This is a blog to discuss philosophy, chess, politics,
C. S. Lewis, or whatever it is that I'm in the mood to discuss.
Many thanks for the link.
Oh Dear. As if McGrath would have any idea what Augustine would say of Darwin. Chalk and cheese. One scenario: If it were possible to transport Augustine by time machine into the 21st C, I have no doubt McGrath and Augustine would be able to converse theology as though they were long lost compatriots; they would speak eloquently on theist matters as though there were no time differential. If, however, Augustine were to discuss science, he would be a blithering idiot, with significantly less knowledge of general science a seven year old would have.So let's not to prop up apologetics with speculation. The 66 booklets that constitute the opus of judeo-christian thinking is sufficiently speculative even at its best presentation. Surely McGrath has better things to do with his time.Sheesh
Some good comments from the article:"Augustine was deeply concerned that biblical interpreters might get locked into reading the Bible according to the scientific assumptions of the age. This, of course, happened during the Copernican controversies of the late 16th century. Traditional biblical interpretation held that the sun revolved around the earth. The church interpreted a challenge to this erroneous idea as a challenge to the authority of the Bible. It was not, of course. It was a challenge to one specific interpretation of the Bible—an interpretation, as it happened, in urgent need of review.Augustine anticipated this point a millennium earlier. Certain biblical passages, he insisted, are genuinely open to diverse interpretations and must not be wedded to prevailing scientific theories. Otherwise, the Bible becomes the prisoner of what was once believed to be scientifically true: "In matters that are so obscure and far beyond our vision, we find in Holy Scripture passages which can be interpreted in very different ways without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such cases, we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search for truth justly undermines our position, we too fall with it."Thanks again for the link.
If, however, Augustine were to discuss science, he would be a blithering idiot, with significantly less knowledge of general science a seven year old would have.How obnoxious of you, Papalinton, to suggest you would be Augustine's intellectual equal!
Anonymous"How obnoxious of you, Papalinton, to suggest you would be Augustine's intellectual equal!"Thanks. That does my heart good to note your response. It speaks much of the shadow of the rock from under which you emerged.Cheers
GREV"Augustine anticipated this point a millennium earlier. Certain biblical passages, he insisted, are genuinely open to diverse interpretations and must not be wedded to prevailing scientific theories."This is the quintessential definition of 'Astrology'.Nuff said.
That does my heart good to note your response. It speaks much of the shadow of the rock from under which you emerged.Whatever you say, braintrust!
I'm afraid Papalinton is such a deluded New Atheist Fundamentalist you can't get any better from him than snark.He thinks Dawkins is an intelligent critic of religion.Nuff said.
If ID advocates are correct, then the more was needed than the laws of physics in order to produce life. And origin of life research seems to bear this out. They've reached a dead end, whether they admit it or not.
And origin of life research seems to bear this out. They've reached a dead end, whether they admit it or not.Bilbo,I strongly disagree and I am afraid you are not sufficiently informed about current, highly promising origin-of-life research. I am a Christian, but I find an origin of life by natural causes now extremely likely. For an overview of recent research, see my article on the evolution website Talkorigins.org:http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/originoflife.htmlI would have agreed with you 10 years ago though. But the research on the topic since then has just been spectacular, in my view.
>I am a Christian, but I find an origin of life by natural causes now extremely likely.Aquinas believed in Spontaneous Generation. He also believed it was a natural process.
Until Paplinton shows that he has the ability to converse thoughtfully, and actually consider the views of others, he's best ignored.
@ Ben YachovAquinas? Spontaneous generation? Did he also have a perspective on 'spontaneous combustion'?As they say, 'with science we get better, with religion we get more'.Aquinas, he is so big in theoland, as he stands on the shoulders of pygmies. Ben, where is the new and exciting corpus of christian development and knowledge that can rival or match the exponential growth that of science? I want to hear about the new and wonderful discoveries in christian theism that have built on Aquinas' work. Where is the christian equivalent of science's 'E=mc2' development from Newton's laws of motion? Where is the equivalent of christian research and development? Crikeys! Even Sociology, Psychology and Anthropology have leapt mightily in comparison. Freud and Piaget are now little more than interesting historical tidbits in serious Psychology and Psychiatry.
