Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Moon continued

I worry it may be cheap for me to simply copy/paste my dialog, but screw it. I spent 3 hours responding to this guy. Now you must suffer too. I tried to steer away from his gish gallop tactic, but not so well. Here's the beginning to my response.

I colored my responses that were part of his... and other spelling/formatting changes.



This is going to be a effort to be as succinct as possible, so this doesn't keep exponentially growing... but I'm also going to keep in line with what I had previous said about your "points". This may get repetitive, but hopefully you'll get my point.

First set of Answers to your first response --------------------> 1) “Okay, what does that have to do with a god? There's hundreds of billions of stars over hundreds of billions of galaxies tens of billions of years. We have sufficient matter. “ ------------- > having sufficient matter only increases the odds of star dust reaching a point in space but not slowing down enough to gather as it is being scattered throughout space. Well if given the benefit of the doubt, assuming some star dust did reach the earth: the random action of the wind and water as well as the tendency for matter to disperse makes it almost impossible for life to form from star dust. Now even giving you much more benefit of the doubt; assuming it does gather how does the stardust become human? By some random action the star dust turns into protein? The probability of that happening is next to zero. Examine the facts closely, some superior form of energy did produce human life such as humans appear to originate from an exploding star not that the impossible probabilities somewhat occurred on earth. 
Let's say I don't know the answers to your objection about star dust turning into life, and it appears to be next to impossible, based on what we know. How do you justify this claim?: "Examine the facts closely, some superior form of energy did produce human life ..."

2) “Of course it's not guaranteed. You're kind of looking at it backwards, as though brains, organs, etc, is some predetermined goal. Evolution produces variation. Some aspects help the organisms survive, and some don't. Over generations, this causes the genome to trend towards more environmentally suitable configurations. Brains, organs, etc, are the result.”------- > aren’t bacteria, viruses, cockroaches and other seemingly irrelevant creatures more suitable to survival on Earth than human beings? Why will an organism evolve from a more life sustaining state to a more fragile state such as a human being? Sure you may be right that brains, organs, hormones etc. are not the predetermined goals during evolution. But why all these orangs in the first place? Why will a unicellular organism during evolution produce these organs in the first place when mobility is better served with wings and claws such as will be found on a cockroach? Spontaneous evolution could not produce a human being because the human being is stool fragile, which is good to keep the balance in nature, or else everything would be dead before we discover its use. 

Let's say I don't know the answers to your objection about humans seemingly too unlikely to have evolved. What's your point?
3) “Not all lineages evolved them, and they're still filling niches, and thriving. What's actually observed is that organisms will adapt to their environment without any aid from an intelligence. In fact, we find no indication that an intelligence is involved in any way, shape or form.”-------------------- > actually, Biologist will tell you that if you temper with one aspect of an ecosystem you could essentially kill off an entire species; they do not adopt, they die off and other organisms better suited to the new environment fill their place.
Let's say you're right... and?

4) “You seem to have a fixation on "guarantee" and "ensure"... and I don't know why. Those organisms that couldn't find enough food, or fend off/avoid attackers died. "Extinction" is what we call it when a species as a whole fails to do this, which has happened to about 99% of all species in history. The most basic survival mechanism is mass reproduction, which bacteria do very well. All they need is a small percentage of the following generations to find food in order to propagate the species.” --------------- > I see that you agree with me. The process of evolution is unintelligent and therefore does not factor in environmental variables such as availability of food or life sustaining resources. The lack of food will essentially lead to extinction as the biological process will not make any internal changes to survive.

Yep, I agree. Evolution doesn't plan anything. It doesn't need to... that's why we call it a "blind process"... but it appears to work anyway. Even if it didn't... what's your point?

