Well, technically, you’re right, but…

An email I received from the latest non-scientist who believes they have stumbled onto a glaring weakness in the theory of evolution that was never noticed by any of the millions of biologists that have worked and taught in the field over the past 100 years or so.

no subject    tylerjfrancke gmail

Sigh.

  • Seth

    What was the response?

    • None yet. What do you think I should say? πŸ™‚

      • Seth

        Theologically you would know best.
        Not that it would help, but scientifically point out that abiogenesis is distinct from evolution.

        • I don’t know that anything would help in this case, but thanks.

      • Life coming from non-life has nothing to do with evolution, however the Bible 100% supports Abiogenesis. How did God create life? By using non-living matter. God created life from non-life.

        • Not just non-living matter, but the earth. Which is basically the same thing as this guy’s ridiculous example about the stones. You could also point out that, hey, how do we know life wouldn’t emerge from a stone after 20 billion years? No one has ever done that experiment before, and 20 billion years is a long time. In fact, it’s roughly three and a half million times older than this guy most likely believes the universe has been around. Anything could happen. That’s what so frustrating about this debate. Their arguments are weak at best and idiotically fallacious and contradictory at worst, and yet, they firmly believe their rhetoric trumps the hard evidence and expert opinion because … Bible.

          • Yea, but its not just them. This kind of nonsense is everywhere. Hell flip on the news between Fox News and MSNBC and you can get 2 completely different stories about the same event.

            It’s pick your own reality.

  • My comment would be, in this many words: Chemistry is not about the origin of atoms, but about how they can be arranged to make molecules. Similarly, evolution is not about the origin of life but about its development and diversity. Anyone who tells you that evolution is false because we do not as yet know the origin of life is lying to you.

    • Very true. I like to use the example from physics. Neither Newton nor Einstein had to understand how the universe originated in order to postulate their theories of classical motion and relativity. Physics studies the forces that govern the universe now, regardless of how or when the universe began. In the same way, evolution is the study of how life operates and diversified after it got started, regardless of how and when it began. Indeed, evolution is a meaningless concept in the absence of life; it does not exist until life does as well.

  • Nancy Lindsay Rosenzweig

    After 20 billions years of knocking into each other in a backpack, maybe those stones would not be stones any more. I suspect that after the first billion years or so they would be tiny grains of sand. And maybe after those little grains of sand had been banging into each other for a few more billion years, some of them would have broken down into the molecular level. And the backpack would have disintegrated into component parts as well. Given enough time, maybe some of the molecules that had composed the stones and backpack would have broken down and then recombined into simple compounds – maybe even proteins and amino acids after a few more billion years. Maybe, just maybe, there would be the beginnings of life there. And why would we assume that matter in motion would remain unchanged after many billions of years? Still two stones in a backpack after all that? I think his answer is less likely that mine.

    • Your relentless logic and reason is not welcome here.

      • Nancy Lindsay Rosenzweig

        I did misread the original post – very tiny print, I thought it was “back pack” rather than “back garden.” Even so, are we to assume that the environment would be completely static over 20 billion years? That’s still highly unlikely.

        • Sorry about the small print, Nancy. FYI, if you like, you can click on the JPEG and it should open in your browser at full size.

  • 20 *Billion* years? I’m sure this guy would be amazed to find out what happens to two stones in 20 **BILLION** years…after the sun has supernova’d and those rocks, if they even still exist as rocks, are flung out of the solar system and land on some gas giant planet and are pulverized over time into dust. Who knows? Maybe some of that dust just might end up being part of some creature’s flesh at some point or another. Twenty billion years is an AWFULLY long time. The oldest rocks on Earth are somewhere around the 4 billion year mark.

