On Sep 21, 2007, at 9:59 AM, Paul Deema wrote:
What I found was that the refutation was written by M Behe. Essentially, it's simply him stating that what he had said originally was correct.
No, Paul, it is not reassertion. It is appeal to the paper that Doolittle misquotes. Behe snagged these guys on propagating an error (even the misspelling of plasminogen is propagated along with the error) -- they misrepresented the results of knocking out parts of the genetic code of the mouse, declaring them to be benign. But if the females invariably die in pregnancy (as the actual paper stated), how do you send those genes to the next generation? There can be no line of descent: nature can't select what isn't there.
Further, let me understand what you seem to be saying. Behe wrote Article X. Doolittle and others rebut Behe. But Behe is disallowed a counter-rebuttal -- you will not accept a counter-rebuttal from the person who was rebutted. You want the rebuttal of Doolittle to come from someone other than Behe. Behe is disqualified as a defender of his own position against clearly falsified criticisms against it. I'm unaware of this new gag rule you think should be imposed. If you say, "Well, there were three critics," that's untrue, because the other two quoted Doolittle unthinkingly, even failing to correct the spelling of plasminogen. You got Doolittle, who misquoted the research on the mouse, and several others who repeated Doolittle's error. This is not a "consensus of experts," it's a scientific embarrassment. How, precisely, is it then fair game to say any counter-rebuttal by Behe is disallowed? Behe is simply right: Doolittle misquoted the paper. Doolittle is appealed to under the "ad verecundiam" fallacy (erroneous appeal to authority). Doolittle simply didn't read the paper that he was quoting very carefully. He was flippant, and erred. Behe read the paper. It's letter simple. For you to side with the contingent that is propagating nonsensical error about what happens to the mice under the given circumstance is beyond my ability to comprehend. This is really a simple question: did the mice in the experiment die? Yes they did. Doolittle said they didn't. The experimenters have mouse corpses on their hands. Do you believe the experimenters peer-reviewed journal article, or Doolittle's gross misquotation of it? For someone who talks about the value of experimental science and confirmed results, you're standing on the wrong side of the fence on this one, Paul.
As to abiogenesis, one of the better go-to sources on this is the 1984 book, "The Mystery of Life's Origin," written by three scientists each with earned Ph.D.s (Thaxton and Olsons are in chemistry, while Bradley's is in mechanical engineering and physical processes). The book requires the reader to have a college-level understanding of physical chemistry to understand its argument. It is rife with chemical reactions expressed in terms of the Gibbs Free Energy that enables the reaction to go forward. There is an energy threshold below which a reaction CAN NOT GO FORWARD. If these energy barriers exist in the alleged chain to get to any critical "life molecules," their natural synthesis is rendered impossible. These are issues in Physical Chemistry, and rotate around one issue: Gibbs Free Energy. If you don't have enough, you're dead in the water. Or, rather, you're non-living in the water. You don't have a prebiotic soup but an abiotic soup. I gather from the Amazon reviews that nobody (friend or foe) grasped the key challenge this book puts forth. It was compelling enough for Dean Kenyon, chairman of the biology department at the Universsity of California at San Francisco, to write the foreword to the volume. But as I said, the commentators didn't even get it. When Thaxton, Bradley and Olson say that you can't get there from here, they don't merely assert it, they prove it with the laws of chemical reactions. This is an open and shut case. The book is available "used" on Amazon. Note the idiotic review on Amazon by Tom Sullivan, who didn't even read the book (he thinks it's a film he's reviewing! What a meatball! No critique of the book that fails to engage its fundamental discussion of Gibbs Free Energy has any value, since THAT is the central fatal point being made throughout its chapters.)
http://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Lifes-Origin-Reassessing-Theories/dp/ 0802224466/ref=sr_1_1/002-9877777-4121665? ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1190390175&sr=1-1
If that weren't bad enough, even the advocates of abiogenesis teach that the Earth had to have a reducing atmosphere for their alleged phenomenon to get off the ground. But geologists continue to unearth rock layers dated (by evolutionary geologists) to the Archaean system back to the Azoic era that show the Earth's atmosphere was a fully oxidizing atmosphere well before life was alleged to begin. Earth with an oxidizing atmosphere is admitted on all sides to be the death knell for abiogenesis. Guess what: you can hear that bell ring -- unless, of course, you've got your fingers planted deep into your ears.