meester_bond (meester_bond) wrote,

The Reliability of the Bible Saga: Part 17

So here's the final part for now of my interactions with Scott. Well, I say "Scott", but it's more like "just Robert" by this point. Whatever. So how did Robert respond to my last comment? By basically ignoring everything I'd written, especially the stuff about his appeals to authority, and instead just went on a further anti-science tirade. See for yourself...

Robert Webb:

Jon, way to ignore the arguments that refute you and engage in an abiogenesis-protocell of the gaps argument from ignorance. There is zero evidence that abiogenesis is even possible so you are engaging in an abiogenesis/evolution of the gaps argument filling in the gaps of zero evidence with the assertion that natural chemical processes could yield rna/dna and an unevidenced protocell. Your vid is a fraud as I pointed out it absurdly claims "the prebiotic contained hundreds of types of nucleotides not just RNA and DNA" showing the guy knows nothing about the subject and by using this vid, neither do you. There are not hundreds of different types of nucleotides nor any evidence there were any in the prebiotic environment. By definition there are only nucleotides of rna and dna consisting of the five nucleotides (U, C, G, T, A) which are defined as nucleotides because they are the bases of rna and dna. Get it? The only reason they are nucleotides is because in order to be a nucleotide, it must be a base of rna and dna meaning there are no other types of nucleotides! There are no other nucleotides! So the vid makes an incredibly sophmoric, basic blunder. There was not hundreds of types in the prebiotic environment, there wasnt any, there is zero evidence of this. And nucleotides are defined as nucleotides by being the bases of rna and dna. Sutherland, Powner and Gerland's experiment is the most current research which started with artificial, unnatural ingredients, purified cyanoacetylene which is unknown in nature and right handed ribose isomers to intelligently design the experiment to avoid the chirality problem, artificially intervened at numerous crucial steps to purify results, remove lethal byproducts and add phosphate buffers, acknowledged as a 'synthetic sequence' by Szostak and critiqued by Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at NYU, Robert Shapiro and acknowledged by Powner, that there has been little advancements in the study of the origin and development of the genome since the inception of molecular biology 50 years ago and so all of the abiogenesis researched is critiqued by Benner et al :

"...Of course, much remains to be done. We must now try to determine how the various starting materials could have accumulated in a relatively pure and concentrated form in local environments on early Earth. Furthermore, although Powner and colleagues’ synthetic sequence yields the pyrimidine ribonucleotides, it cannot explain how purine ribonucleotides (which incorporate guanine and adenine) might have formed."

When commenting on this research last May, Robert Shapiro, professor emeritus of chemistry at New York University, stated, “"the bases adenine, cytosine, guanine and uracil were readily available on the early earth is not supported by existing knowledge of the basic chemistry of these substances", "The chances that blind, undirected, inanimate chemistry would go out of its way in multiple steps and use of reagents in just the right sequence to form RNA is highly unlikely.”
The research, said Shapiro, “definitely does not meet my criteria for a
plausible pathway to the RNA world” because one of the “assumed starting materials is quickly destroyed by other chemicals and its appearance in pure form on the early earth ‘could be considered a fantasy.’”33
Commenting for Nature, Shapiro further argued, “The flaw is in the
logic—that this experimental control by researchers in a modern laboratory could have been available on the early Earth.”

33. Wade, Nicholas, “Chemist Shows How RNA Can Be the Starting Point for Life,” New
York Times (May 14, 2009).

IUBMB Life. 2009 Feb;61(2):99-111.
Origin and evolution of the genetic code: the universal enigma.
Koonin EV, Novozhilov AS.
National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

"In our opinion, despite extensive and, in many cases, elaborate attempts to model code optimization, ingenious theorizing along the lines of the coevolution theory, and considerable experimentation, very little definitive progress has been made.

Summarizing the state of the art in the study of the code evolution, we cannot escape considerable skepticism. It seems that the two-pronged fundamental question: "why is the genetic code the way it is and how did it come to be?," that was asked over 50 years ago, at the dawn of molecular biology, might remain pertinent even in another 50 years. Our consolation is that we cannot think of a more fundamental problem in biology."

Which led to statements like this summating the issue by researchers in PubMed:

"The grandest of these models assumes that ribonucleic acid (RNA) arose prebiotically, together with components for compartments that held it and a primitive metabolism that nourished it. Unfortunately, it has been challenging to identify possible prebiotic chemistry that might have created RNA. Organic molecules, given energy, have a well-known propensity to form multiple products, sometimes referred to collectively as "tar" or "tholin." These mixtures appear to be unsuited to support Darwinian processes, and certainly have never been observed to spontaneously yield a homochiral genetic polymer. To date, proposed solutions to this challenge either involve too much direct human intervention to satisfy many in the community, or generate molecules that are unreactive "dead ends" under standard conditions of temperature and pressure."

