Sunday, February 28, 2016

125 Rebuttals, #5

Alright, just a reminder, I'm rebutting the logical fallacies contained within the arguments found here.

5: The Argument of the Ancient Protein as the Origin of Life

Well, if past performance is any indication, this is going to be an interesting one.  Wonder how PSH is going to define 'ancient protein.'  
1. The primeval proteins, described (Aug. 8. 2013) in the journal Structure, could reveal new insights about the origin of life, said study co-author José Manuel Sanchez Ruíz, a physical chemist at the University of Granada in Spain.
Alright, so first, we need a source.  Unfortunately, PSH doesn't know how to do anything other than copy and paste text from other people, so I had to go and find it on my own.   The article doesn't contain the word primeval, though it does contain the phrase 'origin of life' three times.  For some context, here's one of those quotes:
To summarize, we have shown that protein 3D structure determination can be reliably carried out with laboratory resurrections corresponding to Precambrian nodes dating up to approximately four billion years ago, i.e., close to thThis leads me to believe that, since the author of the blog post didn't simply just link to the blog, that it is indeed a plagiarism.  Seeing as how the arguments mostly appear to exist on that blog, I'm going to switch gears here.e origin of life. This result is remarkable, given the large number of sequence differences (up to ∼50%) between the extinct and extant proteins, and demonstrates the possibility of incorporating a time scale of several billion years to expand the sequence space for 3D structure determination studies, i.e., a time scale over which we may expect significant changes in protein structure to occur. We have furthermore shown that critical evolutionary issues regarding fold definition, fold age, and the identification of ancestral and derived structural features can be readily addressed based on putative ancestral structures. The results and analyses reported here thus support that laboratory resurrection targeting Precambrian nodes followed by 3D structure determination can be a powerful approach to explore the poorly understood evolution of protein structures.
Journal, Conservation of Protein Structure over 14 Billion years, Aug 8 2013, Paragraph 9
So, the statement made by PSH, ripped once again from the Proofs of God's existence blog, doesn't carry any such citation either, just a literal rip of the argument.  The ultimate post does indeed include a link, so I guess that counts as attribution.  Since I can't say whether it's the blog owner's post or not (though it seems to be at this point), I'm going to work from the premise that it is, and continue in this vein.

As you can see by the quote from the article, and the article itself, 'primeval proteins' aren't mentioned.  It's actually not even talking about RNA as the origin of life, since it's actually talking about the fact that they were close (i.e. after) to the origins, not the actual origins themselves.  This is so intellectually dishonest, and such a false premise, that I shan't dwell on it any longer.
2. Exactly how life emerged on Earth more than 3 billion years ago is a mystery.
Wonderful. Good thing you pointed out that, in fact, you do not know.  Again, argument from ignorance fallacy, possible poisoning the well / guilt by association.
Some scientists believe that lightning struck the primordial soup in ammonia-rich oceans, producing the complex molecules that formed the precursors to life.
It's possible that electricity helped catalyze some reactions, but it ignores the fact that things like table salt form without it, and are natural, self-replicating procedures.  Lightning didn't just strike a salt bath and make bacteria.
Others believe
that chemical reactions at deep-sea hydrothermal vents gave rise to cell membranes and simple cellular pumps.
Again, who?  Also, it's possible, so it's got that going for it, which is nice.  I mean, the hydrological activity wasn't what created it, but rather chemical reactions that were permitted by the conditions, but I digress.  It's probably just bad wording.
 And still others believe
Seriously, PSH, it doesn't matter what people believe. It matters only what can be shown with evidence.  Some people believe that gnomes steal their underwear, but like any belief, it doesn't mean anything here.  Unless you're meaning the other definition of belief, which requires evidence.  Which you don't, which is a modified fallacy of ambiguity.
that space rocks brought the raw ingredients for life — or perhaps even life itself — to Earth.
And again, that's something that may have happened, but as I discussed yesterday, whether it was panspermia or not, that's not even part of the question at this point, because those organisms had come from somewhere. Imagine I purchase a cake.  The cake is in my house.  It was somewhere else.  Taking this analogy one step further, it's a bit like saying that since cakes come from stores, the wheat used for the flour didn't have to be grown.  It's a non-sequitur, plain and simple.  This argument is invalid here, for one because this is supposedly a premise, and  for two because it doesn't address origins.
3. It seems that the complexity of thioredoxin, a class of small redox proteins known to be present in all organisms, suggests intelligent design.
    a. They then recreated the protein in the lab. The original “fossil” protein was incredibly stable, bound to many different chemicals and functioned well in a highly acidic environment.
    b. “That makes a lot of sense because 4 billion years ago, many people think that the temperature was high and the oceans were acidic,” Sanchez Ruíz told LiveScience.
Well boy howdy, what do you know.  The article PSH is referring to here is literally where the quote from the first premise was ripped from.   Also, literally the first few points.  What a disingenuous bastard PSH is.  This is literally the definition of plagiarism.  Same goes to that Proof of Goddamn But The Author Is An Imbecile blog or whatever.  The LiveScience article is discussing something in a different context.  Again, the argument made by PSH is that ancient proteins might be the origin of life.  The article from LiveScience is dealing with the fact that the proteins were recreated.  Which is what we'd expect if the guys doing the science are on a correct hypothesis.  It's important to note that LiveScience is not a peer-reviewed journal, but rather an interesting place to read up on science.  This is a great example of how a statement can support one thing in one context, but not another thing in another context.  This, folks, is why it's important to give proper attribution and context to whatever sources you rip from.

Think for a second, about what I've just done.  I'm arguing points on a forum thread post, ripped verbatim from a blog without attribution, ripped verbatim from a science news article without attribution, to support a claim where no claim was made in the original context.  This kind of mental gymnastics is Olympics-level stuff, if the Olympics were giving prizes to the worst offenders.

