Another definition of ID

| 167 Comments

According to the Waco Tribune‘s story on the Baylor controversy:

Intelligent design asserts that certain things in the universe can result only from an intelligent cause or God.

HT: Andrea Bottaro

167 Comments

Mutually exclusive options, of course?

You’ll notice you-know-who made a comment to the Waco Tribune article at the link

Also, I found it interesting that rather than Marks himself commenting in this article, he speaks solely through his lawyer– it seems like nearly half the article is composed of quotes from said lawyer. Perhaps I’m missing something, but for what reason is Marks involving his lawyer in all this?

Perhaps I’m missing something, but for what reason is Marks involving his lawyer in all this?

I second that.

very curious.

In a story on the same topic in the “Daily Orange, the independent student newspaper of Syracuse, NY,” (http://media.www.dailyorange.com/me[…]957792.shtml) the reporter states:

“Intelligent design is a controversial theory of evolution.”

I have written to them in an attempt to correct this misapprehension, recommending that their reporter and readers might be better informed by looking at Barbara Forrests “Understanding the intelligent design creationist movement: Its true nature and goals.” (http://www.centerforinquiry.net/adv[…]st_movement/)

This kind of censorship is disgraceful. Why shut down evolutionary informatics labs and websites? If they’re wrong, as you so stringently claim, then it will all fizzle out. Why shut them down and prevent their research?

It’s very sad when so-called “science” sinks to this level.

I meant to say “as you stridently claim.”

Hey we might as well be in the old Soviet Union, where scientists discovered what they were commanded to discover.

American science is becoming totalitarian. Truly disgraceful.

Why shut them down and prevent their research?

In what way is their “research” being prevented, exactly? The website is not shut down, it is still up, just not on Baylor servers.

Baylor is trying to prevent the appearance of having endorsed what Marks and Dembski are doing; even if Baylor has gone overboard in that, it does not seem that Marks and Dembski are being hindered in the slightest way in writing or “researching” whatever they want.

American science is becoming totalitarian. Truly disgraceful.

Are you done now?

”…an intelligent cause or God.”???

Wait a minute. I thought God was intelligent. But I guess not, otherwise it would be “…an intelligent cause like God.”???

“Are you done now?”

No I am not done. This is outrageous. If you aren’t afraid of evolutionary informatics, why don’t you leave them alone? If their research is pointless, why try so hard to block it?

Bad ideas die on their own, you don’t have to kill them. Why are you trying to kill these ideas? You’re afraid of them, afraid they might be good ideas, so you want to block the research and kill the ideas.

Science is not totalitarian. This is not science.

Paul Burnett Wrote:

I have written to them in an attempt to correct this misapprehension…

It’s amazing how ID, despite its creationist roots, tries to be all things to anyone who will fall for its bogus arguments. Since ID does not directly challenge the age of the earth or common descent, many people do interpret it as another “theory of evolution.” Dembski even said that it can accommodate all the “results” of “Darwinism.” Of course most of the rank and file interpret it as a “theory” of YEC, or at least OEC without common descent. Most important to ID scammers is that those who interpret it differently refrain from challenging each other, and intead unite against “naturalistic” evolution.

This is outrageous

harumph!

harumph, I say!

idiot.

why try so hard to block it

you’re confused, as usual.

anyone here trying to block any kind of actual scientific research from being published?

anyone?

uh, we’ve actually been requesting that you morons actually DO some science for decades (creationists) and years (IDiots).

It wasn’t us who scuttled any potential research efforts coming from this fictitious “institute”.

there simply weren’t any to begin with.

Bad ideas die on their own

again, not true at all, especially when they are deliberately maintained through the use of obfuscation and lies, as creationism is.

creationism is an demonstrably bad idea, especially when trying to shove it into the framework of real science, and yet it’s been around for hundreds of years.

go figure.

now you know why PT exists:

because bad ideas DON’T die on their own.

they often need a big shove.

realpc Wrote:

Bad ideas die on their own, you don’t have to kill them.

Kinda makes you wonder what the point of the creationist movement is then, doesn’t it?

yup, that’s indeed the flip side.

of course, someone suffering from such a debilitating mental disorder as REALPC won’t get the irony in his statement.

even when you point it out to him.

Bad ideas die on their own, you don’t have to kill them.

ID died long ago, somewhere back in the 1800’s. This is an old idea from Paley, a contemporary of Darwin. It comes back periodically as a zombie.

