Arguments For God: The Origin of Life.

As part of a discussion about scientism (which rapidly became a general discussion about evidences for the existence of God) a request was made for a discussion on Abiogenesis, or the origin of life. As it is one of my favorite subjects, which I have touched on previously, I am glad to comply. I will make a simple argument based on our current understanding of the subject.

As an evidence for the existence of a creator or designer, an argument for the origin life would be as follows:

1. Life’s most fundamental component, a living cell, is composed of information system driven molecular machinery.

2. There is according to all current observations only one known cause or means by which information systems and their associated machinery can originally come into existence – that is through the activity of an intelligent agent.

3. Thus far, all scientific observations and experiments have failed to demonstrate that unguided causes can produce information system driven machinery. In addition the existence of cellular machinery regularly originating in natural circumstances or in other environments or planets has never been observed.

4. Thus it is reasonable to conclude that an intelligent agent is responsible for the origin of life.

5. As sufficient intelligence is required, and as the necessary parameters for a living system are required, it is reasonable to associate the existence of life with the existence of our planet and its associated star system. As these objects are associated with the existence of the universe itself, all arguments for the existence of a creator of the universe can be inferred.

6. These statements can be readily falsified by the demonstrated existence of information system driven molecular machinery observed to arise from wholly materialistic unguided forces.

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34 Responses to Arguments For God: The Origin of Life.

  1. Jonathan says:

    As part of a discussion about scientism (which rapidly became a general discussion about evidences for the existence of God) a request was made for a discussion on Abiogenesis, or the origin of life. As it is one of my favorite subjects, which I have touched on previously, I am glad to comply. I will make a simple argument based on our current understanding of the subject.

    As an evidence for the existence of a creator or designer, an argument for the origin life would be as follows:

    1. Life’s most fundamental component, a living cell, is composed of information system driven molecular machinery.

    2. There is according to all current observations only one known cause or means by which information systems and their associated machinery can originally come into existence – that is through the activity of an intelligent agent.

    3. Thus far, all scientific observations and experiments have failed to demonstrate that unguided causes can produce information system driven machinery. In addition the existence of cellular machinery regularly originating in natural circumstances or in other environments or planets has never been observed.

    4. Thus it is reasonable to conclude that an intelligent agent is responsible for the origin of life.

    5. As sufficient intelligence is required, and as the necessary parameters for a living system are required, it is reasonable to associate the existence of life with the existence of our planet and its associated star system. As these objects are associated with the existence of the universe itself, all arguments for the existence of a creator of the universe can be inferred.

    6. These statements can be readily falsified by the demonstrated existence of information system driven molecular machinery observed to arise from wholly materialistic unguided forces.

    So the gist of your argument is that because we have never observed non-life becoming life and that we only observe intelligence coming from intelligent agents thus, god. But before I can continue I need to know what your definition of ‘information’ is, because as of now it is vague. I would also like to know how versed you are in biochemistry and biology as well as the formation of the earth and its moon. A simple answer such as: “I am versed in the listed” or “I am versed in biochemistry but not biology” would suffice.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Meant to only add the following, my apologies:

    So the gist of your argument is that because we have never observed non-life becoming life and that we only observe intelligence coming from intelligent agents thus, god. But before I can continue I need to know what your definition of ‘information’ is, because as of now it is vague. I would also like to know how versed you are in biochemistry and biology as well as the formation of the earth and its moon. A simple answer such as: “I am versed in the listed” or “I am versed in biochemistry but not biology” would suffice.

  3. jackhudson says:

    So the gist of your argument is that because we have never observed non-life becoming life and that we only observe intelligence coming from intelligent agents thus, god. But before I can continue I need to know what your definition of ‘information’ is, because as of now it is vague. I would also like to know how versed you are in biochemistry and biology as well as the formation of the earth and its moon. A simple answer such as: “I am versed in the listed” or “I am versed in biochemistry but not biology” would suffice.

    No, my argument is the only observable means of origination of information system driven molecular machinery has been through the work of an intelligent agent; it is a positive assertion that is eminently falsifiable.

    My definition of information in this context is simply transmittable data that has meaning or a purpose which can be stored and utilized.

    As far as how ‘versed’ I am, I studied biology at the university level (Iowa State) with at least three years of study in chemistry in addition to various biological classes. In the twenty some odd years since I have been a rather obsessive collector of knowledge related to the origin and development of life. I am familiar with all the standard current ideas associated with the formation of the earth and moon.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Okay, your definition of information is still very ambiguous and vague. Terms such as transmittable data that has meaning or purpose makes it even more vague. Could you give precise definitions. What specific data are you referring to? What meaning or purpose are you referring to?

