Posts Tagged ‘abiogenesis’

Rebuttal to Ian Juby’s “’In 7 Days’ Crash Course in Creation” Day 2

he_who_is_nobody
he_who_is_nobody
Wed May 08, 2013 8:00 pm by he_who_is_nobody

Read part one.

Day 2:  Still in the beginning….

You want deep time?

No problem, let’s give evolution 20 billion years.  Depending on who you ask, this is a typical estimate for the age of the universe.  While the majority of this time is supposed to have been spent building galaxies, stars and planets, let’s assign all of that time just to making life without a creator.

 

Juby cannot even be bothered to locate the actual estimated age of the universe, which is not hard to find out. Off the top of my head, I know it is ~13.5 billion years old and I would expect anyone who has studied the Origins Debate in any detail to at least be able to recall a fact this simple. However, he is only trying to set up a straw man.

And so, we have a stark contrast between the two models of human origins: Creation has a supernatural being who has infinite skill and knowledge, creating the first life.  Evolution, which has no skill and no intelligence, no guidance, no direction, must form the first life by blind chance.

 

First off, Juby is equivocating evolution with a straw man of abiogenesis. One could go a step further and infer that Juby is equivocating evolution with naturalism. Second, Juby is creating a false dichotomy by saying it is either a supernatural creator or blind chance, those are not the only options one can think of, nor are either of those the most likely options that lead to life.

This leads into Juby’s next straw man, which there is no other way to present, so I must quote the whole thing, please forgive me.

Amino acids are the basic building blocks of life.  Think of them as Lego; there are roughly twenty different kinds to choose from, and they join together to form structures called proteins.  These proteins can also join together and these form the essential parts of cells.

One simple protein might be an assembly of 200 amino acids.  So, using fairly simple math, for each amino in the assembly, we have a 1/20 chance of randomly selecting the correct one.  Thus, in our protein, we have 20200 different assembly combinations – and essentially only one of those combinations is correct and will work!

Written out, that’s:

1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,00,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000 different combinations!

Taking 20,000,000,000 (20 billion) years, and multiplying it by 365 days per year, 24 hours per day, 60 minutes per hour and 60 seconds per minute, you get:

630,720,000,000,000,000
seconds in 20 Billion years!

 

As you can see, we only have a mere 630,720,000,000,000,000 seconds to try all
1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,00,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 different combinations.

Remember – evolution has no intelligence to call upon to select the correct combination the first time, so it’s hit and miss.

So let’s divide our available time into the number of combinations available.  We would have to randomly try

15,854,895,991,882,293,252,156,265,854,896,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000
different combinations, every second, for twenty billion years, to produce one protein by unguided processes.

 

As one can tell Juby chose a nice round number of 20 billion to make his math easier. However, if Juby actually understood the science of abiogenesis he would have noticed that the argument he just put forward is only arguing against a straw man of abiogenesis.

No one argues that a complete protein had to have formed all at once in one shot. The leading hypotheses in abiogenesis, much like in evolution, start with simple combinations of amino acids linking together and forming new structures. Essentially, a crude version of natural selection most likely took place before proteins, as we know them, first came on the scene.

However, Juby then goes on to give up the whole game:

Evolution requires an infinite amount of time, but an infinite creator God requires but the twinkling of an eye.  The complexity of life demands a creator.

 

There are three problems with this statement; first, his last sentence is an argument from ignorance. Life’s complexities have been and are being explained without a creator for the last 150 years of science. Evolutionary theory explains quite well the complexities of life and how those complexities arose. Second, Juby is still equating abiogenesis with evolution, and when he says evolution in the above quote, he means abiogenesis. Furthermore, earth formed 4.5 billion years ago and the first signs of life are 3.6 billion years old, so abiogenesis did not take an infinite amount of time. This could be an example of a lie from Juby.

However, the third point (the one I alluded to above) is Juby admitting that creationism is magic and nothing more. Juby truly wants people to believe that a god created life on earth with nothing more than magic!

However, this does not deter Juby, his next move is to project that fault (creationism = magic) onto evolution.

But never mind that for a second – let’s assume that somehow, by some miracle (yes, if you believe in evolution, you believe miracles – more on that later on in another lesson), we have enough amino acids, and somehow, by some miracle, they are joining together.  Let’s say we’re 10 billion years into the process, and we have 100 of the amino acids joined in the correct sequence, making half a protein.  What’s going to happen to that half-a-protein while the other 100 aminos get their act together? I’ll tell you – they’ll disintegrate! They’ll detach from each other, and we will lose what we already had!

 

Again, Juby’s ignorance of anything remotely resembling science shines through like a beacon in the night. Juby, why will they detach and disintegrate? You state this without giving a shred of evidence.

The other side of the “time” coin that the anti-creationists don’t want you to know about is the deterioration of the genome.  Evolution thrives on mutations.  Mutations are errors in our genetic code – the code that is essentially the blueprint on how to build you, or a plant, or a fish, etc…

 

Juby is essentially correct in his definition of what a mutation is, however, he does use some loaded language in it. Now watch as Juby uses his ignorance of genetics and his loaded language to create another fallacious argument.

Tremendous advances have been made in the arena of genetics and the study of the genome, and the surprises have been numerous.  One surprise that has come to light in recent years is that mutations are usually near-neutral; that is, they usually have no effect, and so are sometimes missed by the DNA repair mechanisms in your body.  The second thing they’ve learned is that these “near-neutral” mutations now accumulate over time (because they’re not detected and removed), and the accumulating errors add up to one BIG error, which is a very big problem.

 

Juby is correct that neutral mutations are the bulk of mutations that occur and he is correct that the neutral mutations can accumulate over time. However, there is nothing that suggests the build up of neutral mutations can lead to problems, as Juby states. Since he gives no evidence of this, I feel it is safe to assume Juby has no evidence to back this claim.

Third, negative mutations (that is, mutations that are definitely bad for you) outnumber the “good” ones considerably.

 

This is also true, but natural selection weeds those mutations out, thus they are not passed down to the next generation as frequently as good mutations. I do not understand why Juby would omit this fact.

Fourth, the “beneficial” mutations (the ones that are supposedly “good” for you) are always deletions – in other words, the supposed “beneficial” mutations which you can read about in the scientific literature, are actually information in the genetic code that is LOST.

 

This is patently false. Beneficial mutations can be any of the forms of mutations that we observe (deletions, point mutation, insertions, etc…). Thus, mutations can add and subtract to the genetic code. This could be classed as another example of Juby simply lying.

So to sum all these points together, we are losing valuable information in our genetic code over time.  We are also gaining errors over time, which really means we’re losing information that way as well.  When enough of the blueprint contained in the genetic code is corrupted, your body no longer has good enough “plans” on how to build/maintain your body, and you die.  We are losing this information so fast that all life as we know it should have died off millions of years ago, if indeed we had been around that long.

 

Now we see why he had to distort and perhaps lie in his last example. It was so he can present this conclusion based on all the falsehoods presented above.

In Conclusion:

Evolution requires an infinite amount of time, and yet, even if evolution was given its required infinite amount of time, it still could not produce life.  If we had millions of years, we would lose the life we have.  It is evident that life has not been around for millions of years, and that an intelligent Creator was involved in its origin.

 

No Juby, in conclusion, you do not know the first thing about genetics, abiogenesis, and deep time or you are blatantly misrepresenting everything you know in order to spin it to suit your preconceived notions.

Coming up in lesson three:

Dinosaurs and humans step on evolution…

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