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The Big Picture: 56 minutes that may change your life

Professor John C. Walton is a scientist who holds not one but two doctorates. He is a Research Professor of Chemistry at St. Andrews University, and he is a Chartered Chemist. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In a recent talk for the Edinburgh Creation Group entitled, The Origin of Life, given on September 21, 2010, Professor Walton outlined his reasons for believing that the first living cell was the product of Intelligent Design. I would like to invite readers who genuinely believe in pursuing truth for truth’s sake to spend 56 minutes of their valuable time watching this video. To those who ask, “Why bother?” I would reply: “The insights you acquire as a result of viewing this video may well change your entire life.”

(VERY IMPORTANT: Before you play this video, press the PAUSE button and wait about two minutes, until the gray bar at the bottom has finished scrolling across to the right. Then press the PLAY button to start the video. Enjoy!)

Or watch the video on this link .

Highlights of Professor Walton’s talk

For those who really can’t spare the time to watch the 56-minute video, here are the main highlights, taken from a slide displayed near the end of Professor Walton’s talk:

  • Statistically, the chance of forming even one “useful” RNA sequence can be shown to be essentially zero in the lifetime of the earth.
  • The complexity of the first self-replicating system, and the information needed to build it, imply intelligent design.
  • Hope of beating the colossal odds against random formation of replicating RNA is based on ideology rather than science.
  • As lab experiments on model replicators become more complex they demonstrate the need for input from intelligent mind(s).
  • Acceptance of an early earth atmosphere free of oxygen atoms strains belief beyond breaking point!
  • No chemically or geologically plausible routes to nucleotides or RNA strands have been developed.
  • Geological field work shows no support for a “prebiotic soup.” It favors little change in the atmosphere over time. Living things have been present since the first crustal rocks.
  • After over 50 years of sterile origin of life research it is time to give intelligent design a fair hearing.

Alonso and Szostak’s speculative origin-of-life scenario

I would now invite readers to contrast Professor Walton’s thoughtful conclusions with the breezy self-assurance exhibited in an article entitled, Life on Earth by Alonso Ricardo and Jack W. Szostak in Scientific American (September 2009, pp. 54-61). The authors are, like Professor John Walton, highly distinguished scientists. Alonso Ricardo, who was born in Cali, Colombia, is a research associate at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Harvard University. He has a long-standing interest in the origin of life and is now studying self-replicating chemical systems. Jack W. Szostak is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical school and Massachusetts General Hospital. He was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, along with Elizabeth Blackburn and Carol W. Greider, for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres.

In the “Key Concepts” segment at the beginning of the Scientific American article, Life on Earth, the editors confidently proclaim that “Researchers have found a way that the genetic molecule RNA could have formed from chemicals present on the early earth,”and that “Other studies have supported the hypothesis that primitive cells containing molecules similar to RNA could assemble spontaneously, reproduce and evolve, giving rise to all life.” Towards the end of their article, the authors outline their scenario for the origin of life. For the benefit of readers, I have bolded the qualifying phrases used by the authors, in order to highlight the level of uncertainty which attaches to their proposed scenario:

This process would not have started on its own, but it could have with a little help. Imagine, for example, a volcanic region on the otherwise cold surface of the early earth (at the time, the sun shone at only 70 percent of its current power). There could be pools of cold water, perhaps partly covered by ice but kept liquid by hot rocks. The temperature differences would cause convection currents, so that every now and then protocells in the water would be exposed to a burst of heat as they passed near the hot rocks, but they would almost instantly cool down again as the heated water mixed with the bulk of the cold water. The sudden heating would cause a double helix to separate into single strands. Once back in the cool region, new double strands — copies of the original one — could form as the single strands acted as templates [see box on page 59].

As soon as the environment nudged protocells to start reproducing, evolution kicked in. In particular, at some point some of the RNA sequences mutated, becoming ribozymes that sped up the copying of RNA — thus adding a competitive advantage. Eventually ribozymes began to copy RNA without external help.

It is relatively easy to imagine how RNA-based protocells may have then evolved [see box above]. Metabolism could have arisen gradually, as new ribozymes enabled cells to synthesize nutrients internally from simpler and more abundant starting materials. Next, the organisms might have added protein making to their bag of chemical tricks.