    I believe that RNA was the precurssor to life and that this RNA formed from non-living matter through thermodynamic, geothermic, and chemical processes and had no meaning or purpose behind its physical formation.

    Do you have any issue with this above claim. If you do, please state so.

    Concerning your your claim that the only observable information…is through the work of an intelligent agent. Are you referring to god or rather human beings in this context?

  5. jackhudson says:

    Okay, your definition of information is still very ambiguous and vague. Terms such as transmittable data that has meaning or purpose makes it even more vague. Could you give precise definitions. What specific data are you referring to? What meaning or purpose are you referring to?

    Well, let’s try this – a sequence of symbols or representations that form a pattern or instructions that can be stored, transmitted, translated, and utilized by other systems.

    I believe that RNA was the precurssor to life and that this RNA formed from non-living matter through thermodynamic, geothermic, and chemical processes and had no meaning or purpose behind its physical formation.

    That is a nice belief.

    Do you have any issue with this above claim. If you do, please state so.

    No, other than the lack of evidence for the existence RNA arising through thermodynamic, geothermic, and chemical processes in our nature, and the fact that it isn’t actually a mechanism for creating information driven machinery, and the fact that RNA isn’t particularly useful apart from such machinery.

    Concerning your your claim that the only observable information…is through the work of an intelligent agent. Are you referring to god or rather human beings in this context?

    Both are presumably intelligent agents; we have only observed biological intelligence do this.

  6. yyou says:

    I dont actually agree with any of the claims you are making, have you ever read any scientific papers pertaining to any of these questions and also your circular logic does not make sense which is usual of those who believe in the design theory. If you had read “Darwin’s black box” you should know its a bunch of rubbish, because what you’re doing is misunderstanding research that is presented, who and where have you “observed biological intelligence” do anything? I agree with the RNA precursors forming through thermodynamic, chemical and geothermic processes, and science is not a belief nor any of its theories. Religion is a belief. Science is either accepted or rejected, and your claims have no supporting evidence, its just rewording leading back to the same claims and not yet having proven any point.

  7. jackhudson says:

    You, thanks for posting.

    I have read a number of papers over the years pertaining to these questions, including Darwin’s Black Box (which doesn’t pertain to this particular discussion as it is primarily about evolution, not abiogenesis). And we all observe biological intelligence do things all the time – obviously these posts are an example of just that.

    And while you might agree that RNA could develop in the way described, it has not been observed to happen, and thus is merely speculation or a belief, whether or not you want to call that belief science.

    Nonetheless, I have laid out my points pretty clearly, and how to falsify them – feel free do that.

  8. Jonathan says:

    Well, let’s try this – a sequence of symbols or representations that form a pattern or instructions that can be stored, transmitted, translated, and utilized by other systems.

    Still vague. We need a PRECISE definition. What sequence of symbols are you referring to? Nucleotide sequences?

    No, other than the lack of evidence for the existence RNA arising through thermodynamic, geothermic, and chemical processes in our nature

    RNA has been shown to form naturally in a lab simulating a prebiotic earth using organic molecules that were not only abundant on earth, but essential for life to exist. These organic molecules self assemble into the constituents of RNA due to CHEMICAL process, THERMODYNAMIC processes and GEOTHERMIC processes and I can show you these papers. This coupled with other papers concerning self assembly of RNA long chains shows us that there is not a lack of evidence as you say, which makes me wonder what a lack of evidence means to you. If you would like me to get very specific and very detailed about these processes and the exact path that was shown to be the simplest in the formation of ribonucleotides then I can and would be happy to.

    and the fact that it isn’t actually a mechanism for creating information driven machinery, and the fact that RNA isn’t particularly useful apart from such machinery.

    What do you think RNA does in the cell and do you think it is vitally important? When you state your above claim could you also state what form of information you’re referring to? There is a ton of information involved in the cell’s biological processes as well as the abiotic processes and a precise definition would help to clear this up. My questions are as followed:

    1. Do you think that RNA is essential or nonessential in biological processes and abiotic processes?

    2. Why do you think that RNA isn’t particularly useful apart from such machinery, and what machinery are you referring to?

    3. Do you know what the function of RNA is today and what the function was in abiogenesis?

    4. What do you think RNA does in the cell and do you think it is vitally important?

    If you could answer these questions with a full sentence instead of one or two words I would very much appreciate it.

  9. kenetiks says:

    This should be a very interesting comment section.

