Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Negative Attitude

My previous post featured a review by David B. Hart in First Things magazine. He criticized Intelligent Design Theory (ID) as something that "can never be logically demonstrated." ID states that life is too complex to have happened by the physical and chemical laws alone. It may be that one experiment does not disprove total materialistic evolution of life. But when one after another yield negative results, one must put together the pieces.

In an example of a pre-life experiment, the scientist David Deamer dumped pre-biotic molecules into hot volcanic pools which were supposed to form higher and more plentiful molecules of life. His experiment showed that they did not only fail for form more, but disappeared themselves. This is from a UC Santa Cruz article from April 3, 2006 about his findings:

In June 2005, he [Deamer] led a team of scientists, including Russian geologist Vladimir Kompanichenko, to the Kamchatka region in eastern Russia, an area abounding in pools of water heated and sterilized by constant volcanic activity. Deamer carried with him a version of the "primordial soup"--a mixture of compounds like those a meteorite could have delivered to the early Earth, including a fatty acid, amino acids, phosphate, glycerol, and the building blocks of nucleic acids. Finding a promising-looking boiling pool on the flanks of an active volcano, he poured the mixture in and then took samples from the pool at various intervals for analysis back in the lab at UCSC.

The results were strikingly negative: life did not emerge, no membranes assembled themselves, and no amino acids combined into proteins. Instead, the added chemicals quickly vanished, mostly absorbed by clay particles in the pool. Instead of supporting life, the bubbling pool had snuffed it out before it began. Later, Deamer repeated the same experiment at Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California, with the same negative result.

Now, would Hart say that this is not science, since the results were negative? How would you disprove anything if negative findings did not count?

To disprove (total materialistic) evolution is to prove something else is going on.

There are discussions about Hart's review at First Things "A Walk to the Moon." and "Re: A Walk to the Moon." Be prepared--it garnered over 200 comments.

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