With their astonishing versatility, proteins would have then taken over RNA’s role in assisting genetic copying and metabolism. Later, the organisms would have “learned” to make DNA, gaining the advantage of possessing a more robust carrier of genetic information. At that point, the RNA world became the DNA world, and life as we know it began. (p. 61)

I sincerely hope that after viewing Professor Walton’s 56-minute video on the origin of life, readers will be permanently inoculated against this kind of speculation.

An example of how laypeople are lulled into an accepting the sufficiency of unguided natural processes in accounting for the origin of life

On page 58 of their article, in Scientific American, Alonso and Szostak state that “genetic polymers, if they are made of the right sequences of nucleotides, can fold into complex shapes and can catalyze chemical reactions, just as today’s enzymes do.” Yes, but that’s a very big “if.” The authors continue: “Hence, it seems plausible that RNA in the very first organisms could have directed its own replication” (bold emphases mine). We can see here how the reader is being conditioned to accept the conclusion that the authors are promoting (or should I say begging?), that “the gaps in our understanding of the chemistry of life’s origin will someday be filled” (p. 59).

Alonso and Szostak’s origin-of-life scenario: a brilliant example of Intelligent Design

But wait, there’s more! Apparently results obtained by (human) Intellligent Design also count automatically as evidence for unguided evolution on the primordial Earth, four billion years ago! How can methodological naturalists possibly lose, with a strategy like that? To quote Alonso and Szostak:

We started with trillions of random RNA sequences. Then we selected the ones that had catalytic properties, and we made copies of those. At each round of copying some of the new RNA strands underwent mutations that turned them into more efficient catalysts, and once again we singled those out for the next round of copying. By this directed evolution we were able to produce ribozymes that can catalyze the copying of relatively short strands of other RNAs, although they fall far short of being able to copy polymers with their own sequences into progeny RNAs. (pp. 58-59) (Emphases mine – VJT.)

I would like to commend the authors for their honesty in this passage. Lesser scientists than they might have glossed over these awkward facts, but Alonso and Szostak were decent enough to acknowledge that nothing short of Intelligent Design can make their favored scenario work, at this point in time.

What does a leading evolutionary biologist think of Szostak’s work?

I would also like to quote some remarks (which were kindly forwarded to me recently) made by Dr. Eugene V. Koonin, a recognized expert on evolutionary biology, regarding Jack Szostak’s origin-of-life model in his latest book, The Logic of Chance: The Nature and Origin of Biological Evolution (FT Press, 2011, p. 340):

The lipid vesicles scenario is attactive because, in this case, the abiogenic membranes would be direct ancestors of the modern biological membranes. This possibility is being extensively studied experimentally, primarily in the laboratory of Jack Szostak, and interesting results on transport of polar compounds, including nucleotides, across lipid membranes have been reported (Mansy et al. 2008). However, the difficulties this model faces remain formidable. These problems are obvious enough and include not only the transport of monomers at rates sufficient to support the replication of genetic elements and translation inside the vesicles prior to the emergence of protein transporters, but also generation and maintenance of membrane potential for energy production. Furthermore, the vesicle model does not seem to be conducive to extensive HGT [horizontal gene transfer - VJT], which is an essential aspect of all microbial evolution but would have been specially important at the precellular stage. (Emphasis mine – VJT.)

So there we have it. According to Koonin, even if Alonso and Szosak’s model actually managed to create a living thing, the vesicle structures generated would inhibit its subsequent evolution. So much for microbe to man. How ironic.

”How do I decide?”

Some readers, witnessing the spectacle of eminent chemists clashing on the feasibility of life originating from non-living matter, may be inclined to shrug their shoulders and say, “I’m just a layperson. Who am I to judge between these scientists? I think I’ll go with the majority. That seems to be safer.” But to my mind, that kind of thinking is slavish, and ignores two things. One is the prevailing Zeitgeist, which means that scientists advocating Intelligent Design are openly hooted at – or worse. The other thing that this “majority rules” thinking ignores is the Big Picture. The problems associated with the origin of life from non-living matter have been neatly summarized above, in non-technical language taken from the last slide in Professor John Walton’s talk. All of us are capable of understanding the key issues at stake here, whether we have doctorates in chemistry or not. I have exposed the gaping uncertainties in the speculative scenario put forward by Alonso and Szostak above. To my mind, the two authors simply fail to address Walton’s key points. If I were adjudicating the debate so far, I’d say that Walton is winning.

