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Jamie123

Common Ancestry and Evolution

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An idea has just struck me.

They say one of the central ideas of evolution is "common ancestry" - that modern humans do not only share ancestors with modern apes, but also dogs, cats, horses, snails, oak trees, cacti, mushrooms, slime molds and bacteria. Which means that just one event - one random alignment of atoms billions of years ago - led to the diversity of life we now see.

Now what has just occurred to me is that this only ever happened once in all the billions of years the Earth has existed, how unlikely must that event have been? It puts the sheer specialness of life into perspective. Perhaps with all the billions of stars in the universe, and the trillions of planets orbiting around them, it was bound to happen once - but it happened to happen here on our planet. What are the odds?

(Well actually the odds are 100%, because if it hadn't happened, we wouldn't be here to ask the question. I believe they call that the "weak anthropic principle".)

Or perhaps it happened more than once. Perhaps the evolutionists are wrong, and that different types of life did spring from multiple "proto-life" events during the Earth's early history. Or perhaps all current life did come from the same proto-life, but there were for a while rival "lives" to ours which eventually died out - our's was the one which (by natural selection) survived.

Or maybe Fred Hoyle was right about "panspermia" - that the elements of life have been drifting around the universe since forever (Hoyle didn't believe in a beginning) and dropping "like gentle rain from heaven" upon any planets they happen to meet.

Or maybe the event wasn't random. Maybe a proto-life is so unlikely that it could never reasonably occur at random however many planets there are, but that God travels around causing it to happen on planets here and there. Or maybe God only did it once, and it spread across the universe under its own steam, Hoyle-style.

Something to think about during lockdown...

P.S. I can do a good Fred Hoyle impression: "T' Big Bang theeuury is a looada o' ooold crap!"  (Well actually I can never decide if its Fred Hoyle, or Michael Palin pretending to be a Yorkshireman.) I've been reading The Secret Garden to my wife for a bedtime story for an excuse to use my "Yorkshireman" voice for all the Yorkshire characters - especially Ben Weatherstaff.

P.P.S. My wife says I don't sound Yorkshire at all, but just like I'm "talking stupid". Oh well... 

P.P.P.S. I knew there was a word for what I called "proto-life event": Abiogenesis. 

Edited by Jamie123

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3 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

An idea has just struck me.

You're not the only one who has stated this.

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They say one of the central ideas of evolution is "common ancestry" - that modern humans do not only share ancestors with modern apes, but also dogs, cats, horses, snails, oak trees, cacti, mushrooms, slime molds and bacteria. Which means that just one event - one random alignment of atoms billions of years ago - led to the diversity of life we now see.

Yes and no.

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Now what has just occurred to me is that this only ever happened once in all the billions of years the Earth has existed, how unlikely must that event have been? It puts the sheer specialness of life into perspective.

Yes, it does.  And this is a question that atheists will never be able to properly answer.  So, they just shrug it off on probability.  The problem is that the laws of probability say that it shouldn't have happened.  The ratio of the existing probabilities 5 billion years ago vs. the likelihood of the right combinations of amino acids forming proteins without any pre-existing proteins is more than astronomical.

So, what they're left with is infinite universe theory (which scientifically speaking is not a theory).  And that is more faith than science.  Yet atheist scientists buy into it as if it is a reality.  

3 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

Now what has just occurred to me is that this only ever happened once in all the billions of years the Earth has existed, how unlikely must that event have been? It puts the sheer specialness of life into perspective. Perhaps with all the billions of stars in the universe, and the trillions of planets orbiting around them, it was bound to happen once - but it happened to happen here on our planet. What are the odds?

(Well actually the odds are 100%, because if it hadn't happened, we wouldn't be here to ask the question. I believe they call that the "weak anthropic principle".)

Exactly.  People tend to reverse the cause-effect relationship, creating a conundrum where there wasn't one.

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Or perhaps it happened more than once. Perhaps the evolutionists are wrong, and that different types of life did spring from multiple "proto-life" events during the Earth's early history. Or perhaps all current life did come from the same proto-life, but there were for a while rival "lives" to ours which eventually died out - our's was the one which (by natural selection) survived.

According to William Dembski.  It is mathematically highly improbable (to the point it is pretty much impossible) even considering the immensity of the universe.

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Or maybe Fred Hoyle was right about "panspermia" - that the elements of life have been drifting around the universe since forever (Hoyle didn't believe in a beginning) and dropping "like gentle rain from heaven" upon any planets they happen to meet.

Turtles all the way down.  Got it.

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Or maybe the event wasn't random. Maybe a proto-life is so unlikely that it could never reasonably occur at random however many planets there are, but that God travels around causing it to happen on planets here and there. Or maybe God only did it once, and it spread across the universe under its own steam, Hoyle-style.