5) “What are the chances that dripping water forms into perfect ice cones during winter on the edge of the roof? Well, if the rules of the universe work in a certain way, it's just to be expected. The same goes for abiogenesis.”----------- > you cannot equate ice cones forming as a result of the freezing of dripping water to abiogenesis. Abiogenesis is simply a story while ice cones are a natural phenomenon. Water molecules undergo a restructuring in colder temperatures to form crystals; as water drips in the cold it starts to form crystals which eventually become ice cones it is not a radical chemical change as abiogenesis. 

Don't be obtuse. Don't be one of those people who dismisses the simple point of an analogy because they aren't identical. You didn't appear to object when I was comparing evolution to dice as though I was saying that life forms are small cubes with the values 1 through 6 represented on each side with pips. My only point was that if the rules of the universe operate in a particular way, some events/phenomenon becomes essentially inevitable.

In fact, the Urey-Miller experiments, which have been repeated over and over (for both amino acids and protein), indicate that these "building blocks of life" can spontaneously form if the conditions are right. It's just to be expected, based on how the universe works.” ------------------ > If the conclusion from these experiments is true, why did it not produce some form of life or cells from carbon and hydrogen to prove the validity of their conclusion? The fact is it is simply speculation since the experiment did not yield any results and only supports a story.

Three points for clarification. First, they experiments weren't supposed to enact abiogenesis. They were/are supposed to see whether Building Blocks of life can spontaneously form. It's a puzzle piece to abiogenesis. Second, life is hard to define. The next step might be something like protein bubbles, where they replicate on their own, based on the chemistry and physics of water-flow one-way into the cell... like how soap bubbles can eventually split up into smaller bubbles. What's the threshold between simple chemistry and life?

Anyway, I've already said abiogenesis isn't a proven thing, though it has some supporting evidence, which is literally infinite times more evidence than creationism has right now.

 “No, we don't know that all things can get "dispersed" or "contaminated". Can one poison a carbon atom? At some level, the concept stops making sense. Like a forest fire, some things "cascade"/"chain-reaction" by nature. Life is one such thing, to the point where it's just expected that it'd counter entropy and "contamination", like a forest fire counters cooling down.” ----------------- > if carbon atoms were some form of life or some chemical I will very much agree with your disagreement but I am talking about naturally occurring pure forms of fluids. Natural water exist along with some iron, carbon, bacteria and viruses and bacteria but never exist in a perfectly pure state. Your amino acids and proteins will be contaminated on earth except maybe in a laboratory where scientists have not proved their theories.

You seem to be missing my analogy again. Cells operate on a different set of rules than macroscopic organisms. But sure, let's say that amino acids can be "contaminated"... and? You seem to be implying that life requires "pure" fluids/etc, in order to survive. I notice you didn't address my broader point/question - what does this even have to do with anything?

"Apples and oranges. Humans are not unicellular (edit: multicellular -> unicellular) organisms... and operate on a very different set of contexts. It'd be like saying that since a piece of bread can become moldy, that therefore one of the carbon atoms of the bread can become moldy.” ------------------- > Well, unless you claim that unicellular organisms do not evolve into multicellular organisms your statement is not correct. This is because once the unicellular organism develops an additional cell it is no longer unicellular but has become multicellular and therefore can be attacked by the HIV virus or some other virus or bacteria. In addition, unicellular organism are attacked by other unicellular organisms because simply because it is unicellular does not imply it is the same size as an atom; an amoeba parasite is larger than most viruses even though it is unicellular and can be attacked and killed by them. 

I'm afraid I don't understand what you're getting at.

I don't understand your objection. Even if a bacterium dies because of "contamination"... then it dies. And? Some people do die from infections caught during surgery. That doesn't mean the whole human race perishes. I haven't found that any of your objectiosn make any sense, yet.” ----------------- > well during evolution, the cells do not have the intelligence to develop defenses against attack from other organisms and therefore weaknesses can and will be exploited by viruses and bacteria as is expected from open air surgery. It is important for the evolution story to hold that the evolving creature must develop defenses as it evolves but we know that is not true it will only go through “extinction”. 