  10. Justin says:

    Just a couple of comments with respect to this topic…

    Whether or not abiogenesis is true ultimately says nothing about God. Nor does it say anything about the Bible. Another curious fact about atheists is that they MUST interpret the Bible as literally as the fundamentalists they mock in order to try to “prove” it wrong. If Genesis turns out to be a mere allegory with symbolic representations written in parallel form, the atheists’ argument here falls completely and totally apart. Now, to preempt the question – “how do you know the rest of the Bible is not allegory?” – one merely has to point to books like Luke, where the author tells you “I’m writing real history, not allegory, here.”

    This is why abiogenesis isn’t such an interesting topic to me from a “Does God exist?” perspective. It gets a lot of people riled up, for sure, but in the end, it does absolutely nothing to harm God’s existence or the validity of the Bible, if one is inclined to actually be honest about it (which atheists seldom are).

  11. Jonathan says:

    Justin,

    Whether or not abiogenesis is true ultimately says nothing about God. Nor does it say anything about the Bible.

    I agree, that’s why I havn’t mentioned it. But when it comes down to a creationist stating that god did make all as seperate kinds and that every other theory out there is false, including origins, then I have to call them out on it as they usually have some serious misconceptions about the topics and in science.

    Another curious fact about atheists is that they MUST interpret the Bible as literally as the fundamentalists they mock in order to try to “prove” it wrong. If Genesis turns out to be a mere allegory with symbolic representations written in parallel form, the atheists’ argument here falls completely and totally apart. Now, to preempt the question – “how do you know the rest of the Bible is not allegory?” – one merely has to point to books like Luke, where the author tells you “I’m writing real history, not allegory, here.”

    I disagree. I also don’t usually bring up the bible because I think it is complete rubbish and I am more inclined to discuss scientific matters.

    This is why abiogenesis isn’t such an interesting topic to me from a “Does God exist?” perspective. It gets a lot of people riled up, for sure, but in the end, it does absolutely nothing to harm God’s existence or the validity of the Bible, if one is inclined to actually be honest about it (which atheists seldom are).

    That’s great, but once again I’m not using this to disprove gods existence. I’m here to educate on abiogenesis and get rid of the misconceptions that are so commonly thought as correct when it comes to its workings. I do appreciate answers of “I don’t know” and see these as sincere, honest answers. I also see that I’ll have to educate on the functions of RNA in a living organism and in the abiotic. So let me state what I’m here for.

    I’M NOT HERE TO DISPROVE GOD, BUT RATHER TO EDUCATE ON ABIOGENESIS.

  12. Justin says:

    Jonathan,

    There are lots of different ways to interpret parts of the Bible, not all of them correct. Just as you say, abiogenesis does not disprove God, many atheist misinterpret the science just as badly as some Christians misinterpret the Bible.

    What to do to become a Christian is simple, thank God.

  13. kenetiks says:

    Just a couple of comments with respect to this topic…

    Whether or not abiogenesis is true ultimately says nothing about God. Nor does it say anything about the Bible. Another curious fact about atheists is that they MUST interpret the Bible as literally as the fundamentalists they mock in order to try to “prove” it wrong. If Genesis turns out to be a mere allegory with symbolic representations written in parallel form, the atheists’ argument here falls completely and totally apart. Now, to preempt the question – “how do you know the rest of the Bible is not allegory?” – one merely has to point to books like Luke, where the author tells you “I’m writing real history, not allegory, here.”

    First, I don’t think the topic is about proving or disproving god’s existence nor do I even think that was Jack’s intention either.

    Second, this is completely wrong. Let’s set aside your own admission that some may be allegory and some not. Let’s also set aside this as another glaring attack on atheists. You pointed out Luke, which you say states “I’m writing real history here”. What if Luke conflicts directly with other authors also supposed to have written “real history”? What if Luke was proven historically and factually inaccurate?

    None of any of this has anything to do with the topic of the blog post anyway.

    This is why abiogenesis isn’t such an interesting topic to me from a “Does God exist?” perspective. It gets a lot of people riled up, for sure, but in the end, it does absolutely nothing to harm God’s existence or the validity of the Bible, if one is inclined to actually be honest about it (which atheists seldom are).

    And here we have it, again.

  14. kenetiks says:

    @Justin

    Jonathan,

    There are lots of different ways to interpret parts of the Bible, not all of them correct.

    Please explain how to interpret the bible correctly and in full detail and for each translation. I can provide you with my email address and you can send it there as such an in depth study would be too large to post in the comment section here.

    Regards,
    kenetiks

  15. Justin says:

    That seems to be representative of the typical, mature questions that come from atheists, kenetiks. Congrats.

