Thursday, 30 December 2010

Morning Scepticism: Satisfactory Explanations

The universe didn't always exist, so neither did life. Life is on earth so how did life arise on this planet? One possible answer is that it didn't, that life colonised earth from another world. The collection of hypothesises called panspermia are are possible explanations to the question. Life didn't begin here, it came here would be the answer to the origin of life on earth. But as even a creationist would see, this doesn't actually answer how life arose. It's not a satisfactory explanation, even if its true. Likewise when a creationist says that life was an act of divine creation, it's not a satisfactory explanation. It doesn't tell us how life came about or even a mechanism by which it did. Even if it was all created by an intelligent creator, leaving the story there is like saying life originated outside of earth without adding anything more to it.

4 comments:

Intelligent Designer said...

It may be that we aren't yet intelligent enough to understand an explanation of how life arose on earth were the creator(s) to explain it to us. We can’t conclude that a partial explanation is untrue just because it’s not a complete explanation.

I can see why panspermia makes sense to some and I don’t see it as having any conflict with intelligent design. What evidence do you see as supporting panspermia?

Kel said...

I don't see any evidence now supporting panspermia, but I don't think it's entirely impossible either. There's quite simply too much unknown to make a call. More data is needed.

nazani said...

Read about the Murchison meteorites, which contained complex organic compounds.
Here's a place to dip your toe into the rapidly changing ideas about abiogenesis:
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/originoflife.html

Since we learned a few weeks ago that life doesn't have to be carbon-based, I'd say keep an eye out for new scientific articles.

Monado, FCD said...

Bzeep! There is no evidence at all for creators. There is a fuckton of evidence for natural processes that could create complex molecules, bilipid layers i.e. proto-membranes, and so on, undirected. The evidence for panspermia is basically that some meteorites on Earth have come from the Moon and some from Mars after being blasted from their surfaces by meteorite strikes of their own and that some meteorites from elsewhere in the solar system contain carbonaceous compounds. So complex molecules or even spores that developed naturally there could have ended up here by a natural process. Panspermia as in "we were seeded here by beings from other solar systems" has no evidence. Right, Kel?