Maybe Baylor didn’t want to have a bunch of zombies lurching around their campus?

Nobody is suppressing the poor, old, undead idea. They just want it to go find a place more appropiate and welcoming. There are many Xian colleges in the Texas region.

Science is not totalitarian. This is not science.

again, the irony is completely missed by him.

Raven,

Regarding your comment #205954, maybe I misunderstood your point, but Baylor IS a Christian university. Baylor is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and proudly avers that it is “The largest Baptist university in the world.”

No I am not done. This is outrageous. If you aren’t afraid of evolutionary informatics, why don’t you leave them alone? If their research is pointless, why try so hard to block it?

Take a deep breath. Try not to throw your toys out of the crib.

Who do you think is ‘blocking’ Marks, and why do you think this constitutes ‘blocking’? Why does this supposedly mean Marks can’t do whatever research he wants?

Face it, ID is a failure, and all it’s got left is bogus martyr stories for the suckers. If ID was so productive, universities would be competing to add it to their research programs. Instead ID is so useless even Baptist universities want nothing to do with it.

Don’t worry, tho, there’s always Liberty University and Bob Jones.

Don’t worry, tho, there’s always Liberty University and Bob Jones.

And don’t forget Patrick Henry College (http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0911/[…]01-bogn.html) which has been in the news recently.

IIRC, Marks’ lawyer, Gilmore, was also Dembski’s lawyer back during the Polanyi Center debacle. Maybe next time he can get the Thomas More Law Center to pitch in, given that they did such a good job on Kitzmiller v. Dover.

realpc:

I’m here – a real scientist waiting for a paper to review by anybody on ID. [Head in hand, fingers drumming endlessly on table. Waiting.…waiting…waiting.…snore.…] Bring ‘em on! In fact, a number of folks here are real scientists waiting to see such a thing. And when I get the paper, I will review it, offering my extremely candid point of view about the weaknesses, flaws, inconsistencies, inaccuracies and so on, of the paper. Just like I do for every paper and grant that I get to review. Hell, I’ve even trashed papers by my friends (just like they do to my papers). I will send my comments anonymously to the editor, who will forward them to the authors. The authors will then address the comments, pointing out where I am wrong, correcting the paper where I am correct. The editor will send it out for re-review. If the reviewers and authors cannot come to agreement, then the editorial staff (associate editor and editor, usually), will review the paper, reviews and replies and decide on whether the paper is appropriate and worthy of publication. Happens all the time. In fact, I know of a couple of papers that I recommended for rejection that got published anyway. At that point, people will read the paper, and either accept, ignore or rebut it. It happens all the time. Science marches on in an endless maelstrom of debate, contention, and final grudging agreement.

But from ID – nothing. Nada. Zip. Just an endless diatribe. A verbal vomitus of whining, bitching and complaining about how repressed they are. It’s unfair. Nobody likes them. Nobody respects them. We just try to censor them. Yet even then, with all of that, they still get their message out to the public, and don’t even try to submit to the scientific journals. “It’s because they’re always rejected, so they don’t try anymore.” Bullshit. Their ideas suck and are indefensible in a careful, measured venue like a submitted paper. They can’t even stand up to cursory scrutiny. And when examined closely, they’re so bad that the reviewers get pissed-off that the editor would waste their time with such claptrap.

The sole exceptions are papers published in special creationist journals just for such crap, and the single thing “edited” by Sterberg in an affair that made an open mockery of the review process (but provide many hours on Monty-Pythonesque images of “help, help, I’m bein’ repressed”).

Now they bitch and whine that some funding scam is being censored. Give me a break. In my discipline, a huge proportion of papers come from folks who have no funding at all. And yet somehow, some way, they still manage to make a useful contribution, and defend their views, even when savagely controversial.

Censorship my ass. Propaganda pure and simple.

Intelligent cause or God? Well that’s ironic…

Me thinketh realpc doth protesteth too much..eth.

What is he bitching about again?

Oh that’s right, the tiny sliver of respectability a real lab in a real university would give his political movement has been shown the door.

boo hoo hoo.

What do you do for an encore realpc?

Let me guess, consult Allah and fly into a tall building? Must be that time of the year again.

realpc Wrote:

This kind of censorship is disgraceful. Why shut down evolutionary informatics labs and websites?

