Tuesday, March 1, 2016

125 Rebuttals, 6 to 9

This is a post in a series of rebuttals to this forum post.

Thankfully, the next few points are rather concise, so let's zip right through.

6: Argument of the Protocells

1. “Protocells may have formed in a salty soup,” says chemist Wilhelm Huck, professor at Radboud University Nijmegen. (July 2, 2013) 
2. DNA and RNA molecules, however they emerged, may have clustered together without a cell membrane at first. 
3. But despite the interesting story Wilhelm Huck admitted: “A functioning cell must be entirely correct at once, in all its complexity.”
Basically a fallacy of appeal to authority.  Just because an authority makes a claim (and likely out of context), doesn't mean the claim is valid.   Similarly, as nearly as I can tell, the claim is in reference to a specific bit of research the chemist was doing.  He appeared to be explaining that, in order to call it a cell, it must contain the fundamental bits associated with a cell.  It's not an implication that a cell couldn't be any simpler, but that a recreated cell must have its constituent parts to be called a cell.

Again, I don't know why I'm reiterating this - PSH is just going to mine things out of context anyway.
4. This conclusion points to the supreme designer all men call God.
No, it doesn't.  A premise wasn't even introduced here, and it clearly does no such thing.
5. God exists.
 Again, PSH doesn't understand formal logic.

7: The argument of emerging from the ooze

I'm really getting tired of capitalizing the titles, so I'm not doing that anymore.  If PSH can be lazy, so can I.
1. George Poinar at Oregon State has tried to understand the evolution of nematodes (roundworms) that originated a billion years ago as one of the earliest forms of multicellular life.  He says, “They literally emerged from the primordial ooze.”
2. The article enumerated all the parts that would have had to emerge. In one of the paragraphs we read, “But they are functional animals, with nervous and digestive systems, muscles, good mobility, and they are capable of rapid reproduction and learned behavior.”
3. Although Poinar wrote a book on nematode evolution, he admitted, “There’s still a huge amount we don’t know about nematodes.”
It seems that this article is the one in question.  Again, it'd be really swell if PSH could simply learn how to attribute things, but I'm guessing that's never going to happen.  That's actually a really interesting article, and I suggest you all go read it now. FOR SCIENCE or whatever.
4. And he did not explain how something so complex could emerge from ooze.
Except that he kinda doesn't have to, because literally, it's like saying that some creatures emerged from the water and became land-dwelling creatures.  It's not as though the ooze had sentience.  It's a medium in which things would have grown.  Nevermind that evolution and abiogenesis deal with that anyway, and the scope of the book is about how nematodes developed, not necessarily about how they came into existence.
5. This again points to the work of an intelligent designer all men call God. God exists.
It does no such thing. Argument from Heaven (god of the gaps argument).  Now PSH is getting so lazy he isn't even making the conclusion separate from a premise.

8: The evidence of panspermia

Again, I discussed this at a few points, but let's humor it here on its own.
1. In 1981,
Really reaching here.
Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule, published a book, declaring that “directed panspermia” was responsible for life on earth.  
 Actually, it was that it could have been, for life on earth, not that it absolutely was, as the premise would lead one to believe.
2. Crick admits that this does not explain how nearly all our plant and animal species came into existence. Nor does it explain the transportation problem.  Centuries of travel through the cold of outer space would be required. This theory is a desperate, gasping effort to provide a solution to the question of how living creatures originated, a puzzle which thousands of scientists in 150 years of diligent work have not been able to solve. Very few intellectuals have accepted panspermia.
This is just a jumble of stuff that the author is attempting to compress into a coherent idea.  Essentially, cherry-picking again.  I'm not going to go into any specifics here, except to say this statement is a load of something.  Crap, probably.

Again, it's important to note that panspermia only addresses life on earth. It doesn't discuss how that life formed, wherever it formed.
3.  Life cannot originate from matter.
That's right, boys and girls, we're not made of matter! Oh wait.  That's an unfounded premise.
 4. Panspermia also means that all the species were designed by an intelligent designer all men call God.
Panspermia makes no such claims.  Google it, the blog will be here until you return.
5. God exists.
Again, that's not a conclusion which is supported by the premises that don't exist here.

9: The argument of extraterrestrial life origin.