The key you seem to be missing is the idea of decent with modification - just like the bacteria evolution doesn't plan defenses, the attacking viruses/bacteria don't either. On that level, most of the interaction is biochemical, and as it frequently happens, be following generations of the cells can have random variations that are no longer biochemically compatible for the viruses/other bacteria to do their things. It's more complicated on a macroscopic level, obviously, but conceptually the same thing.

To those who understand how evolution works, these aren't "problems"... but even if so, so what?

 “This is basic chemistry. On their own, hydrogen and oxygen are unstable. Guess what happens when you combust oxygen and hydrogen together? You get water. Water is a STABLE/Inert state of the two elements. In fact, it's really really really hard to keep them from entering a stable state with each other. The water on this planet is when a whole bunch of volatile oxygen and hydrogen succumb to their volatility. It's just to be expected when one has a rudimentary grasp of chemistry.” --------------- > sure if only you can find sufficient quantities of oxygen and hydrogen to sit still and burn to produce water. It is impossible to find such a situation on earth therefore it is assumed the combustion process must involve two different compounds that will be in close proximity to each other under confined conditions to permit the formation of a sea of water. If hydrogen burns by itself, it will only end up in space unless there is a sufficient amount of oxygen. You may suggest that the Earth must have been covered with a high concentration of oxygen so that when hydrogen burns it will cause the production of water. But then the earth must have been very stable with such doses of oxygen without blowing up because of some lightening or volcano eruption. The large quantity of water is still a mystery and it can only have been intelligently created so creatures can survive in this beautiful world.
You do realize that H2+O2 combustion is relatively rare, right? Most of the time more complex chemical reactions (some combustion, some not), take oxygen and hydrogen from different chemicals and combine them to make water. We do it all the time with gasoline and air... and a byproduct of the exhaust is water vapor. Heck, even our breathing undergoes a similar process, making us pump out a portion of water vapor when we breathe. Just like O and H are stable/inert when in water, they're also stable/inert when in other forms (and we're back to basic chemistry). Overall, the sheer abundance of hydrogen and oxygen means it basically inevitable that we'd have water. Also, keep in mind that much of the water we do have came from comets/meteors. Rock isn't the only thing our gravity well attracted.

"If hydrogen burns by itself it will only end up in space unless there is a sufficient amount of oxygen." It can't. Again, basic chemistry. There's a reason why Jupiter hasn't gone up in flames - it's lacking the elements that are compatible with combusting with hyrdogen. But again, gravity wells tend to attract both oxygen and hydrogen, since both have mass.. "conveniently" putting htem in proximity of one another.

"But then the earth must have been very stable with such doses of oxygen without blowing up" - like H needs the right stuff to combust, so does oxygen... but keep in mind that the Earth started off with a very heavy CO2 atmosphere. You can thank photosynthesis for producing what we have now. Do you realize that our atmosphere right now is something like 18-20% oxygen? Why isn't it blowing up now? (Hint - needs "fuel")

"The large quantity of water is still a mystery"

It's only a mystery to you.

" and it can only have been intelligently created so creatures can survive in this beautiful world."

Please supply some evidence that this assertion is true. I've yet to hear you present any evidence. What's your evidence that the ONLY two choices are 1) Physics/Chemistry 2) Invisible Universe-Creating Intelligent Being?

--- Starting count over

 “No. No it doesn't. You're talking about BOYANCY. It's not that they "escape gravity"... it's that the heavier gasses sink lower, forcing them to the top. Do you know how boats float? It's the same thing. ” ------------ >the speed at which hydrogen rises from the earth’s atmosphere causes it to escape gravity. here (this will help you understand): ----------------------------- > http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2012/01/26/could-a-balloon-fly-in-outer-space/ 

You do realize the author is discussing a hypothetical, and ends with "Now, someone, tell me what I’m missing." Even if the hydrogen floats up to the top of the atmosphere, it'll still be subject to gravity. Earth is the closest/strongest gravity well, so it'll basically stick around. The way atmospheres get stripped away is if, like Mars, they lose their magnetic field and the atmosphere is blown away by solar wind.