OK, I’ll bite: direct me to one “evolutionary informatics” website that is at risk of being shut down.

If they’re wrong, as you so stridently [incorporating correction from following post] claim, then it will all fizzle out. Why shut them down and prevent their research?

OK, so what “research” is being carried out, exactly?

It’s very sad when so-called “science” sinks to this level.

Quite the contrary. Science operates in an environment of intellectual honesty and openness. Some say this is necessary for it to progress. Whenever a discredited (and demonstrably wrong) idea is being proclaimed as actual science, it should be silenced.

Anyone proposing an idea that is at odds with the scientific mainstream must bear in mind the truth of the saying “extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence”. For example, Darwin spent about 20 years compiling evidence to support the thesis he published in The Origin of Species. But note that he only published after he had considered all of the available evidence.

On the other hand, if a new idea were to be proposed, that is not at odds with the bulk of the evidence, it should be considered carefully and thoughtfully by scientists working in the relevant field. ID is not that idea.

realpc Wrote:

“Are you done now?”

No I am not done. This is outrageous. If you aren’t afraid of evolutionary informatics, why don’t you leave them alone?

If you refer to the work of Behe and Dembski, we don’t leave them alone because they are trying to undermine the entire scientific process. The whole ID movement is aimed at getting ID into classrooms instead of doing some actual science. This is because there is no scientific substance to ID. It does not withstand even casual scientific scrutiny. It is not science.

If ID were to be taught as science, you’d end up with a whole generation of Americans growing up with wrong ideas about (a) how the world works, (b) how science differs from other ways of looking at the world, (c) what constitutes scientific knowledge, and (d) how to teach their own kids what is known to be true and what is conjecture (hint - only things tested against reality can be known to be true).

If their research is pointless, why try so hard to block it?

They’re not doing any research. They’re publishing anti-scientific propaganda. They are telling lies about science. Do you think it is right for them to lie to children?

Bad ideas die on their own, you don’t have to kill them.

On the contrary, bad ideas last because they are seductive. ID presents a “soft option”. If you accept ID, you can tell yourself that you understand the whole of biology in two or three soundbites. You don’t have to go to the effort of understanding the complex and subtle entity that is modern evolutionary theory. You’d be wrong.

Bad ideas like ID creationism would lie down and die if people like Behe and Dembski would actually let them rest in peace. ID is wrong. It is not science, yet the same tired, many-times-refuted arguments get trotted out to support it every time a new book comes out.

This demands opposition.

Why are you trying to kill these ideas? You’re afraid of them, afraid they might be good ideas, so you want to block the research and kill the ideas.

Quite the opposite. We know them to be wrong. They should not be propagated, because they are wrong, and because they are being touted as science.

Science is not totalitarian. This is not science.

Science is all about open debate and intellectual honesty. Behe and Dembski (et al.), by refusing to address genuine criticism of their work, are not engaging in a scientific debate. By ignoring relevant evidence they are not being intellectually honest. What they publish as “ID theory” is not science, and they lie when they claim it is.

Thus, they should be silenced.

To all except REALPC:

You’re all falling (again) into the trap of fighting the fight on his terms…

I re(re)iterate: the best strategy is not to attempt point-by-point re(re)buttals of the same old ID talking points; it is to point out that postulating a designer only begs the question: “What is the origin of this ‘designer’?” The response always consists of hasty footfalls and a door slamming.

Flint wrote:

“It’s my understanding that in some species, individuals under stress experience relaxed error-correcting regimes. This may imply that the Designer is changing the rules, and it may imply that this highly useful characteristic has been selected for.”

Nice post, very well said.

It is also my understanding that under some circumstances error correction may be reduced and mechanisms for generating variation may be induced. This could indeed be an adaptive strategy that has evolved over time. This might be one aspect of the evolution of evolvability.

As to how to test this hypothesis, I think that would be very difficult. A direct approach might involve many generations of very large populations of bacteria under varying stress regimes in chemostats. I think some work has been done in this area, but it would have to be a very long-term experiment to study evolvability. Some indirect approached might involve testing certain prediction of the model for organisms known to have been under different selection regimes for long period of time. The genetic manipulation approach suggested by Henry might be useful. At least that would allow for a detailed description of the adaptations invoilved. In any event, the “God did it” hypothesis is not likely to be productive and, as you point out, it might be nearly impossible to distinguish experimentally between a God who chooses to act through natural means and strictly natural means alone. Either way, the random models would yield accurate predictions.