Well, this ought to be fun. Again, it encounters the same pitfalls as panspermia, because it still doesn't address how life began. Evolution does, and does so quite nicely.  I like how the idea that aliens could have started life somehow argues that god is an alien.  This would mean that god couldn't create the universe, since god would by definition exist within it.  But I digress, let's see where it goes from here.
1. Vladimir I shCherbak of al-Farabi Kazakh National University of Kazakhstan, and Maxim A Makukov of the Fesenkov Astrophysical Institute have come to the conclusion after researching for years that we, as human beings living on earth, are not originally from the earth planet, nor that we are alone in the Universe.
Good for them!  I'd love to see their paper, but I'm getting tired of googling everything.  Also, Kardashev makes similar claims, as do other people.  Again, appeal to authority fallacy, and since he'll probably claim that their authority is moot later, we'll just move merrily along.  Can't have it both ways, either they're authority gives them credence or it doesn't: special pleading fallacy.
2. shCherbak and Makukov say that “our genes could have an intelligently designed ‘manufacturer’s stamp’ inside them, written eons ago elsewhere in our galaxy.”
Sure, it could have.  I'm almost certain the paper doesn't actually show any such evidence, though.  Fine, I'll hit the google machine one last time today.


The absolute level of idiocy displayed by this argument alone is staggering.  I don't think the journal is a proper peer-reviewed journal, for one.  I don't think SETI is working under any presumption that codes in our DNA might contain messages from aliens.  I mean, if a code could survive for that long, evolution probably wouldn't work. Again, I'm not going into specifics here.  It's from an intelligent-design website, no less, and the authors of the speculation are from a theistic university in Kazakhstan.
3. Such a ‘designer label’ is an indelible stamp on our DNA of a master extraterrestrial civilization that preceded us by many millions or even billions of years.
4. Writing in the journal Icarus, the two scientists say that such a signal embedded in our genetic code would be a mathematical and semantic message that cannot be accounted for by Darwinian evolution. They call it ‘biological SETI’ — the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence — that’s been ongoing for over four decades now without finding anything.

4a. “Once fixed, the code might stay unchanged over cosmological timescales; in fact, it’s the most durable construct known. Therefore, it represents an exceptionally reliable storage for an intelligent signature. Once the genome is appropriately rewritten, the new code with a signature will stay frozen in the cell and its progeny, which might then be delivered through space and time.”
5. Makukov and shCherbak assert that simple arrangements of the code reveal an ensemble of arithmetical and ideographical patterns of symbolic language. This includes, they say, the use of decimal notation, logical transformations, and the utilization of the abstract symbol of zero. They write: “Accurate and systematic, these underlying patterns appear as a product of precision logic and nontrivial computing.”
Stuff from some article, probably.  I'm just gonna go ahead and move along, since I have absolutely no way to discern the claims without paying for the paper.
6. This theory is called panspermia or the theory that life on earth originated from organisms coming from outer space or that it came to our planet carried by meteors and asteroids which got seeded before being flung across space to land here.
Well, at least it got that right.
7. This latest panspermia theory makes it sound less like serendipitous happenstance and more like a well thought out experimental endeavor with a purpose, by entities who wanted to leave their signature behind on a part of the universe.
Certainly, it sounds that way, but lots of things that happen by chance can be seen as intended.  It's our mind's natural response to find patterns or purpose behind any given thing.  A rock that hit a planet which contained some life, picked up some of that life (probably bacteria or simple molecular structures) and flung them here, where some of it thawed out and started growing again.

If you think it's hard to get things to grow when they've been frozen, just stick some moldy bread in your freezer.  In fact, soak it in liquid nitrogen if you want.  Then thaw it out in a sterile bag or something.  See if the mold keeps growing.  Hint: it probably will.  You've just done a panspermia experiment, bringing life to a lifeless bag.
8. This theory although un-testable or un-falsifiable is still supported by the view of Anthony Flew, a renowned British philosopher belonging to the analytic school of thought. 
Actually, I just showed you a great way to test and falsify it.  In fact, go ahead and stick it in a vacuum for a bit as well.  See if you can't get anything to survive.
9. For more than half a century he was considered the world’s leading atheist, advocating the need for believing that one should always presuppose the non-existence of God until empirical evidence proves otherwise. However, in December 2004, Flew, aged 81, based on scientific evidence, had changed his mind and accepted the existence of God because a super-intelligence was the only good explanation for the origin of life.
Actually, he probably changed his mind for other reasons.  Argument from authority fallacy also.  If I wake up tomorrow, and a respected marine biologist tells me the oceans are made of ice cream now, that doesn't make it true.

10. Flew specifically stated that biologists’ investigation of human DNA “has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved.” That’s exactly what Messrs shCherbak and Makukov are now reporting.
Again, argument from authority.  Flew can say that there are innumerable teakettles orbiting the moon, and that faeries visit him nightly.  Simple assertions don't make something true.  Evidence that can be tested does, though.
11. God exists.
Oh it's the premise that's false without end, it keeps getting claimed over and over again.  Some people started preaching it, not knowing how or why, and they'll continue preaching it until the day they die cause it's the premise that's false without end...

Peace until next time!