  16. kenetiks says:

    @Justin

    That seems to be representative of the typical, mature questions that come from atheists, kenetiks. Congrats.

    Nice deflection.

    I also agree it’s a mature, if not an incredibly honest request. Which you will unfortunately not be able to answer.

    The problem here is your bias coupled with complete, utter, blatant and willful ignorance of the flaws in your own logic.

    1. You’ve already stated that no atheist will debate you on “how a christian sees god”.

    Your unfounded opinion on the matter is not in question.

    Define Christian and how it applies to people who imagine god from your perspective. Then explain the criteria for your view of a christian in this context.

    2. Parts of the bible are allegory some of them are historical narrative.

    Define and explain, in detail how you’ve come to this conclusion for each book(both canonical and non canonical(heretical)) and each translation. You might want to include historical references and data concerning said documents in this context, that leads you to the evidence based and conclusive proof of which books are allegorical and which are not.

    This is not an unreasonable request. Your deflections and dodging does not, in any sense, make these requests immature.

    As I’ve already stated, if requested, I will provide you with my email address where you can send the information to. I’m pretty sure the mountain of data required to complete such a task will probably not fit here in the comment section and I doubt seriously Jack would want his comment section cluttered up any further with such off-topic discussions anyway.

  17. jackhudson says:

    Geez, I spend a day at the fair, and you guys go hog wild off topic.

    kenetiks is right, I didn’t intend this discussion to be about the literal (or allegorical)nature of Genesis – the argument I made is about how the best explanation for the existence of life is the existence of an intelligent creator, nothing more. I will respond to the RNA world claims when time allows tomorrow.

  18. jackhudson says:

    Still vague. We need a PRECISE definition. What sequence of symbols are you referring to? Nucleotide sequences?

    It’s sufficiently specific for this discussion unless you want to get into mathematical models of information or consider it in terms or bits or bytes. A nucleotide sequence would be an example. An instruction set in machine code might be another, or an alphabet or phrase might be a lingual example.

    These all share things in common, and what they share in common is that when placed in certain sequences they form patterns that can be recognized as having meaning within a certain system – meaning that can be used as instructions that can be stored, translated, transmitted and utilized by the system.

    RNA has been shown to form naturally in a lab simulating a prebiotic earth using organic molecules that were not only abundant on earth, but essential for life to exist. These organic molecules self assemble into the constituents of RNA due to CHEMICAL process, THERMODYNAMIC processes and GEOTHERMIC processes and I can show you these papers. This coupled with other papers concerning self assembly of RNA long chains shows us that there is not a lack of evidence as you say, which makes me wonder what a lack of evidence means to you. If you would like me to get very specific and very detailed about these processes and the exact path that was shown to be the simplest in the formation of ribonucleotides then I can and would be happy to.

    While I agree scientists, themselves intelligent agents, have managed to create circumstances in a lab that they then presume might have existed in nature, we don’t actually observe these circumstances in nature. I don’t mean to be a stickler about this, but these experiments invariably walk the necessary compounds through a series of precise steps toward a pre-determined outcome. I know that this seems to defeat the ability to test for such circumstances at all, but I think there is a fairly reasonable line between ‘re-creating prebiotic earth’ and creating the technology to produce RNA’s and saying that that must be what pre-biotic earth was like. So saying, “RNA has been shown to form naturally in a lab” is a bit of an oxymoron.

    But even if we except that this is what scientists are doing, they aren’t by any means creating “information system driven molecular machinery” of the sort I delineated in my argument, and so the statements I first articulated continue to be true.

    What do you think RNA does in the cell and do you think it is vitally important? When you state your above claim could you also state what form of information you’re referring to? There is a ton of information involved in the cell’s biological processes as well as the abiotic processes and a precise definition would help to clear this up. My questions are as followed:

    1. Do you think that RNA is essential or nonessential in biological processes and abiotic processes?

    2. Why do you think that RNA isn’t particularly useful apart from such machinery, and what machinery are you referring to?

    3. Do you know what the function of RNA is today and what the function was in abiogenesis?

    4. What do you think RNA does in the cell and do you think it is vitally important?

    If you could answer these questions with a full sentence instead of one or two words I would very much appreciate it.

    Well I am going to answer them fairly simply in a single statement, because I loathe to multiple discussion lines.

    While RNA serves a number of purposes in the cell (indeed there are a number of different RNAs) it works primarily as part of an information system – being translated into proteins by the ribosome, or regulating gene expression. Obviously these functions are vitally important; but none of them occurs apart from a certain system being in place. That is why the idea of RNAs forming in isolation is so problematic – RNAs do something in a system, which requires precise encoding and translations of instructions that makes sense in that system. Formation and existence outside of such systems (which as we have seen is speculative and questionable) doesn’t meet the requirements and or definition of information systems. It is reasonable to assert the neccesity of a intelligence agent to construct such systems.