When attempting to study unique events from the past that can’t be taken into the laboratory, then the element of subjectivity becomes very large. Origin events can’t be studied in the laboratory. The models that are developed depend critically on the assumptions that go into them, and these are often strongly influenced by ideology. Science has no valid right to supremacy in these areas. Of course, we can listen to what the scientists have to say, but they have no automatic right to supremacy in these areas.

We as individuals, whether we have a scientific training or not, are perfectly entitled to accept or reject their conclusions in this area. So I think it’s a great pity when popular scientists – influential scientists like Richard Dawkins – claim that those who reject the molecules to man scenario are either ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked… Now many people have picked up on his views and have echoed his remarks. Now I’m one who does reject that molecules to man scenario. I do reject it.

I am delighted to see a highly respected scientist speak out publicly against the “high priesthood of science” in the debate over origins. It’s time for ordinary people to stop feeling cowed by the pretentious assertions of the explanatory sufficiency of Naturalism which are regularly issued by the scientific elite, and point out to the “priests” the rather obvious fact that they are stark naked.

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33 Responses to The Big Picture: 56 minutes that may change your life

  1. 1

    “generation and maintenance of membrane potential for energy production.”

    energy is the real dirty little issue in this whole fiasco. like the creepy uncle that shows up at thanksgiving and hug-gropes the nieces and eats all the mashed potatoes. Szostak is being hug-groped by the energy problem, he can pretend it’s not there but it will keep lingering around his potatoes

  2. In the light of the vindication of the Big Bang theory and the science behind it, published on here the other day, and in the New American the day after, further strength is given to Professor Walton’s above rebuttal of abiogenesis and of the concomitant rejection of creationism.

    But if you are looking for humour, how about this introduction to the Wikipedia page on abiogensis:

    “‘Primordial soup’ redirects here. For the board game, see Primordial Soup (board game).
    “Origin of life” redirects here. For views on the origins of life outside the natural sciences, see Creation myth.
    (clip)
    Abiogenesis (pronounced /?e?ba?.??d??n?s?s/ ay-by-oh-jen-?-siss) or biopoesis is the study of how biological life arises from inorganic matter through natural processes, and the method by which life on Earth arose.”

    If you then embolden the ‘ifs’, ‘buts’, ‘maybes’ ‘mights’ ‘could have’, etc, you’ll end up in hysterics. It’s beyond parody. These people have no shame.

    G’night, Professor John, boy! Pay no heed to they strident evomalutionist ‘nuts’. Well, do. Your talk, reported above, sounds like a massive contribution to cleaning up the miasma of scandalously bad faith emanating from that quarter.

  3. Statistically, the chance of forming even one “useful” RNA sequence can be shown to be essentially zero in the lifetime of the earth.

    He should have been looking at the chance of it forming on any planet at all within the lifetime of the universe. And I suppose a multiverse proponent would change that to any planet in any of the multiverses.

    Those who consider metabolism first accounts can question the “statistically” part of that.

    And what’s the conclusion of this tenuous argument? The most one could conclude is that origin of life has not yet been explained, which happens to be widely agreed upon anyway. The argument still provides zero support for ID.

  4. “It is relatively easy to imagine how RNA-based protocells may have then evolved [see box above].”

    It’s even easier to imagine if pigs could fly. And what a funny sight that would be. Sorry, ‘is’ (as in present indicative). What a funny sight it is to see pigs flying.

  5. Dr Torley, you might get a kick out of this finding, which uses another Edinburgh video.

    Here is a very interesting archeological finding at the ‘center of the Earth’:

    The Center of the Earth by Henry Morris, Ph.D.
    Excerpt: The problem is basically to determine that point on the earth’s surface, the average distance from which to all other points on the earth’s land surfaces is a minimum. This point is defined as the earth’s geographical center.

    (1) Divide all the earth’s land areas into small, equal, unit areas.

    (2) Select one of these unit areas as a possible location of the earth’s center.

    (3) Measure the distance along the earth’s surface from this reference area to each of the other unit areas, all over the earth.

    (4) Add up all these distances and divide the total by the number of individual distances measured. The result is the average distance from the reference area to all the other unit areas around the world.