I'm not sure what your point is, by the way.

 “Then again, most hydrogen has already combined with other elements, and is no longer a light gas.” ----------- > Hydrogen molecules will instantly disperse into space when released and do not exist naturally as some gas except in combination with some other element. 

You're very wrong on this one. Space has a considerable amount of hydrogen floating around. "Dispersing" doesn't make it disappear from existence.

http://genesismission.jpl.nasa.gov/gm2/mission/pdf/Interstellarclouds.pdf

When a gravity well starts to form, it'll drag in the surrounding loose gases in space, and concentrate them into one spot - hence, objects like the sun and Jupiter.

 “What do you mean by survive extreme temperatures? We'd actually expect to see more water if stuff was superheated. When hydrogen is locked into different molecular structures, it's not free to combust with oxygen to form water. But if that stuff was liquefied, and eventually vaporized, and even turned into plasma, that'd free up the oxygen and hydrogen to do their thing with each other, and become water. Again, you're kind of looking at it backwards.” ------- > By that statement there must be water on every other planet capable of having an atmosphere, especially planets that are close to the earth. Secondly, the substances from which the water was formed must be so plentiful that the evidence of them must be everywhere on the planet. In addition, the oxygen must be readily available to react with the hydrogen when released. Finally, other element such as the metals, which are highly reactive to oxygen, must be in much less supply than hydrogen. 

Or we could see it in frozen states.. such as Europa (no atmosphere)... though I don't know what the proximity to Earth has to do with anything.

"Secondly, the substances from which the water was formed must be so plentiful that the evidence of them must be everywhere on the planet."

Uh yeah? The presence of oxygen and hydrogen - two of the most abundant elements in the universe? What's the problem? Are you thinking that I said that this is the only way for hydrogen/oxygen to be available to form water?

"In addition, the oxygen must be readily available to react with the hydrogen when released." - Covered this earlier.

"Finally, other element such as the metals, which are highly reactive to oxygen, must be in much less supply than hydrogen." - they are. It also requires contact, which is not guaranteed, especially when one considers "tarnishing" - when the surface of the metal has already reacted, and essentially creates a non-reactive shell around the rest of the mass of the metal. Also, given the planet's volcanic activity, the rusting (for example) of iron is bound to be "reset", and the oxygen freed again (by that high temperature) during lava flows/eruptions.

Seriously? Stars take elements and fuse them into heavier elements... eventually into oxygen. That volatile oxygen and hydrogen enter a stable/inert state as water, through combustion. That's where water "comes from". Where did the matter/energy come from "before" the Big Bang "come from", to start that whole process? Heck if I know... but you'd actually have to demonstrate that a sentient being was responsible if you want us to believe that.” --------------- > first of all, oxygen is an element on its own and it is not formed from the sun it simply exist alongside hydrogen sometimes as toxic ozone (from which oxygen can form water) and combustion is not a simple process of hydrogen being released to combine with oxygen unless there are no other elements which will react with oxygen.

"first of all, oxygen is an element on its own and it is not formed from the sun it simply exist alongside hydrogen" - Do yourself a favor and read up on nuclear fusion.

"combustion is not a simple process of hydrogen being released to combine with oxygen unless there are no other elements which will react with oxygen." - I agree. Not seeing the problem.

The only way you'd get full moons is if (in terms of the 2D plane of the solar system) you, the sun and the moon, were all in a line. If, however, the angle of Sun -> You -> Moon were 90 degrees, you could look off into the sky during midday (standing, looking up at the sun), and then look over to the east or west, and see the moon, to the right or left, from the side. If you saw a half moon that was directly overhead, as opposed to at a lower angle, THAT would be weird. Bah, wish I had a whiteboard... I don't understand what the objection is. “ ---------------- > neither do I, I never said the moon was seen directly overhead at mid-day. However, the question is still unanswered. Why will half of the surface of the moon and sometimes the whole moon reflect the sun both during the night and during the day? 

