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Comments

Ryan Sproull

Danyl
I realise this may be a foreign concept to you but Ian appears to be concentrating on the ball, not the player.

Yeah, it's not as if the player's name is plastered all over the promotional marketing for the book or anything.

Danyl Mclauchlan

And as I point out in Divinity Code, if other forms of life were likely, or even merely possible, why are we not seeing them?

Its been postulated that life may exist in the oceans underneath the surface ice of Europa - if this is the case (I have no idea if it is or not) and there are (say) bacteria-like organisms or even fish-like organisms under the ice how would we have seen them before now?

Personally I reject the arguments of Ross - who is an astronomer, not a physicist and is also a minister and creationist - along with the arguments of Carl Sagan who used the Drake Equation to conclude that life in the universe is abundant. They're making wild uninformed guesses and dressing them up as equations to try and make them sound convicting.

Incidentally, I'd be curious to know what logical basis you used to decide Ross is right and Sagan is wrong, other than the fact that Ross is a Christian and Sagan isn't.

peter

If ANYONE - Christian fundamentalist, agnostic or atheist - wants to test the credibility of Ian with Lilian Faderman, here is her email.

lillianfATcsufresno.edu

Easy to find on a Search - that is how I got it.

Just ask her what she thinks of being quoted thus:

"I must confess that I am both elated and terrified by the possibilites of a bisexual moment [etc] I truly believe that bisexuality is the natural human condition [etc] But I'm much less happy when I think of a huge number of homosexuals running off to explore the heterosexual side of their bisexual potential, and as a result, decimating our political ranks"

.. as an argument that gays are really bisexuals that choose to be gay!!!

ian

Ryan...no to your final point, because some scientists are proposing this as a mechanism for the origin of life on earth...

Life only seems inevitable to you because of the size and scale of the universe...but if the experiments done so far are valid then, as explained, size and scale and meaningless in the context.

The probability, based on what is currently known, is that we are alone.

Re your comment on other star systems...astrophysiciststs think they have a good handle on the chemical make-up of the visible universe...based on spectral analysis and geological data from other planets in our solar system...therefore the appeal to some kind of magic chemical compound is still an unscientific suggestion...in the sense there's no evidence of it and currently no way to test it.

Even so, and Peter this applies to you too, the discovery of primitive life elswhere in the universe that definitely arose spontaneously does not dig science out of the hole that exists on earth, where religion says God created life on Earth, and where science can find nothing to contradict that, and indeed the probability data tends to support the God hypothesis.

Therefore Peter...your argument is meaningless. DNA contains masses of intelligent information code...it is more sophisticated than a mere crystal by a huge magnitude...

And Peter...you missed my point. If other life forms arise easily, as is speculated, what is stopping them arising on earth? The first step is a chemical one, and competition from other lifeforms has no impact on that.

In truth, however, despite throwing the amino acids together, nothing happens.

ian

Peter...you are evading my challenge...post the full emails between yourself and Faderman...

peasant

Many people, atheists included, have found Dawkins' anti-religion rants to be sophomoric and superficial. He doesn't even reach the level of debate found in some of the threads in this forum. His deluded book is simply a re-hash of old favourites from the atheists handbook of rhetorical devices, with very little self-critique. Dawkins writes as if he's penned something original, whereas philosophy and theology have already developed and comprehensively disproved most of his thoughtless assertions.
The Dawn Treader: Collins -vs- Dawkins : Conclusion
Debunking Dawkins: The God Delusion Chapter 1: A deeply religious non believer
The Briefing Room: Eve's Bite vs. Richard Dawkins
Mere Comments: Den of Vipers, What Wrath!
Telic Thoughts » A New Movement Among Us
Maverick Philosopher: 'Dawkins Gang' Reviews

Danyl Mclauchlan

If other life forms arise easily, as is speculated, what is stopping them arising on earth?

It took roughly 1,000,000,000 years for nucleated unicellular life to arise on this planet, so the fact that you haven't seen strange new species pop into existence and start chasing your cat around the house is not a terribly serious argument against spontaneous abiogenesis.

where religion says God created life on Earth, and where science can find nothing to contradict that, and indeed the probability data tends to support the God hypothesis.

You mean the Odin hypothesis, surely?

Ryan Sproull

Ryan...no to your final point, because some scientists are proposing this as a mechanism for the origin of life on earth...

As I say, while it seems inevitable to me in general, I don't know how it started here.


Life only seems inevitable to you because of the size and scale of the universe...but if the experiments done so far are valid then, as explained, size and scale and meaningless in the context.

You can't seriously think we've done more than scratch the surface of all of the possible molecular structures that could exist. The experiments you're talking about are trying to recreate basic earth-life. I'm talking about life in general: self-replicating patterns.


The probability, based on what is currently known, is that we are alone.

Only if you count earth-like life as the only kind of life that could be.