    (5) Repeat the entire process in steps (1) through (4) above for each one of all the other unit areas around the world.

    (6) Compare the “average distances” so calculated for all the different unit areas. The one for which the average distance turns out to be the smallest is the earth’s geographical center.

    Actually, the calculation becomes feasible only if it can be programmed on a high speed computer. To accomplish the latter requires a knowledge of spherical trigonometry, geodesy, calculus, and computer science. In addition, there must be available accurate data on the earth’s land and water areas, arranged in a grid network tied to latitude and longitude. With these factors present, the computation then becomes quite feasible.

    RESULTS
    ,,, The exact center of the earth, insofar as Mr. Woods’ calculations could determine, was found to be near Ankara, the present capital of Turkey, at latitude 39° and longitude 34°, on the same latitude as Mount Ararat and essentially the same longitude as Jerusalem.,,,
    http://www.icr.org/article/50/

    This following Edinburgh video lecture, at around the 6:00 minute mark, finds that the first ‘advanced’ human civilization, (with the oldest archeological evidence of metallurgy, agriculture, wine making, etc…), flourished near, or at, the Ankara area,,,(The Ankara area is called Anatolia in the video)

    Tracing your Ancestors through History – Paul James-Griffiths
    http://edinburghcreationgroup.org/video/1

    Ankara
    Excerpt: Centrally located in Anatolia, Ankara is an important commercial and industrial city.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ankara

    Now this is very interesting!,,, That the first archeological evidence for a ‘advanced’ human civilization, with metallurgy, wine making, agriculture, would be very near, or even at, the geographic center of the earth, is a very ‘spooky’ thing for modern science to find! Pondering all the many places that the beginning of advanced human civilization ‘could have’ happened, instead of actually ‘did happen’, should make any reasonable person scratch their head in wonder!

  6. “And I suppose a multiverse proponent would change that to any planet in any of the multiverses.”

    Which multiverses would they be, Neil? Is it possibible that, given an infinite number of universes/multiverses, at least one of them might be inhabited by pink pixies and another unicorns. These are apparently very dear to the heart of our secular ‘fundie’ friends.

  7. And I suppose a multiverse proponent would change that to any planet in any of the multiverses.

    Sure, basic statistics guarantee it. And, by the same token, basic statistics guarantee that a planet has been seeded with life by intelligent agents. All of which is what’s so nice about infinite trials; you can ‘prove’ anything by making philosophic pleas to Cantor and Aleph numbers.

    The most one could conclude is that origin of life has not yet been explained, which happens to be widely agreed upon anyway.

    It’s been explained numerous times by numerous people with numerous different and exclusionary explanans. Of course these are all snockered rationalizations about the unknown unless we have time machines available for the purpose of experimental verification.

    The argument still provides zero support for ID.

    That’s a very nice red herring you have for sale. It’s not the statistical argument in a vaccum. It’s the statistical argument in combination with rest. And for the sole purpose of concluding that ID ought be given a fair shake — not that it is necessarily true.

    Now, you’re welcome to assert that we should not research ID because it’s an unknown antecedent. But if you do so then you must claim that no ‘scientific’ theory is scientific. As they all rely on unknown antecedents. If that’s your position then I applaud your rigorous hatred of philosophical topics.

  8. Which multiverses would they be

    I am not personally a multiverse proponent. I think we should stick to studying the universe that we live in.

    My point, though, was that the kind of statistics given are rather meaningless. They depend to much on what assumptions are made.

  9. “He should have been looking at the chance of it forming on any planet at all within the lifetime of the universe. And I suppose a multiverse proponent would change that to any planet in any of the multiverses.”

    That’s easy. Based on what we know right now about planets and useful RNA sequences, I would say that the answer would have to be effectively zero! Of course I make my guess interpreting the evidence through a Judeo-Christian worldview as opposed to the materialistic worldview of the evolutionists. An evolutionist interpreting the evidence through his worldview would find some way to maintain the faith I’m sure.

  10. I am not personally a multiverse proponent. I think we should stick to studying the universe that we live in.

    That’s entirely irrelevant, that you mentioned it means that you accept it as a valid argument about mathematics. And yet, if you ask that we accept your statement about our own universe then you are asking us to conflate a sample size of one, two if you include the NASA fetish for mars, to a population estimated as 10,000,000,000,000,000.