Let's do some rapid-fire stuff on the next few points, since it's basically the same tripe.
4. A BBC article pointed out several problems with this resurrected theory.
Which article, and which theory?  For crying out loud, you'd think if this were important to the point, PSH would at least link to it.  Maybe it's not really terribly important.  Luckily, our fair PSH's morals don't change in a few sentences, so finding the article was relatively simple. To their credit, the BBC really seems to cover this better than LiveScience.  Also, that statement is pretty much a lie.  Here's an actual quote from the article.
    a. Prof Eric Gaucher of Georgia Tech, US, helped with the ancestral gene sequence reconstruction and commented: “A gene can become deactivated by as few as one or two mutations.
    b. “If our ancestral sequences were incorrectly inferred by having a single mistake, that could have led to a dead gene. Instead, our approach created biochemically active proteins that fold up into three dimensional structures that look like modern protein structures, thus validating our approach.”
Here, let me put that in context.  From the selfsame BBC article:
They then used modern bacteria to convert the ancient gene sequences into a chemically active protein that could be measured to determine its molecular structure and the properties of the ancient protein.
The thioredoxin protein is an enzyme which can break sulphur bonds in other molecules and has a number of metabolic functions in cells. It is shared by almost all life on Earth, from the simplest bacteria to complex animals including humans, indicating that the ultimate single-celled ancestor of all life on Earth would also have had the gene.
Prof Eric Gaucher of Georgia Tech, US, helped with the ancestral gene sequence reconstruction and commented: "A gene can become deactivated by as few as one or two mutations.
"If our ancestral sequences were incorrectly inferred by having a single mistake, that could have led to a dead gene. Instead, our approach created biochemically active proteins that fold up into three dimensional structures that look like modern protein structures, thus validating our approach."
The group used molecular clocks to date the evolutionary branches back in time and linked them to geological changes in Earth's environment.
Changes in the protein's length appeared to occur in fits and starts, with its helix structure suddenly lengthening at the point that cells started to develop a nucleus (the transition from prokaryote to eukaryote), paving the way for higher life.
The results suggest that biological systems might evolve at the molecular level in discrete jumps rather than along continuous pathways, as has been suggested from studies of the evolution of species. 
This quote is pulled so vigorously out of context that the actual context of the quote argues against the point PSH is trying to make.  This is called quote mining, cherry picking, or the fallacy of incomplete evidence, among others.
5. Even bigger problem is the dismissal of the main tenet of neo-Darwinism namely the gradual evolution.“The results suggest that biological systems might evolve at the molecular level in discrete jumps rather than along continuous pathways, as has been suggested from studies of the evolution of species.”6. Finally, Sanchez Ruíz has a great doubt whether the designed protein in the laboratory had anything to do with a hypothetical lonely protein in an imagined hot sea:“There is no way to make absolutely certain unless we invent some kind of time machine…But we know that the properties we measure for these proteins are consistent with what we would expect of 4-billion-year-old proteins.”7. One more problem of this earliest thioredoxin protein is that it is not simple, but complex, stable, and possessing multiple functions. And what would it function with, if not a cell filled with many other proteins and genes? 8. Another speculation in the theory of Ruiz is that thioredoxin arose on Mars and then was transported to Earth in meteorites.  “Four billion years ago Mars was a much a safer place than Earth…Maybe we have resurrected Martian proteins. Maybe the last universal common ancestor (the first life) formed on Mars and transferred to Earth.” 
And the rest of that is exactly the same.  Apart from being unable to stick to one piece of evidence, now our brave PSH (and I'm presuming the PSH in the forum is the same as the PSH from the blog, now.  I'm thoroughly convinced now he's disingenuous enough to plagiarize himself and not realize it) takes quotes from those sources and mixes them up, destroying context to paint a picture that doesn't exist.  Literally, what he's doing is akin to this, taking literal segments and making them say something else:
Fair use fair use fair use....
But I'll remove if it they want me to.
I don't like simply ripping off other people.

Am I really going to do all 125 of these?  Sometimes it seems hard, but I honestly enjoy it. One of the hard bits of doing something that was written completely, at some point in the past, is that sometimes it feels like I'm just repeating myself over and over and over...
9. However, no life or products of life have yet been discovered on Mars, and shifting the origin of thioredoxin from earth to Mars still does not explain how a complex protein arose at once.
 That's right.  The cake analogy from above.
10. All in all, after considering all the impossibilities and unexplained things, intelligent design by the greatest designer who all men call God is the best explanation.
Oh, and we did it again.  Again I shall remind you, gentle readers, that not one shred of evidence was given in support of anything.  Even if we take the arguments at face value, and pretend that they are arguments against the premises presented therein, no premise of a false dichotomy was even introduced here.  Not once did PSH provide one shred of evidence that some other method of nature could produce it, nor that it could simply have existed for ever.  Nowhere does he provide a single premise in support of any god, let alone his own.  This is the simple appeal to heaven fallacy, or the god of the gaps fallacy more specifically.

The presumption is, if someone can't explain something to one particular individual, that somehow invalidates the reasoning of the argument.  Here, however, we actually do have a neat dichotomy.  It's entirely possible that it's being explained correctly, and PSH is simply too daft to understand it.  Well, that's not really a dichotomy per se, because there are other options.  Perhaps PSH is simply willfully denying, or is too dishonest to allow any honest ideas into his mind.

Tune in next time when we tear down another fun, logically incoherent argument.  Speaking of which, I almost forgot.
 11. God exists.
Actually, I'm not quite done. There's one more fun logical structure I can throw in here.  Also, I just realized, this argument for god actually runs contrary to Irreducible Complexity, since PSH is letting it be valid that they did, indeed, replicate the RNA structures in a simpler way.  Remember, this is one of the foundational points of this set of premises.

acce245's Argument that Some Other God Exists

  1. Creationists can't seem to agree what god exists.
  2. There's tons of evidence that maybe their god doesn't exist.
  3. Buddhists think Yahweh doesn't exist.
  4. Christians think Allah doesn't exist.
  5. Muslims think Yahweh doesn't exist.
Conclusion: None of those gods exist.  Ergo, leprechauns must exist, because they created the universe.

I'm sure I won't change PSH's mind, but if you want a fun argument to throw around with a creationist, have fun!  Just remind them, those same scientists they quote will likely be deistic, if religious at all, and they also claim that PSH's god doesn't exist.  It's a fun way you can apply learning in your daily life.

Peace to all of you, and until next time, think rationally!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

125 Rebuttals, #4

This is a post in a series of rebuttals to the claims made on this site.  Today I shall be starting with the fourth argument.

Before I jump in, I'd like to take this moment to let you know I have a youtube channel.  I haven't done much with it yet, but here's a short clip of some neat ice formation I found in my yard the other day.

With that out of the way, let's move merrily along!

4: The Argument of the Contradicting Theories of the Origins of Life.