Re your comment on other star systems...astrophysiciststs think they have a good handle on the chemical make-up of the visible universe...based on spectral analysis and geological data from other planets in our solar system...therefore the appeal to some kind of magic chemical compound is still an unscientific suggestion...in the sense there's no evidence of it and currently no way to test it.

The knowledge we have of chemicals in the far distance, through spectral analysis, is nowhere near as precise as you're suggesting.


Even so, and Peter this applies to you too, the discovery of primitive life elswhere in the universe that definitely arose spontaneously does not dig science out of the hole that exists on earth, where religion says God created life on Earth,

You mean when the Sky Father had sex with the Earth Mother? Or some other religious explanation?


and where science can find nothing to contradict that, and indeed the probability data tends to support the God hypothesis.

Ian, here's you 400 years ago:

"Lightning occurs on earth, religion says it's God throwing magic spears, and where science can find nothing to contradict that, so it's rational to believe the God hypothesis."

Why don't you believe that aliens seeded life on earth, like Hoyle did?

ian

You are woefully uninformed or disingenuous, Danyl.

The crust of the Earth did not cool enough to solidify until 3.9 bya...and life appeared at 3.8 bya.

the speed of life's appearance is what actually led Crick to invoke spacemen as first cause.

Psycho Milt

If other life forms arise easily, as is speculated, what is stopping them arising on earth?>/i>

No idea whether such life forms have arisen or not, but if they did you'd have to rate their survival chances as "remote," given the amount of DNA-based life on the planet. The only kind of life with a chance would be one that wasn't useful as food for bacteria.

Psycho Milt

Bugger. Italics off.

Danyl Mclauchlan

You are woefully uninformed or disingenuous, Danyl.

The crust of the Earth did not cool enough to solidify until 3.9 bya...and life appeared at 3.8 bya.

Let's try option (c) that I have a background in biochemistry and you do not, and you are prone to make simple and obvious errors when you read my posts.

In this case I wrote that:

It took roughly 1,000,000,000 years for nucleated unicellular life to arise on this planet

Which is entirely correct. It takes about a billion years before you get eukaryotic organisms.

As Milt suggests, any kind of simple non-nucleated form of life is going to be undetectable by our species unless we happen to be examining the region it pops into existence with an electron microscope and thus document it before it is consumed by a far more sophisticated entity.

Your argument is like suggesting black holes don't exist because you haven't seen any around Christchurch recently.

ian

Danyl...forgive me for overlooking your point, probably because you were sidestepping mine...I was discussing the first life, not later steps in the chain....and the first life arose PDQ...

Unless I'm vary mistaken, prokaryotes remain in our environment today...so both you and Milt overstate the competitive ability of complex organisms.

The point being made was that supposedly it is simple for such life to arise, according to those remaining holdouts that Shapiro gently chides...if it is simple, why are the experiments, with all the benefit of intelligent direction, failing?

peter

Ian

I asked Lilian Faderman if she had heard of you and your book Eve's Bite.

I then provided your quote Ian:

"I must confess that I am both elated and terrified by the possibilites of a bisexual moment [etc] I truly believe that bisexuality is the natural human condition [etc] But I'm much less happy when I think of a huge number of homosexuals running off to explore the heterosexual side of their bisexual potential, and as a result, decimating our political ranks"

The above arguments used to support argument that gay is made, not born, of course."

And THIS is what Lilian said:

"Thanks for the heads up. I wish I could control the mis-use of my work, but of course that's impossible. It's very frustrating, as I'm sure you can imagine.
Lillian Faderman"

So on to my next question. If Lilian Faderman disagrees with the way her writings are used by fundamentalist Christians - what credence are we supposed to give opinions by modern day fundamentalists on the letters of St Paul of 2000 years ago for example?

Simple - we can give interpretations of St Paul's letters no credence. Not only did he probably fail to say what he meant on some occasions, but of coures he may have changed his mind about things as he lived his life.

But then the fundamentalist Christian simply imposes definitions on these writings of variable quality - using cliches such as "Word of God" to dignify something quite undistinguished in many respoects. More has been read out of the Bible than was ever written into it!

ian

That's the best you can do to support a defamatory allegation that I quoted her out of context??

Not only did you fail to put the extract in context, such as my preface that she sees it as imperative to publicly maintain the born gay line, but you also failed to quote the rest of what she said in the Eve's Bite passage:

"The concept of gay and lesbian identity may be nothing but a social construct, but it has been crucial, enabling us to become a political movement and demand the rights that are due to us as a minority."

Are you suggesting Peter that Faderman did not mean this, in the plain English she used?

Are you suggesting in the portion you DID quote that the words, "I truly believe that bisexuality is the natural human condition", that this means something else in Gay English other than "truly believe"?

There is more you failed to quote:

"What becomes of our political movement if we openly acknowledge that sexuality is flexible and fluid, that gay and lesbian does not signify 'a people' but rather 'a sometime behaviour'?"