    The argument remains that of the ‘happy miracle’ nonetheless. This is not a matter of depending on assumptions, this is a matter of simple mathematical literacy playing second fiddle to religious rationalizations about creation myths. It makes no difference if this abuse if performed by Darwinists or anyone else.

    For the purposes of statistical hypothesis testing it remains that if the chemistry on this planet, our only valid sample, do not support the statistical hypothesis that life will come along on average every X years on this planet then we cannot discharge the null hypothesis. And there can be no valid objection to researching the null hypothesis that is not dependent on keeping religious touchstones safe from the heathens.

  11. For the purposes of statistical hypothesis testing it remains that if the chemistry on this planet, our only valid sample, do not support the statistical hypothesis that life will come along on average every X years on this planet then we cannot discharge the null hypothesis.

    No, that’s wrong. You would have to calculate the conditional probability, given the known condition that life exists on Earth.

  12. Dr Torley

    Thanks. (Added to IOSE, here, right after the first vid clip; HT you, of course.)

    Why not embed the vid?

    (The TV button over to the RH actually works, once we set up VIMEO and put in only the number.)

    KF

    PS: I just love how he blows away the Dawkins taunt, especially given some of the latest rants I see in my inbox spam section from the owner of the hate site. And, note to the abusive haters, you don’t get the privilege of conversation by being abusive. No one should have to wade through filth and hateful, slanderous abuse to address an issue on the merits. All that that goes to show, is that Plato was right in The Laws, Bk X, about what sort of “what can I get away with” factions tend to come out of the amorality of evolutionary materialism. Looks like that point hits home to a very raw nerve.

  13. NR: Actually, the implication of the functionally specific complex organisation, associated information and even digital code and algorithms in life forms, points strongly to the only observed and empirically warranted adequate source of such: design. The problem is not statistical nulls etc but a priori materialism blocking the most reasonable explanation warranted by empirical observation. I am perfectly willing to live with something like the conclusion Wallace — cofounder of Evolutionary theory — made in his “forgotten” book; right in the title: “The World of Life: a manifestation of Creative Power, Directive Mind and Ultimate Purpose”. But then, he is Darwin’s “heretic” isn’t he (must see vid!) KF

  14. No, that’s wrong. You would have to calculate the conditional probability, given the known condition that life exists on Earth.

    Unless you wish to claim that the null hypothesis I mentioned is that no life exists on Earth then it is your reply is wrong. Perhaps you’d care to revisit it?

    Or are you seriously trying to affirm the antecedent with Bayesian sophistries?

  15. How many multiverses, do you think might fit on the head of pin, Maus? Nobody’s said they have to be big?

    What do you think might be the average size, in comparison with ours?

    Might I have one in the palm of my hand, being as atoms are like wee solar systems?

  16. Unless you wish to claim that the null hypothesis I mentioned is that no life exists on Earth then it is your reply is wrong.

    As a mathematician, one of the things I do is teach statistics. The problem is with your understanding of probabilities and of statistical experiment design. I’ll stand behind my earlier reply.

  17. ? Statistically, the chance of forming even one “useful” RNA sequence can be shown to be essentially zero in the lifetime of the earth.

    But all it takes is 5. A RNA sequence 5 nucleotides long can be a catalyst, ie be “useful”. And we know nucleotides in warm water will link up.

    Just sayin’…

  18. Joe

    ‘A RNA sequence 5 nucleotides long can be a catalyst, ie be “useful”. And we know nucleotides in warm water will link up.’

    And nucleotides linking up in warm water will be ‘usefull’ for what exactly?

    Just askin…

  19. Could be useful to start some sort of self-sustained replication of RNAs.

    That is what “they” say Peter- just get us some self-replication with variation and in a few billion years we can have pizza and beer!

  20. vjtorley and internet-savvy folks:

    I’m going to need some help from computer experts to listen to this video. The sound cuts in and out every two seconds, so it is too painful to listen to. Is there some way of listening to the same lecture in another video format? Or is there some adjustment I can make?

    T.

  21. 21
    material.infantacy

    Timaeus, try this youtube link. I believe it’s the same lecture.

