A Conversation for The Tension Between Science and Religion

Without Faith I am nothing

Post 41


Just a quickie (couldn't let it pass, sorry):

"You referred to an organic soup. But an aqueous environment favours depolymerization rather than polymerization. So proteins would breakdown into amino acids far more quickly than amino acids assembled into protein, and amino acids themselves would break down far more quickly than they would form. So an organic soup would never develop."

You forget that the atmosphere and environment of early earth was reducing in nature, as oxygen was not present at that time as much as today. For this reason the early earth was in fact *condusive* to chemical reactions that "built" up molecules. If you re-ran early evolution in todays oxygen-rich, oxidising earth it would be unlikely to happen for the reasons you state.

It is common knowledge that amino acids are abundant (even in space!) so is it so hard to believe that out of billions upon billions of different reactions over a billion years in a reducing environment would produce a self-catalytic protein that replicates itself?

It's all-too easy to look at the small scale and forget the big picture. If you take a thousand amino acids and stick them in a flask overnight the chances are nothing would happen. It only becomes *statistically likely* to happen when you look at the scales (time and space) involved.

It doesn't take much of an imagination or a grasp of statistics to see that it is easily possible.

smiley - cheers

Stesmiley - earth

Without Faith I am nothing

Post 42


Hmm... (is it me, or does that bit at the beginning look a bit small to you?) smiley - erm

Now I see where it all came from... Gods above (and below, and in other lateral and temporal transformations from my point in the Universe), Insight and Hoovooloo seem to be mortal enemies. The backlog to this is a perfect example of mutual schizmogenesis (I hope you need to look that up).

I look forward to future additions to the thread on 'character assassinations'. Meanwhile: -

David is, indeed, one of the most intelligent people I know - ditto for many other people, many non-christians, or even patently atheist. Just in case anyone doubted that. His IQ, I recall, is about 161 - and unlike GCSE's they aren't getting easier. And he probably guessed what H meant, but thought there was more to it.

Hoovooloo, despite his formidable wit and acid tongue, can be perfectly civil, and has enough humility to admit that he is wrong, and even apologise. He's highly intelligent - if you can't see that, you probably can't read what I'm saying anyway - and has a nice sign-off, despite being incredibly obvious.

I'm working on that article. I probably just need to get down and type. I'm also procrastinating. There are other things that need doing too.

On that subject, after finding this, I felt a bit like someone who draghted a peace treaty only to find that WW3 had broken out in his neighbour's back garden.

This thread has given me a lot of food for thought, and still has some good meals left in it... smiley - winkeye

Anyway, I hope no-one invents the nuclear bomb too soon - I see you already have the hang of mortars...

- Jordan

Without Faith I am nothing

Post 43


^ just noticed a few badly-phased bits - I could clarify them, but I'll simply ask that no one nitpicks. smiley - cheers

Without Faith I am nothing

Post 44


I would just like to chip in at this point in the conversation:

The thing I have always thought about this is, isn't Occam's razor *itself* a matter of blind faith? And not only Occam's razor but the other basic tenets of Physics- such as the existence of a mind-independant external reality etc. etc.

Surely there is no logical argument that can prove the soundness of Occam's razor. As such it is as much a matter of faith as any religious belief. Yes, it seems to be a useful principle for predicting the future (but not the only one. I'm sure the pre-copernican astronomical models could make pretty decent predictions of their own). But this tells us nothing about the "truth", or falsehood, of scientific theories.

I wanted to ask Richard Dawkins this years ago at a talk he gave at my school, but didn't manage to. As such I would love to hear a response.



Without Faith I am nothing

Post 45

Noggin the Nog

Occam's razor is not a matter of "blind faith." It's a rule of inference that has a particular place in our system of logical explanation. Or to put it another way, Could there be a logical justification for our system of Logic?

And what would count as evidence for or against the existence of a mind - independent reality if you don't count the evidence of your senses?


Without Faith I am nothing

Post 46


Have a look at this site @ http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/TRUTH.html

and here for Occam's Razor http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/OCCAMRAZ.html

Alji smiley - zensmiley - wizard(Member of The Guild of Wizards @ U197895)smiley - surfer

Without Faith I am nothing

Post 47


Excellent links as always Alji smiley - ok

I especially liked:
"Creation of theories is, essentially, an evolutionary process. They arise as products of the creative human mind and compete for survival."
In the first link. smiley - biggrin

Stesmiley - earth

Without Faith I am nothing

Post 48

Researcher 204323

In the first place, everything discussed here must observe the discipline that is proper to philosophical enquiry. It is a gross presumption, therefore, to say 'I have faith', i.e. the kind that makes you disappear ['Without faith I do not exist'] if for any reason you should miss out on it, apparently.

These word would barely do as poetry but not a statement of truth, for it would be inconceiveable that one could utter words and be non-existent or dead at the same time. Of course the average educated person would understand what you really feel deep inside. But inspiration is best kept to oneself or in poetry, as I said: but then one should make sure it's poetics and not rhetoric or propaganda.

On the other hand though, freedom of belief and expression would be debased by just such kind of emotional and irresponsible drivel, and religion reduced to self-intoxication and a free-for-all carnival. Must not think just because God is on your side and everything would be merry. Beware, religionists, it is fire you are playing with!

Without Faith I am nothing

Post 49




Without Faith I am nothing

Post 50


Very sorry for dragging up this thread, but it's amusing to see massive battles of words between obviously intelligent people and with absolutely no compromise from either side. This is because this is belief (or the absence of it) we are arguing about which is a very important instrument in your thinking process. Because if you go through life serving God and letting your fate be in his hands (this varies with the different sects of christianity), then this is a totally different mindset to somone being their own master in life and who wants to get his own picture of the universe. In this arguement you can't get a person to see your opposite view because they would have to reverse their thinking process which would probably turn you mad!

Without Faith I am nothing

Post 51


Am I the only researcher who notices a silence after this post?

Without Faith I am nothing

Post 52


So it would seem.


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