The statement here is a false premise in itself, since there's currently only one theory on how life came to be, and that's via abiogenesis.  Also, I'm not sure that it's actually a theory yet, as it's actually an area of study rather than a proper description of the natural process.  There are indeed several potential triggers which could have started the more complex processes going, but none of them rule out natural processes in the slightest.  Let's take a look at the premises here, because as always, this series of rebuttals isn't to teach you specifics of complex things.  The point of this series is to demolish bad thinking and faulty logic.  Again, if there's at least some interest, perhaps I'll delve into the more complex stuff later.  I don't need it here, and without further ado, the first premise:
1a. Researchers at Cambridge created an RNA enzyme that worked at freezing temperatures. They said: ”Ice could have aided the emergence of self-replication in the prebiotic chemical world.”
1b. But Jack Szostak1 threw a snowball: the created molecule cannot replicate itself.  “I’m afraid we still have a long way to go to get a self-replicating ribozyme.”
Well, isn't this interesting.  I'm going to ignore the logic part of the argument for a minute.  I was curious to find the context of this quote given by Jack Szostak.  One of the first sources I came across in a google search was this, this, and this. It seems as though premise 1a and 1b here are literally a plagiarization of something.  As a matter of fact, I'm going to pull up the original New Scientist article, where he's cited, to give this some actual context.  The intellectual dishonesty of the folks who started this quote mine, to leave the source out, is blatantly dodgy.  Here's what New Scientist quoted him as actually saying, in context.
The RNA enzyme’s effectiveness at cold temperatures suggests ice was crucial to the first life. When a mix of RNA and metal ions freezes, growing ice crystals suck up the water, leaving tiny pockets of RNA and concentrated salt. RNA replication can happen in these pockets. “They’re a little bit like artificial cells,” says Holliger, and could be where evolution started.
“It certainly makes a cold RNA world something to think about,” says RNA expert Adrian Ferré-D’Amaré of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.
However, the theory has some weaknesses. At cold temperatures, RNA strands often stick together, making it tricky to separate them after the RNA has been copied. Primitive life would need to warm up to separate the strands, saysJack Szostak of Harvard Medical School. “It couldn’t just live at continuously cold temperatures.”
True, says Holliger, but there’s a fix. “Ice freezes and melts all the time, so you can easily see how an RNA replicator could be enclosed and then released in a cyclical way and allowed to spread.”
Szostak also points out that the enzyme only occasionally makes long strands of RNA. “I’m afraid we still have a long way to go to get a self-replicating ribozyme.”
I realize that takes up a bit more information than I'd normally put for a quote, but I feel this is very important.   Sadly, it wasn't the top result, but google did a very good job including it in the non-replicated sources.  It's also important to note that, at the time RNA-like structures would have been reproducing, life would have already started within the implied definition of the author's argument.  RNA is a basic constituent of the thing we typically call life.  There are simpler mechanisms which can self-replicate, like the mRNA molecules, which we might not call alive.  However, under the author's argument, life would have 'started' before this point, if its catalyst were indeed 'competing' with other theories about abiogenesis.

Sorry, I guess I misspoke earlier.  I shall indeed be giving free biology lessons, it appears.  Anyway, let's move onto the next premises asserted by this facetious slack-wit.
2a. Wayne Roberge, a professor of physics within the School of Science at Rensselaer recently re-introduced a formerly discredited idea where “a new look at the early solar system introduces an alternative to a long-taught, but largely discredited, theory that seeks to explain how bio-molecules were once able to form inside of asteroids.” 
2b. But Roberg also said: “We’re just at the beginning of this…it would be wrong to assert that we’ve solved this problem.”
Oh, thanks for reminding me.  Two fallacies of appeal to authority, all in a neat little row. The inability of the author to understand that he's not even applying them correctly is astounding.  Similarly, the fallacies constitute a special pleading, in that they accept part of what the expert does based on who they are, but not the stuff that is involved in parts of quotes they don't like.  You can't have it both ways, sir or madam.

I'm not sure what to call the other author at this point, so ADMIN shall now be known as PSH.  Because he's a Plagiarizing Slackjaw Halfwit cur.  PSH it is.

So, PSH is basically trying to set up that panspermia is one of the ways life could have arisen on earth. This is possible.  It still doesn't solve where that life came from to begin with.  It also ignores the fact that physical things can't move fast enough to populate everything in the universe from one chance thing.  This logic only serves to extend the overall argument, not to discuss the actual origin of the life that was on that comet, or what have you.  Panspermia isn't typically given as a form of abiogenesis, since the abiogenesis that would have ultimately led to life on that bit of space junk still requires an explanation.  Much like turtles, it can't just be comets or asteroids or whatever, all the way down.

3a. A coacervate is a tiny spherical droplet of assorted organic molecules (specifically, lipid molecules) which is held together by hydrophobic forces from a surrounding liquid. The idea of these theoretical bubbles in which the magic of life happened was introduced by Oparin in 1920s. 
3b. Dutch researchers Ekaterina Sokolova, Evan Spruijt et al. revisited Oparin’s theory of creation of “artificial cell-like environment in which the rate of mRNA production is increased significantly” however, without explaining the origin of the complex molecular machines DNA polymerase and RNA polymerase.   
4a. “We propose that in early geological history clay hydrogel provided a confinement function for biomolecules and biochemical reactions," said Dan Luo, professor of biological and environmental engineering and a member of the Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science. (Nov. 5, 2013) 
Again, PSH has shown a complete inability to comprehend how premises work. First and foremost, all the points down through 4 are not premises.  They're statements people have made, hypothesizing about what might have been a condition.  It's important to note that it's all based on actual science, however.  Observations were made which led to the conclusions given having some validity.  Experiments were done, which produced things we'd predicted should happen.  If something we'd predicted hadn't happened, the predictions would have been thrown out or retested, to find what variables actually led to the various thing here.

For example, here's how science basically works, in case you're unfamiliar, or simply haven't had a science course in twenty years:

  1. Observe that something happened.
  2. Come up with a hypothesis as to what caused it.
  3. Attempt to use the hypothesis to predict what should happen.
  4. Do experiments to find out if hypothesis predicts correctly some later action.
  5. If hypothesis doesn't explain (can't predict) the future action, discard and try again.
This is literally the entire process through which science works.  When something gets to number 5 enough times, and is never wrong in our history of testing, it goes from a hypothesis to a theory, or potentially a law.  This is why the scientists in the above assertions can do this.  They made a prediction that, for example, RNA of some sort should be able to exist and work in ice.  Simply because it couldn't be made perfectly doesn't mean it wasn't made, or that it didn't function in ice.  The hypothesis predicted an outcome accurately.  It's important to remember this as we approach the next premise PSH gives us:
4b. The Bible, the Koran and even Greek mythology has suggested for thousands of years that life began as earth, dust or clay.
Well, no.  The bible claims that life began as the breath of god (Gen 1, 2), not dust.  The Koran asserts that life began as thick clots of blood (sura XCVI).   The Greek pantheon (and subsequently titans, cyclopses, nymphs, and so on) actually started as a giant orgy involving Cronus, Gaea, and the rest.  Not a single one of them claims life came from dust, but that life was a product of something involving some kind of divine touch.  Ergo, very false premise.  Also, special pleading, since PSH is going to claim that since some god exists, it must be his god (two premises PSH has not shown). But we'll burn that bridge when we get to it.
4c. New theory is that clay is a breeding ground for chemicals which it ‘absorbs like a sponge’ and eventually leads to proteins and DNA forming.
Well, considering we didn't even know about Germ Theory until around 150 years ago, I'd have to agree that it's a relatively new concept.  Although, the wording here is very tenuous, and probably PSH is gonna screw it all up.  Also, clay's not special in this regard.  Vents at the bottom of the ocean harbor life, and they're amazingly hot and lack clay. Lots of things which aren't clay can 'harbor life.'  Also, if it's such a new idea, how do you claim ancient religions somehow knew about it? Not a single one mentions clay being a 'breeding ground' for life.  All of them talk about how gods created life.  It's astounding the level of intellectual dishonesty required for this stance.
4d. One little problem remains: “How these biological machines evolved remains to be explained,” the Science Daily article points out.
Again, it's clear these articles are being pulled blindly from somewhere, and that the author hasn't even had the decency to check what's going on here.   It's interesting how that link goes to some child's textbook, and not a Science Daily article.  I'll pull the significant bit here:
How these biological machines evolved remains to be explained, Luo said. For now his research group is working to understand why a clay hydrogel works so well, with an eye to practical applications in cell-free protein production.   
Science Daily
 So, as you can see, they're still working it out.  They are developing new hypotheses, working on what mechanisms explain reality.  PSH is simply asserting that we can never know, despite the fact that it appears we will in a relatively short time.  As a matter of being thorough, here's a link to Dr. Luo's website, specifically a paper published in 2014 regarding some of the exact same science PSH just said couldn't be known.  Let that sink in a moment.  I don't want to hit you with the next premises at full-throttle if you've not recovered from that whiplash.
5. Till now all the contradictory theories of origin of life falsify one another.
 Well, now we have something that resembles a premise.  Let's break it down.  First, we're not dealing with theories, as I stated earlier.  These are still hypotheses.  Also, they don't falsify one another.
The “building blocks of life” can’t be cold and hot at the same time.

  • False dichotomy: the building blocks of life could simply have a large range of temperatures at which they can function or survive.  Much like how seeds can survive winter and grow in the summer, or grow some 32,000 years later. Some seeds require fire to reproduce.  
They can’t be at deep sea vents and in asteroids at the same time. 
  • False dichotomy: the building blocks of life can indeed exists in extreme conditions.  I just showed you two examples thereof.  
They can’t be dry and wet at the same time. 
  • False premise and false dichotomy: Here we have no evidence of the claim, including no evidence that it's a dichotomy.

The metabolism-first and genetics-first scenarios are mutually incompatible and impossible.

  • I already dealt with this one in the previous post.  Similarly, false dichotomy (it can be simultaneous, and probably has to be).   
6. Moreover, none of the above theories answers the question: where did biological information come from?
Well, except that, as I demonstrated last post, by 'information' you mean 'energy,' ergo the 'information' comes from the sun, at least on our planet.  I'm not going to rehash yesterday's post for you, because it's like the Beatles said, 'that was yesterday.'
7. For the origin of life to take place there is a need for a complex system that has all the ingredients for a genetic code, and the machinery to read and translate it, encased in a cell with active transport. These all have to be present and working together from the beginning.
False premise by argument a priori, modified appeal to heaven (there simply must have been something complex!) which is simply a somewhat specific argument from ignorance (I can't imagine how it's otherwise!), false analogy (a cell is not its constituent parts and processes, ergo there's no dichotomy of existence/nonexistence as only options - it can simply develop over time, in unison with other features), and so on.  This premise is physically hard to read, because it's so terrible.
8. Such an irreducible complex system gives evidence for creation with intelligence.
I feel as though my 'false premise' button is getting worn out, so I'll go with fallacy from affirming the consequent, though one could just as easily go with existential fallacy: presuming that 'complex systems' must fall in the category of 'creations.'
9. That person with super intelligence that only a super scientist can have all men call God. 
Again, this isn't really a premise, but a baseless assertion (false premise).  I'm glad I'm not taking a shot for every fallacy here, because I'd certainly not make it far.  Also, I'm going to reword the premise, so I can (hopefully) address it accurately.
Ergo, since it appears that complexity requires an intelligence larger than the complexity (false premise), or requires intelligence at all (false premise), something intelligent must exist.
Plants and bacteria grow in amazingly complex fractal designs, but there's absolutely no reason this can't happen naturally.
Ergo, since people have claimed that something which has been described might exist (fallacy, modified appeal to tradition by way of genetic fallacy), it does so with absolute certainty (fallacy of false cause/dichotomy) and exactly explains my position (argument from ignorance, special pleading, genetic fallacy).
Ergo, (fallacy from special pleading), it can only be my god (false corollary I think), because (fallacy from appeal to emotion) I don't want another god to exist, or I can't imagine another god to exist (argument from ignorance).
I think I've reasonably demonstrated the point therein.  Can you guess what comes next? Luckily, you don't have to, because here it is:
10. God exists. 
Yeah, false premise.  If it can't be demonstrated, it can't be asserted, and so far none of the arguments have done so.

If you've made it this far, congratulations!  Hopefully you're enjoying my posts, but even if you aren't, go ahead and leave a comment or something.  If you do enjoy reading my posts, perhaps consider donating to me via Patreon.  I'd certainly appreciate it.  It can take me an hour or two to type out these posts, when the research is all said and done.  Even if you don't donate, I appreciate you taking the time to read my post!

Have something you want me to debunk?  Let me know!  I might even start doing youtube videos on these kinds of things or something.  What do you folks want to see?  Give me your feedback, and let's have some fun!

Friday, February 26, 2016

125 Rebuttals, 2 and 3

Just a small heads-up.  I've put a small ad widget on the sidebar.  This shouldn't cause any problems, I think.  If it's terribly annoying, please let me know and I'll fix it. Otherwise, let's keep up with business as usual.

This is part three of my series of rebuttals to this website. Picking up where I last left off, let's dive in right away with argument two.