"Why will half of the surface of the moon and sometimes the whole moon reflect the sun both during the night and during the day?" - did you not see my fancy drawing? I'll attach another at the end (clearly, the drawing ins't to scale, btw).

What does this have to do with anything, anyway?

"Some species are more robust than others. Mice, cockroaches, bacteria, mushrooms... there's lots of species that have little dependency on the larger ecosystem. No, it wouldn't "result in the death of all other species". Mass extinctions, if there's a fast enough change in climate, sure. When an ecosystem "collapses", it doesn't completely vanish. Usually other species fill in the niches fairly quickly.”--------- > here again you agree other species fills the void and that the organisms did not evolve to fill the void. Completely different creatures capable of surviving in that environment simply fills that void (there is no evolution just survival of the fittest) 

"here again you agree other species fills the void and that the organisms did not evolve to fill the void." - I think both happen, depending on how quickly the collapse occurred.

"(there is no evolution just survival of the fittest)" - that IS evolution, once combined with decent with modification. Keep in mind that we have numerous direct observations of speciation. Evolution is simply observed fact.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html

Check the references.

 "... they don't. Again, you're looking at it backwards. If we have 100 dice, and we throw cast all of them... if the requirement for survival is getting 6-pips, we'd expect to see maybe about 16, on average, get that value. The dice didn't plan it. It's the luck of the draw... and the rest "didn't survive". ----------------- > an average of 17 will be fine with me. However, we both agree that evolution cannot be planned. If the organism evolves a wrong organ which makes it unable to survive it will simply die. Therefore, by chance, the organism must beat all odds to survive and even populate unless other creatures exist at the same time to make it possible. Now, based on the wide variety of creatures that have beaten these odds can you seriously suggest that their existence is simply by accident? Or that creation only enabled those which had a favorable chance of survival in any ecosystem to survive along with specific species.
You appear to agree with me again: “What you're looking at, in terms of currently existing species, are the ones who managed to survive... not due to "planning out their future". They're the ones who got lucky... outside of just being well suited to their environments. This is bound to happen by statistics alone.

"However, we both agree that evolution cannot be planned" - naturally, it isn't. Breeding/agriculture does - through artificial selection.

"If the organism evolves a wrong organ which makes it unable to survive it will simply die." It wouldn't. That's far too quick and sudden a step for evolution to result. The increments are much more subtle, and if they were hurting the organism's ability to survive, it'd be effectively weeded out.

"Therefore, by chance, the organism must beat all odds to survive and even populate unless other creatures exist at the same time to make it possible. " - I'm sorry, but you don't appear to know how evolution works, as exampled above.

" Now, based on the wide variety of creatures that have beaten these odds can you seriously suggest that their existence is simply by accident?"

No, I wouldn't call it an "accident". I'd say it's to be expected based on how evolution works... just like I don't think it's an "accident" that it snows every winter (where I am). The probabilities aren't as dire as you think. Two adult deer give birth to an offspring. That offspring is 99.999% similar to the adult. The adults have traits that enable them to survive long enough to reproduce before the predators eat them. The chances are, the offspring is also going to have 99.99% of those traits, and is also most likely going to survive to reproduction. Some of the generation may have altered traits that probabilistically make them more likely to survive, some not. Over the generations, the lineage "drifts" towards those better traits. There's nothing sudden about it. In regards to how they could have those traits in the first place.. I cover that more a bit later in (9).

Think of trying to jack up a house, to put a foundation beneath it. If you put a jack under one corner, and lift it 10 feet, alone, the house will snap in half. Instead, what they do is place multiple jacks beneath the house, and increment each one little by little, in cycles, so effectively the whole house is raised at the same time. Like in evolution, this distinction between sudden changes, and subtle slow increments is critical. The odds of successfully doing it in small increments is a lot better than not.