But science does have its demigods: Newton, Darwin, Einstein. Neuroscience has Hodgkin, Huxley, Ramon y Cajal. What they said isn't taken on authority, but based on the quality of their science. I assume the same is partly true of Aquinas: he is revered partly because of the quality of his philosophy, not just because of a blind respect for authority.And they might say that Aquinas was the Einstein of theology, so they already have the E=mc^2 of theology in the Summa Theologica.Al Moritz: did you see that there is yet another claim of micro-organism fossils found in meteorites? You can find it here. Get ready for a shitstorm of media coverage.
Incidentally I am largely ignorant of origins of life research, haven't read beyond Dyson's excellent book on the subject, and then the 'News and Views' level stuff on RNA worlds in Nature/Science.If it turns out that life is something that happens regularly in meteors that seeded the earth....that would be freaking MIND BLOWING.And another feather in Crick's cap.
Oops forgot to say I am skeptical of these "discoveries" of life in meteors, but if it turns out to be true that would be just cool...Good example of why I love science so much! Whether the theists or the atheists try to claim the result as their own (of course both will), the science that goes into the discovery in the first place is what interests me most.
Correction: the New Testament is the E=mc2 of theology...everything else is commentary...Back to my spiderhole to write....presently summarizing the case for the putative chasm between consciousness and brain processes...
BDK - I wouldn't get too worked up about it. These claims are all too common w/o anything really solid to go on, and Hoover himself has been making them for a while. He was claiming the same for Orgueil C11 back in 07'.
Anon: yes I remember the fiasco with McKay well, that's why I'm pretty skeptical. Plus, it came out in a pretty cheesy source (Gawker said the site looks like a site from 1997 selling New Age music). You'd think if the evidence were stronger, it would come out in a better journal.OTOH, maybe the bigger journals are just being cautious because of what happened with the previous such claim.Anyway, yes I don't believe it, but it does spark the imagination.
Hi Al, Robert Shapiro (probably the most credible source on origin of life research) rejected Szostak's scenario as completely unrealistic. Though both Shapiro and Orgel thought that the RNA world was an intermediate between the first form of life and its present form, both rejected the idea of RNA as being the first genetic material. That means either: (1) Some simpler genetic material had to be first, or (2) the metabolism first scenario had to happen. But no simpler genetic material has been found that would work, and all the research on metabolism first scenarios shows that nothing of much significance happens. And of course, even if the right genetic material is found, or a metabolism first scenario, there is still information problem. Keep believing in abiogeneis all you want, though. Faith is a marvelous thing.
PZ Myers has given us his opinion on the bacteria in the meteorite.
Papalinton,Yeh what is your point again? Because you write a lot of words but you don't really say anything?Anyway it's good to see our good buddy BDK here. That means the Atheist IQ on this specific thread has now jumped by an order of magnitude. Best you not drag it down so much Paps.>Aquinas? Spontaneous generation? Did he also have a perspective on 'spontaneous combustion'?Wow are you really this thick? The point is Aquinas believed the origin of life(at least simple life) can be a purely natural process (sans the supernatural). Thus in principle modern scientific research into abiogenesis poses no threat to Theism. It's not hard.
@BDK>Correction: the New Testament is the E=mc2 of theology...everything else is commentary...Like most analogies that is true as far as it goes. OTOH those of us who reject Sola Scriptura and the perspicuity of scripture might say the New Testament is the material content that helps formulate the E=mc2 of theology......(It makes sense to me and maybe to other Catholics......)Cheers man!:-)PS. Hope the new baby is well. I've had a little tragedy this past week. My wife's mother passed away. We found her in her apartment. It was a bad scene. But life goes on.