2: The Argument of the Origin of Life 

Well, this sounds like it could be an interesting thing.  Just as a sidebar, I will point out that I'm not reading these arguments ahead of time.  I don't want to spoil my appetite.  I'm literally just reading it as I go.
1. A strand of RNA can make one simple chemical reaction occur, but that’s not all what is needed. If there is no quality control, no inspections, no checks and balances, no feedback, no networks in the system of the cell, what will happen? Only entropy.
So, we have only three points for this 'argument.' Well, let's break down this 'premise.'  A strand of RNA an indeed make at least one simple chemical reaction occur, although I'd say the wording there is tenuous.  It doesn't force anything to happen: It's a natural process.  I'm not sure what's meant by the second part, "but that's not all what is needed."  This implies that, somehow, RNA 'needs' to do something, as though it has preordained purpose.  It doesn't.  There's nothing qualifying what RNA 'needs' to do.  Again, this is a false analogy.  You might pick up bananas when you go to the store because you need them for a recipe, but DNA/RNA don't have any such presuppositions.  They simply do what they do.  
Even a most primitive cell needs essential molecules of life to replicate and thus to continue to exist. 
This is still part of that first premise.  The author of these arguments clearly has no understanding of how premises and conclusions work.  Yes, in this definition, 'need' now has a qualifier. This statement on its own is absolutely correct: we haven't ever seen a cell that consists of no atoms.  In fact, if someone had seen that, they'd probably have won a Nobel prize by now, multiple times.

See this empty space? It's a picture of a cell that contains absolutely no molecules, at standard zooms.
This picture is, by far, the hardest I've ever had to work on putting a picture in my blog. Obviously.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to find pictures of things that don't exist?
If there is no quality control, no inspections, no checks and balances, no feedback, no networks in the system of the cell, what will happen? Only entropy. 
Fallacies of presupposition.  Also, he hasn't shown that "only entropy" isn't the actual reason.  This is a fallacy by appeal to emotion, I think. "Oh, don't you see, I simply hate the idea that maybe we're not special in the universe, don't you?  Therefore I must be right, because otherwise I might feel a bit upset."

That's a fundamental misunderstanding of science, too.  It's safe to say Einstein was probably upset when he realized the cosmological constant wasn't correct.  It's safe to say that Tesla was probably upset that the universe wasn't a steady state, and that the aether doesn't exist.  It really has no bearing on the argument how someone feels.

Clearing that up, it's not entirely true that there aren't quality controls, so to speak, or checks and balances.  I mean, RNA isn't holding court over what's a good course of action.  It does, however, work within the laws of physics.  It also has some error correcting functions, as we discussed previously.  Again, I'm not going to go deep into the science here, and if you're viewing my blog you clearly have access to google.  You're free to learn about these things at your leisure: they're much more complex than I can teach you in a few paragraphs where I'm rebutting logical flaws.

Similarly, I do encourage you to check out the science.  It's equally possible that I'm fleecing you exactly as that other guy is.  Due diligence is everyone's responsibility.

2. In order for life to begin there is need of an irreducible complex system even within the simplest cell.
Well, that's a false corollary, as well as a false premise.  He has yet to demonstrate that life requires anything other than the laws of physics to come about.  Similarly, it's not been shown that cells are irreducibly complex, as we discussed previously.  The various parts of the cell can exist absent the cell, and the various parts of the cell are simpler and more complex other places in nature.  Again, I don't want to keep you here reading forever, and I don't want you to simply take my word for it.  Visit a library, use your preferred search engine. Talk to some college professors or whatever. Your local high-school science teachers can probably explain these concepts very well also, they're not rocket surgery after all.
3. God the supreme designer of an irreducible complex system must exist. 
Apart from the grammatical pitfalls, and a few garbled words, I think the conclusion he's attempting to convey is as follows:
God must exist, and must have made life irreducibly complex.
Again, we can give a simple rebuttal.  Cows and dogs are a simple, striking example.  We can actually breed certain traits out of breeds. What this means is that the complexity of a given organism's progeny can be reduced over time.  It's exactly the same as saying something like this:
Saint Bernard dogs are the smallest possible dog. Any dog smaller than a Saint Bernard cannot exist because dogs can't live unless they are that large. They are irreducibly complex, and have therefore existed forever.
It's important to note that the statement is logically consistent with the author's premises.  

3: The Argument of Demonstration by Information Theory that Life Cannot Arise from Matter

That's an amazing assertion, and I'm not sure how the author arrived at it.  Life can't arise from matter, somehow, even though life is literally composed entirely of matter.  It seems to be a clear-cut case of fallacy from special pleading.  I can't wait to see what points we're given.
1. The laws of physics for matter have low information content because they consist of a few simple mathematical formulas.
I think it was Benjamin Franklin who is typically attributed with saying "it is better to be thought a fool, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." This is one of those cases.  For example, the first six words show a clear misunderstanding of physics.  The laws of physics don't change when we go from matter to energy.  Sure, the equations we use to describe various interactions are different based on our context, that doesn't cause E=MCto stop being true.  Also, most of those formulas are 'simple' due to the facts that:

  1. They consistently describe reality.
  2. The people who discovered them worked a very long time to make them as simple as they are.
  3. They don't need unnecessary operators.
The fact that the author doesn't understand these basic things is troubling, to say the least.

2. Living organisms have high information content because they consist of DNA, cells, etc

This is directly contrary to his first premise.  I'm not even going to address the 'information' bit anymore, because it's not exactly pertinent.  Also, he's using it as a means of talking about the energy something contains, whether he knows it or not.  Ergo, when you see 'information' in this context, think 'energy.'  Because the author is a complete lout.

Basically, the reason it's completely contrary is that each atom in the various combinations of atoms contains the same information (more or less) as all other atoms.  Each Carbon-12 atom contains the same amount of 'information.'  That is to say, equal amounts of protons, neutrons, electrons, energy levels, valence shells, and so on.  Literally every thing in the universe is comprised of 'information' in this way (although we usually discuss things in finer detail sometimes, but let's keep this simple).  It's not so different from saying something like this:
Records have higher numbers of atoms than individual molecules of vinyl.
It doesn't really tell us anything useful, and it's a completely illogical statement given his first premise here.

3. According to information theory, the information of any system that has evolved from an older system must be contained in the older system.
Actually, information theory (IT) doesn't really argue that.  In fact, IT argues here for the kind of entropy he argues can't possibly exist and explain the previous argument, back toward the top of this page (argument 2, point 1).  Literally, this argument is arguing that a god exists for exactly the opposite reason of the previous argument.