  22. Thanks for the new link, material.infantacy. I’ve updated my post on UD. I’d appreciate some advice on how to embed it, though. I tried this and it didn’t work:

    iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/qwvZfbL6Yls” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

    I’ve left off the initial less-than sign, as well as the final less-than sign and closing /iframe> as they won’t display in this post. But anyway, that didn’t work.

  23. Finally managed to embed the video! Thanks johnnyb.

  24. 24
    material.infantacy

    Hey, glad you guys got it sorted!

  25. material and vj:

    On both the YouTube site and on the embedded link above, I can hear and see the video fine until about 32 minutes, when he starts talking about Weasel and such things. At that point, the screen goes funny for a second, with blurry pixels, and then comes back with no sound for the rest of the talk.

    I might blame this on my older browser, but then, why does it work perfectly well for 32 minutes of the same video?

    T.

  26. 26
    material.infantacy

    Nope, it’s not your browser. Same thing happens here, not long after 32 min.

    It might be your browser with the vimeo video however. I didn’t have any problems with it, but I haven’t been all the way through yet either.

    I haven’t found another source yet. Apologies for linking to the troubled source.

    VJ, you should link back to the vimeo video, the youtube one has audio issues. Sorry!

  27. The original video was fine. The cutting in and out that Timaeus complained about only lasted a matter of minutes. All you had to do was open the link, then press pause. Go and make yourself a nice cup of coffee and a snack, then when you were ready to watch it it would work without any interuption.

    Yes you need to go back to original

  28. vj

    Does this mean you have stopped monitoring comments on Silly Arguments Against God by Very Clever Writers? My last comment included an offer which I rather hoped you might take up:

    You wrote:

    but at the very least, the arguments should rule out strong atheism, making agnosticism a more reasonable option. One good thing about agnostics is that they have open minds.

    My offer was:

    And my objections should make agnosticism a reasonable option for you. I will make a bargain with you. You abandon your theist closed mind and I will abandon my atheist closed mind and we will both become agnostics.

  29. Timaeus, Material.infantacy and PeterJ,

    I’ve fixed the video and added a notice right under it, explaining to viewers how they can play it properly and enjoy it at their leisure. Thanks for all your help. Thanks also to kairosfocus for his technical advice.

  30. Markf,

    In answer to your question, if being agnostic means acknowledging that there is a tiny chance (say, 10^150) that one’s inference to an Intelligent Designer of the universe is mistaken, then you may count me as one.

  31. Richard Dawkins says that God is not impossible but just very unlikely so I guess you are both agnostics.

  32. ‘It’s time for ordinary people to stop feeling cowed by the pretentious assertions of the explanatory sufficiency of Naturalism which are regularly issued by the scientific elite, and point out to the “priests” the rather obvious fact that they are stark naked.’ – vjt

    … which is why, vjt, I momentarily recoiled in horror when I read your all together too diffident words:

    ‘If I were adjudicating the debate so far, I’d say that Walton is winning.’

    Winning? ‘Won doing handsprings’, more like. Weren’t Walton’s arguments always going to conclude QED? Kind of ‘begging the answer’. They haven’t moved from first base, have they?

    They’re trying to juggle with so many balls, but drop the fist one, but carry on any way, drop more balls in quick succession until there are none left. As if they were mentally handicapped.

    That kind of ‘juggling to destruction’, seems a perfect metaphor for the original ‘Key concepts’ quotation from the article in the Scientific American, with it’s more and more fanciful, multiple ‘Let’s pretend’ scenarios.

    Who else roared with laughter on seeing the first phrase? Impossible to satirize them. They continue to satirize themselves all the time.

    ‘With their astonishing versatility, proteins would have then taken over RNA’s role in assisting genetic copying and metabolism.’

  33. That juggling – the wildest conjectures with exponentially diminishing returns.

    Yet, ironically, such circus acts invariably conclude with words expressing unambiguous certainty. ‘…and life as we know it began.’ Hey presto! q.e.D…!

    If only empirical science were as easy as conjectural science, which is what the atheists are now largely reduced to – apart from quantum physics, to the non-materialist implications of which, they must keep their eyes shut very tight.

    I don’t think that when Einstein rightly lauded imagination over intelligence, he had in mind a kind of ‘pyramid selling’ paradigm, under which an explanatory theory might begin with the word, ‘Imagine”….

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