened.

We understand the physics behind planet accretion. Do we understand the physics behind the creation of life? And it is not I who says substitute a metaphysical or theological answer, it is the OP, who says that God created the universe to run under certain rules, and therefore those rules must be the answer to the creation of life. And finally, try to have more charity in your replies, and hide some of your contempt.

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No, we’re only considering me. I represent life. Everytime the Lotto of Life is drawn and I’m not the winner, there is no life. It only occurs when I win. There isn’t a winner somewhere each time the draw is made as in a real lotto. So each trial/draw has a very, very small probablity of me being the winner. I don’t have an equal chance every time. I lose millions of times.

But make one draw thousands of millions of times and I WILL win. Make billions of draws billions of times and the term ‘very, very unlikely’ isn’t applicable any more.

The Fermi paradox is a better argument, as mike suggested. If not the only argument. But there are at least a dozen rebuttals to that I could run off the top of my head.

You said that we don’t have a scientific answer so we must insert a theological one. IWG does NOT say we substitute a theological answer for a scientific one. If I read IWG correctly then the OP is suggesting that science answers and theological ones can run in parallel. That we know the scienctific answers but that we DON’T need to substitute God when they are not forthcoming.

Which is what you are suggesting: ‘…you don’t have a scientific explanation, you have a metaphysical or theological explanation’.

How about: ‘We don’t have a scientific explanation yet but when we do it will complement our theological explanations’.

That is, we understand what God did. We are looking for the means by which He did it.

And my apologies if you thought I was showing contempt. That was not my aim.

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We don’t need to know how it happened. All we need to know that it’s possible. And we know that with 100% certainty.

If you’re holding a ticket, you have an equal chance of your combination of numbers being drawn with respect to any combination of numbers being drawn. That’s how lotteries work. :wink:

I would disagree. If it only happened because of supernatural input, then we can’t play the “law of large numbers” game. More to the point, if we cannot distinguish how we’d recognize the difference between “supernatural input” and “natural process”, then we can’t say that our guesses of probabilities are valid!

On the other hand, if it happened due to natural processes, then you can make a claim of probability… but it would be important to note that we’re not talking about one of the most fundamental assumptions in statistics when analyzing repeated trials: that each trial is independent and equally likely at achieving ‘success’. That’s not the case in this context.

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The problem is that even the Fermi paradox makes certain assumptions that aren’t necessarily warranted… :wink:

This is the modern secular myth. There is no inherent order given to material substances that would result in the formation of life. Atoms are merely the building blocks, which were utilized in the creation of increasingly complex forms of being, up a hierachy from single cell creatures, to plants, to animals and to the creation of we ourselves.

Abiogenesis and evolution are science fiction, an extrapolation of what we do know into what science cannot explain.

Here’s a reposting of a clip from another thread:

As we can see, this level of nanotechnology is far beyond our capabilities, for design and implementation. But, we are supposed to believe that it just all happened, naturally, whatever that can possibly mean other than randomness; and, that is absurd.

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Yes, in a normal lottery, I have an equal chance with everyone else. My number has an equal chance of coming up as any other combo. BUT, we are only considering me. We aren’t looking at the chances of any win. That’s a certainty. We are looking at the chances of ME winning. Which is incredibly small. As you said.

But increase the number of lotteries and increase the number of draws and me winning - just me - becomes certain.

And each trial IS independent and DOES have an equal chance: ‘very, very low’ as you said (which doesn’t even beging to describe how unlikely it actually is). But again, multiply the number of draws and mutliply the number of loteries and run it all over billions of years…

Of course, if God just said ‘Let there be light etc’ then the discussion is moot. But the OP is avoiding that.

Not a myth. There is an inherent order to chemicals; why do you think that there is a lot more H2O in the universe than HO2?

Ordinary chemical processes have produced amino acids, purines, pyrimidines and short strands of RNA in the lab. Science has those chemicals, and others. Where is your evidence of any deity producing even an amino acid?

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What you are actually saying is that you don’t believe that God could set up existence so that it would happen naturally.

Unless I’m mistaken, He is believed to be omnipotent. Seems that you are limiting what He can do.

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My point is that if it was a direct act of divine creation then no probability arguments apply.

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