  • Argument 2: entropy can't possibly explain life
  • Argument 3 point 3: entropy is required to explain life
I shudder to move on any further in this argument, but logic demands it, so let's go deeper into the abyss.
4. Therefore, according to information theory, no system of high information content can evolve from a system of low information content by random changes.
5. Therefore material science has failed to prove that life has originated from matter.
6. Therefore life comes from life. Every life form can only originate from another life form which must have higher information content.
7. There cannot be an infinite chain of cause and effect as a mouse cannot climb a sand dune or a person cannot proceed on a marshy land. There must be a first ground of being.
8. Therefore the original source has the highest information content.
Let's run quickly with the most egregious errors here

  • 4: misunderstanding of information theory again.
  • 5: material science typically deals with materials, like textiles or ceramics or stuff. Conflation of terms or purposeful ambiguity, or simple intellectual dishonesty
  • 6: Conclusion based on no actual evidence, as well as no actual premise stated in the argument.
  • 7: Why can't there be? Is it entropy or isn't it?  Also, false analogy with the mouse, and this shows that our intrepid fool doesn't understand infinities.
  • 8: That's actually logically valid, but doesn't actually contribute anything to the argument.  Although, that would violate thermodynamics, if we're losing 'information' in the form of energy within the closed system of our overall universe.  Remember, evolution on earth is an open system, whereby the sun feeds energy in.  It's a false analogy again, it seems.

Well, that was fun.  I hope it was less painful to read than it was to type.  Let's address the last couple points, just to be thorough.
9. This must be a Supreme Living Being.
Actually, it must not be, but it could be.  It could also be the singularity that existed before the big bang.  It could also be Supreme Unicorn Farts.  It might have been Douglas Adams cracking an interstellar hand towel.   The 'simple math' he brought up to defend his earlier point, however, supports only the big bang model, and nothing more.  Special pleading fallacy there, to allow the math to defend one point but not the other.

I'm having entirely too much fun.  If you're still sticking with me, congratulations and thanks!  You are very dedicated indeed.
10. God exists.
I'm beginning to think he doesn't understand how premises and conclusions work.  The list just abruptly ends.  I'm not sure if this is asserted as premise, where the argument is the conclusion, or whether this is the conclusion, and the argument is like some queer postulate/hypothesis.  I mean, it's clearly not based on observation, otherwise the logic would be a bit more consistent.


I will say that I'm not doing this series simply because I don't believe in a god.  That's merely incidental.  I'm doing this series of rebuttals because I really don't like bad logic.  I like to think that, were I still a theist, I would not want arguments this terrible being thrown around in the name of something I hold dear.  For deeply held beliefs, the lack of respect for the arguments in favor of them here is startling, but also completely expected.

I can remember the first time I actually felt this way, also.  My aunt, who was something of a fundamentalist in a way, gave my grandmother these VHS cassettes of Kent Hovind doing his now-famous speeches on intelligent design/creationism/etc.  I remember being rather young, probably around third or fourth grade.  I was religious at that time, and I had even thought later of attending seminary.  Oddly, that never happened.

Anyway, back to the tapes.  I remember he was trying to make some terrible argument about how we can't know things in the past, and he used the (horrible and false) analogy of a coffee cup.  Basically, he was telling one of his strawman illustrations of someone warning someone else that the cup of coffee was hot.  This fellow didn't want the other fellow to burn his lips or whatever.  So the fellow who was about to drink the coffee asked the onlooker how he knew it was hot, and he said something along the lines of 'well, it was hot millions of years ago, so be careful.'  Just utter tripe.  Even at around perhaps eight years old, I knew how terrible this argument was.  Even though I believed in the same god as him at that time, I knew he was incapable of making a sound argument.  It made me embarrassed, in a way, that people who believed in the same thing I did could possibly resort to such terrible arguments to defend it.

Although, I suppose it's entirely possible I was the odd one, because I always thought a strong faith was one that could tolerate questions, yet still arrive back at the same premise.  I didn't like complacency, and I still don't.  Then again, it's exactly what led me to ultimately become atheist, so I can see why some religious people don't care for skepticism of beliefs.  In fact, it's not just religious people, but rather most people with any sort of belief in general, who don't like skepticism of a given ideal.  I still contend, to this day, that a strong faith is one that can tolerate being analyzed and questioned, and still retained in the face of logic.  It's why most of my beliefs now are in the other sense of belief, the idea that evidence guides reality, and past performance can predict future performance, etc.

See you space cowboys.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

125 Rebuttals, 1A and 1B

This is the second post in a (hopefully quite long and interesting) series of rebuttals against this particular webpage.

Since we discussed point 1 yesterday, I'm going to glance over 1a and 1b here, before starting into the next argument.  I really hope the author isn't counting each of these individually as arguments, because that'll really shorten the overall scope of this series.

1A: The software and hardware of the cell are irreducibly complex

Well, that made my job a lot easier, and I haven't even addressed a single premise yet.  Cells do not have a disparate nature between the 'hardware' and 'software.'  The parts of the cell interact, chemically, and that's basically all that's important here.  It isn't as though DNA is some sort of computer chip, and the sequences on it are some sort of code.  The fact that it's arranged in the way it is, is due to natural processes, not some underlying operating system.  It's a false analogy, and I'll be damned if I don't at least point it out.  Again, I'm not going to pick apart this entire sub-point, so let's find the first problematic thing in the premises.  Although, all these points are rich, we'll just pick one or two for now.  I'll come back and more thoroughly pick this apart later, if anyone's interested.
3. The cell contains a genetic code which is at or very close to a global optimum for error minimization across plausible parameter space
Well, as I pointed out yesterday, it's useful to call it a code, because it acts kinda like a code.  However, the second assertion here is that it's optimized for error minimization.  This is simply incorrect.  The 'job' of the RNA is to facilitate the copying of DNA. I don't want to belabor this point terribly, but it's important.  It's not optimized to reduce errors, so to speak.  It's simply evolved to be very good at making sure segments of DNA are copied verbatim.  If it were really optimized in such a way, species would never have evolved because the DNA would never have allowed such errors to pass through.  Indeed, some of the most famous traits in almost any given species are because the RNA simply does its job, and allows 'incorrect' versions of genes to pass on.  Whether it's heterochromy or microcephaly, the RNA only cares about transcribing what its given, generally.

Now, it is important to note that the RNA does actually act as though its got some error-correcting properties, but these properties tend to check sorts of parity, making sure it creates pairs that are AT or GC, and not AC or GT for example.  It's clear the author is not talking about this kind of parity checking when we find this premise:
7. There is no reason for information processing machinery to exist without the software, and vice versa.
Again, this is not the kind of 'information processing machinery' that DNA/RNA is.  RNA is a precursor to DNA.  Also, it's a false premise, because the author hasn't given a single reason why there is no reason.   Prions are an example of a sort of organism which are evidence of how something can reproduce without the very system point 7 is arguing must exist.  Irreducible complexity requires that nothing simpler can exist, but here it is nonetheless.

