reply to post by mdiinican
post your definition of evolution, the big bang, the biblical global flood, and abiogenesis
All right, I'll go first.
Biological evolution is the process whereby species acquire and lose characteristic features, becoming, in the process, new species.
The Big Bang
The original cosmic event, in which everything that exists came into being, along with the set of constraints (the laws of physics) that determined
its subsequent evolution
. It is not only plants and animals that evolve, as you know.
The Biblical Global Flood
An environmental catastrophe story in the book of Genesis, in which it rains for 960 hours, submerging the entire planetary landmass under roughly
five and a half miles of water. When it stops raining, the waters quickly subside by about two and a quarter miles and a single shipload of survivors
makes landfall. All other land-based animal life has vanished (drowned and squashed flat under the weight of all that water), but the group of
survivors contains breeding pairs of every animal species previously extant, from which the planet is subsequently repopulated.
'Life arising from non-life' is the most succint definition I can think of. It is not generally used to describe divine creation, though the God of
Middle Eastern monotheism shows few signs of being a biological entity in his creative phase; all that comes later for Christians, and does not come
at all for Jews, Muslims and Zoroastrians. Still, abiogenesis is generally used to describe a stochastic process in which a Creator plays no part.
It is a conceptual hurdle for many, who doubt that life could have arisen from non-life without the intervention of consciousness. The vision of
living organisms suddenly springing into being where before there had been only lifeless chemicals strikes them as improbable. And they are right.
Abiogenesis would have been a long-drawn-out process in which chemical replicators of ever greater accuracy and complexity slowly came to display, one
by one, the group of traits and tropisms we speak of as 'life'.
Consider a virus: it's just a twist of nucleic acid wrapped inside a protein molecule. It has some of the characteristics of life but not all; it
cannot reproduce, for instance, but must rely on an external device -- the ribosome of its host cell -- to run off copies of itself. I don't believe
viruses are regarded as transitional between early chemical replicators and life, but we can regard them as an analogue of what those transitional
forms looked like.
Scientific materialist here, obviously.