The Instigator
WhoPutYouOnThePlanet
Pro (for)
The Contender
Lazarous
Con (against)

Abiogenesis

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/11/2019 Category: Science
Updated: 1 week ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 179 times Debate No: 122947
Debate Rounds (5)
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WhoPutYouOnThePlanet

Pro

Should be interesting, Il let con go first with opening arguments.
Lazarous

Con

I would like to thank my worthy opponent for hosting this debate.

I as the con will endeavor to prove that abiogenesis is impossible. The rules of the debate seem pretty clear so I will get right into it.

The dilemma of information: In order for information to arise not only does a useful sequence of data have to be strung together but an organism that can read that particular code must arise. For example, If I was told to follow a recipe but was give a recipe in French the information is useless to me. I was given complete instructions but they are useless to me. Logically, Pure materiality does not explain the concept of information. If you write cat on a piece of paper it is impossible to explain how the materiality of the ink and the paper represent a fluffy daemon of an animal. In order for information to exist it must both make sense and have a method by which it can be interpreted. Both of these are required simultaneously in order for the first life form to arise.

The Miller Experiment: (Primary source Can Natural Processes Explain the Origin of Life by Mike Riddle https://answersingenesis. Org/origin-of-life/can-natural-processes-explain-the-origin-of-life/). In the early 1950"s Miller-Urey conducted what is now referred to as the Miller Experiment. His objective was to explain the origin of life through random natural processes. He combined water, Methane, Ammonia, And hydrogen together and ran an electrical spark through it. This created amino acids, The building blocks of life. Now lets examine just how successful Millers experiment really was:
1. This experiment took years of careful research on Miller"s part. So Miller applied intelligent design to create these amino acids. This means that even if he succeeded he didn"t truly prove that life can come from random processes.
2. Immediately after the initial creation of the amino acids, Miller isolated the amino acids from the chemical mixture. Without this step the chemical mixture would have destroyed the amino acids. The existence of such a system in a primitive environment is not tenable.
3. The experiment requires that there be no free oxygen in the earth"s atmosphere. If there was oxygen in the atmosphere, The amino acids would have been broken down through oxidation. In water hydrolysis breaks the amino acids down. The scientific evidence points to the earth"s atmosphere always having oxygen present. Page 141 of, Oxygen in the Atmosphere: An Evaluation of the Geological Evidence states that, "There is no scientific proof that Earth ever had a non-oxygen atmosphere such as evolutionists require. Earth"s oldest rocks contain evidence of being formed in an oxygen atmosphere. " Page 80 of, The Mystery of Life"s Origin says that, "The only trend in the recent literature is the suggestion of far more oxygen in the early atmosphere than anyone imagined. " The evidence does not support that the chemical mixture required for Miller"s experiment to work existed.
4. Even so if there was no oxygen in the atmosphere, The oxygen required to provide the ozone layer would not have existed either. The ultraviolet rays of the sun would then destroy all biological molecular structures. This is a catch 22 because biological structures can"t survive with oxygen and they can"t survive without oxygen.
5. Amino acids come in two basic kinds, Left handed and right handed amino acids. The issue here is that all living organisms are comprised of entirely left handed amino acids. Millers experiment resulted in a thorough mixture of left and right handed amino acids. This begs the question: How is an organism going to randomly assemble using 100% left handed amino acids in a chemical bath of half and half?
6. If somehow all of the right handed amino acids are filtered out of a culture, The left handed amino acids will start converting into right handed amino acids. When organisms die science can observe that their amino acid structure immediately starts decaying into a mixture of right and left handed amino acids.
7. There are over 2, 000 types of amino acids but only about 20 of them are used for life. This further complicates an already impossible situation.
8. The natural tendency is for left and right handed amino acids to bond together. This adds yet another layer to the impossibility of getting a pure culture of only left handed amino acids (the correct organic building blocks required for life).
9. Proteins are built out of amino acids. Need I say that, All attempts by the Miller experiment and all experimentation since have failed to get even a single biological protein through purely naturalistic causes.
The law of probability states that if the chance of an event happening is less than 1/10 to the 50th power it will never happen. Sir Fred Hoyle, PhD, Astronomy, And Chandra Wickramasinghe, Professor of applied math and astronomy calculated that the probability of getting one single celled organism by naturalistic processes is 1/10 to the 40, 000th power. To put this in perspective, This would be like rolling double sixes 50, 000 times in a row. The estimated number of atoms in the known universe comes in at only 10 to the 79th power.