  • Realistically though – lighthouse brother did not mention what his two rocks were made of. It’s unlikely that these two rocks contain much in the way of organic compounds, nor are we starting out with them immersed in a medium (like a hot spring, or ocean) where those compounds would have freedom to mix and mingle in ways that would have any chance at giving rise to any stage of possible abiogenesis. And even then, it’s not like any two rocks even with organic compounds, given enough time, would give rise to life.
    So let’s change up the scenario, because two rocks in a garden really isn’t part of anyone’s hypothesis of how evolution might have happened. But let’s say they are two meteorites, containing some really nice organic compounds such as we have now seen in space. And let’s say they landed in a location that at some point in 20 billion years is going to be flooded by the right mix of fluids at the right temperature and… hey, anything could happen. Is it likely? No. No one says anything about abiogenesis being likely even under the best conditions. But given enough time, and enough different scenarios of two organic-compound laden rocks in the right settings, over and over, in millions of different locations on a planet with all sorts of opportunities of fluid mixes, well, one of them on a planet here or there, with billions of years of opportunities, might just become some form of life – yes.

  • Larry Bunce

    The rock analogy draws on the same logic as the “Peanut Butter, The Atheist’s Nightmare” video.
    In case anyone hasn’t seen it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZFG5PKw504
    Peanut butter would be loaded with peanut DNA, so if a jarfull grew into a peanut plant, it wouldn’t represent abiogenesis. Most arguments against evolution assume only atheists accept it, and use the argument from ignorance– I don’t understand it, therefore no one can, and scientists are just making up wild stories to drive people away from God. This assumes that science drives people away from religion, so that scientific ignorance is something to be proud of.
    The more I learn from science how complicated life is, the more I am convinced that God designed it. I also know that belief in a Divine Designer is not, and cannot be, a part of science. Invoking divine miracles does not substitute for careful research in science, just as an accountant’s prayers will not substitute for complete recordkeeping in making the books calance.

  • Ah man what have I been wasting my time studying evolution for? You got ‘logiced’ by this guy. New term for when some thinks they’ve used the powers of reason and successfuly beaten you πŸ˜‰

    • I encourage people to use logic, but it takes practice or you might hurt yourself.

  • Nick Hodgetts

    ‘Sigh’ indeed. The level of scientific ignorance ‘out there’ is shocking. The funny thing is, most of us who do not understand aspects of science such as subatomic physics, neurosurgery or even just how a television works, are happy to let those who do understand get on with it. Evolutionary biology seems to be unique in that ignorance seems to be no barrier to people putting in their two-penny-worth. Strange.

    • Seth

      Don’t forget climate change, which is why the National Center for Science Education recently added it to evolution as an area of concern of theirs.
      Pat Robertson is one of the more prominent religious based climate change deniers
      http://issuehawk.com/tamar/2014/10/28/pat-robertson-admits-climate-change-is-bad-for-humans-at-least-in-biblical-times.html
      AiG at least admits it is real, but it is a result of the Flood, and therefore of no concern
      https://answersingenesis.org/environmental-science/climate-change/science-confirms-climate-change/

      • Pat Robertson is one of the more prominent religiously motivated climate change deniers

        It’s interesting that in the past year, Robertson has actually become a pretty outspoken critic of young-earth creationism and Ken Ham. I mean, if you ever found yourself farther to the extreme far right than Pat Freaking Robertson, wouldn’t you start to wonder if maybe you were doing something wrong?

        AiG at least admits it is real, but it is a result of the Flood, and therefore of no concern

        Right, I’ve read that before. Because, obviously, when God told Noah that he regretted his actions and would never again destroy the earth in a flood, what he “really” meant was, “I will now begin a period of erratic and unpredictable climate and weather changes that will often cause loss of life and property and will continue for at least the next 5,000 years or so.” #seemslegit

  • I’d be pretty impressed if my house and backyard were there after 20 billion years!

  • Dart Humeston

    I believe the best response might be “God bless you, have a nice day.” The core issue is not evolution or creationism. It is how people interpret the bible. Any debate about two rocks or anything else is just a waste of time and an opportunity for argument.

    • You’re probably right, Dart. Thanks for the comment.