Again, Peter, what is she saying in that paragraph?

"And we continue to demand Rights," she says, "ignoring the fact that human sexuality is fluid and flexible, acting as though we are all stuck in our category forever...The narrow categories of identity politics are obviously deceptive."

Yeah, just like Peter.

She made those statements to a Gay magazine, intended for gay readers. In the same article she stressed the importance however of maintaining the charade for the sake of public appearances.

So she's upset because other authors have used her words to illustrate the paucity of the born gay myth? Tough luck. She said it, I quoted it in context.

Unlike you.

Let me hand you a pistol and you can shoot yourself in the other foot. Try not to pull such an amateur stunt again.

peter

Ian

At some stage I will pass your questions on to Lilian but this would be my interpretation:

"I truly believe that bisexuality is the natural human condition"

The implication is that a given human can be anywhere on a continuum from heterosexuality to homosexuality. This would apply to a person categorised as EITHER heterosexual or homosexual.

Then she says:

"What becomes of our political movement if we openly acknowledge that sexuality is flexible and fluid, that gay and lesbian does not signify 'a people' but rather 'a sometime behaviour'?"

A rhetorical question but the answer is personified by your own writings! Those that claim a right to be of gay orientation will be attacked by fundamentalists - who will not acknowledge that heterosexuals are on EXACTLY THE SAME CONTINUUM!!

robk

peter

"Question - why would there not be forms of life elsewhere in a total universe of such infinite proportions?"

Even the most skeptical antagonist would surely have to admit there are at least some tiny bits of possible evidence of a creator god (small letters). They may not accept the evidence as compelling.

However, peter, you dismiss all the evidence in Ian's carefully researched book without even seeing it, and believe implicitly that there is life out there in the "infinite" (sic) universe. Without the tiniest skerrick of evidence. Nothing at all. Zip. Just blind faith.

Who knows? There may be some kind of life... but as yet NO evidence. None.

As Ryan rightly said: You're begging the question. "Life spontaneously arose in earth, therefore life can spontaneously arise, therefore life on earth spontaneously arose."

You ignored Ryan's comment. He was trying to save you from yourself...

When challenged you change the subject to bisexuals (again) and make smoke.

I thought you were smarter than that, but I was clearly wrong.

peter

Robk

Yes it is almost like we have swapped teams, isn't it. I will admit it. Because the universe we KNOW is of an infinite number of stars, galaxies etc - and because the life of the Universe is to all intents and purposes of infinite proportions - I will state the belief that Earth is not a "one-off" in terms of its ability to support a self-perpetuating phenomenon we call life.

I freely admit I can't prove it and I don't expect to prove it. But my belief or non-belief is of absolutely no consequence in my daily life.

As for the probability calculations - they are built on assumptions that are in many ways conservative. For example, how do we estimate how big the universe it is, and how many "solar systems" it has? Have we established a boundary, or is there still more and more that has not been seen? Do we know about 1 billionth of what is out there?

On the other hand, Christian fundamentalists assert there is a God. They assert that the Bible is an unerring record - literally the Word of God. These claims cannot be substantiated, and in spite of Ian's use of words like "objective" and "rational", most admit Christianity is "faith- based".

So there we are Robk. I have admitted that my belief in life outside of Earth is along the lines of a "thought experiment". Given the diverse and extensive range of life that is possible here on Earth, I say there is no reason to doubt that some form of life is elsewhere. But does it matter? Does it effect anyone else?

John Boy

At last Peter is exposed. A secular no body hanging on the fringes of the gay liberal cool people hoping to be like them or be liked by them.

We fundies care more about you than your mates do Peter.

Having faith in God and faith in a possibility that the universe is full of life are not remotely equivalent. The latter faith asks nothing and gives nothing.

robk

peter

Given your presuppositions, I have no problem with you admitting you believe there might be life on other planets. I admit the possibility myself! (Albeit I think it unlikely for various reasons)

Peter, I imagine you have a father. I have never seen him, and I have seen no evidence he exists, other than the fact you probably exist. (Someone else, of course, might be pretending to be 'peter' and 'peter' might not exist - but I'm assuming I am corresponding with a flesh and blood person...)

Now you might show me a birth certificate with your father's name on it, and a power bill addressed to him or even his passport. But I have to choose to believe in him, because I've never met him. Even if I met him, we would need a paternity test. Then I'd have to trust the scientists got the paternity test right...

On the most basic level, I believe you have a father because everyone has a father!

You yourself probably don't need all this evidence because you (probably) know your own father

Now I don't believe God exists, I know He exists. I relate to Him every day, and every now and then He does something for me that reassures me He is taking an interest in my life, and has a purpose for me.

I don't expect you to necessarily believe this, but there are evidences for unbelieving folk such as yourself that 'God is there and He is not silent'... Reasonable evidences, not exhaustive.

On the most basic level, everyone can see that creation requires a creator...

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