posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 10:10 AM
What I find troublesome about the theory of evolution is what might be its crowning achievement, the theory (if it may be properly regarded as such)
of abiogenesis, that is, the scientific explanation of the formation of life from inorganic matter. On the surface of it, it seems extremely unlikely.
Consider, for example, the hypercycle. It would seem, intuitively, that the formation of a single hypercycle by random processes would be an
exceedingly rare event. To wit, there are no hypercycles around today. But science has an answer for this: The conditions are not quite right. Perhaps
the presence of oxygen in our atmosphere these days precludes their formation. Fair enough. So why can't we produce a hypercycle under controlled
conditions? Science has an answer for this as well: You see, it is very complicated and we do not quite understand all the details yet. So we have
this very simple object, in terms of the complexity of higher organisms, that is actually prohibitively complex from a scientific standpoint, that is
supposed to have been arrived at by a stochastic process. And how many of these hypercycles were necessary before it became statistically likely that
one of them would accidentally self-replicate? And how many of these self-replicating hypercycles were necessary before it became statistically likely
that its daughter hypercycles exhibited the same behavior? And so on.
There has been some statistical work done on abiogenesis. Although the attempts thus far have been relatively primitive, they tend to result in a
vanishingly small probability of abiogenesis occurring via a stochastic process. Since abiogenesis is incomplete as a theory, in order to perform such
an analysis, one is forced to make certain assumptions and to make estimates of certain parameters. It is at this point that the evolutionary
biologist steps in and says, "Look here, we know, a priori, that abiogenesis is essentially a correct theory. Therefore, it must be the case that
your assumptions and estimates are incorrect, which has mucked up your calculations, therefore, your results are meaningless." Admittedly, more work
needs to be done in this area, for example, I am not aware of any statistical analysis that takes account of the chemical kinetics of autocatalysis.
But it would seem that the sole criterion for such an analysis to be correct is that it tends to vindicate abiogenesis which, of course, begs the
It is as if we are to believe that if we take an aqueous solution of certain inorganic compounds, and expose it to certain conditions like perhaps an
atmosphere with a high concentration of reducing agents like ammonia and methane, and an external energy source such as an electrical discharge or
ultraviolet radiation, then all we have to do is wait long enough, say a hundred million years or maybe longer, and eventually (and with absolute
certainty) the aqueous phase will be teeming with self-replicating organisms. Never mind that we do not know with any certainty what the necessary
ingredients or conditions are. Never mind that we are therefore unable to reproduce this phenomenon. We are nevertheless convinced that the idea is
One of the popular criticisms leveled at intelligent design is that is cannot be considered a scientific theory because it does not admit
falsifiability in the sense of Popper. Very well, then. I would ask, how, exactly, is the falsifiability of abiogenesis to be made manifest? What sort
of analysis or experiment could one perform that, at least in principle, if not technologically feasible, would be capable of producing a result that
would tend to indicate the theory is incorrect? On the other hand, it would not be the only example of an unfalsifiable, but otherwise scientific
theory. The Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics would be another.
The evolutionary biologist must have abiogenesis be the result of random processes. Anything else would imply that the game has been rigged by an
intelligent agent, be it God, or ET, or what have you. And this, to the scientific mind, would be anathema because it flies in the face of the
purported scientific modus operandi, that untestable hypotheses are to be discarded.
And, dear reader, you have my thanks for having indulged me so far, and I further beg your indulgence while I make a brief digression on science in
general. The Enlightenment system of values led to the Modernist idea that science would one day solve all human problems. And while science has made
great strides in, say, medicine, agriculture, etc., and given us nifty objects like the compact fluorescent light bulb, the Mercedes-Benz, the game
console, and so forth, it has also given us more efficient means to exterminate one another in vast numbers. Forgive me if I regard science as a mixed
Peace be with you always.