The dilemma of life: it is not enough for an organism to exist in all structural materialism. This organism must also be alive. For example, If someone receives an electrical shock that stops there heart. They still have all of the material structures required to be alive and yet they are dead. This raises the question, Even if the structure where to develop for life, How exactly would life come into this structure. Life in itself is a mystery to science.

Law of Biogenesis: This law says that life only comes from life. Clearly this scientific law is in direct contradiction with the philosophy of abiogenesis. If life came from non life then why haven"t we been able to observe it scientifically?

So in summary, Abiogenesis is neither scientifically nor logically viable. If true, Abiogenesis should be scientifically verifiable. It appears that science supports abiogenesis as well as it does the existence of God only with one significant difference. If true, Abiogenesis should be scientifically observable and God doesn"t have to be. I look forward to hearing the other side of the issue.
Debate Round No. 1
WhoPutYouOnThePlanet

Pro

I will go down these one by one, I will not be pasting your original statements so it will be easier for you to read and because of character limitations, They are labeled by number.

#1
Creating life was not the point of the experiment, What the experiment did prove is that amino acids can arise under prebiotic conditions, Also the years of research you are referring to was not how to create amino acids, But rather to determine what the early earth"s atmosphere was most likely composed of, They actually tested multiple different possible atmospheric compositions all of which produced amino acids when exposed to energetic stimulus.

#2
Miller never separated the amino acids, The amino acids accumulated on the electrodes and in the water of the experiment.

#3
There was no oxygen in the early earth"s atmosphere, This is a terribly wrong statement on your behalf which no evidence supports, For instance there are multiple deposits of iron layers on the ocean floor which are over two and a half billion years old, However these iron deposits are not normal rust, They are something called green rust or iron(II) which is rust that forms in the absence of oxygen and gives off a green color, And in a twist of literal irony iron(II) actually works better then magnesium does in RNA replication, And to add insult to injury these iron layers are layered beneath more recent iron layers from around 2. 1 billion years ago which are normal rust rather than green rust which are dated to the time of the great oxidation event, Point being your description of an early earth with even more oxygen then today does not match up with observational reality, But you know what does? An early atmosphere with no oxygen that only gained oxygen slowly after sufficient presence of photosynthetic bacteria which is both supported geologically and genetically. I also need to point out that instead of sourcing any scientific work you cited a random book page.

#4
For starters there exists bacteria alive today that do not require oxygen such as methanogens, Secondly sufficient UV radiation would only have been a problem if these molecules were in constant direct exposer which would not have been the case, What you need to remember is that these molecules would have been in some form of water and it only takes about a foot of water to stop half of it from getting through, Also it seems that UV radiation might have played an important role in the prebiotic synthesis of ribonucleotides, For example when cytosine ribonucleosides were exposed to the same levels of UV radiation estimated to have been present on the early earth it caused some of the cytosine ribonucleosides to spontaneously undergo hydrolytic deamination turning them into uracil ribonucleosides, Point being UV radiation isn"t necessary as bad as you make it seem and was probably essential for prebiotic chemistry.

#5
Who said it did, One of the most common young earth creationist misconceptions I often come across is that they don"t seem to understand what the earliest forms of life would have been like, All life that is around today has been evolving for over four billion years so it"s not exactly surprising that life became more specific on what types of molecules they use over time, My point being that early life would have been using whatever it had available as long as aided in its proliferation, Apparently left handed amino acids are better at what they do then right handed amino acids so there was a selective pressure for cells that used left handed amino acids rather than apposing.

#6
For starters they don"t decay immediately, Secondly if these amino acids were being constantly produced on the prebiotic earth while early cells were evolving specificity to left handed amino acids then this really would not be a problem.

#7
Just because there are over two thousand different amino acids does not mean all of them were both created and in equal quantity spontaneously on the early earth, The fact that life uses twenty amino acids suggests there is and was something special and selectively advantages about them whether it was there sufficient catalytic potential or just their overall availability on the early earth.

#8
You never exactly explained why right handed amino acids were a bad thing besides the fact modern life doesn"t tend to use them, Also the truth is that the earliest life would not have had any protein machinery which kind of makes all this protein and amino acid stuff you"re talking about pointless.

