Posted: Dec 25, 2017 3:27 pm
by Wortfish
Calilasseia wrote:
Except that this manifestly duplicitous apologetic pseudo-response, fails to take into account that the reason experiments are "designed", is to ensure that only a well-defined set of variables has an effect upon the outcome. This does not in any way presuppose that those designing the experiment, know in advance what oucome those variables will produce, the determination of which is the whole point of the experiment. Then, having determined that one, restricted and manageable set of variables delivers an observed outcome, the researchers then move on to other experiments, that include other variables excluded from the first experiment, to see how that modifies the outcome.

But of course, those of us who paid attention in science class already know that the purpose of experimental design, is to determine which extant variables affect an outcome, and then to let those variables act as they will. In case you don't understand this elementary concept, selecting a variable to observe doesn't equal directing that variable's behaviour. Though I'm familiar with the manner in which creationist apologetics are deliberately constructed to mislead the audience with respect to this concept.

I never suggested that all designed experiments were rigged experiments with an intended outcome. I did suggest that any controlled and designed experiment suffers from the fact that, in order to determine the variables influencing the eventual outcome, the experiment will suffer from a lack of possible interactions and random events as would happen in the wild. At most, it can demonstrate a "proof of principle". But there is a huge gap between how things ideally may turn out and what actually happens. That's why the Sutherland group's work has everything to do with chemistry in a lab but nothing to do with abiogenesis.

Exactly. Which at a stroke destroys creationist attempts to portray the requisite experimental work as having anything to do with "design", of the sort creationists routinely pontificate about, as I've already dealt with earlier.

On the contrary, the experimenters have to have an idea as to what might happen. In experiments involving chemistry, they ought to be able to know what reagents will likey do when they come in contact with each other based on the laws of chemistry and any computer simulations: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cen-v040n002.p088
If they had no idea, then there would be no point in conducting the experiment.

Note the part I've highlighted in blue above - namely:

We have considered a large number of alternative ribonucleotide assembly modes, including those that extend back to the same small-molecule precursors as the traditionally assumed route described above19. By systematic experimental investigation of these options

In other words, what they did was "let's try lots of different options, and see if any of them work". Which they did because the assumed mechanism was found NOT to work.

So, the experimental procedure here consisted of:

[1] We know what we need to start with, and what we need to end up with;

[2] We also know that the original planned means of getting from A to B does not work, and we have found reasons for this;

[3] Do other routes from A to B exist, and if so, can we find them?

[4] Let's try out lots of options for getting from A to B, and see which ones work or don't work.

Again, your apologetics are completely destroyed.


So you admit that they had an "objective", a goal in mind when they conducted the experiment. That's what design is all about. Whether they explored different routes is beside the point. They set out with a telos, and changed the parameters until they found a successful route.

Illiterate drivel. Because, wait for it, the researchers have to introduce the reagents in question to each other, to see if they will react!

As I stated, they ought to know roughly how the reagents will react before they introduce them to each other.

But. once again, the whole fucking point of choosing reagents of known purity to start with, is so that the researchers know that the molecules they've chosen have been the sole participants in the reaction, and not something else they didn't know about. Only a fucking idiot would launch into an investigation of any chemical reaction, without knowing in advance what molecules he was dealing with.

And there you admit the flaw in all this. The experiment was set up with the careful and discriminate selection of chemicals in order to try and engineer a desired outcome. Another thing you seem to missing is that the Sutherland lab experiment, in order to qualify as science, needs to be reproducible at another location. If the results are not, they cannot be taken seriously.

Model protocells are being thus synthesised, with the aim of finding out what could have happened with real, past protocells, precisely because we don't know the latter yet. Once again, what part of "let's work with as simple a precursor as we can, and move on incrementally to the desired objective" do you not understand?

Because the process is entirely supervised by intelligent agents....hence design by default.

Once again, those model protocells were synthesised, because the researchers didn't know in advance what they would do. Years of observing other chemical reactions gave them some basic ideas to work with, but, as was the case with the Sutherland paper above, they're open to surprises.

Still an exercise in engineering, not in observing a natural process.

Actually, that's the ultimate aim - to see if a working replicating protocell can arise from prebiotic reactants. But to get to that stage, the researchers have to solve a lot of lower level jigsaw puzzles before solving the big one. Once again, what part of "incremental steps" do you not understand?

But can you get to a protocell with just chemical reactions? Why bother synthesising them if that is the case?

But since these molecules are manifestly a part of living organisms, it's a good place to start. As opposed to assuming that mythology magically has the answers, which it doesn't.

You can have an ocean full of amino acids, nucleotides and lipids....but there could be no life. Building blocks don't self-assemble into buildings.

Bollocks. I merely introduced a conditional. Namely, "if x, then y". I issued no statement on whether or not x was true. Because, like everyone else here on Earth at the moment, I don't know. Which is one of the reasons NASA is planning to send spacecraft to the requisite venues, - to find out.

Still an act of faith, or at least hope.

You know this for sure, do you?
Only it's entirely possible that more than one instance of the requisite reactions took place in the past, but only the final instance was successful at leaving present day descendants.

No piece of RNA or DNA has been discovered that does not belong to a cellular or viral organism.

Particular instances, however, only ever occur once. The goal of science is to find the classes of interaction that generate the instances. Or did you miss this elementary concept in school?

You're trying to diss the uniqueness of abiogenesis by claiming it is just a particular instance involving a set of conditions that haven't been repeated. If so, however, your argument breaks down as whatever conditions you use to try and recreate the process could not have been the ones involved in the first and only instance. So you can't explain a past event by presently-occurring phenomena.

Wrong. It's entirely possible, if miracles exist, for them to do so, if the generating process for them occurs more than once.

If they happened with regularity, they would be natural even if they weren't explicable. Just because we don't understand lightning doesn't mean it is miraculous because it happens regularly.

Poppycock. What we see with the origin of life, is one successful instance, with as yet, no data telling us about any previous failed instances.

The one and only instance...which just so happened immediately after the Earth had cooled.