“How in the world could reproductive isolation and divergence possibly be prevented once you have admitted that random mutations occur and that natural selection acts. How could you possibly prevent new information from arising by this process?”

It depends on what you mean by “new information.” If you count any kind of difference as newness, then random shuffling could be said to produce new information.

But that is not what we normally mean by new information. The evolution of life does not look like a mere shuffling. Life seems, obviously, to have organized itself, to have built increasingly complex structures from existing components. The process looks similar to the process of developing increasingly complex software.

Compare one-celled to multi-celled organisms, to vertebrates with central nervous systems. It doesn’t seem necessary to argue that a human being is more complex than an amoeba – there is information in the human being that is not present in the amoeba. Of course, humans and amoebas do have information in common. But you can see the difference, I am sure.

Systems theory studies how complex natural systems tend to organize themselves. For example, they are usually composed of modular sub-systems which are arranged hierarchically in levels (not unlike software). A more complex system is likely to have more levels than a simpler system.

An amoeba has no organization level for determining relationships between cells, of course, since it has only one cell. In humans, cells are inter-related within organs, and organs are inter-related.

An organism with more and higher levels of organization can be considered to be more complex than an organism with fewer levels.

So one obvious way in which evolution has led to an increase in information is in numbers of organizational levels.

One-celled animals may related to one another in colonies, and may communicate with each other. This is an example of another kind of higher-order organization (although simpler than the organization of cells within a unified organism).

Well maybe you get the idea. There are many ways of describing how evolution has led to new information and greater complexity. Simpler components are combined into more complex higher-order structures.

Nigel wrote:

“Thus, not only is the concept of a species hard to define rigorously, but the concept of a barrier to speciation is actually ludicrous. The concept of a speciation-barrier is even more ludicrous when the proponents of such a barrier cannot even tentatively propose a mechanism by which it might operate. Such a concept simply does not survive comparison with reality.”

I agree completely. In fact, that is exactly what I was trying to get realpc to admit. What could possibly prevent sexually reproducing organisms from at least sometimes undergoing reproductive isolation and divergence? The evidence indicates that divergence occurs all the time and isolation can occur by any number of mechanisms, up to and including simple geographic isolation. Once you have conceded random mutation and natural selection, which any sane and informed person must, speciation becomes inevitable and macroevolution becomes merely another emergent property of the evolutionary process. This is in fact why the species concept is so problematic, because as you pointed out, so many levels of isolation and divergence are observed.

The idea of fixed and perfect species died with Linnaeus. Trying to bring it back in any form is contrary to the genetic evidence. That would be as ridiculous as trying to say that Lamarck was right.

realpc wrote:

“It depends on what you mean by “new information.” If you count any kind of difference as newness, then random shuffling could be said to produce new information.”

Several points need to be made here.

First you have steadfastly refuse to even attempt to define the term information, so I obviously have no idea what you mean by that term.

Second, we have already established that, according to the genetics paper which you did not have any problem with, that new information had indeed been created by random mutations. New mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and new alleles have evolved and survived under selection. That is information by any reeasonable definition of the term. For example, the researchers used the information to predict what mutations would most likely arise and be successful under different selection regimes in nature. They could also use the information to design new antibiotics, etc.

Third, no new information is required in order for speciation to occur. Reproductive isolation does not require new information. Many different isolating mechanisms can and do occur, including geographic isolation, which do not require any change in the organisms at all. Divergence can be caused by so called random shuffling as well. So even if you don’t count that as new information, divergence has still occurred. For example, humans and chimp karyotypes differ by only one chromosomal fusion. This alone most likely would render interspecific hybrids infertile. Even if you don’t count this as new information, speciation and divergence has still occurred.

Fourth, divergence by random mutations will be inevitable once reproductive isolation is operating. There is no possibility that this process will not create new information by any reasonable definition. We know that divergence will increase over time. We know that the differences that will occur and the differences that survive will have information in them. We know that it will be new information because it did not exist before. Even random shuffling will contribute to this process, but point muatations, gene duplications and regulatory mutations will also occur.

Fifth, I suspect that your aragument will now be that this could not result in an increase in complexity. Notice that that was not your initial claim and that was not my question. You are free to argue that point all you want, (some evidence would still be nice), but that was not, is not and will not be the issue hers. You might want to check out the more recent thread on new information however.