#9
Oh boy the bogus probability argument where creationists conclude that according to probability a modern cell forming by random chance is 1/50, 000 or something along these lines, Here"s the thing young earth creationists like yourself fail to understand, The universe is not governed under probability alone, There are other physics and constants at play, For example if I hold a ball out in front of me and ask the question "if I let go of this ball what is the probability that this ball is going to fall down rather than any other direction in 3D space? " you will end up finding that the probability of the ball falling down is pretty much impossible, So then I let go of the ball, And what happens? The ball falls down, Again, And again over and over. This is because reality is more complicated then probability alone, There are forces in play, For example what should be impossible for the ball is possible because gravity acts upon it, And what should be impossible for life is possible because the strong and weak nuclear forces allow something called chemistry to happen. I would also stress again that early life would not have been like its modern counterpart but honestly I don"t think it will matter in this instance.

#- The dilemma of life
Life is NOT a mystery to science, Life is simply chemistry, The difference between something being alive and dead is that something alive is metabolically active while something dead is no longer metabolically active, It"s like your trying to say that life is given to objects supernaturally or something which is absurd and was disproved hundreds of years ago

#- Law of Biogenesis
The "Law of Biogenesis" is actually a term made up by young earth creationists which holds no scientific or real merit whatsoever, What you are referring to is simply called "Biogenesis" which states that living things come from living things, Both biogenesis and abiogenesis can be correctly applied at the same time when you actually understand what these terms mean. As for why we haven"t observed life coming from none-life, Creationists have a very ignorant and in my opinion arrogant view of abiogenesis where they seem to think that lightning striking a mud puddle is supposed to spontaneously generate bacteria, The truth is abiogenesis was a much more complicated and time consuming process which took millions of years of both trial and error. And frankly you don"t really use a valid definition of life anyway, Also as I have stated before life and chemistry are one in the same, The only difference is complexity, There really is no "magic point" where something is suddenly alive or dead as you seem to suggest.

Also what you don"t seem to understand is that the earliest life would not have had any complex protein machinery, As a matter of fact pretty much nobody believes that life started off with proteins as they don"t really seem to be capable of self-replication, Rather the evidence seems to suggest that life started in a RNA world, This is supported by the fact that all four RNA bases can form under prebiotic conditions and that RNA can act as both a template and as an enzyme in place of DNA and proteins, In fact deoxyribonucleotides are synthesized from pre existing ribonucleotides in modern cells which in itself is evidence that RNA predates both DNA and proteins. This is very annoying to me because it basically makes the majority of the arguments you made regarding proteins and amino acids mute.

I"m honestly a little disappointed, I was expecting that maybe you would have some new unique arguments, But instead it seems all you have really done is restated old creationist arguments which have been debunked so many times by this point it"s excruciating.

So my summary is that you don"t understand the difference between life and non-life, You don"t understand how complex abiogenesis would have been, You don"t understand why early life would have been different from modern life, And frankly I don"t think you have much to say on these matters besides what"s already been said and debunked by other young earth creationists.

*I had about 10 different credible citations but debate*org will not let me post them here.
Lazarous

Con

An argument does not acquire its validity based on how new and innovative it is. This scientific evidence here has been developed and verified over the years creating a position that is stronger now than it ever has been. I also will only put the rebuttal for each statement below. Please refer to the associated question number in the dialogue above for full details:

1. Miller did design the experiment. According to article "The Miller-Urey experiment" by J. H. John Peet, Ph. D. , Miller"s experiment excluded oxygen and nitrogen which are the main elements of Earths current environment.

2. The Miller experiment carefully designed the condensation process to work with efficiency not permitted by the natural environment. As Biologist Jerry Bergman, Ph. D. Put it, "The Miller"Urey experiment also had strategically designed traps to remove the products from the radiation before they could be destroyed. On a primitive earth, Any amino acids formed in the atmosphere would be destroyed long before they could be removed" (https://creation. Com/why-the-miller-urey-research-argues-against-abiogenesis). Even if the amino acids reached the water they would not find instant protection from the radiation. Bergman says, "Even the ocean would not protect them, Because UV penetrates several meters of liquid water. " The time required for the amino acids to move to safety in a natural environment, Would be far too long to prevent radiation from breaking them down. Only through fabricating an unnaturally rapid removal system was the Miller experiment able to work.

3. My citations were both scientific and clearly identified. I cited, "Oxygen in the Atmosphere: An Evaluation of the Geological Evidence" by Dr. Harry Clemmey and Nick Badham, Ph. D. , And "Mystery of Life"s Origin" by physical chemist Charles B. Thaxton, Ph. D. , Materials scientist Walter L. Bradley Ph. D. , And Geochemist Roger L. Olsen, Ph. D. I would like to point out that, You have not quoted any scientific source whatsoever thus far. I maintain my stance based on these sources to be revisited once you have established legitimate sources stating otherwise.

