[geocentrism] Re: Evolution

  • From: Martin Selbrede <mselbrede@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: geocentrism@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2007 10:25:35 -0500

Paul D,

Two things. (1) The Doolittle evidence that was faulty formed the core of the refutation of Behe. (2) Thaxton, Bradley and Olson's work didn't use a Gibb's Free Energy factor based on closed systems, but explicitly calculated them for an open system. THAT was what took three Ph.D.s several years to correctly analyze and finally publish. The nails in the respective coffins are real.

Like I said, Tom Sullivan never read the book when he trashed it on Amazon. If you look at ALL the book reviews Tom Sullivan writes, 85% of them are the exact same review: cookie-cutter verbatim attacks on Intelligent Design ("ID-iocy" as he calls it). The critics ASSUME the analysis is based on closed systems (because a lot of creationist argues from entropy appear to leverage that approach), but THIS book took great pains to avoid that easily-criticized detour.

Back to your Wiki citation.... In normal scientific exchange within a journal, counter-rebuttals are mandated by editorial policy where a criticized position is allowed to reply. The only exception to this applies to creationists and intelligent design proponents. There won't be any invitation to respond: it's a one-way street (how NOT in keeping with the open inquiry and exchange of views that science purports to support). The Sternberg case makes clear what happens should an editor veer from this blackballing policy -- it was the intent of the Smithsonian to make an example of Sternberg. Had Sternberg been an actual employee of the Smithsonian instead of the NIH, the case would have gone to court (because the jurisdictional issue would have been secured) and the Smithsonian would have lost a discrimination lawsuit on the spot. Because of the jurisdictional conflict, they were spared public embarrassment over their mistreatment of Sternberg.


On Sep 22, 2007, at 7:55 AM, Paul Deema wrote:

Martin S

I thank you for a well considered and comprehensive response. I do appreciate your patience with someone who lacks your understanding. I am essentially in agreement with the thoughts you express in your first paragraph, taking your statements at face value. And as I've admitted many times I think, I am unable to challenge your statements. (I did mention I think that that article defeated me).

Your second paragraph defines your view of my position. Apparently my meaning was not clear. I would never deny a plaintiff the right of reply. My point is that if he is correct, the world being what it is, there will be those who will attest to this correctness. Unfortunately, the world being what it is, many of those who will agree are often lax in their assessment of his correctness and will be less willing to condemn a fellow traveller. This occurs on each side of the dividing line between (for want of better words) creationists and evolutionists, however there are also honest and diligent people in the world, and these will give an honest appraisal. It was one of these I was hoping you might have supplied. You must admit if you're honest, that if you can find no one on the opposing team to support your position -- given that there are honest people in the world -- then your position is distinctly doubtful. (Again in hope I ask -- anyone -- why can I find no secular support for the word of a very qualified A E Wilder- Smith?). But now to the nitty gritty of this paragraph, I am not siding with Doolittle. I don't know what he said. I am not knowledgeable of the experiment. I was defeated by this article -- it concerns highly technical descriptions involving terms and expressions of which I am wholly ignorant. If things are indeed as you have reported, then he surely appears to have erred. My difficulty with M Behe's mouse trap is engendered by information gained from a science channel doco -- Horizon perhaps, Discovery Channel? -- which explored another scientist's (sorry -- like everything else, my memory doesn't serve me well) assessment of his principal thesis of irreducible complexity. I've just checked Wiki on the subject and find the article describes my thoughts pretty well. Here is an excerpt - Despite being discredited in the Dover trial where the court found in its ruling that "Professor Behe's claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large",[8] irreducible complexity has nevertheless remained a popular argument among advocates of intelligent design and other creationists. Next paragraph ... '"The Mystery of Life's Origin," ... requires the reader to have a college-level understanding of physical chemistry to understand its argument.' Well you just know what my defence is going to be here don't you? I wish it were not so but it would be dishonest to pretend otherwise. I did look at Gibbs and his free energy though. Sadly, he is in the same boat, but here we come to what I see as the crux of the matter. Again Wiki says - In thermodynamics, the Gibbs free energy (IUPAC recommended name: Gibbs energy or Gibbs function) is a thermodynamic potential which measures the "useful" or process-initiating work obtainable from an isothermal, isobaric thermodynamic system. Technically, the Gibbs free energy is the maximum amount of non-expansion work which can be extracted from a closed system, and this maximum can be attained only in a completely reversible process The crucial point here, and I have seen many words on this subject, is 'closed system'. If I may try an analogy here? You have a car in good running order, a full fuel tank and a wide road in excellent repair which stretches out ahead of you to infinity. You get in and start driving and after a while -- a good while -- the engine sputters and dies. You've extracted all the energy from the system, you can go no further. This is a closed system. Now, second scenario, just like the first, except there is a refuelling station every 300 km. You won't get to the end of the road, but you will get one hell of a lot further. Still a closed system -- there are no repair shops to replace your worn out tires/engine/transmission, but to reiterate, you will get one hell of a lot further. Shifting to the real world, it is still closed, the Sun will one day get to the bottom of the nuclear conversion process and no more energy will be forthcoming. Before that happens of course we will all be extinct, from virus to human and possible descendants, due to changes in the Sun. But that is still ahead of us as far as the origin is behind us. In this period, incredible energy has arrived and will continue to arrive. So long as this is so, plants will continue to make carbohydrates and animals will continue to convert this to protein. Everywhere entropy tends to increase, but locally, while energy is available to power it, entropy is reduced. I see no reason why this should not apply to abiogenesis as it does to growth and evolution. Now to origins of life. I'll take your word for it that an oxidising atmosphere precludes abiogenesis. And I'll take your word for it -- though you didn't give it -- that a reducing atmosphere (my choice of scenarios) will -- because of UV light -- destroy life or incipient life, This acceptance however is contingent upon life beginning in the atmosphere. My understanding is that this is not presumed. Life began in water, possibly under rocks, possibly in murky deep hot springs. Something like the deep ocean volcanic vent eco systems seems likely. Your last paragraph contains a couple of references which are new to me. Principally the idea of an oxygen rich atmosphere from the beginning. I've not come across that previously -- I've always understood that it was mostly carbon dioxide and that oxygen in bulk resulted from small organisms removing the carbon from the CO2 and precipitating it as limestone. I'll have to look at that later. In the meantime -- it's late and I'm hungry. I've been out to a gemstone exhibition and bought the first two of what I hope will grow into a collection. An oval smokey quartz and a round very nice amethyst -- the latter being my favourite.
Paul D

----- Original Message ----
From: Martin G. Selbrede <mselbrede@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: geocentrism@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Friday, 21 September, 2007 4:20:16 PM
Subject: [geocentrism] Re: Evolution

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.


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