Once probability says that randomness does not explain a phenomenon, then we are only left with one alternative -- non-randomness, IOW, intelligent design.

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Something to think about during lockdown...

P.S. I can do a good Fred Hoyle impression: "T' Big Bang theeuury is a looada o' ooold crap!"  (Well actually I can never decide if its Fred Hoyle, or Michael Palin pretending to be a Yorkshireman.) I've been reading The Secret Garden to my wife for a bedtime story for an excuse to use my "Yorkshireman" voice for all the Yorkshire characters - especially Ben Weatherstaff.

P.P.S. My wife says I don't sound Yorkshire at all, but just like I'm "talking stupid". Oh well... 

No idea who these guys are.  But my family LOVES The Secret Garden.

Edited by Carborendum

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Feeling or believing it is not necessarily correct.  It could be that what spawned life on this planet is actually quite common (from a science point of view) and what occurred, though we are unable to replicate it with our current amount of knowledge, occurs quite commonly on planets around the universe that have the same situation as our own once did. 

From either point of view (creationism or more of a scientific hypothetical view) if life being created is actually far more common than what we've thought thus far, it may be that life is abundant in many areas of the universe.  We have found evidence that there may be life on other places, perhaps at other times from the few places we've gone already.  If we can find evidence that there MAY have been possible life in the past on Mars, and that's just one of two locations we've been able to scavenge (and not very deeply at that) for these types of evidence, it indicates that whatever creates life in the universe, or the causes behind it, may not be as rare as some might want others to believe.

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22 hours ago, Carborendum said:

No idea who these guys are.

Sir Fred Hoyle (1915-2001) was a famous theoretical astronomer, sci-fi writer, and Yorkshireman. He is well known for the theory of nucleosynthesis and was a great believer in the "steady state" theory (that the universe always existed and is in a constant equilibrium state or expansion, new matter being constantly created out of nothing), panspermia (that life on Earth and other planets originated from outer space), and for coining the term "the Big Bang" - which he did to ridicule people like Stephen Hawking who were pushing the idea in opposition to Hoyle's own theories. He once had a very famous spat with Hawking at the Royal Society: after Hoyle had presented his latest theory, Hawking - then a young and exceptionally geeky grad student (his illness had not then deprived him of his voice), lurking at the back of the lecture room - pointed out that one of the summations Hoyle needed to converge actually didn't. Hoyle demanded to know how Hawking knew this, and Hawking replied that he had "worked it out". It transpired that Hawking had been looking at papers which Hoyle's own students had left lying around the office, worked out the calculations himself, and chose the most impolitic way possible to communicate what he discovered.

It was quickly pointed out to Hawking that however right he was, humiliating Britain's greatest physicist in front of the assembled fellows of the Royal Society was unlikely to do him much good in the long run. I think we can well imagine what Hoyle was like on that occasion: he was the sort of Yorkshireman who would have given Ben Weatherstaff a run for his money. In fact, they say that his "Yorkshire manners" (what anyone outside Yorkshire would have called "rudeness") were what cost him the Nobel Prize.

Sir Michael Palin (1943-) is a British Comedian and a central member of the Monty Python team. I've always loved his "Yorkshire" impersonations. Here's one example...

 

22 hours ago, Carborendum said:

But my family LOVES The Secret Garden.

“Eh, tha’ mun talk a bit o’ Yorkshire t' 'em then lad! Tha’ll make 'em laugh an’ there’s nowt so good for folk as laughin’ is!"

Edited by Jamie123

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2 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

Sir Michael Palin (1943-) is a British Comedian and a central member of the Monty Python team. I've always loved his "Yorkshire" impersonations. Here's one example...

Of course.  THAT Michael Palin.  Given the nature of the topic, my mind wasn't calling up Monty Python.

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I feel that many religious thinkers refuse to see that there is a forest amidst all the trees.  We learn from scriptures that there is a Father in Heaven.  Anyone that believes that there is a G-d that created the universe and all things in it; must understand that G-d is the common ancestor of all life forms.  It is obvious from simple observation that G-d intends that life creates life.  I think the scripture term for this is the "breath of life".  We know that G-d uses life to create life.  Anyway if we believe in a G-d this should be obvious.  Even Christ had a mother - Mary was his ancestor.

The Big Bang theory has a lot a problems - but until someone comes up with something better we are kind of stuck with it.  The notion that G-d created stuff via secret magic is the height  ignorance and contrary to a G-d of truth and light.   Or as Isaiah says - "reveals all things from the beginning to the end".  I am of the mind that when we do not understand things that are true it is not because G-d is hiding the truth as much as it is our personal difficulty in believing the truth.

 

The Traveler

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