For an analogy, imagine I hand you a smart phone, and tell you that the smart phone is the simplest possible phone that can exist.  If even one part of it were not there, it would not be able to do its job, or any job.  Even looking at old rotary phones, we can still see how the removal of parts, including even the number dial, still doesn't make the phone necessarily impossible to use, or even exist.

1B: Proponents of evolution believe it is necessary to get chemicals up to the point of replication before Darwinian Evolution begins.

I'll say right now, this is a fallacy of begging the question.  I'll say more things later.

Premise 1 and 2 create a false dichotomy and a false analogy.  Abiogenesis deals with how the chemical reactions ultimately gave rise to more typical forms of life, however, not everything that evolves is living.  Viruses are a clear example of this.  They do not meet the typical definitions of 'living thing,' but very clearly demonstrate how evolution can happen absent the fact of 'life.'

Similarly, the first self-replicating molecules probably didn't resemble RNA and DNA as we know them today.  RNA was likely the precursor to DNA, so to claim that RNA can't function without DNA is preposterous.  Similarly, there are processes which replicate, which are not self-replicating. Many chemical reactions happen in nature, but very few on their own.  Fire can be started by any number of reasons, it's not self-replicating in the same sense.  This is a fallacy from ambiguity, but I digress.
4. The other problem is the origin of a genetic code that can copy itself.
This isn't a problem, save for people who don't actually understand the words they are typing.  This is a fallacy of false cause.  Using another analogy, genetics can be compared to language in one useful way: the way in which languages develop.  Since I'm speaking English, I'll use English as my example. However, this argument works with most languages as well, if they are sufficiently modern.
The argument the author presents is akin to this: English is the simplest language it could ever have been, so it must have come about exactly in its current form.  Similarly, it's impossible for English to have any degrees of variation from place to place.  Looking to the evidence, we can see this is clearly not the case.  As we move backward through time, we can see that as early as a few hundred years ago, the English used by speakers at that time would be considerably different.  I don't know of any people who routinely speak in old English or middle English.

My point here is, English has slowly and steadily evolved into the language it is today.  We can also go a great deal in reverse, and see that English was indeed a simpler language in the past.  After a certain point backward in time, English ceases to be a thing, because it hasn't separated from the languages that came before it.  Going further back, we can look at ancient languages, and determine that there were languages which are incredibly simple by today's terms.  Just remember, 20 years ago Google didn't exist, and now it's a verb.

Let's think a bit further. We know, factually, that there was a time before written languages existed.  Irreducible complexity argues that cats can't possibly communicate with one another, since they don't use a verbal language with well-defined terms.  This would be impossible, since languages (like we compare the workings of DNA to) must be fully formed.  There can be no precursor, but alas, we know precursors exist in both cases.  Similarly, there probably was no 'first language' from which all other languages spawned.  Languages before writing were probably very simple - we do indeed have examples of isolated indigenous peoples using languages that would be considered very primitive by today's standards indeed.  Irreducible complexity argues that it's impossible that the same process that produced English (a language that humans speak) could possibly produce anything other than English (a language that humans speak).  In a similar way, they claim that RNA variants could not possibly have ever become DNA as we know it today, and that RNA and DNA could never have shared a common ancestor.  A language (chemical reactions) without a specific code (genes/alleles/base pairs/etc) could not possibly exist.

Addressing the next few points, point 4a is an argument from authority (rather than arguing from any evidence, he says that people think a certain way therefore one of them must be right - also a false dichotomy, since he's barring the idea that both he and the strawman he's attacking could be wrong).
5. “We now feel compelled to abandon compositional inheritance as a jumping board toward real units of evolution.”
5 is a quote from somewhere, probably out of context, possibly just made up as a strawman.
6. As one scientific theory is abandoned, often the new theory is based on faith being not 100% proven.
a. “We do not know how the transition to digitally encoded information has happened in the originally inanimate world; that is, we do not know where the RNA world might have come from, but there are strong reasons to believe that it had existed.”
6 asserts that scientific theories are abandoned, when in fact this hardly ever happens.  It's hard to create theories for this reason.  Usually they're simply expounded upon or corrected with further observation.  The author lacks that vital point, observation and evidence of his own point.

7. The metabolism-first scenario cannot work:
8. The genetics-first scenario doesn’t work:
7/8 False dichotomy: both could have developed at the same time.  Oddly enough, I'd like to know how he thinks chemical reactions can happen WITHOUT using the constituent materials. Energy is stored/used without metabolism somehow? I left out the bits that followed each point, but I think you get the idea. Oddly, I agree. Neither probably works, since they both developed together, probably.
9. Because both concepts of life’s origin are impossible, the only plausible scenario of complex life’s origin is intelligent design that implies God the best designer.
9 Intellectually dishonest false dichotomy. "Neither of the things I've proposed can be true (citation needed) therefore MY GOD is correct." Also a false premise, since it could be any god, or no god at all, or maybe some other creature did it which wasn't created by a god, like a leprechaun or race of bigfoot monsters.  Again, the point is moot, because it is quite frankly a terrible argument, if not an outright dishonest assertion. I'm going to re-write his ninth point here:
9. Because both concepts of life's origins are impossible (why?), the only plausible scenario of complex life's origin is bigfoot farted them out one afternoon that they both developed together, and not disparately.
See, this is how you create good arguments.

10. Hence God exists.
10 Is just posturing.

Alright, I know I promised point two, but I can only spend so much time per post before you quit reading. I'll pick up tomorrow where I left off today.

Peace to you all!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

125 Rebuttals, #1

I came across this article a theist left in a twitter conversation I was having.  I reckon it couldn't hurt to have a read and at least address some.  Maybe I'll address them all. Who knows.

Argument 1: The origin of the genetic cipher.

Neat!  I bet this could be interesting.  What's the first premise? 
1.Triplet codons must be assigned to amino acids to establish a genetic cipher.  Nucleic-acid bases and amino acids don’t recognize each other directly, but have to deal via chemical intermediaries ( tRNA's and  Aminoacyl tRNA synthetase ), there is no obvious reason why particular triplets should go with particular amino acids.
Seems valid enough.  I'm not a molecular biologist, but let's see where it goes from here.

2. Other translation assignments are conceivable, but whatever cipher is established, the right amino acids must be assigned to permit polypeptide chains, which fold to active funcional proteins. Functional amino acid chains in sequence space are rare.  There are two possibilities to explain the correct assignment of the codons to the right amino acids. 
Well, we've got ourselves a possible false dichotomy (which would potentially create a fallacy in the conclusion) at the end there. I'm not even going to worry about the more technical aspects, since it seems I won't need to for this.