David Stanton said:

First you [Realpc] have steadfastly refuse to even attempt to define the term information, so I obviously have no idea what you mean by that term.

RealPC erroneously presumes that a question with an undefined term is a complicated question, instead of accepting that it is a NONquestion. When he talks of “complexity” it has exactly as much meaning as when I talk of the dance of the snark.

The core of ID, and indeed of pseudoscience in general, is fuzziness of terms. “Complexity” in ID, “energy” in new age medicine, and “natural” in the new diet fads, are all tools for the same purpose: keeping their claims as fluid as possible so as to be able to shapeshift into whatever is necessary to avoid the criticism of the moment. Dembski’s famous quote deriding the need for such “pathetic level of detail” sums up the entire pseudoscientific spectrum.

realpc Wrote:

“How in the world could reproductive isolation and divergence possibly be prevented once you have admitted that random mutations occur and that natural selection acts. How could you possibly prevent new information from arising by this process?”

It depends on what you mean by “new information.” If you count any kind of difference as newness, then random shuffling could be said to produce new information.

No, it doesn’t really depend on what Dave meant by “new information”. Use the normal, everyday definition of “information”. How can anything prevent the mechanisms that you have conceded are seen to operate from generating new information?

But that is not what we normally mean by new information.

Really? So, what other definition of “information” do you tend to use, normally?

The evolution of life does not look like a mere shuffling.

That’s because it isn’t. Remember the “selection” part of Natural Selection?

Life seems, obviously, to have organized itself,

Yes, there are many self-organizing structures in nature. Do you now concede that a designer is not required?

to have built increasingly complex structures from existing components.

Except where it has built less complex structures from existing components.

The process looks similar to the process of developing increasingly complex software.

In what way is it similar?

Software tends to bloat because the designers add in features that very few users expect to need.

Compare one-celled to multi-celled organisms, to vertebrates with central nervous systems.

OK, so multicellular organisms are more complex than unicellular organisms. And vertebrates are more complex than many invertebrates (but not all - compare a dragonfly with a zebrafish, for instance). But unicellular organisms still exist, and have been successfully competing with multicellular organisms for over 500 million years, so there is obviously no “driving principle” towards increased complexity.

It doesn’t seem necessary to argue that a human being is more complex than an amoeba – there is information in the human being that is not present in the amoeba. Of course, humans and amoebas do have information in common. But you can see the difference, I am sure.

I can see the difference, but I can’t see the relevance. OK, so a human contains more information than an amoeba. Yet each could contain less information than a recent ancestor.

Try comparing lineages that split a bit more recently: is a human more complex than a chimpanzee? If so, why? Is there a difference in the information content of a human and a chimpanzee? If so, what is it, how and why?

Systems theory studies how complex natural systems tend to organize themselves. For example, they are usually composed of modular sub-systems which are arranged hierarchically in levels (not unlike software). A more complex system is likely to have more levels than a simpler system.

Yes, and each hierarchical level is, in itself, relatively simple. So, complexity is built up from modules of simpler form.

An amoeba has no organization level for determining relationships between cells, of course, since it has only one cell. In humans, cells are inter-related within organs, and organs are inter-related.

But amoebae may communicate with one another chemically, so how exactly is this different?

An organism with more and higher levels of organization can be considered to be more complex than an organism with fewer levels.

So one obvious way in which evolution has led to an increase in information is in numbers of organizational levels.

One-celled animals may related to one another in colonies, and may communicate with each other. This is an example of another kind of higher-order organization (although simpler than the organization of cells within a unified organism).

It’s easy to see differences when you compare very different organisms. But, consider this: a stromatolite is a large colony of single-celled organisms communicating with one another. How does this differ from a sponge, which is a relatively simple multicellular organism? What is the difference in information? How is this information manifested, and how is it measured?

Well maybe you get the idea. There are many ways of describing how evolution has led to new information and greater complexity. Simpler components are combined into more complex higher-order structures.

Quite possibly, but how does this address the issue of new information arising?

Earlier on, you seemed to be saying that evolution could not generate new information without some kind of “input” or “direction”. I think we will all accept that some organisms are more complex than others, but that is not really at issue. The key thing is: is there anything to prevent evolution (as described in MET) from generating new “information”, new complexity? AFAICT there is not.