  19. Justin says:

    Kenetics, if you will look at the book of Luke, the author tells you he is writing history. Other parts are highly symbolic (as evidenced by the use of symbolic numbers, for example).

    As for a complete guide to what’s literal and what’s symbolic, read some books. I detect that your question was disengenuous, however.

  20. kenetiks says:

    @Justin

    Kenetics, if you will look at the book of Luke, the author tells you he is writing history. Other parts are highly symbolic (as evidenced by the use of symbolic numbers, for example).

    Nice dodge, again. I’ll repeat myself.

    “You pointed out Luke, which you say states “I’m writing real history here”. What if Luke conflicts directly with other authors also supposed to have written “real history”? What if Luke was proven historically and factually inaccurate?”

    As for a complete guide to what’s literal and what’s symbolic, read some books. I detect that your question was disengenuous, however.

    My question is not disingenuous. Your replies are. You continue to make claims and ignore when your called. Do you honestly think I don’t read books on the subject? Do you honestly think I don’t weigh the arguments put forward by both sides of the argument in question? Answer my challenge.

    You continually inject your biased opinions into topics which have almost nothing to do with the blog posts.

    This isn’t my blog so I can only request that you post something constructive to the discussion or find the comment section of a post that is relevant. If your intent is only to pat yourself on the back for bashing atheists while adding no rational or no real content, you might want to try the Rapture Ready forums or the Evolution Fairytales forums where you can be among like minded individuals.

  21. Justin says:

    Luke has proven reliable.

    Your challenge is to interpret the entire Bible for you. That’s an unreasonable request for, as you said, the comment section on someone else’s blog.

    And you completely ignored the point I was making before you posted your inane request.

  22. kenetiks says:

    Here’s how this works.

    You make the claim. YOU back it up.

    If you can interpret the entire bible as to which is literal and which is allegorical then it’s not unreasonable since you’ve done all this work already to BACK UP YOUR CLAIM.

    People like you are a dime a dozen online. You pop into threads, forums and comment sections to make derogatory remarks, absurd claims and then dodge, weave, create evidence out of thin air and make up every excuse possible not to answer.

    As per your “point” which seemed only to bash atheists was NOT even relevant to the article.

  23. Justin says:

    Kenetiks,

    For purposes of my argument, it’s not necessary to interpret the entire Bible to you. That’s your ridiculous demand.

    All I have to do, as I HAVE done, is show you some instances where metephor is being used, and some instances where we are to take it literally. When the Bible said Herod was a “fox” it didn’t mean he had red hair and a bushy tail. When the Bible likens Jesus to a “door” it doesn’t mean he’s flat and made of wood.

    On the other hand, as I’ve pointed out, Luke tells us he’s writing history. As such, common sense would tell us to be on the lookout for literal interpretations.

    Again, your question is naive and your demand ridiculous.

  24. kenetiks says:

    @Justin

    I’m not going to discuss your silliness further. I stuck around to comment on Jack’s blog for serious reasons and to have real discussions. Not to be distracted by the worst kind of self-deceit spilling over into rational discussion.

    I consider the matter closed.

  25. Notice the subtle moving of the goal posts: first it was all about information. Now that a semi-definition has been forced for information, it’s all about the utilization and recognition within a system.

    It sounds so science-y.

  26. jackhudson says:

    Actually it has been about utilization and recognition of information within a system from my very first post; what do you think an “information system” is? What do you think it does? Would you recognize one if you saw one?

  27. I’m waiting for you to define all the science-y terms you keep using.

  28. jackhudson says:

    I did define them; if you have a problem with the definitions provided, feel free to elucidate.

  29. Where did you define an information system?

  30. jackhudson says:

    I defined information – an information system would merely be that which generates, processes, and transmits data in the form of a sequence of symbols or representations for a purpose.

  31. […] The purpose of writing all this isn’t to convince someone of the truth of a particular metanarrative, merely to convey what is really at issue, so needless and repetitive discussions can be avoided. […]

  32. […] have often contended that the most basic components of a living cell are essentially information driven molecular […]

  33. […] while ignoring the fact that life at its core is an information processing system – something I have been pointing out for years. Now it seems that some scientists are finally coming to the same […]

  34. […] when I argue that cells are infused with information driven molecular machinery and that this observation constitutes…, opponents will accuse me of over-extending the use of the word ‘machine’. That is why […]

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