4. The catch 22 is that, (A) the amino acids could not have formed with oxygen present in the atmosphere due to the oxidation process, And (B) amino acids could not have survived without oxygen because there would be no ozone to protect them from ultraviolet radiation. This statement does not have anything to do with the issue of whether oxygen would be required to sustain the organism after formation.

5. Your claim is purely based on philosophy. Science does not support that living organisms composed from a mixture of right and left handed amino acids ever existed. In fact, Right handed amino acids have been shown to be detrimental and even lethal to living organisms. As Biologist Jerry Bergman, Ph. D. Explains, "In life, Nearly all amino acids that can be used in proteins must be left-handed, And almost all carbohydrates and polymers must be right-handed. The opposite types are not only useless but can also be toxic (even lethal) to life" (https://creation. Com/why-the-miller-urey-research-argues-against-abiogenesis).

6. Again, This claim is purely philosophical and is not supported by science. I addressed this in my response to #5 above.

7. This objection is purely philosophical. You must provide scientific evidence of this claim. To develop this point further, Miller was unable to create all of the 20 amino acids required for life. As Biologist Jerry Bergman, Ph. D. Explains, "After hundreds of replications and modifications using techniques similar to those employed in the original Miller"Urey experiments, Scientists were able to produce only small amounts of less than half of the 20 amino acids required for life. The rest require much more complex synthesis conditions" (https://creation. Com/why-the-miller-urey-research-argues-against-abiogenesis). Therefore, The series of experiments wasn"t even able to produce the full set of building blocks required for life.

8. You said, "the truth is that the earliest life would not have had any protein machinery. " This claim seems outlandish considering that, According to sciencedaily. Com, The simple cell is now known to contain around 42 million protein molecules. Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life. There is no evidence of a living organism without them. Also, Science now recognizes the necessity of both enzymes and genes for a single cell to function. All, The parts of the cell are interdependent on each other in such a way that there is little to absolutely no room for proposing a more simplified single cell. As Biologist Jerry Bergman, Ph. D. Explains, "Today, We recognize that genes require enzymes in order to function, But genes are necessary to produce enzymes. Neither genes nor cells can function without many complex structures such as ribosomes, Polymerase, Helicase, Gyrase, Single-strand"binding protein and scores of other proteins" (https://creation. Com/why-the-miller-urey-research-argues-against-abiogenesis). The theory that RNA would be able to fulfill many of the functions of the single cell organism is founded on conjecture not science. In his article, "Self-replicating enzymes? " Chemist Jonathan Sarfati, Ph. D. Lays out a summary of six dubious postulates this theory make which contradict the experimental evidence (https://creation. Com/self-replicating-enzymes). In "RNA evolution and the origins of life" Gerald Joyce, Ph. D. Puts it like this, "The most reasonable assumption is that life did not start with RNA ". The transition to an RNA world, Like the origins of life in general, Is fraught with uncertainty and is plagued by a lack of experimental data. " I find it quite bizarre that you would make such an unscientific claim as, "earliest life would not have had any protein machinery. "

9. This calculation was made very carefully, Accounting for scientific processes. These calculations are actually very conservative. Calculations surrounding probability are not simply fabricated for convenience sake as you would have me think. If you are to raise an objection here you will have to be much more specific as to what aspect of the calculation seems unrealistic.

10. I did a basic check on your claim that biogenesis is not a law. I found an article by Paul Dohrman titled "The Theory of Biogenesis. " In his article Dohrman makes no effort to refute that biogenesis is a law, In fact he refers to the law of biogenesis in his article. After a basic Google search I couldn"t find any reasonable source that claimed biogenesis is not a scientific law. Even asktheatheist. Com referred to the law of biogenesis without even suggesting that it was not a scientific law. There seems to be no support for your claim.

11. For a rebuttal on your claim "RNA can act as both a template and as an enzyme in place of DNA and proteins, " refer to point 8 above.

The many objections you raised to this evidence are founded on conjecture and not science. Science has not disproved the evidence I have provided; rather, The deeper our scientific understanding in this field becomes, The stronger this case becomes. The deeper our understanding of the science surrounding the irreducible complexity of the single cell organism, The more evident it becomes that abiogenesis, With all its accompanying conjectures, Is false. To use unfounded philosophy to combat known science is not only an invalid line of reasoning but it is anti-science. I am unimpressed by the lack of science and sources used in your rebuttal. You did offer to rectify this deficiency. Please do so.
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