Okay, so I stopped being succinct.

"Or that creation only enabled those which had a favorable chance of survival in any ecosystem to survive along with specific species. "

I'm still waiting for any evidence for creationism. So far, all you're doing is poking holes in science.

"You appear to agree with me again:" - Yes, we're appearing agreeing that's what evolution does. Go back to the dice example. I've done this (because I was bored): If I roll 100 dice, what are the chances of me getting all 6's? Pretty low. If I add in a selection process, where I set aside any dice that rolled 6, and re-rerolled the rest, how many rounds would it take to get all 6's? I got it in 27 rolls.

What I'm referring to was this particular round of rolling 6's, as the ones that "managed to survive".

Have you ever heard of the wolf and deer population simulations? It's a classic computer science programming example. The idea is that, without any planning, or any intelligence, really, involved, a balance is struck on their own. If there's too many deer, the wolf populations explode... causing more deer to die, causing some of the wolves to starve and die off. which causes the deer population to be more free of predators, and increase in population again... and repeat. It's a self-regulating system. The objection would be like wondering how all the water at the surface of a water puddle just knows to be all level. Life is a lot more resilient then you give it credit for.” ------------------- > you must believe in creation if you believe that creatures die if they do not have the right features to survive then evolution cannot occur unless it does so in the right life sustaining environment. Where did this life-sustaining environment come from? I bet you are going to trees just as in the story of creation: I am taking you straight to the bible now. 

"you must believe in creation if you believe that creatures die if they do not have the right features to survive then evolution cannot occur unless it does so in the right life sustaining environment." - This is totally nonsensical (and also an Argument from Ignorance). As I mentioned before, traits alter the probability of survival/death. There's no guarantee that a "fit" deer is going to survive to reproduction, and there's no guarantee an "unfit" deer is going to die before reproduction. You keep looking at this in terms of black/white absolutes. Also, as I pointed out before, the simplest defense mechanism is mass reproduction. In that sense, a species of rabbit, who are not well adapted to their environment, can manage to continue on, long enough to develop traits that increase it's probability to survive.

It's not like the deer will automatically perish if it's not well suited to its environment. There are degrees.

"Where did this life-sustaining environment come from?" - from the collection of dust/material into an accretion disc, etc. The idea behind abiogenesis is that life can spontaneously spawn in some fairly harsh environments... and to a great degree, developed the environment itself. But again, we haven't figured that part out yet.

If you mean qualities like being in the habitable zone around the star, that's just statistics. Of course life wouldn't form on planets that were not suitable... so here we are on a "lottery winner" planet, out of untold billions in the universe, thinking that something special must have happened for us to be here... and that's looking at it backwards.

"I bet you are going to trees just as in the story of creation: I am taking you straight to the bible now. " - Going to trees? I didn't make much sense out of this sentence.

 “Uh... what evidence? You didn't even have a single salient point in that wall of text, let alone a single shred of evidence that positively supports the concept of a deity. If nothing else, it was just back-to-back Arguments from Ignorance... if you had actually bothered to make any points.” ---------- > though highly polite, I wonder if you really believe you have answered my questions.

Probably the most important item of all - what's your point?

"I wonder if you really believe you have answered my questions." - I'm sure you would agree that some are willing to be willfully ignorant, and not willing to admit that they won't accept the answers to those questions. But I'll let you figure out if that's you. I don't actually think I'm going to change your mind on any of this... then again, it's not about you.

Let me ask you this... hypothetically, let me grant you the following:
1) Evolution is disproven
2) Abiogenesis is disproven
3) Our current understanding of how things like water formation, etc, are wrong.
4) The moon is weird, and something about reflecting light.

Now, please provide evidence for a god. I literally did not encounter a single piece of evidence in all that I read.

----

This is definitely a Gish Gallop... where the moment there's something we don't' know, or something we think we know is proven wrong... God is true by default... presumably.

Well, I'm sorry, but epistemology doesn't work that way.




























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