3. If it were a lucky accident happened by chance, luck would have  hit the jackpot  trough trial and error amongst 1.5 × 10^84 possible genetic codes . That is the number of atoms in the whole universe. That puts any real possibility of chance providing the feat out of question. Its , using  Borel's law, in the realm of impossibility. Natural selection would have to evaluate roughly 10^55 codes per second to find the one that's universal. Put simply, the chemical lottery lacks the time necessary to find the universal genetic code. 
Well, now there's a fun statement.  Thus the breakdown begins. The first two statements weren't terrible, but this one is.  First, a false premise fallacy.  We have no information on where the number of genetic 'codes' come from.  Is it supposed to be the number of different species?  Perhaps merely the number of possible combinations of x length?  I can't speculate much further with no further information, in this improperly defined premise.

Moving on to the next statement, 10^84 is probably a few orders of magnitude more atoms than are in the universe.  Let's contemplate for a moment, however, how many strands of DNA there are in the world, probably.  Wikipedia gives a much more definite number, so we'll go with that. 5*10^37 strands of DNA as an estimate.  Let's not forget, life on earth is around 3.7B years old. So, if we presume a DNA cycle on average to last a day (just pulling a number here, bacteria were the dominant thing for an incredibly long time), we'll use about 1.8 trillion days.  So, multiplying those two numbers yields a number around 9*10^46.  This number is considerably smaller, and with good reason: lots of combinations don't work.  Some combinations simply wouldn't form anything, and others lead to sterile creatures, like mules.  Naturally, these creatures won't pass on their genetic combinations, and that eliminates billions or trillions of combinations which will never form spontaneously.

Also, yes, the possible number of combinations of atoms in the universe is greater than the number of atoms in the universe.  There's only 80 numbers on a Keno board, but there's  combinations of those 80 numbers for a 10 spot ticket. That's around 6e18 combinations (e means *10^x for those of you who don't know).  So that's what you'd typically call a bad argument.  Moving on.

Genetic recombination isn't a lucky mistake, it's what happens every time something reproduces biologically.  It would be truly odd if your parents weren't nearly genetically identically to you, at least with regard to the fact that you both share human DNA sequences and not potato DNA sequences.

Borel's law isn't actually a law, so we can disregard the part of the argument that comes with it.  At best it's a false premise, because we already know things with very low probability do indeed occur, such as stars exploding into supernova.

However, if that bores you, you're in luck, because now we're tackling the last part of that statement.  These aren't really premises at all.  They're amalgamations of bad arguments. I'm going to re-quote it right here, to refresh your mind.
Put simply, the chemical lottery lacks the time necessary to find the universal genetic code.
In this one sentence, we've got a load of fallacies.  First is the false premise that the 'code' had to be 'found.'  As though it was left somewhere for a sentient thing to discover.  Abiogenesis steps in here, but even more fundamentally than that, his premise doesn't even work on how the DNA came to be. In fact, his premise starts far after that.  The chemical reactions that eventually led to something like RNA which can self-replicate don't require being 'found.'  They happen as simply as baking soda reacts with vinegar, literally a chemical reaction.  Remember, his first premise has a few flaws too, but I don't want to keep you here all day.
4. We know that minds do invent languages, codes, translation systems, ciphers, and complex, specified information all the time. 
This is a conflation of the definitions of 'code.' Anyone who is familiar in the least with molecular biology knows that the code we assign to DNA is not the same thing as what's actually going on between those pairs.  It's useful for describing it, but the 'language' the DNA speaks with itself is not a conscious thing.  It's a false analogy, at the very least, and a bit of intellectual dishonesty.

It's a bit like saying that a photon has some sort of code it gives to a leaf, which allows the leaf to engage in photosynthesis.  It's not a conscious thing. The sun isn't telling the leaves anything by sending sunlight, it's a simple chemical reaction.  Also, humans didn't invent physics, we discovered (through observation) the way things seem to work, which we call Laws.  In exactly the same way, we didn't invent the DNA code, we just assign various traits of it parts of language to make it easier to describe.
5. Put it in other words : The task compares to invent two languages, two alphabets, and a translation system, and the information content of a book ( for example hamlet)  being written in english translated  to chinese  in a extremely sophisticared hardware system. 
Actually, it doesn't do that at all.  To expound further, it's more like how we assign negative or positive voltages their designator of positive or negative.  We're not saying someone is consciously determining that positive and negative are intrinsic properties (and they're relative to one another anyway, but more on that later), or that it's any language to be derived from it. However, it's exceptionally useful to assign a value of 1 or 0 to either the positive or negative, so we can run computers.  Again, this analogy isn't great, but neither is his.  We're not simply transcribing some hidden language: we call it a code because it signals various things to happen.  It's not like Morse code or English, in that the bits have any specific meaning.  It's more like a flowchart, which causes reactions that build cells or cell parts.
6. The genetic code and its translation system is best explained through the action of a intelligent designer. 
 Based on what?  Now the leap is made further that there is literally some sort of transcription embedded in the DNA.  It's also not the best explanation.  The best explanation is that DNA/RNA interactions are chemical reactions, and that biology is, more or less, a giant set of physics (of which chemistry is a subset at this exchange).  There's no coherent message intrinsic to the process. This is how 'transcoding' errors occur, when bits interact with bits they shouldn't have.  Like when you're trying to bake a cake, but you accidentally mix everything all at once instead of one at a time.  The resultant mess may not be a cake, but it may be most of the time.  Maybe one time you add something different because you're out of something else, or leave something out because you don't have it.

It's not a great analogy, but it's simple enough to demonstrate the flaw in the premise.  A false premise, since it's got no evidence supporting it.
7. The designer is God. 
I surmise this is to be the conclusion, but it's numbered as though it's a premise.  Letting that slide, it's a false premise.  I mean, the simplest rebuttal is that perhaps it was gods. There's nothing that follows logically which requires it to be a god (humans can encode messages in DNA, after all, if we really feel like it).  Similarly, there's no foundation for asserting that it is a specific god, either.  Also, since the premises before it are incorrect/incomplete/improperly formed/false/unrelated, this conclusion is therefore also unsupported.

If you enjoy my articles, consider following me on twitter @acce245 or dropping a dollar or two at my patreon.  I will still keep the site running like always regardless.  I enjoy writing, but I wish I had more time to do it.  Let me know if there's something you want me to write about!

Peace to you all!