Of course, PZ Myers is first and foremost a Christian apologist. Can a theist like him really be objective on something that threatens his faith?
BenYachov thanks for the note: I had to look up sola scriptura. Also, I'm very sorry to hear about your family's horrible loss.PZ Myers' did a decent-enough job trashing that study, though I wish he'd decrease the ratio of ad hominem to actual counterargument. The nice thing is the journals will publish good refutations, and they tend to act as a low-pass filter that smooths out the shrill. The blogosphere seems to act as a high-pass filter...
OK, this site has convinced me the folks running this journal are wack jobs.Word ver word: idists!
BDK: "Word ver word: idists!"Hey, I resemble that remark! :) -- Bilbo (commenting from a computer where I prefer not to use my google password)
Hi BDK"And they might say that Aquinas was the Einstein of theology, so they already have the E=mc^2 of theology in the Summa Theologica."And so there has not been much movement in theology in the past 1,000 years. Science has even gone past this theory with various options and improvements on the basic thrust of Einstein's theory.About the list of so-called demigods of science, I do not know of one of these great scientists for which candles are ritually lit, that followers prostrate themselves to in some form of idolatrous sacrament, or even lie supine.No, Aquinas was 11thC, he was a product of the 11thC, and he should remain in the 11thC in the context of modern thought and continued contribution to the commonwealth of human knowledge and understanding; and not sully modern thinking for modern issues. Yes, be respectful for the contribution he has made to our understanding of the human condition. To put him up as an exemplar of contemporary thinking is quite a stretch, and is only done so by theists principally because of the dearth of any significantly developed theist scholarship.
Ben, sorry for your family's loss.Bilbo,Robert Shapiro (probably the most credible source on origin of life research)according to whom? According to you because he speaks to your prejudices? rejected Szostak's scenario as completely unrealistic. Though both Shapiro and Orgel thought that the RNA world was an intermediate between the first form of life and its present form, both rejected the idea of RNA as being the first genetic material. So did Szostak, until in 2009 the group of Sutherland showed a plausible biosynthetic route for pyrimidine nucleotides, see my article and references therein. Now there is well-founded hope that the RNA world may indeed have stood at the beginning.And of course, even if the right genetic material is found, or a metabolism first scenario, there is still information problem.No, there is not. The 'information problem' is an ID fallacy.Keep believing in abiogeneis all you want, though. Faith is a marvelous thing.Theological faith certainly. However, I don't need faith with respect to this issue. I have strong scientific data to back up reasonable expectations.Al
Don't tell the creationists, but scientists don't have a clue how life began
The first answer to that article in the comment section says it all:Too bad your editor is gone, because the headline should have been nixed. How about "Freelancer tries to make a buck on a 20 year old article" - at least it would be more accurate.
Al, you're dead wrong and uniformed besides.Look at me. I can "say it all" too. ;)
Anon"Don't tell the creationists, but scientists don't have a clue how life began."Nor do theists. And unlike theists, scientists never said they did.
Al, you're dead wrong and uniformed besides.Dead wrong, maybe, yet I gravely doubt it. But uninformed? With an article citing more than 100 references from the core primary scientific literature that I have all studied? And that I have studied as a scientist, a biochemist?Don't make me laugh.I guess such a comment is only possible in the strange, surreal, indeed 'virtual', world of the internet.
Al Moritz,I think the point of Anon's post was satire. You just dismissed the article without giving any specific reasons as to why you thought it was wrong. Like you I am a Theist who believes abiogenesis poses no threat to Theism. But I need a reason to doubt the article other than "How about "Freelancer tries to make a buck on a 20 year old article".(Not that I automatically believe it either)Anyway thanks for the sympathy for my Mother-in-Law.God be with you friend.
Ben,If it was satire, then good, but I am not so sure it was."20 year old article" was the specific reason. As I had said in an earlier post to Bilbo:I would have agreed with you 10 years ago though. But the research on the topic since then has just been spectacular, in my view.Al
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