Nigel,

Thanks for the help. I appreciate it. However, be warned that the goalposts are moving so fast here that it will be hard for anyone to keep up. You should kick about fifty yards to the right of the current position in order to have a reasonable chance of scoring any points.

First realpc claimed that antibiotic resistance could not evolve by RM/NS, wrong. Then he claimed that new information could not be produced by RM/NS (without defining information), wrong. Then he claimed that speciation could not occur by RM/NS (without defining species), wrong. Now he claims that complexity cannot increase by RM/NS (without defining complexity), wrong again.

I think this last one is what he is really hung up on. I think this last one is the one he really cares about. He will steer any conversation in this direction. Of course we have had this discussion many times before. He never has any evidence to support his position. In fact, you are never quite sure what his position is exactly. He just claims over and over that some things will complexify in some way for some reason at some times. The issue here is that he has provided no reason whatsoever for the assumption that RM/NS cannot increase complexity. He claims that something else is needed, just as he claimed for all the other processes that he has been shown to be worng about.

Re “Software tends to bloat because the designers add in features that very few users expect to need.”

And don’t clean out old ones that aren’t needed anymore. (Are you listening, Mr. Gates? ;) )

Henry

Re “But amoebae may communicate with one another chemically, so how exactly is this different?”

Also amoebae may likely need more chemical mechanisms in the one cell than any one cell of a vertebrate would need, since that one cell has to do more things than a specialized vertebrate cell would have to do for itself.

That leaves me wondering if it’s safe to assume that amoebae are less complicated than vertebrates. If the stuff inside a cell is more complicated than the arrangement of cells in a vertebrate (which does appear to be the case), then is the vertebrate necessarily more complex than the single cell that has all it needs to fend for itself?

Henry

Henry,

Without a good definition of complexity and a way to measure it, it may not be possible to answer this question definitively. Either way, explaining the origin of complexity is really not a problem for modern evolutionary theory.

David, You’re welcome.

I have more or less given up any expectation that realpc will change his/her views based on rational argument from the evidence. However, I am sure there are some visitors to the site who lack the background knowledge to assess realpc’s claims for themselves. Thus, I hope to point out, for the benefit of these innocent bystanders, how flawed are the arguments that realpc, and others, propose.

“explaining the origin of complexity is really not a problem for modern evolutionary theory.”

Attempting to explain the origin of complexity IS modern evolutionary theory. Or should be.

Funny, I thought the purpose of evolution theory was to explain the relationships among species.

The purpose of evolution theory is, or should be, to explain how life, as a whole, evolved in the direction of greater complexity.

Evolution theory should also be troubled by how life originated, instead of sweeping that under the rug for someone else to worry about.

The purpose of evolution theory is, or should be, to explain how life, as a whole, evolved in the direction of greater complexity.

Evolution theory should also be troubled by how life originated, instead of sweeping that under the rug for someone else to worry about.

The purpose of evolution theory is, or should be, to explain how life, as a whole, evolved in the direction of greater complexity.

Evolution theory should also be troubled by how life originated, instead of sweeping that under the rug for someone else to worry about.

realpc Wrote:

The purpose of evolution theory is, or should be, to explain how life, as a whole, evolved in the direction of greater complexity.

It does this. What’s the problem?

Additionally, MET also explains why lesser complexity sometimes evolves from greater complexity.

However, biologists rarely use the term “complexity” in technical work, because it is too vague. Since you seem so hung up on the concept of complexity, perhaps you would care to share with the rest of us a rigorous definition of complexity; how it should be measured; and what this measurement means for living organisms?

Evolution theory should also be troubled by how life originated, instead of sweeping that under the rug for someone else to worry about.

Why?

Why not leave it to the biologists, biochemists and chemists who are doing the actual research to decide how they should divide their attention?

These two areas address quite different questions. MET addresses the existence of diversity and similarity in living organisms. IOW, it addresses how life changes, and how it has changed in the past.

OTOH, abiogenesis addresses the question of how life began. This will involve a whole, different set of problems and mechanisms.

Why should the two be addressed together?

Furthermore, when evolutionary theory was first formulated, there was much about biochemistry and cell biology that was unknown. So the information to on which to base research into abiogenesis was simply not available. IIUC, such information was not available until the 1950s, around which time abiogenesis research, as a distinct field of endeavour, began with the Miller-Urey experiment.

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on September 10, 2007 1:31 PM.

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