Benner SA, Kim HJ, Kim MJ, Ricardo A. Planetary organic chemistry and origins of biomolecules. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2010 Jul;2(7):a003467. Epub 2010 May 26.

Next you conceded there is no evidence of fatty acids, and no evidence of simpler protocells, yet the vid says this otherwise that the prebiotic environment contained many fatty acids and it is known the first life was simpler. Saying it just makes sense these existed is begging the question and circular reasoning, you dont get to assert that without evidence.

I will grant you that the vid could be saying only one type of nucleotide (either rna or dna) is all that is needed to polymerize and not one nucleotide,however, polymerization is also unproven, it's one of the assumptions and regarded as a problem


For Jon, a little more on this. Powner acknowledging the intelligent human intervention in their study and Lacanzo stating the bridges between rna world and pre-rna world are 'unknown' and merely 'surmised':

From Powner et al article:

"We then took a crude sample of 11 that had just been prepared from cyanamide 8 and glycolaldehyde 10 in the presence of phosphate, and added glyceraldehyde 9 to it."

"To prevent the rise in pH during the reaction, inorganic phosphate was added as a buffer...Using phosphate as a dual-function pH and chemical buffer in this way, the arabinose anhydronucleoside 13 could be produced in extremely high yield from 12. Our finding that the reaction of the amino-oxazoline 12 with
cyanoacetylene 7 could be controlled, by the pH and chemical buffering action of phosphate,"

"It is apparent that although 1 would be one of the major products, these coproducts might interfere with any subsequent incorporation of 1 into RNA. Accordingly, we sought a means of selectively destroying these co-products."

"Antonio Lazcano, a National Autonomous University of Mexico biologist and expert in early Earth chemistry who was not involved in the study, called the work a synthetic biology breakthrough, but repeated Ghadiri’s caveat that chemical bridges between the pre-RNA and RNA worlds are “completely unknown and can only be surmised.”

According to University of Manchester organic chemist John Sutherland, who co-authored the Nature study showing how RNA’s ingredients could have formed, the new research is less important in providing primordial insight than in furthering the eventual creation of life in a laboratory."

To put my reaction lightly: blah blah fucking blah another Gish-Gallup by Robert, what a surprise!


By definition there are only nucleotides of RNA and DNA consisting of the five nucleotides (U, C, G, T, A) which are defined as nucleotides because they are the bases of RNA and DNA. Get it?

Uh no. and - Essentially any purine or pyrimidine derivate that can be strapped on a phosphate backbone and can form base pairs via hydrogen bonds can form a nucleotide.

Also, There are nucleotides of LNA and TNA .

It’s probably not completely correct to say that about PNA and GNA because they don’t have a sugar backbone, but they are analogues.

In addition to the five nucleotides you mention, there's also I, Ψ, X, D, Q, Yt and more.

Nucleotides are NOT defined as ‘the bases of RNA and DNA’. Nucleotides are biomolecules composed of a nitrogenous base (which include the primary purine and pyrimidine bases found in RNA and DNA), a 5-carbon sugar (ribose or deoxyribose) and one or more phosphate groups. Stop pulling stuff out of your ass.

As far as I can see, your argument amounts to: "you sciencey people don’t know everything yet, so you’re just ‘surmizing’ an ‘asuming’ that step X, Y, Z took place, therefore GOD."

Yeah, real convincing stuff… (/sarcasm)

Seems that you think “science” refers to the facts discovered by the process of science, and thus you are trying to refute “science” by attacking the current understanding of these facts, as well as by attacking the fact that that understanding is, as every scientist writing a grant application joyfully proclaims, still very far from complete.

What you don’t seem to understand is that the very strength of the scientific process is that it is forthrightly and proudly incomplete — we are always testing our ideas against ever-harder anvils, so that we can reject the flawed ones and adopt newer and better ones. So we don’t know everything about abiogenesis yet? So what? The way we’re gonna figure out the things we don’t know yet is still by applying the scientific process, not by swallowing Bronze Age scribblings with less factual merit than Harry Potter novels hook, line, and sinker. You want us to believe in your deity? Fine, throw away your Bible, go into your lab, and find the ineffable ol’ bastard, and then well talk. But until you do come up with some evidence, please keep your creepy, low-rent Torah fanfic to yourself.

Robert, you continue to miss the point. All your arguments against abiogenesis based on likelihood and logic are irrelevant, because they all also apply equally to God. If abiogenesis is too comples to occur spontaneously then God is even moreso. If it can be allowed that God is eternal and needs no cause or explanation, then neither does abiogenesis.

Even if there were ZERO evidence for abiogenesis (which is false – at bare minimum we have evidence that the precursors to abiogenesis actually exist, and we have evidence that all life processes are chemical reactions), since there is also zero evidence for the existence of God, parsimony states that abiogenesis must be preferred over God until more evidence is available because it is the simpler explanation.

The dilemma can only be decided in God’s favor by POSITIVE evidence that God exists, not by any amount of negative evidence about how hard it might be for abiogenesis to occur.

If you do not have such positive evidence, then you have nothing.

Still no direct evidence for your imaginary creator Robert. Your delusional thinking is amusing. You don’t know how to do science, which is you starting with the null hypothesis there is no deity. And you can’t ever get to the point where the deity is necessary, as science has it all explained. Gaps in scientific knowledge is where science is looking. Nothing to hide your imaginary deity in. Only delusional presuppositional fools like you do that. All you can do is provide imagufactured “evidence” and tortured presuppositional mental wanking that is meaningless. No presupposition your imaginary deity exists, no deity is required ever. You lose.

You want to win, show us the equivalent of the eternally burning bush. Direct and conclusive evidence. Not imaginary gaps in the knowledge of science, which is incomplete.

Serious question: Why is it that presuppositionalists, like yourself, so desperately need the approbation of science?

But I've enjoyed this debate with you, Robert. I’m interested to note that when you see “don’t know, but see no reason to *introduce* a supernatural element not needed or suggested anywhere else”, your response is to call that “abiogenesis of the gaps” – it’s positively bizarre! It’s as if you think your flavour of god can actually be demonstrated and observed anywhere else … and that, to your mind, “don’t know” is somehow an attempt to handwave away … the fact that there is something not known! Perfectly and completely arse-backwards. I’d love to see your explanation of why you think there’s evidence for any deity at all, let alone your flavour.

Robert gets maybe a sixteenth of a point for actually citing peer-reviewed scientific literature — but minus ten billion for faffing it up in a typically stupid and dishonest creationist manner.

Sutherland, Powner and Gerland’s experiment is the most current research which started with artificial, unnatural ingredients, purified cyanoacetylene which is unknown in nature

Silly creationist (tricks are for kids!)

From the abstract ( ) : “The starting materials for the synthesis–cyanamide, cyanoacetylene, glycolaldehyde, glyceraldehyde and inorganic phosphate–are plausible prebiotic feedstock molecules [12]-[15]”

What are references [12]-[15]?

[12] Thaddeus, P. The prebiotic molecules observed in the interstellar gas. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 361, 1681-1687 (2006).
[13] Sanchez, R. A., Ferris, J. P. & Orgel, L. E. Cyanoacetylene in prebiotic synthesis. Science 154, 784-785 (1966).
[14] Pasek, M. A. & Lauretta, D. S. Aqueous corrosion of phosphide minerals from iron meteorites: a highly reactive source of prebiotic phosphorus on the surface of the early Earth. Astrobiology 5, 515-535 (2005).
[15] Bryant, D. E. & Kee, T. P. Direct evidence for the availability of reactive, water soluble phosphorus on the early Earth. H-phosphinic acid from the Nantan meteorite. Chem. Commun. 2344-2346 (2006).

I see that the first one is even online with free access:

Look at Figure 1.

The reason that the cyanoacetylene is purified is not because it is that way in nature, but to confirm that the chemical reaction is indeed the one taking place with those specific chemicals, and not with anything else. If it weren’t “purified”, you would no doubt be complaining that it was contaminated!

Arrogant, dishonest, mendacious, false-witness-bearing creationists.

Oh, and Robert? I’d still like to hear your explanation of what kind of magic it was that made “sin” cause entropy to start increasing, and how things lived for some length of time (or, well… any physical system) without it. You know: how it works and stuff. But honestly, I was surprised you decided to bite the bullet on that, but you still haven’t delivered your results. There are so much more interesting ways of losing an argument as a creationist. I recommend you try to remember why you made such an asinine claim in the first place, then find some way to change the subject again. But keep it real sciencey too. That’ll be fun.

All done. To date, Robert hasn't given a single response to the above. Neither has Scott. It's very clear that both ran from the debate because when forced to actually defend what they believe and what they intend to spread as "truth", they couldn't, end of. Force a creationist to really attempt to defend the heart of their beliefs, and they absolutely crumble. Which is a shame, because I'm sure there's some pretty good debaters out there who are wasted in defending such a dogmatic and outdated belief system.
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